Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Natural Artists!

Meet Catherine Lewis from Tangled in Tangents...
I’m an engineer by trade, and use my hobbies to keep my right brain happy. I’ve been married to the world’s best guy for 23 years, and between us we have 3 children (32, 21,and 19), one fabulous son-in-law, and 2 grandchildren (8 and 1). My family is wonderfully patient with my hobbies, which I switch every few years.  As my husband says, the hobbies come and go, but the stashes of supplies keep building up! This is my first Avant-Garde Art and Craft show I'll be participating in!

I just started making miniature gardens this summer. It pulls from a lot of my other craft phases, which I really like. It’s been a real kick to learn about small plants – their foliage, watering needs, root systems, etc. Plants are really pretty amazing in their resiliency!

When I turned 29, I found myself at a life changing crossroads. I was newly single, had quit smoking, and was mad at the world. I started my first serious craft, watercolor painting, during this time.  From then on, I’ve always had the need to create with my hands. I get a little nuts when I haven’t made something in a while!

No words come to mind to describe my creative process. Typically I just dive in and adjust as I go.
What I enjoy most about these gardens is their unpredictable nature. They change every day! I really enjoy grooming them, rearranging the foliage, cleaning the stones, spritzing the moss, watching the seedlings take, and so on. 

My hope is that everyone adopting one of my little gardens will buy themselves a few moments of fun and tranquility every day. I hope the owners make them their own by adding personal touches. They are a ZEN-sational way to get away from it all without leaving the room.

Meet Robin Payne from EarthLight Art Source...
I RobinAnne Ralls Payne created EarthLight Art Source in 2007 as a business to express my lifelong dedication to art. The name EarthLight Art Source reflects not only my deep love of nature but the desire to help with the conservation of our planet through artistic expression and exploration of its beauty and natural resources. 

The moment of inspiration, that spark in the creative process is what keeps me going! Sharing, teaching and watching others find their spark is my primary goal. For me colors in a sunset, the shape of a cloud, or the twist of a branch is a thing to be savored, respected and shared, and will forever provide a variety of subject matter as well as a profound sense of wonder.

As well as painting I enjoy working with a wide variety of materials, I love all forms of collage, including handmade paper and paper casting. I work in clay, found-object assemblage, silk and glass. My exploration, fascination and expertise in so many different areas always provide an opportunity to find the perfect way to express an idea, experience or feeling.  
I currently teach part time with two different organizations dedicated to the life enrichment and art education of adults with disabilities, children and seniors. I find this exciting and very rewarding.
I believe in Art, as a universal language. I believe in its strength, and healing powers. I see Art in all wondrous and varied mediums as a true necessity for a healthy, fulfilled life. EarthLight Art Source is here for the community, and for you. 
To see examples of my work check out:

Meet La'Shea Nichole Scott from Nikole Hanna Accessories...
My Name Is La’Shea Nichole Scott and I’m the owner and creator of Nikole Hanna Accessories. I was born and raised in North East Ohio. I’ve been crafting fashion accessories since I was about 12 years old. Since before that age, I was always into anything fashion, clothing, jewelry and accessories related. I only loved Barbie dolls back then because I loved buying them clothes and styling their outfits. 

