Let's Talk: Escapade

I am such a sucker for pretty blogs so it makes perfect sense that Escapade has been on my list of daily reads since it was started by Sharalee last April. Hailing from Zimbabwe, Sharalee currently lives in Toronto where she shares her passion for beautiful interiors and more with us readers everyday. Let's go straight to the interview and I'll wrap up a little later....

What are the first word that come to mind when you think about Africa?

Warm - not only the warmer weather they enjoy, but the warmth of the colours of nature there, and most especially the warm and inviting spirit of the people. It's something you feel when you first inhale the warm air as you step off the plane, feel again in the genuine smiles of the people who greet you, the warm sunshine on your face and throughout the countryside as you drive home. The tall golden grass, terra cotta soil and flashes of bright colour in the flowers, clothing and building - it's all around you.

What is one of your favorite memories from time spent in Zimbabwe (or elsewhere in Africa)?

Too many to choose from but one that stands out is going out after dark on my twelfth birthday (you had to be twelve for this activity) and driving out to a viewing point at a small lake where suddenly, and almost silently, hundreds of elephants started to arrive. At first they were just shadowy figures then the moon rose and you could see them as far as the eye could see - my favourite were the babies playing with their mothers in the water. The experience was pure magic.

What was your first impression of Toronto when you moved there after growing up in Zimbabwe? Was it a huge culture shock?

I'd visited Canada and my family here quite frequently growing up, so I was somewhat familiar from the start. Definitely there was an adjustment period getting used to the weather and little quirks of life over here. I still have pangs of homesickness but love so many things about this country and the fantastic city I live in (Toronto).

If you could go to one place on the continent right now, where would it be and why?

Bazaruto, Mozambique - the most idyllic beach setting, completely remote, breathtakingly beautiful and utterly peaceful. Of course, always dream of being home in Zimbabwe and would love to live in vibrant, cosmopolitan Cape Town.

When you are not running your blog, what do you like to do?

Perpetually caught up in 'smelling the roses', as soon as the sunshine peaks out, I love to be outside as much as possible - being surrounded by nature makes me feel grounded and peaceful. I love exploring art and design and will happily spend a free afternoon antiquing, visiting galleries or unique independent in the city.

Where is your favorite hang out spot?

Love BMV and other used book stores to spend hours pouring through beautiful art and interiors books, tea in hand, and scoring a few bargains.

Nick Brandt's Work

Who is one of your favorite photographers?

Nick Brandt. I find his work just memerizing - he manages to capture such intimate portraits of these beautiful animals that really reveal the spirit inside of them. I could spend hours just getting lost inside one these haunting images, and frequently do - am lucky to have one of his beautiful photographs of an elephant hanging in my living room.

What is your personal soundtrack of the moment?
Some fantastic new African finds - very smooth lounge music from Goldfish (South African duo), Fela Kuti, 340ml, Amadou et Miriam. There is so much exciting music coming out of the continent at the moment!

Who or what has been your greatest inspiration?

Always inspired by nature and the 'art' of everyday life. Completely addicted to design books and magazines, and am always blown away by the incredible inspiration found across the web at so many beautiful blogs!

What is the best lesson you've learned so far?

To live honestly and authentically and to make sure that the choices I make, whether is what I choose to buy or my daily habits, match up with my values. (It's always a work in progress...)

What dream do you still want to fulfill?

To start and run my own, successful business.

Sharalee and her husband on their wedding day

What book and/or magazine are your reading right now?
Some great Canadian picks - and , and whenever I can get my hands on them - my favourite international magazines -
On my coffee table at the moment: by Vicente Wolf

I don't know about you, but I really enjoyed this interview! It has been wonderful to get to know the person behind Escapade and hear about her experiences and passion for design, Africa, and more.

:: Thank you so much Sharalee ::
{Photos: Escapade & Nick Brandt}


escapade said...

Thank you so much for having me Brandie!

H. Miller said...

What a lovely interview.
I think that you have captured a side of Africa that is far too often neglected. I'd like to read more about the strength of the people than just all of the politics (though they are important).

Thank you for this little escapade for the evening!

Lana said...

Lovely interview Brandie, Escapade is also one of my faves, so it was great to find out more about Sharalee!