My name is Laura and I spend most of my time at my "real" job as a high school librarian. I enjoy all sorts of craft projects and always have many things in the works!
A couple of years ago I began playing around with my mom's old sewing machine and created a appliqued onesie for a friend's new baby. I have continued to sew and create children's items ever since. During the summer, I have a lot more time to create and try new things that I've been planning.
One of my favorite onesies is a design I created with three fabric flowers sewn in a line across the front with two small leaves on either side. I use three different pink fabrics that coordinate well together. I love how this onesie turns out every time I finish one! I began selling my items at www.rubyredhandmade.etsy.com about one year ago.
My craft and selling online is a fun way for me to show my work to a large audience, get feedback, and get new ideas. I love when my customers are so pleased with their purchases that they share photos with me or ask for custom items!
Meet Jen Buchanan from Jenbuza Bags...
I am an Interior Designer who has always loved fashion, especially purses. I was a banker for many years and put myself through school and got my design degree at 32. My husband and I and our two dogs live in Bay Village.
Interior Design is what I do for a living. My husband and I are "Do-it-Yourselfers" so we are constantly changing things around the house. I am an avid gardener and love spending hours in my yard. I love keeping active and doing Yoga to help me chill out. I also love spending my free time with my two rescue dogs, Willy and Sophie.
I have a pretty creative, crafty family. My Grandmother, my mom and my Aunt are all crafty. They can sew, knit, crochet, you name it. I grew up watching my mom tackle any sort of craft project.
How I got started.. I was unemployed and was looking for an outlet during my job hunt. It had been years since I had sewn. I sewed a purse for my mom for mother's day, got lots of compliments and started making gifts. It just took off from there.
How I got started selling... When I was making gifts for everyone, my Aunt told me about Etsy. I set up a shop and sold a few items. Then I took some bags to Bayarts in Bay Village for the Christmas season and they did well. So I starting doing shows.
My creative process... My mind is always thinking of ideas. Being in the design field helps too, since you see it everyday. I will see one object, maybe something for a handle, then it builds from there. I will jot things down and add to it, even as I am putting a bag together I will usually change it up.
Recently, I just came out with a summer bag line made from bamboo place mats. Those are definitely my favorite right now. They are so me, I love anything that reminds me of summer, the tropics and the beach.
My ultimate goal is that I would love to have a Jenbuza Bag Boutique. I have all my ideas of how the shop would look. A place in Aruba would be nice :) ......
Overall, the message behind my work is "Fun, Funky and Fabulous." I love making bags that have one very unusual piece on them: chopstick handles, bangles, neckties, place mats. I want my bags to be fun to wear, conversation pieces, totally offbeat and fabulous!
I have been doing this for about 3 years now. I love it so much. I plan on doing this for the rest of my life. Until I retire to Aruba of course. :)
Meet Rachel Piskos from Razzle-Dazzled Rocks...
I am a senior at Ohio Wesleyan University where I am a Psychology and Economics-Management double major. I am also the Vice President of Public Relations for Delta Delta Delta sorority as well the Vice President of Public Relations for our Spirit & Homecoming Organization. After graduation I hope to attend graduate school and receive my PhD in Psychology so that I can become a family therapist. In my spare time, I love using the artistic talents learned in my art classes to express myself. Specifically, I enjoy making decorative stemware, votives, and serving utensils, as well as jewelry.
I am very busy this summer. When I am not being creative I am usually working at one of my two jobs. I have an internship this summer at Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals doing Psychology research on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I also work as a secretary in my Church office. This summer I have been focusing specifically on preparing for my GRE exam in preparation for graduate school with a major in Counseling Psychology.
My creativity definitely comes from my mother who specializes in interior design. Our home always looks spotless and beautifully decorated. She enjoys sewing, upholstering, and knitting beautiful creations to add glamour to our home.
I first started crafting and beading my senior year in high school when I took my first jewelry making class. I loved it so much that I began expanding my knowledge and creating pieces at home. My entire family received jewelry or other beaded creations for Christmas gifts that year. After seeing that they were much appreciated, I decided to continue expanding the intricacies of the pieces and moving into areas such as decorative stemware, etc.
My grandmother first thought of the idea of selling my art when she showed some pieces to her friends. They immediately bought the pieces I had made, and then placed orders for the colors and design they would like customized. I enjoyed making these pieces for others and when they were happy to buy my creations, I decided not to stop there. That is why I have now moved on to craft shows and will hopefully expose my art to a wide variety of people.
I have been creating for about four years now and it has been exciting to see my pieces grow and improve throughout the years as I have expanded and learned new techniques.
My creative process is definitely not forced. When I am in the mood to be creative, that is when I design some of my most favorite pieces. If I push myself to create when i am not in the artistic mood, my pieces will not be quite as unique. I usually choose a color and look at the piece I will be working on to assess its proportions. From there, I usually let the piece evolve as it wants to, and as each piece is a child of mine, they each have their own personality.
My favorite item that I have ever produced is a set of wine and champagne glasses. I feel that their simplicity adds to the beauty of the glass and I think that they would attract a wide range of attention from people of varying preferences. I especially enjoy pieces that coordinate such as a decorative, beaded cheese board, vase, beaded tongs, spreaders, tea spoons, and stemware, all using the same color palate and coordinating, but each individual in its own way.
My goal with my craft is that I am hope to share my talent with others in order to simply spread beauty throughout peoples homes for their use in entertaining. I hope to make people excited to share with others my creations and appreciate the details that I have put into each individual piece.
The message behind my work is to appreciate the small things and the minor details that are present in every form of art. These minor details are what makes art unique and beautiful.
Check out these featured vendors at the 2012 West Side Summer Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. This eclectic show will feature over 170 of the most talented artisans and crafters. A portion of the show's proceeds will be donated to the Cleveland Animal Protective League, for animal rescue.