Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It's Almost Showtime, Fairlawn!

Meet Kathleen Hooper from Kh Quality Creations...
Floral arranging has always been an interest of mine. When I retired from my local school system in 2011, I had the opportunity to take floral arranging classes via the University of Akron Continuing Education Department. Although the classes were focused on arranging fresh flowers, I soon switched to silk and fabric flowers.
In the building where I took classes, there was a craft shoppe. I submitted one of my floral pieces to be approved by the shoppe board. Later that week my piece was approved, so I began bringing in more pieces for consignment sale. I realized I had talent when my items began to sell.
As I became more confident in my work, I began participating in craft shows. That is also when I decided to open an Etsy shop to sell my creations online. I view my work as a hobby. I truly enjoy having an idea about an arrangement or wreath and completing the item. 

Meet Cat Clark from At Last Fine Arts & Crafts...
I am the sister in a brother and sister art business. My brother and I were separated through adoption on the day I was born, and we recently found each other in 2010. I have been doing art for most of my life, while my brother just started painting a month ago. This will be our first Avant-Garde show!
Everything inspires us to create, sunsets, clouds, emotions, trees, and everything else in our environments. I like to use art as a form of meditation and appreciations; I find it very therapeutic. I believe both of us have always had talent. I think everybody has talent, it's just a matter of when they discover it. My brother has just found his and is learning that it is never too late to find what you love.
During my creative process, I tend to not think about the end product. I like to let my ideas flow and typically, good things happen. I end up with something I had no idea I would create that day. For me, it's about the journey.
My dreams are to help bring local artists together and to find a way to make art my career, because art is what makes me truly happy. The message behind our business is a very simple one: it's never too late to find what you love.

Meet Rita Bartram from Oh So Delicious...
I always loved to make appetizers and desserts, so last year, when I decided to start a business, I began with those two strengths. I did this because when you embark on a new adventure, you want it to involve something you love, otherwise, there's no point.
I played around with my favorite recipes and ingredients, took the best combinations of flavors, and created a line of dip mixes and sweet spreads. I make a variety of flavors including Very Veggie, Horsey Spinach, White Cheddar Onion, Cranberry Pecan, and Sweet Pumpkin, to name a few. I make them all from scratch and each package is hand blended. 

I started selling my mixes at a local Farmer's Market and offered all of my dips and spreads for tasting. What a fun beginning that was! I love participating in Farmer's Markets and craft shows. I'm passionate about what I do and love getting to share that passion with others. 

Meet Joe Buzolith...
I am a 69 year old gentleman who has to keep busy. I have bachelor degrees in business and marketing and currently work full-time as a senior software support analyst for the third largest software company in the world. While that work is interesting and requires creativity, there is nothing tangible at the end of the day. I think that drove my need to find a different creative channel.
I am new to jewelry making and just started my hobby business in July of 2015. I specialize in sterling silver and 14k gold jewelry with genuine gemstones. My goal is to offer something genuine and unique at a reasonable price while enjoying the shows and my new hobby. I always liked to watch jewelers work when I went to shows in the past and decided to try it. I bought the necessary tools and raided the library and internet for instructions, and here I am!
I really love to meet people at the shows and talk about my jewelry. I learn a lot from potential customers and other vendors at the shows and get ideas that may lead to another interesting piece of jewelry. I hope others will enjoy the jewelry as much as I do making it!

2016 Fairlawn Spring Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show

Saturday, April 16, 2016
St. George's Fellowship Centre
3204 Ridgewood Rd.
Fairlawn, OH 44333
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Meet the Fabulous Fairlawn Crafters!

