French Brocante: Silver Boutis Kit
French Brocante Calcite.
Setting up the brocante today.
Saturday Art Saves postponed until next Saturday, or maybe tomorrow.
Come visit me here:
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
French Brocante: Silver Boutis Kit
French Brocante Calcite.
Setting up the brocante today.
Saturday Art Saves postponed until next Saturday, or maybe tomorrow.
Come visit me here:
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
After having no time to open my online French brocante due to the weeks and weeks that turned into months (seems like years,) of working on the Paris apartment renovations, I am at last, free to dive back into the thing I throughly enjoy the most... my brocante.
Tomorrow please check in here...
Brother Mat aren't you happy for me at least?
See you tomorrow here: Tongue in Cheek Antiques.
I promise more details on....
Our Apartment Renovation Open House (When our first renters, Elizabeth and Lorna say goodbye.)
The nude men drawings.
And brocanting tours....
Ever since I can remember my mother loved old things. Our house was full of old stuff, not necessarily valuable stuff, but old it was. I grew up with a mom who when it came to decorating, she could wing anything into something pretty cool. Some people can think outside of the box... My mom did not know there was a box to think about.
Do you know she decorates for funerals? I kid you not.
My mom and her partner Holly.
They are quite a team.
They have created a wonderful flea market, twice a year, in my small town in Willows!
Designers, Collectors, Artists and Guests...
WELCOME TO VINTAGE COUNTRY FLEA MARKET!
One of the Season's BEST Fleas
Romantic Country Magazine
8AM to 4PM
1769 County Road FF, Willows, California 95988
For more and future information following my mom at:
When it comes to the brocante, I am ready when you are.
After a whirlwind of visitors and meeting so very many of you this year, I have decided to take the plunge: To do the brocante thing full on.
Crazy how a girl can change. Crazy how after eight years of saying, "No I do not do brocante tours, nor do I organize tours." I have finally come to my senses: Let's do it.
It seems to me that after meeting nearly two hundred of you, who read my blog, this year and finding out that 99.99 percent of you like the brocante, wine and bring me maple syrup that I cannot say no any longer.
Maple syrup, wine and the brocante... Holy cow only Yann's kisses are better than that.
Hope to see you soon?
Yesterday, a group of eleven wonderful women, most who read my blog, went to a local brocante with me and then came to our home for a brocante feast.
As always it was delightful to put faces to the names of emails and comments I have received over the years, plus re-connect to those I have had the pleasure to meet before: Barbara, Laura, Stephanie, Sue and Anna.
French Husband joined us, as did our new friend Lorna.
The house was full of women, chattering about the brocante and old things that make France France. Or you might say it was brocante bug maddness.
Luckily the forecast for rain turned out to be wrong.
Collage and text by, Corey Amaro
A wonderfully full day.
For the first time ever I had a little brocante at home.
Thank you for sharing the passion.
Came home too late after a wonderful day with Ruth and Lorna.
On the way home thunder and lightening greeted us, preventing me too blog about my nude charcoals.
A little nude antique in the meantime.
Oh la la. I cannot believe after the hundreds of wonderful guesses you came up with, and reminders of things I need to have for the apartment (thank you), that not one of you guessed it. Close but not enough.
I loved the responses... Hair net, toilet paper, bedpan, ironing board, bibles, old ledger for guests to sign, dart board.... to name a few!
Remember what I said that I hoped to frame in the bathroom.... Well French Husband, John and Camy found it ... When Camy pointed it out, I was a bit overwhelmed.
Provocative is putting it very very mildly.
Sacha later said... your guests will die when they see these. You cannot put it in the bathroom.
Finder's keeper. I'll take him.
The shirtless workers, remember those guys... blame it on them. Actually just blame the leak. No, just teasing accidents happen, God do they ever!
Would you like to see more? Not accidents but charcoals of nude men? I must say there is plenty to see.
Oh la la plenty.
This amazing thing called blogging has introduced me to a world of kindness from strangers, friendships worldwide, matchmaking, job opportunities, travel adventures and more. It is unbelievably wonderful how generous you have been to me.
Because of this generosity I have experienced time and time again, and because of the many gifts of friendship I have received (Bluffton, Ireland, L.A., Hong Kong, Marburger, Mexico to name a few...) I offered several readers of Tongue in Cheek room and board in our home for one week.
Last Tuesday French Husband went to the airport to pick up the first winner of our giveaway: David and Teresa from Oklahoma.
We haven't stopped since they touched ground.
Today we went to visit some friends of ours (that we also met years ago through blogging), Vlad and Denise from Canada, who have a lovely home in Cotignac.
Denise made lunch for Yann and I, Thierry, and our new friends.
Denise's brocante Provencal table.
Teresa and Dave have never been to Europe. I am so happy to give them a taste of Provence: Rosemary, thyme, lavender, olives, pastis...
They will stay with us for a week, and then they are off to Paris for a few days.
The brocante is tomorrow and Teresa is salivating, a shared passion this brocante thing.
Teresa and her husband love art, music, laughter... they brought Yann a handmade wooden flute that Dave made!
I want to meet everyone who reads my blog.
Today was lovely, watching new and old friends connecting and sharing the day with interest and caring for one another. Heaven is certainly like this.
A true paradise of happiness.
It was wonderful, more than I can say, to see Thierry, one of our dearest and oldest friend in France, share the day with us.
Thierry sang. Denise sang and sang. Dave sang.
Yann played the flute.
Teresa, Vlad and I we clapped.
Happy playing a hand made wooden flute:
Friendship is a gift.
Photograph of French Antique textiles by Corey Amaro
Several months ago Jeanne M. asked me if I would be interested talking to a group of women about living in France, and share my stories about the brocante. Without a moment of doubt I said yes. Jeanne M. organizes groups of twenty to come over to France. Their common interest is that they are quilters.
I reminded Jeanne M. that I do not quilt, or sew, nor darn, knit, cut fabric or thread a needle.
Though my Grandmother made a quilt for each of her grandchildren, which there are about fifty of us. The quilt my grandmother made me is made of wool coat scraps, she gave it to me when I came to France.
Also several months ago I gave several one week stays, to several blog readers of mine, to come stay in my home. The first couple arrives tomorrow. Which also happens to be the day that I am to give a talk at a local restaurant to Jeanne M.'s quliting group.
Several months ago I had no idea we would still be working on our apartment renovation in Paris.
French Husband and I come home a few days ago.
Sacha made sushi.
Chelsea shook hands with President Hollande.
Our friend Thierry is improving steadily.
Annie is well.
My brother Mathew still doesn't dig the brocante.
Four of my cousins celebrate a birthday today: Sacha's Budda Mere Julie, Rhonda, Natalie and Thea... and possibly a few more.
Why am I telling you all this? Blame it on blogging.
Actually, I should be cleaning my house, or ironing the sheets, or preparing tomorrow's talk, or setting up the apartment, or telling you about Sushi and about the hand shake...
Instead I am enjoying this moment to write to you about my next adventure.
Do you quilt?
Do you eat Sushi?
Have you ever shook hands with a President of a country before?
Chelsea and Sacha were born in France.
Maybe that is way old things don't wow them as much as they do me.
Maybe when you grow up with old things all around you, new things have a different sparkle that catch the eye.
My children, young adults now, love to tease me, at least I think it is teasing when they say, "Our home...chairs that are uncomfortable, mirrors you cannot see yourself in..."
They do not have a passion for old things. They don't "get" the beauty of peeling, cracked, chipped, 18th century... blah blah blah.
I have been antiquing, or as they say in French: Chineur, since the beginning of my time. The brocante bug bite me when I was 12 or 13. The first thing I ever bought with my own money (babysitting) was a 1920s blue beaded bag.
Do I still have it?
Somewhere out of reach... and memory.
Imagine my utter shock today while at the brocante I received a message on my phone that said, "Hi Mom, (adds a giggle) just calling to say that Mr. Espresso and I are at the bro-cante, in Saint Ouen, yeah that happened... is happening... I just wanted to call and say hi."
I nearly fainted.
I think I have listened to that sweet message ten times if not twenty. Pure music.
That adorable brocante bug, that I love so much, has finally bitten my daughter!
They (Mr. Espresso and Chelsea) bought an industrail piece to use as a coffee table.
I think this might mean Mr. Espresso is bitten too.
Oh Brocante bug.
Oh young lovers.
I think they wouldn't mind me buying them a pair of old locks to love lock themselves in Paris.
Oh the pleasure to be able to call Chelsea a chineur!
Sacha are you listening?
An antique map of Paris, I found another!
