It struck me recently that vintage fanciers are relentless optimists; each charity shop could conceal a pristine and worthy treasure, every flea market is rife with possibility and jumble sales are chaotic games of chance. We have all flicked our way through overcrowded racks of suspect garments or rifled determinedly in a box marked ‘50p’ just in case a treasure waits patiently unseen at the end of the trail. On coming up empty from a hunt we shrug our shoulders and reason that there have to be fruitless days in the name of balance and reason that we’ll have better luck next time out.
Treasure seeking is such a heady mix of possibility and stories that it is hard to resist - every find has had a life of it’s own before it comes to you and there lies so much of the appeal for me – endless promise. The most mundane of objects could tell some of the most compelling histories; of themselves and of the hands they have passed through on their journey. Magpie tendencies can be troublesome - no matter how much space is on offer there are yet more curiosities to fill it with. Lately I have been slightly stricter with myself in what I buy; I’m a pushover and want to give a home to every orphaned teacup or woebegone book I see and can’t bear to think of them stuck on a shelf lonely and unloved, but that way hoarding lies! The funny thing is that less is more – a smidgeon of self-control is a beautiful thing – because now every treasure I decide to make my own feels more special for having passed the stringent ‘If I walk away from this will I regret it?’ test. I’m headed to Birmingham next week to one of my favourite hunting grounds for pretty old junk and I know I’ll relish every moment of the chase, I just hope that whatever I find will fit into my suitcase!
Made.com just created a slightly tongue-in-cheek TV advert about how the makers of their furniture find the designs absolutely irresistible, they asked me to share it - and what I find irresistible - with my readers. If you've been dropping by Beautiful Clutter for a while you'll know I'm an incorrigible book fondler and page sniffer so the video struck a real chord with me, let me know what you think!