Friday, April 17, 2015

It's Showtime, Fairlawn Vendors Final Sneak Peek!

Meet Elizabeth Brandt from Paw Kids Creations...
Our bandanas are handcrafted one by one, they consist of 7 steps to make one!

We purchase the best quality fabrics, cut, sew, turn, iron, label and finally the final stitching! These bandanas are the product of a lot of loving from My mom (86) my sister and I. My husband is the business part of it and now is another one of us...he has joined our vending staff.
We started out in Tremont farmers market every tuesday on our first year by the second year we were in seven farmers markets! On our 3rd year we are scheduled to do most of the Avant Garde shows in Cleveland and a couple in Columbus! This summer we will be spreading our wings to Pittsburgh, Port Clinton, Vermillion, and Presque Isle, PA!

I'm excited to say that we offer over 200 different patterns and four different sizes to fit pups and kitties from 3-180 lbs!

Meet Miechelle Weber from Miechelle Photography...
I am a self-taught photographer utilizing the skills and fundamental elements from several photography classes I have attended. I also continue to study books and online sources, and gain knowledge from the ever-so-fun experimentation of my lovely little camera. I hold a Bachelor’s from the University of Akron in Interdisciplinary Anthropology, along with a certificate in Asian Studies. I also have studied abroad in Japan with Temple University Japan in the fall semester of 2006.
Miechelle Photography became official and launched on May 9, 2014. In August of 2014, I photographed my first wedding and have also have conducted unique photo-sessions locally for couples, families, individuals, and pets since then. Along with sessions, I love taking pictures of everything found in nature. I very much enjoy this hobby and in hopes to one day make it into a full-time business.  I’m currently in the process of upgrading my website for not only my 1 year anniversary, but to grow the website for my growing clientele.
I have attended one of Avant-Garde Art & Craft Shows last year and loved the atmosphere; this is my first time as a vendor! I’m originally from the area (currently living in Canal Fulton) and cannot wait to be back in Akron!

Meet Loraine Belknap from Loraine's Sunshine Designs...
I am happily married to my high school sweetheart for 33 years! I have one son and truly blessed with twin granddaughters and our newest addition, our first grandson! I have lived most of my life in Akron Ohio. A very important part of my life is to help others and I enjoy teaching craft classes at a local woman's shelter. God is always blessing me for helping.

This will be my first craft show with Avant-Garde and I am so excited about it and looking forward to many more.

As long as I can remember I have loved crafts...I was born with it. Sewing was my biggest hobby. I can't think of a craft that I have not tried at least once.  I built a huge dollhouse that was so big it almost didn't fit through the doorway!  I decided it was time to try something different than sewing....I loved looking at the beads at the craft stores and thought I wish I could make jewelry...and after trying it about eight years ago,  I couldn't do it! And... I didn't enjoy it! But, I loved jewelry and I thought I would love to make my mom something nice because she was always looking for certain colors. I decided to try it again..... those beads were too pretty to not give it one more try! I thought, "I can do this!" and I tried it again. After my first necklace, I was in love with it! I started out making jewelry for my mom, and I never gave up! I worked hard and read everything I could get my hands on about jewelry making. My mom now has a huge jewelry collection and always shows me when she is wearing something that I made for her!

It has been two years since I bought my first jewelry craft kit and I thank God for blessing me with this talent! My husband remodeled our basement which is now my craft room is my escape place. When I get started on a project, I get so involved in it that I forget there is a world out there! I am thankful for a supporting husband and my parents who are always encouraging me.

My message behind my work is to have fun and make each piece of jewelry special and I thank God for giving me this talent that I love so much. In five years I hope to be participating in more craft shows and having my own website and selling more online!

Meet Megan from Meg's Creations...
My name is Megan and I am currently a student studying Dentistry. I am very passionate about art and painting different landscapes and famous cities. I am a proud advocate for the National Eating Disorder Association, and I am very happily engaged to my fiancĂ©, Cameron.

I started painting in 2014. At first, I thought I was terrible! As I kept trying and painting different things, I became better at using paint techniques. From there, friends and family members began asking to buy some of my work.
I am inspired by many things and people. Painting offers me a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Aside from my goal of dental assisting, I feel that my hobby of painting is something that defines me.I am always inspired by the love I feel for my boyfriend and for the Eating Disorder sufferers who need a lift-me-up picture!

I got into crafts last year while I was in college. My roommate was a very avid painter and I loved her work. We became best friends and we paint together all the time now.
My creative process is very laid-back. I look online and find photographs of cities or monuments that I could see hanging in someone’s home. I always think about the person buying the picture. What kinds of colors would be in their home? What is the lifestyle like of the customer? All of these things play a role in creating my next piece, even though I haven’t met the customer yet. I particularly use acrylic and/or tempera paint on all my pieces.

