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Dear Mustard Fans,
It's April already!
The clocks have already done their changes (and quite alarming it is, don't you find, when they decide to change themselves digitally rather than waiting for you to push their virtual hands around?) The daffodils are well on their way, and the bluebell woods are already carpeted in a promisingly whiffy green. The weather (outside of the gales and snow) is cheekily sunshining, and at least three skies in the past fortnight have been of my favourite cornflower blue hue. I'd say that was lucky. Lucky 13 in particular.
In case you are not a fan of our Facebook group, and have not been following the progression of my work and various breakfast designs since the New Year, perhaps you will not know about Lucky 13 at Panter and Hall, 10-26th April 2013?
And you will not be receiving an invitation to the Private View on 9th April unless you contact them pdq... Why not have a look and see all those masterpieces you may be missing?
It's been a strange old time recently, as I have been down with a lurgy that so many of us have been flattened by. With my limited energy, I have been picking and choosing my tasks rather, and feel I must apologise for not having gotten around to things I might have done otherwise. Although Nan Mustard has received a bountiful delivery of china mugs with pleasing Mustard designs for example, they have not yet found their way onto our mail order shop. And you should see the state of the back of my fridge... But over the next few weeks we will be updating the stock on Mustardshop to include these, as well as 3 exclusive prints, individually monographed and in editions of just 22. These will not be available before the show, and there is a chance to win one of each on our Facebook group.
As with many of my exhibitions, I really don't know what I'm going to do before I do it. I often have a particular idea that I plan to build a collection around, then start painting and see what happens... But this time I think it was a particular song that was a major starting point. Not just the words, but its exuberance and simplicity. I was touched by its feelings of naïve optimism, nostalgia and regret. And if this exhibition were to have a theme tune this would be it: A metaphor for all that is good and bad in our towns and cities perhaps. A bit whimsical maybe, but as you may have noticed, I've nothing against a bit of whimsy especially if it can help get the message across.
It would be lovely for me if some of you could make it to the Private View as I won't be at the gallery at other times to see you. Otherwise, let me know what you think of the new work via our Facebook group.
Gosh, it DOES rather sound like I'm a bit Facebooktastic, but it's more that I have found myself getting a little swamped answering individual mails. And often people want to know the same type of things, so rather than composing 47 replies or sending impersonal emails, I have taken to sharing thoughts, stories and pictures via our Group, whilst your emails sent in response to this, will receive their replies from my glamorous assistant in a sparkly frock, Cadi Froehlich...
Hmmm, I wonder whether anyone would hazard a guess at the jaunty number that launched our Lucky 13? I'm listening to it right now if your computer thingy has its sneaky Universal Record Playing Sprocket Adaptor plugged in...
Thanks, as ever, for your support. I'd not be where I am today without it.
Be seeing you, I hope!
All my very best,
Dear Mustard Lovers,
Well, I say it's windy because all the leaves from my neighbour's tree seem to have ended up in my fish pond overnight. I've been out there with a large sieve this morning trying to stem the damage, and getting cold hands into the bargain.
Is that enough of my moaning, then?
On the work front everything is going brilliantly...
The Mustard 2013 calendar is selling well and I am delighted to see it in the shops. A bit of a dream come true, that.
And I have done some work for a lovely pottery company working out of Stoke-on-Trent, Hudson and Middleton, and there is a set of 6 fine china mugs in production right now! They are full colour Mustards, with individually designed bases, and little words round the top and on the handles. Wouldn't it be nice if they were out for Christmas? Who knows? We're playing the waiting game, but I will let you know once I hear any news. I will post it up on our Facebook group when Nan receives the stock for Mustardshop!
There may be some Mustard stationery in the New Year: Linen half bound journals and address books. You know, quality stuff, that kind of thing. This is preproduction news, mind. They may not even materialise, but the dream is there...
New Christmas cards from Art-Press selling fast on Mustardshop as I write...
Lovely new-and-exclusive organic cotton shoppers to help you carry your Goodies in style. One is a Stanley Philpot Doggie Bag, and the other, not yet up but soon to be, is a Mustard Duck Bill Bassy Puss design. And at £4 each why not use one as an Eco Christmas Stocking?
And then there's a lovely Limited Edition Box from Art Group. I am tremendously excited about this. You can see it in its virtual guise posted up on our Facebook group. Basically it's a box of posters. 15 of them. But oh, what a box! It has been scanned from one of my favourite old suitcases. In fact the very same one that Mr M took on our trip to Africa 8 years ago. And included in the box is a lovely, signed, numbered certificate, as well as a sweet little booklet with exclusive sketches and notes on each picture, straight from my desk at Brown Dog Studio. There will be 1047 of them, retailing for £120. I will have 5 at my Open Studio for personal callers only, but Nan will also have 5 at Mustardshop for mail order as soon as she can get them (probably around 12th December).
