VALENTINE LOVE LOVE LOVE
Yes, I do love a Valentine. Finding a little treat for loved ones, and celebrating LOVE might strike some as a little prescribed, a little Hallmark perhaps, but I disagree. What better emotion to rally around, or to invoke? Especially now, I feel that everyone and everything needs more love love love. Valentine's Day is the most forgiving of all holidays, and the easiest to celebrate. Chocolates, flowers, a love note...it really isn't that difficult to find a way to treat your love or yourSELF, which is just as, or perhaps even more important. Of course, we have many beautiful ways to do just that. Let us help you find the perfect thing this year. It's what we do best, and given our offerings of jewelry, lingerie, books, and essential oil + beeswax candles...I promise you'll find something that your Darling will love.
I'm just back from the gem show in Tucson, where I found lots of beautiful stones and beads to make into even more beautiful pieces of jewelry. I continue to be inspired by the beautiful range of pink tourmaline stones, and love making these floral earrings. They are so flirty and feminine, without being too sweet. We also have tiny flower stud earrings for the more faint of heart. They are quite possibly the most charming earrings ever. You can see them here.
For those in need of immediate gratification, the newest selection of trade bead necklaces is already available for Valentine's gifting. They are strung on an adjustable length red leather cord, making them extra lovely, and feature 18K gold beads in both yellow and rose gold. My favorite necklace for your sweetheart is the one with the iridescent silver heart beads. They seem to glow from within, and I was immediately drawn to their smoothness, icy sweetness, and rounded heart shape.
One special gift could be Mona Kuhn's Bushes and Succulents. Mona is a Los Angeles based artist and friend of mine, and her work celebrates the power of femininity and the strength inherent in being a woman. I have long been a fan of Mona's work, and am thrilled to have her beautiful new book available in store and online. We have a limited quantity of signed copies, available next week for Valentine's Day gifting.
We have lingerie and sleepwear in both silks and cottons, whichever your fancy. I always feel like a Liberty print robe is an especially gorgeous gift. It is one of our most popular choices for a luxurious present, and one of the most well received too. The 100% silk crepe de chine travels exceptionally well, ensuring a bit of beauty and comfort away from home. The Liberty print silk also makes a lovely eye mask for sleeping deeply and soundly, which truly is a luxury in and of itself. We have a selection of them to choose from, either mixing and matching with a robe, or on its own as a sweet Valentine treat.
I would also love to suggest this new bright cherry red, short slip with a deeper red contrasting French lace hem. It is such a flattering shape, and the color looks great on everyone. It would be virtually impossible to feel blue if you're wearing this.
For an over-the-top grand romantic gesture, I would consider a ring with a hypnotic deep red, rubellite tourmaline cabochon. The stone is truly mesmerizing, and the grand scale of the piece makes it quite majestic. It's the kind of ring you just have to wear, not keep it tucked away, but wear and enjoy it every chance you have. If something more delicate is in order, then I suggest this sweet little ruby ring.
This year I'm going to try and make a kind of healthy-ish truffle for my Valentines. I plan to combine roasted pecans, dried cherries, a bit of olive oil and honey, and then dip them in dark chocolate with a sprinkling of sea salt on top. I don't think that the butter and cream will be missed necessarily, and I do believe that the appreciation of a homemade sweet is never something to underestimate!
Treats are wonderful for Valentine's Day, but nothing beats a love letter. My lifelong love of handwritten notes was just deepened by the gift of an outstanding selection of Japanese pens and beautiful William Morris paper from one of my favorite friends. I had forgotten how much I love a fountain pen, love the different colors of ink, the feeling of the nib on the paper...how nice to be reminded! It is especially wonderful in this digital age, not just to write the notes, but to know how much of a treat it is these days to receive one. I hope you write at least one Valentine this year, enjoy the love of those around you, and reflect it right back out there. Love love love is all we need.
Happy Valentine's Day,
Hello 2019! I must say that so far, I like this new year. I suspect it has something to do with my extended vacation from the relentless news cycle, and its attendant anxieties. I've chosen instead to listen to music instead of talking heads, to dive into the pile of books on my bedside table, and to watch more films. The result is that I feel calmer, more productive, and just better than I have in awhile. Usually I am in recovery mode, after the mad rush of the holidays. Because I am not obsessing over the state of the world, I feel like I have time to think and to reflect, and ultimately to be inspired, which is something we all can benefit from. Don't worry, I am not "head in the sand" ignoring the world, I absorb enough information just from being awake and aware. I'm just taking a bit of a pause, catching my breath, and setting my intentions for the new year ahead.
I find myself reflecting on the incredible amount of art I was lucky enough to see this past year. It was an epic year for exhibitions, and some of my all-time favorites were the Picasso show at the Tate Modern in London, the Van Gogh/Japan show in Amsterdam last summer, and the recent Edward Burne-Jones at the Tate Britain. We were also fortunate enough to see the Picasso Bleu et Rose, the Miro retrospective, and the Basquiat/Schiele exhibitions in Paris, as well as an incredible John Singer Sergeant show at the National Museum in Stockholm, which reopened in October after a five year long renovation.
The Lars Tunbjork exhibition at Fotografiska was really wonderful too. They are open until one o'clock in the morning, so we wandered in around 11pm and had the place nearly to ourselves. Why can't more museums do this? It feels like such a privilege to have a quiet gallery to oneself.
The most wonderful though, was the Louisiana Museum in Denmark. It was such an outstanding experience on all fronts. Spending an afternoon there was one of the highlights of 2018 for me. The combination of nature, modern art, architecture, and design felt so intentional, soulful, and so thoughtfully regarded. If you haven't yet been, make it your next trip. You won't be disappointed.
It was also such a delight to discover the lesser known magic of the Thorvaldsens Museum, which pairs a grand scale with a cabinet-of-curiosities feeling, and the exotic treasures at The David Collection in Copenhagen. They both felt truly special and intimate, as they are precisely that: the expression of a singular passion for collecting.
If you've been over to visit the shop recently in the afternoon, you may have caught us in the middle of tea time. I make a pot of ginger tea with lemon and honey to share, which felt especially nice during the recent rainstorms. It's quite strong, and the perfect afternoon treat. We are attempting to be virtuous after the indulgences of the holiday season, but I still managed to make a batch of salted rye cookies. One of our talented foodie clients shared her recipe with us, and we are all a bit obsessed. I suppose the Swedish notion of fika really did make an impression on me. Spending time with a hot drink and a biscuit in the afternoon, catching up on things together definitely feels like something to carry on with in 2019. It's a lovely and delicious way to feel more grounded and connected.
I pour 3oz fresh ginger juice, the juice of one lemon, plus one or two spoonfuls of honey (depending on desired sweetness) in a tea pot. Add the hot water, and stir to combine. You can also refrigerate any leftover tea, as it's delicious and refreshing to drink cold. This hardly ever happens, as we usually drink it all, but it's a treat when it does.
Salted Rye Cookies
2 sticks unsalted, European style butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
2.5 cups whole rye flour
3 tbs. coarse turbinado sugar
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and the granulated sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, a pinch of salt, and the orange zest. Slowly mix in the flour. Divide the dough into two portions, and place each on a sheet of plastic wrap. Shape into logs approximately 2 inches in diameter, and wrap tightly. Chill until firm, about an hour (or overnight).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a sheet of waxed paper, combine 1.5 tsp salt and the turbinado sugar. Unwrap the dough, and roll them in the salt/sugar mixture to coat well. Place each log on a cutting board, and using a sharp knife, cut into 1/8 inch rounds. Arrange the rounds approximately 1 inch apart on the parchment paper lined baking sheets., and bake until lightly browned on the edges, about 16 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through so that the cookies bake evenly. When finished baking, remove to wire racks to cool completely. They won't last long, I promise.
It seems that the mad rush of the holiday season has begun in earnest! We are all basking in the love of the wonderful crowd who stopped by on Wednesday evening to celebrate the season. Thank you to everyone who joined us to raise a glass and enjoy all of the sweet treats. The mulled wine smelled so delicious that it drew people in off of the sidewalk, and gave the evening a true sense of holiday cheer. One of the nicest things about gathering everyone together is seeing old friends and new, as well as introducing everyone. It has been such a privilege to witness the widening and deepening of our community here in Venice over the years. I also love feeding people, and sharing my new work. If you didn't manage to make it over, you can catch a little glimpse of the evening, along with some of the newest pieces here.
Putting together suggestions for gifting is always a great joy. I get to imagine how something will be received, and hopefully treasured. We have a beautiful selection of new jewels to choose from. As ever, we are delighted to share some of our favorite gift ideas. I think one of these beautiful little garden rings would be such a treat to give or receive. Each one is unique, and has its own personality. The pearls with the pink sapphire leaves is especially charming. It reminds me of cherry blossoms.
If gemstones are not on your list, then one of our 18K gold pieces might be perfect. The simplicity and warmth of the gold is timeless and the patina that comes with age is incredibly beautiful. I love seeing how the pieces age and soften a bit over time. The integrity of the gold is one of the reasons I chose to work with it.
Recently we have added oxidized sterling silver settings, mixing them in with the 18K gold for a more antique feeling. When I started making jewelry in my second year at university, I worked in oxidized sterling silver almost exclusively, so this feels nostalgic for me in lots of ways. Jewelry from the Georgian period also featured settings of sterling silver, and lots of flower and other natural motifs. These have what I think is a vintage, yet very modern feeling.
A robe would also make an outstanding gift. Waking up to a new silky kimono would be first on my list, I will admit. We have both solid silk charmeuse, and Liberty of London prints in 100% silk crepe de chine, as well as a few limited edition silk crinkle chiffon pieces. You could coordinate one with a handmade silk sleep mask for a charming gift set. We have several to choose from, and in my mind, they are life changing. I can't really sleep without one anymore. It might just be the one of the nicest things you could give this Christmas. The gift of a beautiful and more restful night's sleep is one that you can't really beat.
A gift doesn't have to be over the top. Some of our most simple and modest pieces make the best gifts. Indeed, one of our 100% beeswax and essential oils is something that everyone on your list would be delighted to receive. Our newest addition to the collection is Zen Garden, which is inspired by the incense from the Ryoanji temple in Kyoto, Japan. It made such an impression on me, that I wanted to capture the essence of that experience to share with everyone. I recently gave one of them to a lovely friend from Japan. She wrote to tell me that she loves it, as it reminds her of "walks through Kyoto in the fall when the air is crisp, the leaves are golden, and memories of incense wafting from temples..." I can't think of a better way to describe it.
