Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ease Into Fall with A Little Artsy Inspiration!

Meet Avery Applegate from Just My Type...
I was raised in Hillsboro, Ohio, where the art room was my sanctuary. Inspired by my art teacher, I decided to pursue the same career, the one where you get to teach “the fun stuff!” I attended The Ohio State University, but teaching positions in the arts were few and far between in those days. On one visit home, I heard that the elementary art teacher was moving away, so I applied and got the job.  I taught in my old elementary school, and then moved up to teach high school in the very room where I had decided on my career. After 30 wonderful years of teaching “the fun stuff,” it was time to let someone else take over. So, I retired and started my own jewelry business. Just My Type, LLC is now my creative focus, and I still get to do the fun stuff!
I have been creating jewelry for about five years. My jewelry is in a shop in Cincinnati called “Indigenous.” I’m proud to be one of their artisans, and I also enjoy the personal contact of art and craft shows.

This will be my first Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show, and I'm excited about it!
Old photos inspire me. They evoke a time and place that I feel the need to showcase and honor. Also, when I see an old object that was once cared for and now cast aside, I feel the desire to make something precious of it.   
I am a tactile person. I like to work with my hands, use tools, and create items that are functional as well as decorative. Crafting has always been a part of my art. I started creating my jewelry after seeing a typewriter key bracelet realizing that I could do that, too. Then, I expanded the idea to take advantage of an extensive collection of old photos, trinkets, and baubles that I've amassed over the years. By focusing on composition, quality, detail, and craftsmanship, then adding a bit of whimsy, the pieces emerge as graceful expressions of art and craft.
I start with an inspiring bit of junk -- a typewriter key, photograph, rusty old key, or a tiny little trinket. Something will draw me to that cast off bit of what-ever-it-is, and I will just know what to do with it.
I enjoy what I do, and I want my pieces to be appreciated, sought after, unique, and fun!  In 5 years, I simply want my business to be profitable, enjoyable, and satisfying.  

A quote that captures the message behind my work would be this: “One man's junk is another man's treasure.”

Meet Brenda Liles from Lemon Drop Glass...
Hi! I’m Brenda Liles, and my website is I’m a wife and mother of two grown children-- one is working and on her own, and the other is beginning his third year of college (My husband and I are very proud of them both). Before they left the house, I realized I would soon have the chance to get more serious about my love of color, creating and glass. 
Years ago, I took classes in different media—clay, watercolor, metals. I explored anything that interested me, and I allowed myself to fail as often as I succeeded in order to find what I really liked best. I was encouraged by my mother, who was an accomplished painter and calligrapher, so the creative gene must come from her. Her work filled our home, and fills mine today. I settled on glass 5 years ago with the purchase of a kiln and a torch. 
This is my first Avant-Garde show, and I’m looking forward to it. I like to see people find something that catches their interest. Maybe something I make will speak to them in some way. How other people make things is interesting to me, and I like it when people ask questions about my work, too. Trying new things and seeing what others are up to is always fun, and I’ve found I’m always impressed with people’s creativity.
My concepts and ideas come mostly from my love of nature. Oceans (blues are my favorites), trees (greens, too), old homes (ambers, taupes, creams)…oh well, almost anything! Maybe it’s just color that I love! And glass—the colors and the transparency of it just keep my ideas coming! There seem to be endless possibilities when I work with glass, so I never run out of combinations or techniques I want to try. And can you pass a piece of glass without touching it? I love the texture of fired glass, and I want others to be welcome to pick up pieces of my work if they like.
I find I’m usually in the process of learning something new—in everything else as well as in glass. There are so many excellent glass artists to learn from, and I hope to continue doing that in the future.

Meet Erica Journey from Journey's Tree House
Previous purchasing buyer, I left the corporate world to stay at home with my son! I love my son so much, but some times I need a sanity check. How? I create. I create things from scratch, improve current items that are not 100% effective, etc. I love to improve ways to make my family healthy, including using non-toxic and all natural products.