When I got to middle school that is when I realized my true love was for fashion and accessories, hence I started making my own accessories. After I graduated from high school I went to college (Miami International University of Art and Design) in Miami, Florida and received my Degree in Fashion Merchandising. After graduation, I moved back home to Ohio and had the worst time finding a job. Yup, the hardest and worst time. After three years of being home and having my daughter (who will be one this year), and soul searching and employment searching for the right position, I decided to reintroduce myself to my craft that I grew up doing and loved. That is when I decided to start my own business, and named it after my daughter Savannah and myself. 
This will be my very first Avant-Garde Show. And also my very first show as an independent crafting business. 
As a crafter, I have always found my inspiration from art and fashion. I love to mix colors and textures for my accessory pieces just like any other artist, like painters or clothing designers. When I’m working on new pieces and collections, my creative process is all about research and channeling my own inner style. This can then be interpreted into my accessories.
When I create pieces I love the fact that it goes from a transitioning process. From loose beads scattered on my work bench to being organized into the pattern I want them to go in to the stringing and bonding them together to prepare for their new home for the customer. Nothing makes me more proud other then being a mom, then creating my own style of art in jewelry and accessory making.
Nikole Hanna Accessories mission and message is to encourage, promote, and compliment women and their own unique personal styles. Our slogan represents who we are and what we believe in and that’s, “An Accessory Is Only A Compliment To Your Style”. We want to inspire self-love through style and fashion, individuality, and freedom of expression through style and fabulousity all at once! This brand is not like any other accessory brand, we are a movement and a lifestyle, and will be promoting just that through our accessories. 
Our accessories are for all women, of all backgrounds, religions, ethnicities and economic statuses. We cater to everyone. And our motto is that our pieces are “Made For Women By Women”. 
Check out these featured vendors at the 2012 West Side Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. This eclectic show will feature up to 200 of the most talented artisans and crafters. A portion of the show's proceeds will be donated to Drink Local. Drink Tap. a local non-profit that works in communities to educate people about our local water sources and also helps orphans in Uganda gain access to clean drinking water.

2012 West Side Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Sunday, October 14, 2012, 11:00am-6:00pm
25777 Detroit Rd.
Westlake, OH 44145
For more information, contact Becki Cooper, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Handmade Treasures!

Meet Dawn Sherice Edwards from Sherice Designs...
I am a wife of 25 years this past September 5th and mother of three; two sons, a daughter and grandmother of six; three boys and three girls who are the light of my life. I am currently working for Odyssey Hospice as a Hospice STNA. Hospice became a new career two years ago after being laid off for four years from the Euclid City School District in June of 2006, and I absolutely love my job. Taking care of others is a wonderful way to spend my life. Art and creativity is also a wonderful way to lift the spirits of those we meet and this is one reason why I love to create jewelry.

I have always had a creative eye for crafts and started drawing and painting at an early age. I attended Cleveland State University on an art scholarship where I studied studio art. I have sold many drawings/paintings and participated in juried art shows and other craft fairs. I love watching others creative process and their end results. It fascinates me at what beautiful things people can make and the vast differences in each individual’s creativeness; whether its painting, sculpting, or creating the perfect hair cut. I love watching the process. 

Being a jewelry lover, I spent a lot of money buying it, so one day I thought I should try to make my own jewelry. I went to Pat Catan's (a favorite hangout of mine) and purchased what I thought I needed and that is how I got started. I could walk into Michael’s or Pat Catan and not come out for hours; I fell in love with beads. I shop online for the majority my beads at they are shipped from China, Hong Kong, Australia, and other faraway places.
When I started, my intentions were not to sell jewelry, just to make it for myself.  However, when everyone saw it, they wanted to buy it. After my first showcase all the jewelry that didn’t sell, my sister took to work. In ½ hour she called me and said she had sold all of it and had orders for more, she was so excited and I was so happy it made me cry. It was then that I started to create beautiful jewelry designs. I like to design complete sets of jewelry which include earrings, necklaces and bracelets. My customers receive high quality gemstones that are well crafted and moderately priced.

In 2008 I began hosting a Spring/Summer, Fall/Winter jewelry showcase at my home. It made me feel so wonderful that others were willing to pay money for my designs and place special orders from the selection of beads I would display. Each year my designs have become stronger and October 14, 2012 is my first craft show featuring my jewelry and my first Avant-Garde Art & Craft show and I am excitedly looking forward to it. 

My creativity for designs comes from the beads themselves.   As an artist, I have tried to sketch out my designs but that doesn’t work for me. My design ideas come to me while sleeping, driving and meditating. I love working with agate, jade, turquoise and jasper stones and I search for the most unusual beads I can find. I love stones that are rich in color and very unique; I believe my style is reflected in each creative piece. Most pieces are one of a kind because personally when I wear jewelry, I want it to be different and unique and I don’t want to see it on someone else. Many times I can’t create a design until the beads speak to me. I have had some beads in my inventory for several years before they speak to me, but when they do… I smile. The thing I love most is seeing the smiles on my customers face when the jewelry speaks to them the same way the beads spoke to me. I offer my customers private home shows, custom design and re-design options, as well as, jewelry repair.  

