Coming This Week – Gypsy Market

Starting Thursday night I will be set up at the Gypsy Market here in Spring, TX at the Klein Multi Purpose building. The building is on 2920, not far from the Grand Parkway. The doors open Thursday at 4, then all day Friday and all day Saturday. There are some truly great vendors and yummy food. There is an admission fee, but it is worth it.


I will have some of my treasures from France and England.

My broken china jewelry will be there too. These necklaces have so much character and are one of a kind. They make a great gift too.


As well as a few Texas treasures that I have found.




Blue and White Enamelware

I love Instagram, and @MyIdealMess started a new hashtag this week, #EnamelwareWednesday. I like using hashtags for inspiration and to see what other people do with the same prompt. I have been needing to organized my enamelware collection and seeing this tag gave me just the encouragement I needed to gather all of these beauties. These pieces were all gathered across France and Belgium during our time living in Europe.


There are so many layers of character in here. And that crate, one of my favorite finds in France. DSC_0349

Looking for something in particular? The dark blue tray is a wonderful farmhouse piece. I will be listing a few of these on Etsy and the rest will be coming with me to my fall shows.  My schedule is coming soon. DSC_0357

This 6 is one of the pieces from my personal collection, I love it for our family of 6.DSC_0360

This blue and white check pattern is a full set of pans. DSC_0362

Some of the pieces are a little rough, but I love the character they have. That little dark blue tea pot in front would be so charming with some flowers. I might need to go to Trader Joe’s to get a bouquet. I am feeling inspired.DSC_0364

If you have a piece of enamelware that you would like to share you can head over to Instagram. Make sure you tag @MyIdealMess, the host.


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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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

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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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Brussels and Bruges in Belgium

We had a long weekend in November so we decided to make the 3 hour trip from Paris to Belgium.  We drove into the city at dusk.  The buildings had a little bit different feel than in Paris, but they were still pretty.


Our hotel was on the north side of the city, but still very much in an urban setting.  This was at a point where the road went way and you had to drive on the tram tracks.  Things like this always make us a little nervous, but it was fine.


The next morning we were up and around early.  We took the tram into the city to do some exploring. I liked this window detail just outside of our hotel.


You could see this cathedral, Saint Marie, I believe, from our hotel.


This is more what the view was really like though.  It is amazing what a little bit of cropping will do to a city.


There were not many people out and about early on a Saturday mooring.


We had a beautiful day.


Brussels is a beautiful city and it is not as well known as Paris so it is fun.


We passed by a lot of museums.  In a perfect world we would have visited several of them, but with 4 kids 7 and under in tow we enjoyed the view from the outside.


We ended up at the Grand Sablon market.  Everything at this market is at least 30 years old.  They were still setting up, but I could tell that this market was a little fancy for me.


I did find these beautiful lavender books that were a good deal and they are so pretty.

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A good start to a chilly morning in Brussels. #brocante

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The view at the market was just beautiful.


I love exploring new markets.


Next we did visit one museum.  This was one of the gates to the city.

The museum was great for kids with a duck scavenger hunt through the different rooms.


My kids ran all the way up and down 4 flights of stairs to see everything.


I love looking up!


This piece of furniture was in the attic of the museum.  I wanted to take it home, but it wouldn’t fit in the car.


A few stained glass windows.


The transom on this door to the attic was beautiful.


We took a little break at the top to rest our legs, again looking up is always rewarding.


One of the statues in the middle of the staircase.


Just before and just after the museum stop we walked through the market at the Place de Jeu.  I had so much fun at the market and I filled my bag to the brim.  Here is just a sampling of what I found.  The prices were good, but I still found some of them to be high.

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I am a happy girl. #brocante #belgium #scale #torchon

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On our way back to the hotel we stopped at a beautiful little park across from the church we were at earlier.  There was a wonderful little bakery with to go coffee just across the street.  The coffee was good and the pastry I had was delicious.


We saw a little bit more of Brussels the next morning when we were on the hunt for an open Starbucks, but we were ready to move on.  Our next stop was Waterloo, just 20 minutes outside the city and we were at a fabulous market and a significant historical sight.  Sunday mornings there is a big market in the parking lot of the Carrefour parking lot in Waterloo.  I had too much fun!

I didn’t bring my big camera, my arms were full of all my treasures.  I do have a few instagram photos of the day.  This scale was a heavy dream come true for me.  The dealer had 2, but we only had room in the car for one.


After I had my fill of the market we stopped for a quick lunch at McDonalds.  There is a decent location right next to the market, it was a good reward for my patient children.

Then we headed to the site of the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815.  There is now a hill with 226 steps to the top.  Here you can survey the battle field where Napoleon lost.  We all made the trek to the top and then the kids and I came back down while my husband spent some time enjoying the military history.


After Waterloo we made the 1.5 hour drive to Bruges.  Our hotel here was right downtown, it was perfect.  We had a one bedroom room with kitchenette and beds for each of the kids.  We could see the bell tower from our patio.  We have stayed in so many questionable places it was a treat to have a good location.


We were up and around early on Monday morning and we got to explore some of the city before anyone else .  This map of the city made out of lace was pretty neat.



Then we walked to Our Lady church where Michelangelo’s Madonna is.  This is one of the pieces of art in the movie, The Monument’s Men.


Again, we were there before most everyone else was there.  It is so special to experience these beautiful piece of art.


From the church we went to a boat ride of the canal.  It was one of those things that everyone said we should do, and they were right.


This boat ride was so beautiful.


Bruges has become one of our new favorite cities here and I would highly recommend a visit if you go.


We also visited the Historium, a nice little visit with a history of the Middle Ages in Bruges.


Our evening included a horse and carriage ride that was another beautiful way to see the city.


I will leave you with a few more pictures from our boat tour.








I hope you enjoyed this mini tour of Belgium.  I hope you get to go somewhere fun soon too!

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