The first one I found I wall-papered to our bedroom wall in Provence.
The second one I sold.
The third one I framed and brought it to Paris to hang in the bedroom.
And the fourth one who knows...
You might think that finding these sorts of maps are easy. Nope! French antique maps of Paris like this one, Turgot, are not easy to find. I have been lucky, determined, and grateful.
French Husband is hanging the map as I type.
He knows if I hang the map, he will be a nervous wreck. He is factual, I am flighty. He is Mr. Detail when it comes to things like this, and I am fast, furious, and reckless. He will make twenty perfectly drilled holes since there are twenty frames. I on the other hand would make ten thousand and maybe two would be straight.
French Husband doesn't want a wall that looks gunshot.
Remember the barber stand that I found when we first started this renovation? Well it is going to go in the bedroom. I added a pair of extra long grey candles.
French Husband's reflection in the barber stand's mirror caught my eye.
Yes, the barber stand will stay in the bedroom.
I never knew that renovations could be...um...err... so sexy.
"Darn, I wish I had lite the candles. Candle light would have added to the photo." I giggled.
French Husband wasn't listening, instead he said, "I thought you told me the map was five across, and four down..."
I am in serious trouble.
A leak, a fire, a second leak... that's nothing, but my miscalulating and adding that he didn't have to double check, equals a gunshot wall.
Oh well, it will look pretty when all is said and done.
And a few gunshots will add to the flavor of the story.
This is an odd looking photo.
Can you tell what it is?
Or what we are doing?
We, French Husband and I, carried a very large awkward thing that swayed side to side, clinging musically, under a white sheet.
We hiked down the forty steps of our apartment building, then walked steadily for ten minutes, carrying the awkward thing on a broom handle, to the electrician.
It amazes me how everything we need seems to be located less than ten minutes or less (on foot), from our apartment.
I found someone to electrify the French antique monster chandelier. The woman, owner of the wonderfully charming, old time light shop, eyes widen when she said , "You weren't joking the other day when you said you had a large chandelier."
When I handed her the bag of thirty three large antique crystals that need to be re-attached, she grabbed them and the chandelier as if it were feather light. Though my shoulder has a permanent indention from balancing the makeshift chandelier support just to prove that the monster weighed a ton!
Yes that is a paintbrush sticking out the side.
As IF we needed to draw more attention to ourselves as we walked down the Parisian street.
Why not add a paint brush?
Children passed by us, as if we were carrying an exotic animal.
Teenagers quickly walked by us as not to associated with us.
Young adults looked at us as if we were idiots, "Why not take a taxi?" (As if a taxi would take us for a one minute ride, with a chandelier. We tried that, duh!)
Adults gave us the thumbs up, for our humorous effort.
Add to the chandelier on a broom handle, covered with a sheet, held on by a paintbrush, carried by two crazies on the streets of Paris, I hummed the Beatles song:
Oh this wonderful adventure.
And to think in a ten days or so we have the pleasure of carrying it back home!
French Husband had barely parked the car at the brocante when I jumped out.
Having the brocante bug is not easy to control.
Is there a cure?
As soon as my eyes fell upon the thickly painted, white-ish grey cupboard/buffet, I knew the brocante bug would begin to boil.
Why couldn't I have the shoe bug, or the candy bug, or the magazine bug, or the makeup bug? Why do I have the furniture sized brocante bug?
Looking over the white-ish grey cupboard/buffet piece, I knew it would fit height and length wise in the kitchen. Fit against the wall perfectly, like a silk glove on a hand, IF only there wasn't already an armoire there that is.
Have you ever done that, mentally start moving things around in your house so the something you want will work? Usually I have an utter mental gymnastic of moving every thing right, left, up, down, inside out and backwards to make thing work. Today my mental gymnastics went like this: I could sell my armoire. That was the only option.
I stared at the one of a kind beauty and whispered, "Bad bad brocante bug!"
To make matters worse, next to the cupboard/buffet piece were six dining room chairs. Caned seats, grayish color, late 1800s perfect condition.
I do not need another chair.
Now here is the ticker... the chairs all six of them cost less than one chair at Ikea.
That is the biggest pain of all: When I find antiques in good condition, lovely patina, authentic, under price and DO NOT NEED THEM, nor have room.
Wait a minute... I could fix things to the ceiling?!
My name is Corey and I am a brocante o holic.
I kissed the cupboard/piece and the chairs goodbye, then wished I wasn't on a stupid diet otherwise I would have had some wine and every big salty delicious thing I could find.
What was I to do when I saw the large chandelier dripping with crystals?
Only one thing came to mind: Lick it up.
I suppose that is how it is when you see something that goes straight to your heart, or as they say in France: "A coup de coeur"... A 'coup de coeur' is when you fall instantly in love with something and have to have it regardless if you need it, or have room. It is without hesitation that the person buys the dress because it sparks something within them that they cannot control.
I had a coup de coeur!
I asked the dealer if he could bring it to the aparment in Paris, he told me he could for a small fee and a cold bottle of water.
The deal was sealed.
Today I asked French Husband to hold up the chandelier so I could see if it would work where I had in mind.
Instantly Regis (the renovator) Yann (the French Husband) and my mother in law (Belle Mere) gave their biggest groans:
"Oh it is too big, for the small space!"
"The ceiling won't support it!"
"You're mad, its too long, people will be staring into it."
Then and there I realized at last what my cousin Doug tried to explain to me years ago when we bought our home and had big plans to renovate it: "Renovations are aggressive. That is why some people never renovate their homes."
Instead of listening to them, and stuffing the heavy chandelier back in its dusty box....
I blurted, "No, its staying and you will have to find a way that the ceiling will support it."
Renovating can be fun, and stressful, and aggressive. Today it wasn't fun.
The Chandelier is staying. I hope the ceiling does not fall in.
Last Sunday I went to St Ouen, the largest antique flea market in the world, to find some things for the apartment. I had my list:
Two or three doors.
A chandelier, or lightening for the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen.
A low round table.
A base for the bathroom sink.
A bed head.
And as the saying goes when you want something you cannot find it, and when you aren't looking for it, it licks your face. I tried a reverse finding method, and pretended I wasn't looking for the things I had listed. But all that did was distract my attention as I started looking at other things. I am easily distracted when it comes to antiques.
A day bed in worn-greenish-grey velvet and a gilded frame. The day bed would make an unpractical, uncomfortable sofa. Since the apartment has one bedroom I have been told that I should have a couch that makes into a bed for extra guests. I agreed with the sayers of such an idea. BUT to myself I silently yelled, "Yuck! Sofas are not old, nor unpractical oruncomfortable."
I think an old sofa is the way to go.
Airmattress to the rescue when need be.
The decoy ducks in the iron urn caught my eye. Loved the originality of the decoys instead of flowers. I snapped a photo with my iphone. Later when I was on the bus coming back to the hotel I looked through my photos, and noticed the door behind the urn... Quack! Those decoys really fooled me.
Mid day I abandoned the idea that I should pretend not to pay attention to my list.
The most lovely hand carved wooden clock face stared at me. Reminding me that time is ticking and I better get a move on to finding the needed things otherwise I will have to resort to NEW things.
The kitchen is new, the bathroom in new, the floors are new... those things I agreed on for practicality, fuctionality, user friendly-ness... more so for cost and labor. Choices. It is all about choices.
Today we unwrapped the tiles for the bathroom. Rough black marble is what it said on the box, and what we thought we ordered. Though inside the box was grey marble tiles.
We bought them months ago, when we thought the project would start in April. Too late to take them back, and too late to order new ones.
Choices. Grey is fine. Not perfect, but neither is my weight. Not something to be upset over... but if they had been yellow well I would have screamed, thrown up and I don't know what!
An antique armchair and stool covered in old rough linen, nail studded around the edges. I have seen this for the last ten years and I never grow tired of the look.
A plaster fragment from the top of a mirror.
When you live in France and have as many brocantes around as there are, you learn to walk on or start a business.
I do a little of both. Mostly walk on. If I bought everything I saw I would have to have an orchard of money growing trees in my pocket and shirtless men driving trucks following me. Shirtless men or forget it!
Not on my list.
Taking photos help.
A pair of iron statues holding lanterns. I am not sure of their age. But they sure were dandy.
So very decorative.
But this was my favorite, a potter's table with a column head.
It would have filled the bedroom. Who needs a bed!
It would have filled the kitchen! It is a table! Who needs a place to eat, err dine?
It would have filled the living room! But who wants to sleep while in Paris?
Choices are such a thrill kill!
I came home empty handed, and surprisingly very pleased that I didn't succumb to buying what wasn't on my list.
A direct metro ride from our apartment in the 14th is home to the largest antique market in the world, St. Ouen, and if you take the same metro line and go the opposite way you arrive in Porte Vanves my favorite place to chiner (look for antiques in French.).
I think there must have been a spirit of "Let's make this chickadee a surprise cupcake", thirty years ago when French Husband bought this apartment with his mother. He was 21, I wasn't even in the picture. And yet it was as if someone somewhere planted a seed just for me.
The brocante bug is tickling me pink, or peeling gilt at least.
My Belle Mere and I went to St. Ouen today to look for a base for the bathroom sink. If you have been following my blog you know that a week or so ago the renovator cut it too short. Gulp.
A friend of mine at St. Ouen told me, "You know Corey, when you are looking for something you never find it. And once you aren't looking for it there it is."
Well she was right. My Belle Mere and I walked evey inch of the flea market. Scorching hot day it was too. My Belle Mere just keeping pushing me along. She is incredibly fit for her age. We didn't find a base for the sink. But we saw many other things that made us want to jump ship and start another project, or simply to take home. We were very good. We stayed focused. Bought nothing, but have a mental list of "wants" once this project is over.
The pink satin NIII armchair was as cute as could be.
A magazine cover it deserved.
I over heard a conversation between a French mother and her two little children:
The little girl five or so was crying. Between sobs she sighed, "There... isn't... anything... I ... like... here..."
Her little brother about seven added, "There isn't even LEGOS!"
The mother smiled at me, a smile I knew too well. I use to tell Chelsea when we were going to the brocante, that we were going to feed the ducks, and have a picnic by the river. When she was about five she realized that feeding the ducks and having a picnic by the river meant a two hour car ride and eventually a picnic by the river to feed the ducks.
Chelsea doesn't dig the brocante. The bug is somewhere at the bottom of the river hiding from the ducks.
No luck today.
Tomorrow is another day. The little girl won't cry. Her brother will have legos tucked under his be, Chelsea who went home this weekend, is driving the truck back with French Husband filled with stuff for the apartment renovation.
And as the feeling of gratefulness surrounded me, as I came out of the metro to go to the hotel next to our apartment, I noticed numbers scrawled down the sidewalk. I asked the hotel manager what was going on?
Tomorrow there is a massive flea market on our very street!
Happy Cupcake this Chickadee, especially if I find a base for the sink!
Photos and text by: Corey Amaro
There is more to going to the brocante than looking for antiques. I know many of you think the only reason that I would leave a warm bed early on a Saturday morning, is to find some broken old things just for the heck of it.
Well, let me just say that is simply not true.
I like old things.... but I love how France grabs my hand and takes me deep within her, showing me the depths of her amazing soul.
Saturday morning, waking up before the church bell strikes six, putting on a pair of jeans, a sweater, wrapping a scarf around my neck, throw my purse over my shoulder, close the house door quietly and run towards the car... with the name of a small French village fair dancing in my head.
The tree lined roads in France are one of the reasons I love to go to the brocante.
You see brocanting is more about finding what France has to offer, about learning how it lives, about the life I feel when I venture out into it.
Provence is color under a blue sky.
I cannot deny that the journey to the brocante is half the pleasure. But once I am in the middle of the brocante there is something that takes me deeper into the richness of France... the history, her story, the art work and lives left behind.
Today a pair of child's silk slippers walked up to me: I saw the little girl with a cream colored sash chase her dog through the kitchen. I heard her stop in her tracks when her mother grabbed her to kiss her forehead and put a croissant in her hand.
The road to the brocante it is never the same way twice. The seasons make sure of that. The old things tell me so, and the stories mingled between the two tell me today is a very good day.
The French Brocante stole my heart before I was born... maybe a mustard seed was buried under my pillow... I don't know but I think it is true.
Then, oh my, then there is the cafes lined up tempting me to take a bite... how can one little cake start such a revolution of pleasure. It is something I will never grow tired of....
Red poppy crown,
Lavender fields with intoxicating perfume filling the air.
Pain au chocolat the early morning goddess, the red checked table cloth and the opening of the blue shutter.
Cheese and a crusty baguette..
Sipping Haut Medoc at a cafe,
Listening to the waiter's long white apron swish by,
The road to France goes straight to the heart of the matter.
Then the brocante... opens the door.
and I am home.
It was as simple as a sign saying, "Ring and Come in."
I poked French Husband, "Its a sign!"
By the look on his face I knew what I was saying in French wasn't expressing what I meant in English.
He repeated, "A sign?"
"A symbolic sign that I am to ring and go inside... the brocante is calling me." I added, "Its a sign!" I went on to say in English, "I need to refuel." Though I don't think in any language I made sense to him.
We spent the night in Mortagne au Perche, and instantly felt like we could live here.
We had a "Coup du Coeur" as they say in French, which means, "Love at First Sight".
Blame it on the adorable village, the countryside, the restaurant, the pastry shop with the best lemon cake...
Blame it on the pastry table and Provencal urns.
Blame it on the best baguette, hot from the oven. That French Husband and I ate on the street like tourists.
French Husband wished he had butter.
My American ways have finally, twenty five years later, rubbed off on him.
Blame it on the oil paintings in the restoration shop.
Blame it on Stephanie, Chistine and Christine's Husband Jean Philippe, antique dealers from Paris who have settled in Mortagne au Perche. A few hours later we were having lunch together, talking about renovating our apartment in Paris, and coming back later this year to visit them.
Blame it on Stephanie who mixes an antique chair with a piece of tin roof.
Blame it on the sign:
Enter Freely (Entree Libre).
I believe that where ever we enter freely we gain just that freedom.
Blame it on this oil painting with a black leather and burgundy velvet case.
Blame it on Christiane and her charming old fashion style.
Blame on French antique textiles, iron beds and faux taxidermy deer heads.
Blame it on the sweet mercury glass, Louis Sixteenth trumeau.
Blame it on Stephanie and Christiane, their mis en scenes, their conversations, their bright welcoming smiles... their inviting us to share lunch with them.
But whatever you do don't blame it on the brocante.
A pit stop to refuel.
We spent the night here, in this 13th century Demure.
4 Place du Palais
61400 Mortagne au Perche
02 33 25 04 77
Old lace pattern/monogram magazines, stacks found at the brocante.
Descriptions detailing how to...
Do you know how to embroidery?
If I could would I?
I would rather draw patterns, then thread a needle.
Some letters, monograms are more common than others in France, at the brocantes monograms with the letters:
M, C, A, T, J.... are easier to find.
Lucky for me C.A. is common.
Embroidering, stitching, sewing... are a more creative way to spend ones time, then blogging about it that is.
How do you spend your creative energy?
Cut out lace making.
Mine would be a hole.
Patience is not one of my virtues when it comes to creativity.
If I was a young thing back in the 1900s my undergarments would be without pretty detailing.
I would sew ribbons on mine, or wrap myself in a sheet and go naked.
You might be wondering what all this has to do with Korea and Wednesday's word? For years the French have pronouced my name as, "Core-A," and I cannot stand it. I even thought of changing my name. Then one day I heard how the French say, Korea.
My mother's name is Dolores. An old fashion name, though the letter "D" is harder to find in France. Sorry, Debe, David, Denise...
The letter "C" is easier because way back then they thought of me... yes they did. I can hear them even now, hundreds of years later:
"You know that American girl who will one day come and live in France? The one with the weird name, Corey, that is pronouced like Korea (Corée) we gotta make her some linens so when she goes to the brocante she will feel at home."
So there you have it... Wednesday's word.
How do you say Korea in French?
That is how I tell French people how to say my name.
"You know the country in Asia, Korea? Well that is how you pronounce my name."
Yes, they look at me strangely.
But at least I have French linens with my initials.
French Husband's childhood friends came to visit us. They are motorcyclists too. When they were here we asked them what they wanted to do... and music to my ears they said, "...go to a brocante."
Yeah, they are French and brocantes are everywhere, even in Brittany where they live. But when you have the brocante bug you have the bug even on vacation. Plus, the Provence offers different old things... or at least better prices they claimed.
Pull my leg, drag me... ha... off we went to hunt the brocantes.
As usual, whenever I take someone along to the brocantes, they find a million and one things... and when my friends ask me to ask the dealer for a price, it never fails: The dealer announces a price so low that I kind of grow green and shake my head and say to myself "Why? Dang!" Lucky ducks my friends.
French Husband's childhood friends found and bought more than their motorcycle could carry. I wasn't surprised. Whenever people come to visit, it seems they buy more than their suitcases, motorcycle or container can carry.
Hence two candlesticks are living in my shed alongside of Lynn's frames, Nicol's urn, Mary's stack of linens, Katie's mirror... I don't dare to bring them into the house in fear they might take up residences.
Not porcelain pig tails, though they certainly look like it.
Not bugger pickers, OUCH!
Not fake teeth for a warped vampire.
Not hooks for towels, nor anything to do with electrical WIRES.
Nope. None of it is right.
(Photos via Seek Parts, Email address on the photo)
I bet you never thought to see something like this on my blog? Corey goes pink modern?
It took some serious searching to find these modern version of the old porcelain ones that I posted on my blog a few days ago. But I found them!
What are they?
Modern textile ceramic parts: or known as: "ceramic snail guides".
Also I want to give a shout out to Kim G. who was the first to write on my blog, and nearly had the correct answer when she wrote:
Brocantes are Sundays. All day. Many of them.
Except if it rains. Today it poured non stop.
What happened to Provence?
No brocante is brutal for those who have the brocante bug.
French Husband, I mean Yann, goes mad when it rains. No because
he has the brocante bug. Though it is as if something is torturing him...
As for me, no brocante one would think I would be the one going mad!
Instead I decided to paint our bedroom. The can of paint has been by
my bedside for nearly six months.
Since I am spontaneous to a fault, I grabbed a paint brush and started painting.
I thought Yann was going to pull off his skin, he went on and on how I was painting
everything except the walls. Well not really though I did have paint in my hair,
and on my clothes (that I should have changed)...
The walls are a greyish/greenish color called, "Lapin" (Rabbit in French) though they
appear to look more like cement than a rabbit.
A few months ago I bought an extremely large antique map of Paris.
I wall papered it to one of the walls in our bedroom.
Today while painting, I wished I had painted the walls before I wall papered that map!
But that is one of the negative side effects of being spontaneous.
As I painted and painted and painted, and nearly passed out from the fumes,
it dawned on me (I use to say it DONG-ed on me) that I hadn't written my blog.
So with paint on my hands, fumes going to my head, Yann in a grump mood,
I thought I better blog.
Finished product tomorrow.
What did you do today?
Provence rocky soil, blue sky, Mediterranean coastline, tiled roof tops, wild country side...
Each region of France has its key elements, its personality, its style.
Provence can be described in color: Yellow, blue, burnt orange...
Described by taste: Garlic, olive, tomato, basil, melon, almond...
Provence can be described by flowers: Lavender, poppies, sunflowers...
Antique Provencal confit pots from Apt
Yellow confit pots are were very common in Provence. The held table scraps, mostly the fat off the lamb as to say. The larger ones were used to hold larger pieces "lard" after buthering, the smaller ones were used on the kitchen table.
As the soil in Provence is dry, mostly rocky, grapes, olives and goats do well here. Confit pots were a welcome item to collect and safe keep the fat of the barren land.
Costal towns, small ports, colorful facades.
Fountains in the center of town, with cool spring water, to help one cool off.
Sanary on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
With that said, my favorites are Cassis, Cotignac, Sanary, mainly little towns that only have a a cafe, bakery, church and of course a brocante on Sunday.
Two antique olive jars that I recently bought at the Barjac antique fair.
As Provence covers a large space, you will need a car. Most of the towns are an hour or two apart.
Either stay somewhere in the middle of Provence, such as Aix en Provence (click on links to see small charming hotels), or Gemenos. Or stay on the far end of Provence and work your way to the opposite side.
Stone walls in Gordes
Stone walls that go on for miles and miles.
Rows of plantain trees,
Fields of olive trees and farm houses called Mas.
"A mas was a largely self-sufficient economic unit, which could produce its own fruit, vegetables, grain, milk, meat and even silkworms. It was constructed of local stone, with the kitchen and room for animals on the ground floor, and bedrooms, storage places for food and often a room for raising silkworms on the upper floor. Not every farmhouse in Provence is a mas. A mas was distinct from the other traditional kind of house in Provence, the bastide, which was the home of a wealthy family.
The mas of Provence and Catalonia always faces to the south to offer protection against the mistral wind coming from the north. And because of the mistral, there are no windows facing north, while on all the other sides, windows are narrow to protect against the heat of summer and the cold of winter. A mas is almost always rectangular, with two sloping roofs. The mas found in the mountains and in the Camargue sometimes has a more complex shape." via Wiki.
Antique Provencal confit bowl.
Provence: Regional Specialties to lick your lips from here to eternity:
Pastis at the bar "Pastis" in Cassis.
Nougat-Blanc from Forcalquier
To follow the listed links above and to find out more please check:
When in Provence you must taste Bouillabaisse, fish stew. Miramar restaurant in Marseille is the place to go:
"Every 3rd Thursday of the month, join Christian Buffa and his team to discover the preparation of this marseillaise recipe: Bouillabaisse. The cooking class is open to all, whether cook, gourmet or one simply keen on learning this recipe which is much appreciated by Marseillaise and anyone having had the opportunity to taste it.
Classes begin at 9.30 am and finish at 2.00 pm with the tasting of the Bouillabaisse prepared during the session."
The best time to visit Provence is: May through September.
Though with that said, August can be very warm, and swarming with tourists.
May and June are flawless.
If you don't like garlic...
Oh so sad for you.
Provence and garlic go mouth to mouth, I mean hand to hand.
Blogs you might enjoy about Provence:
Winners of the Guessing Game Yesterday:
The creative winner is:
"That is easy: May flowers ready to be sent down to earth by the gods!"
The random winner is:
The first person to respond with the correct answer was:
"A cartoon. Which is a mock up illustration for a rug or tapestry."
Thank you for your comments and playing along! Please will the three winners send me an email with your address, so I can send you a prize!
A friend who lives up the hill called. He reminded me that he was make a haul to the dump. I threw the phone down and raced up the hill. He lives in an old big house. His style is art deco. Anything not deco was going to the dump. Including three door panels with ribbons, bows and flowers. A bit girly even for me. But the dump is no home for an antique girly or not!
Carrying them home I went through the apartment in Paris in my mind, wondering how or if I could use them:
Living room... no.
Entrance... Doors are needed for the closets, but these are too small.
Bathroom... Bingo, light bulb moment. I could have the builder transform them into a wall cabinet for toiletries.
When I got home I opened a can of paint, took out some wax... Here is a sneak peek, I am not sure of the final color. But wood, not a nice looking wood at that, is not what I am after.
Hopefully I will work something out. If the panels don't work for the apartment, I will have to find a home for them.
Each Saturday I focus on a different artist that I admire. From potters to painters, chefs to collectors, seamstress to songwriters, lifestyle to lovers... anyone who set the paintbrush, pastry brush, hands and heart on fire to create.
Those who inspire art to flow where it may.
Potters, their studios and their wares.
Old, new from around the world.
Do you lick your plate clean?
When is the last
time you ate off a paper plate?
When is the last time you ate off a hand made plate?
When is the last time you ate off an Antique plate?
Studio: Akiko's Pottery /
What do you prefer: White or colorful?
Source: Ott and Brewer (1871–1893), The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Source: Roman, mid-2nd century A.D., The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Artist: Lisa Stevens /
Plates to admire and not have dinner on.
18th century silk textile fragments.
Intricately hand embroidery with gold threads.
Most likely made for a church altar piece...
The torn pieces I found years ago, are not bigger that my hand.
My Belle Mere and I are making pillows for the apartment in Paris.
Though my Belle Mere finds it a be tricky that I do not want to cut the fabrics. "How are we suppose to make pillows if you do not want to cut the fabric?" She looks at me teasingly.
"Rough luxe patchwork." I offered in a haphazard melange of French and English.
"Oh, yes brilliant." she beams at me.
My Belle Mere has been with us for nearly a month.
It is such a wonderful surprise how far our relationship has come.
A true hapzard rough luxe patchwork.
For me to say, "I admire her." Is saying I have discovered the pot of gold after the storm.
I would have never believed it true.
And yet it is.
Have you found a pot of gold?
Menu of Gratitude:
At the Brocante.
Finds a rusty iron menu sign.
Exclaims with great kid like wonder:
"Look what I found!" Holding it behind his back he adds, "I know you are going to like it."
Curiosity. That is a good thing to have after twenty five years together? I try to peek over his shoulder:
"What is it?"
He holds up with beaming pride, his brocante find.
I was given a bouquet of roses in the form of his "knowing me"!
Gratitude Menu. What is on your list of thankfulness?