mercredi 27 août 2014

Flappers...the roaring 20s...

I so love this compilation............

What an incredible era!!

A la prochaine mes belles


vendredi 22 août 2014

Just look at me now!

Remember me like this?

Oui? Well just look at me now!!!

Charles le Baron du Breuil.....spoiled rotten at Le Petit Chateau!!

Bon weekend mes belles, brocantes galore here this weekend.


jeudi 14 août 2014

Grease my ears............

This local chateau was in ruins until someone bought it and began to renovate. The shutters were broken and hanging off and the brambles almost concealed the whole building. It was a little like the enchanted castle where sleeping beauty lay until the prince chopped his way through! Every time I pass I have to stop and peer through the railings.

One day I am going to get my head stuck between them and you are going to have to come and grease my ears to get me out!! Actually if you are going to do that just remove me with the railings around my head....I could think of lots of uses for them here!! I always wonder if someone is looking back at me through one of those windows saying " That wierdo is back again"!

As we speak there is still no sign of a pumpkin but I have discovered we seem to have all male flowers and no female flowers. There is a huge amount of testosterone in the pottager vegetable patch at the moment. Perhaps there is some kind of a pumpkin flower dating agency where my plant could pick up a mate? 

I am still trawling through the chateau textiles and this latest pair of Lyon silk boudoir curtains may be faded as they have been tied back for so long but oooh la la  they are beautiful!

And then we discovered this batch of gorgeous glass covered orchard labels that were apparently used in the orangerie where the seedlings were started.

Firstly...they do not open so how did they seal the paper labels inside?

Secondly...who cares they are delicieux!!!

A la prochaine mes belles

lundi 11 août 2014

What a gale................

I am trying to photograph this beautiful silk and velvet chateau pelmet in a lashing gale!

More than once both the pelmet with me attached has almost flown over the marsh.

It is a little like the Mary Poppins film where she flies in over the roof tops holding her bag.....except that I will be clutching a swag and tail pelmet with a Jack Russell terrier Sir Digbert Fanshaw Brownshaw clinging to my 

If I manage to get it photographed I will list it tonight. If it is not listed please check your rooftop for I may be there hanging on to your chimney.

As we speak there is still no pumpkin!!!

samedi 9 août 2014

Venice wings............

Everywhere you turn....there are wings in Venice!

I have to wait until next February for my next Venice fix!

I took the new blog header photograph whilst walking around the old part of the graveyard on the island in Venice. I remember being intrigued by the ballet shoes and flowers and never copied down the details. Now I am so desperate to find the name and the history behind it. It will be the first stop for me when I get back there.

Alas still no pumpkin........

Have a wonderful weekend mes belles

jeudi 7 août 2014

If it aint broke don`t fix it.....

Ebay always had an " about me" page that worked well but they seems to have moved the goal posts yet again and I am now supposed to write a review?
So I have had a little dabble but now it seems to be missing!!

It should be here!!

Oh well! 

I have just toured the garden and alas still no pumpkin....I am " sans" pumpkin...lacking in pumpkin...without pumpkin...pumpkinless.

I may have to buy one and find a way to glue it to the sad array of leaves lurking in the pottager!

A la prochaine mes belles

mardi 5 août 2014

NO need to raise the ransom...

I have had several emails to see if I have been kidnapped.......I know I haven`t blogged but it`s just been a bit loop the loop here at the chateau!

We are having a wonderful Summer and sunrise and sunset across the marsh are breathtaking.

 We have had hosts of guests and the chateau has been a conveyor belt of friends, family, suitcases, travelling cots, baby gates, barbeques, beach days, brocanting, renovations and pumpkin pampering!

 Paddling pools for the youngsters have been inflated and then thrown away and replaced each time Charles Le Baron sees one as he cannot resist digging his claws in!

We had a birthday party in the garden for our 4 year old grand daughter which saw Mark up into the early hours trying to draw a donkey for a "pin the tail, on the donkey" game. All I can say is that if there is by some chance , anywhere in the world,  a poor creature that looks like that it should be put out of its misery.

 The party was a very girly affair in the fabulous sunshine with the most amazing cup cakes produced by my friend Jan who is a superstar in the baking department. They looked so good all together that I became slighty possessive about them and didn`t want them to be eaten!

The chateau attic textiles are still in heaps everywhere in various stages of cleaning, drying or being beaten into submission and I have been promised more in the weeks to come.To that I say " Merci Monsieur....keep bagging them up and shipping them my way !!".  My only dilemma is that there are some stunning single curtains so should I sell them or wait to see if their other half arrives?

Sir Digbert has become completely deaf and we are now communicating by sign language and it seems to work well.  He keeps his eyes on my face and I keep my eyes on where he is wandering to and spend my life running after him as he can`t hear me call him back! Whilst the hay is being gathered and brought in off the marsh I have been frantic he will not hear a tractor approaching and might get squashed and then I will have to terminate a local farmer. I shall then be writing my blog from a prison in Paris.

The renovations here continue and hopefully we will be having two extra bedrooms soon. With the good weather we are concentrating on doing the outside building jobs while we can. Sometimes the marsh tries to take the garden back and we have to beat it into submission! I know the marsh was here long before the chateau was built in 1838 but it can at least let me have a little morceau for my lawn!