I have been crafting for as long as I can remember. I've been sewing since 9 years old, and have gradually built my skills. I've been selling online for about 3 years, and decided to put my items in local craft shows this year.
This is my first Avant-Garde show! :)

I gain my creativity from anything and everything. Especially with my son, if it is not effective, why not make it better!! We only have so much time until our kids grow up, why waste that time fidgeting putting on a coat, or spend extra money on baby wipes or diapers when you can re-use and apply that money to a vacation to make memories!

I love to create, even from the earliest memory I was using my creativity to play. If it could be crafted, I probably made it.  Hand print turkey's, macaroni noodle necklaces, etc. I will be sitting on the couch watching a movie, walking in the park, getting ready for the day and an idea will pop in my head. I will prototype the idea, and test it on my son (yes sometimes the tutu's- at 6 months he just thinks it's fun)! 
My talent is in my blood. My grandmother is an excellent seamstress and makes formal gowns (including wedding dresses). My mom taught me sewing machine basics and would sew us PJ's, dresses, etc. At age 12 I would sit in the sewing room from morning to evening sewing.
I would describe my creative process as mentally visual. I have to deconstruct to reconstruct. If I look at an object, in my head I will imagine how it was put together. Once determined, I go forward and create. 
My goal is to recruit other fellow crafters who may only create one, two, or ten original ideas, and purchase or consign the items in various craft shows, online stores, etc. Crafter's who may not be able to have enough work or time for a craft show. I also want to promote the benefits of all-natural and non-toxic products.

Meet Janice for Just 1 Artistic Mess...
I have been in the Columbus Area for about 5 years now.  I moved here after college from a little town called Scott Depot in West Virginia.  I have since married my hubby Kenton, May of 2012. We have an adorable fur child named Rascal.  By day, I am a laboratory technician but by night I paint!  My hobbies are painting (I know, it’s a given!), reading, eating Mexican food, attending golf tournaments, and just spending time with my husband and dog.  

At a very young age I began playing with my artistic abilities or what I deemed masterpieces. I was enrolled in the Gifted Art Program through grade school. I rekindled my passion for art as a stress reliever from my day time job about 3 years ago. This will be my first time at the Columbus Avant-Garde Arts & Crafts Festival. 

I am inspired by everything- the people and things around me, ideas from everyday life, or just random things that pop into my head while I am busy at my “real” job.  I think it’s truly magical what happens when you give a person a paint brush and a canvas.  I love the idea of painting or creating things that will make others smile or that are memorable to them whether it is a vacation house, their favorite pet, or just something they saw and wanted recreated. In five years, I plan to make my small business on the side, my full time job.  
I create oil and acrylic paintings/commissions, pet portraits, hand-painted greeting cards, gift tags, and hand-painted customizable ornaments.  I feel like too often one will walk into any Greeting Card Shop and find a card that is just a standard run of the mill…my goal is to make original hand painted cards that people can actually appreciate because its one of a kind. It’s like buying a mini work of art!  My gift tags are becoming very popular as the holidays approach and my customizable ornaments are great gifts for people who have kids, grandkids, or just as cute gifts in general for that special someone. 
My message behind my work is simple.  So many things these days are mass produced and manufactured, I want people to see my work and enjoy the uniqueness and originality that I have produced.  I paint for the love of it in the hopes that others may see my works and enjoy them just as much as I do.  For more information or to contact me, please visit or

Meet Nicole Coleman-Hummler from Snapped! By Nicole Photography...
I am a local photographer from Columbus and I live, eat, and dream photography. I have been doing photography in some form since 2006 and see no end in sight.
I did the last Columbus Avant Garde show, this is my second. 

