Pages

www.simply-chateau.com

mercredi 30 juin 2010

Just leave the sewing to the experts and move on..................


For some reason I have had the uncontrollable urge to sew!!! It has been SO long since my old sewing box came out, a box stuffed with 19th century ribbons, trims , lace, buttons and any morceaux of old textile I could not bear to throw away even if it is postage stamp size!

I thought it would be a good idea to try and photocopy an old cherub postcard onto a piece of stiff metis linen. Several attempts later and I am still trying to pull threads of linen from the workings of the printer!

I did manage to get just one copied but it has a nice printed crease!!! I give up!
 I`ll get it out of my system and the box won`t come out for another 6 months!!!!
A la prochaine...............

lundi 28 juin 2010

Johnny Depp came a very close second.................








I suppose the joy of being a brocanteuse is the fact that you can have exactly what you want ....even if it only comes to visit for a while..............................I suppose its one way for me to fix my shopping addiction for shabby chic treasures.

When I found this I did a nose dive, triple half pike and a somersault, grabbed it and there was no way I was letting it go......not even Johnny Depp beckoning me from a passing luxury yacht in silk Pyjamas would have made me put it down!

An alabaster angel so delicious!!! 19th century....dark with age....and the detailing is amazing.................this is why I throw myself out of bed at some ridiculous hour on brocanting days........


I have listed it for sale so I suppose it gets to stay with me on display for 7 days at least before it goes to a new home................


He was very folorn when I found him in a sellers box on the floor at the harbour on Sunday but I know that where ever in the world he ends up he will be adored!!!
Perhaps the new owner will be one of those buyers who waits until they have a box full of treasures from me before shipping..... so then he could stay on my dresser for just a little longer till their box is full!!!
But then if like I did they might want him immediately and he`ll be gone too soon........wonder if Johnny Depp is still waiting....where`s my water wings?!!!!

dimanche 27 juin 2010

Old French shop signs....................


Up early and out into the already blazing sunshine today for a brocante in a tiny local harbour. The sunshine had obviously put everyone in a very laid back mood and the sellers were slow to unpack which made for a very leisurely amble around buying instead of the normal shoulder pads and shin pads scrum! We had strong black cafe and fresh warm croissants watching the little fishing boats bobbing about on the sea as the tide came in........most definately one of the best ways to breakfast on a Dimanche!
A young couple began to empty their battered old van with some wonderful old advertising cards. They told us they had rented a shop in Cherbourg and found them in the attic........................

All of the cards are in amazing condition and date from the 1920s to the 1940s..............

Just look at those luscious lips on this 1940s cigarette advert!

I shall be listing them this week after I have had a few days to enjoy them!!

samedi 26 juin 2010

A little shabby treasure.....................


This wonderful 19th century bird cage must have been a divine confection for a cherished song bird .........................sadly now all that`s left of it is the front, but its has wonderful shabby paint and old twisted wirework.

I did bring it home to list on my Ebay site.....but.....I could always find a space for it in the garden...............
Or I am sure it could slip in amongst my pictures in the hallway! It may now be just a cage front but its still too lovely to discard.

The weather here is scorching hot and after the long hard winter it is very very welcome. All of the doors and windows are flung open, Charles le Baron du Breuil is alseep under the hazlenut tree, Diggers is sunning himself on the steps, the hay on the marsh is already being cut and baled and all we can hear is bird song and croaking frogs!
Off brocanting this weekend and I`ll let you know what I find!
A la prochaine...........................

mercredi 23 juin 2010

Chauve souris.........................

Just come home from the most wonderful relaxing picnic by the river and now I am furiously typing this blog sitting at the old patisserie counter in the cuisine. Typing with a tea towel on my head in a huge panic because a bat has just flown in through the cuisine door, done a few laps and flown off up the stairs. Mark has searched for it ( whilst I hid in the pantry!) but it has disappeared! I know it is in here somewhere and I am TERRIFIED of bats!! If it lands on me , hits me or gets in my hair I will simply die!!!! The French word for a bat is a "chauve souris" which translates as a "shaved mouse".......believe me that mouse will get more than shaved if it comes too close. What if when I get into bed and turn off the light it lands on my face in the night? What if I sleep with my mouth open and it dives in?

But back to the relaxing picnic! The riverside at Les Moitiers en Bauptois is simply divine. We arrived before the others so dressed the table with a long 19th century linen cloth, monogrammed napkins and of course a candelabra! ( as any self respecting antique textile dealer would....I do have my reputation to think of you know! ) A passing French lady said it looked beautiful and  " typiquement Anglaise!". We were even joined by a  tabby kitten!
The river was motionless and we watched the sun as it gradually set across the marsh.


Wonderful company, wonderful setting and wonderful food. It doesn`t get any better than that!
Perhaps I should go to bed in a balaclava or crash hat?

lundi 21 juin 2010

George the chateau girouette................


George is the 19th century zinc weather vane "girouette" that sits on the roof of our tiny chateau....................He is fixed with a rod that comes in through the roof and is secured in the attic with a huge hand forged bolt. He has turned silently in the wind coming in from the marshes since 1838 and he is also the first thing you see when you drive down the lane.............. ( Must get someone on the roof to remove that plant from the chimney!!)



I have always thought he was a dragon but the grandson of the old lady that lived here for many years tells me it is a hippo? NO surely not!!

What do you think?

vendredi 18 juin 2010

The Friday confession.........................................Pants !!!!!


Isn`t it amazing how just a glimpse of something can take you instantly back to your childhood? Passing this shop window today made me smile......it was the pants that did it!