Meet Chris Bronson from Triple Squeeze Pottery...
My art is guided by my upbringing in a home where craftsmanship and working with one's hands was encouraged and celebrated. Watching my father persevere in his wood shop, despite his disabilities from polio, instilled a sense of pride in my own creations. The name, "Tripe Squeeze Pottery," is a tribute to my father, who, when holding my hand, always gave it three squeezes.
My clay journey began in 2010 as a student in a pottery studio where I learned the basics of clay and throwing on a pottery wheel. Clay has a way of taking hold of you and not letting go. There is always a new technique to learn and perfect. I use all commercially prepared, lead-free, food-safe glazes. Each piece is one-of-a-kind made either on a potter's wheel or by hand-building from a rolled slab of clay. I do not use molds or stencils but I do enjoy finding texture in batik stamps and nature.
My pieces are all siblings, but none of them are twins! I create strictly functional pieces, durable enough for everyday use and are dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe. I think of the end user while making each piece. As a collector of others' pottery, I love the beauty that a special mug or bowl brings to my day. In a fast-paced world of technology and mass-produced items, it soothes my soul to be in my studio, elbow-deep in the mud. 

Meet Jessica Glatz from Earthy Mama Jess...
I am a wife, a mother of two sweet children, and an 8th grade science teachers. I became interested in AMEO essential oils in 2014. My goal was to improve the overall health and well being of my family and to use less of what was in my medicine cabinet. That is what inspired me to create jewelry that was pretty, fun, eclectic, and still in line with my core beliefs. I have been making necklaces since October of 2014 and recently introduced bracelets just this past February. This will be my first Avant-Garde show!
My interest in AMEO essential oils inspired me to create. I was using and selling AMEO essential oils and figured that there had to be a prettier way to wear oils, and that's when I came up with my craft! I ordered some essential oil diffuser lockets online and then begged my friends to raid their jewelry boxes. I would take anything and everything, even pieces that were broken and old. I just started putting it all together.
Anything and everything inspires me. The core collection of my pieces are made from recycled jewelry, giving new life to old pieces. The essential oil diffuser is added as charm to enhance the look of the piece. In addition, essential oils have so many benefits. The essential oil component can be personalized and tailored to the needs of the individual wearing the piece. The scent can also be changed depending on the mood or the need of the wearer. 

Meet Barbara Hubert from Eagle Wings Art...
I have always had an artistic flair in the past, from stamping cards to making and retiring cupcakes, but when I retired two years ago, I found myself lost and missing my job. I had to find something meaningful to me that was meaningful. Then I found watercolor painting! I've always loved to look at them and now wanted to try my hand at them.
I took lessons for a year or so, from a wonderfully talented artist, and off I went! I especially love to paint birds, wildlife, flowers, and other beautiful things! Every day, I look around and see trees, flowers, birds, and other wonderful things that inspire my art. 
Not only do I find painting wonderfully relaxing, I use at least half of my proceeds to support another love of mine, The Cleveland Pregnancy Center! I also volunteer there once a week and I love doing it! They operate solely on donations and I love to support them! It gives my painting a very special purpose. My life has been very busy and full since I started painting. There's never enough hours in the day. I don't have a professional studio and have to share my art room with the grandkids. What matters is I have beautiful light and a great place to paint my heart out!

2016 Fairlawn Spring Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, April 16, 2016
St. George's Fellowship Centre
3204 Ridgewood Rd.
Fairlawn, OH 44333
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Friday, December 18, 2015

It's Show Time!

Meet Carolina Losada from Needles...
I am Carolina Losada, and I am currently working as an au Pair in Ohio, my mom is Gloria and she started doing scarves and hats before I was born 24 years ago, she decided to knit and designed clothes because I am the only girl between my two brothers, and she made everything for me when I was little. It is going to be our first craft show and we are so excited!

We think this is a good way of let people know about my mom´s work, she gets inspired in her creations with her 6 grandsons and granddaughters, she likes to read magazines about the new fashion for kids and try to do something new that could fit with it. My mom and I want our business to grow up more and spread it out in other countries :)
We want to let grown ups and kids know about the importance and the power of your dreams, it doesn't matter how old or young you are there is not a specific time to work hard for them, and pursue your dreams everyday, my mom and I believe that working together as family we can reach our goals.  

The message behind our work is be happy, proud and yourself in everything you want to do in your life.

