Claire Chalcraft Designs Vintage Whisperings

vintage whisperings

Are you a vintage whisperer? Can you feel the stories in the folds of faded fabrics or see courage in scuffed and battered surfaces… or is it just me?

Do you like to create or mend? If so, then perhaps this post will resonate a little with you?

This blog post started with three little words on a spontaneous instagram caption a few days ago… ⤵️

vintage, shabby chic chairs


to be continued …  So here it is:

She was right to be concerned… She’d seen so many friends tossed away, forgotten or dumped because they were either no longer fashionable or had become worn, wobbly or wounded; discarded sometimes, just because the space had become too cluttered with, what they call ‘stuff’.  It was dawning on her that perhaps time was not on her side, and she didn’t want to become “just stuff”.

“I mean, I don’t want to sound desperate, but I’d just love to do something constructive with my remaining fibres… you know?

“Don’t worry,” reassured her friend, already the proud owner of a new padded cushion placed, apparently deliberately, to invite new seating experiences. “We are as safe as we can be here… look where we’ve ended up: surrounded by folk bonkers about vintage treasures! They get it. They know it’s all about the stories and the journeys we’ve seen. Look lively now, here’s one taking photos. Of us!!”

And they stood up straight and sucked in their stuffing.

vintage, shabby antique chairs

This pair of chairs actually belongs to Georgie (see her instagram feed here) who runs fabulous workshops on her eco-flower farm in Somerset, UK. It was during one of the amazing workshops in her studio barn that I met the chairs. After I had taken these photos, and fallen a little bit in love, I asked Georgie about the chairs… I had been right about the stories and the history; these beauties had been family treasures for generations and, please be reassured, whatever she does with them, I know that it won’t involve landfill!

I’m interested in the process of recycling and reusing what we already have. I enjoy trying to do my little bit to reduce fast, mass-consumption in today’s disposable culture. What’s amazing about doing this though, is that it sparks a creative, restorative process that has a positive effect on my wellbeing. Whether it’s repairing, mending, up-cycling or crafting with natural materials, being inventive with our resources stimulates artistry and creation which in turn also helps improve our mental health and wellbeing.

Making something yourself crafts a meditative channel that can calm and soothe.

Even just taking a walk outdoors and noticing beauty in the stories of vintage, worn items or everyday scenery and objects around us can have a positive effect on our mood and our sense of balance.

(click photo to go to instagram post)

End result? A win-win process of creation and repair that helps our beautiful planet as well as ourselves!

What’s not to love?

Have you got vintage treasures that somehow speak to you?

Or do you prioritise organic, eco-friendly materials in your making? Do you incorporate shabby elements into your life?

Have you got something that just keeps going and going…? I’m thinking of a pair of boots that have been resoled (re- souled even?!) which are still going strong after 30+ years.

Perhaps you are making something out of discarded items or shoreline treasures?

Do you benefit from the calming, therapeutic effects of mindful creativity?

I would love to see photos and hear your thoughts… If you have a moment, I would be thrilled if you could use and follow the hashtag #createandmend on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and together let’s inspire others to hear the vintage whisperings of stories past to save the world and have some fun while we’re at it!

Until next time… enjoy it when you #createandmend




  • Tamara
    Posted at 18:39h, 18 March Reply

    I love the idea of being a “vintage whisperer”. I wear many of my clothes for decades! Surely they are vintage by now.

    • Claire
      Posted at 07:22h, 02 April Reply

      Hey Tamara, thanks so much for stopping by and supporting my blog. I really appreciate it and apologise that it has taken me so long to reply to your lovely comment. Well worn and loved clothes and textiles certainly do it for me!
      Best wishes for a lovely day.

  • Micheile Henderson
    Posted at 14:18h, 19 March Reply

    Yes! I love upcycling! It’s so much more fun than just buying things. It’s sometimes challenging but that just makes it more fun! I’m looking forward to seeing more of what you create (have created).

    I’m discovering the 2nd hand shops here in Rotterdam where we recently moved. They’ve got a vintage route here!

    • Claire
      Posted at 07:19h, 02 April Reply

      Wow a vintage route in Rotterdam – fantastic. I will definitely check that out next time I am there. Thanks so much for dropping in and reading my post!

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