I hate pants with a passion..............pants, knickers, undercrackers, smalls, drawers whatever you call them I hate them!!! I cannot bear to have to wear them and if I do have to wear them I can`t wait to get home and take them off!!! I wear them if I have to go to the doctors and I wore them in 1987 when I was pregnant with my daughter Kate in case she popped out whilst I was shopping! I tell all my friends that should they find me in a crumpled heap they have to put some pants on me before the ambulance arrives.
So there is my confession! But that shop window today reminded me why I hate them so much and I do feel I have an excuse!



When I was four or five years old we lived in an old house that still has the old world war two dome shaped, corrugated iron air raid shelter in the garden. (Okay.........I`m not that old honest...don`t be so rude it was 1962) It was held together with huge nuts and bolts and was next to the washing line.
My elder sister Pam used to help me climb up on top so I could slide down the side and use it as a dare-devil slide. I can remember squealing with glee at the excitement of being so high up.
One day Pam sat me on top and went off to see her freinds. I was quite happy up there on my own until I slid off the side. My knicker elastic got caught on one of the huge bolts and I hung there for at least half an hour shouting for help but no one came. I was too small to hoist myself off so had to dangle until someone heard my cries and saved me.
So.....I feel I have an excuse. I am obviously emotionally scarred by this incident!
Pants...................................NEVER!!!!!!

mercredi 16 juin 2010

1950s recycling!


I just love this old photograph! An English friend Leighton who lives here in France remembers sitting in this container when he was about 12 years old.
He thinks it was one of the earliest recycling banks for glass bottles!
I have told him he was a pioneer!!!!!

mardi 15 juin 2010

My secret store...............


I have been hiding a wonderful panel of antique faded roses textile for a long long time...........I could never bear to sell it or use it! But today I gave in and used it in my bathroom vitrine.......................

I am so glad I finally used it as it looks divine!! There is still a little morceau left for me to put back in my secret store!!!
Perhaps I should be a little less possessive about my secret treasures and put them on display!

lundi 14 juin 2010

Billy the Spid.................


We have really annoying tiny little cars here in France that are called a "Spid". They are driven by people over the age of 110 and only if they are accompanied by both parents! They are so small that their aged owners sort of wear them as an overcoat with wheels!
Now I am not saying that they are slow as that would be giving them too much credit for speed................10 mph usually means that they are going flat out!

As well as the old beret wearing Gitaine smoking driver they are usually filled with live chickens and boxes of vegetables. I did once see a goat as a passenger as one crawled down the lane......actually the goat may have been driving!!
I have three questions...........firstly what fuel do they use?..... red wine mixed with moules mariniere?
Secondly....why is there always one in front of me?
Last but not least......will Mark end up driving one and become Billy the Spid?

dimanche 13 juin 2010

Bone of contention.......................

Diary of Diggers Fanshaw Brownshaw...undercover chateau terrier...13th June.


I`m hiding my best number one bone in this long grass because Reggie is staying here for a few days whilst his owners have gone back to the UK.............................


I have to be quick because he has just trotted into the garden......................

Did he see what I was doing? I`m not sure .....hope not.........

I`ll just sit here nonchalantly and look casual and guard the spot...............

Oh no those sneaky cows have spilled the beans.....now he`s on his way over....I`ll have to distract him......

Hey Reg......quick .....quick.....a snake in the grass....lets stalk it............

Oh sorry.....I was mistaken....it was only Charles le Baron du Breuil.....Hey Reggie..why don`t you go back inside for a nice cool drink ?


Great..he`s so gullible.....he fell for that ....I`ll just go move it!

vendredi 11 juin 2010

The little green bell....................


The old distressed paint on this old shabby bell is just divine! I found it at en early morning brocante.................



I wonder where it was used for so many years to get this fabulous look? I also wonder if it has been replaced with a modern electric bell..........................how sad if it has. I have listed if for sale in my Ebay auctions so I wonder where the next part of its life will be?

mercredi 9 juin 2010

Poppies.............


Don`t you just adore poppies ?


Especially when they are mixed with wild sweet peas!


I love to meander down this local tree lined lane especially now the poppies have now arrived!

mardi 8 juin 2010

The crumbling red chateau...................



If you click on the photographs below you will see the images larger and in more detail.


I have watched a beautiful hidden chateau just 5 minutes from my home slowly crumble over the years. Each winter more and more fell to the ground but she still remained proud. Imagine my horror when I was told she had been painted scarlet red as a publicity stunt by her English owners to try and sell her. I was not the only one to be shocked, the local village was up in arms and the mayor was greatly offended. I had to explain many times to French friends that it was not a normal thing that an English person would do and I actually felt quite ashamed. In the winter with the bare trees that hideous red could just be seen through the trees and I was glad when spring arrived and all the new foliage hid that terrible sight.

Imagine my delight and great relief when I drove to the gates yesterday to see that she has been repainted and a public apology attached to the gates from her owners.



And so, she still crumbles and awaits a new owner but she is now back to her old elegant self. How I long for her to be purchased and restored gently.

She may be just four good walls as the interior and roof has now crashed to the floor but she is still wonderful. I took this shot through the crack in the front door............


The old pigeonnier still stands firm with its gorgeous iron rails on the stone steps....................


She has so many delicious features....................



She has waited silently for a long, long time and can wait even longer. But at least she stands and waits elegantly again after her ordeal!!!

dimanche 6 juin 2010

Chez nous..................


Heavens its so nice to me home!!!


The weather is scorching, the garden`s in full bloom  and I have come back and been launched right into the middle of the mad 66th anniversary of the D Day landings in Normandie! More pictures and news tomorrow but tonight is dancing on the village square to a Glen Miller band, all in 40s costume followed by a firework display. Now where did I put that 40s hat and my old crocodile clutch bag?




Tonto a demain........................