Meet Uma Maheswari from Ahilu Arts...
I'm Uma, from Tamilnad, India. First daughter in family. Did my B.Tech in information technology & MBA in human resources and was working in IBM India. Came to US as dependent after marriage in 2013. There started my journey of crochet. I was pregnant in July 2013. Since I was bored being idle in home, like most mothers, I too started making sweater, blanket, beanies for my baby. Later it kept on going and here I am doing this for two and half years now. 

What inspires me to create.. 'Happiness is Handmade' I personally feel this motto. Though we have elegant and expensive dress or accessories for any special occasions, it really gives immense pleasure to have something personally made for ourselves. When I first saw my son wearing the sweater I made for him, my happiness has no boundaries and it increases each time. This is what inspires me the most. 
How I discovered my talent.. My first plan was only to make a sweater for my baby. But to my surprise I enjoyed each stitch and so happy to see the finished product. Then I made a set with blanket, beanie, mittens and shoes. I got lot more appreciation from everyone and few of my friends order for their babies and asked me for teaching crochet. When I panicked to do this as business, my husband is the one who believes in me and encouraged me to go for it.  He's the one who discovered my talent before I do and understood how much I enjoy doing this. Now With humbleness I can say I'm quite talented with satisfied customers and students as well. 
My creative process... For a year, I was making the products of available patterns as the orders come with the pictures. Later I started trying to make my own patterns for small items. I did make a carseat organizer as free hand and few baby dresses for which I had the choice to select the design. I usually combine two three patterns or try out a pattern for different product. All I know is, you'll find something new each time you explore different things. And that's the important thing to be creative.

My five year plan.. I'm not sure if I will be in US or in India after 5 years. But no matter where I will be, I will have my own boutique with wide range of choices of crochet items for babies, toddlers, girls, women plus their own choice of custom order. I also would like to teach crochet for interested people professionally with dedicated place and a structured curriculum. May the Almighty bless me to do so.
The message being my work is that Everyone deserves to be special' We all have a very special person in our lives and we'll be special to someone. I personally feel that handmade is an wonderful way to express that they are very special to us. 

I'd also like to take this as an opportunity to thank my lovely husband 'KumaR' who has been the backbone of my business and my beloved son 'Ahilan' after who 'AhiluArts' was named. And thanks to you Becki for this. It really helps me to have a self review and know where I stand. 

Meet Robyn Martins from Homegrown Shadowbox Art...

At Homegrown Shadowbox Art, I work with a variety of materials to feature poetry, snippets of literature and other sentiments, and I set my favorite topics inside shadow boxes. This is my second Avant-Garde show.

As a lover of words, a poet and former creative director, I have always been drawn to ink on paper. Since I received my first paycheck as a teenage babysitter (years ago!), I began collecting old books from various book shops, carefully setting them on shelves and moving them with me to new shelves over the years along with my most prized possessions. In fact, some of these books ARE my most prized possessions. 

But some of them have deteriorated, and some I have begun to recognize as having more value when disassembled and paired with other things like aromatic roots from the neighbor's yard, feathers that have fallen from passing birds or bark that my birch trees have shed. And I have discovered the value of fitting all of these things into shadow boxes, giving them renewed life and relevant meaning.

More recently, a variety of sources have yielded vintage magazines along with more old books, and the stories and advertisements from past eras inspire my work as well. Sometimes all it takes is an ad for ladies' corsets or a new house plan from a 1934 issue of "Women's Home Companion" to spark the setting of a new box, new with old material, new with old ideas of the ideal life.

Each box I create is a world of its own—imagine climbing into the scene, parting the foliage for a better view, stepping lightly on the coiled prose for a place to take in the details. Then imagine these boxed worlds sitting on one of your own shelves or hanging in the perfect spot on your own wall.

Meet Simone Lindsay from Simi Lindsay..
Simi Lindsay Luxury Scented Soy Candles are made with 100% natural eco soy wax, a natural wooden wick made from organic wood or 100% cotton wicks, and high quality phtalate free fragrance oils, assuring you receive a cleaner burning, longer lasting, richly scented soy candle. Our candles are non-toxic, eco-friendly and water soluble. Since the candles are made with natural ingredients, the containers can be safely repurposed after cleaning with soap and hot water. SIMI LINDSAY brand Soy candles are a green, healthy choice for sharing and enjoying your favorite scents.
I have always been very interested in arts and crafts and I got inspired by another candle maker in Pennsylvania. I wanted to create candles with unique scents and with the environment in mind.

The creative process is to hand select each fragrance and to develop a candle that is handcrafted one at a time.
My five year goal.. I will see the business growing as an online business and wholesale business to other businesses by offering private label options.

My message is to create clean, eco friendly products that are enjoyed by people.

Meet Bryn Young from Larry and Boo's Emporium...
I am a fabric junkie and an inveterate DIY-er.  I always had decorating and sewing projects going on the weekends, and when I was off work having babies, I dabbled I. The craft show market and loved it.  But alas I had to go back to work and my projects returned to the weekends.  Despite being a single mom, working full time, and traveling for my job several times a year I still managed to keep my creative life alive.  When I retired in 2008 I finally got to focus on my creativity full time.

I began crafting as my main activity in 2008 in Florida where I had retired.  My neighborhood had a local farmers'/craft market every week so I started making little girls' dresses and stuffed owls and was pretty successful! We also do special orders! We have done a complete nursery, custom animals, custom yoga wall hangings, upholstery and curtains.
What inspires me is Fabric, fabric, fabric!!! I adore fabrics, so I have to make things so I can use the fabric I acquire.  I just see a fabric and know it is meant to be a certain animal or wall hanging to piece of clothing.  Also my customers.  They love that I use recycled (thrifted or donated), some vintage, fabrics and coordinate them in unexpected wants.  When they ask for an animal they don't see, I design one for the next show.  Sometimes the hardest decision is what to display on a 6 or 8 foot table because I have such a diverse menagerie.

How I discovered my talent.. My Mom (now gone) was always talented.  She upholstered our furniture and made most of my clothes, and when I had children, she made theirs.  She taught me to sew when I was in 7th grade.  I discovered my talent for sewing and decorating through her coaching.
My creative process.. Because I do so many shows now, I kind of have an assembly line.  I used to make each item individually, but it became inefficient.  So I savor each step:  shopping or sorting fabric, deciding what project for each, making a design, assembling all the "bling" that goes with the item.  After I have a group of "kits", I sew them.  I usually stuff while watching TV at night.
My five year goal.. I hope my following with grow and I will continue to create new patterns, product lines, etc., but quite honestly I don't have a major business plan.  I had to plan, schedule, go to meetings, budget, supervise others, write reports for 40 years, and now  I just want to create and share my creations with others.  My business provides fun money for tee times and dinners out and travel with friends.  That's more than enough for my "golden years".

My message behind my work is that cuteness and cuddlingwhimsey and fun, are crucial components of life for children AND adults; that spending $10 or $20 on something that makes you smile and may have no particular function, is OKAY! 

Meet Alena Ruman from Hodgepodge Knits...
My grandma taught me how to knit when I was in elementary school. But I lost interest and did other things. In high school, I took a crafts class with a knitting unit. I picked it up again right away and have been expanding my skill set ever since.

I love creating new patterns and combining new stitch combinations. I am what you would call an ADD knitter. I would be driven insane if I limited myself to the same 5 projects over and over again. That is exactly why my shop is called Hodgepodge Knits. Each item is unique and may never be seen again in the shop. I also sell original patterns so that you can be inspired too!
While I am ADD with the projects I create, when the needles are in my hands I can get very OCD! I notice every mistake I make, even if it is just 1 twisted stitch, and fix it on the spot. Rest assured, every product that passes through my hands are of the highest quality possible.

2015 Fairlawn Winterl Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, December 19, 2015
St. George's Fellowship Center
3204 Ridgewood Rd.
Fairlawn, OH 44333
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Art with a Twist!

Meet Melissa Sweeney from Melissa Sweeney Photography...
My name is Melissa Sweeney and I work as a photographer in Knoxville, TN. I do mostly nature and travel photography but also do portrait photography locally. Before making my home in Knoxville earlier this year, I lived in Memphis, TN where I studied Anthropology and Spanish at The University of Memphis. Before that, I grew up outside of Cleveland, Ohio in Shaker Heights, Ohio. 

I have been doing photography as a serious hobby and as a business for about eight months. I officially launched my business in August of this year. But before that, I always enjoyed photography on a smaller scale.
I'm inspired by nature and unique places. No matter how many gardens or parks you visit, each one has something different to offer. I'm inspired by discovering and capturing what each place has to offer. 

I've always loved photography and since I was a kid I've always loved any kind of crafting. I always sort of envisioned myself doing something creative and selling my work at shows, although for a long time I didn't have an idea what type of art I would get into. But during college I was focused on academics, getting work experience, and trying to figure out what I wanted to do as a career, so I developed a different perspective and was more focused on stability rather than passion. After graduating, I quickly realized that working a 9-5 at a job I wasn't passionate about wasn't for me. At that point I wanted to pursue something more creative and find what my passion was. Then earlier this year, it finally clicked. I always found myself taking photographs everywhere I went and fascinated by photography. It only made sense to pursue it. Since then it has truly grown into my passion. 
I started in photography before I really thought that I had talent because it was something I wanted to do so I was willing to do all I can to learn it and become talented. Once I started learning, after a few photo sessions I would look back at the images I took and I actually liked quite a bit of them. Then in sharing them with friends and hearing positive feedback, that's when I started to realize that I did have talent in it. It all just felt very natural. 

My creative process starts by brainstorming interesting places to go, either ones that I've heard about from others or have learned about in research. But the most difficult part is choosing where to go first! There are hundreds of amazing places to visit within just a few hours of Knoxville, so often planning when to go to which location is the hardest part of the process. Next is to get out there and shoot anything that I find interesting and captivating. After that, it's a matter of deciding which works are the best and what products I want to turn each image into. 
In five years I hope to be doing art and craft shows on a regular basis and to have grown a strong following in my Etsy shop. Additionally, I hope to be regularly submitting to magazines, contests, galleries, etc. I would also like to increase and develop the portrait photography side of my business.

The message behind my work is about connectivity and bringing joy. There's something that can be so peaceful about nature but it can also be used to craft powerful messages. I think each of my pieces has a different message behind them, but my general message is to get out and discover what's around you, to find peace in nature, and to let it bring some type of happiness to you. 

For more of my work, please visit ( and my Etsy shop ( 
Meet Susan Kurtz from Susie Kays...
I am a wife, a mother of three school age children, an artist and a treasure hunter.  My family has moved many times, and my crafting has kept me sane.  I have a Bachelor of Arts in Design, and I am also a graduate Jeweler Gemologist.  I have always had a love for sparkly items, starting from when I was very young.  I would sneak up to my Grandmothers Attic and try on her sequin dresses, and all of her rhinestones.  I love taking something, and creating something different with it.  I love Vintage items, and creating “new” from the old.

I have been in the jewelry industry since the 1990’s, and have been crafting as long as I can remember.  I inherited my Great Aunts jewelry collection, and that turned into my desire to create Brooch bouquets.  I have worked with many Brides, and have even been a featured artist on many bridal Blogs.  I create custom headpieces, centerpieces, bouquets and cake toppers.  I also love up-cycling, and creating new jewelry from Antiques.  You will find me selling my Jewelry items at the Avant Garde Shows, but can always create custom items.
I become inspired to create, by my general lack of non-creating.  Sounds strange, but if I do not create something for a few days, I get this urge.  One day it may be to sew, one day it may be to bead.  Vintage items inspire me, and I love turning them into something unique. 

I left the Retail Diamond jewelry industry when I had children.  By creating my own items, it enabled me to stay at home with them.  I opened my Etsy store in 2011.
I have always been artistic.  I enjoy working with my hands, and my mother taught me to sew.  I have a good eye for design, and create things that I would want to have for myself.

A bouquet usually starts with a color, or a specific brooch that I will work around.  I group them by size and shape and work out an appealing design.  The jewelry is usually inspired by something that I would actually want to wear. 
I would hope that I could still make a little “mad money” by selling my craft items.  I don’t need to be the biggest; I just hope to make a little extra from my work.  I enjoy working with Brides, and love being involved in such a special day.

