Category Archives: Appreciation and Praise

Prickly Thistle: Returning Tartan To Its Ancestral Home

“Life is a one ticket journey, and we do not all need to follow the same path. Be kind to others who wish to create a new one.”

– Clare Campbell, Prickly Thistle

We at Sass3 passionately believe in leaders who have an innovative idea to create change within their local communities. Yet, sometimes, we are lucky enough to meet pacesetters or pioneers who have greater goals and higher purposes to use their vision to spark change well beyond their borders. When we think of these qualities, there is one particular person that immediately comes to our minds – Clare Campbell, the founder of the tartan and textile company Prickly Thistle. We are proud to present her story through our most recent interview where we discussed her passion to forge changes in the tartan industry by establishing The Black House Mill Project and her journey to create the most authentic tartans in the world.

Clare Campbell embodies strength and courage, becoming a trailblazer for transformation in her industry. Come and learn about her campaign, synonymous to a modern day uprising, to support this important endeavor of bringing authentic tartan production back to its roots in the spiritual and majestic Highlands of Scotland.

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Our Thanksgivings for Outlander and Beyond

This time of year is full of activity – shopping, Black Friday deals, Cyber Monday mayhem, cooking, and baking. It’s an extremely busy holiday with very little downtime, and we know you can relate. However, as Thanksgiving approaches, we ponder upon things for which we are grateful: family, friendship, our passion, and our health. Our year has been fortunate so, in today’s blog, Sass3 would like to express gratitude for all that we have accomplished, especially through Outlander!

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Sass3nachs React to Season 3, Episode 1

SEASON 3 IS HERE! Droughtlander is over…finally. New episodes of Outlander, based on Diana Gabaldon’s third novel, Voyager, have begun, and we cannot stop raving about the most recent installment!

We, Sass3, want to share our reactions to the premiere episode, “The Battle Joined,” directed by Brendan Maher and written by Ronald D. Moore, which aired on STARZ on September 10, 2017.

BE WARNED: SPOILERS ARE THROUGH-OUT THIS ARTICLE! If you have not seen the premiere episode of Season 3, read on at your own risk.

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The Outlander Trailers: The Effect On Our Global Heart Rate and Our Anticipation for the New Season

 We have loved watching the trailers for Season 3, not to mention the heart stopping images from the Entertainment Weekly cover shoot.  This is a pure sign that Outlander is definitely back! If you have a wee addiction for anything Outlander, we can imagine your responses. The glimpses into the next season may have ignited a wealth of emotions – more likely it reinforced your addiction to all that Outlander holds true. The reflection of history, journeys of hope and faith, impact of war, examination of morality, suspense, test of character, voyages into the unknown, bonds of families, honor, and love. The absolute truth is that you are left wanting more! From our perspective, we were entranced and completely absorbed by the imagery of Season 3. Starz has done one thing completely correct, the adaptation of Outlander is and will always be OBSESSABLE. 

Only seven more days until the season premiere! As we get closer to September 10th, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to discuss our newly cemented addiction to this series, our desire to send a sincere thank you to the entire cast and crew, and reflect on our favorite moments of Droughtlander.

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Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton: Their Talent, Portrayal of Roger and Brianna, and What We Admire Most

There are many characters in the Outlander series that immediately grab one’s attention. Diana Gabaldon has shared her writing process on several panels we have attended. We are always fascinated to hear her speak of her own manner in developing the nature and disposition of each individual within the series. She is able to follow her own instincts to masterfully bring the essence of each character to life. We admire her ability to draw from her own memories, use her imagination to create vivid context, and utilize true components of history to form her timelines. The results of her writing are unlike any other author we have experienced. As readers, it is easy to immerse ourselves in this fictional world and quickly form an emotional connection to the characters she introduces. Yet, as we follow their journey of adventure, success, hardships, and facing unfathomable barriers – each are capable of surprising us in the most unexpected ways.

There are a several roles within the series that endure surprising transformations through dramatic shifts in the storyline over the course of the books. A few that immediately come to mind include Young Ian Fraser Murray and Fergus Fraser. However, it is Brianna Randall Fraser and Roger Wakefield MacKenzie’s journey that comes to the forefront when we think of characters who will soon embark on a remarkable journey. Everyone loves characters they can root for, and these two will certainly not disappoint. Leaving fans who have read the books to hold their breath, we not only foresee the events in their future, but also look forward to seeing the progression of this dynamic relationship on screen.

Seeing Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton at San Diego Comic-Con was an incredible experience, and we can certainly attest that their chemistry is a perfect match for what lies ahead for their characters! In our excitement for the new season, Sass3 couldn’t wait to celebrate these immensely talented actors and our top reasons why we admire this literary couple. Continue reading Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton: Their Talent, Portrayal of Roger and Brianna, and What We Admire Most

Transformation from Hobby to Enthusiast: One Fan’s Journey to Spreading Positivity in the Outlander Fandom

As professionals with families, we joined this new adventure of writing about our enthusiasm for Outlander to not only illustrate our own journeys, but also for those whose lives have been transformed by this dynamic series. Spreading positivity throughout this fandom is important to us. We enjoy sharing our endearment for the adventures we take, the experiences with other like-minded fans, and, most importantly, the connections we have developed with others across the globe. Neither one of us could have predicted the remarkable path we found ourselves following, as we express our enthusiasm for all things Outlander.  Needless to say, we are enjoying every moment!

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A Scotland and Outlander Fan – Lady Piper Tress Maksimuk

When one thinks of Scotland, images of coos, kilts, lochs, castles, and especially picturesque, green lush moors naturally come to mind. Matched with our romantic impression of this majestic land, we feel the connection that beckons our intrinsic desire to be a part of this wonderful country; we simply love her. However, one aspect that embraces all that we hold dear – the landscape and spirit of Scotland – is its music. Anyone can feel the magnetic pull of the Highland Scottish Bagpipes as it creates a hypnotizing pulse that radiates through the heart, a fond affection the soul cannot deny. We are drawn to this mesmerizing sound of their captivating melody, generating a vibration that echoes and transcends through space and time – transporting any recipient to a magical place. The Scottish Highland Bagpipes are deeply rooted to Scotland’s people, history, and culture – naturally making any Outlander fan drawn to these enchanting instruments.

Our readers already know, we completely adore Diana Gabaldon’s books – not for the sheer love story, the Scottish scenery, or the lively adventures, but simply because of the strong and powerful female character, Claire. With today’s cinema finally presenting resilient and spirited women role models, it’s Sass3‘s great pleasure to highlight today’s blog to a lass with unwavering abilities and a trailblazer who has broken the stereotypical notion of a piper: Tress Maksimuk.  

Let’s meet this extraordinary woman.

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Scott Kyle – More than Ross the Lallybroch Blacksmith

Scott Kyle – a man of many talents: actor, artistic director, venue manager, commercial producer, teacher. He has played roles in several movies, has organized special events and works with today’s youth in order to build their artistic future.  He is so much more than we had imagined!

Scott became known to the Outlander world as Ross Owen, Lallybroch’s blacksmith in Season Two, Dragonfly in Amber. He has taken time to converse with us, Timeless Sass3nach Journeys. In our interview, we found that there is so much more to Scott Kyle than meets the eye. It is through his endearing portrayal of Ross that we became admirers of Scott. In this role, it is his character’s stirring interaction with Kincaid, played by Scottish actor Gregor Firth that drew our attention to Scott. In the episode they made a pact: if one met his demise, the other would care for his wife and children. It was a touching scene, but we don’t want to give away more. Due to his wonderful depiction of the blacksmith highlander, Scott’s fanbase began to grow. We also grew to love him because he graciously interacts with his fans on social media on a regular basis, taking the time to respond somehow to those who absolutely adore him. This commitment to fans hasn’t gone unnoticed. Scott is someone who would be a truly dedicated friend, much like his character, Ross.

In our interview, we were able to learn about Scott’s beginnings and his devotional work at a restored and revived theater in Scotland. It was a pleasure to get to know him and share his story.

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One Fan’s Experience Meeting David Berry – Outlander’s Lord John Grey

Outlander’s global community is one of the joys of this fandom, enabling the formation of new found connections to fan-bases around the world. This is something for which we are absolutely most grateful.

“All because she wrote a book.”  

As we form these new relationships, it is natural to share any new knowledge regarding hints to the storyline, filming information, or even the opportunities to meet the cast themselves. It is wonderful to support our fellow fans and live vicariously through their experiences, helping to make droughtlander a bit more easier to bare.

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Dawn Chandler: Her Casting in the Outlander Season 2 Finale and Beyond

Dawn Chandler illustrates the magic of being a performer. She is able to interpret and tell a story that invites an emotional connection to her viewers, allowing them to truly feel part of the narrative being told. From theatre to television, she has begun to place her artistic mark with each performance credit. Her dedication to her craft is also portrayed in her desire to continue expanding her levels of presentation by going beyond each roles initial expectations. To watch her authentically interpret each character she embodies is always enjoyable to witness. However, we also believe one of her biggest merits lies in her genuine personality that she displays outside of her work as an actress. Her heartfelt messages to fans and our ease of conversation during this interview made us realize how grounded and humble she truly is – and we would love nothing more than to be able to sit down and enjoy a drink with her one day. It is with great pleasure that Sass3 presents the talented Dawn Chandler. We feel honored to have had the opportunity to communicate with her after the completion of Season 2 finale of Outlander.

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