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September 4, 2007 10:05 - September Highland Games

Well, the holiday is over and September is upon us and there's Highland Games that can be attended all across our fruited plain.

Any one working on Scottish Wedding Theme planning can use a good dose of Highland Games. If you want to hire a local bagpiper, see some samples of different tartans up close, view different interpretations of the various styles of kilts, learn more about your clan's history, hear some different ideas for music, eat a day-full of Scottish food, and see lots of Scottish traditions first hand ~ then a nice Highland Game is the way to go.

For more detailed information about the events listed, go to U.S. Scots and the Scottish Heritage Society.

  • August 31 to September 2, Rapid City, SD ~ Dakota Celtic Festival & Highland Games
  • September 1 to 2, Altamont, NY ~ Capital District Scottish Games
  • September 1, Calgary, AB, Canada ~ Calgary Highland Games
  • September 2, Carlisle, PA ~ McLain Highland Festival
  • September 2 to 3, Pleasanton, CA ~ Pleasanton Scottish Highland Gathering
  • September 2 Canmore, AB, Canada ~ Canmore Highland Games
  • September 6 to 9, Estes Park, CO ~ Long's Peak Scottish/Irish Highland Festival
  • September 7 to 9, Kelso, WA ~ Kelso Scottish Festival & Games
  • September 7 to 9, Ligonier, PA ~ Ligonier Highland Games
  • September 7 to 9, Buffalo, MO ~ Southwest Missouri Celtic Heritage Festival
  • September 7 to 9, Jackson, MS ~ CelticFest Mississippi
  • September 7 to 9, Elizabethton, TN ~ Sycamore Shoals Celtic Festival
  • September 8 to 9, Crownsville, MD ~ Maryland Renaissance Festival
  • September 8 to 9, Columbus, IN ~ Columbus Scottish Festival
  • September 9, Scotland, SD ~ South Dakota Highland Festival
  • September 9, Trenton, ON, Canada ~ Trenton Scottish/Irish Festival
  • September 9, Andrews, NC ~ Appalachian Highland Games & Scottish Festival
  • September 9, Youngstown, OH ~ Westminster Scottish Festival
  • September 9 to 10, Green Lane, PA ~ Green Lane Park Scottish Irish Festival
  • September 9 to 10, Wilmington, NY ~ Whiteface Mountain Scottish Highland Festival
  • September 14 to 15, Madera, CA ~ Fresno Scottish Festival & Games
  • September 14 to 15, North Bay, ON, Canada ~ Owen Sound Celtic Festival
  • September 14 to 16, Murray, KY ~ Western Kentucky Highland Festival
  • September 14 to 16, Mt Pleasant, SC ~ Charleston Scottish Games & Highland Games
  • September 15, The Beach, ON, Canada ~ The Beach Celtic Festival
  • September 15, Delaplane, VA ~ Virginia Scottish Games and Gathering
  • September 15 to 16, Cincinnati, OH ~ Cincinnati Celtic Music and Cultural Festival
  • September 15 to 16, Tulsa, OK ~ Oklahoma Scottish Games & Gathering
  • September 16, Patchoque, NY ~ Patchoque Celtic Festival
  • September 16, Alexandria, VA ~ Alexandria Scottish Heritage Fair
  • September 21 to 23, Sebastopol, CA ~ Sebastopol Celtic Festival
  • September 21 to 23, Loon Mt, NH ~ New Hampshire Highland Games
  • September 22, Annapolis, MD ~ Celtic Crossroads
  • September 22, Cedar Rapids, IA ~ All Things Scottish Celtic Fest
  • September 22, Danbridge, TN ~ Danbridge Scottish Festival
  • September 22, Dixon, CA ~ Dixon Scottish Highland Games
  • September 22, Boise, Idaho ~ Treasure Valley Games and Celtic Festival
  • September 22 to 23, West Australia ~ Toodyay Highland Games
  • September 22 to 23, McPherson, KS ~ McPherson Scottish Festival & Games
  • September 22 to 24, Evergreen, TN ~ Evergreen Clanjamfry
  • September 28 to 30, Bethlehem, PA ~ Celtic Classic Highland Games & Festival
  • September 29 to 30, Williamsburg, VA ~ Williamsburg Scottish Festival

Tomorrow, a princess flower girl dress…

September 5, 2007 10:57 - Princess Flower Girl Dresses

Following up about Queen Victoria and some of her fashions, an 1846 family portrait shows Victoria in a lovely lace gown. Her daughters, now beyond toddler size, also offer an historic flower girl dress.





