Saturday, 30 April 2011


Honestly, I just don't what's the matter with me this week, but I'm so full of nostalgia for Marlborough, the hunt, thatched cottages and the countryside of Wiltshire - must be the Royal Wedding.

Anyhow, I just loved this listing on Etsy - it's not mine, but check it out here.

Friday, 29 April 2011

So elegant...

Kate Middleton marries in a dress by Sarah Burton

Well, what an elegant dress. Just beautifully understated, and absolutely Catherine...

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Old-fashioned roses, lavender and fruit trees

As I write this, my sitting room is absolutely filled with the scent of lavender.

A few months ago, I spent the day with a most generous friend who has a rose and lavender nursery down in the Charente, France. Veronica promised me some lavender flowers from the plants she nurtures - the flowers are a bit of a by-product for her and unwanted.

So, I am now the proud owner of a sack of lavender flowers, so I'd better get my sewing machine out and make a few scented bags...

In the meantime, you can check out Veronica Steadman's nursery La Roserie Anglaise here - she grows beautiful old-fashioned roses, full of perfume and colour, lavender plants - as mentioned above - and fruit trees and bushes. She's very happy to post plants, especially bare-rooted stock, anywhere in the world. Take a peek at her website, it will transport you to garden heaven...

Her husband Gordon Steadman is a carpenter and makes the most wonderful one-off kitchens, but due to a back injury is now not able to continue presently on large-scale projects so has turned his hand into making smaller wooden items: sweet little egg stands and salad bowls.

You can see his web-site here with a link to his Flickr page and photos of his work - some really lovely and original designs...

Thursday, 21 April 2011

William and Kate - their big day...

Well, my British girlfriends and I are in anticipation of a great day, gin and tonics in hand (Wendy - come back quickly) watching all the outfits at Westminster Abbey.

However, as I now live in the republic of France, despite most of my French neighbours and friends waiting with baited breath for the big day, here is my version, courtesy of T Mobile.

clic here for an alternative wedding for William and Kate

(Sorry - I just couldn't resist it - it's hilarious and I am sure the happy couple will agree as they are absolutely bound to see it...)

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Some Limoges items - from where I live!

A sheet of Limoges vignettes - used by the outworkers to decorate the tiny Limoges plates you often see around - there are many different pictures so are very collectable - and very popular as little gifts, especially from children to their mums here in Limousin. £10

Sorry but the butterfly dish is sold
This white porcelain dish is decorated with butterflies - I particularly like the shape of the piece, and I love the butterflies. The porcelain is quite fine and looks lovely against dark wood. £12

Flowers are always popular, and this little bouquet is sweet - a perfect dish for bon-bons, or on a dressing table for pins etc. £10

Turquoise is lovely - very popular and looks great in contrast with the burgundy plate below £10

and burgundy goes with turquoise! I like the classical pictures in the centre of each plate, nicely highlighted in gold. £10

This is a children's bowl with its original presentation box. Hot water is poured into the hole - under the sweet little porcelain bird stopper - and it keeps baby's food hot. Often given as christening or welcome baby gifts, it's very rare to find the original box. SO sweet! £20

Limoges also made more practical items such as this bathroom set. This one has 7 pieces and a classical motif of Cupid, decorated in turquoise and gold. Perfect for a period bathroom...£48

I live in Limousin which is the department - or county - in which Limoges is the main town. It is a lovely place to live: lakes, rolling hills and beautiful, mysterious forests...we also have the famous (and very large) Limousin cattle.

The discovery of kaolin at Limoges at the end of 18th century meant that porcelain could be made here in France and factories sprung up alongside the river Vienne. This was once a poor area and countryfolk supplemented their income by taking in Limoges porcelain blanks for hand decorating - hence the sheet of Limoges vignettes.

All the above pieces are on my Etsy site here but if you need any info, just email me or comment.

Have a good weekend - the sun is shining here, so I'm due out in the garden for a spot of weeding I think...

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Anyone for tennis?

Sorry, but this tennis dress is now sold

Isn't it strange how co-incidences go? I recently read about Fiona Walker - the girl in the famous tennis girl poster of the 1970s - see article here - and then while I was at a brocante this week, I saw this vintage tennis dress. I bought it from a very elegant French lady - when I got the dress home, the label said it was British, not French! I wonder if it was ever worn at Wimbledon...I very much doubt it, but you can read more about it here in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Some finds with a military feel

sorry but this postcard is sold
This postcard shows an officer with a very grand moustache flirting with the lady serving croissants and coffee...the private is looking rather sheepish as if he would rather not be there...

Here is the reverse with its written but undated message. I am selling this for £3 and you can read more here.

It's old Boney himself - Napoleon Bonaparte - helping to sell a tonic to restore the poor injured soldier being helped by a nun.

This is an advertising card for a tonic - the advert is on the reverse, and you can buy it for £3 - see my listing on Etsy here.

Yes, ok, maybe not military but this is a badge and scrambled egg from a hat from the Essex Fire & Rescue Service, pressed upon me by a French lady selling a few bits - as soon as she realised I was English...

The hat badge is £4

sorry but the badge and the scrambled egg are both sold
and the scrambled egg is £6, but please contact me direct as I haven't listed either yet.

Hello Sailor! This is a very rare bonbon or sweet box, advertising the confiserie from Brest, Brittany. I have never seen one like it before...and I collect bonbon boxes.

Sorry, but the sailor's hat is sold
It is made from navy felt and board, with a cheerful red pom-pom.
£20 - you can see more here.

A patriotic French bow and ribbon supporting a service medal, in red, white and blue.

Sorry, but this medal is sold
You can see my Etsy listing here - for sale at £6

This is a postcard from the famous Military School of Horseriding in Saumur - I must say the rider does look rather pompous but what a fabulous horse!

There is information about the riding school here in my Ebay listing and you can have the postcard for around £3 - just leave a bid!

Well, the brocante market season has well and truly started - I have been to about 5 markets in the last week and I have bought a lot of lace and household linen - thank goodness the weather has turned warm - my garden looks like a chinese laundry at the moment - every available line and clothes horse has something pegged or draped on it, drying in the spring sunshine.

Ah well, better get the iron out...hopefully you'll see the fruits of my labours in a day or two...

Friday, 1 April 2011

Let's do lunch!

These two chaps are enjoying their lunch - I think they must be officers by their clothes and the sword against the wall. Probably dating from WWI, I wonder if they survived the war - I do hope so.

This menu is dated from 1914 - I love the wine list! AND there is a champagne from 1811...

Delicious menu - and so many courses! How did they keep their waistlines?

And this isn't strictly a menu - it's a souvenir of a good friend...I think these two friends must have enjoyed a good lunch somewhere, and one of them has written a little note to remember Henriette by, then tucked it away be found by us all these years later.

The sepia photo and friend souvenir items are on sale in my Etsy shop here, and the black and white menu & wine list will be very soon, but if you need any information, please just leave a comment or email.


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