Puce du Canal, a Thrift Store, and a Brocante on Vacation

I love taking advantage of our family trips to do some shopping.  Unfortunately an illness delayed our trip by one day and put a serious dent in my planned shopping activities.  Thankfully I made up for my missed opportunities and I came home with a full car after all.  I mean, with 4 kids my car is always full, but I brought home plenty of treasures too.  To fit in this kind of shopping with 4 kids I plan stops during our drive, get up early, make sure there are fun things to do near by, and I pack food, lots of food.  It is wonderful how often there is a play ground near a brocante.  I have the most amazing husband in the world that gets excited about my treasures.

These green canning jars were a favorite find this week.  I have quite a few of the clear glass, but these heavy green jars from different companies are beautiful.  The enamel box has holes on the side that would make it easy to hang.  There are so many possibilities.

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Books, lots of old books.  The big one on the end is the “Codes de la Legislation Francaise”.  The date on the inside is 1858!  These books are all in French and all date back to the 1960s or earlier.  The Ville de Paris book is a translation of a Norwegian book into French.  I love it.

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This enamel pot stopped me in my tracks.  I was in a small town called Beaucaire at a Wednesday morning brocante.  We almost couldn’t find the brocante, thankfully my husband kept driving around this medieval town and we came across a parking lot with about 30 vendors.  I found this pot towards the end of my shopping.  I had to play it cool when I talked to the seller.  One handle is broken, but the size and paint job make up for any other defects in my eyes.


It is hard to see the handles on the sides of this enamel pan, but I love them.  I have quite a collection of vintage tins and these are really cool shapes with great patina.


I found a thrift store in Avignon that we had to go to the Industrial Zone to find.  My husband thinks I am crazy at times, finding in treasures in Europe often involves going to sketchy parts of town.  The thrift store was worth it, I was able to find this great vintage bowl and the fleur de lis glasses. The transfer ware bowl was from the brocante.DSC_0375

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These glasses were exactly what I was looking for.

This image from Pinterest has inspired me to collect dark colored glasses in all shapes, colors and sizes. 


Ah numbers, I love these enamel numbers.  I found these at the Puces du Canal in Lyon.  Again, not a great part of town, but some truly great collections.  We got there just as most of the outside vendors were closing up, but I did a quick walk around and found a few things worth dragging home.


This pitcher and basin is in great condition.  It is French vintage and I love the simplicity.DSC_0389

Blue transfer ware that is extremely dirty.  I am going to clean this up and we will be using this as part of our every day.


My glasses again and a great vintage book about champagne.


I picked up this little red suitcase in Lyon.  I used it to carry all of my purchases for the day and I got several comments from the dealers about how cute it was and how practical it was.  Have I mentioned that I love red?

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The yellow and green makes me think of my Baylor friends back in Texas.  The cowboy boots are Sanchez, Made in Spain boots.  They are too big for me, but they made me think of home so I had to get them.  How cute is this little book?  Bill, le brave Cowboy, printed in 1951 in France.  I was definitely feeling a little home sick as I did my shopping. All of my friends back in Houston are posting their Rodeo pictures and I am feeling far from home.  It is hard to believe that I haven’t been in Texas in almost 3 years.  I am not from Texas and I never thought I would feel homesick for this state, but life is unpredictable in so many fun ways.

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A couple of fun road signs finish up my finds for this week.  I love the 5 sign, how can you even go 5 km per hour?  Th 1 Km sign is going to look great with the rest of the red in my house.  I just have to find a piece of wall to hang it on.

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Waterloo Brocante

We had been to Waterloo once before on our Belgium weekend back in November.  I had a lot of fun at the Waterloo Brocante and I was ready to go back.  We planned a weekend with several of our friends and their families.  We all rented rooms at Dolce in La Hulpe, Belgium.  The hotel is about 15 minutes from the brocante and has an indoor pool.

I had been told that things at the Waterloo Brocante got started early, 4 AM.  My friend that was going shopping with me was not sure about a 4 AM start, but we did get going by 6 AM.  We were parking at the Carrefour by 6:25 and things were in full swing.  I was so excited I forgot my phone so I don’t have any photos of our early morning adventures.  Most of the vendors were set up and there were quite a few people scanning with their flash lights.  Oops, we had forgotten ours!  Thankfully we were able to see a few things still and I started collecting treasures.  The sun was up by 8 and it was amazing how different the market looked with some light.  We had told our families that we would grabs some breakfast from the MacDonald’s and bring it back to the hotel.  Another friend joined us and we went back for more.  There were a lot more shoppers at this point, it is definitely worth it to get to this market early, even if it is cold and dark.

