Tag Archives: vintage shopping

E is for Ephemera

11 Nov

Collecting ephemera is hoarding for the spatially challenged. The catch-all phrase encompasses any scrips and scraps of paper that probably should’ve found their way into the bin at some point in their history. Whether it’s a cute font or a trace of pattern that catches my eye, it’s rare for me to leave a car boot or flea market without a little scrap of something sneaking into my shopping bag.

{Oh Hello Friend via Pinterest A-Z}

{This Sweet Home via Pinterest A-Z}

{Etsy via Pinterest A-Z}

{Life By Hand via Pinterest A-Z}

For me the best bit is that even when I’ve filled Le Flat to bursting I’ll always be able to squeeze one more battered music score, faded map, crumpled ticket stub or deckle-edged postcard into my craft box. I mean, just imagine the CP (Crafting Potential) of this lot!

French flea market finds

11 Sep

So, last weekend I went to Lille for La Braderie – want to see what came back avec moi?

French jam jars were actually on my shopping list so I was pleased to track these down. I’m hosting a dinner party next weekend and I plan to set the table using these jars as water glasses with the napkins and cutlery inside to save space on my dinky tulip table. If you’re wondering, the linen napkins are from H&M and I picked up the monogrammed cutlery last year at Wimbledon car boot.

I already had a few old pharmacy bottles in my bathroom and had to have this French medicine advertising poster as soon as I spied it.

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

Lastly, this has to be my favourite. There were enough charming old French toys amongst the stalls that my friend and I were debating how I could incorporate a toy department into my dream of opening a little vintage homeware / florist / tea shop one day. In the meantime, I’ll have to make do with this little chap. Isn’t he sweet?

La Braderie: the day I died and went to vintage heaven

6 Sep

My friend and I had a fantastic weekend hunting for treasure at La Braderie in Lille – Europe’s biggest flea market! There was so much to see, so much to buy and we came away with some great goodies. Photos of what I bought will have to wait until this weekend (it’s too dark for photos when I get home from work now, sob). In the meantime here’s a selection of photographic loveliness to set the scene.

I love how the seemingly random assortment of junk creates the most intriguing combinations!


These gorgeous enamel jars were very tempting. I think I like the mottled blue and white ones best.

I was so charmed by this toy big wheel that I hadn’t noticed the advertising sign in the background until I edited my pictures!

I did manage to tear my eyes away from the brocante once or twice to admire Lille’s beautiful architecture, like this disused pharmaceutical college. We also spent quite some time spotting apartments we’d like to buy / rent. I thought that the one above this antique shop would suit me just fine.

There’s only one thing I find more pleasing than a row of Tolix chairs. And that’s a row of Tolix chairs with a heap of retro typography in front of it.

I went a bit gooey over this shapely 1930s blush pink tea set. Impossible to carry back safely on the Eurostar unfortunately. I hope another nice vintage lover got to take it home for their table.

Lots of the stalls belong to locals who set up a table of household cast-offs outside their garage, some are entrepreneurial kids looking to make a few euros selling home-baked cakes and old toys, others are dealers selling a specialist selection of items. But what brings someone to become a specialist in rickety prams or freaky bits of dolls I can’t imagine!

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

If you could have picked one thing in these photos, what would you have chosen?

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