tools of the trade


sitting with my parents and uncle steve in the kitchen an hour before we leave for the party and i’ve been going through pinterest while we chat. it’s led to this little compilation of crochet, lace, embroidery and handiwork. i feel like we’re in a sewing circle without the sewing.


so many cultures centered around perfecting these skills and passing them on to generation after generation of women


it would be such an amazing skill to have…my mom is talented in this way but i’m a bull in a china shop with this stuff


but appreciating it has always been my forte


today i came across some old pieces mom has kept over the years that my great grandma made


and it got me thinking of how versions of these crafts come in an out of fashion


and i wonder, is this a lost art in a way?


if we did want to learn the techniques, where is it taught?


kind of hard to comprehend how these skills were developed over the centuries out of thin air


especially when you study the exquisite details involved


i love to use find hankies like these, they make the perfect gift and can be used to wipe your glasses or phone today


pinterest always leads to multiple paths and this one veered off into doilies


many of us come across them at flea markets and antique stores with admiration but don’t know how to put them to good use


these are some creative ways they’ve been upcycled


this shade makes pretty patterns when the bulb is lit


and curtains let the sun stream in making pretty designs


they went all out in this room


but a little goes a long way


even  just celebrating them in the smallest way like this…ok party time!

images found here and here

January 30, 2016. Broderie, Linens, paris apartment project, the paris apartment project. 9 comments.

the softer side of life

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.

Au Brise-bise
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!

May 17, 2010. Antique Shopping, Brocantes, Broderie, Marché aux Puces, Paris, Paris Flea Markets, Paris Trip, Vanves Flea Market. 17 comments.