Melanie’s December Monthly News

Welcome to Melanie’s December Monthly News – the last blog of the year! I’m wring this on New Years Eve and I think if you ask most people today, they will surely say, let’s hope 2021 will be a better and healthier one for us all. It’s been quite a year and although we are currently in lockdown here in Wales, there is hope for the future to go back to some kind of normality with vaccines.

The stamped artwork below was completed by myself just prior to Christmas to wish all of our friends and family a very Happy Christmas and New Year. I love using stamps and inks, don’t get the chance often, but I hope you like my efforts this year!

Melanie’s December Monthly News

Melanie’s December Monthly News – Christmas Holidays

Sadly our Christmas plans were thwarted at the last minute. I had booked a holiday cottage for Christmas in Somerset for us and Nicholas’ parents, back in January (Pre Covid), however it was cancelled two days before as we went into lockdown.

So our Christmas was a very quiet one, we hadn’t put up decorations as we knew we weren’t going to be here, nor did we have a tree! We did however have plenty of food, a warm roaring fire and of course our own cosy cottage to ‘cwtch’ down in over the festive season. We did indeed have a snowy one this year as you can see from our little cottage photo.

Our Cottage
Our Cottage

The fireplace did its job in keeping us warm with our cosy fire. Just a shame we were unable to share it with friends and family. Hopefully we will next year!

Melanie’s December Monthly News - Our Inglenook Fireplace
Our Inglenook Fireplace


The snow was absolutely beautiful and I love heading out early in the morning in the lovely light for photos. The photo below is my favourite from the selection I took on that morning. I love the way you can see the snow falling against the more distant dark clouds. The trees with their snow covered branches look so crisp. I have added a few more photos for you to follow my trundle down the lane with Nick and Lily.


This view is the start of the walk along the lane. As we got to the woodland track the sun was just rising. I peeped over the hedge to take some photos, the sky was beautiful!

Early Morning Sunrise
Early Morning Sunrise

This is our usual little woodland track that we walk down, it looks completely different covered in snow, so very pretty.

Melanie’s December Monthly News - Walk along the Lane
Walk along the Lane

We headed right up onto the top of the hill to walk along the footpath and the sky was amazing as the sun came up more, beautiful colours too. You can see Lily in the field too, she had so much fun.

Top Fields
Top Fields

The photo below is of Nicholas standing in the field with Lily. The sky again in this one is incredible. It often feels as though you are on top of the world when you are up there.

Nicholas and Lily in the Snow
Nicholas and Lily in the Snow

Walking home when the sky was brighter, but the clouds were just as amazing. This was taken on the lane along from our cottage.

Melanie’s December Monthly News - Early Morning Snow Walk
Early Morning Snow Walk

And finally a photo of Lily covered in snow! A very happy dog!



Before the snow, we had a lovely afternoon of fairly mild weather with the promise of snow clouds. We thought it was going to snow, but it was just rain, but with a beautiful full rainbow. Never far from my phone, so here are a couple of photos. The weather and the elements never cease to amaze me. Every day there is something different to see.

Melanie’s December Monthly News - A full Rainbow
A full Rainbow

Aberaeron Visit

We took a short trip to the coast for a takeaway on my birthday which was lovely. The weather was amazing, we were very lucky for it to be dry and bright. The sky was pretty dramatic and again, as with most of my photos that I take as snaps on my iPhone, I don’t really photo edit them apart from making them smaller or a bit brighter. The clouds were out of this world over the town and the sea, I hope you enjoy viewing them!

Aberaeron Harbour
Aberaeron Harbour
Melanie’s December Monthly News - Aberaeron Harbour
Aberaeron Harbour
Looking out to sea towards North Wales
Looking out to sea towards North Wales
Looking towards North Wales
Looking towards North Wales

‘Crumble’ – Pet Portrait in Pencil

Both Nicholas and myself were busy in the lead up to Christmas with portraits and this is just one of the drawings I completed. It is of a gorgeous Spaniel called Crumble which I drew at 14 x 11 size. If you would like to commission a drawing, visit my prices and contact page at any time. Crumbles owner was delighted and you can read Sarahs reply when she saw the finished drawing below…

Dear Melanie,
It’s amazing – you have caught her perfectly – thank you so much. I shall be getting you to paint a few more of my dogs over the coming year!  So thrilled.  Wishing you a very Happy Christmas.
Best wishes,

