Friday, September 25, 2015

Columbus, It's Show Time!

Meet Samantha Spangler from Little Paper Dresses...
I am originally from the Philadelphia and Graduated from Philadelphia University with a degree in fashion design. I re-located to Columbus right out of college to start working in the fashion industry. I have always loved bridal fashion and the glamour and pagentry of it so I combined my interest in bridal with my fashion illustration abilities and realized there was a market for custom illustrations!
I have been drawing fashion and creating fashion ever since I could hold a pencil! My mother taught me to sew and I have loved fashion and especially bridal fashion my entire life. What better way to combine the two than creating wedding and formal gown sketches for actual brides! I have always loved anything involving art. Creating it, looking at it, critiquing it. Now that I am older it's the perfect escape from a busy work day and creates such a feeling of accomplishment.

I love trying new techniques to render fabric details like lace, beading, ruffles, etc. It's a challenge but it's always so fun to see the results and the artistic interpretation of someones special gown.

I discovered my talent when I started to get compliments on my drawings and clothing I would make I started to realize that I could possibly do this for a living. I took sewing and art classes in high school, made all of my homecoming and prom dresses, and continued to grow my skills in college as a Fashion Design Major.
My creative process involves experimenting and trying new techniques, which always delivers the best results. Each wedding dress comes with a new detail or design that is so much fun to interprete into a sketch!
In five years I would like to be doing many more craft shows and work my way up to participating in bridal shows as well!
The message behind my work is this is an artistic way to remember your wedding1 In addition to photos it's a unique and elegant way to display the one outfit you will remember forever. Being a fashion person, I have attachments to certain outfits and how I felt that day and what I did, and through the illustrations I make, it's giving that sentimental memory to someone else to cherish.

Meet Angela Allard from Elemental Blue...
As a kid, I thought I knew my plan in life. I knew exactly what I was going to do. I was either going to be a movie star or a teacher. While life took me in another direction, and I became a marketer, I never thought in a million years I’d be doing what I’m doing now - selling all-natural soap.

A couple of years ago, I fell in love with natural soap because of its skin-nourishing benefits and wonderful scents. After taking a few classes and finding my favorite fragrances, I started making it myself. Recently, my partner, Rob, and I launched to share my passion with others.
What really gets us excited about making soap is how great it smells. Many handcrafted soaps lack that invigorating fragrance that really “makes” a bar of soap. For Elemental Blue, we take the time to test and select fragrances that everyone loves. We use phthalate-free fragrances, which are safe and more fragrant than essential oils.

We make small batches of soap using just a few key ingredients: organic oils of olive, coconut, palm and castor, along with phthalate-free fragrance and natural pigments. Our soap does not include man-made chemicals such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Sodium Laureth Sulphate, which are found in most store-bought soap. 
Rob and I use Elemental Blue soap every day - even as our shampoo. Like many others, we werent big believers in using natural soap, but once we tried it, we never went back. And now we enjoy making and selling it every day. 

We hope to convert many attendees at the Avant-Garde show this weekend. To learn more, please stop by our table. We LOVE talking about soap! :)

Meet Linda Ziemkiewicz of Z Beads and Jewelry...
Greetings! I am Linda Ziemkiewicz, owner of Z Beads & Jewelry.  I started my venture 4+ years ago in Hilliard, OH.  After raising my own three boys I thought about this opportunity and decided to give it a go.  

When I started out everything I had to offer customers, all my work fit on a six foot table. Over the years I worked very dilligently to be recognized at various craft shows and events. 
At this time we have relocated to Valley City, OH. which is Southwest of Cleveland, and attend shows in the Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo areas. I have met so many kind people and made many new friends over the past four years.  

I hope that when my customers come to see me they can always find something new and fun to try.  Z Beads & Jewelry has experienced many happy opportunities over the past four years.  I don't know what the next five years will bring but I am looking forward to all that lies ahead!

Meet Tammy Vonschwarz from Angel Delites...
My mom and I started baking more than 20 years ago for friends and family.  It grew only by word of mouth and no advertising. She passed away four years ago and I wanted to continue to grow this passion. To honor her, the business of Angel Delites, LLC was created.

