Melanie’s October Monthly News

Boo! Welcome to Melanie’s October Monthly News and Happy Halloween to all! Well it’s safe to say Lily LOVES pumpkin!! My friend Jo and I carved my dads pumpkins this year, which were huge by the way, and Lily was besotted! Jo took this photo below. Can you see Lily looking up just waiting for the pumpkin to drop?? Scroll to the next photo too!!

Melanie's October Monthly News

As we were scraping the insides out, as fast as it was falling on the floor, she was hoovering it up. As you can see she ‘really’ wanted to run off with this big piece that Jo had. Apparently pumpkin is very gentle on their tummies and she was fine.

Lily and the pumpkin!

Now the pumpkins are done and in the front room, she does keep sniffing them. I think she is waiting for us to turn our backs and she might start to gnaw at them….. 馃榾

So this chap is my pumpkin which is a kind of ‘evil but dopey looking cat’….

Scary cat pumpkin

And this is Jo’s amazing ‘Old Lady Witch’ which she cleverly designed around the stalk of the pumpkin! Arent they fab! Much fun was had by all!

Jo's old lady witch pumpkin!

Melanie’s October Monthly News – Happy Clients

Nicholas painted a wonderful portrait of Wallace a couple of months ago which you can see in full and framed below. Our client Beth commissioned Nicholas to paint the portrait of Wallace for her daughters wedding day. Beth emailed us some beautiful photos of her daughter and son-in-law opening the portrait. You can just about see Wallace in the photos too! Aren’t they wonderful, a really lovely story that I will be adding to our website soon!

Hi Melanie and Nicholas,
I hope you are well. Sorry to have taken so long to send you these but the portrait of Wallace was an immense hit! The pictures are not that great but as you can see from Caitlin’s face she was shocked and thrilled! I was so proud of my girl that they waited until we got there to open the package!
“Wallace ” is now hanging in the living room in a place of honor. 
The Wedding went perfectly, the guests all had a great time and the weather in New York was outstanding. I could not have asked for a better time.
Again, many thanks!

Melanie's October Monthly News - happy clients!
The oil painting of Wallace
The oil painting of Wallace Framed

Christmas is coming…..

Yes … yes… I know it’s only October (or early November!) but Christmas cakes need to me made in advance and fed with plenty of Brandy! The Christmas cake recipe from a Hairy Bikers 12 days of Christmas book always turns out really great. I really recommend the book as a whole too. Bizarrely the recipe even has grated carrot in. I can never seem to find the listed ingredient dried pineapple in shops so it thats omitted, but it really is a lovely cake.

Hairy Bikers Christmas cake mix

It cooked evenly and didn’t go down in the centre which my cakes sometimes do. So yeay to the cake fairy! We use marzipan and chocolate topping instead of icing and it is utterly delicious. If you haven’t tried topping a cake with those combinations you are missing out. its not the norm I know… but it is wonderful. When its complete in December I will post a photo!

Cooked Hairy Bikers Christmas Cake

Watsons Pencil Drawing!

As many of my regular readers might know I took most of the summer out of the studio to work on garden renovation projects. I did a couple of drawings but on the whole I had a break from work. Although the work I did with the builders and with the logs outside was probably harder work! But I am now back and drawing at my easel properly. This portrait was a drawing I was really looking forward to starting. The dog is called Watson and he was drawn at 16 x 12 size. I hope you like him!

Here is the portrait being packed ready to send to my client. A couple of years ago I had plans of getting some new promotional material made. However due to Covid and printers being shut and life got busy, I never did design any. I am hoping to in the near future and have a few ideas. Perhaps postcards or a folded card of some kind. Ideas always welcome from my clients and readers as to what they would like to receive!! Maybe something that they can keep. I find that half of the promotional material I receive goes straight in the recycle, which is completely wasteful.

Watsons portrait being packed!

Chickens Honey and Snowy

My two chickens Honey and Snowy are still happy. They have full run of the garden most days now that the plants in the garden have gone over. They run after us and come when called far better than Lily does! Honey is in the photo below.. and yes she would come into the studio if we let her…

Melanie's October Monthly News - Honey Chicken

Snowy is a little more polite and tends to stay at the door. They are always after a treat of two… Jacobs cream crackers are their favourites at the moment! It also seems that if I pick one up for a cuddle, the other one stretches up as if to say.. my turn!! They are truly comical.

Melanie's October Monthly News - Snowy Chicken

Reggie’s Oil Painting

The latest oil painting to come off of Nicholas’ easel is this beautiful portrait of Reggie. The portrait is 20 x 16 in size and framed using our Ornate Pewter Frame with inner linen slip, which is beautiful. The photos of the portrait haven’t come out as well as we had expected, the painting seems to be clearer in real life, however hopefully it shows how lovely Reggie looks! The oil painting will be heading off to our clients Nick and Zoe next week!

Hi Melanie and Nicholas,
We absolutely love it and cannot wait for it to arrive.
Thanks again

Reggie's Oil Painting
Reggie's Oil Painting Framed in the Ornate Pewter Frame
Close up of the ornate pewter frame showing the slip detail.

Melanie’s October Monthly News – Aberaeron Visit

We headed to Aberaeron recently to have a little picnic in the car. Our local towns and costal areas seem to be as busy as they were in the summer. Gone are the days we can have a quiet little picnic in an empty carpark at this time of year. Everywhere is bustling. It’s great for the shops and local businesses. It might make them stay open for longer in the season so we can take advantage of them! The weather was fairly cold but lovely and it was raining out to sea as you can see by the double rainbow.

I even managed to capture a seagull in the photo below. When we were sitting eat our lunch we could see a seal bobbing up and down, but by the time we had got out of the car he’d bobbed away. It was my first seal sighing!

Bluetit Sea Swims

I have done a few sea swims with friends this month for the first time ever. There is a local organisation called the Bluetits Chill Swimmers and we met the founder, Sian Richardson on our second swim. She welcomed us with open arms as we dipped courageously into the sea. The photos below are from the final swim of this month. I loved every minute. I’m not sure I have any more planned for this side of the year due to other commitments. We are busy with Christmas portraits and of course running, but when the spring comes I will definitely be getting back out there. Id like to get a full or shortie wetsuit for the different temperatures too.

Bluetit Sea Swims

Once you get in and past the … ooh thats cold part, it is actually very pleasant and lovely. You can just about see us in the distance below.

I am not a strong swimmer by any means. You could say I’m actually a poor swimmer and don’t like putting my head under water and rarely like going in the deep end of the swimming pool. However out in the sea, being out of depth and not having the edge of the pool to hold onto, I found was fine. Amazingly. It seemed completely different and was quite a revelation. I very much respect the sea and would only swim with other people. Nicholas was watching as of course was Lily too. Can you see us in the photo below??! The dolphins were out that day too, but we were so low in the water we couldn’t see them. Lily could of course!

Lily looking on at our Bluetit Sea Swim

And Finally…

Well thats about all from us this month. Another month has flown already and I know Christmas will be upon us before long. We are both overspilling into the New Year with our portraits. So if you wanted a gift voucher or book a painting or drawing in for the New Year, please do drop us a line. And as always if you missed our antics last month, head on over to my Melanie’s September Monthly News and take a peak! See you here next month!!

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