Magical French Summer Market


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French Kissed French Summer MarketI had an absolutely magical time in Santa Barbara at Jermaine Chastain’s lovely Italian Villa for the first French Kissed and Trouvais French Summer Market. The water fountain outside the open double front doors gurgled, the breeze flowed in past sentinel Italian cypresses…outside a gravel courtyard was all old world grandeur with aged iron armchairs and birdcages and baskets…and wine crates laden with old silver and vintage porcelain.

French Kissed

French Kissed

On every table and past thrown open cabinet doors there was gold edged porcelain and silver..silver…silver..Jermaine’s treasure hunting specialty..

French Kissed

 The gamut of price ranges…but each and every piece fit for a queen…

French Kissed

Hostess gifts and wedding gifts and gifts for…ourselves!

French Kissed

 As always…the best part of these events is meeting the stalwart new and old friends that made the short and long trips to attend! Susan from A Blooming Rose Musings was there to help, and Jermaine and I loved meeting the fabulously charming Rié of the brand spanking new blog Portobello Design. Check out her latest post and you can see more photos of the event. Though being somewhat too far away to attend, my wonderful friend Karin of La Pouyette in Perigord, France wrote an informative post on some of the antique linen I brought to sell that is rare if not exclusive to the US market. Karin sources these wonderful uniquely woven white, indigo and azure striped linen towels from the Basque region. Both Jermaine and I appreciate all the support, far and wide! 

It was a lot of work and pure joy!

French Kissed

Jermaine and I were separated at birth…but you can see who has the ballerina genes…as she modeled a so, so very flattering pair of antique bloomers…

French Kissed

Much, much more to come….

The French Summer Market


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antique textilesJust a quick hello! A week to go before Jermaine and I stage our French Summer Market at her lovely home in Santa Barbara. After four years of blogging…there will be many “Trouvais” style items…lavender sachets and dyed linens and antique 17th -18th century textiles. My best sachets are made with 18th c silks, backed with Wendy Lewis (Loody Lady on Ebay) hand loomed 19th c French linen. A press of the sachet and the scent of Trouvais Lavender Hill 2014 crop lavender will infuse the air.

French Flea dyed linens

 I am wedging one of my antique mannequins in the back of the car, bringing a 19th c French campaign trunk, that 19th c red French linen ticking mattress from my antique dealer friend and fellow blogger Karin Jansky in Perigord. I’ve got Carolyn Quartermaine pillows and textiles, architectural salvage pieces, copious amounts of Bella Notte bedding, c. 1920 feathers and trims and ribbons. Various and sundry French flea market items.  There will be all the color palettes I love…the neutrals…crisp white to stone to inky grays…

dyed antique linensCarolyn Quartermaine

Blush colors with gold…

Quartermaine dyed script pillow

Initials and script and floral..

I’m looking forward to showing off some of my favorite antique textiles. My home is a haven of neutrals…but this is where I like to have fun with color and pattern.

I’m bringing as much as I can fit in for the drive down to Santa Barbara! Jermaine and I are looking forward to meeting all of you that are planning to come. I am sure a few items will be making their way back and I will offer them on Coup d’Oeil later. And we will definitely take lots of pictures!

Have a wonderful weekend!

The French Summer Market


Sparkle and shine


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Charles Claude de Flahaut (1730–1809), Comte d’Angiviller

Jean-Baptiste Greuze  here



In my year off of blogging…I tried to keep a blind eye to all home and landscape improvements and focus on my love of 18th century and earlier textiles.

A much more peaceful interlude! After several years in a row of bathroom remodels and landscaping projects, my husband and I just wanted to quell the rush and bother of constant home improvement.

With my home a haven of neutrals, collecting rare textiles is a joyful way to enjoy color and shine…and the history each piece carried with it.

I am happy to fake it when I paint my walls, have no problem with reproduction pieces to carry the heavy lifting in home design..

but this is one area where I crave authenticity, handwork, inimitability.

The question I most ask myself when considering an expensive antique textile: can you copy this?

It tips the scales when the answer is no…

Trouvais Textiles Early Embroidery

Common themes in my collection: fruit and flower…metallics…painstaking work by hand…sparkle and shine…

Trouvais Textiles Early embroidery

Earlier embroidery appliqued onto silk…perhaps a late 17th or early 18th century coif, late fashioned into an ecclesiastical statue robe?

Trouvais Textiles 17th c silver brocade

A 17th century silver woven Syrian or Italian brocade…you can feel the weight of the piece from the silver threads…Trouvais Textiles

An 18th century peach silk moire, resting on an 18th c Italian brocade with bright silver and gold threads…all atop a 17th or 18th century Italian velvet in a gorgeous Flemish yellow, evoking a Vermeer painting here.

