You’ve got to admit, it’s getting better

Well, the dust is settling

It’s been a strange old year in Mustard Land but I definitely see a light at the end of the tunnel. In fact it’s not been a bad old tunnel. I was very lucky with an early diagnosis of an aggressive cancer. And now I am getting better. I thank you for your hundreds of messages wishing me well. I am reading about 20 a week and have enough to see me into the new year! You ARE a lovely lot... I very much appreciate all your thoughts and prayers and I am sad to read about all of you out there who are going through terrible times. I feel so fortunate. My treatment was nowhere near as bad as I’d imagined. I got a big rest, a bit of a shakeup and a chance to put together a more ideal life. Sure there were some sadnesses. I had to close my little Brighton shop. I needed to shut down the service in my Phone Box Galleries. I’m hardly spending any time at the studio. I’m not planning any big shows for next year. But I AM considering doing an art course. I’d like to learn about sculpture and oil painting, printing and animation. There will doubtless be lots of plans afoot but until the end of the year I’ll be keeping it cosy.

My mum has developed shingles. My big dog Betty has sliced her paw. And just when I was getting my energy back for walking, my left knee went all sore. We are a family in the wars. But we are strong, we are kind to each other and when we pull together, things gradually get better. And there are many many bright stars out there. One is my sister Louise. She lives in Cornwall and is stepping in to help run our online shop while Nan is ill. We have help from Lorraine who lives in the village. Serafina my niece is a whizz with the packaging. And they all have support from Juno dog, Pipskin and Elsie rabbits. In fact its been a hive of activity at a certain little garage in Cornwall. And I imagine you’ll want to know what we have been dreaming up for you?

Take a look at Mustard Hampers www.mustardhampers.co.uk We have been giving everything a bit of an update... and although it’s a slightly limited service because of all the above, we are calling it Limited Edition and Very Special. There are boxes of loveliness for your easy gifting pleasure. Just 50 each of the small boxes, 10 each of the large. I haven’t found the time to make any more jig dolls yet, but if I did this is the only place you would find them. Louise is such a whizz. Such care and creativity in her packaging. There’s so much love, warmth and generosity in her Mustard Hampers business. Making the best of what we have. It’s what Christmas is all about I think.

And although I am not making any definite plans for the new year, there are ideas simmering of course. I think it will be a quiet year in terms of productivity, but an enriching one too I hope. I’m thinking about having a few Pop Ups at the Shop premises in Brighton. Small and cosy events where I can show you a few of my new original paintings, sculpture and ceramics. I’m not going to be spreading myself too thin. I’m going to be focussing on my creative juiciness rather than making vast amounts of work.

I’ll stay in touch on social media but less so. Perhaps a few times a month rather than most days. It’s a time of hunkering down and drawing in. I’ll contact you here every now and so through the year and invite you to join us online or in person if we manage to get together any little events in Brighton by the sea.

I count myself very lucky to have Mr Mustard who is such a good communicator of hope and joy and whimsy. It’s a crazy sad world out there sometimes, but I’m feeling that things are going to get better, in small ways, one day at a time

Big Love,

Sam Toft

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