Mother's Day LOVE

Perhaps you've heard that it's Mother's Day this Sunday?  It's hard to escape, with all of the advertising and consumerism associated with the day.  All that aside, it is a wonderful thing to take a step back, and shine a laser beam of love on all of the mamas in your life.  I have most certainly been blessed in that department, not only with my amazing mother, but with a truly unique and fabulous mother-in-law, who I wish was still with us.  There are other decidedly wonderful women in my life, who also happen to be mothers.  They have long set examples for me, and have been supportive, loving, generous, and kind to me always.  I know how tremendously fortunate I am to have these inspirational and supportive figures in my life, and also to be a mother myself.  I am reminded of how meaningful my own mother's support is (THANK YOU, Mama!) and how I hope to always provide that incredible sense of reassurance and unconditional love to my own children. It's one thing to feel it and think it, but another thing entirely to communicate it effectively and often.  My own mother is so good at this, and I find myself appreciating it even more as the years go by, and really hoping that I have inherited this very special skillset.
We all know that I don't take holidays lightly.  I try to make Mother's Day as special as I can for my mother, and I love it when my family does something sweet for me.  Peter is taking me to see Jacob Jonas The Company at The Wallis, which I am very excited about, and hopefully (hint, hint) the children will remember to call me from the middle of finals week to shower me with love. Of course a little something special would also be nice. Let's not forget that being a mother is sometimes really hard, and that all mothers deserve to be recognized for doing what is unquestionably the toughest job.  
We have lots of ideas for Mother's Day gifting, and we are happy to help you find something spectacular.  We even have a selection of pieces offered at a 20% discount, so if you've had your eye on something, now might be the perfect time to treat yourself.  One of the limited edition Liberty of London print robes would make a perfect gift for Mother's Day.  We have several in either 100% silk crepe de chine or 100% cotton with French lace. A few of them are one of a kind, and the only ones available, so you'll be lucky to call one of them yours.  I can't think of anything more luxurious than to spend a Sunday swanning around in one of them. 

Everyone likes a stacking ring, and collecting them can become a delightful and lifelong pursuit.  It's such a personal endeavor, and so meaningful to find just the perfect ring to pair with an existing favorite.  We have a lovely selection, in many different stones and shapes, and are always happy to make suggestions.

I've been wearing flower earrings every single day now for quite some time.  The studs are especially charming, and would make a delightful gift.  These are also part of our Mother's Day promotion, and are currently eligible for a 20% discount.  I am especially fond of the black diamond and blue sapphire pair.  They feel really unique and unexpected, while looking so pretty and feminine on the ear.  

I think we will do Mother's Day dinner this year, so in the morning it will be nice to keep it simple.  I like to make almond milk every week, and one of nicest things about having it around is the ability to make delicious overnight oats.  It's easy enough to do, and such a treat to have on hand, especially for houseguests.  I assemble it in the morning, after making the almond milk, and then we have it for breakfast the next day.  You can play around with the proportions, or substitute a different kind of dried fruit, for instance.  It's a very forgiving recipe.  

Overnight Oats

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup dried, shredded, unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup sprouted pumpkin seeds

1 tbs. maple syrup

1/4 tsp cinnamon

generous pinch sea salt

1 1/2 cups freshly made almond milk 

Mix together all dry ingredients in a glass container with an airtight lid.  Pour over almond milk, and maple syrup, then mix to combine.  The dry ingredients should be completely immersed in the almond milk. You can experiment with how much liquid you prefer, as it isn't really an exact science.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  I like to serve it with a handful of mixed berries, or a spoonful of jam.

Enjoy,

SPRING FEVER

I don't think I can remember a Spring in Los Angeles feeling quite this much like an actual season, rather than just a subtle, brief transition that passes far too quickly to even notice.  This month, it actually feels like SPRING in really substantial ways, and what could be better?  First there was the incredible butterfly migration, then the sweet hummingbird's nest above our front door, the blossoms on our coral tree that have long been missing, followed by the heavenly aroma of the wisteria bloom in our backyard...all a nod to the historic superbloom the entire state is experiencing at the moment. It feels so incredibly good to see the blossoms, hear the birds, and feel the season shifting right in our very bones.  I hope you're enjoying this beautiful moment in nature, wherever you are.  I've been taking in the longer days, adjusting to the natural shift in my internal body clock, and creating lots of beauty wherever I can.

Lately,  I find myself looking through my collection of pearls every chance that I have, and finding new ways to use them. Pearl drop earrings are always so lovely either on their own, or in combination with each other.  I have always favored pearls over almost any other type of jewel. There is just something about the luminosity that I find so compelling.  It's no wonder that pearls were prized by every civilization from as far back as the earliest recorded history.  Pearl mania has gripped many societies, and the "Queen of Gems" are fascinating in their uniqueness, variety, and natural beauty.  Everyone looks beautiful in pearls.  It's true, I promise.

One of my favorite pearl pieces ever has to be this stunning ring.  The lotus leaf setting holds the baroque south sea pearl so beautifully, making it such a substantial and luminous jewel.  It's already found its forever home, so I'm on the lookout for another pearl to create something equally stunning.  In the meantime, I adore with these tiny little keshi pearls.  Strung on brightly colored coral silk, with our handmade 18K gold clasp, they are just the thing for Spring.

 

Have you taken a look at Boticelli's fifteenth century painting "Primavera" lately?  I've long found it quite inspirational.  It is grandly romantic, and such an incredibly lush visual.  It has goddesses in nature, cupid, flowers, leaves, vines, and an orchard.  Not least of course, are the delightful Three Graces in their diaphanous gowns.  Stay tuned for our summer sleepwear, which we will introduce later in the season.  We are using a beautifully translucent silk and cotton fabric that I love for how light and soft it is. 

The transformation of Chloris into Flora, the Goddess of flowers and of Spring, is my favorite part, marking the beginning of the season.  I can't get enough of the flowers in her hair, the garland around her neck, and her floral embroidered gown.  

It also feels very spring-like to have floral rings on my fingers. It has been such a joy to create these one-of-a-kind pieces.  They've been going quickly, but I keep making more.  I find them to be both charming and happy, and who couldn't use a little of that on a daily basis?  

It has been such a treat to experience Spring in Los Angeles this year, and I hope that if you're in town, you'll come over for a visit to see all of the lovely Spring pieces we have in the boutique. The cotton sleepwear feels especially fresh, as do the Liberty print florals.  I've been wearing this lovely cotton plaid and French lace slip under all of my Spring dresses lately.  

And finally, I got around to putting together a few new pieces with some of the special stones that I have been collecting.  The lapis, labradorite, Chinese writing stone, and Norena Jasper all look quite beautiful as a collection, but of course you could wear just one at a time.  

Lately, I find myself making this citrus salad over and over again. It has everything I am attracted to in a Springtime dish; color, brightness of flavor, and it is quite simple and cleansing to the palate. I just cut off the peels, and slice up whatever citrus fruit I have handy.  A combination of oranges, along with tangerines, mandarins, kumquats, and grapefruit all work beautifully.  Blood oranges, along with Cara Cara and Valencia are nice, and have different colors and flavor profiles. I then tear a handful of mint leaves to scatter over the top, along with the juice of one of the oranges.  It's especially nice after a meal for a light dessert.  I serve it with chocolates, and a pot of ginger tea.  It is also nice for breakfast in the morning, with greek yogurt and walnuts.  What a pretty way to begin the day!



Enjoy,

 

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, 

January 2019

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.

Ginger Tea

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.

Enjoy,

 

Christmastime 2018

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.

 

Mulled Wine

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.  

Enjoy,

 

Thanksgiving 2018

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.

Enjoy,

 

 

Midsummer 2018

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... 

 

Mother's Day

It’s that time of year again, where we reflect on some of the most important people in our lives: mothers.  However you look at it, not one of us would be here without one.  We all either have one, are one, or love and appreciate one (or more, if we are lucky).  Motherhood is a privilege, a cherished responsibility, and a deeply meaningful relationship, based on the purest love there is.  It is sometimes rather complicated, and undeniably hard to encapsulate all that it means into one emotion on a single designated day.  
This year, Mother’s Day is especially meaningful in my family.  Some of you may know that my own lovely mother was adopted at birth.  Her greatest wish has always been to have a photo of her birth mother, to be able to see her face.  To this end, I have obsessively researched and successfully found (with lots of help!) my mother’s birth parents.  Her mother was a woman named Elsie, who unfortunately died long before we made this discovery.  It has been quite a journey, to say the least, and where it ended up is in many ways a wonderful surprise.  We finally have been able to see what my maternal grandparents look like, learn a bit about them, and it is quite amazing to see the family resemblance most strongly between myself and Elsie.  I am acutely aware of the strong role genes play in so many of life’s determinations.  The best feeling of all, in addition to finding my grandparents, is to have fulfilled my mother’s lifelong wish.  It is a gift greater than any other, and it has been my most sincere pleasure to have succeeded in giving it. 
Usually, Mother’s Day involves flowers, brunch, and hopefully a heartfelt love letter to the woman who means the very most to us.  Oftentimes, celebrating her can also mean a truly special gift, and this is an area where you could not possibly be in better hands. Our collections of both fine jewelry and fine lingerie and sleepwear contain many wonderful options for spoiling these beautiful women and ourselves this year.  I hope you’ll let us help you find something perfect for celebrating all of the wonderful mothers in your life.  
Jewelry is always a treat to receive, and especially appreciated.  Our adjustable length beaded necklaces with 18K gold accents are always a great choice.  We have a lovely collection in a myriad of colors, and would love to help you choose one or even a few together for layering. We have this beautiful one-of-a-kind, ancient glass and agate bead necklace in shades of blue and green, and a new handmade chain, both of which would make a stunning gift.   
I also love the ring with the 18k gold flowers that delicately wrap the finger.  A new bracelet, selected from one of the recent arrivals, or one of the blue sapphire stacking rings would be a lovely idea too.  We have lots of other stacking ring options, and these are always well received.   You could make a nice stack with family birthstones this way.  
We also have a new selection of Liberty of London print robes in 100% silk crepe-de-chine.  From the loveliest shades of pink and blue, to darker florals, these universally adored robes are a sophisticated and chic.  They go anywhere, are the perfect weight for any season, and look great worn out in the world over jeans and a camisole, or a simple dress, too, not just at home.  A little something feminine and special goes a long way in our experience.  We have plenty of pieces to choose from, in both silk and the finest Swiss and Italian cottons.  
Lastly, I am going to be traveling on Mother’s Day this year, so I’m pushing the family celebration back a week.  This will give me more time to organize something delicious for the lunch I’m planning to host.  The farmer’s market has been spectacular lately, with the grandest strawberries, and most gorgeous purple artichokes.  I will admit to being a bit obsessed with these pink lemons I’ve discovered.  They are so pretty, and more juicy than any other variety I’ve found.  They have the perfect balance of tartness, without too much acid. They have a subtle green stripe on the skin, so if you find some, try them.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.   
I’m not sure what I’m making yet, but it may just be the purple asparagus, leek, potato, goat’s cheese and pesto frittata that I made last week for lunch.  My husband said it was the best one yet.  It went something like this, if I recall.
Seasonal Vegetable Frittata
One dozen large organic pastured eggs
One bunch of large purple asparagus, ends trimmed and stalks cut in half lengthwise
Five small purple potatoes, roasted whole in the oven, then cut into fourths
One leek, trimmed and sliced thinly lengthwise in 2-inch strips
One log of goat’s cheese
One handful of aged and grated parmesan cheese
One half-cup of homemade pesto sauce (basil leaves, pine nuts or pumpkin seeds, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, all whizzed up in a food processor or by hand in a mortar and pestle)
salt, pepper, and freshly torn soft herbs  (I use a combination of parsley, dill, chives, mint, and tarragon)
Sauté the asparagus and leeks in butter over a medium heat in a wide, low, enameled cast iron pan until softened.  Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
Add in the cut potatoes, then whisk the eggs with the parmesan in a separate bowl, and add that to the pan as well.    Turn the heat to low, and while the eggs begin to set, add the goat’s cheese in pieces evenly distributed around the surface of the egg and vegetable mixture.  Afterwards, do the same with spoonfuls of the pesto sauce, tucking some of it under the surface of the egg mixture.  Sprinkle the surface with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and place the pan in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, until the top is puffed and set, and the eggs are no longer runny.  After removing the pan from the oven, sprinkle the top with whatever fresh herbs you are using, and serve immediately.  It is also delicious at room temperature.  I usually pair it with a big green salad, and plenty of fresh baguette.  Feel free to substitute different vegetables or another cheese if you prefer.  It’s a very forgiving dish, and I’ve made it in a million different ways.  
Enjoy,

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 

Enjoy,

 

March Musings

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.   

Torta Caprese

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.  

 Enjoy,

 

Hello, February!

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!  

Much Love,

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,

 

Thanksgiving 2017

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.

Enjoy,

Finally Fall

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

For Garnish:

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.  

Enjoy,

Late summer

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

chopped parsley

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.

Enjoy,

 

 

 

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.  

Enjoy,

 

 

 

 

May Days

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.

Enjoy,

 

 

 

 

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...

 

Celeri Remoulade

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)

Toss with:

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.


Enjoy,

 

SPRING FORWARD

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.  

 

Enjoy,

 

Saint Valentine

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

Alexandra Grant and the grantLOVE project are teaming up again with master printer Alisa Ratner on a new series of grantLOVE prints to benefit X-TRA Contemporary Art Journal.
Saturday, February 11th 4pm-7pm
Cocktails + Treats
LFrank will gift a grantLOVE print with each jewelry purchase from February 11th - 14th. 
Works will be on view from February 11th - March 11th
The grantLOVE symbol is Alexandra Grant’s trademarked brand for philanthropy in the arts. The grantLOVE project is an artist-driven philanthropic project that produces and sells original artworks and editions to benefit artist projects, arts non-profits and art education. www.grantlove.com
Alisa Ratner is a master printer based in Los Angeles who works with letter press. She has collaborated with artists such as Sam Falls, Alexandra Grant and Emily Mast.
A percentage of the profits from the sale of these works goes to benefit X-TRA Contemporary Art Journal. X-TRA's mission is to provoke critical dialogue about contemporary art. Founded in 1997, X-TRA is the longest running art journal in Los Angeles. Edited by a collective of artists and writers, X-TRA presents expansive features, historical essays, commissioned artist's projects, interviews, columns, and substantive reviews. X-TRA is published in print and digital-reader format, and the complete archive is available online. www.x-traonline.org

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.  

Enjoy,

 

 

 

 

   

 

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!

 

Much Love,

 

 

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.  

Enjoy,

 

 

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.  

Persimmon Pudding 
from Stars Desserts by Emily Luchetti 
Serves 8
Ingredients:
3 ripe Hachiya persimmons (tip: freeze to ripen instantly)
3 large eggs 
1 cup granulated sugar 
4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
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, cloves and salt onto a piece of parchment paper or into a bowl.  Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture.  Slowly pour in the half + half or milk and cream, stirring until combined.  Stir in the persimmon purée last.  The batter will be quite thick.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and 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 slightly sweetened whipped cream.  I use maple syrup in the cream for a more complex flavor.   It can be reheated it in a 325°F oven for about 15 minutes if you make this ahead.  

 

 Enjoy the holiday, with extra Love + Gratitude for all...

 

 

Indian Summer

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,

Summertime Love

Oh Summer, I love you so. I always have, and most likely I always will. I love the sun, the way that it stays light so late in the evenings, and the mostly more relaxed state of being that comes with school being out of session. This particular year feels like the fastest summer on record. Technically, I suppose we are about close to being midway through the season. I feel like time is flying, and if I blink twice, we will be headlong into Fall. In the spirit of slowing down to really savor the rest of these long summer days, I wanted to showcase some of the beautiful cotton lingerie we have been making for our clients to take along on their summer holiday travel. We are using the highest quality Italian men's shirting cottons, along with exquisite lace from the unparalleled French lace manufacturer Solstiss. Solstiss supplies lace to the world's most storied design houses, including Chanel, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, Nina Ricci, and many more. The tradition and quality expressed though their beautiful lace is something that is unrivaled in the industry. This lovely blue and grey combination of striped Italian men's shirting cottons and lace from a custom set of lingerie we made for a client traveling to Nantucket Processed with VSCO with f2 preset A few of my favorites from the cotton and lace collection FullSizeRender FullSizeRender Our sleep shirt can also double as a piece to wear to the beach over a swimsuit FullSizeRender   Whenever I travel, I like to wear small earrings or studs on the plane.  They're just more comfortable and easier to manage than longer, more dangly styles.  Here are a few new additions and perfect options for summer travel days. Keshi pearl and rose cut cognac diamonds alongside a trio of brilliant diamonds FullSizeRender A selection of studs and small dangle earrings with mixed cut and shaped diamonds IMG_4799 Prong-set, pink and blue double pear-shaped, rose cut sapphire studs. bluepinksapphirestuds Summer is made for poolside lunches and dinners, and this year has been no exception.  I recently cooked up a feast for a dear friend's birthday.  I roasted little red fingerling potatoes, made a simple Heirloom tomato salad (what could be better at this time of year??), an arugula, radicchio, spring onion salad with shaved parmesan (special birthday boy request), Harissa roasted wild caught Halibut, and a dense, delicious, and flourless chocolate fudge cake adapted from Ottolenghi in London. I sliced a selection of heirloom tomatoes, added shaved red onion, torn basil, crumbled goat's milk feta, and olive oil IMG_4723 For this salad, I tossed wild arugula with shaved parmesan, sliced spring onions, and radicchio.  I just toss with a splash of balsamic vinegar, fresh lemon juice, and olive oil.  I sprinkle pink salt and freshly ground pepper after tossing. This chocolate cake is heaven, period.  I serve it with creme fraiche and mixed berries. IMG_4728 I hope you are having a lovely summer, whether travels take you far and wide, or you are in town enjoying the long days and more relaxed energy of LA in July.  Swing by to say hello, if you're around!  We have lots of new and beautiful summer jewels and lingerie to show you. Enjoy, Signature

Happy Father's Day!

June! This month has been a whirlwind already, and I find it impossible to believe that summer is upon us. June is many things; the end of the school year, graduation, Father's Day, and the Summer Solstice. Officially marking the long, lovely days of the season is indeed something to celebrate. This June has been quite momentous, as it has been for many of us out there with graduates of all kinds. Our son graduated from high school last week, which was incredibly bittersweet. I am so proud of him at this milestone in his life. I offered to make him a hand lettered signet ring to mark the occasion, but he doesn't quite feel that arriving at college with his initials on his finger is exactly the impression he would like to make. I get it. He's cool, but not that kind of cool. My father was that kind of cool. The signet ring and cufflink wearing kind of cool. The men's rings and cufflinks that I design are mostly influenced by my memories of him, and his dandyish sense of style mixed with a modern sensibility. He would wear pink with red, lavender with mint green, and always looked great in a suit, which he donned every evening. I miss him everyday, and always most especially on Father's Day. I have been working on hand lettering for these rings, and I think they're perfect for both men and women. Stop by, or give us a ring to discuss personalizing one for you. Lettering for a custom signet ring with the initials ATL IMG_1750 signetrings The work in progress FullSizeRender The finished Signet Ring, happy next to a pair of our 3d Pyramid Rings FullSizeRender   My Father at Villa d'Este, Lake Como in the late 1940's   My Parents, my Godfather, and me in the 1972 FullSizeRender My father was a true bon vivant.  He literally seemed to know everyone, have a friend in every city across the globe, and truly enjoyed spending time with those that he loved.  By the time I came along, he was in his mid 50s, and wasn't particularly interested in parenting.  Or so he thought.  We formed an incredible bond, only strengthened by our mutual admiration for each other.  He was both incredibly traditional and quite eccentric.  He began each day by diving into the pool for a quick morning skinny dip, and ended each day by falling asleep sitting upright in a chair in our living room talking to himself.  He was totally indulgent, spoiled me mercilessly, but also demanding that I always try to exceed my level best in every endeavor.   He wanted me to become a supreme court justice, and made me feel like I could do it.  Literally.  He read books like breathing air, spoke many languages, and told really terrible jokes.  He instilled in me my most deeply held values, and set quite a high bar for the men in my life.   He left too soon, but left enough of an impression to last several lifetimes.  I'll certainly be thinking of him on Sunday. Father's Day Poolside Brunch Outdoor Lunch for Father's Day This Sunday, we will be celebrating Father's Day with a brunch by the pool.  Our children most definitely won the lottery in the Dad department, so I am looking forward to celebrating Peter and our collective good fortune.  One of the things on the menu will be baked eggs with heirloom tomato sauce, basil, shaved parmesan and crispy prosciutto. I will saute chopped heirloom tomatoes with a little garlic, olive oil, and basil until soft and wilted, then add to a buttered, round baking dish.  Then I'll crack six eggs into little indentations in the tomato sauce in a circle around the top, and bake at 350 degrees until the whites are set, but the yolks still runny.  To serve, top with prosciutto that has been also crisped in the oven, shaved parmesan, and freshly ground black pepper.  I'll see what looks best at the farmer's market, but I'd like to serve with a wilted kale salad and roasted, thinly sliced potatoes.  Still thinking about the dessert this year, but seeing as how the stone fruit is really at it's most delicious, and it's meant to be REALLY hot this weekend, I imagine that just sliced peaches, nectarines, and apricots will be best.  Happy Father's Day! Enjoy, Signature

For Our Mothers

I love Mother's Day, and not solely because I feel entitled to commandeer the day to spend it with my most beloved, but also because I am blessed with the most extraordinary mother.  Truly, I could not be more fortunate.  My mother is loving, supportive, nurturing, brilliant, beautiful, funny, quirky, talented, gentle, kind, tough-as-nails, independent, understanding...I could go on and on.  We have had our differences, of course, as all mothers and daughters understandably do.  Ninety-nine percent of the time, however, it really is a mutual admiration society.  I am just as proud of her as she is of me, and I hope that when I'm nearly 87 as she is, that my children will feel the same deep love and respect for me that I have for my wonderful mother.   So, with that in mind, I've chosen a few things to suggest as a gift for the mamas in your life. Processed with VSCO with f2 preset A stacking ring in a diamond or colored stone to represent a birthstone is always a lovely idea. earringsmothersdayEvery mother I know is always thrilled by a new pair of earrings. Processed with VSCO with f2 preset These necklaces are simple and easy, designed to layer and enjoy. 16_3_22_SpringLookbook_LFrank0613 We have three lengths of 100% silk dressing gowns for you to choose from in Double Georgette or Liberty Print.   The Aurora can be worn over a camisole and looks quite chic.  Selene is perfect if you're after something luxurious, but not quite as dramatic as the full length Asteria. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Organic, biodynamic chocolates and 100% beeswax and essential oil candles are always a special treat. Joaquin-Sorolla-Bastida-Mother-and-Baby-1895-48.43-x-66.14in-oil-on-canvas-Museo-Sorolla-SpainThe Spanish painter Joaquin Sorolla is one of my favorite painters.  He often captured images of a mother and child, and I love this one.  Painted in 1895, it commemorated the birth of the artist's younger daughter, Elena.  I saw it a few years ago in the Museo Sorolla in Madrid, and it has stayed with me ever since. 4d3013a9-03c3-40e5-afe3-243e80810fe2 My gorgeous mother... Now that Axe is gone, going out to brunch for Mother's Day doesn't quite have the same appeal.  For years we went to brunch at Axe on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, which was such a treat.  I will miss sitting in the garden this Sunday with a steaming cup of ginger tea, surrounded by family and friends.  I think this year I'll see if my children will make a family favorite, Salade Nicoise.  It's something that my mother taught me to make when I was a teenager, and has evolved over the years into quite it's own thing when I make it myself.  When I'm longing for the taste of my childhood, however, I make it this way.  It's really more assembling rather than cooking, and you can substitute with whatever is on hand or inspiring, so let them surprise you! 120656b6-c1f6-4732-a18d-4d560e1e249a SALADE NICOISE
  • 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
Fill a large bowl with the lettuces, and arrange the remaining ingredients in sections around the tuna in the center.  Toss with the lemon vinaigrette and serve. Enjoy, Signature

Full Swing Spring

African trade bead bracelet
I love the combination of the festive stripes and the matte, hand finished gold links of this bracelet. It just feels happy, textural, and fresh. Much like Spring, which is in full swing. If the saying holds true, that “April showers bring May flowers,” then we have quite a lot of blossoms in our future. I love how this piece integrates into my stack of bangles, adding a pop of color and texture.
Garland earring
The Garland Earring also feels incredibly fresh and lacy, which is perfect for the season. While this pair is long and dramatic, we are also making a more diminutive version for those who prefer a more subtle earring. I’m planning to wear these well into the summer.
16_3_22_SpringLookbook_LFrank1066
Crinkle chiffon camisole
This double layer camisole is a bit of a revelation. The way that the silk crinkle chiffon fabric subtly stretches and feels like a second skin in the best possible way. We have it available to order in solids, my favorite being the new softest blush color, Rose Gold. We also have limited quantities available in the Liberty print fabrics. Liberty is no longer manufacturing the crinkle chiffon, so these are truly special.
16_3_22_SpringLookbook_LFrank0747
Liberty Print Asteria
These crepe-de-chine Liberty print dressing gowns are some of our most popular pieces, and have become client’s favorites. It’s difficult to choose just one, so some have opted to choose one for each season. The Rose Xanthe print (shown here) is perfect for Spring. The silk feels incredible on the skin, and this piece travels like a dream. I don’t leave home without one!
palerosexanthe
This month calls for lots of travel for my family. Spring is my favorite time to be in New York, and luckily I will be there twice this month. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is heaven this time of year. The cherry blossoms and Magnolia blossoms alone are worth the visit.
I’m not one for eating in airports or on airplanes, so that means bringing along a batch of trail mix. I’ve long been making this for my husband Peter, as he is a frequent flier, and not one for airplane food either. I buy organic, sprouted and dehydrated nuts, and combine them with whatever I’ve got handy in the dried fruit department. The family favorite seems to be this combination:
unnamed-30
All raw, sprouted, dehydrated, + organic: Walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, pistachios+ pumpkin seeds, unsweetened organic coconut flakes, organic dried cherries, organic golden berries, organic raisins,  Lily's stevia sweetened dark chocolate chips (I hear complaints if I leave them out!), and a pinch of pink salt.  Store in an air-tight container.
 
Enjoy!
Signature

The Luck of the Irish

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day we would like to feature some of our beautiful greens…both in jewels and lingerie.  The incredible greens of emeralds and tourmalines are as alluring as diamonds, and the vivid green of silk charmeuse, crepe de chine, and chiffon will no doubt enliven your day.  The color green has long been associated with growth, rebirth, and renewal.  That seems especially appropriate now that we are headlong into Spring.  The blossoms are making gardens look beautiful and smell divine, and the longer days are a welcome treat. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIMG_2216I’ve never given much thought to St. Patrick’s Day, other than to remember a particular day in elementary school.  I’d been mercilessly pinched all morning, having forgotten to wear anything green.  I was called to the school office shortly before lunch, to find that my mother had dropped off two bright green ribbons for me, which changed everything.   I quickly tied them around my two long braids, thereby putting an end to the horrible pinching, and saving the day.  Now, I think I’ll just wear an emerald or two…or perhaps the emerald green Gaia bralette.  Much more fun than ribbons... 9495d748-4ce9-49da-b4a7-aff0c63c0a65 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Inspired by a sore mouth from dental work (oh, the joy…) I decided to make poached eggs for dinner last night.  I sautéed zucchini, purple kale, and snap peas from the farmer’s market in ghee, topped them with a couple of poached eggs,  and then added my pumpkin seed pesto, chives, and some shaved parmesan.  Tender tooth notwithstanding, it was delicious, almost completely green, and perfect for the season. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetSignature

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. lingeries post

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!whitegold   pink set

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. earringspost

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. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset 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... Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Happy Valentine’s Day to All! Signature

New-Year-Journal

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.   Madridearrings     Madrid Earrings; Emerald, Pearl + Diamonds Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Double Pear Pear Earrings, Seven Seas Pearl + Diamond Ring
IMG_2234
 Spanish Armada Earrings; Black Diamonds + Pink Sapphires
sapphire:diamondearrings
Josephine Earrings; Rose Cut Blue Sapphire + Grey Diamonds
  Another 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….
asterianewprints
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.
asteriapoppyseed
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!
girlsingjustaliseannegregorylacma
 Happy New Year!
Signature

Liseanne's Holiday Gift Guide

It's that post-Thanksgiving moment, when I pause to take a deep breath, feel intensely grateful for a million different reasons, and then panic...realizing that in a flash, the gift-giving season is upon us.   So with that in mind, I would like to share with you a few gift-giving ideas for the special people on your holiday list.  I hope that you put yourself on that list too.  I'm a big believer in self-gifting.   It's very important that YOU take care of you, in the best way possible. asteria garnetasteriaFor Mothers, best friends, or Mothers who happen to also be your best friend, I cannot think of anything more perfect than our Asteria Dressing Gown in 100% silk.  I personally love it in the deep Garnet color with French lace trim, or in one of the limited edition Liberty of London Art Silk prints.  It is both glamorous and comfortable, and feels like heaven on the skin. For the gentlemen in your life, we have a selection of cufflinks and rings that will make a big impression.  The abstract emerald cufflinks are the most dramatic, and the simple gold rings are both strong and organic, while being quite comfortable to wear. cufflinkgroup mensringsAnd for yourself...may I suggest two stunning and over the top options?  First, the Tsarina ring, which features a deep violet bi-colored tourmaline, dreamy labradorite, and pink sapphires (shown here on the index finger).  It might be extravagant, but I suspect you would never regret the splurge! Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset The other dreamy piece to indulge in would be the Cashmere, wool, and mink Poncho, which is lined in 100% silk charmeuse, and trimmed in French lace.  It is the perfect piece to layer over your lingerie or your regular wardrobe.  Once you've tried it on, you'll understand.  It's a dream. phoncho Lastly, for those special gifts that are really proposals, and filled with all the love in the world...a selection of engagement rings.  I think the entwined bands are especially romantic, as is the delicate and captivating diamond flower on a pave diamond band. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset And don't forget to join us this weekend for our Gregory Parkinson Surround Trunk Show. The textiles for the home that Gregory has created are sublime, and perfect for anyone on your holiday gift list!gp Happy Weekend, Signature

Holiday Gift Guide

18k Gold, Diamond + Gemstone Rings Whether it be a classic diamond band, or a more colorful statement ring, giving the gift of gold is always a good idea! Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset From Left Index Finger; Green Tourmaline Band $4,500, Diamond Disc Band $2,800, Middle Finger $2,850, Spaced Out Diamond Band $1,750, Strawberry Quartz $1,995, Ring finger; Keshi Pearl $3,900, Diamond Quad Cluster $7,500, Diamond Infinity Ring $3,200, Pinky $960. strawberryquartz950diamonddiscstripe950 Gaia Bralette + Hera Brief Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset This gorgeous, second-skin bralette and brief set, is one of our best sellers and is available in many colors; Black, Pearl, Sapphire, Blue Tanzanite, and Pink Tourmaline (shown here) Gaia Bralette $475  +  Hera Brief $295    Available in Sizes 0-5 photo 1 (20) ZenBunni Chocolate + Essential Oil Beeswax Candle in Sanctuary Glass Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Delicious, biodynamic dark chocolate bars that are dairy, gluten, soy and refined sugar free! The ZenBunni 9 pack of Chocolate contains 3 of each varieties: Topanga, Lost Salt of Atlantis, and Kathmandu. A perfect add-on gift for $25.00 roseonmain To honor the new space, we envisioned a limited edition, heady rose scented candle to add to our collection of 100% beeswax candles. It has finally arrived after fine tuning and we are thrilled with the way this fragrance fills the store. They are priced at $50.00 each and burn for approximately 120 hours. If you like the scent of a rose garden even in the cooler months, you will love this. Our 7 other scents; Frankincense, Lavender, Patchouli, Lime, Palmarosa, Thyme and Bergamot are available for $42.00 each

Hot Summer Nights

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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. 15_5_21_LFrankBridal13091 15_5_21_LFrankBridal13099

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.

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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.

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Elderflower Cocktail 

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.

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Enjoy the last stretch of summer!

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LOVE + HONOR + RESPECT

LOVE + HONOR + RESPECT

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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

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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.  

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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!  

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We have a cheeky monkey, if you can spot him!

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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Come have a look and enjoy!

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We are moving!

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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!

xxLiseanne

our home for the last 7 years

our vitrines will look amazing through our new custom storefront window!

our new space in process

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

LFrank Lingerie, photo by Dan Monick

LFrank Lingerie, photo by Dan Monick

our home for the last 7 years

Goodbye Abbot Kinney, our home for over 7 years!

LFrank Holiday Gift Guide

Liseanne picks a few new favorites from the LFrank Jewelry collection which would all make exquisite holiday gifts. 9Lma3f9k-yFInVen8L85VF8_gof0_W4G0NCHQrMq1Fk Black Diamond Double Arc Stud Earrings I love these earrings as a holiday gift, as they are both festive and flattering. They look great on everyone, and frame the face while adding a bit of dark glamour. They look especially lovely at night, and have the added bonus of being quite versatile. The backs can be worn behind any pair of studs, and the shorter arc studs can be worn alone. RuTKSwU0tjZla-xlWGWZ7xCBjg8RkY-sF2tzdGLTKTg Guardian Angel Necklace This little angel was inspired by a request from my friend Doris, who is an expert on all things angel or guru related. It took me years to actually get around to it, and I am so happy that I finally did; the process only enriches the product, so that and the inspiration are what I think of every time I see this piece. Additionally, the chain is hand made, making it truly special. GZeKrF3JzO5iwxcd_ZL3WxFeY5nn1IP2Hh2dAkhqJkc Tatiana Necklace This would be especially nice to wake up to on Christmas morning! This necklace is both feminine and modern, and the grey diamonds lend a subtle sparkle and perfect counterpoint to the green tourmalines. I like to play around with a bit of negative space and historical inspiration when I design, and this is what came of a recent sketch. UZubo2AsTY6zqPDa0cyGTnzLrgr2ted9ExC8hZtpuUY Diamond Pave Infinity Ring I think that this new ring would make a truly lovely and sentimental holiday gift.  The bright pave diamond outline mimics that of an infinity symbol, and looks both delicate and strong on the hand. That echoes the infinity concept in an elegant way, and would make a very special engagement or wedding ring. 0ofiFcmksTv5VxTyBiewysqPUtcQ906xgYV3_k1ut94 Leaf Stud Earrings These are my favorite stud earrings.  They are simple, yet the way that the leaf lays along the earlobe is quite striking.  I also make them with a diamond stripe along the center, but I always reach for this pair, as there is something so natural and soft about them. Everyone needs a pair of interesting studs in their jewelry wardrobe, and these are both classic and unusual. wpmgee4AQaWph7lEf4AT2iz9GybIE4uovyhwQ7Okunw Double Lotus Ring This is an updated version of my Double Lotus Ring for the holiday season. I added the black diamonds to give it a bit more of a geometric look, and Iove how it came out. It's a great combination - the angles of the lines of diamonds with the curved shape of the lotus leaves. I like this ring on the index or middle finger, as it is incredibly comfortable to wear. aNCmohiTHOcZLVW-qjZdfmGy1FQoX4cLyYo9JxSOPoo LFrank Jewelry Gift Certificate If you still can’t decide, why not give the gift of an LFrank Jewelry Gift Certificate, available in any denomination. marou Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat I’m obsessed with these chocolates, and am giving them as part of Christmas presents… I always give chocolates along with whatever gifts I'm giving. These are exceptionally good, and I love that they are made in Vietnam. It's unexpected and the packaging is absolutely beautiful. (note: you can read more about these extraordinary chocolates here)

A Favorite Holiday Recipe

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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

Beads_Form “I have always loved working with beads, both precious and semi-precious, and have used them from the very start of my career in jewelry design.  African trade beads, and antique beads in general have long captivated me, but it was my friend Billy Steinberg who really opened the floodgates to my deeper appreciation of them. Billy has a truly awe-inspiring collection of beads, and through his network of contacts I was able to start a little collection of my own. I am especially fond of the pieces I have purchased from Joe Loux, who is based in San Francisco, but travels the world with his wife Katie gathering tribal jewelry and artifacts.  In a contemporary sense, there is a lively and very special enduring tradition of bead making in West African countries, where the knowledge and skills are passed down through generations. The particular beads that I use are made using recycled glass, which is all done by hand using age-old techniques of pulverizing the glass, adding color, and then firing them in kilns made of earth. These beads are not only beautiful, but they play an important role in the many different rituals of West African society. I also use many vintage and antique African trade beads in my work, some dating back hundreds of years.” Beads_Still “Some beads are chosen for color, some for age and pattern, but all for how they will look layered together with the 18k gold beads that I mix in. I like asymmetry in these pieces, so I try to find a balance of colored beads to gold that makes sense and lets both the beads and the gold share the spotlight. These are so easy to wear, and everyone looks good in them,  as the length is adjustable. The colors range from muted to vibrant… so, there is something for everyone. I think seasonally, with the lighter and brighter colors making a splash for the spring and summer months, and the darker, more saturated colors predominating in the fall and winter. I offer these classic necklaces on leather cords, with an adjustable 18k gold bead at the back of the neck, so the wearer can find the perfect length.  I also have begun making longer African trade bead necklaces, which I have strung on the LFrank signature violet silk cord.  For these pieces, I mix in not only 18k gold beads, but also stones:  moonstone, labradorite, and Tahitian pearls as well.” Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset “I am inspired by anything that has a history, and a sense of sentiment and purpose, while existing also as a beautiful creation. That basically sums up these beads perfectly. I have always been drawn to the idea of a culture creating beauty, and when I imagine these beads being made, it always makes me smile. I wear an antique African trade bead necklace everyday, and have done for years. Mine has a single 18k gold bead, and also a single dark gray Tahitian pearl. The beads are a dark blue and gray pattern, and are over 100 years old.” Beads_Couch Glass beads adorning the vintage art deco leather sofa in Liseanne’s office.  The indigo cloth is also from Africa, as is the vintage Kuba cloth pillow. As an exclusive to LFrank clients, if you purchase a Glass Bead Necklace online or in-store throughout the month of November, you will receive a Frankincense Beeswax Candle as a gift from us. candle2

Welcome to LFrank

Despite the ever-evolving nature of Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice, LFrank remains unique. It is more than just a store, it in an extension of Liseanne's home. interior book “I started sharing our library with the neighborhood after a conversation I had with Sara Van Der Mijnsbrugge. She told me of a storefront that she used to walk by in Europe…she didn’t know what sort of business it was, but they always had an interesting book in the window, and that she would purposely walk by it, even though it was a bit out of the way, so that she could see what book they were displaying that day. It made me consider the idea of having a dialogue with the neighborhood, of sharing some of the images that inspire me. Some recent favorites include ‘Metonymy’ by Cristina Iglesias, ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’ by Andrew Bolton and ‘Bulgari: Serpenti Collection’ by Marion Fasel.” shelf “Near the front of the shop, opposite the incredibly high bookshelf, is a lone shelf where a few items from my personal collection live. There is a Kina shell necklace, which I adorned with African trade beads and 18k gold beads on leather, and the Gabon ebony bangle. I used to wear these pieces all the time, but now they live here on this shelf next to one of our custom Frankincense beeswax candles (my favorite, and more about them later). There is also a beautiful horn bowl, given to me by the artist and equestrienne Baby De Selliers upon the occasion of my store opening. She brought it to the party wrapped in a page from the New York Times, and filled with Satsuma tangerines. I immediately put it upon the shelf, where it has lived happily ever since. Someone had given it to her, she told me, so I imagine that one day I shall do the same, passing it along to someone else.” ancestorportrait “The ancestor portrait is a traditional piece of Asian art from the 19th century. My mother-in-law was an incredibly talented decorator, and this piece had passed into my husband’s collection before we met. It depicts a wealthy merchant, and most people of Asian descent who come into the shop claim it as their own. I had been told that it is Mongolian, but these were popular across these cultures, so it’s really hard to say exactly where it comes from. It was in our house for years before I opened the store, so I especially enjoy continuing to live with it every day.”

LFrank Loves

Here, Liseanne shares with us the stories behind a few of her favorite pieces, and an insight into her creative process. candle2 “The 100% beeswax candles are a very popular item at LFrank. The Frankincense is my favorite scent, not only for the spice and subtle sweetness, but also for its historical context. Many ancient cultures and religions used frankincense in blessings, initiations, and for marking the transition into new phases of spirituality. I find the scent particularly grounding, and the negative ions that are released by the beeswax actually help to purify the air. Unlike soy or paraffin candles, these are actually good for you.” Pearls “This rope of pearls has always been a favorite of mine. The range of colors is completely radiant, and the way that they quickly warm to body temperature when worn feels incredibly comforting. They always make me feel confident when I wear them, as they are both timeless and rare. This strand is quite long, allowing it to be wrapped up to three times around the neck, or many times around the wrist, which I’ve often done for a dramatic bracelet. Pearls this long, this lustrous, and this size, are actually quite a luxury.” elephant “I have definitely had sapphires on my mind lately, and these earrings make me so happy. The multi-color sapphires look especially bright and sparkly, and the symmetry within the asymmetry of the shapes is something I am particularly pleased with. They look so beautiful at night, picking up the low light really well. I also love the length and delicacy of these earrings, as they are so feminine and playful. The Elephant Ring is the first in a series of pieces where I am exploring fauna as opposed to flora. I am thrilled with the outcome, and am truly obsessed by this charming little creature. I need one for myself, as I truly believe in the power of the elephant to shower us all with good fortune! There are other pieces coming soon, with a fabulous serpent ring up next.” Compass “I’ve been reading a book about the Romanov daughters, and was contemplating the jewels and time period when I came up with the design of the Compass necklace. The tourmalines are so lovely with the black diamonds, and are evocative of scenes from the winter palace in pre-revolutionary Russia… the jewels of the Romanovs were truly extraordinary, and have always held a great interest for me. The scale of this piece feels modern, while the composition feels timeless to me.” chair “The architect Greg Lynn designed the inviting and expressive Ravioli Chair for Vitra in 2005. His office is also in Venice, so when I opened the store I borrowed the actual prototype for it, (as well as one of his blob wall pieces) to adorn the space with a bit of architecture. Passers-by were always inquiring after the chair, wanting to buy it. When Greg finally decided to part with it, I raided my house, taking one of a pair that we have to take its place.”

Venice: Home of LFrank

As an established artistic community, and home to many creative types, Venice is the perfect location for LFrank. vintagevenice

“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.”

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