Perfect Pleasures, Whimsical Creatures for the Garden

John Kavosick can barely keep up with business these days.  His business, Perfect Pleasures, has taken wings.  And it’s no wonder!  With the adorable ladybugs, mosquitos and dragonflies in his collection, his business should take off!

dragon fly

John works out of a van crafting these whimsical little creatures of copper and brass.  He creates the dies which he uses to make  the ornaments and he hand cuts the wings.   He then paints them, using an airbrush.

“Their legs are chimes which dangle down so when a breeze blows, you’ll hear them chiming throughout your garden,” shared John.

cat

In addition to the bugs, John also has cats and dogs in his collection.  Each of the creatures, which are all about 3″ x 4″,  comes on a metal post to stick in the ground so they can be displayed throughout the garden,  along a walkway or any place you’d like to add a sense of whimsy!

“My ornaments aren’t made out of plastic, like many garden ornaments.  They’re carefully crafted out of metal, so they’ll last for years!”

Hop on down to visit John Kavosick and Perfect Pleasures at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival from July 17-19, 2009.

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Crystal Creations, Weaving Earth’s Treasures into Jewelry

Wendy Miller, owner of Crystal Creations,  has always been an energetic and creative person who likes to keep busy.  Today, not only does she do hairdressing and work at Clifton Springs Hospital, but she also creates stunning jewelry pieces  of gemstones, pearls, crystals, semi-precious stones and woven wire.

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“Each of my pieces takes at least 15 feet of wire to create the handwoven chains.  On some of the pieces, I weave as many as 300 crystals into the chain design.  You can imagine how long that takes!” she laughed.

Many of her pieces also incorporate pearls that she buys from China and Malaysia.

“The new pieces that I’m adding to my line this year have mother of pearl coins as their centerpiece, and they are really lovely. ”

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When Wendy creates a piece, she selects the gemstone she wants to use and then works her magic around the stone, using it as the centerpiece.  She selects the wire color, the crystals, pearls and other adornments based on the color,  shape and size of the gemstone.  Many of her pieces have a magical aura of the Renaissance about them.

“When I go to the festival, my stepdaughter often comes with me.  She makes children’s crystal name bracelets onsite, often customizing the bracelets for each child.  The kids and parents love it! ”

Be sure to stop by Wendy’s Crystal Creations at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival where her jewelry is affordable, handcrafted, one-of-a-kind works of art.

Madeline Forster, Golden Voice Reminiscent of the Golden Age of Jazz

If you close your eyes and listen to Madeline Forster‘s sweet, rich voice caressing the lyrics to songs such as “Willow Weep for Me” and “Dream a Little Dream of Me,”  don’t be surprised if you’re transported back to a 1940’s style supper club.   The lovely songstress from Fairport, NY has always been inspired by legendary female jazz vocalists from the Golden Age of Jazz such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn. 

Just You, Just Me by Madeline Forster

Just You, Just Me by Madeline Forster

Her many followers might be shocked to know that for a time, she thought of giving up music in favor of psychology.

“I enjoyed music all my life, but it wasn’t until my first year of college that I realized how much I missed music and singing.  I took vocal jazz lessons and started singing professionally my senior year.”

Now, Madeline Forster can be heard performing at clubs and restaurants throughout Rochester, and can be seen regularly at The Little Theatre Cafe and at Bistro 135.  Madeline was also invited to perform at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival this year.

Her first album, Just You, Just Me was released in April to critical acclaim and she happily shared, “”I’m delighted that it’s done better than I could even have imagined!”  Just You, Just Me is available through her website and also at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CD Baby and Record Archives.  CLICK HERE for samples of her music.

You can enjoy the golden voice of  Madeline Forster as she performs with her band at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival on Saturday, July 17, 2009 at 3:15 PM.

Pat’s Crystal Nail Files – Great Designs, Smooth Lines

Pat Hostetter first began painting crystal nail files six years ago after seeing them at a craft show.

