Seasonal living, portraits and what I've been drawing with my Mont Blanc pen.
Hello! My last Friday 5 was in February. Whilst I have been documenting the weeks as they fly by, this busy 2023, I haven't written to you since. Mainly because I'm in the process of moving the Friday 5 to a different hosting platform, and it's taking a while. As such, publishing the Friday 5 hasn't occurred purely because I've been eagerly awaiting the migration and, as I heard this morning it's not going to happen for a few more weeks, I wanted to catch up half-way through Springtime.
Hello again, dear readers.
Since I last wrote, from my comfy chair in this little corner of the Universe, we've experienced pancakes and parties, a mix of sunshine and snow, and the sense of waiting for Spring has long been replaced by the joy of the warm weather. I realise how British I sound! It's all about the weather! What else has been happening? During March I watched the blossom bloom, opened the windows to the smell of spring and rejoiced at the sight of daffs. I loved the longer days of April, Easter gatherings and lighter evenings. Suddenly here we are in May and life has flown by at a fast pace. May started with a Bank Holiday, and there's a sense of 'not enough days in the week' since. Whilst I'm loving the bright blue skies, the new shoots emerging from planters last visited in the Autumn and our garden patio where the sunshine beams, I'm not enjoying cramming 5 days work into 4. That said, I hope you enjoyed the Corrie Nats.
Bank holidays aside, I'm in the process of concluding Springtime projects and heading towards the summer months with great gusto. Amidst the busy I wanted to share a few things that have stood out for me personally. As such, this weeks Friday 5 is all about catching up with some of the projects I'm working on.
Firstly, The Seasons
I'm really getting into seasonal living! It began with our move to the countryside and rekindling my love of nature. The rolling Hampshire countryside that surrounds brings endless walks through forests, across farmland and up to the most spectacular views. I'm reading more and more about living in tandem with the time of year. Which in it's simplest form means sleeping more during Winter, and enjoying that cosy blanket and countryside pub with cosy fire, instead of the late nights and outdoor living of Summer. Last Autumn I started writing about the seasons in my design studio and you can read about it over on my blog.
If you'd like some quick links to the blog articles, they are below:
Autumn 2022 - Cosy up. it's getting chilly out there!
Winter - 2022 / 2023 - The most wonderful time of the year.
Spring - 2023 - Life gets lighter!
I have started my own Substack, and you can access it here: Visit Natalie Ryans Substack.
Substack is a subscription platform where you can subscribe to my Substack and read a mix of free content and paid content. My initial intro article tells you a little more about me, why I'm on Substack and what I'm writing about. I must add, although I'm sharing the link to my Substack, I'm not going to be publishing again until Summer, due to work commitments. But please do subscribe and we'll keep in touch. It'll be worth the wait!
The third project; Portraits
My order books for portrait commissions will remain closed for the rest of the year. To be perfectly honest, I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to open them in 2024 due to work commitments.
But, I do have something rather exciting on the horizon, and that's the publication of hundreds of portraits I've created over the last years. From Cornhill Castle to The Scaliger Castle of Malcesine, you'll be able to order a personalised fine art print, a high quality reproduction of my original art work. The wedding venue portraits are a beautiful keepsake, the perfect wedding gift and make a lovely anniversary present. Here's the link to The Wedding Venue Portrait collection, and do contact me if you'd like me to check if your venue is coming soon!
Number four, What's on the drawing board I hear you ask!
Well, slowly and steadily I'm finishing Seville, Salzberg and Florence inspired artwork. These should be ready in time for the Summer Seasonal update (the link to the seasons blog is here). Meantime, here's a little drawing of Salzberg, drawn with my very special Mont Blanc pen:
I've also got a little tea inspired project on the go. I'm very much looking forward to sharing this with you soon.
Personally, I believe it's really important to share how we make our products, and to let you know our sustainability efforts. As such, there's a new section on our website setting out our processes and covers drawing and painting, printing, framing, stationery, mugs and home decor. It's just a little insight really, and to let you know how we are carbon neutral and committed to operating in a way that's kind to our planet. You can access our Craftmanship section clicking on this link.
I must also share a lovely video created last year to celebrate turning 20. This year was our 21st! It's gone so quickly!
Happy 21st to us!
OK, I think I've caught up! I started by rambling on about our website going over to a different hosting platform, we may go a little quiet again, fear not, we are just busy behind the scenes and will be back very soon with lots of new updates and articles.
Until then, enjoy the rest of Spring dear readers, see you soon!