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

12 September 2016

The Scented Home

Smell is one of our most important senses and scents, fragrances can be evocative of a time or place, can affect our mood; lift our spirits or help us to relax. No wonder then that scented products for the home come in such a wide variety, and there's something suitable for every part of it.

The moment we step through the front door, think how welcoming it is to be greeted by a bright, fresh fragrance rather than, perhaps, damp coats, smelly footwear or pet odours! And if we want this to work 24/7, then a reed diffuser is ideal.

Here, Wax Lyrical's Celebration with it's fresh green apple, pear and tangy white wine with musk base notes or Love and Laughter's eucalyptus and lavender on a cedarwood base could be just the thing. If you prefer a candle, then we have a choice of Kringle's Rainy Day, Splash or Spellbound or WoodWick's Dew Drops, Beachfront Cottage or Ocean Escape, all of which have fresh, clean fragrances.

As we pass into the living room, floral fragrances are often preferred and there are many of these. WoodWick's Honeysuckle, Wild Sweet Pea or Botanical Garden and Kringle's Sunflower Sunrise and Wild Poppies can all provide that gentle background fragrance. You could also try the gardenia blossom, patchouli and rose of Love at First Light or the fresh bluebell flowers, rainwater and oak of Wood Walk from Borders-made Esscentual Candles.

For the kitchen it perhaps makes sense to have food-related fragrances whether they be baking, such as Kringle's Apple Cider Donut, the strong espresso hit of Esscentual Candles's Spring Kitchen or fruity/citrus scents such as WoodWick's Pineapple, Black Cherry, Marionberry, Lemon and Sugared Grapefruit. These, and the floral selection, are all equally at home in the conservatory too.

The bathroom can accommodate a variety of fragrances. We can escape with scents that remind us of holidays like Kringle's Beachside or WoodWick's Beach Boardwalk and Seaside Mimosa. Or wrap ourselves in the fresh, clean fragrances of Kringle's Warm Cotton, WoodWick's Linen or soft Baby Powder.

Finally, the bedroom is our refuge from the cares of the day and, once again, gentle, relaxing fragrances seem most appropriate and can be based around lavender or perhaps the herbal scent of Kringle's Citrus and Sage. Some may prefer the warmer, spicier scent of cinnamon or WoodWick's signature Fireside.

One thing's for sure; whatever your preference, there's something for every room in the house and to suit everyone. So don't relegate candles, reed diffusers or wax melts to just one part of the home or think of them as being suitable only for high days and holidays. Fragrancing has a role to play in our homes and in our sense of wellbeing throughout the year. Call into the shop or view our candle selection online.

Please remember - Always use care when burning candles. Place them on a protected, level surface away from draughts and inflammable materials. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Keep away from children and pets.

10 September 2016

Autumn Bounty - Bargains and Birdies

Customer Service with a Difference!

A delicious gift for Present Perfect, Melrose from a generous customer

Diane, one of our loyal customers, provided a wonderful surprise recently by bringing in a beautifully wrapped gift of freshly baked fruit and lemon scones along with a jar of homemade plum jam! She certainly knows the way to a retailer's heart - and we're more than happy to experience that kind of customer service!

Sale Notice using vintage comic illustration

YES, all through September we are holding our end-of-summer sale! There are great savings to be had on a range of items from tealight holders to a table lamp. Most items are singles so, when they're gone, they're gone!  Some items  are only available in the shop but we've added everything that's suitable for mail order to our online shop. Please take a look. You might find a few bargains ahead of you know when!

Twitter Logo

Guess what? We've finally joined the Twittersphere! If you use it, we'd love you to follow us @PPMelrose so please do pop over and say Hello. Everyone certainly seems very friendly :)

Fish and Bird Mosaics Handmade by Fiona Gurney

And, thinking of birdies, we have a newly arrived selection of mosaics, handmade by Fiona Gurney. Fiona's work is always popular and we're thrilled to have more of her pieces (two of them were special orders!) The rest will sell quickly so, if you want to grab a unique piece of craftwork, don't delay! They make very special gifts. At the time of writing we have five birds and one fish, available in store or online.

Photos from Melrose Horticultural Society Show

Once again, for the third year, we were happy to sponsor the Photography prize at the Melrose Horticultural Society's show day on 3 September. The categories were Sporting Melrose, Trees and Sunsets and we congratulate all the entrants and prize winners for their super images.

Exhibition Hall, Scotland Trade Fair

On 18 September we will be heading to the SECC Glasgow for the autumn trade fair. It isn't too large and is made up of many small, independent businesses that are always interesting to see. We'll let you know our discoveries next time.

Well, that's our roundup for September. We hope you've had a great time over the summer and are now all set for autumn's riches. We'll look forward to seeing you very soon.