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Around Here

Around Here

PicMonkey Collageimages from my Instagram

Ready for the weekend?

I am.  It’s nice to finally be over being sick and I’m looking forward to heading out in the Provencal countryside again.

Much is happening here and I will be sharing as things progress.  Our time in the city is finally winding down and I am already dreaming of the countryside.

Next week starts a buying trip that will take us to Paris, Normandy and the Loire Valley.  I love being on the road and going wherever the road and whim takes us.  Traveling with a friend makes it all the better.

Follow along with us on Instagram for daily doses of our journey.

The shop is loaded with new finds, with more to come over the weekend.

Happy Weekend!

now Online

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French Creativity

French Creativity

French Creativity

There are SO many things to be found in a brocante.  So many things whose original purpose were unknown to me.

I choose and buy based on a feeling.  Whatever I am drawn to and fits within an aesthetic that I am going for is fair game.

Bringing in a load of finds and cleaning, debugging (often) and repairing them is all part of the process and allows me to relive the excitement of the original find.  Arranging them or working them in to vignettes is the icing on my brocante cake.

What often bursts my brocante bubble (and what I wasn’t prepared for) is the literal nature and lack of imagination that can exist here.  Please understand that I am not saying that they aren’t creative, because they are, very much so.

French creativity often follows the path of their ancestors and traditional pursuits. Painting, masters in carving, gilding, needlework and the list goes on and on.  The creative arts are celebrated here far more than anywhere else in the world, with the possible exception of Italy.

What I am referring to is the use of something in a form other than what it was originally intended for…..and that is splashed all over my decorating world.

The Joys of ‘Out of the Box’

That ‘out of the box’ thinking that is so prevalent in the US (and other younger countries) is what I miss.  We have no history when it comes right down to it, so we make our own way.  We consider anything early 1900’s to be antique.  Should you stumble on something from the late 1800’s it is a small miracle and one to be greatly celebrated.  1700’s?  That is reserved for museums.

I miss that spirit. Oh how I miss that!…..and it grows more and more so as time goes on.

I love that an antique mirror frame is just as precious to us without the glass.  It is celebrated and proudly displayed, chips and all.  The question I am most often asked here is ‘why do you have that frame without a mirror?’.

This has been one of the greatest hurdles in adjusting to my life here.  Luckily I have cultivated a group of French dealers with a similar approach.  They feed my creativity and my soul.  I am thankful for them each and every time I am graced with their presence.

As I think of the future and what I want to do with the possibility of a week long group shopping trip, this concept is front and center in my plans.

The Brocante Society

Many of you have seen the phrase “Brocante Society” used in my blog and social media sites.  This is the where that comes in to play.

I want these trips to be the embodiment of that concept.  A group of creative souls that embrace and thrive on the thrill of the adventure.  One that shares and motivates those that participate to grow and expand their creativity.  One that allows all to be more enthused when they return to their own homes and lives.

Sound interesting?  If you are wanting to learn, to see France, to visit brocantes, drink wine, eat wonderfully fresh food and bask in the French sunshine (disclaimer—this could end up being rain—after all it is France….) then get on the list.

Things are about to start happening!

….and NEW items will be in the shop Friday evening!

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Living Authentically – What Does it Mean to You

Living Authentically – What Does it Mean to You?

Moving to France meant basically started over with everything.

Shopping was a guilty pleasure and I reveled in all the amazing places that I could immerse myself creatively.

FleaingFrance Living Authentically

About a year and half ago I received an email that made me stop and ask myself the question that led to this post.  A request to source 100 vintage white plates for a Los Angeles restaurant made me challenge my way of living.

Was I living authentically (or my version of that) and if not, why wasn’t I doing this for myself as well?

I decided to take inventory of what I had wanted to accomplish when I first set out to create FleaingFrance.

My goal was to indulge in and share my love of French vintage treasures with those in other parts of the world.  I wanted to create an environment and live a life style that was true to that goal.  I decided then and there to begin to adhere to that mission statement.

My first challenge to myself was that I would not buy anything new for my home unless I could not find something I liked better in the brocante.

In other words, I decided to live my brand.

How to go about making a change?

One of my qualifications was to stick to a particular color palette and that wasn’t the easiest of tasks to accomplish.

Cookware proved to be the most difficult item to find and that lasted for well over a year.

Luckily, a last minute stop in Lyon after a weekend of sourcing provided a gold mine of finds.  Voila, my kitchen was well stocked and at a fraction of the cost of a single new item.

FleaingFrance-Living Authentically

Was it easy to break my old habits?  I can not tell you how many times I would catch myself picking up a new bowl or plate that caught my eye.  It was a habit.  After a few times it was easy to question, do I really need this or would I rather put that money in to a piece of antique faience?

The latter option always won out and now I am rarely tempted (Astier de Villatte and Anthropologie initial mugs are my exceptions to that rule ) to even look at new.

Unexpected Benefits to ‘Living Authentically’

The one thing that I didn’t expect was how much I love walking in to my kitchen.

I am greeted with the view of stacks of old white faience plates, platters and bowls of ironstone, antique silver cutlery and clear wavy glasses lined up on the shelves.

I’ve found that I even enjoy the cleaning process.  Washing vintage pieces and seeing the patina that develops with each and every use makes me happy.  I like knowing that every piece has a story behind it….and will have history added to it long after me.

FleaingFrance Living Authentically

Mostly I am proud that I was able to change my buying habits (and how simple it was) and start living the way I originally set out to.

Living Authentically….. authentically French, authentically vintage and authentically me.

New items now online in the SHOP

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