Scranton Cultural Center's "Buy Local" Holiday Market: Vendor Spotlight

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Scranton Cultural Center's "Buy Local" Holiday Marketplace is fast approaching and we are excited to share a sneak peak at some of the creative vendors that will be setting up shop there.  We'll be sharing more vendor features in the weeks to come.

Meet Kiss Me Awake's Elizabeth Guerrero

Tell us a little about your company and what inspired you to start it.

Kiss me awake is a shabby chic wedding shop that provides one-hundred-billion-percent customizable accessories and decor that will forever help you remember how you FELT on your wedding day. I was inspired to start kiss me awake because I had so much fun making things for my own wedding that I just didn't want to stop after the big day!

What items will you be featuring at the Buy Local holiday market?
My bridal jewelry is designed to be cute for any girl and occasion, not just for weddings, so I'll have the earrings, bracelets, and hair pins currently up in my Etsy shop. I also have a bunch of brand new headband designs that I'll be debuting at the Buy Local holiday market, which I'm super excited about. Make sure you stop by to check out my fun home accents and holiday decorations, too!

What is your most popular item?

My most popular item for weddings is my shabby chic photo garland, but at craft shows my earrings and embellished bobby pins tend to go really fast. I just love helping people find unique and useful gifts for their family and friends!

How can people find you?

This holiday season, I'll be at:
Blue Ridge High School Craft Fair, New Milford, PA, November 17
Buy Local Holiday Market, Scranton Cultural Center, November 25
Summit Christian Academy Craft Show, Clarks Summit, December 1
Runway and Trunk Show, Misericordia University, December 8

Follow kiss me awake

Meet Alchemy Home Company's Stacy Giovannucci

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services and products you provide.

Alchemy Home Company is a Scranton based “green” cleaning service and perfumery that specializes in personalized organic cleaning products to create a sparkling clean home.

Using meticulous attention to detail and an eye toward functionality and atmosphere, Alchemy transforms your home.  At Alchemy Home Company, we assess the needs of the space and the desires of the client to create highly individualized gorgeous scents and super efficient organic cleaning products that elevate the atmosphere of your home and enrich your interaction with your space.

In addition to our organic cleaning products we offer handcrafted organic perfume. The newest limited edition Alchemy scents are based on the tarot. We also create custom blended perfumes.

 What is your favorite product?

Our all purpose cleaner is amazing! Its available unscented for people with allergies or can be custom blended. We use it on everything in our homes!

What items will you be featuring at the Buy Local holiday market?

We will have a selection of our favorite Alchemy all purpose cleaners, our Brazilian sea salt decorative aromatherapy salts (which come in a set with a stunning hand cast tile from Jenn Bell designs, our brand new delicate laundry wash, gift certificates and other yummy treats!

How can people find you?

We are currently working with a fantastic local designer on creating our web site. Our organic dry shampoo and hair refresher spray is available at Outrageous in Wilkes-Barre. The best way to reach us is to pop onto our facebook page and send a message or email.

Thanks to Elizabeth and Stacy for sharing!

Interested in being a vendor?  There's still time to sign up. If you have any questions, contact

Introducing ScrantonMade Designer Samantha Nardelli

Saturday, October 20, 2012

In our eyes she’s the most important part of ScrantonMade; she has created all the logos, stickers, banners, avatars, icons and web designs for ScrantonMade. Let’s give her a round of applause folks, introducing Samantha Nardelli of Samantha Nardelli Designs.

Hello Sam!

I see you’re currently enrolled at Marywood University, what are you studying?  

I'm currently in my 5th and final year in the Art Dept for Graphic Design.

What are some of the challenges balancing freelance work while attending school full time?

Depending on what I have going on, it can be very difficult to go to class 4-5 days a week, work a part time job 20+ hours a week, and do freelance work. Then there's the social life thing; I don't have one of those. When it comes to balancing all of that, I find myself usually picking my freelance work over everything. I'm definitely not a role model when it comes to balancing with school. Luckily my professors are real supportive of me trying to make a name for myself and I always keep them informed of my opportunities so it tends to work out.

However, this semester I made the decision to let go of my part time job and go completely freelance. It has only been a couple of weeks but it feels like everything is just working out perfectly! (knock on wood) I always have a million and a half things going on and it’s nice that now I can do more of what I love instead of just trying to fit it in between work days. Now, I don’t even really consider what I do work, it’s just another day. I always look forward to sitting down and designing and coming up with ideas. 

Aside from all the designs you have provided us, what other creative outlets do you pursue?

I'm always testing out new creative ideas and new ways to do old things. A constant that I have is bookmaking. I love the craftsmanship of books, the whole process in general. And I'm always trying to come up with more unique ways of making/designing the covers.

I discovered bookmaking when I was sick of looking at all of the scrap papers on my desk from notes and lists. I needed a better way to organize things. I am the most unorganized organized person. It's funny though, even after about 2 years of playing around with bookmaking, I end up not wanting to use the books because I like them so much. So I still use paper scraps for my notes. 

What type of custom services do you provide and where can people find you?

I offer all graphics services and I’m everywhere! Even though I don’t necessarily harness all of the social media that’s out there, I’m still on everything. I’m currently working on a new website for myself. The best ways right now (to contact me) are facebook and email (See below).The biggest thing for me right now is to not say "No, I can't/won't do that." I won't say that I'm heavily proficient in everything I do (yet!), but that is why every job is a learning experience. It’s one more client, one more type of job (whether it's billboards, print jobs, or web jobs). If it's something I've never heard of before or have never tried of before, it doesn’t matter. I'll research the crap out of it until I get it and get it done right. There are a lot of designers out there who specialize in only print media or web design. I like to say I can do both! Plus I just really like trying new things and that’s why I do what I do because it’s constantly evolving and I really feel like design and succeeding in design is limitless.

What do you like most about graphic design?  How long have you been designing?

I love everything about it! I officially started selling products and services in 2010, but I've always been an artistic person. Throughout middle school and high school my big thing was painting and pastels. The more I learn about design and the traditional ways of doing things, the more I realize I can literally do anything I want. It’s so open! I get bored doing the same thing over and over again and I can’t say that I always stick to one thing. (like with book making). And at least right now, I don’t mind changing my style and logo every so often, I like to think it makes me versatile. Maybe one day I’ll find a process I like more than all of them and I’ll stick with that, but I guess we’ll see. : )

What will you be featuring on Scranton Made?  

I haven't screen printed anything in a long time and I keep hearing good feedback about the illustration I created for ScrantonMade so ….Ta Da! Prints. They are going to be 13 x 36 which is an odd, but cool looking size. I am also going to offer a handmade frame option. The part time job I mentioned earlier was a custom framing position. So I also like to build and assemble frames. I’ll also be featuring a new book series I’m working on.

Available for purchase here:

Company Name and website:
Samantha Nardelli Designs

Short Bio:
All things graphic arts.

Favorite Blogs to read:

Design You Trust
A Beautiful Mess
I love Typography
PS, I Made This
Computer Arts

Favorite Magazines:
Anything ‘How’ related
Print Magazine

FB: Samantha Nardelli
Instagram: @samanthanardelli
Pinterest: SamNardelli

Makin' It: A Simple Fall Scrap Fabric Garland

Saturday, October 13, 2012
Welcome to our very first d.i.y. craft post on this blog.  We've been so busy with the ScrantonMade artists and have finally had the time to get crafty ourselves.  We can't wait to bring you lots and lots of easy and fun crafts here on the blog.

I'm something of a vintage fabric hoarder.  I do everything from wrapping gifts, to sewing, to decoupaging luggage with it.  Today's project will show you how to take pretty fabric scraps and make an easy and cheap garland to decorate your space for fall.  I love that the fabrics I chose will take me through both Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Let's dive in.

First gather together some fabric, yarn (twine will work as well) and some scissors. I chose two complimentary floral fabrics and an old scrap of white tablecloth fabric.

Cut your fabric into long strips.  I didn't worry about cutting in clean lines as I wanted my garland have a soft and organic feel.

Then decide on the length you want for your garland. I varied between 1 and 1-1/2 foot long strips of fabric and made each about 1-1/2" wide.

I made my garland about 6 feet long with each fabric scrap spaced about 1/4" inch apart. I tied each piece of fabric onto with a loose knot.

I added the white fabric scraps last, as an accent, once it was already hung on the wall.

We hope you enjoy this simple way to make your home feel more seasonal without spending a lot of money.

Like this project?  I've got enough fabric and yarn left over for one more garland. Leave a comment to be entered into a contest to win a package of everything you need to make one for yourself!

- Chrissy

Introducing ScrantonMade Artist Annie Cadden of Fisher Cat Fiber Company

Saturday, October 6, 2012
We're so excited to introduce ScrantonMade eco-artist Annie Cadden of Fisher Cat Fiber Company. Annie's work is innovative and unique yet environmentally sound and sustainable. We can't wait to feature her work in ScrantonMade shop!

Hi Annie!

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and occupation.

My educational background is in music and recreational therapies. I have worked in the healthcare field since the 80’s, incorporating music and art whenever possible. When working at Community Medical Center in Scranton I taught a patient how to weave on an Inkle loom to help with pain management and her anxiety. She actually purchased her own loom for home before discharge. Currently I work in the day habilitation department at The Center for Discovery, a non-profit organization located on two beautiful organic farms in the Catskill Mountains. The Center uses a nature, art and music based curriculum to assist individuals with various disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Describe the different types of products that you make.

Currently my focus has been on upcycled rugs.  The rugs are woven on a vintage Union loom from the 1940s, traditionally used for rag rugs. They are woven from plastic bags,
T-shirts, factory seconds, various wool, cotton or other materials left over from previous projects. The warp threads are also from a weaver’s collection of colors he no longer wanted. The challenge is making the fibers and threads compatible enough to pull 15 or more rugs off the loom at a time. 

In addition to the rugs and seasonal scarves, I truly enjoy making felted market bags. I only make a handful a year. They are made from scrap pieces of wool from various projects, both hand spun and commercial yarn in many different colors. I never follow a pattern and the materials are limited so no two are ever alike. What they are actually going to look like is a mystery until they go through the felting process.

What is hand spinning and what led you to it?

Hand Spinning is the art of creating yarn or thread from various fibers (wool, cotton, silk, etc.) on a drop spindle or traditionally a spinning wheel. It is making a huge resurgence right now. I was introduced to spinning through the Woodlawn Weavers & Spinners Guild which meets in Damascus PA,  I have been a member for over 15 years. Initially I joined because I always wanted to learn to weave but ended up spinning instead, weaving came later. Spinning wool on a spinning wheel is very meditative and truly is the most relaxing thing I do in my busy life.

What is your favorite piece you have created?

My favorite piece is a messenger bag made from Icelandic wool I purchased from a local farmer. I knitted it in the roving (un-spun) and felted it. It was a deep chocolate brown, the natural color of the sheep. Unfortunately I do not have a photo to share, it sold at my first gallery show three years ago.

We love the idea of the T-shirt rug. Can you describe how that works?

Most of us have T-shirts that we just get tired of, are stretched or worn out, don’t fit, etc. Sometimes they’re not good enough to give away or we’re too attached to part with. I will take your T’s and weave you a rug.  The shirts are cut into strips and woven like a traditional rag rug on the loom. More recently I have been crocheting them into oval or round area rugs. 

What do you enjoy most about owning a small handmade business?

Having complete freedom to create!  From a business perspective it has been a tremendous learning experience. I enjoy networking with others and challenging myself.

All of your products seem to be inherently eco-friendly. What are some of the challenges in running such an environmentally conscious business?

Colors and sizes, it has been difficult to promote the same color rug for online markets when creating from an inconsistent source. Therefore you will only see 2 or 3 color varieties of rugs offered online. However at events I am able to bring along a larger variety with more color options. Having warp threads in many colors but limited amounts adds to the color challenge of the rugs. I also have had many requests for larger rugs; however the loom I use can only go to a certain width. I can go to a yarn store, buy a pattern and some gorgeous yarn to make an amazing product, but with FCFC the challenge is to take the materials available to you and create from there.

How do you source your materials?

I get most of my materials from family, friends, guild members and people who know about Fisher Cat Fiber Co. Some materials are purchased from yard sales, fiber shows or  by fiber friends who are looking to clean out their closets. Recently I was approached at a show by a former weaver who asked if I needed warp thread. I am looking forward to seeing her selection of colors. There has been no shortage of plastic available for the rugs. When I started out I knew that 90% or more were being tossed into the landfill. It is great to hear about states developing legislation to stop using plastic bags. There are so many beautiful and unique market bags out there and you see more people using them everyday. I recently did an Eco Crochet class at ArtWorks in Scranton and taught how to make yarn using resources around your home and neighborhood.

What is your dream for your business?

To upgrade my equipment and expand beyond the bags and rugs, begin to create larger pieces such as tapestries, coverlets and wall art. Continue to challenge myself to make original pieces from the materials that are presented to me. 

Do you have any upcoming events?

Spinning demo with the Woodlawn Weavers & Spinners Guild
Oct 7    Callicoon Farmers Market, Callicoon, NY

Made By Hand
Nov 17   Nyack Center, Nyack, NY

Bethel Woods Holiday Market
Dec 2    Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY

Follow Annie:
Twitter: @fishercatfiberco

Annie's favorites publications:
Spin off
Fiber Arts
Surface Design

Fisher Cat Fiber Co Short Bio
I have always been drawn to the fiber arts, textiles, colors and textures. Wanting to create original pieces and having limited resources available other than the local department store brands for yarn; I purchased a spinning wheel and began making my own yarn. I later started weaving. My father composted and recycled, I was taught young the individual effect we each have on the environment. Fisher Cat Fiber Co is a combination of my desire to create and to be resourceful at the same time. FCFC uses salvaged and natural materials to create unique functional items.