I did manage to get some photos in the afternoon.  The first few are from one of my favorite places from the day.  This young guy spoke some english and was very nice.  He was willing to deal and he had some great pieces.

This “Poissonnerie” sign was amazing.


I loved this sign, but it was a little more than I wanted to spend for something like this.


These were all old fashioned portraits.


There was lots of enamelware, tin, signs, mannequins, and some great furniture.


He just kept pulling treasures out of his van, but I noticed he was packed up rather early and on his way just after 12.  Most of the vendors were still there at 1 when we finally left.

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This next set of pictures is from a very different kind of booth, but just as expected.  They have all of their stuff in boxes piled around.  You have to dig for want you want and then ask for a price.  You can find some great things in these boxes.  I found a hanging scale, granny square afghans, and a brown bottle.

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Here are a few more shots from the brocante.  I could have spent more time just walking around taking photos, but I had a car full of sleepy kiddos ready to drive home.

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The brocante went from whereI was standing all the way to the MacDonald’s on the other side of the parking lot.

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I spoke to one dealer early in the morning and he gave us some insight to how this whole brocante works.  He  had left his house in Holland at 1:30 AM to get to Waterloo around 4:00 AM.  Then it was time to wait in line, apparently the whole thing is first come first serve.  This guy I spoke to was super nice and his English was excellent.  His selection was great too.  I am so bummed I didn’t get a photo of his booth.

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Just a few of the dogs of the brocante. Borcante dogs deserve a post all on their own.

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My chairs waiting to be loaded into my car.  I found all 5 over the course of the morning.  I carried 2 of them around for a while, but they are not light.  I bought a few more and thankfully the seller was willing to keep them for me.


And finally, my treasures at home.


Grain sacks, enamelware, copper, old signs, and silver; I was a very happy shopper.

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Mason’s transferware tray, yellow mini cake stands and yellow plates.  The green transfer ware are Napoleon plates, I got a stack of 9 of the Napoleon plates.



This little clock was an impulse buy, and I am so glad I grabbed it.  It is a Kienzle, German made clock and it still works!


When I bought the helmet the man told me it was American from WW II.  I had my doubts, but the price was okay.  I thought it would be a good learning tool to take home and do some research.  Now that I have it home I am almost positive it is not what I thought it was, but it is still neat looking.


When I saw this plate I didn’t think it was that old, but when I turned it over I saw this stamp and then the name of the pattern and I knew I had to get it.  “Florida”


This silver tray is pretty tarnished, but it is a good size and it has “Belle Vue” engraved on it.DSC_0409

This is a vintage mustard jar.  You can see the stamp on the bottom, it is from Sarreguemines I think.


I managed to get all of this shopping done in 2 – 2 hour shopping sessions.

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Getting ready for Valentine’s Day

I had a coffee for a few of the moms that live in my neighborhood.  I decided to do a Valentine’s Day theme of pink and yellow.  I had so much fun going through all of my finds and picking out my favorite pink pieces. Apparently I like pink because I had a lot to choose from.


I used a collection of linens that I have found while here.  The chicken feeder is filled with tea lights.  I love the shape of this chicken feeder with the long skinny table that we have in the dining room now.


The pink, yellow and touches of aqua in this table cloth are my favorite right now.


This little piece of embroidered loveliness makes me happy.


I was ready with forks, spoons, and napkins ready to go.


 I got to display one of my flamingo plates.  I adore these plates.


The coffee and tea station was ready to go.  Everyone here drinks their hot beverages a little bit differently.  I have friends that drink American style coffee, espresso, English tea, and fruit tea. I was ready for anything.


I fixed a few treats and had a lovely morning with some of my friends.  I love sitting around with a warm beverage and getting to talk with my friends. If you are ever in the area I would love to have you over for a chat.

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Copper Love

  I was talking to a friend the other day about what kinds of treasures they would like to find while living here in France.  One thing that came up was copper, or le cuivre in French.   I love copper as well and I have slowly but surely been building my collection.  I gathered as many pieces as I could from around my house, there are a few that I couldn’t reach, and arranged them in my dining room. DSC_0027   These pieces have come from all over; local brocantes, the Waterloo Brocante, and Emmaus.         DSC_0023 This little copper scale is one of my favorite pieces.  I am hoping to have a big enough kitchen when we settle down one day to display some of these classic copper pieces that I have.  Many of the copper pots I have still have the tinning on the inside and I would be using them, except that copper does not work on an induction stove top.  Just another reason I am dreaming of a gas cook top one day.


I also have a Pinterest board full of some of the most inspirational photos of copper.

Do you have a favorite piece of copper?

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