A Peek in the Closet…

Linda Zoundas – Petal Patch

“Welcome to Petal Patch. The idea for Petal Patch blossomed from a simple gesture. I wanted to make a unique Valentine’s Day gift for the little girls in my life. I came across a sweet headband while antiquing, but it just wasn’t quite right; it needed more. More color, more sparkle, more pizazz. It needed to be completely one of a kind. I took an old sweater, started cutting, attached to a headband and the Petal Patch Recycled Headband was born. The popularity of Petal Patch headbands took off. All the neighbor girls wanted one, then their friends, cousins and so on. I have expanded product offerings to include headbands, ear-warmers, fingerless gloves, infinity scarves, handbags and pins. Each decorative flower is made from recycled fibers (retired sweaters and the like). I search thrift shops, bazaars and second hand shops for high quality, vibrant colored wools and cashmeres. Each item is then hand cut, sewn and assembled with the help of family members. Petal Patch provides one-of-a-kind recycled fiber products in a variety of textures, colors and styles.”

Mary Hegarty – Gourd Artist

“I am a decorative painter; all of my pieces are designed and painted by me. I have painted on wood, done custom painted furniture, and since discovering gourds years ago- have chosen them as a primary medium. I’ve sold my work in galleries and shops, locally and outside of Ohio and have participated in area art shows over the past 25 years. I was also co-owner of two area galleries where I sold my work as well. Dried hard shell gourds share many of the same properties of durability and longevity as wood. I prep and paint them the same as I did my wood pieces- and cut and carve them using the same tools as for wood working. I grow some myself, as well as purchase already – dried/cured gourds from farms in the southern states. Gourds are a fun medium to work with; because of their various shapes and sizes – they become an artistic inspiration in and of themselves. I make purses, bowls, vessels, figures, lamps, ornaments and jewelry all out of dried gourds. I have taken some art classes- but am a primarily a self-taught artist. I am also a Registered Nurse and work at a Cleveland area hospital.”

Annie Berry – Zensational Organics LLC

“My name is Annie Berry and I started Zensational Organics four years ago….but many years earlier I developed a passion for healthy living and prevention. I feel that there are too many chemicals and additives in products and with our skin being only 1/10th of an inch thick. Which is pretty thin, right? That makes it easy for whatever we put on our skin to make a beeline right into our bloodstream. I wanted to do something about that after a ton of research. Definitely organic since ‘natural’ can still have herbicides and pesticides etc… hidden in the oils, butters and essential oils. I can go on and on. Come see me and introduce yourself at Mrs. Claus’ Closet. I can’t wait to meet you! I will have a lot of product and will have my new additions with me. A non-toxic deodorant ‘Freshly Undercover’ made with magnesium and ‘Face JAM’ an oil cleansing method for teenage skin. It’s unbelievably awesome. Products: Deodorant, Face Wash, Rescue Lip Balm, Nuzzlers, Whippity Bobbidy Boo (body butter), Sugar scrubs, salt and sugar scrubs, bath bombs, wax melts (definitely not soy). Zensational’s Version of Thieves Room Spray, Rescue Lotion, Awesome Salve and of course many Organic Soaps and Foaming Soaps.”

alexander-draven-the-excb-1Alexander Draven – The ExCB

Alexander Draven of The ExCB is a watchmaker and metalsmith who creates one of a kind pieces using only hand tools from sterling silver and other metals. From the corset and nail rings that forged his initial collection while attending the Myers School of Art to numerous commissions, including one of a kind wedding / engagement sets, he has steadily expanded not only his line, but also his customer base from northeast Ohio to a national audience. You can find him online at www.TheExCB.com and @TheExCB on social media platforms.

Lynn McAleer – Wicked Stitch of the West

“My love of ‘OZ’ gave me the idea of ‘Wicked Stitch of the West’ as the soulful expression of my work. As Wicked Stitch of the West, I create ‘Art for the Body.’ Recycling sweaters, shirts and denim is different from other forms of sewing in that you don’t just buy endless rolls of fabric. First you have to hunt down good samples; cut and configure according to size, then you find yourself with small, irregularly shaped pieces that you have assemble into a cohesive unit. It can be a bit of a jigsaw puzzle; I use every scrap I can! I like how it engages both your sense of adventure and your geometry skills. Each sweater, shirt or denim project takes me on its own little journey….Plus, recycling is good for the spirit. Once I have my ‘pile’ of washed items (8-10 depending on size and colors) I then choose the color thread that compliments best and set up my Overlock/Serger (a special type sewing machine that uses four spools of thread, cuts the edge of the fabric, then loops and locks the stitches) This makes the piece very sturdy, I do my best to hand tie and machine sew spots that need reinforcement. If you happen to see a loose string; tie it and cut it. Each coat, skirt, hoodie, shrug or tank top is unique and each body is unique. I am always impressed at how many body types can look good in the same outfit. The sweater coats are pretty versatile; every sweater has a different amount of stretch, which can add up to 6 or even 10 inches to the measurements. I give the un-stretched measurements. The tie belt makes sweaters very adaptable and flattering. The cotton and denim coats have stretch but not as much. Due to the unique qualities of each sweater or shirt, just about everything I make is going to end up being one-of-a-kind. Color schemes may be similar but each will be a bit different. I love fashion, crafting, the arts, and creating unique works of wearable art; especially this up-cycle trend. My clothes are magical, fun and funky. Nothing is ‘perfect,’ but everything is hand made with great care and will not fall apart! There might be imperfections in the recycled materials….these give the garment a unique character. I adore using vintage ‘finds’ in a new way!”

Beverly Vinch & Laurie Vinch – Washed Ashore Jewelry, LLC

“Related by marriage, bound by friendship, we are sisters in law. Years of beach glass & shipwreck pottery collecting along the shores of Lake Erie, combined with an experienced metal smith and jewelry designer, led to an ah-ha moment one seaside family vacation. Born was Washed Ashore Jewelry in 2010. We create beautifully unique and always one of a kind beach glass and shipwreck pottery designs. By color and pattern, some of our found pieces can be dated back to the early 1800’s, released by sunken ships that have met their demise in the shallow and treacherous waters of Lake Erie. Over the years, these pieces have been naturally broken and tumbled by the water and surf, ultimately Washing Ashore to our north coast beaches. Our designs are enhanced with sterling silver, Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls, semi-precious gemstones and charms.” Website: www.washedashorejewelry.com

Belinda Darr – Studio B

“I live in Northeast Ohio where it is cold and unless you ski you craft…I don’t ski. I’ve been NOT skiing since I was in grade school when my Mom taught me how to sew. I grew to love color and fabrics and spent 16 years as a buyer for a major department store. I found Etsy 6 years ago and have been having fun creating bags that have been sent to over 27 countries and 48 out of 50 states. My favorite bags are those that are vintage inspired with metal frames-imagine the bags that Claire Crawley of Downton Abby would carry- but with a modern twist. My favorite fabrics follow the same feeling- burn out velvets, tapestry etc. I also make many contemporary styles- drawstrings, buckets and satchels using many upholstery inspired fabrics. Each bag is designed and handmade in my workshop in Fairlawn, OH by me. My vision is to create affordable, colorful well-made bags that you can carry every day. I’m always trying new things and would love to hear from you. If you visit and like my FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/StudioBD you will get up to date information on shows and boutiques I will be doing.”

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