la Brocanteuse

Jun 29, 2012

Blue Brocante

Today was a good day for French  monogrammed serviettes amongst other linge..

We travelled along the river road , crossing a few bridges back and forth over the same river. I know it does not make sense, but the river meander in such a way and as settlements grew alongside, the road cross the same river at different sections to the same destination.

We found ourselves amongst wineries, vineyards and impressive old stone buildings.

I remember Jean d 'Arc from a previous trip,
stone flag over her right shoulder, oh why does no one want her in their vineyard or garden..I would find a space for her.

old French sandstone cheminees and fountains
 for sale

On our way back we stopped at the Boulangerie for a fresh baguette, simply because in France that is what one do..a fresh baguette every day, apart from the fact that Dd feels very French if she can march in and greet, order le pain or croissants and  as she swings  her hair on her way out, calls
"merci madam, au revoir!"

Back at the maison, we off loaded the ever popular banana boxes
filled with monogramme in blanc et rouge, torchons , sheets, and enough serviettes to set a banquet for 300 diners....

my own Brocante sign, now that is nothing special you may say..
for me it is very special indeed.
Ever since I have been buying from madam brocanteuse, I remember looking out for this blue sign after travelling little winding roads. I made a joke today, saying if one day the sign is gone, she must know I took it, because it gives me such a good feeling when I see it.
 When we got to  the the car after having a departing cafe, the sign was propped up as a gift for me!
So look out for the blue Brocante sign at my next event...!

Local village Brocante tomorrow, then a brocanteur I always  visit in Amboise..
Sunday Brocantes still to be decided on which and where....

sending you greetings from France


Jun 28, 2012

Searching at the brocante in France

Last Sunday was not a good day at the brocantes in our rained on and off, and usually that is a big  no-no for the  linen and vieux documents I am after... I have learned the hard way that linen bought on a rainy day, often have rust spots by the time it arrives in Afrique du Sud - home- after being  shipped and in transit for 5-6 weeks.

Of course there are plenty other French treasures to be found in drizzling weather..

We arrived at our first stop to find the vendors still setting coffee was welcome.

I found these Histoire de France -des origens a la Revolution  as they were being unpacked..

some smalls and we were ready to  move on to the next field...

we drove to four different markets, even with not much success at finding trouvaille, we had a lovely day taking in the scenery, with  clear skies by the end of  the day.

midweek brocante in the village

~old white lace~
This was my favorite brocanteuse of the day..I will go back to see her again. Her passion for old lace  shows in the way she shares.

can you spot your initials...
not much left but she promissed to have more on my next visit.

once again I found the right stack of books just as they were unloaded..

old pewter..

Tomorrow we will be leaving the maison  early again to meet the linen lady ~choosing more linen , this time concentrating on specific monogrammes ...all to be done early as we have been invited to lunch with her  after we have "worked"

untill the next brocante...
a bientot


Jun 24, 2012

French linen to choose from...

We left the French Maison early to be in time for our first appointment on this trip with one of the dealers that  source old French linen  for me...

 A few hours drive on narrow winding roads through beautiful villages,past majestic castles,  and deep into rural France..

The style of architecture  differs from one village to the next  and yet the same...

We had some rain along the way..luckily clearing up as we reached our destination.

The brocante sign indicated that we are still on the right road, reassuring since there were deviations , at least three more villages and we will be there...

...past more packed stone walls

 Arriving at the farmhouse of mr and mrs brocante where we have been choosing linen for three years now... There is a little store stacked with boxes marked "Colette"

Dd peeping inside the boxes awaiting us

...before running off to greet Patou

The sorting and choosing of chanvre, metisse, linge and dentelle has begun...oh how can I explain the excitement!!

5 hours later,  chosen, boxed and ready to be loaded..

The road back home..Dd has fallen asleep, Mr LB is concentrating on the road with deviations... and my mind is in the boxes...monogrammes...more monogrammes and gorgeous old French linen of all different textures and weight.

We stopped along the road at a little bistro for plat de jour, and arrived home tired but pleased. 26 Boxes stacked until further admin. French  sheets, all monogrammed,blanc et rougetorchonsservietteschemises....  tins filled with lace and buttons on original French cards.
I think we have found almost a third of the linen I would like to take back.The coming week I will focus on finding special orders on the list from  clients, make another trip to find  more  old French linen, and also look for vieux French documents..When all is found and more, we will  rent a  big truck to take all to the Paris warehouse  for shipping back to Afrique du Sud...phew...5 days gone, we should have enough time to fill the order and make time for a little holiday in between...each trip the order to fill is bigger, which of course is good, but more challenging to find. I love a challenge!

at the Maison:
those handy banana boxes again...
one strong banana box can pack 8 - 10 heavy French linen sheets,
or 100 torchons, or 18 chemises, or 80 - 100 serviettes, or at least 15 bistro table cloths...

I know you want to see what is inside....just a small preview:

Next: Brocante at Sille -Le-Guillaume

I have not been there before, but it  promises to be good with 180 dealers expected, and then off to three others while in the  Angers and Le Mans vicinity.
that should keep us busy for a day...

a Bientot