mardi 26 février 2013

Paris amour in Springtime.......

Oooooooh la la mes belles!!!

A little Paris amour!

Monsieur spots his Mademoiselle on a park bench.

He cannot resist and buys her flowers - she looks away!

Still shy she accepts his invite for aperitifs

Followed by a little dancing

Cocktails for two

A walk in the moonlight

et voila!!!

C`est L`amour!!!!

I found these old enamel clock numbers tucked away in a local brocante. Just awaiting a new project!!

A demain mes belles


dimanche 24 février 2013

Poor cold mice.......

If I can give nothing else to my daughter Frou Frou I can at least pass on what I have discovered from 28 years or so of truffling for old French textiles.

But sometimes the temptation is simply tooooooooo much!!!! At a recent house contents auction there was a large box of  vintage household linens and the auctioneer said the word " candlewick". Well I am sorry I just can`t do candlewick.....mainly because I can remember sleeping under sheets and candlewick as a child. UGH!

But Frou Frou being from the age of plump feather duvets asked me what candlewick was.

I couldn`t help myself and told her quite solemnly that she should never buy or sell the stuff as it was made from baby mice. She stood wide eyed as I told her that baby mice called "Wicks" were bred solely for candlewick production and as soon as they grew fur it was shaved off and woven into the candlewick. I told her the practise was disgusting and the poor mice were never allowed to keep any fur and many froze. I said that many baby "wicks" would have been sacrificed just to make one bedcover.

I thought no more of it until yesterday when Frou Frou told me she had "googled" candlewick and it has nothing to do with mice at all!

Well I love it! What can I make up next?!

A la prochaine mes belles!

jeudi 21 février 2013

My boys.............

It may be below zero and lashing a gale around the chateau.........but my two boys are snug and warm by the log fire.

I am SO ready for the start of Spring!! I hope you are keeping warm too.

A la prochaine mes belles


mercredi 20 février 2013

Au Revoir to The Ritz...........

In 2012 The Ritz Paris closed its doors for a major refurbishment. See this wonderful video link for details...................,1,194,192,0,0

A Paris dealer friend of mine was lucky enough to buy some of the interiors furnishings that were being replaced. I met him by accident at the weekend and I now have this amazing and decadent silk boudoir table cover for my auctions.......

It is the most exquisite rustling silk taffeta in an amazing shade of soft Paris pink.

So now of course I am driving my dealer friend crazy to see what else he has!

Bye Bye the Ritz and Bonjour Simply-Chateau!!

A la prochaine mes belles

mardi 19 février 2013

Le petit diable..............

Sometimes it is the most timeworn and dejected treasures that catch my eye when out truffling!!

At the early morning brocante last weekend a local house clearer turned up with boxes and boxes of books. The local dealers descended on him and there was quite a tussle for the old leather-bound books. Some dealers tried to make sure they gathered up all the editions of certain publications, some grabbed the oldest ones they could find and others looked for rare books. It was all a bit frantic and got quite heated.

But not me. I was quite happy simply sitting on the tailgate of the house clearer's van with my nose in this battered old childrens book that had been thrown onto the floor by the serious book buyers!!

Dating from the late 1800s "Le Petit Diable" tells of the escapades of "The little Devil", a young mademoiselle full of mischief.

The vignettes are all so charming. I do confess that there are some very similar family photographs of me as a toddler with wild mad curls!!

My hair had been very slow to grow and, as a last resort, my mum kept rubbing olive oil into my scalp!! When it did eventually start to grow it was wild, curly and had a mind of its own!! At the age of three I had a sausage roll curl across the front of my head and I was told later that I hated it so much I hid behind the curtains and cut it off with mum`s sewing scissors! Hence more old photographs of me with a "Mohican" ! In my teenage years I used to desperately try and iron my long wild curls flat; all I wanted was long, straight hair!

Oooooh! What I would give to still have those curls today!!

A la prochaine mes belles


vendredi 15 février 2013

Loop the LOUPE!

In November I sold a very beautiful old jeweller`s magnifying glass loupe to a wonderful lady in the US. It was to be a very special gift for her mum.

With the French postal system there is no tracking for items under 2 kilo, so, if something is special it is wise to pay for the extra tracking service.

So, I paid for a full followed and signed for service and of went missing!!! The tracking stopped dead in December at a Paris airport.

My lovely buyer was very, very patient and we all waited for its arrival " just in case" the Christmas post was backed up somewhere.

 A week ago it had still not arrived so I refunded my lady fully as La poste had not come up with any answers.

Then to my surprise this morning there was a box on the doorstep! The loupe!!!

No explanation just a label stating " Unclaimed".

So after all it`s travels and wherever it has been it will be listed again this evening.

A very well travelled petite loupe!!

Bon weekend mes belles


jeudi 14 février 2013

Cupid in your boudoir...........

I found this divine old pastel shade print whilst out truffling for treasures this week.

Cupid the cheeky little minx has flown down the chimney into a mademoiselle`s boudoir and the captivated ladies are gathered with their finest silk shoes, jewels, and hats for him to try!!
I cannot make out the signature but it looks like E de Beaumont.
A perfect find for Valentines day!!

A la prochaine mes belles


mardi 12 février 2013

This week is shaping up quite strangely.......

It may only be Tuesday but already this week....

...I've had an altercation with a kleptomaniac - see below! laptop 'crashed' on me  - this time for good!

...I assisted Frou Frou in the rescue of an adorable stray young cat who has now been rehoused -also see below.

...I managed to crawl out of bed at 4.30am. in the freezing cold to drive two hours to a huge brocante.

...saw a man's "hoo har" standing in a bottle of formaldehyde,  it having been surgically amputated (ouch!!) during the 19th century!

...I almost  fainted with shock when, after asking the price of a single 19th century tassel, I was told it was 1000 euros  - and the seller seemed totally insulted when I walked away without buying it!

...I ran out of anti-wrinkle cream  - which means I might wake up tomorrow morning with a face like a crinkle cut crisp!


Returning to the cat..... Frou Frou and I were coming out of the village Zumba class when this adorable young cat appeared. Flea ridden, starving and with no fur on her paws ( the cat that is,   not Frou Frou!) we were giving her a stroke when a local man told us that the she had been wandering around the village for 3 weeks and didn`t have a home. The cat looked Frou Frou in the eye and knew she could win her over. So, with cat in the car curled up purring on Frou`s lap off we went to visit the vet in the nearest town.

Parking up at the vet's surgery I recognised on the other side of the road a tall unkempt man who  wanders about the town quite frequently. He is harmless and well cared for but he is also a well known kleptomaniac - and all the locals know that they have to lock their cars;  he has a habit of trying to open car doors!

Just as we were about to enter the vets  I saw the man bend down, try to open the door of a parked car and, finding it open, began to delve inside. I knew I had to stop him, so I began to cross the road towards him with Frou Frou saying " No....Mum....don`t do it, he may be dangerous!"

As I approached him I could see him holding a handbag which he then turned upside down,  emptying the money out of a purse and grabbing a bunch of keys. The money and credit cards held no interest for him.....he simply  wanted the keys!

I knocked the car window but he ignored me so I had to go around to his side of the car. The poor man jumped to attention and threw the keys back in the car. All I could think of to say was " Non monsieur....c`est pas bon!".

Much to Frou Frou`s amusement he mumbled something at me and went to sit on a nearby bench to sulk. I felt so sorry for him I almost went home to find him some keys!!! I assume he may have thought I was the car owner.

Attending the brocante today was wonderful; despite the cold I returned home with a car brimming with delicieux treasures.

And finally.... the "hoo har" in a jar? Well .....all I can say is why? Whose was it? Will anyone ever buy it?!! Also, just as we were leaving the brocante there was a huge smash at the stall where the 'item' was being exhibited.  The whole glass panel on the display cupboard had smashed. Does that mean it has escaped and is on the loose? Will it hide out in a hedgerow and jump out on some unsuspecting woman?

