Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Well Arranged

Another quick run through our Saturday market in Beaune, with one more theme; everything is bien range, totally well organized; cherry tomatoes like this~

cookies~cheese like this~
fruits, organized by color~
bread, organized in stacks~I passed by the market before 5am on my way to a flashlight sale, then came back later at 8am;
one vendor, a husband and wife team, was "fun";
Madame jumped in front of the lens on each shot. Finally, I let her have it, in French. "Madame, it's the hour to take photos; everything is perfect and well-arranged. I will be back with my basket to buy in a little bit."
her husband roared with laughter; "she's right!" he said. And there were many others just like me, out to make the photo rounds.
but of course, if you are going to take photos of a market, it must be early; it's the best time and everything is perfect~
we had one of these for Sunday dinner and it was Best Best~
more bread stacked just so, and here with a label~
even the candy, perfect~
and the fruits, figs~
A few hours later, all of this is bought and gone;
even bananas, at our market~
display masters, with masses of shoppers....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Perfect Match

Nothing makes me happier than to match up a shopper with their perfect basket. Sometimes they don't know exactly what they need, and it take some time. In other cases, I have got them pegged when they walk in the booth, or they zero in on "their basket" immediately. Such was the case with Anne today. Long and lean, just like this blue beauty I brought back from France, they were perfect together~
and need I point out what she had on her feet? Blue & white striped wedge heeled French espadrilles. With skinny white jeans.

Variations of blue & white stripe baskets. Espadrilles to order. Wide brim hats from Daniel. I am quickly formulating for spring & summer 2011...

Meanwhile, a preview of fall; the kale and artichokes in Magnolia's booth were lovely. Never mind it was 100 degrees today and not like fall, but soon enough!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Baskets from France

I constantly scout and scour for new & vintage baskets while I am in France. I look at what people are carrying, and what is on offer at every local market or store. Thank God R is so patient with me. Though sometimes I love to drive off by myself; because when a sign such as this presents itself, my vehicle makes a hard stop~
Beaune's Saturday market presents many basket shopping opportunities; it's great to compare notes with the two vendors as they know me and that I sell in the States; next time I think I should source some of these double-covered baskets, but from the supplier, not the reseller in Beaune or else it will be too dear in the States~
On this trip I found some baskets, but not nearly as many as I had hoped. I bought this one as a gift, for the blue stripes, they look like a big ticking, don't they?

this one came on the plane with me; it was my "personal item." Yeah. I maxed this puppy out with glass bottles and jars and stuff; it was about 100 lbs and I was exhausted. The basket was a little fatigue too when it arrived. But it survived and I will use it or sell it~I bought a flat, tray-shaped basket, new, with grey tone; no idea of its origin, but it has a great patina and Elle and I will use it soon~

the texture and color look really great when you add in vintage monogrammed French dishtowels on top~
Also came home with a great vintage wine gathering basket or panier de vendange from the Champagne region; I love this one; it is medium size so very versatile~

there is a reason the old baskets are hard to come by; they look fantastic, a combination of rough luxe and geometry~
I will snap such baskets up when I can. Meanwhile, a few new ones came home too; this is in osier or reed; these are not yet as popular in the U.S. as they are in Europe, but there is a lot to be said for a structured basket; and these are the BEST~
also brought home this blue long-handled tote; we love blue as much as the French! Button closure as well as drawstring pouch closure; this will be for sale in Rancho Santa Fe tomorrow~
the detail~
In comparison, my quality and range is way up there; my prices are competitive with what you find in France, and you don't need to travel to France, just for a basket :) But I did buy a few pieces like these; love the little closure detail, which I don't have~
I have this in mind for a few gifts; I bought several of them!
My favorite purchase is a personal one. A 19C basket for gathering nuts~
the finishings are rustic, and the shape is very pleasing~
the cross bar is finished by hand~
it reminds me of an Oriole's nest. It is functional, sculptural, organic. Keeping this one for a while....
I am ordering a new set from Morocco this week, forgot to mention. Will arrive in time for holiday. Stay tuned for more details....

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pont a Mousson

On this last trip, I visited the ancestral village of my father's family, in the Moselle. His great-great grandmother came from France in 1854, through Ellis Island, to join those who had emigrated 50 years prior to the same village in Ohio. How could they leave at that time, just as the 19C decorative arts reached their peak?
The answer of course is that there was nothing for them to do, there was no work. And so, they left. Unfortunately they were not in the market for the latest in decorative arts fashions...

About 100 kilometres away in France, at the same time, there was an incredible production underway, that of papier mache or carton bouilli....paper mache we call it; pieces with Chinoiserie decor were all the rage~you will find many different pieces from this era~ lots of boxes, trays, letter holders and such; the motifs are all so different~
the classic NIII decor with hand-painted stars~
They remind me of a coromandel screen; think Coco Chanel's apartment on Rue Cambon~musical scenes and processions are frequently seen~
I continue to collect these pieces when I can find them, especially trays; they are not expensive and they look great as an assembled collection~
the center of production in the 19C was the town of Pont a Mousson near Nancy~ of course I stopped on my way to Beaune; here the maire or city hall, decked out properly in French flags~
immaculate city, though carton bouilli is no longer produced here, this is the huge central square; that's the little market I stopped at across the way, under the white tents~
church and lanterns....
swans in the Moselle River....
and the best, magnificent, over the top, clock face and bells!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sunday, Beaune

Sunday morning in Beaune means two things to me; The Bells, and Mass, or la Messe as they call it. The Church is sometimes referred to as a Basilica (meaning an important church with special ceremonial rights conferred by the Pope), and is dedicated to Our Lady (Notre Dame). It was started in the XIIthC and took over 100 years to build; it is a fantastic example of Romanesque architecture, and has been perfectly maintained.
here you see the back side of the church, with the fantastic buttresses as well as the backside of the stained glass windows shown above~
The distinctive tiled roof is topped with a slate-covered bell tower~
there are so many wonderful and intricate features on the building~
grand gothic style~
the interior is equally fantastic, yet simple~
above the rush-seat prayer chairs you will find a pair of fantastic chandeliers and grand format art~
the altar itself is a sight to behold; very grand in cream and gilt~

We are within a stone's throw of the Church (or collegiale as it is known locally, as it was originally associated with a monastery), the bellfry or beffoi, and the small belltower on top of the Hotel Dieu. If I can get my video uploaded you will hear the big bells of the Beffoi and the Collegiale as well as the organ after mass; music to my ears.....all the bells are rung at 9:15am on Sunday morning for about 10 minutes; big heavy bells; there is no mistaking we are in Europe!

You can take a tour of the church and hear the organ music HERE, though the sound on the camera doesn't do the thunderous organ justice. I also didn't realize until I uploaded these that you can't rotate the camera. Sorry, gotta turn your head!