Thursday, March 1, 2012

Victorian Damask Linen and Shamrocks

From my web store newsletter,

Hello Everyone, and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here are some fun projects and yummy recipes I thought you might like to do.
I also thought I would share with you little history about Irish Linen's, and the Celtic influence to their design.
I have several antique Damask Linens, or sometimes referred to as Irish Linen's, because of the Shamrock , Thistle or Irish Rose woven into the linen.
Damask is a type of weave for fabric such as linen, and gets its name from the ancient city of Damascus, one of the ancient cities along the 'silk road". Because of this type of weave, antique linens are very durable and have a richer more luxurious feel to them compared to other weaves.
For this reason Damask weaves with patterns, such as Shamrocks where typically used in table linens, napkins, towels, etc.
Therefore, the ancient Celtic and Irish countries started weaving their "flax" or linen, with the lucky "Shamrock", of the Celt's, then later, this became for them a symbol of the Holy Trinity, and also became a popular Damask pattern.

Celtic symbol for trinity

The celtic symbol for trinity, or triquetra.

Shamrock Symbolism

Symbolic shamrock meaning got its most popular reputation in Ireland around
the fifth century. During this time Saint Patrick was going about the business
of introducing and establishing Christianity among the people.
Nature has a way of revealing deep symbolism on a simplified
St. Patrick must have understood this as legend indicates he utilized the
three leafed clover as an illustration of the Christian holy trinity. Each leaf
representing, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Pinned Image
Door or Wall Hanging:
Paper plate
• Orange paint
• Paint brush
• Scissors
• Construction paper
• Glue
Here's how you make it....

1. Paint the rim of your paper plate orange, eating side down.
2. While you're waiting for the paint to dry, cut out a green hat, black strip, and yellow buckle. Glue together. You may also want to cut out your eyes and mouth.
3. When your paint is dry, cut slits around your paper plate to make the leprechaun's beard. You only need to cut slits ¾ around the plate (since the hat will cover part of it) but it won't do any harm if the younger ones want to cut all the way around.
4. Glue on your hat, eyes and mouth.
The leprechaun's face can be made in many ways, you can cut shapes out of construction paper, like we did, or you can simply draw them on with a marker, or make it even more fun by cutting out facial features from pictures in magazines!
Pinned Image
Fun Paper Hat:
What you'll need:
  • Green, black, and yellow construction paper
  • Green poster board
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Tape
How to make your Paper Leprechaun Hat Craft
  • Cut a head band out of the green poster board that is slightly larger thanthe child's head.
  • Cut a hat shape out of the green construction paper.
  • Cut a 2 inch black strip. Glue onto the hat above the brim and trim theedges to align with the slant of the hat.
  • Cut a yellow square that is slightly taller than the black strip. Cut thecenter out of the square leaving 1/4 of an inch boarder. Glue on the middle ofthe black strip.
  • Tape the hat to the headband (it works better than gluing it).
  • Tape or staple the head band so that it fits around the child's head. Cutoff any excess.

1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin pan; or line with papers, and grease the papers.
2) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, currants or raisins, and caraway seeds.
3) In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk (or equivalent) and melted butter (or equivalent).
4) Quickly and gently combine the dry and wet ingredients; honestly, this won't take more than a few stirs with a bowl scraper or large spoon. As soon as everything is evenly moistened, quit; further stirring will cause the muffins to be tough.
5) Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, filling the cups about 3/4 full; the stiff batter will look mounded in the cups. Top with sparkling white sugar, if desired.
6) Bake the muffins for 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove them from the oven. Tip the muffins in the pan, so their bottoms don't get soggy. Wait 5 minutes, then transfer the muffins to a rack to cool. Serve them plain, or with butter and/or jam.
Although these are heart shaped, I thought you could use a Shamrock cookie cutter for these also,
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cream
4 T lime juice
zest of 2 limes
1 cup sweetened shaved coconut
1/2 teaspoon coconut emulsion (or coconut extract)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add cream, lime juice, zest and extracts along with eggs and coconut Mix until blended. Knead on a floured surface, cut with cookie cutter to desired shape.Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes until golden brown.
Coconut Icing
Mix 2 cups powdered sugar with two tablespoons water along with 1/2 teaspoon coconut emulsion (or coconut extract)
I used a drop of electric green and avocado green Americolor food coloring.
I placed the icing in a bowl and dipped the top of the scones in the icing and allowed the remaining icing to drip off before turning them right side up. Be sure the consistency of the icing is not too thick or thin, check it by dipping a spoon into the icing and see if it stays in a thick layer or runs completely off the back of the spoon, once it sticks nicely you’ll know you have the right consistency.
I Hope you enjoyed the crafts, recipes and history, until next time,
Blessings to you,