—The British Elle Style Awards 2011 took place this week and the publication has posted a great video collection of highlights. Elle
—Your major entertainment/fashion and lifestyle magazine cover rundown for March. TV.com
—Need a way to spice up your mid-winter blues? Spool Sewing has just unveiled their next round of classes. Get out of the house and sew something for me dammit! Spool
—Designer Christian Siriano, of Project Runway fame, is teaming up with fashion catalog Spiegel. Looks like they are trying to spice it up, eh? Racked
—A link to, what might be, one of the most ridiculous contests to hit the streets of Philadelphia. Yes, it has to do with The Jersey Shore. Philly.com
—Philadelphia’s Chinoo Designs, for full figured women, is now available at Boutique 77. Philadelphia Examiner
In October we were informed by the sewing superstars of Spool that Philadelphia designer Jay McCarroll was coming out with a new line of fabrics for FreeSpirit Fabrics. Today they have announced the release of this awesome line of fabrics and to celebrate they are hosting a party. On Saturday, February 12 from 2-5 p.m. you can sneak a peek at the new fabrics, enjoy some snacks and even meet the man behind the designs.
-A French electrician, who once worked for Pablo Picasso, claims that Picasso’s second wife gave him a trunk full of 271 of the famous artist’s works. Yeah, we think it’s a pretty solid story too…pfft. Philly.com
-Philly sewing shop Spool will be open until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays during the month of December. Stop in between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. for special sales and deals. Spool Sewing
-Looking for a perfect gift for the wine-o in the family, why not a classy boxed wine? We’re not kidding. Details
-Need some guidance for your holiday shopping? Check out some Philly-centric shopping advice, you rookies. Philebrity
-Ogle a few videos of Katy Perry wearing very little clothing at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show. Oh, wait, that’s nothing new for her is it. Twirlit
-Fashion is getting a Fair Trade makeover. Fair Trade USA has launched an ethical certification label for clothing so now you can know whether or not you should feel bad about where the clothing you’re wearing was made. PR Newswire
-T0day is World AIDS Day. Inner Course, hosted by The Blockley, is an evening of art, giveaways and live hip hop for AIDS awareness. Starts tonight at 7 p.m. FIFTYONE-FIFTYONE
It’s that time of year again when everyone is excited to just be outside. I went to my first block party of the season on Saturday (which also happened to be a stop along the R.E. Load Maypril Fools ride) and was reminded of the joys of enjoying a meal outside with friends. And if I can’t partake in a good old fashioned BBQ or block party, my next favorite thing is a picnic. Below you’ll find the ingredients for a perfect picnic, comprised of products from Pennsylvania-based companies.
THE BLANKET: The Ikat Stripe Quilt Kit from SPOOL
What is more rewarding than being able to tell your friends that you made your own super rad blanket for picnics? Not much if you ask me!
THE BASKET: Eco Picnic Basket for Two from Picnic Playground
Everything in this basket is made from natural and renewable resources—from the bamboo plates to the dye and chemical-free cotton lining so your picnic really does reduce your carbon footprint.
THE GLASSWARE: Vintage West Virginia Glass Blendo by plaidponyvintage
This pitcher and ice bowl look like summer with their lemonade-color. Fill em up (don’t forget to add the booze) and let yourself feel a bit fancy. A pitcher is always more classy than a waterbottle, just sayin.
THE SNACK ORGANIZATION: Reusable Mini Bags by fabrik
These mini mesh drawstring bags will do the trick when it comes to keeping your grapes separate from your almonds and gummi bears.
THE SEASONING: Neutrino Designs Salt & Pepper Shakers
Everyone needs a little seasoning and these shakers will look just as good on your kitchen table as in your picnic blanket.
THE CLEAN-UP: Raspberry Cocktail Napkins by The Point
No worries, these napkins already have food on them so it’s not like you have to worry about getting more on them when you wipe your dirty little mits ‘n’ mouth.
THE POST-MEAL NAP: Hand Appliqued Snakeskin Raindrop Pillow Cover by revivedesign
I’m a big fan of the post-meal nap. Just zip this cute pillow cover over any 18″ x 18″ insert and snooze away. Hopefully, these are the only raindrops you see while picnicing.
Obsessed. I saw these new Duck Bags by Baggu this morning and fell in love. Maybe it’s their ability to be worn across the body aka every kid on a bike’s dream bag for a few groceries or bouncing around town. Or maybe it’s the vibrant colors—they are all just so gosh darn happy! Or maybe it’s just because they are simple, sweet and elegant. No matter, I want one. Now. Please?*
Also on the theme of bags— check out the collage bags that the participants of Jay McCarroll’s Mystery Bag Class created over at Spool this past weekend. It looks like everyone had fun, but sadly there appears to have been no Celebrity played. I guess they were there to sew…
*Take a peek at the HUGE collection of reusable grocery bags available over at Baggu, they come in every color of the rainbow and are perfect for keeping in your purse for that unexpected trip to the store.
Saturday night, I found myself stumbling home at 3 a.m. from another lovely holiday cocktail party in South Philadelphia. As I rounded the corner to my home, skipping along in my patent leather mary jane pumps, I saw a familiar face look up from the task of unlocking his front door, my super-svelte neighbor (and winner of the first season of Project Runway) Jay McCarroll. He’s been away for two months shooting a new reality T.V. show and since his return, we hadn’t had a chance to see each other yet—which is slightly ridiculous considering we live five doorsteps down the block from each other—so it was nice to catch up for a moment and hear about his life as of late. And being the non-stop man that he is, he’s already got a a busy calendar leading into 2010 including a mystery sewing class at Spool on Saturday, January 16th.
Check out the details on the Spool Blog. Anything that involves things like “mystery bags of materials”, a “top secret project” and the added intrigue of Jay and his hilarious commentary is enough to pique my interest. I wonder if he’s going to have everyone play his favorite game, Celebrity, like he used to do at our neighborhood potlucks?
And if you aren’t familiar with Jay’s fun and colorful original fabrics, pop over to his online store, The Colony and peruse his new Germania line. I’m a big fan of the Gablob fabric pictured below. Perfect for all your holiday crafting!
Designer and South Philly resident Jay McCarroll, who (as I’m sure he’s sick of hearing) you may remember from season one of Project Runway (in which he turned down the first-place prize of $100,000 because of a creepy clause that entitled the Weinstein company to a 10% interest in all his future ventures, forever), has been teaching at alma mater Philadelphia University and producing some pretty adorable retro-ish fabric prints.
Spool has his latest line of fabrics, Germania (if you look closely, a lot of the prints involve fuzzy little spherical monsters with two fangs and one googley eye, which I love), and they’re using them in their Stitch Party this Friday from 5-7. FYI.
Spool: 1912 South St., open 11-6 Wed-Sun
P.S.: I have nothing interesting to report about jury duty, they let me out before lunch. I didn’t even get disqualified, they just didn’t need anybody in my 50-person group. Here’s one thing: you can buy ramen bowls, oatmeal, chicken noodle soup and Chef Boyardee Beefaroni at the jury-duty vending machine. The woman in charge of my group was very nice. That is all.