I don't know about you, but I know for me, this year has flown by. It seems like every year goes quicker than the last. The summer flew by, then school started, and now it's Christmastime, but it doesn't feel like it should be. For me, that all changed during setup for the Blue Genie Art Bazaar for my third year. Stepping into the Marchesa hall that muggy day before Thanksgiving was just what I needed to trigger my brain into accepting that it is time for Christmas! (I've been designing Christmas cards since July, but that didn't really help either!)
If you're from Austin, I bet you've heard about the Blue Genie Art Bazaar. This amazing show with over 200 artisans from Central Texas that you can shop in one place for a whole month! Bonus, if the craft show scene makes you uncomfortable, you don't even have to talk to these artists unless you want to! The Blue Genie Bazaar is completely staffed with a central checkout. All you have to do is grab a drink and wind your way through three full rooms of some amazing talent trying to decide what you'll give for gifts, and what you just want to keep for yourself!
If you've never been to the bazaar, you're definitely missing out! The displays, the product, the creativity, it really does blow me away every year. Here are some of my favorite shops, click on the photos to link to their shops incase you are unable to shop the bazaar in person!
Top to bottom: Duct tape rings by Blue Bamboo. Awesome calendar by Ruby Red Paper. Super fun sand blasted glassware by Monster Dance Designs. Beautiful purses by Crescent City Couture. Laser cut cake toppers by Amelia Beth. Totebag and t-shirt awesomeness by Hotline Ink.
This year is the 15th year for the Art Bazaar, and it's been really awesome to see it grow and change. If you're looking to visit, it is open every day Black Friday through Christmas Eve from 10am - 10pm. (But closes at 6pm on Christmas Eve.) Every Monday Blue Genie donates a percentage of their proceeds to the Make A Wish Foundation. This year, every Tuesday is Tote Bag Tuesday, and while supplies last you can get a Blue Genie 15th Year tote with any purchase. Tuesdays are also artist nights where you can follow along and hear a few artists discuss their process, their work, and mingle with those who you think make really cool things! Lots of artists come those nights, so it's definitely a fun time to shop.
Above is a panorama of the room where my booth is located. Each artist has a 4' or 8' foot space to call home for the month. It's like shopping 200 mini boutiques under one roof, and it is so much fun! This year in the front room, they've included a (genius) coloring and activity table for kids, and there are holiday movies running pretty much non-stop in the theater during open hours, which are free to stop in and watch, or drop off the family while you spend your time shopping. There's a full bar with drinks and snacks, parking and entry to the show are free, so make sure you put the Blue Genie Art Bazaar in your holiday plans before Christmas Eve!