Excerpt from *blue highways*
– William Least Heat Moon –
(Lovingly translated to typewriter by my friend Jeff)
“I drove onto the Natchez Trace Parkway, a two lane running from Natchez to near Nashville, which follows a five hundred mile trail first opened by buffalo and Indians. Chickasaws called it the Peace Path. In 1810 th Trace was the main route for Ohio Valley traders who rather than fight the Mississippi currents, sold their flatboats for scrap in Natchez and walked home on the Trace. The poor sometimes traveled by a method called *ride and tie* two men would buy a mule, one would ride until noon, then tie the animal to a tree and walk until his partner behind him caught up on the jack that evening. By mid-century, steamboats made the arduous and dangerous trek unnecessary, and the Trace disappeared in the trees. Continue reading
Having seen Maria Moyer’s recently-released collaboration with West Elm, I can’t help but visualize which surfaces in my home and at the Factory will best display the porcelain vases and tea lights. I’m certain there will be quite a few.
As a sculptor, Maria appreciates the ‘craft’ behind the design, which translates beautifully into her work. There’s a lovely purity of form paired with incredible attention to detail in each piece.
“Last winter, I came into possession of the papers of an émigré psychiatrist who practiced in New York in the late 1940s and 1950s,” Janet Malcolm explains in an article in the New York Review of Books. Malcolm is describing a set of papers she found and used as both inspiration and materials for her collages. These works were exhibited in a show, Janet Malcolm: Free Associations, that ran through January 14, 2012, at Lori Bookstein Fine Art in New York City. This sentence was also posted in the gallery.
The most beautiful package came through the mail from our friend (and sometimes collaborator) Rinne Allen and (yes, idol) Susan Hable. How did they know that I have a big love for little books?
As the year closes, I thought I would put together a list of those people and organizations who have made a difference for me in 2011. For a moment, let’s celebrate just a few of those who are creating inspiring works by striving toward a better, more beautiful, sustainable world.
The Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva, have been producing inspiring material for years, as producers of such programs as Hidden Kitchens, Lost and Found Sound, and now, The Hidden World of Girls. One particularly inspiring piece, the film “White Gloves,” by Courtney Stevens and Les Blank focuses on the Oakland Museum Women’s Board. The short piece is poignant in its focus on volunteerism, women, and the relationships that bond people together. The Kitchen Sisters never fail to tell important stories and create moving art. (Images at the top of this post from Francesca Woodman.)
The book, Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, offers a challenge to the notion that more is better and instead emphasizes the importance of locally-centered commerce, politics and culture. The author, Bill McKibben, challenges us to consider why we buy what we do and urges us to think about our role within a community at large. McKibben makes appeals for action, but he also leaves us with a sense of what is possible. I believe in community and the fact that change is possible.
…from our dear friend Eva Whitechapel and all of us @ Alabama Chanin
I was greeted at work today by the most wonderful discovery – I literally gasped when I saw the copy of Savage Beauty on my desk. Thank you Natalie!
It’s no secret that I’ve been obsessing over Alexander McQueen for the last several months, watching past runway shows, and sending links with reckless abandon.
The work is breathtaking.
I will now give my computer a well-deserved rest from endless McQueen queries so that I might devote the day to
complete immersion in one of the most beautiful books I have ever seen. The book
You’ll find a couple of beautiful photos below, but there really is so much more.
P.S.: Thank you to Andrew Bolton and the entire team at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute for the stunning retrospective. Read the New York Times article about the show and the man: Designer as Dramatist, and the Tales He Left Behind
Those of you who follow us on Twitter, Facebook and/or Tumblr, know that I was in New Mexico over the holidays. What resulted from this adventure was a love for the west and an understanding of why so many artists and creative types have settled to work there. I was deeply impacted by the beauty, spirit, and (perhaps mostly by) the clear, crisp air. The day my friend Jennifer and I landed we spotted four rainbows. Our friend Jeff wrote that such an unlikely experience is “possibly an indicator of good fortune to come.”
My blog post at EcoSalon this Friday is about our trip and the inspiration I found in a woman – long dead – named Mabel Dodge Luhan.
Thanks to EcoSalon for the continuing bi-weekly collaboration – read all of my stories there and make sure you let them know what you like.
A TRIP OF ONE’S OWN
“I can’t believe that I am doing this.” Wait. Laugh. Repeat. These were the words I kept echoing over and over again as I sat at Gate B27 in the Atlanta Airport. My girlfriend, Jennifer Venditti, is sitting across from me, looking like a vision of New York City chic. I stare at her in amazement. We are waiting to board a flight to Albuquerque, New Mexico, with plans to catch up on the last six months of one another’s lives.
I wrote about Tasia, and her beautiful goat cheese company, Belle Chevre, back in 2008 (including the recipe below). Tasia’s work has gotten better and better since that time with a wide range of products, a cookbook, and a whole series of cooking classes. Delicious.
Join us on Belle Chevre Twitter tomorrow for a chat with Tasia, the folks from Belle Chevre, and our dear friends from Billy Reid:
“This chat’s topic is ‘How Art Is Changing Alabama’ (as part of the broader series titled The New South: Chatting about the Future of Our Art, Food, and Culture). We’ll cover design, art and fashion, from any angle. Basically it is a virtual cocktail party.”
The chat starts at 1 pm EST | 12 pm CST. Tag your comments #thesouth so we can find them. See you there!
Here my Tuscan Chevre Salad again (it is worth repeating on a weekly basis in your kitchen – smile.):