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vendredi 29 juin 2012

A Ninja at the chateau!!

Is that a highly trained Ninja at the chateau? 


Or even worse a masked intruder making off with my textile archive in a sack?








No......it`s Mark! As you can see the mahogony parquet floor we bought from an old chateau has now been laid - and I adore it!! 


We have hired a sanding machine for the weekend and despite there being a bag to collect the sawdust poor Mark is still getting it in the face. We didn`t buy any face masks so he is making do with a 19th century damask napkin................monogrammed of course!!!


I called into a local brocante today about half an hour after it had opened. 


I stopped in my tracks as I saw the most divine tapestry covered old gilded double stool that I have ever seen. It was edible..totally edible. Faded chippy gesso and wonderful distressed tapestry that was possibly Aubusson. All original and totally stunning. I knew I had to have it and it would sit perfectly at the end of our bed.


I imagine my face when the brocanter told me that just 10 minutes earlier a man had reserved it for his wife to go and see on Sunday to see if she likes it or not.......... please make it be "not" !!!!


So now I have to wait until Sunday to see if madame wants it..........will she want it?  ( sniff.....slight sob!)


Will it be mine? If not then it was not meant to be.( more sniffs...a gulp....and a wail).....if so....WHOOPPEE!!!!!!!!!!! 


I will keep you posted mes belles!!



mardi 26 juin 2012

18th Century Boudoir prints...........

Although  lashing with rain ( yet again; will it ever stop!) we set off at 6.00am Sunday morning for a brocante - if only to see if anyone was brave enough to unpack their wares. Only a few brocanteurs had decided to unpack, but from under a sheet of plastic covering a host of boxes I saw something that looked 'delicieux'!!


A batch of soft green-coloured floral covers with scrolled and curled lettering and I could just make out the words -"Dix huitieme siecle"........................18th century". I pulled out a batch of these wonderful albums and knew I would buy them just for the covers.....I didn`t really care what was inside them.


But when I opened them up I was amazed! Each album was brimming with beautiful boudoir prints. Some softly coloured, some black & white, some with poems and crests and some bedecked with winged cherubs.






I know that had it not been raining they would have been snapped up the minute they were unpacked and I would have missed them.


I have kept some albums for myself so I can frame the covers and some of the prints; the others I have listed  on my Ebay site.


For once the rain at the brocante was a good thing!!


A la prochaine mes belles
Bisous
xx

samedi 23 juin 2012

Blog cheese...............

I must stop buying fromage just because I like the packaging!!!









Petite cafe check parcels that look too good to open!!


A la prochaine mes belles


xx


vendredi 22 juin 2012

Aller au dodo..............

I love the French word "DODO"


"Aller au dodo" means "go to bye-byes".


I found this wonderful advertisement in an old theatre programme dated 1912.



The latest design "DORBIEN" combinations for children!!


What do you wear when you are "pret au dodo"?


Bon weekend mes belles


xx


jeudi 21 juin 2012

No......................not the mat!

Its raining yet again here in Normandie.


I don`t mind a little rain....that`s why it`s so green and luscious here and our cows are the best fed girls who give us divine milk, cream and butter.


But I DO ATUALLY MIND the rain...............



....................on my new door mat !!!!


( yes I know its a little over the top but it HAD to be bought....... didn`t it?!!)


A demain mes belles
Bisous
xx

mardi 19 juin 2012

The Paris news............

I simply had to bring these home at the weekend. !

Bundles and bundles..... of bundles of old Parisian journals from the 1940s.....................




Timeworn....foxed....old tea coloured and tied with twine.................


The seller apologised for their condition and was a little bemused when I told him that, had they been pristine and white, I wouldn`t have wanted them at all!!


Selling them on both Ebay and Etsy.... Hot off the press!!!

A la prochaine mes belles

Bisous
xx

xx

lundi 18 juin 2012

Sunday truffling at the chateau...........

I love Sunday for truffling!!




6am through the chateau gates........................

Past the empty moat..............................


And you are in!!!



Treasures galore........



You know I have a problem with old chippy paint period doors. So,do I really need  another? NO!!! Walk on!!


I wonder if the Betty Ford clinic would treat me for a crumbly paint addicition?

So much to see so switch on your best bartering head!



Keep going until the car is full and then a steaming hot cafe with the typically French ever smiling Gaston!


How did your Sunday go?

vendredi 15 juin 2012

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr !!!!!



There is a technical issue with Ebay UK at the moment which means that sellers who pay for international visibilty are not getting any US or Canada visibilty at all!


The issue started around the 8th June and some sellers have received email notifications and some have not. Most sellers have no idea it is happening at all and are wondering why their auctions are quieter than usual!


I have tried altering each one of my auctions and ticking the international option yet again but 5 minutes later it has disappeared !!


Come on Ebay sort it out and pronto!!!!!! Their customer support simply repeat " Thank you for your patience". Well I am struggling with that one!!!!


Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr !!

dimanche 10 juin 2012

Dresses from the Follies Bergere.............

I thought you might enjoy this news article. Which dress do you want? Let me know and I`ll nip to Paris to get it for you!!!!




Dresses that captured the essence of Parisian joie de vivre go on sale as former director of the Folies Bergère music hall auctions off her collection


Feathers galore are up for sale in Paris this weekend, as the extravagant headdresses, boas, and sparkling scanty costumes of the Folies Bergère music hall find a new home with the highest bidder.
The symbol of Parisian 'joie de vivre' at the turn of the century, the Folies Bergère was a palace of taboo-busting sensuality, replete with nearly-nude showgirls performing erotic striptease.
Shows also played up the 'exoticness' of people and objects from other cultures, satisfying the Parisian fascination with the négritude of the Twenties.
Frou frou: Costumes from the Folies Bergère are displayed at the Palais de la Bourse as part of the 'Ventes de folie' auction in Paris on June 8
Frou frou: Costumes from the Folies Bergère are displayed at the Palais de la Bourse as part of the 'Ventes de folie' auction in Paris on June 8
Will it suit me? People look at the costumes on display, which all come from the collection of former director Hélène Martini, who ran the famous Parisian nightclub for 37 years
Will it suit me? People look at the costumes on display, which all come from the collection of former director Hélène Martini, who ran the famous Parisian nightclub for 37 years
Now, some 6,000 costumes, posters, programs and paraphernalia from the collection of former director Hélène Martini will be sold on June 9 and 10 by auctioneers Bailly-Pommery & Voutier.
Plumage, sequins, glitter, and all manner of frou-frou feature in the auction, from a five-tiered floral crinoline worthy of the most enthusiastic can-can to avant-garde headdresses.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2156812/6-000-costumes-collection-historic-Folies-Berg-music-hall-auctioned-director-87.html#ixzz1xKri8VvkEstelle Daniere, the Folies' last chorus line leader, said she was moved to see all the old costumes on display the old stock exchange in Paris.
Empress of the night: Former Folies Bergères director Hélène Martini
Empress of the night: Former Folies Bergères director Hélène Martini said she is 'not a girl who makes a song and dance about the past'
'If they could talk, what would they say? They'd have plenty of anecdotes,' Ms Daniere, wearing a sparkling silver number with a high slit, told reporters at a viewing yesterday.
'I hope they find someone who will give them a second life,' she said. 'They deserve it - to find the limelight again and do another show.'
Mrs Martini - dubbed the 'empress of the night' - managed the famous Parisian club for 37 years until 2000, as well as a 16 other venues in Paris, New York and Los Angeles.
Explaining her reason for the sale of the artifacts, she told Le Parisien: 'I've worked enough, I'm almost 90. I'm not a girl who makes a song and dance about the past.'
During its glory days, the Folies Bergère inspired painters such as Manet and Toulouse-Lautrec, who depicted the barmaids and dancers as well as their ogling admirers.
It also provided a rapt audience for the top talents of the music-hall stage, from Montmartre cabaret star Jane Avril to the jazz-era darling Josephine Baker.
Ms Baker became an overnight sensation at the venue when she performed the Danse sauvage, wearing a costume consisting of a skirt made of a string of artificial bananas and little else.
Her erotic dancing and near nude performances were renowned and emblematic of the spirit of the Folies Bergère.
Colourful: A palace of taboo-busting sensuality, the Folies Bergère was a symbol of Parisian 'joie de vivre' at the turn of the century
Colourful: A palace of taboo-busting sensuality, the Folies Bergère was a symbol of Parisian 'joie de vivre' at the turn of the century
'I hope they find someone who will give them a second life': Estelle Daniere, the Folies' last chorus line leader, said she was moved to see all the old costumes on display the old stock exchange in Paris
'I hope they find someone who will give them a second life': Estelle Daniere, the Folies' last chorus line leader, said she was moved to see all the old costumes on display the old stock exchange in Paris
Grand: This incredible avant garde dress is typical of the out-there, hedonistic spirit of the Folies Bergère
Grand: This incredible avant garde dress is typical of the out-there, hedonistic spirit of the Folies Bergère
A piece of history: A woman looks at costume mock ups from the Folies Bergère
A piece of history: A woman looks at costume mock ups from the Folies Bergère
Behind the scenes work: A man views planning pictures, showing stage mock ups and performers
Behind the scenes work: A man views planning pictures, showing stage mock ups and performers
The main Folies revue, long a tourist fixture that faded with age, was shelved a decade ago, but the venue is still used for concerts and other shows.
Russian-born French artist Erte, a Folies Bergère collaborator, features prominently in the auction, with about 200 of his lithographs and silk screens depicting elegant women in Art Deco regalia for sale.
Dozens of original costume sketches by Michel Gyarmathy, longtime artistic director of the Folies, are on sale, as are small-scale models of sets, now a bit dusty.
How a performer would have looked in the hey day of the Folies Bergère
Josephine Baker wears her banana skirt costume from her signature Danse sauvage
Hey day: How a performer would have looked in the golden era of the Folies Bergère. Right, the famous Josephine Baker, who became on overnight sensation at the club with her Danse sauvage
Fans of Belle Epoque poster art can find colourful posters advertising the music hall signed by famed artist Jules Cheret, estimated at about £325.
Collectors and the curious who came to Friday's viewing were awed by the racks and racks of costumes, whether cheetah outfits, French Revolution-era get-ups or petticoats by the dozen.
A group of women pulled up the skirt of a modest-looking black dress to reveal a cascade of bright yellow ruffles. Another woman eyed a red feather that fell on the floor and snatched it up as a souvenir.    
The Folies Bergère facade: Located at 32 rue Richer in the 9th Arrondissement, it was built as an opera house by the architect Plumeret and patterned after the Alhambra music hall in London
The Folies Bergère facade: Located at 32 rue Richer in the 9th Arrondissement, it was built as an opera house by the architect Plumeret and patterned after the Alhambra music hall in London
Most of the costumes in the auction appear to hail from the Seventies and Eighties, and some are pure kitsch. 
One five-piece ensemble is all satin panther print, accessorized by a swirling panther cape with fuchsia lining and a black feathered headdress.     
Another, the 'Pineapple Dress,' features a sequined and feathered pineapple at the derriere, estimated between £100-£120.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2156812/6-000-costumes-collection-historic-Folies-Berg-music-hall-auctioned-director-87.html#ixzz1xKrVgpRY

samedi 9 juin 2012

Moonlight in a bath towel...........





So............... why was I in the garden at 4am last night in a lashing gale wearing only a bath towel and a cardigan?


Sir Digbert Fanshaw Brownshaw, my constant companion and my " grand amour", was ill. He was refusing to come back in the house (very unlike him) - and was simply lying in the long grass.


The evening before was trash or " dustbin man" day as we English say. Because we are so remote ( the dust cart cannot turn at the end of our lane) we have to take our rubbish bags to the top of the track so that they can be collected. Sir Digbert, who is known for his love of food ( he is not fat as some people say - just portly, I say!!) had decided to trot up to the top of the lane, break into some bin liners and ate what left-overs he could find!


This is Sir Digbert who, just an hour or so before, had had his supper. So he was not hungry to say the least.


So, of course, yesterday evening Diggers was feeling ill -  suffering with sickness and all that goes with it. It was too late to visit the vet and all the internet help I found said to give it 24 hours and make sure he did not get dehydrated. I tried to get him to drink but to no avail, although I did get him to lick an ice cube or two.


Every so often he dashed outside to be ill. I watched him closely all night - and, at 4am, he went outside but did not come back in. I grabbed the nearest things possible ( bath towel and cardigan, and Mark donned his dressing gown) and we went in search of my boy, only to find him several minutes later lying in the grass in the moonlight with his eyes closed.  


I managed to get him back indoors where he drank a whole bowl of water before going back off to sleep. I of course did not sleep; all manner of things go through your head as to what may have caused his problems. He is over 12 years old now and I panic if he is out of sorts.


Today though he woke up, trotted into the kitchen, ate the cats food - and then started on a dog chew which he had retrieved from his secret supply!!!


He is extremely perky; we, on the other hand, are very bleary eyed!!


But I still got up for a brocante this morning but fell foul of the seller we have nicknamed " Monsieur, do not touch". I have purchased only a few items from him in the past because his stock ( which is mainly 'man-tiques' anyway) is, to my mind, over priced.  But he always has huge signs all over his stand saying  " DO NOT TOUCH". 


Today he had varied his stock - and many smaller items were on display in glass-covered cases. I was intrigued and went to have a peek. As I pointed out a tiny, old camera in the case to Mark my finger lightly touched the glass of the case.  " MADAME, NE TOUCHE PAS" he yelled. So............ as well at not touching his items, you are now forbidden to touch the glass that protects them?


OH PLEASE!!! Give me strength! I sometimes wonder how he manages to sell anything!


mardi 5 juin 2012

Church sconces......

I found these wonderful 19th century gilded church sconces yesterday at the brocante..........


they were originally either side of an altar and would have had wonderful glass lantern shades........but sadly they are long gone.

I am going to try and have them fitted either side of the fireplace. At sometime they were converted for electricity so it will be easy to take out the old cord covered wires and thread through some new ones.


Now......where to find those lanterns?!!


A la prochaine mes belles.

vendredi 1 juin 2012

Getting there at last............

I may have moaned about the noise, the cold and the mess but finally it all seems to be coming together here at our petite chateau renovation. 
We went from this.................


To this........................


And then from this.....................
To this........................


The old reclaimed mahogony parquet flooring from a local chateau is now being laid. It is such an intricate process........








Its getting quite exciting now! I have my paints chosen, my chandeliers ready, my wall sconces waiting and old shutters for the inside of the windows. The fireplace still has to be secured, a log burner installed and skirting boards have to be chosen and fitted.


I can`t wait for the old floor to be sanded and waxed to see what colours emerge.


It`s been a long haul and I have said many times "never again!" but it doesn`t seem so bad at all now!!


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