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    The Celtic Ranch — Irish jewelry

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    Smartin’ Yourself Up at The Celtic Ranch

    Smartin’ Yourself Up at The Celtic Ranch

    We are featuring all Irelands Eye Knitwear and Keith Jack Jewelry starting Monday, February 18 through Saturday, March 16. Make a purchase and get 10% off any item from these fine crafters. Like most of the items we carry, our support of these makers is as much about their story as it is about the quality of their product.

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    Blessings of Brighid – Goddess and Saint

    saint brigid cross
    Brighid (BREE’yid) or Brigit is also the patron saint of Ireland, second only to Saint Patrick. She represents a powerful presence in the land and Celtic lore. As goddess, she was Brid (or Bride – the inspiration of our word for a woman in a marriage ceremony) daughter of the Dagda (the Good God) of the sacred Tuatha de Dannan. Her influence shines through time and has not been dimmed with the coming of Christianity. The new faith embraced her as the nursemaid and foster mother of Christ himself, sometimes calling her “Mary of the Gael.”

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    Saying I Love You in Irish

    On Valentine's day we think of love, romance, passion, Ireland... It's a cool and dreary island, with frequent gray days which makes for a passionate group of folks! Let's look at some Irish (there are too many to list here) terms of affection: A chara (uh KHAR-uh): This means friend Mo anam chara (mo anum KHAR-uh): Soul friend, this differs from soul mate, as it can be used in a less romantic sense, and more of a spiritual sense. A stór (uh stohr): My treasure, can be used for a romantic love or for a child, a more general endearment.

    A ghrá (uh GHRAH): Love, my love, romantic love.A chroí (uh KHREE): Heart, you are my heart. Swoon!Treasure of my heart: Sweetheart necklace with hidden gold heart. Treasure of my heart: Sweetheart necklace with hidden gold heart.[/caption] Stór mo chroí (stohr muh KHREE) Treasure of my heart, so romantic! A mhuirnín (uh WUR-neen): Darling, in the Midwest we say Darlin'. A chuisle (uh KHUSH-leh): Pulse, the person is blood through your veins. A leanbh (uh LAN-uv): My child, a term of endearment, like your priest calls you. A rúnsearc (uh ROON-shark): Secret love, wow! A passionate endearment indeed! Mo shíorghrá (muh HEER-ggrah): My eternal love, soul mate. M’fhíorghrá (MEER-ggrah): my true love, soul mate. My heart is in you, Birthstone Claddagh Ring My heart is in you, Birthstone Claddagh Ring Here are some longer phrases, to whisper to your beloved on a cold night. Tá mo chroí istigh ionat. (Taw muh ch(k)ree is-chi un-it) My heart is in you Mo chuid den tsaol. (Muy ch(k)wid den tay-ol) My share of life. Here are a couple of great ones, without the phonetics unfortunately. An luífeása le mo mhuintirse? Would you like to be buried with my people? Now THAT is a marriage proposal, who could resist? Maireann lá go ruaig ach maireann an grá go huaigh. A day lasts until it's chased away but love lasts until the grave. This is sweet, and so true. Finally, a poem by W.B. Yeats When you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true, But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face; And bending down beside the glowing bars, Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead And hid his face amid a crowd of stars. -William Butler Yeats The Irish, so romantic.

    Where do we find all these treasures?

    ShanOre Claddagh birthstone ring ShanOre Claddagh birthstone ring I cannot count how many times, we've had a customer ask "where to you get all this?"  Good question! Terry buys from many places, including Ireland, Scotland, England, and even trade shows in New York and Las Vegas. Let's take a look at where she buys some of the exclusive treasures you love. Ireland: Once a year in Dublin there is a trade show called Showcase Dublin, billed as "the best of Irish creativity in one of Europe's most vibrant cities";  where artists and craftspeople from Ireland congregate to set up a booth to showcase (see?) their goods. Among these are some familiar names: Branigan Weavers, Jimmy Hourihan, John Hanly, Mucros Weavers, Mullingar pewter ShanOre Irish Jewelers, Fado Jewelry, and Hannah Hats. This is also where Ireland's best and brightest new artists, craftspeople and designers come to present their goods for sale to shopkeepers around the globe.  Some of the individual artisans Terry has found there include: Skaramanda jewelry, Ian Carty ceramics, Ian Carty Ceramics Candle Pot Ian Carty Ceramics Candle Pot BombyxMORI silk and felted wool scarves, and Siobhan hats and capes. Great Britain: Many of the pieces from Great Britain are companies that are at Showcase Dublin such as: A E Williams Pewter, St. Justin Pewter from Cornwall, and many others. New York: There are a multitude of trade shows in New York, recently Terry has been travelling there to gather pieces from all over, to increase the fair trade collections in The Celtic Ranch. Among these are: Copper and tin ornaments from Thailand and India, and leather goods from India. While these are not specifically Irish companies, they embody the Irish spirit of supporting small artists. These pieces come from companies who improve the quality of life of small villages, creating a means of support, and in many cases enabling schools and housing to be built for the residents by selling the goods they make. Caring for each other, seeing each person as a treasure: definitely Irish, very much The Celtic Ranch.  She has also found some companies making quality scarves and t-shirts, which complement Irish sweaters beautifully, and several jewelry businesses, one of which is producing some of our own designs. Las Vegas: Yowza! One of the largest markets in the country takes place in Las Vegas, and it is HUGE (think several football fields). This has been a resource for some of the more whimsical gift lines, many of which are in our forest. Little notebooks, fairy statues, gnomes, and of course more clothing to complement the Irish sweaters. US small artisans: Terry has found several small artisans who create the pieces you see in the store; our nail crosses, hearts, nativities are designed by well known artist Travis Burford, who has passed away, but whose legacy lives on. Terry also sources smaller businesses to purchase the wooden signs, and the horseshoe pieces. So, where do we get these treasures? EVERYWHERE! Terry is a busy traveller and cherry picks the best from all over just for YOU.

    Claddagh: A Symbol of Everlasting Love

    It’s nearing St. Valentine’s Day and love abounds. Chocolate, wine and roses are popular gifts for a reason, but a true romantic will go straight for the heart with a gift of the Claddagh ring. The ring represents one of Ireland’s loveliest traditions. No one is completely certain who invented the original Claddagh ring, but both stories are beautiful. One tells of a young widow who returned to Ireland, used her wealth to invest in her home town of Galway, fell in love and remarried an Irishman, then was rewarded for her faithfulness and good deeds when an eagle flew by and dropped the first Claddagh ring in her lap. The second story tells of Richard Joyce, a fisherman from the town of Claddagh, who was kidnapped, torn from his true love, and taken to northern Africa. While there he became a goldsmith apprentice and created the ring’s distinctive design. Years later, he was freed and returned to Ireland - ring in hand - to marry his true love. The endearing symbol is two hands clasping a heart topped with a crown, symbolizing love, loyalty and fidelity. There’s a specific way to wear a Claddagh ring:

    • Single and available? Wear the ring on the right hand with the bottom of the heart pointing toward the fingertips.
    • In a relationship? Keep it on your right hand, but point the bottom of the heart toward your wrist.
    • Engaged? Move the ring to your left hand, bottom of the heart pointing to your fingertips.
    • Married and committed forever? Wear it on your left hand with the bottom of the heart pointing toward your wrist.
      On this Valentine’s Day, may you find someone worthy of your own Claddagh ring. Take heed the words of the beloved Irish author Oscar Wilde, “Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.”