|October 1, 2009 08:29 - October Highland Games & Festivals
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.
- September 25 to October 4, Kilkenny, Ireland ~ Kilkenney Celtic Festival
- October 2 to 3, Hartwell, Georgia ~ Loch Hartwell Highland Games and Scottish Festival
- October 2 to 3, Radford, Virginia ~ Radford Highlanders Festival
- October 2 to 4, Lanexa, Virginia ~ Williamsburg Scottish Festival
- October 2 to 4, Bedford, Texas ~ Celtic Heritage Festival
- October 3, Baldwin, Maryland ~ McCullough Scottish Games
- October 3, Goshen, Connecticut ~ Scottish Festival
- October 3, Ringgold, Georgia ~ Ringgold Highland Games
- October 3, Ocala, Florida ~ Ocala Scottish Highland Games and Celtic Festival
- October 3, Santa Cruz ~ Santa Cruz Scottish Games and Celtic Festival
- October 3 to 4, Furnace Town, Maryland ~ Chesapeake Celtic Festival
- October 3 to 4, Reno, Nevada ~ Reno Celtic Celebration
- October 3 to 4, Grass Valley, California ~ Nevada County Celtic Festival & Marketplace
- October 3 to 4, Snow Hill, Maryland ~ Chesapeake Celtic Festival
- October 3 to 5, Lexana, Virginia ~ West Virginia Celtic Festival & Games
- October 4, Ben Lomond, California ~ Loch Lomond Highland Games
- October 4 Boorowa, New South Wales, Australia ~ Boorowa Irish Woolfest
- October 4, Makuhari, Tokyo, Japan ~ Japan Scottish Highland Games
- October 4 to 5, Red Springs, North Carolina ~ Flora MacDonald Highland Games
- October 9 to 11, Weston, Missouri ~ Weston Irish Festival
- October 9 to 17, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada ~ Celtic Colours International Festival
The festival attracts artists from Brittany, Canada, Denmark, England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, United States, Wales, to join the finest of Cape Breton's musicians, singers, dancers, storytellers and tradition-bearers for the annual Autumn celebration.
Cape Breton Autumn Colors courtesy
Celtic Colours International Festival
The communities around Cape Breton Island host concerts and workshops at a time when the fall leaves are at their most brilliant and traveling around the island offers one breathtaking view after another. These communities have nurtured the culture for over 200 years, providing context for the roots of the music and celebrating each community's contribution to the island's living Celtic culture.
- October 10, Annapolis, Maryland ~ The Anne Arundel Scottish Festival
- October 10, Alexandria, Virginia ~ Alexandria Scottish Heritage Fair
- October 10, Smithville, New Jersey ~ Smithville Irish Festival
- October 10 to 11, Ventura, California ~ The Seaside Highland Games
- October 10 to 12, Amarillo, Texas ~ Amarillo Celtic Festival and Craft Faire
- October 11, Scotland, Connecticut ~ Scotlands Highland Festival
- October 14 to 18, Perranporth, Cornwall, England ~ Lowender Peran - Cornwall's Celtic Festival
- October 15 to 18, Princeton, New Jersey ~ Harpers' Escape Weekend
- October 16 to 18, Stone Mountain, Georgia ~ Stone Mountain Highland Games and Scottish Festival
- October 16 to November 1, Liverpool, England ~ Liverpool Irish Festival
- October 17, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia ~ Illawarra Scottish Fair
- October 17 to 18, Saint-Ghislain, Belgium ~ Rencontres Interceltiques de Saint Ghislain
- October 19, Kobi, Japan ~ Kensai Highland Games
Kensai Highland Games 2708 Tartan
- October 22, Strathalbyn, South Australia, Australia ~ Glenbarr Highland Gathering
- October 23 to 25, Midlothian, Texas ~ O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat
- October 23 to 25, Milan, Italy ~ Capadanno Celtico
- October 24, Waxhaw, North Carolina ~ Waxhaw Scottish Games
- October 24 to 25, Richmond, Virginia ~ Meadow Highland Games and Celtic Festival
- October 24 to 25, Monroe, Louisiana ~ Northeast Louisiana Celtic Festival
- October 31, Phoenix, Arizona ~ Arizona Irish Festival
- October 31, Blair Atholl, Scotland ~ Glenfiddich Piping Championships
For more detailed information about the listed events, go to
Coming tomorrow, more about rubber stamps…
October 2, 2009 08:31 - Rubber Stamping History ~ Part III
After 200 years, the uses of rubber stamps that the Spaniards found in the New World are still stamping. In the 1970's it really became a craze that's still growing. By the 1990's, it wasn't just hippies or weird artisans. The main stream populace became fascinated with the craft of rubber stamping.
Even six years ago, the stamps available were so limited compared to today. The ink colors and types are a vast array of the rainbow. The stamping is still being done on fabric and paper, but it's also being applied to wood, glass, plastic, metal, and rock. Even embossing, or raised designs, can be created with special inks.
The two most popular uses for rubber stamps are greeting cards and scrap booking. Incidentally, Mark Twain spent his Sunday afternoons updating his scrapbooks.
Where can you find rubber stamps that you might use for your wedding decorations? That's a topic for tomorrow…
October 5, 2009 08:32 - Rubber Stamping ~ Part IV, Stamp & Ink Sources
Continuing the them of rubber stamping, without sources for stamps, where do you go? Rubber stamp sources abound on the internet. Here are just a few to help get you started ~
- Abracadabra Stamp Makers
Abracadabra also has a customer gallery which might stimulate some ideas for use in your own wedding theme ~ invitations, thank-you notes, ceremony program covers, or table decorations. I even saw some floral designs stamped onto fabric…oh, where that could lead as Celtic designs for dresses, altar cloth, napkins…
WARNING: Before you let a child wander too far into this site, they do link to a sister site that sells sexy lingerie.
Some ideas I saw were heraldic symbols, such as a stag or peacock. Their flamingo head stamp would tie back in with the flamingo theme of last August. [A flamingo dancing in the hurricane surf prompted that series!]
They also have fairies, if you're into that realm.
Another thought is to use the traditional Scottish good luck signs for the wedding day ~ chimney sweeps, lambs, toads, spiders, black cats, sunshine and rainbows.
One other idea which comes to mind is leaves. Autumn must be coming on, as my thoughts turn to the colors of fall. Printed on a sheer fabric or light weight paper, embossing the vein patterns, using multi-color inks. Or gluing on glitter, small sequins, and small #11 or #15 beads. Then scattering them down the centers of the guest tables. There's also a blackberry border, which could be embellished with fall colors on the leaves and, again, used as a center border on the tables.
- Kershaw Rubber Stamps has a selection of 30 stamp colors, plus 15 pads with three mixed colors per pad.
- Rubber Stamp Press at Etsy has a selection of personalized address stamps. The stamps could really personalize your RSVP envelopes, the return address of invitations, or announcing the bridal couple's new home address.
They also have custom stamps available.
- There are many other rubber stamps and inks available online.
Tomorrow, online tutorials for rubber stamping, then on to other topics…
October 6, 2009 08:34 - Rubber Stamping ~ Part V, Tutorials & Final Thoughts
Many online sites have information on how to use rubber stamps. Some are basic, others go into great detail, with lots of techniques and ideas. With these tutorials, you can take your rubber stamping to the heights of your own personal creativity.
Some sites with tutorials for learning or fine tuning stamping skills
The possibilities seem almost endless, but I must interject a word of caution. Unless you're already into stamping, don't bite off more than you can accomplish with finesse and fun. Too much makes for a bridezilla, and that's no way to celebrate a wedding and marriage.
Coming tomorrow, the last rope-pulled ferry in the U.S. could be a wedding venue for a small wedding…
October 7, 2009 08:35 - The Hatton Ferry
Last week the Today Show did a segment on the last hand-poled ferry in the U.S.
Guided by a cable, the ferry crosses the James River near Scottsville, Virginia. The ferry operates weekends from April to October.
The ferry has been in operation since the 1870's. In 1940 the Virginia Department of Transportation assumed operation of the ferry.
After being destroyed by Hurricane Agnes in 1972, a new ferry was built. A highlight of the ceremony was the attendance of John Boy Walton, aka Richard Thomas.
In 1985, a flood sank the ferry and it was once again replaced.
Due to the economic squeeze, the state of Virginia announced the closing of the last pole ferry in the U.S. The annual budget is $21,000. To keep the ferry operating, the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society has stepped in to raise funds for the ferry.
Any donations can be sent to:
ACHS-Hatton Ferry Fund
P.O. Box 321
Scottsville Virginia 24590
The Hatton Ferry ca. 1910 image courtesy Scottsville Museum
The Hatton Ferry dedication, 1973, with several family members of prior ferry owners families and Richard Thomas courtesy Scottsville Museum
One last photo as the ferry looks today ~
The Hatton Ferry today courtesy Hatton Ferry
On the Today show, a couple had chosen to have their wedding ceremony aboard the ferry, before its potential closing. Not the most fancy of venues, but if you're looking for a piece of history, this, or another ferry, could be just the place.
More information can be found at the Scottsville Museum and the Hatton Ferry websites.
Coming tomorrow, some ideas for small stained glass wedding favors…
October 8, 2009 08:36 - Stained Glass Candle Bling
I stumbled into a site that has a candle "bling". There seems to be a new trend of attaching little, shiny doodads to candles. Browsing further, I found some Rodeo Drive bling, i.e. a rhinestone crown attached to a small belt to go around the candle.
More important were instructions for a Star of David candle bling using fused glass art.
Star of David Candle Bling courtesy Delphi Glass
Most people planning a Scottish theme wedding aren't interested in a Star of David. But the information and instructions could lead into a Scottish motif ~ thistle, Celtic knot, heraldry symbol, or a clan badge plant.
The bling, along with the candles, could be a nice decoration on the tables. Or, on their own, a really great wedding favor for your guests.
Bling Instructions are available from Delphi Glass. This project is listed as taking 2 hours to complete, on a skill level of 2, on a scale of 1 to 5.
The supplies for fused glass art are available at Hobby Lobby and Michael's.
Tomorrow, glass head pushpins, one of fused glass, a second requiring no kiln or heating…
October 9, 2009 08:38 - Posh Posh Push Pins & Mini-Magnets
Ever seen glass blob Push Pin Heads? They're simply small globs of colored glass glued onto push pins…either in colored glass or with a design under clear glass blobs.
Posh Pushpins courtesy Diamond Tech
Sounds simple, but to find a wedding favor that can actually be used for something excites me. The glass could be the colors from your tartan, using three or four of the main colors. You could give your guests a set, with one of each color.
Pushpin Project details are available from Diamond Tech Crafts.
Another idea is small refrigerator magnets or pushpins with fabric under clear glass blobs.
Fabric Magnet and Pushpins courtesy Creative Outlet Designs
Frig Magnets and Pushpins instructions from Creative Outlet Designs.
You could use your tartan, a mixture of tartans, shamrocks, clan plants if available in fabric, scrap booking papers with Scottish motifs, small photos you print out on your computer. The small photos could even be scenes from Scotland, clan badges, a rampant lion, the Saltire…the ideas are almost limitless…and loads of fun if you have the time to spare!
Coming Monday, how those posh posh pushpins became posh…
October 12, 2009 08:39 - A Posh, Posh Traveling Life
Just a short side-trip ~ do you know how the word posh evolved?
As military and government employees were traveling from England to India, the voyage became long and got progressively hotter. The berths on the right, or starboard, side were on the sunny side of the ship. Those on the left, or port, side were cooler, as that side of the ship was in the shade. On the way home from India to England, the opposite held true. The port side was in the sun, the starboard star was more shaded.
Thus tickets were purchased as "Port out, starboard home'. In time this was shortened to just the initials P.O.S.H.
The September 24, 2007 blog also covered the term P.O.S.H.
The 1968 movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has immortalized the term POSH, when Grandpa Potts, dressed in his tropical military uniform, sailed away in the outhouse, while singing the song P.O.S.H.
Tomorrow, the lyrics of P.O.S.H., from the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang…
October 13, 2009 08:41 - P.O.S.H., as sung in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
As promised, here re the lyrics to "P.O.S.H." ~ you must remember this is being sung by an elderly, retired British military officer, floating through the sky in the family out-house...
This is livin', this is style, this is elegance by the mile
Oh the posh posh traveling life, the traveling life for me
First cabin and captain's table regal company
Whenever I'm bored I travel abroad but ever so properly
Port out, starboard home, posh with a capital P-O-S-H, posh
The hands that hold the scepters,
every head that holds a crown >
They'll always give their all for me they'll never let me down
I'm on my way to far away tah tah and toodle-oo
And fare thee well, and Bon Voyage arrivederci too
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
In every foreign strand I land the royal trumpets toot me
They 21 gun salute me
But monarchies are constantly commanding me to call
Last month I miffed (missed) the Mufti
but you can't oblige them all
Oh the posh posh traveling life, the traveling life for me
Oh rumpetly tumpety didy didy dee dee dee dee dee
Oh the posh posh traveling life, the traveling life for me
First cabin and captain's table regal company
When I'm at the helm the world's my realm
and I do it stylishly
Port out, starboard home, posh with a capital P-O-S-H
Lyrics by Richard and Robert Sherman
Tomorrow marks the 128th anniversary of the 5th deadliest storm in known history…find out how it affected Scotland.
October 14, 2009 08:44 - The Eyemouth Disaster
On a stormy Friday,128 years ago, on the 14th of October, 1881, a storm struck the coast of Scotland. The storm came to be called Black Friday and was the 5th deadliest storm in known history. It was also the deadliest in Scottish history.
As the windstorm struck along the southern coast of Berwickshire, 189 fishermen sank to their deaths.
The listed deaths by village are
Eyemouth ~ 129
Burnmouth ~ 24
Newhaven ~ 15
Cove ~ 11
Musselburgh's Fisherrow ~ 7
Coldingham Shore ~ 3
This beautiful granite memorial sits in Eyemouth. The entire memorial is striking, but the broken mast sums up the devastation and loss.
Eyemouth Memorial courtesy Wikipedia
One boat, the Ariel Gazelle, survived by running out to sea instead of trying to make port. They made port 2 days later.
The boats, that didn't capsize in the wind, were wrecked on the Hurkar Rocs, which is grouped outside the Eyemouth harbor. Some of the boats sank within sight of shore, as their families and neighbors helplessly watched from the shoreline.
Memorial at St. Abbs Head courtesy Wikipedia
A relief fund was raised for the widows and children of the fishermen. In today's currency, this was over 4 million dollars, which was divided as a monthly stipend for each widow until death or remarriage. Each child received money until their 14th birthdays. Due to this generosity, the families were able to remain together without going to the poorhouse.
To read more about Black Friday, The World of Boats has an article, as does History Shelf.
[Editor’s Note, March 2010: The World of Boats article is no longer available]
Scot Border lists the boats, the crew members and whether they survived or were lost. Just the names tell a story of chracter, life, hope, love, and family.
The boats that perished are ~
- Good Intent
- Guiding Star
- Two Sisters
- James and Robert
- Press Home
- Lily of the Valley
- Lass O'Gowrie
- Fisher Lasses
- Guiding Star
- Beautiful Star
- Six Brothers
- Fiery Cross
- Margaret and Mary
- Margaret and Catherine
- Stormy Petrel
The ships that survived are ~
- Aerial Gazelle
- White Star
- Father and sons
Dreadful Night Press, who offers pamphlets of Scottish poetry and prose offers The Boy Who Came Ashore, by Alan Gay, which tells a nautical story alongside this story of human disaster in prose and poetry.
On another day, the Moray Firth Fishing Disaster and a history of East Coast Fishing will be presented.
Til then, tomorrow will bring more about the author and lyricists of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang…
October 15, 2009 08:45 - More about P.O.S.H.
Continuing from Tuesday, the Sherman brothers also wrote the lyrics for many Disney and other movies.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, filmed in 1968, has remained a BBC's Children's Favorite Films. The Sherman brothers wrote the lyrics for four of BBC's the top ten movies ~
- The Aristocrats ranked #9
- Mary Poppins was #8
- The Jungle Book was #7
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ranked #1
In 2002 "Chitty" opened to rave revues at the London Palladium. It is currently the most successful stage show ever produced at the Palladium. In 2005, "Chitty" opened on Broadway in New York City.
Ian Fleming, of James Bond fame, wrote the story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 1964, the year of his death. It was his only book for children. The book even included a recipe for fudge! Next week the fudge recipe will be published.
Is there a Scottish connection for Ian Fleming? That's a story for another day… like tomorrow.
October 16, 2009 08:46 - Ian Fleming and His Scottish Connection
Being named Ian, he couldn't have simply been of English ancestry. There had to have been some Celtic connection there somewhere. And there was!
The Fleming Commemorative Tartan WR2531 2002
Fleming Commemorative Tartan WR2531
His grandfather was the Scottish financier, Robert Fleming, founder of the Scottish American Investment Trust and the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co., Ltd., better known as Flemings.
The family has also had a long-term business association in the Far East with the Jardine/Keswick family of Dumfriesshire, Scotland. The Jardine family has 5 tartans.
