Kingsley Hall

Today I went to Kingsley Hall in Bow, if you follow on the old Facebook you might have seen I posted a link about it because I thought it would be nice. But today I actually visited and it was wonderful.PhotobucketIt's a hall of historic significance, in 1915 two sisters, Muriel and Doris Lester bought it and turned into what might be called a community centre but was actually much more than that.PhotobucketThe Lesters were both inspirational women; pacifists during the war, feminists and all round good eggs. Doris worked in the nursery in the building while Muriel campaigned throughout the world and became an ambassador for peace. It was in her travelling that Muriel met Mahatma Gandhi who stayed at the hall for a total of twelve weeks whilst he attended a conference, this is one of the more famous things about the hall though it seems the sisters are slowly becoming more acknowledged for their work. The hall was also used by R.D.Laing in the sixties to carry out a project known as the Philadelphia Association, which was a pretty bold experiment in mental health care - there's a little about it on the Kingsley Hall site but I'm certainly going to read up more.PhotobucketThere's an exhibition on at the moment which means the hall is open from 12 until 8pm every day, so there's really no excuse for those of you living in Bow or Stepney or London not to visit.PhotobucketThe whole place feels very lovely, it's not preserved as a museum - it's a functioning place - it houses a very prolific quilting group, community activities and runs a dinner every Tuesday (anyone can go, I'm going soon). There are traces of people everywhere and it has this enormous, poignant history that seems to bounce around the walls.PhotobucketAnd maybe this is most important . . . you can buy a slice of homemade fruit loaf for 50p. Go go go!

Drawings from an unkown artist

Beautiful drawings: most are dated, some signed. I love the sincerity of them; a young person in the 50's who is in love with drawing and who catalogued their progress. They're so carefully conscious of their age at the time of drawing, it's brilliant, I can remember exactly that feeling of being rather good for your age. "I'm only twelve, yet I draw as good as a fifteen year old".Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Toot bits

Some bits from the boot: first, lots of chandelier drops.PhotobucketWhich are handy for making rainbows on the floor.PhotobucketSome folding pigeon crates, handsome things in themselves but they also make me think of people with elbow patches spending days cooing over pigeons in the North of England.PhotobucketA fine terrarium for the collection.PhotobucketA big bag of pegs that look like people.PhotobucketHandsome, high-waisted 1940s trousers, never worn - still with the label.PhotobucketA nose and an ear, always handy. I would recommend buying the nose for playing the game where you put it up close to someones bum then pull a face. Facile-fun.PhotobucketA Victorian pin cushion with 'Home Sweet Home' written on it. I thought it might not be Victorian because it's such a naff saying that seems so modern but this is not the case, you learn something new everyday.PhotobucketThere's a man at the car boot who is hilarious - it's a really busy boot fair and he obviously really loves the attention that brings him. He has stacks of boxes which he works through so slowly. He'll go to unwrap one thing from the box then jump up and say something like 'Don't stand behind me!' to some bystander 'I feel all trapped in!'. Then he'll unwrap one other thing and jump up to glare at someone and say to the other people on his stall 'Keep an eye on that one, mind he don't put anything in his pockets!'. By this point there'll be quite a few people, waiting to see what they've got in the boxes. And if anyone, lays so much as one finger of any of the boxes he'll say 'NO GOING THROUGH THE BOXES!' and if you're unlucky 'RIGHT! THAT'S IT! I'M NOT GETTING ANYTHING ELSE OUT!'.

A studio update.

I am adoring having a studio. I cycle to it in the morning, which can take up to an hour depending on my mood. I mostly get there in time for Woman's Hour. I never have a plan and it's never tidy but I'm working really well.PhotobucketNaturally there's a lot of arty toot in there: old stuff, old jars, old dip pens - old propelling pencils are pleasing me greatly at the moment.PhotobucketAnd when I pitched around for something to get some ink out of the pot my hand chanced upon this old letter opener - looks pretty gruesome eh?PhotobucketA nice shadow from a mobile I made.PhotobucketWhen I'm in there I don't make lists, I don't limit my internet time, I don't tidy and think of storage solutions, I don't set goals or worry if I don't feel like finishing a project. At the moment I mostly cut lino whilst watching One Born Every Minute. And when I feel like leaving I do, these are halcyon days.Photobucket


Hello folks. Not too much toot this week - but some nice bits.
A pair of cricket boots, a little bit Van Gogh-ish.PhotobucketThis tiny silver ring for a baby.PhotobucketHere's an idea of how tiny it is . . . highly swallowable.PhotobucketThis pack of solid leather boot protectors, just like the macrame kit (which included some string and a leaflet) this product is a brilliant wheeze.PhotobucketIt's just rough-cut bits of leather with nails stuck through them. But isn't the packaging beautiful? A masterful piece of branding.PhotobucketA funny thing: a spherical coin.Photobucket PhotobucketA charm bracelet on a bangle instead of a chain: much more jangly.PhotobucketAnd did you know that all fish are in fact filthy sex perverts? Well they are - which is why this erotic fishing float works so well.PhotobucketA teddy with a lost look on his face, I tied his price tag around his wrist now he looks like a little evacuee.PhotobucketSome tiny drinks for a tiny party.PhotobucketAnd a basket made from bailing twine, very beautiful I think you'd agree.Photobucket Photobucket


A small bag of tickets, somebody's collection. Bought from an old gent who eyed me suspiciously as I walked away - i think he thought I was someone in the know, that the tickets were worth mega-bucks! I just liked the colours. PhotobucketWhen I create my first haute couture collection I will use these colours. Because they are beautiful.Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket


Sorting out my papers this morning I found some pictures I did of the workmen on the Olympic site.PhotobucketIt seems a long time ago I was in my little boat next to the enormous building site that was the 'lympics. Today I'll cycle along that towpath again I think, see what it looks like now.Photobucket