31 December, 2010

"One More Night . . . "


One last post.  One more night.  By the time you awake in the morning it will be a new year.  So why don't we take this one last chance to get dressed up for New Year's Eve.  Dig in the back of those closets - or maybe, if you've been especially good this year - have a look through those Christmas presents from last weekend (yes, there's a wonderful red & black buffalo plaid dinner jacket in my formal wardrobe now!)

Or if you need a little inspiration, peruse these fine examples . . . .

Have a festive and safe New Year's Eve - and grand wishes for an amazing 2011.  

See you next year,

29 December, 2010

"A Tale of Two Seasons . . . "


A Tale of Two Seasons

Picture it.  Late Fall 1988.  San Jose, California.  A young man from Mississippi is enjoying his first few months of working for Ralph Lauren.  Learning more every day.  

Spending day upon day learning about fabrics.  And design inspirations.  And advertising.  And fashion.

Each afternoon, the UPS driver would deliver boxes and boxes of new merchandise.  And he would almost giggle with delight upon opening each and every one.

It was Fall, so the boxes would be filled with his favourite things.  Heavy hand-knit ski sweaters.  Thick wool tweed trousers.   And beautiful plaid sport coats.

 But, one day he noticed that the boxes contained men's cream linen shorts.  And silk sport shirts.  And ties with pictures of palm trees on them.  He was very confused.  
"Why would we sell these clothes in November?"

The store manager took him aside and tried to explain the reasoning behind such odd things.  He said, "Many people go to warm climates to celebrate the holidays.  And we must have clothing to them as well."   "Cruise" and "Holiday" are the same season.

The young man from Mississippi had never HEARD of such things.  The holidays are about snow and cold weather.   

So for the next few weeks, the young man from Mississippi sold many ski sweaters.  But, also linen pants - for the mysterious people who spent their holidays in warm climates.

And by the way, this entire missive has been written whilst in the mid-west.  In 20 degree temperatures.  And wearing heavy ski sweaters and warm wool pants.  


images of Ralph Lauren's home in Jamaica.  From Architectural Digest.

25 December, 2010

"Although it's been said . . . "

Many times  . . .

Many ways . . . 

Merry Christmas to you . . . 

And may your Christmas dreams come true . . . 

From my home to yours,

24 December, 2010

"Twas the Night Before Christmas . . . "


In the dark of the night . . . 

Just before slumber overtakes me . . .

I can almost hear them.  

Decking halls.  

Trimming trees.  


Christmas is almost here . . . 

Slumber well tonight,

images of the Ralph Lauren Home Collection Store in New York.

23 December, 2010

"And We Can't Forget Miss Congeniality . . . "


Too often we put much way too much pressure on ourselves during the holidays.  We decide that if our Christmas is not *perfect,* it will be simply ruined.   So when you feel that stress coming on - remember, a good laugh can get you through almost anything . . .

And to prove my point - this was one of my favourite entries for the "Best Christmas Tree" contest that finished up last week.  And entry from a good friend.  A friend running a little behind schedule.  And who clearly has a great sense of humour.  This was sent just before the contest closed - but, she wanted to take part in the fun . . .

My Tree, at the moment.
Lisa, California

22 December, 2010

"The Envelope Please . . . "


Well, it has indeed been an amazing few weeks here at Tartanscot.  I can't begin to thank everyone for sharing your beautiful homes as a part of the Holiday Decorating Contest.  My hope is that this can be an annual feature.  So for those of you who were caught off-guard this year, here is your 11 month notice.  Start planning now.  

But, we've got winners to announce - because I know that's why you're all here - so without any further ado - let's get on with it.

In the category of "Best Mantel," the winner is . . . 

Janet, from The Moggit Girls

Janet will be receiving a beautiful Ralph Lauren Holiday Candle.

Second and Third place for "Best Mantel" . . . 

Katie Denham, California

Daniel Shigo, New York

In the Category of "Best Christmas Tree", first prize goes to . . .

Katie Denham, California

Katie will be receiving this beautiful collection of ornaments from Gumps in San Francisco.

Second and Third place for "Best Christmas Tree" . . . 

Anne Fifer, California

Hugh Luck New Jersey

The Winner for the "Best Dining Room" goes to . . .  

