Yearly Archives: 2010


Flying out the door to fly to San Francisco and thinking about my lovely Kitchen Sisters playing on the iPod… and the beautiful story of the Chili Queens. I can smell the chili cooking as I fly.

I will be that annoying person on the plane today with a four year old who talks too loud and sings out-of-tune. If you are traveling my way, grant me grace – if just for today.

Looking forward to all my California Sisters!  

*Photo courtesy of Kitchen Sister Davia



The Oxford American: Southern Food 2010 arrived while I was traveling and I am breathless to devour the issue this weekend in the sunshine and at my own kitchen table.

I will move seamlessly from John Kessler’s “Tale of Two Cities” to Dian Robert’s “People of the Cake” while sipping a tea and listening to Maggie talk to her “babies” in her room.

Get your copy here and start with this great article from Matt & Ted Lee on the OA website: Matt and Ted Lee on the Next Big (but Tiny!) Southern Ingredient

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Many of you may have already seen this but in the off-chance that you missed it, I wanted to share this great article.

What I really love are all the comments – especially the one about how media is trying to emasculate men with articles like this one.

In my Making & Meaning sessions with The Bureau of Friends, I found that sewing and making is genderless. Making together inspires spirited conversation, bonded friendships and, simply said, a good time.

From the Wall Street Journal:  

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The Doo-Nanny was amazing this year and I have arrived back home after what seems like months. It was lovely to sit at my dining room table this morning and think about all the stories and laughter…

I hope that you can all join us next year in Seale. It is a magical experience and there will be more about this next week. BUT… back to today.   I have been asked over the course of the last year (about a hundred and one times) to start a video blog and I have probably tried it just as many times. I never once posted the video for one reason or the other but mainly because I could not make it through one video watching myself and hearing my own voice. Ever felt that way?   Anyway, I have been broken by peer pressure (Melanie + Gilberto I am writing to the two of you) and here present Video Blog #1. Depending on the feedback (ahmmm… this means to comment below), I will start to share one on a regular basis.   So here you have the story of “Loving Your Thread.” You will find this story in both Alabama Stitch Book and Alabama Studio Style.

Loving Your Thread is at the core of our work at Alabama Chanin and at the core of my work as an entrepreneur. After I become a Video Blog Aficionado, I will most likely want to do this one again.
Smile and let me know if you need subtitles for my Southern accent…


Butch had a vision of a structure after watching Where The Wild Things Are and Zach has spent the last weeks bringing it to life.

I love the stark geometry against the trees and water. It is a shame that they are going to burn it in the end.

I told Butch this morning that I would like to re-build it this summer and host a dinner right there in the middle.   Beautiful…

Come join us at the Doo-Nanny for films, sewing, books and a little bit of the wild.


Thank you to Haskell Harris and all the folks at Garden & Gun for this piece about my favorite room (and table) in the house.

Natalie Chanin
The Localista

Ten years ago, Natalie Chanin surprised the New York fashion world with a T-shirt that she ripped to pieces and sewed back together using quilt-inspired stitches. Then Chanin promptly left for her hometown of Florence, Alabama, where she hired local seamstresses to create her first label, Project Alabama. Now she runs Alabama Chanin, a company that produces couture clothing, fabric, jewelry, and home goods from new, recycled, and organic materials by hand, a process that gives each design its one-of-a-kind charm.

Chanin, whose career is famously influenced by her Southern upbringing, often works out of her house, the dining room in particular. “It’s really the soul of the house,” she says. “And it has great light, so it doubles as my office and photo studio. I do everything from folding clothes to hosting Christmas parties in that room.”

The dining room is full of Chanin’s handmade artistry, including the table, made from scrap wood that’s painted her favorite color, white. “It doesn’t compete with all of the things you have in your life,” she says. There’s also a chandelier she rehabbed with paint and a couple of reworked vintage chests.

Chanin’s designs have recently inspired a second craft book, Alabama Studio Style, due out this month, which details how to make some of her favorite furniture creations at home. “People want more value for their dollar these days,” she says. “They’re interested in things with a good story and things with a purpose.”


Get out and join us for the
14th Annual Doo-Nanny
@ The Museum of Wonder in Seale, Alabama:

Starting with the Possum Trot Auction Parade on Fridaythe 26th of March, 2010 at
5:30 pm

And going through Sunday Afternoon the 28th of March at 5:30 pm

Music + Art

Alabama Studio Style Book Signing
Alabama Chanin

Trunk Show, Sewing Workshop & More

Film – Food – Fun – Fire
Rain or Shine

The Museum of Wonder
41 Poorhouse Road
Seale, Alabama 36875

**Photo thanks to Robbie Gay @ THOUGHTBARN


Preparing for my journey to New York and looking forward to the adventure.

Plan your adventure and journey to Brooklyn to join us for events@ Spacecraft and Etsy.  

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”    — Mark Twain


When I first thought about the blog tour for Alabama Studio Style, I did not realize what a great opportunity this was going to be to travel the world, connect with some of my favorite people and experience life from my own beautiful table. Now, half-way through, I am awed by deep, thoughtful questions, the vision of these women and sometimes, simply sitting and sewing. Here are a few of the highlights & THANK YOU to everyone who has had me round. I am looking forward to New York next week and to the rest of the tour. A few of my favorites:

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