Designs of Distinction augments the memories of celebratory gatherings with a large array of rentable activities, furniture, decorations, and more. Themed birthday bashes gain a main event with inflatable bounce houses ($275) shaped and adorned in a variety of decorations such as jungle animals, spaceships, and castles. Designs of Distinction will deliver, set up, and subsequently take down and take away the chosen bounce house rentals. Hosts of functions that prohibit jumping can peruse Designs of Distinction's inventory, decking party halls with eight-foot Oscar statues or white leather couches ($275). The Groupon can be applied to more expensive items—such as a rideable mechanical bull ($995)—to ensure quality carousing.
Paula Atwell wasn't born an artist. She didn't pursue any art form in college, instead achieving a degree in English and a minor in accounting. After logging years in standard 9–5 jobs, she had an epiphany—it was time to do something for herself. Taking this newfound motivation to action, Paula enrolled in a beading class and followed it with forays into metalsmithing, crafting, and soldering.
These experiments in creativity led her to join the Lake Erie Artists co-op in 2003, where she began to show her eclectic jewelry at their booth during local festivals. When the co-op became incorporated in 2005, Paula's business world experience made her an obvious choice to lead the diverse group of artists in forming their own gallery. Today, the co-op-turned-gallery now carries hundreds of art pieces that span a range of media.
Producing blown-glass sculptures and handcrafted metal jewelry and pottery, the artists each specialize in a few select media as decided during the gallery's annual game of spin-the-paintbrush. The staff at Lake Erie Artists Gallery is also a strong proponent of local business, encouraging their patrons to browse Shake Square after looking at their wares. In project-oriented classes taught by working artists, students explore jewelry and painting and leave with their handcrafted pieces.
Brian Bowers, a former talent agent, founded Braedy Photography in 2007. Having spent more than 20 years in the entertainment industry, he was familiar with the plight of struggling actors and models. Bowers founded the studio to give hopeful talent an affordable way to obtain pictures of their head. Professional headshots are necessary for the careers of actors and models, and can further the professional journey of many performers, including clowns, dancers, comedians, and animorphs. Bowers specializes in headshots, as well as portrait photography for matriculating youth, gesticulating families, and hiccupping children. With today's deal, customers of all life paths are treated like models, receiving touch-ups and lint-downs from a professional stylist and three outfit changes during their session. Choose to have pictures taken either in the studio itself, with its hardwood floors and numerous backdrops, or in one of the scenic locations around the building. Afterward, Bowers will go through the assembled images and select the best of each of your outfits for three 8x10 prints ($25 value each).
Photography instructor J. Ambrozic started his career on the other end of the lens, working as a TV actor and Banana Republic model. The Renaissance man still appears on camera and works in talent management, but as a photographer, he's more interested in the faces of other people—and sometimes elephants. His diverse portfolio spans portraiture, landscapes, and action shots of animals. All of his images share a virtuosity that he unpacks for students during his DSLR classes. Teaching a mix of technical sophistication and composition techniques, he shows students how to snap captivating masterpieces of their own. Students can practice their new skills in Ambrozic's studio, a naturally lit oasis with crystalline views of the city skyline and the occasional giant lizard monster.
Not content being the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists’ overall winner for 2011 Best Monthly in Ohio, a few of Ohio Magazine’s staff members walked away with individual awards themselves. A captivating and descriptive profile of Ohio naturalist-illustrator Julie Zickefoose, “Our Lady of the Birds” by John C. Bruening, was named Best Artist Profile, with second place bestowed upon a fellow Ohio colleague, Jennifer Rogers. For her full body of work in 2010, Linda Feagler was awarded Best Arts Reporting, and not to be left out, Lesley Blake wrangled in the Best Graphic Design/Navigation award for the magazine’s online counterpart.
But it’s not the awards that keep subscribers coming back. Within the glossy pages of each monthly issue lies a veritable treasure trove of historical tidbits, compelling stories, shopping tips, and event information—all focused around the Buckeye State. In sections such as Travel, readers delve into written and pictorial chronologies of in-state excursions, as well as extensive resources detailing where to find the best hotels, which destinations are best in which seasons, and which desserts the local police enjoy in the event you get pulled over for speeding. The Food and Wine section profiles tempting culinary destinations, and Home and Garden leads green thumbs around the state to the most verdant nurseries and the most beautiful home gardens.