Monday, February 27, 2012

French Linen Towels

I am always looking for French linens ....  I have several 100 year old bed sheets that serve as table cloths, have used antique crib sheets with gorgeous lace trim on Petite Fille's bed, and I stopped using disposable paper napkins years ago in lieu of cotton or linen ones.

 These large torchons make wonderful table cloths or over-sized place mats, a must for a picnic basket or table.

Even better when they are found with a monogram or more rare with a family name.  These linens stay in the same families for decades and decades.  When I find them with names, my mind wanders to who may have used them in the past.... 

about 80 or 90 years ago....

They are the perfect touch in a French country kitchen.  Make a lovely 'prop' for photographing food.

Made of gorgeously textured, heavy and durable linen ..... I could never have enough.

How about you?  These have just been listed on my Etsy shop.  Click here to see!  I currently have five for sale!  Happy shopping!

and....Happy Monday mes amis!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sunday Brocante ~ Deauville ~

We are at the end of the two-week school 'vacances' (which I think is referred to as 'les vacances du ski') but I think for us it was 'les vacances du--stomach flu'--quelle dommage!  Les garcons need to work on their timing a bit--it is better to be down and out with the flu during the school week -- not during the vacation!

Now almost fully recovered, they have a few more days of schedule-less bliss. (read--way too many hours playing video games and watching action movies with Daddy, snacking 'round the clock and staying in Pj's until well past noon....).  Enough to hold them over until the next vacances--in France there is a vacances every month except March. ( I think it's a total of 70 vacation days per school year!--not counting summer!)

But for those of us NOT on vacation -- I finished 'Middle Garcon's' extreme bedroom make-over (he is eight--it wasn't high on his list of priorities for the vacation--but it was on mine!)  I was able to chip away a little on one of my writing projects, got an amazing and fabulous 'new' table for my dining room that required a semi-makeover of that room.....let's see-- it feels like there should be more....

Ah yes!  Back to brocante season!  This weekend's brocante was not on Sunday.  In fact, looking at the 2012 schedule--most of the good Spring ones are on Samedi.  Maybe I will need to change my name to Saturday Brocantes......

So today's brocante was in Deauville.  My cher-in-laws live there.  Of course Belle-Mother-in-Law came along.  Do you remember last year that I told you she is a shark when it comes to negotiating?  Seriously, look out.  Don't be fooled by the trés jolie-demeanor and sweet face.... I have seen her make vintage dealers weep.......

French Guy was along as usual.  He is head 'Monkey-Handler'.  Petite Fille is by the way, becoming an excellent 'spotter'---notice how she is pointing with her little mouth in an "O".....   saying "Oooooo regarde Maman!"

I won't tell you this week what I can home with.  Just keep an eye on the shop and see what surfaces in the coming weeks.  One thing is in one of these pictures and it is f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s!

Have a wonderful week!  Enjoy your 'vacances' if you have one! 

A bientot, mes amis!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Petite étagère chapeau...

At the snowy-brocante in Touques a few weeks ago, I spotted this old, worn and very charming hat-shelf.  I normally gravitate towards paler, white-washed or faded pieces, so I am not exactly sure why this little shelf grabbed me, but I think it was the deep black chippy paint and the crooked, rusty hardware that caught my eye.

To snap a few shots of it for the shop, I temporarily hung it on my wall over my little desk in my bedroom. Then of course I had to hang a few things on it and see how it looked holding a few books and other things.......

Well it's still there on that wall. Looking rustic and charming.....and there I think it will stay.  Sometimes it just fits.  
You know what I mean?

Hope you are having a great week mes amis!  Can you believe it's already Friday?  I still owe you the story of my 'not-new' new old table....I haven't forgotten.

Bon weekend!  See you again soon!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ooooh la table!

A table. There's a story here.  It's my 'new' table..... except that it is not new, in fact it is very old, and it's not even new to me, I have had it for a very long time, apparently.  Although I had no idea I had it.

... The story to follow shortly.  But for now, I 'go-it' yesterday.....sorta.  And I love it!

J'adore la table!  A bientot, mes amis!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Saint Arnoult..... or not....

Oh mes amis!  I am slowly staggering back to the land of the living.  Sérieusement.  Last week I caught the country-wide flu bug and Oooh la vache!  B-A-D.  The this weekend after I was finally resurfacing and seeing the light of day again--my sweet 'Petite-Fille' got it from moi----not fun.  So as most of last week was a blur...there was Valentine's Day (which is very low-key here in France) and then p-o-o-f--- the rest of the week gone in a blur of feverish delirium.

So on Saturday, as I was trying to get my head (and stomach!) together again and focus....there was a small (25 vendors) brocante in the nearby town of Saint Arnoult and knowing that I still wasn't up for it and also having that nagging albeit dedicated motivation to get over there and hopefully get a few things I had been looking for.... I sent French Guy (and Petite Fille who was not yet stricken with the plague...yet.) to hop on over there.  And so he hero....... and this is what he found.....

Can we insert the sound of crickets here.....can we Photoshop a tumble-weed blowing down the road?  Can you count the ONE van and FOUR tables set up in the distance?  Well there you go.