My goal is I hope to still be painting in 5 years and selling my work to more and more people! All I want is to make people happy with my artwork. If that is accomplished, then my work is complete!

Meet Kristen Cargill from Garden Bling by Kristen...
What is “garden bling” you ask? Well, think of all your pretty potted plants, lush and vibrant garden… Oops, maybe you’re like me and a green thumb isn’t your thing. O.k., think of sitting outside looking at your sad plants and add some gorgeous, dangling beads and crystals to sparkle the look. Whether it’s basket bling, wind chimes, or sun catchers, Garden Bling is made to brighten the mood of any dreary day indoors or outdoors!

My adventure into Garden Bling started during the long, bitter-cold winter season of 2013-2014. The weather was enough to destroy a garden-lover’s spirit and I was no exception. So, to cure my winter blues I decided to brighten things with be-dazzling decorations for my windows and yard. Dreams of warmer days and beautiful skies inspired me to decorate with colorful, sparkling beads and solar lights. My inner diva demanded me to make outdoor chandeliers and things that would sparkle even if the skies were gray and cloudy. Creating things with beads and crystals became so therapeutic that my yard was starting to look like a bird’s Vegas destination. Also, my accountant (aka husband) wanted me to stop buying beads unless I was able to sell some of my items. So, I opened up an Etsy shop and hoped for the best. I’ve sold quite a few pieces online; but, I’ve missed the personal experiences of meeting others so I’m going to broaden my horizons!
This is my first venture in an Avant-Garde event, or any art/craft show for that matter. Hopefully, people will enjoy my work enough to overlook my inexperience as a seller. I’m excited that others will personally see the true beauty of my items because pictures can’t do them justice.  Let’s just hope that I can figure out the business side of my trade as well as I’ve taught myself how to do beading. I need to continue financing my “therapy”.
By nature, I love sparkly jewelry and be-dazzled products. Unfortunately, I never learned to make jewelry on my own and still don’t seem to have the patience for the intricacy of the work. I like to make things on a grander scale which my chandeliers and basket bling allow. There’s something about seeing a regular, plain hanging basket blinged out with crystals that makes me smile. I hope to bring that same feeling of whimsy and joy to others.

Like many artists, I’m not business-minded and simply enjoy what I do by making others happy. I hope you find my items to be unique and lovely for any indoor or outdoor living area! Please stop by my booth and take a look. I look forward to meeting you!

Meet Lisa Stone and Shelly Stutz from Family Jewels...
My name is Lisa Stone. I am a proud mom of five grown children and a six-month old baby girl Khalie that my husband and I are adopting. I also have seven grandchildren that I adore. In my free time I enjoy remodeling and decorating our country home we bought eight years ago. Life is busy being a fulltime mom, wife and jewelry maker!

My name is Shelly Stultz, I have been happily married for eight yrs. I love to live in my small country town where I raise my children. I have four children two grown and two still at home. I also have three grand baby girls. I work fulltime as a phlebotomist, jewelry maker and fulltime mom!
Shelly has made jewelry since childhood and has passed her techniques to Lisa. We are self taught. As jewelry makers, we are always creating jewelry in our minds or thinking of ideas. Our inspiration and creativity starts with our customer. Hearing how much they love our jewelry and how unique it is. That is such an inspiration in itself! The creativity comes natural to both Shelly and I. We create more unique and beautiful pieces of jewelry when beading together and are able to bounce ideas off of each other.
How we got started in business together.. In the spring of 2009, Lisa opened up a thrift store in North Baltimore. She was looking for some unique items when Shelly offered to make a few pieces of jewelry to put in her store. Lisa thought it was a great idea. Shelly made a few pieces each week. One day Lisa said to Shelly “that’s all you made!” So, Shelly asked Lisa to string one night to see why that’s all she made. That night was a lot of fun. It took Lisa 4 hours to make her first master piece. Lisa was hooked!!! We started stringing beads a few nights a week. We loved beading, spending time together and making jewelry so we decided to take our jewels on the road and became a traveling boutique! Time flies when you’re having fun!  This show is our second show with Avant-Garde. We are starting our seventh year in business. Our dream is to open up a small boutique some where in the city!

The message behind our work is that anything is possible when you open your heart and mind! Beautiful things happen when you least expect it. The possibilities are endless and the rewards are great! Just open your heart and mind who knows you may be able to create a master piece of your own!

Meet Rachael Lantvit from A La Natural...
I am a stay-at-home mom with a 5 year old daughter and 3 year old son. I truly enjoy being a homemaker and cooking from scratch, gardening, homeschooling, and just taking care of my family.

