June 4, 2009

Flea Market Shopping In Paris, And A Blog Giveaway!)

As I posted just some of the flea market finds on the Shabbyfufu website this week (more to come:-) I have had quite a few emails asking for some photos on the blog. We didn't spend entire days visiting flea markets (Marche aux Puces), but fit them into our hectic schedule allowing a few hrs at a time on some given days. The flea markets are easy to find if you are headed over....they are numerous at this time of year and the names and locations are readily available by searching travel books and the internet. Don't expect big bargains for the most part, the prices are not what they used to be years ago when I visited in my youth...and with the dollar to Euro value being not so great it makes value even tougher. That being said, we did enjoy and I used my flea market saavy to bring back many boxes of brocante. Here is a little photo journal for you to enjoy....so travel along with me to Paris, once again:

An idyllic setting for a flea market in Paris, along a canal that serves as home to many houseboats with permanent residents living a different sort of Parisian life.
A cold May morning in Paris waiting for the flea market by the Bastille (Antiquities Brocante, 11th arrondisement) to open. Although most of the flea markets in the U.S. seem to open at dawn, the flea markets in Paris and the traveling Brocante markets generally open mid morning....despite what you might read in the travel books. No rush, no worries.....take your morning cafe au lait and croissant at your leisure!Flea market at the Bastille. This is held a couple of times a year and is a traveling show featuring several hundred dealers from junk to high end. It's difficult to find a good deal on anything at these markets! I have been a flea market fanatic since childhood and I believe that I have a discerning eye, but had to do much searching, dealing and charming to get any prices that were within my range. It does help if you speak some French, and spend some time chatting with the dealer of your choice.
Ohh la la......lace, trim and embellishment heaven!Amazing vintage luggage in this booth with lots of old Louis Vuitton. As you can imagine, TRES chere!As you may know, we make custom chandeliers for the website, but didn't find very much in terms of affordable "junk" for our creations. We did score some architectural salvage though....some already sold and more to be listed on Shabbyfufu at some point soon.

Great color on these old French seltzer bottles.
Boxes of doll eyes for 1 Euro (about $1.40) a piece.
Take a guess! Toilet paper from around the 40's, unused of course:-). This stuff is so scratchy, I prefer my Charmin. Hint: If you are traveling in Europe and need to use the potty do NOT ask "where is the bathroom", as they will think that you are a nutty lady wanting to take a bath. Instead ask for the toilet (Ou est les toilettes?), which in most buildings is usually down a flight of stairs.
Naked Celluloid Vintage Bebe dolls. A pretty good price at 3 Euros a piece.LOVE these vintage French mercury glass hearts. Old Christmas ornaments that were a bit pricey for the resale market and I have seen reproduction pieces over the last couple of years here in the U.S. Sorta sad that I didn't pick up any, at least for moi.
A Fab collection of vintage French Majolica asparagus plates. The French sure love their asparagus.This mme was not too happy with me taking photos of her GORG vintage Coco Chanel collection, as you can see. Phooey on you!
Another roving brocante. You can often come out of a Metro Station at any given moment in the Spring and find a group of junk dealers with their wares set up on the ground, just like this and some tents. A favorite of mine that we ran across was at the Rue de Courcelles in the 17th arrondisement. Since it remains light out until around 10 p.m in Paris in the spring, they stay open until at least 7 pm!Another flea market that I did manage to find some wonderful pieces in. This market is a weekend event and is called the Marche aux Puces (flea market) de la Porte de Vanves. Again, asking prices were quite high, and it's more of a market that caters to locals...so brushing up on your French is advisable.
We were surprised to see this shuttered up scene when we arrived at the mother of all flea markets in Paris, the Marche aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt. We arrived via Metro at what would be a late start of around 10:00 a.m. if we were flea marketing in the U.S....to find no one about. We went to a cafe and lingered with another American shopper that befriended us until past 11:00 a.m, when the market started to come to life. Granted it was a Monday, which is a slower day at the market....but COME ON!
GORGEOUS stuff all around, and I don't want to sound like a broken record but the prices were prohibitive for the most part.What I Crave ........LOVE LOVE, HEART HEART!What Mr. Fufu craves.......you gotta be kidding me!
Time for lunch. The dealers here take a laid back approach to life and tend to abandon their booths for a couple of hours to gather with their peers for some great French food and of course the obligatory carafe of wine."When in Rome".........or in this case Paris. We found a delicious cafe right in the flea market for une salade verte. Which will serve as segue to my next Paris ramblings in another blog posting about eating our way through Paris!Time for a Paris Giveaway....or rather some artwork of Paris for you! I took over 400 photos of Paris, and while I won't bore you with too many....I played around with some in Photoshop and turned them into Canvas artwork that will be available in the Shop. This photo (digitally altered) is of a lovely Fleuriste shop, and is printed on Canvas and set into one of our hand made beadboard frames (from old beadboard, not reproduction). It can be hung or set on an included self easel, and measures 12" by 9 1/2". We hope to do a series of these digitally altered photo paintings for the website....what do you think? Just leave a comment here and you will be entered for a chance to win this one, a random winner will be drawn sometime next week!

A bit early.....but have a GREAT weekend~
xoxo~ Janet


  1. Oh goodness, I'd love to be entered in the giveaway! Your photos of Paris flea markets are great - makes me want to hop on a plane right now!

  2. How awesome! My French friend is going back to France for a month on Friday and she said she'd get stuff for me at a flea market if I asked but I don't know what to ask for! That is a great photo you took! I'd be so excited if I won!

    All the best,

  3. WOW!! Just the name Paris brings a smile to my face. I've never been there, used to live in Spain for six years when I was younger. Have been to Purtugal and now I wish I had gone to France too.

    My husband did live in France with his family for three years when he was younger.

    I think the altered imgages would be a great sale on your website. The one that you have as a give-away looks fab! Would love to enter!


  4. Oh how I enjoyed the wonderful tour. I have never been to Paris, and most likely never will, so what a treat!

  5. Wonderful!!!! I will definitely have to be back again to drrol ver those pictures when I have a little more time!!

  6. Thanks for the Paris photos. It looks a wonderful tourist destination.
    The altered photo on canvas looks wonderful. Count me in for your giveaway.

  7. Ahhhhh, Such fun to search the Paris flea markets! Just a dream for me but who knows, one day.....
    Thank you for sharing :)
    Irene x

  8. OH what beautiful pictures.I would love to go paris just to shop! Looks like you had the most wonderful time:) Please put my name in the drawing. Thanks:)

  9. Hi Janet,
    I love all your photos and was ehhing and ahhing (don't think I spelled that correctly, sorry) and then I saw that salad... such memories... who can make a salad like that but the French? Can't wait to see your goodies for the store. Now don't forget, I'm PST :) by the time I get the update you're sold out. As they say, "you snooze, you loose". I will toast you when I receive the Marie Thé.

    My thoughts and prayers are also with the families of Air France #447. I have to say when I heard I thought Janet just flew. A reminder for us all to take to heart and cherish each moment.

    Take care, mon amie!

  10. Oh how fun to think of going to Paris- I hardly ever get out my backyard but it is nice to dream!!

    Would love to be entered in the giveaway!


  11. Your beautiful blog entry brings back so many wonderful memories of Paris from 20 years ago! What a treat for your readers! I always love to travel on all your adventures with you, whether it's Paris or your cruise ship vacation a year or so ago!

    I have the perfect place in my small cottage for the Paris Flower Stand picture. Would LOVE to win!!!

  12. Beautiful photos! Please count me in your give away! I've never been to Paris... and probably never will so this is a real treat!

  13. wow that is flea market heaven. I would love to be there right now. Please enter me for your giveaway looks gorgeous. Take care Carol

  14. Loved the photos !What a treat it is for you to shop in Paris! I loved the print nice job you should start selling them:) Hugs, Kim

  15. Oh, I have heard about the lovely flea markets in France! What a treat! Thanks for "taking" me along! ;)

    I'd love to be included in your giveaway! :)

  16. Janet..Ohhh lala the pics look wonderful! I would love to go to paris just to flea market!! I am sure I could not afford anything..but the expernice would be lovely!! Great pics hon:)
    And the pic...ohhh tres chic!

  17. So lovely.. you can choose anything you want

  18. Hi Janet....

    I must say that it was wonderful living vicariously through you on your Paris trip... thoroughly enjoyed it...

    The photos ...quite lovely...

    I love the painterly look you gave to the digitally altered flueriste photo... quite stunning...

    These and others like it will be a huge hit in your shop


  19. Hi Janet,

    I absolutely love your pictures and all your beautiful finds! I can't wait to receive my box of goodies! I've missed chatting with you! And please enter me into your giveaway! Have a wonderful week!


  20. My best friend and I would love to travel to France and go to the flea markets. In the meantime, the photos are a great diversion.

  21. I was looking for such a feature.Hope to read more interesting articles.Thank you for this.great job.

  22. Thanks a lot for these wonderful article that you share. :) thumbs up!