Sunday, April 6, 2008

Tartan Day

Ashton's Weaving

Today, my lads and lasses, is officially Tartan Day in America. President Bush issued a proclamation to that effect. You can see the official proclamation at
This came from the president of the Council of Scottish Clans & Associations (COSCA) by way of the Texas Scottish Festival group.

I hope that you are wearing your tartan today.

Don't have one? Not to worry! Just look what I whipped up today, using my trusty loom. (That's a joke! I can weave, but I don't. I can also sew, but my temper doesn't allow it! ) The above tartan designs were created by me in just a few minutes using an online tartan design site. I just selected some colors that I like, then put them in order, selected a thread count, then the computer instantly wove my tartan design. (Love that purple that is almost like a Cobalt Violet!)

You can also look up your Scottish, and Irish, surnames and find if they have a tartan, if you don't know already. You can have your design woven and made into kilts, scarves, or whatever. Or just save it to your computer, if you like the way it turns out.

These days, there are tartans for states, including the Bluebonnet design for Texas (which is very pretty), for the military, and other groups.

If you already have a tartan, and items made from it, I hope that you are proudly wearing them today.
There are various activities going on today to recognize Tartan Day. There are events in Austin at the Capitol, and celebrations in places like Houston, that I have heard of.

I put some links in my sidebar under Art Helpers for sites that you can use to find out more about your tartan and create your own. It is kind of fun and much easier on the blood pressure, if you are at all like me! You can just make another one really easily. No angst over tangled threads, crooked lines, threads that are too loose or too tight, or out of order, or something that comes unraveled, or that you just plain wish would hurry up and get finished! (For me, with about the second tangled thread or mistake, the sewing machine and the object I was working on, go stratight out to the garbage can!) Maybe I can print off a bunch of my tartan designs and tape them together to wear, or, better still, just paint something on paper to wear! (Items with the actual tartan, woven, are a bit more than I can afford!)

I haven't found tartans for my Scottish ancestors, yet. I think that the Arnetts could have been Arnot, which isn't a clan anymore because they have no chief. But, they became a sept of something else after the last chief died. The Vanns said that they wear the Munroe tartan. Robertson would also be Scottish, but I haven't done much research on them. (I sure would like to find out more about Mourning Robertson! I guess it is her name that is fascinating to me.)
My closest family was Prussian, Swedish, Bavarian, and English. The Scottish and Irish were several generations back and I haven't gotten that far in my research. Miles was English, Davis was Irish. There are many, many more families and individuals to find out about, still.

My grandson did actually do a weaving, with threads, in his art class. It took them a long time to finish since skill and craftsmanship, along with creativity, was important to the project. I'm adding a scan of his weaving. At first glance, it seemed to remind me of a mask. But, as I examined it a little closer, I am amazed at his patience with all the evenly spaced threads and even tiny little knots.

If you haven't been able to celebrate today, maybe you can take a little time to look up your tartan, or create your own, for future reference. There are times when there are other Scottish and Irish events throughout the year when you could use your tartan, your kilt and other attire.

Have fun playing around with the tartan designers. Here are some that I found, and added to my sidebar.

House of Tartans

Dezine Design

Tartan Designer

Scottish Tartans Authority

There are more, and a lot of places, even here in Texas, that carry Scottish products and make things like kilts. There is also a group on Yahoo called Texas Scottish Festival that is active and involved in things Scottish. Oh, and for food and other items, there is a place called Caledonian Kitchens online that you should enjoy.

Now, can you hear the pipers playing and the drums drumming, bringing dreams of Scotland.

Happy Tartan Day!

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