I am one of “those” people. Those fleamarket people. It’s like a little band of gypsies. Rising early, traveling to sometimes slightly seedy destinations, usually a field, sometimes still dark outside, wearing a uniform of jeans, T-shirt, warm sweater, usually a scarf, coffee in hand, extra bags, rolling cart, extra newspapers for wrapping… It’s not exactly glamorous… Oh but yet, it is.Have you ever actually felt happiness? I have and it’s usually at a fleamarket/brocante. It’s a very euphoric feeling to be the first one at a fleamarket… The thrill of the hunt is intoxicating. For the past month I have been going to every fleamarket and brocante that I can find. My new favorite website is Vide-Greniers.org. The Vide-Greniers website gives you a list of every fleamarket/brocante/vide-greniers in all of Europe. You just type in your location and a list pops up. There is also a list of icons to tell you what types of flea markets there are… I only go to brocantes or marche aux puces. There is something called vide-greniers which basically translates to “empty your attic “ which basically translates to “shit that you drag out of your house that you don’t want any more onto the street to sell.” I don’t do these.
After a month of hunting, bargaining, negotiating, and searching from Normandy, Provence, the French Alps and Paris… I have a new collection for all of you on the shop!I love all of the pieces equally but there are a couple that really stand out as my favorites.
First, a charming vintage French baguette slicer. This is the perfect piece to leave out on your countertop “for looks.” The good news is that it’s actually usable and if it doesn’t scream “Français” I don’t know what does.
My second favorite piece in the shop is a pair of 18th-century, yes, 18th-century chinoiserie wall shelves. I almost had a fleamarket heart attack when I saw these. There was a lady in front of me slightly blocking my way to get ahold of these wall shelves and I might have told one of my caregivers to push her out of the way so I could get my greedy little paws on them. And I did. And now they can be yours. If these were for sale on 1stdibs.com, they would be in the thousands of dollars, trust me. Never have I ever seen anything as sincere as these.
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned to all of you that I have a slight obsession with obscure serving pieces. Sometimes, during my day, I will research antique serving pieces on the Internet. I love to know what a particular fork or spoon is used for, historically. Oysters server, bacon fork, bonbon server, marrow scoop, tomato server… Pieces like these actually thrill me. Imagine my delight when I came across a plump little Frenchwoman in the French Alps who had the most beautiful collection of obscure serving pieces. They were all so beautiful that my heart actually started racing. A macaroon server? Yes, please! A Chantilly cream server? Yes, please!
I have a little love affair with French paintings… Not fancy ones… Just unostentatious ones (except if you offered me a Delacroix, I certainly wouldn’t refuse it.) Today I have two modest yet utterly charming paintings for you…
A couple of old favorites? Yep, I found the partner to the chinoiserie breakfast tray! What are the chances of that? I also found another Provençal bull’s head. This one is from the 1970s and it’s wicker!
I have a great collection of vintage French enamelware also. The salt cellars make my heart swoon. These are highly collectible items and I had to run over like 10 people in my wheelchair to get these. It’s okay, I won.
Ever since I started design stalking my favorite decorator, Dan Marty, I fell in love with antique bamboo furniture. Dan Marty always had the best collection. From bamboo armoires to bamboo headboards, I love it all. It feels English, French and Chinese all at the same time. It belongs in a beach cottage as easily as it does in a Parisian apartment. Today I have two different mirrors for you!
There is nothing better on a cold early morning than wrapping your hands around a piping hot bowl of café au lait warming you body and soul. The first set I have for you is porcelain with a gold decorative rim and a secret surprise on the bottom… A peacock! The second café au lait bowl is enamelware with a charming bird. I think this bowl would be great as a key/coin dish or even a planter.
All this and lots, lots more!
All right, now that I have wet your whistle… Shop away! The store is open! Click HERE!
*Something you don’t know about me? My mother has been an endless source of comedy for our family… Forever. My family kind of has a sick sense of humor and we like to laugh at tragedy… Like my ALS and my mother’s dyslexia. I mean, there’s nothing we can do about it so we might as well laugh, right? The best part about my mother’s dyslexia is that she mixes everything up into pure hysteria. As you know, Gracie has been with my mother, her grandmother, for the past few days in California. Gracie has been chronicling my mother’s faux pas’ and giving me updates so I can share it all with you. Don’t worry, my mother knows that I am sharing the comedy… She doesn’t care because she is the one laughing the hardest.
Here we go…
First of all, my mother has been calling Gracie the dog’s name.
Then, my mother explained to Gracie that she cannot pronounce the word “Sephora” or the word “oxygen” no matter how hard she tries.
Next up, my mother said the following sentence to Gracie… “Leonardo da Vinci bought a house in Palm Springs.” We are assuming she meant Leonardo DiCaprio but who knows.
Lastly, for today, Gracie told me that my mother goes to the gym every day to do her 100 miles on the treadmill and she listens to an audiobook… That audiobook is the Bible.
How hard are all of you laughing? I’m laughing at it as I write it! There are so many of these that I could write a book. Wait till I tell you about the first time my mother traveled to Europe.