Friday, November 4, 2022

Twas' the Night Before Fairlawn's Show!

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.

What inspires me.. A lot of times, I'll look at an object, and think, "I can make something out of that." I have to be careful not to save too many found objects and recyclables. I also love trolling Pinterest and thinking, "Oh I can make that." I love the challenge of making something new and tweaking it until it's right.

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.

Meet Melissa Saylor from Bling Princess...

I am a recent amputee and wife. I am a mom and grandmother. I have always loved to do crafts and any chance I got I was doing something creative. I want to make amputees and people with disabilities smile and give them something to make them feel like they are like everyone else. Being disabled has made me realize a lot of things in my life, and one of them is do not take life for granted and live your life with a lot of sparkle and BLING!

I have been doing crafts for a long time but these I have been doing for over a year. This will be my Avant-Garde show!

What inspires me to create.. my family, my disability and seeing what I can do!

How I discovered my talent.. I have always known I can do things and anything I put my mind to. 
How I describe my creative process.. I create things that I feel people will love and look at and think I need this in my life.

My five year goal.. I want my business to go nationwide and have everyone ordering BLING from me.

The message behind my work.. Even if you are diabled you can do anything you want to.

2022 Fairlawn Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show

Saturday, November 5, 2022
St. George's Fellowship Centre
3204 Ridgewood Rd.
Fairlawn, OH 44333
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, at
Visit us on:

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Fairlawn Vendor Showcase!

Meet Renee Lapp from HeARTwork Locks...

I'm Renee Lapp... I'm 59 years old.  I'm a watercolorist who is unable to paint right now due to disabilities caused from severe Rheumatoid.  I have found other creative outlets to satisfy my desire to create.  I have been doing this for about 9 years now.  I've never been good at just sitting still and not doing anything.  I have created many different things over the years but have landed on a few things. 

What inspires me are the smiles on people's faces who have purchased my items.  It keeps me always looking for fun, new things. Fun, whimsical earrings that I also have added seasonal flair to.  Anything from book earrings to Starbucks. 

I have recently added plastic fish hook earrings for those with metal allergies.  I have created fun boot bracelets in metal, faux leather, and plastic.  Just a little something to add flair to your boots.  We all love ankle bracelets, why not a bracelet for your boots!  Then there are my DIY living memory lockets.  You get to create your own style, your own locket, and I have also created some that have stylish plastic chain for those sensitive to metal.  

I got into doing this when I needed extra money to be able to give my daughter the things she needed while going through school.  There are many reasons why I continue to do this.  I love showcasing my things and meeting new people.  

Just because someone is disabled, doesn't mean that their lives stop.  I love bringing a smile to a new face, or even to a regular customer who loves the new items.  I would love to have a small little area to sell my wares all year round.  Like a kiosk in a mall or an area in someplace like the Hartville Flea market. It's not just about the money... It's about getting to be creative, meet people, and to keep moving.  Life is too short.  No matter how many times you get knocked down, you have to get back up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward.

Meet Tabitha Prisinzano from Lunacrvlt Creations..

My name is Tabitha Prisinzano and I am the owner of Lunarcvlt Creations in Lakewood, OH. I have never been the type to feel comfortable in a regular 9 to 5 job. Back in late 2019, dissatisfied with my career in insurance, I took it upon myself to learn the art of candle making. I watched endless tutorials and studied into the wee hours of the morning creating the perfect candle recipe and creating lovely scent combinations. Let’s just say sleep was not at the top of the list of my priorities during this time. Turns out, it paid off. People loved my candles and I was making a nice supplemental income from candle sales. 

Then, in late 2020, I slipped on the ice and broke my ankle in two places. The break was so bad it required surgery and I was left immobilized for 2 months. Knowing I was going to be incredibly bored stuck in bed for that long I had a close friend bring me a couple skeins of yarn and ordered crochet hooks and darning needles from Amazon. This is where my journey began. I seemed to be a natural. I always knew I wanted to make plush toys. Within a year, I was designing my own patterns. Turns out there was a demand for my creations. Coworkers and social media friends began placing custom orders. I knew I had to expand. The thing that makes this work most fulfilling is seeing the laughter and happiness on peoples faces when they see my creations. The world is so full of hardship and sadness. Laughter is truly the best medicine and my cute little plushies give that to the world. This is my contribution.

After years of hard work, I am now able to make my business full time. In five years I would like to see my blog and social media presence grow and to own my own storefront. Participating in these festivals is helping me achieve that goal. This will be my first Avant-Garde show but I’m enthusiastic to participate in the years to come.

