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French la Vie
Provence, France
Recent Activity
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His tilted hat and sailor shirt. Somebody's great great grandfather. How I would love such a photo of mine. A few tattered notebook pages found in a box with some mix-matched trinkets. Photographs are plenty at the French brocantes so I shouldn't be surprised by them any more than seeing all the discarded antiques, but I am. Old photographs that were most likely stored and left upstairs in the attic or on the top of a closet shelf. Families come and go and with it, some things were left behind or were displaced after the war. The pages contain various sizes of black and white photos of one family over several years in starting in 1907. This photo feels like a painting. I love the shadows playing on the clothes. Renoir! A young woman in a beret runs behinds a horse-drawn carriage. A trunk sits on top of the carriage as someone leans out to say good-bye. The note below reads, "1906 Leaving for England." Continue reading
Posted 5 hours ago at French la Vie
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My hope was to take photos of what I found this week at the brocante. Though I ran out of daylight to take the photo of the item that I found. Sometimes my good intentions become clouded by either my forgetfulness, over-planning or a diversion of the path actually I am rarely on a path, and my forgetfulness plays havoc on most of my best-laid plans. Daydreamers (or I should say someone like me,) tend to not only stop and smell the roses, they become the roses or in my case roses, a few thorns, with a bee in the middle. Tomorrow we are going away for a few days on a much-needed break. Chelsea, Martin, and Baby are coming with us. Arnelle and her husband Rodger (blog readers) have graciously offered their beautiful home for us to stay in. My only regret is they won't be there. xxx Continue reading
Posted yesterday at French la Vie
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Today was my first day back to the brocante since the end of June when there was a French la Vie. One-handed but I managed with Yann's help. Do you know that Yann started to help me at the brocante when I broke my wrist six years ago. I found many fantastic things, but I saw much more than I could buy. What did you do today? Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at French la Vie
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Rose petals are love notes from the other side. They have to be as they are so simply lovely. This morning before heading to the brocante I saw the roses outside my kitchen are in their second time this year. Petal by petal. Word for word... Love. A pink Prince Charming. Lovely graceful beautiful roses, Thank you for blooming year after year outside my kitchen window. xxx Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at French la Vie
Seeing purpose in all things no matter how small, or undefined. Each small task, minuscule, insignificant seemingly unimportant holds a reason for being. The seed the toiled dirt the pollen the spinning spool the collected shell The tool to carve the shell into a button the needle the stitch the knot at the end the hand the many hands that passed the button on to me. Hand-sewn button on the backside of a 19th-century linen pillowcase. Perfect harmony, and still intact. Whatever task I do, no matter how small, I want to give it my best. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at French la Vie
Posted 5 days ago at French la Vie
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Old papers carry stories, memories, personal messages that one day will be lost as we use less and less the written word. What will be passed on will not be touchable. One of my fondest things to do when I go home to my Mother's house is to sit at her desk and pull out the Rolodex and see addresses and phone number written out in my Father's and Mother's hand. I see them in their writing. A sampling of old wallpapers that I use to have. Some I regret giving or selling. Paper bundles. I started selling paper bundles because my addiction got carried away. I still make them on demand. When I worked with Georgianne Lane for Victoria Magazine we went to my friend Odile's shop to do a photoshoot. Odile loves old paper and textiles too. Epiphany King's Cake feves or tokens that are baked in the cake. If ever you want some let me know. Plenty of different designs and shapes. I cannot help myself when it comes to old papers. It is what I am drawn to the most at the brocantes. I found this example on Pinterest without a link to who it belongs to. But I see my walls slowly looking like this. My mom can say I am a wall hoarder. This type of tinted engravings I just eat up blame it on the romantic in me. They are easy to find at the brocantes. For years I have been searching for old playing cards like these. I have found plenty of playing cards, but not of this design. One day I will. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at French la Vie
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Sweet summer days consist of being with this Butterball. Thank you for your many encouraging comments, thoughts, and prayers. I am appreciative of all of you. I hope I encourage you as much as you encourage me. My life is fuller because of this community gathered here. I have seen the power of friendship over and over through this little blog. My wrist is better than yesterday, though I took less medication today and it hurt a bit more so I am not doing that again. On a completely different note, I am letting my hair go white because I am curious to see what it looks like. It is a bit weird to see the roots, and I have doubts, and most likely I won't like it as much but I started, it has been several weeks so far. I hope I do not chicken out (sorry chickens I shouldn't reference you.) I hope I do not change my mind. But I have been known to change my mind even before I have made my mind up. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at French la Vie
