So, if you haven’t heard of it before, #VintageFamilyHour takes place on Twitter from 8pm-9pm on Thursday evenings. It’s an opportunity for vintage lovers to get together and chinwag with each other about our beloved mutual interest. Last week, hosts @kittylouvintage and @TVS_events posed the question, ‘why do you love vintage?’ and I suppose this tumblr post is an insight into my response.
I recently popped into one of the Re:Store charity shops in Belfast. I love this particular branch because I always end up chatting to one of the lovely ladies in the shop. This visit was no exception!
I automatically sway towards the little glass cabinet at the back of the shop as I always hear a piece of costume jewellery calling my name! And of course, it happened again hence the beautiful BJL enamel brooch (£2.50) in the picture. Usually this would be enough to satisfy my vintage treasure hunt, but sitting next to the jewellery cabinet this time was an old sewing box full of treats and trinkets. Many of you will know that I’m a happy hand sewer and a novice machine user so the collection drew my interest. I hoked and poked through the box and picked up the jar of hooks and fasteners, and mother of pearl stitch picker (£1.25). The little 2cm porcelain jug was in the jar! I plan to make it into a sweet necklace 🙂
Such cute finds would have been reward enough until the lovely lady at the counter asked me if I liked sewing. I explained my keenness to learn more and develop my machine skills, and that’s when she told me about the sewing box. It belonged to a friend who is now in her 90s. She said that she was an incredible talent and sadly, recently had to give up sewing because of her failing eyesight. It was at this point she walked back to the box, and then brought me over a 4cm squared piece of cotton with the most delicate, detailed and vibrantly coloured piece of embroidery I have ever seen. This was some of her friend’s work.
I was humbled, for two reasons really. Firstly because the Re:Store lady had been kind enough to share this beautiful ‘scrap’ of fabric with me, and secondly I felt so lucky to be in possession of tools once owned and used by such an artist. I promised the lady at the counter that each of my purchases would go to good use. I intend to keep that promise and get my sewing head back into full swing.
And I suppose within the story of my visit to Re:Store is precisely why I love vintage:
- The fascinating stories behind beautiful vintage items
- The insight into the history of the people who owned them
- The link to people who have been here before us, and the legacy that remains through their possessions long after they do
- The opportunity to breathe the life of a new generation into things that would otherwise be forgotten
- And finally the connection to our own personal values, interests, history and hopes for the future.
That’s what my vintage-loving heart is all about!