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Diva-scovery: Tapisseries de la Bûcherie, Paris

Dear Diva Readers,

Around the corner from Notre Dame, hidden in a quiet street away from the tourists, happens to be the best needlepoint workshops in ParisTapisseries de la Bûcherie – where you can find the most gorgeous needlepoint patterns available. Should you not be traveling to Paris soon, have no fear – La Bucherie offers an online store, bringing Paris to your front door!

Tapisseries de la Bûcherie furnishes decorators as well as private clients tapestries made to order and embroidered by hand. They have a large choice of designs of all French styles for covers for seats, armchairs, banquettes, fire screens, folding screens, chests, stools and wall panels, card game covers, as well as smaller designs for cushions, curtain loops, etc. Better yet, they can also reproduce a design you furnish! The guide for making an Eiffel Tower needlepoint is a standard favorite among friends and clients I take to this store.

But I must confess for me Notre Dame is my first choice!

Each Needlepoint Kit sold on their site or in the store comes with (unless otherwise indicated):

  • Hand painted designs on monofil or penelope, or printed designs on penelope.
  • DMC Medici wool and/or hand-dyed wool at Aubusson, France
  • Needlepoint needles.
  • Instructions for the stitch to be used according to the canvas you pick.

The Gobelin or Aubusson stitch on a penelope canvas imitates the old tapestries and is quite easy to learn. They put instructions and drawings in each kit. If you have a problem, email them and they will assist you.

Diva Tip: Perhaps my favorite feature of the store is that if you have an antique armchair you’d like to recover Tapisseries de la Bûcherie gives you instructions on how you can create your own needlepoint pattern for your armchair!

Contact Details:

Tapisseries de la Bûcherie
2, rue du Haut Pavi
75005 Paris

Hours: 2pm-7pm daily except for Sunday
Or shop online http://www.bucherie.com/
Email petitpoint@bucherie.com

Do you plan on visiting the shop soon? Print directions and a map!

Bonne Shopping,

The Antiques Diva™

One Minute Diva: Vintage Clock Collection

Dear Diva Readers,

When out trolling the flea markets keep your eyes peeled for vintage alarm clocks in bright and funky colors or tones. Don’t just buy one clock, buy a collection! Remember, vintage items look great when clustered together, making unique displays!

Take, for example, the collection Canadian Decorator Lynda Felton has in her home.

Photo by Paul Chmielowiec: Canadian Living Sept 2010 – Castoffs to Collectibles

In an article titled Castoffs to Collectibles in the Sept 2010 Canadian Living, Lynda explains that she inherited her grandfather’s (still-working) antique alarm clock 15 years ago and it ignited her passion for collecting vintage alarm clocks. “Not all of them work, but I like their faces and well-loved look.”

Happy Collecting,

The Antiques Diva™

And The Winner Is….

Patricia van Essche – PVE Design

Dear Diva Readers,

You must be dying to know who won The Antiques Diva La Rentree Giveaway of the Paris Apartment iPhone application Key’s to the Fleas…. Drum roll please…. And the winner is Patricia van Essche, the bloggess and creative genius behind PVE DESIGN.

When I drew Patricia’s name out of the hat, I knew I had to tell you about her! PVE Design offers a wide array of design sevices including illustration, decorative and pattern design. Not only can you hire Patricia for your special projects, but you can also shop her online Etsy shop for gorgeous note cards and original works of art by Patricia!

While you’re in the shopping mood, don’t forget that you can also buy Paris Apartment’s Keys to the Fleas online before your next Paris trip!

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva™

Transatlantique at Marburger Farms

Dear Diva Readers,

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… you meet the nicest people on the internet. Last year when I began tweeting, one of my first twitter connections was @TopBrokerOC, a charming man named Robert Watson who lives in California and shares my passion for antiques and European Travel. Needless to say, we were fast friends! When I found out that Robert’s company Transantlantique would have a booth at the Marburger Farms Antique Fair in Round Top, Texas I knew I had to tell you about him and Kathy Klingaman, his wife and life partner!

As you can see, their inventory is simply Diva Worthy!

Born in Paris, Robert spent a good part of his life living overseas and collecting his own treasures. He lived in London and Wiesbaden, trolling the local markets for antiques and learning quickly that some of the best pieces are found at the source; boot sales in England as well as braderrie and removal sales on the continent. He’d pick up the latest copy of “Aladin” or “Troddler” magazines and hit the road for his next shopping adventure. One of his and Kathy’s favorite places to shop is Arezzo with the small brocantes all over the place. It wasn’t hard to decorate a home with some great finds and some very inexpensive prices.

