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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
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.
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.
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!