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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!

click image for source

sharing at feathered nest

Blogging in a Different Way

Blogging in a Different Way

Blogging in a Different Way

I can write or I can get lost in inspirational photos.  That is my truth….whether I like it or not.

I have learned that each of these processes are very different tasks for me and not necessarily ones that work well together.  Once I head down the rabbit hole of a visual media site I can get lost and off track for hours.

Combining the two in to the process of creating a blog post had become something that I put off until the ‘right time’… if that really existed in a daily routine.

Blogging in a different way

There are so many place to find what inspires me visually.  Be it on my Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr or Facebook, there is no shortage of beauty to be found.

What I don’t do on those formats is write.  I had to face up to the fact that it was time for me to get back to sharing stories about living in France, whether it be the charm or the insane frustration at times, or the excitement of shopping in the brocantes.  After all, this was the reason I started this blog.  It had just evolved in to something else over time.

Is this the right path?  Only time will tell, but things are off and running as of today!  Just writing this post without the pressure to fill it with the perfect images was a breeze.

The brocante will still operate, shopping trips will still be scheduled and the blog will go on, but each will have time devoted to them.

I hope that this is the motivation that gets me back on the road to writing again….and to sharing what is inspiring me at the moment.

Stay tuned there is more to come!

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January-Off With a Bang

January-Off With a Bang

Happy New Year to you all.  I hope that your holidays were long and relaxing.


Are you ready for the new year?  It has started off at a rapid pace here in Provence.

Shopping seems to be on everyone’s mind and the requests are coming in for dates all the way through next fall.


If you are thinking of making a trip and want to shop in Paris, Provence or the countryside anywhere in between, be sure to reserve early.  It’s going to be a busy year.


We have loads of new items that will be coming to the shop in the coming weeks, as well as a warehouse full of treasures not yet listed.  Be sure to get on the shop update list to be notified before the general public when new items go online.  …..and YES, we ship worldwide.


Coming to Provence and want to visit?  Just drop me an email and we will schedule a time for you to visit and shop the warehouse in person.

Want to know when new items are added to the shop?  Just click to get on the list.

Happy 2016!

linking with feathered nest, shown n tell