Kristen Mullen, Texas
Kristen will be receiving this lovely pewter and ceramic serving piece from Anthem, here in San Francisco.

Second and Third Place for "Best Dining Room" . . . 

Anne Fifer, California

Carol Spinski, Missouri

Each of the Second and Third place winners will receive . . . 

A Tartan Pocket Notebook, from Baekgaard.

I can't begin to thank everyone for taking part in the contest.  If I combine the entries in each category, there were over 175.  Wow.  Opening the "tartanscotcontest" email was one of the best parts of my morning each day.  Coffee.  Oatmeal.  And great design.

I'd also like to thank our judges - Grant Gibson, Michael Devine, Ronda Carman, Tobi Fairley, Anne Sage, and Megan Arquette.    

Cheers - and congratulations to the winners!

20 December, 2010

"And Over in This Corner . . . "

Diamond / Baratta Design


Whilst I'm getting all the judge's input for out contest here at Tartanscot - you should know that there is another great contest going on.  Julie Bova over at "Paisley Plaid and Read" is giving away a signed copy of Diamond/Baratta's new book and a multitude of other prizes - just for giving her some feedback about how you're inspired by Diamond/Baratta textiles and design work.  Check out her blog for all the details - and hurry - I believe entries are closing down today.  I'm on the panel to pick the winner for her contest - Thanks for asking me to help Julie!

I'll have the winners of our own little contest tomorrow!


18 December, 2010

"The Judges Are Sequestered . . . "


Well, it has certainly been a busy few weeks here at the home offices (and/or the laptop next to my bed) of Tartanscot.  All told, there were more than 175 entries in the holiday decorating contest.   Many more than I had anticipated . . . though, I can't say with any certainty that I was anticipating anything specific - lol.

So, in the traditions of the great talent shows, I'll provide a little entertainment to distract you whilst the judges are 'backstage' tallying votes.   So, just click 'play' and let's review our panel of celebrity judges.

So let me re-introduce, in no particular order . . .

I had the pleasure of spending an evening in Anne's delightful company
during what could have been one of the most stressful nights of my life.
Anne, from Rue Magazine, was at my home (along with a photographer, 
the photographer's assistant, a videographer, and 5 of my friends) for
our photo shoot for the holiday issue of Rue.  Her calm manner kept the evening productive 
and her great style made the photos even better than I could imagine.
I love her fun, bohemian, and openly girlie sense of style - and was so
excited that she could bring her specific point of view to the contest.

Grant is one of those people who I feel like I've always known, even though I
think we both remember the first time we actually met one another.  Just about
two years ago - and laughing over our common bond of a love of fabulous rain boots - lol.
Grant's work shows his clear love of classic, traditional design.  And
we still compare rain boot stories - during the ever-dreary SF winters. 

I was flying into LA for a design event.  And Megan and I had been chatting online
through our blogs for several months - and decided that we would have breakfast when I landed
in LA and meet "IRL" (in real life!)  What followed was an almost 14 hour day of laughing,
sharing, and talking with someone who felt like an old friend from childhood - though I'd
only seen for the first time that morning.
She has a great 'beach girl' style - and a great outlook on her life and on design as well.

Actually, Michael and I have never met - though we have numerous friends in common - as
well as a true love of classic design and beautiful gardens.  In fact, it was images of Michael's
gardens at his home in New York that made me sure that we could be friends!
I'm so pleased that he was game for being a judge - and I'm looking forward to
meeting Michael in the new year.

Prolific writer.  Great sense of humor.  And good friend.  I remember finding
Ronda's great blog for the first time.  And much to my surprise, at our first meeting, she 
told me that she remembered the first time that 'tartanscot' had commented on her blog.  As with 
so many of the other judges, Ronda and I have become great friends.  Ronda sees design 
from a great critical perspective - and I'm so pleased thatshe could take 
time from her schedule to help out.  

Yet another of our panel who I haven't had the pleasure of meeting.  If you ever need 
to look for an example of how best to integrate social media into your design business, 
you couldn't find a better case study than Tobi.  A fiercely creative designer.
An amazing presence on the web.  And yet another southerner amongst
the group.  You only need to visit Tobi's blog to see her great love of the holidays -
and her brilliant love of colour.


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