Sunday, August 21, 2011

Where to buy craft supplies in Belo Horizonte

I have to admit I'm not much of a crafty person. I'd like to think that I'm good at making things, but really I'm just good at starting projects. And then not finishing them, or getting frustrated that they don't look like what the pictures show. In the past year, I tried to make a rag rug (fail), a pillow (it's on our couch and looks horrible), a yarn vase (ugly), a necklace out of an old magazine (unfinished), and a bookshelf from an old fruit crate (all of the above). Part of my challenge with crafting in Brazil has been that I've tried to only use recycled material, and to make it without spending any money. And with limited space. All while trying to keep 3 kids from stabbing the cat and breaking the television. Hence, my very sad list above. But I still get the itch to make something....

The school where I work does some amazing projects, mostly from recycled objects, but also using some creative, interesting material. I kept going to the corner papelaria (book store) and looking for things. There I can find school supplies, paper (crepe, colored, and other kinds), makers, glue, tape, and the likes. Which, by the way, construction paper is SUPER expensive here in Brazil, so what the teachers do is buy big sheets of paper (the size of poster board) for about $1 USD, and cut it into 4 sheets of paper that are about the size of construction paper. Pretty smart, eh? I asked around at school for a good place to buy some of the materials that I saw them using like these puncher thingys to cut out shapes, beads, embroidery thread, various kinds of paint, candle making supplies, and wire for beading. They told me to go to Galeria Ouvidor.

It's in centro, on Rua São Paulo 656, and looks like this:

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I've been there two times. The first times, I was not at ALL impressed. I'd been told it's nothing like a Michaels or Hobby Lobby. But it was just like a big strip mall, and all, but all I really saw were jewelry stores (like gold rings, gold necklaces, gold earrrings), stores selling beading supplies, lingerie stores, and watch repair shops. I was a little disappointed. But then one of my colleagues told me I needed to go up to the top floor (4 andar). I went back a week and a half ago, and was pleasantly surprised. Art Nobre (I think that's the name) at the very top had a very good selection of things. I wouldn't recommend taking kids there (it's busy, lots of stairs to climb because the elevator had a HUGE line), but you can find a pretty dang good collection of crafty things, and get ideas for projects, and if you have the resources, time and an ounce of creativity in you, you can probably make some things that won't end up in the trash

1 comment:

  1. Luiz and I brought with us some pretty cool heavy chain rainbow "beads" necklaces with us which when we wear at gay events EVERYONE goes crazy for. We have never seen anything like them here.

    I have been trying to get them shipped here by a friend for the October Rio Gay Pride event.

    Nothing is easy. Wouldn't it be great if a place like you have discovered sold such a thing (and for less than a fortune?)

    Glad to hear you have found a resource!