Tuesday, August 20, 2013
As I write this, there is a bees nest of activity in my kitchen.
Countertops going in.. soapstone and white granite.
Cabinet work progressing.
By the end of the week, I should have running water in the sink
and a rangetop that is connected to the new gas line...
meaning, I can cook!
In the meantime, it looks like the inventory from France will be leaving Paris (hopefully..)
by the end of the week.
There's been delays, lack of communication, and a learning curve for me,
but my US international broker is keeping me hopeful that we'll see our
French flea market finds by the beginning of October.
All this makes me think about France and how spending a total of 29 days in France this year
has changed my life.
Yes, there are big changes being discussed, planned, and reviewed.
No, we're not moving to France...
But, we are making some plans.
More to come...
So, while I wait on my kitchen,
and you wait on reading more about our future plans...
I thought I'd pull together some lovely French and European design inspirations.
And.. a few more pictures of our buying trip.
The rest of these pictures are from our trip to France.
Beautiful, beaded forks from the flea market in Lyon.
I spotted these lovely dessert plates from across the booth.
What a color!
Lyon flea market.
The French enamelware!
I was always looking for it. Not that easy to find.
It's been a popular item over the past 10 years
and getting more and more difficult to come across, especially the hand painted pieces.
This earthenware pitcher is one of my favorite pieces we found.
It's from the flea market in Strasbourg (in the Alsace region), which has to be one of my favorite French cities (so far!).
The aging on this can't be reproduced! How many hands used this pitcher?
All I can think about is a bunch of sunflowers or wildflowers spilling out of this piece.
A wonderful plant stand!!
Can't you see a big fern topping this off?
The flea market in Lyon.
The flea market in Lyon... one of the booths in the warehouse buildings.
Can you believe this is a flea market??
A French flea market!
I miss it!
Here I am in Nice, just yards (or meters I should say) from the Mediterranean Sea.
This was our last market day.
Until next time!
France buying trip,
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
We've bought our plane tickets.
I'm going back!
After 2 weeks in France last spring, my husband and I have been working on a plan to return as buyers for
2nd Street Market!
We're traveling with another couple, good friends of ours - Chuck and Karin.
Karin grew up in Germany and speaks German and French!
Chuck is a professional photographer!
(check out Chuck's website here)
So, that's my A-Team and I can't feel more blessed!
I've created a Facebook page for 2nd Street Market.
I invite you come along with us as I shop the markets of France.
Visit my 2nd Street Market page and hit the LIKE button... you know how it works.
Here's our plan:
We'll fly into Paris on July 13th, 5:30am. Of course, we'll be well rested from our overnight trip from Dulles Airport, just outside of Washington, DC.
We'll be renting a Sprinter Van - 4 seater. It's a pretty big (and long) van. Should be interesting.
We plan to make our first stop in Normandy and visit the WWII museums etc.
We'll spend our first night in Montreuil sur Mer, in northern France near the English Chanel.
We'll be spending Bastille Day (France's version of the 4th of July) in this medieval village.
On Bastille Day, Montreuil sur Mer pedestrianizes thier cobble stone streets and opens them up to 500! (yes - 500..)
Wow... that will be my first buying day. I hope our logistical plans come through ok!
That evening will be spent watching French Fireworks!!
From there, we hit markets in
and end our buying trip on the Mediterranean Sea, in
We'll also be doing a bit of touring in Dijon.
John and I will get to spend some time with my dear friends and host family from the spring in Nancray, France.
It's an ambitious travel plan, but we're feeling confident.
I'm still working on securing commercial warehouse space near Dijon or Besançon to make a drop of goods half way through.
It's also where my goods will be shipped to me in the USA.
I'll feel a bit more confident once that is secured.
Having Chuck and Karin with us will be such a comfort and help (not to mention a ton of fun!)
- as Karin will help with the language barrier.
Although... I do hope to do some negotiations by the end of the trip... a la French style.
(the church in Nancray, just a short walk from my host family's home)
(wine country - in Bourgogne or Burgundy - where Pommard wine is made)
I still need to do a post on my wine tasting trip here...
Paris - of course.
Look closely below and you can see workers in red.
These were the doors to the school where my host family's children attended school many years ago.
Every single thing in France is a picture. I was never without my camera!
Don't forget to LIKE on the 2nd Street Market page!
I'd love to have you join us in our adventures.
Merci mon ami.
my Etsy shop,
Monday, April 15, 2013
During our stay in France, we toured a unique museum in Nancray, a village outside of Besançon in eastern France.
It's an open air museum featuring homes from the region of Franche-Comté.
This was one of my favorite tours as it depicts life during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. These homes and outbuildings within
Franche-Comté were painstakingly deconstructed and reconstructed on this site in order to preserve the history.
The rolling hill mountains reminded all of us of the foothill mountains of Virginia.
Each dwelling contained stunning antiques - furniture, ceramics, enamelware, cast iron, lace, linens, and on and on.
It was here that I felt a strong urge to return to France as a vintage and antique buyer for my Etsy shop.
I've read that since the dawn of the Internet and Ebay, France has been almost drained of its enamelware, but that beautiful ceramics can still be found in plenty.
I'm already bookmarking flea markets throughout France, looking into language classes, and figuring out import procedures.
We'll see....but I look at these pictures and just swooooooonnnn...
In fact, I had to use them in my About page for my Etsy shop.
Back to the museum...
One of my favorite things about each home was the contrast of rough and delicate...
Huge wood beams, stone floors and chimneys - along side delicate lace curtains and beautiful petit chairs.
Beautiful bed linens....
I apologize for the odd angels of some of my pictures.
I'm sure I was a bit of a comic spectacle - trying to listen to the French speaking tour guide (picking up about 30 percent of what was being said through gesture and my extremely limited understanding of French), keeping up with the our students, and trying to capture each room with my Nikon.
Thanks to my dear friend, Marie-Luce and her beautiful command of the English language, I was able to get the full tour.
What a lovely way to wash hands before dinner.
(completely impractical in our world, but still lovely)
Ah! This table setting alone tugs at me to return to France!!
Those beams! That stone floor! That stone fireplace!
Somehow I didn't grab a picture of the stone stairs that was just on the other side of this room. ugh!
Examples of roof tiles.
Even fish roof tiles.
The museum is a working farm.
This fellow was pruning the pear trees and heard Marie-Luce and I talking in English.
He asked us if we were Americans - and I answered yes, that I was an American. (Marie-Luce is French)
Turns out he was from Connecticut! He had moved to France 10 years prior.
This museum is not a typical destination for an American tourist in France, so he doesn't often get a chance to talk with Americans.
It was fun meeting him and talking about the States and France.
More stone... even stone roofs!!
More stone and contrasting lace curtains in the windows. So beautiful!
Textile arts can be seen throughout the homes.
Beautifully unique chimney.
If touring eastern France, I highly recommend this museum!
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