4 December 2012

The Melrose Christmas Shopping Trail is on!

Hello and welcome to December at PRESENT PERFECT.

Join the Trail!

Have festive fun and get the chance to WIN

The Melrose Christmas Shopping Trail is now in full swing but if you haven't joined in yet, don't worry, you still have until Christmas Eve to visit the participating businesses. Simply complete the Trail map/entry form and then hand it in for your chance to win any one of 14 prizes of gift vouchers worth from £20 up to £100. Visit the Trail's Facebook Page.

On these darker winter evenings Present Perfect offers welcoming lights and festive views.

The shop is full of colour and fab gifts!

We have all sorts of great ideas that will add style and sparkle, light and warmth to your present list with prices starting from only £1.99!
We still have a selection of beautiful Christmas cards in singles or packs of 5, 10 or 20 from traditional to modern subjects.

This giant wooden candlestick from Parlane offers natural beauty and impact to make a real statement and offer everyone a warm welcome.
And, as ever, we have WoodWick candles that will add festive fragrance and the gentle sound of a crackling wick to your home.
Last but not least, join us for late night shopping on 6 December and enjoy 10% off all purchases between 5pm and 8pm.
We send you sincere wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Brian & Derrick

1 November 2012

Follow the Melrose Christmas Shopping Trail ...

... for your chance to win!

More than £500 worth of gift vouchers with values from £20 up to the First Prize of £100.


Starting on Monday, 12 November for the six week period until Christmas Eve, doing your shopping in Melrose can be both fun and rewarding.

Present Perfect is joining sixteen other local businesses to host the Trail and provide you with festive inspiration for gifts, flowers and food & drink. Simply pick up an entry form at any of the participating businesses and as you visit each one they will validate it (no purchase necessary). No need to do it all in one day, you have six weeks to complete the Trail.

So enjoy shopping; take a break for coffee and a snack, meet family and friends for lunch or dinner or relax over drinks at the end of the day, all the time completing your entry form. When fully validated, hand it in for your chance to win. The Draw will take place after the Christmas break and winners will be notified by 11 January 2013.

The Melrose businesses participating in the Shopping Trail are: Abbey Fine Wines, Burts Hotel, Cobblers of Melrose, The Crafters, The Fabric Shop, Fountain Flowers, Henderson's, House of Hogarth, The King's Arms Hotel, Lyndoch Antiques, Merlin Music, Monte Cassino Italian Restaurant, Present Perfect, Russells of Melrose, Sarah Thomson, Tracey M, Yeha Noha Too.

First Prize: gift vouchers worth £100
2nd Prize: voucher for a bar supper for two at Burts Hotel worth £50.
Ten Prizes of a £40 gift voucher.
Two Prizes of a £20 gift voucher.
Vouchers can be used in any of the participating businesses. Prize Draw entrants must be over 16 years of age.

Last week a BIG delivery arrived from Shudehill with all sorts of goodies to add to the great selection of gifts that we already have in the shop including several styles of tealight holder, Christmas lanterns, mugs and decorations, jewellery, photo frames and cute doggie door stops! During next week we are also expecting a delivery of stylish homewares from Parlane. All of which will help you add that finishing touch to your gift list or make a well deserved treat for yourself!

This is one of our own Christmas card designs. Titled 'Eildons in Snow', it is a digitally manipulated image from an original photograph and can give your greetings a great local "flavour". Only £4.99 for six cards.

On 22 November, once again we will have a stall at the Gibson Park Christmas Fair, 7 - 9.30p.m. in the Corn Exchange, Melrose. It makes a great shopping evening and helps the playgroup. There will be mulled wine on offer too!

Melrose itself will also have a late night shopping evening on Thursday, 6 December when there will be tasty treats on offer and, hopefully, some music in the Square to add to the festive atmosphere. Present Perfect will be giving 10% OFF all purchases between 5 and 8 p.m. and remember, you can use all these opportunities to get your Trail entry form validated too!

So do follow the Shopping Trail and Make Merry in Melrose! We look forward to seeing you.

5 October 2012

Welcome to October at Present Perfect. Despite the fact that celebrations like Halloween and Bonfire Night have yet to take place, this time of year inevitably begins to bring thoughts of Christmas too. And it's good to have the time to enjoy a leisurely build up to the festive season as more things begin to appear in the shops and we can spread the load a little.