The message behind my designs: Sherice Designs, "A Jewelry Lovers Delight!"

Meet Christine & Mary Taylor from CMandMJewelry...

CMandMJewelry is an online jewelry shop created by two sisters who were born and raised in Maryland.

Our business actually began as a love of beads. In 2005, we found an amazing bead shop in a Virginia Mall, right outside Washington D.C. At first we were just collectors, then we found a few How-To books in jewelry making, and we were hooked on the craft. We have participated in two Avant-Garde shows so far, and have loved both!

After a while, people began telling us we should sell our items, and our older sister suggested a craft site that she had found: We set up shop in their domain, and have been going strong since. We have been in business for about 5 years, making jewelry even longer!

We have been through a few name changes before we settled on CMandMJewelry: the title is a combination of our initials: Christine Marie and Mary.

Most of our items on our site are less than $30.00, and we offer free shipping worldwide.
Most recently, we moved to Canton, Ohio with our parents who are retired. The business came with us and has grown, especially with the help of sites like Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
We both are influenced by the current trends and pour over fashion magazines looking at all the jewelry and accessories. When we are creating, we're both hooked up to our I-Pods and listening to music.
An “Organized Mess” is how we describe our work areas; we have boxes and boxes of beads organized by color.

We want our jewelry to be unique and stylish but not so trendy that you can’t wear it with the passing seasons. To make good quality jewelry affordable is our goal.

Meet Lisa Edwards from Edwards Galleria of Designs...

Simply, I am thankful that every day I get the opportunity to share a gift from God that I have been blessed with.         

Growing up in New Jersey has provided me with many life experiences and the ability to share cultures of many ethnic backgrounds, all of which I have developed within my style of art. Although my art may not be for every one, I create what I see and feel, bringing a style all within its own. Some of the greatest compliments are when someone says, “Well, I’ve never seen anything like that before”. I pride myself on the individuality of my work, as well as, I only create one of a kind pieces, I do not duplicate nor make prints.
I was lucky to be born to an artistic father, who encouraged my creativity and allowed me the freedom to express myself. My grandmother was a fine seamstress, whose skills I admired greatly. I took all that I could learn from them, along with my desire to create beyond the norm and hone my skills into what they have become today.
I am a single mother of a daughter that is an Olympic dressage trainer and a vivacious, creative 10 year old son. I do all this while running a successful company for others, and pursuing the growth of Edwards Galleria.
To truly understand the positivity and happiness I see in life, you must view my works of art.
I have been an artist all of my life, encouraged by my father, but I have been traveling doing shows for 5 years. This will be my first year exhibiting with Avant-Garde and I hope to develope a long lasting tradition of including the shows into my annual schedule.
Growing up, I was encouraged by my father, who is also an Artist. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by love and support and one who pushed me to be creative. My inspiration is my father and grandmother, who was also a skilled seamstress.

I have pushed both of my children to pursue careers in which they love, no matter what the pay. As a single mother I was never able to follow that advise myself, until one day when I really heard what I was telling my children. I am very proud of my daughter, especially who works in with the equine industry, her love and passion, she is my "inspiration". Every day she gets to do what she loves the most. No matter what, I never have a bad art show, because I am doing what I love. My son is only 10, but travels to shows with me, encouraging me and just being there.
There really is no thought process behind any of my creations. I truly have to feel a certain "nitch" per say to create. I am the "true" artist, I can only create when I feel the mood. LOL. When it hits, then I never know what will come out until I start.

The fact that my items are one of a kind. I take pride in the fact that I do not duplicate, copy or print work. Whether is it my jewelry or art work, everything I do is an original. Art should be unique, not mass produced.

The message behind my work is happiness, FUN, Color, originality... my work reflects the joy of the craft. My work may not be for everyone, but it will make you look, and make you stop for a moment. 

