Our Five Top Scottish Christmas Gift Ideas for Children

With only five weeks to go until the big day and everyone trying to find something really special for that special grandchild, niece or nephew we have created a list of our top five Scottish Christmas gifts for Children. As children world-wide start to create those all important letters to Santa, why not introduce a bit of Scottish Sparkle and clan heritage this year?

Tartan Christmas Stocking

Tartan Christmas Stocking

For a truly unique and seasonal gift that can be used year after year our tartan Christmas stocking is perfect. It looks great by the fire place and will make opening the presents even more exciting. Just in case Father Christmas gets confused for an extra special touch we can even embroider the child’s (or adult’s!) name on to the stocking. When you can choose your own clan tartan or just your favourite christmas colours you know it’s not just going to be the children that will love a tartan stocking.
We have had a great discussion here in the office as we pack your parcels all about what our parents put in our Christmas stockings and what we do for our children. Clementines, nuts that you can never crack and even new knickers!

Truffles The Highland Cow -

Truffles the Highland Cow

Imagine their little faces when their very own Highland Cow falls out of their tartan stocking! Truffles the Highland Cow is very soft and cuddly chap who will make great friends with everyone. He is an office favorite, and as much as we will miss his company in the office, we look forward to finding a lovely new home for him. Highland Cows have become a bit of a Scottish icon with their crazy horns and ginger coat. No-one can really determine the exact origins of this hairy breed but they are the oldest pedigree of cattle in the world and the Highland Cattle Society’s herd book dates from 1884. Not all Highland Cows are ginger, there are two types and the Kyloes are small and black and came from the West of Scotland and the Islands whereas the larger red haired cattle grazed the Highlands.

Tartan Baby Shoes

Tartan Baby Shoes

There are only so many baby blankets and toys a baby needs and it is always nice to give something really personal at Christmas.  Our handmade tartan baby shoes exclusive to ScotlandShop are the perfect  accessory for baby’s first Christmas day, creating an outfit to remember for a lifetime, and starting a new generation walking in your clans footsteps.  We stock over 600 Scottish clan tartans but if you can’t find yours on the list let us know and we can see if we can find it for you.  We can also help if you aren’t sure which tartan your family name is linked to.

 

Children’s Drawstring Tartan Bag

Children's Drawstring Tartan Bag

Lovingly made by our seamstress Claire this cute tartan drawstring bag in your chosen tartan makes a very personal gift. Perfect for nursery, for gym or ballet kit, and can also double up as a present sack for Santa. For boys we add a little car, and for girls a flower with the child’s name embroidered underneath. Claire has 3 boys of her own and came to us with this product idea in 2013. It has become a firm favourite and we have even made more grown up versions to be used by adults as shoe bags. What better gift for a crazy golfer than a drawstring bag for his golf shoes in his own tartan. Or hers of course! In fact we are maybe missing a trick here for our Christmas Gifts for Golfers page…..watch this space a new product is about to be spawned!

Children’s Tartan Tam

Children's Tartan Tam

So cute and very very Scottish! And actually very practical too as our tartan tams are made from pure wool so are nice and cosy, and with the elasticated band they fit head sizes up to 12 years.  We make a matching children’s tartan scarf if you want to make up the set.

With all of these gifts you can add the perfect Scottish touch to Christmas this year.

Showcasing Tangle Weave Designs

Mairi from Tangle Weave Designs is yet another fantastic new young creative talent from the Scottish Borders where we are based and we wanted to share with you some of her fabulous work.  Our customers come to us looking for something a bit unique and different, a gift from Scotland or with a tartan flourish and combined with our love of the Highland Cow we couldn’t resist showcasing some work by Mairi Helena Photography.

Mairi Helena Morton

Taking inspiration from the abundant charismatic Scottish Wildlife & Fauna and incorporating complementing textiles,  Mairi’s Tangle Weave collection looks to create bespoke designs for lifestyle living.

From Shetland Ponies to Thistles to Pheasants, these individually created wall art displays are a perfect way to brighten up your home interior.

Based in Fife,  on the rustic weathered fringes of the East Coast, Mairi takes inspiration from her local wildlife and coastal settings.

“I’m so lucky to be right on the doorstep to puffins, grey seals and shore lines of Scottish Thistles to name a few”.

Influences are also taken from further afield including Perthshire moorlands as well as her homeland of the Scottish Borders.

Mairi Helena Photography 3

Her style has been greatly shaped by Scottish childhood influences and love for the outdoors. With both parents being textile designers and weavers, she was brought up with an appreciation of colour, texture, pattern and print.

“I have a passion for capturing Scottish influenced imagery and love fusing textiles and natural colour with my photography.”

Mairi works with some of Scotland’s finest textiles to produce high quality bespoke canvas wall art and frames, to add a splash of Scottish style into homes and interiors.

Her imagery captures a wide variety of Scottish wildlife, including:

The hardy Shetland Pony, the stoical face of the Highland Cow, the colourful Pheasant and the impressive Scottish Blackface Ram.

Tangle Weave DesignsEach image is professionally printed and framed, mounted onto high quality Harris Tweeds or tartan plaids. Abraham Moon fabric, Holland & Sherry finest cloths and Johnston’s of Elgin Cashmere is often incorporated, creating a high end quality product.

Alongside her textile mounted wall products, Mairi also creates Fine Art Postcard Collections, perfect if you’re looking for a unique gift from Scotland! Collections comprise sixteen photographic images from Scotland printed onto fine art textured paper. The unique images are wrapped in a textile and presented in a keepsake gift box.

Products can also be made tailored to requirements. Please do get in contact at: mairi@tangleweavedesigns.co.uk where Mairi would be delighted to hear from you.

This weekend you can visit Mairi at her stand D22a at the Glasgow Country Living Fair.

A wider selection of Tangle Weave Design Products can be found at www.tangleweavedesigns.co.uk. You can also follow Mairi on Twitter @mairihelena and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/tangleweavedesigns

Happy Christmas Shopping!!

 

How to create your perfect tartan christmas table

Create your perfect tartan festive table

This week we focus on how to set the perfect Tartan Christmas Table. Everyone looks forward to that all important Christmas Dinner, what better way to make it even more special this year than with the a touch of Tartan? Creating a table with the wow factor can set the tone for the entire Christmas dinner.

We think the best place to start is by picking a colour theme, for a traditional festive colour why not go for Red? Once your colour theme has been finalised its time to start thinking about table cloths and table runners.

A tablecloth is a great way to flood the table with colour and pattern, whether you decide to start with a plain colour and add other tartan details or have tartan as the basis of your theme and then pick out plain accessories. Our tartan tablecloths are available in variety of sizes and tartans with six tartans in stock and the option to have a custom table cloth in your own family tartan. Stewart Royal is always the most popular predominately red tartan which also incorporates festive green yellow and white. Our storeroom is piled high with Stewart Royal tablecloths napkins and runners because of course just after Christmas comes Hogmanay then it’s Burns Night. Plenty of opportunities to use your new tablecloth! If you prefer a plain tablecloth or already have one in your drawer a great way to then add in tartan detail across the table is with a table runner. The red tartan looks fab over a plain white tablecloth!

Mince Pies

Napkins are something often forgotten but all of these small details are vital in creating the wow factor and even if you have plain coloured napkins you can tie them with a tartan ribbon to add a bit of festive cheer.  We do a range of tartans in polyester and also over 500 Scottish tartans in the wool tartan ribbon range.

Tie it all and include the same ribbon into table decorations where you can really start to make the table your own from a stunning centre piece to candles, name places and winter flowers there are many routes you can take. Create some decorations of your own is such a simple but personal touch.

Another very important factor is fun, making the table an enjoyable place for your guests to relax. Christmas crackers, games and good music are all a great way to make sure the party is flowing while you focus on getting the courses prepared.  Enjoy!

 

 

ScotlandShop.com shortlisted for Junior Design Awards 2014

Junior Design Awards Childrens International Fashion Brand A very exciting day for us today as the Junior Design Awards 2014 have just been announced and we have been shortlisted for Best International Fashion Brand. With categories from Best boys’ and Best girls’ fashion brand to Best buggy design we are delighted to be listed alongside household names such as M&S, Monsoon and Silvercross along with emerging and boutique brands such as Angel & Rocket and Velveteen. The Junior Design Awards celebrate everything beautiful in a child’s life and the list of winners is a true feast of gorgeous children’s things. We showcased our girl’s tartan pinafore dress and matching swing jacket custom made in your own choice of tartan or pastel check fabric woven in Scotland. Judges loved the ability to personalise the product and create something unique for your child. Perfect for those special grandchildren this Christmas!

Military Tartan

With Remembrance Day Parades this Sunday and Armistice Day next Tuesday we focus on our Military Tartans this week.

Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.

Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who died in the line of duty.

Military Tartan

Military TartanThe survival of tartan in the 18th century was due in great part to its adoption by the newly raised Highland Regiments of the British Army – an adoption which paved the way for today’s unique clan tartans.

Many Military Regiments will also have a pipe band who will wear tartan as a predominant part of their band uniform. Within the Royal Regiment of Scotland not only do the Regimental band wear tartan, but every solider wears a small patch of tartan on their headdress, as well as wearing kilts or trews as part of their ceremonial uniform.

Our Military tartans include Royal Canadian Air Force, Leathernecks US Marine Corps Modern,Black Watch Modern as well as our very popular Help for Heroes Tartan.

Help for Heroes

Help For Heroes

(H4H) is a British charity that launched on 1 October 2007 to help provide better facilities for British servicemen and women who have been wounded or injured in the line of duty. It was founded by Bryn Parry OBE and his wife Emma Parry OBE after they visited soldiers at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham.

 

Help for Heroes ScarfThe Help for Heroes charity tartan was designed and is manufactured here in the Scottish Borders. The tartan takes the recognised colours of the British Armed Forces including navy blue for the Royal Navy, the lighter blue of Royal Air Force and red for the Army. The result is a really striking tartan which works well for clothing and accessories as well as interiors products. The inspiration behind the tartan is two former soldiers George Neil from Glasgow, and Bill McGregor from Dundee, who both served with 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland before leaving the Army
.

Our Delicious Bright Check Tartan Rug

Delicious September CoverDelicious September Coverage Delicious. Magazine feature our Bright Check Tartan Lambswool Rug in their September issue.

Delicious Magazine aim to be the magazine that the UK’s growing band of food lovers can’t wait to get their hands on each month, an unashamed celebration of food. The cover of the September issue looks amazing. The sticky plum and custard cake had everyone here at ScotlandShop excited to get cooking with homegrown plums from the garden. So far in the office we’ve had plum compote, plum chutney and even plum vodka! Perfect for the Christmas night out.

Now that Autumn is upon us it’s time to start wrapping up. Our Bright Check Tartan Rugs are perfect for both summer time picnics and late-summer campfire feasts as suggested by Delicious. With the nights beginning to draw in it’s the perfect campfire season with Bonfire Night this evening, also known as Guy Fawkes Night.  Guy Fawkes night is an annual event on the 5th November to commemorate an event from 1605 when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder plot was arrested after explosives were placed under the House of Lords, within the parliamentary buildings in London.

Our Bright Check Tartan rugs feature a new collection of tartan’s including bright pinks, lime green, purple and a deep orange that make a beautiful range of vibrant rugs, this collection is also available in our brushed wool scarves in case you have fallen in love with the colours and want to wrap up warm for winter.

Craft Magazine develop a taste for tartan

Womens Weekly Craft Magazine OctoberWomens Weekly Craft Magazine October2014Craft magazine reports this month on this Autumn’s big trend in tartan. They fell in love with our tartan finder and couldn’t believe the range of colours and checks available in so many different fabrics. Part of the Woman’s Weekly magazine family Craft is full of so many fab ideas of things to make and Christmas is of course the time when we all get a bit creative and try to make the most personal gift for those special friends and family. The dark nights lend themselves to sewing and knitting and it is time to clear the dining room table and put your forgotten skills to good use. For cost effective fabrics that will wash well and are great for kids try the polyviscose or polycotton fabric. Perfect for making that cow on the front of the magazine! And for the full range of tartans the 10oz wool is so soft and easy to work with and great for bags and cushions and quilting.  So why not try entering your name into our tartan finder and see if you can’t find a bit of family history at the same time as discovering some amazing colour combinations. We are always here to help if you get a bit overwhelmed by the choice!

What about All Saints Day?

Candle

We asked Aneta here in the ScotlandShop office to write us this piece as we were all chatting about Hallowe’en and Guy Fawkes and she educated us all about another special day which falls between the two – All Saints Day.  Aneta is developing a fabulous Scottish vocabulary but is originally from Poland and All Saints Day is a very European celebration.   “A regular trip to purchase the weekly shopping from the supermarket reminded me that Christmas is just round the corner! All the reds, gold and greens of the wrapping paper, decorations and accessories on the shelf …but it is still October and the weather warm and beautiful, so I felt a bit confused. We are all excited for Christmas and the New Year approaching, but I realised that there is something missing from the whole ‘getting ready for Christmas’ theme… What about the All Saints’ Day?”

Cemetery

Not everyone is familiar with that feast which falls on November the 1st. It was celebrated mainly by Catholics in ancient times to honour all martyrs, those known and unknown. Nowadays, this is a time of silence, remembrance and reflection of those dear to us who passed away. It is time of visiting commentaries, bringing flowers, lighting a candle for their souls and praying.

Different countries have different celebrations of All Saints Day, but the core is the same for all of us – to show our respect to those who are no longer among us and who meant so much to us.  So before all the Christmas-mania begins, lets stop for a few moments to say a quick prayer for the deceased family members, friends, someone you knew and light up a candle in remembrance of their past presence in our life.

Candles

 

Our Top Tartan Halloween Costume Idea

CherHere in the ScotlandShop office we are all very excited for Halloween with a lot of discussion regarding our outfits, and it got us thinking about how we could incorporate tartan in to our outfit.

Our favourite tartan costume idea takes inspiration from Charlotte “Cher” Horowitz from the 1995 American comedy film Clueless. The film is loosely based on Jane Austen’s novel Emma. With Ailcia Silverstone playing the lead role of Cher, the film also features Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd and Brittany Murphy. The film has since become a 90′s icon with a spin off television sitcom and series of books  following due to the success of the film.

For our perfect Cher outfit we suggest our Tartan Kilted Skirt, or for something slightly more daring our Tartan Mini Kilt , the Kilted Skirt pictured is in the MacLeod Dress Modern Tartan but can be made to order in over 500 tartans, next you need a smart school jumper we suggest our Women’s V Neck Cashmere Jumper pictured in Swansdown and to go with this we have our Women’s Cashmere Mix Socks pictured in white. To finish off the outfit a few 90′s school day accessories are required, our favourite being Cher’s pink fluffy pen, but let your imagination run wild and pick some of your favourite 90′s items.

Halloween Tartan

As well as our top tartan Halloween outfit we have had a look for our favourite Halloween inspired tartans featuring lots of orange, purple, green and black. The tartans pictured in our Halloween selection are Morrison Red Ancient, Pride of Scotland Modern, Black Watch, Montgomery Modern, MacGregor Ancient, Scotland Forever Antique and Rob Roy MacGregor Ancient.

From everyone here at ScotlandShop we all hope you have a brilliant Tartan Halloween.

Our Top Five Pink Tartans to Wear it Pink

Wear It Pink Every year, wear it pink raises over £2 million during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, by asking people to wear something pink and donate whatever they can. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is held every October and is celebrated with both the flagship wear it pink event and the Pink Ribbon Ball. The month will see the whole of the wider breast cancer community coming together to raise awareness, raise funds and promote the need for greater research.

What better way to celebrate wear it pink than with pink tartans, we’ve created our list of the top five pink tartans to wear it pink.

Ailsa Pink

Ailsa Pink

Ailsa Pink is one of a range of very popular pastel coloured tartans. We use it for our baby shoes as it is so cute but we have also made all sorts of cushions and skirts in this check and it is just one of those colour combinations that works whatever you do with it.  Our pastel tartans are woven in the north of Scotland and the mill is the last remaining textiles mill in the area so by purchasing this tartan you are also sustaining jobs in a very rural area of Scotland where employment is not easy to come by.

 

 

 

Highland Rose

Highland Rose

The Highland Rose is a beautiful new tartan introduced in 2011. The Highland Rose tartan combines beautiful pinks and oranges to create a very light and bright tartan which lends itself perfectly to interiors products such as cushions and throws as well as accessories such as bags and scarves. This tartan is not linked to any particular clan or region of Scotland and can therefore be worn by anyone.

 

 

 


Borthwick Dress Modern

Borthwick Dress ModernThe Borthwick Dress Modern tartan is predominantly black and white tartan with a fab bright pink and green stripe through it. The Borthwick name is of territorial origin, and it seems likely to have been assumed from lands on Borthwick Water in Roxburghshire. The family is one of the most modern in Scotland and some recent research suggests that they may have come to Britain with Caesar’s legions. During the fifteenth century the Borthwicks acquired immense influence and became Lords of Parliament.

 

 

Connaught

Connaught

The Connaught tartan is predominantly pink, purple and green. According to folk history, the 6th century BC saw the division of Ireland into five separate kingdoms: Ulster (w), Connaught (s), Munster (e), Leinster, and Mide. Ulster and Connaught were the two most powerful kingdoms. However, by 300 AD, Ulster had lost much of its power. The ruling houses in Connaught and Mide emerged and expanded their kingdoms, essentially splitting Ireland in two. The people of Ulster were pushed to a northern section of Ireland bordering the Irish Sea, and their name was changed to Dal Riata. Eventually the Sons of Niall, the ruling family of Connaught, ruled the Dal Riata. Unhappy with the natural borders of the sea, they began to colonize the land of the Picts.

Sunart Sapphire

Sunart Sapphire Sunart Sapphire is a predominantly white, pink, blue and red tartan. This gorgeous tartan is part of the Bruicheath collection designed originally for Highland Dancers but now hugely popular for all sorts of clothing and interiors projects. We just love that shade of pink!