Friday, November 30, 2012

Brocante {Heaven}

Two weeks ago French Guy and I (oh, and Petite Fille of course) wandered into a plain looking warehouse in a town about an hour from our home. We had an appointment in the same town and we had some time to kill before.  Marked 'Brocante' it was a basic, not fancy building in an industrial commercial area.  We may have passed it a dozen times without a glance.

When we stepped in it only took about 60 seconds for my heart to start racing.... I had died and woken up in 'brocante heaven'!  A huge warehouse full of the widest selection of French antiques and vintage --- and the prices?  Unbelievable!!!  So although I was feeling weak in the knees... we explored it from corner to corner, floor to ceiling.....

I pulled out my phone and snapped away!  Sorry for the phone-quality images but ...
...Take a look!

All styles, periods, trends ....

It goes on and on....

Even an Asian selection.....

and a little 'American Flair'!

A little digging reaps BIG rewards!

Even outside it was 'wall to wall'....

I thought I should pick this up for 'les garcons'... a little reminder of the motherland....from a French perspective.

Did I mention the prices?!  You would die!

Like I said--nothing fancy....but so worth the visit!  We immediately added it as a 'must stop' on my vintage shopping tour itinerary!  You could easily fill a container to send back to the US in about 10 minutes!

We were back there today and I think it is going to be a weekly excursion!  I was in search of shutters (that's another story mes amis!) and although I didn't find the specific size I need--I did not come back empty handed.... at all!  

Speaking of that--if you haven't already taken a look--the new storefront is open--you can find it here!  I am still working on it and adding new things daily too!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  I predict we may see a little snow very, very soon and I may even get courageous and dig out the boxes of Christmas decorations!  (I am taking my own leisurely pace on this!  Around my home town the decorations are just now appearing and I love it!)

More soon .... Bon weekend!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Et voilà ! ....Finally --big NEWS!

Wow!  I have been waiting for----ever---- to say this!  The 'SHOP' is open!  If you are a savvy blog reader than you may have noticed the subtle changes over the past few weeks (months?) I have been streamlining many of my 'efforts' (passions!) to give them all a home in one place!

It has been many hours of work, tons of organizing ... and talk about a learning curve!  I have taken on new software, new sites, new domains.... with the goal being to house the things I do and the things I love under ONE roof!  Yesterday was a FOURTEEN hour work day trying to get all the snags out so that everything lands correctly!  

So here it is!  You can now shop for French vintage from 'moi'--Sunday Brocantes--right here!  You barely need to lift a finger! You can still of course hop over to my Etsy shop and also find me over on Second Shout Out too!  

My shop here will not only have personally created items and fabulous vintage finds from my weekly hunting trips all over the Northeast coast of France (and Paris too when I am lucky!--hear that French Guy?!---weekend getaway--Paris--toute de suite!) and I am also excited that at this shop I will also be able to sell traditional French household items that I have come to know and love while living in France; market baskets, garde mangers, culinary tools, soaps....

I am also thrilled to share with you a selection of the photography work that I have been doing over the past three years on my new photo site that you can find here!  At the moment I only have put up about 150 images and eventually I will be adding many more and also the option to order fine art prints directly from the site!

So many things to tell you about, but for now...... take a peek!

I hope you enjoy!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving {Sunday}

As it approached I wasn't committed on what we might do. Third Thanksgiving in France you would think we would have that one nailed down by now.  The first year as a very reluctant expat, I insisted that we pull the boys out of school (I know.  I had to 'force' them!....well...non.) and we had a Thanksgiving feast just the four of us (plus almost one---7 months along with Petite Fille) and although we didn't have turkey--(our standby for Thanksgiving even while in the states was duck because French Guy doesn't love turkey)-- it was a sweet, yet melancholy day.

 Last year we embraced it once again but this time invited French friends in attempts to integrate (read 'push') our holiday on them... and  This year I decided not to take the boys out of school (much to their dismay--it is the only reason they really care about Thanksgiving) and have a family meal just us five on Saturday.  Saturday arrived and suddenly we found ourselves really busy having spent the day before at a HUGE puce in Caen....(more on that soon!) and with not enough time to properly focus on cooking the now traditionally requisite duck.... we bumped Thanksgiving to Sunday!

