Urie's Blog

Cor Blimey! Little Apple Dolls: Series 5 Pre-Sale EXTENDED! December 5th, 2013 by urie

To say that last Friday’s pre-sale went well is an out and out understatement! I sat in front of my laptop, Agents of Shield on in the background, Chanel, my partner in crime on the phone, counting down the minutes…then all hell broke loose! GAAAH! Mama Yurei (a.k.a. Mama Matriarch) is very pleased! Thanks to you lot! Xxxx

It went so well, the introductory offer is being extended. That is how we feel about what is taking place. The price of each doll was supposed to increase to £45 GBP on Monday evening but a unanimous decision was made to keep the dolls at £40 GBP till January 1st! (I screamed the loudest and longest for it, but it turns out I didn’t have to, as we all felt the same! Hahaaaaa! Such a drama queen!) BOSH! So there it is! Tell your mates, the NEW ERA Little Apple Dolls, with handmade accessories, faux leather footwear and brand spanking new apples is available from the new look Screaming Matriarch shop!

Series 5 Offer Extended

I have all the feels today! Going to put my ‘happy’ song on! ^_^

Little Apple Dolls’ Lost Series Photos November 22nd, 2013 by urie

Ahhh ok so, er, yeah here are some pictures for your eye holes of the Series 5 Dolls…Nix, Hortensia and Oscen. The Lost Trio will be released on pre-sale next Friday 29th November at 9pm (UK time) Aaaand because it’s Black Friday, they are going for £40 GBP via Screaming Matriarch! They’ll only be this price until Sunday 1st December, after that they go up to £45 GBP! Seriously go and check out the SM facebook page for all the goss, deets (and whatever word I can shorten for no apparent reason.) Tee hee!! ^_^
Click here for full terms of the sale.

Nix, Oscen Hortensia and Oscen, Series 5 of The Little Apple Dolls

SERIES 5 UPDATE November 1st, 2013 by urie

So I want to say more…but I can’t.
It’s a bit like this: you know when you were little and tried to make breakfast for you mum on Mothering Sunday and it went so completely wrong and you cried about it because all you wanted was to make her proud and put a smile on her face? Then she saw the mess and was so mad she scowled and wouldn’t speak to you until the following day? And then you try and tell your friends and no one gives a sham? Yeah. It’s a bit like that.

Less emotion, more update!
Here’s a sort of teaser illustration of The Lost Series. More pics shortly! Promise!

The Lost Series Teaser

The wait is almost over… August 3rd, 2013 by urie

5 years, 10 months and 8 days is a long time to wait but you know how the saying goes…^_^

To those of you who bought a Little Apple doll from Screaming Matriarch in the last 2 1/2 years, thank you. You just made this happen:

Little Apple Dolls Series 5 November 2013


Just One More Thing…All Hail, Avia, The Birthday Doll! July 14th, 2013 by urie


Avia The Birthday Doll

Screaming Matriarch, the company I co-founded to distribute stuff made by artists turned 5 this month! (5 years already? Blimey!) To celebrate, I’m making 200 dolls! Each comes with two costumes and a miniature black balloon!
I know we’ve sold over half of them (I still cannot believe that! ^_^) but there are still some available so head over to the Screaming Matriarch store already! I’m still in the process of making them so bear with me, they will ship in late September.

Wow, even Little Apple Doll’s resident storyteller and Wandering Wood native Kook Headcage managed to tweet about it! For shame, Yurei. For shame.

So nothing’s changed then? July 14th, 2013 by urie

This is ridiculous!
The time stamp on my last blog post ends in 2011! 2011? I know I said I was going to blog when I had something to say but this just takes the Hob Nob! There has to be some mistake!

‘No’ my fellow Screaming Matriarch colleague tells me flatly. ‘No mistake has been made. You just haven’t been…with it’
And that, boys, girls and every wonderful person in-between, is the cold, hard truth.
C’mon! I was a child of the 80′s! My best friend is my domestic peddle-operated sewing machine! I didn’t even know what an ‘app’ was till last December! I thought ‘meme’ was French for ‘little dog’! I REALLY can’t get my head around this blogging thing. Maybe I exerted myself by writing 3 in a row last time…>_<
Between you and I, I'd rather make stuff than blog a whole lot about 'my creative process' and what I think about while I'm being a female 'artiste' of colour in the 21st century (Dramatic gesture of hand to forehead and wistful look into the distance) Seriously, though?

I LOVE watching youtube videos about how other people work- in fact I just saw this yesterday and became deeply nostalgic about my childhood and the first time I was introduced to the idea of an ‘evil’ doll! (Magical) BUT what I do from day to day isn’t that glamorous
Wow…self depreciate much, Urie?
Ok, ok! So I will now list 9 things that have happened since my last blog entry:

*The Olympics. Specifically, London 2012. :P
*I was working as a Graphic Designer for these guys but er…well they let me go. Proof that no matter how hard you work and how dedicated you are to your job, you’re still replaceable! ^_^
*Our itty bitty team at Screaming Matriarch got a whole lot smaller earlier this year. Three well-loved members left for pastures new. Never a bunch to shy away from hard work, the rest of us ‘picked up the slack’ and got on with it because as the youth say, ‘Dats how we run tings!’
*We released Lustravi (in my defense, didn’t blog about this because I was hanging out with my best mate…the sewing machine, remember?)

Little Apple Doll Lustravi

*A British man won Wimbledon. It beggars belief but it happened, just check the Googles!
*I was asked to participate in the ‘Getting Better Acquainted‘ podcast series by multi-talented genius and all round stellar guy, Handsome Dave Pickering! I’ve known Dave for a while and think the sun shines out of him so I felt comfortable talking my face off while a room of strangers listened in. Listen for yourself!
*The Avengers happened. No further explanation needed.
*Remember when I was drunk on China and blogged this, about the future of Little Apple Dolls? Yeah…that totally fell through. Twice. A lot of people let us down. How did I feel about it? Crushed. So, up we get and off we go. Try, try, again. I’m over it. I found this site so I’m good for now!

*Three weeks ago, I was awoken at 5am by the rain AND not one, not two BUT THREE cats fighting each other for the dry spot on my window ledge! The noise from this epic feline battle still haunts me…O_O

At the rate that I usually blog, I will most likely see you all again in late 2014. Early 2015, perhaps. XOXO

The Story of Ailuro (and the DIY ethic) November 1st, 2011 by urie

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 :D ) 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! :D 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?


London MCM Expo November 1st, 2011 by urie

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!

Blogging, China and the Future November 1st, 2011 by urie

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.