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March 2, 2009 06:22 - 3-2 March Highland Games & Celtic Events

If you are planning a Scottish Wedding Theme ~ or would just plain like a good dose of Scottishness, get to one of these Highland Games. At most of the events, you can find local bagpipers to hire or browse tartan sample books. There's always lots of kilts and outfits, everywhere from formal to very casual, to look at. Clan tents have information on your clan's history. The music runs from traditional to rock. And there's lots of Scottish traditions and food to sample.

You'll notice a slew of Irish Festivals and Parades. They're Celtic also. Don't forget the Highland Celts came from Ireland and the Scot fled to Ireland's Plantations, then moved on the the Americas and Australia. So go find a St. Patrick's Celebration and join in the fun!

  • March 6 to 7, Manhattan, Illinois ~ Manhattan Irish Fest
  • March 6 to 8, Dallas, Texas ~ North Texas Irish Festival
    This is the second oldest Irish festival in the U.S. and the largest in the Southwest
  • March 6 to 21, Manchester, England ~ Manchester Irish Festival
  • March 7, West Dennis, Massachusetts ~ Cape Cod St. Patrick's Day Parade
  • March 7, Wheeling, West Virginia ~ Wheeling Celtic Celebration
  • March 7 to 8, Zephyrhills, Florida ~ Zephyrhills Celtic Festival
  • March 7 to 8, Pomona, California ~ Los Angeles County Irish Fair and Music Festival
  • March 7 to 17, Seattle, Washington ~ Irish Week
  • March 8, Geelong, Victoria, Australia ~ Geelong Highland Gathering


    image courtesy Goolong Highland Games

  • March 8, Punta Gorda, Florida ~ Peace River Celtic Festival
  • March 8 to 15, San Francisco, California ~ Crossroads Irish-American Festival
  • March 9 to 14, Clare, Michigan ~ Clare's Irish Festival
  • March 11 to 15, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada ~ Celtic Fest Vancouver
  • March 12 to 15, Watertown, New York ~ North Country Goes Green Irish Festival
  • March 12 to 17, Dublin, Ireland ~ St. Patrick's Festival


    Chalk Drawing image courtesy Dublin St. Patrick''s Festival

  • March 13 to 14, Muskegon, Michigan ~ St. Patrick's Irish Fest
  • March 13 to 14, Sonora, California ~ Sonora Celtic Faire
  • March 13 to 14, Toledo, Ohio ~ St. Patrick's Day Festival
  • March 13 to 17, Burlington, Vermont ~ Irish Heritage Festival
  • March 13 to 17, Chicago, Illinois ~ St. Patrick's Day Festival
  • March 13 to 17, Portland, Oregon ~ Portland Irish Festival
  • March 14, Hermosa Beach, California ~ St. Patrick's Day Community Parade
  • March 14, Jacksonville, Florida ~ Jacksonville, Florida ~ Jacksonville Irish Festival
  • March 14, Libby, Montana ~ Irish Fair
  • March 14, Mastons Mills, Massachusetts ~ Celtic Music Night
  • March 14, Moorhead, North Dakota ~ Celtic Festival
  • March 14, Norfolk, Virginia ~ Norfolk St. Patrick's Day Parade
  • March 14, Panama City, Florida ~ Panama City Highland Games
  • March 14, Phoenix, Arizona ~ St. Patrick's Day Irish Parade and Faire
  • March 14, Westbury, Tasmania, Australia ~ Westbury St. Patrick's Festival
  • March 14 to 15, Cincinnati, Ohio ~ Cincinnati Celtic Lands Festival
  • March 14 to 15, Midland, Texas ~ Scottish-Irish Faire
  • March 14 to 15, West Palm Beach, Florida ~ West Palm Beach Irish Fest
  • March 14, 15, 17, Cork, Ireland ~ St. Patrick's Festival
  • March 14 to 17, San Antonio, Texas ~ Alamo Irish Festival
  • March 16, Tucson, Arizona ~ St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival
  • March 16 to 21, New London, Wisconsin ~ Grand Parade ad Irish Fest
  • March 17, Hot Springs, Arkansas~ World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade
  • March 20 to 21, Yukon, Oklahoma ~ Iron Thistle Scottish Heritage Festival and Highland Games
  • March 20 to 22, Sumter, South Carolina ~ Scottish Country Fair
  • March 21, Venice, Florida ~ Sarasota Scottish Highland Games
  • March 21, Murphys, California ~ Murphy's Irish Day
  • March 26 to 29, Porthcawl, Wales ~ Celtic Festival of Wales
  • March 27 to 28, Mint Hill, North Carolina ~ Mint Hill Highland Games
  • March 27 to 29, Calgary, Alberta, Canada ~ Caledonian Indoor Piping and Drumming Competition
  • March 27 to 29, Dahlonega, Georgia ~ Dahlonega Celtic Music Festival
  • March 27 to 29, Madisonville, Louisiana ~ Celtic Nations Heritage Festival
  • March 28, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia ~ Bathurst Highland Gathering
  • March 28, Puyallup, Washington ~ Scottish-American Festival
  • March 28, Tacoma, Washington ~ Scottish-American Festival
  • March 29, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia ~ Ringwood Highland Games
  • March, Dhabi & Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates ~ Arabian Irish Festival


    en route to Desert Ceili image
    courtesy Arabian Irish Festival

For more detailed information about the listed events, go to

Tomorrow, the heather and daffodil connection continues…

March 3, 2009 07:38 - Daffodils and Heather

Now that heather and it's importance has been explored, it's time to add it into the Daffodil WeddingTheme.

First there's the white heather, a long standing wedding tradition of Scotland. Scottish Wedding Dreams Wedding Day Customs also tells of the bride and groom both wearing a sprig of white heather.

Other colors of heather can also be used, but the shades of lavender are mostly likely to be found. If you live in a warmer climate, Mexican heather can often be found at the nurseries. For table decorations, buying 3 or 4 inch pots and developing them over a few months time could be a good substitute.

Combining daffodils and heather can be a striking choice for your flowers.


Daffodil image courtesy Wikipedia


White Heather image courtesy Clip Art


Heather image courtesy Stock Exchange

The flowers and their colors both have meanings, some from the Victorian Era, others going back to the Greeks and Romans.

