Review: Stillwater Kilts’ Survival Sporran

NOTE: My camera’s “Auto Focus” said “Not Today” during this video. I apologize for the blur. Watch it with a glass of scotch and it won’t matter. This is an unboxing and review of Stillwater Kilts’ Survival Sporran. It’s nylon even though I insist on saying “vinyl.” Nonetheless, it’s well worth the price. Go get one.

Coffee Tartan??

The Kiltmakery

I’ve been enjoying keeping up with the work being done at The Kiltmakery. I follow them on Facebook and love seeing daily posts about new kilts being made, the process of making those kilts and even some brain learnin’ when they post facts about kilt and tartan history. I suggest you follow them too. I’ve got it on my list to have them make me a kilt very soon. It will be my first tailor-made kilt. I have dozens “off the rack” kilts and I’m looking forward to finally having one custom made for me. The only problem is, I can’t yet decide what tartan I want. My clan tartans are Wallace and MacDonald but I have a good many of those already from Heritage of Scotland, Kilt Society, Sport Kilt and some other shops which I can’t remember the names of. I’d like something different this time. Maybe even a tartan I don’t own yet. I’m seriously considering the MacDonald Ancient. I think it’s gorgeous and every time I see someone wearing it I want one.

One of the things I’ve been most impressed by The Kiltmakery is how much cheaper it is to have a kilt custom made than I thought it would be. I’m going to be paying a chunk of money for sure but it’s roughly the cost of three economy kilts. Not bad at all. If you’re like me and have spent a lot of money on cheaper, off the rack kilts, I feel like we owe it to pay a bit more to a real kilt maker at least once in order to help keep the art alive. It’s a way to support our culture and heritage and ensure artists will be custom-making kilts for generations to come. I’m a mural painter (among other things) and my own industry has recently been dominated by cheap, printed wallpaper murals. I understand that, and don’t really have a problem with it but thanks to the people who want to spend a little more to get original hand made art, I can still make a living. If you are a regular kilt-wearer, save up for at least one kilt made by a professional maker and made just for you. We’ll all be the better for it.

While I’m on the subject of custom kilts, I think most of us are aware that there are many tartans that aren’t clan tartans. There are regional tartans, territorial tartans, country tartans and state tartans. Some organizations have their own tartans. There are even tartans to honor certain individuals such as Elvis Presley and Princess Diana. I’m curious, though if you think there should be a limit to that type of thing. It’s obviously a commercial move to sell more tartan fabric and kilts but do you think it cheapens the meaning of clan tartans? Is it a good idea to have a Verizon Wireless tartan? A Kardashian tartan? A tartan just for beer or coffee drinkers? Should there be specific tartans for political parties or religions? How about a vegan tartan? Feel free to tell me your opinion. I’d love to hear what you think about the tartan issue.

Something New, Something Old

Rick with coffeeGreetings Kilties! Well, if you follow my Life In A Kilt Facebook Page, you probably know I announced earlier this year I would be cutting back on my Life In A Kilt duties. May started the 6th year since I began A Year in A Kilt and 5 years since Life In A Kilt. During that time my own life has changed and gotten more hectic in several ways. It has become increasingly more difficult for me to create content for all of the Life In A Kilt outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, videos on YouTube and the weekly podcast. Not to mention this site, which I had intended to turn into a kilt lifestyle magazine. It all kind of grew into a multi-headed monster that I never thought I would need to feed back in 2011 when I put on a kilt for the first time.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time complaining. It was a fun time and I enjoyed all of it. Unfortunately, my life has started becoming unmanageable with too many projects and I had to make some choices as to what I would give up. Life In A Kilt was one of the things that didn’t make the cut. I had started feeling several months ago that my own kilt adventure had served its public purpose. It seemed to have inspired many people (including myself) and I had come to a point where I felt like I didn’t have as much to contribute any more. That and the fact that Facebook and other social media platforms have changed and become much more time consuming to manage helped me to decide to put an end to it. I announced I’d be dropping out of managing the Facebook and Twitter site in March and we made May 2018 the last Life In A Kilt Podcast for the time being.

I hadn’t completely decided what I wanted to do with this site. The magazine concept hadn’t worked out well and for the past few months this site has been stagnant. Still, of all of the Life In A Kilt bits and pieces, this is the one thing I wanted to keep active.  Now that I’ve had a little time to step back and blow the dust off this site, here I am. My intention is to convert it back to a regular kilt blog like I started during the A Year In A Kilt days. There will be some cleaning up I have to do. Some posts need to be organized better. I need to add, change and remove menu items. So it’ll be a process.

I’m not yet sure what I mean by “regular” postings here. I do intend to make an effort to make at least weekly postings but sometimes weeks fly by. I’ll do what I can. I’m going to keep it up mostly for my own amusement, but hopefully people like you will get something out of it too. Feel free to let me know if it serves a purpose for you. I feel like if I use this site as the “hub” for my kilt activities, it may be a little easier to keep it interesting. We’ll see.

Thanks to all who have followed my journey over the past 6 years. Hopefully I’ve inspired you to start your own kilt life or to sustain the one you’ve been living for awhile. I like the idea of blending back into a private, kilt-wearing life but when I do feel the need to make some noise, you’ll here about it here.

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