Meet Jennifer Kowalski from Stitches n Sews 330...
My name is Jennifer Kowalski. I'm a music teacher, but I am taking a break from teaching to raise my son. I'm also a bassoon player, and play in local groups. I have always wanted to sew, and the pandemic allowed me the time to learn. After I started, I found out my grandmother sewed almost every day of my mother's childhood. I'm told my passion for sewing comes from her.
I started machine sewing in spring 2021. I started doing craft shows in summer 2022. Fairlawn will be my first Avant-Garde show.
I am inspired by many things. Fabric inspires me, other makes, nature, music, paintings, decorative glass, and other artists.
How I got into my craft.. at the onset of the pandemic, I saw many people walking around in homemade masks, and I thought "I can do that". I started hand sewing masks for my family, caught the sewing bug, and after making many other projects, I decided to buy a machine. I have given many sewn gifts to friends and family. Many of them have told me I should sell the things I make.My five year plan.. I plan on getting myself to the point in my sewing where I can make apparel a big part of my business.
The message behind my work is you can be weird, and you can be square, and that's okay. There's beauty in contradiction!
Meet Shari Dippong from Mommy's Craft Box...
I had had many different jobs over the years but right now I'm a stay at home mom. My two boys are teens now. My husband is a mail carrier in Fairlawn. I pass the day, listening to books on Audible and doing crafts, scrolling Facebook craft groups or Pinterest, or playing Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Switch with my family.My creative interests in art in high school and I graduated college with a bachelor's in theater and studio art. From there, I have taught arts and crafts at camps, after school programs, Sunday school and activities at CBC, and k4 at Heritage Christian School. I started using the name Mommy's Craft Box when my oldest was a baby. I needed an all inclusive name, since every year I have a new hobby.
I think this is my 2nd or 3rd Avant-Garde Show. It has been quite a few years, so I'm excited to be included.
Every year or so, I find something new. Last year, I made fun accessories and bedding blankets for small pets, because we had guinea pigs, and this year, I'm making miniature items for dolls or fairy gardens etc. I've dabbled in my designing own jewelry, making hair wrap clips, shape crayons, doll clothes, photography, small pet supplies, embroidery, etc.
How I discovered my talent.. I think it really started when I was leading arts and crafts activities. I would make projects up using what was lying around and it was like inventing and designing and playing all at once.
How I describe my creative process.. It is definitely a process, haha. I usually see an object like the lid of my coffee bottle and think... "Oh that's sturdy, what can I make?" Then I'll make a few different versions of something like an automan until it's the way I envisioned. It's very much trial and error, since usually, I'm making it up from scratch.
My five year goal.. My creative interest changes all the time, but I will still be at it. I love to make things, and Mommy's Craft Box is my outlet.
Mostly, my message is just down to earth fun. Things don't have to be expensive, they don't have to be exclusive. They just can make you happy. I believe in finding joy in the little every day things.