Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Brocante

If any of you visit my friend Corey's website, you know what a brocante is.  If not, let me tell you what you see, hear, smell, feel.

Firstly a brocante takes place somewhere near or in the center of a town but not exclusively.  Corey tells us that some are held in the middle of a field (those are really big ones).  Just like on market day, there are stalls and stalls of people selling vintage or antique items.  Usually one stall/table holds similar articles.  Some people deal exclusively in linens of all kinds, others do dishes or crystal, others sell old tools and others do furniture.  You get the general idea. 

So you are walking through let's say a town square, following the snake of stalls down a street to another square (if you are lucky and there are many stalls).  I have only ever been to the brocante in my home town, which hosts a few during the summer months.  There are always quite a few people milling about and numbers increase as the morning grows older. 

There is laughter, discussion amongst stall holders and whispered discussions between buyers.  Bargaining, deal making, no deal, joking and if you are lucky, a story about the seller's wares.

Old leather, wood, linens, books have a musty, dusty kind of smell that is heightened by the hot summer sun.  Although sellers try to find a shady place beneath a plane tree, some are exposed to the elements so to speak.

Indiennes print: Société Neuchâteloise de la Généalogie
Treasures are to be found and this requires patience.  I usually spend three hours in our town brocante going over the goods to see if I have missed something.  As I am a novice, I go over the stalls two or three times.  The first time, I notice certain things that cause my heart to flutter.  The second and third times set my imagination afire with possibilities.  What could I do with this?  Is it the right: color, size, style for...?

If I spot something that is too expensive, I usually can bring the price down on my last go round, especially if it is at the end of the day.  As I live one street over, I can even take a break for lunch and go back for more.

This summer, when my sister D. and her husband are visiting, we will hit a few brocantes outside of the town where we live.  D. and I are lovers of fabric.  Last year, I bought vintage curtains (which were very long) in a blue and yellow indiennes print.  I have remade them into a curtain for the lower part of the vanity in our apartment.  The rest will make a pretty shower curtain when we have a round rod thingy installed.

Round  curtain rod thingy

Bonsoir mes amies,


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