To Knysna town last week to shop for gifts. And I hate shopping. Thank goodness for Magpie’s Nest.
Now I know that not everyone will be privileged enough to have the experience that I did, but indulge me: a quick description of my afternoon there perfectly illustrates what Knysna’s all about.
I’ve known the owners – photographer Alix Carmichele and manufacturing jeweller Emily Rose Pointer – for ages, and they knew I was coming past, so they took pity on me and my shopping angst, ordered a couple of awesome meze platters from The Rose Café in the Rex Hotel across the road, produced a couple of Parisian-style folding café chairs and a dinky tiny table, and sat eating and talking with me on their porch until long after my official lunch (and shopping) hour was done.
Part of the reason we took so long: Magpie’s Nest is situated in the Tin House on Gray Street, and lots and lots of locals came wandering past, and we were sitting out there, and we had to, you know, be nice.
As I say – that’s what living in Knysna’s all about.
Alix and Em are two of the most creative people, so their shop’s a great showcase: although they do stock some vintage clothing, they’ve made almost everything on the shelves (and the walls, and the floor…) themselves.
Smudge sticks of dried lavender, soft leather moccasins and sheepskin slippers, fridge magnets (my favourites? the ones with the reproductions of historic photos of Knysna), greetings cards (montages of pressed flowers, old stamps and interesting papers), organic preserves (gimme those sweet chili pickles!) – and, of course,Em’s unique and beautiful, hand-made jewellery, and framed, original images by Alix .
Both Alix and Em are available for commissions – Alix does both commercial photography and fine arts photography – and they’ll make any of their stock items to order, too. (Matterafact they showed me a pair of large-size moccasins they’d just completed for a customer, and that they’d be posting off later in the day.)
And what did I come away with?
Um, nothing. I was having such a good time, I forgot, so I’ll have to nip back there this afternoon…
- Find Magpie’s Nest at 3 Gray Street, Knysna, or on Facebook. Telephone +27(0)82 566 7849 or +27(0)72 183 9801