And that brings me onto my last announcement for now: My Christmas Open Studio dates for this year are Saturday and Sunday 8th and 9th December 12-6pm. Peruse the brochure at www.aoh.org.uk. We are Venue Number 17... There will be Christmas cards, Calendars, Cotton and Jute bags, 5 Special Boxed Sets hopefully, a whole NEW range of smaller signed mounted prints, all the new signed limited edition prints and 6 new framed pencil drawings (but no other original work as I have had 2 Shows already this year and am worn out!) However if your little heart is set on an Original for Christmas (and a sketch just won't do) please visit:
We are also showing some fantastic work from erwood Prize winning artist Cadi Froehlich www.cadifroehlich.co.uk, plus hand painted boxes and treasures for the kitchen from The House of Solomon Grey www.solomongrey.co.uk. I warn you now, you'll not leave with a penny in your purse...
Of course if you have no pennies in your purse to begin with, please come along and say Hello anyway. We'll have delicious homemade minceypies and mulled wine which you can get your hands on in exchange for a small donation to Sight Savers International. We'll have Hot Popcorn, a £1 Lucky Dip, even a Tombola for those inclined...
AND two Puppet Shows daily... At 1.30 and 4pm... Of dubious quality, but heartfelt and charming. Each lasts around 20 minutes but I have no seats. 'Tis free after all: What do you expect?!
Dying to see you all of course, and no doubt I will be sending another mail shortly including all the things I have forgotten...
Happy Novembers, you lovely people!
Sam Toft x
Dear Lovely People,
I am having an Exhibition up London in a couple of weeks. It's in the beautiful Avenue Restaurant, 7-9 St James Street SW1A, and I will be making the looooong ole trip up there with my suitcases of toys and puppets for the Private View
As you may know, we don't get out much (me and the Puppets), and we would really appreciate seeing some friendly faces if you can be in the vicinity Monday 24th September 6-8pm
THIS IS WHAT IS ON THE MENU:
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org as there is limited capacity. And as you may imagine, once the word gets out that the hermit Sam Toft is coming out to play with Mr Mustard, then it will be standing room only, and the Paps had better stay away. Hmmm. But hey it would be nice to see a few of you there to give me a bit of a heckle? Or you could even place a Silent Bid with Milly, and whole Double Decker could be yours....
TThe whole exhibition can be seen online at www.art-movement.com
Little Gems at
Avenue 7-9 St James Street, LONDON SW1A
Private View Monday 24 September 6-8pm
Exhibition continues through 30 November
( but I will only be there on 24th September, when I will
give everyone an exclusive little Doggie Bag... Curiosity piqued???)
More news later, but let's get this Exhibition enjoyed first, eh?
Thanks for reading,
Sam Toft x
I thought I'd wait for a sunny day to write to you, and now 3 come along at once! And by the time this email reaches your inbox we will have our raincoats out again... I LOVE our English weather!
I have been feeling good and creating LOADS! There are some interesting projects in the pipeline, and I will leak the information just a little bit before I know I should via our Facebook group. But 3 exciting things everybody can know right now...*Very juicy and exciting Show at John Noott Galleries opens 30 June for 2 weeks **Very handmade and interesting 15 minute Puppet Show at the Gallery on 30 June at 12 noon ***Very lovely and exclusive limited edition prints available soon soon
JUICY>>>The Show is called There and Back Again, and charts my inner and outer journeys over the past year. You can view the Exhibition immediately online at www.john-noott.com, where the sales have already begun!
INTERESTING>>>The Puppet Show features the old faithful Mustard Mascot, and various Automata made with Isobel Smith and Robert Race at West Dean College over the last few years. It does not feature the handquilted masterpiece that hangs half done on the back of my sofa. Will it ever be finished? I secretly hope not.
EXCLUSIVE>>>These very limited edition prints are a bit of an experiment. I have chosen 3 very different pictures from the Show and have had them printed same size in a small exclusive edition of 22. Every edition has a little 4B pencil drawing in the title line, as well as being signed and numbered. They are mounted beautifully and come with a copy of the working sketch on the back. Let me know what you think of the idea (very limited) and the price (£115-£165)... Perhaps I would release 3 or 4 every 6 months or so, and would really appreciate your feedback on that through the Facebook group.
So! I cant hang around here all day, typing on a computer when I could be gardening on the 3 days clear of rain this June that I would like to call our beautiful Summer. Hoping to see some of you on 30th, otherwise, I will get back to work on the other couple of projects. Think Boxes and Drinkies, and if you can't guess, worry ye not as I imagine I won't be able to keep the secret very long.
