Friday, February 7, 2014

These Vendors Sure Have Hearts!

Meet the Supported Employment Team from all R friends...

All R friends is a Supported Employment division that provides services to adults with disabilities who are looking for meaningful employment. We work with individuals to discover their wants, talents and abilities, and provide job skills training along with a plan to help them reach their career goals.  We have a team of individuals with various artistic talents who have been hired to produce handmade items to sell in the aRf gift shop.  This experience will teach them the aspects of business; including (but not limited to) production, sales, marketing and entrepreneurship. 

all R friends was founded in 2008 by Kathy Cook. We have been providing adult day support services since early 2009. We now serve over 100 individuals throughout Central Ohio with locations in Dublin, Delaware, Gahanna, and Westerville.  In Summer 2013, we added our Supported Employment and Supported Living divisions. This will be our first attendance at the Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. 

Each project and design is carefully selected and inspired by the talents, abilities, and interests of our individuals. 

Sam: "The colors of the flowers and nature are pretty. I enjoy seeing the colors of a rainbow."

Katie: "I like different colors and when I feel material."

Lindsey: "Shapes are cool."

Our individuals each expressed interest in showcasing their abilities and talents.

Sam: “I liked the craft ideas that staff came up with to help us make.”

Katie: “I like to paint; pots and posters are my favorite things to paint.”

Lindsey: “I liked painting at all R friends Day Support.”
The creative process is step by step…

Sam:    “When I make candleholders: I use glue, I connect the sides and let dry very carefully.”

Katie: “I pick my colors, I work slowly and I am careful because I don’t want to mess up.”

Lindsey: “I enjoy it, so I want to make it good and do my best.”
Individuals with disabilities have the right to improve their circumstances by gaining meaningful employment.  In many cases, they are capable of much more than the public realizes. 

Sam: “Pretty things make people feel better.”

Katie: “I care and I want to makes something people can use.”

Lindsey: “Look what I can do!”

Meet Asha from Vibrant Collections...
Hi my name is Asha and I am a homemaker with a lot of interest in arts and crafts. My love for jewelry making started about a year ago. Many of my pieces are made with beads sourced from India.

This will be my first Avant-Garde Arts & Crafts Show and I am excited to share my love for beads and jewelry.
I get this urge to create something when I want to try something new especially with new colors. I discovered my talent while I was experimenting and gifting for family members and friends. Their massive appreciation made me think I could go forward. 

In five years I would like to see myself with my own signature jewelry line. 

Meet Deb from Winey Girl, llc. and Miati Embroidery.. 
I am a married (33 years) Mom of three kids, and an empty nester since August.  Since the kids are gone my focus has shifted to our 3 Portuguese Water dogs,  Dax-15, Tess-10, and Chewbacca-4. I would much rather talk about my kids or my dogs than myself.  I have been very blessed to have been able to stay at home and raise my kids.

This will be my first Avant-Garde Arts & Crafts Show and I am so excited. I have always loved creating things.....I have done everything from tole painting to wood working to knitting to sewing and more.  I believe it is a form of ADD that keeps me moving from one thing to another. I like to play what I call "mental ping pong," where I see a project and then bounce from that to how can it be changed to create something different.... always looking for a new idea based on an old one.
As a stay at home Mom, I was always involved in my kids schools.  I led many classroom projects where kids created wonderful keepsakes for their family.  From there, I branched out into local craft shows for many years.  I usually had a child assistant helping me at each show. Now that my kids are all out of the house, I decided it was time to create a "real" business.  For the past six years I have owned and operated Miati Embroidery.  I do all kinds of custom embroidery for schools, Fire Depts., sports teams, private businesses, etc.  Although my business is run from my home, it is continuing to grow through customer referrals.  Provide a good product at a fair price and word spreads quickly.  From Miati Embroidery I then started  Winey Girl, llc. 
Through  Winey Girl, llc.  I decorate wine and beer glasses using commercial grade sign vinyl.  I design, cut , and apply the vinyl directly to each glass individually.  These glasses are sometimes witty, whimsical, sarcastic, and most of all unique.  I am constantly looking for new sayings to add to the collection of 200+ that I have.
In five years I see myself probably having to move from my home into a facility to accommodate my growing businesses, potentially hiring other creative types to help with the process.  Winey Girl, llc has begun branching out into the wholesale market.  My glasses are sold in several gift shops throughout the state.  I would love to take them nationwide as a sort of  lower priced alternative to the "Lolita" brand.  There are so many endless possibilities!
My "message" is one of happiness and smiles. It is wonderful to sit at a show and watch as people read the various sayings and break out into giggles or laughter. I wish I could do that every day. Check out my websites and! 

