Le Creuset Collection

Before I moved to France I always loved the idea of a cast iron dutch oven.  Of course Le Creuset was the ideal, but I never thought that I would be able to have one in my kitchen.  Then I moved to France and I started visiting brocantes, vide grenier and any other sale I could find.  The first time I saw one I about fell over myself getting to it.  That was one of the first times I was really happy to have my rolling market bag with me, these are HEAVY.  I have loved finding each of these pieces.  I use a couple of these daily, but most of them are just a part of my ever growing collection.

Le Creuset was first produced in 1925 in France. Today all of the cast iron pieces are still created here in France.  The flame orange was the original color, with many beautiful choices today.  The reputation of the Le Creuset name is what first attracted me to them, but the quality of the products are what keep me coming back for more.
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The Tostador piece, below, was introduced in 1955.  It is in great condition like many of the pieces I have found.

Some of them you can tell have received a lot of use, others look like they have never held food. ¬†I use my large ‘cocotte’ all the time and I love how my food turns out when I use it.

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I found these two white with blue pieces at different locations, but they are from the same pattern.  Neither of them look like they have been used before.  I love the delicate pattern of blue on white, so classic.

The brown piece is in wonderful condition as well.

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Do you have any pieces of Le Creuset?

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New Furniture Fun

This piece of furniture sat at a local thrift store for quite a while. ¬†Last month I had decided that if it was still there I was going to buy it. ¬†Once we got it in the house I loved it even more. ¬†St. Patrick’s Day came and I used that as my inspiration to decorate it. ¬†I pulled together several of my green pieces.

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My Underwood typewrite sits on top of the marble and makes a great resting place for a piece of Mason’s transfer ware.

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My teal plate is a piece of St. Hamand, from the north of France.  The small plate has a scene with Josephine and Napoleon, 2 of my favorite characters from French history.  I have a whole series of these plates that I would love to display more prominently on day.  I found the plates at the Waterloo Brocante, quite fitting to find a piece of Napoleon memorabilia.

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The little green enamel tea pot is a recent find from this past Sunday.  I took all 4 of my children (ages 7 and under) to a local brocante and we all had a good time.  It was a more casual sale with a range of items for sale.  All of the kids got a toy and I got a few treasures.  I love the memories that go with each of my treasures.

Here is the other piece of furniture that I bought the same day.  This piece came with a mirrored door that was no longer attached.  I am planning on using the mirror separately, I love the open shelving look that this piece bring to our living room.  There is a piece of trim missing at the top, I have it, but I need to get wood glue in order to fix it.

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Here are close ups of each of the shelves.  Transferware, enamelware, milk glass, and old books; a few of my favorite things.

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I love this shelf and I love having a place to display all of these special pieces.

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You will notice there is no glass on the bottom shelf, my youngest is only 17 months old so I have to be able to decorate around his curious little hands.

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Have a beautiful day!

Yellow and Lavender Spring

Here in Paris spring is coming. Spring is my favorite season here and these precious daffodils are just the beginning of the beauty that is coming.

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My littlest helper is never very far when I am outside.  I think he is as ready for spring as any one.

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While spring is coming outside, I decided to work on bringing spring time inside.

This is the view you get when you walk into our home. I love the bright lavender and yellow as you first come in.  Do you see my African masks peaking on the side?  They were brought back from Nigeria, my husband gets to spend some time there and I love the exotic touch they add.

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The large platter in the middle is a recent purchase from the Foire de Chatou.  It is marked Bryonia on the back.  It was made by Sarreguemines in the late 1800s and it is in perfect condition. I love it so much and love having it front and center in my house.

My other favorite is¬†this purple transfer ware plate from the top row shows the “La Vie du Soldat” (Life ¬†of the Soldier) “Le Depart” ¬†My husband left for long military deployments¬†twice earlier in our marriage and that moment of saying good bye is one of the hardest I have endured. ¬†With out the good bye you don’t get the homecoming though and those are some of the best days of my life!

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I have amassed such a large collection of plates, enamelware, and fun decorating pieces that I don’t always know what I have. ¬†I started working on my plate display, pulling out some of my favorite pieces and seeing what I had to go with them. ¬†The lavender pieces have become some of my favorite pieces in my collection. ¬†The family photo in the background is one of my all time favorites. ¬†It was taken in Texas right before we left for Norway.

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I hope you have enjoyed this view yellow and lavender spring in my home.

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Going to Waterloo in the Big Truck

Have you ever been at a market or store and thought, ‘If only I had a truck to get this treasures home!’ ? ¬†That happens to me all the time here in France. ¬†There is one store I go to that has an awesome delivery service and I usually only buy my furniture there. ¬†I had been to Waterloo, Belgium a couple of times and they always seem to have a ton of fun BIG things there. ¬†I have been contemplating the idea of renting a truck for a while, but the cost and time and logistics have always held me back.

After some careful planning and some other big adventures that are coming into the picture I was able to rent a truck and take a friend from Paris to Waterloo.

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On our adventure we saw this sign for a “Vide Maison”. ¬†In the city where I live you are not allowed to sell things from your home like a garage sale, but that is exactly what this vide mason was like. ¬†I pulled that giant truck right onto their street and stopped to look around.

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We got to Waterloo Saturday evening and stayed at a hotel in the city.  We were up at 4:00 am and at the market by 4:45 am. I had made my first purchase by flashlight by 5:20.  It was crazy, but we were not the only crazy people there.

This giant window was just stunning, but it did not come home with m.e  We walked by it so many times as we shopped and carried treasures back to the truck.

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This vendor had such a beautiful selection of china. ¬†There were pieces from Belgium, France, and England. I love this picture even thought I didn’t buy anything from her.

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Now on to some of the things I did buy!

This metal piece and of course copper.  This stack of copper was so heavy, thankfully I had my rolling back with me.

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This sign is in Flemish and thankfully the vendor spoke great English. ¬†He did his best to explain what it translated to, but I didn’t write it down so I am going to have to ask my friend that was with me.DSC_0928

This sweet little book had an inscription with 1945 on the inside.DSC_0935

All of these amazing tins!  There are almost 30 different shapes and sizes and they are in great condition.DSC_0941

This bowl caught my eye, but I was trying to buy bigger pieces so I passed it by.  Then my friend that was with me picked it up.  I checked out the back, saw what good shape it was in and decided to get it after all.  I think the mark is from 1968-1990 from the German Democratic Republic.

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Chicken feeders! I am hoping to use the one on the right as a plate stand.

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Isn’t she beautiful? ¬†I found her while I was shopping in the dark with my flash light. ¬†I knew I wanted her, but I didn’t know how much I loved her until I saw her in the day light. ¬†She has Paris and the name of an artist on her back shoulder.

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This is a bread board, with initials carved at the top.

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This is coffee table height and I love the legs and the color of the top.

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Here is my find of the day, a 19th century farmhouse table.  This was my first purchase of the day and my favorite one.

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My friend and fellow shopper took this picture of me on the road, driving the big truck.  This was a big adventure, and the start of an even bigger adventure and I have been so anxious about everything according to plan.  I am so thankful that this weekend went off with out a hitch.

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I hope you enjoyed seeing my finds and following along on my trip to Waterloo in the Big Truck.

I am sharing with

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Foire de Chatou Spring 2015

West of Paris there is a town named Chatou.  There is an island in the Seine that is a part of Chatou, it is call the Ile des Impressionnistes.  Impressionist painters used to come to the restaurant on this island and Renoir has a famous painting that was set here.  Twice a year part of the island is devoted to the Foire de Chatou et le Foire de Jambon.  Cool old stuff and ham, 2 great things to celebrate.    I have been to the last 2 events and I was excited to get to visit this show as well.  I usually would not have gone on the opening weekend, the show runs for 2 weeks, but because I have a full schedule over the next 2 weeks we decided to go as a family on Saturday.  This is my youngest all dressed for a day at the market.  He is our French baby through and through.

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We made sure we were up early to get decent parking.  Did I mention the event is held on an island?  A long skinny island with limited parking.  There is a little train that brings people from the train station in Rueil Malmasison to the front gates, but as for parking you can walk a long way.  We were lucky and got there around 9:40 and got great parking.  We only and to wait outside for 20 minutes, the gates opened promptly at 10.  By the time the gates opened there were quite a few people waiting to get in.  The fee to get in is 6 euros per adult.  After our 12 euro entry we were ready to start shopping.  Here is my oldest ready to go, she got herself dressed for the day and I love her look.

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I always love how most vendors seem to arrive at about 9:55 and are still opening their booths at opening time.  It is worse during the week because there is even less traffic.  These gorgeous mannequins were sold the 1st day of the show.  They were a hot ticket item this year, I saw at least 10.  Each more expensive than the last.

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These three lanterns would be so much fun to use on a house.

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On my to buy list is a French farm house table.  I want to find  a show stopper, and I found 2.  These tables were sitting side by side with the same vendor.  The tops are all reclaimed wood and are absolutely amazing, with amazing price tags to match.

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Have you ever eaten at a table set with knife rests? ¬†I haven’t, but I have several friends that are interested in buying a set. ¬†This vendor had great prices and a nice selection. ¬†I love when friends ask me about a certain item, I notice things that I might not otherwise see.

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These decorative metal pieces were gorgeous.

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I have looked at a lot of vintage linen since moving to France and would you believe I have never seen my monogram before?  The vendor says it almost never works out that you find your own, but I did.  Unfortunately her prices were just a little too steep.  At least I was able to get this picture.  Maybe one day I will find a set that I can bring home.

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Did I mention the food?  This is a ham festival too after all.  There is an entire row dedicated to eating.  There are fresh oysters, meat and cheese, and then ham.  This first one is amazing.  I ate there 3 times last time the show was on.  This year I decided to branch out and try the raclette dish on the right.  It was like scalloped potatoes and it was amazing.  It was all amazing.  We sat down and enjoyed our lunch.  Then my husband took the kids out to throw rocks in the river while I finished up a bit of browsing.IMG_0015 IMG_0016

This silver pitcher was great and I am still thinking about this white pitcher too.

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These green archive boxes were so interesting, I love the green.

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These pictures are from the same vendor.  What a statement all of their pieces make.

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When it is lunch time for the vendors they don’t cut corners. ¬†I have seen table clothes, glass stemware and off course their espresso after the meal. ¬†If you are trying to shop during lunch time be prepared to be ignored. ¬†If you want a price you have to really work to get their attention. ¬†I love this picture because they were using chairs that were for sale to sit in.

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This pair of chairs had such a velvety, cozy fabric, and I love the lines.

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Enamelware pitchers get me every time.  The pink and green on this was so different and fun.  I was already carrying an enamel pitcher so I left this one for the next collector.

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I think this is my favorite photo from the day.  These were all different patterns and makers, but oh so beautiful.

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So my sister is a hair stylist so this sign caught my eye.  How fun would this be to have outside your vintage styled studio?  I took a picture and checked the price.  The 500 euro price tag was a shock, even after a day of browsing these gorgeous pieces.  I was even more shocked when I wen back later in the evening and the sign was gone!

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More mannequins, they seemed to be really popular this time around. ¬†It might just be that I am noticing them more now, but I don’t remember seeing quite this many before.

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Torchon any one?  This was just one of the vendors with stacks of vintage kitchen towels.

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There were several more shelves full of these vintage cafe au lait bowls.  I stopped in my tracks when I saw this collection.

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A final great display of vintage toy cars.

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And in the end this is what I brought home. ¬†Compared to how I usually shop I know it isn’t much, but I am really pleased with what I did find. ¬†My purple transfer ware are two matching serving plates that are almost 2 feet long. ¬†They are heavy and gorgeous. ¬†I did not buy them from the collection pictured above, they were tucked at the back of a bottom shelf in another booth. ¬†I am so in love with them I am considering decorating a room around them. ¬†The enamel pitcher is a white and tan speckled pattern. ¬†The red and white enamel container is a different shape than most I have and I love it. ¬†The yellow basket has leather handles and dates back to the 60s. ¬†The gravy boat was made in England, the bowl has pink flowers and was made in Holland. ¬†The blue rimmed plate has a bunny in the middle and the paper egg was made in Germany. ¬†I picked up a table cloth with a great monogram and a few napkins with monograms. ¬†Overall it was a good day. ¬†I was happy to see some of my favorite vendors and to discover some new favorites as well and any day spent in the sunshine is a plus.

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I hope you enjoyed my little tour of the Foire de Chatou.  I am sharing with

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Vintage French Bible Collection

Something that I love to collect are Bibles in other languages. ¬†My collection started with a Tagalog Bible after my mission trip to the Philippines when I was 14. ¬†Then I had a Spanish/English Bible that I loved to read in high school and college as my Spanish got better. ¬†In Norway I was excited to find a Norwegian Bible even though it isn’t old.

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Here in France I have found a lot of old books, but finding a Bible took me a while.  I found 2 great examples in Lille at the Grand Braderie last year, a Bible and  a New Testament.  I found another New testament along my adventures and then this weekend at the Porte de Vanves I found this velvet covered book.  I knew the size was right, but I have been disappointed so many times.  I opened the front page and I saw this.

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None of the family information was filled in in the front of the Bible, but it is a complete Bible in pretty good condition.

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In the back of the Bible this page shows that the book was printed in 1949.DSC_0419

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Both of the Bibles have their own covers that have probably helped to keep them together.  I love how this book was truly used and loved.

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This is a very special little stack of books in our house.

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