30 December, 2017

"Royal Family Ties - Naming Kate . . . "


As Shakespeare once famously asked, "What's in a name?"  Well - for some of the members of the Royal Family, it can get a bit murky once you dive into the details.  Most every time The Duchess of Cambridge is named in any sort of press report, the dreaded "Kate Middleton" moniker arises at some point.  It (for YEARS!) was a pet peeve of mine that she was never called by her married name . . . but, that's where the problem lies.  Though the royal family are called The House of Windsor . . . the name "Mountbatten-Windsor" isn't in common usage as a surname.  Member's of Charles' side of the family at times use "Wales" as a surname.  Young Prince George is in preschool using "Cambridge" as his last name.  So when folks begin to complain about not using her married name . . . sadly, she kind of doesn't have one in regular usage.

There's also the "Kate" bit.  By all accounts, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge prefers to be called Catherine.  Whenever members of the Royal Family speak of her - they always call her Catherine.  To me it certainly seems overly familiar to call the future Queen by a nickname.  But - ever yet - the press continue to call her (in a very informal fashion) "Kate Middleton."

Here's where I think the real problem comes in.  Unlike the media in years past, articles written today DO NOT simply go into the trash bin tomorrow.  They live endlessly in online searches for endless years to come.  And if the public knows her by her maiden name - and searches for her by her maiden name - it's going to be tough to change that.  Don't forget, we knew her as "Kate Middleton" for almost 8 years while she and Prince Williams were dating.  I just did a quick search on google - "Kate Middleton" brought up 28 million results . . . where "Duchess of Cambridge" only brought up 13 million.  And take it from someone who understands to importance of branding . . . that's a HUGE difference. 

The other issue with her name is the future.  At some point, once Charles becomes King, she will most likely become the new Princess of Wales.  And I think that THAT ONE is going to be the one the sticks - and I'm excited to see her in that role, with that iconic title.  Until then, I'll have to grit my teeth at every "Kate Middleton" article that I see.


28 December, 2017

"SMW Home - After Christmas Sale . . . "


Just in case Santa didn't bring you the perfect present - stop by ScotMeachamWoodHome.com and enjoy some post-holiday savings on your favourite home accessories and gifts!

Happy Shopping -

27 December, 2017

"Royal Family Ties - Meghan Markle . . . "


We each have our little darkened corners of nerdity - and The British Royal Family is certainly one of mine.  Aside from the obvious architecture, fashion, and pageantry - the movement and status of each of the royal titles I find especially fascinating.  I thought I'd put together a bit of minutia (and some facts!) - to keep you entertained and well-informed on the comings-and-goings at the palace in London. 

Let's start with the newest member of 'the firm' - Meghan Markle.  As I'm sure many of you know, her engagement to Prince Harry was announced just before the holidays (date set for May 19th!) and she made her first 'family' appearance at church services on Christmas Day.  Let's see what the future holds for Meghan . . . 

1)  Royal Title.  

Contrary to popular belief (and the overwhelming narrative influence of Walt Disney), Meghan will not be a Princess.  Wives take on the feminine version of their husband's title - but, "Prince" is not Harry's title - it's his name.  Most commonly, HM (Her Majesty) will bestow a title on their wedding day - much like she did when Prince William became Duke of Cambridge (and Catherine became Duchess of Cambridge) on their wedding day.  The good money is on "Sussex."  Thus Harry and Meghan would become The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.  (Now for some proper minutia, Meghan CAN be properly titled "Princess Harry of Wales," but that's a kinda obscure use of the title.  The only other member of the family I can think of is "Princess Michael of Kent.") 

2)  Duties.  

Like most of the wives of the members of the royal family, one of her principal duties is to support the work of her husband and the family.  I'll be interested to see if the charitable connections that she already works with will become causes that will be supported by the royal family.  It certainly seems from the interviews that they have done - their charitable work was one of the early things that they shared in common . . . so, it could be quite interesting to see how this works out.

3)  She can't marry him because . . . 

There has been a firestorm of negativity since the engagement was announced with various random folks declaring that for this or that reason, they can't be married.  In a word, nonsense.  Though her previous divorce was I'm sure an obstacle, it certainly does not prevent their wedding.  People have been endlessly siting The Duke of Windsor's abdication as proof - luckily, The Church of England and modern society's views have clearly moved forward in the 80 years since those events took place.  And honestly, if the Queen approves of her . . . that's all I need to know.  Though it is unusual for an American to marry into a family - it's certainly not the first time it's happened.  Grace Kelly.  Queen Noor of Jordan. 

In closing . . . some thoughts.  I, like I assume all of you, have never met these people.  So I, like you, base my opinion on what I'm offered by the royal family and the media.  But, I really like her.  She's certainly well-spoken, well educated, and seems to be head-over-heels in love with Prince Harry.  The fact that she was invited to Sandringham for Christmas (even though they are not yet married - a HUGE break with tradition) clearly shows that the family are excited about having her in 'the firm.'  

Check back in from time to time . . . we need the work through some issues with Catherine's name.  And at some point, we'll need to discuss Charles (the next King).

Until then -

Cheerio -

(and yes, I know I left a few things out - but, I didn't want to overwhelm everyone a 4000 word essay this first time out! Hang in there - we have LOTS more to talk about!)

25 December, 2017

"Happy, Happy Christmas . . . "

Happy Christmas y'all.


24 December, 2017

"Sunday Runway - Boys in Tartan . . . "

Greetings y'all!

It is practically Christmas!  Just in case you're 'not quite dressed' but, still have 'somewhere to go' - I offer the following inspirations!  Let's get our holiday looks organized and ready to meet Santa.

Robson Green (from Grantchester) has never looked better! 

And it's hard to beat Sean Connery for inspiration . . . 

Or maybe something a little more rebellius - like David Tennant. 

Hope you're ready for the holidays!

11 December, 2017

"Historic Tartanware from SMW Home . . . "

Seasons Greetings,

In this time of wrapping gifts and boxes, we here at 
Scot Meacham Wood Home are delighted to share Victorian Tartanware Boxes from our collection. These wee treasures dating from over 150 years ago have always delighted me. They are the perfect mixture of Scottish history, the decorative arts, and a time-capsule of the Victorian lifestyle.  

One of the best-known creators of these tartanware mementos - W&A Smith - began custom-painting papers with clan tartans and then varnishing the sheets onto Mauchline wood boxes, creating the well-known tartanware boxes we know today. In true Victorian fashion, these mementos celebrated the classic 19th-century lifestyle. There were tartanware containers hiding a tiny compass, small boxes to carry one's snuff, and endless variations on stamp and pill boxes. Because the Victorian loved games, cribbage boards were also very chic!

Enjoy discovering and sharing a piece of history from our collection this holiday season!

One of my favorite finds is  The Lyric Gems of Scotland, a collection of Scottish folk songs dating from 1856, featuring almost 300 pages of charming folk songs and drinking tunes. 

The book contains such favourites as Burns'
My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose as well as more obscure titles like
Be Kind to Auld Grannie!
Another great discovery is a Go-to-Bed, a lovely little piece of everyday Victorian life. 

A "Go to Bed" is a small matchbox. A match would be struck then placed in the finial on top of the box to provide just enough light to see yourself to bed in the cold short days of winter. This one is a great example of Tartanware.
Scotland has always drawn tourists because of the natural beauty of the area. In 1852, Prince Albert purchased Balmoral estate in the Scottish Highlands for Queen Victoria. Small tartanware items were a hit, colorful and easy to pack for the journey back home on the train.
Originally, they were hand painted; however, in 1853, new machines were invented to speed up manufacturing. Tartan designs were applied to paper via machines, and then glued to small everyday objects made from local mauchline wood. Boxes and sewing items were especially popular. The production of tartanware ceased in 1933 after a fire destroyed the printing machinery, providing the rare items a fixed place in history.


30 November, 2017

"The London Owl Company . . . "


Still searching for a one-of-kind gift for the man in your life . . . maybe something a wee bit on the "owl" side of things could be the perfect answer.

We've just received a trio of vintage London Owl Company owls that would certainly be the perfect little treasure to find under the tree . . . 

For the skier in your life . . . 

For the sailor in your life . . . 

 For the golfer in you life . . .

They each date from the late 1960's and 1970's - and are in great condition and marvelous in their many detailed accessories.  

Check out our other gifts as well - at SMW Home



27 November, 2017

"SMW Home's Exclusive Gift Guide . . . "

With Christmas just around the corner, I'm pleased to share our perfect gift guide to make your holiday season just a wee bit easier. Get your shopping list out and start checking people off - and then relax and enjoy the season!  
Enjoy savings of 20% on select items (holiday decorations excluded) with the code "SMWHome" at checkout.

As always, if you don't see the perfect thing, get in touch and I'll try to source it for you!



Meacham Tartan Stocking

Antique Tartanware: Go-To-Bed

Don't forget to use the code - SMWHome (good through midnight tonight!) - at checkout for 20% off table service, barware, antique tartanware, pillows, throws, and exclusive gifts for gentlemen.

Hope you had a great weekend!

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