When in the Scottish Highlands...

It's all about being comfortable and practical without sacrificing gorgeousness.

Let me introduce you to my old friend ANTA- who I fell in love with during my post college Scotland preservation field school.

A product of the husband & wife team Lachland and Annie Stewart, two designers (he- architecture, her - interior & fashion design) who deeply love everything unique about their country.  Everything, from their gorgeously simple corsets, to amazing pottery to the ANTA house, is completely influenced by Scotland and its history.  

There is no shortage of Tartan's

or St. Andrew's crosses 

All of their products are designed and made in Scotland, hitting home TRUE sustainable design and the preservation of trades such as wool-working and furniture making.

And the stewarts not only talk the talk, they truly walk the walk... enter  Ballone Castle.  Ballone Castle is a 3-story, late 16th century, Z-plan tower house castle that is right on the edge of Moray Firth in Tarbet Ness in the highlands of Scotland.  It fell into ruin and by the 1990s looked like this:
this photo of Ballone dates from the 1980s
Lachie and Annie Stewart would picnic next the ruins and in the 1990s, decided to buy the property and restore it fully.  After a long battle with Historic Scotland (their preservation philosophy is "if its falling apart, just don't let it fall apart any more."  The Stewart philosophy: "a building isn't any good unless it's being used."  I find myself siding with the Stewarts on this argument.  This the renovation of Ballone began and when i visited in 2005 it looked like this:
Ballone castle when I visited in 2005.  Thats me in the lower
left side of the pic in a purple shirt.
The drive up to Ballone is absolutely breathtaking.   
My much adored professor, who was our guide during the trip (and lives part of the year in Scotland) is friends with the Stewarts and was able to get us access to the house.  No pictures were allowed, since it is a private residence, but I can tell you that it really was spectacular - simple, cozy and classic.  The Stewarts have 3 children, so there were skateboards and hockey sticks strewn across the hall ways, with each child living in their own "tower" of the house.  It breathed life into what one would think would be a cold, drafty and archaic building.  Annie Stewart told us a story about how her son was on a trip with a number of international students when one child from France was bragging to the others about how he lived in a Chateau outside Paris,  to which the young Stewart replied "I live in Castle, so what?"

So please enjoy the eye candy that ANTA has to offer.  I was able to snatch up a latte mug during my visit.  It suffered a chip on the shipment back to the states and since they don't ship to the states, it's my lone ANTA piece.  However, some day......


Happy Christmas-time

Drum roll please... unveiling the 2010 Bama family Christmas card, designed by yours truly at www.onepounddesign.com

I didnt realize until after they were printed and we received the cards that our little fluff ball of joy looks kind of exiled to the corner -- which in the end makes sense since he's been playing the"which christmas ornaments can I eat" game recently.  Bad puppy!

The bama house has of lately has been swamped by getting christmas gifts bought and out the door, as well as prepping for our 2 day trek up to Virginia for the holidays to be with my side of the fam.  Its truly a two day ordeal, but it goes by fairly painlessly and I cannot wait to see my family & friends from home.

Did you manage to get Christmas cards in the mail this year or did you find another, more creative way to spread holiday greetings to your family and friend this year?  I'd love to hear what you, my wonderful readers, are doing for the holidays and if you've got any unique plans in the works.  Also, if you have a christmas card that you'd like to share, I'd love to have you post a link to them in the comments section.  Holiday cheer abounds!


Home for the Holidays

Shame Shame on me.  Wow,  I really must admit that I've been a terrible blogger over the last month.  I would attribute my absence to being a full time and then some worker - I'm now at TD 5 days a week manning one of their divisions (whoop!) in addition to being in full blown designing mode (there's been a lot of  "hey can you get this design rushed to me?" around here lately - ah Holidays) and still running the house.  No time to get in trouble I guess.

So heres whats been going on since I last was around:

- One of my friends from Arch school and her boyfriend came to visit us in NOLA, which was wonderful since the last time we saw them was our wedding.  We did the French Quarter Circuit, complete with breakfast at Brennan's and drinks and the Carousel Bar & the Sazerac.  It was fun playing tourist in our city for a weekend and a blast hanging out with great friends
Aggie Arch Grads in a pretty Vieux Carre Alley

- We went to Alabama for Thanksgiving.  I amazingly didn't take any pictures during our week-long stay, but Mr. Bama's camera happy Aunt did -- If she snapped any of us, I have a feeling it would feature me stuffing my face with turkey while Mr. Bama downs a brewski or a sazerac (I distinctly remember bringing a new bottle of Sazerac Rye Whiskey down with us and it being absent from our goods on the way back).  Turkey Day just isn't the same w/out good family, great friends, carbo & tryptophan loading as well as a continuous source of  libations.

- The day after we got back from Bama, I came down with a NASTY head cold.  To douse the fire in my throat my life for a full week consisted of OJ, Theraflu (AM and PM), a whole bag of Ricola throat drops and a whole box of Throat Coat Traditional Medicinals Tea. Thankfully I had an amazing Mr. Bama to be my nurse, so we nixed the sickness before it became anything serious.  PS - how cute are the Trader Joe's tissue boxes below?  Almost makes me wish we had a TJ here, but not soo quick.
- In some excitement, TD has had some A-MA-ZING new silk dresses come in recently. They are part of the designer/ store owner, Candice Gwinn's, new "Candice Gwinn - New Orleans Collection" label.   Truly drool worthy, and here are just my fave of the new collection:
Rosalind Dress in Dragonfly/Black
Joan Studs Dress in Black. 
Badass and Flirty all in one dress
Sadie Dress in Dragonfly
Art Deco Beading!? Oh love.
You can see the entire Trashy Diva Silk Holiday Collection here.  Also, a new store blog has been started, so make sure to follow the updates of so many of the new company developments at http://trashydivaclothing.wordpress.com/.  Who knows, maybe you'll see yours truly making an appearance?

- Decorations abound in the Bama household.  After last year where we were moving during the holidays and had no time to get a tree, nonetheless actually decorate, we went all out this year! We went and found a great pre-lit, artificial tree - with all of the Bear hair in the house, the last thing I need to do is add pine needles to the mix.

Mr. Bama putting the "star" (really its a snowflake) on the tree

all glittery and pretty

Somes is rightfully very pleased with himself

Bear approves of the new tree.  That is, until he
tries to eat it or he pulls it over onto himself
So now its crunch time, between getting Christmas cards out for myself and clients and surviving the madness that surrounds getting everyone's gifts and then shipping them.  So let the races begin and be sure to take some time to step back and observe the magic of the season.

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