As for the cat...she has been treated for fleas, wormed, innoculated and is living a life of luxury at Frou Frou`s cottage.

Should I spend the rest of the week hiding in an armoire as I wrinkle?

A la prochaine, mes belles

vendredi 8 février 2013

Oooooooooooh la la!!!

Just a quickie before the weekend. Take a peek at this......

All I can say is divine!!! I can`t stop looking!!!

Have a wonderful weekend mes belles

jeudi 7 février 2013

A little late Zumba.......

Sooooooooooooo...................I left home a little late for the 3.30  afternoon Zumba class in the village hall. I arrived to find they had already started so I dived in, threw off my shoes and sweat shirt, put my bottle of water on the windowsill and joined in. For some reason everyone collapsed in hysterics but I smiled and carried on. 

I soon realised that we were dancing  the "cool down" section, so, I stopped looking puzzled. 30 seconds later they all stopped and looked at me in amazement.

Soooo................the Zumba class on Wednesday starts at 2.30 and not 3.30 so I had arrived for the last minute!!!

I will never live this one down!

Senior moment mes belles!!


mardi 5 février 2013

Napoleon to Jospehine............

Spring 1797 

To Josephine, 

I love you no longer; on the contrary, I detest you. you are a wretch, truly perverse, truly stupid, a real Cinderella. 

You never write to me at all, you do not love your husband; you know the pleasure that your letters give him yet you cannot even manage to write him half a dozen lines, dashed off in a moment!

 What then do you do all day, Madame? What business is so vital that it robs you of the time to write to your faithful lover? What attachment can be stifling and pushing aside the love, the tender and constant love which you promised him? Who can this wonderful new lover be who takes up your every moment, rules your days and prevents you from devoting your attention to your husband?

Beware, Josephine; one fine night the doors will be broken down and there I shall be. In truth, I am worried, my love, to have no news from you; write me a four page letter instantly made up from those delightful words which fill my heart with emotion and joy. I hope to hold you in my arms before long, when I shall lavish upon you a million kisses, burning as the equatorial sun.

Have you ever received such a torrid letter of " amour"?

A demain mes belles


lundi 4 février 2013

Let them eat cake.................

Yesterday I had a bit if a Marie Antoinette day. I found a batch of four wonderful 1930s silk Marie Antoinette theatre costume dresses with netting and hoops below the skirts....................... I am of course keeping one for my own display.

This pale blue and pink confection is divine!!

Closely followed by an early printed cotton that I have never seen before with Marie vignettes

A wonderful morning truffling for treasures followed by a stop off at the Patisserie for cake. Well it seemed the right thing to do after Marie`s famous quote!!

A la prochaine mes belles

vendredi 1 février 2013

A rose tinted day.............

Nothing can upset me today...........everything is wonderful!

It may be lashing with rain and blowing a gale.....but the day is glowing rose pink for me! 

At 9am this morning I was standing, umbrella in hand, at the bottom of the marble steps that lead up to the surgeons office,  rain lashing, grey skies, - and feeling heavy hearted preparing to meet my doom!! I forced myself to climb to his door.

He looked at the notes in my file, examined me and shook his head. My heart hit the floor. So this was it. He was going to give me the date of the fated day and there was to be no escape for me.

He looked me in the eye and said " Madame, there is no need for an operation. All is being controlled by your medication. We will simply monitor you regularly".

Well, what can I say? I almost felt like jumping on to his desk, pulling my dress above my head and performing the can can!!!

I had to giggle when, in his best English, he said that I would have to be tested to see if the menopause had 'been installed'! I had visions of a little white van arriving with two men in overalls with a tool kit to fit it!!

So.............. I skipped back down those marble steps like Ginger Rogers. 
Grey sky? What grey sky? Everything is rosy pink today.

Rose pink with an even rosier pink hue!!

With pink lustres !

Have a wonderful weekend mes belles.................I certainly will!!
A la prochaine