We had the first snow of the year, the kind that leaves a light white powder on every surface and sticks to tree branches. It’s just the beginning, with more snow forecasted this coming weekend…
And rows of houses in the quaint village of Plockton. See more scenes of Plockton here.
In the Scottish lowlands, we visited Abbotsford, the home of 19th century author Sir Walter Scott, who’s historical novels were influential in popularizing and romanticizing Scotland’s past.
The building and gardens were impressive. Rosie got a good view from high up with the hollyhocks.
The interior rooms held an even more amazing collection of treasures, my favorites being the entryway full of armor and wooden sculpture and the sitting room, with its hand painted Chinese wallpaper.
Coming from the land of cedar shingled cottages, it’s quite a contrast to see Scottish houses, which are all made of brick, stone and slate. I love their solid stance, with a touch of whimsy showing in the windows and roof lines. These photos were taken in the towns and villages along our hiking route in the Highlands.
Throughout Scotland, the building materials of choice are stone, with slate roofs.The rooftop scene above was taken from Stirling Castle. And just a short stroll down toward town is Argyll’s Lodging (below).
This joining of metal and slate roofs was in a village along the Caledonian Canal.
Chimney pots and pointy roofs with finials added a bit of whimsy to the solid structures. The rest of the photos were taken in small towns in the Highlands and in Inverness.
For this year’s Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall exhibit, I invited some new builders with fresh interpretations of the fairy house concept. I’ve always thought that ceramic artists could bring a unique perspective, so I asked 3 local potters to take part.
They were all thrilled and excited to make something for the show and each artist spent a good part of the winter and spring experimenting, constructing, glazing and firing their clay pieces. Each potter made multiple dwellings, creating a neighborhood, with many parts. Perhaps it’s because they are used to production work and couldn’t stop at just one! Ron Geering, Teesa Morgan and Kim Sheerin have all outdone themselves and in many respects, their houses are the stars of the show!
I’m encouraging everyone I see to go up to Highfield to experience the display. So many people assume that the exhibit is just for children and picture fairy crazy little girls flitting about, but it’s really an art show for all ages, men and women, boys and girls. If you live near enough to visit, please pick up a map inside (it’s free, but donations are appreciated) and start your search! I will be showing more pictures in the weeks to come, so that everyone can get a glimpse at these extraordinary dwellings.