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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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.


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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Share it One More Time


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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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.


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.


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



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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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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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.

Chateauneuf Brocante

    When we drive through France we keep our eyes on the horizon, because you never know what you are going to find.  We have driven a lot of miles in the United States and not once did we see a castle on the horizon.  Here in France it is expected to see something amazing.  Usually we have to satisfy ourselves with a google search of what we see and I read the history to my husband while we keep on driving.  On this trip we saw Chateauneuf on our way out of town.  It was sufficiently intriguing that we planned our trip howe with a lunch stop here.  If you were wondering there are no less than 5 Chateauneuf’s in France.  This is the one in Cote d’Or in the Burgundy Region.


  We made our way up the side of the mountain and into a parking spot in the tiny hilltop village.  Unfortunately most everything was closed for lunch or until after the new year. We decided to walk around for a bit and stretch our legs and see what the town had to offer. I started to wander with my camera and I found this alley.


Then I saw this sign, and I could not stop myself.  I didn’t tell my husband where I was going or anything.  Off I went.  I assumed I would have to be satisfied with looking through the windows and drooling at the treasures inside.


  Can you believe she was open?! There was a large group of people in the store, and I think the proprietress had stayed open to help them, because as soon as I left she closed up shop.  I am so thankful that I got the opportunity to visit this beautiful little shop.


  And she let me take pictures too.


  I did at least 3 laps around the tiny shop trying to take everything in.


  This giant copper tub with a stand was particularly intriguing, but knowing how much space we had in the car I didn’t even look at a price.


She had several beautiful sets of dishes.


  As well as many individual pieces.


  The stemware and the flatware is always intriguing and beautiful when it is all displayed so nicely. IMG_0007

After a slightly panicked phone call from my husband wondering where I had wondered off to I finished my shopping.  We debated eating lunch in the cafe, the menu they had looked pretty amazing, but we still had several hours left on the road with the question of how terrible the Parisian traffic would be.   DSC_0373

  We had time for one more quick photo in front of the castle itself and then it was back on the road with sandwiches.


Good bye Chateauneuf.  I hope to see you again one day.


Hartmannswillerkopf, Almost



On our last full day on vacation we were hoping to see a World War I battle site, called Hartmannswillerkopf. The battle started exactly 100 years before the day we went looking for it.  There is something special in those big anniversaries.  December 30, 1914 saw the French and Germans fighting over a mountain top that afforded strategic views of the border at the time.  The battle continued for over a year with few real advancements on either side.  If you look up this battle field the images are impressive.  We headed out hopeful for an exciting trip.  And then we got on the roads and we saw all the snow.  And then it kept snowing and we realized we would not be going up into any mountains that day.  We ended up driving by this memorial site and fortified church.  The kids had been in the car for about an hour and we were ready to get some wiggles out.






Pretty much every town in France has a memorial like this, in memory of the soldiers that fought and died in the two great wars.



Down a short alley and we were at the fortified church. There was the church, that dated back to the 11th century, and the protective wall around it that dated to the 15th century.



Here is one of the turrets on the wall.



The snow was hampering our sightseeing efforts, but it was beautiful.



Most of the graves were relatively new, and very well cared for.



These were the oldest graves in the cemetery.  They were under a tree behind a fence.




“Ici repose Jean Georges Reichenecker ne le 5 Mars1795 decede le 15 Juin 1866 RIP”



We were the only people here and when the church bells started to ring it was a very peaceful time.



Here is the gate and the church tower.



In the alley from the church back to our car I loved the Christmas decorations that people had up, here are just a couple of examples.




The Mairies office was a beautiful blue.


We saw another sign for the Vieil Armand, another name for Hartmannswillerkopf.  We decided to see how far we could get. We enjoy just driving around and exploring France, you never know what you will find in these small towns.




In this picture you can see the sign for where we were headed has a black line through it.



We drove for a little bit longer until we reached this sign.  It says “Route Non Sablee Non Deneige”  This road is not salted and snow is not removed.  We decided this was as far as we needed to go.



This house, in the last village we drove through, was so beautiful.



I wish I could have gotten a closer look at this house.  I am sure it has an amazing view on a good day as well.



This building was really interesting looking.



Here is the monument for this town.



Snow makes everything prettier.



This building was one of my favorites.



These windows were part of the Mairie’s office. I love the different lace on the windows and the green shutters.



Even though we didn’t make it all the way to the battlefield we still had fun and we felt like we learned something new, and had an adventure.  When you are traveling with 4 children sometimes that is all you can hope for.

Maybe one day we will get to go back and see the battlefield itself.  If you are ever in the Alsace region I would recommend it.


A Snowy Holiday

A quick trip after Christmas took us to a small town just across the border in Germany.  We rented a house through Airbnb and our host was so sweet.  She said that they usually didn’t get this much snow.  It was beautiful and serene, except when we were sliding on the roads.




I was fascinated by all of the firewood they had stacked up around the village.


I have stacked firewood before, I know how much work this is.


More and more firewood.


All of these piles were in the area around the house that we stayed.


I got to walk through this winter wonderland.  How lucky am I?  It was great to visit, but I am thankful that we no longer live in a snowy place.



Bird watching in the snow was challenging and fun.


I love this sign, no bikes, cars or horse and carriage.


Beware of dog signs in other countries are always interesting to me.


This purple berry bush was my favorite spots.  The purple was still so vibrant.



This cigarette machine on the side of the road was interesting.  I saw several of these around town.





Snowy vineyards are a beautiful sight.



We did make one trip into Colmar, we saw a replica of the Statue of Liberty.  I ran into the Christmas market to get some things for lunch, but unfortunately it was so cold that day that we did not get to visit much.