Friday, December 19, 2014

Give Gifts Made From The Heart!

Meet Elizabeth Bridges from Whimsy: Handcrafts by E...
I have been an educator for 36 years, first as a classroom teacher, then a university professor and now at the state level. My partner and I are foster/adoptive parents and currently have 4 children in our home that are either adopted or currently in care – they are all age 9 and younger.
I have been crafting for a long time, but have only recently found my niche. Scrapbooking and crochet have been long time favorites, but a few years back I wandered into the beading section of a craft store and have been hooked ever since! Originally I made jewelry as gifts for friends and family. Several friends of mine expressed their interest in purchasing pieces from me and with their encouragement I have been creating pieces for sale for just over a year. I am often told that I have a real eye for mixing texture and color when creating my work.
I like to create things that are unique – therefore no two of my pieces are alike. When I am commissioned to do a piece for someone, I ask for the occasion and the basic colors and create something special for them. I like being able to capture the personality of the person making the request when doing this kind of work.
I rarely shop with a single piece in mind. Instead I explore and pick things that catch my eye because of their vibrancy and individual qualities. I pay particular attention to the pieces that will be focal points of the jewelry. I will often have a focal point long before I find the beads that work with it. Once I have completed a piece I “live” with it for a bit. During that time it isn’t at all out of the question for me to disassemble it because something wasn’t “quite right.” It is important to me that I create pieces that I can actually visualize someone wearing. If that vision isn’t there – the piece isn’t what I want it to be.
I’ve done some small community shows, but this is my first time working the Avant-Garde Art and Craft Show. I am really excited both to share my work and to see the work of other area artists.
Meet Kathryn Shafer...
Hello. My name is Kathryn Michelle Shafer. Everyone calls me Shelley. It has been my nickname for as long as I can remember. I have been lucky enough to be married to my wonderful husband for 10 years. I was an Executive Assistant for 13 years after a tour in the United States Navy. 
I started painting on glass in the late 90's, early 2000's. Ten years ago I found out that I have a hereditary heart condition and am currently testing to be put on the heart transplant list. I stopped painting for awhile, because of my health, but started again a few months ago.
This is my first Avant-Garde Art and Craft Show.  I used to be a vendor at craft shows years ago, but haven't been for a long time, it seems. I have always loved to create something from nothing. Being an emotional and creative person makes me need to have an outlet. I found glass paints a long time ago and thought it would be fun to figure out what interesting things I could create with them. I am passionate about everything I say and do. Life is to be cherished and that is what inspires me.
My husband laughs at my creative process. I take a piece of glass and look at it for a bit until it hits me what to draw.
The message for my work is that I hope everyone finds beauty in all things.

Meet Jane Kennelly from Fancy Leaf Designs...
I live outside of Pittsburgh with Michael, my husband of 37 years and our rescued dog, Devin. Sam, whom my Paw Prints are in memory of, has passed but I keep him close in my heart every time I make a 'paw print.' We have two grown sons, Tom, who lives in Columbus and Aaron (AJ) who lives in Harrisburg.

I've been making my polymer clay items since November 2013. This is my first Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show.

What inspires me? Mixing colors and seeing a new 'pattern' in each batch of clay. I've been doing crafts of some sort all my life but actually, it's my husband, who suggested I look into working with polymer clay!

I'm self-taught through reading about polymer clay on the internet and much experimentation. One thing led to another. I turn to Mother Nature for inspiration. I love picking up stones ... stones have sparkle, striations, color and texture. Need I say more?
In five years I hope to be retired from my job and working full time with my clay. I plan to expand my business to include additional hand-crafted 'pet'-themed products which, in turn, will help animal shelters through links to my website.

The message behind my work is to see the beauty in each and every creation, be it Mother Nature or in my clay work.

Meet Josh Springer from Springer Photography..
Hey! I’m Josh Springer, and I’ve been involved in photography since about 2005. That was the year I realized I was no good at Computer Science, and took up Photography and Design both because I was comfortable with the craft growing up around cameras and I was running out of tuition funds! Looking back, however, it was a decision that has always felt right for me and has taken me to some interesting places. For the past decade I’ve found myself growing, shooting a subject differently than I may have in preceding years.

My mission is to show how people have been adapting to nature and their surroundings for as long as anyone can remember. Moving forward, these times also continue to become more unpredictable. Although I have been showing my work for years, this will be my first Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show and I’m very excited to be involved! Being born and raised in Ohio, it always feels good to support a local community.

I am inspired to create within empty spaces. By taking a simpler approach, the feeling or story you read in a piece is upfront, although different interpretations can be made. The Rule of Thirds is a great foundation to many of my photographs, but as an artist it’s important not to be bound by any rules! From a post-production standpoint, most of my work has only color correction and added sharpness.
The future in photography is such an uncertain, with technology changing all of the time. In five years, I hope to have seen more of the world. Anything more than that is really just a bonus!

Meet Helena Demacopoulos from Addie's Pup-Cessories...
Hi! My name is Helena Demacopoulos and I’m the founder of Addie’s Pup-Cessories, a fun line of unique, hand-sewn pet accessories. I am 23 years old and a recent graduate of The Ohio State University, where I met my close friend and business partner, Li Cai. Also an animal lover, Li volunteered to assist me with sewing and has since become a core part of the business, specializing in production. Li has a cat named Puddin whom he adopted recently, and I adopted my shih tzu, Addie, from the Franklin County Shelter during my junior year at Ohio State.
I have been sewing for several years, although I just recently began creating pet products and accessories. At Ohio State I was involved in a student fashion organization as a designer, and produced 4 collections for the club’s annual runway show during my time at the university. After becoming frustrated with the boring, over-priced collar selections at pet stores, I used my sewing skills to create my own collars and accessories for Addie. Inspired by what I was doing, Li offered to help and taught himself how to sew. Li has become an amazing sewer and is very talented at his craft; he now oversees all production for Addie's Pup-Cessories. 

We have participated in several Avant-Garde shows. I initially approached the organization to sell my handmade jewelry, but after receiving a very positive response toward my pet accessories, I began to focus more on building a pet business. Our most recent event was the Rocky River Avant-Garde show in Cleveland this past November, and you will definitely be seeing us at the upcoming events in 2015!
Our furry friends are our inspiration! Addie and Puddin are both rescue pets. We advocate strongly for shelter adoption and are partnering with the Franklin County Animal Shelter so that we may continue giving back to our furry friends. 10% of all sales will be donated to the Franklin County Animal Shelter in Columbus, and our collars are available for sale at the shelter gift store. We love meeting other passionate pet parents, so please feel free to stop by our table and share your pet’s story with us!
Li and I are both very artistic and love to create. I have been crafting since I was a child, having pursued numerous other hobbies in the past including painting, jewelry-making, cooking, origami, and more. Li has always been very talented with design and construction, and loves to build and repair things in his free time.

My love for fashion design is what encouraged me to learn how to sew initially. I learned how to sew during my freshman year at Ohio State so that I could participate in a student organization's annual fashion show as a designer. Li admits he probably would not have picked up sewing had it not been for the business, but he is very grateful that he has!

Although Li is specializing in sewing and production, our creative process requires joint effort and communication. I create most of the designs and procure patterns and raw materials, while Li actually produces and finishes all of our products. We discuss and agree on every design before it becomes available for sale, and test out the designs on our own pets for durability and comfort.

We have big dreams for Addie’s Pup-Cessories and would love to see the business take off! We have not been in business long, we are hoping to participate in more local craft shows so that we can build our brand and expand in the Columbus area. We are currently selling on Etsy, but also plan to utilize eBay, Amazon, and launch our own webstore in the next year. We would also love to get our products on store shelves in Columbus sometime soon. My ultimate goal for several years from now is to focus on Addie’s Pup-Cessories full-time and build a successful brand as well as raise awareness for the importance of shelter adoption.

We believe that our fur babies deserve the very best, and every piece in our collection is designed with your pet’s interests in mind. From comfortable, durable materials to unique and exciting designs, Addie’s Pup-Cessories offers a truly one-of-a-kind value that you won’t be able to find in a typical pet store. Addie’s Pup-Cessories strives to be not only the leading provider of handmade pet accessories, but also a voice and an advocate in promoting animal adoption. We aspire to give back to our furry friends as much as possible and encourage others to become involved with their local animal shelters as well. Happy holidays and always choose adoption!

2014 Columbus Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show

Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 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:

Memories in the Making!

Meet Jessica Parks from Memories Made Extraordinary, LLC...

My name is Jessica Parks and I’m 29 years old. I’m a U.S. Navy Veteran and spent most of my enlistment stationed in Atsugi, Japan. I graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Psychology and just recently became a mother, which has been very exciting!  

I have loved pictures my whole life. I love taking pictures, I love looking at pictures, and I LOVE scrapbooking. When I was 14, my mother bought me my first scrapbook. I remember it well. It came in a kit and I was so excited about it. I still have it, of course and since then, I have made approximately 30 more scrapbooks of just my own photos. I love scrapbooking so much that I thought it would be a great idea to use my skills to help others with their own. 

Not everyone has the time, tools, or space it takes to create the book they have in mind and my small business, Memories Made Extraordinary, LLC offers complete scrapbook pages or entire scrapbooks in which all my customers have to do is add their own photos to personalize them. 
I just started my business in October of 2013 and this is my first season as a craft show vendor. My small business has come such a long way in only a year and I’m very excited to see where it goes. Ideally, I would love to have a space in which I could offer cropping sessions, classes and more. 
The message behind my work is the importance of memories. Some people keep journals and that is their way of reminiscing about certain times in their lives… but you may not want your children and grandchildren necessarily reading your journals. However, you, your children, grandchildren and generations after, can all appreciate looking through family photo albums and telling the stories behind the photos. 

Thank you for taking the time to read about me and my business and of course, if you are interested in my work, you can view my portfolio at my

Meet Kitti Tolles from Kick Azz Glass...
Kick Azz Glass was formed when my daughter, Peggy and I, Kitti, decided to learn flame-working, fusing and slumping. We are both artistically inclined, I as a painter and her through welding. From the first time we wrapped that liquid glass around those steel mandrels we were hooked into creating glass beads. 

We have just begun our journey into entrepreneurship. As well as creating and designing pieces of jewelry that are totally unique to show case our beads. It has been an amazing adventure for us.

Later we had a blast rummaging through the many scraps of glass, picking odd bits and pieces that we put together to be fused and then slumped into a dish (mine) and bowl (Peggy's). I opted for total abstract in my design, but Peggy created a tree scene.
What inspires us to create is our vivid imaginations coupled with our inner drives, all swept along by rock & roll. We are the new kids on the Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show circuit.  After chatting with Becki through emails we decided that her show is perfect for our “Kick Azz Glass” debut.

It is our sincere hope that you all enjoy our efforts.  Visit us often at where you can design your own special piece.

Meet Carol Wass from Studio Wass...
I am actually a practicing commercial real estate broker that spends every spare minute in my thrown together studio.  I am a first time "Nana" to my grandson Charlie (now 2 ½ years old and a soon to be “Nana” to a new granddaughter – due Christmas Eve.) I am married to my wonderful husband David and we have 3 children, Caroline (husband Andrew), David Jr. and Robert. We currently reside in Galena, Ohio.

I have been an artist nearly all my life. In high school I spent alot of my time in the art department. Upon graduating, I received a scholarship to attend CCAD (Columbus College of Art & Design). I went for one year then then got busy with life and shelved my talents for quite some time. Every couple years my creativeness would pop out. 

Several years ago, our daughter was getting married and she asked if I would help design her wedding invitation. Well that did it. I designed a Chicago skyline (which is where they live) and that was it. Now I cannot seem to stop getting new ideas out of my head. 

I keep a small journal with me all the time so I can sketch things or write down ideas.  My only real issue with being an artist is that I just never seem to have enough time.  I can spend hours in my studio and lose track of time. I hope I can keep at this as long as my fingers and eyes will let me.

I like trying new things and as with any art given some practice, it always gets better.  I love drawing, watercolor, papercrafting, jewelry and most recently I have been working in Polymer clay with figurines and other designs.

Meet Ragan Davis from Aster and Indigo ...
I grew up in Georgia in a very arts and crafts-oriented family. After studying economics and jazz guitar at Georgia State University, I took a job that moved me to Columbus, Ohio. I knit, play guitar, and cook in my free time. There’s nothing I love more than experimenting with a new recipe, creating music, or making something wearable and fun with my own two hands!

I have been doing this for about a decade but this will be my first Avant-Garde show! I couldn’t be more excited.

I’m really inspired by the yarn I use itself. A ball of yarn seems like a world of possibilities. I try to create things that show off how beautiful the fibers in the yarn already are.

My mother is very crafty, so I have been as well since I was a child. I would try to hand-sew skirts for my barbies, do origami, make beaded flowers, all kinds of things growing up. I’ve always enjoyed creating things with my own hands, so I’ve always kept it up.

I learned to crochet from my mother and grandmother. A friend taught me to knit in 7th grade, and I was hooked! Soon my mom was knitting with me, too, and I must have made about 5,000 scarves that year. Over time I learned to make more complicated items and use more complicated patterns.

I start by picking out the yarn and try to pair it with a pattern and detailing (lace, suede, etc.) that compliment the beauty of the fiber. I love working with Merino wool and baby alpaca. They’re both so soft and warm, and I love thinking about the process through which they’re made while I’m knitting. I use a lot of yarns that are kettle-dyed, which is such an interesting process!

I’d really love to get more involved with craft fairs in the next few years and sell my items through local businesses as well. The “buy local” and “shop small business” movements are growing, which is really exciting.

The messages behind my work are quality of craftsmanship and supporting small businesses. I source my yarns from local knit shops, and one of the yarns I use a lot is sourced from a certified fair-trade organization that helps women in Uruguay find larger markets for their handspun wool. How well you execute the making of a knit item is of course very important, but I think it’s important to start with really high quality materials as well.

2014 Columbus Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show

Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 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: