It's May Festival Time!

Dear Friends,

It's been such a busy one so far this year. But as I've been neglecting the social media a bit I thought I'd write you all a quick note to let you know about exciting events coming up. I'll write again when I have more time but here's an update from the studio hermit...

Animated GIF of Mr Mustard by Belle Mellor www,bellemellor.com
Animation by Belle Mellor bellemellor.com

I've been in lock down mode, working hard towards my show at John Noott Galleries in September. My instagram account @samtoftartist has sneak previews of work in progress and painty studio shots, but please contact the gallery direct to be included on their mailing list, to receive a catalogue or to know more about dates and the Private View.

Loving my Little Shop in Brighton. It's a wee treasure. We've been open for just 6 months and we still haven't gotten the step tiled. But that's an ongoing story as you'll know if you follow us on Instagram @littlemustardshop  It's like my mid-life crisis project! Instead of a bright yellow sports car or a round-the-world trip I chose a dear little shop, and I do hope you'll come visit and  see for yourself what all the hard work has been about.  A little off the main drag maybe, but there's a lovely pub, a new coffee bar, and a taxi rank within spitting distance. Ten minutes walk from the main Brighton railway station, and around the corner from the Dog and Bone phone box galleries. We're a bit old fashioned. We don't do mail order. But if you make the journey you'll find plenty to browse through. It's a tiny emporium full of surprises where you can find items not available anywhere else. Small runs, exclusive gifts, original work, handmade packages tied up with string. A selection of personal favourites from my publishers, a few lovelies from other makers, gorgeous staff, lovely flowers and a dear little tree. And if you're good we'll give you a free badge and a stripy bag of humbugs for the way home. It smells good in there too. What IS that smell?

And, just for saying, MAY is a GREAT time to visit Brighton...
  • Brighton Festival 5-27 May www.brightonfestival.org
  • Guaranteed sunny weather, warm sea and free B n B accommodation
  • I'll be at the little shop drawing pictures for you  
(One of the above statements is not true.)

But more to the point, May is also the time when local artists open their homes, hearts and dear little shops. We put on special events and make an effort to be super shiny.  This year I will be at Little Mustard Shop, 33 Clifton Hill, Brighton on Saturday 5th and Saturday 19th May 10.30-5pm where I will be raising money for a local charity by doing little sketches of Mr Mustard with your pet (or his if you haven't got one). The Rocking Horse Appeal will receive your £15 donation and you will receive a postcard sized on-the-spot sketch in a little mount ready for framing. Or I can draw upon anything else you care to bring along for £15. I will be doing up to 20 sketches a day so to reserve your place please email littlemustardshop@samtoft.co.uk

Before that though I'll be at the RWA Bristol Secret Postcard Auction 17th May ... or rather two of my pictures will. If you've not been, it is fabulous fun... lots of proper famous artists (and Tofty) will be submitting postcard sized pieces of work (signed only on the back). The bidding starts at £40, and you wont know who it's by until you've bought it.  If you want to come along, grab a ticket sooner rather than later as its such a smashing event and sells out quickly. If you cant make it, there will be telephone bids for the live auction on the night. Check it out. It's amazing. I got a Picasso for £65 last year. Not really.

And what if we can come neither to the shop nor the RWA?  I almost hear you sighing...

Well we have a special offer at Mustardshop online... during May there will be 4 for the price of 3 on our new wood prints. All signed. All gorgeous. And open all year round for gifts and exclusives and everything signed, authentic and dandy.

And our sister company (quite literally) Mustard Hampers, has special offers too. Contact my lovely sister first off on louise@mustardhampers.co.uk and discuss your exclusive requirements, or visit www.mustardhampers.co.uk to see our own ideas. Beautiful handmade willow hampers filled with exclusive goodies and surprises. The ultimate gift for the avid Mustard fan, or a splendid introductory gift for a special friend. Here's what people are saying...

"I can't recommend Mustard Hampers highly enough... the personal service and attention to detail made the whole process a joy... I love the fact that the gifts offered are unique and not something that you can get from anywhere."  Sarah from Northern Ireland

"My daughter gave my wife a hamper for Mothering Sunday. She says its the bestest present she's had, loves it." Colin

"A big thanks for the lovely way the hamper was packed and all of the special extra touches that weren't expected." John from Stoke on Trent

"Malcolm was thrilled to bits with his hamper and totally gobsmacked with the personalised card from Sam... everything was perfect." Christine from Wigan

O and I've JUST had another idea. I'm going to do a Tombola at the Little Shop for the whole month of May. So some lucky person might win a mini Mustard Hamper for £1. On the other hand you might buy a whole strip and end up with nowt but a Crackerjack pencil.

It's all good stuff. Life can be fun and I hope to share some of it with you,

Big love always,

Sam Toft


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