All the very best to you,
Hello Mustard Lovers!
It's May again. How did that happen? Bluebells and everything!
And Mr Mustard is on his travels so will not be doing any Open Studio Events for the Brighton Festival this year...hope he's back in time for Christmas. If you'd like to see what he's been up to, and get up to date news, "like" our Facebook Group, why don't you? And for those of you who like winning prizes for answering silly questions, it's the only place to be.
In lieu of an Open Studio experience, Nan Mustard has promised some special goodies with all orders from Mustard Shop from now until the end of May...what do you reckon, custard pies or free greetings cards? And there are beautiful hand made screen prints available now at half price.. Down from £185 to £95! And now I feel like one of those cheesy grins trying to sell cheap carpets, but these silky, sophisticated prints really have to be beheld to be believed. They are handprinted in Hove in 19 colours on the most dreamy paper. I even had an embossed stamp made to tempt you further. I don't know why people aren't buying them in sets. I really don't. Any feedback via our Facebook group would be gratefully received.
I have just returned from walking 95 miles along the West Highland Way. It nearly did away with me entirely. I am not the fittest of fiddles. But guess what. I was absolutely delighted and flabbergasted to see Mr Mustard prints in one of the Bed and Breakfasts along the Way. They had 3 cairn terriers, 4 alpacas, 2 new dwarf lops, and a comfy room with lots of sofas, a Dirty Dancing DVD, and Davey the cuddly Cairn rented out by the hour. Say no more. Ewich Guest House. Don't say I sent you, or they'll charge you extra.
I will no doubt email you again when I have actually finished the pictures (and I know what I'm inviting you to), but I have a Show at John Noott Galleries in Broadway Worcestershire opening 30 June, and it would be just lovely to see you there.
Back to the easel.
Enjoy the rain,
Hello, Mustard Lovers!
IIt's that time of year again, when Valentines Day looms on the horizon...And what are YOU gonna do about it?
Well, we all know that Love is the Answer. I know, because when I walk past my local branch of British Heart Foundation, there are loads and loads of paper hearts in the window, with all sorts of messages handwritten on them. It really is a sight to see. There's PLENTY of lovin' out there it seems!
We have updated the ecards section on the website so there's a few new ones to send to your Beloveds, and why not use this as an opportunity to spread the word?
The word is Mustard.
Let your friends know that they can purchase gifts for all, online at Mustardshop, and when they do, Nan Mustard is going to keep a tally of all sales made on February 14 th. Then, dear Ernest (out of his own pocket money) will send that exact amount to a worthy cause. Which worthy cause? Any you would like to nominate. Let us know via our Facebook group where you'd like the cheque to go.
Other business... calling Louise Waters.YOU ARE THE WINNER of the RAFFLE TO WIN the SMALL DOG at CHRISTMAS original. Yes you are. So let me know you've heard, and we'll work out where and when to send your prize.
And keep a look out for some brand new work, which is being launched mid February, and will be available to peruse on Mustardshop as soon as we can muster (say end of Feb, early March).
A new collection of limited edition prints from Collier Dobson, a whole range of posters from the Art Group, and brand new cards from Art Press.
II am working hard on new pieces for my show at John Noott Galleries at the end of June, so call them up and get on their mailing list if you want to receive a brochure, invitation, general heads up...I think it will be a good Show, and there will be an Opening Reception and everything (bring your own sandwiches).
Thanks for all your feedback about the Mustard cushions, I will be onto that in my spare minutes.
Thanks for being there, Mustard Lovers.
You know we couldn't do it without you, right?
Sending love from us all, to you all,
I think December is not too early to talk about buying gifts and Seasonal Shopping?
And many of you have already taken advantage of our Super Seasonal Offers of 2012 calendars (£8.50 for a limited time at lulu.com), the last few older calendars with 13 smashing quality pictures to clip and frame, Christmas Cards (many sold out now, so you’ll have to send the free e-cards instead!) and the brand new wintery limited editions from Collier Dobson...
But many are also asking about original work (which is both reassuringly expensive and in short supply):
If you can make it to our Open Studio Event (10 and 11 December 12-6pm), we have a few lovely and dear, new originals to buy and view in person.
OOr if you want to surf the interweb, please search these wonderful Gallery websites (Gallerina, John Noott, Art Movement) for new, fully coloured-in, original masterpieces all framed up and ready to go.
