Coach Keefer interviews with atLawrence's Neal Moore.

Gifts by Local Artisans

Art 2 The ExtremeYou want to show your Aunt Millie and niece Abby how much you love them with homemade gifts for the holidays, but you lack the time or talent to make anything nice. Don’t feel bad. CHEAT! Buy something made in the home of an expert. Homemade items offer the quality and uniqueness that sends a personal and thoughtful message. Let me introduce you to three local artisans who make one-of-a-kind items that can be purchased online or here in Fishers at Best of What’s Around located at 8745 E. 116th St. across from Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Nicole Lewis – Art 2 The Extreme (Recycled Rainbow Crayons) Upon meeting Nicole, an art teacher, you see she is adorable and sweet, but it isn’t until you experience the gusto of her Recycled Rainbow Crayons that you are aware of her ingenuity and craftsmanship. Nicole was the first to sell Rainbow Crayons on Etsy eight years ago and has expanded to over 147 shapes and styles. These are not your ordinary crayon shapes. I’m talking cars, rings, Star Wars figures, Legos, cupcakes, Christmas trees, mustaches, you name it.

To make the shapes, she lovingly peels the paper off of each used crayon, places them in silicone molds and bakes them. What wonderful stocking stuffers these non-toxic crayons are, but they can also be used as party favors, promotional items, gifts or thrown in a purse and taken out to dinner for your child’s entertainment. New colors pop up as they color. These unique coloring utensils are affordable, starting at $2.50 for a ring. Please visit her websites at or

Erin Stewart Hill – Lois Pearl Designs (Children’s Clothes, Accessories and Handbags) At a very young age, Erin was intrigued with her mother’s sewing and took it up herself. She sewed for 4-H for 10 years where she won the Champion award in Indiana’s State Fair competition. While pregnant with her son, Erin started sewing with a women’s group called The Crafties. When her daughter came along four years ago, she wanted to dress her in clothes that were fun yet age appropriate. Lois Pearl Designs was born.

Children’s clothing is the heart of the business because they have bright, fun, durable fabrics with unique, whimsical “grow-with-me” styles. The dresses become tunics, and the pants become capris. Each versatile piece is designed to be worn by the same child year-round for two to three years, yet holds up well enough to be proudly passed on to the next youngster. These items start around $40 per item. The colorful women’s handbags have taken off as well at around $50. Erin also makes and sells children’s accessories such as hair bows or bowties and women’s comfy ruffled skirts. She will even do custom orders for family pictures or events. Please check her out on her website:

Allison Rose – Time and Again Shop (Vintage Pillowcase Dresses, Tooth Fairy Pillows and Lovies) After deciding to stay at home with her kids, Allison started making “pillowcase dresses” for friends as shower gifts. Loving the dresses so much, her friends encouraged her to sell them. She started selling at craft shows eight years ago and opened her Etsy website five years ago. Since then, she has added adorable monster tooth fairy pillows, lovie tagged blankets, bunting, children’s accessories and the new hot seller: vintage fabric ornaments.

The unique trait of Allison’s pillowcase dresses is the fact that she repurposes genuine vintage pillowcases for the fabric. They are versatile pieces: an outgrown dress can be used as a top. Allison goes to great lengths to frequent thrift stores, garage sales and auctions to seek out quality, unique, attractive pillowcases. Her prices are amazingly affordable at only $5 for a hair clip and up to $18 for a dress. Visit her websites: or

Written By: Marcy Vigren


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