In October of 2014 I relocated to the Columbus area from Youngstown. My daughters have recently joined in this family tradition.

With being from the Youngstown area Kolache is very popular in that area and I wanted to bring it to this area. Kolache is a sweet dough with fillings of nuts, apricot or poppyseed. Some of my other specialties area pumpkin rolls, pepperoni rolls and have recently added cupcakes in a jar! The cupcakes in a jar ensure freshness and ease for enjoyment without the mess! Also the jelly jars can be reused and can be customized for special occasions and events.

In five years it is my hope that my business will continue to grow and will employ me on a full-time basis!

Meet Melinda Hopson from [ True ] Cosmetics...
Hello, my name is Melinda Hopson. I am eighteen years old. I have created my own line of handmade cosmetics called [ True ] Cosmetics. This line offers a healthy alternative to regular makeup. Made from only the best natural ingredients, our products have no preservatives, parabins, or toxins. Everything is handmade here in Columbus, Ohio. We use only the best natural ingredients. What sets us apart from other 'natural' brands is that we don't add unnecessary fillers to our products, keeping them as true as possible.
I am inspired to create natural cosmetics because there are so many chemical/toxin ridden cosmetics out there that aren't good for you. How I was inspired to start this business is a funny story. Year ago, my mother told me I was too young to wear makeup. So, I started to make my won makeup to get around her rules! I discovered it was so easy to make natural makeup and I fell in love with creating it!

Meet Jennifer Davis from Once Upon a Time Jewlz...
I have been married for 13 years to my best friend, Mark, and we have two girls, Decorah and Danica, and two dogs, Lexi and Laci.  I earned my associate’s degree in business management from Terra State Community College, and a bachelor’s degree in education with a focus in special events from Bowling Green State University. 

I work part-time at the Delaware branch of the YMCA, and am an active member of the PTO at my daughter’s schools, as well as the vice-chairman of the City of Delaware Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.  In our free time we like to play outside, swim, go on bike rides, and just spend time together.

I just recently purchased Once Upon A Time Jewlz from a friend as she was juggling two different jewelry businesses and didn't have time for both.   I saw this as a great opportunity to continue to offer beautiful, one-of-a-kind necklaces for girls, but to add my own personal style and expand what products are offered. My girls and I dabbled with jewelry making a few years ago as they wanted to make bracelets and necklaces for themselves and to give as gifts to friends, so this is just stepping up the quality of the materials we are using! We also offer jewelry making parties for birthdays, celebrations, sleep-overs, etc.  I’d be happy to discuss details and options to personalize the party and make it an event to remember!

Several things inspire my creativity, but the main spark is the interests of my two daughters, they are 7 and 10 years old but aren't your typical girls.  Their world is not filled with princesses or Barbie dolls, but they absolutely LOVE super heroes and the background stories of the various characters, video games, and playing outside.  My focus is to create a niche for those girls that don’t necessarily like all the stereotypical “girly” things, but still want jewelry that reflects their personalities and interests. 
How I got started.. I’m not sure that I “discovered” my talent so much as I am fortunate to have been able to “learn the business” from the prior owner through videos and conversations.  I have always wanted to own my own business, but couldn’t narrow down what I wanted to focus on, so this has given me the opportunity to tweak the existing mold and make it my own!

My creative process... This is an interesting question as there is currently a “team” behind the creative process since this is new to me.  My husband, Mark, has been a huge asset to me in coming up with new ideas for charms, as well as ideas from our girls in what they would like to add to the existing ideas.   For the time being, the creative process is more like a lot of brainstorming ideas, and then polling friends, family, and even friends of my girls to see what they think of the concept, and what they like/dislike and if they’d make any changes to the idea.
Over the next 5 years, I hope to continue to grow my client base and be known for designing and making one-of-a-kind jewelry for girls (and hopefully tweens and moms, too).  I’d also like to add earrings to the type of jewelry I make, so I can offer a set of coordinating accessories.
The message is to simply have fun and wear what you like, regardless of what others think.  I’ve learned this firsthand by watching Decorah and Danica grow as they’ve never cared about what anyone else thinks of in the aspect of their clothing (whether it matches or not), style, or who they are, and I love that about them!  I want them to feel beautiful, like things that make them happy, and proud of the choices they make, regardless of if it’s the “cool” thing to do or not.
2015 Columbus Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, September 26, 2015 - 10:00am-4:00pm
St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Columbus Fall Vendors Add Flair to Fall Season!