The message behind my work: Create what makes you happy.

Please visit my Etsy store and my Facebook page!

Meet Holly Oyster from CroMagna Creations...
I’m a 45 year old mother of 2 and co-owner of a successful industrial service company.   I left behind a career in Classical Archaeology during the 90’s when I burnt out on my PhD, but i still dabble by volunteering for regional digs, and I keep in touch with my old crew on the dig in Turkey.  I’ve traveled extensively in Greece, Turkey and Egypt, and I know 7 languages, although most of them are very rusty now due to lack of use.
I learned to crochet when i was a child, taught by my mother.  I did little with it then, and forgot most of what I knew.  Then when I was 36 and pregnant with my daughter, my stepdaughter needed a new blankie because she was no longer permitted to bring hers to our house from her mom’s.  I had a family friend come over and re-teach me, and I took to it immediately.  My daughter is now 8, and I’ve been going non-stop since.
What inspires me to create.. color, texture, and difficulty - I love bright cascading colors, and I’m a sucker for any high quality yarn that uses them.  I find a yarn with a lovely feel, using bright or complimentary colors, and I can’t wait to find a use for it.  Besides that, i’m always looking for a challenge - if a pattern is too easy, I grow bored quickly and I struggle to finish the project.  I’m always looking for the next, most challenging project, and often I design my own patterns because I can’t find anything like what I see in my head.

My creative process.. 
Oddly enough, the cliche about the artist waking up with a sudden brainstorm is very very accurate.  If i’m stumped on a project, and i can’t figure out how to do something I want to do, I often have the idea pop fully formed into my head when i’m laying down just falling asleep.  For instance, I was working on a baby-doll type tank top for myself, and i didn’t like the way the pattern was written for the back and straps.  I kept playing with it, but nothing worked the way I wanted.  I laid down for a nap that day (my daughter was a toddler at the time) and as I drifted to sleep, the back and strap design popped into my head, and i immediately know it would work exactly the way i wanted.  I finished it the following day.  More than once I’ve had to get up and sketch out what I visualize so that i won’t forget it.  
My five year plan.. I mostly create and vend in order to share what i do with others.  I’m not expecting to get rich, i’m not expecting to open an online store and sell large qualities of anything I create.  I enjoy sharing what I’ve created and getting feedback on it.  i love interacting with the other vendors and getting their take on what I do.  i LOVE seeing people appreciate my work and really enjoy when they ask questions about it.  If anything, I’d hope that in 5 years I will have a few published patterns that will sell moderately well and that I can help others learn the versatility of crochet and that you don’t have to be a knitter to be able to create beautiful, high-quality items from yarn.

The message behind my work: beauty, originality, self-reliance. I vend to sell the items I will be making anyway out of love of the craft…and so I can justify buying more yarn.  :)

My name is Karlisha Anderson from Sensuous by Karli...
I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. I graduated from Cleveland School of the Arts in 2003.  My focus was visual arts and photography.  I am a breast cancer survivor and I have been in remission for 3 years now.  I also have multiple sclerosis which prevents me from working a traditional job five days a week. Currently, I am a stay at home mom. Although I love being at home taking care of my family, there is so much more I would like to do with my life.  I love art!  

I am a creative person and I love helping people.  So in March of 2015 I started Sensuous by Karli.  I want customers to experience the bliss that emerges when they see, touch and smell products created by Sensuous.  
My current product line includes scented candles and handcrafted candle holder sets.  My goal is to expand my product line early 2016 and in 5 years, I dream of being a household name. I want to open a few boutiques throughout the state of Ohio to showcase my work.  

This is the first Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show I will be participating in and I hope it won’t be the last.  I am very excited about this experience and I look forward to seeing the smiling faces of new people.

2015 Fairlawn Winterl Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, December 19, 2015
St. George's Fellowship Center
3204 Ridgewood Rd.
Fairlawn, OH 44333
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on: