I am a wife, mom to 5 terrific kids, grandmother to 4 adorable children goat-herder and soaper. I have been soaping for about 10 years and raising Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats for almost 18yrs
What inspires me to create.. My hands were so rough and dry. I attributed it to raising a family, raising livestock and washing hands A LOT!. One summer during our 4H fair, one of the goat advisors told me to check into the skin loving qualities of goat milk soap. She was sure it would help my hands. After reading about the amazing benefits of homemade soaps and the additional benefit of goat milk in the soap, I was ready to start making it for me.
The more I researched the soap making process the more excited I was to try it. Then after seeing the results of smooth hands with the same amount of constant washing as before, I became a believer. I began giving it to my family and friends— they wanted more and the so the business began.
My creative process... After mastering my recipe, I adored the individual molds available for soaps. I am always on the look out in my travels for cute molds. It takes more time to do individual soap molding but I feel it is worth it.
Where I see myself in five years.. I will always be making the soaps…. most of my family would not want to go without them and neither would I.
The message behind my work.. commercial soaps are made with synthetic detergents and petroleum products that clean your skin but leave it dry. My all natural goat milk soap cleans and leaves your skin hydrated with luxurious oils and butters. The individual molding creates a beautiful presentation for yourself or as a gift!
Meet Mylinda Mitchell from Witty Creations...
My name is Mylinda Mitchell and I am the proud business owner of Witty Creations. I am a 45 year old mother of 5 and I have been married to the love of my life for 25 years. In 2012 I lost a lot of my ability to move around after a bad mesh surgery. So because of my limited mobility I had to put Witty Creations on hold and I picked up crocheting as a hobby. For hours I would sit in my chair and crochet gifts for my friends and family. It has truly become a passion of mine and I've decided to share my creations with others beyond my inner circle. I have been crocheting actively for about 5 years now.
I would have to say that Pinterest and Youtube were some of my biggest inspirations when I started back up. It amazed me to see people take something as simple as yarn and turn it into all these different works of art. And from that I was inspired to create my own pieces of art from yarn.
When I was a little girl my grandmother taught me how to crochet and I picked it back up after my surgery. It really helped me through the pain and the fact that I couldn't move around like I wanted to. I've always loved creating things with my hands so it was a nice way to keep my mind and hands busy.
I discovered my talent when I discovered that yarn isn't just for making blankets! When I realized that you could make whatever you wanted there was no stopping me. So I took the challenge to create different forms of art with my yarn and needles and they actually all turned out pretty good. As time passed little by little I perfected my craft and now I'm ready to share what God has blessed me to create.
My creative process.. I see something adorable on the internet and then I make a lay out plan of my own design and the colors I would like to use. Then I figure out what stitch pattern to use to create my own version of the image that inspired me. From there I get my needles moving and in a few hours the lay out that I put together slowly comes to life.
My five year goal... My desire is to have my very own distinct design of crochet art and in 5 years I would like to be able to market my pieces online and in my own gift shops.
The message behind my work is to use the gifts God has blessed us with to create gifts to bless others. I am a true believer that our gifts come from God, and that they can give you the greatest joy even when you're experiencing some of the hardest times in your life. Crocheting allows me to focus on others by using my own hands to create special pieces of art to uplift and encourage them. I feel very honored that God blessed me to be able to create things to be a blessing to others. View more of my work at: Facebook.com/wittycreationscrochetcorner
Meet Debra Gleason from Whimsy Paper Arts..
I have been making and selling my cards since 1999. But, the creative juices have always been there so I have always made something! Quilting, wood crafts, painting, sewing, embroidery , etc. Its just a natural activity in my family. We were blessed with a talented grandmother who passed on many interests and talents. Over time I have come to realize that paper arts are my first "love" . Inspiration comes from many different sources. Some come easily, as ideas pop in my head. Others seem to require more work! The world is full of inspirational colors and patterns.
I'm motivated by many things. I love being a part of people connecting by the written word.
I believe that email and texting are great for exchanging information but, if your message comes from the heart, it should be handwritten. Its so easy to let someone know you are thinking of them with a handwritten note. What a nice way to make someone's day special. And why not send it on a lovely card!?
Meet Carissa Barney from Lamp-Post Letters..
I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to three boys ages 6, 4, 2. I have a passion for living authentically in community, finding and sharing freedom in Christ, and speaking grace and truth. One of the ways that I pursue living that out is through art - mostly watercolor and wood-based hand-lettering.
Although I loved art (mostly sketching) when I was young, art became a part of my life again only shortly after my oldest son was born - so about six years ago. I started with mixed media and art journaling, which is where I fell in love with watercolor and untraditional uses for it! I have only been hand lettering for about a year.
I am creatively stumped if my heart isn't fed. A lot of my art comes from what I am learning, where my heart is, and the encouragement that I sense is needed in the people and world around me. Usually that encouragement is something that I need, too ;)
When I was little, I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. That quickly didn't sound like a realistic goal, though, and I actually got poor grades in art class (something about not fully following my teachers directions... haha!). I gave up on art for a very long time, falsely believing I wasn't good enough and that pursuing art was "selfish," but after my first son was born God gently revealed to me how using ANY gift He had given me, even if it didn't directly or traditionally feed or serve others, was an act of worship. I slowly walked back into it and have been so blessed through it.
I am not actually sure how I "discovered" my talent! Art was just always something I yearned to do, but for years I didn't consider it to be a talent I had. It took a very long time, some heart work, and some redefining of the word "artist", for me to admit that maybe I was good at this, and could share it with others. It takes guts sometimes to believe the truth about yourself, even if it is good!
The process is my favorite part! I actually prefer to think about "art" as a verb rather than a noun. Art is the entire thing - not just the product. It is the inspiration, the soul, the bravery it takes to create something with the materials within and around you.
Practically speaking, however, my process looks a lot like this: Naptime for the kids, the coffee table to hold my coffee and water and materials, a clipboard, the couch, and SPACE. Physical space, sure, but more importantly for me is mind-space. Soul-space. Reflection, my Bible, and just listening. I try my best to stop worrying about making it perfect (I am a recovering perfectionist, but art is where I find freedom!), and I just go. The less expectation I put on myself, the more I enjoy it. Art is breathing, slowing the intake, breathing out the grace I try to give myself.
This is a hard question to answer! Because of my stage of life, remaining present-focused is where I feel like I need to be. If the next 5 years is anything like the last 5, though, in that time I will look back and say "what happened?" ... I can not predict where things will be, but I know that there are things happening and changing even when you can't see it!
When I create, I hope that my art can speak lightness, encouragement and maybe just a deep breath to those who see it!
Meet Carla Smith from C K Crafters...
My name is Carla Smith, and I exhibit under the name C K Crafters. I am a lifelong crafter and grandmother of four!
This will be my fourth Avant Garde show. My product comes from a love of all things beautiful. I tell my husband this satisfies my shopping and crafting/creating urges by allowing me to purchase that beautiful serving plate/bowl, and then design a wired and beaded serving utensil to go with it in order to create a combination any hostess would be proud to use! I have done custom knife and cake servers for brides in their wedding colors and complete serving pieces to complement a client's china.
I love it when someone comes to my booth and says, "Oh, my sister will love this, or "I am having a gathering this weekend, and can't wait to use this"!
Hope to see you all at the show!