The World Cup in Tartan – The ScotlandShop Round-up

World Cup tartan 2014

First of all big congratulations to Germany for their World Cup win. No German orders today we assume as you will all be out celebrating Gotze’s fabulous winning goal. I am not a huge football fan but even I can appreciate the composure required to control the ball and score that one.  So of course we have to write a topical blog to catch the final bit of World Cup fever and before we start the countdown to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
There are many photos of  the tartan army out enjoying the football in Brazil but we loved these ones of the World Cup tartan created by Clan Italia to celebrate the link between Scotland and Brazil through football and to mark the hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games being awarded to Rio de Janeiro and the up and coming Fifa World Cup. New research has shown that it was actually a Scotsman who introduced the great game of football to Brazil. Keen footballer Donohue, a dye expert from Busby near Glasgow went to work in a factory in Bangu near Rio de Janeiro in 1893 and persuaded workers to play their first five-a-side game on a Sunday in April 1894.
We then got a bit nostalgic and had to include a photo of supporters from the 1978 World Cup and finally an image of the stamp that the Royal Mail created, but never actually produced, just in case Scotland pulled off a miracle and won the World Cup.  I love the optimism of Royal Mail and wish that first class stamps still cost 9p!

You & Your Wedding add a little Scottish detail with tartan

You & Your Wedding July Aug Cover You are Your Wedding have just released a fabulous new issue for July and August based on a tennis theme of Game, Set & Match. Dream couple Eleanor and PJ “served up an ace of a day with vintage tennis touches and stylish Scottish details”. With Scottish tennis star Andy Murray taking to the court this week at Wimbledon we are currently all about grass courts and strawberries and cream here in Scotland.
PJ looks so dapper in his kilt but we do of course feel the 3 venue ideas are a bit too far South and would like to propose our 3 favourite Scottish venues local to ScotlandShop. First of all Wedderburn Castle with it’s sweeping stone staircase perefect for photos and a dramatic entrance and there are even cottages on the estate for guests to stay in. Secondly the Dryburgh Abbey Country House Hotel near Melrose where you can even have your ceremony outside in the Abbey ruins. Our final favourite would have to be Thirlestane Castle in Lauder with it’s magical turrets and red stone creating a real fairytale atmosphere.
So now you have the venue  you just need the finishing touches which You & Your Wedding have captured and tied up with Pride of Scotland tartan ribbon along with  Baird tartan fabric for decorating tables. So many things you can do with ribbon to just bring a little touch of tartan to your day. Ribbons for the wedding car, tie backs for chairs, bows for napkins, table decorations and favours and giant bows for staircases, flower displays and the bride and grooms chairs. Mix and match your tartans to represent each family or just choose your favourite colour combinations.

You & Your Wedding July Scottish Kilt You & Your Wedding July Tartan

The Story Behind our Tartan Baby Shoes

Christie tartan baby shoes

Christie tartan baby shoes

We are already a bit of a girlie office at ScotlandShop but when one of our customer’s kindly shared this adorable picture of little Austin in his new tartan baby shoes we were all getting very broody. How gorgeous! Austin lives in Australia and these were a special gift for him made in Christie tartan to recognise his Scottish heritage.
We have always offered baby shoes in Harris Tweed and so many customers have asked for them to be made in their own tartan that we just had to find someone to make them.  Claire is the lady behind every adorable little pair of shoes and she works from her workshop in Swinton just 2 miles from ScotlandShop. Claire trained with an underwear company before taking time out to have her 3 boys and then we were lucky enough to discover her secret skills during a playground chat and her hand sewing and machining skills are unrivalled. Your baby shoes are machined to given them nice strong seams and hand finished to ensure your chosen tartan looks it’s very best. You choose the tartan so you can either select the prettiest colour combinations or choose a tartan that is linked to your family.  Whatever you choose you know that Claire will have made them with true loving care, that your chosen tartan was woven right here in the Scottish Borders and you are buying a very Scottish baby gift. These are the kinds of very personal gifts that are a real pleasure to give.
Tartan baby shoes

Garden Gadgets and Tartan Rugs with The Scotsman

Scotsman Pride of Scotland Tartan Rug“Bare feet on grass feels wonderful. But nature can be cruel. Wasps, bugs, slaters, slugs and worse lurk among those lush green tendrils, especially if they’re unkempt. Hooray, then, for the picnic blanket, which makes lolling around al fresco so much more civilised” reports Gaby Soutar in The Scotsman magazine last weekend. The page features the best of easy to carry picnic rugs including a cute cotton Rolling Hills blanket, a funky spotty number that rolls up and slots into a duffle bag along with our classic Pride of Scotland waterproof backed tartan picnic rug.  We agree Gaby there is nothing quite like the good old picnic rug!

Foxes Louisa Allen wears ScotlandShop Tartan Mini Skirt

Foxes Louisa Allen in ScotlandShop Tartan Mini Skirt New pop star on the block Foxes star Louisa Allen was spotted at the Ivor Novello Awards in London in a ScotlandShop pink pastel check tartan mini skirt on 22nd May.  And Now Magazine featured Louisa in their Celeb Match feature this week.

The “Ivors” are the awards have become known celebrate, honour and reward excellence in songwriting and composing across all genres. The awards are presented by BASCA, The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. Among the winners this year were London Grammar, James Blake and Mumford & Sons.

Nominee Foxes is renowned for always looking super-cute and she carries off the “Clueless” look so well. No-one else could wear white stilettos and look this classy! We call this pink check the Sunart Sapphire tartan and it is part of a range of pastel checks that are perfect for summer. The skirt is bias cut and made to your measurements so it gives you that fabulous flattering shape and with the checks perfectly matched you know it has been cut and stitched with great care. Go on find a little Foxy style!

Good Homes go seriously soft on our Bright Check Tartan Rug

Good Homes July 2014 Bright Check Tartan Rug Good Homes July 2014 Bright Check RugGood Homes magazine has gone seriously soft on our Bright Check Tartan Rug as part of their five great finds for the home this July. The fabulous pinks of the Lilliesleaf check are a refreshing twist on traditional tartan and the supersoft finish of this rug does make it perfect for wrapping round you once the evening goes cool.  We do love this page especially Hannah Turner’s funky feathers Peacock designs. Ali in customer service is mad on butterflies so she has her name down for the coasters.

The best bit about this page is the character of all the items. We love to add a bit of Scottish character to your lives and it is great to see other companies out there using traditional skills to make unique home accessories too. Thank you Good Homes for featuring us!

What will you create with Kate Middleton’s Strathearn tartan?

Kate Middleton Strathearn tartanKate Middleton famously wore the Strathearn tartan for the first time at the Jubilee in 2012 and it has become one of her statement accessories since then. The addition of tartan to a solid colour can make a simple outfit look quite stunning. Kate is of course very good at looking quite stunning and we love her style. Her Black Watch tartan frock coat is another of our favourites and we are designing something similar at this very moment. Watch this space. You will be able to have it made in any tartan ….even the Strathearn!  We stock the Strathearn tartan scarf but you can also have almost anything made up in this tartan so if you have fallen in love with it let us make you something special.

The best picnics in Scotland

Scottish picnic and tartan rugSpring and easter always spell the start of picnic season. It may not seem like it when you look out of the window just now with a wet start to spring in Scotland but we are optimists and basic kit is a good set of waterproofs and a tartan umbrella so nothing can stop us!  There are so many fantastic places for a picnic and most families have a special place they like to go, whether it’s for the peace and quiet, a beautiful view, or a stream for the kids to play in.
We are based in the eastern Scottish Borders and if it’s not Coldingham beach then a walk along the Southern Upland Way from Lauder to Longformacus means you can stop at the Twin Law Cairns above Westruther to see if anyone left you some Kendal Mint Cake in the box, or get out of the wind and sit tucked behind the wood to eat your sarnies.
A few years ago Warburton’s ran a competition and the public voted for their favourite picnic spot in Scotland. One place has won three years in a row which must make it a very special location.  The secret of Loch an Eilein at Rothiemurcus is in it’s name meaning “loch of the island” with its 13th century castle sat right on a little island in the loch.  The Rothiemurchus Estate, near Aviemore, lies between the peaceful river Spey and the spectacular Cairngorm Mountains, and part of the attraction of a picnic there is all the other things there are to see and do. The Estate is home to the largest native forest in the UK so you are never short of a route to explore through the trees and there are lots of other activities is rambling is too sedate for your family.

The ten Scottish competing picnic sites were the winning Rothiemurchus, near Aviemore; Culzean Castle, Ayrshire; Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute;Kirriemuir Camera Obscura; Point of Buckquoy, Birsay, Orkney; Highland Safaris Picnic in a mountain bothy -  Tarmigan Mountain Range, Perthshire; St Abbs Head – National Nature Reserve; Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris; Eshaness, Shetland; Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh

So what do you need for the perfect picnic? It will of course have to be full of Scottish specialities so how about some Scottish smoked salmon sandwiches or oatcakes with Crowdie cheese or a Mull of Kintyre cheddar? And swap the champagne for some of our favourite Thistly Cross cider made the farmhouse way in East Lothian.  Or if you want it cheap and cheerful then a Scotch pie and a bottle if Irn Bru is just as good! So then all you need is a waterproof backed picnic rug or a traditional tartan rug to sit on and at least if it get’s chilly you can wrap yourself up in it to keep warm!

Pride of Scotland tartan creations

Pride of Scotland Bolero with DoddieWe do love it when customers send in photos of what they have done with their tartan and this smart bolero jacket made in the Pride of Scotland Ancient tartan just looks fab. The Pride tartans have lovely shades of blue and purple whether you go for the strong royal blue of the Pride of Scotland Modern or the more subtle light blue of the Pride of Scotland Ancient. If you like a little more green then the Pride Highland is the one for you. We are so inspired by Isobel’s jacket that we are going to design our own version and it is already on the cutting table. Watch this space!

Good to see tartan fan Doddie Weir in the background too wearing another ScotlandShop creation. The yellow and black Barclay Dress Modern tartan will be due an outing in a couple of weeks time for the Melrose Sevens. Doddie is usually in the commentary box now he has retired from the pitch so tune in on 12th April to hear his dulcit tones reporting on the work famous Melrose Rugby Sevens tournament which takes place just half an hour away from the ScotlandShop offices. The bosses husband used to play for Melrose Rugby team so we will be cheering on the boys in black and yellow as having won the RBS Premiership last weekend they go for the double. Go on boys you know you can do it!Pride of Scotland Ancient Bolero

Paloma Faith top to toe in tartan

Paloma Faith top to toe in tartan Paloma Faith is looking very good in tartan for the new video for her single Can’t Rely on You. Dressed top to toe in the fabulous red Stewart Royal tartan she wears a full suit, shirt, jacket and trousers as she performs from her own kitchen. The backing group are also sporting matching tartan and we love that little sleeveless top. Very like our  Round Neck Tailored Tartan Top in fact! So if you fancy re-creating Paloma’s style then you know where to come. Stewart Royal is her favourite but you can have yours in any tartan you like. Contact us if you are overwhelmed with choice!