Daffodils are symbolic of joy, regard, a declaration that you are the only one, new beginnings, and protection.

Daisies, with the pert yellow centers and pure white petals would combine well with the daffodils and heather, as would dandelions, forsythia, or primroses.

The Daisy declares bliss, lasting pleasures, and playfulness. Forsythia tells of the anticipation and innocence of Spring.
Among the meanings for dandelions, affection returned and wishes come true are wonderful declarations for a wedding. As an oracle of time and love, it symbolizes faithfulness and happiness.

Yellow and Purple Primroses would tell your guests how you and your groom feel about one another, symbolizing first love and I can't live without you.

And don't forget to add some ivy for wedded love, fidelity, friendship and affection, while shamrocks add light-heartedness, good fortune and the traditional good luck to your wedding wishes.

Adding in the meanings of flower colors ~ yellow represents friendship, joy, and happiness. White is a symbol of purity, respect, and virtue. Purple shows admiration and achievement, while lavender speaks of the feminine beauty of grace, elegance, and refinement.

The Lochcarron Heirloom Stewart Purple tartan combines the yellow, white, and lavenders in an old, traditional tartan. The Lions Canadian tartan is another choice in the daffodil and heather combinations. Using daffodils with more of a marigold color would enable tying in the Lochcarron Lion Rampant tartan in the gold colorway.


Lions Canadian Tartan WR93


Lochcarron Lion Rampant Tartan


Lochcarron Heirloom Stewart Purple Tartan

This tunic pattern would look especially nice on one of the mothers, with tartan added in the skirt or the scarf part of the tunic.


Ladies Top LJ Designs WOW Pattern

Lindsay Fleming's Skye Wedding Gown would look wonderfully Scottish in any fabric combination. But the Lochcarron Heirloom Stewart Purple Tartan for the bodice, with either a white, yellow, or lavender skirt would be splendid.

The bridesmaids could wear a simpler version. Perhaps a plain velvet top in the marigold, with the Lochcarron Emblem Gold Rampant Lion skirt. Or a Rampant Lion bodice, with a flowing silken skirt also in the yellow-orange.


Skye Wedding Gown courtesy Lindsay Fleming

Tomorrow, daffodil companion flowers and their meanings…


March 4, 2009 07:04 - Daffodil Companion Flowers A to D

And where the marjoram once, and sage, and rue,
And balm, and mint, with curl'd-leaf parsley grew,
And double marigolds, and silver thyme,
And pumpkins 'neath the window climb;
And where I often, when a child, for hours
Tried through the pales to get the tempting flowers,
As lady's laces, everlasting peas,
True-love-lies-bleeding, with the hearts-at-ease,
And golden rods, and tansy running high,
That o'er the pale-tops smiled on passers-by.

John Clare,
excerpt from The Cross Roads or The Haymaker's Story

The tartans selected for your wedding will, to an extent, determine the flower colors you choose, except for one. By tradition, all Scottish brides tuck at least a sprig of white heather in their bridal bouquet. And they give their groom a sprig to be place in his boutonniere.

  • Bachelor Buttons ~ celibacy, single, blessedness, hope in love, delicacy.


    Bachelor Button image courtesy Wikipedia

    The bachelor's button is also known as the Cornflower, Basket flower, Bluebottle, Hurtsickle, and Boutonniere flower. In heraldry, it's a Gillyflower.


    Heraldic Gilliflower image courtesy James Parker

  • Bluebottle ~ delicacy


    Bluebottle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Bluebell ~ humility, constancy and gratitude.
    Bluebells are closely linked to the realm of fairies and are sometimes referred to as "fairy thimbles." To call fairies to a convention, the bluebells would be rung.


    Bluebells image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Camellia ~ admiration, perfection, good luck gift for a man, gratitude, nobility of reasoning. White camellias symbolize worth, adoration, perfection and loveliness


    Daffodil image courtesy Stock Exchange

  • Daffodil ~ symbolizing rebirth and new beginnings, the daffodil is virtually synonymous with spring. Folklore connecting the daffodil as not only a sign of winter's end but a lucky emblem of future prosperity is found throughout the world. In Wales, it's said if you spot the first daffodil of the season, your next 12 months will be filled with wealth, and Chinese legend has it that if a daffodil bulb is forced to bloom during the New Year, it will bring good luck to your home.


    Daffodil image courtesy Stock Exchange


    Daffodil image courtesy Wikipedia


    Daffodil image courtesy Clip Art


    Tahiti Narcissus image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Daisy ~ bliss, lasting pleasures, delicacy, departure, curiosity, tenacity, and playfulness.

    The daisy is the April birth month and the 5th wedding anniversary flower.


    English Daisy image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Dandelion ~ love me, affection returned, desire, sympathy, and wishes come true. As an oracle of time and love, it symbolizes faithfulness and happiness

    Though thought of as a weed, stop and think of their cheery yellow to go with the daffodils, plus the blues and whites of other flowers.


    Dandelion image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Delphinium ~ an open heart, ardent attachment, boldness, lightness, and levity.

    The names derives from the Greek delphis which means dolphin, as the blossoms are dolphin shaped.


    Delphinium image courtesy Flickr, IanBC North

    Other names are Larkspur, Lark's Heel, Lark's Claw and Knight's Spur. Both Native Americans and European settlers used delphiniums to make blue dye. The settlers also used it to make ink. But the oldest use of the flowers was to drive away scorpions.

    Tomorrow, daffodil companion flowers F to P…

March 5, 2009 07:46 - Daffodil Companion Flowers F to P

Continuing the variety of flowers to mix with daffodils...and their meanings ~

  • Forget-Me-Not ~ true love, faithful love, memories


    Forget-Me-Not image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Forsythia ~ anticipation, innocence, good nature.

    The flower was named to honor William Forsyth, Scottish botanist, Royal Head Gardener, and founding member of the Royal Horticultural Society.Read about other famous Scots at the Scottish People Who Became Famous page.


    Forsythia image courtesy Morgue File


    Forsythia image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Gardenia ~ joy, you're lovely, secret love, purity.

    Also named for a Scottish botanist, the December 3, 2008 blog tells more about Charles Garden and the Jardine tartans. It's also the name of an Elizabeth Taylor fragrance.


    Gardenia image courtesy Wikipedia

  • White Heather ~ for the Celts in Highland Scotland white heather symbolized attraction, beauty, cleansing, intoxication, luck, protection, purity, refinement, and romance. In other cultures heather is symbolic of admiration, good luck, and protection.


    White Heather image courtesy Clip Art

    Heliotrope ~ devotion, eternal love..and the vanilla fragrance is divine


    Heliotrope image courtesy About.com

    Hydrangea ~ thank you for understanding, vanity

    Available in white and a variety of blue and purple hues, plus they can be dyed.


    Hydrangea image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Iris ~ faith, faithfulness, wisdom, cherished friendship, hope, valor, my compliments, promise in love, purity, modesty, wisdom.

    February's birth month and the 25th wedding anniversary flower is the iris.

    The iris is the emblem of both France, Florence, Italy, and the state of Tennessee. The fleur-de-lis, one of the most well-known of all symbols, even in heraldry, comes from the shape of the iris flower.


    Arms Wide Open Iris image Blue J Iris

    The three upright petals and three drooping sepals are symbols for faith, valor, and wisdom.

  • Ivy ~ wedded love, fidelity, friendship and affection.
    There's the traditional green English ivy and it's many varieties, but for a daffodil theme, how about this Buttercup Ivy ~


    Buttercup Ivy courtesy Wikipedia

  • Lilac ~ first love, humility, youthful innocence

    The Latin name is Syringa. Also the state flower of New Hampshire and the 8th wedding anniversary flower. The time of their bloom supposedly signals whether Spring will be late or early.


    Lilac image courtesy Wikipedia

    Greek mythology tells of a beautiful nymph named Syringa. Her beauty captivated Pan, the god of the forests and fields. He chased Syringa through the forest. This frightened Syringa, so she escaped him by turning herself into an aromatic bush - the flower we now refer to as lilac.


    White Lilac image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Lily of the Valley ~ sweetness, tears of the Virgin Mary, Our Ladies Tears,
    return to happiness, humility, you've made my life complete

    The Lily of the Valley is claimed to have grown where Mary wept. Jan Van Eyck, the Dutch painter, often painted them in the grass under Mary's feet. Jesus is also called The Lily of the Valley, but this reference is to what we call the Easter Lily.

    Also claimed as the May birth flower, their fragrance is sweet and special, as witnessed in Molinard's Muguet fragrance line.


    Lily of the Valley image courtesy Morgue Files

  • Pansy ~ thoughtfulness and love, reflection, good fortune, merriment, you occupy my thoughts

    Also called heart's ease, flower-with-a-face, Johnny-Jump-Up, the word pansy comes the French pensee, which means thought.

    Due to the traditional pansy, the three colors of white, purple, and yellow, another name is the Herb Trinity. In Medieval paintings of the Virgin Mary, pansies are commonly seen, often strewn under her feet.


    Pansy image courtesy Wikipedia

    In the heat of August, the flowers nod forward, as if in deep thought, thus adding to the flower-with-a-face name.

  • Primrose ~ I can't live without you, first love.

    From the Latin primus, meaning first, due to their early Spring blooms. Formally called Primula.

    The primrose is the sacred flower of Freya, the Norse goddess of love claimed the primrose as her sacred flower.


    Yellow Primrose image courtesy Morgue Files


    Blue Primrose image courtesy Morgue Files


    Purple Primrose image courtesy Morgue Files

    Tomorrow Daffodil Companion Flowers Q to V…

  • March 6, 2009 08:10 - Daffodil Companion Flowers Q to V

    Continuing the variety of flowers to mix with daffodils...and their meanings ~

  • Queen Anne's Lace ~ haven

    Also known as wild carrot, bird's nest, bishop's lace, bees nest, devils plague, garden carrot, bird's nest root, fools parsley, lace flower,rantipole, Herbe a dinde, and Yarkuki


    Queen Anne's Lace image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Roses ~ happiness, friendship, love, strength, beauty


    Garden Gate Roses image courtesy Morgue Files

    The June birth month and 15th wedding anniversary flower.

    Pink roses ~ love, grace, gentility, you're so lovely, perfect happiness, please believe me


    Peach & Pink Roses image courtesy Clip Art

    Peach Roses ~ let's get together, closing of the deal
    Blue rose ~ uniqueness, mysterious, inexplicable, you are extraordinarily wonderful, while pale blue roses express the first flush of love and enchantment.

    Though blue is not a traditional color, they have been created. First by dying white roses, more recently as a genetic anomaly. They would make a striking contrast to the yellow daffodils, when used with one of the yellow and blue tartans.


    Blue Roses 678166 image courtesy Stock Exchange

    In the purple range, Midnight Blue is a knock-out, while the color signifies enchantment.


    image source unknown

    And if you're really daring, or considering the Rainbow tartan collection, these rainbow roses are dazzling. I don't know if they're just created graphically, silk, injected with colors, or how they created these ~ it's a wonderment.


    Rainbow Roses image source unknown

  • Scottish Broom ~ I've not found any meanings attached to Scottish Broom, but it is Scottish and it is yellow, so…..


    Scottish Broom image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Shamrock ~ don't forget this for light-heartedness, good fortune and the traditional good luck.

    There's both the leaves and blooms ~


    Shamrock image courtesy Morgue Files


    Shamrock image courtesy Stock Exchange

  • Snapdragon ~ graciousness, strength, deception.

    This snout-shaped flower was called antirrhinum in Greek, meaning nose-like. The snap part of its name comes from the noise made when the sides of the dragons mouth are squeezed together.


    Snapdragon image source unknown

    Legends tell of the snapdragon's ability, when concealed, to make a person appear cordial and fascinating ~ thus the meaning as deception.

  • Tansy ~ health, longevity

    Other names ~ Common Tansy, Bitter Buttons, Cow Bitter, Mugwort, Golden Buttons


    Tansy image source unknown

    The fragrance of tansy is pungent yet appealing, some like it, others don't. Decide for yourself. It's long lasting and can be dried. A yellow dye is derived from the Tansy.

    Thistle ~ strength, protection, healing


    Thistle image Scottish Wedding Dreams

    To read about the thistle and it's significance in Scotland, Scottish Wedding Dreams, Scottish Wedding Traditions, Scottish Wedding Symbols has more details.

  • Tulips - remembrance, hopelessly in love, there's sunshine in your smile, cheerful thoughts, forgiveness, elegance, grace, and fame. Cream colored tulips mean I will love you forever.

    Known as the 11th wedding anniversary flower, the tulip's velvety black center represents a lover's heart, darkened by the heat of passion.

    Wayside Gardens offers a variety of blue tulip ~


    Blue Tulip image courtesy Wayside Gardens

  • Blue Violet ~ faithfulness


    Blue Tulip image courtesy Wayside Gardens

    There are many other yellow, white, blue, and purple flowers. Many have meanings assigned and can be found online.

    Coming Monday, combining flowers, tartans, and dress patterns for a Daffodil wedding theme…

  • March 9, 2009 08:18 - Delay Announced

    Due to information I gleaned over the weekend, the Scottish Theme Weddiing blog planned for today needs to be revised. There will be no blog published today, but tomorrow I'll be back with revisions completed.

    March 10, 2009 09:36 - Ivy and Her Love of Daffodils and Dandelions

    Everyone has heard of Snow White, with her beautiful flowing black hair, and her fair, fair skin. Few know of her sister, Ivy, who has never been discovered by the news media.

    For Ivy has chosen a different path for her life. If you really know where to look, and can walk quietly, you just might chance to meet her. Though, really, nothing ever happens by chance when you're dealing with pixies, fairies, brownies, and elves.

    You see, Ivy is a pixie who dwells in a remnant of the Caledonian Forest close to Aberdeenshire, high up in the Grampian Mountains of Scotland. She and Snow White chose different paths many years ago ~ Snow White becoming more human, while Ivy chose to become less so.

    You may think Ivy's favorite plant is the many ivies that climb over trees, spill over the rocks, and tangle the creeksides. But you would be wrong. Ivy may be her name, but Ivy's greatest joy is to walk in the forest, collecting the few dandelions that sprinkle the mossy floor as a springtime delight.


    Dandelion image courtesy Wikipedia

    If the season is just right, Ivy will weave a circlet of ivy, daffodils, and dandelions. To have all three woven into a circlet, with yellow and green ribbons trailing behind is an unusual delight for her. The fragrance, the pollen sprinkling down, and the dewy freshness combine into a memorable tiara, each one being better than the last.

    When the forget-me-nots are in bloom, Ivy will wear the Cornish national tartan.


    Cornish National Tartan

    Ivy chose this tartan just so she can add those little sky blue flowerettes to the circlet on her hair.


    Forget-Me-Not image courtesy Wikipedia

    Did I mention that Ivy had clear, bright blue eyes? Well you can just imagine how this tartan and the flowers emphasized her eyes.

    Human history records a gown worn by Mary Fitzalan in 1555. Actually, Ivy gave her the design so Mary could look her best while sitting for her portrait.


    Mary Fitzalan 1555 Gown from Albert Racinet,
    The Historical Encyclopedia of Costumes

    The original design by Ivy had an early version of the Cornish national tartan as the underskirt and trim on the outer skirt, which was a sunny yellow. The bodice continued the same yellow, with the upper bodice a rich marigold yellow. The lower sleeves were yellow velvet with the ermine lining.

    Ivy's slippers were of yellow silk, and she wore her traditional tiara of flowers encircling her hair. When Ivy chose to wear this dress and dandelions were out of season, the golden eagles would fly to France and bring back baskets of dandelions for Ivy to weave into her circlet.

    Tomorrow, the story of Ivy, her favorite yellow flowers and gowns will continue…

    March 11, 2009 09:27 - Ivy and Her Daffodil Tartans ~ Part II

    While Snow White likes red, blue, and yellow together, Ivy likes just plain yellow. Why? Because it's the color of sunshine and the color of joy. It tells a tale of celebration and sparkles like gold.

    With her long blonde hair fashioned into braids and a dandelion crown atop them, Ivy is ready to go anywhere, knowing she looks superb, in the traditional Pixie way. Of course, being a Highland pixie, when there is a party of celebration, her friends will braid her hair into Celtic knots of very intricate design, ending with a Trinity knot on the nape of her neck.

    Ivy likes to wear yellow, any shade of yellow, and she's very fond of yellow tartans. At one time the yellow dyes were scarce and only narrow yellow stripes were added into the setts as they were designed and woven. Over the years, yellow dyes became more plentiful and larger areas of yellow were added to some of the tartans, much to Ivy's pleasure.

    Ivy is also very fickle about which tartans she wears ~ as long as it has yellow. It can be a MacLachlan, the Strathearn District tartan, an Ogilvie, or almost any of the Buchanans.

    But for really special occasions, there is a Stewart Silk Artifact tartan that is her very favorite. We humans designate it as WR1706. Ivy remembers when it was first worn, who wore it, and what the occasion was. And it is a beautiful tartan.

    MacLachlan Tartan WR1277


    MacLachlan Tartan WR1277

    Strathearn District Tartan WR1890


    Strathearn District Tartan WR1890

    Ogilvie Clan Tartan WR677


    Ogilvie Clan Tartan WR677

    Buchanan Clan Tartan WR2027


    Buchanan Clan Tartan WR2027

    Stuart Plaid Artifact


    Stuart Plaid Artifact Tartan WR1706

    Tomorrow, the saga of Ivy and her daffodil tartans continues…

    March 12, 2009 09:32 - Ivy Part III ~ the MacLachlan Tartan and Tansy

    Yesterday's tartans that Ivy loves to wear evoke many memories of Ivy's gowns, which, of course, we humans have copied.

    Browsing down the page to yesterday, you can see the tartans. Ivy's MacLachlan Tartan gown, with its bright yellow and black always reminds Ivy of the bumblebees in mid-summer, buzzing over the profusion of flowers in bloom.

    Whenever Ivy sees the MacLachlan tartan she also reminisces about tansy…for the original yellow dye used in the tartan was derived from tansy. Because it dries so nicely, Ivy will wear her MacLachlan tartan gown in mid-winter. She knows there will always be some dried tansy she can weave into her ivy to crown her head.

    Other names we've given tansy are Bitter Buttons, Cow Bitter, Mugwort, and Golden Buttons. It's symbolic of health and longevity. No wonder when it's used as a tonic and strengthener for weak veins. They also used it for colds and flu, bruises, sunburn, and freckles.

    Have you ever eaten tansy? So many people talk about how tansy is pungent and bitter. But Ivy and her folk have also given us some wonderful recipes.

    Tomorrow Ivy shares her favorite tansy recipes…

    March 13, 2009 07:49 - Ivy Part IV ~ Tansy Recipes

    As promised yesterday, Ivy has shared some Tansy recipes with us.

    The wee folk in Ireland have given us drisheens, which is a tansy flavored sausage.


    Drisheen Sausage

    1 pt. sheep's blood
    1 pt. milk
    1/2 pt. water
    1/2 pt. chopped mutton suet
    1 C. bread crumbs,
    2 tsp salt
    pepper to taste
    pinch of tansy
    pinch of crumbled thyme leaves

    Strain the blood
    Mix with all other ingredients in glass bowl
    Form into a thick roll
    Tie tightly
    Let stand 1 hour
    Place in pot, cover, simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour
    When firm and fully cooked, cool slightly, slice
    Serve hot or chilled

    For us big folk, tansy has played an important role since the 15th century. Eaten in remembrance of the bitter herbs of Seder, these are called Lenten tansy cakes. These are serfved at the end of Lent.

    Christians ate tansy to treat the intestinal worms from eating fish all during Lent. When lamb was served as Lent closed, the roast lamb was served with a tansy vinegar sauce.

    The first is Easter Tansy with Tansy Juice, which is an herb omelette, not to be confused with dessert fruit omelets called tansies ~


    Easter Tansy

    Separate and beat the whites and yolks of 7 eggs.
    1 pint of cream
    1 pint of spinach juice [boil a pint of spinach in a pint of water, drain, puree, pass through a sieve]
    a little tansy juice [pounding tansy in a stone mortar will yeild the juice]
    ¼ pound Naples biscuits [we call them Ladyfingers]
    sugar to taste
    1 glass of white wine
    a dash of nutmeg

    optional ingredients ~
    1 tsp chopped thyme leaves
    1 tsp shredded marjoram leaves
    1 tsp fine chopped parsley

    Set all the ingredients in a saucepan, cook gently until the mixture thickens
    Transfer to a decorative baking dish that's well buttered
    Bake in a 180° oven until firm and lightly golden on top, about 25 minutes
    Sprinkle sparingly with lemon juice and salt
    Serve sliced


    Tansy Leaf Pudding

    Serves 4 big folks ~

    1 pint water
    1/2 oz butter
    3 oz fresh white breadcrumbs
    1 oz honey, Ivy prefers heather honey
    2 tsp finely chopped tansy leaves
    2 eggs

    Carefully boil the milk and butter together
    Pour over the breadcrumbs and set aside for 30 minutes
    Beat the eggs, adding tansy leaves and honey
    Mix with the breadcrumbs
    Bake in a 350° oven until set
    Cool
    Serve with heather honey or cream

    Lastly, Ivy's favorite tansy recipe


    Warm Rose and Almond Tansy
    Pudding with Clotted Cream

    To serve 4 big folks ~

    ¾ pint whipping cream
    2 oz unsalted butter
    4 oz superfine [caster] sugar
    2 Tbsp rosewater triple strength
    3 eggs
    6 medium slices of white bread made into breadcrumbs
    2 oz ground almonds
    10 rose petals shredded
    Sprig of tansy chopped
    ¼ pint raspberry coulis

    [raspberrys sweetened to taste, passed through a sieve, with a small amount of lemon juice]

    4 oz clotted cream
    [refrigerate 2 cups NOT ultra-pasturized cream in a coffee filter over a bowl, let drain 2 hours. Whey will have filtered out, leaving clotted cream in filter. Scrape down, continue draining until cream is the consistency of softened cream cheese.

    1 oz flaked almonds toasted
    Confectioners sugar

    Warm the whipping cream and butter with the sugar and rose water
    Beat the eggs and add the cream mixture
    Combine breadcrumbs, ground almonds, rose petals and tansy
    Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients
    Divide between 4 ramekins, place ramekins in a jelly roll pan, place in oven
    Add water to jelly roll pan, bake 20 to 25 minutes
    Let them cool for 10 minutes, then gently remove from ramekins and place on decorative saucers with the golden top side up
    Ladle 1 Tbsp raspberry coulis on to each saucer
    Add a quenelle of cold clotted cream to one side [Pastry Chef Online explains about forming a quenelle]

    [Editor's Note: the above link is no longer available. Shaping a dessert quenelle can also be found at [Recipe Tips]

    Place the pudding on the raspberry coulis
    Sprinkle with flaked almonds and confectioner's sugar
    Serve immediately

    Monday, Ivy shares more about tansy and Easter, then more of her favorite tartans…

    March 16, 2009 08:39 - Ivy Part V ~ Easter Celebrations and Tansy

    Today Ivy shares some Easter traditions that include tansy, even a game played with milking stools!

    "Soone at Easter cometh alleluya
    With butter, cheese and a tansay."

    Tansy Easter Traditions

    • In certain parts of Ireland, since the eleventh century, tansy cakes have been distributed to the poor, with the figure of two charitable sisters stamped on them.

    • Athanaton, of Greece, wrote that because tansy lasts so long in flower, while Ambrosius thought, because of its use for preserving dead bodies, that tansy was given to Ganymede to make him immortal.

    • Used as a strewing herb [coming soon as a separate blog]

    • Tansy tea and tansy puddings were also served

    "On Easter Sunday be the pudding seen
    To which the tansy lends her sober green."

    Believed to be the origin of baseball, cricket, and rounders, another Easter tradition from Medieval times is 'stoolball'. Originally milkmaids played the game using their milking stools as wickets.


    Medieval Stoolball image courtesy Slumberland

    At Easter time, even archbishops and bishops played stoolball with the men of the parish. The victors were rewarded with Tansy Cakes.

    Tomorrow, more of Ivy's favorite tartans from Culloden…

    March 17, 2009 07:32 - Ivy and Her Culloden Tartans ~ Part VII

    Now I know some people are thinking that pixies and such can't possibly wear tartans with some of those gigantic plaids. Of course, theirs are on a much smaller scale, but they are just as beautiful and enticing as our bigger tartans.

    Perhaps you have heard of the Tailor of Gloucester? It's a story popularized by Beatrix Potter. Mice came in at night and did his fine needlework for the tailor when he was ill. With the help of the little mice, he then became the finest tailor for miles around. The little folk have often done similar deeds which have been forgotten over time.

    The wee folk have many occupations. There's the fullers, spinners, dyers, and weavers. They have given us the weaving patterns and colors for the Highland tartans. Tansy blossoms yielded a pale yellow dye, while the leaves gave a pleasant light green.

    The Scottish men renowned for collecting and creating the various setts for tartan mostly didn't know, or have forgotten, where their designs originated.

    Ivy loves to wear tartans collected on the battlefield at Culloden. She remembers the men who wore them, what deeds they performed during their lives, and how bravely they died. So on a regular basis, Ivy will select one of these special tartans to honor the brave warriors of Scotland.

    Culloden Plaid Artifact Tartan WR395


    Culloden Plaid Artifact WR395

    Culloden House Bed Hanging Artifact Tartan WR1696


    Culloden House Bed Hanging Artifact Tartan WR1696

    Culloden Trade Dress Blue Tartan WR1792


    Culloden Trade Dress Blue Tartan WR1792

    Bonnie Prince Charlie Tartan WR1956


    Bonnie Prince Charlie Tartan WR1956

    Happy St. Patrick's Day to one and all! Wear some green, eat something Irish, and, if possible, find a celebration and join in. Information on a St. Patrick's Day theme wedding can be found in the archives March 13 to 19, 2008.

    Coming tomorrow, Ivy and other occupations for the wee folk…


    March 18, 2009 07:24 - Ivy and Other Occupations of the Wee Folk ~ Part VIII

    The little people have lots of occupations and passions. Some love to work with metals and pretty stones, creating jewelry unsurpassed anywhere in the world. Their Celtic knotwork designs, including animals, plants, and people, have often been copied by humans.

    Others cut and polish curling stones for their winter games. Have you ever found an unexpected puddle in the woods, frozen over so completely you could walk across it? Have you occasionally broken one through? Or deliberately stomped a footprint through the ice? Then you may have ruined a good curling pond where the wee folk play. Depending on the temperature, it may take several nights fro them to repair and rebuild their rink.

    And all the old Scottish and Celtic songs, along with the harps, and pipes and fiddles, and drums were originally played by the wee-folk at their Ceilidhs. Now there are some later songs written by the big folk, but usually the tunes and words came to them while sleeping. Then the next day, they would write them down, thinking that had just 'thought it up'.

    Tomorrow, more of Ivy's favorite tartans…

    March 19, 2009 06:49 - Ivy Shares More Favorite Tartans & Gowns ~ Part IX

    When Ivy is feeling really sunny, she chooses her yellow and orange tartan, known to us as the Lochcarron Heirloom Drumlanrig tartan.


    Lochcarron's Drumlanrig Heirloom Tartan

    She likes to wear yellow and orange daylilys with primroses, or the oranges and lemons rose
    .


    Drumlanrig Bouquet image courtesy Stock Exchange


    Oranges and Lemons Roses image courtesy Weeks Roses

    Her Drumlanrig tartan is made up in a beautiful Medieval gown with flowing sleeves and a headdress [lower left] and silk slippers, all similar to the patterns below.


    Ladies Medieval Gown McCalls M4490 Pattern


    Ladies Medieval Headdress McCalls M4806 Pattern


    Medieval Slipper Pattern courtesy LJ Designs

    Scottish Wedding Dreams Medieval Slippers page has more ideas that could be used with this pattern.

    When Ivy's feeling more mischievous, and not quite so regal, she has a tartan gown in the Svanholm Family Tartan. This tartan is restricted to the Svanholm family of Sweden, but pixies can be so in your face while charming your socks off, so she gets away with wearing their tartan. (I suspect she designed it and gave it to the Svanholm family.)


    Svanholm Family Tartan WR4016

    Sewn as a two-piece gown, with the bodice separate, Ivy can change the skirt colors. In silk, she has both a purple and a marigold skirt to compliment this tartan.


    Highland Lass image courtesty of Clipart

    Of course, her Tam O'Shanter matchs as well. By adding thistles, lilacs, marigolds, and white heather, her costume is complete.

    Tomorrow, daffodils and Queen Anne's Lace…

    March 20, 2009 08:01 - Queen Anne's Lace ~ Legends and Uses

    Queen Anne's Lace symbolizes a haven or safe place. What a nice declaration on your wedding day. For weddings, this flower makes a wonderful white filler that takes very little arranging to look great. Its dainty flowerettes look as though they had been tatted by Ivy and her little friends.

    This lovely, common wildflower is also known as wild carrot, bird's nest, bishop's lace, bees nest, devils plague, garden carrot, bird's nest root, fools parsley, lace flower,rantipole, Herbe a dinde, and Yarkuki


    Queen Anne's Lace image courtesy Wikipedia

    Actually, Ivy is quite fond of this flower. She often breaks off smaller flowerettes for her hair. During light showers, or very sunny days, Ivy and the other little folks will use the whole flower for a parasol.

    Legends surrounding the wild carrot ~

    • One legend says its name is from the resemblance to lace. The reddish purple center represents a blood droplet where Queen Anne pricked herself with a needle when she was making the lace.

    • Geoffrey Grigson, an English botanist suggests the name comes from Saint Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary and the patron saint of lace makers.

    • At the time the future Queen Anne arrived from Denmark to marry King James I of England, the wild carrot was a recent novelty in the royal gardens. Queen Anne, an accomplished lace-maker, challenged the ladies in waiting to a contest ~ produce a lace pattern as fine and lovely as the wild carrot flower. The ladies knew that no one could rival the queen's handiwork so it became a triumph for Anne.

      Not fiction, but fact, the wild carrot, like hydrangeas and carnations, when freshly cut, will draw or change color depending on the color of the water it is in. Note that this effect is only visible on the "head" or flower of the plant.