Flash forward a few years – he moved to the USA to a large home on the East Coast and then later to a 2- bedroom condominium in California. Needless to say, with down-sizing properties he and Kathy had an excess of antiques that either needed to be stored or sold! And the rest is history, or rather, that was only the beginning of the beginning of Transatlantique Antiques over a decade ago.

A fixture at the Marburger Show, he and Kathy maintain a warehouse in California with 70% of their sales to the trade. Designers and decorators come to Transatlantique for their selection of unique European pieces. Their European Country look is to die for… and clearly, I’m not the only one who thinks so: a few years ago the buyers from Ralph Lauren swarmed Transatlantique’s booth and spent nearly $20,000 in 20 minutes, mostly on tables and trunks!

Stop by The Transatlantique Antiques booth at Marburger Farms! Tent C, Row A, Booth 4-5

Happy Shopping,

The Antiques Diva™
(seen right with my cowboy boots in honor of Round Top, Texas!)

One Minute Diva: Clutter Control in the Bathroom

Dear Diva Readers,

You might have already guessed this about me, but I’m a girly girl. My bathroom is filled with all sorts of potions and perfumes, oodles of accessories and creams for this and that. Needless to say, clutter control is down-right a necessity. And while I’m always searching for antique cupboards, cabinets and commodes for storing things out of the way, there are a few things I need to keep within easy reach but still want organized in a more controlled environment. My Diva-worthy bathroom clutter control solution: a French brocante find now available for $60/47 Euro on “Treasures” by The Antiques Diva™ is this charming vintage champagne bucket!

When I’m not using this Moët et Chandon heavy-duty champagne bucket to chill bubbly, it’s repurposed year round as a chic catch-all beside my bathtub! Perfect for the inner diva in everyone!

Yours,
The Antiques Diva™

(with artfully arranged bubbles!)

Save the Date Berlin: The Art of Entertaining

Dear Diva Readers,

When I learned that CHEFinBERLIN was offering an “Art of Entertaining Workshop” I knew you needed to know about it!

THE ART OF ENTERTAINING

27 September @ 13:00

You’re planning, shopping, cooking and working on the details for your perfect dinner party. Excellent table service is also an important component of entertaining. Will it be buffet or plated service, which side do you serve from, how do you place your glasses and arrange the cutlery? Learn how to set your table properly, make different napkin folds, carry more than two plates at a time and other excellent tips from Berlin’s top restaurant instructor, Robert Plucinsky. Using amusing props and a light-hearted approach he teaches service hospitality for home and business. Please join us for this unique opportunity.

►Cost: 20 €

Please email CHEFinBERLIN@me.com for registration details and address.

Sign up for more CHEFinBERLIN Classes! Stay tuned for details on Cooking Classes Chez Antiques Diva with CHEFinBERLIN!

Ciao for now!

The Antiques Diva

Delft Envy: Treasures on Tuesday

Dear Diva Readers,

Did you read that last blog entry on save the Dutch Date for the upcoming Oude Kunst en Antiek Beurs Fair in Delft and get total Delft-envy? Have no fear; even if your travels aren’t taking you to Holland, you can still Bring Holland Home by shopping “Treasures” by The Antiques Diva™, allowing you to make the trip without even leaving your armchair! And remember, at “Treasures” by The Antiques Diva we offer FREE international shipping!

Here’s just a few of our Delft Treasures:

Better yet, if you happen to be in the area, make an appointment to visit our by-appointment only show house outside Den Haag!

Happy Shopping,

The Antiques Diva™

Antiques Diva Podcast: From Poubelle to Puce: The Origins of the Paris Flea Market

 Eugène Poubelle: thanks to he and his amies efforts - “les puce de Paris”, the famed French flea markets, were born.Dear Diva Readers,

In the annals of famous French men, Eugène Poubelle gets a seriously bum rap, having been all but forgotten by the sands of time. The innovative, forward-thinking of one man led to the clean-up of the city of light, and in today’s Antiques Diva Podcast I’ll tell you how inadvertently – thanks to he and his amies efforts – “les puce de Paris”, the famed French flea markets, were born.