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This is us. After our friend's marriage at the church, before the cocktails and hours before the dinner where we would dance until three in the morning and be one of the first people to leave. While dancing I would miss Yann's hand on a move that we have done a hundred times before, which would send me sailing without a boat to a distant shore. Now to wash my hair the tricky part of having one free hand. The humbling part of an illness or an accident or mishap is realizing how much I take for granted. How much I am thankful for the health I have and the care I received and the many notes you sent me! Thank you. Little by little this will heal, I am fortunate xxx Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2019 at French la Vie
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The very first thing I thought of was, “Oh no I won’t be able to hold Gabriel!” At least it isn’t broken. Painful more than when I did break it over six years ago. Has anyone had this happen before? Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2019 at French la Vie
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During a beautiful wonderful wedding, Yann and I were dancing, on one of our moves we missed each other's hands and I went flying backward landing most painfully on my hands. After several hours in the emergency ward, I have sprained badly my wrist that I severely broke several years ago the pin and plate are still there and that is why the sprain is so bad. more later when I can see straight. Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2019 at French la Vie
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Last night Annie came to me in my dreams and held my hand. Dreams have a way of healing us, I was sad yesterday after saying goodbye to Sacha. Annie walked with me along the river I had my hand in hers, she talked about roses and how I should pick some from her old garden. She leaned into me as I put my arm around her she gave me three dried roses Laughing I said, "Hey, remember you use to tell me this was not the moment to cut roses and plant them, let along dried ones?" She smiled, "Life has a way of surviving you'll see." Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2019 at French la Vie
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Where did that month go? An entire month passed about in seconds. Sacha returns to Seattle on Friday, but he is heading for Paris tomorrow. In fairness to time, I must say that a chunk of his time was spent in Italy. You see over a year ago he met a young woman on the family cruise we went on. She was on the cruise with her family too. The two of them met and kept in touch over the internet. Italian Girlfriend speaks English, Sacha is studying Italian. Sacha spent nearly two weeks with her and her family (homemade pasta) in Verona. Verona! Romeo and Juliette, maybe I will reference her as Juliette? No, I think the Italian Girlfriend is her name for now. They spent one week in France with us, well with us but not really. They spend most their time discovery Provence and one another... as it should be. Sacha will be back soon. His heart is in Italy and Italy is closer than Seattle. xxx Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2019 at French la Vie
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As I am at the brocante more often than not I come across many varied beautiful pieces, some I know the origin, the history and or purpose, some I do not. Usually, when I do not know about something, I look things up, read about them, or ask other antique dealers what they know. The vast amount of knowledge goes beyond "this is a book for the 1700s" it connects dots of history, culture, art and in the end day to day life of another period and time. France is a rich soulful country. Paperback books such as these are my utter downfall. Better than purses, shoes, diamonds do I dare say food? Faded tapestry. Most likely if the colors were vivid as they once were I would not be as attraced. Paper old handwritten paper amazes me. That is survived. That someone's hand comes through the ages to my hand. The other day I found a very small tinted engraving of the royal family. I was lucky enough to pay far less for it than what they usually go for, that is the advantage of going to a flea market. The disadvantage is that usually, one has to hit several fleamarkets to find one needle in the haystack. But when you find the needle the story is as good as any BIG FISH story. If I found any of these pieces I would be as happy as a lark. Instead, I am happy to keep looking to find similar items. I found these images on the internet while trying to look up information on other pieces I have. The last photo is Louis 16th and Marie-Antoinette's wedding announcement. ------ photos were taken from the internet, with keywords: Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2019 at French la Vie
Being a kid in the country meant being free to do what I wanted to do pretty much all of the time. Unless I was at school or had chores to tend to. I grew up in a small rural town in California. Most people think of California as one long coastline with actors dotting the beaches and where everyone has a year-round tan. But California is more than that. It actually has farmland, my Father had a dairy farm and grew rice. Surrounding my childhood home there were fields, a creek, a canal and a cemetery on the other side. Growing up we were told that having land mattered. If you had land you could live; with a patch of dirt, seeds, and water at least you would never starve. I felt safe knowing my Dad had land, that he knew how to farm and that my Mom knew how to cook. You see food and love went hand in hand. I had plenty of both. As a child growing up on a farm I took for granted the freedom that the land had to offer. The wide space to run and play. I took for granted the daily lessons of nature. Most often I didn't realize the soothing sound of silence during the day. These natural parts of my day seemed unimportant until I went to the urban side of the world. Though the moment I went to live in the city where my feet touched concrete instead of the earth, where the sun and moon weren't visible at a glance but often peering between buildings and seasons were reduced to simple words such as it is too hot or too cold. I realized how lucky I was to have experienced dirt underneath my feet. The country became my "Emerald City." The lessons I gathered rose strong within me. My French Husband grew up in Rennes a city in Northern France. His work is investing in urban dwellings, land called an urban jungle. Far away are his city experiences, from my growing up in the country. When we first were married we lived in Paris for a few years, and as beautiful as it was, the moment my feet touched the dry earthy ground of Provence I knew then I could call France home. Of course, it helped to have my French Husband by my side, even if... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2019 at French la Vie
The dates for the French la Vie 2020 Please join me on: April 7th - 14th over Easter 2020 ... Three places remain May 12th - 19th ... Two places remain September 8th to the 15th... Four places remain September 29th to October 6th... Four places remain If these dates do not correspond with you I am open to adding another week to create a private tour for you and two to three more friends of yours. Hopefully, we can see each other next year, Corey Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2019 at French la Vie
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Worn, faded covers, tattered, spotted, aged, a page-turner in their day. Eighteenth-century paper-back books gathered, what do they say? I have no idea... I bought them for their covers. On the pages of my life, what is written? Do I like the story that is unfolding? Is the voice of the critic heard? Are there chapters I'd like to skip? Dog-eared pages? Notes on the side? Stories left untold? What is the title? Incomplete sentences waiting ... Certainly becoming a Grandmother has added a new storyline and hopefully many chapters to come. xxx Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2019 at French la Vie
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The first photo with my new camera a Lumnix 100 that I did not ask for and was very surprised by my family who gifted me with it. Sacha said that he was tired of seeing photos taken with my cell phone. The camera is super small and very light and will take me a while to figure it out. Gabriel's hand at Six weeks. There in that little palm, I noticed a strain of Chelsea hair and fuzzies from his blanket. Note to self: micro lens notices everything. Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2019 at French la Vie
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soon I will post the dates for the 2020 French la Vie Journeys. If you are interested please send me an email. Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2019 at French la Vie
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Most of us will be familiar with the Language of Flowers. In Victorian times flowers were often sent to convey messages. Even today roses still represent love and white flowers, a sense of purity. However few will be aware of the Language of Stamps. Many letters posted in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century had stamps affixed to envelopes and picture postcards in all sorts of odd positions and angles. This was due to the development in England of a ‘language of stamps,’ which soon spread around the world. The position of the stamp on the envelope was supposed to relay a message to the receiver. I imagine that people who lived on the edge of Society found this a convenient way of expressing their feelings. I wonder, too, if spies or criminals had stamp languages of their own… The problem of postmarking the stamps placed on various parts of the envelope finally became so great, that postal administrations of the world introduced regulations requiring the sender of mail to affix stamps in the upright corner of the envelope. Collectors of postal history and picture postcards should be on the look-out for envelopes and postcards with stamps affixed in odd positions, as they could well form an interesting thematic/topical collection. Note: Should PDb members have scans of such items in their collections, we should be pleased to publish them and include them with this article. Here are some of the interpretations of the stamp language: Stamp Positions & Meaning Upside down, top left corner = I love you Crosswise on top left corner = My heart is another’s Centre of envelope, at top = Yes Center of envelope, at bottom = No Straight up and down, any position = Goodbye sweetheart Upside down, top right corner = Write no more At right angle, top right corner = Do you love me? At right angle, top left corner = I hate you Upright top right corner = I desire your friendship Upright in line with surname = Accept my love Upside down in line with surname = I am engaged At right angle in line with the surname = I long to see you Centred on right edge = Write immediately! http://www.philatelicdatabase.com/nostalgia/the-language-of-stamps/ Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2019 at French la Vie
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Martin's best friend since childhood is marrying today. Guillaume was Martin's best man at his wedding last year and Martin is his best man today. A French wedding usually starts in the morning at the City Hall since by law you must marry in the City Hall where you reside. Then and only then if you want can you marry in a church or pronounce your vows in another venue. Usually, the second part, the Church wedding takes place later in the afternoon. French weddings usually go on all night long. At Chelsea and Martin's wedding, I went to bed at 4:30 am I was an early bird. As Chelsea is breastfeeding and Gabriel is six weeks old today, I was invited as the babysitter. The best job ever. I am staying at the Chateau where the reception is taking place, the ballroom is steps away. When Chelsea needs to breastfeed, or when Gabriel needs Chelsea it is easy for her to pop into my room. So far all is good, Gabriel is sleeping and I am writing this blog post. If I could be in two places at once I would take some photos, instead, Chelsea has sent me a few to use. What an enchanted summer this is. I added the photos of Chelsea and Martin after I posted this blog. Nearly midnight and the dinner is barely started. Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2019 at French la Vie
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