Thursday, 30 September 2010

Vide Greniers Finds

A few days ago I found another bag I had brought back from France with a few more vide greniers finds. I had put it away in the room where I keep a lot of the treasures which I plan to sell eventually, when I can bear to part with them, lol. Of course, I promptly forgot about it. But then I got this niggling feeling that I had forgotten to do something. I suppose my brain finally kicked in, lol, and I remembered the bag. So here we are with a few more pics of French goodies. A few of the things I bought in France I actually left at the cottage, because, well, they just fitted in so beautifully. I'll show you those first, I think.

This was one of the very first things I bought this summer, and I was absolutely thrilled to bits. I had coveted one of these beautiful old 1930s deck chairs for a very long time. I couldn't believe my luck when I finally found one, and in such fabulous condition as well -

A couple of other things for the garden, like this gorgeous green watering can -

and this oh so tactile wooden carrier thingy. The handle is so smooooooooooooth!

I finally found a lovely old birdcage, now I just need a birdie to go in it!

Oh, and this beautiful tin. It took me a while to buy it, I walked away once, and then went back again half hour later, and finally decided I had to have it, even though it cost me much more than I would normally pay for a tin. But just look at the beautiful design! Plus, it is really big, and plus plus, it has the proper key with it! And it is in really lovely condition as well. You agree, don't you, I couldn't have left it on the stand -

At the moment, both the birdcage and the fish tin are living on top of the indoor dog kennel, until I find a proper place for them -

This little curtain was almost the perfect size for the front door. I love how beautifully the design shows up with the sunlight behind it-

I never remember to take photographs as vide greniers, I guess I just concentrate too much on finding lovely treasures. I often have a camera with me, lol, it just never sees the light of day. On this one occasion though, I actually managed to whip the camera out, but only because our friend Paul, DS3's workmate, was with us. I snapped him snapping. But isn't the location lovely? All along the lakeside -

Oh dear, I have done it again, haven't I? This post is already so long, and I haven't even touched on the stuff I had in the bag. Hmm. Tomorrow, girls? I think I had better make it a separate post, before you start yawning your heads off.

Enjoy whatever you are doing today, toodlepip xxx

Monday, 27 September 2010

France Post 9 - Do Cows Rule the World?

I really ask myself that question at times, it certainly seems that the gorgeous Charolais cows in our area do as they please.

Now before I tell the stories, I need to explain where our cottage is. OK, we are right at the top of a hill, in the deepest Charolais beef farming country, about a kilometer away from the nearest neighbour, our local farmer Thierry. The main road ( a tiny one lane, no markings road ) runs about 100 yards or so from our house and our little lane comes off it at a little crossroad. We are surrounded by fields, of course. On one side of our little lane is our cottage with the garden and lower field. Next to the garden is one of Thierry's fields, where he periodically keeps his cows. On the other side of the house, behind it, is another one of his fields, where he plants stuff one year, grazes the cows the next etc. This year he planted corn for fodder. Next to THAT field is a field which belongs to another farmer, who keeps cows there. On the opposite side of the little lane is our top field. We dug out a bit of the bank for a couple of parking spaces. Got the picture? Sort of?

Story 1, Cows in Corn, early on in the holidays.

My kitchen window looks out on to the field behind our cottage. It was planted with corn, which was still fairly small. One morning, nice and early, I was making a cup of tea, looked out of the window and was confronted by this

Somehow, a mummy cow and baby cow had escaped from the field on the other side and made their way into Thierry's corn field. And boy, did they have a great time! They munched and they rested, they munched some more, and rested some more

This went on all day, until late in the afternoon they finally had enough and wombled off again, I suppose back to the rest of the herd in the other field. We thought about calling the farmer, but realised there was not much point. We remembered that a couple of years ago, his whole herd had escaped and gotten into the corn field. We panicked and drove over to his house at 7am. He shrugged his shoulders in the way only the French can and said, doesn't matter, the corn is for their fodder anyway. Sooooooooo typical French, lol.

Story 2, a few days later, The Curious Calves.

I was doing stuff in the garden ( heck, I can't remember what, lol ) when I heard some "mooooes" coming from an unexpected direction. A quick glance over the garden gate, and my suspicions were confirmed. Escaped cows in the lane! Very curious baby cows at that. Now a few baby cows I can handle, I have been known to herd calves back to their mummies ( and very scary daddies ) before.

See? No problem, lots of arm waving and a bit of shouting, and the turned tail and ran off to where they had come from. At least I hope so, lol. They did go in the right direction, and I could hear mummy cows calling

Well, that was easy enough, as I said, those adorable little calves I can handle, even half a dozen or so. But, what I couldn't handle happened a few weeks later........

Story 3, The Lost Herd

Scene - Andy and myself sitting in the cottage, enjoying a beer/cup of tea respectively and listening to some music, when I heard some VERY loud moooooooes. I managed to say " ohoh, that sounds way too close for comfort " before rushing out into the garden, and sure enough, there were some young calves right outside the gate again. Quick dash inside to get the camera, and the calves in front of the gate had gone, but there were a few more coming up the lane.

Ok, I thought, Lizzie, you spring into cow herding action again. Those cows must have come out of the field on the other side of Thierry's corn field. The other farmer's field. Standing in the lane about to start shouting and waving again, I suddenly heard a whole lot of mooooooes coming from our top field! WTF??? I climbed up the bank, and couldn't believe my eyes, there were loads of big, fat, massive, grown up cows in OUR field!, How the heck did they get there? Baby cows are cute, mummy cows en masse are scary

And they were all coming towards me! Quick retreat down the bank to the lane again, and I was able to watch them charging past me in the top field. Right above our Volvo. YIKES. Threatening to come down the bank, uhoh.....

Frantically calling Andy I jumped back into the garden. When Andy came rushing out, I asked him to jump into the car and try and find Thierry or the other farmer, and tell them about the escaped herd. And to save our car from being jumped upon by panicking cows, lol. So he went off in search of a farmer, and I went up into the top field again. The cows had wombled off to the other end of the field, where there is an exit onto the main road. But because we had strung a rope across the opening, like one does there, lol, they just turned round and came back again!

Boy was I glad Andy had gone off in the car, because they decided that the only way out of the top field was down the bank and they wanted to be reunited with their babies, more babies, which were coming up the lane

I beat a hasty retreat to the garden when they started coming down. first one mummy

then one very scary biiiig daddy
just wanting to be reunited with their darling babies

All in all there must have been at least 25 cows. And I wasn't going to herd that lot anywhere! There was so much frantic moooing going on, it got a bit scary. One by one they made their way down from our top field onto our little lane, and marched off, of course in the WRONG direction, towards the road

I don't know which one of the cows made the decision, but in the end they all decided to take the road to the left. In the direction of Thierry's farm, the way Andy had driven 15 mins earlier. He got back a few minutes after the last cow had disappeared round the corner, and I asked him whether he had trouble getting through the herd on the road. " Huh, there was no herd on the road" he said. What? Where had they gone? We checked the fields close to us, no cows. Andy hadn't passed them on the road either. So where had they gone? Of course his mission had been unsuccessful, you won't find a farmer at home during the day, so we couldn't tell anybody about the escaped herd. We spoke to Thierry the next day, he hadn't seen the cows. It seemed nobody had. And to this day, we still haven't solved the mystery of the vanishing herd, lol, although I am sure the owner must have found them.

So you see why I sometimes think cows rule at least our little part of the world, lol. But they do make the nicest neighbours, I have to say.

Toodlepip, xxx

Sunday, 26 September 2010

France Post 8 - Blogless but bloggers are always close

And that is because of all the gorgeous little bits and pieces, which I have received from bloggy friends all over the world, both in swaps and as pressies. Some of the them are in our house in England, and some of them are in our cottage in France. It is very comforting to be surrounded by bloggy friends' gifts when you can't blog because you can't get broadband at the cottage.

This sweet flower garland looks so pretty above the old door and below the wisteria, I received it in a flower swap with this lovely lady -

The next two pics are of gifts I received in a "colour" swap from Elizabethd. I had chosen beige, no easy matter, but her gifts were beautiful. I keep the lavender sachet she made with lavender from her own garden by my bedside, and the sweet little "ete" hanger lived on the front door all summer long -

My lovely Kiwi friend's gorgeous girls made me these precious hearts -
They are hanging in the big old armoire and greet me every time I open the doors to get out bowls or platters etc.

And Sarah herself treated me to this beautiful tea towel. I hung it up straight away, and it looked fab in the kitchen in the cottage, and then it struck me that green in the leaves matched my Lloyd Loom chair pretty well.................... and there it has been ever since -

And one day, while I was entertaining 7 guests for lunch in our garden, the postman drove up to the cottage and delivered this from my wonderful friend Dorthe -

She makes the most beautiful treasures, sigh. She also sent me this lovely card -

Oh, and when I feel posh or have friends round who also drink tea, then I do use a proper tea pot and of course the fabulous tea cosy I received from Judy at tapestries of nature -

It does make me happy to be surrounded by little treasures from blogger friends, silly, yes, but it is like having a teeny part of them with me. They make me smile every time I look at them, and of course they also make me wonder what these friends are posting about while I am away.

I must have had a sentimental 5 minutes here, lol, thinking about the summer in France, friends, and I just had to revisit these lovely gifts. I miss them here in England, but they are waiting for me at the cottage....

Have a lovely Sunday afternoon/evening/Monday morning wherever you are,

Toodlepip xxx


Friday, 24 September 2010

France Post 7 - Some Fabricy Treasures

At long last, here is the promised linen, lace and lovelies post. Of course, as soon as I got everything out of the box yesterday, the weather turned nasty, grey and horrid, and it was almost impossible to take photos. I thoroughly dislike taking photos with flash, I really do prefer natural light. Of which there was very little, lol. I tried again this morning, frantically snapping away during the few minutes when it got a bit brighter, in between rain showers. So if the photos are somewhat dull, blame it on the rotten weather!

I'll start with my favourite find. This is a huge 19th C. bedspread, absolutely gobsmackingly gorgeous, as you can see from the close ups. The top itself is in fantastic condition, but sadly, the beautiful wide tasseled trim is in very poor condition in places. Do I care? No, of course not, because even without the trim, the top is just so stunning. Just think how much work has gone into producing just those beautiful whitework squares, let alone everything else -

Antique French linen towels, aren't they just fabulous? Natural linen can be quite dark when it is new. The more often it is washed, the lighter it gets. Most of these linen towels have not been used, they were part of a young woman's trousseau and probably kept in the linen press for decades. The stall holder I bought them from had, however, washed them to remove storage marks. Shame she didn't iron them as well, lol -

I don't think these have ever been used, the linen is a gorgeous cafe au lait colour. There was just one towel which had obviously been used and washed many times, see how much lighter the linen has become? -

Finding original damask ticking is getting very difficult, so when I spotted this piece, which the stall holder was using as a table cloth, I just had to have it. He looked at me rather strangely when I asked whether it was for sale, and had a good ole laugh with his wife, but was quite happy to move all the stuff off it and let me have it, once we had agreed a price. I just love this design, ears of wheat and cornflowers, all intertwined with a ribbon. And those elegant, subtle colours, perfect with white/off white furnishings.

Antique lace also is not that easy to find anymore. And when you do find it, it is expensive. Every now and then though, you do find a few bits and pieces -

This is a really gorgeous deep lace trim-

I love love love this rose trim -

Hand made broderie anglaise trim -

I have some more rather lovely laces, but my battery died on me, lol.

Victorian lampshade cover -

I managed to find a set of TWELVE of these gorgeous monogrammed damask napkins/serviettes, PLUS a matching tablecloth as well. I really do love a beautifully laid table, with a snow white tablecloth and proper fabric serviettes. I do use them all the time in France when we have people round for dinner or lunch -

Aaaahhh, petticoats! These are so beautifully trimmed with the most exquisite hand made broderie anglaise. There are a couple of tiny faults on the beautifully soft fabric, but to me that really doesn't matter, these petticoats make a lovely display in a French bedroom.

Petticoat 1 -

Petticoat 2 -

Petticoat 3 -

I will list quite a few of these things in my blog shop, Lululiz in Vintageland, tomorrow.

Alright now, don't you think this is quite enough for one day? There are more fabricy things to show you, but I think they are best left until tomorrow. This is a VERY long post already. So for now, have a lovely weekend! Toodlepip xxx