|Photo credit: Blue Genie Art|
Now, it's time for my annual shout out to two of my favorite long running local holiday art fairs! Both the Blue Genie Art Bazaar and the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar are open through December 24.
Blue Genie is now in their second year at at 6100 Airport Boulevard - and conveniently located next to the fabulous Brewtorium brewpub.
What started as some creative people deciding to have a little holiday fun has become one of my favorite must shop Austin holiday traditions
According to the history on their website - "The first Blue Genie Art Bazaar was held in 2001 at the Blue Genie Art Industries (BGA) shop, where we mostly sold items made by Blue Genie employees. Without putting much thought into it, we built a few walls, hung up some clip lights, and swept the floor — and then we opened the doors. It was quickly apparent that we had something exciting on our hands. Now, the bazaar features the handmade, unique work of over 130 artists, whom we select from a talented pool of more than 300 applicants. We have spent over a decade refining the bazaar, and we’re quite proud of what it has grown into."
I ALWAYS find something at Blue Genie, and almost always, in addition to gifts for other folks, I usually also end up with something for me...like these great earrings from Metalsgirl (I'd been coveting a pair in this style for a quite some time).
|Photo credit: Armadillo Bazaar|
The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is the oldest and longest running of the fairs. If you REALLY want to make a day of it - get tickets to Ballet Austin's Nutcracker (which runs through December 23, right next door at the Long Center for the Performing Arts), then stroll over to the Palmer Events Center for a different kind of Texas culture.
With artists from all over the country, it's not just a great place to shop for gifts - but a wonderful way to entertaining out of town friends and family wandering from booth to booth while hearing great Texas music.
In case you can't one or more of these events - or aren't fortunate enough to get to Austin at all - here are links to a few of the Austin-based women I've shopped with over the years:
adaptive reUse - Christine Terrell uses vintage tins to make one of a kind earrings, necklaces, belt buckles and cufflinks.
Amanda Deer - dainty, delicate jewelry for everyday including lots of items that can be personalized.
Dish it Out Jewelry - Holli Brown brakes vintage plates - and turns them into wonderful earrings, pendants and bracelets.
Fail Jewelry - Christine Fail works in gold, silver, brass and gemstones to create beautiful contemporary wearable art
Haley LeBeuf Jewelry - contemporary, sophisticated pieces. I especially love her Austin-inspired Violet Crown line.
Lisa Crowder Jewelry - Lisa Crowder creates distinctive floral and geometric jewelry in silver, gold and enamel.
Metalsgirl - Lisa Gibson combines stones and silver in wonderful, colorful, wearable works of art.
Poppy & Fern - Rachel Pruitt creates tiny embroidered works of art to wear on a chain or hang on the wall.
Happy shopping - and stay tuned for at least one more "shop local" post.
Until next time.