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A New Show!

Wherever They Take Us – This picture will be auctioned in aid of Breast Cancer Now at Tea Time With Sam online at 4pm BST Sunday 24th April. Register to join here.

Hallo friends!

Thanks so much for signing up to my email list.

Maybe you’ve just joined us? Maybe you’re one of my old favourites? Or perhaps you have no idea why you’re receiving this at all?   But I’m grateful that you’re here and I’m sending out a big warm Mustard WELCOME to one and all. 

As has become customary I have a little story to tell you, but please scroll forward to the details about my forthcoming show if it gets a bit silly. I’ll be in touch again in a week or so with details of the competition, giveaways and prizes.

Once, many years ago, I was very interested in making a marionette and was lucky enough to attend a course with the BRILLIANT John Roberts. I took inspiration from a young storyteller I’d seen taking part in a show a few months before. Tall and delightfully gangly with a shock of bright ginger hair and small glasses, he looked rather like a teenage Mr Mustard. So I drew his slim white figure from my mind’s eye, and carved out his calves and thighs, feet, hips, arms and head with a wickedly sharp Chinese chisel. It was a miraculous tool. So smooth and easy to use. It cut through the wood like butter. Carving his face was like preparing Brussels Sprouts at Christmas. It was just THAT easy. It sent shivers down my spine every second it was in my hand. One moment’s daydream and there would be a spare finger on the floor I felt sure of it. The very thought gave me nightmares. I was determined to get over myself but the chisel, once wrapped carefully in many sheets of oiled rags, remained unvisited. And the half-finished puppet rests to this day in an old tin box on a shelf at my studio. Complete with all his accoutrements and my extravagant plans. The marionette was to be the star of his own show. The show was to be called Simon Smith and He’s Dancing Bare.

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Anything Is Possible

Black and white photograph of Sam (on the right) and Roberto (on the left) looking at each other.  Between them is one of the pots.

We had our first show. It went incredibly well. Everything sold. Even some things that weren’t for sale sold. I felt inspired to make a few extra new drawings so at least there would be something there if people had set their hearts on buying. They went too. It was like the Marie Celeste on the Sunday in the Little Shop.

So many came to the Opening Reception. Dogs as well as people. It was amazing. We had a tombola and drinks served over at The Crescent pub opposite. We had half-hourly tickets so everyone would get a viewing. It sounds a bit strange doesn’t it, but it all went so smoothly. Team Mustard had it worked out to a tee. Everybody was so kind, patient, understanding, generous.

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Love the Little Things

Love the Little Things

When I thought I’d lost my little shop it felt like a death. An inevitable expected death like that of an old dog, but still a cruel shock. One of those deaths where people say, Ah well, she had a good innings, and all you can think is, No no NO, I’m not ready, I want MORE innings. And when people looked at me and tilted their heads in sympathy it was because somehow they knew that this was the way it must be. And all I could do was wish I felt stronger so I could scream and rant and stamp my feet at the very least.

I was not ready to lose my little shop.

So instead I decided to put it on ice. Freeze it over the Winter and look again in the Spring.

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