Merry Christmas to Everyone!

Merry Christmas to Everyone – all of our clients, followers and prospective clients in 2023! Welcome to our last blog post of the year. Lily and I did a little Christmas message which you can play below. We hope that you enjoy viewing it! This months blog post is more about what we have been getting up to. Once all of the artwork we have created in the last two months have been received, we will do another post showing the completed portraits and hopefully some client photos too.

Our Christmas Cottage

We love decorating our little cottage each year, it makes it even more beautiful and cosy than it already is. We have a stunning tree again this year, thanks to the lovely Garden Center in our local town. I have decorated it, along with decorating our little stairway too. We only have a small cottage but we have made it look very festive.

Merry Christmas to Everyone!

Gonk’s feature quite heavily in our decor this year. There is a lovely little shop called Fabb near us, with a gorgeous cafe upstairs and they sell an abundance of seasonal things.. including many of the decorations you see in the photos. These two below are among my favourites and this photo of them sitting on our wooden shelf creates a very rustic vibe.

Gonks rustic

The wooden knitted characters below are adorable and are new to our collection this year. It is going to be very difficult to pack everything away, as they should be viewed all year around!!

little doll characters - Merry Christmas to Everyone!

Our little wooden stairway has been decorated too, we believe the stairs are a victorian addition (previously there would have just been a ladder). I’d like to think the victorians would have decorated it too!

Welsh cottage stairway decorated for Christmas

Light up Gonk’s feature too and the twinkle of the tree lights in the French doors always make the room sparkle.

Light up Gonk - Merry Christmas to Everyone!

And finally some happy white and silver chaps to make you smile. Each and every Gonk we have, has so much character, they all have different faces. Thankfully Lily knows the difference between her own toys and the cottage decor!! She is such a good girl!!

Merry Christmas to Everyone!

Sprinklings of Snow

We have had a really cold spell here, the car registered -9.5 degrees one morning. We had some snow, not that much, but what we did have froze and made our road near impossible to drive on. It was gritted eventually, but a little too late as the ice built up a lot on our lane. Thankfully we had plenty of supplies in so we didn’t have to venture out too much.. other than to walk Lily as you can see us both in the photo below.

Melanie and Lily in the early morning frost

The skys were amazing every day, the cold weather seems to bring lovely cloud formations with beautiful colours. We got a little more snow each day. The photo below was an early morning pic with a colourful sunrise….but

Merry Christmas to Everyone!

…this was a very cold and chilly early morning walk!! You can see by the colour of the photo. I think Lily’s opinion was… and why have we come out for a walk today? Shouldn’t we be in by the fire?!!

Snow in Wales

Early Mornings

I have been waking up very early lately and when letting Lily out first thing in the morning, the dark sky has been quite stunning with the frosts on the trees. I was even lucky enough to see a Barn Owl fly over the garden too.

Early Morning Moon

The moon wasn’t quite full but it made for a fabulous photo with the stars. Our back garden light lit everyone up so well, it made for the perfect photo.

Frost and snow on foliage and trees


This time of year really does create good sky photos. All of the photos here have only taken with the iPhone 13, but they seem to come out really well. The colours of the sunrises and sunsets have been incredible and some a little ominous. The photo below was a late afternoon sunset.

Stunning Orange Sky

I love the fluffy yellow clouds in the photo below, all interspersed with the deep blue of the sky, as the sun was rising.

Clouds and sunrise

Another sunrise below from the same view, with hard overnight frost. The richness of the sky looks quite unreal and the trees are so abstract. This is one of my favourite views to photograph and I’m breaking all the rules here with the horizon line in the centre of the composition! Arty rules are there to be broken!

Orange Sunrise

Aberystwyth 10k

Our last two races of the year were at the start of December. The photo below shows quite a few of our group gathered for a pre race pic. I was absolutely delighted with my time this year. I managed it in 54.27 which was a huge improvement from last year at 1.06. Although I have to say I hindered last year as I wasn’t well! But even so it was a good pb for me.

Aberystwyth 10k Race

Santa Run

You might have noticed that my running buddy Harvey wasn’t with me for that race photo above. He sustained an unfortunate accident the day prior with a log splitter loosing the tips of two fingers to just below the nailbed. Everyone has been worried for him. He is thankfully on the mend now. Hopefully he will be taking it easy until next year when he will be running again.

He did make it to the Santa run with me though as you can see in the photo below. It was very cold and we did manage to get out from our snowy rural road to our local village just in time. Everyone obviously ran it, seeing it was a race, but it was more for fun. Harvey and I walked the start and had a few jogs in between. We didn’t want to hurt his hand too much so we were very careful.

Melanie and Harvey in the Santa Run

The photo below is of an amazing runner called Sarah who you have seen in my running photos before.

Merry Christmas to Everyone!

And this is the lovely Hannah who is also an incredibly fast runner, and who has the most loveliest smile of us all.

Merry Christmas to Everyone!

Below is a mixture of Santa and Elves comprising of Vince, Sarah, Kay and myself, all having a bit of fun. Everyone enjoyed the day, finishing up at a local pub who laid on food for us all. Everyone even got a running Santa medal!!

Fun at the Santa Run

And Finally…..Merry Christmas to Everyone

We hope that you have enjoyed reading our Merry Christmas to Everyone December blog. Both Nicholas and myself also hope that you have enjoyed following along with our blog this year. We would like to send a very Merry Christmas to Everyone and we will see you in 2023!

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