Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Urbex - Aberdeenshire

These photos are from another 'urban exploration' shoot (although actually, this location is very rural). This is an abandoned house/mansion, set well back from the road in Aberdeenshire. I haven't been able to find out much about it, because it seems very little is known. There is a rumour that it was owned by a young couple, and the husband never returned from war, leaving the wife alone (I am not even certain whether this was the First or Second World War). One day, she just deserted the property, leaving it abandoned. (This story may be entirely fabricated, but it's the only history I was able to unearth).
This location was very difficult to find, and even with the help of local knowledge, it took three attempts to locate (it's around a twenty minute walk from the nearest road).
What is obvious from this ruin, is that it must once have been a wealthy and opulent manor. Aside from the vast house itself, there is a walled garden, set down the hill (the house would once have overlooked the walled garden, before the forest reclaimed the grounds). Within the grounds, there are bridges and water-features, and you can just about imagine how grand this house must have been. And inside the house itself, some of the decorative features remain, hinting at the wealth of its former occupants. There is also a small gate-house (I'll photograph this next time), also abandoned, easily two miles from the manor itself, which gives an indication of the size of its grounds. It must have been a costly and laborious process, just to transport the building materials to the middle of the forest where this property is located. It's hard to imagine how such wealth can now lie in such tatters.
The house itself is formed of two parts. The original stone building is more 'typical' of Scottish architecture, with square rooms, and cellars built into the basement. But my guess is that parts of the original mansion were already in ruins when the rest of this property was last occupied. Half the house has been renovated in a Mediterranean style, with rounded bay windows; a porch with tall, dignified archways; and a conservatory. This is the part that is best preserved - presumably, most recently abandoned. This part of the house retains a feel of its former occupants, and whatever tragedy tore them away from this once fine house. It's hard not to feel emotional, walking away from this ruin.
Upstairs is no longer accessible (as you can see from the staircase), but this is such a fascinating place to explore, and I will return next time I'm in the area, hopefully. These photos are from two separate shoots - one from my first visit last summer, and a return visit in spring this year.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Happy Mother's Day

These were shot in Scotland, on Mother's Day 2015, to send to my Mum (Momo = Mummy's Mummy). 

Friday, 13 March 2015

The making of a Mother's Day card

This is an easy way of creating 'marbled paper' I found on Pinterest. You can find more detailed instructions here. (I can't claim any credit for the idea).
In a nutshell, you squirt shaving foam over a tray (we used a plastic chopping board), and squeeze poster paint over the top, which you then swirl into patterns and press the paper over the top. Remove the foam with a squeegee (car-window scraper will suffice), and the pattern from the paint remains. We made several of these, and have used them for various greetings cards, including the Mother's Day card featured in the following blog post.