Meet Danielle Fredette from CalicoJoy...
Hi, my name is Danielle Fredette of CalicoJoy: Crocheted Creations. By day I study toward my PhD in Electrical Engineering, and by night I cook, visit with friends, volunteer with my local church, or curl up with my husband and a good TV show and crochet. 
I have been quick and curious to try out new crafting methods since I could read a set of instructions, and I’ve been crocheting on and off ever since two patient grandmas sat down with eager little me and taught me the basics. I’ve especially enjoyed the relaxing and rewarding nature of this particular craft in the last few years as I’ve started making gifts for friends: first snowy day hats and now baby blankets! September will bring my second participation in an Avant-Garde Art and Craft Show. I am excited to share my work locally and meet new people who enjoy similar things.
Although I absolutely enjoy the relaxation of the crafting process, my real drive to create comes from the sense of accomplishment of finishing a project with success. Beholding the finished product that I was able to translate from inspiration to imagination to reality is a lot of fun.
The CalicoJoy business really started as a hobby, and I plan to keep it that way by keeping things small. There is only so much crocheting one person can do! However, I would love to get a better feel for what people are looking for in order to better serve my little customer base. I see CalicoJoy as a huge learning opportunity for me in the basics of the great American tradition of the small business, as well as an artistic outlet.
I hope that through my work, both others and I will remember to enjoy life’s little treasures with thankfulness: colors and textures, a walk in the snow, a ball game, sweet babies, beautiful people, and the journey that gets us from here to there. I desire CalicoJoy to be a quality local business that will keep your family comfy, cozy, and in style!

Please contact me with questions/comments and check out my work on my website!


Meet Connie Luikart from fassetsbyCJ...
I am so excited to be participating in my very first craft show on September 26, 2015, the Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show at St. Agatha’s Parish Hall in Columbus, Ohio. Any of my neighbors, friends, or family will tell you I am obsessed with preparation since I’ve had a mock display set up already for nearly a month and I tweak it several times a day.

I am a sixty-nine-year-old gramma about to celebrate fifty years of marriage with my childhood sweetheart. An official baby boomer, I was born and raised in a small town in West Virginia. My mother was a gifted seamstress and mistress of all things crafty. She taught me so much more than the obvious required skills saying, “Connie, if you are going to do it, you are going to do it right.”

It has always been easy for me to spot “creativity” in someone else. Other people have often said I have it, but I suspected they were just being kind. These days, however, I am not so sure. Since my home is beginning to resemble a gift shop cluttered with work I have produced in the last few months, I might have to admit that I have become “creative” – or imaginative, innovative, inventive, inspired, original, or fruitful if I simply can’t accept the word “creative.”                           

My company name, fassetsbyCJ, is intentionally misspelled – hinting at my tendencies to make mistakes, misplace (lose) things, and forget names while reflecting the many facets of my personality.

I have made hand-crafted things since I was a child, inspired by my mother and her two sisters. It was an economic necessity for them to sew clothing, but their work was definitely an art that took them beyond basic seamstress skills into the beautiful world of quilting and other arts and crafts.
Until now I haven’t felt confident enough in or enjoyed any one particular craft enough to consider selling it. Just a few months ago all that changed. Still enjoying the Season’s excitement a few days after Christmas, I began to play around with some paper, fabric, scissors, and glue. Before I knew it, one corner of my living room had become a studio and I was creating non-traditional Christmas trees, angels, and owls. I tried to avoid owls. Truly, I did, but they now occupy nearly every nook and cranny of my home.  I didn’t choose them – they chose me.

Each piece of my work is original and unique and evolves as I choose the elements for the design and allow the process to flow. I think of my “characters” as coming to life as I get to know them and love them.   Typically they are born within a picture frame, either new or purchased from a thrift store and lovingly restored if need be, and usually include paper and/or fabric. Some other materials you might see are buttons, shells, jewelry, curtain rings, place cards, paint, or leather. While I comb thrift stores for supplies, I never pass up a good retail sale or turn down a friend who wants to give me some old jewelry.

I am inspired by the sheer joy of self-discovery and accomplishment. Each day brings a slightly new perspective and is met with excitement and praise, especially from my husband Darrell, my son Jeff, and my daughter-in-law Kerry. Kerry in particular likes a project I did for my best friend Barbara – a “nana tree” on which each of her five grandchildren is represented by an owl.
Kerry’s admiration of the “nana tree” led me to create one for her which I call “Kerry’s Brood.” It is so named because the owls on her tree represent more than just her four children (my grandchildren, of course) but also my grand dogs and grand cat and other children who come to her for comfort and a loving home. I plan to offer custom trees such as these as my business grows. 
Even though my creative process sometimes changes from day to day, family support motivates me to keep it going. The process often depends on my most recent shopping trip. A bag of junk jewelry might hold just one piece that will become the basic element of an angel, or possibly ten pairs of earrings that will be the eyes or even bodies of several owls – maybe even an entire collection.

I certainly didn’t see this coming five years ago, or even one year ago, and am quite unprepared to think that far ahead now. I have never done anything quite like what I am doing today – that which fits the definition of the word art (and I quote this for my own benefit): “producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” I have enjoyed a lifetime of rewarding experiences that utilized my creative skills but not my creative gift. Today I acknowledge that creative gift and will follow wherever it leads.

If there is a message in my craft, it is to always look at the other side or the inside and “do it right” – regardless of whether it is a craft project or an idea or concept, or a person. Otherwise I might miss what is more beautiful, more desirable, or more logical.  If someone else reads this message in my work, it will be all the more gratifying.

Meet Susan Chess from Czeska Gems and Jewelry...
When someone looks at my paintings, I want them to say ‘I want to be there, I want to see what is beyond what is readily visible.' In my more surreal paintings, I have the same goal, but with the caveat that they also think ‘Why is that there? What is it for?’. 

I purposely do not put people in my paintings, because I want the viewers themselves, to be the living element of the painting along with what they see and assume.

Basically for my jewelry, I want the wearer and the viewer want to look at it again and again. I love to experiment with colors and textures, and a big part of my motivation is the process of creation and seeing the results.  For most of my jewelry, I rarely plan what the outcome will be, because I like to see how the shapes and colors unfold.

2015 Columbus Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, September 26, 2015 - 10:00am-4:00pm
St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer in Columbus is Filled With Creativity and Talent!

Meet Malvin Hicks of Art by Marcus...
I was born and raised in Gary, Indiana.  I have always had a very strong interest in reading and learning about the old masters and pretty much every form of art. I have also played football for a number of years of my life including two years on the Cincinnati Bengals. I have also traveled a lot in my life. I just simply enjoy colors and turning something into nothing. I love creating and using my God given talent. 
I was 11 years old when I made my first painting. I had just seen Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh at the Museum of Art in Chicago. I asked my mom and dad for an oil paint set.  I've been painting ever since. And now I paint every day. I am always coming up with a creative solution for what my imagination forges.  This is actually one of my first shows at a public venue.
A cloud formation. A shadow. A flower. Different textures on surfaces. Literally anything can inspire me to create.  I don’t believe my work fits the craft title. But I would say that my work is very eclectic. Anyone is free to and enjoy my artwork.  I discovered my talent through determination. When I looked at Starry Night I just knew that I was capable of creating something that intense and beautiful.  The creative process can be very vivid for me. It can start from a sketch or it can start from cooking a delicious meal. For another example, when I’m painting on glass I never erase and I use that as a limit to creating.
In 5 years, I hope that I am still an independent artist working on the things that I love. I also hope that I am still creating new and fresh paintings that the masses can enjoy.  I paint what I see. Whether it’s from something I see day to day or if it’s something that pops into my head. Every now and then I will have a strong message or meaning behind my work but that’s not why I paint. I paint because I love it and other people do too.

Meet Debbie Evans of Cutesy and Fun...
My name is Debbie Evans.  I have been happily married for 40 years.  I have 4 amazing children and 7 precious grandchildren.  I have been crafting jewelry for over a year.  I thoroughly enjoy it.
This will be my first Avant-garde Art and  Craft Show.  I am very excited about being a participant.  I have always loved jewelry.  However,  I could never find a piece that was uniquely designed. I started taking the jewelry that I had previously purchased and transforming them into something unique.  My friends started complimenting me on my pieces.  
 I started creating several pieces of jewelry.  I looked online and found a craft show close to my home.  The show was so much fun.  I made new friends and extra money.  I was hooked and the rest is history.  In the next five years I see myself continuing to display my pieces at craft shows.  Who knows, I might even open a small shop.  I would also like to donate my jewelry to a women's shelter.  Everyone can use some jewelry to brighten their day.

 A sample of my jewelry can be viewed on

Meet Susan Chess of Czecka Gems and Jewelry...
I am on the staff at Ohio State University in the Dance department.  I have my degrees in music, but I have done artwork for quite awhile. During my years in high school, I had a full scholarship to study drawing and painting at the Carnegie Institute of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  When I was considering what I was wanting to have as a major in college, I was torn, but music came to the forefront.  At Ohio State I teach, perform for dance concerts, and I am a musician for all levels of Modern and Ballet Technique classes.   I had not painted for quite a number of years, but this year, decided to take it up again.                  
I also have been making jewelry for about 20 years.  I work with many types of beads, crystals, leaded chandelier glass, filigree, and many other mediums to make my jewelry.  I use finer materials such as Austrian Crystal, semi-precious stones, antique and Czeck glass and much more. 

As far as the artwork ( painting and drawing) I started painting and drawing when I was very young.  In high school (1968)  I really got interested.  The situation that moved everything forward was that my teacher submitted some of my art work to be considered for the full scholarship to Carnegie Institute of Art.  Only two people out of a given school district are chosen, and I was lucky enough to be one of the ones.  This is my first Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show.  I came across it when I was looking for festivals where I can sell my paintings and jewelry.  I like the church shows in particular because of the atmosphere and there are many opportunities to talk to people. Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show looked like something that I was looking for, so I decided to try it out. 
I love to work with light and shadow.  Some of my work is in black and white.  Through this color scheme, I get to work with the depth and shadow in an isolated way.  What is an inspiration to me is that I want people to look at my paintings and say ' I want to be there!   I want to walk into that woods"  or " I want to go to that magic place!"
As far as my jewelry, I want it to be unique enough that when someone gives it as a gift, that the receiver definitely feels like they have received something special.  Color variety and unity are really important.  If I am having a central focus such as a pendant of sterling silver and laboradite, I want it to look like a unified piece of work that draw the eye to the center piece, but yet the surrounding beads, while providing color of their own, still honor the center of focus. 

At a very young age, I started drawing.  Drawing was the first mode of visual art that I did.   I loved to shade everything!  My parents supported me in every way possible.  At the age of 6, they bought me sketch books, water color paints, colored pencils, and pastels.  I would draw everything from scenery, magical places, to religious paintings.  The jewelry didn't come until a bit later in 1986.  I always liked looking at jewelry at stores, but would always be thinking things like ' They should have done this or this' .  Then I decided that if I'm so particular, I should begin making my own things.  So, I make earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and suncatchers. 
The fact that I like working with color and light (light in particular) was my first draw.  While some of my drawings and paintings are of places that can be real, I also like to paint dream like fantasy worlds where, once again, I want people to say 'I want to be there '

As far as the jewelry, I'll be looking at a stone that I would like as a center piece, and then start putting various beads beside it to see how the blend is.  If I am starting with the beads themselves and still want a centerpiece, then I see how the center piece can compliment the beads. 

While I will remain at my job at Ohio State, I would like to do art and craft shows.  I feel like I have something to offer, and I enjoy interacting with people.  The message behind my work really has to do with the fascination of light and texture.  Depth is very important in my work. I want my work to communicate the beauty of color, light, and shadow. 

2015 Columbus Summer Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, June 27, 2015, 10:00am-4:00pm
St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221
For more information, contact
Visit us on: