Craft Academy Faculty Bios
Meet celebrity crafter and Chicago native, Marisa Pawelko, winner of the CHA Indie Craft Contest and the host of America’s Next Top Crafter. Armed with a formal education in furniture design, Marisa used her talents to design products for the gift, toy, fashion and accessories markets before turning her focus to the craft industry. In 2005, sparked with an idea to create a recycled baby memento-keeper out of one of her son’s baby food jars, she founded Modern Surrealist LLC, which quickly developed an international following. Marisa enjoys inspiring crafters on her “Memoirs of a Modern Surrealist” blog with thrifty project ideas for “upcycling” ordinary objects, into extraordinary custom creations! Her work has been featured by PBS, HGTV, Illinois State Museum and in countless exhibitions and high end boutiques around the world.
Memoir’s of a Modern Surrealist Blog
Modern Surrealist Facebook Fan Page
Modern Surrealist TV
Get crafty with Marisa at the Super Show! Be sure to attend her class in the “Craft Academy” and her Creative Workshop sponsored by Westcott!
Kathy Cano-Murillo is a writer, artist, and craft product designer. She has sold her "Chicano Pop Art" crafts and products to hundreds of retailers including Bloomingdales, Target and Michaels. She has authored seven books including Crafty Chica's Guide to Artful Sewing and isthe founder of CraftyChica.com, a wildly popular site crafty lifestyle site. She has a web series on LifetimeTV.com, has been profiled in The New York Times, USA Today and NPR, and has an extensive Crafty Chica product line. Kathy's new novel, Waking Up in the Land of Glitter debuted in March of this year. Kathy lives in Phoenix, AZ, with her husband, two kids and five Chihuahuas. Her motto for life is "Crafts, drama and glitter".
Maria Nerius is a 25+ year veteran of the craft industry with a focus on designing and writing for the novice crafter. Her work has been published world-wide and her current interests include social media for the creative, embellished needlearts, and working with FaveCrafts.com as the Resident Craft Expert. She’s an author, on-air talent, and a true believer in the power of creativity.
Angela Daniels believes she has found the perfect opportunity to combine her past career experience as a corporate trainer and her lifelong passion for crafting as one of the national Lead Fiskateers for Fiskars' award winning, online community at www.fiskateers.com.
As a Lead Fiskateer, Angela has had the opportunity to meet with thousands of like-minded crafters both online and offline at crafting classes and events all over the country. Prior to becoming a Lead Fiskateer in 2008, Angela worked as an on-camera designer as well as the Executive Editor for the first online scrapbooking reality show, Scrapbook Lifestyle, sponsored by Better Homes and Garden's Scrapbooks Etc. magazine. Examples of Angela's work have been published in a wide variety of crafting and art magazines.
Cheryl Waters is a lead and founding Fiskateer – she’s #002 - since 2006. She is grateful to be a part of the Fiskars family . . . a company that loves its crafters and a community that is warm and friendly. Cheryl also works full time in law enforcement.
Crafting has always been a part of her life in one way or another. Besides teaching at several different venues as a Fiskateer in several different states, Cheryl was also a Creative Team Member at her local scrapbook store for six years. She enjoys teaching, scrapbooking, altered arts, fine art, and drawing. Cheryl is known to ‘think outside the box’ with her projects and although she enjoys all styles, her style of scrapbooking leans towards ‘Shabby Chic’
Cheryl has been published in Memory Makers Books as well as Somerset Home and Memories (formerly Legacy) on several occasions and has written articles for Stampington publications.
Cheryl resides in beautiful South Orange County, CA with her husband of 19 years and her beautiful, fun-loving eleven year old daughter. She’s always excited to meet new creative friends and encourages you to try something new and creative to beautify the world the way you know how.
Stephenie Hamen is a scrapbooker, crafter and one of those creative types. She is the Consumer Education Manager for Fiskars Americas in Madison, WI. She is one of the founding Lead Fiskateers (Fiskateer #003). Stephenie has been published and travels the country teaching and talking crafting and gardening. It is her passion and her life, as well as her job. To contact Stephenie, please email her directly at email@example.com.
Rebecca Peck is a Lead Fiskateer and one lucky gal! As a brand ambassador for Fiskars, she gets to share her love of all things crafty with people everywhere, whether it be on the Fiskateer website - www.fiskateers.com – or at crops and crafting events all over the country. She’s also an altered artist, a rubber stamper, and a seamstress whose work has appeared on the cover of, and in, various craft magazines (and the local Halloween parades). Concocting wacky Halloween costumes is one of her specialties!
Rebecca is fortunate enough to spend the rest of her time with her two kids, who just happen to share her love of crafting, and one very, very patient husband.
Tami Bayer is a longtime crafter and teacher. She's the new Lead Fiskateer for Fiskars. Her work has been published in print magazines as well as Scrapbook News and Review where she's on staff as an artist and writer. Rubber stamping, mixed media, and new techniques keep her hands messy and her heart happy. She lives in Southern California where she teaches classes locally, substitute teaches, practices yoga, ferries around a teenager, and admits that a cup of tea and a bit of chocolate are the keys to her success . You can see her work at dappledesigns.blogspot.com. Stop by the Craft Academy for a fun class with Tami sponsored by Fiskars.
The Double Stitch TwinsCrochet Fashion Designers
DOUBLE STITCH is the brainchild of the multi-talented, identical twin, crochet fashion designers, Erika & Monika Simmons. Their original collection of fun and flirty hand crochet apparel has it all - one of a kind construction, limitless use of color, plush fabrication, and silhouettes that flatter all body types.
Since the launch of their brand during Christmas 2002, DOUBLE STITCH has leapt to the top of the "ones to watch" list. They have received the Fashion Group International's Rising Star Award, the YWCA Promise Award and have appeared on ABC News, Fox Morning News, NBC, and WGN morning show. DOUBLE STITCH has also been featured in numerous publications including: Women's Wear Daily, The New York Times, Chicago Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Crochet Today Magazine, The Craft Report, Interweave Crochet magazine, Uptown magazine, Time Out Chicago, Upscale magazine, Brides Noir, and Ebony. Celebrity fans include: Academy-Award winning actress/singer, Jennifer Hudson; Grammy-Award winning singer, Patti LaBelle; Grammy-Award winning hip-hop rappers, Common and Eve; actress, Rachel True (UPN’s Half & Half), singers, Floetry, Kindred the Family Soul Artist, and Aja.
In 2008, Erika & Monika Simmons authored their first book, Double Stitch: Designs for the Crochet Fashionista (Interweave Press). The inspiring book earned DOUBLE STITCH favorable reviews and was included in Ebony magazine's December 2008 issue as a "must-give" Christmas gift.
The Double Stitch Twins made a fashionable splash in the craft world in January 2010, by taking their sophisticated and funky hand crochet style to the CHA Craft Super Show in Anaheim, California and are preparing to do it again in July 2010, with the CHA Summer Trade and Consumer Shows in Rosemont, Illinois.
The Twins continue to work on more Crafty collaborations, so keep your eyes on the DOUBLE STITCH TWINS, as their passion for "doing what they love, and sharing what they do" has always been a part of who they are and it continues to be the driving force behind all of their endeavors.
www.doublestitchtwins.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Brenda Abdoyan is a successful mixed Media Artist who has won numerous artistic design awards for her distinctive art style. She was selected to appear on Ovation Television’s "My Art Series" (March 2009) for her unique henna art skills. After a trip to the Middle East some years ago, which included a close encounter with the ancient tradition of henna tattooing --a new style blossomed from Brenda’s fingertips. She began to incorporate the curves, twists and lines of intricate henna tattoo designs into her special brand of mixed media art which she soon coined as “Bajidoo.”
Brenda is now the principal Artist & Designer for “Bajidoo Bangles”, Bajidoo, Inc. located in San Francisco, CA. A inimitable Jewelry Company that produces literally hundreds of new bangle designs every year, owned and operated by Brenda along with her partner & husband Antranik Abdoyan.
Pattie Donham Wilkinson
“She’s wild, she’s wacky and she’s got a million ideas to transform the humdrum into wow, bring new life to everyday objects, or create something that is out of this world and daringly stylish. Pattie Donham Wilkinson, an author-designer of more than 20 crafts books and magazines, veteran host of Aleene’s Creative Living, TV guest on numerous networks, and maven of creative madness known as PattieWack, has found designing and product development to her quirky liking.” -Santa Paula Times.
“Crafting is supposed to be fun, not serious,” Pattie says. Glittered high heels, a jean-upholstered recliner, decoupage mannequins and tie-dye fashions are much on the mind of Pattie, whose creations have strong touches of whimsy and imagination. Her designs have become a huge influence as Spokesperson and Design Studio Manager at the iLoveToCreate™ headquarters in Fresno, Calif.
“If I can’t glue it, I won’t do it!” Pattie says with a laugh, as she recently partnered with Sterling Publishing to author a serious glue bible entitled “The Crafter’s Guide to Glue” available at all major book retailers.
For more than 20 years Pattie - or “Pattiewack” as her friends call her - has been doing what she loves and eagerly shares her creative process with fans in her online videos and blog at PattieWack.com. Her media adventures include appearances in a video series for the Creative Home Arts club, the New York Daily News and Santa Paula Times, and TV Networks such as Lifetime, CBS, PBS, FOX, DIY, HSN, and QVC.
You’ll find Pattie at the iLoveToCreate™ CHA booth demonstrating the latest in crafting, and at the SuperShow Craft Academy from 6-6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 30 and from 3-3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, where she’ll be urging her crafty fans to “Have fun with it!”
Noreen is the popular demonstrator for Katy Sue Designs and Flower Soft.
She is seen regularly on the TV shopping channels Create and Craft and Ideal World not to mention on the company’s own TV channel www.flower-soft.tv
In her own words:
“I’ve always enjoyed crafts and hobbies and from being a little girl I was taught to sew, knit and crochet. When I got a little older I then started making gifts for Christmas etc. and enjoyed everything from making plaster of paris moulds to painting by numbers.
Having children brought knitting back into my life as did baking. Our two boys could certainly eat! That then moved on to the baking and icing of celebration cakes.
I was then lucky enough to work for Katy Sue Dolls making miniature porcelain dolls for collectors, which was a fascinating and varied job that allowed me to travel the world while exhibiting our works of art at places like New York and Japan!
Katy Sue Dolls eventually evolved into Katy Sue Designs who are the UK manufacturers of amazing craft products. When Flower Soft was invented it was not only fantastic for miniatures but also for card making, scrapbooking and once again I am travelling the world demonstrating the endless possibilities of this product.
I am always learning new techniques and ways of using Flower Soft and of course our new Flower Soft Ultra Fine is great for even smaller images, so I continue to enjoy every busy minute!”
Besides being an ardent artist and a chronic crafter, Lisa is also the Marketing Manager for C&T Publishing, a well-established publisher of books and products for quilting, fiber arts and mixed media. In addition to overseeing all of C&T’s marketing efforts, Lisa designs projects for the company that are featured in advertising and publicity efforts and are also used as sales models. She contributed designs to two C&T books—Color Your World with Princess Mirah Batiks and Cupcakes!—and her popular “DIY Wedding” projects were featured in a 2-page spread of the April 2010 issue of Crafts ‘n Things magazine.
Lisa frequently demonstrates a wide variety of art and craft techniques at national art and craft shows, and she hosts regular classes, challenges, and “craft jams” at her home and online. Visit her at www.lisalizalou.com.
Julie McGuffeeTV HOST, Designer and Author
Julie has been a host of Scrapbook Memories TV show for 12 years and has appeared frequently on a variety of TV shows, in-store videos and TV Shopping channels. She is an award winning designer and author of over 40 “how to” craft books on a variety of subjects including Decorative Painting, Jewelry Making, Creative Lettering, Silk Ribbon Embroidery and more, Julie works with a number of leading manufacturers on product development, design, education and publishing and has authored regular feature columns for industry magazines both nationally and internationally.
Colleen holds a BA in fine / graphic arts from The Tyler School Of Art. She did post graduate work at the Temple overseas campus in Rome Italy. Her career has included stints in several advertising agencies, she operated her own studio specializing in textile design for a number of years, and she has won international awards for her garment designs. Her work has been featured in several garment design trade journals. Colleen is currently the Marketing / Creative director for Philadelphia based Viva Décor US.