Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bazaart Fun!

This blog is a bit longer than usual but think of it, not as a blog, but as a helpful guide to finishing your holiday shopping!

This past weekend the American Visionary Art Museum held their annual Bazaart Holiday Marketplace and my friend and fellow Etsian Melinda Byrd ( )was one of the vendors. When she asked if I could give her a hand I was all in. Not only would I be spending the day with Melinda but I would get to see the show I had heard so much about but never had been to before. I arrived early. Earlier than a lot of the vendors so I had the opportunity to peruse a little bit and chat with a couple of the artists as they started filtering in. I fell in love over and over again that morning with the many amazing things the 50 some vendors created.

One of the first artists I had the opportunity to chat with was a woman named Patti Backer ( Her work is awesome! It  became clear to me in that moment how wrong I was to start my holiday shopping early because I saw several of her pieces that I could have purchased for more than one person on my shopping list. On the back of her post card that I picked up it says simply, "whimsical art" and I can't think of a better word to describe her work. From owls to octopus Ms. Backer has covered it all but in her work its like these animals are in their own little dream worlds. One bird has little white teeth and long almost human like legs, the octopus is floating above a bird nest filled with eggs and a rabbit sits with a tiny owl on its head while carrots with wings fly by at night. But almost all of the animals have these very human like eyes, which makes you connect with them I think. Just do yourself a favor and go visit her shop!

Greenstar Studio's booth, which will be relaunching as MIGHT in January 2012 (, looked as warm and colorful as always! Danamarie Hosler is the artist behind these colorful, fun pieces. I had the pleasure of meeting Danamarie briefly at the Columbia Arts Festival this past summer and she is so sweet. Just like her work. She makes the most huggable little plush creatures and coloring books for kids (OK yes, I want them for myself) along with things like bobby pins, coffee collars and prints. I made a purchase for a friends child but I purchased one of the prints for myself. I love it! If you still have some shopping to do for a child or a big child give her store a visit for sure!

Art Head Studio creates amazing figurative sculptures from vintage tins and cans as well as other salvaged items. Each one has it's own personality, and being a person who gives emotions to inanimate objects, this was easy for me to spot!  They are super awesome and I can't wait to have one in my home. Visit or to check them out for yourself. Her work is really special!

Diane Koss who makes a whole collection of monsters. Plush cupcake monsters, monsters on mugs, onesies and t-shirts. But my favorite thing was her monster hoodies. Cutest thing ever! See and shop her work at

Fuzzy Mug!! Graphic designer Brooke Behnken has created so many items with beautiful items of beloved fuzzy faces. Digital images are printed onto shirts, towels, note cards and notebooks among other things in bright beautiful solid colors. My favorite item of Fuzzy Mug's is the doggie calling cards. Check out this great store! Fuzzy Mug does custom work too so you pet owners out there, keep that in mind!

The Littlest Bean was there with super fun colorful items. Jen Menkhaus is the artist behind The Littlest Bean. She works mainly in felt and yarn. I love, love, love her barrettes and headbands but she has so much more than that. Wreathes, necklaces, business card holders and pin cushions! She has something for anyone who loves color! Check her out at

All in all Bazaart was an incredible event. It was super busy from the time the show opened at 10am to 2 or 3 pm. The vendors were amazing but the shoppers were crazy cool. They were so much fun and so eager to hear about the artists' processes and to SHOP! I can say, a lot of folks out there will be getting some great hand crafted items this Christmas. There was an over all energy to this show, unlike any show I have been to. I have my fingers, toes, legs....everything crossed that next year I will be participating as a vendor.

I wish I could write about each and every talented vendor here but there were simply too many. But please, do yourself a favor and visit these stores' links. Especially if you didn't make it out for this crazy event. If you are still working on your holiday shopping, try keeping it local. I am sure I can speak on behalf of all the artists mentioned above when I saw we all appreciate it!

Now you've got my two cents on Bazaart, but read on for a brief interview I did with Melinda Byrd of Byrdcall Studio to hear the perspective of one of is outstanding vendors!

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