top of page


Artwork by artist Lisa Congdon. Visit her website to support her work.

Dear Friends -


Let's get down to the rhythm of love! As Elvis Costello sings in his catchy hit, "What's so Funny 'bout Peace, Love, and Understanding?" there is no better time of the year to embrace all three!


This month, we explore what British writer and Theologian called "The Four Loves." In his book by the same name, Lewis examines four varieties of human love: affection, the most basic form; friendship, the rarest and perhaps most insightful; Eros, passionate love; and Charity, the unconditional and greatest.


With Valentine's Day, Galentine's Day, and even the Lonely Hearts clubs in the spotlight this February, we're making Lewis's four perspectives on love the star of this month's Idealchemy newsletter.


Whether you're snuggling up with your furry friend, flipping heart-shaped pancakes for your little ones, enjoying drinks with your closest pals, or having a romantic candle-lit dinner with your one and only, I'm sending you an abundance of peace, love, and understanding.





Founder & Chief IdeAlchemist




Much like Margaret Atwood, Ishiguro weaves emotionally charged futuristic tales, evident in "Never Let Me Go" and my February recommendation "Klara and the Sun." In this unusual love story, he asks if Artificial Intelligence (AI) can learn to love and, if so, if humans can love AI in return. Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe were essential to each other and their art, like black to white, negative to positive. "Just Kids" is not the "happily ever after" fairytale love story we expect, but the gritty, truthful, gut-wrenching recollection of the love and loss between bohemian soul mates.



The Oscar-nominated film "Past Lives" by director and writer Celine Song explores In-Yun - a Korean belief that the connections between people are owed to interactions in their past lives. It’s an In-Yun if two strangers even walk by each other in the street and their clothes accidentally brush. Filmed in a way that every shot resembles a painting, "Past Lives" surprises us with an unusual and poignant love triangle that has nothing to do with sex. 

In Cord Jefferson’s Academy Award-nominated screenplay "American Fiction," an older brother kisses his grown baby brother’s head and says, “So many people love you. You should let them.” The sibling relationships in the film, beautifully portrayed by best-supporting actor nominee Sterling K. Brown, best-actor nominee Jeffrey Wright, and Tracee Ellis Ross, shed light on the trauma bonds we form and attempt to break in dysfunctional families. 

Delve into love, betrayal, and high society drama with FX's FEUD: Capote Vs. The Swans. In this limited series based on actual events, writer Truman Capote's entanglement with New York's elite women, dubbed "the swans," unravels. Featuring stellar performances by Naomi Watts, Diane Lane, Demi Moore, Calista Flockhart, Chloe Sevigny, and Tom Holland, it's a treat filled with intrigue and scandal.

Paramount+ series The Woman in the Wall is a haunting tale of motherly love. Lorna Brady (Ruth Wilson), driven mad by her past in the Magdalene Laundries, wakes to a corpse in her home. As a young detective helps investigate, they unearth long-buried secrets in an Irish town. Lorna's search for her stolen daughter provides a fire inside her that keeps her demons at bay.



The Free Design, a band ahead of their time, emerged from obscurity in the mid-1990s, basking in newfound appreciation for their sunshine pop. Their revival saw reissues, compilations, and even a reformation, cementing their legacy as pioneers of harmonic bliss and timeless melodies. Used in an Apple commercial a few years back, their 1970 song "Love You" is the sweetest earworm you could get stuck with.

Discovered when listening to Apple Music's Jazz Soul Cafe, Jacob Banks' soulful voice soars over a mix of R&B, rock, hip-hop, and jazz, My favorite track on his album "Lies About the War" is "By Design (Evel Knievel)." It embodies the spirit of taking chances - even in love - and living life to the fullest. With a lyric like "I'm Evel Knievel, you know I like to take a chance. All I got is love and time," you can't help but fall under his spell.



Vanity Fair Magazine described Detroit Chocolatier Bon, Bon, Bon as a "lethal combination of crazy unique packaging and flavors only a stoned Willy Wonka could dream up." As a proud Michigander, I am not surprised that Martha Stewart recently bestowed on them an American Made Award. They are, after all, Trés Bon!

California's Le Feu de L'eau's (Water Fire) artisanal candle line is sculpted underwater and made entirely out of wax. Hand-mixed colors and fragrances like Neroli, Hibiscus, Citrus or Tuberose, White Iris, and Orange make each candle genuinely one-of-a-kind. Petale, Fleur, and Rouge make unique and classy gifts.

Lisa Congdon, is a Portland-based whimsical fine artist, illustrator, and writer. With exhibitions worldwide and ten published books, she's a creative force and is celebrated for her social justice work and art-world leadership. She's unstoppable! I love her Scandanavian-inspired prints and cards and her colorful take on love, life, and creativity.

Indulge in the romance of the classic Negroni without the hangover with the award-winning Phony Negroni®. Crafted with care in Brooklyn, NY, this non-alcoholic delight boasts 30 organic ingredients, offering the same bitter complexity and nuanced flavors as the Italian original. Perfect for toasting your love or a Galentine sans spirits.

My Grandma Hazel was a classic, always wearing Chanel lipstick in the shade 444 Gabrielle (the hue donned by Coco herself) and nail color 147 Incendiare. That you-know-who Grammy-winning football player-dating pop-star has brought red lips and nails back into vogue. Word on the street is that her go-to lip lacquer varies between Chanel's 99 Pirate and Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl. Any of these options are sure fire-starters.

Who says pink is for girls? I love my man in pink. London-based shirtmaker Thomas Pink offers a variety of quality-made, traditional men's shirts in glorious pale and vivid pinks. My favorite? Their Pale Pink & White Classic Fit Textured Stripe Dress Shirt with French cuffs. Your man more casual? Treat him to a pair of their pink and purple rugby striped socks or a natty Navy Blue & Pink Woven Striped Border Silk Wool Scarf. He'll be sitting pretty in pink.



Love is Love. Founded in 1985, GLAAD is a non-profit organization focused on LGBTQ advocacy and cultural change. GLAAD works to ensure fair, accurate, and inclusive representation and creates national and local programs that advance LGBTQ acceptance. GLAAD strives to protect all that has been accomplished and helps create a world where everyone can live the life they love.



IdeAlchemy would love to catch up with you!

Please email me at to say hello AND SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BI-MONTHLY NEWSLETTER!


bottom of page