Hello lovely ladies and gents. How are things? I hope you enjoyed the hot weather. It’s sunny here today, but there’s still an autumn bite in the air. I’m a big fan of crisp autumn air, especially when it’s combined with boots and hats, walks and pink cheeks, dumplings and puddings and mash.
Things have been pottering along well here at Moll and Mostin. I have a few things to report.
I have given myself a challenge for the year. I am aiming to learn a skill every week for a year. So far, in three weeks, I have learned to play an Irish tune on the accordion, made a pinhole camera, and learned to hula hoop. The photos in the blog were taken with a pinhole camera, and for videos and descriptions of my other challenges have a look here.
Firstly, after a couple of workshops for friends and some lovely employees for The Guardian, I am now offering them in an official capacity. I am really excited about the Christmas Tree decoration workshop, as that’s a new development, but I also have paper rose workshops. Have a quick click here for all the details. I can’t wait to sit around with tea and cake and make a bridal bouquet with her hens, or mince pies and Christmas music, to make Christmas Tree decorations. If you book a workshop before the end of October, I’ll give you a 10% discount. Just send me an email with some details about what you want and we can plan the whole shabang, including tea and cake or bubbly.
I just thought I’d mention a couple of lovely shops to buy lovely things. One of the things that I find difficult about living in London, perversely, is that some things are really difficult to find. If you live somewhere smaller, then there is a hardware shop, a haberdashery or bead shop squirrelled away somewhere. Having grown up there, you know exactly which little street to find it on. In London, in can be a bit more difficult to find the right places. I have been stuck miles from the nearest glue glun stick multiple times. Just in case you’re interested, the best place to get those are the pound shops on Bethnal Green Road. My other favourite shop in that area is Atlantis. It has that amazing art materials smell; wood and paper, paint and oil. A dry and comforting smell. I really miss being near it, but my bank balance is probably grateful. I love the range of people you get in there and reading the excellent collection of notices asking for studios and advertising themselves as life models and vice versa.
My other two recommended shops were found when big sis was preparing for her wedding, and we headed for Soho, for ribbons and fabrics and haberdashery. We came across my idea of heaven in a fabric shop – The Cloth House. It is a beautiful shop, with a huge range of beautiful fabrics. They are lain and layered and piled on wooden shelves and tables. Everything’s beautifully textured and gorgeous. It is definitely a lifestyle and window-shoppery shop though, unless you have many a penny to splash. The other shop we found was Klein’s. It’s almost opposite to The Cloth House. It feels like a trade shop; it’s not open at weekends. It has many many drawers of haberdashery items and objects I barely know the purpose of. It reminds me more of the old haberdashery market stall I used to go to; bundles of exciting objects, tempting tubes of buttons, and you’re trusted to know what you need.
Finally, I have a new discovery. Within a dangerously easy walking distance of my studio desk (and on the way from home there), I have recently discovered the glorious Slanchogled. It’s part of a Bulgarian chain, but it feels like a local shop. It has shelves full of tempting art and craft materials, cards, papers, and, a blast from the past, fimo and fimo jewellery downstairs. They have lovely things you buy, with a view to crafting with them, but no real plan how; dried leaves and flowers, shells and hand made beads. Upstairs it has a long wooden table, and there was a mention of some upcoming workshops, so do keep an eye out for those.