But the new and exciting, exclusive news delivered today to your inbox is, that there are 7 rather lovely (and dare I say, conveniently priced) framed, original sketches that can be bought directly from Nan at Mustardshop. These are not in Brighton at the Open Studio but are floating up in the clouds somewhere ready to be delivered to your door pre-Christmas if you are lucky enough to bag one. Please call Nan on 01326 280976 to check availability/postage costs etc, and if you like them at all, please do not deliberate too long...there are 7 only, they are £395 each, and they are small enough to fit into a largish stocking (and no, I don't do commissions).
And I am aware that so many of you cannot make it to the Open Studio Weekend this December.
You will not get to taste the pies, sample the mulled wine and pinch my popcorn. You won't get to see all the bargains and lovely things I'm getting together right now, and I don't know whether our Youtube channel can convey the welcoming atmosphere and slightly hysterical busy chaos that sometimes ensues as people find the last few Christmas cards, or a slightly damaged sold out print at a super discount price. And I guess most of you will not be here for the dotty half price sale
BUT, I have something very special for you... AN ONLINE RAFFLE!
THE PRIZE: a 21x30cm Christmas Original (unframed, so I can send quickly anywhere!). It's a version of the perennially popular Small Dog, to be launched as a Christmas card in 2012 by Art Press, usual framed selling price £3000.
Go to my Small Dog Xmas Raffle Facebook page here
That Facebook page address again: https://www.facebook.com/samtoftartist?sk=app_197602066931325
NEW SMALL DOG E-CARD
Please help us raise more money by sending the free Small Dog at Christmas ecard to friends... Only one Raffle Ticket per person, but I'm sure your dear friends would give you the picture if they won it, wouldn't they?
It’s here (first one on the page): http://www.samtoft.co.uk/ecards.php
On your marks.
All the very best in Seasonability Factoring,
Sam Toft x
I'm really loving this weather.
It hasn't rained in ages, it's not too cold, and the skies are blue most days...
However, I've just ordered snow chains for my shoes, have my winter duvet at the ready, and the wellies are all cleaned up and ready to go.
I've also been doing a bit of painting here and there, it's not all chit chat you know.
There are some wonderful new Limited Edition Prints out, already available from Mustard Shop even though I only finished painting them a couple of weeks back. It's those hard working people at Collier Dobson. Scarcely have I finished a good un, and they're proofing and printing. The new work has a wintery feel: snow and penguins, fiddles and Dalmations, you know the sort of thing? I'd love to know what you think of them, so please spring into action on that there Facebook group.
The 2012 calendar is finally finished, and you can find it at Lulu.com (and I do not speak of the home of the versatile Scottish songstress, for she is to be found at Lulu.co.uk ). The calendar is published to this interweb site, so that if no-one buys it, no-one prints it, and all trees stay intact. And for a limited time it is available at a special bargain 15% off price. I usually build a charity donation into the price (no profit for Toftie, 'cos its a time of giving and caring...aaawwww!), but this year, as I'm sure we're all tightening our belts a little, I am leaving the Charity Donations to you, and you get to buy the calendar at cost price, plus 13 pence. And there's a little competition to win a sack of post Christmas goodies, but you'll have to visit Lulu.com for that.
We have brand new Christmas cards on Mustard Shop, and totally free ones at Ecards, so you could choose to go virtually card free and save yourself a packet. Most Great Aunts and Grandads have computers too you know, and it saves all that pesky recycling. There are brand new colourful badges as well, so if you don't want to buy a new outfit, you can just update your accessories. Badge up your coat, hat and cardigans! Show your Mustard Fan-ness to the world!!!
If you are feeling flush this Christmas and your loved one just HAS to have a Mustard Original, then look no further than the galleries listed, many of whom have shiny new stock in, and can schmooze you rotten, relieve you of your hard earned, and get something in the post to you before the big day. Or if you are ready for a trip to Brighton, we have Open Studios here on Saturday and Sunday 10th and 11th December, 12-6pm. We have been having a Big Massive Studio Clearout and have plenty of bargains, old stock, interesting things, ends of lines, sold out prints etc...I have a few new lovely paintings, lots of prints and cards, calendars, little books and Robert Pattinson. Upstairs from the Studio there are other artists too. Jez Webb www.studiowebb.com and Michelle Chilton www.chiltongallery.com will be showing their wares to all who enter thither!
For those of you lovely special people on my mailing list (yes, yes, yes I mean YOU), I am offering a Sillytastic deal. On Sunday 11th December, between 4 and 6pm (the last 2 hours of the last day), everything will be half price. But only if you know the password. So look on our Facebook Group and you too shall have the secret. Any original paintings left will be finding a cosy home with a local gallery, so will not be included in our totally generous and slightly nutty Sale, so that if you have second thoughts about something original you saw and you must have and you missed it, you will be getting them out of bed the next weekend, not me... I notice that many of you think that Sam Toft is a man, so I think I need to be getting a bit more beauty sleep...
