Style, hu­mor on dis­play in win­dows

Con­test fi­nal­ists vie in seven com­mu­ni­ties to be named city’s best.

Austin American-Statesman - - LIFE & ARTS - Martínez /AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN By Ni­cole Vil­lal­pando nvil­lal­pando@states­man.com Coming next Week Win­dows

The mer­maids look like they are hav­ing the best hol­i­day time. Sit­ting in the ocean oa­sis that has been cre­ated in El In­te­rior’s win­dow, the mer­maids have their tails in the air, trop­i­cal drinks held high and Santa hats on their heads.

The win­dow is the brain­child of the folk art store’s Amy Mor­row. It’s one of seven store win­dows com­pet­ing in the fi­nals of the Austin In­de­pen­dent Busi­ness Al­liance’s Hol­i­day Win­dow Shop­ping Con­test.

One fi­nal­ist was cho­sen from the win­ners of each of the seven shop­ping dis­tricts that com­peted. The ul­ti­mate win­ner will be crowned next week.

El In­te­rior won for the West Lynn busi­ness district. Mor­row took about a week to make ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing the pa­pier-mache mer­maids. Even though she knows that mer­maids in a Christ­mas win­dow is a bit un­con­ven­tional, “It seems like ev­ery­body’s got­ten a kick out of it,” Mor­row says.

Why mer­maids for Christ­mas? “I al­ways try to do a win­dow that re­flects the store,” Mor­row says. There’s a lot of folk art from Mex­ico and Guatemala that have im­ages of mer­maids in them.

On Bur­net Road, a mov­ing Fer­ris wheel is sur­rounded by Santa Clauses and framed by nutcrack­ers and gi­ant wrapped can­dies in the win­dow of cloth­ing store Sue A fairy tale won­der­land is hap­pen­ing in the win­dows of Sec­ond Street. Pa­trick. It’s the win­ner for the lower Bur­net Road area. Owner Sue Pa­trick says Santa al­ways plays a part in her win­dow’s hol­i­day dis­plays, but the Fer­ris wheel gives it a whim­si­cal look. “It looks like some­thing out of the 1950s.”

Last year, Sue Pa­trick won the first Hol­i­day Win­dow Shop­ping Con­test. The store’s vis­ual mer­chan­dise man­ager Dennis Nauert spent 80 hours work­ing on this year’s win­dow. A friend of the store’s from New York helped fig­ure out how to make the PVC pipe Fer­ris wheel move.

“It’s a fun thing,” says Sue Pa­trick’s Jay Willems. “We get tons of re­sponse from cus­tomers. They like to vote and see you win.”

Co­nan’s Pizza on 29th Street

Alberto

Top: Elly Fleegal, of Fleegal Farms, makes soap and cures the bars on baker’s racks in her back­yard stu­dio. Above: Fleegal uses a spat­ula to gen­tly mix the col­ors, cre­at­ing a mar­bled ef­fect on the soap.

JAY JAN­NER/AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

A mov­ing Fer­ris wheel is the cen­ter­piece of the win­dow at Sue Pa­trick cloth­ing store, which won last year.

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