Monday, March 31, 2008

objet d art nouveau

For all the Shopaholics out there, (me included),
we are having a feast today!
Even though I have an Antique/Home Furnishings
store (95% of my inventory is Country French Antiques
and Brocante), I still carry some new items.
All my Home & Garden furniture is antique and
many of my accessories are unique, one of a kinds.

Some things just have to be old and French, like the
circa 1860 Vasselier above.
But then for some things, new isn't bad. In small
doses mind you.
I know many of you also have stores and finding
the right vendors can be a time consuming process,
so the future I will share with you some of my
favorites. No need to fret if your not a retailer.
I would be more than happy to sell to you, as these
are items we also carry.

The items above are from New Creative
I love the little crystal candle holder and tea stained pillows.
They also have several old window frames with botanicals
in the glass. Perfect for those Shabby Chic,
cottage style decors.
Great glass apothecary jars to hold your corks and who
can resist the scrolly iron photo frame?
My favorite has to be the galvanized bulb pans!
Their price points are pretty good, so you can't go wrong here.

These photos above are from Napa Home & Garden.
Now if you happen to be dango over Boxwoods (like me),
Napa's are wonderful. The best I have found,
(for the price). They are real preserved boxwoods.
Moss covered chargers (Très jolie) and a huge selection of
mercury glass! They also carry the famous Anduze Pottery
from France in a multitude of colors. Garden relics and
great faux lead containers.

Next we have Studio Vertu .
They have over 800 styles of wonderful Italian tumbled
marble coasters. The artwork is amazing on these little
treasures. There is no end to what you could do with these.
Just how many shadowboxes do you have?

Then there is Guildmaster
My heart be still. A real Old World look and great quality.
Beautifully painted tin boxes, simple iron chandeliers,
wire dress forms, florist tins, architectural fragments,
weathered crowns, and hand painted doors. Love
those patina's.
If you happen to like a bit more color, they also have
some fun whimsical items like the ones pictured below.

I love their lamps and gingham candlesticks. Juggling
pins and French style artwork. You really should check
them out.

Danielson Designs has to be the best for signs and frames.
If you are in to the weathered look, search no further.
All sorts of inspirational signs and many in an autre langue.
I bet you spend some money here! Just a side note too...
I have a wonderful signmaker in France that uses old
weathered, original painted wood to make custom signs.
If you can imagine it..we can do it !!

If your taste runs more to the Romantic Old World visit
Paneled doors painted with archangels, muted plaques
with paintings framed in gilt. Ooh La La !

And Sia, a "high fashion" European home decor supplier.
Their collection includes some wonderful lavender
accessories and table linens that resemble old
French ticking.
Wouldn't those squishy peaches look great in the natural
stick basket? They do have some great fruits. Little petite
cantaloupes, just like in France.
Realistic roses in moss covered pots and natural twig urns.
I love the little wood bundles and they also have a nice
selection of shells.

And lastly, if your looking for moderately priced, nice
quality pillows, Peking Handicrafts is it.
Loads of needlepoint and embroidered
pillows, nice tiebacks and a host of other accessories.
Just a tad bit French don't you think?
Hope you enjoyed the photo's, courtesy of the
websites listed and maybe you found a new
I'll share more with you in the days to come,
just in case you don't make it to High Point.
AND if you do go be sure to stop by the
EJ Victor Showroom to see the
Carol Hicks Bolton collection. Their displays
are always amazing!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Belle Maison Design

Just thought I would post some Inspiration
A Collection of some favorite Country French rooms from
Marie Clair Maison

I love the silky butter color of this kitchen paired with
the textured stone walls. An antique buffet deux corp with
glass doors serves as storage while treasured ironstone
platters are proudly displayed on the wall. Antique glasses
within arms reach and rich glazed pottery helps with

Those glorious French shuttered windows that open inside.
It's almost impossible to find those here!

The following photo's are from Artistic agent and chinor,
Aurélien's Maison. He too, travels France and Europe
in search of his treasures.
Those textured chalky walls are the perfect backdrop
for the Swedish consoles and gilded metal appliques.

The Louis XV bed and painted table are the perfect
compliment to one another.
Love, Love, Love that wall!!!
The fabric knotted around the bedpost seems to soften
the weathered finish of the bed. I can hear the violet and
vert linens whispering my name.
Isn't that a wonderful combination of colors?

