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27 September 2016

Paisley Pattern - Riches from the East

Last week we received a stock of beautiful Indian silk scarves. We first had them last year and such was the richness of colour and design that we were thrilled to get more. The exotic pattern known as 'paisley' originated in the East, in countries like Persia (modern-day Iran) but gained it's name when it began being produced in Paisley, Scotland.

Indian silk scarves with purples and turquoise paisley designs

In the West, these designs became popular in the 18th and 19th centuries with the import of items like shawls from Kashmir and then began to be copied locally.

Indian silk scarf in silver paisley pattern

The design is composed of the buta or boteh, a droplet-shaped vegetable motif. Some believe this to be a combination of a stylised floral spray and a cypress tree, taken from Zoroastrian symbology.

Paisley patterned neck ties

Paisley is so versatile it has been used in all sorts of textile and rug designs for centuries. The pattern is popular for neck ties and it took me only moments to pull a very small selection from my own wardrobe and realise just how many I have! It's easy to see what a varied look can be achieved.

Jagger, Bowie & Lennon sporting paisley shirts
Mick Jagger, David Bowie, John Lennon
It was fashionable in the 1960s .....

Duchess of Cambridge, Sandra Bullock and Nikki Reed wearing paisley
Duchess of Cambridge wearing Alexander McQueen, Sandra Bullock wearing Stella McCartney
and Nikki Reed wearing Naeem Khan
...... and it still is!

Find our latest selection of silk scarves online and add a classic fashion accessory to your autumn/winter wardrobe.

15 September 2016

Thinking of You

Thinking of You Week logo

We're all guilty! Someone, near or far, pops into our mind; we haven't thought of them in ages and we resolve to get in touch, ask how they are and let them know we're thinking of them. But life has a way of sweeping us along, often at high speed, and our best intentions become overlooked. The final week in September gives us the opportunity to put things right.

An Eye on the Birds by Louise Rawlings - greetings card
An Eye on the Birds by Louise Rawlings - Milkwood Publishing
Beginning on 26 September, 'Thinking of You Week' gives us seven days to catch up with family and friends - not by flashing off a quick text or email but by putting pen to paper or card and taking a few moments to convey all those things we really meant to say but didn't get around to.

Loopy by Martin Leman - greetings card
Loopy by Martin Leman ARWS RBA - Dry Red Press
And science has shown that receiving a handwritten note or card creates a warm positive boost and makes people feel far more special. Some even believe that it can stave off feelings of loneliness and improve self esteem; great benefits from such a simple gesture.

Cyclamen by Jane Crick - greetings card
Cyclamen by Jane Crick - The Lavenham Press
Writing the cards doesn't have to be a huge chore either. Think of seven people who would really love to hear from you and write to one each day: an elderly relative who you don't get to see very often; a brother or sister who's away at university; an old school friend who it's always a joy to catch up with but never frequently enough; even your other half who is so special and deserves to see your true feelings expressed as only you can.

Thank You by Seb - greetings card
Thank You by Seb - Milkwood Publishing
Even the children can participate and have fun by making their own card or doing a drawing or painting for granny and grandad or an auntie with a few words to say 'Thank you for looking after me, I always enjoy our days together'.

Rowboat & Bike by Angus Robertson - greetings card
Rowboat & Bike by Angus Robertson - Periodic Society
The Royal Mail will be using a special franking mark on all mail during Thinking of You Week to ensure the message is spread far and wide. So why not join in? Make yourself a short (or long!) list of worthy recipients and set aside a few minutes each day, during your lunch break or in the evening, to pen a personal message to each one. They will be thrilled when your card drops on their mat and you will be glad you did!

Autumn in Glenlivet - one of our own designs
Many of you like to keep a stock of cards on hand and we are very grateful! Each purchase you make, especially from small, local independent shops, is a vital contribution to that business' success and to the independent artists and designers whose work is featured on the cards. That's why artist and designer, Sarah Hamilton began the Just a Card campaign: to stress how each and every purchase, however small, helps to keep so many small businesses in existence. Please keep a look out for the logo and spread the word to your family and friends. Use the hashtag #justacard on Twitter and Facebook.

Just a Card logo