In April 2011, Lauren and I traveled out to San Francisco. The plan was to explore the city because the girl was graduating from college and thinking that the city by the bay might be a fine place to settle down for a couple three years.
Lauren didn't end up moving to SF after school, but hell if we didn't have fun anyway. There are no shortage of marvelous people in that funky town and we were lucky enough to get to spend time with several of them including the lovely and kind Stef, Liz, Hillary, Maya, Molly, plus we got to stop in on Derek at The Curiosity Shoppe! So much fun.
And then? We got to visit the incandescent Alix Bluh and experience the amazing shop and gallery of hers: Modern Relics. Honestly-- if you've never been, I won't be able to to do it justice. Alix has one of the most inspiring, organic design styles I've ever seen.
She has an exquisite ability to transform a space into a place of beauty and inspiration. What I found most striking as I inched my way around the gallery trying to take it all in-- was how original her style is. I knew before going in that I was a huge fan of her jewelry, but to experience the displays that she creates from found and created objects kind of blew me away.
What struck me most, though was how open, genuine, kind and funny Alix is-- it felt like I was meeting an old friend and we could've sat and talked for days (and days!). She is amazing.
Oh, and one more thing you must know before you read the little q & a below, it was Alix who got everyone midnight skinny dipping last September off the dock at Ondawa! Yes, the ringleader has been revealed!
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Did you have a nickname as a kid?
My Uncle called me Alex Zambezie, then it just became Zambezie. I had my share of mean nicknames from junior highshcool but would rather not even say them. I loved Zambezie, it has a very warm place in my heart.
Best things to do at a carnival?
I will have to say people watch. I love to see who comes out of their dwellings to partake in a carnival or county fair. My favorites are the super rural ones, where almost everyone who attends is some one's cousin or sister in law, and they have their livestock on show in the farm stand.
What are the key items to have in the car on a road trip?
A very good set of maps, and plenty of snacks and water. I just took a fantastic road trip up into Quebec territory Canada. We had a harder time with the French maps, but they were what we relied on as opposed to a GPS. Also, important is the right collection of tunes, good travelling music, keeps your spirits high and mind alert after long hours. Lastly, a camera near by for the photo opportunities that spring up along the way.
Smells and tastes that make you think of summer?
Fresh Dill, cut grass, corn silk husks, Tomato sandwiches. Camp fire smells. The smell of BBQs and potato salad. I don't spend as much time beaching it, San Francisco is not warm enough, so the Coppertone and Sea salt are more summer memories from my past.
If you were an Olympic athlete, what would be your sport?
If I could just pick that fantasy sport it would be Gymnastics, I tried as a young girl to get into it but lacked the stamina and courage. I am the least athletic person I know. But, if designing were an Olympic sport, now I'd be trying out for that for sure, and I'd be hopeful too.
thank you, alix-- cannot wait to see you in September!
** PHOTO CREDIT, portrait of Alix: MICHAEL JANG
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