 

Eugène Poubelle is the Poubelle of poubelle fame and trash containers wouldn’t be called poubelle in French if it weren’t for his contribution. This is the man who introduced the dust bin to Paris, and inadvertently, thanks to his efforts, les puces de Paris—the famed French flea markets—were born… the chiffoniers had began to see the benefit of the Parisians sorting their trash and instead of openly working during daylight hours they stole through the city by moonlight, picking the best of the bundles. The next day they would return to their post at the Porte de Clignancourt and the Porte de Vanves and Montreuil where they set up shop in makeshift shanty towns, selling the bric-a-brac they had found the night before.

While the goods for sale were intriguing, there was one flaw to the plan: often the goods for sale were infested with fleas, leading the Parisians to call an outing to the markets at the edge of town as going to “the fleas,” hence les puces de Paris.” Thanks to Monsieur Poubelle et ses amis the Marché aux Puces de Paris/St-Ouen flea market was born and today each weekend you still find flea markets at these same city gates. The rest is history. Rumor has it, the Paris Flea Market now boasts more visitors per year than the Eiffel Tower.

To read the entire article on the origins of the Paris Flea Market as published in the Bonjour Paris Newsletter, read “From Poubelle to Puce”.

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva™

Antiques Diva Podcast: Parlez-Vous Français? and Other Humilities

Dear Diva Readers,

Living life in a foreign language can turn the most articulate in their native tongue into bumbling idiots abroad. In this podcast, originally written as an article for Bonjour Paris, I explore a host of humiliations as I confess why I will likely never be fluent in any foreign language.

To Read the Article, visit the Bonjour Paris website!

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva™

Antique Shopping in Amsterdam’s Spiegelkwartier

Dear Diva Readers,

Antique shopping in Amsterdam’s Spiegelkwartier is a destination in itself. Its streets are lined with gabled houses that are home to art galleries, antiques shops and cafés. Popping inside one of the stores in this neighborhood, you might discover a canal house converted into an antique shop or atelier with the front door facing the Spiegelstraat and the back door leading to a quiet oasis, where on sunny Dutch days you’ll find the shopkeeper reading in the garden.

Walking into these antique shops in the Spiegelkwartier you are given a glimpse of what lies beyond the doors of some of the private residences and canal houses. You can imagine Empire porcelain sets clinking as Grand Dames serve afternoon tea on long wooden oak tables. And you can picture how life used to be lived with Dutch style in the days of yore.

If you’ve only one day to dedicate to antique shopping while in Amsterdam – this is it.
The Spiegelkwartier houses over 100 specialized art and antique dealers whose wide variety of objects for sale range from archeological finds to 17th century furniture, glass and Dutch Delftware, from oriental art to Art Nouveau, from tribal art to contemporary art, from old medical instruments and clocks to jewelry and, last but not least, icons, paintings and old master prints.

This is my favorite place to spend any day in Amsterdam – the best days to go are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays when you’ll find the greatest numbers of shops are open! Mark your agenda’s for the Spiegelkwartier’s Open House this September 25 – 26 and consider booking an Antiques Diva Tour of Amsterdam to find your way into hidden courtyards, past countless canals and to antique shops spotting both the Spiegelkwartier and further afield in Jordaan and Old South!

Before I dash, I have 3 last words of travel advice before you go:

Firstly, remember that in Holland cash is king. Normally when you hear me utter this word of advice it’s because cash allows for better negotiation, but in the Spiegelkwartier where not many of the vendors will bargain significantly, that’s not my primary reason for warning you of this. In Holland, due to the high transaction fees for credit cards, not many small shops and vendors accept credit cards. Though an annoyance, you can do bank transfers should you find something you can’t live without. And by the way, even though you shouldn’t expect a major discount on Dutch antique negotiations, it is always worth asking for one! In general, in Holland, you can expect a courtesy 10% discount, but not much more.

Secondly, watch out for the bicycles. The small road width of the Spiegelstraat with its charming brick lane feel can lull you into thinking this is a pedestrian street – but it’s not! It is a main thoroughfare with bicyclists peddling past you. Crossing the streets always reminds me of playing Frogger as a child!

And lastly, don’t wear kitten heels. Amsterdam streets are killer on my shoes and a day out antiquing inevitably results in a trip to the shoe cobbler if I forget to wear my loafers. Of course, maybe I’m going a little “too far” with the comfortable shoe option in the picture on the right?

Until next time, Happy Shopping.

The Antiques Diva™

(photo credit right: The English Rose)

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