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samedi 30 avril 2011

Frou frou in Paris................

Frou frou is in Paris for the whole summer ..............................................am I jealous?......Well just a little as she gets to truffle all the flea markets & brocantes all summer long! She has taken to wearing vintage and already is just a little too chic for my liking!



She is only 2 hours away by train but already seems too at home to nip up and see moi!  I may have to go visit to see exactly what she is up to!
You will find her latest finds here
http://shop.ebay.co.uk/cafe-de-paris/m.html?_dmd=1&_ipg=50&_sop=12&_rdc=1

As we speak Charles le Baron du Breuil has come through the cat flap into the cuisine with a wriggling mouse in his mouth, he has let it go and turned back and returned to the garden. EEEEEK!!! Mouse on the loose......

Typing a blog whilst standing on a chair is not easy!

vendredi 29 avril 2011

Madame Rousseau finds a winner!

Oh heavens! What a responsibility! So many wonderful entries to the shabby chic competition that I couldn`t bear the responsibilty! So, laptop in hand, I called on Madame Rousseau in the village who speaks perfect English and delegated the task to her!
And her choice for the winner is:-

(fanfare of trumpets & drum roll)

................. the two girls from  Robins in the Trundle bed!

http://trundlebedtimes.blogspot.com/



Please let me have your address ladies and the package will be winging its way to you.

Bonne weekend mes belles!

lundi 25 avril 2011

From the boudoir of the Countess...........

Brocanting this morning was simply divine!!! Wonderful warm sunshine and fabulous finds. From the boudoir of a Count and Countess two fabulous monogrammed sheets with their crown of aristocracy......
A couronne crown of aristocracy for Le Comte or La Comtesse always has nine points..................

Who could fail to slumber in such regal sheets of the finest linen?
How I love the brocantes!!!

mardi 19 avril 2011

Cuckoo!!

There have been some wonderful entries for the blog competition and I am going to let it run until the weekend to allow more entries. There have been lots of suggestions sent direct to my website and all I can say to Dianne with her hysterically funny Shirley Valentine entry is " Why stop at Tuesday?!!!".

Work is continuing on the chateau restoration and today as an old chimney was checked out a huge wasps nest came tumbling down onto Mark`s head! Fortunately it was an old one with nothing inside it.....the nest not Mark`s head that is!! What an amazing construction! It feels like tissue paper and is as light as a feather...............

I wonder how many wasps it took to build this?



The weekend brocantes were kind to me and I came home with some divine treasures including this delicious toile...





 and a stunning early church reliquary.....


that still has it`s amazing old seal intact..............

The weather here is scorching hot and the cuckoos have started to sing. Summer on the way...............fantastique!!!

samedi 16 avril 2011

Les Secrets du Style Shabby Chic.............

When I lived in the UK I couldn`t wait to get my hands on Country Living magazine each month. Since living in France I never really found a replacement for my addicition until this recent publication appeared in the tabac......

LES SECRETS DU STYLE SHABBY CHIC


Filled with stunning vintage treasures and ideas...................

............It definitely flicks my switches.................................
Floats my boat.........................
Hits the spot , fuels my addiction and fades my florals......
Twiddles my tassels and plumps up my passementerie...................
Launders my linens..................chuckles my cherubs...
Froths up my fripperies.....................

I have one extra copy this month ( greedy!)  tell me your silly quote for the same idea and I`ll post it to sender of the best answer!! ( Don`t worry if you are not a google  blog member just send it to me via my simply-chateau email address simplychateau@wanadoo.fr  )

A la prochaine mes belles................

mercredi 13 avril 2011

Pink cots and sleeping brocanters...............

Yesterday when travelling to La Poste I spotted a little hand-written card in the patisserie window advertising a yard sale due to a house move. As it was just a few villages away I made a detour to see if there was anything for me. I almost didn`t stop when I saw what was for sale, but the owner, an old man. was in his doorway who looked so happy to see someone that I felt I had to stop and have a look as I couldn`t bear to hurt his feelings!


He was so sweet and walked with me, explaining he was moving to a smaller house as I carefully lifted the covers. He said that many people had driven straight past and I soon realised that there really wasn`t anything at all for me and wondered how I was going to get out of this one!!! I was almost considering buying the huge 1950s pink cot so he would at least have made a sale when he invited me to look inside.
There, just inside the door, was this fabulous old painted table with a bergere shelf..............
The marble top had gone and been replaced with a wooden top........
But I know that Monsieur Levavasseur at the marbrerie will cut me a new piece to fit. It is almost identical to the smaller version I already have in the salle de bain.
This will be much more at home here than the pink cot!!!

Today we had a long lunch with friends and as I was the designated driver Mark took care of tasting the vin rouge! On the way home he fell asleep with his face squashed against the window as I drove back through the narrow country lanes. I had to move onto the narrow verge to allow a tractor and trailer filled with cows to pass and as it slowly rattled past Mark did not stir.  I soon saw that tucked in behind the tractor was a long line of cars filled with very prim looking old ladies who must have been to church. If only you could have seen their faces as they inched past us, each one staring at the slumped-over Mark in amazement! I just kept my eyes forward and pretended nothing was happening!
Should I have woken him? No.....I say let sleeping brocanteurs lie.................

A la prochaine mes belles!

samedi 9 avril 2011

Little French fripperies......................................

About 20 years ago Provence was my main hunting ground for truffling out old textiles and treasures. Once a month I used to make a beeline for the tiny blue-shuttered shop of Monsieur Gaston. Everyone called him Le Souris ( mouse)because his place, although filled to the brim, was as tiny as a mousehole!  Oh.....but what a mousehole it was!!! Gaston was as old as his stock -  perhaps sometimes older (!) - and had taken over the tiny shop from his father in the 1930s. Everyone knew the "souris" and whenever a house was emptied or a chateau cleared he was the man called in for the job. He always wore the same old brown overall and old wooden clogs.

Dealers loved him and he certainly had his favourites. Although I never knew who managed to persuade him to part with the really fabulous textiles he acquired I was always more than happy to simply take the divine morceaux of fabrics and tassels he kept back for me. In return I would take him English tea and extra strong mints!

He would try to talk to me in broken English whilst I tried to talk to him in broken French! We had mad, mixed dual-language conversations.  When he was young during World War 2 American soldiers had taught him some phrases, his favourite being " I love you....... I kiss ( pronounced keeeeeeees ) you on the lips"  - which he used to say so proudly that I never failed to collapse into a fit of giggles!

I loved to truffle through the shop and sometimes I was not sure that even he knew what he had tucked away in there - but my favourite things were the little parcels he used to make up. Old brown paper bags of mixed treasures, tiny treasures which, like a magpie, I couldn`t resist!!!

On one visit I arrived at the shop to find it shuttered and closed. I never knew what had happened to Gaston and there was no one to ask. The end of an era I suppose.

Today, whilst trying to make some order of my stock, I realised how many tiny treasures I have in boxes and bags. Quite often I spend time sifting through them and then put them all back and nothing ever happens with them!

So........... today, I decided to make up some batches to list in my auctions just as Le Souris used to do. Batches of little 'frou frou fripperies, each morceau delicious and ready for a new project - like these............
19th century invoices...labels....buttons....boxes., and these.......

wooden numbers, feves, ribbons bows, and little sepia ink- written treasures.

Le Souris would have loved them!!!

Thank you for the inspiration Souris........"I keeeeeeeeeeeeees you on the leeeeps"!
Three large brocantes to trawl early tomorrow....I`ll let you know what I find.

A demain mes belles.

mardi 5 avril 2011

The "Hole" truth................

When we first bought the chateau we were told there was  a legend in the village that there is a hidden tunnel here that runs to the village church. I have searched for it often but nothing has ever appeared. Today the renovations were brought to a standstill when what looked like an old man-hole cover appeared from under the overgrown cottages................

I was SO excited!!! We had found it at last and my head was filled with visions of a beautiful stone lined secret passage with old candle sconces to light the way and moss underfoot.

The longer it took to lift the cover the more my imagination ran wild......caskets filled with treasure...hidden manuscripts and huge Harry Potter style leather bound books covered with cobwebs.... I waited holding my breath as the cover was finally lifted.



 But I was told "Non Madam"..............................................it is a "puits"......a well....and it turned out to be a dry one too!

Not even a frog or toad in residence! I came back to the cuisine quite deflated but I got to thinking....... just because it isn`t the tunnel "this time" doesn`t mean it`s not there at all!!!  Does it?

A bientot from the "eternal optimist" mes belles! Filling the hole as we speak!

lundi 4 avril 2011

Cafe and crepes..............

The brocantes start early here so, when you have been truffling from around  5.30am,  a large steaming cafe creme or a chocolat chaud with a croissant or crepe is always very welcome - and especially if the cup has a regal couronne crown!!
Yesterday morning there were five small village brocantes all within a few kilometres of each other ( typical!!) so we started with the one we thought was most likely to hold the most treasures and then carried on working our way around the others.
By the time we reached the fifth venue we were flagging and needed a coffee - and, as I searched for the most likely place to collapse, a panel of toile caught my eye....

...mainly because I had stumbled upon a mobile drinks kiosk with toile decoration! Now that was a first - and obviously had to be the place to buy my drink!!
I had no idea what the French word "Bossus" meant, so when I got home I checked it out.....and discovered......
The  "hunchback cats"?  Surely not. The cat with a hump? I just cannot translate it at all! Perhaps it is some French phrase or saying that I do not know?  Anyway, humps or no humps, her cafe and crepes were "delicieux!".

But seeing the cafe/bar remided me of something about me which I may not have previously told you.  In a previous life some 25 years ago, I owned a restaurant and bar in the UK and used to arrange crazy fancy dress evenings. One night the theme was "French" ( of course!!) and one guy arrived in the most wonderful disguise as The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Halfway through the evening I had to confiscate his hump because each time he turned around he kept knocking glasses from people's hands! He never came back for his hump at the end of the night either and I was left wondering what to do with it!!!

Another life long ago mes belles! I am now 'tres content' at the chateau truffling!!

I have some divine shabby vintage treasures to list this week too; so I'm off to get my camera out!!
A la prochaine............