Have a great December and the rest of it...

Dear Friends,

I must confess to feeling I have been neglecting you.

First, radio silence. Second, no Open Studio. And then third, no competitions and general Facebook merriment.

Well today I hope we remedied that.

Dear Mr Cain came along to my unchristmassy studio and made some videos to let you know that you have not been forgotten or overlooked. Neither have I been lazy. I've had one of the hardest years in a long time.

One is there now on my Youtube channel, and the other two will be ready for you to see next weekend.

For most of the year I have been writing my book. One Man and his Dog started out as an interesting project and then promptly took over my life! It's a life story in words and pictures. A limited edition, cloth bound, beautiful thing... Tomorrow I will get my first colour proof, and if all goes well it will be out for my exhibition in April 2015. And if all goes badly it will still be out for the exhibition and I will just have to try a bit harder. But I must say I'm exhausted. I never knew it could be so much work. And I guess it feels like more because everything is new to me.

There have been lots of little projects on the way that have kept me on my toes.
  • A new card range for ArtPress: Black and White Buddies.
  • A bit of tinkering with sculpture which may come to fruition some time in 2015/16.
  • Some smaller puppets that may make an appearance at the Show.

But mainly I have been writing, editing, proofing, decision making. And latterly beginning work for my show at Panter and Hall.

I know there has not been much new, original work out there for a long time so we have put together a couple of videos showing the new pictures in progress. I hope they will whet your appetite for the show and encourage you to join their mailing list and say you'd like a catalogue. It would be smashing to see you at the Opening Reception on 28/4/15, or the book launch which will be around that time too. I hesitate to announce the book launch as there isn't even a book yet. Call me superstitious.

We have lots of free Christmas ecards lined up for your repeated usage. And the more expensive paper Christmas cards are available on Mustardshop, including a few new World Famous Stanley Philpot designs. Nan has been busy with the calendars; so busy in fact that she sold out and had to beg for a new print run from Art Group. They were awfully good about it and she's stocked up again. I must say, I think this year's is the best yet.

The Original Mustard Jig Dolls are selling well in the run up to the big day. And if you miss out before Christmas (as it's a handmade item there is limited stock), you could preorder for Mothers' Day or Valentines? Cadi and David have been toiling away like Santa's elves so please get in touch as soon as you can on cadi@samtoftwoodendolls.co.uk if you want to secure one of the remaining jig dolls for your beloved's stocking... I do hate disappointing people.

I've only had time to bake one batch of minceypies so far, but they went down well so I'm sure I'll get into Seasonal Spirits soon enough. And for you dear Mustard friends, I wish the very best of everything and more besides. You're worth it.

See you soon I hope,

Sam Toft x

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