Sunshine and Showers

Hello there Mustardlovers!

I'm sitting here looking out of the window in my lovely little seaside studio. Watching the weather changing by the minute. Feeling underdressed, overdressed and just right at least five times a day. Magic.

I hope this email finds you well... Perhaps looking forward to a sparkling Bank Holiday weekend? Or maybe you're feeling a bit Meh, and Same old, same old? Well, as a great man once said, This too shall pass. So a big smile across the miles to you, however you're feeling. And here below is a bit of a catch up on the things that have been happening here with me, since last we met.

ONE MAN AND HIS DOG : the book the show the bronze? It all went spectacularly well. Better than my wildest imaginings. Wonderful show at Panter and Hall. Five bronzes sold out of an edition of 11. And the book has gone down brilliantly. I have had some gorgeous comments. Very heartwarming. You are a kind and generous bunch. Over three quarters of them have left the warehouse, so someone somewhere must be doing something right? And miraculously you can still actually buy one here.    

But if anyone needs any extra encouragement to join the One Man and his Dog club, then please see below for our very special Book Tour dates. And I must give a shout out to City Books, Western Road, Hove (my favourite local), and Daunt Books, Holland Park, W11 who have generously decided to stock my autobiography too.

But that's not even the most exciting news.

I returned from London after the two show events feeling more than a little exhausted... Being of a certain age, I'm no stranger to the hot flushes and the sudden, unexplained weepiness... No fun, is it girls? But generally I'm very lucky with my health so I should refrain from complaining. Especially as I received an invitation to make a little postcard-sized piece of work for the Royal West Academy! As you may know, I'm never one to hide my light too far underneath the bushel. Yaaaay!!! TOFTY'S IN THE ROYAL ACADEMY!!! Yes I know it's a tiny piece, and it's only there from now until 4th June. But I feel blessed.

The Royal West Academy in Bristol are running a Secret Postcard Auction. There are over 250 original postcard sized works that have been specially commissioned and donated. All signed on the back not the front so there's fun and mystery in the air. They are taking silent bids starting at £40, and 10 works will be auctioned live on the night. And for £5 you can come along while there are tickets left. I can't wait to bid for my favourites. But I'll not tell you which they are, just in case you gazump me.

I wonder whether any of you, as Seasoned Mustard Lovers, would be able to guess which is my own entry? If you have a spare 5 minutes this weekend why not have a peruse? Remembering it's a secret postcard auction, a SECRET one, please don't tell anyone but me. But if you DO guess which is my picture, and would like to be entered into a draw to win a bumper prize of a full set of Mustard Kitchenalia, send an answer to the question (set by janeybequicks underneath the postcard in the Royal West Academy secret postcard Flickr stream ) sending your answer to secret@samtoft.co.uk and we will announce the winner via our Facebook group AFTER the auction on 4th June. There are SO MANY that are my favourites, but if you felt moved you could give me a Special favourites gold star? To go with the moonbeams I keep in a jar...

See the whole selection of postcards HERE. Or if you'd like to place a silent bid for any of the wonderful works, please whisper your choice down the phone at 0117 973 5129, or email them at info@rwa.org.uk (very quietly).

And did you just hear me say Mustard Kitchenalia? Where that? RIGHT HERE!

I am delighted to announce that we have some lovely new things for Mustardshop.

Fine linen tea towels, cotton aprons, heavy canvas shoppers, light cotton bags, and five all new black and white bone china mugs. And just looking at them now, you could get all creative with the tea towels... Sew a piece of dowel to top and bottom and make a wall hanging? Fold in half and make a cushion? Wipe the dishes? Anything's possible! We have limited stock of all items. But Nan works very hard with your enquiries, so PLEASE be patient. Mustardshop is a lovely little handmade company run from a TINY garage somewhere in Cornwall by One Woman and her Dog. Packing - posting - emailing - stock checking - answering calls. And it has to be said that sometimes Cello ( Nan's dog )  may not be quite as helpful as she could be.

Or if you want to receive a boxful of Mustard Kitchenalia absolutely free, put your Sherlock Holmes hat on and get trawling through the Royal West Academy Flickr stream.

And finally, the Book Tour dates. I will be doing five dates at weekends throughout August, September and October. As I am really busy catching up with all the work I put aside last year whilst I was writing my book, I cannot fit in visits further afield. But for these five weekends I am happy to leave my darling dogs with a dogsitter ( they are not good travellers unfortunately ), and go on all sorts of train journeys to come meet you!  I will be doing a flying visit - of around 2 hours each - to draw in (my) book for you. Just to make it extra special. Please contact these Galleries direct for any details.

23rd August
Haddon Galleries
6/7 Victoria Parade
Torquay
01803 213 000
www.haddongalleries.co.uk

12th September,
The Rose Gallery
Bell Northampton
Kingsthorpe Road
01604 713 743
www.therosegallery.co.uk

19th September
The Braithwaite Gallery
42 Low Petergate
York
01904 655 707
www.yorkartist.com

26th September
Art Movement
61 Queenstown road
London SW8
07973 692 494
www.art-movement.com
milly@art-movement.com

2nd October
Gallerina
33-37 Duke Street
Darlington
01325 363 635
www.gallerina.co.uk

I hope we can catch up at one of those events! At any of those five gallery dates or in Bristol on 4th June.

I don't know whether with all these commitments I will manage an Open Studio in Brighton this year. But I will let you know first if I get an extra bundle of energy and change my mind.

Be seeing you!

Sam Toft

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