September gave us the chance to visit Scotland's Trade Fair in Glasgow and it's always a pleasure to see new people and products as well as meeting up with old friends. In the former category, we were thrilled to become a new stockist of Borders Aromatics candles and reed diffusers.

Based right here in the Scottish Borders, these soy wax candles, handmade by Catherine and Mark Bauer, combine the best in quality, sustainability and environmental friendliness with good value. The stock arrival is imminent!
 Under the category of 'old friend' is Carrie Paxton, the Edinburgh-based glass artist. Her pieces were very popular at this time last year and we're looking forward to receiving some of her new designs as soon as they're out of the kiln!

If we take a moment to blow our own trumpet(!), we have been very pleased by the success of our Borders mugs. A new supply has just arrived and it includes a reverse colour, yellow and black version of the Melrose design - but the original is still available. Still great value at only £8.99.

The warm bronze colour finish of these resin figures from Gleneagles Studio seems particularly appropriate for Autumn while the animals reflect life in the countryside. In addition to these three we have a preening duck and a larger, sitting hare.

An innovation from WoodWick are these attractive mosaic glass, wax melt burners. As an alternative to a scented candle these make use of a tea light to warm and melt tablets of wax which then release their fragrance into the air.  The burners are £14.99 each and the wax tablets only £1.69 per pack. Not only does this represent great value but by mixing the wax tablets you can create your very own fragrance combinations!

Back on the topic of Christmas, we have several ranges with seasonal fragrances now available. Photographed is a new selection of seven scents from Trapp candles, all beautifully packaged. With the tag line "a bottle of perfume in every candle" they are sure to fill your home with festive fragrance. In addition, are the first arrivals from WoodWick which feature their 'dancing glass' designs, each pattern brought to life by the flickering flame and, of course, combined with the crackling wick. Ideal for autumn and winter nights!

Christmas cards have begun to arrive too! We will have a selection of cards in singles, packs of five or 10 and boxes of 20, with humorous, modern, traditional and Christmas Story themes so, hopefully, there will be something for everyone.

Finally, we'd like to let you know about a fun and interesting initiative that will begin on 12 November - the Melrose Christmas Shopping Trail. A selection of local businesses will be participating and as you follow the Trail you'll receive a confirmation of your visit to each one on your entry form (no purchase necessary). Complete the Trail and you will be entered into a Prize Draw for some great gift vouchers to spend in the new year. So please bear in mind that you will be able to do all your Christmas shopping in some of Melrose's super independent shops, take a break for coffee and a snack or even treat yourself and family or friends to a meal out, all the time completing your Trail entry form for a chance to win! Full details will appear in our next newsletter.

In the meantime, as ever, we hope you will call in to say hello.

7 September 2012

Autumn's Arrivals at Present Perfect

Hello and welcome to our September newsletter; we have lots to tell you.

This ceramic "pineapple" lamp is just one of the new light fittings that we received recently. We have a selection, from traditional to a classic chrome balanced-arm desk lamp. Indirect lighting from table lamps is so much softer and more flattering than overhead light and you can give a room an entirely different look with a new lamp.

This acrylic painting, 'Impressions of Melrose Abbey' is just one of the six pieces we have by Borders artist, Shona Lenaghan. We are thrilled to be displaying her colourful works which are inspired by the Borders surroundings. You can see more of Shona's work via her Facebook page.

On the subject of artist works, we have a few new friends from Suzanne Kirk's Eildon Bears label. Handmade right here in Melrose, using genuine mohair, with glass eyes and cotterpin joints, each bear (and now rabbits too!) is a unique collectors' item. They are not intended for children under the age of 14.

Candles are always on the list at Present Perfect and we have just received this popular range from Torc in Ireland. The set of four has two new fragrances this year: French Lavender and Fresh Fig & Vanilla, which are joined by Cinnamon Spice and Mulled Wine. The set costs £20 or the candles can be bought individually for £5.50, all excellent value.

These three fragrances from American company, Essenza, are ideal for Autumn: Pomegranate, Chai Spice and Vanilla. They are £10.99 each. Candleglow couldn't be more welcoming than at this time of year.

