Okay, I am a sucker for French antiques, you know and I know it. It is a passion, it is my drug of choice, it is crazy. Ever since I was a kid I have loved old things. It started at the junk yard. Yes indeed, going to the junk yard, or the dump was always fun. The saying that someone's junk is another person's treasure rang try to me. The junk yard in my childhood home town, use to be a gravel pit, it was big you might say.
Just the other day I heard a tale of someone in Marseille finding an eighteen century silver tea set in a dumpster. Lucky duck! The best thing I ever found at the gravel pit was a foot stool and a bunch of old bottles.
It is rare that I find something at the brocante that I don't know what it is. So imagine my surprise to find two things within a week! Last week, I found a 1900s cigarette ring to free one's hands to smoke while working at the same time. It took nearly two hundred guesses (Combined guesses from comments and emails.) to find the winning response!
This week I found yet another trickster! "What is it?", I had to ask the brocante dealer and when he told me I thought to myself, "Yes indeed this is going on the French Antique Guessing Game!"
Do you know what this is? I bet you don't.
Guess away in the comment section or by email. The first person to answer "EXACTLY" will win some French chocolate, and the one who has the most creative answer will win some chocolates too.
A 1900s silver peacock, about four inches tall, surronded by leaves and flowers.
What was it used for? Have you ever seen one?
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?
"Pepper makes me sneeze! I hear that day in and day out," said Mr. Pepper
Shaker, while standing next to Miss- Oh-Salt-of-the-Earth.
"I just can't shake it off anymore!"
Mr. Pepper Shaker strikes out on his own. Fed up with being paired with Miss Popular!
Here we find him doing his own thing, full of himself and proud to be on his own.
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.
Since 1995 Jeanne Mills has organized a quilting tour in France. Each year she adds different elements to explore and to be inspired by. This year Jeanne asked me to speak to her group.
We met at a restaurant close to my home. Thierry, Alan and Remy prepared a wonderful sit down luncheon, I brought piles of French antique textiles to admire and talk about. I plunked a pile on each table as a makeshift table top.
The bus arrived with the happiest group of women, instantly I wanted to be on the bus touring with them. Many of them are repeated travelers with Jeanne.
Between courses Jeanne asked me to weave my tales about living in France, and the brocante. The antique textiles gathered on each of the tables gave me plenty of props to show and talk about.
If I am asked to speak again next year I would set up a brocante because many of the women on the tour wanted to buy the antique textiles I had brought.
Have you ever gone with a tour goup?
Jeanne Mills tour last two weeks, their final destination is Paris.
Each pile on the tables was of a different shade and or era.
I took a seventeen hundred quilt, handmade lace, hemp, spools of linen, a Provencal doll...
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?