Monday, May 30, 2011

Derniere Chance!

Just posting a very last chance note about the all-things-white SALE!  Remember--
  1. Find Sunday Brocantes on Facebook.
  2. Become a 'Fan'!
  3. Leave a comment
  4. Get 20% off ANYTHING------WHITE!  (Check-out code 'White20')
Et viola! And because all good things must come to an end.....Sale ENDS midnight PST Monday, May 30th--that's 3 AM EST--and 9 AM-Tuesday in France!

Derniere chance mes amis!  Don't miss it!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gone to the Beach!

If you don't already know... there is a f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s WHITE sale going on at Sunday Brocantes all weekend!  But you must read the previous post for details!

I am signing off for a few days -- and taking some time for family and other business.  It's been a long week and the children need some attention and so do the four-legged ones!  So that means a tiny break from weekend brocante-ing while the sale runs....

Week-end prochain.....there is a HUGE 3 day 'puce' in Deauville.  "13th Annual Puce de Deauville" starts on Friday and goes the entire weekend.  I will be searching for some specific items for some of my favorite people....send me a note before then if you have something in mind to add to my list!

Bon weekend mes amis!  Get some sun, rest, and some sand between your toes....if you can!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sale! May 28-30th...shhh it's a secret!

I am so excited to launch my first sale on Sunday Brocantes!  

Use a discount code when checking-out for any of the items pictured here or items currently listed on Etsy -- as well as new items I will be adding throughout the weekend!

How to get said 'discount'?  You have to go search for Sunday Brocantes-Facebook on Facebook--my new page!

Next -- hit the 'LIKE' button and become a fan!

After that--use the code 'Facebook10' when you buy an item from my Etsy shop.

This code will give you 10% off ANY item on Sunday Brocantes.....

Want more!?  Okay--after you do that-- share the link to my Sunday Brocantes Facebook page on YOUR Facebook page or post the link to my Etsy Shop-Sunday Brocantes and I will give you a code for.....wait for it.....wait for it...

.....TWENTY percent off any WHITE item in the shop from May 28th to May 30th!  But you must leave a comment on my Facebook page so I know that you did!  Send me a 'convo' or message and I will respond with a 'secret' code that will deduct 20% of any WHITE item when you check out!

The secret 20% off WHITE sale begins on May 28th and ends on May 30th....or you can use your Facebook Fan 10% discount until the end of June!  ....Or you can just become a fan on Sunday Brocantes Facebook page because you like really, really like me......

Bon weekend mes amis!
A bientot!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday Brocante -- Saint-Étienne-la Thilaye

Sunday morning dawned with high winds and cloudy skies.  I sat in bed with my coffee cup and contemplated whether or not venturing out to a countryside 'vide grenier' was a wise idea.  A few clouds, not a problem, a smattering of worries, but the high winds?  High winds and 'Petite-Fille' who just turned 4 months old in her little stroller (albeit a 'cross-country' style) standing in the rain and sifting through tables of stuff.....not a good combination..... I kicked the scenario around in my head as I watched out the window.  Would it pass or would it get worse?  An hour later....the answer was still not definite and I kept thinking it would be a nice Sunday to stay inside, cook something comforting and maybe catch up on some other writing projects....I even had a rainy-day back-up blog entry to post just in case.....Mais, non!  The wind settled and the sun came out!  This is Normandy -- is it not?!

So off to Saint-Étienne-la Thilaye, about 30 minutes away. Again, a big sale in a big field, behind a church in a small town known for.....drum roll please....(and this I did not know!)  

The famous 'Maison Sophie'!

Trés Jolie! Oui?  And in fact, the maison was part of the 'vide-grenier'.  The maison is/was owned by Sophie Dudemaine, who is the FRENCH--Martha Stewart!  The reason I say 'is/was' is because Madame Dudemaine is retiring from running the maison as a 'bed and breakfast' and has moved on (recently it would seem) to focus on her cookbooks, magazine and TV shows.....sound familiar?

So across the street from the countryside town vide-grenier was the very impressive 'yard-sale' for Maison Sophie....and without even knowing it or who she is/was, I purchased a few decorative items--pour moi!

Had I known, (being a complete fanatic for 'Martha Stewarts' in any culture!)  I would have stalked her looked around for her, to get her autograph--or signed copy of one of her wonderful cake-books!  Instead I did inadvertently get a picture of her ........ dogs.

Such a close brush with fame......Quelle dommage!
So onto the big sale..... again; big sale, in a big field... still with me?

The best part was this amazing, funny and very amusing band that greeted us as we arrived!

Big band, funk meets jazz, marching band, rap..... so fun!

And to think -- I could have stayed in bed with my cup of coffee!  And miss all this!?!

Favorite finds?  "Petit Cochon' saucisson server, a few great wicker basket trays, three huge apothecary bottles and some amazing vintage Gien 'Fish Plates'......look for them in the shop this week!

Have a great week!  Hope your Sunday was sunny too!
A bientot!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday Brocante -- Part Two - Saint Andre d'Hebertot

Where did we leave off?  Oh yes! Goo!  (If you are just joining in--you may want to read the previous post and it will all make perfect sense!)

From my finger tips to my knuckles my hands were covered with black sticky adhesive from the black tape I removed from the handle of the handle-less watering water, Brillo pad and abrasive soap was managing to remove my finger prints but the goo remained like black tar...lesson learned about black tape.

I begged darling-spouse, 'French Guy' to go back to the brocante (remember it was only 6 minutes down the road) and make nice with Monsieur Brocanteur and give him a chance to make good on my bad purchase....and he did.  I have purchased a few items from this brocanteur and have a few items that he is searching for for me, so it was in his best interest to refund my money...thankfully!

Before I go on... a short note about goo... and all of that other wonderful stuff that is sometimes found on old, vintage, antique or "up-cycled" treasures.... There is this thing called 'patina'--patina is good most of the time, it is an allowable amount of decay (rust, oxidation, scratches, chipped paint, grime, cracks and in fabric a small bit of fade or fray...) but the tricky part--is good patina vs. well ..... goo.

Which brings me to another item.  I found a sweet little vase, eye catching for it's classic shape and pretty color--kind of a blue-green.  I set away cleaning it, it seemed to have a bit of old dried on and dusty kitchen grease and as I soaked it in hot water and scrubbed away at it, I was delighted to discover that it was a brilliant blue and not so much I was thinking about the color I began to notice that my hands were becoming a bit sticky in a strange water-proof kind of way... what was this stuff?  Something was coming off of and from inside of this cute little bud vase.  It was a waxy-greasy-odorless-slimy-white-sludge.  The wierd part was I would think it was cleaned off and I would dry the vase and my hands and then find I was and the vase was still coated in the stuff.  It took about 30 more washings and rinses, a good boil on the stove top in sudsy water and once again the Brillo-pad on my poor hands to get rid of the goo....I love that little vase, but I will always look at it with a certain memory... of the goo.

Sometimes I question cleaning things up too much--when at times something might require a high pressure power-wash, other times all that is needed is a gentle dusting off with a clean paint brush.  But it's the in-between ah---eerrr--"patina" that causes me to think--"Would someone buying this want this on it, or should I clean it off and threaten it's unique authenticity?"

.....But I do draw the line at 'goo'!

Out of time mes amis!  I leave you with a few quick shots of  Saint Andre d'Hebertot......a big vide grenier in a big field in a tiny town....Favorite finds?  A bicycle basket, an enamel kitchen rack and yes! another watering can--a good one this time....maybe too good!

Have a great week!  A bientot!

Sunday Brocante -- Part One - Villerville

As brocante season is now in full swing, I went to two sales this weekend.  During 'high' season it is not difficult at all to fill your weekend (and some weekdays too!) with the vide greniers, foire a toute and brocantes.....most all are outside now, in parking lots, fields, church courtyards...and the bigger difficulty is limiting myself to going to only a few....I could go to more, but I keep reminding myself that I have a husband, three children and a household of pets to consider ... but sometimes the call of the 'search' for fabulous French finds calls pretty loudly!  Even on weekends like this when I am feeling under the weather and a bit 'bleu'...and missing my parents who returned mid-week to their home in the US....sigh.......

But there was no excuse not to go to the brocante on Saturday which is exactly 6 minutes from my house.  I know that it is exactly 6 minutes because my middle-garcon goes to first grade in a tiny school there ... and he times it regularly as we drive to school each day.  It's an adorable town and there were only about 15 vendors there, all set up around 'le lavoir'...the 15 vendors were 'brocante pros' meaning this is what they do all the time, in contrast to the vide greniers who do occasional neighborhood sales of household or estate items.  The 'pros' are often very expensive...and this was true in Villerville and although I didn't leave empty handed, I left without buying very much at all...and what I did buy?  I am not so sure I should have bought ...  even if the brocante was only 6 minutes from home....

One potential treasure was an item I have been searching for, for an interested buyer from 'Sunday Brocantes'-- a galvanized or zinc watering pot.  I found one!  It was not cheap... but it was cute and in pretty good 'vintage shape'... not too many dents, a bit of rust but still water-tight.  The handle was wrapped in the French version of black electrical tape (I have seen it used in hundreds of ways here as an 'all purpose' solution), not unusual, it makes the handle more smooth and I made sure that we inquired before spending 'cher euros' if the handle underneath was in good shape...and was assured, "Mais, oui!" you see where I am headed here?

After we got home I gathered the goodies in the front garden and began the scrubbing up, dusting off...or de-taping as it find that my gorgeous watering can, underneath about 600 layers of black, sticky, gooey (did I say 'GOOEY') tape to find that the handle was not in bad shape at all....because ... there WAS NO HANDLE!

Now I am not a professional gardener or anything, but I do believe that a handle does come in handy when using a watering-pot......

Okay--as this is getting long winded--I will continue with the next part of the story in "Part Two".....  oh, and yes there is more!  Another sale on Sunday, more finds, and yes....a bit more goo......

--to be continued!  A bientot mes amis!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sunday Brocante -- Blangy-le-Château

This Sunday ... Oui! Dimanche!... (aka US-Mother's Day!) a venture to a brocante in Blangy...  Blangy le Château is a "typical Normandy village with a full range of local shops including baker, butcher and pharmacy.13kms away is the town of Lisieu".... just under 30 minutes from home.

Mom and Dad, who are on the last few days of their visit (sniff, sniff...) were with us ... and we were all having a fabulous Mother's Day!

Although billed as a 'brocante' the sale was closer to a 'foire a tout' and to be honest in the beginning I was a bit dismayed and thinking that it might be the first brocante that I returned home empty handed!  As charming as the town was I was just not feeling it!

Until -- I (actually Mom!) spotted a small brocante shop named 'La Vie a la Campagne' across the road from the brocante tables.... and

Antique bird cage!  Old --- mid 19th century old!  J'adore!  I was in-love!!!  (all scouting points go to my Mom!  Bravo!)  The shop was wonderful too! 

'Madame la brocanteuse' has a very, very, excellent eye and the displays were gorgeous!
So the day was saved!  Not that it was bad in anyway before that --- gorgeous sunny day, pretty town....having Mom with me!  But finding my favorite things -- the crispy topping on the creme brulee!

Favorite finds?  The bird cage--bien sur! ... a cute wicker vintage dog-bed!  .... a sweet book ... and yes, yet another demijohn to add to the collection -- I cannot resist!

Hope you all had a delightful Mother's Day!  
Wishing you an equally wonderful week!  A bientot!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Trois Brocantes!

Yes, it is true!  I have out-done my own personal record!  This past weekend it wasn't just a Sunday Brocante, but a Saturday, Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon brocante!  Actually, it you want to be specific Saturday was a 'vide grenier', Sunday morning was a 'foires a tout' and Sunday afternoon--yes! finally----a 'brocante'!

Needless to say -- a very busy weekend!  Even more so because my Mom and Dad are here in Normandy with us visiting from the US, Boston area and 'les enfants' are on Spring Break... so this week I give you less words and more pictures!  Because it's Monday evening, past 10 pm and  ...  I---am---going---to---bed (at least for a few hours!  Remember--I have a 3 month old!)

First town:  Villers-sur-Mer......

Another Normandy beach town--a little seaside town that lies directly on the Greenwich Meridian Line. This is clearly marked in the town and on the seafront at the exact point where you cross the line, and many tourists can be seen photographing themselves at this point!

Just a few blocks from the beach was the 'vide-grenier'....about 80 participants and I managed to find a few good things.

Pretty day -- sunshine and breezy!
Next up -- the 'foires a tout'.. this time in Gonneville-sur-Honfleur.  I can tell you nothing about this town because aside from the 180 tables and tents set up in a 'suburb-y' feeling neighbor hood of cul-de-sacs---I saw nothing of it!  But it was a good sale!
Grandma and Grandpa--keeping track of 'Petite-Fille' so I could shop!

And last, and not in any way least!  Lovely Honfleur! (Be still my heart! J'adore this town!) ... a true 'brocante'... all of the 'pros', very, very, very expensive!  But really good things!


 I would have been all over this sweet little trike--if it didn't have the 300 euro price tag on it!

Did I mention I love Honfleur?!

Well....c'est tout mes amis!  You will have to check at the shop to see some of the goodies I found.  My favorites?.... a small vintage terrarium; chippy, rusty and sweet ... a huge antique 'Imperiale' wine bottle fished from the bottom of the Seine from the Napoleon era... and some gorgeous pale blue hand embroidered napkins ... too pretty to pass up!  
Take a look!

Have a wonderful week!  A bientot!