Meet Rachel from The Pretty Possum & Aurora's Jewelry Box...
I am a wife and mother of two and a former CEO of my own Resource Management & Change Development Co. for nearly a decade who presently moonlights as a writer and recruiter. When I'm not in my studio creating one of a kind or very limited edition jewelry and accessories from often vintage treasures I find everywhere to repurpose, upcycle and rescue from going to waste.  I'm a former volunteer screener for Greyhound Rescue. We still rescue animals religiously. Our family has more pets than people.

I have a Masters degree in Counseling..and love to have a positive impact on those around me. I broke my back in my oldest son's first year of life 13 years ago.  Work and my company took a back seat to recovering and being the best parent possible.  I phased out of my business and into the life of my child.  Six years later, even though the doctors said my back couldn't carry another, we won the family lottery and were blessed with a second son.  As my children get older, I have begun helping my husband, John DiMaggio, National Expert on HIPAA/HITECH Security in healthcare today, and CEO of his business, BlueOrange Compliance.  I write, revise and recruit for them when I am not supporting our children in their many endeavors and in between time in my studio where I create new jewelry and accessories from vintage, rescued, recycled and repurposed treasures.

I am a new designer on the show circuit, but have been working in our studio since last year.  My children play piano and guitar.  Their music room which stands in as our dining room opens up to my studio in our den. I love creating art to their music.
This will be my very first Avant-Garde show and I am both honored and excited to be involved. My pieces are all created from vintage, recycled or repurposed materials.  So every piece is an original in it's own right, and either a one and only or part of a very limited edition.  I can create custom pieces similar to one a client loves, but since I use all materials in their second life, each piece is ultimately unique. I enjoy creating custom pieces at the request of my customers.
Three things inspire me.  My clients reactions to my work, the materials I rescue to upcycle and repurpose into jewelry and accessories, and my children and the music they bring to my studio each day.  I will see something and immediately envision it as a treasure knowing right away what I want to do with it.  My materials are almost always either vintage, rescued, repurposed,and recycled, I am big on creating things from something that does not impact the environment.  I truly feel like my life has become this amazing treasure hunt.  I discover something I can incorporate into a piece of jewelry or an accessory I would love to wear or share with friends and family.  It means so much to me when someone cherishes something I have made.
I was inspired to create after a house fire.  Our electricial system somehow melted the insides of every appliance in our home. We had no furnace in 2 degree F weather at 3am and had to take the kids and pets to a hotel.

Six weeks before Christmas..with the daunting possibility of having to replace every electrical thing in our home, the boys and I decided to make Christmas gifts for family, teachers and friends.  Most of our relatives are women, so I suggested we make cool hair accessories. Things mushroomed from there. The night manager at the hotel, an artist and CCAD grad herself offered to buy a necklace I made from my Mom's vintage watch and persisted until I searched for similar findings and created a near copy for her. My fate was sealed.  I can't stop creating jewelry and accessories for men, women and children. 
Discovering this passion was the silver lining of our house fire tragedy and the nostalgia around my Mother's aging. Both opened up the world of creating jewelry to me. My Mother, who I cared for in our home for years,  moved unexpectedly to skilled care due to health needs we could not manage at home.  She gave me her watch from the 1950's.  I put it together with a second hand angel's wing that I found at a vintage store. I had a photo of it and showed it to the friendly night manager at our hotel who happened to be a graduate of Columbus School of Art and Design.  She gasped and said she would buy it from me in a second if I made it into a necklace for her.  So I did, then when I brought it to her, I realized I couldn't part with it, because my Mom 's watch had sentimental value to me of course.  No matter what she would pay, I couldn't let it go.  So I offered to search for the perfect old watch for her and the same or similar treasure to add to it and if she felt it was worth buying, she could.

She loved it, and while I searched for her treasure, I found so many more that I couldn't stop myself from adding to my treasure chest.  Once I began making her piece, the other treasures in my new collection began to take form into pieces of their own.  Soon I found I had over 175 new items that I learned to make as I went along. When I searched for her findings, I began to collect used things that I thought would make beautiful jewelry.  I am passionate about the environment and loved the idea of recycling and rescuing jewelry and finding unexpected items to add to my pieces.  I now gather my findings not only from second hand and vintage establishments, but also am  the very lucky recipient of the unsold beautiful designer and vintage findings of a prominent consignment store's artist owner's cast offs and unsold materials.

From there, I carried my new creations with me and everywhere I went someone offered to share them or buy them. I shyly asked opinions of shop owning friends, my close friends and family.  Their reaction was to offers to sell them or buy them and borrow them! I started to make money and pay for my new endeavor!

