fine art pet portraits by commission
Welcome and come on in! If you are tall, mind your head as there are low beams and low doorways in our cottage. We found our old welsh cottage in July 2007. We stumbled upon it, located in the heart of Wales and immediately fell in love with it. It had only been on the market for 3 days..by the 4th we had bought it! The cottage is very old, we are unable to find out an exact date, however we believe it was probably here from the early 1700's. It had been a little neglected over the years and many areas of the cottage needed a lot of tender loving care. So in 2007 we began our adventures and turned a tired little cottage into the gorgeous and happy home it is today.
So jumping right in, here is our renovated kitchen. It is a far cry from the way it was when we moved in. We uncovered the original chimney breast, laid reclaimed slate flagstones on the floor, lime rendered the wall, removed layers and layers of cement and pointed the stone walls. We spent a lot of time on creating a new ceiling in between the wooden joists and found reclaimed joists to replace missing ones. We also had a new wooden kitchen installed. This is to name but a few jobs.
Our living room has gone through some changes. The photo below shows what it looks like today. It is a calm, warm and relaxing place to sit and enjoy life. There is a large inglenook fireplace which is most likely a later addition, probably sometime in the 1800's. As you can see there are large oak beams run through the cottage, three in total, plus the inglenook lintel, which are unusual for our size of cottage.
The largest change to the living room is our new reclaimed slate floor which we laid at the same time as the kitchen. We sourced the slate flagstones from three different places here in west Wales. The first batch of reclaimed slate was from a farm about 20 miles from here. The second were from an old school in New Quay (Wales) and the third batch was from an old jewelery shop in Lampeter. We love the floor, its just how we imagined it would be. It looks 'right' like its always been here. We know that originally there were slate flagstones in the cottage, we also know that part of the ground floor was cobbled at one time as we found in situ cobbles during our renovations.
Not only have we renovated the ground floor of our cottage, but over the 10 years we have renovated the entire upstairs too. New windows, insulated the roof, revealed the chimney breast in the master bedroom, renovated the bathroom, took up old carpet and sanded the wooden floors. Most importantly we took off all of the old plasterboard on the walls which was covering beautiful features and replaced some with tongue and groove paneling, replicating the old Victorian paneling from downstairs. It was quite never ending and anyone who has taken on the job of renovating an old property they will understand the trials and tribulations, not to mention the budget and the contingency disapears very quickly. The photo below shows Lily looking out of one of the old sash windows, the walls were covered with tick cement at once time, now they can breathe.
Renovating our little cottage has taken a lot of work but the garden has also had it's fair share of work too. Over the years of living here, we have been working tirelessly to create a haven for us to enjoy. When we moved in, our back garden was a rectangle as you can see in the photo right. It was a simple lawn, some overgrown shrubs and hedgerows with shed at the bottom of the garden.
Being a keen gardener I wanted to develop the garden into a wildlife haven, and a safe place to have a dog and chickens. We also knew we eventually wanted to create a dedicated place to work outside in the garden, rather then using a room in the cottage.
So we purchased a piece of unused land both below and to the side of us from our neighbours. It has taken a lot of work as the land was overgrown and had become a place to store old roofing slates, abandoned rotting logs and was was covered in brambles, stinging nettles and foliage. A huge task to take on but a very exiting one!
The photo below shows how the same view looks now. If you look towards the bottom of the garden you can see we have a new shed, where the old shed stood. This is in the same place as the 2007 photo above. This should give you a little scale and enable you to compare the changes that we have made in the last 10 years. We renovated the little wildlife pond and now its home to frogs, news, water boatmen and water snails.
We have been trying to naturalized the pond and bought a lily which actually flowered last year all summer, a photo of one of the lily's is below....
....and of course we just had to take a photo of a frog when we found it on the stones by the pond. There are toads too, but the frogs spawn in there every year now which is great to see.
The studio is located at the bottom of the garden which has been purpose built and insulated for our needs. You can read more about the studio on our Studio and Materials page....
Lily adores our garden. Well I say 'our' garden...I believe she thinks it's all hers!
Another view through the woodland, this is heading down towards our storage shed and chicken shed.
I love to grow plants, not so easy here in Wales as the summers are short and pretty rainy, however we do have some sunny days during the year. I have added some photos below which i hope you enjoy viewing form around the garden. I also try to add seasonal photos form the garden each month for our Blog, if you haven't found it head on over and have a peak.
We hope that you have enjoyed viewing our cottage and garden page, if you would like to see more about us and where we live, use the top navigation above as there is always plenty to see!
Testimonials.....Hi Melanie and Nicholas,
Many thanks for another splendid painting. We always new it would never be like her, the quality of the photographs quite frankly were very poor, but you have managed to make Chris very happy. He has many happy memories of his first dog Cass. Sadly I didnt know Chris then and so have to imagine. Anyway we get lots of very favourable comments about Lukes portrait which led Heather and Mike Norris having a picture done of Bobby which they are thrilled with. Many thanks for a great job.
Would you like to see our Art Studio photos?