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vendredi 26 novembre 2010

All packed and ready.............

I have spent the last two days getting ready for the first fair I will be standing for over 15 years!
Vintage at the village hall looks as if it`s going to be a wonderful event!! I had no idea what I should be taking and hope I have packed the right treasures. I wanted to have something very special to display and I found this divine angel figure on my travels last week.....
I am secretly hoping she doesn`t sell and I get to keep her!

I`ll let you know how it all goes when I get back from the UK next week.
A la prochaine mes belles...............

mardi 23 novembre 2010

Divine petite pantoufles............

These are the divine little antique French textile slippers I discovered on my travels last week.............
.................never used and just packed away for years...............
....................simply adorable little textiles treasures with a little corsage stitched onto the frou frou frills.......
.........................................from a more elegant era............
As I type Tartellette is in the air mid-flight back to the States. She told us she has always wanted swans in her garden at home and just before she left a pair arrived on the marsh near the house! She grabbed the nearest footwear and like a lunatic ran out to photograph them.......

Its a good job she found some wellies before my toile pantoufles!!!
I am gradually catching up with my listings and for some reason ( due to someone being mid air?!) the chateau is once again a haven of calm and quiet!
Gorgeous daughter Kate has listed a few delicious little vintage French fripperies on her own Ebay site now ( Huh!!! I am no longer required and it appears that having been raised in a house constantly filled with my brocanting treasures she had a very good eye and can run faster than me at the brocantes!!! Note to myself.....lock the armoires!!!.) Her Ebay name is passionatelyparis.........not so much a chip off the old block as a tassle off the old portiere!!!!
A la prochaine mes belles.

lundi 22 novembre 2010

Visions of macaroons....................

I am finally home after a whirlwind week and I must confess I feel as if I have been run over by a steam roller!!! The house is crammed with not only my weeks worth of treasures but also Tartellettes that we are frantically trying to package as she leaves for Paris today.
Lisieux was fabulous despite the early rain and as usual the car was crammed to bursting point. My favourite find of the day? A box of little boudoir slippers that date from the early 1900s, three pairs in all ... unused.............. so delicate and beautiful.
But sadly the temptations were not just of the "brocante" kind as our hotel sat above the most delectable "open all night" chocolaterie and patisserie.........................

How is a woman supposed to get any sleep..................................
.......knowing all those hand made delights were below..........


What is that little ditty?.........Oh yes.......I remember........

May visions of macaroons dance in your head......and you simply chateau....stay firmly in bed!!!


Over the next few days I am going to try and get back to normal ( whatever that is?!), get some treasures listed on my auction site and get ready for next weekend when we leave to stand the first fair I have done for well over 10 years.
So what do I chose first to photograph?

samedi 20 novembre 2010

Save me.................save me....................

This week has been an absolute whirlwind and everything has gone to rats with my Ebay listings but I simply have not been here at all!!!
We arrived home after two huge trade fairs late on Wednesday, spent all day Thursday preparing some divine fripperies with a Marie Antoinette theme for the Vintage at the village hall fair I am attending next week ( see link left) and yesterday we hit the road truffling around all the local brocantes.
Last night we hosted an aperitif party in Tartellette`s honour and it ended up a very, very raucous affair and we all got to bed at about 2am! 
 I was very wicked to Tartellette and told her that we had invited "The Countess D`Amfreville" to meet her and we were amazed and honoured that she had accepted the invite. As there is no such person we had arranged for a good friend Lynn to glide into the party in a fur coat looking as regal as possible. I told Tartellette that she had to be very respectful and if the countess should offer her hand she should lower her head and kiss it! She was to be polite and not touch her or speak to her unless spoken to! Of course we were all in on the joke and when "The Countess" arrived we all fell silent as her chauffeur ( her husband John!!) removed the Countess`s fur and I could see the terror on Tartellettes`s face as Lynn approached her. How Lynn managed to keep her face straight I will never know!!! She greeted Tartellette regally in French and put out her hand, Tartellette took her hand solemnly bowed her head and in her very best French said "Bonsoir.....Comment Allez Vous?". The whole room exploded in hysterics as I told Tartellette that we had set her up!!! Needless to say that was how the rest of the evening went!!!
So today we leave for Lisieux, 2000 + stands of brocante through the streets starting at 4am tomorrow morning. It`s always a very very hard one to do as it`s so large but it never dissappoints and we usually come home with divine treasures year after year. The local townsfolk empty their attics, small time dealers bring out their stock and top notch dealers unload what is not worthy for their high class stores ( It`s always more than worthy for me!!).
I promise to get back to normal (whatever that is!) next week. Tartellette is threatening a guest blog on here before she goes. Heaven help you all!
Bon weekend mes belles!

mercredi 17 novembre 2010

Heaven........................I`m in heaven...............

Today was divine.....simply divine. I saw so much wonderful brocante I don`t know where to start describing it to you so you`ll just have to look for yourself. ( If you want to look closer just click on the photos and they will enlarge). We have just got home and the car was so packed with treasures that you could hardly see tartelette on the back seat, I had two cast iron urns under my legs in the front and a lap full of bags!!!  I need my bed!!!!



mardi 16 novembre 2010

Just a little update................

We arrived at the station in Chartres to see someone standing there in the entrance hall with mountains of bags wearing Gustavian grey wellington boots with hoards and hoards of 19th century gold wire tassels draped around their neck and we knew................Tartelette has arrived!!!!!!
She bought those divine tassels in Paris just before she got on the train and simply had to wear them!!!! I shall be confiscating a few!
I forgot to unpack my camera for the fair this morning but ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...............................I found divine things.....................
A batch of hand quilted 19th century Toile de Jouy with cute children vignettes, the most amazing 1880s scrap book brimming with crowns, crests, monogram letters and  decoupage scraps, an old oval toleware cuisine clock, a bronze angel, hand loomed linens, a 1950s tea dress and matching shoes, enamel jugs and matching soap dishes, embroidered chateau muslin curtains, photo frames, a beautiful desk calender dated 1888, a feather- filled huge boutis quilt,ten fabulous old quirky shaped bottles each etched with a cross and the list goes on.
We are now in a hotel ready for the next huge fair early in the morning..........................let me at `em!!!!
A demain mes belles and hopefully I`ll remember the camera!!!!

dimanche 14 novembre 2010

Almost.....................

Okay...................so I take it back! Late last night a very dishevelled and exhausted farmer knocked at the cuisine door to apologise for the hedge and the mess his cows had made in the garden. I felt so sorry for him - standing there in the dark, bitterly cold and lashing rain! What's a hedge between friends?!!!! (a much deflated me!)
Tartelette has arrived in Paris today and we have just managed to get the attic bedroom into some kind of order for her visit. It`s been a very close shave and Mark is still painting as I type! If the three flights of winding stairs don`t kill her then the paint fumes will!!!
And to think, when we moved in, the space had not been used for over 180 years, you could see the sky through the roof tiles and the floor was a thick layer of soil resting on the ceilings below! But now - what a transformation...
And as for furnishings?  I bought this armoire (below) a million years ago for £50 ( $100) . The mirror had broken but I still had to have it, still with its original old grey paint and such divine rose garlands on the outer doors.


I had the door secured from behind and upholstered the gap with some treasured 19th century toile with cherubs................
It is a panel I have been hoarding for a long time - and I managed to use the textile for the background on my website and my Ebay auctions - so it`s pretty special to me.
We have given Tartellette a little light reading (!)...............

It has been nice to finally unpack the corbeille bed that has been stashed away since we moved here. I love those tapestry, rose-filled urns.

There is still so much more to do up there, but at least it`s comfy for Tartelettes arrival! 

 When we first started the work we realised that George the girouette (weathervane) had been secured by a large bolt that comes straight through the large beam in the ceiling of the room. When the rain was very, very heavy a few plips of water were coming in and landing on the soil floor. We asked a few roofing companies to come and fit a zinc collar around the base of the pole on the roof so that the rain would drain away but no one had a ladder long enough to get to the top of this high pointed roof!!  So, as part of the renovation, we sealed it from below. But with the terrible lashing rain we have had this week it has brought on another problem. It seems that the water has found another route and we went up there this morning to see a wet patch on the ceiling further down the wall..............
( look below the chandelier)

It`s too late to deal with it now as we leave for Chartres tomorrow to meet Tartelette. However, when we get home I am going to search until I find a roofing company that has the right equipment.
So - off tomorrow 'on the road' truffling for treasures, and I`ll take some photographs as we go!
A la prochaine mes belles..................




samedi 13 novembre 2010

The last rebel.....................


Well the hedges are trampled, my lawn is like a colander and there is one rebel heffer left. He had evaded capture last night and stayed on the marsh all night shouting for his friends. The farmer and his team arrived  to collect him and once again he has crashed through what is left of the hedge onto the lawn and I saw him pass the cuisine window laughing as he went.
They managed to get him back onto the marsh and of course by then it was 12 noon and time for the great 2 hour lunch break and everyone has disappeared for the most important part every Frenchman`s day........food! Whilst they are away we have managed to find some green wire fencing to try and fill the gap ready for the afternoons capture.
Has the farmer just nipped in to say "desole" .... sorry? Has he figgy pudding! I`ll let you know what happens.......................

vendredi 12 novembre 2010

Get that vache out of my jardin........

The rain has lashed here for days and the wind has howled across the marsh towards us. I knew it would only be a matter of time before the marsh began its winter flood and the last remaining cattle would have to be moved.
When we got up this morning after another night of heavy rain, I opened the shutters to see the water has risen dramatically overnight and all the cattle were up close to the gate looking for grass. I grabbed my camera so that I could show you the scene as winter closes in........

........It wasn`t long before the cattle trucks started arriving to take them all to shelter.............

All was going well with the loading until a few cows made a bid for freedom and crashed through the hedge into the garden..................panic...drop camera......

...............I ran outside to help and soon headed back inside when I saw the host of heffers with huge horns careering around the garden. My box hedges are flattened, the lawns are trashed and the small boy helping retrieve the cows was shouting.....papa......the English are here!!  One heffer started to mount the steps to the house and I managed to beat him to the door and slam it shut before he entered the cuisine.
The chaos continued until dusk and I suppose I will be able to see the full extent of the mess in the daylight tomorrow.
HUH!!!!

jeudi 11 novembre 2010

Up there in the heavens..............

We are in the last throes of getting the attic ready just in time for the arrival of Tartelette from Oregon. I can hardly believe the difference up there now. When we got the keys to this tiny dolls house chateau the top floor high in the pointed roof had a soil floor and you could see the sky peeping through the old roof tiles.

 Last winter the wind howled down the winding wooden stairs into the house and we had to block it off with huge tapestry curtains and sheets. With there being no electricity up there we could only go up there in daylight and then it was still dimly lit. In the dark we found three original old doors face down in the soil and they have now been used in the house.

There was a huge hornets nest tucked in one corner which made us very fearful as we started the restoration. Pierre a local farmer came to look and thrust his hand right into the middle of the nest at which point we headed for the stairs tres vite! But he did it to prove the nest was was an old one and fortunately for him and us it was no longer used!

I knew it could be amazing up there as the old roof timbers are curved and shaped so beautifully but I never dreampt it could be such a wonderful extra bedroom.


Here we are now ready for our first guest up there in the heavens and the difference is amazing. It has been insulated, plasterboarded and finally plastered.

The floorboards have been laid and it is all now painted. The heating has gone in and it is totally transformed. To keep it as light as possible with such a tiny window up there everything is fresh white and pale Gustavian grey. A lustre chandelier adds a twinkling light and my favourite old grey armoire with the toile door is now installed.
Today the wind has howled and lashed across the marshes and we have been up there putting in some finishing touches. It was warm and snug and George the old dragon weather vane that is secured through the roof into one of the beams was creaking and groaning over head in the gale but there is not even the slightest draught at all.
I will take some photographs for you in a day or so when we have finshed completely!

mardi 9 novembre 2010

Tartelette en route from Paris.............

My very good friend, Tartelette, arrives very shortly in Paris from Oregon, USA. After she sweeps the Paris flea markets of all their treasures we are meeting in Chartres for a week of travel to brocantes and fairs  truffling for treasures..............................

We are spending a few days on the road, but all our hotel accommodation is booked.  I shall have huge empty bags ready for what I might find!!
Who knows what treasures await.................


I'll take my camera along, so you can come with us too!

vendredi 5 novembre 2010

Monsieur " Guy Fawkes "

"Remember, remember the 5th of Novermber, gunpowder, treason and plot"
Has she gone off her head I hear some of you non-UK people say. Well, actually, no. The night of 5th November is celebrated each year in UK, being the date that Guy Fawkes and his band of traitors tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament back in 1605. Tonight we are off to a traditional bonfire party organised by an English couple , the bonfire, by tradition, having an effigy of Guy Fawkes sitting atop it! The bonfire, often with the added thrill of fireworks, always makes for a great evening.
Our hosts have asked us all to bring along our own "guys" who will judged in a competiton for "best Guy" prior to meeting their somewhat grisly end on the bonfire! 
The problem is that the burning of "Guy Fawkes" is definately not a French tradition - and I think there will be some explaining to do to those French guests who have also been invited. 
  So, our "Guy" had to be someone that both the English and French would recognise! So, after some thought ( it has to be someone of international celebrity) we plumped for............wait for it....................



I am SO sorry Sir Elton...........................
...nothing personal you understand - but may I say, Sir Elton, that you are looking a little "rounded" and have quite a muffin top going on there....have you been in the patisserie again?
Never to miss a photo opportunity, particularly with a Knight of the realm, Charles, Baron du Breuil made himself known to Sir Elton.......
.......but better watch out what you are tickling with that tail of yours!
We are collecting some friends en route to the party this evening -  and I am SO looking forward to them having to climb on the back seat with Sir Elton!!!!
Have a wonderful weekend.....a la prochaine, mes belles................

jeudi 4 novembre 2010

Cafe du port..........................

I am thinking about what to take with me to the vintage fair I am attending at the end of November (http://www.vintagevillagehall.blogspot.com/ ). I saw 12 of these wonderful old cafe chairs and well..........................they just had to be truffled away................

..................the backs are just divine....CAFE DU PORT CHERBOURG........

No...!!...I haven`t done a drive by chair lifting at some roadside cafe! The cafe du port changed their decor many years ago and they have been hidden away in storage. The seats needed some work so Andre the tappisier has obliged with a full refurb to each seat with some vintage pink and blue cafe check.

I`m taking a little oooooh la la to Dorset Uk!!

mardi 2 novembre 2010

Sweet dreams in a chateau bed..................

I make no excuse for showing you this divine chateau ciel de lit bed canopy I found at the weekend and I have listed it in my auctions...................


Who could fail to have a wonderful nights slumber in a chateau bed with such a confection?!!!