Sunday, November 15, 2015

Final Day to Shop Our Fall Rocky River Vendors!

Meet Megan Lunt from Megan's Creations...
Hello! :) My name is Megan and I have been involved with craft shows with my mom for over ten years. When I was younger, I used to help her at craft shows—selling everything from delicious cookies and chocolate goodies to personalized children’s books. This will be my very first craft show selling my own products and I am very excited for the experience. Even as a child, I loved to create and design items to give as gifts to others. I find inspiration through everyday experiences and through my mom who motivates and encourages me to pursue my passions.

I love to recycle and repurpose old items—wine crate coffee tables, shipping pallet bed frames, paint/make lights out of old bottles, jars, etc.—so a lot of my craft is focused on returning beauty into an otherwise unusable item. I also picked up the hobby of knitting when I was in dental hygiene school (to help practice hand dexterity and precision of meticulous and small details) and fell in love! I also enjoy painting/drawing and have been involved in this field of art for many years. I love for my paintings to evoke moods/emotions through the colors I use and I gravitate towards painting forest and night time scenery. The ultimate message I hope to convey with my work is to find the unconventional beauty in people or objects you come into contact with across your daily routine. I also love the holidays and hope my work will give others some warm and cozy holiday spirit as well!
I am in the process of establishing an Etsy page and hope to have a successful side business selling my artwork in the next five years. (Otherwise, my family will be looking forward to having a lot of homemade gifts! :)

20% of the proceeds go to two different organizations that are very important to me—10% to the American Cancer Society and 10% to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). So with the purchase of an item, you will be contributing to two great causes as well! Thank you for taking the time to get to know a little bit about me and my craft.

Meet Jen McCall from The Random Studio...
Ohio is home base. I was born and raised in Northern Ohio, but an incurable case of wanderlust mixed with being a risk taker has given me multiple addresses in 6 states. So home to me is about the people in my life over buildings and things. 

I do not work in one material or category; hence the name Random Studio. I merge and couple elements to create three-dimensional assemblage artwork. Releasing things from their original function and meaning, I transform them into a new context—one of artistic expression. 

I started dabbling in my craft about six years ago after my career crashed with the economy. I needed to exercise my creative muscle so I played with jewelry, then small paper collage pieces. In the last two years I have narrowed my focus and expanded my vision and confidence. 

I have no idea what sparks my need to be creativity. I suppose it’s just a part of my DNA. There is something deep within that pushes me to make art in one form or another. On a less philosophical level, I am inspires mainly by objects. An item catches my eye, almost calling me to it. At times I will know instantly what will grow from this piece of inspiration, while other times it will sit on a shelf nagging and taunting me to figure how to transform into more then it’s simple self.  

I’ve always been drawn to visual art. Photography in high school and college, followed by my career in graphic design and advertising, and now my own artwork. But how did I discover my talent...I don’t think it was ever a conscience realization. I just allowed myself to embrace being creative. I think there is creativity and talent in everyone, it’s a matter of letting go, taking a chance, and doing it for yourself without concern of what others think. 

How I describe my creative process, random! Random and chaotic. I start with a element or two that call to me. From there it is a stream of undefinable creativity...digging through my inventory of things searching for companion items. This exploration typically leads to the start of another project...or two...or three. I can easily have 4 or more pieces in progress that were conceived from seeing an item in a new light or adjacent to another object. My work space almost always looks ransacked and in a state of chaotic confusion (which drives my husband insane) but allows my mind to open up to the call of the materials around me.       

My five year goal, my vision is to be a full-time artist with a studio that doesn’t double as a guest bedroom. Within a couple years I would like to have my art regularly shown available in a gallery or even in my own store. A big goal is to be a featured artist at an opening.  
The elements I use vary from handmade to manufactured with the majority coming from free piles, resale shops, the garbage, garage sales, thrift stores, estate sales, or hand-me-downs from friends and family. Items that have lived their first life for many, many years and others a very short time; but the components used in my artwork had a previous life. I rescue all types of items to be used in my art.

The macro message behind my art is that things can be saved, reused, and repurposed to become a thought-provoking piece of art. 

On the micro level each piece comes from a personal expression of some aspect of life—relationships, family, work, society, or just mundane everyday life. The majority of my pieces do have a story or meaning behind them—that I’m happy to share if you ask. However, there are a few pieces that “just are” because the elements within demanded to be together and I thought they made something that looked cool or interesting.

Meet Shawn Sweeney...
Tell us a bit about yourself.. I have been knitting for about 15 years, though it has only been in the last five or so that I have discovered my passion for it.  I started designing my own items about two years ago. I love to play with color and texture, and have fun testing patterns for other designers.  Sometimes I follow a pattern, and other times I let the yarn guide me in what it wants to become.  I love to work on custom orders to help find the right yarn, and the right project to make someone happy.  One of my favorite projects I made was for a friend who told me she can't wear scarves or cowls because she feels like her head is too small.  I made her a cowl in a color that looks great on her and scaled it down to work with her petite frame and smaller head - her look of surprise and pleasure was all the thanks I needed.
What inspires me to create... Color, texture, and a desire to continue to learn new things.  I love to play with color - I love loud, crazy colorful yarns, but I can also appreciate the beauty of a neutral.  Knitting is basically made up of knit and purl stitches, and texture is created by the way you manipulate and put the stitches together - the possibilities are almost limitless.  One small change can fundamentally change the way the fabric looks, and that is pretty exciting to me.  

I got into my craft through my Mom - she has been knitting for many years and finally convinced me to give it a try about 15 years ago.  She has been a huge source of support and encouragement.