The daughters dresses, done in a pale yellow with medium yellow accents, offer some good ideas. The skirts are tiered like their mother's dress, and may also be of lace. Silk, or a cotton sateen, would be appropriate for the era.





A sash and bow of the accent material is shown below.





Looking at this sleeve detail, the beret sleeve is again displayed, accented with the darker yellow. The dress could be of any solid color, with the accents in tartan.





Or the dress could be of tartan, with a solid color for the accents.

The slippers are similar those featured in A romantic Wedding Gown on August 15, 2007. Children's slippers from Very Merry Seamstress, in their rich shades of suede would also be appropriate. Three choices would be the Ladies Slipper, the Royal Slipper, and Sarah, which is most similar to the portrait.

[Editor's note ~
July 14, 2008: The URL for Very Merry Seamstress Footwear is currently invalid. I've contacted VMS and am awaiting a reply
October 3, 2008: Very Merry Seamstress appears to have dropped their shoe line. For inspiration and ideas to create your own Medieval slipper, Ninya Mikhaila displays some of her work. Take a look at the red, white, and brown slippers. There's ideas there you could adapt in either leather, plastic, or canvas…with some punches and a design layout.]

[Editor’s note ~
December 28, 2009: The URL for Ninya Mikhaila’s Medieval slippers has changed, as has the slippers displayed.


September 6, 2007 11:38 - Seven Tips for Your Flower Girl Dress

All flower girls are precious, but this one has stolen my heart…


I have no information on this photo.
If you know of its origin, please contact me

[Editor's Note 9/19/2008 ~ this child's photo and others,
plus more current information on her dancing career,
can be seen at the Clan Forsyth Society U.S.
Family and Friends page.]

  1. In your wedding ceremony, this little lady sets the tone for your grand entry. In our American mindset, dark colors mean a formal wedding, lace and frills mean the ceremony will be more light-hearted. The headgear, or lack thereof, indicates formality or casualness.

    A Scottish theme wedding is slightly different. So many of the tartans are dark in color, but you may be having a very informal, relaxed ceremony. Bright colors in the tartans don't signify an informal ceremony, they're just everyday Scottish.

    An elaborate circlet or tiara may not signify a formal wedding. Roses aren't formal in traditional Scotland, they grew in abundance, particularly in western Scotland.

  2. If you feel your flower girl must be dressed in white, with white shoes, consider ways to incorporate some tartan ~ hair bow, intertwining hair ribbons, sash and bow, trim in on the dress at the waist, neckline, sleeve hem, armseye, or hemline.

    Put her in a white ballet slipper, not a hard shoe. Consider wrapping tartan or colored ribbon from the slipper, up her ankle. Possibly add thistles or other silk flowers across the vamp.

  3. The tartan you choose for accessorizing her outfit doesn't have to match yours, but it should co-ordinate. Below are two tartan groups to show combining tartans, shoes, and flowers ~












  4. In Medieval times, flower girls preceded the bridal procession, tossing grains of wheat. The wheat was for fertility and happiness. There were several flower girls, not just one. You can still have more than one, and they can toss whatever you want ~ flower petals, confetti, rice, bubbles, wheat.

  5. They don't have to wear identical dresses. They could be in white, with each wearing a different tartan sash and bow. Pastels, picked up from your tartan, can also be used.

  6. If you go with colors, the slippers should be co-ordinated with the flower girl dress.

    Satin ballet slippers can be dyed to match any color.

  7. Very Merry Seamstress also has the Ladies Slipper and Royal Slipper available in children's sizes.

[Editor's note ~
July 14, 2008: The URL for Very Merry Seamstress Footwear is currently invalid. I've contacted VMS and am awaiting a reply
October 3, 2008: Very Merry Seamstress appears to have dropped their shoe line.

For inspiration and ideas to create your own Medieval slipper, Ninya Mikhaila displays some of her work. Take a look at the red, white, and brown slippers. There's ideas there you could adapt in either leather, plastic, or canvas…with some punches and a design layout.]

See more Flower Girl ideas.

