Autumn in the

Scottish Highlands

September 11-18, 2021


Our whimsical journey begins with the magic of Scotland in autumn, when the mist lifts off the hills to reveal nature in all her glory – glowing leaves like jewels in the gathering twilight, the summer’s heather fading to dusky purple, the wild red stags issuing their calls across the glens. You will be enveloped in the majesty of it all, with so much nature and beauty to inspire your dreams.



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 historic home in the city.  Curate your day, your way 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 craft Stitched Stories with your hostess Summer Kiser. 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.


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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 you can use again in one of her favorite oasis in the heart of the city. Of course, it’s always time for tea, and you’ll enjoy layers of sweet and savory heaven in the afternoon with our special tea celebration.



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 dramatic Highlands. 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.



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 Victorian corner of the West Highlands, an 1880’s Lodge that’s perched on the shore of a remote Scottish loch. Stunning mountain vistas with a wide range of wildlife (including otters!) will be your steady companions for our retreat days in this wild, unspoiled area rich in history.

Anne Kelly working in studio. credit Rob Sverignen.jpeg

During our retreat time at the lodge you will be led in workshops with author and textile artist, Anne Kelly   Anne's work is a symphony of personal narrative, so profoundly rooted in the ethos of 'spirit of place'. She marries mixed media collage backgrounds with her evocative, deeply-felt multilayered approach, incorporating serendipitous found textiles and folkloric influences. 




Optional day trips will show you our favorite hidden spots: the jewel of the Highlands – a fishing village on a sheltered bay with its own island that you can walk to! An antique ferry (the last of its kind in the world) which glides across pristine waters. Pubs with sheepskin rugs for sitting in front of the crackling wood fireplace, and perhaps a few artist’s shops along Skye’s creative trail. Or if you prefer, you can relax and craft back at our Lodge, taking your day at your own pace.


Brian will transport us "over the sea to Skye".  The magical isle of myth, legend and fairies where we will see dramatic landscapes complete with towering craggy mountains and waterfalls. We will visit local artisans and get a glimpse into their ancient and time honored craftsmanship.




After our sojourn in the Western Isles, our caravan continues to explore the classically rugged mainland of the Scottish Highlands.  We’ll meet the locals, and spin a yarn or three, before enjoying a tour of Knockando, the historic 1784 working woolen mill in the heart of Speyside. We’ll learn the rich history of the site and browse the range of quality woolen throws, scarves and accessories.



We’ll rest from our journey surrounded by rural charm and rustic character at a country Inn in the heart of the Scottish Cairngorm Mountains. Then, Highland Perthshire (familiar through its extensive Outlander filming locations) welcomes us with visits to the Highland Folk Museum, and quaint peaceful villages and gardens along the way back to Edinburgh.


We hope you’re intrigued, and ready to join us for ‘the perfect art retreat’!


  • Two nights at a warm and cosy home on Edinburgh shoreline reflecting its strong maritime tradition.
  • Four nights at a private Victorian lodge in the Scottish Highlands, situated on a picturesque loch.
  • One night at a four star country inn in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park.
  • 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.

  • Behind the scenes tours of some of Scotland's oldest crafts.

  • A special gift bag to commemorate your adventure.

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