While the treats for last night including some of my family's traditional holiday favorites, it is a new recipe that I felt most excited about it. A client of mine shared her recipe for salted rye cookies, and I must say that we all loved them! They were heaven with the mulled wine. The mulled wine recipe was also shared, and adapted from the Joy of Cooking. In addition to feeling seasonal and tasting delicious, it made the store smell amazing. Trust me, and make it for your holiday gatherings. Everyone will love it, and your house will have the most incredible aroma.
2.5 cups cane sugar
3 cups water
50 whole cloves
10 cinnamon sticks
3 crushed nutmegs
5 star anise pods
3 cardamom pods
Peels of 3 lemons and 2 oranges
4 cups lemon juice
5 bottles red wine
2 oranges, 1 lime, both sliced into rounds
Combine the sugar, water, 6 cinnamon sticks, 3 star anise pods, the nutmeg and cardamom, together with the citrus peels in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, and cover the pan to let steep for 30 minutes, or longer if you have time. Strain the syrup through a mesh sieve into a large pot that can hold all of the liquid. I use a stockpot, that way I don't have to worry about splashing red wine everywhere.
Add the lemon juice, the wine, and the sliced oranges and lime, along with four cinnamon sticks, and a couple of star anise pods. Heat the wine slowly over a low heat until it is just below simmering. Keep warm, and serve in glass tea cups with a slice of citrus for garnish.
Hello again! It's been a little while, I know. I've been traveling, working, adjusting to life without children in the house. I have to say, ahem...it's not all that bad. (Clearly, my children don't read this!) That said, I am beyond excited to have everyone home, under one roof, for the first time since the summer. CANNOT WAIT, actually. I love it so much when the four of us are together, so this Thanksgiving I am grateful for that more than usual, and grateful for the wonderful friends who join us around the table for our epic feast.
The cooking has begun, and the clock is ticking. Instead of feeling pressure though, I'm just going to focus on the gratitude. I feel like with each passing year on the planet, I feel it more deeply. The recent wildfires plaguing our state and causing so much devastation only serve to intensify the feeling. So many people have lost so much, it's just heartbreaking. There have been incredible stories of bravery, compassion and of coming together as a community. We chose to donate to the cause through www.directrelief.org/emergency/california-wildfires/ and encourage you to do what you can too. I'm proud to be a native Californian, and am always amazed by the resiliency and the beauty of this magical place. It's been an especially wild year, so focusing on making beautiful things, and being grateful for the opportunity to do so, resonates profoundly. If you aren't participating in the mad, turkey-related frenzy, then please come over for a visit. We would love to see you.
Our Thanksgiving holiday hours are:
Wednesday, November 21st, 11-4pm
Thursday, November 22nd, CLOSED
Friday, November 23rd, 11-6pm
Saturday, November 24th, 12-5pm
Sunday, November 25th, CLOSED
On the subject of gratitude, I just had the honor and delight of reimagining an engagement ring for a truly lovely woman. There is no better feeling than knowing that new life has been given to an enormously sentimental and important treasure. Working on these kinds of future heirlooms is one of the things I love most, and something I am always grateful to have the opportunity to do. I love the freshness that this piece has, and its powerful feminine energy. It feels perfect for right now, and I hope it will be treasured for many years to come.
I have also been working on lots of new pieces for the holiday season, and a selection of beautiful new earrings, rings, and necklaces are available in store now. I am particularly besotted with the dainty and colorful collection of garden rings. Here is a little peek at a few new favorites. They are especially charming worn together in little groupings.
Have you seen our dark floral Liberty print robes? I love them. They feel perfect for the season, and come in solids, or print blocked styles. We also have coordinated sleep masks available, so you can put together the perfect set.
Welcome Home Breakfast
I like to make this morning feast when we come home from travels, as it feels clean and simple, and as un-fussy as it gets. Our son returns from two months away, and our daughter will be home from school for the long weekend, and everyone needs something home cooked and healthy. This egg and vegetable based dish assembles quickly, which is helpful when you have hungry travelers from far away lands. Everyone can pick and choose which bits they like most, and there are never any leftovers. Yes, it helps to have homemade pesto sauce on hand, but it's also delicious with harissa or even just hot sauce, which everyone should have in their pantry. And really, any vegetable can work. Use what you have, and what you love. Sometimes I make it with zucchini, spinach, and potatoes. It has endless possibilities, so it is never boring, and always seasonal.
One bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, and cut into two inch pieces
One bunch broccolini
One handful wild arugula or other salad greens
Fresh herbs, parsley, basil, dill, chives
One piece of Prosciutto per person
Two handfuls of cherry tomatoes
Two eggs per person, poached
Pesto sauce, or Harissa, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cheese of your choice, shaved or simply dotted over the top
First I crisp the prosciutto in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. This happens quickly, so really just a few minutes per side. Remove to a platter, then saute the cherry tomatoes in the same pan, until they blister and soften. Add those to the platter as well. In a separate pan, boil about an inch or two of water, and blanch the asparagus and the broccolini until tender, but still bright green. Add to the platter, and season with sea salt, pepper, and a couple of spoonfuls of olive oil. Poach the eggs in a small pot of boiling water. I lower the heat when I crack the eggs in. This helps them to keep their shape. When they are ready, I add them to the platter, nestled in and around the vegetables, and spoon over the pesto sauce or harissa. Then I sprinkle over the arugula and freshly torn herbs, along with a little cheese. I usually shave a little pecorino or parmesan, or dot a bit of goat's cheese or mozzarella, really I just use whatever is handy. A little salt and freshly ground pepper over the eggs, and serve immediately. Welcome home to all the travelers out there....
Enjoy the holiday weekend, with tons of love love love...
Late Summer 2018
Oh August, please don't go. I am relishing the last days of the month, even as we are just over half-way there. One reason is certainly our daughter's imminent departure for college. I wish we could slow down time, not only to enjoy summer and the longer, brighter days, but to have her home a little longer. Thankfully she isn't going far, so that does make it a bit easier to bear. It's an incredibly bittersweet time. I'm going to surprise her with a few of our new cotton slips to sleep in, though without lace. I'm sure the laundry situation in the dorms won't exactly be conducive to preserving fine French lace! One thing that stayed with me from college days, is that all of the girls back then were sleeping in t-shirts and men's boxer shorts. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly my vibe. I understand comfort just as well as anyone, but what could be more comfortable than sliding into a slip?
Thinking back to college days, I'm feeling a bit nostalgic for making bracelets by hand, so that's what I've been doing every chance I get. I used to spend hours making these when I was younger, and it feels really nice to reconnect with that process. We have a selection of handmade beauties, featuring combinations of African trade beads and either 18K gold or oxidized sterling silver beads. They are fully adjustable, unisex, and look great in groupings. We will be adding more as the days go on, as they are proving to be quite popular. You can find them here.
We recently received a new batch of cotton slips to see out the rest of the warm weather. I love a lace hem, and we have a few new designs. I am so inspired by the lace that we use from Solstiss in France. They are the ultimate purveyor of fine French lace. Their work is truly unparalleled, and used by the finest fashion houses. The actual making of lace is something I've long appreciated. The Lace Museum in Burano, Italy is a real treat for anyone traveling through Venice. I found it quite inspiring to learn how painstaking it is to make lace by hand. I have so much more respect for vintage lace pieces, and the effort that went into making them, and I truly respect all of the tiny details that are so often overlooked.
These Italian cotton and lace half-slips have been indispensable to me this summer. I wear them underneath dresses, or sheer skirts, or on their own with a camisole when it's too hot to wear anything else. The crisp cotton feels cool on the skin, and the lace adds a lovely bit of femininity to what would otherwise be considered a traditional men's shirting fabric.
My daughter and I recently took a pasta making class with Chef Gino at the Gourmandise School of cooking in Santa Monica. It was so much fun, and we had a blast making it at home. Apparently even all of the children in Italy know the recipe: 100 grams of flour, plus one egg per person. We used that maxim and made enough for the army of teenagers that were hanging around the kitchen, patiently waiting. It was so much fun to make the fettuccine, for the Uni pasta (see earlier notebook entry from January 2017 for that recipe) and also a batch of ricotta and asparagus ravioli. Be forewarned, it's messy. The army of teenagers really comes in handy for the clean up!
Fresh Pasta Recipe
amounts are per person
100 grams 00 (or all purpose) flour
1 egg + 1 yolk, lightly beaten
Place the flour you are using on a flat surface in a mound, and make a well in the center. Pour the egg in the center, and carefully begin to incorporate the flour into the egg until you have a rough dough. Knead the dough by hand for about 8-10 minutes, then let rest in the refrigerator for about an hour. After resting, use a pasta maker to roll out the dough, and cut into desired shapes. Toss noodles in flour and rest until ready to cook. In a generously salted pot of water, boil pasta for 2-3 minutes until al dente. Toss with whatever sauce you've made, and eat immediately.
Asparagus + Fresh Ricotta Ravioli
One container fresh ricotta
One bunch asparagus, lightly roasted and chopped into tiny pieces
One cup of parmigiano reggiano (with a little bit of pecorino thrown in)
One egg, lightly beaten
Zest from one lemon
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Salt + Pepper to taste
1/2 stick of butter, melted
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, and use as filling for your homemade pasta ravioli. Boil in a pot of generously salted water for approximately 4 minutes, until floating at the top. Transfer to a shallow saute pan with the melted butter, making sure a bit of the pasta cooking water comes along too. Salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with a bit of parmigiano reggiano and freshly torn herbs. Basil and mint are especially nice here.
Midsummer already, and the heat is here with a vengeance. I now feel like being lazy, sitting in the sun (I know, I know...but the vitamin D!!!), and reading book after book after book. I did manage to spend a little time by the pool on July 4th, and also to read my brilliant and talented friend Evgenia Citkowitz's novel, The Shades. What I haven't quite accomplished is the lazy part. Not my nature, I'm afraid. We just returned from a quick trip to London and Amsterdam, and as ever I am inspired by all of the incredible art, nature, and certainly the food that we experienced, and am busy bringing those inspirations to life. I am always happiest when the four of us are on a trip, away from the quotidian distractions of life. This trip was no exception, and it was absolute heaven to all be together. From the epic Picasso exhibition at the Tate Modern in London, to the Van Gogh and Japan in Amsterdam, with meals at The River Cafe, and De Kas amongst others, and plenty of laughs, my heart and mind are both full.
