With Love, from London
Hellooooooo! I am writing from a desk in London, on a particularly sunny and gorgeous afternoon, fresh from visits with people whom I love, but see too rarely. With everything that is going on in the world, I am feeling profoundly grateful to have my work as a balm: the ability to create beauty and share it with those who appreciate it, time spent in nature, and the soothing comfort of my family and friends.
How restorative it feels to be here, to just have a spot of London sun, a walk across Hyde Park in the afternoon, and hugs from the loveliest of lovelies. Highlights so far have been the Liotard pastels at the National Gallery, the truly inspirational Chanel exhibition at the V+A, and a delicious dinner surrounded by the gorgeous art at Mount Street on, you guessed it... Mount Street.
As I love color so much, it was really inspiring to discover that you can actually buy the color chart, dating from 1938 from La Maison du Pastel, which was also part of the exhibition at The National Gallery. I've become a bit obsessed with this set, and this one too, even though I'm really much more of a watercolor person. It was quite a challenge to not scroll through every single one of the nearly 1800 colors on offer.
I've always taken great inspiration from the mesmerizing world of color, and of the evocative names. I find it all quite romantic, honestly. It's why I will put four colors of silk on a single scarf, or four or more different shades of green in a tourmaline ring, or combine sets of beads in a necklace. I love the subtle distinctions, the wild contrasts, and most importantly the way the different vibrations of a particular color make me feel.
This exuberant set of color blocked tourmaline rings was inspired by the work of Serge Poliakoff, and his show in Paris, titled Le Rêve des Formes in 2013. We still have one or two of them, and they are truly two of my favorite pieces for just the color combinations alone.
In addition to color, I'm also a glutton for print and the layering thereof as you can well see here. We have several pieces in the Liberty of London print called Stately Bouquet in three different colorways; blue, green, and black. Again, as with the pigments from Roché pastels, I do love the names. Several of the pieces haven't yet made it onto the website, so if this print speaks to you, please let us know and we can send you images of the other pieces. There is a particularly striking version of the Ava slipdress in a rather vivid green Stately Bouquet (the black one is pictured above) that I think could be perfect for the holidays. I'm thinking to wear one with a cardigan for Thanksgiving dinner.
In addition to color, print, contrast, and the poetry of names, I love flavor. I've really gotten into the ritual of making matcha lattes, either cold or hot, for the people I love. I have a little issue with caffeine, so I rarely indulge myself. When I do, I find it to be absolutely delicious. For me it is really much more about the making of, rather than the consuming. I love the bowls, the bamboo chasen whisk, the frothing of the milk, and the process of making something for someone else to truly enjoy and appreciate. That lovely little exchange that happens when I present the bowl of matcha is something that truly enriches my day. I think that very simply sums up the reason for why I do what I do across all platforms of my life. I hope in this wildly unsettling time that you find the time to enjoy the same.
a lovely ceramic bowl
a bamboo chasen whisk
a high quality cermonial grade matcha powder
organic almond, oat, or cow's milk of your choice (or a combination of)
For the matcha, I bring a kettle of water to about 165 degrees F, then warm the chasen in whatever bowl I'm using for a few minutes while I gather the matcha powder, date syrup, and milk.
I then pour out the hot water into a beautiful little jug that was a very special birthday gift from a friend. I use a frother and whip up whatever milk I'm using (currently this one), and after whisking the matcha powder (this one is by far the BEST I've had, and one I trust for purity) I add a little date syrup and then pour in the frothed milk, adding ice cubes if I'm making something more refreshing. I have yet to attempt any kind of barista art, but maybe that will be come at some point too. I probably won't be able to resist sorting out another way to embellish a quotidian habit.
PS I do know that the holidays are in fact rapidly approaching, and I promise you that we are well stocked for all of your gifting endeavors. I haven't even discussed one of my most favorite new pieces! More on that to come...I just have yet to feel particularly festive, as I suspect you are feeling too.
Thanksgiving is next week, and I will thoroughly bask in the glow of the people I love. And yes, I will be making Persimmon Pudding. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving in our family without it!
PPS I've been making matcha in the afternoons at the shop for Tess and whoever else happens to drop in, so swing by if you're in the mood, and get a jump on your holiday wishlist. As always, we would love to see you.