Three for three, Arachne Rack!
It seems my collegue has awakened the competitive idiot in me. My fingers seem to be on fire. Now I’ve started blogging, I can’t stop…is this an addiction? I can’t think about that now. Must. Continue. Blogging.
Onto more pressing matters: Tomorrow is the Day of the Dead, the coolest day in my calendar (I am so over Halloween ) and the day the newest Little Apple Doll, the neko we have named Ailuro is being released. Ailuro is the second of the limited edition dolls I’ve created since forming Screaming Matriarch.
Three facts about the creation of Ailuro:
1. Unlike the other dolls her name is greek and not latin. ‘Ailuro-’ pertains to cats or anything cat-like, which you will find in the story is apropo.
2. The idea of her story came from reading about ‘Bake-neko’ or monster cats with supernatural abilities. Those little blighters are real mischief makers! I couldn’t believe what I found out! I had to write a story. Too good not to!
3. Ailuro is being released at 10pm UK time on Wednesday 2nd November via www.screamingmatriarch.co.uk. There are only 100 being made.
After the success of Supernae at Kitacon 3 and London Expo in May, I was struggling to come up with an another idea for a doll.I remember walking around the dealer hall at London Film and Comic-Con in Earl’s Court thinking: my goodness aren’t there a lot of furries around. From what I recall, my stream of consciousness went something like this: Furries, must find the toilet, furries..oh nice t-shirt…how much? I’ll come back later…Oh I sooo want one…furries…I’m hungry… cute…what large tails some of the furries have…tails…wouldn’t it be cool to have a tail…that girl has such cool eye make-up…her mate is dressed as a neko…tails…” then I walked by a stall selling beautiful pointy felt hats, the kind that witches might wear on a night out. What was so great about them was that each hat seemed to twist in the same way, the beginnings of a spiral staircase would. I called out: “Who is the maker of such fine headwear I must speak with them! Bring them to me!” And Imogen Rush of Cotton Wool Fairy appeared.
I tried on one of her hats, she convinced me it would fit. I knew better. I still catch my mother looking at me out of the corner of her eye. I know my head is unsually large. I’m usually cool with it but this time it meant that I could not own a hat from the Cotton Wool Fairy. It pained me, yet as I was looking over her other items I heard myself ask: could you make cat ears…? She said there wasn’t a challenge she had not accepted and won. One prototype later it was decided that The Cotton Wool Fairy would indeed be the maker of ears for new doll Ailuro. I cried tears of joy. Jack cheered, Hadrian beamed, Chanel clapped… That is exactly how it happened. I swear! The Cotton Wool Fairy is awesome. That is all.
As you know, we pride ourselves at Screaming Matriarch in doing it ourselves. See Jack Gobsmob and I screenprint part of the packaging:
Just thought I’d share.
I think my blog high is over…see you again…soon…ish?
Ha! In your face Arachne Black! Two Blogs in one day! How do you like the apples, I am giving to you?!!
I couldn’t let another day pass without talking about MCM London Expo…well not talking about it, more like posting pictures from the event because that is much cooler than me rambling on about how amazing everyone was and getting all emotional about it… >ahem<
Thank you to Miruru and her partner a.k.a Creo and Pestis below for turning up as the twins and nearly giving me a heart attack, for the fantastic foam apple they made for me and for being the first customers at Expo on Friday afternoon!
I can’t blog for buttons.
Let’s just get that out in the open. I’ve said it and I’m not taking it back. One of my Screaming Matriarch collegues, with a spidery sounding name, suggested that I attend a bloggers ‘anonymous’ group to help me come to terms with my problem. No such thing I told her… kind of hoping that there was so I could meet others like me… She admitted she was joking and trotted off, as smug as anything.
Ok, so this is the new plan: I will just blog when there’s something to tell. I will never be one of those people who blogs about the fat content of their cereal while sitting on the toilet, browsing carpet swatches. I’m referring specifically to our own cake baking Jack Gobsmob.
