Yearly Archives: 2010


Don’t miss this lovely interview with Maira Kalman at

I know that I have written about her before (and before that too); BUT, Maggie and I still enjoy her company every day and night.
I am planning my trip to the Institute of Contemporary Art.


And while we are on the subject of all things food related coming back to John T. Edge

All of the pictures – taken by dear friend Angie Mosier – for Truck Food Nation have been posted.

Our friends have elevated truck food culture to white tablecloth – amazingly beautiful and inspiring.

I can’t wait to hold (and review) the book and am looking forward to our trips to San Francisco and Portland to check out a few of their finds…

More on Portland next week… Have a great weekend.


Not that cleaning house is very exciting (or sexy as I have remarked before)… unless you choose to do it in a feather boa as my friend Whitechapel suggests.

BUT, I did have a nice childhood memory today of Saturday morning cleaning sprees.

I got ambitious (or drank too much coffee) and tried out some cleaning recipes from How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew.

Feeling very domestically refreshed, and yes, well, sexy…


I am upcycling this blog post from 2006 as I have just had so many questions about it recently…

Celebrate the official release of Alabama Studio Style this week by Baking a Pie for a Cake Plate:

Below is my Gram Perkins’ famous chocolate pie recipe that my cousin Joy continues to make. It was printed in 1958 in the “Favorite Recipes of Alabama Vocational Home Economics Teachers” cook book. My mother gave me a copy of this book when I moved out into my first apartment. You can find other great community cooking in A Gracious Plenty by John T. Edge and Ellen Rolfes.

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Thank you to Jennifer Crossley for the lovely article in our local newspaper this morning about the release of Alabama Studio Style - great to have the support of our community!

And a shout-out to Sara Martin who is that friend who tries to keep me straight on this Journal (among other things)! Sara has been a great friend and collaborator all of these years. Without her clear guidance and eagle eye, the comma splice would have become my trademark. (Is there a comma splice somewhere here?)

Don’t miss this great interview with Cathy Horn on as well as this fantastic piece she did about manufacturing – good insight into the future of fashion.

Also, we will be working on the website over the course of the next week. Please bear with us as we do a bit of spring cleaning, streamlining and trying to create an easier interface with less clutter. Should you experience any problems whatsoever, please contact us.


Maggie has her Valentine’s Party this morning at school and she started the day jumping up and down saying, “I am so excited. I am so excited. I am so excited.” Her enthusiasm for this holiday has been amazing to see crescendo as the week comes to a close. This (almost) four year old girl has been sitting for a week now patiently writing her name on each card and envelope. Then, she meticulously packs cards, candy and treats inside the envelopes – custom-stylized for a special friend. Amazing.

The gist of this is that we are going to celebrate Maggie’s new favorite holiday by making her (my) favorite sugar cookies over the weekend and I have to get ready today.  Notice how the hearts (cookies) in the drawing above are larger than anything else in her world – including house, pets, and parents! Got to love a girl who loves to cook…

The base of our recipe comes from Kim’s Cookbook For Young People that was given to me by my Grandmother Smith on my 13th Birthday.


Stenciling is at the core of all of our Alabama Chanin collections; to date it is the sole means by which we transfer decorative patterns onto our fabrics.

The simplest way to work is to buy a ready-made stencil; they are commonly sold at craft and art supply stores.

You can also use existing artwork (either from a book or CD of stencil designs or another source), or make your own stencil.

For the projects in Alabama Studio Style, we have provided two stencil patterns: Angie’s Fall and Medallion stencils have been used in two different sizes. The Small Medallion stencil is provided as a pullout located between pages 144 and 145 of Alabama Studio Styleand is ready to use.

And here, you can download the artwork to create your own Alabama Studio Stylestencils and projects:

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My new favorite material in our studio is the Yarn Ball.

Made from scraps of our 100% organic cotton jersey, the scraps are pulled by hand (see page 99 of Alabama Studio Style for instructions) into ropes and then tied together with a square knot and rolled into these beautiful balls.

The largest ball is 12” in diameter and weighs about 6 lbs.    Although I love them just as objects just to sit around the studio, Diane Hall – our master seamstress – knitted the beautiful scarf above using this “yarn.”

Shown here in Storm Blue, I have worn my scarf everyday in this cold weather as it sits just like a collar under all of my sweaters and jackets.  Keep an eye out for this in our upcoming Fall/Winter collection or get started knitting now… yes, knitting. (Melanie, are you reading this?)   The yarn is also great for making placemats, bathroom or door mats, braided rugs or just tying two things together.