Artisan Mixer whips together local and central IL artisans


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A mixture of local and central Illinois artisans braved the wind to showcase their creations on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 at the Feed Arts and Cultural Center, 259 S. Schuyler Ave., Kankakee. The Artisan Mixer, hosted by the Feed and Sarah Viall of Country Financial, featured artisan goods as wide ranging as organic food, cigar box art, and even slime.  Viall is a former member of the central Illinois roller derby community and sponsored the event, or a “mixer,” to bring together artisans she met during her time in the rink and local ones she encountered when she relocated to the area.

Local artisans included Sara Gallagher, of Stella Bear Foods. Gallagher displayed plant-based and homemade creations such as broccoli and “cheese” soup, a PB&J kit with sunbutter and a choice of two different fruity jams, as well as many other delicious baked goods and comfort foods. Stella Bear’s mission is “to provide the tastiest, healthiest, and most healing food to our clients. We specialize in plant-based, low glycemic, gluten-free, and allergy friendly diets and are showing the world that healthy food can be creative, and full of flavor.” For more information about Stella Bear Foods and for inquires, follow them on Facebook and Instagram @stellabearfoods.

Goat Trax Farms, Momence, was also on hand, with honey, wool dryer balls, warm weather accessories and yarn from the farm’s own Tibetan yaks, as well as alcohol ink art and crafts from owner Barb Miedema. More information about Goat Trax Farms is available on their website or follow them on Facebook.

For jewelry, APalm Creations featured an array of one of a kind pieces fashioned from copper, enamel, wool, and mixed media. Behind APalm Creations are local artists Andrew and Amy Palmer. Find more of their creations on Facebook, Instagram, and their online shop,

Among the central Illinois artisans were Stephanie Fulton of Springfield. Fulton describes herself as a “multimedia artist” who focuses “on abstract drawings, paintings and collages.” Fulton also creates cigar box art-fun and quirky pieces, with items she finds at garage sales and thrift stores.

Artist Julie Fiscella of Ivy House Studios and Gallery, Champaign, featured her scented slime. Slime is all the rage with kids today, and slime, like Fiscella’s Blueberry Snow Pie, satisfies sensory needs with texture and fragrances, that are fun for the whole family. Find out more about Fiscella and her work at

Springfield artist Tracy Motter produces pieces made from skulls, “I like to take the ugly, bare skull and turn it into something pretty and unexpected by painting or blinging it out.” Motter also makes paintings with string and chain, as well as lotions, bath bombs, soaps, and quilts.

Lisa Connery, Urbana, of Crass Stitching featured her “fancy artwork for jerks.” Connery combines traditional cross stitching and adorable patterns with satire that results in hilarious pieces that are NSFW. See Connery’s work and purchase her pieces through her Etsy shop, Katinavonb, Facebook @fancyworkforjerks, and Instagram @katina_vonbeaverhousen.

Cheri Boudreau
Cheri Boudreau
Cheri Boudreau is a writer for the Country Herald and a graduate student at Governors State University. When she's not writing, Cheri enjoys talking comics on podcasts and over on Instagram. She lives in Bourbonnais with her two rescue cats.


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