the end of the day scenery up the hill

a montage of pony photos through the years

 

At the age of 7 my artistic nature started to show at school. The artist in me grew from there. After leaving school I studied Dentistry but after a few years in practice I decided to leave and work with race horses.  I worked hard there and started designing things in the evenings.

Over the years I have ridden in many places and worked in several trekking centres. I thought I'd include a few vintage pictures.

When I was 23 I got a summer job running the trekking centre at Ullapool on Rhidorroch Estate on the west coast of Scotland.  This is where I fell in love with Highland ponies.  I bought the first of many to come the following year from Mrs Scobie of the Coulmore stud by Inverness.

 

 

 

This first pony was 'Oscar of Mendick', who was bay. He was such a lovely chap, and I could put babies on him bareback and he would look after them. I never fell off him once.

Shortly after that I moved to Scotland to live on the Black Isle by Inverness.  I then started my collection of Highland ponies and training them for the hill.  I stayed there for a few years and then moved on to an estate on the west coast, where I worked them in turn up the hills.  I could only do this during the stalking season and so I hand crafted items in tweeds and feathers and started selling them at fairs and shows the rest of the year, especially through the summer to the tourists.

From there I moved around the Highlands and worked on a few different estates being a ghillie and doing my craftwork when I wasnt up the hills.

 

 

riding my first pony 5 miles out with my spaniel on board too

 

 

 

                   Being The Frilly Ghillie

 

The last few years I have been doing more designing and as time has gone by my hats have become ever more popular.  So, I now spend my winters and summers mainly making hats and other garments and accessories and then only work the ponies for the odd show and during the months of September and October.

 

Being a Ghillie may be classed as a mans job, so when you are female it can be quite strenuous at times.  Having said that, I have been known to succeed where many a man would not in what is difficult and sometimes dangerous work.

 

I earned the nickname "Frilly Ghillie" whilst working with the boys up the hill about 20 years ago as I was the only girl out there.  Now the name is associated with other works that I do throughout the year.

A ghillies' work is of course seasonal, so I have used my creativity and put my time to good use the rest of the year.

Currently I am living in a remote part of Scotland where I can design at whatever time of day I like.  I have no TV here and that gives me more time to come up with new ideas and different things to do with tweed.

I mainly produce Tweed hats but in recent years there have been a lot of additions to the items I make.  All my quality items are handcrafted here in my cottage and then either sent out to shops throughout the country or sold by myself at shows.   However, this has now changed with the introduction of my new online shop here on this site where you can have items delivered to your door.

I love tweed and texture and mostly use tweed of every kind especially Harris Tweed. But I also like to trim things with velvet, moleskin, tartan, leather and suede.   There is now quite a range of waxed cotton colours to choose from too.

 

The sunrise over the islands, west coast