Flour Sack Bed.

There was a time when sack cloth was a sign of penitence. But there’s nothing remotely punitive as far as I’m concerned about my latest makeover, quite the opposite in fact, and now I look forward to the end of the day when I can enjoy the comfort of it.

Sadly, a while ago, an American friend sold up and headed back to the USA and in consequence was trying to find homes for some of her larger pieces of furniture. I was only to happy to take her bed off her hands.

The old upholstery on her Louis XVI bed had a few large watermarks and we both agreed that it needed recovering, and I promised myself that I would do it when I could. It’s taken a while but finally during this years downtime from the tourist season I seized my chance.

Here it is in its original state, with its dark wood and faintly floral yellow cloth.And below with a the inner face of the foot of the bed half done and an ( unfinished) quick coat of Little Green Company “Slaked Lime Dark”.

I was really fortunate that the structure and basic padding underneath was in very good condition and only the top upholstery needed changing.

Choosing a hardwearing fabric was quite a problem because my black and linen toile curtains were difficult to coordinate with, but I love old grain sacks, so you can imagine how happy I was when I fell upon this old french black and natural flour-sack cloth, (even if “Husband Chez Nous” says it looks as if the bed has been run over by a tractor). Grain sack has too loose a weave, but flour sack is altogether softer and closer weft, which also means it isn’t scratchy when leaning against it. And that’s important considering how much I like to read in bed.

The greatest difficulty has been the thickness of the cloth, especially when it gathers up on the inward curves of the frame. But all things considered I’m pleased with the result.I was lucky to find a very good colour match for the edge detail to hide the tacks. I spent a while trying to find the french word for this kind of edging “ribbon”. “Double cord”, pronounced “doo- bluh cord”, who’d have thought!

Pleasant dreams everyone!

The Thursday Brocante – La Brocante de Jeudi à Rouen.

The glorious sunshine and the anticipation of finding the Thursday Brocante on the Rive Gauche promised to make this morning a great one. The station square was sunny and bright as I headed for the metro station and my intended destination of ‘Joffre Mutualité’.

The metro stop for the brocante is the first one after crossing the Seine, and it took a few moments and a stop to ask directions before I came across the covered market.

…but I knew I was onto a good thing when I came across a multitude of white vans parked haphazardly on the side of the road – when there are this many vans in one spot it can only mean one thing… Brocante!

Full of anticipation I went to see what was on offer…

I have a bit of a thing for old french gilt mirrors – but at 80€ I had to ‘reflechir un peu’.

I couldn ‘t resist this ‘still life’ and was quite taken by the ‘fishy’ picture.

I was just sneakily taking this photo, having asked all the other stall-holders for permission, and frankly just getting a little too blasé for my own good, when a deep voice thundered from behind me,

“ça va coûter 10€ pour prendre un photo…’  (that’ll be 10€ to take the photo)

and lo and behold if it wasn’t my old friend ‘the second hand bookstore’ owner! Needless to say  we exchanged greetings and then I carried on regardless before wandering off to see what else was on offer…

Sometimes there are wonderful monogrammed old linens, but this time they were sadly disappointing.

What I did buy today however was some lovely Toile.

I feel some curtains coming on…

Getting crafty with an Advent Calendar!

This weekend I was pestered incessantly by the kids for chocolate advent calendars. This followed by requests to avoid Milka chocolate, cheap chocolate -well any chocolate that wasn’t frankly Cadbury’s or Lindt! Read more

Tissus et Mercerie, Fabrics and Habadashery – Rouen.

I spend far too much time doing tedious chores, and after having another “English tea” party with my fellow french mums pondered on the question several of them had asked over the course of the afternoon.

What do we do with our days ? What do we do to inspire ourselves?

Fresh from those thoughts I headed for my fabric drawer.

These are just a couple of fabulous linens I had lying about thanks to offcuts from my great friend at Lime Tree Design and which were crying out to be made into something!  Read more