My creative process is rather spontaneous.  When I am drawn to something I can use, an idea develops the minute I see it.  It is like love at first sight each time.  I get so very excited and can't wait to get home and begin working with the finding to see where the vision takes me.  I find anything left over that I didn't use for that project lends itself to something else I am working on.  It is amazing me.  I have never had the opportunity in the past or ever been truly encouraged to be an artist. I have never been able to share a piece of myself this way before.  I can't get over how much I love it.
The message behind my work is Celebration and Reinvention. Peace, Love and Passion. We all need to celebrate ourselves.  It feels good inside to be creative and so important to express ourselves on the outside.  I love the feeling when I find a piece of jewelry or an accessory to wear that makes me feel like me. I hope that someone finds that for themselves in my line. I have reinvented myself so many times in this life, from CEO to crippled new Mother, to recovering rehabilitating parent, to Mom who could keep up again, and now to Mom who helps Dad live his dream, fosters her children to follow their passions and excel in their endeavors and who reinvents and customizes vintage and cast away findings to celebrate her clients with peace, love and passion.

2014 Columbus February Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show

Saturday, February 8, 2014, 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:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

All Roads Lead To New Talents For These Artists

Meet Tracie Bayer from Blessed Beginnings…
My name is Tracie Bayer. I have a wonderfully supportive family. I was a pediatric nurse for 7 years until I was diagnosed with 2 major illnesses that caused me to have to stop practicing nursing. 
So about 5 years ago my grandmother taught me how to sew, and I found out that I loved it, just as she always had! I sewed with my grandmother until she passed away a couple of months ago, when I inherited her sewing machine, and I have since taken on quilting. This will be my first Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show.
I am most inspired by my 7 year old son. He has an amazing eye for color and fabric combinations, and he loves picking out decorative stitches on my machine for my projects. I especially enjoy creating children's items and fun blankets for kids. 
I love looking through fabric remnants and finding pieces that match that I can quilt together in fun designs. In the future, I would like to spend more time learning and practicing new sewing and quilting techniques.

Meet Amy Piel-Glass from Out of the Moon…
I'm Amy, and I'm 55 going on nine.  Married 28 years, husband very patient.  And intelligent.  And funny.  3 cats, 1 dog, 4 fish.  Figure like the Venus - of Willendorf. Ex-amateur Middle-Eastern dancer, current amateur mycologist. Vegetarian, cookbook collector, and lover of travel, camping, and canoeing. I've been crafting for about 19 years. This is my first Avant-Garde Show, and I'm looking forward to it!
 Color, more color, and curiosity all inspire me to create.  Color's the starting line - it's the constant "What if?" that moves things forward. I blame a Bloomington, IN bead shop with an earring bar for my creativity.  Buy parts, assemble on the spot, take home.  A half-dozen pairs of earrings later, I was literally hooked. Julie, the owner of a then-tiny basement bead shop in Fort Wayne, IN, mentored me and got me into my first show.
My creative process is messy, messy, messy!  Start, take apart, re-start, pull hair, roam the workshop, look in every drawer, pull out 10 other things to try, then re-arrange until it's just right.
In five years I see myself still at it, like marriage, for better or worse. Enjoy yourself and celebrate every day.

Meet Carol Wass from Studio Wass…
I have always loved arts and crafts. After attending a prestigious art college straight out of high school for a year or so, I got a job in real estate and somehow became lost in time.  
Every now and then my artistic side would pop out.  A few years ago our daughter asked me if I would help design her wedding invitations!! WOW.  I did many sketches and finally created a pen and ink illustration that she loved.  I felt so honored.  Now, I can't keep ideas from popping out of my head. 
I only have a chance to dabble in this around my full time job but hope that someday I can spend more time creating new things.  I have expanded into jewelry making and continue to learn new techniques and design.  
As any artist will tell you it's about passion and creating things that you love and hope that others love them too. I've been doing this for about five years and this will be my 3rd Avant-Garde Show.

Sometimes I just get ideas in my head and have to get them out. I have always been an artists in some form since middle school. I would describe my creative process as a work in progress. I will start on a design and it will change during the process. 
I love what I do and hope to have more time in the future to create and sell. Generally I make what I like to wear or use and figure someone else may like it too.

Meet Carmencita from Gracelle Jewelry…
I’m Carmencita and originally from the Philippines.  I have 4 children and the youngest is in 7th grade. I have been a homemaker for more than 20 years now. As my children are getting older I began to find ways to fill up my time whether it was working out more or attending more seminars for improving myself. 
Since I had more time up in my schedule I wanted to try new hobbies. The question that was constantly wandering through my mind was “what do I want to do now? Should I try something new?” I ventured out and continued to look for something that might be my passion. I realized it was never about looking. Once you know what your passion is you will feel it in your gut and that is when I realized jewelry making was my passion.
I founded and created the company Gracelle Jewelry a year and a half ago. At first I created jewelry as a hobby. I experimented on different media, including leather, glass, metal, acrylics. Through growth and experience my inspiration truly comes from my customers. Their stories and experiences really impact my jewelry making. That’s why there is always a story behind a piece of jewelry I create.
Jewelry making all started when my daughter Isabelle wanted to go to a jewelry lesson at Joann’s Fabrics. She needed to be accompanied by an adult. So I decided to go with her to the lesson. After that first lesson, I started creating jewelry. I made many fumbles and mistakes as created my jewelry, but that’s the art of learning. I started to create more complicated pieces to the point where even my friends and family kept asking me where I got my jewelry. They would always be surprised when I told them I created this piece. They would contact me and they would ask me to create this type of necklace for them. That is how my company started to slowly grow.
My creative process is through inspiration. Everywhere I go and experience I am inspired by. Its not only the place, but it could also be the people that sparks my creativity. I also started to fundraise for different non-profit organizations since May 2012.   Today Gracelle Jewelry was able to donate over $3,000.00 to different charities and non-profit organizations including the American Red Cross for the typhoon Haiyan victims in Philippines.
This is my first time participating in the Avant-Garde Art & Craft Shows, I’m excited to be part of their events  because of their goal of helping organizations raise funds too.
For more information on our handmade products visit our website and for up-to-date news and new items visit our Facebook page: Gracelle Jewelry.

2014 Columbus February Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show

Saturday, February 8, 2014, 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:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Time to Treat Yourself!

Meet Amy Todd from DayDream Mania…
My name is Amy Todd. I am  happily married and a mother of 3. I am a customer service rep for an online contact lens retailer. I grew up in Hilliard Ohio, and still live there today!
The Avant-Garde show with be my first ever craft show and I am very excited! I am so grateful a friend of mine heard of this event and sent me the information to get started.
I started doing this craft at the end of 2013. I was looking for crafts to do with my youngest child over her  winter break from school. I found a You Tube video of a lady making rings out of painted glass domes. I loved the way they looked and the materials were so simple to find. The problem was I couldn't find little rings to fit my 7yr daughter. I got the idea to make necklaces out of them instead. We had a blast working on them together and giving them away for Christmas. She went back to school and I never quit making them!
Crafts are a way for me to channel my energy in to something good, creative, and fun. I want to make things that are fun and different and can be enjoyed on a daily basis.  I think it is important to "Be Bold, Be Bright, Be Beautiful." Why?, you may ask... I say, Why Not.
This upcoming event is just the very start for me. I have no expectations, and I'm not yet sure what path I am taking with this. I just want people to enjoy my work as much as I have enjoyed creating it.  

Meet Celeste from Malvar=Stewart …
I am a fashion designer by formal training.  However, because of my deep fascination with textiles, I have spent many years exploring various natural materials, using them in new ways to interpret my vision. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years now and this will be my first Avant-Garde Show!
I am inspired by the beauty found in unexpected old sponge, a rotting pumpkin, my wrinkled hands.  The textures that can be mimicked from our surroundings onto fabric and form are endless and enchanting.  Moreover, the people who have the courage to create are ALWAYS an inspiration to me!
I inadvertently came into the craft world by exploring different mediums that I wanted to use in my high-end fashion line.  I think that the word "craft" is beginning to evolve into something different from what we've categorized it to be in the last 10 years.
Talent is illusive; I still seek to discover it. I begin with the essence of what I want to create.  Then I add the form. In five years I see myself with a small retail space in my new studio building and adding one-of-a-kind unconventional wedding gowns and accessories to my line.
Explore and be mindful! Explore areas where you don't normally go; areas of yourself that you don't normally see; do all this while being mindful of the impact that your actions have on your surroundings and therefore yourself.

Meet  Dawn from Flo’s Natural Bath & Accessories…
My name is Dawn Fulkerson, my childhood best friend Candi and I created Flo's Natural Bath & Accessories. We have been actively doing this for a little over a year but this will be our first Avant-Garde Show.
What inspires me to create all natural soap and lotion is that so many people have sensitivities and allergies and I wanted to hive them something natural AND fun they can enjoy with fun scents!

I have always loved a long nice bath and spent too much on the goodies to do that ! Plus I'm allergic to lots of store bought items.

My Great Grandma and my Grandma both made all the soap for their families so I come from a long line of soapers! My process is to just shut off the world and create! It's my biggest stress release!
In 5 years I would love to be featured in stores, but still small enough to have integrity. Our message is to be yourself! Have fun with whatever you create and don't be afraid to ask for what you want! 

2014 Columbus February Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show

Saturday, February 8, 2014, 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: