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Autumn

    in Argyll and 

the Western Isles

September 10-17, 2022

The long blue twilights of summer give way to the golden rich hues of Scottish autumn, with the cherry trees beginning to glow with orange, gold, and russet jewel-like leaves.  Edinburgh shines in an ethereal light as autumn evenings glow over the capital city of Scotland.  We'll be basking in the cobblestoned glory, then adventuring to the wild west of Scotland's ancient land of Argyll!  We'll explore Neolithic chambered tombs, and standing stones in ancient fields, and interpret all this wonder, soaked in history, in our own crafty ways. Coastline and crag abound, and a richness of unexpected spirit awaits you. - with plenty of time for tea, and scones laden with jam and cream, that taste even better when eaten beside a loch!

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join
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begin

We start our journey with two days in Edinburgh - the capital city of Scotland, and UNESCO world heritage site. You’ll have a VIP meeting at the airport with a kilted Scotsman, who will whisk you away to your own boutique property in the city! Curate your day, your way - relaxing or wandering the jumbled cobblestones in this quirky, ancient city that has inspired artists and writers for generations.
Later, you’ll sip with a glass of wine with us, and experience our grand opening dinner, celebrating your arrival with tales from Scotland’s bard, and the skirl of the pipes.

 

High in the misty Highlands, out by the purple islands, brave are the hearts that beat beneath Scottish skies. Wild are the winds to meet you, staunch are the friends that greet you, kind as the love that shines  from fair maidens' eyes.

wander

We’ll go stravaiging – that’s Scots for a wee casual wander – into one of Edinburgh’s secret villages, which look like they’re in Harry Potter’s garden. You may already know that the classic tale of the Boy Wizard was written in Edinburgh’s cafes, and was very much inspired by the look and feel of the city. In our wander, you’ll learn tactile ways of creating a time machine for your mind with your hostess Jane Bumar. An Edinburgh resident, she will share her artful techniques in one of her favorite oasis in the heart of the city.

transport

We may not have Harry Potter’s ‘floo powder’ but we have the next best thing: our private char-a-bánc (the British call it a ‘sharrabang’!) to transport us away to the enchanted Scottish Borders and idyllic English Lakes District. Our tour partner, Brian from Personal Tours of Scotland will regale with tales of history in a narrated journey, providing perspective and wonder as thousands of years of history roll by.

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stay 

Dusk draws in, and the Scottish sense of ‘coorie’ (to snuggle, or nestle) becomes our world for the following days. We’re staying in our own private accommodations, with views of pastoral beauty surrounding us, the ever-present ocean always near, and with beckoning mountains in the distance.

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experience

We gather wee treasures from the land, from our hearts, and from the bounty of nature. Nature ‘fills the well’, forever presenting a running stream of inspiration. Birds take wing on the wind, and so our ideas spring forth, gathering new names, and singing new songs of creativity. A synthesis of place, of precious time captured, and the outpouring of ideas that come when creatives gather, and new stories and chapters are born. We channel this spirit with fresh ideas and prompts, and weave them into a spell of land, and of time, distilling the essence of this all-important ‘Spirit of Place’. Yet, all this inspiration needs a nest to settle in - a home. Our time will be spent in a blend of sightseeing, workshops with special guests and ourselves, and individual crafting time to help you channel your own vision of a Cabinet of Curiosity. For what is that most important element of the artist’s mind? It’s curiosity! Your individual stories, told in mediums both familiar and new, form collections of extraordinary objects (found, and created) from the wonders of the natural world.

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sojourn

Day trips bring inspiration at its most abundant as we show you our favorite hidden spots:  islands filled with slate and stones for skimming, ancient abbeys, botanical garden paths strewn with wildflowers, lonely and unspoiled beaches, with no other humans for miles around. Red squirrels, seals, deer, and starry skies revealing the Milky Way in its glory. Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments spans 5,000 years with a multitude of cairns, standing stones, carved rock, stone circles, forts and castles. Sheltered sea lochs leading out to the fierce North Atlantic, chains of islands stretching to the horizon, linked like a necklace of jewels by ferries – such a hidden gem, this area of Scotland!  As artists ourselves, we also know that sometimes less is more, so if you prefer, you can relax and craft back at our lodgings, taking your day at your own pace.  You are always welcome to curate your own experience of our days together, with quiet respect for nurturing your needs.

We’ll say farewell to our magical week by taking the scenic route home. We’ll have a final wander past the heathery hills, fading from their summer cloak of deepest purple to faded tawny lavender that echoes the evening sky.  You’ll be dropped off at your chosen hotels if you are staying on in Edinburgh, or at the train station or airport if your journey continues from there.

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sojourn

return

WHAT'S INCLUDED

ACCOMODATIONS
  • Seven night’s accommodations in carefully chosen, historic and beautiful dwellings.

MEALS
  • A variety of meals including all breakfasts, daily happy hours with wine and Scottish nibbles, some lunches or afternoon teas, and most dinners.

TRAVEL

  • VIP pickup and transfer from Edinburgh Airport. Our tour begins and ends in Edinburgh.

  • Touring with a thoughtful mix of experiences all conducted by our professional Tour Guide from Personal Tours of Scotland, LLC.  Touring services include our own luxury private vehicle, narration of what we are seeing to understand the sights of this ancient land in context, all route planning and navigation, vehicle insurance, fuel, and of course, water and snacks along the way. So freeing!

    • Some days are full of sightseeing, whilst taking into account our unique needs as artists.  Even on these days, we stop and smell the roses.

    • Other days are a blend of classes, individual crafting and exploration time, or tour excursions – balance is key!  We guarantee you will feel and experience the sights of this wonderful country, but also have time for your creative practices.

  • All classes and workshops.

  • A special gift bag to commemorate your adventure.

  • Most supplies needed for your classes. You are welcome to bring additional materials!

Shared Room $3,600.  Early bird price $3,400 through April 30, 2021.

  • To enhance your experience, we keep our groups small.  We welcome a maximum of 12 attendees.

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Want to join us?

Click here to request registration information.

2021 Autumn retreat is sold out.
 Registration for 2022 retreats now open!