Hi, I’m Rachel Faucett, author of the design and lifestyle blog Handmade Charlotte. I’m so thrilled to be contributing to the Living blog! I’ll be showcasing fascinating collections and the talented people behind them. My childhood memories are filled with antique markets, artist studios, and a woman named Oz who sewed my mother’s designs. Collections are sewn deep into my heart. My mother collects everything including African trading beads, Irish lace, and vintage sterling luggage tags — she inspired my passion for seeking out undiscovered treasure.
The first collection that I will share with you belongs to my favorite person in the entire world, my husband, Jonathan Faucett. He has an incredible eye. He is working on designs for kids’ products — stay tuned!
He discovered the wonderful world of vintage Creative Playthings and Community Playthings toys when our first child was born. We became fascinated with alternative schooling and teaching methods, which led us to Frank Caplan, the founder of Creative Playthings and author of “The Power of Play.” He was a major influence on our philosophy of education for our children. We’ve been homeschooling our five children for eight years now and use many of Caplan’s principals.
We’ve collected dozens of Creative Playthings and Community Playthings toys. We love their simple lines, designed to encourage a child’s imagination. We consider the toys a shared and interactive collection, letting our children play with them as they were meant to be used. These sturdy, well-constructed wooden toys have survived decades of play in churches and schools and are still going strong.
Our kids spend hours playing with these vintage toys while their newer ones chill in the toy box. It’s not that quality toys aren’t being produced anymore — there are lots of them being created by talented designers and experienced craftsmen — but it’s more of an exception than the norm.
“Play has been man’s most useful preoccupation.” — Frank Caplan, 1911-1988
Photography by Troy Stains
Styling by Claudia Thompson