Tri-Village News

Whimsical illustrations, twins gear are fest favorites

Crowds show for Lazy Daze despite weather


Andrew Paavola, whose mixed-media illustrations tell stories with humor, won the Best of Show award Saturday, July 27, at the 20th annual Lazy Daze of Summer festival.

Paavola, who lives in Huntsville, was among the more than 50 artists and crafters who displayed their handmade items during the fest.

"It was fantastic to win Best of Show -- a real honor," Paavola said.

Each illustration he draws is designed to tell about the scene or character it depicts, he said.

"I use a lot of whimsy in my illustrations," Paavola said.

He has been participating in festivals for the past two years.

"The best part is getting to meet people. You can really tell what people like and don't like," Paavola said.

Kelly Zalenski of Reynoldsburg, who creates and sells pairs of bodysuits and T-shirts for twins or siblings through her Twin ZZ Shop business, won the People's Choice Award.

Zalenski said she was inspired to begin making clothing for twins because of her own experience as a mother of twins.

The items she makes are from recycled T-shirts.

"The designs are similar, but with a little difference so each twin or sibling has an identity of their own," she said.

She has branched out to include three-of-a-kind designs for triplets and other "paired" theme clothing.

"One of the things I love about doing hand-sewn work is that I can take it everywhere I go and be able to do it while keeping an eye on my twins," Zalenski said. "I can be at the park and make sure they're safe while they play and still work on my stuff."

Like Paavola, Zalenski likes interacting with people at festivals.

"You're able to get immediate feedback from people and that confirms whether I'm heading in the right direction with my work," she said.

The winners of this year's Lazy Daze honorable-mention awards are:

* Kristin Ellis, a jewelry artist from Mount Gilead.

* Carla Newman, Rainy Day Studio (fiber) of Martinsville.

* Lisa Saville, Tweedle Swamp Pottery of Sabina.

* John Dickson, a photographer from Grandview Heights.

* Devon and Jeff Johnson, Backyard Living (reclaimed wood items) of Columbus.

During the awards ceremony, Lazy Daze co-chairwomen Ruthanne James and Jeri Diehl Cusack gave special recognition to retiring Grandview Heights Library Director Mary Ludlum and Mike Dexter of IDC Design, who also recently retired. Dexter has designed the logos and T-shirts for every Lazy Daze festival.

"Their dedication is what helped make the Lazy Daze festival so successful," Cusack said.

This year's festival was plagued by a steady rain for several hours, although the clouds lifted late in the afternoon.

"It was the worst rain we've ever had to deal with, but people waited it out and came out to support the festival," Cusack said. "The support we get from the community is amazing."