Category Archives: SUSTAINABLE LIFE + DESIGN

IN OUR BLOOD

Thinking about all of our consumption, plastic, and the oil spill that spoils our beautiful home.

From my son Zach today, a thoughtful piece about our role:

SETH BORENSTEIN
Published: Jun 11, 2010
WASHINGTON (AP) – Has the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico got you so mad you’re ready to quit Big Oil?
Ready to park the car and take up bike-riding or walking? Well, your bike and your sneakers have petroleum products in them. And sure, you can curb energy use by shutting off the AC, but the electric fans you switch to have plastic from oil and gas in them. And the insulation to keep your home cool, also started as oil and gas. Without all that, you’ll sweat and it’ll be all too noticeable because deodorant comes from oil and gas too.
You can’t even escape petroleum products with a nice cool fast-food milkshake – which probably has a petrochemical-based thickener.
Oil is everywhere. It’s in carpeting, furniture, computers and clothing. It’s in the most personal of products like toothpaste, shaving cream, lipstick and vitamin capsules. Petrochemicals are the glue of our modern lives and even in glue, too.
Because of that, petrochemicals are in our blood.
Read the full article here: Boycott Big Oil? Prepare to give up your lifestyle We need a revolution for this century…in our blood?

*Photo by Robert Rausch for our Revolution collection

 

POISON + WINE

What an inspiration to get to hear The Civil Wars at Billy Reid’s Florence store this weekend.

One of my best music memories of all time is having seen Kate Bush – in a small venue – in New York City in the late eighties; the performance Saturday night ranks right up there.

Beauty and harmony beyond compare:

The Civil Wars

GOOD WORK

In a sea (literally) of bad news about our Gulf, I cleaned up my desk this morning to find some good. While I was traveling over the past few months, a lovely package worked its way to the bottom of a pile just to be discovered this morning.

In the package: Rebuilding After Disaster: The Biloxi Model Home Program from Architecture for Humanity.
Those of you who have purchased an Alabama Builds shirt from us over the last few years have contributed to make the Biloxi Model Home Program a reality.
From the book:
“People say, ‘What kind of house is this?’ And I tell them, ‘This is a good house – a good, sturdy house. It’s a miracle; it’s a blessing. That’s what it is.” - Karen Parker, Homeowner
Just yesterday, I was talking with my friend Cathy from HEATH about how design can make a difference. We were thinking about how designers can set goals, make an impact on communities and create a better world. We were talking about how we can strive to be better designers and do good (better) work.Cameron’s name came up in that conversation as a role model.
Cameron, Architecture for Humanity, and all the designers who have contributed to repairing Biloxi have done really important work – really important.
Get your copy here: Rebuilding After Disaster: The Biloxi Model Home Program and support the good work…

CHARLES MOORE: 1931 – 2010

Famed photographer Charles Moore changed the course of American history the only way he knew: with his camera.
The life of our friend, hero, and neighbor will be celebrated this Saturday.
Please join us for an evening of powerful imagery, inspiration, talks, friends, music food and a look at how one man made a difference:
Life Celebration for Photographer
Charles Lee Moore
Saturday, June 5th
7pm at GAS Design Center
109-A West 6th Street
Tuscumbia, Alabama
Powerful Days indeed…
*Photograph of The Selma March by Charles Moore – March 1931 to March 2010

CHRIS JORDAN: A MESSAGE FROM MIDWAY ATOLL

My dear friend Susan called over the weekend from Mountainfilm in Telluride. She had just heard Chris Jordan speak about his experiences and work on Midway Atoll.

Nothing I have ever seen has made me so drastically consider the plastic I have consumed over the course of my life. These startling (and beautiful) images from Chris have shocked me into action.
I commit (again) to think 1000 times before every purchase I make.
From the website:

“These photographs of albatross chicks were made in September, 2009, on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world’s most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.

MAMA + THE BABIES

What to say about Anna Maria Horner?

I love her. Not just because of her lovely fabrics. Not because of her books.
Not because of her calming aesthetic. I just really love her.
We have bonded (in short, stolen moments) over everything from food, family, work, studio, children (she has six to my two) and sewing, to illness in our families, gardening, and everyday life.
Before I was able to spend time with Anna Maria, I thought that she might just be – you know – a little too sweet. I mean just look at her. NOT SO, her spunk, cheerful sprit and dry humor overwhelmed me with respect – and side-splitting laughter.
I have been sitting with Handmade Beginnings – her newest book – like a good cup of coffee. What I find most beautiful about the book is how family radiates from every page. She is mother, designer, wife, writer and friend.
Congrats to Anna for a lovely story to add to your library:
I will be making Nesting Cubes for all the babies in my life…
and looking forward to our next visit.
From Handmade Beginnings:”Every family has a story. Each time we’ve welcomed a new baby, the story of our own family has a new beginning. Our children have brought more than their own chapter to our story, but they have, in fact, rewritten the rest of us. The whole family, together and individually, is remade into something it wasn’t before- something we wouldn’t have ever guessed or expected. I have always felt compelled during my pregnancies to make items for the new one. Similar to the quintessential image of an expectant mother working away with her knitting needles on a pair of baby booties, I set out to stack fabrics and ideas in high piles that I can work through as my belly grows. Perhaps its just the typical nesting that all mothers go through, or maybe its nervous energy. Whatever the explanation, answering the desire to create as I await a new baby seems to be my own way of nurturing.”
Congrats to Nicole DeCamp for being our sweepstakes winner! And thank you to everyone who commented and shared their stories… prosperous sewing to all.