Tomorrow, Flower Girl Dress Pattern ideas…

September 7, 2007 05:23 - Ten Flower Girl Patterns

If you're having your bridal gown sewn by a seamstress or custom designed, they can also design and sew your flower girl dress. It doesn't have to duplicate you gown, but it should be from the same period of history.

Below are some patterns to consider, with more complete suggestions following on the Flower Girl Dress webpage ~

  1. This historical Medieval gown would be a nice foretaste for a Medieval Scottish wedding. The dress could be a solid color, with tartan substituted for the yellow piping and slippers. For a less formal wedding, the crown could be replaced with any number of Medieval headpieces, a Celtic tiara, or a circlet of flowers. Ideas for Scottish headpieces will be published within the next two weeks.

  2. A capelet of tartan with a tartan piped dress, or a fur capelet would add a touch of elegance to almost any gown, especially a Medieval or Modern flower girl dress.

  3. In a Renaissance Scottish wedding, this Renaissance flower girl dress would set the tone for your processional. The sample dress is probably sewn in a cotton with gold print, but a rich brocade would also be authentic. For just a touch of Scotland, piping at the neckline, the band on the mid-upper arm, and at the hemline, would hint of the tartans to come. If your dress just has hints of tartan, you might consider the flower girl dress of tartan, with the gold trim repeated from the sample.

  4. This gold Colonial dress done in tartans speaks of Marie Antoinette, our American Revolution, and an era of sophistication rarely seen today.

  5. For a Civil War or Victorian Era wedding, this could be adapted into a fine flower girl dress by lengthening the hemline and using tartan trims.

  6. A pretty little dress for a Regency Era empire gown. Either a white or pastel dress, with a tartan sash and bow would hint of the bride's wedding dress and the Scottish theme.

  7. Another Victorian innovation that carried over into the Edwardian Era is the white eyelet pinafore. Over a tartan dress, with the pinafore extended to mid-calf length, you would have a little Scottish lassie floating down the aisle scattering your rose petals.

  8. These two sisters, with their bobbed hair, look so sweet. The wider sashes with the longer tails would really stand out in your tartan.

  9. This lavender tulle dress, also seen in yesterday's blog as a sample of shoes dyed to match. It's also along the lines of the Rosetti gowns featured on August 10th and 13th.

  10. Last but not least, a modern tartan flower girl dress. In a longer length, it could match almost any era of fashion, especially with the velvet jacket added and the bow minimized or tied in back. Look again at the sweet little redhead in yesterday's blog for ideas about customizing this pattern.

Coming Monday, another seven of flower girl dress patterns and ideas.

September 11, 2007 14:17 - Seven Flower Girl Dresses

Continuing to view suggestions for flower girl dresses, this first one is a really unique charmer ~
  1. The military jacket could fall into two different historical eras. The portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots, riding horseback, shows a military type jacket, combined with a jauntily plumed Renaissance cap, and a skirt bordered with the jacket fabric.


    Mary Queen of Scots bookplate courtesy of Wikipedia

    The next time military jackets came into popularity was after the Battle of Waterloo. The section Regency Fashions Begin to Be Seen shows lithographs of the French ladies enamored with the Scottish soldiers and imitating their dress.

    The Burda costume jacket, sewn in quality fabrics and trims, could set the tone for your Scottish theme wedding.


    Burda #2461

  2. With or without the coned headdress, trimming the flounce with tartan, then adding a tartan underskirt and drawing up the overskirt, would add just a touch of 'Scottishness' to your flower girl.


    Butterick #B4630

  3. The Electress Sophia and her daughter Sophia sat for this portrait in 1680. The two gowns aren't identical, but you immediately know they belong together. That's the idea you want to convey about you and your flower girl. These are lovely silk dresses that could be decorated with silk thistles, rosebuds, or other flowers common in Scotland. Notice how the daughter carries flowers in her overskirt ~ another idea you might consider.


    Courtesy Book of Costume

  4. Almost identical to the bodice of this 1525 Portuguese Tabard, a nice set of Medieval wedding gowns could be sewn for you and your flowergirl using this pattern.


    Courtesy Book of Costume


    McCall's #M5499

  5. Again arising from the popularity of the Scottish regiments following their success at the Battle of Waterloo, the tartan touches in her bonnet and sash are nicely understated. Also note her pantalettes, under the crenolated hemline.


    1813 Percale Dress with Pantalettes, Book of Costume

  6. I've seen this dress, pantaloons, and bonnet sewn in a cotton tartan. The girl was about 10 years old and very pleased with her new outfit. For a western or Victorian theme, this entire outfit in tartan wool, silk, or cotton would help set the mood for your entrance.


    McCall's #M4547

  7. There's nothing outstanding about this dress, but you can see how placing a large Celtic knot, a thistle design, or other Scottish motif at the raised waistline could turn a simple dress into a statement.


    Butterick #B3714


September 12, 2007 07:53 - Scottish Surnames and Wedding Traditions

Quoting Shakespeare's Juliet,

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet...

While Smith has been the most common surname in all surveys since the early years of civil registration in Scotland, just over 1 in 8 surnames begin with Mac or Mc.

There are

  • Place names ~ Johnstone, Leith, Calder
  • Trade names ~ Smith, Shepherd, Mason
  • To-names or Nicknames which often describe characteristics ~ Little, Meikle (big), Campbell (crooked-mouthed)
  • Patronymic names, which add a prefix or suffix to a father's surname ~ Mac…, Johnson, Anderson

Last names, or surnames, being such an important expression of who we are, it's only natural that some wedding traditions evolved around a bride's maiden name.

'To change the name
and not the letter
Is to change for the worst
and not the better'

If the bride and groom both had last names that began with the same letter, it was thought to be bad luck. I wonder if they both had the same last name if it would be even worse luck?

As mentioned under handfasting, another wedding tradition of Scotland was for the bride to maintain her maiden name. If the groom was joining her clan, he would assume her name.

Nor should the bride practice writing her married name before the wedding. This was thought to be tempting fate and would bring bad luck to the marriage.

Read more about the frequency of Scottish names in Scotland and the U.S.

Other Scottish wedding traditions can be browsed at Scottish Wedding Dreams.

September 13, 2007 09:08 - Marriages at Gretna Green

Marriages at Gretna Green has been a Scottish wedding tradition since 1754 when Lord Hardwick's Marriage Act was passed by British Parliament. The law stated that marriages had to take place in a church, with both parties at least 21 years of age.

Scotland had it's own legal system and ignored this British law. In Scotland all that was required were two witnesses.

Soon English couples were fleeing over the border to wed. The first town across the border, on the London to Edinburgh coach line, was Gretna.

Once the couple arrived at Gretna almost anyone would perform the ceremony. Fishermen, joiners, and the village blacksmith were known to conduct wedding ceremonies.

The local blacksmith's shop became a wedding parlor where all social classes came to be wed, nicknamed 'over the anvil'. The traffic became so heavy that on one day, 50 couples arrived to be wed. Legislation was soon introduced stating that one of the couple had to reside in Scotland 21 days.

The cost was anything from two guineas to a dram of whiskey, being adjusted to what the couple could afford. Riders, in the pay of the blacksmith, would ride from Carlisle with information about the couples who were on their way to Gretna and what he thought they could afford to pay.

Over the next 100 years there were tens of thousands of marriages performed in Gretna. After 1857 when Scots Law prescribed certain conditions for 'irregular' marriages, the numbers dropped considerably.

Gretna marriages were recognized until 1939, but they were not included in the official marriage registers. By an Act of Parliament weddings could only take place in a church or registry office.

These acts have since been repealed and the old blacksmith shop is once again a wedding parlor. The blacksmith's house next door is a museum. Over the last twenty-five years, marriages at Gretna have grown from 100 to over 5,000 a year.

Most of the couples are still from England, but it's also growing in popularity with couples from outside the British Isles. In 2000, 43 brides and 36 grooms wed at Gretna claimed the U.S. as their country of origin.

June through September are the most popular months, while the average age has risen from 25 to 33, which is slightly older than for Scotland as a whole.
Religious marriages have also increased during the 1990's from almost zero to over 2,000 per year.

Gretna now accounts for more than one in six (17.4%) of all marriages in Scotland and is the second most visited sight in Scotland, the first being Edinburgh Castle.

To read about other Scottish wedding traditions, go to Scottish Wedding Dreams.