Meet Heather Hunter from Elsewhere Acres & Apothecary...

My name is Heather Hunter. I'm a northeast Ohio native, a grad student studying environmental education and sustainable agriculture, and I'm also a beginning farmer. My dream is to build an educational farm that promotes environmental awareness and healing opportunities for visitors through interactions with plants and animals (as well as some tasty produce, honey, and even wool)!

I've been farming on a small scale for several years now, but I just started a formal business in 2022 after a farming internship I was doing with a local nonprofit ended abruptly due to funding issues. The extra time provided a great opportunity to share my message and natural products with the wider community, and I am so excited to get to do that through these shows and my blog on the Elsewhere Acres & Apothecary website.

This is my very first Avant-Garde show, but I am really looking forward to showcasing my wares among so many other talented creators!

I've always been the creative type, but what really encouraged me to share these products with others is a desire to show how nature can provide us with so much of what we need, often with many benefits to our physical and emotional health too. 

I learn by doing, so getting my hands in the dirt, trying things out, and asking for guidance from both the plants and other farmers has really contributed to my success. I also need to give credit to the Indigenous people who originally inhabited the land where I live (& many still do), and to my own grandmothers going back generations. Both groups depended on the gifts of the land for their survival, as we still do today. I've learned a lot from their example about what it means to honor the earth and live with a spirit of reciprocity.

To me, creating anything is really about forming reciprocal relationships, and I do that with the plants and ingredients I work with through observation and listening. I pay attention to what's plentiful and in season, learn about the different medicinal properties of plants from where and how they grow and research any insects and animals whose lives contribute to the things I make to ensure my interactions with them are respectful and regenerative for those environments. I always ask permission and offer my thanks when they share their gifts with me before I begin, and then treat those items with reverence as I am using them, giving something back however I can to those places that help sustain their lives.

All of my work is inspired by a deep sense of reverence, reciprocity, and care for the natural world. I try to source as many of my ingredients from local farmers as possible (if I am not growing them myself) or harvest wild plants near my home in a sustainable way. All of the packaging I use is either compostable, recycled, or repurposed to minimize their environmental impact. I really encourage my customers to compost them if at all possible and build their own healthy, living soil as a way to give back to the earth that sustains us.

In 5 years, I would love to be able to be teaching hands-on workshops for others in my community so they can develop similar relationships with the earth. To me, understanding where our food and medicines come from and participating in those processes of care is essential to healing both ourselves and our planet. Ideally, I would like to have a small farm where people could visit and I could tend full-time. I am slowly building this special place, which I call Elsewhere Acres, with the proceeds from the sale of my products, starting with the installation of a pollinator garden and beehives this coming spring.

The biggest message I hope to convey with my work is that we are all A PART of the natural world, not separate from it. We really do depend on the health of our ecosystems to thrive, including our soil, water, and air, whether we happen to be human or not. Although a lot of damage has been done to disrupt the natural cycles that sustain us, there are many reasons to be hopeful, because we can make simple changes that can reverse those effects. The first step is simply beginning to see the earth and other living things as connected to us and understanding that when we care for each other, we all benefit. That all starts with shifting our relationship with nature from thinking about it in terms of resources or commodities we can use for our own means to an understanding of our interdependence.

Please visit to learn more, or follow along on Instagram or Facebook (@elsewhereacres).

Meet Luann Williams from The Fussy Cat Shoppe...

Fun facts about me:  I love gardening, reading, Christmas movies and spending time with my family. I was an elementary school educator and became a school director – where I sewed a different Halloween costume (but always a clown) for 18 years. I retired just before Covid arrived. Once I retired, I knew I wanted to make time for sewing. Little did I realize what a passion I harbored for this hobby! 

Learning to sew was part of the culture when I was growing up. My mother taught me to sew on her sewing machine when I was nine.

I also took a semester of sewing in junior high school (like all the other girls in those days). In high school most of the girls sewed their dresses and compared patterns and fabrics. It was part of our social life and an easy way to procure new clothes!

Once I began working in education and raising my family, it was harder to find time to sew, but I made time for sewing whenever possible. I created many of my own clothes, doll clothes, baby clothes, gifts, and halloween costumes over the years. There are so many fun things to sew! Now that I am retired, I try to complete at least one new item each day, probably because I have become compulsive about my sewing!!! 

My first sewing machine was a Pfaff, purchased for $25 from a towel embellishing company that was replacing their machines and selling off their old workhorses. My second sewing machine had zigzag on it! I was enamored! I have four sewing machines today – they just multiply! I work at home. Each piece is handcrafted in a smoke-free, pet-free environment. 

I love fabrics and color and making zipper pouches, who knew? My husband encouraged me to start selling my creations because he thought we were being overrun with fabric items. We were overrun, but it took some convincing! 


My creative process usually begins with the fabric. I love the texture of good quality cottons. I enjoy bright colors and bold prints, but also vintage and retro prints. I select colors and designs that appeal to me. I usually know WHAT I am going to make once I select a fabric. I then put the project together with a lining, interfacing, or zipper. 

I cut fabrics precisely to ensure the finished products are consistent in size. I also FUSSY CUT the pieces. A “fussy cut” refers to cutting a piece of fabric in a way that will target a specific area of a print, rather than cutting the yardage into random pieces.  When I "fussy cut" fabric, I can specifically place areas of the fabric design on the finished piece. 

Once I cut and pin a project, I put the items together in piles that represent the color thread I will need. This allows me to work on an apron, three pouches, a scrub cap and placemats all in one day. Today I am sewing items with blue thread! 

I design and sew a variety of fabric creations, but the front zipper pouches featured in this show and on my website are my passion. Pouches organize everything! Add a gift card, box of candy, or piece of jewelry for a fun gift. Add crayons, markers, crafts, toys and small books for a great child's gift. Pouches are great for organizing make-up, manicure supplies, necessities at work or small toys for children in the car, waiting room, or restaurant. They can organize your drawer, suitcase, diaper bag, or purse. 

I do take requests for customized orders for items I stock in my shop. I can work with you on size, color, and patterns. Customization takes time, but we can work together on what you need. Just contact me!

2022 Fairlawn Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show

Saturday, November 5, 2022
St. George's Fellowship Centre
3204 Ridgewood Rd.
Fairlawn, OH 44333
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, at
Visit us on:

Friday, November 6, 2020

Less Than 24 Hours to Go!

Meet Jessica Untch of Revelry Creative Workshop...

Here is some background info on me and my business for your promotional materials. Thank you so much for doing this! I will definitely be distributing a lot of flyers and posting on social media.

I grew up in Malvern, Ohio, which is located in rural Carroll County, and spent most of my youth doing two things- being outdoors and making artwork. When I reached the age to choose a career path and go off to college (which was over 20 years ago already!), it didn't seem logical to pursue an art degree because, "what could you really do with it?" back then...

That was before the multitude of opportunities that came with the internet and platforms like Etsy, Facebook, and Pinterest. 

I started Revelry Creative Workshops in April of 2020 when I finally decided to act on my lifelong desire to steer my career in a more artistic direction. I have a Master’s Degree in Adult Education and have been teaching high school equivalency for over ten years, but I wanted to combine my love of doing creative projects with my skills in teaching others. Revelry is a synonym for joy, and it was chosen because the mission of the business is to give others an opportunity to create, learn, and be happy.

Starting a workshop business during the midst of the pandemic was tricky, so I began by selling DIY craft kits on Etsy, then branched out to offering Zoom workshops, virtual fundraisers, and eventually face-to-face classes in the Medina area. Classes & workshops are posted at under Upcoming Events, and I also offer private paint/craft parties in both virtual and in-person formats. I am currently looking for more opportunities to partner with local businesses to offer in-person events, so if you are a business owner who would like to increase customer traffic or add value to your existing offerings, please feel free to reach out to me at (216) 990-8271.

Below are some of the workshops we currently offer:

Acrylic pour painting
Wood sign stenciling
Watercolor painting
Jewelry making
Wine bottle lanterns Seasonal crafts
Small space gardens
Artisan bread making

My staff members at this time include Kathy Kettler and Rebekah Cline (both workshop instructors), who are both inspiring, talented, and positive people.

My tag line at this point in my career would be, "Life may be a winding road, but don't be afraid to let your true nature blossom." 

Meet Heather Soussou of Susus Sews..

My name is Heather, I've been a Clevelander all my life and can’t imagine being anywhere else. My love of animals and a full home has led me to have 3 fur baby’s that my fiancĂ© and I have rescued as strays. In my free time I enjoy movies, game nights and a good Italian meal. I’m a karaoke junkie and love to sing and dance. More than anything I love being home with my family, binging the newest and latest Netflix series. 

How long have you been doing this for? I started my business at the evening of quarantine. I was laid off from my job in the steel industry, knowing I wasn’t passionate about that career path I decided to take things into my own hands and start Susu Sews. 

What inspires you to create? Pinterest lol just kidding... kinda. But really, what inspires me to create is crafting and designing something that is totally mine from start to finish. I love using my hands and look forward to being able to use my creative side for each and every project. 

