Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An Old Scots Mohair Blanket from Newton Stewart

I recently came across this lovely old mohair blanket or throw, made in Cree Mills, in Newton Stewart - possibly in the 1950s or 60s although it's impossible to be sure. These old Galloway woollen mills closed in 1986 having been active for most of the century. They replaced a much older cotton mill on the same site, on the banks of the River Cree. People had told me about these wonderful old textiles in the past - how soft and light and fluffy they were, how warm, how stylish. But I hadn't seen one until this turned up. It was a little stale, having been stored, so I washed it, carefully. It's huge, and utterly gorgeous and I wish - in these somewhat straitened times - that somebody would start making more of these fabulous throws and blankets in Scotland again. I use old Ayrshire blankets all winter in this house - nothing quite so cosy against the drafts. I also put a couple of beautiful sixty year old Yorkshire blankets over our couches for the winter - leather can be chilly, but old wool with subtly colourful designs, transforms them. This vibrant and cosy Scottish throw is really a winter item - but I can imagine that it would make an excellent picnic blanket or a comfortable throw on a futon, or spare bed.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


If I had to pick a favourite flower, other than roses, which kind of goes without saying, it would have to be tulips. I adore them and find the season all too brief. Earlier this year, my good friend (and ace interior designer) Brenda Kevan arrived with a huge bowl of tulips - the bulbs just sprouting. That's them, the gorgeous pink and white ones on the left, massed on one of our garden tables, with some smaller purple blooms and a mixture of scarlet parrots and pale pink tulips which I bought at Ayr Flower Show last year, and which Alan planted late in the year, when I hadn't got round to doing it and he thought I never would! They've been steadily flowering for a couple of weeks now and I find the colours - which seem to me so close to those found in old textiles - truly inspirational.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tam o' Shanter Teeshirt

Here's The Scottish Home's new 'Tam o' Shanter' Burns Anniversary teeshirt - you can just see the illustration which is of Nannie, hauling on poor Meg's tail. The shirt is modelled by our son!
There will soon be another image available on cards and teeshirts and prints - the 'after' illustration, in which the Meg has lost her tail - see the original artwork above.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Very Happy Easter

to everyone who visits the Scottish Home from time to time!

I was sitting in our conservatory this afternoon, drinking a glass of wine, and listening to the sounds of children playing, coming from a neighbouring garden. It was a fine afternoon, a lovely sound and very welcome. It reminded me of when our children were young. It may be a cliche, but it seems like yesterday that the garden was full of running, swinging, shrieking kids. So it felt just a little sad as well. Time fairly races along. Enjoy it while you have it folks. And a very happy holiday to all our readers!