September 14, 2007 06:33 - The Tryste ~ A Scottish Wedding Tradition

Three traditions are found within the Tryste, or betrothal. They are the Fede ring, the Claddagh Ring, and the Luckenbooth brooch (covered on July 27th 'Seven Popular Scottish Wedding Traditions').

Fede Rings ~
Originating in Italy during the Renaissance Era, fede (or faith) rings featured two right hands clasped together, the left over the right, as a symbol of faith and concord. In Italian, they were known as Mani in fede.

The fede ring goes back to Roman times and was very popular during the Medieval Ages. The National Museum of Ireland has some gold, silver, and bronze samples which date back to Late Medieval times.

In the Middle Ages they were called poesy rings and contained a decoratively inscribed sentiment. The rings were given as a romantic gift or token of friendship. Traditionally made of sterling silver as engagement rings, they were then replaced with the same ring in gold upon marriage.

One source for Gaelic poesy rings is Sapphire Lane. They offer four of Celtic origin, reproduced from museum collections.

  • Pulse of my Heart, which was originally produced in 17th century Dublin.





  • Le mo ghrasa mise, agus liomsa mo ghra, or "I'm beloveds and he is mine" from the Song of Solomon, a popular sentiment from the 15th century.





  • Anam Cara, which translates as soul friend, or one you share your innermost thought and feelings with.





  • Gra Anois Agus Go Deo, translated as love, now and forever





  • And she was fayr as is the rose in May





  • They also offer a Polish wooden ring box with a shamrock design




Claddagh Rings ~
An Cladach, meaning a flat stony shore, was a fishing village near Galway, destroyed in 1934.

An adaptation of the fede ring, these faith rings are distinguished by having the bezel cut or cast in the form of two clasped hands, symbolizing trust or plighted troth, with a crown surmounting the clasped heart.





Like the Luckenbooth brooch, these rings were kept with great pride as family heirlooms, and were lovingly passed down from mother to daughter. They were used as both a betrothal and wedding ring. As a betrothal ring, the crown was worn towards the knuckle. After the marriage ceremony, the crown was turned toward the nail.

In the World Trade Center, rescue workers recovered 200 Claddagh rings from the rubble at Ground Zero.

Two other examples of Claddaghs ~

A Russian Mechanical Claddagh Ring , with the hands opening to reveal the heart, cast in gold, and selling for $375.





A Cambrian gold Claddagh brooch, from the 14th or 15th century.





The engraved quote reads

To ye, ihe[s]u, my troth I plight,
and to ye, Mary, his mother bright


[Editor’s Note, March 18, 2010 ~ neither of the above examples can still be viewed online. They’re left here as beautiful examples.]


For more complete information, go to Scottish Wedding Dreams Wedding Rings.


September 17, 2007 12:13 - Kilted Crosby, Hope, Laurel, Hardy and Others

Up through 1970 there are 14 classic movies that feature men in kilts.

Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in kilts is enough of a joke, but Laurel and Hardy?

  • Yup…in Bonnie Scotland

  • Crosby and Hope donned kilts for a scene in Road to Bali

Spoofs and poking fun at men in kilts is another popular theme

  • Carry On Up the Khyber includes a kilt check scene to make sure the regiment is in the buff

  • Casino Royale features David Niven in a kilt for this James bond spoof

  • Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines laughs at and with everyone, including Gordon Jackson as a Scottish aviator

Athletes, explorers, and warriors

  • Geordie, also known as Wee Geordie, is about an Olympic contender

  • Journey to the Center of the Earth sports Pat Boone in a kilt

  • Tunes of Glory features a young, kilted Sir Alec Guinness

  • King of Hearts stars Alan Bates as a Scottish soldier...I only remember him as nude

Sons and boys in kilt-suits

  • Life with Father

  • The Magnificent Ambersons

A few others that defy categorizing

  • Brigadoon with kilts, trews, and pipes

  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service in which a kilted George Lazenby show us women's fascination with what's under the kilt

  • The Quiet Man ~ though Irish, there's glimpses of men in kilts


For more details and movie posters, go to Actors in Kilts at Scottish Wedding Dreams.

September 18, 2007 01:07 - 15 Modern Movies and Actors in Kilts

15 Modern Movies and Actors in Kilts

These movies give us some more glimpses of those men in their kilts.

