Zoom in for this Future Feature

With video conferencing apps like Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams and Go to Meeting – people you would never have dreamed of inviting into your home are now able to critique your home décor, scanning shelves, book titles and checking out what’s hanging on your wall.

Architects, interior designers and PR companies are advising against a plain white wall as uninteresting but suggesting that showing too much personality is distracting.

Elon Musk revealed in a recent tweet that video conferencing will be a ‘future feature’ so now might be the time to change that bland background.

At Leap Gallery, we might just have the answer, just for fun we’ve called it ‘Zoom Art’. During lockdown we’ve missed using our gallery space at The Elgin Marble Company in Elgin. We still wish to inspire you and with the support of our artists we hope you enjoy this taster of our online initiative with many varied subjects. You just might find the perfect piece to hang behind you and impress your boss and wealthy clients. To discuss a purchase or if you are an artist and wish to be included in our next exhibition e mail lesley@leap-scotland.com


As the trend for vintage, retro, antique and pre-loved items continues to grow two Banffshire businesses have arranged a Vintage & Art Fair in Buckie. The event organised by Curtiss & Clementine of Macduff and Leap Gallery of Craigellachie will take place on Thursday 11th and Friday 12th December at All Saints Church Hall. Entry is free to the public however any donations will go towards the restoration of the hall.

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Rachel Kennedy has lived in the north east since moving to Scotland from London in 2005. She has over twenty years of experience working in museums and education. Now based in Macduff, her professional background as a curator and interest in researching her family history – her father’s family are from Buckie originally – inspired her to start her own business in January this year. Her business name Curtiss & Clementine comes from her Scots and English grandparents. She collects anything that catches her eye as being unusual or rare, beautifully designed or quirky. Current stock includes a diverse range of vintage tea sets, hand-made embroidered lavender bags, tartan biscuit tins, ceramics and glass, postcards and books, jewellery and powder compacts, scarves, clothing, household items and kitchenalia.

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Co-organiser and local businesswoman Lesley Ann Parker of Leap Gallery, who permanently exhibits her artists at The Elgin Marble Company says, “Images from a bygone era have proved incredibly popular over our past 10 years of trading and make for a good synergy with the vintage theme. Take, for example Jack Vettriano’s iconic image The Singing Butler or Elegy for a Dead Admiral, or Iain Faulkner’s work with retro style props. Another Scottish artist Stuart Luke Gatherer searches the past for ways of expressing his own sense of the present.” Rachel and Lesley will present an example of this artist’s work based on William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress to visitors to the exhibition at 7pm on the Friday late shopping evening inviting the audience to ask questions. She continued, “Vintage plays an important role of reminiscing and we hope our event may trigger fond memories and stories from the past. Reminiscing can play an important role in reducing the use of medication and may even benefit those suffering from dementia.”

Rachel added, “I have been taking my collection of antiques and collectables to various venues in Aberdeenshire over the summer but I am delighted to be ending the year back in Buckie where my family came from. It has been an exciting and busy year for Curtiss & Clementine and I look forward to popping up again in Moray in 2015.”

This will be a unique collaboration of two business colleagues who have combined their shared passion for art and promoting the area with their diverse contacts from the worlds of tourism, food, fashion, craft and contemporary art. Exhibitors will include local artist Myra McShane, well known for her popular prints and cards of the local conservation area The Yardie, Midge Fowlie, The Old Bag Lady from the Black Isle with her vintage leather handbags and jewellery and Threadbear from Banff, David Lewcott and his sister Ann who use tartan tweeds and fabrics sources worldwide, specialising in teddy bears and decorative home items and gifts.

This is possibly the first pop up vintage and art fair of its kind in Moray and will present the perfect opportunity to purchase Christmas gifts to cherish forever. The exhibitors hope to give all their visitors a memorable experience and will be of particular interest to people who are interested in beautiful old things.

The event open on Thursday 11 December from 11am until 5pm and on Friday 12 December from 11am until 8pm.

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Happy Friday bloggers! Like music? Why not consider The Craigellachie – very busy for eating so please book first – or just drop in to hear the music – from Max McPherson and Footerin’ Aboot Ceilidh Band – all the latest festive dates on the attached poster right up to 1 January 2015! Please Like and share and help promote local music!




Buckie born singer songwriter Colin Mackay is back on the road again after a very serious illness. Over a year ago Colin hit the headlines when he returned from Nashville, Tennessee having made an album Do What You Love with leading edge musicians and award winning producer Bill VornDick. Unfortunately just after his return Colin developed Dengue virus and has been seriously ill with this mosquito spread illness, causing him severe muscle ache and fever.


As part of his comeback he is working with me to promote Leap (Scotland) Limited tourism projects Scotland’s Gallery Trail and Scotland’s Food Trail.

An impromptu gig on the trail at the Craigellachie Hotel has led to a booking from its new owner Piers Adam, who was suitably impressed. This London based night club owning entrepreneur said, “Colin is an extremely talented and versatile musician who will entertain our local and international visitors with a combination of technical skill on the guitar and with his unique singing style”.


Colin will play live at the Copper Dog Restaurant & Grill, the new eatery in the Craigellachie Hotel in the Speyside village for the following Friday nights in August and September. He hopes to continue with impromptu appearances in Speyside and Aberdeenshire visiting participating partners on Scotland’s Gallery Trail.

I’m delighted that Max McPherson from Elgin will join the line up and  be playing live on Saturday nights. Max is a UK based guitarist/singer/songwriter and lead guitarist with Scottish rock band “Logan”. He also fronts his own blues rock group “The Max McPherson Trio” and is an in-demand guitar tutor throughout the UK.

Colin Mackay - Speyfest 2007




Additionally he is a degree graduate of the prestigious Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford and has received glowing reviews in several music magazines including Kerrang, Classic Rock and Blues magazine.”


If you are a writer, journalist etc then for further information and photo opportunity contact me Lesley Ann Parker, Leap (Scotland) Limited 07887 846495/01340 871718 lesley@leap-scotland.com


Live Entertainment 8pm until late

Friday 15 & Saturday 16 August

Friday 22 & Saturday 23 August

Friday 29 & Saturday 30 August

Friday 5 & Saturday 6 September

Friday 12 & Saturday 13 September

Booking advisable for meals in the Copper Dog Bar & Grill to avoid disappointment! The Craigellachie Hotel – 01340 881204