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Lovely Things Happen

A lovely thing happened to me the other day.

I popped into a coffee shop before my weekend dog walk and ordered two cappuccinos (it was going to be a long walk)… and then I realised I’d left my purse at home. Do I leg it home (quite a distance) and get my money, or do I do without my morning coffee(s)? Both options would be quite disappointing, let’s face it. Also, I’m not very good at making decisions. So I just stood there in my waterproofs and walking boots waiting for inspiration with my very patient pup by my side. And then the Barista said, I’ll make your coffees for free! Generous, lovely, surprising and it gave me such a boost, restoring my attitude of gratitude at the end of what had been quite a difficult week. Small things matter. And I hope you are lucky enough to have a Lovely Thing happening to you when you most need it. As a good friend told me when I was sharing my woes and wondering what, if anything, was the point of life in general and me in particular, “Perhaps there is no real point,” she said, “except for the opportunity to be kind.”

So, the nights are a-drawing in and there’s a nip in the air when the sun goes in. I’m digging out my hot water bottles, shaking out the blankies, and looking forward to making (and not sharing) Nan’s special recipe nutmeggie rice pudding. I don’t know about you but I’m feeling a bit tired. However, I am grateful for my MANY blessings and looking forward to riding this wave wherever it takes me.

The BIG news (and I am ever so pleased) is that Amber has agreed to run Little Mustard Club in 2023! It’s incredibly good news as it had always been a one-year (2022) project and I know it’s a lot of work for her (as well as a whole lot of fun). It’s a delight and comfort for me to have help from such a bright, creative soul.  If you don’t know already, Amber is a brilliantly talented artist and mother, making both colourful murals to commission AND uplifting paintings (get in touch with her via the Club if you’d like to know more). Such a wonderful woman to work alongside, I feel lucky to have her energy and enthusiasm to help bring the Wonderful World of Mustard alive for more people without a whole lot of extra work for myself. I know that many of you are content with my two or three catch-up emails a year, but in case you’d like to keep more up to date, I now have someone who can help!

When I heard the good news I started thinking about where I’d like the Club to go, given we have another year. We’ve done so much already but there’s always room for improvement and extra kindnesses, right? So I’ve been dreaming up a few ideas for Autumn. I’d like the Club to develop (any ideas welcome)… and I’m trying to guess what you’d like to see. With money getting tighter and it being such an expensive time of year, I thought discounts & offers at our online shops ( and for Club Members may be welcome? Nan has a box of 2023 calendars and says she’s happy to send one out free with all purchases (if you drop her a line letting her know you’re a Club Member).

October is Nan’s birthday month and we have a 10% off discount code for all members valid for the week 10th-16th October, and there are membership deals for early-bird sign ups. As we are nearing the end of the year, any new membership subscriptions will get the rest of 2022 as well as the whole of 2023 to enjoy all that we have in store.

Renewing members will get year-long discount codes and surprises! We are planning a Members’ Day at our Big Studio Clear Out Sale early next year, and I’ve just finished drawing a smashing colouring-in card for Little Mustard Club which I hope you will love. You could even use it as a hand-coloured Christmas card! And we are planning a Big December Exhibition with your entries at Brighton’s Cutest Gallery Space: Dog & Bone. Whether or not you’re in the Club, you can check out the exhibitions on social media @dogandbonegallery

With help from my family at our online shops, Graham at samtoftoriginals, Mr Cain with the computer thingies and Amber at the Club I feel lucky indeed. I have freed up time to work on a few new projects (perhaps some plates and teacups for 2023) and there’s a brand new calendar and diary for 2023 which I’m very proud of (you can view them on Mustard Hampers), there are new mugs launching soon and a few surprises to come. But these things always take far longer than I imagine, so the late November show at will be a small one. I’m hoping for a few paintings, a few earthenware Doris dogs and a few Jig Dolls too. Not forgetting Little Blankie.

There are some wonderful bargains available at our MustardShop and Mustard Hampers online shops with club discounts. We have Nan’s 10% off too next week. And our second-year sign ups get a secret discount code until the end of 2023. There’s never a better time to join or bestow a Gift Membership.

But I know it’s a difficult time for most with rising fuel bills and interest rates, so I hope my little stories and pictures serve as a bit of a pick-me-up. I’ll be in touch again in a little while with details of the late November online show, but until then I fondly hope that you too will find your very own Lovely Happening very soon. Keep your eyes peeled! 

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