Historical ~

  • Braveheart with Mel Gibson as the Scottish hero William Wallace

  • Mrs. Brown, or what became of Queen victoria after Albert's death

  • Rob Roy ~ the legendary reiver

  • My Life So Far, about a post-World War I family in Scotland

Action Thrillers ~

  • Formula 51, also known as The 51st State, featuring Samuel L. Jackson in a kilt

  • Highlander movies I through V, followed by a television spinoff

  • The Wicker Man is a classic horror flick featuring Christopher Lee in a kilt

  • The Avengers gives us a kilted Sean Connery as the villain

Romance and Marriage ~

  • Four Weddings and a Funeral features a wedding in a Scottish castle

  • Intolerable Cruelty, George Clooney in a kilt

  • A Life Less Ordinary, Ewan McGregor kilted

Athletics ~

  • The Match, also known as The Beautiful Game, about soccer, grudges, and Scotland

  • Men with Brooms, curling and a kilted piper

Others ~

  • Rushmore, a Scottish student's story

  • So I Married an Axe Murderer Mike Myers in a kilt???

For more details and movie posters, go to Actors in Kilts at Scottish Wedding Dreams.

September 19, 2007 15:16 - Saint Catherine's Medieval Gown

In this portrait of Saint Catherine by Bernardo Daddi in 1330, we see an elaborate yet richly subtle costume.




Book of Costume, Saint Catherines Gown

A mantle is a sleeveless garment like a cloak but shorter, while a kirtle is a long Medieval dress or gown, with the hem around ankle length.

The brown mantle (cloak) is edged with embroidered edging and gold thread. You can see this running down her right arm from shoulder to elbow. The mantle is lined with white fur.

The kirtle (gown) is a gold-embroidered green fabric.

As a Scottish wedding gown, the gold embroidery on the kirtle could be medium Celtic knots or thistles, with smaller ones on the trim.

Both the kirtle and mantle could be silk fabric, with silk or wool tartan binding and decorative stitch as the edging.

The silk tartan, Caithness, could be added. The Irish County tartans Connacht, Kerry, or Monaghan are other possibilities in wool tartan to go with the green, brown, gold combination.

For more details and pattern suggestions, go to the Saint Catherine's Gown pattern page.

Coming tomorrow, How To Add a Bias Binding and Decorative Stitching…

September 20, 2007 13:06 - Decorative Bias Binding

To really set-off the binding, a decorative serged stitch can be used over the binding. For a wedding, this works especially well with a metallic thread used for the serging.

The width of the binding can vary from 1/4 inch to 7/8 inch. A second narrower binding or small piping can also add a more distinctive touch.

Use light to medium weight fabrics for the binding.

Always starch the binding fabric before cutting. This makes it easier to work and prevents wrinkles. Even woolens can be starched or stiffened with Touch o' gold light interfacing.

Cutting the binding on the bias will shape it to the garment better.

Directions for determining the width of your binding and cutting continuous bias binding can be found at Bias Binding Embellishments.

Folding Bias Binding ~
A bias tape maker makes forming the bias tape easier and quicker. Press the folded binding as it comes out the bias tape maker.

To help retain the garment shape, use an interfacing and facing on the backside of the garment before attaching the binding. Stitch it ¼ inch inside the edge of the bias tape.

Using a metallic thread and serger to sew a decorative stitch over the binding adds an haute couture elegance.


September 21, 2007 18:08 - Five Famous Scottish-Americans

Lance Armstrong ~ seven time Tour de France cyclist and cancer survivor. Between 1999 and 2005, named Sportsman of the Year for ABC's Wide World of Sports, Sports Illustrated, Associated Press, ESPN, and BBC's Overseas Sports Personality of the Year. Pace car driver for the 2006 Indianapolis 500 Race. Currently focusing on the cancer related Lance Armstrong Foundation.


Cover Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Pictured riding mountain bikes with fellow Scottish-American and Texan, George W. Bush, at Prairie Chapel Ranch.


News Photo courtesy Wikipedia


Armstrong Clan Tartan #WR793r


The Armstrong clan crest translates "I remain unvanquished"

Do you like Monterey Jack cheese? Then thank David Jack (1822-1909) ~ a Scotsman and a failure in the California gold fields. He went on to improve a cheese developed by local monks near Monterey. Working from his Salinas River ranch, Jack joined forces with other local dairies to promote the cheese. Queso Blanco was first sold as "Jack's cheese". Other flavors developed are Pepper Jack and Dry Jack. The Jack family doesn't have a clan tartan, but he immigrated from Crieff in Perthshire, making him eligible to wear either tartan.