I will no doubt be writing to you again in December, so I'll save the Merrys and the Yohohos 'til then,
Thanks for reading and thanks for being there,
Sam Toft x
Greetings to all you Mustard Fans
How's the weather in your neck of the woods?
I have been away for quite a while on a lovely holiday: swimming in the sea, eating lovely salads in the sunshine, sleeping to the sound of the cicadas... and now I am back in Brighton, met by a jungle-like garden, a mat full of bills and the beautiful English summer weather. A good year for blackberries, and not so good for the broad beans, I'm guessing.
There are some lovely shows coming up in London during October, with The Art Movement. Please contact Camilla at www.art-movement.com for more details nearer the time (or browse the collection online from early October) if you would like to catch some brand new original work and limited edition screen prints at:
And in the interest of something closer to (my) home, and a little more exclusive (limited to 20, and first come first served), I will be doing some storytelling and puppetshowing at (the wonderful and awfully bijou) Bom Banes Restaurant, 24 George Street, Kemptown, Brighton, on 13th September from 8pm.
All details and tickets sales from www.bom-banes.co.uk 01273 606400.
Jane Bom Banes herself will be performing. Which is a good job, as my confidence may fail me on the night, who knows? And you can book for a delicious meal beforehand, too. I may post some photographs up on our Facebook group. Or in the absence of an extra pair of hands, why don't you come along and share your photos instead?
All the best to you all out there. I will write soon about Christmas Open Studio dates (if I am here in Brighton), and a One Man Show date in May 2012
Dear Mustard Lovers old and new,
I hope this email finds you as well as can be expected (or perhaps even weller?).
My exciting news is that I will very soon be performing a puppet show. Exciting and very scary as this is a totally new venture for me.
I went on a course with Isobel Smith www.gravyboatpuppets.co.uk to learn how to make these rod puppets, and now have two! (Mr and Mrs Mustard). Then I did another course with Robert Race www.robertrace.co.ukand made some moving wooden toys ( a Doris Dog and a few others) and a bit of scenery. And with all these lovely characters moving in their three dimensions for the first time I felt moved to put on a Show. But it's not as easy as all that. In fact it's not easy at all.
I've been practising an awful lot. Some days it seems that all I do is walk the dogs, make my dinner and practise with my puppets. Not a bad life though, really...
The show has gone through many incarnations... and THANKS to the generous friends who have sat through it all and given me invaluable feed back, as my 2 dogs (Moses and Stanley Philpot) are supportive but not particularly helpful it has to be said.
And now what I'm left with is a simple piece, 15 minutes long, that looks as though it took me 5 minutes to put together. And not particularly well at that. The wriggly puppets seem to have minds of their own, and the props sometimes collapse which really is not part of the show. But I'm hoping that the charm of the puppets, my strenuous efforts to keep it together, and the fact that it's only a short piece will carry us through. O, but I'm so nervous though. So wish me luck, or if you're near enough, do come along and have a smile. There's free popcorn.
The show will be performed twice a day for two weekends:
12.30 and 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays 21st, 22nd and 28th, 29th Perhaps there may be a short film?
And I haven't just been playing with my toys and nothing else, although sometimes it feels a bit like that...I have painted 8 new small square original paintings ( still at the framers as I write, so as hot off the press as they come). There are new button badges (that will soon find their way onto the website), new card ranges (occasions by Art Press), new limited edition prints (published and distributed by Collier Dobson)... And all will be there at the Open Studio. Along with the Puppet Show... Or did I mention that already?
We also have beautiful, leather handbags made by a very talented new company Ginger and Brown. They really are special. And once they get into the shops the prices will double of course, so if you want that very special handmade handbag of your dreams I recommend a good peruse of the limited stock here at the Open Studio. We also have bespoke corsets and Eco friendly leather accessories by the very talented Harriet Rich www.oakappledesigns.etsy.com
And, my own favourite (as I have 2 of his lamps and a very special garden fountain) Chris Cain's recycled metal lamps and birdbaths. Some really do have to be seen to be believed. And hopefully a few cards and sketches by Jerwood Prize Winning Artist Cadi Froehlich www.cadifroehlich.co.ukCadi's work is brave, bold and sensitive: an upcoming superstar, she really is a one to watch! Really really.
I must confess I have just damaged one of Mr Mustard's legs (he has a very high pain threshold so don't panic) and am having to apply some emergency surgery... Hopefully it'll be alright on the night? So wish me luck Mustard Lovers, but don't invite me to break-a-leg (*a quaint British expression for all you overseas fans).
