Melanie’s November Monthly News

Welcome to Melanie’s November Monthly News. It has been a busy month, in fact the last 4 weeks have literally flown and it seems only a few days ago I sat down to write our October post. The winter is drawing nearer and the colder weather is arriving gradually. The crisp, misty and frosty days are my favourite kind of days for the winter, although we are having our share of the rainy days, which are not so fun.

Along with the winter, comes the winter berries and I took a photo of some holly berries in my fathers hedgerow. You would not believe how windy it was when taking the photo, it was moving around everywhere. I got mostly blurry images, but this one isn’t too bad. I wanted to include it to bring cheer and joy with the vibrant and cheerful red berries.

Melanie’s November Monthly News

Melanie’s November Monthly News Early Morning Jaunt…

Lily and I got up early one morning to watch the sunrise from a good viewpoint near our cottage. It’s a fair walk over some styles and gateways along a public footpath, shared with inquisitive sheep. The views are spectacular and I took a number of photos as the sky changed colour.

Early Morning Jaunt...

The sky was an incredible colour and none of the photos have been altered or enhanced form taking them.

Early Morning Sky

A number of people commented on the photos from my last blog post. I took them and the ones here using my iPhone 11 Pro Max. It would be nice to take a proper DSLR camera out and about, and I do often wonder how the photos would differ. However by the time you are carrying it, have a dog lead in one hand, lifting Lily over gates, climbing over gates myself… along with stopping lily wanting to sniff the sheep, taking a phone tends to be a lot easier if I am on my own.

Beautiful sunrise

The photos above and below were taken at the same time, just moving up and down allowing more light in the camera lens. I wasn’t sure which to add here as I took quite a few photos, however both of these two photos seemed each to have merit so they both made it to the final cut of the post! Which I wonder is your favourite?!

Warm sunrise

And finally as the sun started to come up, it was time to head back for breakfast!

Melanie’s November Monthly News rising sun

Melanie’s November Monthly News – Chickens

If any of our readers saw last months blog post they would know we incubated some Warren chickens eggs. We 4 hatched early last month. If you would like to see photos of the chicks a few hours old, read our October blog – Chicks. The old hen and the chicks are now fully integrated without any issues at all. I think our old hen was a little shocked to start with, as the chicks were flying around having fun in their new space. However I believe she I happy now to have company.

Our Modified Henhouse

We spent a morning adding some felt over the wired areas so that it was warmer and more shelter. This in turn made it darker. So my bright idea was to add some fairy lights inside on a timer that would turn on and off during the day and night. This means they always have light to see to eat their food and roost. They love it… and it looks very pretty too!

Fairy lights in hen house

The little rascals are 6 weeks old now and are just like tearaway teens! When I bend down to check their food and water in their house, they jump on my back and climb up standing on my head! I once had a chick I reared myself, do this when I was a child. She used to sit on my shoulder, they can be such friendly and inquisitive creatures.

Two hens Truffle and Fudge

Truffle, the last little hen to hatch and who was slightly behind the others. She has caught up really well, pictured below.

Chicken called Truffle

Preparing for my next 10k

The photos below were taken on a track run a few miles from home just outside our largest village. I am running the 2020 Cambrian News Virtual Aberystwyth Charity 10K on this coming Saturday. I haven’t done as much running in recent weeks as we have been busy with work. You can’t beat a lovely misty morning run.

Misty lane run Melanie’s November Monthly News
Misty lane run

Beach Fun in Aberporth

Nicholas and myself headed out at the weekend for some beach fun and took lots of photos while we were there. We actually went to two beaches along the west Wales coast. The first below was Aberporth and Lily enjoyed racing around as you can imagine.

Melanie’s November Monthly News Beach Fun in Aberporth

She tends to run more if I run with her and we do love a bit of exploring.

Beach run in Aberporth

The photo below shows the headland looking right up to north Wales.

Looking to the mountains

I took a video of the bay below, only a short few seconds, but it gives a lovely overview of Aberporth and what it is like. I hope you enjoy viewing it!

Beach Fun in Llangrannog

We then headed up the coast to Llangrannog and ran Lily along the beach there. The weather being so clear and crisp. We had a takeaway lunch, all done very safely too.

Beach Fun in Llangrannog

The lighting was perfect and this is looking down the coastline and if you look you can just about see a group of canoeists behind the rocks.

Finally we took a photo of all three of us especially for our Melanie’s November Monthly News blog post….!

Meanderings along the Track

Early morning walks are great for Lily and I as we can spot all sorts of wildlife and early morning sunrises. The photo below shows the field and trees to the right of the track we walk, looking down into the valley below and where the sun is just peeping up above the hill.

Melanie’s November Monthly News

Lily actually looking at the camera for once!!

Melanie’s November Monthly News

I also happened upon the most tiny of fungi and you can see how small they are by looking at the green moss. It was on an old branch and just had to be photographed.

Melanie’s November Monthly News – The Oil Painting of Finn

Nicholas painted Finn last month at 14 x 11 size and it is now all framed with a plaque and ready to send off to our clients in the USA. Arron and his family sadly lost Finn so wanted a portrait to remember him by. Finn loved a particular slipper which Nicholas cleverly included in the painting too. We will be adding Finn to our website dog portraits gallery soon. Aaron and his family were thrilled and you can read Aaron’s email below.

Hi Melanie and Nicholas,
The painting looks great! I love how it captures his eyes and the contours of his fur. The frame goes wonderfully with the portrait. We are excited to hang it in our home.
Thanks Aaron 

Melanie’s November Monthly News The Oil Painting of Finn

The engraved plaque was a mirrored bronze plaque with detail edging. Matching beautifully with the gold edge of the frame.

We hope that you have enjoyed this months Melanie’s November Monthly News. I will endeavour to take more photos for our December news along with some more video clips too. Keep safe everyone!!

Melanie’s November Monthly News - The engraved plaque

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7 thoughts on “Melanie’s November Monthly News

  1. The seaside shots are beautiful, and the portrait of Finn is so poignant. The detail of the name plaque shows also the intricacy of the fur on his paw. Such a delicate touch with the brush.

    1. Hi Kathleen, Lovely to hear from you. We hope that you are keeping safe! Thrilled to hear that you like Finn’s painting, such a lovely dog and commission. We have lots more to show next month, a few Christmas gifts that can’t be shown for a while so next months artwork sections will be much bigger 🙂
      Stay Safe!
      Melanie xx

  2. Great photos, Melanie! Hope you and Nick and Lily are well. I’ve been in New Quay almost every Saturday during the summer, as I went to clean my van between customers. But I just went straight there and back to Cardiff. I’ve closed up early but hope to be there again next March. All good here, as much as it can be atm. Viv (and Trixi and Patsy)

    1. Hi Viv,
      So glad to hear that you are well and have been able to go back and forth, at least to get a few beach walks in if nothing else! We have only been to NQ a couple of times this year, we thought when the kids went back to school it would be quiet, but I have never seen it so busy! Keep safe and well and cuddles to the dogs!
      Melanie x

  3. Hi Melanie and Nicolas
    Great newsletter love your new chicks just great. The photos of your trips are wonderful really enjoy them just stunning and beautiful.
    I do have another technical question: Melanie how do you draw white whiskers on your dog drawings? Especially on dogs which many times are just errant hair, I’ve usually used sharpened electric erasers not ideal however your drawings are absolutely perfect. Again if you consider this a proprietary question I will understand. Please keep your great photos coming especially your drawings and paintings and your beautiful country. Most of all keep safe with this new virus variant showing up my experience of practicing pharmacy for thirty years variants can be more virulent. Be safe.
    Best wishes and merry Christmas

    1. Hi Bob,

      So pleased that you have been enjoying the blog and the photos. We are in lockdown here again so there might be a few less photos this month. Yes as you say the new variant is more virulent and we are keeping safe and staying home as much as we can. It’s all around us here sadly, even though we are rural, we haven’t escaped.

      With regards to the whiskers, I usually plan them out before shading and some of the time leave them the white of the paper and erase any areas that need it after. You always have to make whiskers narrower than you think.

      When this technique isn’t possible, I have a Tombow Mono Eraser that I can lift off the graphite in a sweeping motion. I find when you do this, it only takes one swipe and you have to clean the eraser on a spare piece of paper and then use it again and so on, otherwise you can find yourself re adding graphite that is on the eraser back onto the drawing. But it does a good job of lifting graphite off. When using this i find it makes the whisker too thick usually so I then go back in with a pencil to tidy.

      I hope that helps. I will be adding another blog post in the next few days, so keep checking back! Stay safe and have a wonderful Christmas. Hope to speak in 2021 and let’s hope things are much improved next year.

      Melanie x

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