I’ve been crafting since I was a kid and it has always been a great outlet for me. I feel as if it is a stress reliever for me. This will be my first Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show!

My inspiration for my recent creations is nature. I feel most at home when I am outdoors exploring. I love being able to bring the beauty I see outdoors into my home!

I started crafting when I was a child making seed bead necklaces. I have since branched off into other areas and love to try my hand at whatever I want to explore.
My most recent craft endeavor was discovered after I made some decorations for my home and received many compliments.

My creative process starts with collecting branches and then determining ways I can integrate them into my living space. Sometimes I like to cover objects with branches, make wreaths, use branches as curtain rods, etc. The possibilities are endless!
In 5 years I would love to still be crafting as a creative outlet as well as a business and have my children be part of the process at that point.
The message behind my work is to get outside and enjoy the beauty!

2015 Fairlawn Spring Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, April 18, 2015
St. George's Fellowship Centre
3204 Ridgewood Rd.
Fairlawn, OH 44333
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Show Week Fairlawn Preview- 6 Talented Entrepreneurs!

Meet Kathleen Vaughn from Design by Kathy V...
I am a retired Mammography Technologist and have been crafting for most of my life. I've been doing art & craft shows for approx. 20 yrs. starting in AZ and now around Ohio. This will be my first Avant-Garde Art & Crafts Show and I'm very excited!
I love fabric and go crazy in a fabric store.  I always have ideas floating around in my head and must create them. I started making my ideas come to life and giving them to friends and family. Then I ran out of family to give them to so I started selling at craft shows. I have to be busy all the time!
I have been sewing since I was 12 yrs. old and used to make all my clothes and then when my daughter was born, I made her clothes. I see something in a store and just have to create it with my own ideas. I hope to be doing art shows 5 yrs. from now and still creating. I just want to make everyone's home beautiful.

Meet Nancy Pavkov from Nancys'Knotties...
I am a retired registered nurse with a lot of free time to do what I enjoy. I have been involved with doing craft shows for over 20 years now. This will be my first Avant-Garde show and I am looking forward to it!
I love all kinds of yarn and enjoy taking a skein of different textures of yarn and turning it into something beautiful. I discovered novelty yarns from Turkey and started using them to make necklaces and bracelets. My jewelry looks like it is beaded till you touch it. It is light weight and has no clasps to deal with. I hope to be doing this for many years to come!

Meet Angi Beck from All That Glitters...
I was born and raised in the Akron, OH area. I have a wonderful husband, 2 children—Amanda-age 20 and Drew age 17. I also have 3 step-children Andrew age 30, Tina age 28, and Ashley age 27. Additionally, I have 2 grandsons—Kaiden age 5 and Kameron age 6 months. My family also includes 2 dogs—Napoleon and Pepper and 2 cats—Allie and Graycie. All of them are rescues—the animals not the kids. 

I just began my craft in the fall of 2014 because I wanted to create my own wreaths for each season. Since then, I discovered that I LOVE creating them. I take great pride in designing each and every one. This is my very first Avant-Garde Art and Craft Show and I am very excited and love the concept of the Avant-Garde shows. 
I am inspired by shimmery, glittery, iridescent end products. The first step is I wrap the base of the wreath and pick shiny materials. Once the base is done, I attach the embellishments and this is when the creative juices really begin to flow. I try to stay with a seasonal theme for all my creations.  
The message behind my work and my mission is to add sparkle, shimmer, and seasonal glitter to life one beautiful creation at a time. The name of my business is All That Glitters. I am in the process of developing a website and hope to have an internet business within the next 2 years. Within the next 5 years I hope to open a small local shop and continue with art and craft shows!

Meet Janie Stephen and Mary Lou DiCamillo from Gratitude Bracelet...

Janie Stephen and Mary Lou DiCamillo are the designers and creators of the Gratitude Bracelet. We started our "Forever Friends" Gratitude Bracelet business adventure in April of 2014. Our friendship began in high school which only grew fonder and stronger throughout the years.

With that, being Grateful for our friendship and our passion for design gave us the inspiration to create our Gratitude Bracelets!! The Gratitude bracelets are all designed with four beads. As you slip on your uniquely handcrafted bracelet each bead on the bracelet should give you a gentle daily reminder to acknowledge a blessing in your life. "The more Gratitude you acknowledge the more blessings you will find!"
Our bracelet will make a simple but unique gift to share with someone special in your life! All bracelets are packaged with a beautiful Gratitude verse to personalize your gift. Over the past year we have participated in approximately 10 very successful craft fairs in the Cleveland area. We are Grateful to have the opportunity to join the Avant-Garde shows this year!

