The holidays have snuck up on us once again. It seems that so often we rush through the year and then into the holidays while forgetting to enjoy the beauty of the season. These days, as we all prepare for parties, enormous dinners, and the giving of gifts, I hope that we also find comfort in tradition, the simplicity of family, and in our own unique ways of celebrating. My wish is the same for our Alabama Chanin family. As we prepare to leave for the holidays (we will be closed on Monday), we leave you with a few stories, favorite memories, pictures, traditions, and things we cherish about this time of year.
I was greeted at work today by the most wonderful discovery – I literally gasped when I saw the copy of Savage Beauty on my desk. Thank you Natalie! It’s no secret that I’ve been obsessing over Alexander McQueen for the last several months, watching past runway shows, and sending links with reckless abandon. The work is breathtaking.
I will now give my computer a well-deserved rest from endless McQueen queries so that I might devote the day to
complete immersion in one of the most beautiful books I have ever seen. You’ll find a couple of beautiful photos below, but there really is so much more.
P.S.: Thank you to Andrew Bolton and the entire team at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute for the stunning retrospective. Read the New York Times article about the show and the man: Designer as Dramatist, and the Tales He Left Behind
The response to our Weekend Workshop Give-Away on our Facebook Page has been tremendous and inspiring, but also difficult in that we don’t know how to choose a winner.
This might have been one of the most difficult decisions we have had to make all year. So many people, so many deserving stories… The result is that instead of giving away one Weekend Workshop, we are giving away five.
We want to congratulate Janette Danley for her daughter’s beautiful story of her mother’s selfless love and Sarah Straud for understanding the true essence of giving by recommending Janette Danley – rather than herself. Their stories are below. We look forward to sharing the weekend with these two women in our studio this coming April.
And since we couldn’t stop there…
We would invite Julie Glasgow Higginbotham’s mother to our Weekend Workshop in August and Anne Heartness’ friend Melissa to our weekend workshop in November.
If the winners could please contact us via email office (at) alabamachanin.com, we will complete the registration. We look forward to sharing these stories in the coming year. Thank you again for all the beautiful stories and happy days to all…
About this time last year, I agreed to create a barbeque inspired collection for our next Fall/Winter line – yes, that’s right, barbeque. Although it seems impossible, time moves SO QUICKLY and it is time to get started. John T. Edge is headed to our studio today to discuss the upcoming work, as the barbeque collection will be shown at the Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium in Oxford, Mississippi, next year.
In preparation for that collection, I have been working on a series of barbeque inspired Textile Stories Quilts for the Taste of the South auction next month. When thinking about barbeque (and we have our share here in Florence), what better place to start than with Joe York’s film Cut Chop Cook.
I love this quote from barbeque master Roosevelt Scott (it starts at the 4:48 minute mark):
“After building the fire, while the fire is getting ready put the pig on the pit. And after you put the pig on, when the coals get ready then you start putting the coal under the hog.
We take the shovel. Scoop it in there. Scoop up what we need. Take it on the inside and we have an open door at each pit where we go under with the shovel and spread the heat at both the ham and the shoulders. No where else. And all the heat meets in the middle.
You hear folks all over say they use the wood. But then they say they use wood chips, or they may use a few pieces of wood. They might smoke for a little bit. This right here? All wood. Nothing else. One hundred percent wood. Nothing but wood.
Cut. Chop. Cook. It’s all right here. In the wood.”
You can almost smell the barbeque. Food for the soul:
Thank you to everyone who braved the rain and came out for our Holiday Market + Cocktail Party last night. Continue reading
I have been revisiting our Wabi Sabi posts as I move into the holiday season and start to get my house ready for a slew of visitors. I am so excited to be cooking up a storm from all of our new holiday cookbooks, playing games, and laughing – but, first, my house needs a good cleaning. While I love the Wabi Sabi Cleaning Cupboard, I also enjoy splurging from time-to-time on my favorite Mrs. Meyer’s Lemon Verbena cleaning supplies. June put together a lovely cleaning kit of all my favorite supplies, with some of our organic cotton scraps to use as rags for my deep clean. Perhaps I really don’t like cleaning but I do get great satisfaction from taking my time, touching every surface, and relaxing at the end of the day in a house that just smells good. All is right with the world.
“Homemakers in the Depression era knew wabi-sabi (even if they never uttered the phrase). In their homes, things were patched and mended but scrubbed and clean, handmade or chosen and paid for with care. Their linens may have been thin from many washings, but they were crisply white from lemon-juice treatments. Floors may have shown the wear of many feet, but they were clean and warmed up with a rug that had faded gracefully from brilliant red to pale rose. Wood had scratches, but it was polished to show off its grain. For those indoctrinated to believe that anything less than perfect should be replaced, our ancestors’ hands-on frugality is enlightening – welcome respite in our prosperous age of planned obsolescence.”
Those of you who follow us on Twitter, Facebook and/or Tumblr, know that I was in New Mexico over the holidays. What resulted from this adventure was a love for the west and an understanding of why so many artists and creative types have settled to work there. I was deeply impacted by the beauty, spirit, and (perhaps mostly by) the clear, crisp air. The day my friend Jennifer and I landed we spotted four rainbows. Our friend Jeff wrote that such an unlikely experience is “possibly an indicator of good fortune to come.”
My blog post at EcoSalon this Friday is about our trip and the inspiration I found in a woman – long dead – named Mabel Dodge Luhan.
Thanks to EcoSalon for the continuing bi-weekly collaboration – read all of my stories there and make sure you let them know what you like.
A TRIP OF ONE’S OWN
“I can’t believe that I am doing this.” Wait. Laugh. Repeat. These were the words I kept echoing over and over again as I sat at Gate B27 in the Atlanta Airport. My girlfriend, Jennifer Venditti, is sitting across from me, looking like a vision of New York City chic. I stare at her in amazement. We are waiting to board a flight to Albuquerque, New Mexico, with plans to catch up on the last six months of one another’s lives.
Thank you to everyone who graciously showed their support for Alabama Chanin over this last week. Your purchases, emails, and love are the things that keep us going. It has been a wonderful (if sometimes difficult) year and we appreciate your incredible show of kindness and loyalty as we move towards the holidays and the end of the year. You make a difference.
Our team is working overtime to fill all of the orders, wrap beautiful packages, and get shipments out in the next days. Let us know if you have any questions or need a helping hand:
Email: office (at) alabamachanin.com or phone us Monday – Friday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm CST at +1.256.760.1090
We are posting new collection pieces, projects, and products every day… plus, we have a few surprises up our sleeves.
Stay tuned by joining our mailing list,
Rain on the metal roof, Natalie’s holiday iPod mix, and scissors through fabric – that’s all I can hear. It’s a busy day at the studio. Spirits are high, the orders are many, and some of our fabric stock is low.
Apologies to lovers of Burgundy and Blue Slate; we have exhausted our supply of these and a few other color options. There are still plenty of beautiful colors to choose from but supplies are limited; please order early to ensure selection.