PHILLIP MARCH JONES | PICTURES TAKE YOU PLACES

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We asked contributor Phillip March Jones to share the process and inspiration behind his daily photo project, Pictures Take You Places.

Seeing is everything. But it takes practice.

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For the past couple of years I have been traveling almost constantly for various projects in the United States and abroad. As a result, I am often away from the studio and distracted from the kind of intense focus required and afforded therein. These circumstances have led me to rethink my artistic practice and even the way I interact with the world. The newfound freedom of a portable studio has forced me to develop exercises to keep my eye and mind focused and has led to several new bodies of work, including the creation of a daily photo project titled Pictures Take You Places.

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DIY PEACE SIGN LONG SLEEVE T-SHIRT

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This time of year, often associated with peace, may not always feel so peaceful with the chaos and frenzy that sometimes accompanies the holidays. At Alabama Chanin, we strive to practice DIY Peace, doing what we can to promote peace: in our lives, at our business, in our community, and within ourselves (body and mind).

If you are a maker, you probably have moments of peace or reflection when you create. We hope our DIY Peace Sign T-Shirt serves a small reminder to practice peace in your daily life and to slow down and enjoy the holiday season.

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SWATCH OF THE MONTH CLUB

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I’ve written before about our Fabric Library, a collection of sample blocks and swatches that our company has created over the years. Each swatch starts out the same way, as a basic 10” x 16” rectangle of our organic cotton jersey. Then each one is embellished with embroidery, stencils, beading, and/or appliqué. These sample blocks, or swatches, are the basis for all of our designs and collections, and have become our most valuable asset, our intellectual property.

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MOTHER + SON THANKSGIVING DRESSING

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Open any Hallmark card or watch a coffee commercial between now and the new year and you will be flooded with the storybook sentiment of the holidays. Ask anyone their feelings about Thanksgiving and they will tell you it’s a time for family, for great food and for, well, giving thanks. All of those things are certainly true for me. When I was young, Thanksgiving was one of my favorite holidays. I have strong sense memories of being in my Grandmother Smith’s house, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on television while the smell of roasted turkey wafted in from the kitchen. The air is always clear and crisp in these memories. I can recall running across the farm hills and valleys with dogs and cousins, the smell of barn hay, and the full stomach, distended from too much pie.

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PLAYLIST NOVEMBER 2013: JAKE FUSSELL

PLAYLIST NOVEMBER 2013: JAKE FUSSELL

Musician and Alabama Chanin friend Jake Fussell grew up in Columbus, Georgia, and was exposed to traditional roots music while accompanying his father, folklorist and writer Fred Fussell, on numerous documentary fieldwork trips throughout the South. Through these journeys, Jake became a guitar student of the late Georgia blueswoman, Precious Bryant, and honed his skills playing with local string bands.

I was introduced to Jake and his music years ago by Butch, Maggie’s dad. A late night conversation was followed with a mixed CD, and since then Jake’s music has been in constant rotation on the Alabama Chanin studio playlists. His sound captures a unique aspect of the Southern voice and history – so much so that Jake played my one and only fashion show in New York in 2005.

Jake currently serves as bandleader of The Yalobushwackers, the house band for Thacker Mountain Radio, Oxford, Mississippi’s weekly live-audience literary radio program. In recent years, he has appeared on Prairie Home Companion, toured, and recorded as sideman for several musical acts, most notably as guitarist for Memphis gospel singer Reverend John Wilkins. Jake is also working with our friends at Dust-to-Digital to curate an anthology of Mississippi blues and gospel field recordings made by noted folklorist William R. Ferris.

PLAYLIST NOVEMBER 2013: JAKE FUSSELL

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DIY MEN’S STAG T-SHIRT

DIY MEN'S STAG T-SHIRT

Perfect for the nature-lover in your life, our Stag T-Shirt is part of a new series of Men’s DIY projects and is currently featured in our Handmade Holiday collection.

Designed to be worn (and loved) by men and women alike, this adaptation of our basic t-shirt features a bold Stag stencil across the chest and is embellished with a reverse appliqué.

We designed our t-shirt with long sleeves for cooler weather, but you have the option to choose a short sleeve or sleeveless version as well. You also have the option to customize the backing layer fabric color to suit your (or your recipient’s) tastes.

Purchase the kit here.

DIY MEN'S STAG T-SHIRT

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THE FACTORY GRAND OPENING

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The Factory @ Alabama Chanin

Join us for the grand opening of The Factory

Live Music + Cocktails + Shopping
Monday, November 18th, 2013
5pm – 9pm

Alabama Chanin store + 2013 Holiday Market
November 19th – December 23rd
Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm

Café
Open Weekdays 8am – 4pm

For more information, visit:
www.alabamachanin.com/events
or call +1.256.760.1090

DIY ROUND FACETS PILLOW

DIY ROUND FACETS PILLOW

Holidays often mean family visits, friends and neighbors stopping by unannounced, parties, and dinners. But, all of this merriment can come with a bit of chaos, rushing around, and readying for all of these events. Avoiding clutter may be impossible, but there are easy ways to help make your home look holiday ready at a moment’s notice. Our DIY Round Facets Pillow kit is part of our limited-time Handmade Holiday collection and is a small enough project to complete before the holiday season begins in earnest.

The 12” round pillow is based on a pattern from Alabama Studio Style and features our 2013 Holiday Facets stencil with reverse appliqué, eyelet embroidery, and beading.

DIY ROUND FACETS PILLOW

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CAME FROM NOWHERE

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A former business partner of mine once wrote a press release that stated our company “came from nowhere.” When I read that “came from nowhere” years ago, my stomach began to turn and, honestly I was a little angry and my feelings were a bit hurt. That sentence seemed to imply that our work was effortless and my business was created magically, without the pains of labor. It certainly didn’t feel to me like I came from nowhere.

Who was talking about me working my way through design school with a four-year-old child, on a wish and a prayer? Who talked about years of working day-in-day-out? Who knew that, in the beginning, I often worked alone, in a basement full of cave crickets and the occasional 6-foot snake? Those were important moments in the life of our company. Ignoring those moments makes our accomplishments seem less important. Nothing comes from nowhere.

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