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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Amboise Brocante

Our family made a quick, last minute, road trip this weekend to Chateau de Chenonceau.  After I checked the hours of the chateau to make sure they would be open when we wanted to go and found a place for us to stay I checked to see if there were any sales going on near by.  I was in luck and found a Brocante & Vide Grenier in Amboise just minutes from where we were staying.  We had a wonderful visit to the chateau on Sunday and Monday morning I was ready to do some shopping.


The first couple of tables I stopped at were very expensive.  I started to get disappointed that I was going to just be looking.  And then I turned a corner and the buying began.  I did manage to get a few photos from around the brocante.  This was a massive sale, I walked and shopped for almost 3 hours. It was amazing.

These first photos are all from the same vendor.  They had mostly transferware and they had some truly amazing pieces.  This set was from the 1800s and was in perfect condition.


There were 3 tables just like this.


More amazing work.




It just kept going.


The condition of their pieces was just amazing.  I did buy a set of dessert plates from this vendor, I will show you those later.


I didn’t take any more photos until I had run out of money. A very sweet lady let me put my large basket in the trunk of her car while I did a little more shopping. ¬†These are photos from the far end of the brocante from where I started. ¬†I could have kept buying, but there was not an ATM to be found.


There was so much to look at.


I am always drawn to enamelware pieces and large metal signs.


The dogs at the markets are always fun.  This market had quite a few big dogs.


More pretty things.


This set caught my eye.


This fancy couple was right next to the orange set.


This bucket caught my eye on the way in and the way out.


The tables of linens are just amazing.


These old tools were so interesting.


I love these rows of bins, you never know what you are going to find and what kinds of prices they are going bring.


This table stopped me in my tracks.


And then it was time to leave.  We packed up, ate lunch, and made the 2 hour drive home.  I love unpacking all of my treasures and looking at them again.  Here is everything I managed to buy at the market. Yes, there are a lot of treasures. I was actually stopped at the market by a french film crew.  They interviewed me on camera (in English) for France 3.  They asked what I was buying and why.  Then the cameraman followed me for a little bit.  It was one of the silliest things that has happened to me while brocante shopping.


This mustard jar was a special find.


This is a toy sized basket, I love these baskets and have them in almost every other side.


Blue transfer ware is always a good find.


That is an enamel plate, the strands of pearls are going to be used in decorating for my sisters wedding.


Here is my transfer ware from the first vendor.  I got these 6 plates that are in very good condition for their age.


The back of the plates.


These posters are some of my favorite finds.  I got 10 different chateaux, many of them we have been to.  I love finds like this.


I put a few of my finds together, one of them is a pretty little pitcher with this ‘Deauville’ stamp on the bottom.


Here we are, a pretty pitcher, yellow enamelware and the green jars were all treasures from today.


I hope you enjoyed this trip through the Amboise Brocante.

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Green Transferware by Badonviller

This set of dishes came from the same vide grenier in Normandy, but a different table.  I was not planning on buying another set of dishes, but when I saw this set I had to bring it home.


This set came with 49 pieces, including 23 dinner plates and 14 bowls.


There is only 1 chip that I could find on the whole set.


Here is the mark from the back.  I believe this set dates back to around 1923.


This is an amazing set with great serving pieces, all in great condition.  This is heading to the container for my shipment home.  I am almost done filling my container so this is one of my final purchases.  It is very exciting to be almost done and kind of sad.  I have had so much fun shopping to fill it.


And this is what my youngest thought of me taking more product photos.  Really he just wanted a snack.


Brocante Season is Starting!

Easter Monday is a holiday here in France.  I was on my favorite website,, and I saw there was going to be a brocante not far from our house.  I was up and at them bright and early Monday morning.  These yellow signs make my heart beat faster.  These brocantes are good, they are organized by a company, they usually have good parking, and a good mix of vendors.


This vendor had a great collection of vintage items.  His prices were fair and his selection was great.  I settled for this pile of goodies.  I took this picture so I would remember to go back and collect everything.  The vendor told me that the grey box and the little white chair had gotten a lot of attention while I was away.


This was my favorite find of the day, this mother and child bust is beautiful.


These vintage jars all came home with me.  I love old glass jars.


This load of treasures took 2 boxes to pack up.  I love transfer ware and Limoges and there was plenty to be found.


After carrying all of my finds back to the car and then unloading them back at the house I got everything out and took a look at it.  This grey box is so fun.


This sweet little chair is holding all of the Limoges I found today.


These tureens are small, but pretty.


Brown transfer ware is my favorite.


 I found so many fun things today.




Here is all of it.  I have spent the afternoon washing everything.


If it seems like I have been buying a lot lately, you are right.  I have been busy collecting as many treasures as I can to fit into a shipment that I am having sent back to Texas when we move this summer.  We have our personal shipment of things that we will be sending home, but I have taken the leap and will be filling a container with treasures to bring back and sell as well.  I will be in the Houston area so if you are in Texas next fall keep an eye out for Brocante Treasures!

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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.


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


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.


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.


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


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


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.


Have a beautiful day!

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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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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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!


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.


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


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


A final great display of vintage toy cars.


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.


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

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