Very many things have happened since my last entry readers, so I’ll just summarise.
Screaming Matriarch exhibited at LFCC in June…met some great people namely Dean and Sian from Shock Horror Magazine and the boys from Mister Who…other than that, it didn’t go so well for us. We counted our losses and decided we’d move on and try and focus on the positive and oh what a positive it was: San Diego Comic Con you beast! You are the alpha and the omega of conventions. You have the power to transform a tax-paying, tea-guzzling, fluffy slipper wearing old lady into a fan-girl powerhouse! So, July was pretty awesome. August: con-crash, completion of some graphic design projects, career reflection and planning ahead. Nothing much to report here. That’s why I didn’t blog, see. Ok, now September was eventful. Just look at the picture below:
October, the Screaming Matriarch team suddenly realised that we weren’t thinking far enough into the future. People started asking if and when we were ever going to release another series of dolls. We were just happy to have 200 mates on facebook! We’d always seen ourselves as a small DIY company, making friends with our fans. Producing a series would mean mass production which conflicts with the Screaming Matriarch ethos.
The fact is more people are beginning to find out about the Litte Apple Dolls, means greater demand. As much as I love to work (Chanel, our accounting lass and SM co-founder, pointed out that I never schedule time to sleep-see above photo of diary) I am just one person with limitations. I will not be able to make enough dolls to fulfil demand and we can’t afford to employ anyone to help. I have written Santa several letters on headed company paper as well as emails asking for another pair of hands for Christmas. I even copied Santa’s African and Chilean equivalents, Baba Noel and Viejito Pascuero, in so at least one Santa will get it.
What to do, what to do…? I can tell you it caused many a heated argument at subsequent SM meetings. That’s when old matey, Fate stepped in. One of the clients I have been working with since May on a pretty exciting branding and merchandising project suddenly decided that I should go and meet with his contact at the China Sourcing Fair in Hong Kong to discuss my designs and have samples made.I swear! I don’t mind admitting that when he announced this, I nodded, calmly excused myself, left for the bathroom and did a Snoopy/Charlie Brown dance in the toilet cubicle. I got onto the phone quicksmart to email maestro, Jack Gobsmob who contacted several companies that produce very small quantities of vinyl dolls.The companies were based in the Southern Chinese district of Shenzhen which borders Hong Kong (lucky) so I got myself a Chinese visa and decided to make day trips into China.
Ultimately we figured if we produce a low number of dolls (like 500) we can still oversee everything ourselves (clothing, accessories, story book), not lose control and the quality of the dolls won’t diminish, as I found on later series of Little Apple Dolls when tens of thousands were made and distributed. So meetings were had, friends were found, toys were played with and decisions were made…another series is coming. The China and Hong Kong trip took place all of two weeks ago: I walked around here, slept there, played with this, laughed at that, ate that and travelled to and from here…you get the picture:
My defining moment…It was early evening, very busy; people were rushing to and from the mall. (All very cosmopolitan) I was coming out of Sha Tin metro station (Hong Kong’s metro system is as we say in East London, ‘the lick’…’awesome’ that is) and walking towards my bus stop. Then I heard the sound of the erhu. It was being played by an elderly gentleman (who later turns up as new doll Ailuro’s papa in the story- I wrote it on the plane home.)
He was sitting on a small stool underneath a banyan tree, I think. I couldn’t tell. Big roots and interwoven parts in the trunk of the tree anyways. Well, friends, shadow twiners and furenzu, I can tell you that, that did it. Uh-oh…there it goes…the feeling I get when I want to stop myself from crying, my heart starts to beat, goosebumps make an appearance and a rush of emotion seems to move right through me. It finally dawned on me, I’m in Hong Kong (a place I’ve been dreaming of since I was old enough to read a map) another series of Little Apple Dolls is about to be made and this fella playing the erhu is making me think back to my childhood when Mama Urie used to play her Sounds of the East record while cutting out photos of Italian furniture from the ‘good’ catalogue. Don’t laugh! The erhu is a very emotional sounding instrument! They use it for the sad or romantic bits in the Bejing Opera. I swear!
Alright, you lot…I’m done.
OK – so… we’ve been rubbish at updating this site and we’re really sorry. We’re working on something BIG for next year. Let’s just say we’ve been in foreign parts researching and are very excited.
But what we should have been talking about is the beautiful Ailuro. Yes – that’s right, the Inbetween has a new, kinda feline visitor. Ailuro is going to be on general release from the Screaming Matriarch webstore VERY soon but for those of you who are coming down to MCM London Expo next weekend you’ll be able to pick her up before she goes on general release.
Here’s what she looks like
Isn’t she pretty?
This was the prototype doll which we entered into the Kita 3.5 charity auction. The doll available will come with a black dress, cute little ears and a luxurious tail!
Stay tuned to the facebook page for updates!
OK – so it’s been a while since we blogged. Hopefully the faithful among you will have been enjoying Kook Headcage’s tidbits on twitter. Amazingly sage advice from one so young… For those that have not been twittering – it is worth joining for Kook alone – check out twitter.com/kookheadcage for more juice.
Also for those waiting – the Hats have finally arrived and Supernae dolls will be on their way to people who were lucky enough to get them as soon as possible.
We are doing another convention – the London Film and Comic-con in Earls court this weekend. And we’ll be previewing a brand new toy. Chibi Chibi Kooma by Kazuko Kuroda – gorgeous hand knitted little bears.
Chibi Chibi Kooma (tiny tiny bears) are little bears that hide all over our world. They are helping each other to make their dreams come true. They love music. Each bear has it’s own favourite music and dream and the more you collect you see how they help each other out! They are also extremely beautiful…
Chibi Chibi Kooma
The bear at the top left of the picture is Sora, he comes from the sky. He loves singing and the songs of Tilly and the Wall. He wishes on day to go back to the sky. The little orange bear at the bottom right of the picture is Rodney Dickinson. He was named after another famous orange person, David Dickinson (this is how Kaz’s brain works). Rodney Dickinson is from Stockport, he likes car-boot sales and would love to find something cheap as chips!
Kaz will be on the Screaming Matriarch stall at London Film and Comic Con on Saturday to sign the bears on their lovely hand printed boxes. Come along and make friends with her.
Chibi Chibi Kooma
Kaz’s background is in art and music, she has worked as a photographer in the music industry and has manged Japanese bands on tour in the UK. She has done a number of art shows and textile installations. Chibi Chibi Kooma is her first toy range and we’re delighted to have her at Screaming Matriarch.
After the preview at the convention we’ll be releasing the little bears on the Screaming Matriarch website.
Hopefully we’ll see some of you at the London Film and Comic-Con this weekend at Earls Court. Please check out the convention website and we’ll see you soon.
We’re going to have some competitions and new doll news in the next month or so.
Jack and Yurei
Well… Friday at London MCM Expo was an experience to say the least. Yurei and I had been awake for over 24 hrs by the time we arrived due to some last minute preparations. We were utterly knackered and Chanel cussed us the way we deserved.
Still, I think we did pretty well with the display:
So the table looks pretty hot, right? We have sold out of Supernae White and the last one will be the one raffled at the end of the weekend! There are still a few red ones left so definitely worth heading over to see us. If you’re having trouble finding us – head for this big sign – we’re pretty much underneath it!!
See you soon I hope
We’re all very excited. London Expo kicks off Friday and we’re going to have a blast, we’re sure. We’ve got the last of the Supernae stock with us and we’ve had a lot of interest on the web over the last couple of days…
As with the online sales we’re going to be limiting the sales to 1 per customer to make sure that as many people as possible get a chance to get hold of one, and also to makesure that people aren’t buying up stock for ebay to try to rip off good people. We don’t like touts…
So, we humbly suggest that if you’re looking to get hold of one of the last Supernae Dolls then get to us as early as possible to avoid disappointment. These dolls are very limited due to an extremely small number having been made. We WILL be making more of the next one.
We’re looking forward to seeing you all
It’s official – Little Apple Dolls and Screaming Matriarch are going to be at this year’s MCM London Expo! We can’t wait to be there and meet people. So exciting! We got our banner included on their site too – how awesome is that!!! Check out London Expo for gossip.
It’ll be a great weekend – we hope to see some of you there.
Ok, get yourself a warm milky beverage, put your feet up and read on… its going to be a long one….
So, its been a while since we posted and there’s a hell of a lot to tell:
It’s been a month of serious drama at Screaming Matriarch HQ. (as if there was any other way) Following an awesome time at Kitacon 3, the team and I came back to London to release Supernae on the web-store and start making those dolls. This was all going relatively smoothly until disaster struck. Being a hardworking though absent-minded lot, to fulfil the orders we decided we would create a mini production line in the studio. It was all going swimmingly until some tired old bean went and left the irons on, (highest heat setting) and subsequently left their workstation. The long and short of it is, some of the material for the dolls dresses that I hadn’t made yet and most of the hats and socks for the whole batch of the dolls were damaged.
We didn’t know what to do – we had enough dresses already cut to ship most of the orders but not all of them – and there were still people asking about the dolls from all over the world who had missed the first round of buying. So we set about scouring London, the surrounding areas, and the web for more of the dress fabric. If you work in a fabric shop then you’ve probably had a call or a visit from one of the team over the last 4 weeks! We couldn’t find a good match anywhere. I swear if it wasn’t for bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck at all.
We decided to fulfil the orders we could with the stock that I had already cut, and make a new dress out of a brand new fabric – same Supernae, same story, same pretty hat – but this time in red. The initial run of white Supernaes are still going out to those who purchased them through Screaming Matriarch, first come first serve, but new buyers, and those who bought later on the day will get a red doll. If you’re waiting for a doll, then by now you’ll have had an email from the lovely Jack Gobsmob to let you know what the status of your doll is. Here’s a picture of Little Miss Red Supernae.
Unfortunately there is still some delay getting the initial orders out to those that bought online- we’re waiting for new stock to come in but we hope we’ll be able to ship them in the next couple of weeks.
On top of all that we’ve been trying to set up a table at MCM Expo – London Comic-Con (dribble) We have finally been confirmed a table and we can’t wait to get back out on the road. More to come on that soon…
After a stressful few weeks it will be great to see friends old and new and get back into the convention swing! I will be signing dolls all weekend – we’ve also managed to get hold of all of series 2 in bulk so we’ll shortly be putting them up for sale on the Screaming Matriarch website – they can be bought signed at the convention or online as soon as the convention is over.
Too much drama, not enough sleep. We’re really sorry we’ve been a bit sh!t about keeping in touch about it all. Knuckles are being rasped and wrists slapped.
Time for another milky drink I think…
Yurei and the Screaming Matriarch Team Xx
So it has been a very hectic day for the LAD/Screaming Matriarch Team. With Yurei and Jack out of the way for the weekend at Kitacon 3 it was left to me to steer the ship for the weekend and prepare for the release of Supernae to the general public.
As you may or may not be aware – I had some issues. We released Supernae on the www.screamingmatriarch.com website at around 3pm on Monday having realised that some of the American fans who weren’t able to come to pre-order at Kitacon had stayed up all night waiting for the page to refresh so they could buy their dolls. Thank you to all you amazing people for your dedication!!
Unfortunately within about 40 minutes of posting Supernae we realised that there were some technical issues that meant that our site was not charging correctly for international shipping and we have had to take her off line until the issues are sorted!
We will get this fixed as soon as possible and will announce a release date – and time, for the second chancers.
We have been overwhelmed by the response for Supernae and we hope that everyone who has ordered one really loves her as much as we do.
We’ll be back soon with more info but until then, just keep on keepin on