Thursday, April 4, 2013

Craft supplies in Zurich

I should be working on my Camp Nanowrimo story or emailing my former PhD advisor about a review or finishing a manuscript edit or doing my German homework or at least getting some of course I am writing a blog post (also, if you think that being minimally-employed means that I have nothing to do....yeah, I thought that too, once upon a time).

With my increased crocheting over the past month, I have been feeling the siren call of purchasing more yarn for my stash, aided greatly by browsing patterns on Ravelry that require many, many skeins of one or coordinated colors. (Come on, how geeky cool is this Avatar; The Last Airbender afghan? And the pattern maker said it only took her 100 hours!). Yesterday I went to check out some stores I had found online, and one store in particular was a surprise.

From this website. All other photos are my own. Looks small and rather kitschy from the outside, but the inside is a whole other story.
The store didn't end up having yarn (which speaks to my ability to understand store websites in German), but it was a craft store of a caliber that I had no idea existed in Switzerland. Leibundgut (details at the bottom of the post) is located near the Rennweg tram stop in central Zurich and looks small from the outside, but has several twists and turns that give it more square meterage than I would've suspected (I checked - turns out it's 220 sq. m).

No craft store is complete without a wall of fake flowers.
During my last two years of graduate school, impromptu weekend runs to Michael's or A.C.Moore with other craft-enthusiast friends became an escapist way of relieving pent-up stress, so I was thrilled to find a genuine craft supply store here. And if you can imagine my delight, I'm sure that you can easily imagine B's (lack of) enthusiasm when I excitedly told him about it when he got home. My post-move not-so-stealthy plan to mark off a space of our spare bedroom for a craft corner continues to develop.

The stamp corner. I have some stamps that made it here from Boston, but one can always use more! Also, random note - "Happy Birthday" in German is REALLY long.
Parts of the store reminded me more of my mother's large, clearly labeled craft supplies stash in our basement growing up. Other parts of the store reminded me that I need to buy a glue gun because one cannot possibly do crafts properly without one.

Only half of the ribbon display.
The first time I was allowed to use my mother's glue gun, I couldn't have been older than 8 and I am fairly sure I promptly burnt the hell out of my fingers (perhaps not as dramatic as shooting one's eye out with a Red Ryder BB gun, but the general warnings pre-handling the glue gun were just as strong). Despite me doing exactly what my mother was concerned about, it felt like a rite of passage - I wasn't just helping my mother or sisters with their crafts, I was making my own. Independence and all that.

The bead/jewelry section of the store
Also, I have a vague memory that I actually burnt myself on purpose, because I was testing to see if the glue was really as hot as I had been warned. Experimental result: yep, it was. No repeat needed.

Display of some miniatures. Look at that cute little picnic set! Made me want to build another dollhouse - but since I never actually finished the one that sat in my parents' basement for 10 years, probably not a project I will pursue. 
The sheer variety of craft supplies was overwhelming. They have beads, stamps, miniatures appropriate for dollhouses, ribbon, fabric flowers, FIMO and other  modeling clays, dowels, colored craft paper, huge reams of paper that had no immediate purpose, stamps/supplies, buttons, felt, styrofoam forms, wooden letters/figures, paints for fabric/wood/glass, wood burning supplies, and dozens of other items. The store was roughly organized, although the sections often faded into each other, and the entire store, despite its size, seemed to be struggling to contain all of the goods.

I'm not even sure what exactly was in this corner. Paper, felt, cloth? But I know I want to buy some of it.
Unfortunately, they were not immune to the occasional kitsch items:

I am not a fan of those cake toppers that show the bride dragging the groom (supposedly to the altar?).  I can't say that I like those one much more, but I do appreciate that she's managed to use his own tie against him.
I managed to walk out without buying anything - possibly because if I had opened that door, I would've blown B's new attempt to track our budget out of the water. But I'll definitely be back.

And this will be top of my list to buy. Not that I have started loaning out books here, but when I do, I'll want this stamp. 

Store details:
Kuttelgasse 8
Open Mon-Fri 9 am to 6:30 pm
Sat 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

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