Jak of All Trades Fest : Cleveland, Labor Day Weekend

Got word from a friend the other day about a local Cleveland event. If you’ve seen print media in Cleveland, there’s a good chance it was done by this company. Jakprints will host the local festival at its headquarters located in Cleveland’s MidTown district on Saturday, September 3rd from 12pm to 7pm. This free family-friendly event will feature:

* Live bands & DJs
* A street-course style skate park
* Popular local food trucks: Dim and Dem Sum, Umami Moto and StrEAT
* Pop-up stores and a fashion show
* A live, all-day art installation, as well as other art exhibits and hands-on activities
* A complimentary beer garden from event sponsors
* Tours of Jakprints cutting-edge and eco-friendly facilities

There will be many other activities for children under 14 that include games, crafts, a kids’ chalk area, the Big Fun squirt gun zone and special skateboarding hours for the kids.

Jakprints is committed to making a better Cleveland, so, in addition to providing a full day of entertainment to guests, the festival will feature a charity raffle that benefits MidTown Cleveland Incorporated and Community Greenhouse Partners. Participants can win an HP TouchPad, tickets to concerts and professional sporting events, as well as gift cards and gift baskets from local businesses.

Jak of All Trades Fest is open to the public but attendees must RSVP by Sunday, August 28th. Full event details and the online RSVP form can be found at: http://www.jakprints.com/joat. We also have the event up on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=170168303048578.

So if you’re in town why not go celebrate…free is always good.

From jakprints:Jakprints specializes in full color printing, custom apparel printing and sticker production. Always taking a personal approach to customer service, westrive to help customers by providing highest quality service and merchandise


Help The Great Adventure

There is an amazing family that has children at the school I work at.  One of their children has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  Instead of letting this chronic illness wear them down, the family has gone on a very proactive journey.  They created a non-profit called John Owen’s Great Adventure, Inc. to raise funds for organizations in order to fund research for cures for neuromuscular illnesses, and to raise more awareness.  If you’re a local Clevelander, one of their biggest fundraisers is a picnic with lots of raffles, auctions,  a texas hold em’ tournament, live music and other fun events.

I’m sending these goodies off as prizes, so if you want to win them go give some money to the cause!

There are a lot of amazing items being raffled or auctioned off including VIP concert tickets, a laptop, artwork, sports memorabilia, and more!The raffle list is simply staggering!
The picnic takes place on Friday July 29, 2011 from 5-11 p.m. at German Central, 7863 York Road, Parma Ohio  It would make a great way to spend one of your Summer evenings, and wouldn’t it be even better to know your entertainment money will go to such a great cause!



MOCA Winter/Spring 2011 Opening

I am super excited about the new installations that will be opening up at MOCA, Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art for the 2011 Winter and Spring seasons. I dropped off some work recently to the museum shop and I managed to get a sneak peek at the Blind Landscape exhibit by Teresita Fernández. Her large sculptures and wall installations are breathtakingly beautiful and the stainless steel and graphite were striking in contrast to the stark white walls of MOCA.

There will also be, what no doubt will be a thought-provoking and moving film by Javier Téllez, Letter on the Blind, for the Use of Those Who See. The filmmaker documented the experiences of six blind people as they touched and interacted with an elephant. Imagine the perceptions without the use of sight.

Also on display will be Passive Voices by Lori Ott, with resins and found objects combining.

The opening takes place on Friday, January 28 and is totally free.

Cuyahoga Challenge 2010

It’s no secret that the greater Cleveland/Akron area has a truly stunning park system. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park has tons of wildlife, flora and fauna, plenty of activities, natural attractions and miles of hiking trails. It’s easy to find a trail or portion of the park near your home to visit. However, because of the parks size it’s also easy to not be aware of all the hidden gems within the park. If you’d like to discover a new trail, or explore different regions of the park embrace the Cuyahoga Challenge. Between June 1, 2010 and September 30, 2010 hike ten of twelve designated trail segments and you can then turn in a challenge registration form (like a checkoff sheet) to earn a commemorative patch designed by local artist, Chuck Ayers.
It’s an excellent way to get an overview of some very unique natural areas.

The Screw Factory (Lake Erie Building) Artists Open Studios May 1

I’m delighted that I was invited to participate in the upcoming Open Studios at the Lake Erie Building, as I’m a huge fan of the space and the artists that fill it. I’m snagging the details right off off facebook to share with you so you can attend too:

The Screw Factory Artists are opening their studios once again for a spring open studio event. It will be held on Saturday, May 1st from 1-8pm. The event is free and open to the public.

The Screw Factory Artists work in the Lake Erie Building on the edge of Bird Town in Lakewood, Ohio. Mediums vary including fiber, ceramics, glass, mosaics, photography, paintings, sculpture and more.

For this event the artists are hosting an auction of Birdtown related artwork. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the Friends of Madison Park. Organized in 2007, FOMP has established itself as a neighborhood based community group. Membership is open to any Lakewood resident who cares about enhancing Madison Park as a “backyard park” for children and families.

Participating resident artists include: Ann Brown, Gina DeSantis, Robert Durr, Katie Hanrahan, Chad Hansen, Michael Hudecek, Karen Jewell-Kett, Phyllis Kohring Fannin, Marc Konys, Michelle Mowery, M.C. Nagel, Mary Beth Norton, Martin O’Connor, Shannon Okey, Steven Ollay, Ann Onusko, Arabella Proffer, Ursula Ryan, Kari Sanford, Kate Tobin & Dorene Warner.

Visiting artists include: Kathryn Patton (Smashing), Ruth Sholtis-Furyes, & Valerie Tyler.

A complete list of visiting artists can be found at http://www.screwfactoryartists.com.

The Lake Erie Building is located within the Templar Industrial Park at 13000 Athens Avenue, Lakewood, 44107. A map can be found on the website as well. Ample parking is available.In honor of the Birdtown auction, I will be bringing many of my new bird inspired pieces such as this one on renewable tagua nut.

Make a Blanket Brunch

Today I had the pleasure of joining in on an event hosted by my friend, Mary, who is the proprietress of Cherub’s Blankets and makes super soft, organic baby blankets. As part of her company’s efforts to support the community Mary hosted a blanket making event to benefit Project Linus and the Hitchcock Center for Women.

Here’s a few photos to show the progress and a couple of the successful results.
You can also visit Cherub’s Blankets find out more about Mary’s philosophies and sustainable efforts.

Reasons to Love Cleveland that make me #HappyinCLE (aka WTForbes!)

So have you heard the latest news, as if first deciding that we have the worst weather in the country wasn’t enough Forbes had to declare Cleveland as the most miserable city in the nation as well. Forbes author, Kurt Badenhausen, is such a creative writer that his supposed-to-be engaging topic sentence referenced the Cuyahoga River Fire of 1969. Really Kurt, you couldn’t research a little further than that over-used piece of trivia?

Ready Clevelanders?….on the count of 3 stick out those tongues, thumb your nose and blow raspberries at Forbes stupidity. Then when you’re done acting the same age as Forbes, you can resume your miserable life, in your miserable affordable home, eating your miserably delicious locally grown food, watch your miserably talented sports teams, or visit one of the many arts, cultural or music venues that are so hopping and full of life that it’s enough to make any grinch miserable. Goodness, how can we stand all the vitality of this city?

While you’re at it, visit Whattheforbes.com with your miserable attitude and share why Forbes really missed the mark. You can also join in the multitudes of Clevelanders who are adding #HappyinCLE to all their twitter tweets (See Forbes, how could so much chirping ever be miserable?) and let’s watch how great Cleveland is quickly become a trending topic on Twitter.

