MAKESHIFT 2012: INTRODUCING ANDREW WAGNER

When Andrew Wagner was asked to moderate the MAKESHIFT panel conversation as part of New York Design Week 2012, he jokingly insisted that he be considered MC rather than moderator. That’s exactly the type of robust, experienced personality I look forward to sharing the stage with next week at the Standard Talks, as we discuss the intersection of design, fashion, craft, and DIY.

We’re happy to introduce Andrew on our blog and welcome his participation in MAKESHIFT. His long- running list of big DIY ideas and achievements makes him a veteran in that community. As “What You Make of It” columnist for the  New York Times, he has recently delved instructions on how to turn an old rusty bicycle into a beautiful hanging lamp- Isamu Noguchi style- and how to repurpose egg carton trays into stunning and sturdy stools.

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THE HEART: UPDATES FROM THE FIELD

We left off two weeks ago in search of a two-row planter that will help get our cottonseed in the ground. Fortunately, we were able to find one locally. The planter’s shovels have been adjusted. The soil has been finely chopped. There have been conference calls between the field, the Factory office, and Kelly’s office in Texas. More thanks to Kelly Pepper.

Upon receiving our soil test results, we are determining the proper nutrients needed and the best organic fertilizers for the field. Staff at Auburn University has been helpful answering questions, and we’ve had the chance to learn more about the organic certification process through a local advisor.

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PAINT + A QUOTE

Our stay at the Ace Hotel in Portland was outstanding – made better by the owl mural and Thoreau quote that graced our room. (Not to mention our One-Day Workshop at The Cleaners, catered by Clyde Common.)

My daughter Maggie has an affinity for owls. As a tiny baby, she was heard murmuring to an owl outside her bedroom window as she slept.  Inspired by our time in Room 206, I have decided to embrace a different type of DIY this week and paint the wall of Maggie’s bedroom with a quote.

I just have to settle on the perfect paint and quote.  Any ideas?

“I rejoice that there are owls. Let them do the idiotic and maniacal hooting for men. It is a sound admirably suited to swamps and twilight woods which no day illustrates, suggesting a vast and underdeveloped nature which men have not recognized. They represent the stark twilight and unsatisfied thoughts which all have.”
-Henry David Thoreau

 

TART APPLE PIE + Q&A WITH JOHN BIELENBERG

John Bielenberg and his work with PieLab aren’t new to Alabama Chanin, or our blog. We were curious what John has been up to, so we caught up with him between his travels to learn more about Project M, PieLab, and recent goings on in Greensboro, Alabama.

We also got our hands on a delicious recipe from the pop-up café, PieLab, for our Wednesday Recipes.

Their Tart Apple Pie with White Cheddar Crust has a beautiful lattice top that looks like the pies I ate growing up. Combining the tartness of the apples with the savory of the white cheddar makes for a fabulous slice of pie. If only it weren’t a three hour drive down to Greensboro to get a slice. Recipe then Q&A with John to follow:


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CRAFT

For the past few weeks, my mind has been on the subject of ‘craft’ even more than usual as I continue to work on MAKESHIFT: SHIFTING THOUGHTS ON DESIGN, FASHION, COMMUNITY, CRAFT & DIY- a series of events, discussions, and workshops held during ICFF New York Design Week.

How appropriate it is to have received this beautifully hand-printed postcard from our friends at Rural Studio.

For more information visit www.ruralstudio.org.

9TH ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE + MOTHER’S DAY MARKET

We hope to see you @ The Factory this Friday and Saturday for our Open House + Mother’s Day Market.

The Open House includes a sample sale with the perfect selection of garments and gifts, Two-Hour Workshops with our Studio Team, and lots of laughter and stories.

Friday, May 4, 2012
Noon – 5 pm

Saturday, May 5, 2012
10 am – 4 pm

The Factory
462 Lane Drive
Florence, AL 35630

We have a few spots left for our Two-Hour Workshops. Make it a day with Mom, or anyone you love by registering for a session on our Workshop page.

Light beverages will be served.

PORTLAND TO ALABAMA (AND CALIFORNIA, TOO)

We had such an amazing west coast journey.

The words above, found in the bathroom at PNCA + OCAC, say it all.

I especially love the short paragraph at the bottom:

“Helvetica, one of the world’s most ubiquitous typefaces was released in the same year as the publication of this essay. It was chosen to juxtapose the modern and the pastoral.”

I think that E.B. White would agree.

Thank you to William Rueck for allowing me to share his work.

And thank you to everyone who came out to see us in California and Oregon.  It was unforgettable.
xoNatalie

ROSANNE CASH: WORN STORIES (INTERVIEWED BY JESSAMYN)

Last month, we introduced Jessamyn, a new contributor to this blog. Sharing the story of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fires cast a sad light on the history of labor laws in the U.S; however, she showed us how to find better joys in fashion, ecology, and ethics. She has since written about the meaning of D.I.Y.

This week, in a conversation between Jessamyn and Rosanne Cash—another dear friend and colleague—Rosanne shares sentimental stories on the garments that occupy her life and closet.

Please welcome back Jessamyn – and Rosanne - part of the growing heart and soul of Alabama Chanin.

Rosanne and Jessamyn will also be participating in MAKESHIFT: SHIFTING THOUGHTS ON DESIGN, FASHION, COMMUNITY, CRAFT & DIY. Visit here to learn more about MAKESHIFT and its participants.

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DIY THURSDAY: SPIRALS

As we continue to explore the design elements that make up Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, we look at the simple, but incredibly beautiful Spiral pattern. This pattern is reminiscent of both our Circle Applique and Kristina’s Rose treatments, but this particular design stands out largely due to its use for an entirely new application- Alabama Fur. It is often said that you have to see and touch our garments to fully appreciate them, and the countless knots and tails that follow this classic curve usually illicit the most response.

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