I just read an article that said crafting stores are doing pretty well in this lousy economy. Makes sense to me. People are looking for activities to comfort them, as well as ways to make heartfelt but inexpensive gifts.
Sometimes, though, you can't find what you need at Jo-Ann's, Michaels, or AC Moore. Here are three websites I turn to often for embellishments and the like.
http://www.countryquilter.com. This site has an online store called Flourish that offers art quilting supplies. Warning: It's very addictive! They stock Lumiere paints, Shiva paintstiks, charms, threads, yarns, and all manner of embellishments. (FYI: I took a class with Country Quilter's Jane Davila and Elin Waterston that they turned into two great books: Art Quilt Workbook and Art Quilts at Play. These books offer a lot of fun, innovative, and freeing art quilting techniques.)
http://www.artgirlz.com. Look up the word "funky" in the dictionary and you'll find this site. It's charming, it's fun, and they have lots of great beads, charms, rubber stamps, and other embellishments. It's a blast!
http://www.artbeads.com. This site offers a WIDE variety of beads and crystals and everything you need for making jewelry and embellishing quilts and whatever else you want.
Any favorites you want to share?