How wild has October been so far? I know the planets are up to a lot of mischief, and Mercury is officially turning retrograde this evening. The world itself seems to be on fire, with wild news from all corners of the globe. Frankly, it all makes me want to hibernate a bit, and come out when we are through the thick of it. Anyone else feeling the same way? I imagine many of you are, and while I cannot provide you with the solutions to all of the ills that plague us literally and metaphorically, (though VOTING will clearly be the most important step you can take!!!) I can most certainly steer you towards something that will definitely make you feel better: ROBES.
Yes, robes, dressing gowns, dusters, housecoats, whatever you like to call them, they are just what the doctor ordered, and we have an exceptionally beautiful selection at the moment. There is something about being enveloped in something beautiful, soft, silky, and comfortable that truly soothes the soul. I've long felt this way, and now I feel it even more so. Whether it's in the morning, all night (if the nights are cold, I sleep in my robes), or just at the end of a seemingly endless day, wrapping up in a silk robe seems to be the equivalent of a much needed time-out.
The very first robe I designed was inspired by a beautiful silk kimono-style beauty that I found in a vintage shop in San Francisco when I was about eighteen years old. It was a deep pink chinoiserie print that I absolutely loved, and wore to shreds. I never found anything exactly right to replace it, so alas...our Asteria robe was born. Of course only the finest silk would do, which led me to a long favorite of mine, Liberty of London. Our Liberty print robes have always been our best selling pieces, perfect for treating oneself, or for gifting to someone special. This next collection of robes is print blocked, pairing up two or more prints in a bold symphony of color and pattern.
I think this collection is my most favorite to date. I especially like the super saturated colors of the Jemma Rose print, and can't wait to see the pajama set that is currently in production. As the new collection trickles in, I hope you'll make an appointment to come see it in person or call us to schedule a virtual shopping experience. As always, these are limited edition. With the holidays on the horizon, I suspect we will sell out quickly, so if a particular print speaks to you, let us know soon.
We also have a selection of pieces in Liberty print cotton fabrics that are particularly lovely. This French lace trimmed camisole is perfect for the warm weather, and is something pretty and practical to wear now. It looks great paired with jeans, or worn underneath a sheer blouse. Liberty cotton slips, robes, and pajama sets are also in the works, set to be in store before too much longer. I know some people prefer sleeping in cotton, so there will be plenty to choose from if you fall into this camp.
Aren't these little hoop earrings perfect for a little colorful treat for yourself or someone special? Both the coral and turquoise beads are vintage, and have been part of my collection for a long time. I love seeing them worn together, but they are also very nice on their own.
Rings have always been front and center in my collection. This charming little snake ring joins our carved labradorite scarab ring, and our favorite little elephant friend, expanding our collection of little creatures with great symbolism.
In the spirit of rings with symbolism, I've been delighted to fill so many orders for wedding bands over the last few months. I'm not sure if more people are getting married this year, but it certainly seems so, and it has been an honor to have so many couples choose our Classic Band to represent their commitment to love and to each other. This soft, thin, and slightly irregular band is extremely comfortable (important especially it seems for the men who have never before worn a ring at all!), and has a handmade feeling to it that sets it apart from the more traditional wedding bands we are used to seeing. Of course, you don't have to get married to appreciate this versatile band. We can make you one in any size, or color of gold, and as always, can engrave something special on it for you, as we have done with our poesy bands.
In addition to wrapping myself in these gorgeous silky Liberty prints to self soothe and keep my sanity, I've really been into tending the garden. Have you heard of Kokedama? It's remarkably easy, and deeply satisfying. You can learn more about it here. I've got a little collection going, and I think I'll make some for friends too. The process is incredibly therapeutic, and the end result is quite beautiful.
Of course after the garden, comes the kitchen. What have you been making lately? Please share. At this point after so many months of daily cooking, I think we all need a little shared inspiration. Travel has always inspired my cooking, and while staying home has had its virtues, I desperately miss the inspiration of a good trip.
I especially miss Rome, one of the best food cities in the world. Happily, our local farmer's market has had puntarelle on offer this year, so I can get my fix of cucina alla Romana here at home. My dear neighbor hosted a lovely dinner party back in February, and served a puntarelle salad that was divine. She then gave me one of the traditional tools used in the cleaning and preparation of puntarelle, which I learned how to use after watching this. Finding the giant heads of Italian chicory at the market last Sunday was a treat, and reminded me of that wonderful evening spent with friends before the pandemic truly hit home. The salad is bright and crunchy, and perfect served with something hearty, like the lentil and sausage soup that I made the other night!
Puntarelle alla Romana
One head of Puntarelle
bowl of ice water
Peel off the outer leaves, and slice the hollow heads into thin matchsticks using a knife or a puntarelle cutter. Soak in a bowl of ice water for at least an hour to remove bitterness. I usually put the bowl in the refrigerator and sometimes leave it up to two days, which is also completely fine.
Drain well, and then dress lightly with a vinaigrette made with 4 anchovy filets, a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, and three tablespoons of the best extra virgin olive oil that you have. Mash the anchovy well, and add a few grinds of fresh black pepper to taste.
I will admit to sometimes bringing a little bit of California to the table by adding slices of avocado. While obviously not in keeping with the traditional recipe, is quite delicious.