Jardine Family Tartan WR2014
Jardine Family Dress Tartan WR2084
Jardine of Castlemilk Clan Tartan WR1447
Jardine of Castlemilk Family Tartan WR1431
Jardine of Castlemilk Family Tartan WR1432
No Keswick tartans were found.
More about the Fleming companies next week…
October 19, 2009 08:47 - The Robert Fleming Companies
Robert Fleming was a very successful Scottish jute manufacturer. Part of his wealth accumulated during the American Civil War. He supplied sandbag material, though I don't know for which side or, maybe, both. After the war, he moved on to other investment endeavors.
- Robert Fleming & Co, Ltd., an investment bank, was founded in 1873 in Dundee, Scotland. By the 20th century, the firm was opening offices in Bangkok and Tokyo.
Jumping forward to 1970, Flemings became a major investor in Jardine Fleming, a highly successful Asian investment bank in Hong Kong.
Fleming Commemorative Tartan WR2531
After apartheid ended in Africa in the 1990's, Flemings opened offices in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.
On the down side, the Jardine Keswicks played a big role in starting the Chinese Opium Wars of the 1840's.
Tomorrow, Robert Fleming's Scottish Investment Company and the American Railroads…
October 20, 2009 08:49 - The Scottish American Investment Trust
Robert Fleming's second big success came as a series of investment trusts, known as the Scottish American Investment Trust. In this trust, money from Scottish investers was pooled for overseas ventures. Originally the company was founded to invest in high risk, high return American railroad bonds.
Representing the bondholders' committee, Fleming successfully restructured Jay Gould's Erie Railway in 1876. Throughout the 70's, 80's, and 90's, Fleming was successful in restructuring other North Amercian railroads. Each success gained money and fame for the Fleming family.
In 1886, Robert Fleming battled Jay Gould for control of the Texas and Pacific Railway. Fleming triumphed (I didn't know anyone ever bested Jay Gould. Go-o-o-o Scots). All told, Fleming secured a 40% return on his investors' money.
By 1900, the Fleming family left North American investments, as the grand opportunity in railroads waned. That is, until the 1990's, when the company entered a venture with T. Rowe Price mutual funds.
In 1996, Jardine Fleming was accused of illegal practices with securities, which tarnished both old Scottish family names. In 1997, an Asian market crisis hit both families' finances severely, leading to massive layoffs in 1998. In 1999, Flemings restructured and bought out Jardine.
Before selling out to Chase Manhattan Bank in 2000, Flemings also founded The Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation. Owning the largest private collection of Scottish art, the foundation secured and protected the works, preventing any future bank owners from ever selling the collection.
Both Flemings and Jardine Fleming were sold to Chase Manhattan Bank in 2000, with 130 Fleming family members relinquishing their 30% ownership. When Chase Manhattan merged with J.P. Morgan in 2002, a circle completed, going back to the railroad days of J.P. Morgan and Robert Fleming. The asset management business group was renamed J.P. Morgan Fleming.
Always proud of their Scottish heritage, until the 1990's a bagpiper greeted visitors at the London headquarters. I wonder what tartan he wore?
Tomorrow, Truly Scrumptious Fudge from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang…
October 21, 2009 08:50 - Fabulous Fudge from Truly Scrumptious
In the story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the children help foil a plot of robbery at Monsieur Bon Bon's world famous chocolate shop.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang book cover courtesy Ian Fleming Publications
Before flying off in their car, as a reward for the childrens' help, Monsieur Bon Bon's wife shares the secret recipe of her world famous fudge with the Potts, which, of course, now includes Truly Scrumptious.
The recipe actually appeared in the book. In different editions it appeared either on the page where the attempted robbery took place or on the last page.
Bon Bon's World Famous Fudge
2 cups sugar
4 Tbsp cocoa
1/4 lb butter
2 tsp light corn syrup
1 small can evaporated milk
1 tsp water
Mix all ingredients and stir over low heat.
Cook to soft ball stage when dropped in cold water.
Beat by hand until mixture loses gloss.
Chopped nuts can be added.
Pour into a greased 8 x 8-inch pan.
Cut into pieces.
This may not be Scottish tablet, but it's a sweetie probably served in the Fleming household when Ian was a child. And what fun to have this fudge, served by its name, or as Ian Fleming's fudge, at any or all of your wedding parties.
Tomorrow, after what I called a short aside that lasted 7 days, the segment on stained glass will wrap up with keepsake boxes and suncatchers...
October 22, 2009 08:52 - Stained Glass Keepsake Box
While browsing through the information on the stained glass Candle Bling, I also found this Keepsake Box.
Stained Glass Keepsake Box courtesy Works of Glass
Available is a range of colors, the box is 6" deep x 8" wide. On the lid there are bevels and decorative metal filigree.
Information about your wedding day can be engraved on the top. There's apace for up to 16 words.
This and other keepsake boxes are available from Works of Glass.
They also have other products, including suncatchers. I found 2 shamrock designs. One is a Celtic knot shamrock, the other a shamrock wreath ~
Shamrock Suncatcher courtesy Works of Glass
Here's the ordering information for the Shamrock suncatcher.
Shamrock Wreath Suncatcher courtesy Works of Glass
Here's the ordering information for the shamrock wreath suncatcher Shamrock suncatcher.
For those who aren't aware of the shamrock also being a Scottish plant and motif, Scottish Wedding Dreams At The New Home wedding traditions page tells of the bride furnishing her new home with a shamrock plant for good luck.
Tomorrow, a reader has several childhood kilts she would like to sell…
October 23, 2009 08:53 - Kid's Kilts For Sale
Anyone looking for a genuine child's kilt will like today's information.
A reader has 6 kilts that, over the years, were sent to her by cousins in Scotland as she was growing up. Now she's all grown up and as an adult, is now ready to part with them, thus blessing other children. Her asking price is $30 for each of the 6 kilts.
Childrens Kilt courtesy Amy
The sizes and tartans are ~
- Age 5-6, length 18", waist 26", Royal Stewart
- Length 20, waist 26"
- Age 8-9, length 18", waist 25 -28", Campbell ~ 2 kilts
- length 16", waist 24", Black Watch
- length 20", waist 28"
She is also offering them through local piping bands and Scottish organizations. There are no guarantees how long they will last. If you are interested in any of the kilts, she may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
When the packages arrived from Scotland, an "Oor Wullie" would be enclosed. She has passed one on for all to read.
Oor Wullie cartoon courtesy D.C. Thompson Publications
If you're not familiar with the cartoon, "Our Willie" is usually dressed in dungarees with an upturned bucket on his head. The Scottish attire is not the norm. Here's his usual attire.
Oor Wullie Annual courtesy Wikipedia
You can read more about Oor Wullie at Wikipedia.
Coming Monday, a Celtic knot wedding gown idea…
October 26, 2009 08:55 - Celtic Knot Wedding Gown
Whenever I've suggested using Celtic Knots to embellish a wedding gown, it's always been in multiple repetitions, as in forming a border.
The other evening on T.V., I saw a fitted black gown with a design around the bodice, from under the breasts to the waist. Immediately, I saw one large Celtic knot.
Though the dress I saw was black, I envisioned a lovely wedding gown, in a white fabric with the Celtic knot in pearls and beads. It would be equally impressive done in pastels, or the traditionally bright reds, blues, and greens of Highland tartans. If sewn as a cummerbund, a train could be attached to the back.
Or, going back to the rubber stamping blogged from September 29 to October 6, the Celtic knot could be stamped using fabric dyes. The knot could then be embellished and emphasized with beads.
In turn, the knot design could be repeated full scale on an altar cloth or for the bridal table at the reception.
Another idea would be to print your full size Celtic knot on varied colored banners for the bridesmaids and/or groomsmen to carry in the processional and recessional. Of course, stands would be needed for the banners during the actual ceremony. Unless you wanted a group of your friends, not of the bridal party, to stand up front, holding them during the ceremony. If you placed the banners in stands, you could move the stands to the reception to display the knotted banners as part of the reception decorations.
The same knot could be scaled down to be repeated on borders, or applied randomly in a myriad of places ~ paper napkins, paper cake plates, little cake boxes for the hopeful maidens, down the center of tables which are covered with the usual white paper, match book covers…you're only limitation is your own imagination.
There are lots of links online for designing Celtic knots, in whatever sizes you desire. A few are
Tomorrow, Pendragon Costumes has some Renaissance Wedding Gowns…
October 27, 2009 08:56 - Pendragon Costumes
Pendragon is a California company, selling Renaissance clothing for men and women. Their women's line has chemises, bodices, skirts, outfits, wedding dresses, and capes.
The wedding gown line has a selection of bodice designs that can be created in white suede or leather, as well as choices in silk, damask, brocade, or velvet.
Eight of the leather tooled bodices are Celtic knot designs. This Celtic Heart bodice would be a good choice for a Scottish wedding theme.
Celtic Heart Bodice courtesy Pendragon Costumes
Ophelia is one of their wedding ensembles
Ophelia Wedding Ensemble courtesy Pendragon Costumes
Another design that could handle a lot of tartan, or a combination of tartans, is the hanging sleeve outfit. Both the inside and the outside of the hanging sleeves can make a nice display of tartans, as can the underskirt. They also have cordage available in a few tartan selections.
Hanging Sleeve Ensemble courtesy Pendragon Costumes
There's lots to browse at Pendragon, so be sure to set aside a goodly amount of time. Don't forget to look at their Color Choices, which includes ribbons, cordage, suedes, leathers, and tooling!
Coming tomorrow, Dandelion and Burdock Soda…
October 28, 2009 08:57 - Dandelion and Burdock Soft Drink ~ Part I
While reading about herbs, I found information on a traditional British soft drink. It's been drunk in the British Isles since about 1265. Traditionally made from fermented dandelion, Taraxacum officinale and burdock, Arctium lappa, roots, the drink is naturally fizzy.
D&B Drink courtesy Scottish Loft
One story of the drink's origin is that St. Thomas Aquinas was praying all night for inspiration. He walked out into the countryside and concocted a drink from the first plants he saw - dandelion and burdock. It's claimed this drink aided his concentration so he could formulate his theological arguments which became his most famous work, Summa Thologica.
Other drinks were also made from lightly fermented root extracts, primarily root beer and sassparilla. Each has been renowned for their specific health benefits.
Though similar in taste, each has it's own distinctive flavor.
And just what does D&B taste like? Well, not dandelion nor burdock! The primary taste is like anise.
Many drinks sold as dandelion and burdock have neither plant in them. Then there's the alcoholic version, DB&G, made by mixing dandelion and burdock drink with gin. Who would've thought?
Coming tomorrow, more about Dandelion and Burdock…
October 29, 2009 09:00 - Dandelion and Burdock Soft Drink ~ Part II, Brew Your Own
Continuing with yesterday's information on Dandelion and Burdock Drink, if you're looking for a unique beverage to serve at your reception, or any of the parties related to your wedding, this is a possibility. Not only would it be unique, but it would also add some historical significance to the occasion!
If you're interested in brewing your own, it seems dried roots make a better brew. They are easier to store and work with, plus the flavor is more highly concentrated. This also means the medicinal properties are stronger.
Here's a recipe from The Wild Drink blog for a syrup that's the base for the drink
Dandelion and Burdock Syrup
Heat 1 2/3 quarts [approximately 53 ounces] of water in a pan until it comes to a boil
- 2 teaspoons fine ground dandelion root
- 1.5 teaspoons fine ground burdock root
- 5x 50p sized slices of root ginger
- 1 1/2 star anise
- 1 teaspoon of citric acid
- Zest of an orange
Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Strain through a tea towel, muslin isn't really fine enough.
Whilst the liquid is still hot you need to dissolve about 750g sugar [27 ounces].
Make it sweeter or less sweet by adjusting the amount of sugar. The more sugar added, the more flavor is brought out from the herbs.
This recipe will make a strong syrup.
When using, it will need to be watered down with soda at a 1:4 ratio.
This recipe and others can be found at The Wild Drink Blog.
Some additional notes from the author
- In the summer, mix it with plenty of ice and stir through borage flowers for an even more British drink
- Want more bite ~ add 4 times the amount of citric acid
- For more flavor, double the amounts of the herbs
Tomorrow, Dandelion & Burdock drinks you can order, plus D&B candies…
October 30, 2009 09:01 - Dandelion and Burdock Soft Drink ~ Part III, Canned Drinks & Candies
There's also many sources online for dandelion and burdock drinks. Here's just a few
Golden Fields has a natural coffee substitute based on dandelion and burdock.
And now, how about some candy for your reception, or just for fun. How often do you see purple candy? You can order either balls or pips ~
Dandelion and Burdock Sweets courtesy Sweetie World
Dandelion and Burdock Pips courtesy Sweetie World
Both are available from Sweetie World in the U.K.
Coming Monday, November Highland Games…