30 August, 2019

"Meanwhile, Back at The Abbey - Lady Edith . . . "


A bit of a confession, Lady Edith might be my favourite.  Admittedly - in the early seasons - she was a bit of a comic villain - quietly twirling her mustache making certain that her older sister life would be ruinous.  She ratted out her sister Mary to the Turkish government - when all she had done is have premarital sex with their ambassador - and then have him die in Mary's bed.  She had a brief fling with the farmer Mr Drake - where she also learned to drive a tractor!  Her next beau, Micheal Gregson, both got her pregnant and THEN was killed by the Nazis . . . !  She was swept away to 'the continent' for just about 9 months . . . and returned with her 'ward.'  She brought Marigold into the nursery at the house . . . and seemed to decide that she had a life of spinsterhood ahead of her.  And somewhere in there, she was also left at the altar by a aged bounder.

The last season brought the incredibly kind Bertie Pelham - who turns out to be The Marquess of Hexham.  Who wouldn't immediately marry any gentleman who says, "Would you believe me if I said I couldn't live without you?"

Who could have guessed that Edith would be the lady who outrank all the other members of her family . . . !


Be sure to see "Downton Abbey" coming to theaters on September 20th. 

21 August, 2019

“SMW Home Autumn 2019 - A Highland Romance . . . “


Every time we've worked on a new textile collection . . . once my inspiration gears begin spinning there's no telling quite where we sometimes end up!  Everything inspires me.  An old textile.  A picture from my parents house.  Even a musty, old movie.  Once I decide to open those gates - it never ceases to amazing me what comes flooding through.

For Autumn of 2019, I became fascinated by romance.  Especially those slightly star-crossed lovers who might not look like the best match as the story begins.  Heathcliffe and Cathy.  Mr. Rochester and Jane.  Darcy and Elizabeth.

I started toying with the idea of bringing a collection of dark, broody highland tartans together with a softer (but, still very headstrong) feminine linen floral.  We worked with an interesting pallete of navy, chestnut, and ochre . . . and began plotting out a little narrative that our textiles could take part in.  Patterns that clearly belong together . . . but, also stand on their own as individuals.  Like any good marriage, I wanted to create strong personalities (and strong patterns) that clearly enhance each other. 

So meet us back here in October as we debut SMW Home's "A Highland Romance" collection of textiles and wallcoverings.  I guarantee some drama  . . . with a proper dose of romance.

In the meantime - check out our exciting colourful collection from this Spring! 


16 August, 2019

"Meanwhile, Back at The Abbey - Lady Mary . . . "


With the possible exception of Edith, it always seemed to me that Mary had one of the most electrifying character arcs in the entire series.  When we first met her - well - she was a bit of a haughty bitch.  She's had a lover die 'in flagrante delicto.'  (honestly, for the next several seasons, Drew and I kept a running tally of who 'did' and 'did not' know how the Turkish Ambassador had died!)  After surviving that horrid incident - or maybe because of it - she was a bit of a haughty bitch again - lol.  She fell in with the VERY wrong man (what WAS that wretched newspaper man's name !?!?!?!).  Blessedly, she was soon single again.  She finally admitted to her true love.  She had the perfect 'holiday snow globe' proposal scene.  And she married the 'right' guy.   She had a child and became a widow - all in the same weekend.  As a widow, she was a bit of a haughty bitch again.  But now - now she's back in love with her charming new husband. And she's expecting their first child.

Frankly, she's been a shockingly beautiful character - but, also one who has been often unsympathetic.  I don't think there is a single character in the show that she has not been dismissive to.  Except maybe for Anna.  No.  Wait.  Didn't she ask Anna to get birth control for her - and then have that action cause friction within Anna's own marriage? 

Anyhoo . . . I'm certain Lady Mary will regally descend the staircase at Downton Abbey within the first ten minutes of the film . . . quietly expecting someone to get her something - lol.

Next we turn our eyes to Edith . . . my favourite!


14 August, 2019

“Royal Family Ties - The Corgis . . . “


Let's take a moment to celebrate that most royal of dog breeds - the Corgi! 

Three Fabulous Corgi Facts . . . 

1)  there are actually two quite distinct breeds of Corgis -
There is the Pembroke Welsh corgi and the Cardigan Welsh corgi.  They are considered two entirely different breeds as they come from differing ancestors.  Their remarkable resemblance is a result of crossbreeding in the early 19th century! 

2)  According to Welsh legend, fairies as known to ride them!
Some say that the corgi is an "enchanted dog" favoured by fairies and elves.  At night, the magical creatures would use the dogs to pull their carriages and be their steeds in battle!  According to legend, the markings on the corgi's coat suggest the faint outline of a saddle and harness.
3) Corgi means "dwarf dog" in Welsh -
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, cor means dwarf and gi means dog.

Even our four-footed family members deserve some recognition every now and again.  Maybe they need a new water bowl. Or a jaunty tartan collar or leash.  Check out all of our wee treasures for your puppy at SMW Home!


09 August, 2019

"Meanwhile, Back at The Abbey - Matthew . . . "


Matthew died several seasons ago.  And is still dead.   If you're hoping to see him again . . . you're fighting an uphill battle that has already been lost.

When the film was first announced a year ago . . . there was this hilarious comment stream about how they should have Matthew be part of the movie.  Nope.  He's dead.  And his lovely widow has remarried.  And they're expecting their first child.  And also, Matthew died.  On screen.  

Those are just the facts.   


07 August, 2019

"A Highland Portrait . . . "


Sometimes you just need a quick trip to the highlands.  If your travel plans don't include a trip to Scotland in the near future, perhaps SMW Home's Highland Portrait could help tide you over. 

The scale is dramatic.  The colouration is saturated.  And the highlands are practically palpable.  Scottish vistas gathered into a gallery wall printed on heavy-weight cotton/linen that is certain to create a powerful impact in your home.  The pattern itself is based on several iPhone images that I took whilst traveling in Scotland that were then re-created by an amazing watercolour artist who helped us to imagine this beautiful textile.

 SMW Home's Highland Portrait as
draperies here in our studio in San Francisco. 

Highland Portrait joins so many of our custom and classic wool tartans that we import from the Scottish highlands.  Take a look at the entire collection . . . 


06 August, 2019

"Meanwhile, Back at The Abbey . . . "


As you might well know, Downton Abbey is returning into our lives this fall with what looks to be a completely delicious proper film coming to a cinema near you on September 20th.   

As an exercise to prepare myself to leap back into a very complicated plot line - I planned on doing a bit a background investigating into some of the various characters - just to make sure I was 'up the speed' on all the goings on both upstairs and downstairs at the grand house.

So . . . I thought I would invite you to come along with me on my adventure.  Look for posts every few days focusing on one particular character - as we attempt to get ALL these balls back in the air in time for the new film. 

Even the dog.  

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