All the very best to you,
Sam Toft x
It's a-snowing here in Brighton along the Prom. Mr Mustard loves it! The Dear Lady Wife has decided that nothing but the Thursday night Bingo is getting her out there in it, and Doris dog is reserving her judgment until she sees how many extra biscuits those big, hard luck, shivery, doggy eyes get her.
But rather than go on about our beautiful weather, I will just remind you of our two Open Studio days coming up soon on 11th and 12th December. I know it's a funny climate, financial- and snow-wise, and I really don't know how many of you to expect, but we will be opening our doors 12-6pm each day at Brown Dog Studio, 12 Chapel Mews, Hove BN3 1AR nonetheless.
We will put the heating on, get the fairy lights twinkling, hand round the mince pies and get some mulled wine on the go. There'll be the usual Lucky Dip, Hot Popcorn machine and Candy Grabber to keep the littluns busy if it's a Family Outing, and I may even get the sherry out for Grandma.
There will be lots new to see:
And finally (hoping I have the time to finish them ) I will have 2 puppets for you to see when you visit... Mr and Mrs Guess Who...
Hoping to see some of you very soon. And don't forget, "Doris sent
Hello Mustard lovers!
Hope this mail finds you well?
After a tough few months I feel things have started to go my way again, AND this is one of my favourite times of the year. I love our British weather and the changes it wreaks. There's a touch of excitement every time the sun comes out, and I feel blessed for every dog walk I can take without getting absolutely soaked. The crisp, clear days are a real blessing. And if you'd like to exchange opinions on the weather then please contact me via our Facebook group!
I know a lot of you have been concerned about the break in supply of small prints and the like, so the Good News is: normal service is henceforth resumed! Mustard Shop is up and running again (with a couple of new ranges) ... And we have a few surprises up our sleevies to be revealed in the months to come! So thanks for your patience at what has been a pretty stressful time. Not that I have been trapped down a mine for weeks thank goodness, but it's all relative isn't it Uncle Alistair?I would also like to flag up our Open Studio Days in Brighton this year: 11th and 12th December 12-6 pm, so perhaps you can book your Travel Lodge Experience and give us a visit? There will be some delightfully exclusive goodies, including a few small original works, framed pencil sketches, handmade Xmas cards as well as a large selection of Christmas cards I've been able to get my hands on.
There'll be special limited edition copies of Along the Prom, my first book (or bring yours along to be signed?) Also I have been making some tiny little drawings on the back of envelopes which will make gorgeous special gifts, and a full set of limited edition prints including artist proofs of sold out editions.
Open Studio Days are a whole lot of work, a whole lot of fun, and tend to be very busy, but if any of the special stock remains unsold after the weekend, we will post it up on the website, otherwise it's first come first served!
More soon I hope... But thanks for reading. I really do appreciate each and every one of you, and I mean that most sincerely, folks.
Very best regardings as ever,
Do any of you remember Mr Benn? It was one of my favourite shows when I was small, and now instead of the 'shopkeeper' it is a Mustard Calendar that has conveniently materialized in our midsts...
So this is just a short info-mail to let you know where to find it, should you be interested to have a browse. I had so many disappointed emails when I omitted to get round to having a 2010 calendar last year, that I hope with the vision of this one, I will be at least partly forgiven?
It's a 'print on demand' one available only from lulu.com for £13 (lucky for some) and will someone let me know what it looks like as I don't even have a copy yet. It runs from April 2010 through March 2011 which I thought would be marvellously convenient. You can get it here: http://bit.ly/cwbqT3
I am working on all kinds of new things at the moment, but more of that later... For now, just let me announce that the winner of the competition to win a signed original sketch is............Joseduardo de la Garza!!!!
Congratulations to him on his inspired entry (number 31 on our facebook discussions page) and many, many thanks to all who took part. As I said, if I had nothing else to do for the next 7 weeks I would be sending sketches to all of you, but hey.
I hope you like the calendar.
I am LOVING the little daffs that are just starting to come out in my Brighton garden right now...Do you reckon that Spring is actually on her way?
All the very best to you all,
I hope the new year is being kind to all of you lovely people out there.
Here in Brighton there has been plenty of snow, lovely for walking the dogs in my wellies, a good excuse for lighting fires, staying home, learning to crochet and great inspiration for my new paintings!
Lovely to see so many of you at the Open Studio Days here in Brighton before Christmas. There was a lovely festive atmosphere, a meeting of friends old and new, and plenty of sales to keep the wolf from the door... so thank you to all who were able to make it.
