Hummingbird Beats: Alyson Fox Jill Donenfeld

I started my Hello Giggles presence with a column called How To Be A Gypsy. My relationship to this word refers to a sense of fearlessness, courageousness, and desire to embrace life in full.  I had no intentions to (or even a vague sense that I might) offend. But, I did and sincerely apologize to those turned off. If there’s anything I’ve learned in the years taking the road less traveled, it’s that wrong turns can often lead to a truer journey. And such is the case here.

How To Be A Gypsy is now Hummingbird Beats. A Hummingbird stops time, instills joy, moves constantly with total focus, seeks sweetness, and symbolizes infinity – infinite love, light, energy, joy. It’s also been my nickname for about ten years.

Austin-based Alyson Fox is quite the hummingbird.  She makes things from paper, fabric, books, ceramics, tape, wallpaper, office supplies, photographs, old tattered things, new polished things, furniture, and plaster. She has degrees in photography, sculpture, and installation art. She designs a small line of limited edition pieces for purchase under the name “a small collection”. Currently she is working on some textile designs and a few collaboration projects. Due out this year is a new line of plates, luggage and a book with her art.

What’s in your bag? When you pack for a trip, in your handbag, in the pockets of your jeans…?

A small field notes notebook and pen, a small baggu zip pouch with: Hemp Organics lip tint in terra, a tampon, bobby pins and a hand sanitizer. Warby parker sunglasses and my phone are always in my bag when traveling or not.

You have 5 minutes to pack up – for a trip of which the duration you’re not sure. What do you take?

I am a pretty light packer. I do the roll method and I plan on wearing the same things a number of times. Not knowing where I am going or for how long makes it really interesting. I’d have to say my oversized Levi’s jeans, Mociun leggings, long acne grey tank, my white long sleeve button down, silk navy tank top, printed shirt of some kind, silk tank dress from good will, grey cardigan, grey water proof sandals from old navy, toms shoes, my woven hat, passport, 3 pairs of underwear, swimsuit, Dr Bronner’s ( to wash my body and clothes), jojoba oil, the stuff in my purse and a tooth brush. And I pray it’s not cold!

What is your most essential article of clothing?

A grey cashmere cardigan that I live in.

What are the top 5 songs you need to have access to hearing at all times?

Those are always changing but currently I’m liking:

anything from Wu Life

‘Cannons’ by Youth Lagoon

anything from Wilco

‘If I had a Boat’ by Lyle Lovett

‘New Slang’ by The Shins

What is your preferred hummingbird beat/cities you like to frequent?

I like hanging out in Marfa because it’s close. If money was no option – Berlin.

What’s something crazy that you did to follow your passion? (like, did you live out of your car for a month? Drive 10 hours to pick up a certain, weird material you needed?)

Photographing over 100 women that I had never meet before for my “Shade of Red” portrait series.  I loved it!

What is one tip you have for traveling – a beauty tip, a survival tip, a culinary tip… ?

Less is definitely more.  You will never wear more than 3 pairs of shoes. Pack light and buy something fun.

What’s a recent or favorite meal you had while bouncing around the globe?

Recently in Chicago my husband and I ate at Mana Foods and nearly passed out. Everything we ate was amazing.

Where have you had your best night’s sleep?

On our honeymoon in Kuai. We stayed in a hand built house where everything was designed for the house. It was amazing. Every night we slept sound.

Who would you like to travel with – three people (you guys can caravan together or on separate trips)?

My husband – all over Europe. And both of my grandmothers to wherever they wanted to go so I have one last hurrah with them.

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