FIRST PRIZE PIES

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Allison Kave, a truly creative baker and expert on all things pie related, credits her mother with her passion for food. Her mom, Rhonda Kave, is owner of Roni-Sue’s Chocolate in New York’s Essex Street Market. Growing up, Rhonda had a rather unexciting childhood filled with canned and boiled vegetables and she wanted more nutrition and excitement for her own children. Research into various cuisines led to a love of chocolate, which inspired her very own confectionery shop. All of this unbridled love of food couldn’t help but inspire Allison and her brother, Corwin, a renowned executive chef in New York City.

Like some of us, Allison did not find her calling immediately. Her route to the culinary life modeled the circuitous path her mother took. Eventually, her boyfriend encouraged her to enter the First Annual Brooklyn Pie Bake-Off – and she walked away with the award for Best Overall Pie. So, she asked: Why not make pies? In fact, Allison recently partnered with fellow baker Keavy Blueher, and together they are opening Brooklyn’s first dessert and craft cocktail bar, Butter & Scotch.

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REFASHIONED

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Sass Brown’s ReFashioned: Cutting Edge Clothing From Upcycled Materials, is the second in a series focusing on the eco-fashion movement. Previously, in Eco Fashion, she examined designers and labels (including Alabama Chanin) practicing sustainability in the fashion industry.  In ReFashioned, she features 46 international designers who create using recycled and upcycled textiles. The result is a stunning volume of forward-thinking design that also opens a discussion on the current state of fashion and its many wasteful practices.

Sass is one of the most knowledgeable and thoughtful voices in the eco-fashion movement. She considers herself a fashion activist, writing, “As a designer and writer, I like to tell the stories around our clothes, to help revive our material connection to our clothing.” She says, “It became equally important for me to reveal the hidden price tag of fast fashion, as a means to promote conscious consumerism.”

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THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 5.26.2014 – 5.30.2014

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“True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.”

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Experience the joy of creating this week at The Factory. Pick up notions, browse our selection of pre-made DIY kits, or choose yardage from our selection of new organic cotton jersey fabric colors for your upcoming projects.

Please note that The Factory will be closed on Monday, May 26 to observe Memorial Day.

Here is what we have going on at The Factory Store + Café this week, Tuesday, May 27 – Friday, May 30:

STORE
Our A. Chanin Racerback Tunic is new in store this week, just in time for your summer wardrobe. Make sure to grab your own, and be on the lookout for more additions to our machine-made line.

Also, our Father’s Day promotion begins this Friday, May 30. (Check back soon for more details.)

Store Hours
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm
*We will be closed Monday, May 26.

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 in the café, we continue to highlight the acclaimed recipes from hidden kitchens around the nation, while incorporating our own house favorite—roasted tomato soup with a grilled pimento cheese sandwich.

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BIBLIOCRAFT

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At Alabama Chanin, we believe DIY projects are integral to sharing creativity and promoting sustainable heirloom-worthy pieces. Bibliocraft: A Modern Crafter’s Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects is a great guide to DIY crafts that utilize a range of library resources for inspiration. Written by rare book librarian Jessica Pigza, this book contains over 20 unique projects and crafts for your home, including the Cyanotype Throw, designed by the Alabama Chanin team.

Pigza walks readers through different types of libraries, collections, and other resources that can foster motivation and provide ideas for the curious and creative. The book shows you how to find the right library for you and also provides information on digital libraries and an array of library catalogs. To get you started on your project, there are lists of recommended library collections from general visual resources to performing arts and film. The book is an informative and inspiring guide for learning about new resources and turning to libraries for discovery. There is something different and special about holding an actual, physical book in your hand that continues to draw me toward libraries. As a designer I find escape within library walls, and as a business owner I find critical information that has helped me grow into who I am as an entrepreneur.

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HIDDEN KITCHENS: NASCAR (+ GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE)

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We all have different definitions of comfort food—the dishes that make up those meals that leave our bellies (and our hearts) full. They are the dishes you crave when you are far from home; a hankering for something familiar and soothing. For me, this includes an array of casserole dishes, fresh garden vegetables, and my Gram Perkins’ egg salad.

When Davia and Nikki of The Kitchen Sisters agreed to be our featured chefs this month as part of our ongoing Factory Café Chef Series, I started browsing through my copy of Hidden Kitchens. Soon, I found myself totally immersed in the stories I’d heard on the radio years before. I began re-telling stories to the staff at The Factory, and we were all excited about a recipe I found in the chapter about NASCAR kitchens, titled “Slap It On the Thighs Butter Bar”—aptly named, since the ingredients called for yellow cake mix, egg, margarine, powered sugar, and cream cheese. The recipe was originally from the 25th anniversary edition of the Winston Cup Racing Wives’ Auxiliary Cookbook, published in 1989. Curious to know what other comfort food recipes from the kitchens of racing existed, we tracked down a copy of the book on Ebay.

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A. CHANIN RACERBACK

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We are excited to introduce our newest machine-sewn piece—the A. Chanin Racerback Tunic. This casual top is the perfect addition to your summer wardrobe. The tunic can be worn alone (for those wanting to show off shoulders and summer skin), paired with leggings or a skirt, or can be layered underneath cardigans, blazers, or vests.

The 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey top has a fitted bust and a bit of a flare starting at the waist, which is both comfortable and forgiving. It measures 29” from shoulder and features a T-shaped back behind the shoulder blades and side vents at the hem.

Stay tuned as we continue to add even more garments from our machine-made line, further embracing our company’s commitment to sustainability, and local, hometown manufacturing. You will love the beauty, simplicity, and durability of our A. Chanin garments, designed to fit exquisitely and last a lifetime.

Purchase the A. Chanin Racerback Tunic here.

GRAVY #51 – CANNING MEMORIES

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From Gravy #51:

“Canning Memories”

By Frank X Walker

Indian Summer
meant Saturday morning courtyards
and door screens opened and waiting
for urban signs of harvest.
No new moons or first frosts,
just the welcome staccato and horn
of an old flatbed truck, overalls
and mud-caked boots.

Grandmothers who still clicked
their tongues and called up the sound
of a tractor in the daybreak,
the aroma of fresh turned earth
and the secret location of the best
blackberry patch
like they were remembering
old lovers,
planted themselves
a half squint away from the palming
and weighing of potatoes
stringbeans, kale, turnips, sweetcorn
onions and cabbage.

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THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 5.19.2014 – 5.23.2014

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“If you look for the hardest place to find, you’ll find us. We’re down here in the corner, right on turn three, up against the fence. You’ve got to know, to know where to find this kitchen.” – Ken Enck, owner of a NASCAR-fueled hidden kitchen.

Come find our own hidden kitchen in Industrial Park this week. Explore the retail space and stay for one of our acclaimed Kitchen Sisters’ dishes. Please note that our café hours have changed for lunch service from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm; but, we have coffee and snacks available all day. Also note that due to a family illness, Jack-o-Lantern Farm CSA box deliveries were delayed this week; pick up your boxes beginning Friday, May 23.

Here is what we have going on at The Factory Store + Café this week, Monday, May 19 – Friday, May 23:

STORE
Visit our retail space on Friday for our Memorial Day Sale and save 20% on all merchandise in-store (and online).
(This excludes all Heath products, books, and music.)

Also, don’t forget about our upcoming workshops:

Two-Hour Sewing Workshop + Afternoon Tea

Friday, May 23

Studio Week @ The Factory

Monday, May 26 – Friday, May 30

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
Strawberry season has arrived at The Factory, and to celebrate we are serving a Southern favorite: Strawberry Shortcake. Come enjoy some of our delicious Kitchen Sisters’ dishes such as Angelo Garro’s Wild Fennel Cakes, and top off your meal with our newest dessert.
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MAKESHIFT 2014

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MAKESHIFT began three years ago as a conversation about the intersection of the disciplines of design, craft, art, fashion, and DIY—and, on a bigger level, using this intersection as an agent of change in the world. Since then, we’ve explored making as individuals, and how making as a group can open conversations and build communities.

For MAKESHIFT 2014, we have once again partnered with Standard Talks in New York to host the conversation, and will cover a range of topics, including raw materials, craft, fashion, global communities, food, and the act of making. 2014 James Beard award-winning chef Ashley Christensen will also participate in the discussion, helping answer the question: What can design learn from food?

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DIY MEN’S SCORPION YOKE SHIRT

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At Alabama Chanin, we have often looked to nature for stencil inspirations. Many of the first stencils I designed when I started embellishing recycled T-shirts were of bugs and animals—what I felt were constant surroundings when I made my return home to Alabama from New York over a decade ago.

Our newest DIY Men’s Kit features the Scorpion stencil, designed by Butch Anthony, on a yoked T-shirt. The yoke cut of the T-shirt helps it stand apart from the standard tee. The design and style fit easily into any man’s wardrobe.

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