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  1. It has been quite a while since I last blogged here - it's hard to believe that we're over half way through the year already! So I thought this would be a good time to do a review of what's happened so far this year, and what plans are ahead for Quernus and the wee creatures in the second half of the year.

    The Quernus Lottery – it could be you!

    It’s been just over six months since I started the new methods of adopting the wee creatures, and so far, they seem to be going well.  Pre-orders seem to be particularly popular, as are the Quernus Lotteries, which I’m holding every two months. People like seeing the wee creatures appear, and then having a chance to browse at their leisure before choosing their five favourite creatures. And then there’s the excitement of wondering whether you’ve won or not – what’s not to love?!

    I’ve recently made one minor change to the Lottery rules, which just reflects what’s been happening in practice. When the Lottery first started there was the possibility that if you applied for the maximum five wee creatures, your name could be chosen for all of those five wee creatures, so in theory you could be asked to buy all five. I know that put some people off applying for the maximum of five wee creatures, but in reality, this never happened.  And so I’ve changed the rules to formalise what’s been happening in practice. This means that you can still apply for up to five different wee creatures during the Lottery, but each person can only buy one wee creature, even if their name is drawn more than once. However, if someone was lucky enough for this to happen, they get to choose which one they prefer.  

    Challenging times

    May and June have been sad months filled with tragic events, with a happy one sandwiched in between. The wee creatures have been hard at work raising money for those affected by the Manchester Arena attack, with donations reaching £962 for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund through the raffle of Little Manchester Worker Bee Mouse, and sales of the Tiny Bee Mice (I donate £5 to the Fund for every Tiny Mouse sold). I’ll be doing further pre-orders for Tiny Bee Mouse in the future, to continue raising money and awareness.

    Manchester Worker Bee Balloon Mouse 010617 (18)-001

    In June, we had the awful fire at GrenfellTower in Kensington, London. I had been waiting for the right time to work on a collaboration with Felicity of Sealsational, and this was the perfect time. And so “Arctic Frolics” came into being, with three little mice dressed as Penguins playing with three little seals made by Felicity! The raffle raised £332 for The Kensington & Chelsea Foundation.

    Arctic Frolics 220617 (2)

    And the mice haven’t stopped there! On 8th July at 8pm, this little Glass Moon Mouse (a new collaboration with the ever talented Paul Jones of Phoenix Glass) will be up for auction on Facebook in the Grenfell Charity Artist Auction to raise even more money for The Kensington & Chelsea Foundation (I'll update this blog once I know what the final bid was for the wee mouse - click here to see the preview of all the other wonderful artworks up for auction too). 

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    A long awaited meeting – and the next Meet up!

    In happier news, on 2nd June, I travelled to north Wales and met Paul for the first time ever in over 6 years of collaborating! We’ve spoken on the phone before, and have exchanged thousands of emails and messages, but never met face to face! It was such a pleasure to meet him at last – he showed me round his workshop, made a cupcake for me – I even had a go on the torch myself, but I am more than happy to leave that in Paul’s expert hands!

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    And there’s still more fun to be had in July, as I’m going to be in Southampton for the second Quernus Meet Up! The first one took place in Glasgow in October 2016, and if that was anything to go by, then this next one is going to be a blast! It will take place early evening on Tuesday 18th July – I’m really looking forward to it!

    Dates for your diary

    July is going to be a busy month all round – the 5th Quernus Lottery will take place 18-20th July, and it will be a little smaller than usual. And in between, I’ll be doing a few pre-orders, the first one will be for Scrabble creatures (a great way to order a personalised wee creature holding a Scrabble tile with your choice of letter), and then I’ll do a pre-order for Teeny Toadstool Mice. The toadstools are made just for the teeny mice by Tabatha of Awesome Wooden Gifts – the ones I’ve made so far have proved very popular indeed.

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    And then at the end of the month, just before I disappear off to Mexico for a few weeks, I’m going to take pre-orders for Little Glass Moon Creatures – Paul will then make them up so I can work on them when I get back – yay! I do love his glass moons, and I think they’d made excellent Christmas tree decorations in their own right – but of course, they look even better with a wee creature clinging to them!

    I'm also hoping to run a short eBay auction for the Little Teapot Creatures - I've made four so far, and once I've got a good collection of them, I'll set up the auction which will end just before the end of the month.

    Taepot collage 300617

    I know there are quite a few people who have been patiently waiting their turn on the waiting list for commissions and the commission events.  All I can say is thank you for your patience and that your turn will come eventually – the waiting list does keep growing as I receive more requests than I can make, but I will do my best!

    I think that’s all from me for now – I can’t wait to see what the second half of the year brings! If you haven’t already joined the Quernoholics Anonymouse group on Facebook, I’d love to invite you to come along – it really is a lovely community of friendly, kind, generous, warm and welcoming people who all love the wee creatures as much as I do! 

  2. Happy 2017 Mice 050117 (11)

    Happy New Year! I hope you have had a lovely relaxing time - I certainly did, and the past few weeks have been spent recharging the batteries, walking Zeus, eating lots of chocolate (well, not just chocolate - just lots of food generally), and then brainstorming about how Quernus will look in 2017, with the help of a most wonderful new wall planner!

    I am indebted to all those in the Quernoholics Anonymouse group for the various discussions we've had over the past year about the best ways to adopt the wee creatures. As result of these, I have come up with a few new ways to adopt the wee creatures, and I thought it would help to set out which way would be best for you, depending on how you like to do things. (This was going to be set out like an Agony Aunt column, but then I realised that I probably should concentrate on making wee creatures!)

    Random Creature Listings

    Best for you if:

    • You live on Facebook and constantly stalk the Quernus page and the QA group, making sure you get every update as soon as it happens
    • You don't mind which wee creature you adopt, you just want a wee creature.
    • You enjoy the adrenalin rush of the rugby scrum at the checkout - "fastest finger wins"
    • You are an instant gratificationist who wants to receive their wee creature now, if not sooner.

    Pre-Orders

    Best for you if:

    • You're not on Facebook that often, and you haven't quite sussed out how to get all the updates from the Quernus pages and QA group.
    • You don't have a particular wee creature in mind, but would like to adopt a Quernus creature.
    • You rely more on the newsletter for updates on what's happening in the Quernus world.
    • You prefer to complete a transaction at a more sedate pace and in your own time.
    • You'd like a quick turnaround in welcoming your new addition to the family to your home.

    Quernus Lottery

    Best for you if:

    • You live in a different time zone than the UK, and don't enjoy getting up in the middle of the night for specific events.
    • You like to see lots of wee creatures appearing over the course of a few weeks.
    • You enjoy browsing through all the available wee creatures, without needing to rush to choose which ones you apply for.
    • You enjoy the excitement of having a chance to win the right to buy your chosen wee creatures, but wouldn't be too disappointment if you don't.
    • You want the chance to suggest which wee creatures should appear in each Lottery (QA members can make suggestions in the QA group). 

    Commission Requests and Events (waiting list)

    Best for you if:

    • You have a particular wee creature in mind that you'd like to adopt.
    • You don't mind waiting (the waiting list could last days, weeks or months)
    • You want to take part in a Special Quernus Commission Event (held in a secret Facebook group - they are lots of fun!)

    If you can suggest any more criteria for each of the four adoption methods, please let me know!