I wrote an article in 2007 entitled Things That Make Me Love Cleveland, and it created a bit of net chatter. I figured now would be a wonderful time to update that list with a few classic oldies, and a few new goodies.
Here’s a whole slew of reasons why I love Cleveland:

Our Arts Scene
We have grassroots organizations like Cleveland Handmade that brings local artists togetehr to socialize, build and share their art. We have cool art festivals and art walks like The Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival and Sparx gallery hop and both the Tremont and Little Italy Art Walks. Do I need to even mention The Cleveland Orchestra and Playhouse Square, not to mention dozens of smaller community theaters, orchestras and choirs.

Our Food and Drink
We have some of the best dining values in the country, excellent food, marvelous chefs, and a plethora of bars and lounges. Have you checked out Cleveland Independents to discover a new favorite lately? Or realized how many great microbreweries are right in your own neighborhood such as the newer Indigo Imp?

Our Sports
LeBron James (enough said!) but really, we could go on and on about the fans and talent in this city.

Our Philanthropy
Did you know The Cleveland Foundation is one of the five largest community foundations? (2008 Chronicle of Philanthropy) and the number of grantmaking organizations in Cleveland has more than tripled in the last three decades? It doesn’t mean that there still isn’t need in Cleveland (as their is everywhere) but it does show that Clevelanders open their pocket books to help those in need as much as they can.

Our Green Scene
We love our green in Cleveland, from the Cleveland Metroparks to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and our Metroparks Zoo, there is no shortage of gorgeous green spaces to enjoy. The city is actually going “greener too” as evidenced by Positively Cleveland’s list of 75 Green Things in Cleveland.

It’s the little things that make Cleveland so great though, the things that apparently you have to live her to notice and appreciate, or at least have a really good tour guide to show you. Things like the pierogis at Sokolowski’s , the stunning patio and indoor bocce ball court at Stone Mad, a halloween tour through Franklin Castle, a night bike ride through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, running into familiar faces when you are out and about the town, Angelo’s Pizza in Lakewood (simply the best pizza in the world), or watching a sunset on the rocks at Edgewater.

Cleveland Bridge Project, 2009

Parade the Circle 2007
Want to read a few more blogger reactions to Forbes apparent vendetta against our beloved city? Here’s some more great reading material to incense you even more:
Cleveland’s a Plum
Brewed Fresh Daily
Cleveland.com blog
Railbird J. Slim
Definitely check out this video from Something Dada as well!

Cleveland Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Winter Farmer’s Markets

I talk so much about sustainability, and eating fresh locally sourced foods. That can be a bit tough here in Ohio, in the middle of one of our typically frozen winters.

However, the Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy does still operate a few winter farmer’s markets giving you the opportunity to purchase locally sourced food.

Upcoming dates are: February 20, March 20 & April 17
9a.m. to noon at Happy Days Lodge, 500 W. Streetsboro Road, Peninsula

The Greening of Cleveland. Looking Forward to a Sustainable Future.

Not too long ago I posted an article about Cleveland ranking #16 in a study of 50 cities for sustainability. Recently I came across an article on The Positively Cleveland Blog which compiled a great list of ways business, non-profits and other organizations throughout the city are trying to be greener and more sustainable. The post included not only information about the RTA Healthline’s hybrid vehicles, and the Cleveland Metropark Zoos extensive recycling efforts, but also fun facts about companies such as the Great Lakes Brewing Co. Fatty Wagon shuttle bus that runs on the restaurant’s grease. Definitely check out the post to discover many of the other ways Cleveland is going greener.

If you want to make your own small impact (or big impact if you create a habit) check out SustainLane’s local Action Challenge. You pick a sustainable activity from their list of ideas, take a photo of yourself completing the challenge activity and then upload it for the chance to win prizes. Are you photo shy? You can at least check it out

Valerie Tyler Designs has been nominated for a Poppy Award!

I’m very excited to sat that Valerie Tyler Designs has been nominated for a poppy award. If you have enjoyed my jewelry, or love the style please take a second to go visit this link and cast a vote for Valerie Tyler. Thanks!