As much as I love to travel, I am always thrilled to come home. It feels good to be back in the store, with all of the new summer pieces. I love colorful earrings with a bit of movement, as well as pearls in all forms. These are two pair of several new earrings that have just arrived, and are true to my love of all things floral.
This weather makes me feel like staying in my swiss cotton slips all day. It's just difficult to want to wear anything but, on days when it's hovering around 90 degrees on the westside. This beautifully crisp set of cotton pieces are new, and perfect for these brutally hot days. The mid length version is what I love to wear over my swimsuit, or even over a slip as a dress. I wore mine last summer in Mallorca, and the light weight of the cotton was a dream. In either plaid with red lace or stripes with greige lace, they are both charming for the beach or poolside, and not just for sleeping.
We had a little sample sale last year, and it went so well, that we have decided to do it again. This time, the discounts range from 65-85% on selected pieces of lingerie in silk, cotton, and even a few of the Liberty prints. The sale begins on Tuesday, July 10th, both in store and online. Shop early for the best selection. We will also have a small selection of jewelry with special pricing. We only do this once a year, so if you've had your eye on something, don't miss out!
It's a bit hot for cooking, so though this summer dessert does involve roasting stone fruit in the oven, it is served with cooling greek yogurt for a refreshing end to a summer meal. I love making it with apricots, but it can also be made with peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, figs, or a combination of all. Simply halve and pit the fruit, and place cut side up in a roasting pan that has been generously buttered. I then top the fruit with little bits of cut up butter and drizzle with honey and sprigs of fresh thyme. Roast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or so, until the fruit is soft and beginning to look caramelized at the edges. Serve with a dollop of full fat plain greek yogurt, a sprinkling of chopped walnuts, and a spoonful of the juices from the roasting pan. Of course almonds, pecans, or pistachios would also be delicious, if you prefer. Sometimes I use citrus slices, and top with shredded coconut and shaved dark chocolate instead of yogurt and nuts. Really, it can be anything you'd like.
We have deliciously cool A/C at the boutique, and we make a delightfully refreshing iced tea with elderflower, so swing by if you can. We look forward to seeing you, and catching up. Whether you've completed your summer travels, or are about to embark on an adventure, enjoy these sweet midsummer days...
April Journal Entry
Happy Weekend, Everyone! It might be gray and gloomy on this Spring afternoon in Venice (early June gloom, perhaps?), but I am feeling sunny inside. We are so lucky just to live in this vibrant city. I haven't always felt this way, but LA has won me over. There is just so much to do and see here, and such lovely people who have flocked to this fair coast. I had a cozy dinner with friends last night, who had just been downtown to see the LA Philharmonic. I'm now trying to find last-minute tickets to see Gustavo Dudamel conduct Beethoven's Ninth, and convince my 18 year old daughter that it will be thrilling (instead of Coachella, where all of her friends are). I know you are all wishing me luck with that, which is most sincerely appreciated! I also am enjoying that it sort of feels like Spring all of a sudden. The flowers and blossoms on the trees thrill me to no end, and after years of drought they feel especially meaningful.
For the last few months we have been working on a bright new lingerie collection, featuring a few new shapes and updated versions of our favorites, all along with stunning new Liberty print pieces as well. Most of all, I like the new bralette and brief set in color blocked greens and blues or pinks and reds.
The newest floral Liberty print robes are completely gorgeous. In crisp 100% silk crepe de chine, they feel perfect on the skin, no matter what the season.
New earrings have arrived, and again my favorites are the bright color combinations. There is a particularly lovely pair that feature bright purple amethysts set in oxidized sterling silver, with a dark green tourmaline drop set in 18K yellow gold. The length, the playful colors, and the gentle movement make these quite special indeed. My love affair with tourmaline continues, as shown below. The sheer spectrum of colors alone is reason enough, and composing a selection of stones is one of my most favorite things to do.
I recently had the privilege of gathering with some of my neighbors to say farewell to one of us who is leaving the neighborhood, and moving on to new adventures. It was called for 6pm, and a potluck, which I normally find really unnerving. I am never sure if the food will coordinate, or if there will be enough, or what to bring in the first place. Since our gracious neighbors were hosting, I really didn't have to worry about anything (Thank you Brooke + Randall!), so I decided to arrange an assortment of cheese and other delicious snacks that are usually a big hit in our house. This time was no exception, as Brooke wrote to me the morning after:
"Liseanne – In addition to your energy and presence, that cheese platter extraordinaire was amazing…! I need you to ID everything on that platter and in the bowl – I’m serious! I’m going to be serving it in lieu of dinner from now on!"
So for you Brooke, and for anyone else who might be interested, here is what I brought, and a list of what you see. And yes, it totally works in lieu of dinner!
Cocktail Party Cheese Plate
Sliced aged Manchego, cubed Irish Dubliner Cheddar, Thinly sliced Petite Basque, chunks of aged Parmigiano
Italian flat Rosemary herbed crackers
Mary's Gone Crackers, Jalapeño flavor
Pita bread crackers
Dried papaya and dried turkish figs
Cashews, walnuts, pecans
Mandarin orange broken open, and still in the peel
Marinated goat's cheese, with fresh squeezed lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, fresh chives, salt and freshly ground black pepper
What is the saying, March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb? The weather yesterday fits perfectly into this bit of nineteenth century weather folklore, with sheets of rain falling for hours on end. In California these days, this is tricky business. We desperately need the water, but the horrendous mudslides in Santa Barbara County were just six weeks ago, so we are feeling a bit tender. I was actually in Japan during the mudslides, and it was heartbreaking to learn of them when we were having such an amazing trip, enjoying the tranquility and reverence that Japan has with regards to nature. We were delighted by the gentle waterfalls we discovered there, while back at home the more violent side of nature was in full force. I'm happy that the sun is shining now, and enjoying how refreshed all of the trees look after their long drink.
Traveling through Japan is a life altering experience. The culture is so different to ours, and the trip sank in deeply with all of us. Of course it was inspirational, in more ways than I could have imagined. A few new things have arrived in the shop, and more will certainly come. For now, I will share a few images from our travels, and some of what it inspired.
I have a lot of bamboo in my garden, so it was a treat to see the great bamboo forests of Japan. They take such care with nature, therefore everything appears to just thrive, whether in a park or forest, or even the smallest container garden outside of an apartment. It was January, and yet we didn't see anything dead or neglected at all, everything was just weathering the winter with aplomb.
I am really obsessed with moss. I was so excited that there are moss temples in Japan. It was heaven to walk through the gardens, seeing so many different types of moss, in both shade and sunlight. I'm working on encouraging the moss that is growing naturally in spots around our garden, and aspiring to something like this.
The color and symmetry of the famous Fushimi-Inari shrine in Kyoto is quite striking. During the first part of the new year, people come from all over Japan to pray for good business for the year. It is one of the most famous Shinto shrines in all of Japan, so understandably was quite crowded. We were lucky enough to have a moment to ourselves along the path.
There is a subtle geometry to much of Japanese design, and a play between symmetry and asymmetry. We have several new pair of earrings that feature my take on that delicate balance.
I never travel without one of our silk dressing gowns, a slip, and a sleep mask. They are perfect for decompressing after a long day, and the masks come in handy for naps on planes and trains. This was the combination that I took with me on our trip to Japan. The color blocked robe felt perfect there, and I loved the combination with the jewel toned slip.
We redesigned our slips, making them easier to construct, but retaining all of the details that make them so special. These are in a stretch-silk charmeuse, and come in an assortment of lengths and colors. We are getting ready to shoot our next look book, and promise to keep you posted. Some of the new pieces are already in the shop on Main Street. Come by and try one on if you are in the neighborhood. As always, we'd love to see you.
If you read last month's journal entry, or joined us for our Valentine's Day party on February 8th, then you might be interested to learn which chocolate cake was the favorite. I can't believe it, but it was so popular, that I didn't actually get to taste them myself. A bit sad, I know. Judging from the feedback, the favorites were pretty evenly divided amongst the Ottolenghi Fudge Cake, the River Cafe Chocolate Nemesis, and a classic Torta Caprese, which I learned to make in Sicily several years ago. Emanuela Notarbartolo di Sciara has a beautiful cookbook, with charming illustrations by Fiona Corsini, and an amazing recipe for Torta Caprese. I'll share my version of it, because in all honesty I think it may have been the absolute favorite that night.
250 grams whole almonds (you can also use almond meal and skip the grinding part)
200 grams sugar, divided
250 grams 70% chocolate, coarsely chopped
200 grams unsalted butter
6 large eggs, separated and warmed to room temperature
confectioner's sugar for dusting the top of the cake
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, and set a rack on the middle level of your oven. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper.
Grind the almonds (if not using almond meal) in the Cuisinart in three batches, adding two tablespoons of sugar to each batch, using six tablespoons total.
Melt the chopped chocolate and the butter in the top of a double boiler, or in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Set aside to cool slightly.
Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl with an electric mixer for about 5-7 minutes, until light yellow. Gradually, with the mixer set to low, add in 10 tablespoons of sugar, mixing well. Add the melted chocolate and butter, followed by the ground almond/sugar mixture, and mix well.
Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with the remaining sugar until firm peaks form. Fold them into the chocolate mixture in three batches, taking care not to overmix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for about an hour. I begin checking at 45 minutes, so as to be sure not to overbake. When done, cool in the pan for about thirty minutes or so, and then remove the sides of the pan.
Before serving (and when the cake is completely cool) dust the top lightly with confectioner's sugar. I serve this cake with lightly whipped cream, sweetened with maple syrup. It's also delicious with creme fraiche.
I'm thrilled 2018 is here. Last year was rough. I've never been so happy to close the books on a year before. I feel like I may have said that several times over the last few years, and each time I've meant it, but not like this. I think 2017 turned us all inside out. Starting a new year feels like heaven, and so far I really like this one.
Our first party of the year will be our annual Valentine's Day celebration. I hope that you can join us on Thursday, February 8th from 6-9pm. It may seem corny, but I always love Valentine's Day, and we certainly try to make the most of any holiday that highlights love, flowers, chocolate, jewelry, and lingerie. It's very "up our street" over here.
We are joining forces with our Main Street neighbors, Pamela Barish and Coldsmoke. Next door at Pamela's, Laura Jean Anderson will be singing love songs, and Anjelica Huston will debut her new clay sculpture. Coldsmoke will host The Unlikely Florist, who will be on hand with gorgeous bouquets. There will be complimentary valet parking as well.
We will have a selection of our 18K gold flat band rings in a variety of sizes and colors, ready for custom hand engraving as a gift of a poesy ring for your beloved. I have been fascinated by the tradition of poesy rings ever since learning about these 15th - 17th century love tokens. I wanted to make a modern version, so we will have a few engraved, and some not, which will be ready for your customization. Think about something sweet to say to your love, and we will have it hand engraved in time for February 14th.
In addition, we will be debuting our bespoke slipper collaboration with Julio Chavez of Solid State Studios. He will join us for the event to trace your foot for limited edition, custom handmade slippers. It's been such a blast to work on this project with Julio. I am excited to introduce you to him!
I also think that it's important to gift yourself for Valentine's Day. A ruby red stretch silk charmeuse slip could quite possibly be the perfect treat for you, as would a delicious deep garnet silk robe with a gentle shawl collar and contrast piping. You could pair either one with one of our 100% beeswax and essential oil candles, or a matching silk sleep mask. It's all about L O V E, and treating yourself exquisitely.
Lastly, if you haven't tasted the Hazelnut Praline Bar from Milla Chocolates, then you are in for a treat. We have a special edition version in a gorgeous red wrapper, which is perfect for sharing on Valentine's Day. On the topic of chocolate, there will be plenty to share at our event on the 8th. I'm planning to do a tasting of our three favorite flourless chocolate cake recipes, to see which one truly is the best. Please come help us decide. It will be fun and delicious.
With so many options for treating yourself or your Darling, it's difficult to choose just one. Let us help...it's our favorite thing to do, spreading love, beauty, and delicious chocolates for all!
Holiday Gift Guide
The countdown is ON! We officially have less than ten days until Christmas now, and we would be thrilled to help you choose a spectacular gift for the special people on your list. Whether they are setting off on an adventure, or settling in at home for the holidays, we have many wonderful options.
Here are a few of our suggestions, but by all means these are not the only pieces to choose from. Swing by the shop this weekend, or next week. We are here, and will be open even on Christmas Eve until late afternoon for those last minute shoppers.
I've made some one-of-a-kind beaded necklaces that have been really popular. They were inspired by weavings, and make a unique and lovely gift.
These rings are also wonderful gifts, and can be stacked with other pieces in the collection, or worn alone for a simple and elegant look.
I've also been putting together a collection of one-of-a-kind vintage sterling silver pieces. I have curated part of the collection, and then I've taken apart other pieces and combined them to make unique pieces, like these statement earrings.
The color blocked and print blocked robes are so chic and have been going fast. We only have a few left, so don't wait until the last minute!
The Liberty print sleep masks in 100% silk crepe-de-chine and silk charmeuse are a perfect gift, and we have new prints in store, available now!
We also have a selection of Milla Chocolates, and of course our 100% beeswax and essential oil scented candles, too. These are great host and hostess gifts, as well as delicious stocking stuffers. We also share them with weary shoppers!
Looking forward to seeing you, and to helping you with your holiday shopping. One week left!
Lots of Love,
The Thanksgiving holiday is BIG in my family, both figuratively and literally. We host a large, long table of friends and family for dinner, and we spend days preparing the feast. This holiday is no exception, and the cooking has already begun. My thoughts are not solely on the kitchen, however. I am thinking also about how grateful I am this year. I'm appreciative of all of the good fortune we've had, as well as for the bumps in the road. Sometimes those bumps have felt more like Everest-high mountains, but alas, we are making our way along this great journey, and feeling lucky to be here. I hope that you have a lovely and cozy Thanksgiving holiday ahead of you, and that you relish the time with family and friends. I also hope that the food is delicious, and thoroughly enjoyed. On the chance that you are not the one in the kitchen this year, and feel like coming over, or if your idea of Black Friday shopping includes black diamonds, our Thanksgiving holiday hours will be as follows:
Wednesday, November 22nd 11am - 3pm
Thursday, November 23rd CLOSED
Friday, November 24th 12-5pm
Saturday, November 25th 12-5pm
Sunday, November 26th CLOSED
I'm really thrilled with our newest editions to the lingerie collection. The color-blocked silk crepe-de-chine Asteria robes are here, and are quite festive. Here's a preview of one of the color combinations we are offering this season.
Speaking of combinations, the new trade bead necklaces I've been making are reminding me of weaving, both in practice, and in how they've turned out. They are all one-of-a-kind, so they make an especially unique gift.
I was so excited that our son was coming home from college for the holiday, that I made this Pear and Almond cake to welcome him. It's such a delicious cake. I adapted it a bit from one of the Books for Cooks Recipe compendiums. It's great for brunch, for afternoon tea, or really anytime at all. It would even be delicious served for dessert after Thanksgiving dinner. It never lasts more than a day in our house, and is a beautiful, rustic looking cake.
Baked Pear and Almond Cake
100g all purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
75g almond flour
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
175g granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 organic eggs, beaten
6 ripe pears, sliced into thick wedges, lengthwise (do this right before you place them in the cake tin so that they don't turn brown)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9.5 inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Sift the flour and baking powder, and add the almonds. Beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs a little at a time, sprinkling in a spoonful of flour about halfway through to prevent curdling. Fold in the flour mixture gently, yet thoroughly. Spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the springform pan. The batter will be thick.
Slice the pears into quarters, removing the core and any brown spots. Arrange the slices next to each other in a fanned out circle in the center of the batter. Leave a border of around 3/4 of an inch between the pears and the sides of the tin. Bake until the pears are tender, and the cake has risen up around them, and turned a golden brown. This takes about 40 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool, and then run a knife around the edges before removing the sides of the springform pan. You can sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar over the top if you like, but I think it's pretty just as it is.
Ah, Fall. Finally. It felt like summer was going to reign eternal this year, with those infernal hundred degree days seeming to last forever. Then, all of a sudden and without warning, there was a chill in the air. Finally. I heard someone talking about Fall the other day, and how it really is the beginning of the year, instead of January. I have always felt that way too. Whether it is because of school starting, our wedding anniversary in September (21 years!), or the change in weather that is supposed to happen, the season does feel like the start of something, rather than the end. There is also the fact that I opened the LFrank boutique in the fall of 2007, which this year marks its tenth anniversary!
I am filled with gratitude, just thinking about the last ten years. I have met some truly wonderful people, and have made incredible friends through the work that I do. I love it when a client becomes a dear friend, and when a dear friend becomes a client. There is so much meaning in all of this for me. Jewelry and lingerie are intimate purchases, and oftentimes they are a cherished part of the larger stories of our lives. I consider myself blessed beyond measure to be able to do what I love so much, each and every day. Sometimes it is really really really difficult, and other times it feels like magic is happening before my very eyes.
Nothing in this life is ever easy, or ever accomplished without support, therefore the gratitude and love that I feel is truly and deeply heartfelt. So I thank you, all of you reading this, and everyone who has contributed to the continued success of LFrank. It means the world to me, doing what I do, and I look forward to expanding and creating more and more beauty for you to enjoy. There is so much more to come. Stay tuned for updates on some of the projects that I've been working on. I am especially excited to share them with you soon, but not just yet. I promise to keep you posted!
Speaking of beauty, we have a lovely selection of new earrings in the shop. Please swing by to have a look, and try them on if you're in the neighborhood. There are lots of pretty options, from studs, to dangles...diamonds to colored stones. It's not really too early to start making a holiday wishlist.
We also are starting to receive some of our new lingerie pieces, and I am happy to give you a sneak peek. These are just a few of the robes that are coming our way before the holidays. Many of them will feature Liberty Print trim, on 100% silk crepe de chine. Several will be one-of-a-kind, so don't wait too long to come shop.
A few of the styles are borrowed from our Men's Sleepwear Collection, but scaled down and made especially for women in an assortment of silks and fine cottons. I think you'll love them.
After all of the hot weather, I finally felt like making something autumnal in the kitchen. We haven't had a Halloween night without a version of this butternut squash soup for nearly twenty years, and this year was no exception.
We began hosting the families of our children's friends for Halloween from the first year of preschool, and I would make sure that the children all had some of this soup in their bellies before diving into their cherished bags of candy. It made me less anxious about the impact of all of that sugar!
The difference this year was the addition of honey-nut squash, which I've been getting from the Weiser Farms stand at the Farmer's Market. They are famous for their potatoes, and I predict they will also be famous for this hybrid squash. It's delicious without adding a single thing to it, and including it in this soup makes it even better.
Autumnal Squash Soup
One large yellow onion, diced
Four large carrots, diced
Four large celery ribs, diced
Three garlic cloves, minced
One medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
One medium butternut squash, halved and roasted
Two - Three small Honey - Nut squash, halved and roasted
One liter of water
Olive oil and butter for sautéing the vegetables
Salt and pepper to taste
Crumbled goat's cheese, sprouted pumpkin seeds, cilantro, and urfa biber pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and place squash cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet that has a light coating of olive oil. While it is roasting (for about 30 minutes), sauté the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and sweet potato in a few tablespoons of olive oil and a small bit of butter, taking care not to let them brown.
When the squash is finished roasting, scoop out the flesh and add it to the vegetables with the liter of water, and let it simmer for another 20 - 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool for a few minute before you purée it with an immersion blender, or by transferring the soup in batches to a blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I'll then garnish the bowls of soup with crumbled goat's cheese, sprouted pumpkin seeds, torn sprigs of cilantro, and a generous pinch of urfa biber pepper. It's equally good with chives and red chili flakes, or really with nothing at all.
Here we are, already heading into the last few delicious weeks of summer. I hope you are enjoying yours, and finding time to relax and recharge. I'm finding it ever more important to try to disconnect these days. I am actually taking the rest of the month of August to do just that on the beaches of Spain and Portugal. I am so looking forward to spending long, lazy days with friends. I always love traveling abroad, but this year I also got to explore a bit of the United States as well. Earlier in the summer we had the delightful pleasure to travel to Maine at the end of June, for the spectacularly gorgeous and perfect wedding of Nathalie Love and Daniel Pappas.
I had the even greater honor of designing Nathalie's engagement and wedding rings. As I've always felt that designing these incredibly meaningful pieces is the highlight of what I do, I usually have not had the pleasure of knowing the couple well. This particular commission was different however, as I first met Nathalie when she was a little girl, and Dan and Nathalie had been together for a little over a decade before they married. Designing a ring for them was great fun. Dan is a total gentleman, and ideal client, with clear ideas of what he did not want, and of what would be perfect for Nathalie. He also had the diamonds from his Mother's engagement ring, along with the diamonds from a ring that Nathalie's father Nick gave to her mother Lisa when Nathalie was born.
I was able to take those stones, along with additional diamonds for the band, and create something unique and lovely, that perfectly captured Nathalie's magical spirit. There is great sentiment in any engagement ring, and with this one I feel even more so. There is a tremendous amount of love surrounding Nathalie and Dan as a couple, and that was abundantly evident on the small island where their wedding took place. Islesboro, Maine is one of the most lovely places in the country, and being there was a dream. You can read more about the wedding, and see the beautiful photos (taken by the bride's godmother, Pamela Hanson) here.
Summer weddings also are perfect for our bridal lingerie collection. If there is ever a time to invest in lingerie, it is definitely for your wedding and honeymoon. Feeling beautiful when you are spending the day preparing to walk down the aisle is so important, as is waking up feeling beautiful as a newlywed. Every bride should swan around in something special. We especially love the Maia silk dressing gown with the Laetitia slip underneath. The chantilly lace on the bodice of the slip makes it especially feminine.
The farmer's market at the end of summer is always glorious here in Southern California. The heirloom tomatoes are just as delicious as they are beautiful, and there is an abundance of just about everything that I love. The green beans have been really outstanding lately, so I've been making lots of them. This side dish has proven to be quite popular with everyone in my family, and is very easy to make, which is perfect for summer cooking.
one pound green beans, trimmed and washed
one pint cherry tomatoes
one half red onion, sliced thinly
one half cup pitted kalamata olives
extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
salt + pepper
Toss the green beans, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and olives in enough olive oil to lightly coat. Roast on a sheet pan at 375 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, until beans are tender, the onions have wilted, and the tomatoes are starting to burst open and release their juices. Then add a spoonful or two of red wine vinegar to the pan, along with the chopped parsley, and toss. Season with salt + pepper.
Summer of the Gentleman
It's well into June now, with Father's Day this Sunday, June 18th. Have you sorted out how to celebrate the Fathers in your life? Unfortunately, my father is no longer with us, so I can't quite celebrate him the way that I can with my mother, on Mother's Day. I do think of him however, and about how grateful I am to have had him as my father. I am also profoundly grateful that my children have Peter. He is everything one would want in a father, and though they tease him mercilessly at times, everyone knows how completely devoted they are, and with good reason. Parenting is never remotely easy, even in the best of circumstances, but he is patient, loving, and steadfast in a way that seems effortless. He's also hilarious, and keeps them (and me!) laughing in the best way possible. He is the inspiration for the pieces in our men's sleepwear collection, and tested the fit so we know they're comfortable.
We do have a nice selection of men's sleepwear in our GENTLEMAN'S section. We have robes in several gorgeous fabrics, both solid and stripes, and all with contrast piping, and the exquisite attention to detail we pay to our women's lingerie collection. We also are thrilled to introduce the pajama pants and shirts. We sell them separately, to allow for a mixed set of fabrics, but feel free to order them to match. I especially like the plaids with the stripes.
Our beaded necklaces are not only just for women. They also look great on men, and men of different styles. It can go the way of sexy surfer style, or look far more polished while being a touch bohemian. Our inventory is always shifting, depending on the bead collection of the moment, and what seems to suit the season. Call or come by, and let us help you find something perfect.
To celebrate Father's Day this year, I'm planning to make a lobster salad. It seems festive and perfect for lunch outdoors. I'll get the lobster from Santa Monica Seafood, and then toss the meat with bibb lettuce, tons of fresh herbs, slices of pink grapefruit, fennel, and avocado. I will make a chili-lime vinaigrette, with diced red chili pepper, freshly squeezed lime juice, extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of pink salt and freshly ground black pepper. I always season the salad with fresh ground black pepper and pink salt after tossing. I can't remember who taught me to do this, but it really helps the flavors come together and makes everything taste a bit brighter.
May happens to be one of my favorite months. Not just because of Mother's Day, and the fact that my first born arrived early, and in May, making me a brand new Mama just a few days beforehand. No, I love May for many reasons. I love the ecstatic purple of the blooming Jacaranda trees in my neighborhood. I love that some of my very best friends in the world were born in May. Stone fruit appears at the farmer's market in May, heralding the upcoming summer, and making us swoon with delight at the season's first crop of dark red cherries. The weather in May can be nothing short of perfect, with the longer evening light making it perfect for an after-dinner stroll.
Another reason to love May is that Emeralds are the birthstone of the month, and we have several gorgeous pieces that celebrate the stone. I especially like the stacking ring with the emerald and the pavé amethyst band. It's just like those beloved Jacaranda trees of mine.
The Spring/Summer season always has me pulling out my collection of beads. I've been making these necklaces for so many years, yet I never ever tire of them. They are pieces to collect, to gift, and to wear in multiple combinations, or simply and elegantly alone. You can wear them as chokers, as they're adjustable, or hanging low, almost like a pendant. We have a delightful variety of texture, shape, and color. I'm sure you'll find one to adore. There are so many to choose from, and you can click here to shop.
I'm also delighted to give you a preview of our men's sleepwear collection. The robes have been in the store for awhile, and have garnered a fair share of attention from our female clients as well. Now we have pajama tops and bottoms to complement the robes. They are perfect for gifting on Father's Day, which is fast upon us next month. We are using the finest Italian cotton men's shirting fabrics, with contrasting piping details, along with an excellent cut to ensure that the men in your life look sharp, even during slumber.
I decided to make banana bread last weekend, inspired by the overripe bananas in our fruit bowl, and the need for something sweet and delicious for breakfast on Sunday. I started with the basics, bananas, eggs, butter...and added greek yogurt, a couple of chopped dark chocolate bars, and swapped some of the flour with almond meal. It really was delicious, and of course didn't last until Monday. I hope you will love it too.
Mother's Day on the Horizon
I feel like I have literally raced through April. I can't believe that we are nearing the end of the month, heading straight for May and the most important day of that month: Mother's Day. There are many ways to honor your mother, the mother of your children, or yourself for that matter. Please don't forget yourself! We have so many beautiful ways for you to treat you. Earrings are always a popular gift, as are our 100% silk crepe de chine Liberty Print robes. There are also quite a few prints in 100% cotton that are really special as well. There is only one of this particular Liberty print, and I love it so much that I really want it to go to a good home. It's a print with the energy and design of a William Morris/Art Nouveau textile. The colors are just beautiful, as is the lovely French lace detail along the side seams.
Another fabulous gift idea for Mothers of all kinds; meaning new, seasoned, in-law, or otherwise, would be one of our luxurious sleep masks. Made by hand, with exquisite detailing, this is one gift that everyone would be thrilled to receive. I basically cannot sleep without one, and we have several beautiful options in stock to choose from.
I would also bet that this necklace would go over exceptionally well as a Mother's Day gift. It's the right amount of elegance, charm, and grace, which is what most of us aspire to in our Mothering, isn't it?
I'm also a big fan of earrings for Mother's Day. I just visited my mother, and she was wearing the earrings that I gave her last year. Perhaps a fringed pair like these?
The warm weather this week is perfect for poolside lunches. There is nothing better on a Sunday than a trip to the farmer's market, followed by a lazy lunch with friends and family. Springtime at a California farmer's market is literally heaven to me, and I am lucky to be close to some of the best. The last few weeks have been amazing, and the smell of the sweet pea blossoms alone is enough to swoon over.
Usually, the menu consists of something eggy, a delicious assortment of saucisson from the butcher, vegetables with the delicious tzatziki from the Greek guys, and a salad of some sort. There has been amazing celery root at the market lately, from Weiser Farms. I love a riff on a classic celeri remoulade. This is mine...
One large celery root (or two small), sliced into matchsticks on the mandoline
One handful of chopped herbs (I like a combination of parsley, chives, tarragon, dill)
Juice of 2 lemons, 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, 1 tbs. red wine vinegar, 2 tbs. dijon mustard, 1/2 cup of olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Combine all ingredients in a glass jar, and shake to emulsify.
I like to serve this chilled, with slices of radishes on top for a garnish.
Perhaps it is because of all of the rain we've had, or even the persistent chill in the air at night, but for some reason, I've never before felt so excited for Spring. There are so many beautiful little birds around, and the wisteria at our house is more vibrant and fragrant than I can ever remember. I hope that you are out there enjoying a little taste of the season as well. As I write this, I know that there is snow in New York City, and thunderstorms across the middle of the country, but here in Venice, it feels like winter is behind us.
In the spirit of the season, I find it inspiring to wear brightly colored stones and shake off the grey foggy weather we have had near the beach. We have beautiful new pieces in bright and bold colors to eliminate any lingering dreariness we may be feeling from being socked in on the coast. The dramatic new earrings are beautiful in both the color and the composition, and feel like exactly what we all need right now....BEAUTY.
Another hint of brightness and certainly of beauty is our Athena slip in Rubellite pink with red lace. I have always loved pink and red, or pink and orange together. We have a few bright pieces in the store right now that feel especially right for Spring. Dresses and skirts are now catching my eye, and I've got my eye on a few next door at Pamela Barish. I wear my half-slips nearly every day under dresses and skirts. They're perfect under sheer pieces, and also feel lovely on the skin. We have them in two lengths, in silk and in cotton, and in several colors. They can even be worn out, as a skirt on their own, as some of our clients are doing. We can make custom color combinations for you, so please inquire if you have a special request.
I've recently gotten into the habit of making chicken soup on Sundays. It just seems like the perfect thing to do after a trip to the farmer's market, and the result is so delicious. I also feel that collectively, it's what we most need at the moment. A big pot of nourishing, healing, soothing soup can cure a multitude of things. It won't exactly solve everything, but I promise it will improve your outlook. I mostly improvise what I throw into the pot, but it usually looks like this....