'Crumble' - Pet Portrait in Pencil
‘Crumble’ – Pet Portrait in Pencil
Melanie’s December Monthly News - Pet Portrait in Pencil
Melanie’s December Monthly News – Pet Portrait in Pencil
Pet Portrait by Melanie Phillips
Pet Portrait by Melanie Phillips

Melanie’s December Monthly News – Jackson’s Oil Painting

Amy, a returning client, commissioned Nicholas to paint a portrait of her sisters Beagle called Jackson. Amy was not able to see her sister this Christmas. So I wrapped the portrait for her and send it direct. Amy was thrilled, see the portrait below, plus some photos of it being wrapped in Christmas paper.

Jackson's Oil Painting
Jackson’s Oil Painting
Melanie’s December Monthly News - Jackson's Engraved Plaque
Melanie’s December Monthly News – Jackson’s Engraved Plaque
Jackson's Painting being wrapped
Jackson’s Painting being wrapped
Jackson's Painting wrapped with a Bow
Painting wrapped with a bow
Jackson's Painting ready to pack to send to the recipient
Jackson’s Painting ready to pack to send to the recipient

Well that kind of wraps things up for the year! I hope that you have enjoyed my Melanie’s December Monthly News! It’s been a difficult year for us all and let’s hope that we can all put our best foot forward, keep abiding by the rules, keep social distancing and respecting each others bubbles and we can get back to some kind of normality. If you missed last months blog post head on over to my Melanie’s November News. We wish you all a very Happy New Year and I will be writing another blog post in January! See you all soon!

Are you enjoying our blog? Why not sign up to our Melanie’s Monthly News, which comes right into your inbox each month! You can sign up at the bottom of our website or at the top of the blog. Please don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel too. You are more than welcome to comment below, we love hearing from our readers!

5 thoughts on “Melanie’s December Monthly News

  1. Lovely to receive your newsletter – with stunning photography! I so remember your kindness about 3 years ago when I asked for advice about a horse portrait, having only started painting recently. Since then I have gone from strength to strength, and at the age of 75 am setting up my own website to offer acrylic pet/horse portraits: no competition, I can assure you!! Every good wish to you both for 2021 – we live on Ashdown Forest in East Sussex and your woodland walks are very reminiscent of ours.

    1. Hi Hillary,
      So lovely to hear from you! I am really pleased that you are making a website, we would love to see when you have finished! Glad that you have enjoyed the photos on my blog, I hope to take more photos this year, get out and about with the camera a bit… when we are out of lockdown that is! I remember that you live in Ashdown Forrest, such a beautiful area, I hope that the restrictions aren’t too bad where you are, although I fear you are probably similar to us. Wishing you a Happy New Year and lets hope its a better one for us all!
      Melanie x

  2. Hi Melanie and Nicolas
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you both let’s hope for a year of calm and good health. Your ink and color best wishes is beautiful love it.
    As well as your stunning winter photos. Just love your countryside.
    If you can remember I asked your help regarding drawing if white whiskers on dogs, your tips have been totally helpful I have changed my approach and the acquisition on a tombow erasers is producing success with more practice I’m sure I will get better thank you for the great help. You would your recent drawing of Crumbles is a great example of your tremendous talent of my issue in question it couldn’t have been more timely wow wow and wow. You both are very talented and the envy of most of us struggling amateurs. Enjoy your sharing of your knowledge and most all photos of your home and beauty of your part of the world, keep it up.
    Stay safe healthy and very busy.
    Until next time
    Bob from the US

    1. Hi Bob,

      I do apologies for the delay in replying to your lovely message on our blog. I have been redoing and updating our websites and have pretty much finished, other than a small snagging list. It takes a lot of time so I have been glued to my laptop for a few weeks. I hope that you enjoy viewing them and looking around.

      I am so pleased to hear that you have a Tomboy eraser, keep at it, yes practice makes perfect! Im so pleased that you enjoyed seeing Crumbles portrait, that had to be one of my favourites of last year.

      I hope that you are managing to keep safe and another blog post will be along soon with plenty of new photos, I have been taking the camera out with me and have some lovely sunrise and sunset photos which I will post soon.

      All the best

      Melanie x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.