Thursday, June 30, 2011

La Poste!

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Okay--I  lifted that right off the web---it is a self-professed statement from 'La Poste'...... As 'La Americaine' en France I do find these statements make me smile (in a crazy frustrated, scratching my head-kind of way.)  I am a business in France....I know--a teeny tiny business, but a business nonetheless.  I have a fancy French Business License and a equally fancy title--Auto-Entrepreneur--Ooh la! la!--fancy! Non? (Although if translated incorrectly it does sound like I am selling cars!)

But here is the thing mes amis--I am writing this in response to my lovely, lovely buyers and future buyers to be---whom I adore, in answer to the subtle queries and comments about the cost of shipping....and the most obvious answer is ......  .......  I (as in Sunday Brocantes on Etsy) am IN France!  And being in France, I am at the mercy of 'La Poste'......and the Euro.... (and the dollar--USD)....Shipping costs, although they appear tres, tres, cher.....are 'normale'  based on those three things.

Now, if I wasn't in France, I wouldn't be going to brocantes every weekend, that's for sure!  I also would not be shipping from France.  So although shipping seems is still much less expensive than a plane ticket to come and shop at brocantes in person (if I were you and not me and had to travel here rather than click-click on Etsy....).

So although I cannot tamper with the cost of shipping--quelle dommage!  It is what it is....I can tell you this to shed a tiny bit of light on it...and maybe help my buyers feel a tiny bit better about it--- 
  • I do not, and never will 'mark-up' shipping costs.  Shipping is not a profit maker (maybe for La Poste but not for me anyway.)
  • I do not 'hide' shipping costs in the price of the item. Which means a heavy item that costs $10 may cost $40 to ship...and I know that is hard to swallow... but I would rather not put the item at $40 (even knowing that someone would still buy it) and charge $10 for "shipping".
With these things out of my control--but because I love what I do--(and adore you too!) --I always try to keep my prices low (lower than what you would pay in a fancy overhead bearing pretty little shop in a city near you!)  As much as possible, I buy only one-of-a-kind items, and try to avoid what other vintage sellers are selling on Etsy.  Which means if you can find it in the US I most likely won't have it in my shop--or if I do it's because my item is less expensive or the same price...but much, much better quality, condition, etc.

I spend a lot of time doing research before I sell something; both in an items origination and market value (when possible)...and in situations where I find an item is actually valued over-the-moon....I still price it just slightly more than I paid for it, plus shipping.  For example--I found a rare perfume bottle that had a 'market value' of $300 USD--and I still priced and sold it for just over $40....because I loved it and I am not doing this to become wealthy--just wealthy in the experience and process of being a brocante-trice!

So that is my-long winded (and maybe one or two--too many cups of coffee this morning!) response to why I am sometimes dismayed when I hear "I want to buy that from you---but the shipping is too expensive"!

I want you to buy what you find at my shop too!  I am excited when someone else's heart stops when they see something I have found at a brocante here in Basse Normandy and they know exactly that it is something they would love to add to their home and life....that's why I have 'Sunday Brocantes'....and not because I enjoy spending my 'Petite Filles' college tuition on postage.....but for now, 'La Poste' wins this one....Because apparently they "Best Understand the French and their Habits"..... but not mine.. and maybe not yours....Oh well.

Merci mes amis!   Thanks for listening! xx!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Brocantes -- Deauville

Okay, yes, ....not Sunday.  I went to a brocante yesterday, Saturday in Deauville---for two very important reasons--
  1. Today -- Sunday, I was having my 'cher' mother and father in law over for lunch...a delayed Father's Day celebration, and I needed to wake-up and begin cooking by 9 --not so bad, except that I really didn't get myself together and start until 11:30... but it was fine.  It worked out.
  2. Ah yes, reason #2 -- embarrassing.  Somehow on my calendar, I thought there was a huge 'vide grenier' in Honfleur yesterday, but it was today.... so we packed up 'les enfants' and went to Honfleur, only 10 minutes away, thankfully --- and I got the WRONG day.....quelle dommage!  
So-- there you go!  Never one to entirely miss out on a decent brocante --we went to Deauville....

and of course it was splendid and gorgeous and picture perfect and ..... expensive!  So I came home with only two (deux!) cher items!  But good ones!
And so instead, today, Sunday -- I cooked for my dear Father in law-- (and family bien sur!) There was champagne, saucisson and olives, seafood (fruit de mer) crepes, fennel salad with shaved parmesian, a cheese plate, vanilla custard and fresh fruit ... oh, and did I mention it was over 100 degrees at our house in Normandy??? Oh yeah -- H-O-T. 

