At The Country Brocante

On Saturday our family set out for another adventure. The directions took us cross country and it was fantastic. ¬†This house was on our way and it was so pretty. ¬†It was a great way to start out our adventure day. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out to take 4 kids, a puppy and a husband to an antique show. My family has come along for so ¬†many of my shopping trips and they always find something to do and have fun. It was so nice to have an event where there were so many fun activities.

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The Country Brocante was an event I found through Instagram. They hold events at different locations in England through out the year.  The promotion for the event on Instagram was very good and enticing, since it was only an hour away we decided to go. When we pulled up the parking lot the view was so intriguing. The Cowdray Estate is an historic site of a grand home. The ruins were a big draw for Jon and the kids.

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My mini me ready for some treasure hunting and crafting.

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Sorry for this blurry pic and the fact that I don’t have the owner’s name. He had a great space full of amazing French finds. This first tent was full of French Brocante style finds that were displayed so well.¬†IMG_7860

I snapped this picture of the pillow because I love the colors. The workmanship on their pillows was really great. Sorry again I didn’t get their name.

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Honeysuckle and Roses (@honeyseuckle_and_roses) had a fantastic set up, great French treasures and the owners were so very sweet.

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More Honeysuckle and Roses. IMG_7864IMG_7866

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A hat and the embroidered torch both came home with me. That ladder was amazing!IMG_7869

My other favorite dealer was with Ostrich and Silkworm (@ostrichandsilkworm). Her sweet pup had the best seat in the house for people watching.

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More gorgeous French finds from Ostrich and Silkworm.

 

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See that embroidered pansy in that basket? The table cloth is linen and the embroidery is incredible. I came home with that table cloth as well.

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Besides all of the gorgeous vintage and antique items were the kids activities. The crown decorating table set in the ruins was perfect for our whole crew. IMG_7877

There was a small fee for the crafts, but so worth it.fullsizeoutput_c163

Malachi needed a little help, but even he had fun decorating his crown as well. fullsizeoutput_c165

Addison got to go to a class on basic stitching taught by Liz Jones (@lizjonesmakes). IMG_7897

In about an hour she was able to make this work of art! She is now passionate about creating with fabric and thread and I love it.IMG_7898

And before we left we all got ice cream from the on site truck. The ice cream was so good, and the view wasn’t bad either. ¬†Garrett seemed pretty relaxed after a full day of shopping and crafts.¬†fullsizeoutput_c167

We stopped at the little river outside the grounds for the kids to play. These kids love throwing rocks into water. DSC_0774

Malachi needed to ‘rinse off his boots’. He loved that he could walk into the water.¬†DSC_0778

And then on the way home everyone was worn out, the best way to end an adventure. The gun was from a boot sale (British garage sale) we had visited early in the morning.  IMG_7912

Here are all of the purchases from The Country Brocante. I bought more than I thought I would, but I love it all! The yellow fabric is going to become pillows. Hopefully that project will get done before we move out of this house, Ha! The red embroidered B is on a piece of clothing that I am SO excited about. Now I just need the right event to debut that exciting find. fullsizeoutput_c18e

If you are in England and looking for a fun event for the whole family I highly recommend The Country Brocante. I have shopped at a lot of antique and vintage shows, and this was the best one that I have been to when it comes to the whole family, including our puppy. The crafts and food and historic location were perfect for all of us.

 

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A Black and White Vintage Table Setting

 

This week on Instagram the #ColorHop challenge is for Black and White. I have several new to me pieces of black and white that I am in love with so this was an easy choice for me. This little creamer is a vintage piece by Johnson Bros and I absolutely love the shape.  The urn is an antique piece by Copeland. DSC_0144

The bowls are stamped Bedford, and I love their black and white pattern. Bedford is the name of the town I lived in here in England when I was a baby. The little chocolate cups are Asiatic Pheasants by Wedgewood.

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This platter dates back to 1860, I can’t believe what good condition it is in after all this time.¬†DSC_0163

Did you see the hand embroidered work on the table cloth? I love collecting the way that I do. Each of these pieces were bought separately, just because I liked them. As I get pieces home I love putting them together and seeing what themes emerge. Now I am ready to have friends over for soup, cold soup because it is HOT here in England right now.

 

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Car Boot Antique Shopping

If you follow me on Instagram then you probably saw this loot shoot photo from Saturday morning. This photo has gotten the most likes of any photo I have ever posted. I’m not sure if it is the items in there or just the extreme quantity, but I thought I would tell you a little more about this shopping trip.

Car boot sales here in England are held every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday across the country. There are websites that list their locations and hours. I have visited quite a few car boots and I have a few favorites now.

This particular boot sale is less than 20 minutes from my house and is held every Saturday. That makes it wonderful and dangerous. Boot sales are not antique markets. Sunbury Antique Market that I visit frequently is a much more curated event. A boot sale is more like a garage sale. Cars show up the morning of the sale, pay their entry and set out their goods. When you shop a boot sale you have to be able to look past the stalls of baby clothes, kids toys, fidget spinners, and all the other nonsense. But, if you look closely you can find some truly amazing pieces. Some of the sellers at boot sales are house clearance companies. They go in and clean out a home when someone dies or has to move to assisted living. There are professional antique dealers and then there are people just selling things from their home or their family. If you know what you are looking for you can find so many treasures (see below).

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I buy a very random assortment of treasures and see how it settles when I get home. Sometimes I go with an item in mind that I would like, usually I just have my eyes open and ready. IMG_7170

I met two sweet sisters that were clearing out their mum’s treasures. She is doing poorly and so they were selling some of her treasures. The commemorative mugs were hers.¬†IMG_7172

When I get home I put together this little collection. The pink tea pot has a chipped spout, but I love the pink flowers. The black vase is Copeland and in PERFECT condition. I told my husband I wanted to redecorate a room around that piece. IMG_7182

I found both of these creamers at the boot sale, I already had the tea cup and sauces and the cheese dish. It is so gratifying to think I found a match and get home and find out I am right!

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An unusual theme this shopping trip were the man themed pieces, Father’s Day is coming up! The Guardsman is the pitcher in the back, everything I found says he is from the 1930’s. IMG_7185

The tea cup and plate are so cute, with Dad’s T.V. Set on the plate.¬†IMG_7186

This scale was the last find of the day, I am thankful because it was heavy. It is a personal weighing machine, Ha! The mirror is in fantastic condition and I am over the moon about it. These green books are from the same boot sale last month. IMG_7189

These brass and ceramic  cheese knives are so special. IMG_7190

This book makes me think of all the brocantes and vide greniers that I visited in France. I love old books and when they are pink and French that makes them about perfect. IMG_7196

This is my newest collection, almost entirely from the last boot sale. The yellow lined vase was the first find a few weeks ago. I thought it looked like the Little Mermaid and it made me smile. When I brought it home and researched it I realized that it was Thistle Ware from Scotland. I found all of the other pieces at the same stall and snapped them up without a thought. Our family is taking a road trip this summer and I will be on the look out for more of these pieces. IMG_7241

I hope you enjoyed this walk through my car boot treasures. Do you see anything else that you would like to know more about?

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Blue and White Explosion

Did you see my explosion of blue and white last week? I had to rearrange my shelves a bit and thought I would have some fun in the process.  This is a collection of blue and white pulled together in the last 6 months of living in England. Some of the pieces did come from our Easter trip to France. Do you see George Washington peaking out from the back? That plate was made in England and I love him so much. IMG_6282

Here are a couple of newer pieces that are part of my collection.

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So much blue and white love.

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Love this petit tea pot. IMG_6278

The blue and white talking plates in the front are dance themed and so special. IMG_6284

This pitcher was a recent find and such a steal, only .50 GBP! Even with the exchange rate that is less than $1. It does have a few imperfections at the top, but I am over the moon about this piece. IMG_6308

And here is one of my platters in use. Strawberry season in England is amazing, absolutely amazing! I have had requests several times for these muffins this week. I am so thankful for pinterest recipes. IMG_6210

Do you love blue and white? It is not my favorite transfer ware, but I can not stop myself when I see these amazing pieces at markets.

Nissim de Camondo Museum in Paris

For spring break this year our family decided to go back to France. We lived just outside of Paris for 2 years, our youngest child was born in France, and we still have friends living in the area. We were not traditional Paris tourists. We drove by our old house, we visited with our American friends in the suburbs (eating hot dogs and hamburgers and pizza). We were there over Easter so it was very special to get to visit our old church.

We did go by the Eiffel Tower, the kids played at the Jardin du Luxembourg, and we picked one museum to visit. We were on our way to the Louvre or the D’Orsay, but decided at the last minute to visit the Nissim de Camondo museum. I had never been to this museum, but I had always been told I NEEDED to see it. When I walked through the doors I understood why my friends had encouraged me to visit.

The kitchen at the Nissim de Camondo held so many treasures. My kids recognized so many things that I have collected over the years.

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The house has a fascinating and somewhat tragic history. I recommend you visit the website here and read some of the history. The house and everything in it was donated as a museum when the son of the owner, Moise Camondo, was killed during World War I. Moise lived in the house until his death in 1935 when he turned it over to the city with the stipulation that everything remain where it was at that time. The museum staff has made every effort to honor these wishes. The house and its furnishings are truly remarkable.

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I took so many photos, I was so inspired by this place. DSC_0413

To think that Moise lived here is interesting, but to know he lived here by himself is so sad.DSC_0418

The library is not an expansive library, but it was beautiful. Even Moise admitted before his death that he had neglected his library. There was commentary about the height of the top floor being decided by the wood paneled walls of the library. I love details like that. DSC_0443

Do you know what is right around the corner from the Nissim de Camondo Museum? Park Monceau. Not only does it have this gorgeous bridge, but it has a playground for the little people in your life. I was able to capture all of these images because my husband took all 4 of our littles to the playground while I got to spend as much time as I wanted to in the museum.

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Brocante Treasures at Marburger Farm Spring 2017

I still can’t believe that I get to write about my experience of being a vendor at Marburger Farm. I remember hearing about this amazing show and then shopping this spectacle with camera in hand. I was so inspired by so many of the vendors my first time visiting this show and now I call many of those vendors friends.

Here are the photos that my sister and I took of my booth over the course of the show. As things would sell we would rearrange and several evenings found us staying late to completely reset the space.

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Opening day at Marburger is such an exciting time. The local radio is broadcasting live from the show and people start lining up 2 hours before opening to get in. The vendors have all spent so much time perfecting their look and the energy is just fun. Our morning started off pretty well when designer Emily Henderson stopped by to shop. ¬†Emily was staying at the Vintage Round Top so we¬†watched her insta story while Laura did my hair that morning. Emily was shopping with her team and Chairish Co. They were all so fun and nice and it was interesting to see what they were drawn to. You can see a picture of Emily Henderson and Anna Brockway shopping in my booth on Emily’s website.¬†¬† They are having a special sale with pieces the team collected in Round Top so if you couldn’t make it to any of the shows there are hand selected amazing pieces available for you.

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And here is Paige Hull of the Vintage Round Top. What an encouragement Paige and her husband, Smoot, have been to me. They are inspiring business people and kind people.

My super cute shirt was made by Momma B’s Work of Heart on Etsy. She is a friend of mine and I love how she was able to make my sister and I matching shirts. If only we could have gotten a picture of us together, oops. The shirts are still adorable.

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Here are some of the treasures I had at the show. It is an eclectic mix of French, English and Texas treasures. I loved watching people get drawn into the space and then seeing them discover something special. I really do love my job.

 

 

I really couldn’t have made it through the week without my amazing sister. She was helpful and encouraging and fun! I enjoyed introducing her to some of my Round Top favorites, including Royer’s Pie for breakfast, Royer’s Cafe for dinner, Two Sparrows Roasting Co. Coffee, and JW’s Steakhouse.

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I hope that you enjoyed this little walk through Brocante Treasures¬†at Marburger Farm Spring 2017 show. If you ever have the chance to shop Round Top I highly recommend you make the trip. I love this little piece of Texas and I can’t wait for the fall show.

 

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Behind the Scenes of this Round Top Adventure

Just over 2 weeks ago I packed up 2 very full suitcases and got a plane bound for Houston, Texas. I was ready for my Round Top adventure. Round Top, Texas is the home of Antique Week held in the spring and fall of each year. This was my first time going to Round Top from overseas and I knew it would be challenging. Flying in and getting over the jet lag were just the first hurdles. I rented a 26′ Uhaul to transport my treasures from storage in Houston out to Round Top. I only had the truck and had to run all of my errands in the beast. I am so thankful that everything went according to plan while I was getting ready in Houston.

Besides getting to set up at Marburger Farm for the second time I had another exciting thing happen on this trip. We had decided to buy a house in the Round Top area for me to use as a home base. We found the house online, had our realtor look at it, made an offer, and signed all of the closing documents in England. While in Texas I drove my fully loaded beast of a truck to the closing and dropped off the documents, THEN I got to see our new cottage. Thankfully it all went well. I have had more than a few crazy looks while telling this story. This house is just part of the beauty around our new cottage. It isn’t much yet, but I am looking forward to working on the property.

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The beast of a truck became a problem after a heavy rain storm when it got stuck, very stuck. My amazing neighbors tried to help pull me out, and when that didn’t work they let me borrow their extra car. There are still good people in the world that are nice just because they can be. I am so thankful for the new friends I made over this whole adventure. The truck did eventually get unstuck with some help from a friendly and genius tow truck driver.¬†IMG_4160

Have you ever heard of the Vintage Round Top? The bed and breakfast they have in Round Top is adorable and they are a pretty amazing husband and wife team. They hosted a workshop in their newest cottage, Boho. The speakers they brought in were top notch and the networking was a lot of fun. I get teased that I follow (insta-stalk) people, but I just appreciate people that work hard and are good at what they do. At this workshop I got to meet so many people that I admire, including Paige and Smoot. It is worth the time, energy and money involved in growing as a business person. Small businesses are hard and any time you can help or be helped int his business is a good thing. I am looking forward to using the advice I got here to make my business better.

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I have seen this cottage photographed so many times, getting to stand here and take this photo myself was so cool.IMG_4163

Here I am face timing with my Mom and my youngest. My Mom is amazing and flew to England for a whole month to help keep our home running. As a stay at home mom of four I didn’t realize just how much I did until I had to write it all down for someone else to do.

I did leave notes for each day for each of my family members. I wasn’t sure if it would help the kids, who I have never left for this long before. It turns out that the short notes were a huge hit with everyone, totally worth the time they took me to write and organize.

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This is what a 12′ x 20′ spot with walls looks like at Marburger Farm when you first get there. At this point I was exhausted and still dealing with jet lag and HEAT. I felt unorganized and overwhelmed. The first day was just for covering the walls. I only got about 2/3 of the way done before I ran out of steam and left for the night.¬†IMG_4150

This is what a 12′ x 20′ space looks like when you empty most of a 26′ truck into it. Yikes! On this day I worked for 13 hours unloading and getting things generally into place. It was a long day with crazy weather, but I was safe and dry and able to get so much done. I have more pictures to share of my finished space and how it evolved through the week. That post will be around soon.¬†IMG_4157

Before the show started my reinforcements showed up in the form of my sister, Laura. She is a hairdresser in the Panhandle of Florida and she was a lifesaver. She loves all of my treasures as much as I do and she did some amazing up dos during the week. This day she did a retro look that was so much fun. IMG_4262

As you can see setting up at Marburger is not always fun and games. I have never seen people work as hard as they do in Round Top. I am always in awe of the creativity that comes together to make Antique Week happen. Marburger Farm is a very special group of people that bring their absolute best. I am honored to be among them and work side and side.

There were several really fun things that happened during the show, stay tuned for the next post!