Again love the textures here! Looks like cheesecloth
and burlap.

An aperitif on this terrace? Anytime!
I think the lavabo placed low on the wall is interesting
and pebbled terraces are quite common in the
I've always wanted a velvet upholstered Louis XVI
fauteuil in my salle de bain. So unexpected, but a
wonderful place to put on your slippers, don't you
And oh, if I had the means, I would have garden statuary
in every room of the house! Did you notice the high-gloss
paint on the ceiling? The chandelier is to die for!
Don't you love the polished look with those drapes
and the statue? I personally would have chosen a
claw foot tub, but it is still luscious!
Simple and beautiful! I actually did crackle finishes on my
claw foot tubs.

Also adore these corona's over bathtubs.
I don't know, I might have to re-paint one of my tubs this
bronze finish. I'm really liken it!
Well, hope you enjoyed some of my favorite
Have a wonderful weekend and

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Les Bonbonnes Verre

French Antique hand blown Bonbonne Verres,
Dame Jeannes, Demijohns, carboys, whatever
label you prefer to give these beauties, every maison
should have one.
Perfectionnez pour l'Ambiance française.

I love their grand statement and even though some are
large, (they range from 1 to 10 gallons), there is a
lightness and simplicity to them.
Simple to decorate with and an easy way to bring a
bit of spring indoors. Cut a few branches from
your blooming lilacs, cherry blossoms or star magnolias
and viola, you have an elegant composition. Don't
forget to add the sparkling water!
You can also purchase the candle holders for bottles
and let the wax drip to your hearts desire.
With the quality of artificial today, if you opt

for something your garden can't grow, try something
Frenchy like branches of chestnuts, olive or

A variety of colors, sizes and wraps,
European Antique Market always keeps a few in
the cellar. Most are $125.00. I can never go to

a French market without loading up on these!

From the 17th Century these unique hand blown bottles
were used to store cognac, after the aging process
in oak casks. When the Master Distiller wanted to

stop the maturation of the Cognac, it was transferred
to glass demi johns. Unlike wine, cognac will not mature
when stored in glass and aging in oak, beyond 50 years,
does nothing to enhance its velvety taste.

To protect the liquid gold from light and during transport,
many of the bottles were wrapped in wicker or rattan

This is a photo of a gabare (sailing barge) on the
Charente River in the Cognac region of France.

Bonbonne Verre's also make wonderful
wedding gifts as, no two are alike.
And if you feel like splurging, include a bottle
of that Grande Fine Champagne!
Hope everyone had a lovely Easter and Thanks
to everyone who sent well wishes my way!
If you have a Bonbonne Verre, how do you
use yours???

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Joyeuses Pâques

To all my Blogging friends and readers
Hope You Have a Wonderful Easter!

Friday, March 21, 2008

un bon vendredi

A Good Friday is

remembering to smell the roses along your way

Sharing in your child's happiness

The feeling you get when your 5 month old
grand-daughter smiles at you

Knowing someone else loves your brother too

Walking down your own road in life and having your
family and friends support you

Dreaming about that house in the French Countryside
your going to buy someday

Other people getting excited about seeing your new
shipment of Country French Antiques too

Singing like no one else can hear you

Sharing time with your family and friends

Having the most wonderful, supportive and loving

husband, to share all the Good Friday's with

Happy Easter and may you have a
Good Friday!

Friday, March 14, 2008

il fait chaud

Hot Flash here.
Suzanne Sommer's cottage in Palm Springs has been
reduced to a cool 27 million from 35 million.
Got some extra stash?
You've got to see this place! It does have a
Country French style to it. The interior designer was
my friend, Sue Balmforth from the famed Bountiful.

The video slide reminds me of a Ralph Lauren production.
You can watch it by clicking on the link below.
Les Baux de Palm Springs

I would actually consider it, if it weren't in the middle
of a desert! Ha!
I've been to Palm Springs a few times and love the
shopping there, but I hate to sweat!
I spent the time poolside until the sun went down
and felt lucky to get home without 3rd degree burns.
I don't think Palm Springs would be on my
"Places to Visit" list if it weren't for:

My lovely daughter-in-law, Christy, who just happened to
be crowned Mrs. Globe US in 2005. A mother is entitled
to some bragging rights and since I am name dropping.
She's lovely isn't she? But, her real beauty lies within!
I couldn't be luckier! She's a wife, mother of two beautiful
girls, a writer for the Hamburg Journal in Lexington, Ky,
a model, beauty pageant instructor, spokesperson for
WIN (Women in Need) and owns a Jazzercise franchise.
One busy lady. She also happens to love
Country French Antiques!
Okay, enough bragging already.
Enjoy the slideshow and
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

7 Simple Pleasures of a Country French Kitchen

"Venez chez moi" (come to my house), my favorite words
to hear, when in France. If there is an antique collector/
culture curious/design addict/ visual junkies equivalent
to Epcot, it has to be receiving an invitation to someones
home to experience peu un plus savoir vivre in France!
I only wish I could purchase memory sticks for my mind.
Notebooks, journals, cameras, all those external aiding
devices, I have, but I find them void of substance, lacking
in the power of emotions . I tend to forget most
things that don't create an altered mental state.
(natural mind you)
I've seen my share of movies, turned the pages of many
a book, but I have to tell you, most are like junk in
my trunk. Don't get me wrong, there are always nuggets
of information I try to store away, but I could not tell
you the title of the last movie I watched. I think I use
them more for escapism or when I want to go blank.
There is nothing more gratifying to me than living

real life and making conscious decisions about the
memories that go into my data bank.
What I have found is that I like to surround myself
at home and in my shop with those memories,
those things that spark emotion. They are
life's simple pleasures and they just happen to be

I have this desire to totally immerse myself in the Country French way of life. To be invited into their home is the ultimate treat. I want to see how the twine is tied on the fresh laurel hanging above the stove, feel the basket that stores the garlic, brush the barnacles from the moules, admire the patina on the tart board and fetch the wine from la cave.
To let my mind dance to the music of crystal clinging while singing Sante's and Bon Appetite. To let the texture of the monogrammed linens guide my fingertips. And oh, how I love the guilty pleasure of getting bread crumbs on the table.
To watch how the use of an ordinary knife becomes an art form in the hands of a French person (and all this time I thought they were just for spreading butter and cutting meat). Fork held, tines down, to pierce the delicacies of the season.
And the beautiful pottery spun from the earths clay...they actually use it.
A plateau of the regions fromage guarantees another

lesson in French pronunciation.
(Did you know France has over 400 types of cheese)?
So many wonderful experiences.

By this time I'm usually ready for a shot of espresso, but I do prefer to eat my chocolate with red wine. That's a marriage made in heaven!

An evening finished with a digestif. I like having a digestif
because there is always a lot to digest!
A little Eau de Vie never hurt anyone.
I think a lot of us Americans want a Country French kitchen.
Listed below are 7 Simple Accessories that can add a
Country French touch to your kitchen and give simple pleasure.
1. Baskets Wire, wood, wicker, great to display the seasons best
2. Trays Necessary for the aperitif
3. Tart Board For tartes and fromage
4. Pottery Glazed pottery, the large pouring bowls
like the one pictured above were actually used on farms to
catch rain water. They are great for cooking and display!
5. Potted Herbs A wonderful touch and useful
6. Garlic Press A good metal press, not the plastic kind
7. Corkscrew Buy a nice corkscrew. I particularly like the
ones made from petrified vines. PS. I do sell them.
Now all you need are family and friends to share it with!

And if you can spring for the French Chef, give him a call.
That's my friend Gregoire above from

Wishing you wonderful memories

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Lavage et Lavande

Before the Spring Breeze begins to appear, I must ask her to apportez-moi
some fragrance of France.
Lavender bouquets, mimosa, verbena and fresh linen.
Suddenly, doing the Laundry seems to be an enjoyable task.
I do wish I could hang the bedding from the window, but I will have to wait
until my return.

I do think I will start my Spring Cleaning. My little bottle of Lavender Essential Oil
seems to contain a little genie inside that puts me in the right state of mind for
doing mundane tasks, such as cleaning. I find it so amazing the effect that
smell can have on your brain.
For some cleaning recipes with Lavender you can go here and culinary recipes
If you don't feel like cooking and cleaning visit the Musée de la Lavande in

Or maybe you would prefer to dream about that Maison in Provence you are going to buy.

Care to peek inside ?
Enjoy...I'm going to do laundry.