My inspiration comes from the Scottish landscape. I love wandering the hill tops, the loch sides. The high cliffs with crashing waves below and alongside powerful rivers sourced from mountain tops. It isn’t just about colours and textures, it is also the stories that these places hold. There are others that find ways to bring my own feelings into description. Incredible authors, poets, naturalists and the rich history of oral story telling too. Sir Walter Scott is one such person from history that managed to conjure Scotland within the stories he wrote.
Kristy Ashton & Richard Jackson from The Auld Romantics came to me with the idea of creating a character from one of his books. We have worked together before and have enjoyed conjuring depictions of Scotland. Particularly its history and culture in a dramatic landscape. Richard has read a few of Sir Walter’s classic stories and felt inspired by his depictions of Scotland. So they came up with the idea of creating a character around one of his female protagonists.
The Heart of Midlothian
Jeanie Deans is a low born heroine whom makes a perilous journey to London in 1737 to secure a promised Royal pardon for her sister. Her sister Effie has been falsely accused of infanticide.
Each of the Story Plaids for this set feature a Scottish thistle themed embellishment. This is because Jeanie Deans is a character not known for wealth or beauty – she is a protagonist for her honest and sincere character. To save her sister and gather her pardon she has nothing more than her own determination to achieve her goal. She even had to walk barefoot throughout her journey to ensure her one pair of boots were in a relatively good condition to meet with Royalty!
Jeanie Deans and the Scottish Thistle
The Scottish Thistle is a wild flower that grows across Scotland. It can grow in harsh landscapes, its vibrant colour easily recognised. It is not easy to ignore with very sharp leaves and stems. I tried to pick a few to study up close and it was painful! Its ability to thrive in the wild, damp landscape of Scotland makes it a great symbol for strength & tenacity.
Creating a character like Sir Walter Scott’s Jeanie Deans
Our model Scottish Rosie, who knows a bit about the character having studied the Heart of Midlothian at University, brought her own tenacity to the collaboration. Rosie had to spend much of the day in heavy skirts and corset as well as having to walk bare foot for many hours! At least she had a Story Plaid to keep the chilly breeze at bay and Kristy had Tunnocks tea cakes for after.
The celtic pin featured is available from the Auld Romantics and the Thistle Story Plaids will be ready to buy soon. Sign up to my mailing list to be told first when they’re on the website.