brrrrrrr! it’s downright bone chilling cold in paris! today was our final day trudging though the slush and snow at the markets all weekend but i can definitely say our mission was accomplished!
i was fully focused on shopping with the crew so didn’t get much but photo memories which is somehow ok, at least this way i’ll have them forever.. and as my guy always says, you can’t buy it all!
going through the shots i couldn’t help but see that this trip i was attracted to art, paintings, sculpture and architectural artifacts…
the markets are so rich and thick that it really feels like a living, breathing museum. it’s a place where you can find junk juxtaposed with truly fine art.
and it’s not what a piece is worth but the joy it brings
and who makes the decisions as to what’s valuable if not the beholder?
the way the market vendors curate their booths is much more than you’d expect at a typical flea market and this year many sellers are really stepping up their game.
all sorts of busts and statuary are displayed as if they’re uber important pieces in super simple vignettes.
of course you can always find the funky, fun stuff
and the french certainly have a sense of humor about their past!
and one piece can really set a regal mood. you’d never know these were flea finds!
i guess i do wish i could buy it all and surround myself in my own tiny museum
but for now i’ll settle for just enjoying the pics and thinking about ways to incorporate more art in my world.
as for the gang, we finished up our weekend with stephane who always brings the market to life and today he greeted us in the cold with champagne and oysters, using snow in an ice bucket and along a huge silver tray for the shells he shucked. we had a ball and everyone left happy and well overfed. i’ll clue you in when the time comes as to what we all did but for now it’s off to bed, a couple pounds heavier but i guess that’s what winter is for, n’est-ce pas? enjoy the rest of your weekend!
hey guys, happy sunday! we spent it with a lovely guest and hit the markets to give her the lay of the land. she asked me if it ever seemed the same each week. i had to say no even though it really IS the same things over and over in a way. i but t never ceases to fulfill the promise of something wonderful around every corner. i didn’t get a chance to take a lot of shots today but we were really focused.
i did pick up something for myself in a pile of books out back at clignancourt. it’s an old version of letters written from a mother to her daughter that chronicled an era in paris in a way that was both literary and a sort of diary.
anyway i always wanted to know more about madame her since she lived in one of the most fabulous places in the city, hotel carnavalet.
and i couldn’t resist a 200 year old book…
sadly carnavalet is closed on mondays and we did vow to do something cultural. maybe the musee des arts decortaif or the boheme show at the grand palais.
but if you know me, ask monument vs market and i’ll always choose the latter. turns out clignancourt is having another one of it’s famous fetes all weekend.
these old pics are from the program. crazy to think how many times this stuff really does go round and round!
i’m supposed to spend the next couple days writing about the markets for my book while i’m here. i realize now that you have to be obsessed with your subject to write about it.
and thankfully i am! tomorrow i’ll head back for one last day of fleaing till spring. ok well i’m off to bed. have a great night!
hi gang, happy monday! i hope your week has started off right. we spent yesterday once again at the markets in paris (i know, i may have a problem). but the marche aux puces are little living museums, filled with the people keeping tradition alive, both in showing up each weekend for centuries to sell their wares, and also in the little things they do during the day from hosting gala lunches to working their craft in their stalls.
Création de rideaux façon ancienne
Restauration de linge
Cours de dentelle aux fuseaux
these first two pics are from a woman who was in her stall working on the lost art of broderie. i’ve always wondered what you do with these little wooden spools! she was moving them like braids in intricate ways to create the most gorgeous patterns.
today i was drawn more to the soft little things as opposed to hard core furniture, and enjoyed snapping shots of all the remnants and swatches of hundreds of years of design and innovation.
every detail is amazing when you look closely
this is the front and back of a book cover i picked up.
the markets have hundreds of tiny scraps like this
journals from merchants who kept the most beautiful records of styles and color ways. these are from chantal who has an incredible stand at vanves. she has quite a few tables, one has stuff for 3 euros, another for 10, one for 20, and a yet another for 100. truth is you can get just as interesting stuff on the 3 as the 100.
and there’s plenty do dig through. i indulged my passion for linen and picked up some pretty little sets. these are for a baby’s bassinet, a demi lune pillow and tiny sheet.
j’adore the needle work on big linen sheets too. today we’re headed out now to montreuil which is a great monday marker where you can get tons of this stuff for next to nothing.
i’d like to surprise mom with some pretty fat quarters for her quilting.
when i shoot i often think of you, my blog friends, like sande from a gift wrapped life, who i’m sure would be right next to me digging in old boxes of ribbon.
and mande from a la parisienne who would no doubt love this batch of old flower accents. what little fleurs the ladies must have been, parading around in all these fine things!
last but not least after a wonderful brunch with erica of haven in paris in her montmartre apartment (merci encore, mon amie), we had one last stop to pick up something very special. i asked one of the bastille vendors to hold it since i’d spent every centime the day before, so we trudged all the way back to pick up this little feather. it’s still got the tag so it never made it onto one of those fine ladies’ hats but i’ll put it on the site and maybe it will go to someone who will give it a brand new shot at life. well, we better make that hay while the sun is shining, it’s beaming down so off we go, more tout de suite, bonne journée!
i don’t know if i mentioned that my friend claudia arrived to assist with the job this week. she’s been coming on the trips for more than 10 years and is the kind of friend who will do anything for you and doesn’t mind if i get cranky or bossy which i may have done once. or twice. ok, maybe 3 times but that’s it!
when we’re together she always reminds me how much i love the risque side of paris. for my other project i’ve been looking for the perfect something to illustrate the french playfulness between the risque and refined.
we love to dig through old ephemera and always come out filthy but with lots of paper treasures. she collects images of architectural elements whereas i look for souvenirs and sketches of the saucy side of paris.
on another note, i really wish i had time to refine my photography skills, almost everything is inspirational, even old cuffs and collars, costumes and plumes…
back on the decorating tip, i always find new ideas in old magazines
and as we headed back out to clignancourt yesterday, we slipped into the waaaayyy back
where you can find some of the best stuff. it’s where dealers who don’t mind getting down and dirty do it. you have to dig deep and you’ll leave looking like a disaster but there are treasures galore.
back in civilization on the other side of clignancourt, we shopped once again for some pretty things for the apartment. these are a couple things i’m daydreaming about for my own little fantasy place in my own little mind…
wood panel from the 1800s i could just EAT
blue satin chairs that have seen much too much of a muchness. believe it or not i love them ‘as is’!
sick i know but that’s the real me!
and i could just pop this paneling up in any room and be very happy there!
back in reality, we met with our clients in the morning who found these great 8 chairs in the 5 minutes waiting for me! they go perfectly with their harvest table.
and they found this little stool for extra seating.
can you tell i wasn’t there? she doesn’t want the place to be filled with as she says, too much girly stuff! so i think they’re striking a good balance. a quick decision was made on a buffet for the dining room which, besides a trumeau mirror is actually the first of the rooms to be completed!
they’re debating these chairs for the bedrooms as each will have a cozy reading nook with a table, lamp and ottoman. they’ve just been recovered with linen and nice soft stuffing so being ready to go is a huge selling point.
claudia found them this 1920s blue deco table that looks like it’s seen a lot of good times. it’s in debate but we’ll revisit it and the chairs, mirrors, coffee and occasional tables today.
oh god i just realized it’s getting late and i hate to be the last one there. these sconces were the last thing we got yesterday before we all pooped out. this afternoon i promised lorraine (claudia’s mom) to her give her apartment a facelift so it’s gonna be a trés loin jour. claudia’s back with my croissant so you know i better fly! more in a couple hours, who knows what but i love the hunt! have a great monday, hope it’s sunny where ever you are!
hi guys! hope you had a great weekend. as usual, i am in paris with all the wrong clothes. it was supposed to be in the 70s but it’s only 46 degrees and i have no coat or even long sleeve shirts. so i haven’t left the apartment yet today which gives me some time to catch up on work which is starting to snowball already!
part of the reason i came a little early was to revisit some of my favorite haunts like the vanves flea market (pucesdevanves.typepad.com), and also to check out some of the markets that i’ve always wanted to see but never made it to like the antique book market at the bottom of the post.
part of what i’m working on is resource guide so i want to make sure everything is in tip top order so whoever uses it will know there wheres, hows and whens if shopping the paris fleas and brocantes.
part of my obsession with the markets has always been finding bargains as you may know. so many people claim there are no good deals left in paris but i have a completely different view. i’ve come to realize over the years that the best things really do come in small packages and the fleas are where to find them. the trick is in looking in the least expected places and really getting down and dirty!
i love to dig in one and two euro boxes and look in tiny tins, on messy tables and in folders, underneath things, even in boxes that dealers haven’t unpacked.
i take my time to really go through each stand and ask questions, look at the workmanship and study tools i’ve never seen. there’s an entire world on each dealer’s table just waiting to be noticed.
anyway that was my ‘little’ obsession yesterday. vanves never disappoints and yesterday was no exception.
it’s so not about the size or the quantity at these markets of what you get, the tiniest things can make the biggest impression. i got my clients an old postcard from the turn of the century of a view of their ‘new’ street’. i can’t wait to give it to them!
this was the market i’ve always wanted to hit but never made it to, the antique book market in park georges brassens, aka Marché du livre ancien et d’occasion Marché Georges Brassens. it’s open saturday and sundays and is just a few blocks down from vanves. if you go, there’s a little tram that runs between the markets, sort of a cross between a bus and a cable car. i swear, no matter how many times i visit this city it feels brand new!
take the tram from vanves metro to the park georges brassens stop if you go.
talk about amazing collections and bargains, and dealers who have a passion for books and old papers. it’s a goldmine.
ok well i have to get out there and get my brocante magazines to see what’s on when this month, i’m charting every vide grenier, brocante, market and festival so my client’s apartment will be filled to the gills in two weeks with brand new old stuff. more soon!