We wish we could take credit for that pun in our post name, but it's the book title of nomadic chef and fellow Filipina Yana Gilbuena. We had the pleasure of attending one of her pop up KAMAYAN feasts in collaboration with Philly's own resto with the ono grinds Poi Dog. And it was quite a night.
When WAX + WINE opened their doors a few months back, I knew exactly who I had in mind that I would take: Husby's mom and sister. So when Rachel's birthday came around, Justin and I wanted to treat her for a girls date in the city. So we had her invite some of her closest friends, we made a planned a day, and then we were off.
A short walk away from the PATCO line, the WAX+WINE studio sits alongside some of the city's cutest boutiques and antique shops. Close to the corner of 11th and Pine, you will come upon the minimal, but bold black and white sign. By now, you should know I live for a black exterior, but then you walk in and you're greeted with this old world charm meets contemporary flair aesthetic. The Art Nouveau-esque chandelier with the dark mahogany cabinet and crown moulding give the space it's character, while the lucite chairs and neon signs bring the flair.
Once seated we were able to pop the bottle of rosé I brought (yes this place is a BYOB) and hang out until our class began. See, WAX+WINE is what they call a "Candle Bar". Customers can create their own candles with their own custom scent combination. While you're in the Scent Room, there are also various vessels to put your candle in; black glass, amber glass, and various travel tins. Then customers go back to their table, learn to balance out the ratios (a little tricky and can be very mess), blend into the melted wax, and pour into their chosen containers. The best part is, you don't have to wait too long for the candle to fully set due to their blast chiller process.
With over 75 fragrances to choose from (and endless blending possibilities) it truly fits in with the "Made For You" trend that's been sin vogue these days. We've seen it everywhere...from haircare brands like Prose and Function of Beauty, to skincare with Curology, and even with Care/of Vitamins (click here for $40 off your first order).
Birthday girl dabbled with Gardenia for a while, but then realized it wasn't her jam. So she switched out the scents and went with a Champagne Georgia Peach that was reminiscent of a Fuzzy Navel brunch-y cocktail. Justin's mom went with a mix of Midsummer (a pachouli blend) and Orange. Rachel's friend Sarah's candle smelled like walking through the meadows at Longwood. That's the funny thing about the sense of smell. You can always be taken back to a memory or a place with just a quick whiff.
- a blend of black teakwood and honeysuckle -
Takes you back to the phosphorescence of the first blooms on a summer morning with a tinge of smoke from the bonfire the night before. Also name of a really good Thrice song.
Who else has that typical Type A personality?? For the most part, I am the girl who is on top of things. Professional List Maker should really be a career choice. I like organization (even if it's an organized mess). Itineraries are my jam. I love clean minimal Swedish design. But when it all comes down to it, I know I'm a control freak. And sometimes that comes as a detriment to my creative side.
If you know me in the real world, I'm usually never without some sort of craft project. Most of the time, that craft has been knitting because it's the most travel friendly option. My friends and family call me a grandmum, but that's quite alright with me. I believe I am just living up to one of my nicknames "Kitty Kat" because of I always have some yarn or string to play with. Being self taught meant lots of mistakes. In Japan, there's this thing called "wabi sabi"...
the acceptance of transience and imperfection
It wasn't the first time I had to come to terms with my eagerness to attain perfectionism; that's an ongoing lesson. However it did teach me to find beauty in the flaws. That even if it's not "perfect" it still is an accomplishment. Oh you missed a stitch, well that's what makes it perfectly unique. It tells stories like the smile lines around your grandparents' eyes.
Rows and rows of knits and purls seem rigid, but there's a rhythm to it. Different patterns creating crescendos across the work. Counting stitches like a time signature. It's the dance of the needles intertwining and releasing. I've heard, in passing, that tying knots is a therapeutic way to calm anxiety. It slows the mind and shifts your focus. For me, it's a form of meditation.
For all those reasons and because I love learning different types of crafts, the transition to macrame was an easy one.
I've always admired Emily Katz's work. So when I heard she was holding a workshop in the city to tell her story and teach macrame, it was already a done deal. She learned the craft from her mother and it became something they bonded over, which touched me for when have some cubs of our own. It was also inspiring to me to hear how she got to her current success. This wasn't her first go at being an entrepreneur, but she persisted and this fell in her lap and she ran with it.
While she was teaching she mentioned that the beauty of macrame is the spaces between the knots. They're like breaths between the actions.
Remember to breathe
When it came to creating our own wall hanging, I placed the intention of no expectations. That what will be, will be. Learning a new craft is always filled with experimentation. With my first time at macrame, it was just seeing where the rope wanted to go. The beauty is that the knots are loose and you can always them out. Nothing is permanent. Nothing is set in stone. It's a practice.