Category Archives: SUSTAINABLE LIFE + DESIGN

THE BEGINNING OF THE END (OR GIFTS + GIVING)

As the year slides towards its close, I know that it is the time of year that we all get tired of Gift Guides.

This year, we are seeing not only the end of the year but of the decade. This has been a really BIG year for all of us here at Alabama Chanin – and an even BIGGER decade. (My Ten Year Anniversary of living, working and loving Alabama will be coming up next year.)

For whatever reason, it seems that the “changing-of-the-decades” have always brought important and beautiful changes into my life. So, I would like to take these last days before the holidays (and the last weeks of the year) to look back – and a little forward.

Bear with me over the next weeks…

Back to Gifts & Giving (this one last time – well, maybe):

If you just can’t figure out what to do for a special person in your life this holiday season, consider a donation to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

As some of you will remember, my father was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma last year. He is, gratefully, in remission now – thanks to great medicine and research – and amazingly recovered from his stroke as a side effect to the chemotherapy. Thank you again to everyone who has been there with us… thank you to those who brought strength, understanding, kindness, patience and, sometimes, just cookies.

This could be the best gift of the year:

Leukemia Lymphoma Society

Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Make a Wish Foundation

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Update of two more great organizations (thanks Sara):

Cure Search

American Cancer Society

*Photo of Ms. Jessie’s Vegetable Soup – also a great gift.   Recipe can be found on page 95 of Alabama Stitch Book.  This picture was originally taken for “The Kitchen Project” – perhaps  coming to our archives section one day.

HALF BROKE

HALF BROKE HORSES - JEANNETTE WALLSI just finished Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls and am awed.

It has – rightfully – been compared to Out of Africa and West with the Night. While I respect her first book – The Glass Castle – this new book will become an American classic. Kudos to Jeannette. Enjoy while looking at photos from In The American West by Richard Avedon

CHANEL DOES COUNTRY – REALLY.

Okay a small fashion moment this morning, please.  Can we just ponder for a second?

It is a moment courtesy of Garance Dore – my new heroine.

You have to seriously love a girl who writes this about herself:  

“Seriously though, there’s always this side to me that ends up utterly unorganized, that can’t get its act together to be the perfectly manicured creature of light that I would sometimes like to be.”

I have been feeling a bit like that off and on for the last month.   I dream to have a tea (or other beverage) with Garance and Scott.

I would like to interview and photograph the two of them…

I have thought so often about a post that Scott did in August called “So What Do We Think About This?”

The quote below has really stuck with me. In my constant berating of myself because extra weight that came with having Maggie at 44, I shy away from cameras and photos like most other women. Perhaps this should be reconsidered:  

“When I am shooting on the street older women and larger size women often say “no” to my request to shoot them. Actually, much more than any other category of people I shoot. I think they have a real suspicion about how the image will be used. I also think there continues to be a growing disconnect between the fashion community and “average” women in general.”

BUT back to today, nobody captured the mood of the Chanel like Garance. Please go read her post and look at her photos.

Karl Lagerfeld does country with Lily Allen singing. Really? I am not sure why this shocks me so…

Please tell me what you think.

Garance sees a time coming soon when fashion shows will be like rock concerts.

Are The Songbirds singing?

*Photo Garance Dore

SETTING THE TABLE

Partners & Spade, Manhattan

“Setting the Table,” from Maria @ Bureau of Friends:

Have you ever noticed that most of the real action at conferences takes place in the lounges and walkways outside of the Main Halls and presentation rooms? There is absolutely a place and time for sit-and-listen audiences and there’s nothing like a compelling speaker to move and enlighten us, but what might we do better to nourish real connections between people who gather around shared goals or values?

In our first few weeks together as the Bureau, we talked much about how difficult it can be to decide in which efforts we should involve ourselves, as speakers or partcipants. There are so many worthy conferences and community programs out there. We decided, that in addition to getting more strategic about how we respond to invitations, we’d proactively develop our own opportunities to engage talented and conscientious people.

Our first attempt was a collaborative event at HEATH and our next, is an up-coming conversation-in-the-round with Partners & Spade—the storefront and think tank for Andy Spade (co-founder/previous owner of Kate Spade and Jack Spade) and Anthony Sperduti (Andy’s creative partner).The evening at Partners & Spade, will build on the success of the Bureau’s experience at HEATH by continuing a forward-thinking conversation in the form of a traditional sewing circle. We are already at capacity for the Partners & Spade event, but I promise we’ll post about it later.

While these initial events revolve around a collaborative project inspired by charter members of the Bureau, Natalie Chanin (Alabama Chanin) and Cathy Bailey (HEATH Ceramics), our work at the Bureau will evolve to reflect other ideas and efforts of those who wish to deploy the hearts, minds and muscle of the Bureau.

In our media drenched, social networking maxed, Twitter-pated lives how else might we hear from and engage with others in a way that might lead to action—or at the very least, connect us to each other in more satisfying ways?

BLUE MONDAY

Back in the studio after what seems months & happy to get back to the business of making beautiful things…

Here is my favorite shot from Spring/Summer 2010. I feel like I can breathe this blue.   We will be working on the web catalog and hope to have something to share by next week.

Read: Blue: The History of a Color

Watch one of my favorite films: Blue from Three Colors Trilogy by Krzysztof Kieslowski

 

LES BLANK

It is an amazing thing in life when your heroes become your friends. And so it is with friend Les Blank.

I rented Gap-Toothed Women in the 1990’s when I was living in Vienna. And then came Burden of Dreams. A clear addiction to documentary films ensued.

Don’t miss this great interview with Les @ Vice Magazine.