NEWSLETTER #20

Newsletter-#20

We have a lot to look forward to this fall at Alabama Chanin. Newsletter #20 announces our upcoming Denim collection, launching on September 9th. It will feature permanent and one-of-a-kind indigo dyed items. On October 10th, we invite Nick Pihakis and Drew Robinson of Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Que to The Factory; the café will also feature a monthly menu with recipes from Jim ‘N Nick’s. Visit our Careers page for job opportunities and check our our new calendar of events.

Join our mailing list to receive our monthly newsletter and keep up with our latest news, new products, and stories featured on our Journal.

Update your mailing subscription to include the newsletter here.
xoNatalie and all of us @ Alabama Chanin

 

 

THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 9.1.2014 – 9.5.2014

THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 9.1.2014 - 9.5.2014

“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.” – Leo Tolstoy

Here is what we have going on this week, Monday, September 1 – Friday, September 5:

STORE
The Factory Store and Café will be closed on Monday, September 1 to observe Labor Day.

Shop our annual Labor Day Sale and receive 20% off online purchases.  Sign up for our mailing list for more details.

This month’s First Monday will be moved to Tuesday, September 2.  Join us then, in our newly expanded studio space, to work on your latest sewing project.

While you’re here at The Factory, see “Making Pictures: Three for a Dime”- a collaborative exhibition between Alabama Chanin, artist Maxine Payne, and Phillip March Jones of Institute 193.

Store Hours
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

TOURS
Stop by any weekday at 2:00pm for a guided tour of our space, including The Factory, the Alabama Chanin production and design studio, and Building 14.

CAFÉ
Join us for lunch at The Factory Café this week and enjoy a new menu every day.

Also, don’t forget to take a look in our cooler—fully stocked with homemade ready-to-go items like egg salad, pimento cheese, and our roasted tomato soup.

Café Hours
Monday – Friday, 11:00am – 3:00pm
*Lunch service begins at 11:00am, but coffee and snacks are available all day.

Below is the menu for Tuesday, September 2; check back each day for an updated menu.

WEEKLY SPECIAL
$12.95
Choose two of the following:
a half of your choice of sandwich, a cup of roasted tomato soup, or a Local Green Salad,
with a chocolate chip cookie, and your choice of tea or coffee

STARTERS

 Fig and Goat Cheese Tartine
ciabatta toast points with an herbed goat cheese, fig preserve,
and crispy country ham 5.50

White Bean Hummus
with house made flatbread 4.95

SAVORY

Quiche of the Day
with smoked sausage, sweet peppers, and caramelized onions,
served with roasted potatoes and a side of Local Green Salad 10.95

 Jack-o-Lantern Farm’s BLT Sandwich
with Duroc bacon, greens, and Heirloom tomato,
served with a side of Local Green Salad or your choice of chips 11.95

 Roasted Vegetable Sandwich
roasted eggplant, squash, peppers, and red onions with fresh ricotta cheese,
served on homemade ciabatta bread,
with a side of Local Green Salad or your choice of chips 11.95

SWEET

Ashley Christensen’s Banana Panna Cotta
served with bourbon caramel sauce,
topped with homemade graham crackers 4.95

Blueberry Crepes
filled with Zingerman’s cream cheese,
topped with a blueberry, thyme, and port sauce 4.95

Sorbet Trio
with peach-bourbon, blueberry, and watermelon-ginger sorbets,
topped with lime salt 4.25

Three Chocolate Chip Cookies 2.95

(All desserts are made to order; please allow 10 minutes.)

SIDES

Side of Local Green Salad 5.50

Pimento Cheese Sandwich
served open-faced 7.45

Grilled Cheese Sandwich 4.95

 Gram Perkins’ Homemade Egg Salad Sandwich
served open-faced 7.45

Cup of Soup with toast 4.50

Bowl of Soup with toast 6.50

Route 11 Potato Chips 1.50

 DRINKS

 Mountain Valley Spring Water (flat or sparkling)

Full Bottle 3.75
Individual Size 1.90

Bottle Drinks 1.90

Organic Iced Tea
your choice sweet, unsweet, or half-and-half 1.90

Hot Tea 1.90

The Factory Blend Drip Coffee 2.50

 When possible, we proudly serve organic and source our ingredients locally from Jack-o-Lantern Farm, Belle Chevre, and other purveyors.

Enjoy your lunch on exclusive Alabama Chanin @ Heath Ceramics dinnerware.

MAKING PICTURES: THREE FOR A DIME EXHIBITION

MAKING PICTURES: THREE FOR A DIME EXHIBITION

One Saturday morning in the mid-1930s, Mancey Massengill, a wife and mother of two, saw people having their pictures made in a dime store photo booth in Batesville, Arkansas. According to her son Lance, “she watched close, and got the name off the camera, then wrote to the company and ordered the lens. She got the money for that by taking about two dozen pullets in for sale.” Her husband, Jim, built a box to house the lens and outfitted a trailer to create a mobile photo studio. On weekends, they would set up in little towns across the state and make pictures, three for a dime.

Jim and Mancey Massengill started this family side-business to make ends meet. The country was in the throes of depression and on the verge of entering the Second World War. Work was scarce in rural Arkansas, but the Massengills understood that even in rough times, life continues. Babies are born, children play, couples meet, and we all grow older. Someone needed to be there to capture those moments and that person could perhaps make a living doing it.

A few years later, the Massengill’s sons, Lance and Lawrence, and their wives, Evelyn and Thelma, worked their way into the business. They outfitted their own trailers and made their own pictures, traveling across the state in search of clients. The surviving family diaries and notes from this period attest to a very strong and entrepreneurial work ethic, with little mention of aesthetics or technique. The men and women of both generations describe where they went, what they did, and how much they made with only fleeting mention of life’s details. With few exceptions, the stories are left to be told by the pictures they made.

MAKING PICTURES: THREE FOR A DIME EXHIBITION

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AUGUST’S END SALE

AUGUST'S END SALE

We are saying good-bye to summer and gearing up for a busy fall season.
Look for a new collection, new DIY collection, more workshops,
another Friends of the Café dinner, and added events at The Factory.

Celebrate the last breath of summer with our August’s End Sale.

Save 20% online and in-store
Midnight, Thursday, August 29th – midnight, Monday, September 1st

Enter code AUGUST2014 at online checkout

Or visit us at Alabama Chanin @ The Factory
462 Lane Drive
Florence, AL 35630

STORE HOURS
Friday* from 9:00 – 5:00

 (*Please note The Factory Store and Café will be closed
on Monday, September 1st to observe Labor Day.)

*Discount excludes all workshops, collaborations, books + music, Swatch of the Month, Starter Sewing Kit, and Heath Ceramics dinnerware. 

THE SECRET GARDEN

THE-SECRET-GARDEN (4)

One of the great joys of my job is the fact that we sometimes get to review books for other authors. Sometimes we order the books from a catalog of new titles and sometimes, the books just arrive like magic in the mail. This was the case last year, when we received a book called Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford. The coloring book—intended for children and adults—was published by Lawrence King and immediately found its way to my pile of books I love. On the inside cover is a quote that reads, “Tumble down the rabbit hole & find yourself in my inky wonderland…” And that is exactly how I felt after browsing just a few pages. Although we have played with permanent markers for years in writing on quilts and garments, looking at page after page of beautiful detailed illustrations, I was overwhelmed by inspiration.

THE-SECRET-GARDEN (2)

Through some experimentation, we found out that black and white photocopies will transfer onto white and/or natural colored fabric with a hot iron.  This made it possible for us to transfer the pattern one-to-one from this or any coloring book, stencil, or black and white design. There are arrays of fabric coloring tools available at local craft stores and more arrive on the market each year. We found that the pastel dye sticks and fabric markers (designed for children) work very well.

THE-SECRET-GARDEN (8)

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VIVIAN HOWARD’S CUCUMBER LIMEADE COCKTAIL

Chanin_cocktail-Photographer-Angie-Mosier-CROP

A few months ago, I spent a couple of days with friends at Gray Bear Lodge in Hohenwald, Tennessee. While there—in addition to the yoga sessions, sauna time, tub soaks, and hikes—I was treated to a (mini) juice cleanse for a few days. And though I recommend consulting your doctor before embarking on your own juice cleanses, I must say that I walked away from the experience feeling healthy and refreshed.

