Thursday, September 29, 2011

101 Excuses ... er.....Reasons..

Wow!  Last post was on the 15th!? Goodness!  But I have 101 really good reasons why I have been away!  Really!  Do you want to know them?  Ok... here goes.
  1. My computer died.  Yes, I know it sounds a lot like 'the dog ate my homework' but it's true.
  2. I got a new computer --- Ooh la la!  And she is ............F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S.....bien sur!  But she is also new--and a tiny bit strange in an unfamiliar kind of way.  My son picked my new lap-top.  He is 12 -- a self-professed computer geek--a techie, and most importantly (in his eyes...) a gamer.  So my new computer has 'killer' resolution and graphics capability and even THX TruStudio Pro surround sound.  I totally needed that....sorta.
  3. My Dad purchased my beautiful new lap-top in the US and brought it with him when he and mom arrived for their quarterly visit....because I couldn't buy my lap-top here in France--because then she would have had a French brain, and speak to me in French....and I am not ready for that....yet.
  4. Continuing on... reason number 3--my parents arrived....le gros sigh.....tres tres contente......happy, happy, happy......to visit us for two weeks.  I had to clean my house around the clock for 7 days straight before they came....no time for brocanting--or blogging.
  5. Last weekend my Belle-Niece got married....to her sweet Prince Charming...gorgeous~lovely~adorable couple--and I was their wedding photographer.... They had a spectacular day--the weather was sublime, everyone was fantastic and the wedding day was perfect! Wowza!  I took 700 photos--edited to 245--and they came out gorgeously (I have been told)!  So lucky me--still welcome in the French family.  Imagine if I had blown it!  Eeeeks--no pressure there!
  6. Okay--so we are on six now, right?  Do I need to continue to name the remaining 95 reasons I have been away from Sunday Brocantes?  Because if you want me to I will.......
  7. My middle Garcon came home from his second week of school with the first snotty head-cold of the season and generously shared it with me and Petite Fille.  Snotty, slobbery teething, cranky, 8 month old--Oh the joy of the first head-cold! Can it get any better?
  8. Oh! and my French Civics course and exam!  I took it, I passed, I didn't get deported!  I get to stay in France with my sweet French spouse and French children for ONE more year!  Tres jolie!  Were you worried for me?  That would have been the end of  Sunday Brocantes--but then, a story of my deportation could have been so very dramatic--non?
  9. Okay, yes, so still here.  Living in France....going to brocantes....except...that the season is just about finished--around here in Normandy.  I think the outdoor weekend 'flea markets' continue on into the fall--but fewer....which is actually okay... I have my sources and plenty more things for the Etsy shop!
  10. Ten---that's 91 more reasons to go---maybe ten is enough?  I just wanted to prove that I have not been around because I am just flakey by nature---or lying on the beach---in this gorgeous late summer eighty-degree weather.....a few days before October!
Oh-- here's proof about the wedding thing....

Aren't they gorgeous!?  Seriously.

So all this to say--Merci beaucoup for your patience--and for missing me.....(You did right?!)  I am back, 100%.......at least 80%....which is probably enough....Honfleur brocante this weekend....hot, sunny, fabulous---Oh!!  J'adore Honfleur! ......don't get me started.   

Gros bisous mon amis!  A bientot!

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    In Between....

    Not to worry! I have not forgotten that I promised a post or two before I embark on the next brocante adventure--which will be this Sunday! Oui--Dimanche, bien sur! Quelle autre jour serait-il ?  That is of course if I survive SATURDAY which is an 8 hour French Civics course and exam in Caen--all in efforts towards the elusive 'carte de sejour'.....if I fail the test I am instantly deported.....I think.  Okay--maybe not.  But anyway--big, big day.  I will need a fabulously fruitful brocante on Sunday to get over it!

    So this week as I frantically systematically and in an orderly fashion prepare for the pending arrival of my mom and dad (aka "Grandma & Grandpa")....I have been squeezing in some last minute projects and thinking about what I might share in between brocantes with you (as they are becoming fewer and farther between!) as inspiration and a tiny slice of my French life and how it has been setting up the homestead here in Normandy.  Some of the treasures that I find while out 'brocanting' never make it onto Sunday Brocantes on Etsy--- (Shocking! I know! But sometimes I do buy for myself--I just can't help it!) But I should also disclose that I have never regretted selling anything on Etsy--even if I really, really loved it (which I do most things I find!) Etsy buyers (and maybe you are one of them!) are lovely...I have made many a friend and I sincerely value the contacts made through having a shop there!  Okay--enough about you.  Back to me.



    Two things just recently posted--represent my love for organization, with a twist of style....these things I would easily use in my home.  I have a bottle rack on my kitchen table for in-coming bottles of water, wine, juice etc....but recently after finding this grey one, thought it make a great caddy for magazine clippings waiting to be filed, or pinned up on an inspiration wall.


    I love that the insert parts are almost 'frilly' in their scalloped bends.....and a second item 're-purposed' for storage....I found three wire flower wall baskets.


    Typically filled with flowers and mounted to an exterior wall, these inspired me to suggest a more functional storage use....kitchen, office, studio.....


    Bathroom...?  What do you think?  They are very chippy--could be left as is--they are a great sage green with a bit of rust.  Or they could also be cleaned up completely and re-painted....but I love the look just the way they are!

    More to follow.... after many years of not-loving a cabriolet-legged console table in my bedroom--I dragged it out to the garden today to get a 'new-look' courtesy of my trusty bucket of grey paint!  I remembered to take a 'before' picture and it's already looking fabulous--so when it's done....more show and tell!  And it is already Thursday!  Mom and Dad arrive in 6 days!  Eventually--I will need to clean the house!

    Hope you are having a truly wonderful week!  A bientot!



    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Transition and Inspiration

    Tonight, my evening began with Oldest Garcon pointing out, in my previous posts, the myriad of 'typos' that somehow made it though the multiple edits and proof reads (okay...one.) and as embarrassed as I am to admit that my writing is not always perfect, it is worse to acknowledge that my almost 'teen' garcon's French is suddenly progressing at turbo-pace and he is leaving me and my few college course hours, community classes, private lessons and yes, an entire year of total immersion in the land of cheese....in his dust.  Embarrassing.... humbling.....I can take it, I am big girl.

    I did indeed take a week 'off' (more or less) from Sunday Brocantes and Etsy this past week to get les enfantes fully transitioned back into school and me fully transitioned back into a few peaceful hours to nap each afternoon...eeerrr...I mean undistracted hours to focus on household organization and cleaning and oui, bien sur!  Studying my French!

    Although I did not get out to a sale or brocante this weekend, I will be posting several more times this week and share some personal projects that I have done with some of the things I have found this summer that never made it to the shop because they were so happily 'at home' in my home!  Hopefully I can share some inspiration and authenticity by sharing some decor ideas from my 'humble-abode'  here in Normandy.

    For now, because even during busy times I sometimes still manage to venture out with my camera and capture the colors and sites that inspire my everyday life... I will share those images with you!  ... and say sincere 'a bientot!' and catch up with you again soon!


    Bonne, bonne semaine mes amis!

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Sunday Brocante -- Pont L'Eveque

    Happy Labor Day my 'amis-Amercains'!  Hope you are enjoying a fabulous ('better late than never') sunny and hot summer day!  Here in Normandy the chill has arrived and today was a 'normal' day except that 'Middle Garcon' who is in second grade returned to school this morning (It's not a holiday here!) and it was actually an easier day than anticpated for la rentrée... Thankfully he is in the same school with the same teacher as last fall--so far less adjustment than our first school year here last September!  My 'Oldest Garcon' goes tomorrow for his first day back...new school...new class...new teachers...he is in 7th grade and he is not worried at all, in fact quite excited about it....so I am trying to be all 'Zen' about it too!  That being said--I am considering taking this week 'off' from Sunday Brocantes and Etsy....just to be able to soak all this new stuff in!  New schedules, new pace.....but then again--whatever will 'Petite Fille' and I do with the quiet hours of the day while 'les garcons' are in school?!? So maybe I won't....

    I will at the very least--post pictures and tell you about the small 'vide grenier' we went to yesterday in Pont L'Eveque ... (yes the same town known for it's fabulous CHEESE!  I am pretty sure it's widely available in the US... you should try it!) The town is about 25 minutes from our house. The sale was small and I found my most amazing brocante-find just steps away from where we parked the car!  .............

    .........   This set of 19th century white enamel canisters---6 jars with lids--complete....and did someone say white-enamel!?!?  I am in love with it!


    No, I haven't posted it on Etsy yet.... I am still trying to get a handle on, (and a few good pictures of!) the other item I bought, a gorgeous French bottle drying rack!  Which turns out to be not so easy (because of it's size!) to shoot .... but we shall see!


    And finally--I leave you with a couple of images of my day--shared also on my other blog.  I was so inspired by the colors of the day ...

    ... even with the little rain and chilly breezes!
    Have a wonderful, short-week mes amis!  
    Hope you enjoy Labor Day and you are embracing the coming of Fall ... I know I am!  
    A bienot!