Scotland – June 2015: roofs

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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).

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Argyll’s Lodging

This joining of metal and slate roofs was in a village along the Caledonian Canal.

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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.

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fairy houses 2015: ceramic abodes

Fairy House blog-1For 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.

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Rhodo’s Rocky Roost by Tessa Morgan

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Tessa Morgan

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Tessa Morgan

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Tessa Morgan

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Tessa Morgan

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Tessa Morgan

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Kimberland by Kim Sheerin

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Kim Sheerin

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Kim Sheerin

Scotland – June 2015: Doors

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It’s been a few days since we returned from Scotland and I’ve just now looked at the photos of our trip. As usual, I’m organizing them in my favorite categories, including doors, houses, store fronts, flowers, landscapes, Polly, etc. We visited cities, including Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness, but spent the bulk of the trip hiking the Great Glen Way, which follows the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands. The weather covered the gamut, with rain, strong wind, clouds and even a few days of sunshine. But, we managed to avoid the dreaded Scottish midges! We loved meeting the locals in the towns along the way, who all seemed to have time to chat–a welcome contrast to our experience at home, where we are so busy and preoccupied with our “important” lives.

Today’s collection includes photos of doors in the ubiquitous stone houses seen everywhere in the UK. The pictures of town houses were taken early one unusually bright morning in Inverness, in our B&B’s neighborhood. Stay tuned for more photo collections of our trip. I hope that you enjoy the tour!

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France (buildings)

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I’m still organizing pictures from our trip to France last fall. Here I am, taking photos of the many picturesque buildings we saw in Provence and in the towns and villages along the Canal du Midi.

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Castelnaudary, France

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Avignon, France

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Villesequelande, France

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Villesequelande, France

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Avignon, France

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Millepetit, France

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Castelnaudary, France

Bram, France

Bram, France

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Toulouse, France

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Bram, France

France (Marseille streets)

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One evening, before the restaurants opened, we wandered around Marseille in the Le Panier section of the city. The streets were alive with families playing and socializing before heading inside for the evening. This city is gritty and real, but has an appealing esthetic quality. I loved the pastel shades of the houses and window stutters. Every narrow street had a story to tell.

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France (doorways w/vines)

La Redorte, France

La Redorte, France

Let’s go back to our recent trip to southern France. Among the gazillion pictures Rob and I took of doors and windows, there are more than a few which feature trained leaf vines and other plants. It was so odd to see vegetation growing out of the pavement, with no dirt in sight. I love the way a bit of greenery frames and softens the straight angles on the buildings.

Carcassonne, France

Carcassonne, France

MillePetit, France

Mille Petit, France

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Argen, France

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Argen, France

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La Redorte, France

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La Redorte, France

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Bram, France

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Marseilles, France

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Marseilles, France