And if you were snowed in, or live too far away to have made the journey to the seaside last December, here's good news. The lovely Mr Cain was on hand with his trusty camera to make a wobbly video which cleverly captures the spirit of the event... I love it! It makes me want to do Christmas at the studio all over again, but I guess we'll have to wait for that. So make some mulled wine, have a mince pie and join the virtual fun! Take a look here: www.youtube.com/user/ehmustard#p/a/u/0/X0DntokZObE
And yet more good news. Some of the pictures I did for the Open Studio are miraculously still available! They are up on the home page now, and you need to call me on 01273 720660 if you would like to buy one. Otherwise they are good for a peruse with a cup of tea just to see what Mr M was up to in the twilight of the Noughties.
In the spirit of the time of year (and so no-one feels left out) we are doing a special 3 day SALE on Mustard Shop. Nan Mustard (hardworking and ever generous) has agreed that our loyal mailorder fans deserve a treat. So listen carefully while I say this only once.
The dates are 25th 26th 27th January 2010
That's a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday very soon
If you purchase anything at all from the Mustard Shop on these dates, you will be entitled to choose another thing (of the same or lesser value) absolutely free. None of this buy 3 get one half price nonsense. You could buy yourself something nice, and get another Treasure free for a special gift later in the year maybe?
You would need to order the thing you are paying for, then let Nan Mustard know what you would like her to send you FREE. So that she will know that you are a special Mustard Customer, and not any Tom Dick and Harry calling for a chat, please use the SPECIAL SALE PASSWORD : say ''Does it come with Humbugs?", and she may well say "No, caller, but can I send you a lovely gift of your choice (of equal or lesser value) absolutely free?"
Well I hope you will keep her busy. She gets up to all kinds of mischief if not... Mustard Shop is here: www.samtoft.co.uk/shop.php?cat=ownltdedprint
One more thing to keep the post Christmas blues away. I am going to send a lovely Original Mustard Sketch (4B on paper)(not framed, mind) to the person whose answer I like best.
In true cereal box style, please complete the following sentence. 'I would like a little extra Mustard in my life because...'
The catch is, I would like you to put your answer up on The Real Sam Toft Facebook page, so we can all have a look, rather than me ploughing through my overstuffed Inbox. Answers sent directly to me will not be admitted. Your statutary rights remain unaffected. Add your answer and read everyone else's here:
All the very best Mustardeenies
Sam Toft x
Delighted to note that Doris sent a fair few of you to the Christmas Open Studio last weekend! We got through 72 mince pies and more than half a gallon of mulled wine, so someone was clearly having 'the good time'...
Industrious as ever, the very lovely Mr Cain has put together a video on YouTube, especially for those of you who couldn't make it.
It's here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttKd3t2OYZ4
And Nan Mustard, not to be left out, is offering a special on her new Christmas cards:
As for me, I'm winding down now for Christmas, catching up on the cleaning (I worked so hard getting the studio together for the show, that my home looks like a bomb's hit it), doing a bit of knitting and baking, and making the Mrs Mustard puppet so Ernest won't feel lonely.
Thanks for all your support this year, Mustard Lovers, I hope you enjoy the video, and keep warm this Christmas! (The video’s here).
All the very best to you,
Sam Toft x
Hope you are enjoying this dampish weather as much as my cyclamen.
I'm writing to cordially invite you, my very best of friends, to join me at my Very Special Open Studio Days this December: 12th and 13th between 12 noon and 6pm at Brown Dog Studio in Hove. Map here.
There will be some fine framed sketches, some rather dear and lovingly framed original pieces, Doris Dog sculptures, Automata made of driftwood including my brand new (I mean soon to be completed) "Who's Fallen Out Of The Boat, Then?" pull-the-handle-and-see-how-it- moves thing!
There will be specially customised and exclusive boxes of Thorntons chocs, so you can give a little Mustard in a yummy Belgian chocolates kind of a way, as well as the usual horde of posters, limited edition prints, Christmas cards and such like. And the return of the Hot Popcorn Machine, mulled wine, £1 Lucky Dip and a thoughtful selection of cake to keep you going throughout your visit. But no 2010 calendars I'm afraid...
And although I imagine more of the original pieces, sketches and many of the range of Christmas Goodies may be snaffled up on the Saturday, I am offering you loyal fans a Special Password discount for Sunday. Just say Doris sent you crackers, and we will give you a 10% discount off your purchases on Sunday. Maybe you will come back twice?
Announcing the winners of Mustard Favourite Passwords competition that I set in the last email to fans... The winners are: Laura Eagles, Louise Erskine, Lesley Gray and Jill Phillips.
So please send me your addresses and I will get your lovely Artist Proofs off to you pronto .... Well done to the 157 of you that came up with the right answers!
If there are any unclaimed original pieces at the end of the weekend, then I will post them up for sale on the home page of my interweb site. And if you feel like cutting the cardboard out of your Christmas Greetings, please avail yourself of our range of free Mustardy Yuletide Ecards (Here: http://www.samtoft.co.uk/ecards.php)
Thanks for listening and I hope to see many of you at the Stude at the weekend!
All the very best to you all,
Sam Toft and the Mustards
Hello to Mustard Fans old and new,
It's not usually this long between updates, is it?
I've been taking a bit of time off with my dogs, with my home and garden, with the fields and trees, and just generally away from the studio. I have a new friend for Moses Dog too. Little Stanley Philpot (9 1/2 months) is as black and curly and cheeky as you'd like. And probably a bit more cheekier.
But I'm back this month (tearing myself away from my compulsive blackberry picking - aren't they out early? Aren't there LOADS!?), with some news from Brown Dog Studio.
First, as I am being asked quite a lot already, there will be no Mustard 2010 Calendar. I haven't produced much new work this year, and do not really have the VAVAVOOM required to design and put legs on the thing, but if anybody out there is interested in funding designing printing and distributing, I would be happy to hear from you!
Second, I will be having Open Studio come December, the first two weekends I believe. I had a leak while I was away, and am waiting for all the lovely mushrooms to dry out before a major redecorating job....but I reckon I should be all spruced up and ready for visitors here in Brighton just in time!
And third, I have a pair of lovely new prints to introduce you to shortly (they should be on MUSTARDSHOP soon if not already).They're littlies (22 X 16cm image size), in editions of 47 (Mr Mustard's favourite number) and the first 22 of each will have a unique hand drawn figure on the title line.
* The prints will be all pre-signed, numbered and sent to our International Distribution Central Warehouse in Cornwall from their home in Brighton, where they can be ordered (01326 280 976) and sent out to you wherever you are. Why not buy now while the sun is high in the sky and present your loved one with something "unique au monde" as the nights draw in? Smashing.
The first features The World Famous Stanley Philpot, along with old favourites Doris and Rover, as they push on by.
And the second has a jaunty piece of appliqué featuring MacIntosh, the twittery tree bird.
They are £95 each or take the pair for £175.
And I'm not saying, you can't say fairer than that, I'm just saying that this offer will be with you until the end of September only. Just let Nan Mustard know (at the International Big Massive Warehouse in Cornwall) that you are one of our especially special mailing list members, and she will sort you out with our very nice discount when you buy two.
And a little quiz for you special internettie people (and there's another on the Forum section of my website in case you haven't even noticed). Mr Mustard has a racy new coat, any idea what he calls it?
There will be two prizes (well three counting the bumper goodies prize for the forum quiz):
I hope this day finds you as lovely as you left it,
And I'm glad to be back here with you,
All the very BEST
Okay so we had a bit of rain on the Bank Holiday here in Brighton, but we've just had 3 weeks of marvellous crisply clear sunshine, and for that I am eternally grateful. My broad beans are growing up a treat.
Here in my dear old home town, we have the most wonderful Brighton Festival on at the minute. Dance, Theatre, Comedy and Artist Open Houses during May... And I love it!
I'm very busy preparing for a show in July at John Noott Galleries in Broadway, Worcestershire (please get in touch with them direct if you'd like a brochure) and so to give me and the dogs a bit of time to enjoy the Festival, we are having a rest from opening Brown Dog Studio this year.
But we do have some lovely treats in store you'll be glad to hear!
On 17th May we will be having a Virtual Private View here online on t'internet. These very special 6 small pictures have just been finished and are heading to the framers as we speak. They are very lovely and there are only 6.
I will also hopefully be launching prints of these pictures, both because they are gorgeous and because there are so few...
17th May will also see lots more signed poster prints on Mustard Shop.
Large ones, small ones, long thin ones... Out of Africa, Sri Lanka, Brighton and Hove... Good prices, nice pictures, new sizes...
And another thing, we have a special offer 17th-21st May. Order ANY three things from Mustard Shop and don't even bother paying for the cheapest thing. Just tell Nan Mustard when you call that Doris sent you. You will have to call Nan to take advantage of this astounding offer, as Paypal just CAN'T keep up with our generosity.
And if you are more time rich than cash rich, or if you feel like lending a hand, get on down to our Facebook group where there will be lovely prizes during May for a few lucky people who give us feedback.Good or bad. Please let rip. Visit the Discussion Board at The Real Sam Toft for more details..
I'll send another mail soon just to update about the byootiful screenprints and a reminder of when the 6 original pieces are available for sale.
And now it's time for walkies.
All the best to you,