Friday, November 18, 2016

Are You Ready, Rocky River?

Meet Earlene Rakar from Threads...
Hi! My name is Earlene and I am a local crafter. I discovered machine embroidery about 15 years ago when looking for a hobby after selling my chain of Hallmark stores.
Encouraged by my friends and family, my hobby turned into a business specializing in embroidered towels and throws. My towels and throws make perfect gifts for any occasion.
Being in the gift business for many years, I am well aware of how special a personalized gift can be. I have many designs and can change thread colors to match any decor. 
I welcome custom and personalized orders. This is my first Avant-Garde show and I am excited to offer some of my items at the show!

Meet Barbara Ann McConoughey from BAM Art Studios...
Hi! I'm Barbara and am part of the husband and wife duo behind BAM Art Studios. I currently live in Lakewood with my photographer/illustrator husband and our three dogs. 
BAM Art Studios is a husband and wife collaborative effort! I do all of the art work and my husband, Lee, creates the gallery quality prints and cards. BAM Art Studios began offering prints of my art in 2015 and began presenting at art and craft shows in the spring of 2016. This will be my first Avant-Garde show!
Inspired by nature and authentic spirituality, my art combines patterns and color combinations that appeal to both ancient rhythms and modern sensibilities. My art is characterized by detailed patterns, vibrant colors, and bold composition.
My artistic process began as a child with my observations of nature and cultural adaptations. I continue to draw on these inspirations as well as being influenced by spiritual and mythical themes. My current work is primarily in archival pigment inks on recycled archival papers and Bristol. 

Meet Kimberly Shuck Cowan from Kimberly Shuck Cowan Photography...
Hi! I'm Kim and I'm a local artist and long-time Shaker Heights, Ohio, resident. I graduated from Shaker Heights High School and have degrees in Art History from Vassar College and Law from Case Western Reserve University. 
As a photographer, I am self-taught, learning my craft through personal study, research and countless hours of practical experience behind the camera. I reignited my passion for photography during a year-long home renovation project in 2009. It became my therapy and sparked a new career direction that I had yearned for. 
I continually work to refine my technical acumen while staying true to my interest in photographing what might otherwise be seen as mundane or commonplace in ways that evoke an emotional response or stir sensation within the viewer. Each moment of encounter - with object, time, place, or person - is a choice that reflects who I am as an observer.
What I love most about photography is the demand it puts on me to constantly be intrigued by new imagery, to create different interpretations, and to handle the unexpected. It's also a joyful way of expanding my connection to people.

Meet Nicole Destro from Erie Coast Creations...
Hi! I'm Nicole and I'm behind Erie Coast Creations. This will be my first Avant-Garde show and I'm very excited to present some of my pieces!
I use upcycled Lake Erie beach glass, pottery, shells, and stones combined with high quality metals to produce beautiful jewelry. 

From simple to elegant, Erie Coast Creations focuses on timeless pieces of jewelry, showcasing natural gemstones and Lake Erie beach glass.
All of my items are locally made with love and inspired by nature! I love highlighting the true beauty of Lake Erie!

Meet Barb Hubert from Eagle Wings Art...
Hi, my name is Barb Hubert and I am a retired Cat Scan Tech of over four years! I was looking for a purpose and hobby after I retired and thought I would try watercolor because I've always loved those paintings. 
After just one year with a friend and teacher, I took off! I feel this is a gift that God has given me, so I give back to Him! 40% of my profits go to help The Cleveland Pregnancy Center or the Bible League International.
I love painting using different mediums, like real leaves, salt, saran wrap, and anything else to make my paintings different and unique! I love to experiment! I am inspired by all nature around me and marvel at the works of God!
I always have a painting in progress! I can see a scene as I drive along somewhere and just get a desire to paint it! You will find birds, animals, landscapes, and a variety of other themes in my work! I hope to continue growing my business!

Meet Sue Lewis from Cozyface Cowls...
Hi! I am Sue and I'm a lifelong Westlake resident and have been married to my wonderfully supportive husband for 41 years. I have been making exceptionally warm neckwear for about five years now. This will be my first Avant-Garde show!
I was inspired to find fabrics that actually blocked the wind when my walking friend began to experience symptoms of Raynaud's Syndrome and suffered from very cold ears, toes, and fingers. I also ride the bus to work across town in the winter and have first hand experience with the polar vortex on Euclid Avenue. 
My mother, grandmother, and great grandmother were all handwork enthusiasts, so my training began at a very young age. Finding a textile or fiber that is beautiful and correct for the problem being solved is my constant motivation. 

Meet Tonya Jackson from JC Stephans...
Hi! I'm Tonya and I'm a wife and mother of three boys. I am an artist and absolutely love to cook. This is my first Avant-Garde show and I am extremely excited to be a part of this event!
I have been creating and donating my unique gift baskets for over 20 years. I am very involved in the community and have used my gift to help others.
My husband and children are my inspiration. Turning my art into a business has allowed me to spend quality time with my family. I have been in retail for many years and my challenge is to create quality bath and body products that aren't readily available.
In five years, I hope to have a successful business with 50+ employees. JC Stephans believes strongly in producing quality goods while delivering 
exceptional customer service!

2016 Rocky River Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Sat. Nov. 19 (10am-5pm) & Sun. Nov 20 (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 16, 2016

Meet our Rocky River Crafters!

Meet Joe Buzolith from Kelnjo Jewelry...
Hi! My name is Joe and I am the owner of Kelnjo Jewelry. The name Kelnjo is a combination of my younger daughter's name, Kelly, and mine. We just completed our first year in business in July. We offer genuine gemstones and handmade sterling silver and gold jewelry at reasonable prices.
When I bought some jewelry tools and gemstones back in late May 2015 and decided to try a new hobby, I had no idea it would lead to the amount of fun and enjoyment I have had over the last year. I really enjoy the process of forming the piece with silver or gold, setting the gemstone, and bringing it all together into a finished product that someone will enjoy.
I hand make all the jewelry pieces we offer, no bought settings! I try to make a unique and interesting piece of jewelry most nights after I get home from work. Some of the cabochons I cut and polish myself and I try to keep a broad variety of different gemstones in my offerings.
My daughter Kelly helps with the marketing and we have traveled over most of the state doing a lot of craft shows and festivals in the last year. We love meeting potential customers! I enjoy talking about the gemstones and my jewelry and meeting people at the booths. A lot of the reward from this hobby/businesses is the feedback I get from my customers!

Meet Amanda Robinson from Pretty Little Ribbon...
Hi, I'm Amanda and I have one dog and three cats. When I'm not sitting behind my craft table I work at Geometry Global, a shopper marketing agency based out of Akron, Ohio. I have been happily married for five years to my husband. This will be my first craft show with one exception, when I was six my mom helped me sew bandana style headbands during the Fourth of July festivities in my hometown. 
I have been sewing since I was a little girl. I learned from my mom and grandma who both loved sewing and would make quilts, stuffed animals, holiday dresses, Halloween costumes, and more. I started to entertain the idea that I could turn this into a small business when I have one of my baby bibs to a friend. When I saw the way her family reacted to something that I made, it gave me the confidence to really put myself out there.
I'm inspired by simple projects that make a big impact. I also really love giving gifts, there is honestly nothing that makes me happier. Additionally, I have always loved fashion and home decor. The best feeling is when I can bring all of those things together into a tangible item I can share with the world.
The message behind my work is that you only have a certain amount of time on this planet. Don't waste a single second of it on negative emotions. Fill every single moment with smiles and laughter, twinkle lights and good books, furry friends and warm cookies, but, most importantly, Pretty Little Ribbons. I love a good challenge. If you are looking for something specific, I would love to collaborate with you and help you design exactly what you are looking for.

Meet Jeff Janosik from Chatham Leather Works...
I started leather crafting when I was in high school almost 40 years ago. My older brother made some belts, and I just sort of picked it up from there. I had my first commissioned piece when I was 17. One of my brother's college friends asked me to make him a tri-fold wallet with the cover of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" cut on the back. He paid me $15 for it, which, in 1979, felt like a million bucks. 
I went to college, started working and got married. About two years ago, I got back into the craft, making key fobs. It was sort of like therapy to me I guess. I have three daughters and a wife, I needed lots of therapy. So I made lots of key fobs. 
I have a son as well and he gives me hope. He also inspired me to make a simple minimalist style wallet. From all of this, I am here, ready for my first Avant-Garde show. This is my first show, I'm a bit nervous.
When making a piece, I use mostly Vegetable Tanned Cowhide processed in the United States or imported from Brazil, Argentina, and Italy. I do repairs as well, so if you have a favorite item at home that needs refreshing, I can help with that as well. 

Meet Gordana Kostroman from Gordana's Natural Goods...
I am Gordana of Gordana's Natural Goods. I moved to the United States 17 years ago and am excited to share my background and knowledge of oils, teas, and herbs with you through my natural products.
My small batch soaps, deodorant, and detergents are consciously made by hand and tested with high quality PH paper to ensure a product that works with our skin's natural balance.
All of my products are thoughtfully infused with essential oils and natural ingredients that enhance the therapeutic and anti-inflammatory properties of each soap tea base: lavender, chamomile, and mint.
Catered for those with sensitive skin or seeking a smarter, soothing product. I am excited to share the history and mindfulness I incorporate within my natural goods. 

Meet Kiah Bransch from Drink Local Drink Tap...
Drink Local Tap is a local non-profit dedicated to ensuring that everyone has access to clean, safe drinking water. This includes movements to preserve the Great Lakes through education and outreach, as well as community events such as beach clean ups. In addition, we work in Uganda with local communities to install water access systems, and train a team to monitor and maintain the project so it lasts far into the future.
Erin Huber founded DLDT in 2011 after meeting a woman from Uganda working here as a teacher. After listening to this woman's story, Erin knew she had to help. So she managed to put together the funds to make it to Uganda, where she met with the people her Cleveland contact knew. From there, she worked with the team in the village to drill DLDT's first borehole. She's only continued from there.
The women who create these products are part of the Arise and Shine Uganda project, which helps women leading HIV-positive households learn this trade, and then sell their work for a fair price. We've partnered with them to bring these items to you. 
When Erin goes to Uganda to work on a project there, she meets amazingly talented people, and upon her return she brings back their work with her. We hope to continue expanding our efforts both in Cleveland and Uganda, and to have this partnership grow with it. It is an amazing fundraiser for both parties, and benefits everyone involved.

Meet Emilie Illson from Button Down Designs...
Hi! I'm Emilie and I'm behind Button Down Designs. My love affair with antique buttons began over 10 years ago. Since then, I have made over 5,000 button bracelets, using buttons from 1840 to 1940.
This businesses is the perfect outlet for my instinctive drive to acquire, organize, design, and create. 
My bracelets are entirely hand-sewn, and each one comes with a hand-written hang-tag, explaining about the buttons in that design. I search far and wide for the buttons, which I buy from Antique dealers. 
I am passionate about my work. About twice each month, I have a presentation about antique buttons. Last year, I spoke at eight public libraries. I have also presented to historical societies, garden clubs, quilt groups, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. 

2016 Rocky River Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Sat. Nov. 19 (10am-5pm) & Sun. Nov 20 (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, March 9, 2016

Get Ready to Get Crafty, Rocky River!

Meet Kat from Kat Jewelry Design...
I'm a jewelry artist working in chainmail, stone cutting, and silver work. I graduated with my Bachelors in Fine Arts with a degree in jewelry design in 2010 and started making woven-wire and chainmail jewelry shortly after. Currently, I'm taking classes on gemstone identification, and hope to get my Graduate Gemologist degree in 2017. After that, I plan to work in the gem and jewelry industry and keep my design and craft work on the side as a hobby. This will be one of many Avant-Garde shows I've participated in!
I believe creative output requires creative input. I spend all day every day listening to music, reading books, seeing art and craft in my calendar, from my friends, and on the web. When I get an idea, it's sort of random because it's come together from dozens of stimuli. If I can, I'll draw it out, but I've found that sometimes the best way to work is to experiment with the material itself, and working out the details as you go. 
I believe somewhat in the idea that "the clothes make the man." The jewelry you choose to wear sends a message about who you are to anyone who sees you. I'm making the kind of jewelry that I like to wear, and I'm trying to do so with materials at a cost level that someone like me can afford to wear. 

Meet Simone from Simi Lindsay...
I have always been very interested in arts and crafts and was inspired by another candle maker in Pennsylvania. I wanted to create candles with unique scents and with the environment in mind. Simi Lindsay was founded in 2015, and this will be the company's third Avant-Garde show!
All of the candles are made with 100% natural eco say wax, a natural wooden wick or 100% cotton wick, and high quality fragrance oils, assuring you receive a cleaner burning, longer lasting, richly scented soy candle. Additionally, all of our soaps are sulfate free and free of color. We also offer unique home decor that is hand-painted with chalk paint and other mediums.
My creative process involves hand-selecting each fragrance and developing candles that are completely handcrafted. My message is to create clean, eco-friendly products that people can enjoy. 

Meet Jan from Elegant Egg Creations...
45 years ago, a family member of mine saw an egg artistry show at the Holiday Inn Airport in Pennsylvania. She was so enthused by the idea, that she decided the two of us had to explore it! There happened to be an advertised class held in Lorain, teaching this art. The first egg I made was a decoupage egg. I then learned how to create diorama scene's inside of the eggs. This will be my first Avant-Garde show!
Through the years, I have taken many seminars to learn new techniques and applications. In terms of my creative process, most of the time, I sketch a basic design of my thoughts to start, then I build on it. I like to do some decoupage items as they can be used in their entirety or portions of more intricate designs. I also enjoy pulling other craft techniques into this artistry, such as oil, watercolor, and acrylic painting. 
Egg art is a constant growing and educational process. There is always something new to learn and observe. I would love to have the opportunity to help future egg artists learn this faberge style of egg art form. The message behind my work is that your imagination is unlimited, and that you can be a collector and a creator. 

Meet Monica from Triple C Sweets... 
I'm Monica and I am half of a mother-daughter duo with a love for sweets. Our duo has been in the kitchen baking, cooking, and creating goodies made with love with our moms and aunts since we were young. This will be our 6th Avant-Garde show we've participated in! 
The other half of the duo, Sandy, took a candy making class, and I have taken several cake decorating classes over the years. We have both always loved to be in the kitchen creating sweet treats. After our respective classes, we were hooked! 
No matter what event we are baking for, we love to incorporate a special item for an event into our treats. We create by trying new things, like recipes or designs. We have tried many different ideas that seemed perfect in our minds, but didn't work out as well in real life. Luckily, we have great taste testers around us! In five years, we see ourselves doing this as a full-time business!
2016 Rocky River Spring Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Sat. March 19th (10am-5pm) & Sun. March 20th (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: