Blueberries and Sunflowers

I have collected and used antique and vintage pieces in my home for a long time. As I write this I am sitting at our kitchen table. A table we bought from Goodwill in Colorado Springs 15 years ago is still the table where we eat almost every meal. I am sitting on a vintage church pew that I bought from a local resale shop a decade ago (just one of several pews in our home).

Today I wanted to show you how I use some of my gorgeous vintage pieces for a beautiful tea and muffins minute. All of these antique and vintage items are available and will be making their way to Marburger Farm in just 3 weeks so you can create your own moment to share.

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This pewter tray makes everything look more elegant. Literally lay whatever item you would like to highlight on this heavy, gorgeous French tray and it will look so fancy. fkOe47HeS6a2IyRV9ZmP1Q

A small bouquet of sunflowers, a few sprigs of limonium, and some clippings from the back yard fill a vintage enamelware piece in such a fun way. This flour enamelware container is direct from England and oozing with British charm. The ironstone plate is simple and elegant and makes a few simple muffins ready to serve.

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This green mug is a vintage piece, made in Japan. A great size with amazing color. This green can go through every season depending on what you pair it with.

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I am currently reading Placemaker by Christie Purifoy. I first heard about this book on the podcast, The Next Right Thing, with Emily P. Freeman. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this book has been so helpful for me. Having moved as many times as I have it is easy to feel rootless. Placemakers has helped me look back at the value every place we have lived has had, and as we prepare to stay put for a while I look at our situation here in Texas with more intention.

See what I did with the book here, I just put the book on the pewter tray and a sprig of flowers and doesn’t she look fancy?

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Polka dotted tea pot, vintage creamer, antique green glass jar for sugar and a copper stand make a tea and muffin party complete.

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Do you like to put together a tea party? I love a tea party and I am embarrassed at how many of these muffins are gone at this point.

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.

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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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Pink and Blue Garden Party

Happy New Year! ¬†I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. ¬†We had a wonderful holiday season with family visiting and lots of fun. ¬†Now that the new year is here I have been working on setting goals, both personal and professional. ¬†Last January we new that our year held a lot of unknowns and change. ¬†This year we are anticipating more stability. ¬†With stability comes a higher expectation for myself of what I should be able to accomplish. ¬†Can you tell what one of my new goals is for the new year? ¬†That’s right, BLOGGING! ¬†I am planning on sharing my adventures on a more consistent basis again.

I am starting the year off with a preview of what I am taking to my first show.  These are all treasures that I found in France or Belgium.

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Enamelware is still one of my favorite things.DSC_0057

I would like to introduce you to Max, our newest addition.  He is a sweet lab mix puppy that we adopted from the local Humane Society.  He is about 10 weeks old now.  We had forgotten how much work a puppy is, but he is a great dog and he is worth it.DSC_0047

I love this little pink glass vase.  DSC_0060

Pink and blue are very popular this year, with the new Pantone colors coming out. Rose Quartz and SerenityDSC_0061

This precious pink enamelware tin was one of my favorite pieces.  This transfer ware bowl is a beautiful piece and very functional.DSC_0062

These little pear plates have such a delicate pink on the rim.  I adore them.DSC_0063

I hope you enjoy these photos from my garden party. DSC_0069

All of these items and more will be available at the Vintique Flea. The Vintique Flea is a great event held in Houston. ¬†The next show is being held on January 30 and 31. ¬†There is a $10 entry fee, but the collection of vendors is inspiring. ¬†There are food trucks and rescue animals too! ¬†I had so much fun at the last event and I can’t wait to meet new people at this next show. ¬†Please stop by and say hi if you are there.

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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!

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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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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My glasses again and a great vintage book about champagne.

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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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A Visit to Porte de Vanves in January

Last week was a difficult week in Paris, as I am sure you all have seen. ¬†We live in the suburbs of Paris and we were not directly affected by any of the violence. ¬†It is still very difficult to see our home in so much pain. ¬†On Friday I did head into the city for a MOPS meeting, Mothers of Preschoolers. ¬†We meet at the American Church of Paris and when I went into the city I had to think about whether or not it was safe. ¬†There were two security guards instead of just one outside the church itself. ¬†The hostage situation developed on Friday, but it was on the east side of town. ¬†The part of town I was in didn’t really look that different, but there was definitely a higher level of tension for everyone. On Saturday we had planned on going into the city so I could visit the Porte de Vanves and my family could play on a play ground. ¬†We talked about not going in, but we decided that since all of the hostage situations had been resolved that we felt comfortable going in. The market definitely was not as busy, but there were still quite a few vendors and shoppers and it was a nice enough day. ¬†I visited my favorite vendor first and I was well rewarded for stopping. ¬† This whole stack of trays. ¬†They weigh a ton and have a variety of different marks on the bottom. ¬†I am going to have to do some research to see if I can determine their ages and origins. ¬†The shoe forms are something I have wanted to pick up. DSC_0016 ¬† Then I found these coal scuttles. ¬†Thankfully I had my rolling market bag, but they still made quite the statement as I rolled and carried them through the rest of the market. ¬†I am so excited about this pair of square ones. ¬†I don’t know how old they are, but they are in really good condition. ¬† DSC_0017 ¬† The third coal scuttle I found, another egg basket to add to my growing collection and an enamelware ladle, red of course! ¬† DSC_0021 ¬† I found these pink plates, there are two plates and two bowls and they have a flamingo design on them. ¬†How fun is that? ¬†I haven’t been able to find any information on the marks on the back yet. ¬†The painted coffee pot is an enamelware piece that I have been looking for. ¬†I love the hand painted design, but usually these are out of my price range. ¬†Thankfully my patience paid off and I was able to bring these beauty home. ¬† DSC_0015 ¬† This plate is not my usual style, but something about the colors spoke to me. ¬†That is what I love about markets, you never know what you are going to find and what is going to jump out at you. ¬†When I got this home I realized I do have a growing collection in this color palette and it is fun to see these collections develop. DSC_0020 ¬† Another growing collection is of linens. ¬†This large sheet has beautiful yellow embroidery along with the initials A L . ¬†As far as I can tell it is in perfect condition. ¬†I found this in a plastic bag sitting on a table. ¬†The gentleman that was selling it was so engrossed in a board game his friends were playing that I had to wait several minutes to get his attention. ¬†I love going to markets here in France and seeing how much fun they have. ¬†Customer service is not something they worry about too much, but they still seem to do okay. ¬† DSC_0018 ¬† And here is the entire collection. ¬†I was able to purchase all of this in about 2 hours of shopping. ¬†I made one circuit through the market and all my bags were full. ¬†My sweet husband said I could go back for more if I wanted to, but the kids were hungry and I felt satisfied with my finds for the day. DSC_0012 The season for brocantes and markets is starting back up and I am so excited to get out there as much as possible. I am always curious what YOU would look for if you could visit a French market? ¬† Sharing at Coastal Charm; Show and Share, The Scoop, Vintage Inspiration Party, Ivy and Elephants, Treasure Hunt Thursday,¬†and¬†Feathered Nest Friday.