An elegant antique shop around the corner. That never seems to be open. Or maybe when it sees me coming it hides the key. The big picture windows tell a story of the things inside.
Only a story since I cannot get inside.
A box outside a restaurant held empty champagne bottles.
It was only eleven in the morning.
Mimosa... memories of 1925 Ritz Carlton.
My friend Denise is back from Canada. We went to Paris for the weekend. We went in search of a Croque Monsieur.
Montmarte side street.
The best Croque Madame (toss in a egg, and I requested sans jambon.) Delicious. I am dreaming of it still. Simple fare, utterly delicious. It made up for the antique store that is never opened.
Once home I realized that I had not taken the receipt nor a business card. Denise and I might have to take another trek back to Montmarte... Saint Pierre is calling us too.
Close to where our apartment is in Paris there is a bookstore that tempts ones level of frustration to soar. One must have patience when asking Leo, for a book and courage to walk down the narrow canyon book wall.
Leo has had his bookstore for over thirty years, speaks English and can tell you in a flash if he has the book you are looking for. His collection reaches to the ceiling, and has one narrow path leading in.
Feels like finding a needle in a haystack.
I dreaming of being in a tree.
To make jam.
The first kiss of knowing
summer is around the corner.
Every Sunday the brocanteur who sets up on the corner takes out his wares: Theatrical costumes from the 1800 to 1900s. He bought the entire collection from a person who use to travel from opera house, to theatre, to concert hall... offering his collection of costumes to whatever theatrical play or opera that might need them.
I have seen his array of costumes hanging outside his truck for months, never giving them a second thought. Bright colors, garish, wrinkly, which made me think, "What would I do with those?"
Until last weekend when he unloaded the Don Juan collection in antique brocade silk and bullfighter's vest and cape. The workmanship, the quality of fabric used made me take a deeper look.
The gold metal embellishments at the end of the pale blue silk ribbons...
The name tag in the jacket: Don Juan, it came home with me.
Finally feeling my feet touch the ground after a week with our first French Muse Experience. My memories are saturated with color, the poppies fields waved, antique textiles piled with Provencal hues, Aurelie's studio splashed with pastels, Mo's pottery steaming white, roses galore, wine poured red, Ruth's crepe, those backroads of the Luberon winding green...
Thank you Lorraine, Julie, Niki and Charland for making it happen. Thank you to all the antique dealers, and artists who opened their doors to us. Thank you Ruth for pushing me in this direction. Thank you Yann for more than I can say. Thank you Mom for planting a seed for love of home and hearth for creating beautiful things.
I will share more in detail soon.
I hope you liked the photos. Is there anything you would like to know about the French Muse Experience?
After the brocante in Carpentras, Chez Serge is a must.
The most simply elegant delightful Sunday afternoon:
Brocante, Chez Serge with the cigalles in the background.
Cod with mashed potatoes in a delicate sauce.
After the private brocante for the French Muse Experience, at the home of a 18th century textile dealer, they served us lunch in the garden.
Boxes and boxes and more boxes stacked on table after table.
But better than that everything was at least a hundred years old, and nothing was junk.
We took our four wonderful friends who are following our French Muse Experience to the finest French antique collectors home for a private brocante shopping feast.
18th century Provencal fabrics, toiles, cut velvets, handmade 18th century boutis.
I could not believe my eyes. It was a museum.
A bedspread made of fine needlepoint suspenders. I had never ever seen anything like it. And never will. We not only did we have a private brocante for just the six of us, we also were able to see our friend's private collection and museum worthy pieces.
1700s Silk, gold and silver handmade altar cloth fabric.
When you have been antiquing for half a century this is what your collection might look like. A friend of The French Muse, a French antique dealer extraordinaire, offered to open her home, serve us lunch and give us a private brocante... just the six us.
Did it feel like heaven.
Even the boxes holding the French antique textiles made my mouth water. Our friend who is the antique dealer had brought things out into her garden.
I could hardly believe my eyes.
The cupboards were stuffed, as well as every single inch of her house.
In a garden where irises, roses, and an 150 year old linden tree stood, we went to a private brocante set up just for us.
Table after table of French antique textiles.
Altar silk cloth....
Layers upon layers of textured history.