A few of my most treasured pieces!

I have antique textiles on virtually every flat surface in my home now, as I try to decide which textiles I will keep for my collection or have made into pillows, and which pieces to be brought down to Santa Barbara for the French Kissed and Trouvais French Summer Market in August

I will also be bringing some Carolyn Quartermaine and vintage French flea market items, many items that you have seen on my blog…

Trouvais will be textile and French Market heavy for the next few weeks. Then I have an interesting home staging project to show you in August, and a trip to Italy in September. And though I haven’t picked up a paint brush in a year, I will probably start up again in the Fall with some of my limewash paints and give you a step by step tutorial. Finally, when it really gets cool, I can finish my husband’s wine cellar and give you a peek at that. So stay tuned as I sort it all out and toss out pretty pictures along the way!

French Summer Market here



This old thing?


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Trouvais Textiles 2014

It’s been over a year…but I will be coming back to blogging soon to talk to you about more “Found” things and old things…

Very, very old things…

I’ve gone from distressing my walls with lime wash…to cherishing age washed silks and frayed edges…

One of a kind, tumbling through time bits and pieces of textile history…

My Santa Barbara friend Jermaine of French Kissed and I are teaming up to stage a French Summer Market here

And I just need to learn how to work this blog thing again…

So stay tuned…much prettiness to come…



Happy Mother’s Day


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stone and lavender

Happy Mother’s day! A few early photos of “Lavender Hill” that I started a few years ago. Last Spring we reworked the area off the kitchen and had a stone mason add formal wide steps to transition up to lavender hill. The color palette is simple and subdued…stone grays and gold fine, green, white and lavenders. Creeping strawberry is already sending runners across the lower steps as the erigeron (Santa Barbara daisy) had taken hold on the upper. After getting the plan and hardscape in place, I like to stand back and see what ideas mother nature comes up with.

stone in the garden

I picked up these concrete balls fifteen years ago…like dwarf boxwood…love the punctuation marks they make in the garden. "Provence" English lavender

The lavender is primarily lavandula augustifolia “Provence”, and a few “Grosso”, and “Hidcote”tossed in here and there.

artichokes ad roses

The roses are Souvenir de Malmaison, here with artichokes, and Sombreuil at the steps, and a coral David Austin rose Abraham Darby tossing a color surprise over a wall. Still waiting for a few plants to assert themselves and will be adding lettuces in the shade below the bench. But, a much simpler, less demanding garden! Spring garden

Still biding my time ’till lavender hill is in full bloom. Changing my blog speed to “Summertime”…more time in the garden and on the trails!

Update May 2014…I am on an extended blog holiday…hiatus…but will post again, eventually, to let you know what my future plans are…

Until then the blog remains open for nostalgic jaunts into the last 4-5 years of my amateur photography, DIY home and garden design, cutting and pasting and daydreaming. Enjoy!

La Maison Antiques & Design


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Three panel Art Nouveau Dressing Screen Some of my favorite finds are the ones that just…drop into my lap! A reader contacted me about some of the Carolyn Quartermaine fabric I was selling, and in an aside via email exchanges, mentioned that she was the lady that bought one of my most obsessed about items several years ago. Wendy Lewis’s 18th century indigo striped and tasseled ciel de lit. I posted about it here and here. Ceil de lit 11Textile Trunk Trouvais Here the polonaise curtains drop from their ciel de lit in Wendy’s barn in the original listing. Wendy places this at anywhere between 18th and early 19th century…the passementarie added later…most likely Napoleon III…late 19th. And my new best friend Anne Sorrells of La Maison Antiques and Design in North Carolina was willing to sell this piece of my textile dreams to me! ceil-de-lit-9-textile-trunk-trouvaisThe  upholstered “tete” might still be available. I just purchased the polonaise drapes since I have several options from which to hang these already! I asked Anne to send me photos of several other items she is selling through her antique store and added a slide show below, with a bit of information. 8th Century French or Italian linen door covering hand painted with vegetable dyes. Over 15 feet long. Fair condition. Could be repurposed. 18th Century French or Italian linen door covering… hand painted with vegetable dyes. Over 15 feet long. Fair condition. An invitation to repurpose! La Maison Antiques & Design French statues have a plaque that reads “Progress” on them…and sit in front of a large hand painted reproduction of 18th century French artist Jean Marc Nattier.

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Anne Sorrells

If any items pique your curiosity, you can email Anne for further details and photos.

Anne Sorrells of La Maison Antiques & Design

You also follow Anne on pinterest here

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