Posts Tagged french flea markets
Well, you can’t say you don’t know in advance what this post is about unless, of course, you are not a sewer (in the needle and thread sense of the word) and haven’t heard of a Myrtle.
The Myrtle is a new dress pattern by Colette which can be made in stretch fabric or woven and is very easy to make and comfortable to wear and, if my two (yes two!) sewing machines hadn’t thrown a wobbly about doing a zig zag stitch on the stretch fabric I used, it would have been finished in an afternoon. All was going well until I got to the waistband and had to do a zigzag round the casing for the elastic and, for some reason, still not fathomed, my machine just wouldn’t do it. I changed the needle, the tension, the thread, the swear words – nothing worked. I changed machine – still no good. In the end, I had to use a long straight stitch which I hope will hold. As is becoming more and more predictable with me lately, it was a little big on the shoulders so I sort of pulled them to the front and did a top stitching doodah with my double stretch needle because I have these things in my armoury and I know how to use them. So, just to prove I can make a dress that fits me, here it is
This really is a quick and easy pattern and the result is very comfortable to wear. The bodice is cut double on the fold so is self-lined (sounds complicated but isn’t) and, although the pattern stipulates 3 metres of fabric, I only used 2 by being really mean and stingy and folding and refolding the fabric like a miser. Although I did leave out the pockets as, if I have pockets, I put my hands in them which seems to work for some people but just makes me look slovenly.
Anyway, after it peed down of rain again yesterday, this sunday morning dawned bright and sunny so I hauled myself out of bed and headed for the nearest vide grenier for some serious treasure hunting. It has not been a good summer here in the South of France this year and, in fact, it has been so bad that I have been jealous of my Mum and Mlle. Tialys the elder who regularly tell me how hot it is in the U.K. even though I know that us Brits have a fit of the vapours if the temperature goes over 20 degrees C, prompting lots of people to shed layers of clothing in inappropriate places and to labour under the illusion that sunshine makes everybody a little blind and therefore not able to notice the often unseemly flesh on public display all of a sudden. But, I digress as usual and this morning was a bit of a strange one in that I ended up spending the most money on stuff I’m going to adorn my own house and garden with.
Found this gorgeous antique french comtoise clock which, after a bit of a wipe and a bit of tentative fiddling by Mr. T. looks like this
All the bits and pieces appear to be present and correct on the inside so I just need to get a pendulum, a winder thingy and two very heavy weights and we will wall mount it and then wonder why we didn’t think of a way to stop it chiming every hour and half hour.
We also bought, from the same flea market vendor, this cart. It is, we are assured, a market florist vendor’s cart. Whatever. It is delightful and once we get the horrible brown paint off and oil the wood, it will be gorgeous.
A close up of a wheel, just because I took the photo and where else would I show it?
Common in the last quarter of the 19th century and up until the First World War, these souvenirs of a marriage were placed under a glass globe and the bride’s tiara was usually pinned to it with mirrors symbolizing the time the couple were together before marriage and, as time passed, the number of children born together with other mementos of the union and of family life. Must do something about the drips of paint (how did that even happen?) but what a lovely souvenir.!
Anyway, off to sunnier climes for a few days (I shouldn’t really have to say that when I’m in the south of France) and taking a rest from the sewing machine, Etsy shops and the demands of certain humans, canines and felines alike.
Today it is (yet another) public holiday here in France. We got up early because, we both need to drive to the airport this afternoon, one of us to leave for a few days and the other to pick up Mlle Tialys the elder who is visiting home for the rest of the month to get her breath back after the endless
parties and general student goings on studying of the past university year. But first we wanted to go to a plant and brocante market and the village which holds this annual event also has its usual market day on Monday mornings so it gets absolutely packed and it is difficult to park, walk or breathe if you leave it too late. Ask me how I know. Also it is really hot at the moment and it is better to get these things done in the relative cool of the morning.
Not a photo of me this morning – though quite close. Do you think he looks prettier for having a rose growing behind his ear? This had happened by accident, not design, which is why I took the photo.
We went to the market with the intention of buying a plant or tree to go over the final resting place of our old German Shepherd, Phoebe, who died last year and was buried (with much exertion and dedication – she weighed 45kg) on one of the higher terraces in our garden. At the moment she is covered in Iris flowers but we wanted something more permanent. However, it was mostly herbaceous plants for sale so we ended up with a plumbago for the terrace
and a bignone for somewhere else in the garden but we don’t know where yet.
Of course the brocante part was not neglected and I found this lovely brass cherub holding aloft a diamond cut glass coupe surrounded by flying birds. Over the top? Mais, non! Well, a bit I suppose but it is very Paris Appartment as I like to call this style (or Hollywood Glamour if you prefer)
I have an obsession with old French cutting boards at the moment. I love that they were probably made by the man of the house and used to death for years and years. I love the primitive way they have been fashioned, the visible marks of years of use and the grain and texture of the wood. Most of them I find are in an unloved state but I give them a light sanding and a coat or two of food safe oil and this usually brings the grain up to its former glory. These old cutting boards are made in very primitive fashion, practically hewn out of the trunk – I’ve had some still with the bark on before. They are generally really thick and chunky and lopsided, covered in knife cuts and with deep depressions where food has been chopped or bread sliced for many years. They are gorgeous.
Here are some I’ve had in the past all with their own characters and now in new homes for an even more extended useful (or decorative) life.
It doesn’t matter if they are split, scratched and holey.
This handle has worn smooth with use and has a deep depression in the centre where most of the chopping and cutting went on.
A lovely big knot in this one.
Usually, I am persuaded(!) that we cannot keep more than one cutting board – although I have kept a gorgeous small version which is easily concealed – but today I found one that I won’t be parting with.
It weighs nearly 3kg (around 6.6lbs)
what’s not to love?