THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 6.30.2014 – 7.4.2014

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“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”
—William Faulkner

The Factory will be closed Friday, July 4th, that our staff can observe Independence Day.
(Please note, CSA boxes will be available for pick-up at Jack-o-Lantern Farm on Saturday morning.)

Here is what we have going on this week, Monday, June 30 – Thursday, July 3:

STORE
Come out to The Factory and browse our collection of Alabama Chanin @ Heath Ceramics dinnerware. These dishes are hand-etched, uniquely crafted, and heirloom-quality pieces that are perfect for any gathering.

Store Hours
Monday – Thursday, 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
Stop by for lunch and enjoy some of our house favorites—including the classic Quiche Lorraine. Later this week we will feature a special menu celebrating Independence Day—more on that later.

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DIY WRAPPED CANVAS

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We’ve written before about the importance of color – from a cultural standpoint and a design perspective. At Alabama Chanin, we tend to embrace more muted tones for our design color palette. Muted colors have a reduced intensity, so any saturated color stands out in comparison.  We are drawn toward natural tones and some of our fabrics are colored with natural dyes to create rich, pure shades of color.

When it comes to individual style, our feelings about color can be personal; a color can make you feel happy or sad, energetic or depressed. Colors can transmit mood, thought, and feeling. When discussing the best way to exhibit the color options for our DIY projects, Olivia – a member of our design team – suggested that we approach the display as an art project. The result of her work, this wrapped canvas, is beautiful, simple, and focuses the viewer’s attention directly on color. Anything else you take from this, like your thoughts on color, is personal.

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HOT AND HOT TOMATO SALAD

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This month, we launched our “Friends of the Café” Dinner Series with James Beard award-winning chef Chris Hastings. When searching for like-minded chefs and restaurants to collaborate with for our ongoing chef series in the café, Chris was one of the first people who came to mind. His dedication to locally-sourced ingredients is something we value highly here at Alabama Chanin, and it was wonderful to see (and sample) his work at The Factory.

A big hit of the evening was the Hot and Hot Tomato Salad, a fresh and colorful take on an old Southern favorite: succotash. Guests watched in awe as Chris and members of the Alabama Chanin team put together mouthwatering layers of the tomato salad. The special version of the salad presented at our dinner was topped with fresh Alabama Gulf shrimp (and bacon), and served with fried okra on the side.

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THE PANEL TANK

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The Alabama Chanin Panel Tank is one of the most popular and versatile pieces from our current collection. The pull-on tank is flattering for all body types as it provides a secure fit at the bust and flares at the waist. This shape flatters and floats easily along natural curves, but can also create a curvier look for those with a naturally straight silhouette.

The top measures 26” from shoulder to hem. Select from medium-weight or lightweight cotton jersey fabric (shown here in medium-weight Natural). Pair it with our Magdalena Wrap Skirt – or layer it underneath a corset for added length and coverage. The Panel Tank will quickly make its way into regular rotation in your everyday wardrobe.

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HANDMADE GATHERINGS + ASHLEY ENGLISH

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The act of sharing a meal with others can be a uniting experience, with the potential to create memories and build relationships. Ashley English’s new book, Handmade Gatherings: Recipes and Crafts for Seasonal Celebrations & Potluck Parties, is a celebration of just that sense of community. We previously featured another of Ashley’s books, A Year of Pies: A Seasonal Tour of Home Baked Pies on our Journal. I was excited to read this, her latest book, as it focuses on something I truly love: entertaining. I appreciate Ashley’s approach to creating an experience through communal, potluck meals. I particularly value her approach to slowing down and appreciating the process of creating, and was honored to contribute a review of Handmade Gatherings (featured on the back cover of the book).

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THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 6.23.2014 – 6.27.2014

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“The world is filled with ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”
Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly

Join us at The Factory this week to witness the extraordinary act of making on a personal level.

Here is what we have going on this week, Monday, June 23  – Friday, June 27:

STORE
Explore our retail space this week and browse our selection of 100% organic cotton jersey ponchos and other summer accessories, including the popular Alabama Vest.

Also, Natalie and team will be traveling to Tennessee for our Weekend Away Workshop at Blackberry Farm. Find more information here.

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
This week at The Factory, we continue to highlight dishes from chef Chris Hastings.  Stop by for lunch and enjoy our savory Ruskin Tomato dish, made with fresh tomatoes from Jack-O-Lantern Farm.

Also, don’t forget about our second “Friends of the Café” dinner, featuring Peabody award-winning chef Vivian Howard.

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JUNE PLAYLIST 2014: ALLISON MOORER

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Allison Moorer is a friend, fellow stitcher, and a songbird. While recently visiting with her in New York during Makeshift, she mentioned that “playing DJ” is one of her favorite things to do. So, when I asked if she would create a summer playlist for us, she happily agreed.

“Summertime makes me think of vacation or escaping, so I chose a “getting away” theme,” says Allison. “I hope you enjoy.”

Below you will find her playlist—which includes perfect “road tripping” songs from Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman, and more. Roll down your windows and sing along.

Photo courtesy of Coleman Saunders.

CUSTOM DIY: MAGDALENA GORE SKIRT

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The Alabama Chanin Gore Skirt is one of our more popular DIY items because it is a simple design that is the perfect canvas for a wide variety of colors, stencils, and embroidery techniques. Shown here in reverse appliqué in our Magdalena design, the skirt sits low on the waist and flares to the hem—creating a beautiful, flowing silhouette.

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Using our Custom DIY options, you can choose every aspect of a reverse appliqué garment to fit your style and personality. For instance, you can go for a subtle, yet beautiful tone-on-tone approach, as we have shown here. Or, you may choose a high contrast option for your backing and top layers. The Gore Skirt featured here is just one example of how you might create your own garment.

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