I enjoying creating beautiful pieces of art for the home or for wear, using my photography. I started making gifts using my photography a couple of Christmas' ago, and friends and family began requesting items with their favorite images on them.
I am working on developing my portrait business a little more, so I see myself using the next 5 years to generate contacts for clients. I like to use my portrait abilities to provide images for charities, such as dog rescues.  

I find myself repeating the mantra that "Art and Beauty is everywhere. I just want to document it and make it available to everyone."

2013 Columbus Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show

Saturday, September 21, 2013, 10:00am-4:00pm

St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221

For more information, contact Becki Cooper, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Little Something Different From These Four New Artists!

Meet Chelsea Ridenour from Determined Caterpillar Laser Creations!
I am a 26 year old Canadian / American. I have a Bachelor degree from Capital University. I have been working with my laser unit for about a year, and this will be my first Avant-Garde show.
My inspirations tend to come from seeing things that I find pretty or interesting. If I see a way to then create something based on those images by using the laser I will attempt it.
I always liked doing crafts but it was not something I had considered as a profession. However, after college the job market was poor and I needed to stay busy. I knew I would be competent with the technical side of the laser process but found to my surprise that I also greatly enjoyed the creative aspects.
Being fairly new at this I am still seeking a definite direction. I don’t have an over-arching message in my work. I produce my work because I find the ideas interesting, attractive or good fits for laser work. I guess my message would be making things is kind of fun.

Meet Katie Lewis from The Red Kitchen!
I live in Columbus, OH with my husband and daughter. We're also expecting another little one in January, so I'll be nice and plump at the show!I'll be participating in both the fall and winter shows this year! 
I've been sewing and crafting for as long as I can remember. My mother taught me how to sew when I was a little girl and I used to sit and sift through her fabric and make my own little creations for hours. I've always loved creating things with my hands.

I graduated in Home and Family Living at BYU, where I learned more advanced sewing techniques that have really improved my skill set and helped me grow even further in my love for sewing. Over the past five or six years I've taught a number of beginning sewing classes to friends and neighbors. It was in teaching these classes that I came to realize how important it is for beginning sewers to start with good, basic instruction and projects that were easy and fun.

 My new book, Simple Sewing: 30 Fast and Easy Projects for Beginners, which will be released in November of this year, features 30 basic, but beautiful sewing projects for beginners to learn to sew by. A large portion of the goods I'll be selling at the show are all projects I've made from my book. So come see them in person, buy a few if you like, and then buy the book so you can make your own at home! I'll also be selling a variety of items not included in the book. So be sure to stop by and check it all out! 

So many things inspire me! When I was a little girl I used to especially love making things for my Barbie dolls. My siblings and I also used to play out in our backyard and make all kinds of outdoor creations. Much of my inspiration now comes from my family life. My daughter inspires me to make toys (many of which are included in my book), and many of the things I  make are inspired by the needs of our home--magazine holders for the bathroom, desktop baskets to corral odds and ends, festive banners for a family party. 
I don't know that any one thing got me into crafting and sewing. I think it was just such a large part of my family life growing up. My mom and sisters and I have always loved creating. I think what's kept me creating over the years is the joy and satisfaction I find in making something new. There is beauty in creation. And being a part of it both humbling and exciting all at once.

I think all of us are blessed with talents, but perhaps the harder question is where we find our own style. I think the key is to create the things that make your heart sing. Whether I'm making a gift for a friend, developing a project for my book, or creating items for the show, I try to be true to my own style. Not only does it take away a lot of self-doubt and make the creative process a happier one, I've found that being true to my own style has helped me grow both my talents and my business in ways I never thought possible.
My creative process is simple. I am all about simple. I spend a lot of time thinking about the easiest and best ways to make things. My husband and I are both kind of minimalists and I've found that less, not more, is what I need in my life. Less frills and extras, more simplicity. More peace. So while I'll add the occasional embellishment, most of the things I make are very simple. Rather than adding more, I look for beauty in less. Functionality is key with me. My main goals when I make something are that it's made well so it will last for years, that it's functional, and that it's beautiful.

With baby number 2 on the way it's hard to be sure of what life will hold for us in the next 5 years! Ideally, I'd love to continue writing regularly on my blog, The Red Kitchen, continue selling at craft shows, and perhaps start in on a second book!
Sewing is easy and anyone can do it! I have so many friends that see things I make and tell me they could never make that. But it's not true at all! I've watched so many truly novice sewers create beautiful things on their first attempt. All you need is a good set of instructions and a friend to guide you along the way.

Meet Barbara from The Book Whisperer!
I'm a 'woman of a certain age', and that's all I'll say about that!
I'm a widowed mother of three, a 29 year old daughter (recently
married) who is a nurse, a 23 year old son (married with a 5 month old
son of his own) who is a Petty Officer in the US Navy, and a 19 year
old daughter who is in college. My husband died 19 years ago, I never
remarried. I was busy being outnumbered by kids. Now that it's all
pretty much said and done, I wouldn't trade my life for all the tea in
China. I have great kids, wonderful memories and I'm still going. All's
well that ends well. I worked in medicine (managing surgeon's offices)
for many years, but have been crafting full-time for the past two years.
I've always crafted in some way, shape or form. Sometimes out of
necessity (kids' costumes, school projects, boredom), sometimes out of
frustration at being unable to find what I wanted commercially. As I
said, I've been doing this full-time for the past two years. This will be my FIRST Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show.. and I'm uber-excited!

I'm inspired by those odd thoughts that come to me in the middle of
the night. They wake me up and I have to get started before I lose the
mental picture. My daytime inspiration comes from the custom requests
of my clients. They tell me their hobbies, their favorite things, their
favorite quotes, etc... and I incorporate all of those things into
their design in the medium they desire. Maybe it's the upcycling of an
old book, the creation of a junk journal or photo album... whatever the
client wants, they get!
I have to admit to (at least) one shortcoming, I take HORRIBLE
photographs. To compensate for the awfulness of my pictures, I started
making gorgeous albums to hold them. Handcrafted photo albums led to
handcrafted junk journals, which in turn led to upcycling old books
into smashbooks. And the rest, as they say, is history.
I still don't believe that I have 'talent'. What I have is a strong
desire to help people get exactly what they want. The items that I
craft are unlike anything one will ever find in a retail setting. Many
of my custom orders are memorials to a lost loved one, the preservation
of a major life event in photos and words or the preparation and
planning phase of joyous event such as a wedding or a new baby. The
letters I receive from my clients when they've received their completed
project are what keep me going some days.

My creative process is dual-faceted. Sometimes I'm crafting a custom request for a client in which I'm taking their list of what they want and finding ways to represent that in their final design. For instance, one client wanted matching
two-ring binders to present to her grandparents at their shared
birthday party. She told me what their individual interests were, as
well as their shared interests. 

Not all of my work is custom work, however. When I'm creating 'stock'
items, I choose something at random, a quote, a bit of ephemera, a
photograph or sometimes one single word... and the process begins. When
I have that initial seed of inspiration, I move on to selecting a color
scheme, which form it will take (junk journal, smashbook,. photo
album)... then it is GAME ON! I play with it, change it, rearrange it
and somehow come out on the other end with something that is both
visually pleasing and, I hope, inspirational. If it's not, and that
does happen, I fall back on the best piece of advice I ever had about
papercrafting. "It's just paper, put something over the part you don't
like and make it something you do like!"

In five years, I'd LOVE to have a brick and mortar shop where I can
sit and craft all day while meeting new people and pleasing new
clients. (Preferably somewhere warm and sunny!)
The message behind my work is, "Be who you are." Most of us tend to
expend a lot of energy and emotion putting on our 'public face', which
is necessary to function in society. There comes a time in each day,
however, when we need to drop the facade and be ourselves. For me, that
time is spent in one of my many junk journals. I jot down random
thoughts from the day, hopes, fears, joys, dreams and disappointments.
I plot and plan. I organize the chaos of my mind. Sometimes I have an
absolute blast looking back at journals from the past and seeing just
how silly or dumb or poignant things were at that time in my life. By
crafting really unique and visually pleasing journals and albums, I've
pretty well guaranteed that these records of my life won't end up in a
landfill when I've left this world!

I'd like for people to know that, on a monthly basis, I donate a
portion of the proceeds of each sale to to aide in their fight
to end violence against women around the globe. This is a cause that is
very near and dear to me.

Meet Tanya Long!
I am a Domestic Engineer, wife and mom to 4 kids.  I worked in the banking industry for 12 years before having the privilege of staying home with my kids.  I love sports, both playing and attending.  I enjoy reading and, of course, arts and crafts.
I have been crafting with my kids, my mom and my sister for about 15 years.  I have been scrapbooking for the last 4 years.  However, 2013 is my first year as a vendor and the 2013 Columbus Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show is my 1st show!

My biggest inspirations are my kids, my husband and family & friends.  I am also inspired by anything that catches my eye, which can at times simply be colors or a pattern or something that I think I can make my own version of. I got into crafting years ago when my family decided to begin exchanging our own handmade Christmas ornaments.  More recently, I branched out into creating accessories while trying to find party favor alternatives (instead of the cheap toys you find in the stores).

Typically, I get ideas from thinking about what would be fun or cute or cool or sometimes necessary for my family and friends.  I then focus on what I enjoy creating.  Then I create samples to see what works and what doesn't.  I decide on designs, color schemes and/or variations that may appeal to my customers.  And then I get crafting!

In five years, I hope to add more craft shows to my repertoire each year.  I will also be creating a web site in addition to increasing my product line.My designs are for everyone! - Fun customizable accessories that are excellent for everyday use, individual gifts for kids & adults, boys & girls, men & women, party favors, wedding party gifts, alternative birthday favors for classmates, and sports team gifts &/or uniform accessories.

2013 Columbus Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show

Saturday, September 21, 2013, 10:00am-4:00pm

St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221

For more information, contact Becki Cooper, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fall is Here and the Creativity is Flowing!

Meet Sarah Heatwole of Splendid Antiquities...
I am a 30 year old stay-at-home mom and part-time social worker at a local nursing home. I stay busy taking care of my four year old son and two year old daughter during the day and work in the evenings. I have always been interested in the past and that inspires my work.

I have been crafting and painting since high school. I have always been fascinated by history, the story or memories that each find stirs makes my heart happy. I started collecting vintage items I found at thrift stores, garage sales, and auctions. I opened my Etsy store (Splendid Antiquities) with a few items and have continued to grow it ever since. During the course of this journey, I have also started creating some of my own art, using vintage sewing patterns and the art of decoupage.

This is my First Avant-Garde show, and only my second show all around.  I have worked really hard to build my inventory of handmade items, and come up with new designs all the time

There has always been innate desire inside of me to create; I love the beauty that is found in nature. I also read a lot of blogs and magazines.
Back in April I started a project with sewing patterns. The designing just took off from there. I have found many objects that would have either been thrown out or sat in a thrift store for a long time that I have redone.

People have always told me that I have had talent, but I never really shared that talent until recently. There is something extremely vulnerable about putting your work out there. You just need to be true to what you like as a designer.

My creative process is a little chaotic. When I have a new idea, I sit down with the object and try to envision what it could become in my head. Then I just start cutting little bits of tissue out, and gluing them to the piece. Often the piece takes a different direction than I originally thought.

Although I love working with sewing patterns, I am also branching out into making other items from recycled materials.   I want my business to always bring me joy, if it only remains a small secondary business and brings happiness than that’s where I want to be in five years.  I would eventually love to own my own vintage handmade shop.

I want the world to know that good design can be made from virtually anything; you don’t have to have a lot of money to make your home and surroundings beautiful.  What can seem outdated or ugly can be made new with a little bit of imagination. 

 Feel free to visit my Etsy Shop at  or follow my blog at

Meet Jen Walkington from Kiwifruit Designs...
I am relatively new to the Columbus area. We moved here from Madison, WI a year ago. I have been married to my hubby, Jeff, for almost 17 years, and we have two sons, Jackson and Avery. I split my time caring for one of the cutest toddlers on earth and teaching art classes for kiddos at the Worthington and Hilliard Recreation Centers. I LOVE crafting, and also enjoy photography, reading, and creating when and where ever possible.
I have been making crafts for as long as I can remember, but I became "serious" about it four years ago. I needed something to do during those cold Wisconsin winters! This will be my first year doing an Avant Garde show!
Inspiration comes from all over for me, from nature, to surfing the net, to playing with trial and error. What makes crafting fun for me is that process of seeing something unique that makes you excited, to getting your hands "dirty" (so to speak) through experimenting, and coming up with an item that is 100% unique to your imagination. Creating is such a fantastic outlet for me, and has proven to be a hobby that I truly love.
I hope my items provide a fun, carefree message to my customers. I am so fortunate to be able to see the immense amount of talented crafters and artists at crafts fairs each year, and what makes it so exciting is the variety and differences between each table. I tend to make items for kids mostly, since I'm a mom and teacher at heart, and I know from experience that buying a fun item for a child is something special. Since I have two sons of my own, I try to create items thatboys/men can wear, because I see how that's an area (both in stores and in craft fairs) that gets slightly overlooked. But being a girl myself, creating items for women and little girls is really fun as well, since I don't have a girl of my own to dote on!!

Meet Jessica Foust from Trash to Treasures...
I'm 23. I graduated from Ohio State in 2012 with a degree in strategic communications. Now, I work full-time for Nationwide during the week and spend most of my weekends crafting! I sell my crafts at a store in Tuttle Mall called Simply Vague which keeps me pretty busy!
I'm an avid runner. I love half-marathons and 5K's! I'm obsessed with my dog. His name is Teejay and he is a wire-haired dachshund. He is a rescue that came from an animal hoarding situation and I'm so glad I got to adopt him! He keeps me company while I craft!

I've been crafting since I was in high school. Both my grandma and mom are super creative. I'd like to think I get my creative genes from them. Although I always liked to craft, I didn't really start selling anything professionally until I was a freshman in college. I started making purses out of Capri Sun pouches, which taught me a lot about sewing. From there, I started taking on other "upcycled" crafts, such as wine bottle lamps, bottle cap jewelry and magnets, and painted utensil holders out of jars. I started selling these at a flea market in Andover, Ohio, and just kept going since then.
I'm inspired by everything. Not kidding. I'm constantly thinking of ways items can be repurposed or created into something else. Lately, I've been getting into refurbishing furniture. I'll find old furniture at thrift stores or yard sales and turn it into something beautiful.

I've always been encouraged to be creative and think outside the box. I have my parents to thank for that. Specifically for string art, I made a big Ohio piece for my living room and never thought much of it until people started commenting on how much they liked it when I would have company over. I had a few people ask me to make them one here and there. It really took off when my mom found Simply Vague at the Tuttle Mall. She brought me in one night and I showed a picture of my work to the owner who offered me a space to sell on the spot. Who would've thought that a weekend project would turn into that?
I'm constantly in "create mode." Even when I'm sitting behind a desk at work, my mind is always turning about how I can make my work better or more unique. I refuse to see anything as one-dimensional because I believe everything has more than one use. I bounce ideas off anyone who will listen and give me feedback.

My Etsy store is located here.

2013 Columbus Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show

Saturday, September 21, 2013, 10:00am-4:00pm

St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221
For more information, contact Becki Cooper, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on: