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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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Heads and Holgas

Something really bizarre is happening this week:  I’m starting to develop this thing that most people call “a life.”  Between the outing with our blog buddies, the book reading Monday and the art show I’m attending this evening, one may be fooled into thinking that I do more than work and watch America’s Next Top Model.  (I’m a master at smiling with my eyes BTW)

Are you in Austin?  Perhaps you would like to play my new favorite game, have a life, as well.  Here’s how:  Head south to Austin Art Garage tonight to check out the latest work from two of my favorite ladies, Cory Ryan and Hope Perkins at their show, Heads and Holgas.

Austin Art Garage is located at 2200 S. Lamar Blvd.  Not in Texas?  Here’s a peek at what you’ll be missing.  Sorry, I don’t have any photographs of free booze.

A few of Hope’s older pieces.  The bobcat on the bottom right started it all.  Her name is Tanya, she wears a tierra.  I happen to know from my many trips to Round Top with Hope that Tanya has since gained a sister, Zatarans McGillicutty, who’s just as cute as a stuffed button.

The piece on the left is “So you DO know Betty Blackwell?” If you live in Austin and have ever found yourself watching tv past 11:00 at night, you will know that this is the funniest title for a neon pink taxidermied deer with a telephone ever in the history of the planet.  I’m not sure what the one on the right is called, but, knowing Hope, I’m sure it’s hilarious. 

It should be noted that I tried to find a video clip of the Betty Blackwell commercial to share with you all, but it doesn’t exist online.

Cory will be displaying photographs from her extensive Holga portfolio.  She’s spent the last year obsessively shooting Austin from angles I’ve never seen (normally I can name almost any street corner in an Austin shot, but most of these leave me guessing).  

I’m not sure if I should be beaming with pride over having such talented friends or spending my energy commanding that you hit the show this evening… perhaps a bit of both.

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Pracilio is the Dealio

Following the story on The New Antiquarians in The New York Times that Karly blogged about here, there remains little question that taxidermy is hot. Of course, that be old news around these parts (see here and here). In fact, it’s hard to remember way back to the time when taxidermy was seen as belonging exclusively to the domain of rednecks and long expired Victorian arcana. Now that taxidermy is trendily displayed by hipsters and preppies everywhere, many clever mutations of the original stuffed animals have been spawned — for example, the works of Rachel Denny and our pal Hope Perkins.

Well, the newest dead heads on the block from the Swarovski Safari series by Peter Pracilio are pretty fierce. Check it:


So I’m thinking this stuffed deer, courtesy of famous French taxidermist Deyrolle,

damien hirst crystal skull

Plus this diamond studded skull by Brit brat pack artist Damien Hirst,

peter pracilio

Equals this crystal encrusted deer mount by Peter Pracilio.

peter pracilio

Agreed? Since we’re already grazing on the wild Savannas of Fifth Avenue, let’s bust out our binoculars and view some of Pracilio’s other gems that I’ve hunted down for you.

peter pracilio

peter pracilio

peter pracilio unicorn

peter pracilio unicorn

Swarovski unicorn: uptown version of the jackelope?


via theashenledger (check out her cool prints, too)

So, what do you dudes think? Would these fine specimens be at home on the Hovey sister’s walls?

hovey sisters

peter pracilio

And what would you choose: flash or fur?

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Clash of the Titans

I’ve been living with a caliente red dining room and a tequila blue living room for so long that my eyes were bleeding from the Mexican Restaurant strain of it all (not that I don’t love me some muy delicioso Mexican comidas!) when I looked from one room into to the next. One of those colors had to go, and after much agonizing DH and I decided to keep the red. The living room was painted a soothing pinky gray and I am hoping to post before and after pics very soon, but first major accessory shifts are needed to restore Casa Erin to top form.

In the meantime, I’ve been cruising color palettes for inspiration, and despite disparaging pink and red in my last post, that combo is still feeling very fresh to me. My favorite is Miles Redd‘s living room (Sorry Miles… I’m turning into such a stalker!):

miles redd

First of all, how sexy is that couch? I know it probably cost a bazillion dollars, but I think I’d give a tooth for it. Maybe even a front one. Anyway, Miles went for broke with this… NOT a subdued pink. NOT a subdued red. Full frontal nudity here. Raunchy.

While I totally want Miles’ entire apartment, I think pink and red are easiest for us mere mortals to pair when the furniture is kept streamlined. Check out this mod combo designed by Aussie firm BKH that was featured at the Kips Bay Showhouse (photo courtesy of Elite Choice):

kips bay

How much do you love that orangey red painting on those coolly pink walls? It just pops and clashes its little heart out, and the black scaled down furniture helps keep the look modern instead of 1980’s mauve disaster.

Y’all know by now that I’m a Jay Jeffers fan… That guy can go from kooky to classy in 2.2 seconds. This San Francisco apartment is carefully neutral, but the dining room has an ultra glam pink ceiling paired with pops of red for edge.

jay jeffers

The beigey walls go a long way toward keeping this look polished instead of claustrophobic. Here are a couple more examples of careful accessory choices to keep the look edgy, but not cluttered:

domino and wearstler

(Domino paint palette on the left and Kelly Wearstler‘s office on the right)

Simple black fireplaces add some much needed geometry to both spaces. I really hate those sconces in Kelly Wearstler’s office, but she shows (once again) that she is master of the plate wall, and the lime green apples are fabulous with that pink.

My friend Hope Perkins of Hot Pink Pistol fame had this amazing pink (of course!) house that looked gorgeous in pictures but kinda made me feel nervous in real life. So, I think that to be able to live in these spaces, I personally need some neutral air to breathe. Therefore I present to you this most appealing mix of space and color that I found whilst reading Habitually Chic‘s awesome blog:


This is the gorgeous Palazzo Ducale di Sassuolo in Modena, Italy, featuring color block paintings by Winston Roeth which were donated by legendary collector Giuseppe Panza. I love the gold, white, pink and red combo (with a teeny flash of lemon yellow) and I totally think I’m going to steal it. My new wall color isn’t white-white like this, but it’s pale and cool enough that I think it’ll work. I’m going to have to fake the gold fretwork, since I (sadly) don’t live in a 17th century castle, but I’m hoping the look will still be edgily sublime.

Stay tuned!

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