I returned from my trip, bought a juicer the next day, and it has changed my life. Diann from Gray Bear walked me through the juicing regimen which always seemed a bit complicated and demanding for me.  She taught me to: simplify, use ingredients that I like, experiment with combinations, and taste as I go to come up with an array of variations. “Plus,” she says, “once you have the raw ingredients on hand (and the juicer out and running) make enough for a few days.” While that might not be as good as juicing and drinking right away, this is real life, right?

After a few weeks, I also discovered that these fresh fruit and vegetable juices also lend themselves to delicious cocktails. (However, it should be noted that fresh juice cocktails don’t maintain all of the health benefits of fresh juice alone.) During Vivian Howard’s recent dinner at The Factory, we used my juicer to create the Cucumber Ginger Limeade cocktail that opened the evening. Since the dinner, there have been several requests for the recipe. Break out your juicer (but juice—and drink—responsibly).

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START SAVING THURSDAY AT MIDNIGHT

August's End Sale

Beginning this Thursday at midnight (and through midnight on Labor Day), save 20% online,
or visit us at The Factory on Friday, August 29th for the same savings.

Alabama Chanin @ The Factory
462 Lane Drive
Florence, AL 35630

STORE HOURS
Friday* from 9:00 – 5:00

(*Please note The Factory Store and Café will be closed
on Monday, September 1st to observe Labor Day.)

THE JANE TANK

JANE-TANK-03

The Jane Tank was added to our Basics section as part of our most recent Alabama Chanin collection, inspired by Maxine Payne’s Making Pictures: Three For a Dime. The silhouette is classic and unquestionably feminine. This tank is best worn when you want to bare your arms and shoulders, as the tied straps draw attention to the upper body and face. It is beautiful paired with pants or a long skirt, though I love how it looks when worn with our Patchwork Skirt.

The tank is fitted at the bust and flares at the waist. It measures 25 inches in length, and the straps are secured with long ties at the shoulder. Select either lightweight or medium-weight organic jersey fabric.

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DESIGN: GAEL TOWEY

DESIGN: GAEL TOWEY

I have known many storytellers in my life. Some have a natural and unrehearsed style that feels captivating and immediate; some present new or unfamiliar points of view; others are quite deliberate and thoughtful in approach; all of them are enthralling to me. As a storyteller born into a family of storytellers, I find master storyteller Gael Towey both compelling and inspiring. She has a distinct perspective and is skilled at many things: crafting a storyline, discovering and highlighting the unique qualities of her subjects, eliciting a response from the audience, and designing beautiful visual elements. Her work has informed contemporary visual language in a way we can barely imagine.

I was lucky to be among Gael’s subjects as part of her series of short films about artists called “Portraits in Creativity” www.portraitsincreativity.com (and I especially love her piece on friend and heroine Maira Kalman). Each of her portraits uncover the unique qualities of her subjects and reveal Towey’s fascination with the creative process. For over two years, we have been speaking with Gael about her past, her present, and the creative processes, media, and methods she uses to propel her ideas forward.

Gael was raised in New Jersey and was the oldest of six children. She revealed that, as a child, she was mildly dyslexic and almost flunked the second and third grade because she couldn’t spell; she reversed all her consonants and vowel combinations.  She was drawn to art and studied it enthusiastically through college. “I loved printmaking and accidentally signed up for a class in typography, and I fell in love with it from the first lecture,” Towey says. “I’d never looked at the design of a letter and had not noticed how beautiful they are.” She switched her major to graphic design and graduated from Boston University, College of Fine Arts. Gael said, “I was extraordinarily lucky. I have met so many young people who don’t know what they want to do, but I always knew.  I struggled academically and art was the only thing I was good at… And it’s funny that I wound up working in the publishing business since I had no confidence in my ability to write properly.”

DESIGN: GAEL TOWEYGael worked on the book, In the Russian Stylewith Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

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