      Wild Carrot Paper
      If you're already a paper-maker, or would like to make your paper for invitations, wild carrot tops will yield a pale yellow-green paper. If making enough paper for invitations seems to overwhelming, how about name tags for reception seating or gift giving.

      If you're feeling really creative, once the paper is made, you could design a clan plant or flower and leaf in keeping with your clan, wedding flowers, or wedding theme to be used a wedding favors or table decorations.

      For a pale green paper you can also use Kentucky bluegrass, wild garlic, violet leaves and stems, spiderwort, or Johnson Grass.

      Simply cook wild carrot tops in washing soda, liquefy in a blender, then dry the pulp on paper moulds. Washing soda is not baking soda, it's more caustic. Wear gloves when handling it. Arm & Hammer does make a washing soda.

      Planet Pals has more complete information on easy paper making, including simple moulds.

      Coming Monday, Queen Anne's Lace recipes for your shower and reception…

    March 23, 2009 06:53 - Queen Anne's Lace Recipes ~ Ivy Part XI

    Beyond the blooms being a wonderful addition to a wedding, there's also foods that can be added to your reception or shower fare.

    First a word of caution, be sure you are handling Queen Anne's Lace and not the poisonous Water Hemlock. The stem of the wild carrot is hairy, while the stem of poison hemlock is smooth.
    Now, on to tastier fare that Ivy has graciously shared with us ~

    Queen Anne's Lace Jelly

    Ingredients
    Glass container large enough to hold flowers and water
    18 large Queen Anne's Lace heads
    4 cups boiling water
    Juice of 1 lemon (1/4th cup fresh or reconstituted)
    Certo or Sure Jell powdered pectin
    3 cups sugar or 1 1/2 cups honey
    [Note: if you use honey add it after boiling as honey loses its nutritional value when boiled]

    Directions
    Pour boiling water over container full of flower heads ~ this is called making an infusion.
    Let stand overnight, or at least 5 hours.
    Strain infusion, add juice of lemon and 1 package of Sure Jell or Certo. Bring to boil, add 3 cups sugar and boil hard 1 minute.
    A small piece of flower in jar for identification (optional).
    Pour in jelly jars and seal.

    You can also use violets, lilacs, rose petals, milkweed, clover, elderberry, dandelions, carnations, peonys or any edible sweet smelling flower. If using roses or peonies, cut off the bitter white at the base of the petals.

    Wild Carrot Cake
    With wild carrots there is more flavor and some crunch like adding nuts. The icing is added before you bake the cake.

    Yield: 2 cakes
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

    Ingredients:
    Icing
    Two 19 oz packages silken tofu, drained
    3/4 cup dates, chopped
    1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
    2 Tbsp arrowroot or kudzu
    2 Tbsp fresh bread crumbs
    1 Tbsp almond oil
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp liquid stevia or 2 Tbsp honey, barley malt, or rice syrup
    1/2 tsp orange extract
    1/2 tsp salt

    Cake
    4 cups (19 oz) sweet brown rice flour and 4 cups (1 pound) oat flour, or 35 oz any whole-grain flour
    1 cup arrowroot or kudzu
    3/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp freshly ground flaxseeds (6 Tbsp before grinding seeds)
    2 tsp freshly ground star anise
    1 tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
    1 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
    2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 1/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp apple juice
    1 cup corn oil or other vegetable oil
    1/4 cup fresh lime or lemon juice
    1/2 cup lecithin granules
    2 tsp liquid stevia
    1 1/2 cups raisins
    1 1/2 cups wild carrot taproots, grated

    Directions
    Icing
    Combine the icing ingredients and mix in a food processor until smooth

    Cake
    Mix together the flour, arrowroot, ground flaxseed, spices, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.
    Combine the apple juice, corn oil, lime juice, lecithin granules, and liquid stevia and process in blender until smooth.
    Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, being careful not to overmix.
    Stir in the raisins and grated wild carrots.
    Divide the batter evenly between 2 oiled 12-inch round cake pans.
    Pour the icing over the cake batter in each pan.
    Let the cakes cool on wire racks before serving.

    Wild Carrot Indian Pudding
    Serves 6

    Ingredients
    3 cups soy milk
    2 cups wild carrots, grated
    1/2 cup coconut milk
    3 Tbsp basmati brown rice
    1 Tbsp arrowroot
    1 Tbsp corn oil
    2 tsp liquid stevia
    1/4 cup unsalted pistachio nuts
    1/2 tsp tangerine extract (optional)
    1/4 tsp cardamom
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp rosewater or 1/4 tsp violet extract

    Directions
    Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly.
    Reduce the heat to low, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender, stirring often.

    Wild Carrot and Onion Soup
    Serves 4

    Ingredients
    4 cups of wild carrots
    3 vegetable bouillon cubes (for 3 cups of water)
    2 Tbsp arrowroot or kudzu powder
    1/2 cup dried onions
    4 cloves of garlic chopped at home or in the field (or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)
    2 Tbsp olive oil
    2 Tbsp lemon
    2 tsp dried parsley
    1/2 tsp nutmeg

    Directions
    Slice carrots and reconstitute the bouillon
    Simmer all ingredients together 15 minutes

    Regular carrots can be substituted in any of these recipes. Organically grown carrots will give a better flavor.

    Tomorrow, more of Ivy's tartans and gowns…

    March 25, 2009 07:32 - Ivy and the Caledonian Forest ~ Part XII

    First, I simply don't know what happened to yesterday's blog. It just isn't there. So before I re-enter it, I'm digressing into Ivy's Caledonian Forest for a little side trip.

    Ivy attends and sponsors a great number of balls throughout the year. Not surprisingly, most are held deep within what was once the Caledonian Forest.

    This was a vast pinewood where you could find not only the Scots pine, but birch, rowan, aspen, oak, and junipers as well. The floor of the forest is rich in ferns, mosses, and lichens.

    Part of the pinewoods that remains is called Glenmore Forest Park. The wee folk feel quite safe having their Ceilidhs deep within this forest. They know they can dance all night and recover the next day, without big folk disturbing them.

    You see, Glenmore lies within what is now called the Cairngorms National Park. Loch Morlich also lies within the park and the Cairngorm Mountains rise above it, up into the Highlands.

    Not only do the wee folk enjoy the Glenmore Forest, so do the red deer and other wildlife.

    But I'm digressing once again. There's just so much to tell about where the wee folk live and what they do.

    Over the next few days, I'll show you some more of Ivy's tartans and gowns. Then I'll return to the forests of Scotland, sharing Ivy's love of these woodlands.

    March 26, 2009 06:57 - Ivy's Traveling Costumes ~ Part XIII

    When Ivy hikes through the Caledonian Forest, going from one gala event to another, she prefers to wear the skirts and blouses which came into fashion around 1900.

    She has found they work well for walking and on horse back. Then when she gets to the ball, all she has to do is add a bustle, small train, or basque and she's dressed up to the occasion.

    This Nine Gore Skirt, sewn in one of her yellow tartans, with Celtic knots embroidered around the hemline, is worn frequently.


    Jacobite Silk Sash Artifact Tartan WR1885


    Patterns of Time 1900 Ladies Nine Gore Skirt

    For the bodice, she wears a surplice waist of lace, batiste, or linen.


    Patterns of Time 1913 Surplice Waist

    Ivy also wears a Kinsale Cloak to mask her passing through the forest. Usually woven in the color of mosses, ferns, or bark, the linings will be daffodil tartans.


    Patterns of Time Kinsale Cloak

    The lining that Ivy likes the most has served different purposes over the years. We call Mulbuie Golden Broom Tartan 3125. Ivy gave it to the Mulbuie Primary School in Muir of Ord, near Inverness. It was also used for the "Highland 2007" event. What Ivy likes about this tartan is the rosy red glow and yellow of sunset, mixed with the mossy green and blue sky. It reminds her of day's end, when she has arrived at her destination just as the sun sets and she prepares for the evening's Ceilidh.


    Mulbuie Golden Broom Tartan 3125

    Tomorrow, more traveling costumes with their tartans…

    March 27, 2009 06:33 - Ivy's Daffodil Traveling Costumes ~ Part XIV

    If you've ever hiked far through woodlands, over moors, and across mountains, you can appreciate Ivy's practical choices for these travels.

    Even though practical, they can also be really memorable wedding gowns for anyone wanting to add Scottish themes to their wedding day.

    Another skirt favored by Ivy in her travels is this 1891 Woolen Skirt. The velvet ruffle at the waist adds a little dressiness, while the lace blouse also dresses up the ensemble.


    Patterns of Time 1891 Plaid Woolen Skirt


    Patterns of Time 1900 Yoked Blouse

    One tartan Ivy favors for this skirt is the Fraser Trade Tartan WR1709. She adds the waist ruffle in a green velvet, then the lace blouse in white or yellow.


    Fraser Trade Tartan WR1709

    When Ivy wears this traveling costume, she wears a cloak lined with the Fraser Clan Tartan WR1878. She like the contrasts of the bolder trade tartan with the smaller sett of the clan tartan. Usually the cloak itself will be of a cheery sky blue.


    Fraser Clan Tartan WR1878

    Coming Monday, more of Ivy's favorite tartans and gowns…

    March 30, 2009 08:05 - Ivy's Daffodil Traveling Costumes ~ Part XV

    While sharing Ivy's traveling costumes and how she dresses them up for the Ceilidhs, you might have wondered what a foulard or basque were.

    Foulard can refer to a light weight silk or silk and cotton blend, woven in a twill. It can also refer to the article of clothing also called the basque belt.

    A basque belt is a decorative flounce attached to a waistband, extending down over the hips and worn over a bustle.

    Here's a few of the "overskirts", Ivy likes to add over her traveling costumes so she's dressier for the evening's entertainment.


    Patterns of Time 1887 Waterfall Overskirt


    Patterns of Time 1870 Foulard Basque Belt


    Patterns of Time 1870 Mohair Basque Belt


    Patterns of Time 1887 Overskirt


    Patterns of Time 1883 August Overskirt


    Patterns of Time 1869 Stiff Muslin Tournuer

    Depending on her skirt fabric, the "overskirts" are sometimes plain silk fabrics, other times they are the same tartan as the walking skirts. Yet again, Ivy likes to add a second tartan that is in the same color way as the main skirt.

    One outfit she has is in the "Rainbow" tartan series. The main skirt is in the Rainbow Tartan Check WR2786, with a basque belt sewn in the Rainbow Tartan WR2647.


    Rainbow Tartan 2786


    Rainbow Tartan WR2647

    On days when Ivy is really feeling in a rainbow mood, she will also add a pair of Medieval slippers in the Waggrall Family Tartan WR1691.


    Waggrall Family Tartan WR1691

    With any of her rainbow ensembles, her flowers reflect her rainbow attitude. Being a pixie, she can even have the rainbow roses shown below.


    Rainbow Roses image source unknown

    Tomorrow, more of Ivy's daffodil tartans and gowns…

    March 31, 2009 09:57 - Oops!

    My sincere apologies to my readers. The Vista program on my computer has stolen my blogs from the Word file I write and keep them in. It has placed them in a different Word file, to which I have no access. I cannot open my blogs to publish them until I can get them back in my own Word file.

    As soon as I can get this resolved, I will publish my blogs.

    Until then, Ivy and her Daffodil tartans are anxiously waiting to be shared with you.

    March 31, 2009 10:53 - Ivy's Daffodil Tartans & Gowns ~ Part XVI

    What we call the "Isla" gown is very popular - both with Ivy who originated the style and with ladies today.


    Isla and groom image source unknown

    Ivy is particularly fond of this gown in the Buchanan tartan WR2027, with daffodil yellow trim and underskirt.


    Buchanan Clan Tartan WR2027

    She states that with this gown and tartan, all that's needed is a bouquet of shamrocks, with a few daffodils and one red rose in the center. She then weaves ivy and shamrocks through her braided hair.

    Shamrocks symbolize light-heartedness, good fortune and the traditional good luck. While the red rose attests to her happiness, friendship, love, strength, and beauty. And the daffodils remind her of rebirth and new beginnings.


    Shamrock image courtesy Morgue Files


    Shamrock image courtesy Stock Exchange

    Tomorrow, April Highland Games & Events, then another gown and tartan, along with Ivy's favorite flowers…


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