Melanie’s September Monthly News

Welcome to Melanie’s September monthly news with a little run down of whats been happening here this month. The first piece of news is quite sad, one of my hens died and so Mrs Chortle is the one and only left now from my original brood of chicks 7 years ago. She is quite lonely and so comes up to see us at the cottage every know and again, or studio wherever we are. She really misses her friend. You can see a photo of Mrs Chortle with Lily watching below.

So… whats my plans for new chickens you may well ask!

Melanie's September Monthly News
Melanie’s September Monthly News

Well! I have bought an incubator and some fertile Warren eggs. The incubator holds 7 eggs, however I have bought 6 eggs and will set them later this week. It will all be trial and error, hopefully we will have a few little chicks bumbling around this time next month. I will of course take photos for our next blog post of the incubator and the eggs. Watch this space!!

10K and Race for Life

Two friends and myself have just completed a 10k race. It was a competition between Ireland and Wales – and Wales won! I was really pleased with my time at 1hr 6 minutes. I wasn’t trying to beat any kind of time, however now I have done the 10k, I would like to improve on my time.

The girls were amazing, one had made cakes with 10k iced on them which you can see below, along with chewy gummies designed to give you energy after a race. Also, my other friend had organised tea and coffee in flasks and ginger electrolyte drinks for us too. Plus of course 10k medals!!!

This all happened on the same day as the Race for life 2020 which you can see on the t shirt in the photo below. I am relatively new to running and doing any kind of races, so I am going to do the Race for Life next year too. Very excitingly have already singed up for the local Race for Life 2021 and next year it won’t need to be virtual. I am accepting donations for cancer on my Just Giving page and you are more than welcome to donate.

Donate to my Race for Life 2021 for cancer page – Race for Life 2021

10K and Race for Life
10K and Race for Life
10k cakes!
10k cakes!


A few weeks ago we headed to Herefordshire to test drive a car. On the way home we took a short diversion to the most beautiful village called Weobley. The village houses are made from timber frames, mainly dating back to the 1500’s. The houses are exquisite and the people who live there are so lucky! Out of the many photos we took whist there, I have added a number below for you to see. The first photo shows a Hall House where tree ring dating on the beams dating the hose back to 1441 and 1494!

Weobley - Photo taken now and the comparison above on the info board.
Weobley – Photo taken now and the comparison above on the info board.
Weobley - Close up on the hall house
Close up on the hall house
Weobley - Looking up at the incredible building construction.
Weobley – Looking up at the incredible building construction.

The entire village was simply beautiful. The building in the photo below on the left was a shop, you can just imagine victorian children looking in the window cant you! You can also see the side of the building in the photo below that, a substantial dwelling!

Front of the shop at Weobley

Opposite this building was a garage and you can see the old garage pumps still there too. Obviously not from the 1500’s!

The Village of Weobley

Finally, this beautiful line of houses below overlook a green and the little tiny carpark. If anyone reading this in the UK or who are thinking about visiting the uk, it should be a must on your to do list. Especially if you love looking at old buildings like we do.


Walking the Lane with Lily

Lily and I are still trying to get out and about walking but we aren’t really going far enough. Lily went to the vets for her 6 monthly check and vaccinations and has put on weight. It’s not really surprising with everything that has been going on this year, we haven’t been doing our coastal walks at the weekends. The lane walk is lovely though and the photos taken below were early this morning when the mist was rising.

Walking the Lane with Lily
Walking the Lane with Lily
Walking the Lane with Lily
The track near our cottage

New Quay Visit

We visited New Quay a couple of weeks ago thinking that all of the visitors would have gone home as the children have gone back to school. However it was extremely busy, a few people on the beach but more on the quayside.

New Quay Visit
Photo of New Quay West Wales
New Quay Visit
New Quay Visit

Lucie’s Oil Painting

The oil painting of Lucie was a really lovely commission, from a client based in the USA. Jon commissioned Nicholas to paint a 20 x 16 oil painting of Lucie, who had recently passed away, as a surprise for his wife. The portrait was framed in our Providence Frame and you can see a video of the frame on our website too. Jon emailed a wonderful testimonial which you can read below, one that we will be definitely adding to our website in the coming weeks. I am planning a number of updates so watch this space!

Lucie's Oil Painting
An oil painting of Lucie

Hi Nicholas,

Everything about this portrait is fantastic. Far above my expectations. The frame is amazing, size is great, just exactly what I was looking for.

The impact on my wife was immediate, big, gushing tears. “I feel like she’s right here with me.” I catch her just staring at it every day. They were so close, this has really helped in a variety of ways. Thank you so much. The small touches really do it, there are whiskers that we both remember that you captured. The various textures were perfect.

You are amazing, you made the end to end process simple, provided great updates, and the final product…wow. You really are a marquis operation.

Personally, thank you. This has helped both my wife and I more than I could have ever imagined. It’s with a heavy heart that you will get my repeat business.

I’m just lacking the right words for the impact that this has had on our family. Most satisfied customer. I thought I was buying art, but got much more.


Lucie's Oil Painting Framed
Lucie’s Oil Painting Framed
Melanie's September Monthly News
Melanie’s September Monthly News

Alfie and Max Oil Painting

The Oil painting of Alfie and Max was commissioned by a returning client called Katie as a surprise gift for her daughters birthday. The painting was a 20 x 16 oil painting and it was framed using our Highgate Frame. I have added photos below, plus you can also read a lovely testimonial from Katie below too.

Nicholas completed the oil painting of Alife and Max in September
Nicholas completed the oil painting of Alife and Max in September

Melanie and Nicholas,

Just to say the picture arrived safely and now all wrapped and hidden away before Saturday. Its even better ‘in the flesh’ so thanks so much. I will take some pictures and let you have them.

Kind regards and thanks again your work is stunning
Katie K

Alife and Max Oil Painting Framed
Alife and Max Oil Painting Framed

We hope that you have enjoyed reading Melanie’s September Monthly News and if you missed our news last month, why not head over to our previous blog post – August Melanie’s Monthly News

Alife and Max Oil Painting Framed
Oil Painting Framed

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5 thoughts on “Melanie’s September Monthly News

  1. Melanie,
    Your monthly newsletters are so interesting and delightful. Congrats on your 10k run! Here in Santa Cruz, CA, by the Monterey Bay, we have a yearly 10k Wharf to Wharf run, which I used to run when I was a bit younger! It was great fun, even the training!

    Nicholas’s paintings of Lucie and the horses are magnificent and inspiring. I got a little teary reading the email from Lucie’s guardian. Touching.

    You may remember back about six months we exchanged a few emails about my starting to do graphite drawing, specifically pet portraits, after 40 years of practicing law. I was trying to find an on line course and you recommended the pet portrait course at LAC that you developed. I finally enrolled last month and I am just completing the first set of exercises and drawings to submit to my assigned art tutor. The surprise was that the lessons are the original lessons you created. I still visit your website portrait drawings to draw inspiration and study your technique for dogs and cats I may be working on.

    Thank you so much for sharing your incredible talent with everyone, especially those of us who adore our furry friends (and those with feathers, too). Both you and Nicholas’s work is incomparable, in my humble opinion.


    1. Hi Christine,

      We were thrilled to receive and read your message!!

      Thank you so much for your kind words about Nicholas’s oil paintings. The email from Lucie’s owners was so lovely. We are often quite emotional reading the emails from clients when they have received their paintings and drawings. It’s so special, we are very lucky to be able to drop our job.

      I am thrilled that you enrolled on the London Art College Pet Portraits Diploma Course. Thats absolutely brilliant! Yes its still pretty much how I wrote it all those years ago with all of our paintings and illustrations. The basic techniques of learning to draw don’t really change which is great! Drawing from life is always key and something that both Nicholas and I should do more of! Life and work gets in the way of hobby drawing for us.

      I’m glad you still visit our websites to get inspiration from the artwork there. I have many new paintings and drawings to add soon, just need some time to update 🙂 Your words are very kind about our work, we appreciated them, thank you!!

      Melanie and Nicholas x

  2. Hi Melanie
    Very great newsletter hope the chicks are hatched and doing well and photos of your beautiful country as well. Congratulations on the successful race. I do have question: the Fabriano you use is it 140lb or 300lb hot pressed been using 140lb and am trying avoid buckled creases thinking of using 300lb a bit on the “pricey” side. Thanking you in advance and for the generous advice in the past.
    Best wishes

    1. Hi Bob,

      Lovely to hear form you, i hope that you are keeping safe. I use the 300gsm (140lb) as its the perfect weight for drawing. You have to be careful when storing as yes if you crease it, it will show, however I don’t seem to have any problems. I keep mine in a flat plan chest. I buy mine in a pack of 25 sheets For £59.

      I haven’t found a heavier weight in single sheets at 300lbs here however I can imagine that would be more expensive. I do have a roll of Fabriano in a heavier weight for very large drawings, however I am not so keen on it. Appart form it being on a roll and not easy to flatten, it is a slightly different surface and a little cream in colour, but still excellent paper. It comes in useful for 30 x 20 portraits – although I try not to do many larger portraits days. I am not certain of the weight as I purchased it a long time ago and cant find it in my emails, but im pretty sure it can still be purchased.

      I wish you the best of luck on your drawings and hope you enjoy our latest blog post that I have just published.

      Best wishes

      Melanie x

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