dimanche 5 juillet 2015

July dates for simply-chateau

So....decision made regarding all these attic clearance boxes....

Saturday 18th July I shall be selling here.....

And then on Sunday 19th July, I shall be at The Shepton Mallet Flea Market at the Bath & West showground. I shall be on an outside pitch and I am hoping the weather will be kind. I do not know where the pitch will be so I will try and put my French flag as high as possible!!

I have endless boxes of attic clearance fripperies to reduce as my stock room is out of control! Textiles, trims, brocante..............

Looking forward to seeing old friends and new!

A la prochaine mes belles..


vendredi 3 juillet 2015

To flea or not to flea....that is the question....Shepton Flea...non or oui?

I still have boxes and boxes from the last three attic clearances to sort out. Textiles, trims, lace, brocante.....

Shepton flea is looming in July and the last time I had a stand with the first load of boxes it was a roaring success.

To flea or not to flea that is the question!!!

Have a great weekend mes belles


jeudi 2 juillet 2015

Back home to Sir Digbert...........

Back at the chateau and reunited with my "Grand amour" Sir Digbert Fanshaw Brownshaw.

I was so worried to leave him as he had been so ill just before we left. It was discovered he is diabetic and we have to give him insulin injections daily.

Our good friends cared for him so well and we arrived home to find him like a new boy, bouncing with health and so perky.

I am now unpacking our fabulous haul of treasures but this old money box is one for me...especially as it has a Diggers on the top!

A demain mes belles

jeudi 25 juin 2015

Gin and lavender....

Provence is always wonderful! It`s 34 degrees and I am ensconced on a cushioned lounger by the pool surrounded by lavender, lemon trees, olive trees and the call of the cicadas. Gin and tonic with ice? Oh yes please don`t mind if I do.

We did some truffling on the way down here and there is the most divine rose bedecked bed canopy in the car and I will try and photograph it later. I have some very pretty textiles and some quirky finds already, so today I can relax.

Another?....yes please with ice again.... merci.

I am looking forward to the weekend markets and last year I found some stunning 19th century printed cottons and a host of velvet millinery corsages. I always find the textiles are so pretty here ...hoping I can truffle some this year.

Another gin and tonic? I shouldn`t...but go on then I am on holiday.

Did I tell you about the bed canopy in the car?

Last night we sat out at 10pm in the still warm air on the village square...another gin...yup...I serperse it will be fine. Itsh very impertant to be hydrated in the sun.

In the cur there is a bid gallopy that I will fertogert tonight when the sun gers dooningtons.

Anuffer gin? Why nurt

Soooooo I arm ooon my ollidays in the serf of France. Did I menshun I ard a bid canoopart in the cur? Can you `ere the shicardders shinging? Thart limon tree is larning a bit to the larft...


mercredi 17 juin 2015

About who?

A good friend recently emailed me to ask me to check the "About me" page of an Etsy seller.

When I looked I couldn`t believe it!! She had copied my "about me " page from my last website word for word! It was so bizarre I didn`t know whether to be insulted or flattered.

Why on earth would someone want to do that? How can I be her or she be me?!! How can we have lived the same life of truffling for 30 years. She even copied my archive and my early years.

Surely she would want to show her own flair and style?

Perhaps I have become a twin without knowing it? 

I emailed her and asked her politely to remove it and she simply left it the same just changing the odd word here and there.

Well Madame...believe do not want to be me. Or if you feel you absolutely do... please head on up to the chateau....there is a heap of ironing, monogrammed sheets to be laundered, photographs to be taken and listings to be done!

Perhaps we should stage a duel to decide if she is "me"or if I am "me"?

Stepping from my soapbox as we speak...........

Tomorrow we will start filling up the Etsy shop with recent attic clearance items. It really all does have to go as my studio is totally out of control . We are going to list it all - everything from 19th century silk ribbon bows to Paris department store brochures. 

Next week we take our holiday to Provence. I say "holiday" but it`s really a trip of early morning truffling with afternoons spent lounging by the swimming pool in a tiny sleepy village. 

I shall post photographs of the truffling as we go.

But I do hope that Etsy lady has not got there already and taken my sunbed!!!

A la prochaine mes belles

mardi 26 mai 2015

Macaroons and Menace....

Our local pharmacien is making a stand against sugar and salt and has dressed his window to try and encourage us all to cut out baguettes and gateaux.

Which is fine except his shop is next door to the patisserie....

Not only do I smell freshly baked bread and eclairs but I also smell trouble!! 

A la prochaine mes belles..


vendredi 22 mai 2015


Last year I was so tired of the chateau garden looking like a building site that I tried to create a garden as best I could. 

Although the renovation work still continues and we have hoards of building stones, timbers , concrete mixers and scaffolding that little part of the garden is flourishing.

I have had lots of very kind donations and cadeaux of plants and some even seem to have arrived by themselves!! I didn`t plant foxgloves but they are very welcome!!

I certainly did plant these though as I love them.

Each time I go out there something new seems to have arrived.

I planted so much so quick that I have short plants tucked behind tall plants so some work is in order!!

I had a wonderful present of some amazing grass with what looks like tiny Chinese paper lanterns from Lizzie Drake. It has thrived hidden in a corner!  I was told by Ben de Papignies today that it is called "Amourette" ...little love.

Have a wonderful weekend mes belles filled with "Amourette" !!

jeudi 21 mai 2015

Chez nous.....

Back at the chateau now and I don`t think I could even start to explain what a whirlwind truffling trip it has been.

The studio is laden with treasures and a wonderful hush has settled over the chateau now that Tartelette has departed for Provence!! It was wonderful to meet Monsieur Tartelette Jeff and there has been so much laughter as we travelled. 

Tartelette and Monsieur Tartelette in truffling mode.

( I think she turned him down...the "bling" in this ring was too small!!)

Tempting as it was to carry on down South with her I needed to come home to my Diggers and Charlie and to try and make some order of the hoards of treasures now in boxes and bags all over the house.

But this guy is mine and I have the perfect shelf for him.

My listings will commence again tonight and here are a few photographs of the haul before we even open the boxes!!!

A la prochaine mes belles

lundi 11 mai 2015

Oink !!

Many years ago...more years than I care to remember I answered an email from a Ebay buyer who had been my number one client for 18th and 19th century Vichy check. 

The email read " I am coming Paris could we meet up?". I politely refused but she worked on me with more emails until she caught me at a weak moment and I gave in. Kind of like a Chinese water torture thing. 

She came clutching treasures.....

It soon became apparent how similar we are, almost "sisters from another mister" and we have been firm friends ever since.

So....brace yourselves for again we are awaiting the arrival of Tartelette Amy from Oregon and then we are off truffling!!

Last time we set off on a trip we found so many things that I had her packed so tightly in the car that all you could see of her was one hand!!

To say the least she is a live wire with boundless energy, a wicked sense of humour, a very good eye, a knack for talking me out of my own personal treasures, she cooks her own pasta, tries to poison me with Mexican food, never stops talking,  and has a heart of gold. (But don`t tell her said the last bit I have to keep her on her toes!).

Charles le Baron du Breuil is going in to hiding as we speak

Sir Digbert Fanshaw Brownshaw is waiting patiently as she brings him chicken chews USA style!

She is always first out of bed for truffle trips and I have known her disappear out in to the darkness at 4 a.m from a hotel room as the call of what she might find is simply too much to bear.

She is the only person who managed to entice me on the Paris Metro at rush hour. Not only that, but we were pulling a trolley loaded with treasures she had found at an early morning market. Most of it fell off at regular intervals and we had to carry the trolley up endless steps! 

She is also the only person who could entice me for a "tuctuc" ride up the Champs Elysees with some poor guy pedalling away in front of us as she waved like the queen on an official outing. But we were going to Laduree for gateaux so she is excused.

At the end of the day we usually have to do " show and tell" where we get to truffle through each others finds. This usually ends with a bout of stealing from each others bags, the odd scuffle a few Chinese burns with a little begging thrown in.

I managed to talk her out of this wonderful gilded Sacre Coeur last time and I am going to hide it so she can`t take it back with her this time!!

I remember well one day turning a corner at an early brocante I found her sitting on the grass in a huge pile of antique ballet costumes. She looked up at me and said " I don`t know...which one shall I have?". 

I panicked as looking round I could see Paris textile dealers approaching from every angle. I dragged her to her feet yelling  "The LOT take the LOT...all of!!!" We proceeded to stuff it all in bags before we got mobbed and we were followed back to the van by a host of ladies ( I use that term loosely as they were heat seeking missiles in sling backs wearing shoulder pads)  asking to look and buy what was there.

So, we are off to a huge brocante that runs for 6 kilometres through a forest. It is so big that last year after walking it for the third time I demanded to be airlifted back to the hotel!! 

I hope the weather is good to us.

I shall keep you posted as the trip goes on. 

I forgot to say that I received an email from a Ebayer with nothing better to do who gave me a ticking off about using the word "truffling"  saying it was "artificial speech intended to impress - adopted for merchandising purposes"'

 As most of you know I have used that word for 30 years to describe my hunting for treasure like a truffle pig. So to that lady I say a firm "OINK!!!"

A note to Dee, Blanche and Mo....I am still alive and kicking...not missing in action just in full truffle of the truffelerati....xxxx

A la prochaine

jeudi 23 avril 2015

Madame....I am undone.....

After a week of fawning over the sewing box of the Countess I have managed to force myself away from it to take some photographs....

I wonder what she sat and stitched by candlelight?

I am listing it tonight and keeping all the contents inside...who could bear to split them up? Not me!!

I have no idea what this is...have you? It operates like a pair of tweezers with the end clasps.

This little  silk brocade needle case is so charming...

And as for the needle case with the seed pearls and the gold wire embroidered crown........

In the words of Johnny Depp in the film  Chocolat....madame I am undone!

A la prochaine mes belles