Turning Old to New : Jill Latas of Demar’s Vintage Crafts

Jill Latas and I met when I attended the Columbus Arts & Vintage Marketplace in July.  As I was browsing the booths, I fell in love with her booth and all of the creative things she had displayed, both vintage and handcrafted.  We fell into an easy conversation and found out that we had several things in common, especially  a love of vintage and little kiddoes!  So, it seemed only natural to interview her and ask her to participate in the Falling for Local event (she can’t…boo hoo…because she is already committed to the Marketplace that day) and perhaps another event in November.
So, let’s start with the interview!
Jill has an Etsy.com shop called Demar’s Vintage Crafts (demarsvintagecrafts.etsy.com)  DeMar is her grandfather’s name, her middle name and her daughter’s middle name.  The cool part is that if you rearrange the letters in DeMar it spells DREAM which is something Jill does frequently as well as work to make those dreams come true -‘one of which is to make things that I love and to share this passion with others! ‘IMG_0154
Jill has been a teacher of little ones for 26 years and currently teaches a special literacy program for kindergarteners in Hilliard City Schools. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in dance from Kent State University and  a masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Although she trained in dance since she was a young girl,  she never had formal art training.  To be honest,she was never particularly interested in art because she couldn’t paint or draw or do the things she thought of as art.  Her interest in art really came to the forefront when she became an elementary teacher.  It was by providing children with materials to explore creatively that she realized SHE liked exploring creatively, too.  
She was born in Marion, Ohio, went to elementary school in Oxford, Ohio and graduated from River Valley in Marion, Ohio. So, she is an Ohio home grown girl!  And, for the past 16 years, she has lived in Upper Arlington.   IMG_1095
A while back she began her own creative journey when she came a upon a book at the library, ‘Where Women Create’ by Jo Packman. Then, while at a bookstore, she discovered that Jo also produced a magazine by same name 4 times a year!  Another thing we have in common…one of my most favorite magazines!!!  While perusing that publication, she found an ad for “Creative Convention” and took the leap!!!  Away she went, meeting amazingly creative women.  That was the beginning and Jo Packman continues to be her muse and mentor.
In December, she opened her Etsy shop along with participating in her first arts and craft show.  I was thrilled to be accepted to the juried shows I worked to get into.  Since then, she had many positive comments from buyers , but one of her favorite comments was just recently when her 19 year old saw a clipboard she had upcycled and said “That’s really cool,  Mom.”  It’s not often my teenagers think I am or make anything “cool.”
She categorizes her art as almost always having a vintage vibe. She loves to upcycle found treasures with pretty paper or fabric and glue and particularly enjoys making wreaths with vintage items and inspirational messages. 
One of my favorite things to do is work with crepe paper and hot glue.  I do a tear and twist “thing” with crepe paper and a dot of  hot glue which when repeated over and over creates a vintage, party feel.
Her work and collected items are available at numerous shows especially around the Columbus area. She vends with the Columbus Arts and Vintage Marketplace August 23rd, September 13th and October 19th at Aladdin Shrine Temple and at the Springfield Vintage Market.  She will also participate in the Marion Harding Mistletoe show and  Avant-Garde Art show in Upper Arlington.
  Contact info for readers:
 Jill Latas Facebook

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