Courtesy Wikipedia


Crieff District Tartan #WR1636r


Perthshire District Tartan #WR2060r

William Holmes McGuffey (1800-1873) ~ professor and textbook creator, best known for his McGuffey Readers, which have been used for over 120 years. Only outsold by the Bible, they're still popular today with home school families desiring texts without agendas, having sold over 122,000,000 copies. As well as a Presbyterian minister, he was a professor and/or president of Miami University, Cincinnati College, Ohio University, Woodward College, and University of Virginia.


Illustration courtesy Wikipedia


Douglas Clan Tartan #WR1127r

James Wilson Marshall (1810-1885) ~ owned a small cattle ranch, which he lost after serving in the Mexican-American War. When he returned home all his cattle were lost or stolen. Teaming up with John Sutter, of Sutter's Mill fame, he worked as a carpenter and sawmill operator. Finding gold flecks in the channel bed at the sawmill, the California Gold Rush was on. His sawmill failed as everyone panned for gold and he died penniless.


Courtesy Wikipedia


Marshall of Keith Tartan #2976

Wouldn't Your Really Rather Drive a Buick? David Buick thought so when he began manufacturing the Buick automobile with an innovative valve-in-head engine in 1902. The company grew into General Motors. Over 17,000,000 cars bearing his name and crest have rolled off production lines, yet he was involved in making only the first 120 of them.

The annual Buick Open Gold Tournament in Flint, Michigan, also bears his name. His father, Alexander, was a plumbing supplier and invented the process used to bind white porcelain to cast iron bathtubs. The family emigrated from the Angus district of Scotland when David was two years old.


Courtesy General Motors Archives


Courtesy Wikipedia


1938 Buick photo courtesy Wikipedia

The Angus District Tartan the Buick family would have worn


Angus District Tartan #WR1179r


September 24, 2007 06:26 - P.O.S.H.

Over the weekend I watched a favorite documentary about the Scottish regiments. Each time I do, it recalls to mind the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. One of my favorite characters is Grandpa Potts. He's retired from the army and still wears his uniform.

While in the outhouse, Grandpa Potts is mistakenly abducted. Not knowing he's been abducted and travelling through the air suspended from an air balloon, he' singing

O the posh posh traveling life, the traveling life for me
First cabin and captain's table regal company
Pardon the dust of the upper crust - fetch us a cup of tea
Port out, starboard home, posh with a capital P-O-S-H, posh

When British troops were sent out to India, they included the 43rd, 71st, 78th, 79th, 92nd and 93rd Scottish regiments. Some regimental commanders took their families with them.

The voyage to India was long and hot. The staterooms on the north side of the ship were cooler. Thus port out, starboard home (P.O.S.H.) made the trip more bearable.

Soon the acronym became a word, posh, meaning elegant and fashionable. Most brides want their weddings to be as posh as they can afford, even when simple and informal.

There's also many a bride and her parents that have overstepped the boundary of good taste, which is tomorrow's Scottish word…

September 25, 2007 06:45 - A Fantoosh Wedding

As plans develop for a wedding, it's so easy to get carried away. Back in the 1970's I remember family friends preparing for their only daughter's wedding. They wanted to spare no expense. These were working class people in an automotive town. Fiddler on the Roof was a big success.

The father hired a fiddler to sit on the rooftop of the reception hall and play music from Fiddler on the Roof. Maybe he enjoyed it, maybe his daughter enjoyed it, but the guests thought they were being preposterous. Or, to put it in Scottish terms, a bit fantoosh.

To be fantoosh, is to act swanky, above one's class, or too posh. Even if it makes you feel good, how will your guests feel? How will your groom feel? Can your budget support such decisions?

Way back on the Scottish Wedding Dreams Budget page, I asked what you'd do if you overbought on your wedding dress and had a naked groom? That could prove interesting, but definitely fantoosh!

Tomorrow, Friggle-Fraggles on your bridal attire…


September 26, 2007 07:48 - Friggle-Fraggles

Such a silly word, but it describes silliness, trifles, useless ornaments of dress.

Dangly marcasite earrings with a Victorian gown would not be friggle-fraggles ~ with a Medieval kirtle they would be an out-of-place trifle.

In the Victorian Era, orange blossoms were all the rage and simply had to be worn for your wedding. Most were of silk and poorly constructed by our standards today. One bride would have strewn a few across her wedding dress and carefully sewn them in place. Another would have haphazardly slapped on a hundred. A third would have carefully wound them into a circlet to hold her veil in place.

The puff sleeves on Princess Diana's wedding gown ~ were they friggle-fraggles or fashion setters?

Using Queen Victoria's Scottish Gown, in the August 24th blog, is she wearing friggle-fraggles? Are you looking at the portrait from a feminine or masculine perspective? Albert likely thought them friggle-fraggles.

The garter on her left arm might be called a friggle-fraggle…
except she was a member of the Order of the Garter. Could you wear multiple strand bracelets on both wrists, a double ruby brooch at your cleavage, a diamond strap to hold your sash in place, a decorative brooch to hold your sash as the waistline, a circlet of roses on your head, and a little decorative ribbon tied in a bow on your ear, plus the gold-edged garter?

Depending on age and personality, a woman might call her well-heeled or adorned with friggle-fraggles. At 26 years of age, I might have tried, carried my head high, and enjoyed every one of my friggle-fraggles. At 56 or 66, I doubt it.

Small seashells collected by the bride and sewn on her wedding dress would be appropriate for a beach wedding. At a formal church wedding, with three feet of snow outside, they'd be a friggle-fraggle.

Each bride's stature, personality, style of wedding, and wedding venue dictate what is or isn't a friggle-fraggle. In other words, just use some common sense.

Coming tomorrow, is it Brigadoonery?

September 27, 2007 07:12 - Is it Brigadoonery?

Have you seen the movie Brigadoon? Though the movie theater was 15 miles away in another town, my mother always took us to see the musicals. I never cared for Gene Kelly, but could he dance. I think I had a crush on Van Johnson from day 1. My sister and I danced our interpretation of the Highland Fling for weeks afterward.

Going back as an adult, after attending many Highland Games, and having my musical ear attuned to the Highland Bagpipes, the costumes and piping of the movie screech in my brain…but I still love the movie and the love songs…Almost Like Being in Love, Heather on the Hill, and Come to Me, Bend to Me.

Brigadoon has come to mean an exaggerated Scottishness that's beyond good taste and gaudy. I'm not sure, but the tartans are probably bumbee.

When King George IV visited Edinburgh in 1822, he was the first monarch to have been in Scotland since 1650. Bigger than life both physically and in personality, Wellington described George as "a magnificent patron of the arts...the most extraordinary compound of talent, wit, buffoonery, obstinacy, and good feeling - in short a medley of the most opposite qualities, with a great preponderence of good - that I ever saw in any character in my life."

Sir Walter Scott convinced the King he had Stuart Scottish blood, thus was a Scotsman and needed to dress like one for his state visit. He did…to the hilt. The whole visit came to be called a Celtic Hallucination. It became a Highland frenzy with everyone scrambling to wear tartan before the King.

The good that came of it? The Highland tartan and kilt became the National Dress of Scotland and the Highlanders were no longer thought of as just barbaric clansmen. They were a Scottish nation with a tartan history.

Tomorrow, a quiz on this week's Scottish words…

September 28, 2007 10:49 - Lord Mayor Quiz

Yesterday there as some discussion of King George IV. A little more about him ~ he took an active interest in matters of style and taste. He associated with the dandy Beau Brumell and John Nash, the architect who created the Regency style.

Nash created the Brighton Pavilion , a fantastical seaside palace for George., adapted by Nash in the Indo-Saracenic style inspired loosely by the Taj Mahal, with extravagant "Indian" and "Chinese" interiors. In WWI, the pavilion was used as a hospital for wounded Sikh and Hindu Indian soldiers who fought for the British Empire.


Courtesy Wikipedia

And now, to our quiz ~


Courtesy John Telfer Dunbar, History of Highland Dress

Judging by this caricature of Sir William Curtis, Lord Mayor of London, is this an example of
A.) Posh
B.) Fantoosh
C.) Friggle-Fraggle
D.) Brigadoonery
E.) None of the above

Scottish Wedding Dreams Kilt Page answers this quiz question.

August 2007 «  » October 2007

 

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