Friday, April 8, 2022

Strongsville Show Sneak Peak!

 Meet Hailey from Biasci...

Hello! My name is Hailey and I am 20 years old. This is my first ever art show where I'll be selling my artwork and I am elated. Ever since childhood art has been a big part of my life. It was a way for me to express emotions that could not be spoken, only created through drawings and paintings. Art is the way I communicate with the world. I want my paintings to give others a look into my mind. The colorful backgrounds in my paintings show who I am as an individual, someone who is bright, bubbly, and spontaneous. The darker parts of my paintings, however, reflect my struggles with anxiety. Although I am this happy person on the outside, I still struggle with anxiety on the inside from time to time. When creating my paintings I always put on my favorite tunes. This allows me to zone out and focus on the blank canvas in front of me. I never have a plan, I just let my paintbrush take me wherever it may go. I hope to continue my career as an artist and set up my virtual shop where I can sell my art to those around the world! I am excited to see what my future has in store for me! 

Meet Samantha and Laurie...

We are sister-in-laws that share a love for making things! We both consider ourselves hobby crafters, as we have full-time careers in nursing (Laurie) and Data Management (Sam) but every minute of free time we have is spent on crafting things that make us happy! Laurie loves to crochet and make all natural candles and soaps while Sam's passion lies with Resin work where the possibilities are truly endless. 

We've been crafting for as long as we can remember! Laurie was taught how to crochet by her mother at a young age and has never stopped, while one of Sam's earliest memories is when her dad converted his basement workbench into a craft station. Sam now has her own house with a workbench/craft station! This will be our first show with Avant-Garde Art & Craft and we couldn't be more excited!

We've always had an eagerness to create. Now that we're established as professionals and adults we've grown our love of crafting into a small business where we can share our creations with everyone to use or give as gifts! Neither of us have ever been good at drawing or painting but found that creating things with our hands suits us. I think its comforting to be able to mold something from scratch that can be enjoyed and used in more ways than one. It's the sense of joy we feel once a project is completed that encourages us to continue learning and growing as crafters. 

Laurie is a visual learner so rather than following patterns or books she looks to youtube tutorials to follow along and learn new methods of crafting. Depending on the project, Laurie likes to watch movies or listen to music while she crochets her smaller peices, and then for the larger projects she plans ahead and works out components over the course of a few weeks this keeps crafting fun and manageable rather than being bogged down by the length of time some projects take to complete.

Sam's a natural researcher so when she has an idea for something the first thing she does is research whether it's been created, what techniques are used, what tips she can find to create the perfect piece and then there's always some trial and error involved. For example she loves creating dice for Dungeons and Dragons but before she started making them she watched hundreds of videos about the process and started practicing with resin first by making bookmarks. The learning is endless with resin and she loves that! 

In 5 years, Laurie would like to work on larger, more complicated projects and build up an etsy shop with the goal of shipping to each of our 50 states and internationally so that her beautiful crafts are enjoyed worldwide.

For Sam, In 5 years she will have started her family and will have climbed the ladder in her systems admin career- but she will also have the expensive tools needed to create gorgeous dice sets and will likely sell on the side for fun! 

Laurie and Sam pride themselves on creating pieces that are both beautiful and functional so that their art can be enjoyed both for their design and use. We also love supporting other local artists and make sure to promote, purchase and share the work of our talented friends to boost the small business community. Another priority for our work is to continue learning, weather that's in creating new crochet patterns and soaps or learning new techniques to create and finish resin pieces. 

Meet Rachel from (Insert Business name Here)...

As a 50+ year old woman, I am pretty typical, I'm tired of working my regular job and want to spend my time doing creative things.  I have been a secretary for 22 years, and still work full time, but enjoy making crafts.  Sadly, I cannot fit all of my creations in my home, there simply isn't enough room, so the next best thing is to try and sell them.

I have been crocheting and quilting for about 10 years, mainly for family and friends, and a little for sale, I've made several memorial quilts, a few dress alterations, some window/shower curtains, I've refurbished some items for use in my home, and little odds and ends like hats, scarves, pillows, cushions, the list goes on and on.  I have also recently been helping others with redecorating rooms in their homes, including painting, wallpaper, countertop covers, window treatments, light fixtures, and even a little flooring.

I love texture, in fabric mainly, and I love to design new things that are different from anything I can go to a store and buy. Over the years I have used leftover materials to decorate in my creative fashion, I like the idea of not having to spend money to make money, and there are so many materials laying around already, no reason to purchase new materials when I can repurpose what I already have, it feels like a form of recycling, in a very creative way.

I have tried to use patterns, but always divert to my own ways, even in cooking, I like to add the "Rachel" touch to everything, it makes me feel unique. I spend a lot of time thinking about my creations, and then I spend time in the process, making changes as I go.  Rarely does my first idea remain the same, I tend to develop the creation as I go, and learn a lot in the process, sort of like "on the job training".

In 5 years I hopefully will enjoy crafting as much as I do today, and with any luck I won't be working a regular job full time anymore, and therefore I'll have more time to devote to crafts.

2022 Strongsville will be my first craft show ever as a vendor, wish me luck!

2022 Strongsville Spring Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday & Sunday, April 9 & 10, 2022
 10:00am-4:00pm on Saturday
11:00am-4:00pm on Sunday
Strongsville Ehrnfelt Recreation Center
18100 Royalton Rd.
Strongsville, OH 44136
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Come on Out and Shop in Strongsville!

Meet Giana Romaso from Romaso Designs...

My name is Giana and I'm 18 years old. I am a college student majoring in biochemistry. It may seem strange that I am studying science yet participating in a craft fair. I've always loved to paint and draw, but science fascinates me. 

I decided to go into biochemistry with hopes of one day becoming a doctor, and I would use art as my creative outlet throughout high school and during college (especially when it gets stressful). I never thought about starting a business until my mom made a joke and said I could be selling my art. I've been creating since age 13 but officially started Romaso Designs at age 15 (2018). 

This will be my first Craft Fair I am participating in and I'm very excited to not only display my own work but to see what others have made. I love to create as a way to escape stress and apply myself to something besides school, it was art that helped me get through a difficult season in my life. 

The way I started creating art was when my uncle took us shopping and I didn't know what to get so I got a pack of colorful pens and started doing zentangles which turned into calligraphy and fine art. It was when I started painting with watercolors that I discovered I love this and I'm actually pretty good at it. I don't necessarily have a strict creative process. 

Whenever I feel like painting, I pick up a brush and just go (this usually happens friday nights after a long week of classes). I hope that one day I'll be able to pursue art as a full time career and expand my business. I love what I do and I want to share that with others.

Meet Jessica Howard from The Foragers Daughter...

My name is Jessica. I'm an artist living in Kent, OH, but previously lived in Cleveland for a long time. My work includes motifs and illustrations of the flora and fauna from the midwest. I run my studio business from my home, and spend time outside of that hiking and foraging in the area, which greatly influences the work I create. I love gardening, too. 

I've had my own business since late 2019, but have been creating work for as long as I can remember. I get inspired from nature, plants and animals that I observe while out hiking. Also, memories of camping with my family, fishing and gardening with my parents inspire my art. We are very outdoors oriented so I relate closely to what I see out there. 

It's more than a hobby now, but I've always loved drawing and painting. Recently I designed an enamel jewelry series, which was really out of my comfort zone. I love collecting trinkets and small things, and doing some enamel pieces seemed like a good branch for my work. 

I drew and painted all through my childhood, and then attended the Cleveland Institute of Art and received a BFA in Painting there. I've been practicing a long time, and continue to refine my skills. My creative process includes lots of note taking, associative writing, and sketching. I'll go through many iterations before deciding on the final design. That process is done with pens and pencils in my sketchbook. When I'm ready to create the final piece I work digitally on a drawing tablet. In the case of the enamel pendants series I designed everything digitally and then worked closely with another company to produce the final charms. 

In 5 years, I hope to expand the types of items I create, and continue to do what I love sustainably! At The Foragers Daughter, we are not separate from the wild, natural world, and can learn very much from observing plants, animals, cycles, etc.

Meet Crizel Oran from Sweet Victoria...

My name is Criselda but friends and family call me Crizel or Criz. I'm from the Philippines and just migrated here in USA four years ago. Im a mom to three amazing boys, one is in the spectrum. I love anything arts and crafts, must be  influenced by my grandmother who raised me and legally adopted me. I used to work in the Casino as a Table Games Dealer, but had to stay at home to care for my special needs child with tons of doctor appointments and therapies. I have no complaint as i'd rather stay home to also do more crafting. 

I have been crafting for maybe 14 years, first as a hobby, then turned it into a home business. Back in the Philippines I also joined Fairs which we call Bazzaar, but this is my first time ever joining an event that is exclusively for handmade. Im very excited! 

I always say that handmade products always have a certain touch and character. Its the maker's time and skilled hands that make it interesting for me. Crafting is my passion, it is my me time, it's my therapy. My inspiration comes from the feedback I get from my wonderful clients. When I see them happily wearing or using my creations, that gives me so much joy. I first got into the craft as an escape from everyday stress and problems. It relaxes my mind and my soul. Makes time go slowly or quickly depending on how I need it to be. The money is a good thing too. It allows me to stay at home, take care of my family, and do the things that makes my heart happy all while getting paid for it.

When crafting, I  follow my mood, whatever it is I feel like doing that day, that's what I do. If it's crochet, then the whole day it is, and then I focus on making jewelries the next day. It also really depends on what is selling for me. I hope in five years, I will have a brick and mortar by then. That's the dream, and a goal to be able to do it happily. I hope I will have turned it into a profitable business that will sustain me and my family financially. 

I believe that handmade is always made with love. You cannot make anything beautiful without adding passion to it. I make a lot of crafts - hair bows, crochet, jewelries, shirts, mugs... but I take pride in myself that each and every piece I make has my heart on it, my passion, time, and a great deal of love. That is the beauty of handmade. 

I am curating a subscription box right now which will launch in January 2022. However, Im doing a pre-launch or dry run this December with my Ultimate December Box which will give you an idea on what will be in my subscription box.  

Please visit my website and connect with us through our social media accounts. 


Instagram: @sweetvictoria36

Facebook: thesweetvictoria

Meet Emily O'Malley from Ems Crochet Goodies...

My name is Emily and I started Ems Crochet Goodies after developing CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) last year. CRPS is a rare, neurological inflammatory syndrome that currently has no cure but there is a chance of it going into remission. 

I make crochet items such as stuffed animals, pillows, earrings, and many other goodies. I started crocheting to cope with my daily pain. My goal is not only to build my small business up but also to raise awareness for CRPS. 

This will be my first time participating in a craft show but I have gone to so many in the past. My pain inspires me to create, and I use it as an escape from how I am feeling that day. I have always been interested in learning how to crochet, but never really got into it until I was trying to find different ways to distract myself. 

My message behind my work is even when you are struggling, or life isn’t going how you planned, to make the best of it. Find that one thing that you enjoy and use that as an outlet. If anyone would like to learn more about CRPS I recommend 

Meet Logan Skolnick from Mystic Meadow Crafts...

My name is Logan, and I am a resin and jewelry artist. I hand make all of the art, and run the social media. My partner, Jacob, helps take photos, run the website, and package orders. We have been married for three years and have been together for seven. 

We have been doing this for two years. I can say that nature is my biggest inspiration. I use nature in the majority of my art and often create while in nature. Although, I got into the craft when my gramma taught me how to create jewelry around the age of four. She taught me the majority of the beading that I know. A few years ago, I was going through a bad mental time. My husband told me I should try to find a hobby to distract myself. I already knew how to create jewelry, but I wanted to include nature in it somehow. This was when I discovered resin.

I like to create alone in my art studio without any background noise. I enjoy creating in nature or while looking out the window at our backyard. My process is very peaceful and calming. At Mystic Meadow Crafts, we say that you should create what makes you happy, do what makes you happy, and focus on your passions. 

Visit our website for more! 

2021 Strongsville Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday & Sunday, November 20 & 21, 2021
Strongsville Ehrnfelt Recreation Center
18100 Royalton Rd.
Strongsville, OH 44136
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Our Talented Vendors!

Meet Julie Huffman from Jac and Jul..
We are Mother and daughter-in-law. We are together just about every day working on pieces. We have different ideas but everything we do just comes together and shows both of our strengths and creativity.

We started around August/September of 2019 (it’s taken off quite nicely)

What inspires us to create.. When we make a custom piece for someone and they love it, sometimes it brings tears to their eyes-it just makes us want to do more and more.
How we got into our hobby.. Just by doing it! We both have areas of designing and creating that we prefer and excel in. We allow each other to apply our strengths. But every piece we do has both of our work and creativity in it. Together our talents flow nicely to create an end product
Our creative process.. We honestly do what the silverware guides us to do. It just sort of Happens. Jacque names every one of our pieces.

Our five year goal.. hopefully we just grow and continue to have clients that love what we do. Eventually (julie) wants to retire from real estate! (that will be about 10 years though)
The message behind our work. We repurpose family silverware (that’s shoved down in a basement or garage, not being used) we make special unique pieces (necklaces, bracelets, rings) that they can give to family members to wear enjoy “great grandmas” silver. It’s so great. People love it. It give something that was once treasured, new life and meaning. It becomes treasured again! At times we do money clips, key rings, & bottle openers for men.
We also take silver coins and make into rings. Both men and women enjoy those!

Meet Lynn Pelka from Lynn Patricia Designs...
Creating my handbags and accessories brings me much joy.  I love working with the fabrics and textures making a classy looking handbag that may be just right for you.  We, as women, look for a handbag that is specific to our needs whether it has pockets, zipper closer a certain kind of strap/handle.  I create my handbags with a full front pocket to hold all your important items at your fingertips with soft webbing handles for a comfortable fit.  Also offered are handmade zipper pouches, mini wallets and lip balm totes as well as special character handbags for the little girl in your life.
Even though I’ve been sewing since childhood, my business began when I launched an Etsy store 2011 listing at that time my very colorful handbags, tea bag wallets, and water bottle totes.  With experience over the years, my design has settled down to a more classic handbag style in neutral colors.   Things have blossomed and I am now established both at indoor and outdoor shows. 

It is always a pleasure meeting and chatting with those who stop at my booth.  The future looks bright with the hopes to one day retire from my day job as an office manager at a dental practice and participate in as many shows as possible.  

I’ve found the Avant-Garde shows to be expertly done with vendors who produce beautiful and interesting items making for an enjoyable shopping experience.  So hope you enjoy your day here at the show and be sure to stop by and introduce yourself as a one who has read this blog.

For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Countdown to Crafts Begins, Strongsville!

Meet Brigette Lasko of The Bookish Hooker...
Hi! My name is Bri and I’m the face behind The Bookish Hooker. I live in Avon Lake with my husband. I hold down a full-time day job and also help my husband out with his business, Bottoms Up! Yoga & Brew. My hobbies are baking, reading pretty much anything I can get my hands on, and fiber arts. I’ve been making crafts for as long as I can remember, but I’ve been crocheting regularly since early 2017.
I’m the type of person that has a lot of anxious energy so I need a creative outlet. I have another business, Baked By Brigitte that I started in 2015 to create custom cakes, cupcakes, and desserts. I created The Bookish Hooker as a creative extension of that business to showcase my other hobbies outside of the kitchen. My Nana taught me to crochet when I was about 8 or 9 and I never really got into it until about 2 years ago when I wanted a way to create fun gifts for my niece. I grew up around my mom who is incredibly crafty and she fostered a love for creating things in me.
I filter through Pinterest and Ravelry a lot for inspiration photos. From there I tend to customize patterns into exactly what either myself or a client is looking for. My husband always jokes that I create a “nest” wherever I decide to work on a project out of blankets and craft supplies and I tend to not come out until I’m done.
 I’m lucky right now in that I’m in a position to pick and choose what projects I’d like to work on. In five years I’d still like to be enjoying what I do without being in the “I have to get this work done” mindset. I’d like to work on publishing a few of my custom patterns, but otherwise I’d just like to still be in a place where I can create and enjoy what I do. This will be my first ever show that I’ve participated in and I’m really looking forward to it.
There’s not any particular message behind my work other than just to fill my desire to make pretty things that people can enjoy. I always say that I don’t consider myself a particularly creative person, I just really enjoy making something physical that someone can get a little joy out of.

Meet Anna and Sam Weisend of ReAmused...
Anna and Sam Weisend are the mother/daughter team behind ReAmused. Anna is an accomplished sugar artist and pastry chef and Sam has an art studio degree and is a practicing artist. When Sam discovered her love for hand binding books, she made a blank book for her mother using Anna’s favorite game board, Scrabble, as the cover. It sparked a flame in both of them to rescue and recycle old game boards and make them into something that could continue to amuse even the most serious adult. As they did that, they started finding new uses for the game pieces as well. The journals did not fit in with Sam’s more ‘serious art’ pursuits so, after much discussion, Sam and Anna joined their artistic talents and formed ReAmused. They are hoping that through this joint venture, they can bring smiles to the masses.
Sam has been binding books for over a year and Anna has joined her in the last 6 months. We both have the ability to see and appreciate the beauty and potential in unwanted things and it gives us the desire to find ways to use them so that others can appreciate them as well.
Our creative process can be described as the following: We tinker. We play with things. We think about it. And then we go back to tinkering.  In five years, we can envision new product collections and a larger, supportive fan base. The message behind our work is that, first, just because things are old does not mean they are worthless. Second, day to day adulting does not need to be so serious.
This is our first Avant Garde Show and it is also the first show we are debuting our work to the public!

Meet Nate Schultz of Nate Schultz Photography
I am a full-time math teacher, who is always looking for ways to stay busy and be invested in various projects and conversations with people. My wife and I have a Chocolate Lab that we treat as a child; and we also had our first baby girl in June! We love finding new places to explore, eat, and have a good cup of coffee. I became a part-time barista at a local coffee shop, which allows me to pursue conversations and share my interest in coffee with new people. I also love to spend time in the woods, preferably near a lake or waterfall. These types of hikes are my favorite scenes to capture and I attempt to bring them back with me through photography.
A few years ago, I had a combination of life events and stress that led to a group of friends suggesting that I spend time in nature to provide me a “reset.” My wife and I started hiking at Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the local metro parks. I discovered the value of these great places and one day I happened to take an old camera with me to grab a few photos. It did not take long for this to develop into a passion that I could not resist trying to improve upon daily. I have benefitted from the advice and help of many friends in creative industries! The more and more I shared my love for landscape photography, people started asking for prints. So, I decided to start matting photos and seeking out opportunities to share my work with the public!
One of the things that I love about landscape photography is the interaction with fellow artists. I enjoy talking with local photographers and artists to hear about places they have explored and to share my own suggestions. Also, just seeing the other styles of photography reinvigorates me to try something new.
I love the outdoors. I have heard too many people say that they feel like they need to take big vacations to see exciting and beautiful sights. I believe that Ohio has a unique blend of nature, cities, and culture that provides for great one-day trips in our own state. 
This is my first Avant Garde show! I am looking forward to meeting other creatives and customers!

I’ve just begun exploring the business aspect of photography, and I look forward to seeing where it takes me in the next five years! It could be continuing to sell local landscapes, traveling for photography, finding more opportunities for event photography, furthering my portraiture work, etc. It is a lot of fun for me to learn about different types of skills in this hobby.
As a man of faith, I am fascinated with God’s incredible design of nature. I also love using this outlet as an opportunity to show value in other people and to speak life to them as we interact about hiking or photography.

2019 Strongsville Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday & Sunday, November 22 & 23, 2019
Strongsville Ehrnfelt Recreation Center
18100 Royalton Rd.
Strongsville, OH 44136
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Friday, November 15, 2019

Strongsville Crafters Coming Your Way!

Meet Sharon Gerchak of Pet Portraits by Sharon...
My name is Sharon Gerchak, I am married with one son, retired and am 76 years old. I have lived in, or around Cleveland all my life.  I have been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I took art at school and went to Cooper School of Art after graduation. I did a mail-order course (kind of like on-line but through snail mail) and after I retired I went to Tri-C for two terms. I now do acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil , pastels and pen & ink.

I have never done an Avante Garde show before, in fact, this is only the third show I have done. I love animals, and I love to draw them.  I started drawing horses when I was about ten and have progressed to all kinds of animals, even an Iguana.

I retired a few years ago (about 10) and had lots of time on my hands.  I took a few art classes and started painting.  Then I did a picture of my dog, who was getting old.  I was glad I did, because he died a few years later. But, now I have his picture on my living room wall and feel like he is still with us. The same thing happened with my cat.  They are up there, side by  side, even though they never met each other. I love being able to see them and remember all the good times we had.  This made me think about my friends and their pets and started painting them too.

I go to a lot of craft shows with a friend, and we have never seen anything like what I do and she suggested I try it.  So, I am.  There are a lot of people who have fur babys that might like a picture to remember them by when they pass away.  A picture on your phone is fine, but a painting on the wall is even better.

In 5 years I hope to still be doing what I love!

Meet Caroline Lawrence of Crochet by Aunt C...
Hi, my name is Caroline Lawrence. Over the years, I have crocheted gifts for people at the holidays, but I never found anything I could do year-round. Then a few years ago, I saw a sign in a pet store about an animal rescue looking for dog coats and I thought, "Hey, I can crochet dog coats." Well it turned out that the rescue was asking for dog coats not for their rescues, but for dogs whose owners were having financial and housing problems.
Suddenly, my crocheting dog coats went from, "Hey, I can do that"  to, "Wow, I need to make coats that are warm, thick, adjustable, washable, and very sturdy." I also made them pretty and colorful because my philosophy is that having financial problems doesn’t mean you can’t have something nice. 
I still donate my dog coats, but suddenly my friends, co-workers, and their friends wanted me to make coats for their dogs. Then my god-daughter, who is much craftier that I, mentioned selling her crafts at a craft show. So here I am with my dog coats and coordinating scarves (because what dog wants to be seen walking with an owner wearing a scarf that doesn't match his or her coat) about to participate in my first Avant-Garde Art & Crafts Show. Joining me with her intricate ornaments and enticing cat nip toys is my god-daughter.
As for our inspiration, both of us are inspired by colors. When I’m shopping and slowly drift to the yarn department, it’s all of the beautiful colors that get my creative juices flowing. I am also inspired by the cold weather. My dog is not fond of cold weather. When it snows, he gives me a questioning side eye as if to say, “You work from home, why do we live someplace cold?” He has an impressive wardrobe of coats as a result.

Meet Denise Sutak of Designs by Denise, Just Beads...
I retired from corporate America in January 2017.  Now, my days are filled with volunteer work for the American Cancer Society (I drive patients without rides to their appointments), visiting the Cleveland Metro Parks and working on creating jewelry pieces.
I actually started crafting in my 20s when my neighborhood held art and craft classes for children during the summer months and I was always there. I had to put it aside as my children and marriage took precedence.  I took it up again once I retired. I love jewelry and believe it should be worn all the time. I believe fine pieces can be mixed with artsy pieces.  Jewelry should enhance your mood and make you smile.
I decided to start selling my jewelry when one day I made a piece of jewelry, wore it, and received many compliments.  So, I decided to give it a try.  My creative process involves putting the right colors and enhancements together comes from nature.  It takes a while to put together just the right feel.
This will be my second Avant-Garde show and I hope the attendees see from my work that my jewelry is fun, simplistic, and goes with everything!

2019 Strongsville Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday & Sunday, November 22 & 23, 2019
Strongsville Ehrnfelt Recreation Center
18100 Royalton Rd.
Strongsville, OH 44136
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on: