“I’m a Frequent Flyer at Michael’s” Club

For those who don’t know Michaels, the arts and crafts store, your wallet is safer. Their slogan is “Where Creativity Happens,” but for me, it’s “Where Losing All Restraint Happens.”

To my defense, I do have an art business which mandates frequent visits for necessities such as Canton art board (Made in France!), tacky glue, Swarovski crystals, jewelry beads, silver charms, and buttons. While I’m there picking up fundamentals, occasionally I saunter the aisles to see ‘what’s up?’ The way fashion girls shop every season to update their wardrobe, I peruse new amethyst beads, watercolor paints, rubber stamps, embossing powders, papers, fancy hole punches, adult coloring books, mixed media journals, fine powder glitters…my list doesn’t really have an end. I love it all and want everything!

My husband jokes about how my immigrant upbringing didn’t allow for me to exhaust my arts and crafting. I remember coloring books, but not much else. I’m convinced there was play-doh, but never friendship bracelets, shrinky dink earrings, or crochet pillows. I didn’t create a mosaic tile stone or a wooden craft box or a paint-your-own purse. The fanciest I got was a hard outline with my crayons and filling it in lightly.

I know my way around the superstore like a seasoned employee, often helping out fellow customers as I confidently comb the aisles. I know the checkout clerks and they recognize me with a head nod and smile reserved for the regulars. Michaels.com is obviously on my bookmark favorites, where my link points directly to the coupon page. Note: never go there without a coupon.

I do wish there was an actual frequent flyer club at Michael’s, where I would inevitably accumulate enough crafty points to purchase the 50 pack of Sharpies, the pack of 24 metallic watercolors and all three Zentagle books with coordinating Micron pens. For now, I wait for the 30% off everything blowout sales.

Foodies can keep their Whole Foods and techies can get off at Best Buy on Black Friday, but I will continue to wander euphorically through the neatly-lined, rainbow aisles of the Michaels emporium satisfying some deeply unfulfilled childhood arts fantasy while creating a more sparkly adulthood.

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13 thoughts on ““I’m a Frequent Flyer at Michael’s” Club

  1. We really are kindred spirits! I used to make jewelry, since I’ve been writing, crafting has taken a backseat for the time being. You might find me at Hobby Lobby now, picking up things to spruce up my patio, like the fluorescent paints I used to paint the fish I hung on the back wall. I ALWAYS have my coupon for 40% off one item, it stays on my iPhone, either through their emails or with the Retail Me Not app. Well, happy creating!

  2. I’m not a big fan of Michael’s. The reason is that in the past 8 years- they seem to be doing everything they can to get rid of their yarn (at least they are here in the South). It has gone from three full double isles, to 1 1/2 single isles, and dwindling. Since yarncraft is my bread and butter- the obvious slight is very off putting.

    But I DO understand the frequenting of a store. For me- that is Jo-Ann’s. I know that store like the back of my hand. It’s comfortable and familiar, like your favorite pair of sweat pants. And if you rock the coupons correctly- you don’t have to pay full price for ANYTHING. 🙂

  3. I also think Michaels is overpriced. Only with the 40% coupon doesn’t make it the correct price. Or else Black Friday. I also enjoyed Jo-Ann’s. I am a button artist so Jo-Ann’s has more of those. I’m afraid Michaels is turning too much into pure partially completed crafts.

  4. Thanks! I haven’t put up my latest things which are all much bigger. I just sold a piece for $2500. Really grateful I was able to put my daughter through private preschool and two years of camp with my little art business .

  5. Wow! Maybe I need to get back to it myself!! I had no idea it could make that much money! What platform do you sell on? eBay, etsy, or private sales?

  6. Only private sales … but each piece takes me sometimes 60 hours. It’s actually not even that much money for how much I put into it. I draw each customized button and also include amethyst and real precious stones. This is jewelry for the walls and has all Swarovski crystals – sometimes 2,000. So if you do the math … 🙂 It’s my zen, though but I haven’t been able to focus on it as much as I’m writing full time now. Good luck!

  7. Thank you .. they take me a ridiculous amount of time because each thing is customized specifically WITH LOVE for each recipient and custom drawn, laid out, placed and filled by hand with charms, crystals, beads, etc. THANK YOU!

  8. Thanks and good luck; it’s been one of hardest thing I’ve ever done. The project together, along with my experience, is a framework for my memoir, which will hopefully be published next year.

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