Easter cards – made with love…

This is my 101st blog post, so by rights it should include some dalmatians, but it doesn’t. It’s more about rabbits.

When I get that rare luxury called ‘free time’ I love to read, but if I have more free time than time to just read, I do like to make handmade cards, but this is quite rare these days with more commissions and so many other concerns and worries that the world seems to be throwing at us all at the moment!Eastercardsby Michael Quinlyn-NixonforblogHowever, putting the world issues to one side, I recently found these handmade cards that my youngest niece, Cora and myself made a few years ago, before my middle sister and her family moved to California. Most Saturdays my sister and my two nieces would come over for a cup of tea and a piece of cake and Cora and I would either play Cluedo (my very favourite board game) or make cards.

Cora has a natural talent for card making and crafts and together we fashioned some cardboard templates and found some nice gingham paper backgrounds and things that would be suitable for Easter cards and we got to work. Quite quickly we could produce a good few cards and then put on the wording and the features of the rabbits’ and chicks’ faces.

Easter is my favourite time of year and although this Easter has been anything but usual or expected, I have still found time to enjoy this special time of year and the odd one or two pieces of chocolate eggs.

There’s nothing like an Easter egg, unless of course you can have two…

Scarlett – Girl’s Birth Picture

A friend and former colleague, Jacqui, contacted me a few weeks ago, to ask if she could commission me to create a birth illustration for a new member of her family, who is called Scarlett. Jacqui’s cousin gave birth to the little girl last year and she is to be christened today (Easter Sunday) in a church in Durham city.
Scarlett (complete)byMichael Quinlyn-Nixonforblog
When Jacqui stated that her cousin, Steph, had requested an Easter theme for Scarlett, I wasn’t sure how pastel-coloured eggs, ducklings and rabbits were ‘going to go’ alongside a name like Scarlett, which evokes a bright vivid red to one’s mind. The name Scarlett originates from the colour scarlet and the name became well known during the 1940’s when Vivien Leigh played the part of the vain, self-centred and bewitching Scarlett O’Hara in ‘Gone with the Wind’ (1939). The name has also had a recent boost of interest, which is probably due to the popular and glamorous actress Scarlett Johansson.

After careful consideration of the colour scheme and layout and despite my initial forebodings about the pastel colours and the name ‘Scarlett’ I was pleased with the finished result. I had used a mid-pink for the lettering, adding in small scarlet-coloured dots to the edge of the letters, so that there was some scarlet included in the picture.

I hadn’t done an Easter birth illustration (though I was really looking forward to doing my first), so I was as happy as a sandboy when drawing the ducklings and the bunnies that are enjoying the spring sunshine amongst the Easter eggs. And of course, I had to include one of my favourite spring flowers too – the forget-me-not, which always flowers in my garden from mid-April.
Scarlett sketchby MichaelQuinlyn-NixonforblogThe sketch for the illustration

I hope the illustration is a success with Scarlett’s family and with Scarlett herself in years to come. My client, Jacqui, was so pleased with the illustration that she confessed to wanting to keep it herself, which I consider very high praise indeed…    Michael

Thoughts On – Easter Time

Easter is one of my very favourite times of the year. Not only is spring my favourite season, but I love the lighter days and the new bird song that it brings, along with the colourful bulbs and new growth in the garden. There’s something that makes me feel so alive and excited at this time of year, as Mother Nature prepares to share her bounty of greenery and floral wonders.Easter basket for blog
Every year, I prepare an Easter basket, filled chock-full of chocolate eggs, which are enjoyed by my family and friends when they visit. The selection varies, but the bountiful amount of confectionery doesn’t. I must admit that I am tempted to eat one or two (sometimes three!) of them myself, as there is nothing quite like breaking a family-sized Easter egg and cracking off pieces to enjoy…bit by bit. It’s the one treat of the year that I always allow myself and this year I am not breaking the tradition.
Weeping Fig with Easter egg decorationsDucklings under the weeping fig tree
Not only does the Easter basket get a yearly airing, but the weeping fig (Ficus Benjamina), that sits near the basket also gets a seasonal makeover and is covered in Easter chicks and eggs. There’s no reason why we should just decorate trees at Christmas, now is there? It could be that I’m a trendsetter…

There’s an old saying that when something fresh, bright and cheerful is on its way…that it’s like ‘April on the wing’…and that’s how I feel now that spring has arrived.

NB. The knitted chicks were made by my friend, Jennifer, and were sold to raise funds for cancer research. They each contain a Cadburys egg – so they are not just good on the outside :0)