Sunday Chicken Soup
One whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1.5 large onions, cut into quarters
one leek, cleaned and cut in half lengthwise
3-4 large carrots, cut into thirds
3-4 celery stalks, cut into thirds
one fennel bulb, cut in half
one head of garlic, cut in half
one-half bunch dill
one-half bunch parsley
one handful of black peppercorns
one handful of cherry tomatoes
2 bay leaves
juice of one lemon
one rind from a piece of aged parmesan cheese
2 tsp. pink salt
I literally just throw everything into a large pot, cover with water and then bring to a boil. After it boils, I skim the top and lower to a simmer for around 3-4 hours. At this point, I remove the chicken, all of the vegetables and the parmesan rind (these get tossed), and then strain the liquid stock through a fine meshed sieve. I keep it warm while I make the rest of the soup. I shred the cooked chicken and put aside while I sauté chopped leeks, garlic, and onions in olive oil. When they are soft and translucent, I add the warm stock. Then I add thinly sliced carrots, and cook until these are soft as well. When it's all ready, I add the shredded chicken. I like to serve this with handfuls of torn herbs, and a dollop of pesto, which is another thing that I make every Sunday with the fresh basil from the farmer's market. Depending on the season, and what is available, I will add other vegetables, such as zucchini, sugarsnap peas, or swiss chard to the broth when the carrots seem nearly done. I improvise, and make it so many different ways that it feels like more of an art-based creative process, rather than a cooking one. It isn't really ever exactly the same, but it is always delicious, and will soothe the soul.
If you know me, you know that I love to celebrate Valentine's Day. Being a designer of both jewelry and lingerie, I suppose you could have made that assumption on your own. Alas, both categories are full of wonderful options to gift your sweetheart.
One of my favorite new pieces is a delightful tribute to romance. This charming ring is heart-shaped, and composed of heart-shaped cut tourmaline stones, in varying shades of green. It's a double hit of LOVE, and is certain to make someone extremely happy this Valentine's Day.
This year we are thrilled to celebrate both LOVE, and our love of the arts. On Saturday February 11th we are hosting a grantLOVE x Alisa Ratner event benefitting X-TRA Contemporary Art Journal, the longest running art journal in Los Angeles. This feels especially meaningful this year, and the collaboration between Alexandra and Alisa has produced an incredibly beautiful body of work.
I hope you can join us between 4-7pm to say hello, and purchase a print! Each purchase is accompanied by an edition of X-TRA, and LFrank will gift a print with each jewelry purchase. We have a limited edition of prints, as well as seventeen special edition one-of-a-kind pieces, and have already pre-sold quite a few, so come early!
Another sure-fire hit this Valentine's Day would be one of our Juno silk charmeuse slips. I love the version with a French lace hem, and am especially fond of it in rose gold. It is the softest shade of blush, and is flattering on truly everyone.
You or your love would also be quite thrilled to receive one of the Liberty print Asteria silk crepe de chine robes. They are so well-loved, and one of our most popular lingerie pieces. You really can't go wrong with one of these, and we have lots of prints to choose from in both silk and cotton.
Do swing by, as this year we are also lucky to have a few limited edition Pamela Hanson x Private Room books available. I couldn't think of a better book to give your Valentine. That, along with a selection of Milla Chocolates, plus one of our essential oil scented 100% beeswax candles, and you will be in perfect shape for celebrating Saint Valentine. Some may scoff, feeling like it is such a forced holiday, but I don't think it's ever a bad idea to treat the one that you love, or yourself for that matter!
This year, I've decided to make chocolate truffles for Valentine's Day. I haven't made them in awhile, and there's something about the labor that goes into them, and their sheer decadence that makes them feel special. I love the recipe for Black-on-Black Truffles from Pierre Hermé. I promise you will be greatly adored by whomever you chose to make these for.
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I use Valrhona)
1 cup heavy cream
3.5 tbs. unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 4 pieces
Dutch-processed cocoa powder
Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a full boil in a saucepan, and then pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Stir gently to make a smooth ganache. Allow to cool a bit before adding the butter, 2 pieces at a time, and stir to blend. When all the butter is incorporated, pour the ganache into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. With a bowl of cocoa powder ready, line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper. Form small balls (they do not have to be perfectly round, in fact I think they're more delicious if they are more organically shaped) and dip into the cocoa powder. You can roll them around in a fine mesh sieve to remove the excess, then place them on the baking sheet.
Enjoy, and Happy Valentine's Day to all...
Join us for a Valentine's Day Event
Hello to 2017
I always embrace the ushering in of a new year. It just sometimes takes me a minute to catch up with the calendar. This year feels as though it's moving in double time, and I am caught still thinking about all of the possibilities that 2017 may hold. Most of all, I'm looking forward to really honing in on what I love, with whom I want to spend my time, and on what endeavors are most important to me. I am determined to be open and optimistic with regards to this new year, and for what it may have in store.
January gets its name from Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and transitions. I named our first Men's robe collection after Janus, and to be honest, I think the style looks really great on women as well. I am most excited about the new pieces coming in later this month. I've become completely smitten with the Italian cotton fine wale corduroy, and the blue plaid flannel, which is the softest imaginable fabric. They both have contrast piping and cozy deep pockets, which are perfect for warming chilly hands during the rainy, cold weather we're having.
Have you tried the Olwen camisole in 100% silk charmeuse? It's nothing short of heaven, and I'm finding that it is impossible for me to get dressed without one. The weight of the silk is like a whisper, and yet it feels like a sort of armor between your skin and the rest of the world. I have been wearing the sapphire version, which is a chic, inky, dark blue with a hint of green. We developed this rich color as our alternative to black. It is the perfect dark neutral to wear all year long.
One of my favorite family traditions is a beautiful and somewhat lazy Sunday lunch after our weekly visit to the local farmer's market. There is something wonderful about all being together, without work or school drawing our attention, that feels better than any other day of the week. Sometimes this calls for something special, so this month I plan to make scrambled eggs with sea urchin. It's completely decadent, and perfect for Sundays. We are lucky that some of the best sea urchin comes from the coast just North of us in Santa Barbara. We try to get to the market early for the best selection. It is a big hit in my house, and I hope it will be in yours as well. It's a riff on a recipe for sea urchin pasta from Eric Ripert.
In a small saucepan, I melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter over a low flame until completely liquid. Then, I stir in the sea urchin roe from one of the little wooden boxes, a tiny pinch of cayenne and chili flakes, and whisk until emulsified. There will be pieces of roe, but I like that for texture. In a different pan, I melt a bit of butter for the eggs, which I lightly scramble with a handful of parmesan cheese. When the eggs are nearly set, I combine the butter/sea urchin mixture with the eggs, and sprinkle with a handful of chopped chives and freshly ground black pepper. I serve this with crispy thin potatoes that I sprinkle with a bit of parmesan cheese, and a handful of wild arugula.
Love to All
With so much love + gratitude, we wish you all the happiest of holidays, and the very best for the brand new year ahead!
*Please note that we will be closed December 25th through January 4th, 2017
Gift Guide - Lingerie Edition
We are delighted to have so many wonderful options to offer for gifting this holiday season. In addition to the jewelry, we have luxurious sleepwear for men as well as for women. The men's pieces are exquisitely made, with contrast piping and elegant details throughout. The cotton fabrics are the finest Italian men's shirting cottons, available in very handsome stripes and plaids. We have robes and pajama bottoms, both of which are quite chic on women as well!
For Women, we have a gorgeous assortment of Asteria robes in Liberty of London prints. We have the 100% silk crepe de chine, as well as the 100% cotton with French lace trim. Another great gift, or treat for yourself would be the Hera Briefs in 100% stretch silk charmeuse. We have an assortment of gorgeous colors, and also have a sneak preview of the 100% stretch Italian cotton jersey version for Spring 2017. We worked on the fit for ages, and it shows. These briefs sit perfectly on the hips and do not move, or show through clothes. Swing by to try on a pair, if you're in the neighborhood.
Another piece that I would like to suggest is the Laetitia slip. I have been living in mine. I wear it under big sweaters with boots and tights in this chilly weather. I also recommend it to sleep in as well, as it is incredibly comfortable. Women have been buying it to wear out to parties, under a velvet jacket or a cashmere cardigan. It is 100% stretch silk charmeuse, and cut for a form fitting, but not tight fit. It suggests what is underneath, without flaunting it, so it's both flattering and also seductive in a rather subtle way. It is also perfect to wear under a lace or sheer dress. We have it in black, sapphire, aubergine, and a very festive red!
With velvet everything in the spotlight right now, our popular Charis bed jacket deserves a bit of attention. It's been a longtime favorite shape of mine, and the silk velvet is truly special. It would make a perfect holiday gift.
For both men and women on your list, a great gift idea would be the Hypnos Sleep Mask. As featured on Vogue.com and in the Town & Country Gift Guide, we have this available in solid 100% silk charmeuse, and also in selection of Liberty of London prints. They are exquisitely sewn, completely luxurious, and feel like heaven on the skin. It makes quite an elegant gift, or you can try one yourself for a more restful night's sleep!
All of the lingerie comes with a lovely sateen pouch, and wrapped in a signature LFrank gift box. We would love to help with any gifting suggestions, so please give us a call or swing by the shop! One shopping week left before Christmas and Hanukkah!
Lots of Love,
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE - JEWELRY EDITION
We officially have ten (!!!) shopping days left before both Hanukkah and Christmas Day are upon us. With that reality in mind, I would like to offer my best suggestions for holiday gift giving.
I love a new pair of earrings, and I know that I'm certainly not alone on that front. We have lovely options available, including these new beauties.
Diamond Flower Cluster Drops
Floating Loops with Emeralds
We also have a few new rings in the shop that would be perfect for someone on your list, or for you to gift to YOU!
Ruby Line Ring
Mosaic Disc Ring
Spinel Cluster Ring
Double Flower Wrap Ring
Necklaces are such a popular gift category. Without having to worry about sizing, it might just be the best surefire idea. Here are a few of my favorites.
Leaf Charm Necklace
Recycled Glass Bead + Diamond Bead Necklace
Another perfect gift would be this timeless 18K gold bangle. This piece is strong enough to look great on its own, and also works well as an addition to a collection.
Quad Hinged Bangle
One of my favorite ideas this Christmas is to give one of our Elephant pieces. They are not just completely charming, but also a gift that gives back. We have partnered with Knot on My Planet to donate to their campaign to support the Elephant Crisis Fund. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each of the Lucky Elephant Ring and Pendant, as well as the Grand Elephant Ring will go to this incredibly worthy cause. You can learn more about Knot on My Planet HERE.
We are now open every day until the 25th, so please do swing by or give us a call at the shop. We have plenty more gift ideas for you, and would love to help. We also have Milla Chocolates to perk up weary shoppers, and are happy to make you an espresso, or a cup of Earl Grey!
The Countdown Begins
December really has a habit of sneaking up on a person. I have a dear friend who describes the period of time post-Halloween as a "freight train to New Year's Eve" and I must say that this year has felt like that more than any other. It is time to turn our attention to the holidays, and to come up with a plan for making those whom we love and appreciate feel truly and deeply special.
We are having a shopping event on Saturday, December 10th from 3-7pm, which will be festive and fun. Next door at Pamela Barish, there will be an incredible singer to lead us in caroling, and the three of us, which includes Mona Moore, will all be donating 10% of proceeds to Every Mother Counts. If you aren't familiar, EMC is devoted to ensuring healthy pregnancy and childbirth for women around the globe. You can learn more HERE.
We have lots of wonderful gift options this year. You can absolutely find something for everyone on your list. I would like to suggest a pair of studs, a timeless bracelet, or a ring for yourself (we can always drop a hint for you!) or for someone special on your list. I am especially fond of these studs, which feel both modern and Victorian at the same time. I also love this delicate ring, and the Quad Hinged Bangle for a gift idea. Of course, this stunning blue sapphire ring would make an exceptional gift, as would this delicate leaf necklace. In addition, this African batik bead necklace with gold beads on an adjustable leather strap is the perfect option for a chic friend.
In the lingerie category, we have incredible new limited edition Liberty prints, both in 100% silk crepe de chine, as well as in 100% cotton. We have already sold out of some of the prints, so I encourage you to make your selections early.
In addition to the jewels and the lingerie, we will have delicious selections from Milla Chocolates, sets of hand printed cotton napkins from GP Surround, copies of Pamela Hanson's limited edition book, Private Room, as well as our lovely beeswax candles. We will also have a few of the men's sleepwear pieces for you to preview, and order in time for Christmas.
I'm looking forward to seeing you this month, whether you can swing by on Saturday, December 10th to join our event or plan to come in another time. We'd love to help you make holiday shopping easier.
With Love + Gratitude
Welcome! If you're reading this, then you are hopefully enjoying a visit to our newly redesigned website. It has been quite a bit of labor for our team, and I am immensely grateful for the dedication, attention to detail, and team spirit that went into making this happen. Please let us know what you think. The driving principle was to create an immersive LFrank experience for those who can't make it to the boutique in Venice, and to ensure that the online shopping experience is both a delight and a breeze. Enjoy having a look!
Recently, we co-hosted a party with Lisa Love for Pamela Hanson, who was in town signing her gorgeous new book, Private Room. We are thrilled to have a few copies left, and have made the book available here online in our Essentials category. This chic, sexy, charming, and romantic book contains portraits of eight women taken by Pamela at Lafayette House in NYC over the course of a couple of years, and styled by Susan Winget. The result is a truly special publication, in a limited release by art-book publisher Damiani of 1000 copies.
Another project (and complete labor of love) that I have been immersed in is the development of our gentlemen's sleepwear collection. We don't want the men in our lives to feel left out of the personal luxury conversation, so we are delighted to offer robes and pajama pants with the same exquisite attention to detail that the women's collection has. The fabrics are the finest Italian men's shirting cottons, and feature french seams, contrast piping, mother of pearl buttons, and expert tailoring. For the holidays we will have the softest cotton flannel, as well as a super fine wale corduroy. Both are excellent gift options for the men on your holiday list.
Pairing two of my loves together in a necklace was such a natural thing to do. Lace and jewels are quite complementary, as seen here with our diamond slice pendant on a length of Solstiss Chantilly lace. We have additional pendants that can be worn this way as well. Swing by or give us a call if you would like to see what is in stock, or available to order.
With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, I am now turning my attention to Thursday, and to sharing the day with family and friends. We take Thanksgiving quite seriously in our house, cooking up a storm, and this year is no exception. If anything, I feel that the volume is turned up a bit higher. Our son is home from college, and is so excited for the home cooking that he has been missing this first semester away from home. Of course we will be making all of his favorites, including Persimmon Pudding. I shared that recipe a couple of years ago on the site, and I'm sharing it again here because yes, it's really that good.
Enjoy the holiday, with extra Love + Gratitude for all...
Well, so much for the Autumn Solstice. With this 90+ degree weather, it literally feels like August in Tuscany this week. If only it was. Last week, September 22nd marked the official end of the summer season, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it. I have never quite appreciated our Main Street location and it’s delicious air conditioning as much as I have this week. The hot weather brings new meaning to the term “Indian Summer” in my book. Alas, September 22nd is also significant as it is our wedding anniversary. This year Peter and I toasted our twentieth anniversary, as well as it being a month since taking our son to college. Quite a lot to celebrate, I must say. As for anniversary gifts, the traditional 20th anniversary gift is china. One can interpret this many ways, and one of them would be with our beautiful ancient Chinese glass bead necklaces. I’ve collected beads for ages, but a dear friend of mine really upped my game by introducing me to some particularly notable and ancient finds.
Until not too long ago, there was a belief that all the glass beads found in China were actually traded, and not manufactured there. This is incorrect, with many incredible examples of ancient Chinese glass beads coming from the Yunnan province and elsewhere in Southwestern China.
This necklace features ancient Chinese glass beads and gourd shaped pendants with 18k yellow gold beads strung on a leather cord. The gourds are an auspicious symbol in Chinese culture, warding off evil spirits and disease, and thought to bring luck.
Sometimes for a twentieth or other significant anniversary, a couple may wish to purchase new wedding bands, or update an engagement ring. It also happens that a husband loses a ring somewhere along the way (surfing is the most common reason!), so an updated ring for him might be the perfect anniversary gift. We have a lovely selection in 18k yellow, white, and rose gold. I gave my husband a rose gold ring for our anniversary five years ago, and I love the patina that the finish has developed over time.
I would also love to highlight one of my favorite new pieces from the lingerie collection for Fall. I’m especially excited for the new Peacock color. The new short Venus slip is beautiful with the diamond slice colored lace trim. The short length is also perfect for this extended summer weather. I usually go for the long, ankle-length Juno slip, but this year I’m going to go short. Speaking of slips, everyone needs one. I know that some of you still prefer sleeping in an old cozy t-shirt, but please do yourself a favor and try one of our silk charmeuse slips. They feel like heaven, and are incredibly flattering. We spent ages working on the fit, and it shows.
The Peacock color is an incredibly rich blue with a bit of green. The new pieces in this color will be in store, as well as available at Barneys New York on Madison Avenue, Beverly Hills, and online soon.
If you’ve been to the store at all over the last nine years, you know of my deep affection for chocolate. If you’ve visited us recently, you’ve hopefully experienced our new collaboration with Milla Chocolates. If you haven’t, then please drop by if you’re in the neighborhood. It is award-winning, locally made, beautifully packaged and completely delicious.
Not only do we a have delicious assortment on hand for sampling, we are also selling our favorite treats from Milla at the store. My favorites are the Hazelnut Praline Bar, and the jars of Candied Valencia Orange Peel. Those jars are going quickly, I should point out! I will be taking a few jars of the Chocolate Dragées with us to family weekend, when we visit our son at school. A little fine chocolate is something we’ve always really appreciated as a family, hunting down the best chocolate wherever we travel, and these jars are perfect for sharing.
Since it does feel like Tuscany in August, I’ve decided to cook like it too. For lunch this week I’m making a raw zucchini salad, with a dressing that is a riff on my pumpkin seed pesto, with tons of lime juice and a bit of extra virgin olive oil. I add an assortment of chopped fresh herbs; chives, parsley, mint and a couple of handfuls of arugula to spiralized zucchini strands, along with a handful of pumpkin seeds and lots of shaved parmesan, and toss. It’s the perfect, crisp, refreshing salad on these days where everything and everyone feels a bit wilted. I hope that you enjoy it!
This weather may not be quite in sync with the season, but we are completely ready for Fall on Main Street, and looking forward to seeing you!
Lots of Love,
Happy Father's Day!
For Our Mothers
- Ortiz tuna packed in a jar of olive oil
- Pitted Kalamata Olives
- Chopped scallions, white and green parts
- Cherry tomatoes
- Haricot Vert, blanched and plunged into an ice bath
- Steamed or roasted baby red potatoes (or fingerlings)
- Hard boiled eggs (slightly underdone to keep the yolks bright orange)
- Mixed Spring lettuces or Bibb lettuce
- Lemon Vinaigrette: Juice of two lemons, splash of balsamic vinegar, freshly ground black pepper, pink salt + extra virgin olive oil
Full Swing Spring
The Luck of the Irish
Sweets for the Sweet
For Valentine’s Day this year, I’m hoping for this romantic and chic ensemble from our Lingerie Collection. The long version of the Maia dressing gown is new for the season in Rose Gold, which literally seems to glow in the gorgeous way that only 100% silk charmeuse can. Underneath it, I plan to wear the Juno long slip in Garnet, a rich color that is somehow delightfully happy under the pale, blush of pink. They are both so lovely individually, and together are truly sublime.
We also have many Valentine-worthy options for your sweetheart, from the palest platinum color, to the vibrant shocking pink of our Rubellite color. Perhaps this set…the Olwen Camisole and Sita Knicker, would be a perfect treat for your Love? Or the Gaia Bralette paired with the Hera Brief, both available online here, in our Main Street shop, or at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills, Madison Avenue, or barneys.com We have new colors available, such as emerald green, white gold, deep amethyst, platinum, and rubellite. Stop by for a look!
If jewels are more to the point for your Valentine this year, then may I suggest a few options for you? We just created a few pair of these delightful earrings, some featuring heart shaped Rubies, or Tourmaline, while others sparkle with either grey or white diamonds. All would make a perfectly sweet Valentine’s Day gift.
While flowers and chocolates are always a pleasure to receive, I don’t think that there could be a better idea for Valentine’s Day than a ring. Stacking rings are always on a jewelry-lover’s wish list, and we have so many wonderful options in this category. I personally would love to receive a little heart shaped Ruby, or a charming little diamond butterfly ring to add to my collection. Please stop by, or give us a call this week to see what other delightful options we have for Valentine's day gift giving. Celebrating Valentine’s Day I have to admit, that I’m a sucker for Valentine’s Day. I always have been. I can remember spending it with Peter either out to dinner, in the early 1990’s at the West Beach Cafe in Venice, at Il Cantinori in NYC, or in for dinner a deux. We would enjoy a decadent assortment of french cheeses, wine, and my version of David Waltuck’s flourless chocolate cake for dessert. Years ago, we decided to include our own little sweethearts in the celebration, making it a group celebration, with friends and families joining us for a dinner in honor of love. I am normally not considered a trite or overly sentimental person, but when it comes to celebrating Valentine’s Day, I go all in. Somewhere along the road, the theme for the dinner became RED. The menu is beef tenderloin, radicchio salad, roasted beets, red potatoes, and of course, a decadent chocolate cake with raspberries and strawberries. With slight deviations over the years, like the time my friend Patrik Milani showed me how to make the most amazing chocolate peanut butter truffles you could possible imagine, I’ve moved on to a version of Ottolenghi’s chocolate fudge cake. If you haven’t tried it, you must. As I mentioned last month, I’m still working on perfecting a brownie recipe, which I’ll share with you here. Let me know if you try it, and what you think. I'm planning to wrap them up to send home with our dinner guests... Happy Valentine’s Day to All!
2016! I am definitely looking forward to the brand new year. It has me thinking about resolutions, big and small, and one in particular that I actually made back in early December. It isn’t about reconnecting with my meditation practice (though I do need to do that immediately!). No, the one I am thinking about mostly is this one: I have decided to embrace big earrings for day. Big, and fancy. Why not!? I feel like the things that we reserve for special occasions are actually meant to be enjoyed in the most quotidian of ways. There isn’t any good reason not to. Honestly, I cannot think of one reason to “save” one’s beautiful treasures for only certain occasions. Enjoy them! Wear them to lunch with a friend, or to anyplace at all. I promise it will elevate the experience of every single thing. Madrid Earrings; Emerald, Pearl + Diamonds Double Pear Pear Earrings, Seven Seas Pearl + Diamond Ring
Spanish Armada Earrings; Black Diamonds + Pink SapphiresJosephine Earrings; Rose Cut Blue Sapphire + Grey DiamondsAnother thing I am contemplating for the new year is which of these delicious new limited edition Liberty of London Art Silk prints I would like for a new Asteria dressing gown. Hmmmm….
They are all so beautiful that I have struggled with making a decision. I think I’ll go with Poppyseed Dream, which I love as much for the exotic print as I do for the name.Of course, there are more pressing things to contemplate for the new year ahead. To face the future with my best foot forward, I am resolving to embrace a few principles:Be more spontaneous, for one.Take more advantage of the galleries and museums of our fair city.Spend more time with friends and family.And finally, to perfect the perfect brownie recipe that I’ve been tinkering with for a few months. I’ll share it when it’s ready…stay tuned!
Happy New Year!
Liseanne's Holiday Gift Guide
Holiday Gift Guide
Hot Summer Nights
This weather! Thankfully our new space on Main Street is deliciously air-conditioned. The nights however, call for cool, crisp, cotton lingerie (if one can bear to wear anything at all!) featuring exceptionally soft Swiss Cotton. The LFrank collection combines the classic shapes and flattering lines of the silk pieces with the highest quality cotton available in the world. My favorites for this heat wave have been the Swiss Cotton Voile Freya slip and the Aurora short kimono style dressing gown in Plumetis. Both are as light as a feather, and the soft creamy pearl color is flattering on every skin tone.
I also love the Maia knee-length dressing gown for it’s crisp pique that is both lightweight and a bit more structured. It has the most beautiful French lace applique as well as 18k double-plated gold plated buttons that I designed at the waist and the cuff. It is perfect for mornings outside in the garden before the heat of the day sets in.
Custom Engagement Rings
The summer is always a popular time for weddings and engagements, and this year was no different. Here are a few of the custom rings we created for our very special clients. The experience is one that I truly adore, and the process of creating an expression of commitment and love for a couple is something that I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be able to participate in.
To cool down, we’ve been drinking pitchers of this refreshing combination of black iced tea, lemonade, and elderflower cordial. It is the perfect pick-me-up when feeling wilted by the hot weather. We’ve offered it to everyone who has come in during the last few weeks, and it has definitely been a hit.
I combine 1 quart cold black tea with 1 1/2 cups organic lemonade and a 1/4 cup of elderflower cordial to sweeten and refresh. Fresh mint and lime are amazing here, if you would like to garnish.
Enjoy the last stretch of summer!
LOVE + HONOR + RESPECT
LOVE + HONOR + RESPECT
We love LOVE. We also love taking part in in the selection of the perfect expression of that love. Most often that love-token is a ring. Many people are choosing a more non-traditional keepsake to express the love, honor and respect that is the foundation of a successful union. New rings are online + in-store now.
Lovely to Be Here
We are happily ensconced in our new space on Main Street in Venice. Half a mile is not much, but we feel a world of difference in our new location. More light, soaring ceiling height, and an incredibly warm welcome have made our transition a great one. I hope you will come and visit us.
One of my favorite things in the new space has got to be the antique games table that I had been long coveting. Backgammon, anyone? Simon, one of our new neighbors, stops by weekly to see if anyone has time for a match.
I am excited about the incredible Dracaena Arborea tree in the front window. It has long been one of my favorite trees, as it has a certain exotic and almost Dr. Seuss-like feeling. It is so happy in its sunny spot, that it sprouted a new frond within the first few weeks of living here!
We have a cheeky monkey, if you can spot him!
We are so happy that we bought these beautiful 19th century antique French carriage house sconces from our friend Ray before he moved into his amazing new building in Culver City. We could not have hoped for a better provenance, as the spirit of Obsolete is here with us every day.
In addition, we have had so much fun collaborating with our friends ZenBunni and our neighbors, Pamela Barish and Mona Moore, on delicious private label chocolates. Our flavor is the exotic Kathmandu, a heavenly Nepali Chai treat. Zen and Bunni take so much care with their confections. They are organic and biodynamic, and simply amazing. Come have a taste! Boxes of the three flavors are available for sale in store.
As an accompaniment to the beautiful silk and French lace lingerie collection, we are proud to introduce the Swiss cotton and LFrank bridal collection of lingerie, Love Honor + Respect. This collection is perfect for everyone who prefers the lighter weight of cotton for these hot summer months. Trimmed with French lace, these pieces are every bit as luxurious and gorgeous as their silk counterparts.
Come have a look and enjoy!
We are moving!
a rendering of our new front window
Finding True North is essential for accurate navigation…
So with that in mind, we are delighted to announce that we will be moving less than a mile due North at the end of this month.
Our new address will be:LFrank 226 Main Street Venice CA 90291 (between Rose Avenue and Navy Street) 310.452.0771
We will be occupying the former home of Ray Azoulay’s Obsolete, along with our friends and current Abbot Kinney neighbors Pamela Barish (224 Main Street) and Mona Moore (222 Main Street).
Our beautiful new space boasts soaring arched ceilings and incredible natural light. All of the signature LFrank elements will be coming along: the steel circle gate, the perforated metal wall, and the ancestor portrait. We will also be incorporating a few exciting new features, such as a lovely lingerie dressing area, custom concrete planters from Buddy Rhodes Studio, and an inherited work of art by renowned artist Ethan Murrow.
There will be plenty of parking in the neighborhood, and of course Kendra will be there to welcome you as always. We are very excited about this new chapter for LFrank, and hope to see you in our new space very soon!
our vitrines will look amazing through our new custom storefront window!
our new space in process… and last but not least, a sneak peek at the LFrank Lingerie collection that will be available in our new location.
LFrank Lingerie, photo by Dan Monick
LFrank Lingerie, photo by Dan Monick
Goodbye Abbot Kinney, our home for over 7 years!
LFrank Holiday Gift Guide
A Favorite Holiday Recipe
Baking as a holiday tradition is something that my family really looks forward to. Years ago, I was introduced to this Persimmon Pudding recipe from Emily Luchetti, and it very quickly became a holiday staple. I don’t think we’ve ever since had a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner without it. In fact, a dear friend hosts a persimmon party every year in her garden, beneath her extraordinary persimmon tree. She makes it a competition, and the first year I won with this recipe. The prize was a kumquat tree, which to this day grows in my garden and bears the most delicious kumquats. Persimmon Pudding Serves 8 Ingredients: About 5 ripe Hachiya persimmons 3 large eggs 1 cup granulated sugar 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to warm 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 2 cups of half and half (or 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of heavy cream) Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. Remove the stems from the persimmons and cut the flesh into pieces. Purée the persimmon flesh in a food processor until smooth. Strain the purée through a medium-mesh sieve to eliminate any bits of skin and seed. You should have 2 cups purée. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until blended. Whisk in the melted butter. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves onto a piece of parchment paper or into a bowl. Add the salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Slowly pour in the milk and cream, stirring until combined. Stir in the persimmon purée. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. The pudding will sink as it cools. Serve the pudding warm, scooped into bowls with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. It can be reheated it in a 325°F oven for about 15 minutes.
LFrank Glass Bead Necklaces
Welcome to LFrank
Venice: Home of LFrank
“I went to New York City in the fall of 2007 to show my collection to buyers and editors during fashion week. The biggest revelation to me over the course of those long days, was that I needed to open a store. I wanted a space where my pieces could be presented in full – in an environment that I designed – as opposed to being seen in the selections made by buyers in retail stores. My collection is so personal, so my goal in finding the right space was to be able to create an extension of my house.
I chose the location of the shop as it was my favorite spot on my favorite street. It’s my neighborhood, so I’m particularly attached to Abbot Kinney. I remember when it was known as West Washington Blvd, and the only places to eat were Hal’s, A Votre Sante, and a little Mexican place called Saboroso.
I love the artistic and eclectic nature of Venice. John McCracken once used the space I am in as his studio. The sculptor Fred Eversley still works out of his studio two doors down, and I still see my artist friends wandering around the neighborhood. As Abbot Kinney continues to evolve, my space still feels as good to me as it did when I first moved in.”