A couple of weeks ago we received a selection of tapestry bags from Signare. They are excellent value and come in various sizes, styles and designs including this West Highland terrier pattern. We also have cosmetic pouches and purses. Other designs are: ladies fashion, the equine world and butterflies.

Finally, if I may, I'd like to draw your attention to the sidebar above where you will see a slideshow of examples of my own digitally manipulated artwork created from original photographs. These are available in various formats from Fine Art America who will produce the print to your requirements, pack and ship. They reproduce work from artists across the world and it's well worth taking a look.

We do hope you will call in soon to see all that we have available and we look forward to seeing you.

2 August 2012

Hello and welcome to our August newsletter.

We have been flying the flag during this summer of celebration and with the Olympics in full swing these patriotic paperweights seemed to make their own appropriate medal rostrum! The "bronze" position has now been taken but "gold" and "silver" are still here if you're quick off the blocks!

On 31 July the floral displays in Melrose town centre were being judged for Scotland's Floral Gateway competition and on 7 August they will be judged again for Britain in Bloom, so fingers crossed! In support of all the Melrose in Bloom volunteers' hard work we have dressed one of our windows with all things flower related, just a few of which are shown above.

In the middle of July we were in Harrogate for the 'Home & Gift' trade fair. As ever, it was pleasant moving around the venues in the city centre and we saw lots of great gift items for the new season. In fact, a couple of our regular suppliers have already delivered some of the stock!

From WoodWick there are four new candle fragrances in the 'Ikat Collection', with tins decorated in the style of Indonesian textiles. As always, these provide excellent quality and long burn times with  the famous, crackling wooden wick. There are also a few new fragrances in Classic WoodWick as well as the return of some old favourites.

Also from the USA we are trying a new range of home fragrancing from Trapp Private Gardens, based in Kansas. With their Trademark phrase "It's all about the fragrance", these reed diffusers and room sprays are set to perfume your home beautifully. The reed diffusers come with a 8 fl. oz. (237ml) bottle of fragrancing liquid, a frosted glass container and two sets of reeds, ready to perfume your home for 3 months plus. Alternatively, you can use the 3.4 fl. oz. (100ml) room sprays for an instant burst of fragrance. Everything is beautifully packaged and the room spray comes in an attractive bottle that doesn't need to be hidden in a cupboard!

If you appreciate handmade craftsmanship and the natural beauty of wood you'll love the clocks and barometers that we have on display at the moment from Borders resident, David White. The skeleton mantle clock above, for example, is set in a piece of sycamore while the reclaimed barometer (and thermometer) below, has been mounted on beech wood, stained in a medium oak shade, and has decorative onyx discs.

David's pieces range from £49 to £79.


Our love of "all things candle" drew us to these oversize ceramic lanterns (18 ins./46cm tall, 8.5 ins/22cm sq.) when we saw them back in February - and they have now arrived! Colourful and unusual, they make an impact and will add interest to your home decor. The planter also makes an ideal home for a specimen houseplant.

Keeping to the lantern theme, we also have this open frame design, in two sizes, that has a cast iron-style finish.

Add to this some beautiful new pashminas, Equilibrium jewellery pieces, several photograph frames, bronze resin animal sculptures, useful and decorative material-covered notice boards, inexpensive wall clocks in fun designs, metal hanging heart decorations plus a new supply of the ever popular laser-cut ballpoints and you can tell how much there is to see in-store!

If you are planning a holiday during August we hope it will be enjoyable and relaxing but that you'll also find time to call in and say hello at Present Perfect. We look forward to seeing you.

2 June 2012

Waving the Flag for Summer

Celebrating Britain, Her Majesty and Independent Retailers.
Royal Notecards. This commemorative pack of eight notecards has been produced for Face Britain by The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts. This unique portrait of HM The Queen is made up of thousands of self portraits by the nation's children. £6.50 per pack.

More greetings cards with a patriotic theme. What could be more British than a cup of tea or a glorious cottage garden?! These designs from Museums & Galleries Marketing Ltd. offer quintessentially British images, ideal for this summer of celebration. What's more, in common with the majority of our greetings cards, they are printed in UK too.

We are still running our offer of a FREE gift when you spend £10 or more on toiletries from Berkeley Square Cosmetics. Great quality, gorgeous fragrances and these too are produced mainly in UK. (Offer subject to availability) Remember also that we have soaps, candles and reed diffusers from Heyland & Whittle, all British made, as well as Planet Soap's lovely bars made right here in Scotland.

Fingers crossed, we will get lots of sunshine over the coming months but just in case, we have plenty of ways to help you to bring the sunshine inside as you can see from this collage of all things yellow!

You can still take advantage of our WoodWick offer and save £5 when you buy one candle from the Escape range plus any second WoodWick candle of similar size.

July is Independent Retailer Month: Now in its second year, this campaign is intended to encourage all of us to support our local, independent shops. Here in Melrose we are fortunate to have an almost entirely independent retail scene and we, at Present Perfect, certainly appreciate the support you give us. Next month, as a 'Thank You', we will be making a variety of offers, once again celebrating a red, white and blue theme. Stay tuned!

In the meantime enjoy the Diamond Jubilee holiday.

2 May 2012

Maytime at Present Perfect

Hello and welcome to Maytime!

Competition Winner
The lucky winner of our 5th Birthday/National Stationery Day competition was Helen McDonald, seen here collecting her prize on 1 May. We received 33 entries in total, 30 of which had all the correct answers, and Helen's name was the first one drawn out of the hat (well plastic bag really!) by a very obliging customer on 25 April. Five runners-up were also drawn and they were: J Chalmers, C Green, T McQuillan, M Malcolm and D Milne. Helen was thrilled with her prize and was looking forward to learning more about Charles Dickens from Claire Tomalin's acclaimed biography as well as viewing the DVD collection and using her new Autograph pen and the stationery items. Congratulations to her and the runners-up and a big Thank You to everyone who entered. (The answers are set out at the foot of this newsletter.)

WoodWick 'Escape' Offer
Buy a 9.5oz candle in the WoodWick Escape range and Save £5 on a second candle of similar size from any of the other WoodWick ranges. Escape has fourteen fabulous fragrances and with even more in the Classic, Gallerie, Trilogy and Wood Essence ranges you'll be spoilt for choice! Of course, they all have the famous wooden wick that crackles gently as it burns. (Offer subject to availability.) See lower down for our second May offer.
Supplier Spotlight on Planet Soap
Just in time for Easter we received a supply of wonderful handmade soaps from Jill Flye, the lady behind Planet Soap. We wanted to tell you more about Jill and her products so we asked her a whole lot of questions! After many years in 9-5 office work, Jill started Planet Soap two years ago after a little experimenting making soap gifts for family and friends. Her home-based business is in Winchburgh, near Edinburgh.

Says Jill: "I have always loved essential oils and been interested in aromatherapy, but the main Eureka moment was when a young intern described to me how he had once made soap, and sold it to raise money for charity. Something clicked into place. It may sound odd, but I knew pretty much there and then that I wanted to make essential oil soaps for a living. As soon as I had the opportunity I started experimenting. Soon after that I enrolled myself onto an intensive course on cold process soap-making. I set up Planet Soap a couple of months later, selling at craft fairs and online, and became a full time soap-maker just over a year after that.

I make my soaps in 1 kilo 'loaves'. In soapmaking the kilos refer to the weight of the oils. A 'one kilo loaf' in fact makes a minimum of 11 or 12 100g bars, as other ingredients such as water and botanicals are added. 'Batch' refers to a particular pot/mix of soap. It is a required way of recording exactly what has gone into any bar of soap, so only one variety of soap can be made per batch. As I have such a wide range of soaps, and as I make them by hand in my home workshop, my batches are still relatively small - betweeen 2 kilos and 6 kilos. I will make several batches - up to 20 kilo loaves - in a typical soapmaking session.

The soap is pretty much 'cured' - ie converted from fatty acids and alkalis into gentle soap - in about 24 to 48 hours, but it then needs to dry out and firm up quite a bit before being wrapped. After about three weeks drying out naturally on wooden shelves, it becomes a good, firm bar of soap, ready to be wrapped and sold.

Soapmaking is my number one passion. I like to use natural moisturizers with essential oils, and I do sometimes dream about getting a co-ordinated range of soaps and moisturizers together. However if I ever get a bit of time when I could be learning about making moisturizers, I find myself coming up with a new soap instead. In the interests of being environmentally friendly, and skin-friendly, I keep to high quality natural plant-based ingredients. No parabens, animal fats or other added nasties. I only use essential oils for fragrance and where I use colour it comes from roots, seeds and leaves."

Having tried several bars ourselves we can certainly vouch for the quality and fragrance of Planet Soap. Many customers ask what the lovely perfume is as they enter the shop and discover that it's our selection of Planet Soap. Lemongrass & Lime, is a personal favourite but the selection also includes Clary Sage & Cedarwood, Peppermint & Parsley, Patchouli & Sweet Orange, Rosy Geranium, Cedarwood, Sandalwood & Orange, Citrus and the unperfumed Nettle. Which will you choose?

Berkeley Square Cosmetics Co. Offer
Receive a free gift of soap or hand cream when you spend £10 or more on any items from the BSQ 1920s range. The super stylish packaging and great fragrances have an instant appeal. The selections include bath & shower cream, body lotion, eau de toilette/parfum, hand cream and soap, perfumed with Lime & Clarysage, Fig & Cherry, White Tea or the limited edition Black Cassis. Excellent prices make these Berkeley Square toiletries an everyday indulgence. Give yourself a treat! (Offer subject to availability.)

New stock is arriving regularly so we hope to see you soon.

Competition Answers
In order, the book titles and authors names we were looking for were:
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (or Notre-Dame de Paris) by Victor Hugo
Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

6 April 2012

April, Easter & Springtime

Hello and a Happy Easter!

Enter our competition!

You still have until 24 April to enter our competition in celebration of our 5th Birthday and National Stationery Day. The theme centres on the written word and we have chosen the first lines from six 19th/20th century novels. All you have to do is tell us the name of each author and the titles of the books. First Prize is a wonderful bundle worth £100 consisting of Claire Tomalin's acclaimed biography of Charles Dickens, a DVD boxed set of the BBC's "Bronte Collection", a stylish rollerball pen from the Autograph range and a selection of quality stationery. There are also five runners up prizes of stationery each worth £10. Visit the Competition Page on our website or pick up an entry form from the shop. Terms and conditions apply.

Easter and the Melrose Sevens

Our 5th Birthday falls at Easter on 6 April (which is as it was when we opened in 2007). We shall be open over the bank holiday weekend (Sun & Mon between noon and 4 p.m.) so we hope you'll call in to say hello and have a little chocolate treat in celebration!

The following weekend, 14 April, sees the Melrose Sevens international rugby competition take place. This is a showcase event for Melrose which receives worldwide coverage. Let's hope for an improvement in the weather and wish the Melrose team luck in their attempt to retain the championship title!

Down on the Farm

Springtime means Easter chicks and newborn lambs which is an ideal time to feature these attractive, quirky and fun items that carry a farm theme: even though cows may not be one's first thought for a greetings card, we have charming animal illustrations from Milkwood; a Baa Baa breadboard and Baa Baa blackboard along with a chicken-shaped wire egg basket to bring gentle humour to kitchen tasks; and Fair Trade jute shopping bags and a clothes peg apron with friendly farm designs.

Our Very Own Mugs

Borders Mugs: we are thrilled to announce the arrival of these bright, colourful mugs, designed by Present Perfect. They celebrate the names of people and places plus other fascinating facts connected with four Borders locations: Melrose, Dryburgh, Jedburgh and Kelso. We think they make an ideal gift or memento for visitors as well as for locals who enjoy displaying their town loyalty. They're also informative, so why not grab yourself a mug, gen up on your surroundings and enjoy a cuppa at the same time?! Only £6.99 each.


These colourful journals from Peter Pauper Press are just some of the stationery items that we have in stock. They would make ideal repositories for your own words of wisdom, innermost thoughts, personal poetry or ideas manual. They might also form part of our competition prizes!


I popped a cheery daffodil plant into this hurricane lamp to give it some symbolic protection from the recent storm and to show that things can often have more than one use if we let our imagination roam a little! In fact, this type of hurricane lamp could also make an attractive vase for fresh flowers or be filled with all sorts of things, like decorative Easter eggs!

We wish everyone a very Happy Easter and hope to see you soon.