I actually wouldn't have believed him had he not come home with the picture.  (He knows me well enough to document proof of these things rather than come home empty handed!)

Not that the weather was bad.  It was finally a tinsy bit warmer and the sun was out.  No snow like the prior what was the problem?  Where were the other 20 vendors?  Ce n'est pas une brocante!  Nothing missed there mes amis.  Maybe they all had the flu too!

Hope you are all fairing better!  
This will be catch up week for me after losing all of those days last week! 
 Bonne semaine!  and  bonne sante!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bring on 'le printemp'!

Okay--yes, it's me here--"snow-lover"..... but now it's raining.  Which is good because that means it is warmer!  I will take what I can get.  Give me lovely flakey-dry gorgeous snow--or give me SPRING!  Nothing in-between, merci beaucoup!  I am pretty sure that our little mini-blizzard of a week ago has done-in my bulbs...the daffodils and the hiyacinths were just popping up about a half inch before the cold snap and then they were buried under ice and snow for the last 10 days....probably not good.

So here is a quick post if you too are in need to bring some spring inside....  quick because my time is not my own these days.  Today was the official first day of the two-week school 'vacance' for les enfants...which means I am 100 percent cook, cleaner, entertainer, peace-maker, and otherwise mommy-slave for the next 14 days---so yes, it is just before midnight and here I am..... but enough about 'moi'.... here is a little fun project if you have a few vintage jars and spring bulbs to add cheer to your kitchen table....

Actually, any type of jar will do.....  can't wait to see these beauties bloom!  

Happy dreaming of  SPRING mes amis!  
I'll be back as soon as I can!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Brocante ~ Touques ~

So the snow I was so completely blissed-out about last Sunday?  Still here.  I don't think one single tiny flake of it has melted, Ce n'est pas possible...because it has been below freezing here (WAY below freezing here!) for the past seven days.  If I sound a tiny bit grumpy-- it's only because although I adore la niege--the bone-chilling, teeth chattering cold?......Not so much.  Ironic, I know.

When we woke up this morning, the thermometer read - 11C degrees....minus-eleven-degrees.  That is about 12F.....C-O-L-D.  But the sun looked like it might try to sneak out between the clouds and we figured that might get us right up to freezing--so we made plans to get over to the brocante in near-by Touque...only 10 minutes from our home.

Do they look cold enough?

There were only a half a dozen vendors there--normally there would be double, due to the weather I am sure.  The snow served as a backdrop for some of items displayed....

But the cold also gave us an excuse to duck into a little brocante-shop also in the village square to take a quick look around and thaw-out.  The shop-owner was lovely and I took a few pictures while French Guy chatted with her and juggled our bundled-Petite Fille so I could look around.

 It is a small shop but she has some wonderful things! 


This hotel board caught my eye!  Fabulous-don't you think?  It was a bit over my budget (a big-bit) and I would have a hard time listing it in the shop when I have the PERFECT wall for it in my house!

I was happy that we ventured out, sniffles, cold toes and all.  I found a few great pieces to add to the shop this week--as well as a few more to add to the 'Wish List' for next time!  That hotel board.....?  J'adore!  That one is for 'moi'!

Have a wonderful week ahead mes amis!  
Stay warm wherever you are....

Monday, February 6, 2012


Happy Monday mes amis!  Yesterday I had planned on going to a small brocante in Honfleur... I was also hoping to go pick-up two wire baskets that a vintage shop is holding for me.....but alas--it was not to be!  Because of the S-N-O-W!  Yes!  Snow!  You know how long I have waited for it!  And even though it derailed my brocanting plans--it made for a gorgeous quiet countryside walk.... 

There was no driving.  We don't have the big husky plows where I am to clear the roads or spread sand or salt--a few tractors with shovels, but for the most part everyone stays in.... again, fine by me, and I was sure that even if I made the trek in my little car, that does not like snow--there would be no brocante there anyway.  The sale I am sure, was snowed-out.

I left the boys at home and while 'Petite Fille' napped, and soup warmed on the stove-top, and I went out as far as I could walk from our place to see how the gorgeous white-stuff had decorated our neighborhood.....

I love a good 'snow-day'!  Hope you had a wonderful weekend--snow or not.  

Bonne Semaine mes amis!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Froid-glacial! Buuurrrr!

 It's is absolutely FREEZING here! 'Froid' doesn't even come close to describing it.  Yet, no snow--quelle dommage.....

Last weekend, at the brocante in Deauville--we spied these tres-gorgeous club-chairs.  French Guy has a passion for club-chairs.  Over the years we have purchased and sold dozens--in various states of 'condition'--from let's say well-loved 'shabby' to just restored perfection.

So when we saw this sweet couple--I have to say that this time I was completely smitten; the comfortable velvet seats and low profile back, the perfect color and the fabulous curly nailhead details---Ooh la la!

Who could resist?!  I see a careful and authentic restoration in their future---looking about the same sans the show-through of the batting in the arms and tears in the leather--but the golden-sable velvet stays as do the original nails.... but after that--parting with them would be a challenge.

A smaller brocante coming up on Sunday.... and yes, it will still be freezing.  Bundling-up a must. Fingers crossed for sunshine!

Hope you are having a bonne-semaine!  A bientot!---Stay warm!