Many flower designs are available

Many floral designs are available

“She loved the nail files, but didn’t like any of the designs, so she decided to start painting her own,” laughs her son Shane, who also works in the business with her.  Together, they exhibit Pat’s Crystal Nail Files at more than 100 shows each year from as far south as South Carolina to as far north as Massachusetts.

angelset“We import the blank files from the Czech Republic where they’re created through a special acid-dipping process, and then my Mother hand paints each crystal nail file using small brushes, so each one is unique.”

Pat has a wide assortment of popular designs and she also does custom work, painting logos for businesses, sports teams and colleges as well as peoples’ names on the nail files.

“We guarantee that the crystal nail files will never wear out or get dull.  Bacteria will not build up on them and  they won’t rip up your nails like other files. People try our nail files and they’re sold on them!”

The crystal nail files can be purchased individually, or in a set that includes a  3 1/2″ travel size, a 5 1/2″ manicure file and a 7 1/2″ pedicure file that works great to smooth calluses.

Be sure to stop by and say hello to Shane Hostetter who’ll be exhibiting a large assortment of Pat’s Crystal Nail Files at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival!

The Negative World of Dewey Fladd, Finger Lakes Photography of Everyday Life

Dewey Fladd’s perspective on the world comes from having the trained eye of a photojournalist.  If you view  the photos on his website, Negative World of Dewey Fladd, you’ll see an attention to detail and a quest for quality that comes from studying the great Masters such as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston.

"Steamy Morning" on Keuka Lake

"Steamy Morning" on Keuka Lake

In many of his photos, you’ll also see a sense of humor, and that’s Dewey’s personal take on the world.

The majority of photos in his collection showcase the Finger Lakes region.  

“I have photos from my travels, but photographers from New York City and other places asked me why I would want to live here in the Finger Lakes, so I decided to show them. Everywhere I look, I see hundreds of things to photograph… parades…festivals…drive-ins….”

He began focusing his photography on the subjects of everyday life, especially themes of Americana,  in the small towns across the Finger Lakes region.

"VFW" Winter Nightscape in Canandaigua, NY

"VFW" Winter Nightscape in Canandaigua, NY

Dewey develops his own prints using archival photo paper which gives him control of the quality and the  vibrant colors found throughout his work.

He will be displaying framed and unframed works in various sizes, as well as notecards at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival, and he invites you to stop by and look for your town within his collection.

Ms. Sticks, Life Story on a Stick

Every person has a story, but how often is it really shared visually? 

Debi prepares the wood for a story

Debi prepares the wood for a story

 In 1996, Debi Hitter, known as Ms. Sticks, hit upon a novel way to display an individual’s  life stories when she was hiking in the woods of North Carolina  collecting branches.  A friend showed her how to do woodburning, and that opened a door into a new art form for Debi.

Each stick is custom designed

Each stick is one-of-a-kind

She began crafting “Life History Sticks,” walking sticks decorated with the stories of people’s lives…the names of offspring, place  born, hobbies and favorite sports teams…pictures of the sentimental details of that person’s life.  Her sticks are often given as gifts for hallmark occasions such as 50th birthdays or retirment parties.  But not always.

She created one Life Stick for a man who had 12 children.  Many of his life’s momentous occasions took place in a car… closing a bridge when his RV broke down in the middle…losing the family’s luggage off the top… getting stuck in a blizzard and having to leave Mom and the kids in the car to go for help.  Imagine all this captured on a walking stick!

Eagle Scout Sticks commemorate a landmark

Eagle Scout Sticks commemorate a landmark

One of Debi’s popular items is her Eagle Scout Sticks on which she engraves all the badges a young man has earned, along with other reminders of his youth.  Her sticks are also used by cancer survivors to inspire healing, stories which Debi shares on her website.

Each of the Life History Sticks is personally customized and typically take 2 to 3 weeks to complete, but she has a large assortment of one-of-a-kind pieces at her shows as well.

Debi invites everyone to come down to the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival to be a part of the artists’ and musicians’ lives and worlds and to  have a great time!