I was blessed to grow up on the East Coast with family close by and have really wonderful memories of Thanksgiving growing up.  I had four living Grandparents for most of my child and young-adulthood and we spent the holidays with them in upstate NY.  Holidays were filled with cousins, board games, family slide shows (yes, I am THAT old) and lots and lots of food--mais bien sur!  My sister and I would play dress-up in my grandmother's bedroom--she had the most amazing collection of handbags and hats.... my brother and other cousins would spend the day down in the basement with my Grandfather and his expansive model train village.  He was a miniature train hobbyist and had an entire room with a landscaped town with tunnels, houses, trees, ponds complete with buildings that lit and little tiny street was magical--and serious business for my Grandfather who worked on it for years.  All in all, I cherish every bit of it.  It was a classic childhood memory--"over the hills and through the woods" trip from our house in Boston to see my parent's parents in NY.

This year.....For our Thanksgiving day, we were graced with opening the shutters to bright sunshine.  I Googled a recipe for Ina Garten's roast duck, set up the kitchen, sent French Guy and the 'Teen' to the market with Petite Fille and then I took Middle Garcon to the beach with me--normally I would have gone for a run--but admittedly I have slacked-off so badly since the Fall weather (read-cold and raining all of the time) that we instead basked in the sunshine and just played-around.

We met back at home for a light lunch and then the cooking-fest began!  Petite Fille napped, the boys ate popcorn and watched episodes of Top Gear.... while I slaved (happily!) in the kitchen.

We ate around 6 pm, checked the boys homework--and then off to bed for the little-ones and one final glass of bubbly and 'pumpkin' custard---pour moi!

I do get a little sad when I think I am the only one in the family that clings to this day so fondly.  Obviously French Guy has memories associated with the French holidays, but I know that I will not be able to recreate my childhood memories of a truly American Thanksgiving for my 'half-American' children.....  I can only create something that represents our life now--which is le canard roti instead of turkey, potimarron instead of pumpkin..... and on Sunday instead of Thursday ...

Still certainly a life over-flowing with blessings. So what am I thankful for you might ask?

I am learning to be thankful not for 'things' and 'haves' but for experiences....they never go away and most often teach us things that we hold dear for a lifetime... where ever we find ourselves celebrating them....

Hope your Thanksgiving was special too.

C'est tout for now!

I am hoping in the next couple of days to share exciting news! I also have amazing items coming to the shop as fast as I can shoot and list them! 

It is going to be a fabulous week!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Vintage {Christmas} Gift Sets

Last Christmas I had this idea about gifts.  Being the {vintage} girl that I am, and looking for more options than just hitting any old store I was wishing for more creative options.  I ended up shopping a lot on Etsy to be honest and the majority of loved ones on my list ended up with handmade or vintage items.  It was actually really fun.  I was able to find things that met each person's personality and I was certain they would not get two of the same, have to return anything or exchange a size the day after Christmas.

I also wanedt to add some more personalized options for 'gifts' from my shop as well.  But at the time I had an almost-one year old (January birthday) and almost-teen (also a January birthday three days after the one year old) it was my second Christmas in France and I was still trying to get my footing (actually I still am!) and creativity was just not flowing like it should have been.

 This year it is better.... all around. Except that now I have an almost TWO year old--(Lord have mercy!) and I am busier than ever!  But still---I just thought if I 'coupled' vintage items with French culinary items--what a fun gift it might make.  

So there you have it!  More French vintage holiday inspiration!

Here are a few of the items that will be listed in the shop tomorrow--Perfect for gift giving!

An antique chocolate mold coupled with a blue stripe towel.  

A small zinc plate, vintage towel and French soap with a 'bouquet garni'. 

Two vintage French 'torchon' and a vintage citrus juicer. 

A wood crepe spreader with an antique red striped torchon.

A large zinc pate, large French 'savon' for the kitchen and a vintage towel. 

 Plenty more coming!  I will start listing all of the sets tomorrow!  

Hope this brings a little gift giving inspiration to you as you get ready for the busy season ahead! 

Happy Thanksgiving week mes amis!  
I may not be there in person--but I am 110% there with you in spirit!

More soon!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

French Vintage Christmas-- getting inspired!

After yesterday's post I was relieved that the comments left revealed that not everyone is jumping into the holiday decor 'a toute de suite'!  ... Personally, I am in the camp of starting gradually and easing into it---and it looks like I am in very good company!

After seeing those tempting images from that lovely blog that I used in yesterdays post--I have to admit that I was fully inspired to think about using vintage items and giving them a winter, holiday, simple rustic and festive look.  So this afternoon at the 'atelier'--the theme was just that.....

French country rustic---simple and charming!  Take a look!

With the exception of a few already sold--most of these items will be in the shop this week so check back or watch for the links as I list them on Sunday Brocantes on Facebook!

Happy decorating inspiration!
Hope your week is going well so far!  See you back here soon!