(And as I write this on SUNDAY night -- it is a cool 80 degrees at 11 pm -- whew!)

So today was all about cooking and staying home and keeping my five month old, who isn't entirely keen on heat, cool and happy.  I have been doing some editing work on pictures I shot of my 'belle niece' on my very HOT lap-top--I am doing some 'practice shots' of her and her fabulous amour--to get ready to shoot their wedding this fall.

So a few more pics of the fabulous brocante in Deauville and I will leave it at that because I have written about Deauville a few times previously ....

I am intrigued by these wonderful 'baigneuses' --bathers.  I think they are only found (the authentic vintage ones) in Normandy (1930's Trouville/Deauville) and I adore them!

And my favorite finds (because there are only TWO this week!):

A lovely black wire bicycle basket.....

Two antique tins ... tres beau!!  Non?  I love them!

Have a fabulous week!  Don't forget the Give-Away (previous post)....only a few more days....the prize is $20 off any item at Sunday Brocantes! (Ooh la la!) But you have to follow the instructions on how to enter precisely... (sort of) to win!
....bonne chance!  A bientot!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Give-Away Time! -- Un Petit Concours!

I was shopping at a 'puce' in Deauville with Belle Niece when I learned that 'kitchy' in English is also 'kitchy' in French.  She was shaking her head at a display of  brightly painted pottery.  The Urban Dictionary describes the term as 'something that is really tacky...yet cool."  Occasionally something completely out of my 'norm' strikes my eye--and so it was with Madame & Monsieur Kitchy.

But they need better names than that--and maybe even a new home---where they will be appreciated and loved.... so voilà!    A Give-Away contest....pour vous!

Here it is!
  1. Give a name to Madame and Monsieur and post it here on this blog entry below to be entered in contest.
  2. Go to Sunday Brocantes on Facebook (here!) and click 'like' to become a fan--or if you already have, leave a comment on the contest post that appears on Facebook to be entered a SECOND time.
  3. Share the link to the contest by posting on your page or blog and be entered a THIRD time..... 
What do I win?!?--you ask?  Your choice of becoming the new proud owner (guardian?) of Madame and Monsieur---OR if they happen not to exactly match your decor .... a $20 that's TWENTY-bucks--discount or gift-code to be used at Sunday Brocantes on Etsy!  Now--please read the small print!

A random drawing will be made from all entries received.  A few rules:  if you live with me and are in my family--you cannot enter, sorry 'French Guy'.  The $20 discount can be used on any item that is over $20 and currently listed during the time of the contest and after award of prize in my shop on Etsy.  The contest begins today, 24th of June and goes until the last day of June at midnight--PST.  Winner will posted on this blog and then notified by email.  If you decide that you adore Madame and Monsieur--standard shipping to US destinations is included.  If you chose an item from my shop--shipping costs are as described in listing.  I think that's it!  Oh, and if I totally screw this up and it is way too complicated I am so completely not responsible--hey, it's my first contest!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

French Farm Gorgeous!

I love meeting new people!  Sometimes the internet is grand that way--connecting people despite distance.  I met a lovely gal via blogging and Etsy from my old stomping grounds--Seattle!  And we have so much more than just that in common.  Rachel has a shop on Etsy--loves gorgeous white, bright, shabby, chippy vintage...and has a blog filled with beautiful and very inspiring images of her personal haven, a very young 1930's house. ("young' because remember--I am in France where old is 300 years old!)

Rachel recently wrote an entry about 'moi' and my brocante adventures!  She can live vicariously through my weekend treasure hunts here in France and I can live vicariously through her proximity to my all time favorite places in the world--Pike Place Market.....Pioneer Square.....Elliot Bay Books...

French Farm 425
Take a little visit over to French Farm 425--if you get a chance--Rachel's blog. It's white, bright, cottage fabulous!  And visit her shop on Etsy too!  www.

Oh and leave a comment here if you already know Rachel!  I love small-world blog-love!  
Have a wonderful day mes amis!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer is Here!

Lighter, brighter and whiter.....warmer but cooler...breezy and buzzy...


...Enjoy Your Summer!  

Happy Summer!  L'  été joyeuse!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Brocante -- Equemauville

The weather has been postively crazy for the last few days so it was really up in the air what we might do today -- and it was Father's Day, so I wanted to make sure that my sweet spouse and father of my 'trois enfants' was on board with going to a Sunday brocante.  So I worked out a deal with the sun, that it should at least shine for the first half of the day, and I wore down the French Guy with homemade Father's Day cards and breakfast in bed....and he then agreed to go to a 'vide grenier' in close-by Equemauville. 

Equemauville is right between our house and my favorite town of Honfleur.  The sale was in a field in a little 'burby' feeling 'hood.  (Yes, there are neighborhoods of identical track homes, even here in France.)  There were 190 vendors registered and there were actually a good hand-full of brocanters mixed in with the garage sale types....and although it was really windy--the sun was shining. (as agreed.)

 ... and my 'friend' was there.  The guy in the picture?  We have run into him so many times at brocantes that I should know his name by now.  I don't, but I did get the nerve to ask for his picture, ask French Guy to ask him if I could take his picture....and he claimed to be Johnny Hallyday.....less 20 years...  So, my friend 'Johnny'  always plays something American when he sees us strolling by---first time was 'A Horse with No Name' by America....and other times it has been a tune by Crosby, Stills and Nash...or Neil Young.  He sits there strumming on his guitar with a few things set on a table to sell, and a van full of guitars....always playing something...always smiling.

So I would have been happy enough with the day -- but then I saw it!  Between the lines of tables, cars and vans....I said to French Guy--"Hold on! Is that a wicker birdcage over there?"....and he said, "Yes! Vas-y, vas-y, vas-y!"--and with that I dumped my goods, and dashed through the aisle to the next row--and put my hand on the most gorgeous wicker birdcage!  I took a quick look and waited for French Guy to catch up to assist with the negotiation and for a second I set the cage down---no sooner than to feel the hot breath of two madames standing right behind me--you see the rule is, if you have your hand on it, no one else can snag it until you turn away...and I had no intention of walking away--but these ladies were waiting to call 'Foul!!"--as soon as I moved my hand.  So I picked it up again--and long story short--walked away!   --- With the cage!

 I love it!  .... (Sorry ladies behind me who were just seconds too late to snag this beauty! I feel just terrible that you missed-out! ....but not too terrible.)  The man selling it was absolutely charming and told us a story or two about it--he also offered for us to look around on his table saying, 'Because after all I have many things that are free.' (Probably because I just paid big-bucks for the bird cage!)... and he snuck in a few funny things as 'gifts' inside the cage.....

And that was it---then we went home with my favorite things; the bird cage, some white-enamel items, and a gigantic basket.  Back home to have lunch, enjoy Father's Day and of course watch the rain... because it began as soon as we got back home--just as promised.

Hope you had a very special Father's Day!  A bientot!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kitchen Baguette Baskets

My twelve year old son asked for a baguette the other day.... an entire baguette.... all for himself.  He was not sharing.  I guess you could say that he has acclimated to life in France very well.  

Think of baguettes and think of France; visions of baguettes tucked under the arm or sticking-up from rattan market baskets go hand-in-hand with images of the Eiffel Tower and Parisiene street signs.  But not only in Paris--all over France baguettes are the national food of the country, eating them is a daily occurance and baking them is a precise (and government regulated) art!

Which brings me to my newest brocante-hunt obsession interest. Baguette baskets!  Not your standard bread-service type wicker table basket--but the tall, charming and very functional standing basket that graces the corner of a traditional French family kitchen to store the daily baguette or baguettes!  There is always one for lunch, one for dinner and enough left over for 'tartine' for breakfast.  The French would not dream of tearing the long loaf in half, (non-non! quelle dommage!) and jamming into a basket (although they have no aversions to biting the ends off during the walk home from the boulangerie), so of course a tall, upright, container is needed.  Sometimes a tall wood bin is used with a hinged lid and sometimes a long cotton tote is hung from a door knob--but it is the wicker, rattan or bamboo style that I adore!

I have found only two so far!  As many things do in French homes, items like this are kept for generations so it's not common to find vintage ones in brocantes and 'puces'.  Maybe that's why I love them so much!

So here's to my latest 'treasure hunt'!  The fabulous one in the pictures with the orange liner is most likely from the 1940's -50's...... tres jolie! The other, the handsomely gorgeous wicker one sold only a few days after I posted it on Sunday Brocantes.....

When I took a survey about where most people stored their baguettes, the common consensus was that most of the time the loaf if it lasts long enough to be served at a meal and not eaten before, is never around long enough to be stored! 

But if you do have the unusual gift of restraint and are seeking an authentic French baguette storage solution--keep an eye on my shop!  You may---possibly---find one there!

A bientot mes amis!.....and bon appetit!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A little teaser!

Ahhhh.....Here we are again--another long holiday weekend!  Last weekend was a five-day weekend for 'les enfants' and now we are having a three-day weekend, with no school tomorrow, Monday.  This weekend we have finally gotten a little bit of rain, which we sorely needed so no complaints here.

Compared to the rest of the world our Spring weather here in Normandy has been normale, if not pretty good actually; mostly sunny for several weeks and temps in the mid to high 70's.  But for the past five days or so it has been really windy and rainy ... so all this to say I was lucky to squeeze in just one brocante this weekend, a small one in Trouville Sur Mer.....and because I have written about Trouville before and it is practically my home town (it's 10 minutes away) I will instead be sharing a 'rainy day' blog entry about a fun new item that I have been hunting for......

.... but not until tomorrow, or at least I hope to.  Because as I said before it's another long weekend (and do kids in France ever go to school?!?---geeez!) So I will have my hands-full with the kiddos and most likely not have blissful blogging time!

But let it not be said that I left you empty-handed mes amis!  I have been catching up on taking pictures of items in the cue to be posted on Etsy--and I put a few together in a group shot--so take a peek!

A few things are already listed for sale and others will follow shortly!

I hope you had a great weekend! (as short as it was...  unless you are also in France!)

Monday, June 6, 2011

French Apothecary Bottles.....

Just posted! I found this set of three beauties recently at a brocante ....  I think the display potential is limitless!  Sold individually or as a set of three ...  take a look!

Click here-- to shop!  French Apothecary Jar

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Puce de Deauville

We are on day four of a FIVE day holiday weekend--and on the last day of the 'Puce de Deauville'....which means tomorrow, Sunday, there will be no brocante pour moi!  But then, I did go to the 'puce' TWO times, once on opening day, Thursday, and again today, Saturday... so I suppose it would be practically sinful to go to yet another brocante or sale tomorrow!

Mais.....not that I have had enough, bien sur!  But I have made up for the fact that last weekend I took time-off from brocante-ing because number one---my family needed me, and number two--sales are slow at the Etsy shop and I am not feeling frantic to stock up on things and oui! we all need a break sometimes.

The 'Puce de Deauville' is held in Deauville/Toque at the Hippodrome (you know that place where the 'hippos' race?)  It is the hometown of my cher-in-laws and positively gorgeously-fabulous in a kind of lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous-beach-resort-weekenders-from-Paris way.....  (Read my previous entry about Deauville for the list of fine luxury retailers that line the streets there. Oh the bygone days of limitless, high interest credit cards!)

This 'puce' is extremely well orgainized, consists of just under 100 "pros"--and I mean PROS.... it's put on by the Lions Club of Deauville and proceeds from the space rentals goes towards funding for the handicapped and canine assistance programs---love that!  (I love supporting vendors who support even in small way good causes!)  The best thing to do is just go straight to the pictures.....

On Thursday I went soley to scope out the goods!  I did not bring my camera and in the first twenty minutes I was in painful remorse of not having it with me.....everything was amazing!  So I shopped a little....prices were high and we had brought my middle-guy with us, who at 7 years old was quite sure that there must be some Transformers somewhere in the lovely displays of antiques! 

There wasn't.....but there were some pretty fab vintage toys!

....And some even more amazing assortments of things that I could have easily filled up the trunk of my car with!  The weather has been so glorious--and it was on both days!  Sunny, 70 ish....could not have been better!  I took so many pictures!

Favorite finds?  A zinc pitcher ready for fresh cut stems, a big basket for baguettes, an antique jumping-rope, and another beautiful 'wasp catcher'---look for them soon!

Hope you are enjoying an equally wonderful weekend!  A bientot!