What got you into the craft hobby? I started sewing when I was a teenager but like most teenagers I gave it up to pursue hanging out w my friends. As an adult I picked the hobby back up and also learned a few new tricks along the way such as crocheting, knitting and alterations. 

How did you discover your talent? Middle home ec class originally but as an adult I discovered it by practicing a lot once I was laid off and had free time. 

How would you describe your creative process? My creative process is different and varies from project to project. Sometimes it starts with a vision board and honestly a lot of times I dream about projects and wake up w new ideas! 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years with your business? Ideally, I would love to have a store front boutique where I carry my items plus dozens of other local creators :) 

What is the message behind your work? Comfy meets trendy. I want my work to ooze comfy, cozy vibes. I would like my work to feel unique yet familiar.  

Meet Laurel Kabat of L & L Accessories...
My name is Laurel and I’m the owner of L & L Accessories. I’m from MN and graduated from the University of Minnesota and have lived in Cleveland for over 3 years. I have a 1 year old golden retriever puppy named Leo - which is where the inspiration for L & L came from! L & L has been up and running for 2 months!

What inspires me.. Seeing friends and family wearing our bandanas and scrunchies! We love sharing our creations with everyone and seeing photos!

What got me into the craft hobby was actually the crazy amount of $$ I spent on a bandana for Leo, how long it took, and the quality wasn’t too great. I knew that if I could teach myself to sew, I could make better quality and affordable bandanas!

I discovered my talent by going on a whim, buying a sewing machine, and practicing! 

My creative process is pretty simple - I try to find fabric patterns that most people would like and going from there!

In 5 years I hope my business has taken off all over Cleveland, and maybe even the US! I think it would be fantastic if I could use L & L as a reliable part of my income!

I want to share my love for creating affordable and quality, handmade bandanas and scrunchies for you and your dog!

2020 Fairlawn Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, November 7, 2020
St. George's Fellowship Centre
3204 Ridgewood Rd.
Fairlawn, OH 44333
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, at
Visit us on:

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

It's Show Week!

 Meet Julie Huffman and Jacque from jac & jul... 

We are Mother and daughter-in-law. We are together just about every day working on pieces. We have different ideas but everything we do just comes together and shows both of our strengths and creativity.

We started around August/September of 2019 (it’s taken off quite nicely) This will be our first time participating in the Avant Garde shows. We’re very excited.

What inspires us to create.. When we make a custom piece for someone and they love it, sometimes it brings tears to their eyes-it just makes us want to do more and more. We got into our craft by personally wanting unique pieces of jewelry
How we discovered our talent.. Just by doing it. We both have areas of designing and creating that we prefer and excel in. We allow each other to apply our strengths. But every piece we do has both of our work and creativity in it. Together our talents flow nicely to create an end product

When it comes to the creative process,we honestly do what the silverware guides us to do. It just sort of Happens. Jacque names every one of our pieces.

Our five year goal.. hopefully we just grow and continue to have clients that love what we do. Eventually (julie) wants to retire from real estate! (that will be about 10 years though)
The message behind our work.. We repurpose family silverware (that’s shoved down in a basement or garage, not being used) we make special unique pieces (necklaces, bracelets, rings) that they can give to family members to wear enjoy “great grandmas” silver. It’s so great. People love it. It give something that was once treasured, new life and meaning. It becomes treasured again! At times we do money clips, key rings, & bottle openers for men. We also take silver coins and make into rings. Both men and women enjoy those!

Meet Heather Taylor from Glitter Girl Vinyl...
I’m a proud Mom of one son, Alex and one pretty kitty, Pearl. I love crafting, going to concerts and spending time with my family and friends.
I’ve owned GlitterGirl Vinyl for almost 5 years! This will be my 5th show with Avant-Garde and I love them!

What inspires me to create.. Crafting helps me relax and I love creating custom pieces for friends and family. I also enjoy all things nerdy and have a ton of nerd-centric pieces available in my Etsy shop at
How I got into my craft.. My father loved doing crafts and woodworking, so it was always part of my life. Now that he’s gone, I proudly carry on the family tradition.

How I discovered my talent.. I found I excelled in Home Ec class with sewing and have always loved to do crafts from cross stitch to rubber stamping and now to vinyl.
My fiver year goal.. Hopefully I will continue to grow and may need to bring on seasonal help to fulfill the orders in my Etsy shop.

The message behind my work.. I like people to be able to use our products and express their individuality.

2020 Fairlawn Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, November 7, 2020
St. George's Fellowship Centre
3204 Ridgewood Rd.
Fairlawn, OH 44333
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, at
Visit us on: