21 March 2017

World Poetry Day

Poetry has always been a love of mine. I don't claim to be a bard(!) but I enjoy dabbling from time to time and you'll see a link to one of my books of poems in the righthand sidebar.

This sonnet appears in it. The idea was that the reader should identify the subject from the words but, of course, depending on your location that may not be so straightforward. Nevertheless, why not have a go?!

Digitally manipulated image of Scott's View, Scottish Borders

Sir W

Such breathtaking views I long enjoyed
across this Border landscape bleak and bluff,
from child to manhood, my mind employed
with romance, tales and ballads brave, enough
to sing this land's song through the ages,
of Alba's blood coursing proud, strong and rough.
Heroic Scots, their image owed my pages,
held high esteem anew the world around,
cushioned me with fame and ample wages,
lauded, my reputation laurel-crowned.
Though my work still finds eager audience
while books and film and opera abound,
yet I would hold this last painful grievance,
that at the end debt was my achievance.

Do you have a favourite poem or poet? Let us know in the comments below ;)

2 March 2017

Mum's the Word!

Mum's deserve to be celebrated every day of the year but we're sure you know that their special day, Mothering Sunday or Mother's Day, will soon be with us on 26 March.

Sepia photograph of Mum
Mum's are always with us.
And saying Thank You for everything that Mum's do is only right. It's a day to turn the tables and spoil her for a change with a little extra love and attention. That could take the form of breakfast in bed or doing all the household chores for her. It might be taking her out for a lovely lunch or a daytrip to a special spot. And, of course, a beautiful bunch of Spring flowers would always be welcome.

Collage of gifts for Mother's Day
From Candles to Cute plus gorgeous giftwrap we've got Mum's gifts covered!
For plenty of alternative gifts to show Mum just how much you care, pop into the shop or visit Present Perfect online. Does she love scented candles? Perhaps a new handbag or a mug to enjoy her favourite cuppa? Some pampering bath fancies or a beautiful piece of jewellery? We have lots to choose from and we'd love to help you pick something out.

Unbelievably, it will soon be Present Perfect's 10th anniversary! We're getting excited and will be sending you news of our celebration plans. Stay tuned!

6 February 2017

A Great Day for Lame Ducks!

Did you know that today, Monday 6 February, is designated Lame Duck Day?; comforting perhaps for anyone so afflicted but not, maybe, something that many of us are aware of or would plan to celebrate. So how about Frozen Yogurt Day instead? Yes, it's that too!

Selection of DCUK characters
Not lame at all - these DCUK chaps can be found at Artizan Melrose
Every day of the year has been designated to celebrate or mark something: some are fun and frivolous others are official and internationally recognised. Some days have multiple options and others only one but there's something for everyone. Check out the Days of the Year website for lots more info.

We often take a look and if there's a topic we can relate to in the shop we enjoy featuring it on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Recently, we've had fun with the following Days.

Celebrating penguins at Present Perfect, Melrose
Penguin Awareness Day, 20 January
Penguins are popular all the time as these items show: glass penguin and chick from D&J Glassware, handmade brooch by Kittiwake Design and gorgeous giftwrap by Jane Crick.

Celebrating squirrels at Present Perfect, Melrose
Squirrel Appreciation Day, 21 January
Squirrels are another furry favourite and this scurry enjoyed their turn in the spotlight!

Red roses of all kinds for Burn's Day
Robert Burns' Day, 25 January
Of course, we couldn't overlook Scotland's Bard and paid tribute to his poem My Love is Like .....

Wooden tray illustrated with chocolate cake
Chocolate Cake Day, 27 January
Two days later we would have been celebrating chocolate cake, if only we'd had some!

Collage of roosters/hens to mark Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year fell on 28 January this year - the Year of the Rooster
We managed to round up this clutch of hens and roosters to mark the Lunar New Year.

WoodWick candles in Cinnabark and Pear Cider
Candlemas, 2 February 2017
Our love of candles means we celebrate their light everyday but we couldn't possibly miss Candlemas. We've got plenty to choose from in the shop but have settled on this vibrant pic!

Collage of pink images for World Cancer Day
World Cancer Day, 4 February
Just this weekend, we put together this pink collage of gift items and others of our images to mark World Cancer Day.

So you see, surprising though it is even for us and no matter what the day, we often manage to come up with a selection of goodies. And on a dull wet day it definitely helps to lift our spirits! Tomorrow, 7 February, is listed as Ballet Day and Send a Card to a Friend Day. Now that second one ought to be easy!

3 February 2017

Bounteous Beneficence for Your Beau!

All you ladies know that Valentine's Day is looming up and thoughts naturally turn to getting a gift for our other halves. And men get something of a bad press as gift recipients! As ever, it depends on the individual and keeping an open mind. Please click on the pics to be taken to our online shop.

Kringle candle for men in Midnight fragrance

If you were buying a gift for me, I'd eagerly accept a candle - and for some time the candle companies have been alive to the fact that one man likes pleasantly perfumed surroundings just as much as the next! This 'Midnight' candle from Kringle creates a fragrance reminiscent of men's cologne, so whether he chooses to keep it for his own personal space or lets you in on it, it's a winner!

Melrose Monks handcrafted clay figures by Sheena Spacey

If he's a history buff or perhaps a chess lover, you could appeal to his virtuous side with one of these serene, hand built, smoke-fired clay figures by Sheena Spacey. Resembling mediaeval churchmen or Norsemen, they immediately reminded us of the ancient monks who populated the history of Melrose Abbey. So much so, that we've named them after three famous priors/abbots. Each character is unique - just like he is!

Cufflinks with a check pattern cabochon

When it comes to sartorial elegance, whether for a day in the office or for a special occasion, cufflinks are the perfect finishing touch. This pair is bright and colourful with a pale blue, pink and dark blue check design cabochon. Ideal for use with several colours of shirt.

Handmade cherrywood clock

Give him the gift of time! He'll certainly appreciate the simplicity and craftsmanship of this mantle clock. Handmade by local artisan, David White, the cherry wood has a rich, warm colour complemented by the traditional white face with black hands and Roman numerals. It will enhance any environment: office, study or living room.

Churchill fine bone china mugs, Kobe & Nagoya

Of course, even the simplest gift can hit the mark and these stylish mugs from Churchill China make a big impact! Their geometric designs are distinctly stylish in indigo, gold metallic and white. Choose from Kobe (honeycomb) or Nagoya (basketweave). Let him know he's definitely your cup of tea!

We have to admit that some men love tinkering with their bikes or cars; others are dab hands at DIY, and games and gadgets are big favourites too. Sadly, those topics aren't our forte - but we're certainly not short on ideas and you can find these and more on the Present Perfect online shop!

We hope you both enjoy the fun and the romance of Valentine's Day!

1 February 2017

The Valentine Male - Step up to the Plate Boys!

Two of the world's oldest 'arts' are those of loving and giving, which in a couple of weeks' time are handily combined when we give tokens of love to our 'significant other'. They can be fun or fancy, cheap and cheerful or breathtakingly expensive - I'm thinking Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor here (it's my age!) - but the common denominator is love and the pleasure we each get from giving.

Definition of Love box frame with letter tiles
Definition of Love - letter tile box frame handmade by Letters to Friends
Across the world all sorts of traditions, old and modern, are associated with St. Valentine's Day or its equivalent: Danish men pen funny letters or poems anonymously, signed with only dots to represent each letter of their name. If the lady guesses correctly, she's entitled to an Easter egg later in the year! In Wales they celebrate Saint Dwynwen, patron saint of lovers, on 25 January and traditionally men carved intricate wooden spoons for their love. While here in Scotland, at a party gathering, males and females would draw names from a hat to find their Valentine!

Fortunately perhaps, we men don't have to be talented wordsmiths or wood carvers. Flowers and chocolates may be welcome BUT if you want to score top Brownie points you probably should be buying those every week 😇. And maybe a red negligee isn't necessarily on your sweetheart's wish list either! But a little pampering can go a long way, so why not get some indulgent toiletries and offer to run her a relaxing warm bath. You could try our good friends Oakwood Soaperie for some luxury handmade bathing goodies.

Valentine's Day Meal Ideas
Just three colourful, tasty ideas for a cosy Valentine's dinner
And while she's luxuriating you could volunteer to make dinner. Even the simplest meal can taste delicious if you have made some effort. BBC Good Food has some great suggestions! Top it off by creating a cosy atmosphere with candles.

Love at First Light candles by Esscentual Candles
Love at First Light candles by Esscentual Candles
Jewellery is always appreciated and you don't have to try and rival Richard Burton! But you could quite easily give her 'the moon and stars' with these beautiful and stylish pieces from icebronz: silver-plated bronze decorated with paua shell or glitter resins. We have a variety of designs, many with matching earrings.

Moon and Stars silver-plated necklace by icebronz jewellery
Moon & Stars pendant with paua shell - matching earrings too!
Of course, it's the little things that can often speak volumes and we have heart-shaped hanging decorations in acrylic, glass, metal and wood to give or perhaps add as the perfect finishing touch to a beautifully wrapped present.

Iridescent Glass Heart Hanging Decoration
Handmade iridescent glass heart hanging decoration
To see our Valentine's Selection, and lots more besides, please click the link to the Present Perfect online shop. Next up, we'll offer suggestions for the girls to give the guys!

16 January 2017

Hooray for Blue Monday!

Collage of Blue Items at Present Perfect

As Mondays go, today is rather notorious. We're all supposed to be feeling blue: because Christmas has been and gone, our New Year's Resolutions have already begun to slip, maybe we're short of cash, and we're longing for a warm, sunny holiday. Life can be tough!

But when you love the colour blue as much as we do, then Blue Monday is just one more opportunity to celebrate the beautiful things that surround us every day in the shop. Not that they're exclusively blue! - that might get a tad boring even despite the broad array of objects.

We're all drawn to a particular colour or palette of colours and use them to help enrich our personal world whether as part of our wardrobe or living space. And there's something for everyone: monochrome, calm and soothing neutrals or bright, zingy primaries.

Which is your favourite, we'd love to know? If your world is blue, we hope it's absolutely brilliant!

8 January 2017

New Year Greetings from Present Perfect!

Happy New Year from Present Perfect

Warmest wishes for 2017

Thanks for all your support

We hope you had a wonderful time over the holiday period and that you've managed to ease yourself into the new year. We made a Resolution to try and be more consistent in sending out our newsletters and we hope you will continue to enjoy receiving them and keep in touch. You can sign up for our newsletter here.

We'd love to hear from you about anything we send, your thoughts on the shop, new products, and where you think there are things we could do better. Please let us know.

Christmas & winter candles by Kringle, Torc, Wax Lyrical and WoodWick

Our Sale has begun and all our remaining Christmas stock is reduced, most to Half Price! But there are all sorts of other reductions too. So do call in to grab a bargain or buy online.

Remember too that you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+, so if you use any of those social media please give us a 'like' by clicking on any of the links.

We look forward to seeing you soon. In the meantime, take care.