Autumn in the
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, journeying with the gentle guidance and heart-centered art of Lori Ann Graham 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 (built in 1711!) just across the park from a royal palace! Curate your day, your way - relaxing in our private gardens and vinery, perhaps? 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 concoct vessels for your memories of this special trip that you’ll build throughout the week 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.
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.
During our retreat time at the Lodge, Lori Ann Graham will lead you in workshops that present her magical ways with fabric, wool, and craft. She interprets the Celtic landscape in her distinct, beautiful visual voice, and documents her passage through her journals, photography, and handwork.
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.
We will be the special guests of Kirsty at Shilasdair Natural Dye Company for a private tour of her dye studio, where she crafts her gorgeous British wool with local, natural dye plants. As she says, ‘Plants and minerals have been used to dye cloth and wool for over 5,000 years. It is a magical and addictive process unlocking the colours held within the plants around us. Here on Skye we are lucky enough to have many good local dye plants, the majority of which give orange, yellow and greens.’ As well as celebrating our local colours we also use ancient dye stuffs such as indigo and madder.’ Shopping in her Dottie Angel-inspired on-premises shop is a joy, and we can’t wait to share this experience with you!
After our sojourn in the Western Isles, our caravan continues to explore the classically rugged mainland of the Scottish Highlands. We traverse the Great Glen, and do just a little bit of monster hunting (because how could you go to Scotland and not search just a little for her most famous unexplained plesiosaur, or something.) 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 an 18th century farmhouse in Edinburgh.
- 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.
- 7 breakfasts
- 1 lunch
- 1 afternoon tea
- 5 happy hours (including wine and Scottish nibbles!)
- 6 dinners (including 2 extra-special, unforgettable events!)
VIP pickup and transfer from Edinburgh Airport.
Three days touring through the Scottish Highlands and Islands AND three optional tour excursions with our professional tour guide.
Classes with our feature artist, Lori Ann Graham.
Two workshops with your hosts Summer Kiser and Jane Bumar.
Natural dye presentation with Kirsty of Shilasdair Yarn.
A special gift bag to commemorate your adventure.
Most supplies needed for your classes. You are welcome to bring additional materials!
Shared Double Room (one roommate) $3,275
Private Single Room (one person) $3,600
Maximum of 12 attendees