Lastly, our goals for years to come is simple...To grow into a manageable and rewarding level but above most to acknowledge "Gratitude" and be "Grateful... For the Blessings in our lives."

Meet Kaley Foster from Urban Buzz...

I am 27 years old, born and raised in Portage Lakes, OH. I'm a 2005 graduate of Manchester High School and 2010 graduate of Walsh University where I played on the women's golf team. I am a member of the Rotary Club of Akron and in the 2015 class of Torchbearers Akron. Civic engagement, connecting people to places, and keeping folks in Akron is a huge passion of mine.  In my spare time I can be found golfing, boating, or creating things out of beeswax! I have been doing this since November of 2014 and this will be my very first Avant-Garde Art & Craft show!

The art of creating something yourself is very rewarding. Sharing it with the world is an even greater experience. I love finding local treasures that people have created. I want to be able to share mine as well! I've always loved art and crafting things. My mom is extremely creative and loves doing crafts, so I'm sure a little bit is because of her! After getting away from arts and crafts for a few years due to being in the fast paced business world, I told myself I'll never lose my crafty side again and here I am! 

How I got started.. I went to a candle shop in Columbus where you could make your own soy candle and thought, "This is really neat!" I discovered that beeswax is the safest wax compared to paraffin and soy, so I ordered a pound of local beeswax, researched how to make candles and the rest is history!  It was a lot of trial and error, but a very fun process to say the least! I am a huge music lover. When I am ready to make candles, I put on a loud, funky album and the creative juices start flowing automatically. It's like being in my own little world where nothing is right or wrong!
My goal in five years... I would love to have my product available in gift shops, have an international online presence, educating others about the benefits of beeswax, and also have my own store/workshop in Akron. I am very passionate about all natural products, so I would say my message is to spread the word about beeswax and the benefits of burning beeswax candles.  Burning beeswax candles produces negative ions, which cleanse the air of dust, odors, toxins and pollen, as well as harmonizing and balancing the human spirit.

Meet Lilla Ryan from The Mighty Jungle...

I'm English, so I have a fun accent that makes people want to talk to me, which is always interesting. I have a degree in Zoology from Oxford University in England - animals have always been a big interest of mine. I moved to Africa in 1998, and lived there for 12 years, so I had plenty of chances to get up close and personal with a lot of exotic wildlife. I advised and then became friends with the founder of a non-profit cheetah conservation project, Riana, who oversees She is a widely acknowledged expert in the rearing of big cats, and I was privileged to get up close and personal with cubs of all types, and many of them now feature in my art. I'm also a science fiction fan, and it was through this that I met my husband through online limericks, of all things, about a TV show set in space, called Firefly. Sadly cancelled, too soon...I married my incredibly clever and talented husband just over five years ago, and moved to Ohio, leaving behind the hot African sun!
I've always drawn and taken photos as long as I can remember. My father always had a camera, and my mother always sketched, so it seemed natural. I started earning money at it about 15 years ago, but until now, it's been through local outlets and online, but I thought it was time to get out there and enter some art and craft shows. This is my very first Avant-Garde Art & Craft show!

I base my art on elements from photographs that I take, but always liked the idea of making them into something more. I'm currently planning a series of pictures of big cats wandering in historic sites from around the world. My first project is going to be two (or possibly three) lions in Roman ruins in the desert. I love nature in all its forms, and much of my work ends up featuring animals in some way. Even my landscapes often have some hidden in there if you look carefully! I've been lucky enough to travel to many countries around the world, and have so many memories of places that I'm looking forward to capturing. Of course, artistic license means I don't have to reproduce them faithfully, and I'll often put elements from different places together because I want to see them that way! 
I started playing around with the different mediums I could use to display my pictures, and now I do note cards, traditional prints and gallery wraps, as well as hand making my own hardwood frames for larger canvases. I also have a T-shirt press, and take selected portions of some artworks and offer them on T-shirts. Why not wear some art if you like it? People seemed to like what I photographed or drew, not that you could have stopped me anyway. I take note of what people like most, but I have to enjoy or like it to spend my time on it. 
A scene in a film, or a phrase in a book will often bring an image to mind, and I fill it out in my head. Sometimes it will be a beautiful setting, and I think of an animal I'd like to put there, or something else I'd like to include to make it something I'd like to capture. Other times I will picture an animal doing something, and then come up with a background I'd like to set it against. Of course, it all changes once I actually start, but that's part of the fun! In 5 years I see myself being able to spend more time creating and selling art, and less time on more mundane employment. The message I hope to convey through my art is that the world is beautiful. See it and smile.

2015 Fairlawn Spring Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, April 18, 2015
St. George's Fellowship Centre
3204 Ridgewood Rd.
Fairlawn, OH 44333
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on: