11 Graham place is around 200 years old. Cameron and Julie are the latest custodians, having bought the property in April 2013. We are still discovering the history of the house, made easier by the fact that there are people in Stromness who grew up knowing the house well.
Some of that history became apparent as we lifted floors to reveal joists more like ships masts than the usual rectangular blocks we were expecting; and then peeled off wallpaper to find lists of prices of common items from 1996. The house was substantially modernised between 1996 and 2000, but a surprising amount of the old house remains behind the plasterboard…
We put in the current bathroom, and the multifuel stove in the living room as well as renovating and double glazing the existing sliding sash windows and redecorating top to bottom. There is a calm, coastal-inspired theme throughout the house, with neutral shades and natural materials providing a backdrop for the paintings and prints we have collected. Further down this page there are details of some of the individual pieces.
We live in North Ayrshire most of the time; 11 Graham Place is a ‘stepping stone’ for potential retirement to Stromness, not too far off now. Cameron works for Texas Instruments in Greenock, and Julie has her own jewellery business ‘Touchstones’, creating unique necklaces and earrings from semiprecious stone beads and Fair Trade silver. Just go along to Quernstone and ask Elaine to see some examples of ‘Touchstones’ on sale there.
The house is managed for us by Rhona, a friendly Stromnesian, who will greet you on (or near) arrival and be on hand to deal with any issues that may arise.
- Brough of Birsay – Lesley Murdoch, Yellowbird gallery, Birsay. Commissioned by us 2012. One of the pictures that defined the look of the house.
- Homecoming Moon – Anne Butler, Thornhill, Dumfries. Bought at Anne’s studio during Spring Fling 2013.
- Rockpool V – Lisa Hooper, Port William, Newton Stewart. Bought at Lisa’s studio, Spring Fling 2013.
- Mantlepiece – Pippy elm from our garden in Ayrshire. A lot more than just a chunk of wood…
- Hare – Jane Adams.
- Framed ceramic wader -Sally Lynch. She has Cream at the bottom of the lane. Wonderful stuff
- Pastel coastline – unknown artist. We bought this in Drumbeg about 30 years ago.
- Scarfs (Shags)- Una Gordon. We are told this was one of her degree pieces. Bought in Stromness Church Hall picture sale.
- Seasonal guide to British seafood – Stuart Gardiner
- The Prop- mixed media. Bought at Fairlie Art show about 2009
- Window print by Charlotte Worthington
- Port William print by Lisa Hooper
- Dictionary Prints by Fabfunky (also available from Sally at Cream)
- Eiders, gannets and waders by Lisa Hooper
- Gannet sketches – a page from Gary Craig’s amazing sketchbook
- Fair Isle – Malcolm Davies. Another Spring fling acquisition!
- Puffin stamp – Tom Frost.
- Puffin card – Lisa Hooper
- Puffin pastel – unknown artist from Largs academy
- Wader – an early drawing by Lesley Murdoch