Friday, January 20, 2012

Spectacular Views and Great Food

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Alabama Chanin workshop's location - Springhouse Restaurant at Lake Martin - was equally wonderful. In fact, it was a perfect companion for the workshop.

This first group of photographs is of the spectacular views from the restaurant. This place is beautiful  (even during winter)!! :)


 Springhouse Restaurant
Then there was the restaurant itself. I don't even know where to begin. The concept is about being connected to nature and community. The chef - who prepared the most amazing lunch for us and was so wonderfully gracious - buys from local sources and plans menus based on what's available locally and seasonally. The restaurant itself was built with the land and community in mind, and it shows.

Isn't this fireplace beautiful? All the stonework is by a local stone craftsman. (I want a fireplace like this one so bad!)

The stone artist's (and he is an artist) signature are these carved faces hidden behind a stone door. I love elements like this. The stone opens up and you get a nice little surprise. This fireplace had one on each side.

I love the burlap pendant over the table. I almost chose one similar to this for the kitchen eating area in our home. I went with linen instead. That burlap looks great though.

My photo doesn't do the glass tile justice. I love the contrast with the stone. Beautiful. I have a stone and glass backsplash planned for my house - long skinny tiles just like these.

I also love these sconces. It really felt like candlelight. 

Okay. That's it. I know this was a long post, but hopefully you've enjoyed this little tour.

Enjoy your weekend.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hand Sewing - more from my workshop with Alabama Chanin

I've been a fan of Natalie Chanin's work for a while now. Natalie operates Alabama Chanin from Florence, Alabama, where she lives. That in itself was enough to get my attention. But over the years and as I learned more about Natalie and what she was doing (sustainability, using local artisans, using 100% organic cotton, etc.), the more intrigued I became.

The Alabama Chanin collection is made entirely by hand. I wasn't sure how that was done. So when I had the opportunity to attend one of her workshops, I jumped at it.

I've been sewing most of my life, but I found I needed to unlearn some of the things I thought I knew - such as the proper way to thread a needle and knot thread. Do you know how hard it is to begin a workshop having to unlearn the things you were certain you knew?!? :)

The workshop was a great experience. I'm having a fun time with my skirt project. (I'll keep you posted on progress.) I'm also excited to begin incorporating my newly learned and re-learned sewing techniques in future projects.

I hope you've enjoyed these photos of the Alabama Chanin collection. I can assure you my photography skills do not do it justice. I can also assure you that my hand sewing skills are nowhere near the quality of the artisans who have sewn these pieces. Simply amazing.

Enjoy your day.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hand Sewing - Reverse Applique on 100% Organic Cotton

Over the weekend I attended a workshop by designer Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin. It was amazing, to say the least, and on so many levels. Here are a couple of photos of the piece I started at the workshop.

This is one of the panels to the skirt I'm making. Since everything is hand sewn, I'll be working on this for quite a while.

I'm still a bit tired from all the traveling over the weekend, but I'll have more photos throughout the week. Not only was the workshop a great experience, the location was spectacular as well.

Have a great week.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Gaining Clarity

I spent most of last week cleaning, organizing, and putting Christmas decorations away which led to more organizing. It wasn't exactly what I had in mind for the week, but it seemed to be what I needed to do. Feels great too. Eventually I ended up in my studio and office space where I started the process of pulling together unfinished projects from 2011.

Getting everything on the design wall is part of the process of deciding what to do next. I never really have a clear plan.  At some point something will start to happen though.

These are 100% cotton fabrics that I dyed using procion dyes. A couple of these were dyed using the shibori method (definitely spending more time with this technique).

India Flint's book Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles has been on my desk for a while  patiently waiting for me to make time to study her method of dyeing. I like the idea of botanical dyes so maybe 2012 will be the year for it. 

Have a great week.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

Wishing you a path of peace, joy and beauty in 2012.