The Venice garden is still half built and once the chateau becomes less like an asylum we will get back to the wall building.

In the Spring I stupidly threw down the gauntlet to our friends to see who could grow the biggest pumpkin for Halloween. Already there are some enormous contenders and I have to confess that as yet I don`t even have a pumpkin to show! There has already been espionage and attempted eliminations within the ranks. Our attempts to detonate a particularly large specimen of a friend was rumbled! 

Some growers are going to some amazing lengths to protect their pumpkin patch.

 I have lots of leaves and flowers but nothing to show for my efforts...not even a pea sized pumpkin!  I am putting on a brave face by telling the others that they have peaked too soon but behind closed doors I am sobbing into my faded florals!

A la prochaine mes belles, any pumpkin forcing hints will be gratefully received!


lundi 21 juillet 2014

The chateau textiles.............

We set off on Saturday to collect the chateau attic textiles and we were not disappointed!

The chateau had been purchased by a development company before my friend got involved in the clearance.  The roofers had already dumped all the period costume in a skip and it had been disposed of! If the period costume was as good as the textile then that has been a great loss.

I did manage to come back with some amazing 1920s flapper girl silk stockings. Some are unused and still tied with their shop ribbons. 

They must have passed through the hands of the laundry maid as she had monogrammed and numbered them ready to be entered in the chateau laundry log book. 

Most large chateau employed a laundry maid who would log each item of the household linens and clothing. She would then embroider  monograms and number it all in the chateau log book to note any repairs and special laundering required.

SO now for the curtains, bed canopies and swags.... I have to launder what I can and beat the dust out of what I can`t. 

It is a little like Widow Twanky`s laundry here today!!

Thank heavens for Vanish stain remover !
How much 19th century dust can one woman eat?
How many calories are in dust?

Should you feel like rolling up your sleeves and getting into buckets of laundry then please feel free!

A la prochaine mes belles )

jeudi 17 juillet 2014

Shall I?

Just had an email from a dealer friend down country who is emptying a chateau attics. He asks if I want this? If I do want it I have to go quick as he doesn`t want to fill his van with textile when he has furniture to load.

I think I DO!!!! 

At least we have wonderful weather so I can launder it all!!

Have a wonderful day mes belles

lundi 14 juillet 2014

From "le Palais" to "le Chateau"...........

Early morning  and we were on our way to a huge trade brocante in Avignon. It was only just turning 7am but we knew that it was going to be yet another dry, hot, airless scorching day. I knew that we would be unable to park anywhere near the sellers and would have a good 20 minute walk to the brocante itself. I told Mark that I was not going to buy anything huge that day but, instead,  would restrict myself with easy-to-carry treasures.

I started as I meant to go on and I had acquired a wonderful haul that we were managing to cope with quite well in our large bags and in that heat  - and then I saw them;     a pair of enormous cranberry-red coloured period velvet drapes with stunning passementerie tassels. I couldn`t stop myself and of course I asked the price - and that was the end of my good intentions.

The seller  told me that they were longer than 5 metres in length, that he had other pairs in his van parked outside - and that they had come from Le Palais Royal de Bruxelles. We followed him to the van ( at the same time noticing that his number plate was a Belgian plate, giving at least some credence to his story!) and he opened the back door for us to see the remaing pairs he had for sale. That was done...they were mine!

Then as we set off in the heat again I realised that we had no means of getting them to the car and buyers were not permitted to enter the ground with a vehicle until a good three hours later to pick up any purchases. 

Mark could just about manage to gather in and carry all the textile of just one curtain in his arms and with each weighing, he guessed about 20 kgs and  there being a few pairs we resigned ourselves to a long wait before we could go in and collect them.

But who should then swing past? None other than good old Jose, a freelance porter who helps buyers transport their large purchases back to their vehicles . I immediately went to get the car and tried to park as close to the outer gate as possible whilst Mark and Jose went to load up his large hand cart with the curtains. The 30 euros we paid to Jose was worth every penny and we filled the car to the brim with the luscious red velvet hoard.

Back home in Normandie we laid them out on the lawn but soon realised that we had no way to photograph them to show them at their most magnificent. Then we were saved by the marvellous owners of a local chateau, La Manoir de la Maillardiere.

This divine chateau built in 1665 is steeped in history and not only that it is also currently up for sale. I think it is probably the only place I would consider leaving 'Le Petit Chateau' for! It is an incredible building with amazing period features, stunning grounds and , on top of that, an incredible history. I could have photographed it all day and I still wouldn`t even have shown a morceau of how wonderful the place is!

The owners had offered to take down the curtains hanging at the enormous windows in their own 'chambre' and allowed us to photograph our own curtains in their place - and, even then, the curtains pooled deliciously on the floor!

So.............. being listed tonight are possibly the most regal pair of drapes I have ever found;  and if anyone has any  enquiries about La Manoir de la Maillardiere itself which is situated in the small village of Ste Marie du Mont here in Normandie, I will happily pass them on to the current owners.

A la prochaine mes belles