Saturday, March 29, 2008

alabama YUMMY weekend!

the sewing part of my alabama dream weekend was definitely the main attraction, but i have to say the food was a phenomenal complement to the experience! simultaneous to our workshop was a 2-day cooking class led by the talented Angie Mosier, who i could swear i know from a past life (and she felt the same)! the cooking students made lunch and dinner on saturday, and brunch on sunday, and every meal was spectacular.

before each meal, angie would talk about what they had made, and share bits of history and anecdotes about some of the dishes. this is an excerpt from the recipe cards she gave us, which seems to sum up her philosophy:

All food preparation, not just Southern, should be about caring and hospitality. Stories go with each recipe whether it is an historical account of a cake recipe published in 1863 or something you and your friends have thrown together as an experiment. Ingredients have their own stories as well; from the farmer who cared for the vegetables and animals to the mill where the corn was ground for grits. Perhaps the story lies in the memory of a flavor and maybe the story is in the future. The point is to take these iconic Southern recipes and make them your own. Enjoy!

above is our first meal, which consisted of bloody marys, deviled eggs, tomato pie, salad with cider vinegar dressing, and butterscotch pudding. mmmm....

dinner saturday night was the ultimate: pan fried chicken (the only thing i didn't eat, since i don't eat meat), macaroni and cheese, greens and pot likker, cheese straws, cornbread, spiced pecans, salad, and oh yes THREE kinds of cake, and you know i had a piece of each! chocolate, Lane cake, and coconut. mmm hmmm!

...and then there was sunday brunch, featuring biscuits, quiche, salad, bacon, pickled okra, and apple and peach FRIED PIES! and we got to pack our own lunches for the road of the alabama classic, pimento cheese sandwiches.

new dates have been posted on the Alabama Chanin website for various versions of these workshops (sewing and cooking); you should totally go!

Friday, March 28, 2008

gertie got blogged

a couple of weeks ago gertie and i were stopped on the street by the sartorialist of canine fashion, dogs in sweaters! check out her post on my lil' canine fashionista here.

then i realized i've never shown all of gertie's fabulous sweaters that i make for her, mostly from recycled vintage human sweaters. she's got a whole bunch more that i've never photographed, especially the crocheted ones; i need to get those documented sometime soon.

there are a few in my etsy shop now, and i'm always happy to make one custom for a dog you know!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lola Staar's DREAMLAND Roller Rink

my friend dianna, a.k.a. Lola Staar, local indie designer turned rock star/activist, will be hosting the grand opening of her new namesake ROLLER RINK this saturday in Coney Island! i posted all the details over here on the SAPLINGS blog so take a look and come get your skate on!

Monday, March 17, 2008

alabama studio weekend

last weekend, i attended the first-ever Alabama Stitch Workshop with the incomparable natalie chanin of Alabama Chanin. natalie has been an inspiration to me since i first learned of her original company, Project Alabama, around 2000. meeting her, hearing her stories, and learning how she works was a dream come true...

i was actually chosen to participate in the weekend on scholarship, for which i am so thankful. it was an amazing experience, as you can probably see here!

the workshop was held at the incredible GAS studio, the workplace of photographer robert rausch, who is natalie's friend and who photographed her beautiful book. the studio was three stories tall and had formerly been a department store.

all of the women who attended were of different ages, backgrounds and locations, and we all came together and stitched. most of us made the quintessential Alabama Chanin style, the reverse applique corset. i think the hands tell the story best...

every color combination looked spectacular. 9-year old anna made this beautiful skirt!

diane is the sewing master who works closely with natalie to oversee the production of their line. she's full of tips and techniques from her years of experience in the textile industry.

i am still finishing my corset and will post on its progress. i also plan to make a flickr group so that all of the participants can share our photos when they are finished...

while we stitched, there was a cooking workshop taking place as well, and we got to feast on the results of their hard work! i will do a separate post on the food later this week, as it was a vital part of the weekend.