How I discovered my talent.. I think my passion for knitting came before I discovered I had a talent.  I loved and and decided to learn as much as I could about it.  I decided to do some test knitting for other designers and discovered I really loved to knit and to learn new techniques and to experiment with color and different yarns.
My creative process... Sometimes my creativity comes out of necessity - like the time I wanted to knit a pair of fingerless mitts to go with a cowl I had previously made for someone.  I couldn't find a pattern I liked, so I created one of my own to speak to the cowl, but not match it 100%.  Other times I see something in my head and just start knitting until I create something to match my vision.  

The Message behind my work... Knitting is something I love to do, and I really enjoy sharing that passion with others.
2014 Rocky River Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Sat. Nov. 14 (10am-5pm) & Sun. Nov 15 (11am-5pm)
Rocky River Memorial Hall (Next to Rec)
21016 Hilliard Blvd.
Rocky River, OH 44116
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Meet the Sweet and Colorful Vendors of Rocky River!

Meet Sandy and Monica from Triple C Sweets...
Our names are Sandy and Monica. We are a Mother-Daughter duo with a love for sweets. Sandy is a mother of 3 and grandmother of 6. Who has been retired for 4 years. Monica is a mother of a 3 year old, as well as a Step-Mother to 10 & 9 year olds. Who also has a full-time office job.
We both have been in the kitchen baking, cooking & creating goodies from love with our Mom’s and Aunt’s since we were young. This will be our 6th Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show! We have always loved to be in the kitchen creating sweet treats. In her 20’s, Sandy took a candy making class. Monica has also taken cake decorating classes through the years. After our classes, we were hooked. We are creative by trying something new, i.e. a new recipe or design. We have tried many different ideas that sounded perfect in our heads. But, did not quite workout how we expected in real life. Luckily, we have great taste testers around us.
What inspires us.. Whether it is the design on a Bride’s dress, school colors for the Graduate going off to college or even an edible image of the Birthday person, we love to incorporate a special item for an event into our treats.

Our goal.. In 5 years, we see ourselves doing this as a full-time business. The message behind our work is: Let us make something sweet for your next event or to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Meet Joanne Right from Jewelry Bird...
Hi, I am Joanne Righi, owner of The Jewelry Bird. I am pleased to be a first time seller at the Avant-Garde Arts & Crafts show.

I started making jewelry in 2009. Some co-workers had participated in a jewelry-making team-building exercise, and I was impressed with their results; I knew I could do that too! I started making small-scale monochromatic and neutral necklaces to wear at my corporate job. I soon realized those pieces were nice but didn't represent me; they just fit in to the corporate culture. I started creating designs that were bold in both size and color—and I havent looked back. I hope my designs inspire women to proudly wear bold and colorful accessories.

For me, the creative process often starts when I least expect it—when Im birdwatching or digging around in my flower garden. Inspired by the bold colors in nature, I often start my jewelry with a single colorful bead. From there, I let the beads—and my initial inspiration—guide me. For example, on a Saturday morning birdwatching trip, the colors of an Easter Bluebird lingered in my mind; the males are a brilliant royal blue on the back and head, and warm red-brown on the breast.I made a beaded necklace with these very colors. It was special, then, that this piece was one my first sales.

I often know with the addition of the last bead whether I got the piece just right; other times, I may let it percolate for a few days, sometimes making small tweaks, and others, starting from scratch. One thing is certain: each completed design brings me joy.

I have great memories of my mother teaching my four sisters and me to sew, crochet, needlepoint, embroider, and knit. These crafts I learned as a child were are all done from patterns, I never tried to design, I was just following directions. When I started making jewelry, selecting beads unlocked my creativity, I suddenly felt freed to make my own designs, limited only by my imagination. Now, I choose beads not based on the directions Im reading but on color, shape, finish, texture, and sometimes just a gut feeling that they are what a particular piece demands.

I live in Strongsville with my husband Jack and our two cats. I retired early from a 35-year career in accounting and have been pursuing new passions ever since.
My husband and I currently volunteer with a local organization that provides food, clothing, and housing to those in need; and we go birdwatching when we can.
Some of my work is currently for sale in my Etsy shop at I hope in a few years to be able to support my passion by selling at a few hand-picked craft shows each year, such as the Avant-Garde shows.

The Jewelry Bird enables me to spread my message that women should wear colorful and bold jewelry that fits their personalities; we need to be confident and wear what makes us happy.

Meet Ginger Bohlar...
I am looking forward to participating in my first Avant-Garde show.
I have always had an interest in art and in high school I was in a advanced Commercial Art class with the intent of going on to pursue that avenue. I did work in the field for a short time until I got married. I have raised two children and have been married for 37 years. I thought since art has always been an interest of mine I might return to it someday, but God had other plans. I have a wonderful son who has both a learning disorder and severe seizures so returning to work was not an option. I go to college with him so he will be able to get his degree.
Over the years I dabbled in different mediums. I spent some time creating jewelry for a while before painting. Since I am always looking for new things to try and explore I thought I would try my hand at Alcohol painting. I found it to be very relaxing and creative at the same time. You can either let the ink flow at its own pace, or manipulate it to do somewhat of what you would like it to do. However, the best feeling is that of being able to goof up and start all over without feeling so guilty. Its awesome!
2014 Rocky River Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Sat. Nov. 14 (10am-5pm) & Sun. Nov 15 (11am-5pm)
Rocky River Memorial Hall (Next to Rec)
21016 Hilliard Blvd.
Rocky River, OH 44116
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on: