Friday, June 10, 2016

Meet Courtney Talbott from Pink Sprinkles Plush...
My name is Courtney Talbott and I'm a mom and wife living if rural central Ohio.  I love all things odd and unique, I'm particularly fond of bugs, anything Halloween/horror and of course monsters of all sorts. I started Pink Sprinkles Plush in 2008 as a hobby.  
What inspires me... At a very young age my paternal Grandma started me on crafts and I haven't stopped since.  I love making things with my own two hands. I've always loved stuffed animals, especially unusual or overly cute plush.  I had the idea for monsters with long arms and legs and sticky pad fasteners.  With the help of my Aunt, I learned to use my sewing machine which had been gathering dust for years and Pink Sprinkles Monsters were born.

How I discovered my talent... It was more practice than anything.  The first monsters did not look anything like what I make now.  It was all trial and error and a lot of patience. When it comes to my creative process, I let the fabrics inspire which monster/plush I'll create next. I cut them all in small batches, hand paint their eyes and hand embroider their faces.  

The message behind my work... Be unique, be creative, have fun, stuffed animals are for all ages.  If they make you smile, I've done my job.

Meet Shelley Harding and Courtney Harding from Serving with Style...
The name of our business is : Serving with Style - the owners are: Shelley Harding & Courtney Harding - mother and daughter, Sharlene Neumann- Courtney's soon to be mother in law. We are from Mansfield/Galion Ohio. We love just having fun creating our beaded silverware and hanging out together.
Our favorite part about what we do is we love the silverware when it is done, it is both beautiful and useful.  Everywhere we take them people fall in love with them We got started in the business because we have always enjoyed going to craft shows! After buying some sets of beaded silverware we decided we could do this ourselves! One day, we just sat down and tried it, and decided we were having a ball being together and creating!
What is unique about our business is that each piece is individual, we just start putting pieces together and when it looks right we go with it.!

The message behind our work is simply that we hope that people will enjoy them as we do. Our pieces make wonderful, holiday, wedding, hostess and "just because" gifts.

Meet Abby Dicken from Never Ends..
My name is Abby, I'm 16 years old, and I'm from Columbus, Ohio! I am half-Japanese and American. I have been playing piano for 8 years, and have been in choir for 5 years(through middle school and high school). I have gone to Japan 7 times and will be going for my 8th time next year! I have been drawing since I was very little, but I have been doing stippling/dotwork since March of last year.

Something interesting about my work/myself... I want to become a tattoo artist when I'm older, so I sort of challenge myself to try and do "tattoo designs" of my own. Whenever I want to draw something, I always include stippling/dotwork, which sometimes can be a bit challenging, but I like a bit of a challenge. How I discovered my talent.. When I got into dotwork, it was when I started liking a band called Bring Me the Horizon. The frontman's wife, Hannah Sykes, is a tattoo artist that does dotwork, like what I've been doing. I looked through her account on Instagram which was (and still is) filled with her artwork and tattoos, and I became inspired to do dot work.

My creative process... Before I draw something, I think about what I want to draw and how I want to start it off, either freehand or with a pencil. Next, I look up pictures for reference. Then, I start stippling/drawing a certain part of the drawing, and keep on creating whatever comes to mind. Then, (if I used a pencil), I start tracing the marks with an inked pen. After that, I start stippling the parts that I want to stipple in. Lastly, I erase all of the pencil marks and look through every detail of my artwork. If there's something missing, like a line or a part where I didn't stipple enough, I'll add it in. Then I'll look through it again and when everything seems "perfect," I'll call it a finished piece.

My five year goal... Hopefully, I will be able to see myself happily working in my dream career with the people that support me with what I do. The message differs within my artwork. Some might tell a story, others are there to simply show what I want to show!

Meet Michelle Hirsch from Michelle's Glass Work...
Hi, I’m Michelle Hirsch, a Wife,  Mother of two young adults, teacher, and small business owner! I am a Family Consumer Science Teacher (Home Ec.) for over 30 years.  I have always enjoyed creating:  from redesigning wedding gowns, cooking and my Kiln work .  
How I got into my craft.. My Mother and her Aunt were very crafty so I think my love for being around this ladies soaked into my being.

My kiln work as evolved over the years from recycle/reuse wine bottles into glass fusing made into custom coaster/platters along with jewelry. I love colors and trying new things!

Meet Tami Bevins from Untapped Love...

We are 2 sisters (one living in Ohio, one living in Peru) who wanted to be able to help marginalized people (specifically women) around the world. Our goal is to create an outlet for these women to not only show the world their artistic talents, but also create job opportunities.

We have been doing this now for approximately one year but in different capacities ranging from research, "on the ground" creation of new concepts, designs and ideas, to building partnerships with rural communities. This started with one of the sisters constant love of travel and also working to support fair trade practices and wanting to do more to help these communities in need. 
What inspires us to create, is the women we work with and the families they support, the unique and creative talents they hold, and the constant drive to help others achieve their dreams. Also...we love worldly fashions so this is FUN for us!

Our talents perfectly balance each other out as partners. Being sisters, we both know what we can bring to the table. Our creative process is a mix of traveling and seeing first hand what talents the women in these communities offer and then collaborating with them on styles and products that work in the North American Market. 
In 5 years, our goal is to be able to expand the amount of shows we do and provide more job opportunity to more communities as well as help create a sustainable work environment for them. For example, we would eventually love to be able to build a shop for them to make their products vs. them having to make them in their home. We would also like to be able to purchase better equipment for them to make the products.

The message behind our work is love and passion for who we work with, what we sell, and what we are doing to contribute to the world. We also want to bring awareness to people that by buying fair trade, hand-made goods, you can have quality, beautiful items that are also helping a greater cause. 

2016 Columbus Summer Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, June 11, 2016
St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Ready to Get Crafty?

Meet Suzanne Reis from Designs By Suzanne...
I am a third generation designer/artist/seamstress of Swedish descent. I first started designing and sewing at the age of 4, the year after Dad's going to Heaven, creating handmade wardrobes for each of my dolls. At 6 years of age, my Mom taught me to sew on the sewing machine. I grew up watching my Mom and Grandmother design and sew for family and their clientele, many of whom were handicapped, for my Mom was a seamstress/designer by trade. She taught me design, an eye for color and its hues, painting, the lost arts of tatting, hairpin lace, smocking, also working with silk, fur, lingerie fabrics, designing without patterns, viewing something in a store and returning home to create a replica.  I was quite zealous in wanting to learn all she knew. I am very blessed to have had my Mom and for her to teach me her skills for 16 years when she passed to Heaven.   
My creative process begins with the fabric itself. The talents God has given are instant upon viewing a fabric and I am able to visualize exactly what the design will be there in the store.  I am drawn to the many different hues of color and their vibrancy. A scene within the fabric will inspire a design, whether it be birds, sea and sky, dogs and cats, etc. Once at home with the fabric, I just start designing and sewing as it comes to me easily. Although I rarely use patterns, the elements of design require measurement and drawing for precise detail. The foundation of any design must be structured to create a lasting beauty and to be pleasing to the eye upon its completion.
My goal is to have a great presence online to supplement my retirement income. In addition, I wish to market my designs at resort gift shops, fashion shows for weddings, and perhaps collaborate my designs with other entrepreneurs and investors.I strongly believe that one can do anything they set their minds to do with diligence and tenacity no matter what people say, be it for or against.  One must believe in oneself.  This was instilled within me at an early age listening and desiring to learn all I could from Mom, who was my mentor and teacher.  In conversations with my customers, I relay the story of my Mom and the heritage she passed on to me and that my talents are God-given.       

Meet Kaitlin and Emily Holt from The Hank Company…
My name is Kaitlin Holt, and along with my sister, Emily Holt, we make natural gemstone bracelets that serve a bigger purpose. I am 21 years old and attend OSU where I am majoring in communications with a minor in business management. Emily recently turned 15, and is finishing her freshman year of high school. We have both always loved making bracelets with beads since we were young, and we carried this love with us as we grew. We have upgraded to natural gemstone beads, but the passion and love to create is the same as when we were children.
Last year, I rescued a kitten from an animal shelter, who I named Hank, and I quickly fell in love with him. He is the reason our company is named The Hank Company. Rescuing Hank made me very interested in helping shelters and the animals they rescue, and our business was born.  With every bracelet that is sold, a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Humane Society of the United States. We are a younger company; we have been officially in business since January, but we are very excited to grow and learn with our company. 
This is our first craft show ever. and we are counting down the days! In five years, we would both love to see the business grow. But mainly, we would love to help many animals find forever homes. We are excited to see where the business takes us. Feel free to check us out at our website: Or at our etsy shop: A portion of all proceeds are donated to giving animals a better life!

Meet Marlene Wortman from The Cake Florist...
Greetings, my name is Marlene Wortman. I am retired but not tired. I have a hobby - creating sugar flowers made from gum paste & fondant. You can bake an ordinary cake or cupcakes from a box of cake mix & make it extra ordinary with my ready-to-stick sugar flowers for decoration. They will transform it into a special & beautiful treat.
Ever since I was a little girl, I've always hung around the kitchen with my mother. And with 8 other siblings, you co call it a 24/7 diner. I love trying new recipes, garnishing and presenting them very beautifully. I've always had a niche for making food attractive and appetizing. I also love and enjoy interior decorating and gardening. I have a small perennial garden and a sunroom with ornamental plants and some orchids. This is the ideal retirement for me.
This is my first time to join an art & craft show. I learned about Avant-Garde through the newspaper. If this turns out to be a success, I could turn it into a small business venture. Lastly, if you don't have any spare time to decorate your cake or cupcakes-I have the solution!

Meet Mary Mascazine from Marbled Bits...
Hello! I am Mary Mascazine and am the artist behind "Marbled Bits". This is the Ancient Art of Paper Marbling consisting of dropping acrylic paint on carrageenan, which is made from seaweed. After making a design, one that has been passed down through the centuries, paper treated with alum is slowly lowered on the tray and the design is lifted off. There are never two of a kind.
I became interested in marbling after I had been making my own paper for some time. I saw that Galen Berry was teaching classes in Ann Arbor and managed to get in to the classes. Galen has works in the Smithsonian Institute.

This was about 8 years ago. Since then I have been learning from books and by trial and error. Last summer, I went to Arrowmont School of the Arts and became a Master Marbler. I am always learning something new. Most recently, I learned how to do Tiger eyes or Sunspot.
I put my art under glass and make jewelry that is very unique.

It is my hope and prayer to be able to retire from my full time job in the medical field someday (I am now 65) and travel the country doing shows and meeting lovely people. I dream of the time i can paint during the day! I would love to travel to the International Marblers conventions held around the world. 

Meet Ryan Muse from Ryan’s Birdhouses...
My name is Ryan Muse and I live in Pickerington Ohio with my wife Deidra and my dog Sloopy. I have a great job at The Buckeye Ranch working with troubled youth. We love to go camping on weekends and have camp fires!
I started building bird houses this past winter out of boredom. People loved the birdhouses so I started selling them.
When I was young, my grandpa and I would build small wooden toys and birdhouses together. I believe I found my creativity and love for woodworking through those little projects with my grandpa. This will be my first craft show and I am very excited!

Meet Katie Roush of Katie’s Ooak Dolls...
My name is Katie Roush and I am a self taught doll maker but learned to sew from my Grandmother. We would spend hours at the old black Singer machine. I took to it rather quickly.  I now have branched out into a new line called Pawsh Pets. So, in addition to my soft sculpted character dolls and pet portrait dolls, I make clothing, pet carriers and leash sleeves for your well loved fur babies. You can visit my work on Facebook at:
My youngest daughter, Krystle, loved to craft and create with me, especially the dolls. When she died three years ago, I started sewing again, doll making, as a way to heal. I took my love of a hobby and turned it into something unique. Her memory also has inspired me to launch Pawsh Pets. She loved to dress up my dogs and cats.  I am an animal lover so, creating these things for fur babies is pure joy for me. My pet portrait dolls are exactly that, a portrait painted on muslin that becomes an heirloom. I have clients as far away as the U.K. with these whimsical works of art.
I see something in my head, and my hands just create it. I also get inspired by fabric. I see a certain pattern or style and I just have to do something with it. I love to take a pattern and just run with it. Patterns are like recipes, a starting point. I just add to it as the doll or outfit comes alive. 

2016 Columbus Summer Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, June 11, 2016
St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Monday, June 6, 2016

Show Time is Five Days Away, Columbus!

Meet Jean Hicks from Nellie Pearl Designs...
Hello my name is Jean Hicks! I'm a 62 year old wife, mother and grandmother (with a 9 year old grand-daughter almost as tall as I am). I was looking for a creative outlet and remembered my grandmother's (Nellie Pearl or Nana) box of shells in the attic. Along with the shells, I also found clip-on and screw-back earrings that she'd fashioned in the 1940's and 50's. After turning most into posts for my pierced ears I thought...hmmm...maybe I could do the same. Whoa... little did I know.
My father was quite an artist with chalks and pen & ink. I've always had an "art side," but I put it on hold for years. My entire family are artists - my husband paints beautifully; my oldest son is a landscape architect and sculpts; my daughter is a professional cake (among other delectable goodies) decorator and also paints and sculpts; my youngest son is a graduate of CCAD and sculpts, creates Twist Tie figures and is an designer for a local company. Even my granddaughter paints wonderful pictures and is quite creative with other projects.
In 5 years, I will hopefully still be creating earrings. I'm looking into "dangling" earrings and other things. Other things being pins and maybe bracelets. I enjoy creating one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry. I do love the fact that there is only one of each - maybe a different color, but still, just one of a kind.

Meet Justin Poole from Just Real Woodcrafts...
My name is Justin Poole, and although I’m not originally from Columbus, rather Toronto, OH, I moved here for college, met my FiancĂ©, and never left. I work in Economic Development during the day, and craft in my free time. I am also the Program Director of two large Festivals in Toronto, OH.
Growing up I was surrounded by many talented artisans in Toronto that focused on the primitive, yet whimsical style. My mom even had a short venture in the woodcraft business when I was 3 years old. To this day I use her scroll saw to produce my work. One day I had an idea so I started sketching them. The next thing I knew I couldn’t live without it.
While I do a lot of sports favorites, I hope to make people smile when they see my work. I think that the message behind my work is that regardless of what other people think, if you like something and are passionate about it, don’t let others deter you from it.

Meet Rebecca Stanforth from Dream Warriors...
Hello everyone, my name is Rebecca Dove Stanforth. I study many different types of arts, healing arts, martial arts, and crafting arts. I am a massage therapist, and martial arts instructor. I study and teach taekwondo and kimoodo.
I first began crafting dream catchers when I was 12 years old. My mom taught me as a way for us to spend time together at a time when I just wanted to hang out with friends. After she passed, every few years I would craft dream catchers for Christmas presents. 
A few years ago, friends and family encouraged me to share my art. Thus, my Facebook page, Dove's Dream Warriors was created.  While I have sold some, this will be my first craft show. I'm very excited to share my art with everyone. It's been 20 years but my mother's creative spirit and energy still inspire me. Every dream catcher I make is unique. Everyone should have a warrior to protect their dreams. 

Meet Mary Beth Cowardin from Velo Art for a Cause…
My name is Mary Beth Cowardin and, while I’ve always enjoyed arts and crafts, crafting as a ‘business” is new to me. My interest in cycling began 7 years ago when I started riding with a women’s cycling club named Girls with Gears. We formed a Peloton to train and ride in Pelotonia, a grass-roots bike ride that raises money for cancer research at The James Cancer Hospital.
I saw some bike chain art on Pinterest that I thought was really unique and I have always been interested in finding a hobby that would provide an outlet for my creativity. As I started making various items, I thought this could be a way to create art for cyclist enthusiasts and raise money for our fundraising obligation for Pelotonia. We left empty boxes at various bike shops and they were more than willing to save old bike chains. Cleaning the chain is no fun-that’s my boyfriend’s job! (He’s better at it than I am). Now we have more bike chains than we know what to do with.
Founded in 2008, Pelotonia was established with the objective to fund life-saving cancer research. Pelotonia is a three-day experience that includes a weekend of cycling, entertainment and volunteerism. In its first seven rides, Pelotonia raised more than $106 million for cancer research. 100% of my proceeds from the sale of my crafts at the Avant-Garde show will go to me and my boyfriend’s Pelotonia fundraising obligation. We have a goal of raising $8K this year!

2016 Columbus Summer Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, June 11, 2016
St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Columbus Brings Summer Color!

Meet Marti Wellendorf from Lolli's...
Hello my name is Marti and I began making lollipops almost 60 years ago! My great aunt made lollipops and candy to support herself and I was lucky enough to live close and help her often. The molds I use are her original molds! The lollipops are sentimental to me and have a wonderful way to honor the woman who was decades ahead of her time by owning her own business.
This will be my first Avant-Garde Art & Craft show and I'm looking forward to participating. I have participated in local craft show here in Ontario, Ohio where I reside. I always enjoy meeting the other vendors and shoppers!
All of the profits from the sale of my lollipops and candy go to Elizabeth's Book Drive. Elizabeth is my granddaughter was still-born. My daughter and son in law started this charity to help turn their grief into something positive. They collect new and used books, and purchase books to give to children of all ages. In the last 3 years we have given away more than 32,000 books across 4 states and Africa. We have received donations from Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, Dolly Parton and Dean Koontz, just to name a few. Every July 25th we celebrate Elizabeth's birthday by distributing the books to children in hospitals, food pantries, shelters, and anywhere there are children in need of books. It's wonderful to see how excited the children are when they receive their books! To find out more information about Elizabeth's Book Drive visit our Facebook page or our website: 

Meet Genia Hardin from Genia's Art...
Hello my name is Genia Hardin! I have been an artist/crafter for around 15 years and recently just got back into the show circuit! I reside in Phoenix, Arizona, although I am originally from Columbus, Ohio. I've decided to use a trip this summer to visit family as an opportunity to participate in craft fairs throughout Ohio! I am super excited about this crazy adventure I have planned! 
This will be my first Avant-Garde Art & Craft show and I am super excited! Part of my creative process is just waking up in the middle of night when an idea pops into my head! I love finding discarded furniture and wood on the side of the road and throwing into my car to create something fun. When I find treasures I literally get giddy! 
I started making things for fun and my art just took off! I can't imagine myself not doing it. In 5 years, I hope to still be creating. It will be a blessing to do any sort of creating in 5 years. I hope I'm able to continue growing and creating! The message behind my work is to keep the earth beautiful one trash pick at a time! 

Meet Marcee L. Stephenson from Criation Station Alpaca Farm...
Hello my name is Marcee and I am the owner of Criation Station Alpaca Farm. Several years after marrying my husband, we decided to build a farm in Oberlin, Ohio. Along with a beautiful new home, we built a barn big enough to house 7 horses, so my dream of raising American Paint Horses continued. After 6 years with the horses, I was exposed to alpacas through a co-worker. Thus, we traded in our riding boots for muck boots and began raising alpacas in October, 2001. The journey with these incredible animals has been a lot of fun and provided many income streams throughout the years. 
We began to to pursue meat and hides from Alpaca that were being culled from other farms' herds in 2015. Alpaca meat is lean and lower in cholesterol and fat than most other meats. After experimenting with turning hides into leather, I decided to design a line of alpaca leather goods, exposing the public to a completely new and unique leather. I participated in an Avant Garde show with my friend several years ago. I am really excited to return with the alpaca leather goods!
My inspiration to create is to be the one on leading edge, bringing the newest and most unique items to the market. No one I know is offering alpaca leather, let alone alpaca leather that is completely American from pasture to product! In 5 years, I hope to grow the alpaca leather business into one that provides me a full-time income and one that people will ask by for name. The message behind my work is: don't be afraid to step out and be unique in your craft! Great rewards require great risks!

Meet Dominic Knepper from Phoenix Fire Glassworks...
Hello my name is Dominic! I am a classically trained artist with a BFA in class from Bowling Green State University. I have been working with class since 2001. 
I started as a glassblower, graduated and realized I couldn't afford a studio so I went into kiln glass.

I am inspired by the art deco movement but I have always been a closet Bohemian. My work is a snapshot into my "go where the wind takes me" mentality. I am influenced by great artists like Lino Tagliapietra and Toots Zynsky from my time in the Florida Keys and when I lived in Las Vegas. I am interested in beauty for beauty's fake, not some awe inspiring meaningless wordplay. 

Meet Sarah Harste from Sarah Haste Weavings...
My name is Sarah and I am the weaver fever behind Sarah Harste Weavings. I am originally from Georgia but moved to Columbus about three years ago! I have been weaving for about a year and started my business in December 2015. This will be my first Avant-Garde show and I am very excited! Since I was a little kid, I was always inspired to create for outward recognition. I wanted to create something beautiful or moving. Recently, however, creating has become a lot more of a selfish act that is self-fulfilling. I'm more inspired to create because of what I get from the process than the final result-- of the course the final result is still pretty exciting!
I started seeing pictures of weavings popping up on Instagram and my reaction was always, "That's SO cool - I want to know how to do that!" So I purchased a lap loom and sat down on a snow saturday afternoon determined to figure it out. Six hours later I had one very lopsided weaving and I was hooked! I wish I could say that I discovered my talent but I really had to keep practicing and I slowly began to perfect it. My creative process begins with a lot of experimentation. The wonderful (and somewhat cruel) thing about weaving is that if you don’t like something, you can just take the piece apart and try again. Sometimes the idea of re-doing an hour or two worth of work makes me want to cry, but it’s always worth it to make something that really projects what you were trying to create. If you are asking what the actual process of creating a weaving looks like: I warp up (wrap string around the notches) my loom, cut and attach the fringe, weave yarn and other materials over and under the warp strings. When I’ve finished the piece, I cut it off the loom and attach it to a dowel – then it’s ready to hang! Weaving is a slow craft, but that’s what makes it very meditative and relaxing. 
In 5 years, I would love to be teaching classes and workshops on weaving (hopefully with some travel involved!) and I would love to make installations for events (weddings, parties, etc.) and store fronts. And of course, I hope to still make weavings that people can put in their living spaces! 

The message behind my work is all about bringing joy into your home. Up until my current home (an apartment in Clintonville), I never took the time to decorate because it always felt like a “temporary” space. I also deferred to my roommates’ taste and style and didn’t take the time to pick out what pieces surrounded me from day to day. But the way you treat your home is so important – and by that I don’t mean, you have to have a pristine place with no dishes in the sink and no clothes on the floor (who has that home?!) What I mean is that your home should be your safe space, the space that you look forward to being in -- not just because it’s where your bed lives, but because it’s the only environment that you can control. There should be pieces in your home that bring your joy, that evoke memories, that bring a smile to your face. Those are the type of pieces I strive to create: pieces that bring a little more joy to your space than you had before.

2016 Columbus Summer Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, June 11, 2016
St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on: