Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sunday Brocante -- Blonville Sur Mer

I have already warned you in advance that it was another Saturday brocante day -- because of Easter Sunday, and what a glorious day it was!  Sunny, breezy, perfection!  The beaches were packed as were all the roads around where we live! It was a major tourist weekend!

Blonville-Sur-Mer is a 'beach-town' and it was tough not to abandon the idea of brocante-ing all together in lieu of grabbing the towel and flip-flops and hitting the sand!

But the sale beckoned with over 200 expos and miles of everything you could think of...

or not think of as was the case with this crate of naked Barbies -- but it made me smile!

The vendors ranged from professional to the attic-cleaner-out types... but everyone there had a wondeful attitude, maybe in was the sunshine!  I actually got a bit of color to my pale Normandy pallor!

Even 'Petite Fille' who normally naps through the adventure was wide awake and smiley! It's hard to describe how light hearted the morning was... maybe it was the ease of bargaining or the cheerful conversation.. or maybe it was the moment when the guitar vendor with this 'hippie' van set up with dozens of instruments for sale, spontaneously broke into 'Horse with No Name' on his guitar upon over-hearing that I was American! Smiles everywhere--let me tell ya!

Could it have been that it was the day before Easter and that the creek that ran along the pathway of the sale was full of ducks with babies!?

Sooooo adorable!  So Printemp!

Easter baskets?

Wonderful enamel kitchenwares!

Favorite finds of the day?  An unusual garden ornament with great chipped paint and pretty curls of iron...

Or the sparkling clear demijohn? (Already sold!) Or was it the antique biscuit tin or the perfectly rusty folding salad basket!  Too tough to chose just one favorite!

So instead I leave you with a few 'tourist pictures'!  If you are a beachy-gal like me, plan a stop to Blonville-Sur-Mer....the next time you are in my neighborhood!

A few sundries for your beach day?

Have a great week mes amis!  
We are on Spring Break!... 
For TWO weeks!  ....  I plan to spend some of it with sand between my toes!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Joyeuses Paques!

It's Friday evening, Easter weekend, and I have to admit right off that I have eaten a chocolate bunny or two....so I may be a little bit giddy.... I will try to keep calm and write this short post.

Because of Easter Sunday-- I am headed off to a brocante tomorrow, Saturday (yes, yet again!) (No, I am not changing the name of my shop or this blog to 'Saturday Brocantes' .... no matter what.)  This week's brocante is in Blonville-sur-Mer ... which I have visited a few times because I was taking private French lessons there for a short time with a lovely lady named Adeline  ...  who spoke perfect English because she had lived for a few years in Connecticut but now I don't see her anymore because she is working full-time in Caen teaching bio-physics or something like that  ...   Désolé--I'm off topic aren't I?

So the brocante is there and it's a 'Vide Grenier' which means lots more folks selling things (150 expos) who don't really know what they have and prices are cheap  reasonable  ...  and the proverbial budget goes much farther.  Which is what I need because I lost my skin this week on shipping some large and heavy items ...  a 'cher' mistake that I will not make again  ......  am I off topic again?

Chocolate bunnies...powerful things.

So I leave you with my plans to trek to Blonville in the morning...about 30 minutes from home and some sweet pics of the lavender sachets I am making from antique linens.  I have one last batch of home-grown 'grosse bleue' lavender that I grew and yes...little-Martha-Stewart-me is sewing them..with all due love....

Enjoy!  Happy Easter one and all!

See you after the weekend!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Provencal Wicker Berceau....

Oh my!  How do you say 'fabulous' in French?! ---  Fabuleux!---  So, as promised...this was my favorite find last week in Trouville.  It was well camouflaged, filled with stuff...the stand caught my eye first and I asked the woman who appeared to be the seller if I could remove the contents to take a closer look....she was so friendly and was assisted by her 'tres jolie' teenage daughter who she confessed had used the berceau as a baby.  They were so kind that I took the liberty of giving the basket an stand a nudge to see if it was stable....it was.  The wicker itself solid and sturdy!  J' adore!

It took me a few days to photograph it, and I have just now this morning posted it on Etsy......

I think it belongs in a decor magazine....filled with French linens in a 'tres-chic' farmhouse laundry room!  I can also imagine it filled with baguettes in a boulangerie!  Can't wait to see what kind of home it finds....a new life after many years of holding precious bebes on a tiled patio or hanging from a shaded tree in the hills of Provence......   Fabuleux!  Non?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday Brocante -- Trouville Sur Mer

Okay--here we go again... This week's Sunday Brocante was.....(wait for it...wait for it....)   ...on.....   Saturday!  Yes, it happens.  It actually really does mix-up the weekend, but this particular weekend it all worked out for the best and we had a lovely relaxed lunch at my dear in-laws on Sunday afternoon instead!

Also a bonus, the brocante on Saturday, which was a cross between a brocante, a foires a tout, a vide-greniers and a puce.... was in Trouville, which is almost my hometown so it was an easy commute! 

It was most definitely a 'look close and dig deeply' for the good stuff!  In search of yet another vinegar pot, we came across one similar to one that I purchased last week...it's twin sister in fact, but this one had a crack in the lid and yet the Madame who was selling it wanted four times more than I paid for the other one and...not only that!..... didn't hesitate to toss an insult at my sweet mother-in-law for pointing this out!

 But mainly...most of the sellers were as bright and cheery as the late morning was...and persistence in scouring the tables and blankets on the ground covered with the goods and odds and ends---paid off...or at least I hope so.  I loved what I found, in any case!

This small milk carrier caught my eye, with it's bright red handle, as did the wood 'bowling' pins used for a French game of 'jeux de quille'.......  and I fell for a little antique wire egg-basket as well!

 I did find something else extra special!  I love it so much that I have been very picky about photographing it and have not yet posted it in the shop.....it will be worth waiting for!  I promise!

Until then....see you next Sunday.....or is it Saturday?  
Wait and see!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sunday Brocante -- Tourgéville

A tiny faux pas for my Sunday brocante-ing in Tourgéville......which was actually a 'foire a tout' which means literally 'fair has everything'....my camera battery died.  Quelle dommage!  I only took 2 photos!

The fair was at a school yard and 230 participants were listed for this 11th annual sale.  Really, there is everything you can imagine.  Locals clean out attics and basements, sheds and garages.  It's such a mix of things that it takes patience and a careful eye to find the good stuff.  In the midst of the acres of vendors there is also the few professional brocanteurs, who have the precious and sought out items like linens and pottery...so again, the budget went quickly and I think we were in and out in an hour. Belle-mère came with us (she is the expert negotiator and has a great eye for what I want for the shop!) and my 'petite fille' who turned 3 months on Sunday was with us (bien sur!) and she was not in the mood for brocante-ing despite the beautiful sunshine, cool breeze and miles and miles of goodies.....
My favorite find of the day?  A tiny pair of 'lapins'...aka bunny salt and pepper shakers.  Why?  Must be the spring time appeal.  The weather here in Normandy has been nothing short of glorious for the past two weeks.

This coming weekend--2 big brocantes very close by--On Saturday in Trouville and on Sunday, Touque, so it will be a busy weekend and maybe some great finds!  Looking for something fabulously French?  Send me a note!  I would love to look!

Until then....Bonne semaine!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunday Brocante -- Honfleur

Oh Honfleur!  Be still my heart!  One of my absolutely most favorite little towns in Normandy! Known for its picturesque port, lined with shops and sidewalk bistros, slate sided houses and the largest church made out of wood in France, Saint Catherine's which was the location of this weeks brocante.

 Honfleur was painted many times by the artists Claude Monet, Gustave Courbet and Eugene Boudin.  I could take (I think I probably have!) millions of pictures of this place!

It is a perfect place to spend the day exploring the shops and galleries, grabbing a portside lunch, or strolling the side streets to look at the magnificent old houses (OLD--14th century onward!)....and bien sur! La Brocante! 

Lunch?  Or maybe a late afternoon aperitif?
It was a gorgeous day! I can't wait until this warm sunny weather sticks around for a few months and Honfleur becomes a regular weekend 'hang-out'.  Although they stay open throughout the winter (using gas-lamp heaters) I am dying to sit in the sunshine and 'people-watch' at the bistros!  I am planning on taking my 'chere amie' Kimberly ( aka--Mimi Charmante) to this place! (I have been strategically wearing down working on getting my American girlfriends to visit me here in Normandy for a while now!)

Yum! Crepes  --  Savory or Sweet?

Le Menu du jour....
So many choices of places!

 A favorite shop -- which sells brooms, brushes, and baskets and such....a 'droguerie' a specialty store found only in France!

.... And of course, every shop should have a well-color-coordinated pooch in the doorway!

So what did I find this week?  When I was not oggeling bistros, broom shops and cider merchants?

A few small things.....and my favorite? A gorgeous hand blown glass serving set--you will die for!  I cannot wait to shoot it and post in my shop!  Take a quick look when I do--I predict it will go as fast as I snatched it up at the brocante!
Baaaaa!  Fun items in a Brocante Shop in Honfleur.

18th Century houses...

One of my favorite Sunday outings... there is a brocante there every first Sunday of the month.  You can count on me to be there!  Want to come along?

Bon Dimanche!