Yearly Archives: 2009

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

I am, obviously, a bit behind in my efforts at blogging.  Or maybe there has just been so much good recently.    Either way, this great Op-Ed was sent to me by my friend Matthew from Savannah. It reminds me of Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell – which I have been heard to (loosely) quote from recently.   The bottom line – and great news – is that we can all do just about anything that we set our minds to do…as long as we are willing to practice being good at it.  I can hear my father saying over, and over again, “Practice makes perfect. Practice makes perfect.”  I guess that he was right.   

Genius: The Modern View
By DAVID BROOKS, New York Times, May 1, 2009

Some people live in romantic ages. They tend to believe that genius is the product of a divine spark. They believe that there have been, throughout the ages, certain paragons of greatness — Dante, Mozart, Einstein — whose talents far exceeded normal comprehension, who had an other-worldly access to transcendent truth, and who are best approached with reverential awe.

We, of course, live in a scientific age, and modern research pierces hocus-pocus. In the view that is now dominant, even Mozart’s early abilities were not the product of some innate spiritual gift. His early compositions were nothing special. They were pastiches of other people’s work. Mozart was a good musician at an early age, but he would not stand out among today’s top child-performers.

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HEATH AGAIN

I returned home from my travels last week to find a box from Cathy and Robin @ Heath.

Inside the box was my new, and now favorite, book for inspiration.

The colors, textures and beautiful simplicity take my breath away:

Heath Creamics : The Complexity of Simplicity

A heartfelt THANK YOU to Cathy and Robin for making a difference.


MY MAGGIE THANKS YOU

I keep thinking, over and over again, about this quote that I read on Treehugger.com in the midst of the Earth Day celebrations:  

“Writing in Mother Jones, Joel Makower waves the white flag. Green consumerism, it seems, was one of those well-intended passing fancies, testament to Americans’ never-ending quest for simple quick, and efficient solutions to complex problems. It’s only a matter of time before… the public recognizes that for every pound of trash that ends up in municipal landfills, at least 40 more pounds are created upstream by industrial processes – and that a lot of this waste is far more dangerous to environmental and human health than our newspapers and grass clippings.

At that point, the locus of concern could shift away from beverage containers, grocery bags, and the other mundane leftovers of daily life to what happens behind the scenes – the production, crating, storing and shipping of the goods we buy and use.”

Read the whole story here.

It also reminds me of The Story of Stuff and that, as designers and consumers, it is our responsibility to consider the impact of each and every decision in the design, development and manufacturing process.

As I told a group of students at SCAD last week:  For a very long time, designers have been at the core of the problem, creating product, after product, after product without regard to the consequences.  It is time for us as designers to solve the problem and design the solution.

My Maggie, pictured above, thanks you…

MOTHER’S DAY

My grandmother Christine once told me that she “sewed every dress that the girls” – her three daughters – “wore until they left home.” I remember as a little girl how she sewed everything from nightgowns and underwear to prom dresses and quilts.    Although her eyes don’t see well enough to sew these days, she is an inspiration to me and can sit for hours telling stories about fabrics, scraps and how one can tell the weather just by looking at the sky.   I am starting tonight to make “Mamaw Chris” these flowers (pictured here) in time for Mother’s Day on the 10th of May.   If you already own a copy of our Alabama Stitch Book, start making flowers today for your maternal heroes…

**I wanted to name my daughter after Mamaw Chris whose full name is Fanny Christine.  I have loved that name since I can remember hearing it; however, she made me promise that I would not “do that to a girl.”

 

HEATH CERAMICS

Bravo to Cathy and Robin @ Heath for their commitment to quality, exceptional design and community.

From The New York Times:

April 23, 2009 A Label of Pride That Pays
By TRACEY TAYLOR

In a timeworn factory in Sausalito, Calif., 67 workers turn out Heath ceramics, doing everything from mixing the clay to applying the finishing glazes. Twenty miles away, a Japanese robot called Ziggy works day and night in a converted brass foundry in Berkeley, making precision-cut office furniture.

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KNIT CAFE

Everyone who knows me knows that I am definitely not a knitter. My fingers just can’t make those little movements and I am much too impatient to make it to the end of a project.

While I have sewn and crocheted since I can remember, I have never been able to understand the groove of knitting. I collect yarns, needles and threads in every weight and color as I love the way they sit in the basket together. And I find that all of the notions for knitting are absolutely beautiful.

Melanie swears that she can teach me to knit & I am waiting with baited breath to hear her acquiesce that I am un-teachable… with her laughing all the while at my uneven, crooked stitches. (The idea of my weekend knitting course appeals to my adventurous spirit.)

BUT if I were to knit, I would certainly start with this beautiful Felted Saddle Blanket for the horse that Butch is threatening to buy. This book, and all the projects, from Suzan Mischer  make me want to go right over to Purl to order loads of yarn and accessories. Greetings from Knit Café now available in paperback

HAPPY EARTH DAY

In celebration of Earth Day, we would like to honor our farmers – stewards of the land – who strive to grow cotton that sustains the earth and enriches our lives. To Green Textiles, our knitters, who support the work of those farmers and create the most luxurious fabrics that are the basis of our garments.

Thank you to our artisans, the heart of our company, who use their wondrous talents to create our garments one stitch at a time with needle and thread.

A thank you to STC, and Melanie, for providing us a platform to share our philosophy, history, techniques and products through Alabama Stitch Book and our upcoming Alabama Studio Style (February 2010). We are grateful for the wonderful process of learning to share and having the opportunity to teach how to make your own garments.

A hearty round of applause to our crafters and sewers who work to recycle items from their closets (and local thrift stores) into their own lives and who support our efforts each and every day…

What better way to celebrate the bounty that is our earth. Happy Day…