26 December, 2018

"Holiday Watch List . . . "


If you're anything like I am - you're likely spending a part of this holiday week puttering around the house catching up on errands and tasks that have slipped off the to-do-list . . . but, NEED doing before the new year is upon us.

And - if perchance you'd like some things to help continue putting those tasks off . . . here's a few of my favourite television shows and films - perfect for a chilly afternoon of ignoring chores and laundry!

 The Family Stone 

 This is easily one of my favourite 'holiday' films.  It's a great, messy story of family dynamics at Christmas - with marvelous performances from SJP, Diane Keaton, and the entire cast.
Search for it - it's from about a decade ago.


My love for British panel shows is fairly well-documented amongst my circle of friends - and THIS might be my favourite.  You can find it on streaming services like 'BritBox' or 'AcornTV' - or even on YouTube.  They're quick 30 minute shows - and I've been know to lose entire afternoons just lapping them up like potato chips.  

The Haunting of Hill House

If by some chance your holiday needs a bit more horror to balance out the frivolity, this is AMAZING.  
It's some very circular storytelling - that just continues to wind around itself until the final scene.  
It's not for everyone - but, I found it compelling.  

 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

If by some chance you need something frothy and naughty - pop on your cigarette pants, grab a Gin Fizz, and get ready to giggle.  Great story and some of the best art direction and costuming that I've seen in ages.   Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein are a great pair!

Happy watching,

24 December, 2018

"Happy Christmas Y'all . . . "


Wishing you a joyous Christmas holiday and an amazing new year.


11 December, 2018

"The Perfect Holiday Scone . . . "


Most people I know seem to fall into two categories.  they either love to cook - or they love to bake.  I fall into the latter group.  Baking bread.  Making pies.  For me it's the perfect balance of art and science.  So to celebrate the holiday season here in San Francisco - let's try something with a nice jolly attitude - Pomegranate Scones.

Here's what you'll need:

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of baking powder
6 tablespoons of chilled butter
1 lemon
1/3 cups of pomegranate seeds
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup of half and half

for garnish:
1 tablespoon of half and half
2 tablespoon of sugar

preheat oven to 400 degrees.

And away we go . . .

Combine all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, and baking power) in a large bowl.

Use a pastry cutter to incorporate the chilled butter.

Combine the beaten egg with the half and half - and add to the dry mixture.
Stir just until moistened.

Add the juice of one lemon.

Add 1/3 cup of pomegranate seeds to mixture and stir lightly.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and kneed 12 to 15 strokes.
(when you first turn the dough out, it will still be slightly separated.
after kneeding, the dough should begin to form into a ball)

Divide the dough into two equal pieces.

Pat, or lightly roll, each section into a small disc about a 1/2 inch in thickness.
Cut the dough into six pieces.

After placing on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper - garnish each scone by
brushing with half and half and adding a light sprinkling of sugar.

My kitchen tends to run fairly warm whilst I'm cooking - so I usually place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to re-chill the butter before baking.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes.

And there you have it.  Warm.  Yummy.  And practically bursting with holiday flavours.
As options for the pomegranate seeds, I've used dried cranberries.  Or chopped walnuts.  Even miniature chocolate chips.  


06 December, 2018

"The Giving of Gifts (Part Two) . . . "


There seems to be no end to the invitations - both given and received - during this joyous season.  It always seems to be the perfect time to catch up with friends and family.  Speaking of entertaining - I know I always love a fresh new treasure on my tabletop when I'm entertaining.  We have a charming collection of imported English table service and highland China

Warmth is never our of season or out of style.  We have a hearty collection of imported tartan throws - both one-of-a-kind antiques from the 1940's . . . and classic tartans from Pendelton. 

And for that hard to buy for list, we carry an exclusive collection of antique Victorian tartanware from the late 1800's!  It's the perfect little treasure to find under the tree on Christmas morning.

Let me know how we can help with any of your holiday shopping.  SMW Home . . . here to serve.


05 December, 2018

"The Giving of Gifts (Part One) . . . "

SMW Home - Dressed for the holidays!


Now that we're in the heady first days of December . . . I wanted to check in with y'all and see how your Christmas shopping is coming along.  Mine's doing ok . . . I'm still in search for a gift or two - but, luckily I've still got some time.

If you're busily checking names off your shopping list - let me see if I can help.  

SMW Home . . . at your service. 

We have a glorious selection of wool and custom needlepoint pillows - perfect for holiday gatherings around the tree!

Our SMW Home Signature Candle can be the perfect hostess gift during a busy month of being hosted for parties!

Stop by our shop in San Francisco - or visit us online - and let me know how we can find the perfect gifts this season of giving.


21 November, 2018

"Black Watch Friday Sale . . . "


I hope you're busy being incredibly grateful and swimming in fellowship.  But, if you need a break from the family - you could always hop over to SMW Home and enjoy private savings on a parade of gifts for yourself and others.

Enter code "HOLIDAY" at checkout and save 20% on our selection of  decorative pillows & throws, artwork, table service & barware, as well as gifts for both your gentlemen and your puppies.

Private sale begins today - so get a head start on Santa. 


14 November, 2018

"One Does Not Live by Tartan Alone . . . "


Though I'm clearly more than happy to be known for my endless love of the highlands and the amazing colours and history of their textiles . . . sometimes one likes to vary one's interests.

So with that in mind . . . let me share a few new textiles here at SMW Home

 Enjoy the entire collection of Florals, Toiles, and Botanicals at SMW Home  and let me know which one is YOUR favourite . . . ?


31 October, 2018

" SMW Home - Fine Furniture Collection . . . "


Yes.  I'm still here.  To say that it's been a long, productive year is an almost profound understatement.  Since that last time we chatted, I've been busily creating some new little treasures for SMW Home.  I have a good deal to share - so let's start with something easy.

SMW Home's new Collection of Fine Furniture.

Our classically-styled St. James Armchair could fit beautifully in a living room - or a quiet corner of a bedroom.  And - I'm completely delighted with our new partnership with Dunes & Duchess and our striking Osborne Sconce in Military Red lacquer. 

Our well-known Inverness Sofa in 100% Wool Blackwatch Tartan has been a long-time favourite - but, I love it matched with our Pullman Ottoman in MacLeod Tartan with sassy lucite legs.  

Perfect for the gentleman in your life - or maybe your own reading corner, SMW Home's Albert Reading Chair - shown here in Scudder Tartan.  I'm also so excited about our newest addition to SMW Home's Wallcovering Collection, our oversized Stewart Black Wallpaper.

The Charlotte Settee in Elizabeth Botanical

If you're in the Bay Area - please stop by for a cup of tea and a private tour of our new collection of furniture and accessories.

We've much more to share - so stay tuned for more exciting news.


29 May, 2018

"Run and Rise . . . "


There's just something so emotionally compelling about seeing the geometric excellence of a staircase.  Whether they are gently beckoning us up to the heavens . . . or to descend into the unknown . . .

I must admit that things are the tiniest bit hectic (and by that, I mean spinning wildly out of control. . . lol) over here around at SMW Home.  But, somehow these images of slow, steady movement and clear, pointed progress are helping to calm my nerves.  Of course, the spectacular woodwork and beautiful flooring aren't hurting my mood either.

Stairs demand progress.  One is not allowed to loiter aimlessly. One must proceed boldly into the unknown.  And it does not matter if they are leading upwards and downwards, we are seldom able to see our destination while on the journey.

Polo/Ralph Lauren - New York

The structure and design of stairs are often described, architecturally, by the two words 'run' and 'rise.'  The 'run' being the length of the stair tread . . . and the 'rise' being the height up to the next step.  And often in life, those are our two options.  Either we 'run' - flee the stress . . .

Or we 'rise' to the challenge.  Moving forward.  On to the next adventure.


22 May, 2018

"Blues and Royals . . . "

Prince Harry walked down the aisle in a traditional military uniform of a frockcoat of the Blues and Royals. The ensemble denotes his affinity with and affection for the armed forces, despite retiring from active service in 2015. The outfit consists of a frockcoat in doeskin depicting insignias and braiding that is particular to his regiment, the styles of which reveal that he has been promoted to the rank of major by the Queen. 
The outfit was handcrafted by traditional military tailors Dege & Skinner on Savile Row, who first created the uniform when Prince Harry began active service. The badge on his left chest is the Pilots’ Wings, a nod to his time serving in the Army Air Corps flying Apache helicopters. Speaking exclusively to the Telegraph, managing director William Skinner revealed that the hand crafted uniform took over 100 hours of work, over 65,000 stitches and it took one worker one week just to figurate the lace on the sleeves.  
(from The Telegraph)

The regiment was formed in 1969 from the merger of the Royal House Guards, which was known as "the Blues" or "the Oxford Blues", and the Royal Dragoons, which was known as "the Royals".  Since then, the new regiment has served in Northern Ireland, Germany, and Cyprus. During the Falkland War of 1982, the regiment provided the two armoured reconnaissance troops. The regiment also had a squadron on operational duty with the United Nations in Bosnia in 1994–95. Most recently, the regiment saw action in the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan.  Both Prince Williams, the Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, joined the regiment as cornets in 2006.

Even young Prince George got to be part of the team!



21 May, 2018

"From This Day Forward . . . "


Like I'm sure a great many of you . . . that alarm went off a bit early on Saturday morning.  But, groggy none the less . . . off I padded to our study to find the best coverage of the latest royal wedding.  

BBC was streaming live . . . and seemed to have the best informed hosts . . . so, that's where I settled in for several hours of gasps, tears, and delight.

The whole event seemed to go off flawlessly. From the delighted faces of the Mulroney twins expertly handling their 'veil-wrangling' duties.  To, what I'm fairly certain, was the first gospel choir to fill the nave at St. Goerge's Chapel.

A few of my favourite photos follow . . .

 One of the official portraits of the bride and groom
with the page boys and bridesmaids. 

 The future King escorting the Mother of the Bride after the service.

I'm gonna REALLY need to step-up my garland game going forward.
THIS was amazing.

At times it almost seemed medieval.

And at other times . . . it was just sexy as hell!

But, this.  THIS was the star of the day.
Doria Ragland, Meghan's mother, was the very definition of
grace and style.  She looked amazing . . . but, she simply
BEAMED with pride at every word, and hymn, and ceremony. 
Well done. 

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