Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rain, rain, go-away!

It almost did pour on my very first brocante outing of the 2012 season today!  Almost.  The morning teased us with what looked like a serious winter storm for the first few hours of the morning--and then the clouds blew on past and the sun slowly peeked-out--and stuck around for most of the afternoon!

So it seemed fitting that my favorite find of the day was an....umbrella stand! Mais bien sur! A whimsical, curvy wrought-iron stand from the 1940's.  I have just posted it on Etsy, but wanted to share it with you quickly now!

Antique French Umbrella Stand
I love wrought-iron work.  I am always taking pictures of gates and architectural elements in iron.  This little stand looks great just on it's umbrellas needed.  But if you are having weather like we are in Normandy--you may also be able to put it to good use!

Bon weekend!  A bientot!

Le Weekend

It's here!  Yes, it's Friday, but I don't mean just the weekend!  Yesterday when taking a decadent 'solo' walk around Deauville, after having been released an hour and a half early from my French class and being dropped off by my kind Italian classmate, in the center of town with some time to spare---I popped into a magazine store---and there it was!  Le Guide!  My precious 2012 guide to brocantes, vide greniers, fout a toute, flea markets, bric-a-brac, antiquites, collections, bourses....And I really truly think it is an inch thicker than last year!

The 'season' really gets going in mid March, but some of the smaller venues and the 'Pros' get going in the next few weeks.  The weather here in Normandy is still a bit dicey.  Although we have S-U-N today and it should stick around for the weekend....and anyway, as you might recall from last year, the sales do go on rain or shine (or monsoon or shine in the summer!)

'French Guy' and I recently took a walk around Honfleur, the sun was shining on that day too, but you can't see from the pictures that it was très froid! I found a few very good Brocante shops there and I will be going there this weekend to search for a few things from my list.  On Saturday we are going to a small brocante in Deaville--it's one of the first outside brocantes of the season.

So it will be a great weekend here, rain or shine!  Oh, I didn't mention that 'French Guy' and I have a long overdue 'date-night' this weekend too!  At our favorite restuarant, 'Le Cottage'....... Which looks like this.....
I'm really looking forward to it--the food is simple, fresh and delicious-- and the atmosphere is chic and eclectic ..... J'adore!

Hope you have a truly fabulous weekend too,
mes amis!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Le Puce des Couturières.....

I was excited to go to the 'Puce des Couturières..... which is a flea market for 'seamstresses' or sale of sewing and textile notions.  Luckily, on this very cold and damp January Sunday, the puce was inside.  All of the vendors set up their tables in the old 'poissonnerie'  in  the town of Pont-l'Évêque.   

Apparently a popular venue, it was packed shoulder to shoulder and the old building was filled with people selling buttons, threads, fabrics, new and old, ribbon, yarns and even a few merchants selling old hats and handbags. 
Unfortunately, it wasn't the best place to purchase vintage linens, as I had hoped....

But I did find some fabulous old buttons, vintage spools and antique lace bobbins.  This little group of items makes a great 'Parisian Dress Maker's Collection' and I am considering keeping all of the items together as a set when I list them on Etsy.

I am eager for the brocante season to resume.  It won't be long now!  It begins in the early spring-- slowly with one or two sales on Sundays and then increases to several sales per weekend and then in summer--the high-season for brocantes, vide greniers and flea markets there will be a dozen to chose from on any given weekend....  I can't wait!

Until then, hang in there mes amis--this long grey winter can't last forever!  N'est ce-pas?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter Wishes.....

 Désolé mes amis, j'ai été très absent!  I have been happily buried in the double celebration(s) of my youngest's first birthday followed three days later by my oldest's initiation into teenager-hood when he turned thirteen!  Because the birthday's were on a Tuesday and then Friday there were little parties on each weekend before and after like book-ends!

I am also finally a bit more back to normal (my injured foot that is!) and was able to get out last weekend for a beach walk with my middle-guy who was suffering a wee-bit from the other two having big birthday weeks...and then because I can no longer use the excuse that I can't walk to the train--I also went back to my French Classes too last week and after juggling all that I also made an effort to get out and shoot some pictures--at long last!  Whew!........

I took a short walk just down the road--we live next to a 15th century church in a tiny town and strange as it sounds, I do like the winter landscapes, even when they are a bit dull and grey and leaves are gone and plants are brown.  A dusting of snow would be lovely too--still have fingers crossed that we will see some soon.  We have been wishing for snow in our family since way before the holidays!  For now we only have frost....

I have a few things to add to the shop this week and I am also so excited to tell you that I am going to a big sale this weekend.... a 'puce des couturieres' which will have textiles and fabrics and hopefully some amazing vintage linens.  My plan this year is to expand Sunday Brocantes by having a lot more linens, both ready to use and display as well as fabric to satisfy all of those creative projects that absolutely need unique French touches!  (More for the 'Wish-List'!)

And speaking of the 'Wish List'....vintage wire-work and wire baskets are on it as well..... this one just listed.  I have two rusty fun-ones that I will be posting before the weekend.

A bientot!  I will be back to tell you all about the textile-puce on Sunday....bien sur!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wish List 2012....

Happy NEW YEAR! I am slowly---très lentement---limping into 2012. Literally. Having had a bizarre domestic-accident--with a sewing needle--in mon pied, that required surgery--I have been off my feet now for just over a week. This slows me down. I have written about it plenty on my blog, so I will spare you the details. The side-blessing of being off your feet is that I have had plenty of time to peruse the web for inspiration, lots of time to make and re-think resolutions for the new year, loads of time to scribble ideas in my 2012 date book...

I am starting to create my "Wish-List" for 2012--for myself and for Sunday Brocantes on Etsy,so I thought I would share a few...some of these things I would love for our home--some maybe might make it onto the 'store shelves' to share with you....I would also love to hear what you dream of finding for your home....

Item number one--really hope to find a vintage pigeon basket to make one of these for our family room.  This fantastic one is available from Wildflower Organics in Austin, TX, by the way--but I hope to find a source for the baskets at a flea market here in France.....

Next, I would love some of these industrial shabby French cheese-crates found at Alahambra Antiques on

And while I am on the industrial shabby French decor theme...I have always wanted a group of mis-matched metal chairs for my 15' long rustic antique dining-table  ---  maybe like these by Xavier Pauchard c. 1935....

I am always looking for unique architectural pieces too.... windows, shutters, shelves.... .  I love propping things like this up in a corner, or high shelf....

Remember my favorite metal sign?  Must have it!

During my 'soujourn' recovering from my foot boo-boo, I have also had the luxury of leafing through a stack of French decor mags and I plan on posting some inspiration for future brocant-ing adventures as I continue my 'Wish-List' for the year.  I plan to be ready when the official 'season' for vide greniers and flea markets resume..... in the meantime--as soon as I am up and about again--I will be checking out some off the path--back alley brocante and antique stores--so stay tuned!

What about you--What's on your wish-list? 

Bonne année mes amis!  Lovely to see you here in 2012!