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Jennifer Perkins’ Shopping Guide to the Blue Genie Art Bazaar in Austin

If you live in Austin and have a love of handmade goods, then you have heard of the Blue Genie Art Bazaar. This year is extra special because it is the 10 year anniversary of the bazaar.  My name is Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary Club and I will be your host for today’s post about Blue Genie and let’s go ahead and get the fact that I am biased towards the show out of the way right up front.

Sure I realize not everyone’s taste is as eclectic as the kitschy wreaths, cat heads and tin can robots you can find in my booth at the show – but I promise there is something for almost everyone.  Sure there are lots of the things you would expect to find at a “craft show”.  Handmade jewelry, T-shirts, baby onesies, soaps – you know the drill.  The things you will also find that you might not have been expecting are ceramics (cool ones), living wall art made from plants, paintings, prints and even giant pieces of sushi.

Blue Genie is a juried show selecting only the best artists in Austin.  Locals might recognize names like Chia, Darla Teagarden, Mark Joiner, Amy Barber, Moxie, Ornamental Things, Baby Bolt, Hot Pink Pistol and of course the Blue Genie guys themselves.  You can’t take a driving tour through Austin without spotting a Rory Skagen mural or a large piece of sculpture that the guys did sitting atop a business.  I happen to be the proud owner of one of their larger than life glitter covered popsicles.

The show runs through Christmas Eve so you still have a chance to go and get your shop on.  7 days a week you can bask in the glory of a kitschy Christmas.  Head down to Marchesa Hall at Lincoln Village (6226 Middle Fiskville Rd. Austin, TX 78732) 10am daily.  Be sure to tell em’ Naughty Secretary Club and Design Crisis sent ya.

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Good Gifts: I Am the $h*t Necklace

Every year Karly and I do an exhaustive, week long guide full of fantastic gift ideas for family and friends. Well, this year instead of exhaustive, I’m just exhausted. Plus I’m all by my lonesome until next year. Nevertheless, I’m still going to post a few goodies when I find them (check out my latest posts on Books I Want, which would make perfect gifts for the visually oriented).

Today’s gift comes courtesy of Locher’s Paris Atelier, home of Nicole Locher, who transforms found objects into unique apparel, jewelry, and bags. This one is perfect for a special someone who needs a jolt of self confidence, or maybe someone who just needs to know that you think they are the shit.

For anyone who may complain that this item lacks, ah, refinement, simply say to them: it’s handmade in Paris, bitch.

I Am the Shit necklace, $69, available here.

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Fight Fatigue With Lartigue

Ok, I am resolving not to work myself into a tinsel wrapped tizzy over Christmas this year. To this end, I have created something of a seasonally appropriate manifesto. I will:

#1. Start buying gifts early.

#2. Avoid the mall at all costs.

#3. Spend my free time enjoying lights and smelling delicious trees (and eating eating eating).

I refuse to make this season about expensive electronics and fancy shit no one really cares about. I will buy vintage, unique, handmade; I will not buy sharp edged, plastic crap. I will not become a holiday hating grinch, despite past performances that speak to the contrary. I might even crack a smile or two.

My current hero and inspiration:

Jacques-Henri Lartigue, a photographer whose career began at the tender age of six and spanned almost 100 years.

There is a certain zany elegance in Lartigue’s images. As a young man, he exuberantly captured the moment in a radically changing society.

With works beginning in the early 1900′s, Lartigue’s photos document a modern era emerging from the sooty darkness of the industrial revolution. Drunk on freedom and the shiny newness of technology, everything is a celebratory event met with wonder and awe.

So, this Christmas I’m going to (try to) lose the jaded cynicism with which I generally approach things.

Don’t worry — I’m sure it will come back sooner rather than later. But I think I just might like to spend the rest of the year doing cartwheels in the yard with Ike.

Buy the book for someone special here. It’s the autobiography of a life well lived.

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Holiday Gift Guide: Under a Billion

For the last few days Erin and I have been pounding the interweb pavement bringing you the best holiday gifts chump change can buy; but we know what you’re really here for:  our billion dollar round up.  We spent lots of time finding the world’s most exclusive items, Lucite Chanel Briefcases, Diamond Studded Fixed Gear Bikes, $320,000 prize cows, the list goes on.  But we realized, you know, if someone is going to drop a billion skrillas on their beloved, why not go with a gift that says “I think you’re awesome and I want the whole world to know.  Forever.”

That’s why we here at Design Crisis Headquarters are proud to offer the world’s Most Exclusive, Most Expensive Holiday Gift Ever (fact).

For 1 billion dollars cash, you may purchase a life-long ad on design-crisis.com.  That’s right!  Erin and I will continue blogging for the rest of our natural born lives in order to ensure that the whole world knows your BFF is totally awesome.  Want to promote her business?  Great!  Want to show a picture of her holding a baby kitten?  No Problem!  Whatever it is you want to share with the planet, this is your chance!  Act now, this special holiday offering won’t last long.  After December 25th Design Crisis ad opportunities will revert to measly civilian rates with laughable 30-day contracts. To reserve your eternal ad on Design Crisis, contact us at hollaback@design-crisis.com today!

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Holiday Gift Guide: Under $500

Ho Ho Ho, we’re climbing the gift guide charts here at DC headquarters:  today we’ve made it to the under $500 category.  I’m hoping and preying that any of you taking notes have me on your list.  I mean, those $25 gifts were nice, but don’t you really want to show me how much you care?  As Erin says, recession-schmession.  At least, I think she’s said that.

You know I love gold.  and black.  and gold and black together.  So, basically, I’ll be happy when you hand me any of these:

Love / Hate Convertible Chain Shades, $252

Suspiciously similar to D & G DXG Camcorder, $150

Lowrider Headphones, $128 (keeping my fingers crossed that you can find them in black.  or just all gold.  yes, all gold sounds good)

Loop Candelabra, $123  (I’ve been dreaming of owning one of these ever since Erin did This post)

Right out of my personal wish list: Pantone Color Bridge Set, $119

Ceramic Bubbles Candle Holder by Jaime Hayon, 387….. Euros (whont, whont)

Life Size Grazing Sheep, $448  (totally, completely, 100% worth the price) (seriously)

Equus Pedestal Bowl, $450  I wanted it for my table last year and, yes, I want it for my table again this year.

Humbert Throw by Missoni Home, $375

Park Planters, $100  You really should go to their site to check these out… most of the sculptures depict things you don’t want to see in the park.  Think George Michael.  Got it?

Copenhagen Terrariums, $145 – $195  Perhaps these come with a handy guide explaining how to keep plants alive inside a sealed container unlike my vintage terrarium with, ahem, dead plants nestled under the plastic.

Braided Mixed Metal Chain Necklace, $120

Paper Cut art, $300

So there you go.  500 gifts for 500 dollars.  I mean, a few gifts for 500 dollars.  Whateves.  It really doesn’t even matter at this point since tomorrow I’ll be bringing you the ultimate, most mind blowing Christmas gift of your scene loving life.  Buckle Up.

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