Category Archives: SUSTAINABLE LIFE + DESIGN

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.

INDIGO SUMMER

Our newest catalog for Alabama Denim is up and ready to view.  Additional garments will be coming to our online store over the next few days.  Stay tuned…

And look for some of these shots in the newest issue of Refueled - dropping on May 31st. I am looking forward to seeing everything Chris has put together!

A few of my favorites:

 

THE GIRL EFFECT

It was very exciting yesterday to see our pieces at the press preview for the first ever Cooper Hewitt Global Triennial.
On the second floor, and tucked into the Teak Room, Alabama Chanin pieces are hanging next to such noteworthy projects as The Girl Effect (shown above), The Story of Stuff, and Painted – the Dutch fashion collective.
Get out and visit with us this week in New York City.

WORD OF THE DAY: CELEBRATE

Celebrate – verb:

To observe (a day) or commemorate (an event) with ceremonies or festivities:
Today we celebrate Earth Day and the joy of life.

To make known publicly; proclaim:
The newspaper celebrated the beauty of her life.

To perform with appropriate rites and ceremonies; solemnize:


We will celebrate the light that her life brought to Earth.

While today we begin our Earth Day Celebration @ The Factory, it is a mixed blessing as Tuesday of this week our friend, mentor and local hero Marigail Mathis passed away.    While this is a sad time for all of us, Marigail was the kind of person who made life worth celebrating.  Her vision, joy, enthusiasm, support, laughter and kindred spirit will be sorely missed in my life; however, what she has given to me – through her friendship – will be celebrated eternally.

Celebrate the life of someone you love today.

FR0M TOBACCO TO FOOD (GOOD FOOD)

I lived in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina for almost 10 years of my life. In fact, I lived at one time or the other in just about every one of the cities and my son, Zach, was born 28 years ago when I lived in Durham.

Shortly before Zach’s arrival and in teenage rebellion style, I left Alabama at 18 with my best friend (and a whim) heading towards Chapel Hill. Our first house in the area – rented for $50 a month -  was in the middle of a tobacco field and you could literally see the sunset through the kitchen wall. I remember telling my mother, “This is paradise.”  The memories of that first summer still make me laugh but at the arrival of winter, I found more suitable “paradise” where the heat from the wood stove actually warmed the house.

However, I can still smell the rows of tobacco being worked by migrant farmers that drifted through those walls. And from time to time, I feel the sense of driving down the streets of Durham with the overwhelming smell of tobacco infusing the entire community.

How lovely to read this article today in the New York Times about how the greater Durham/RTI community has been able to make the leap from traditional (and chemical ridden) tobacco farming to sustainable local cuisine. I especially love the story of Neal’s Deli where the son of famed chef Bill Neal carries on the family tradition.

It is heartening to think that the fields on the outskirts of our little town may one day be bountiful again.

*Photograph by Travis Dove for The New York Times