Check out these featured vendors at the 2012 West Side Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. This eclectic show will feature up to 200 of the most talented artisans and crafters. A portion of the show's proceeds will be donated to Drink Local. Drink Tap. a local non-profit that works in communities to educate people about our local water sources and also helps orphans in Uganda gain access to clean drinking water.

2012 West Side Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Sunday, October 14, 2012, 11:00am-6:00pm
25777 Detroit Rd.
Westlake, OH 44145
For more information, contact Becki Cooper, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fall's Talented Ladies!

Meet Kendall MacGregor from Kendall Designs...
I learned everything 'art', 'color', and 'craft' at my mother's knee. She is a talented artist, and showed me a different way to see the world around me.
Mom taught me how to knit when I was age 7, and my first project was helping her with a pair of wool socks for my dad, who was stationed in Korea, where the winters are bitter, and I've been knitting ever since. 
I started my own interior/exterior painting company, in 1993, upped my game by taking some 'faux' finish classes, althewhile remembering the basics that came from mom. 
Across the years, I have dabbled in jewelry making, and my pieces are the result of every thinking outside the box, and never being afraid to experiment.
My motto: "Your talent is God's gift to you; what you DO with your talent is YOUR gift back to God."

Meet Kat Kurkov from Auto Abstracts...
My name is Kat and my art/craft is automobile photography. In addition to photography, I am also a nationally published reporter and photographer. One of my biggest accomplishments is winning the art/photo award at the 50th Anniversary Porsche Show. 

For as long as I can remember, I've always been fascinated by cars; from learning to read by looking at makes and models, driving my parents aqua Rambler with three-on-the-tree, to my first car, a Renault Le Car, and now to a car I can take to the track. My fascination did not start, nor stop with what cars can do- but with how they look. 
One summer everything came into focus on a muggy afternoon at the Pittsburgh Grand Prix. I'd been looking at cars for hours when a friend asked what I saw in "all this". I shrugged off the question, but started to think. These photos are "What I see in all this" as I try to capture images of elegance, power, grace and occasionally humor.

The creative process can be compared to Edison's remark about genius- 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Getting to the right show at the best time to get the shots is the perspiration, then taking a step back to relax and really see, is when creativity strikes.

It may be odd to say when taking photos of automobiles, but it is people who make it interesting; from the designers, engineers and drivers who made up the history of the individual auto, the current owners who preserve these mobile works of art, to those people who admire and hope to own one one day.

Meet Robin Howard from Shanti Stones...

My name is Robin Howard, and I create jewelry made with natural semi-precious gemstones. I am an Usui Reiki Master, and I recently graduated with a B.A. in Psychology, with the intention of pursuing a degree in Art Therapy.
When I started  attending classes in Art Therapy, I began working with acrylics, and mixed media pieces. Additionally, I began to make bracelets for my friends and myself several years ago, and the many requests prompted me to start creating on a larger scale. I got on a roll and I made so many that I had to figure out what to do with them! 

Because they come from the Earth, many people attribute natural stones as having different beneficial properties, and to further enhance this, I energize all of my pieces with healing and loving Reiki. I find the entire process of creating to be very meditative and healing and my intent is to pass this wonderful feeling of peaceful calm on to the recipient.
All pieces are one of a kind, and I have found that people are often drawn to a piece and find that it has some healing property that they are in need of at that time. My favorite part of creating jewelry is when I come across someone that has purchased or received a bracelet of mine, and tells me that they find comfort from the energy that it carries. 

This is my first Avant Garde Art and Craft show, and I’m very excited, and looking forward to participating! 

Check out these featured vendors at the 2012 West Side Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. This eclectic show will feature up to 200 of the most talented artisans and crafters. A portion of the show's proceeds will be donated to Drink Local. Drink Tap. a local non-profit that works in communities to educate people about our local water sources and also helps orphans in Uganda gain access to clean drinking water.

2012 West Side Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Sunday, October 14, 2012, 11:00am-6:00pm
25777 Detroit Rd.
Westlake, OH 44145
For more information, contact Becki Cooper, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on: