French Fabrics & Frills Tour in Paris

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 100px; line-height: 90px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>I’m a sucker for vintage and antique buttons, always picking them up at flea markets and in antique shops, but the problem is… what to do with them once I get them home?  A few months ago I found this darling – and tres simple – craft idea for utilizing antique and vintage buttons by making crafty  napkin ring holders – I was smitten! While I love my silver napkin ring holders, I felt these were ideal for a casual weekend brunch or lunch with girlfriends. 

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Plus, this simple craft idea seemed to me the IDEAL way to tell you about the new CRAFT TOURS – French Fabrics & Frills – we’re now offering in Paris!!!

French Fabric and Frills Tour

In this special Paris tour, coordinated exclusively for crafters looking to source French fabrics and frills, we’ll take clients by the hand to the best ateliers and shops specializing in fabrics, ribbon, buttons and bows.  From vintage lace to last season’s Pierre Frey fabric, from Paris’ famous Marche St Pierre fabric district to the bustling area around Chatelet, we’ll help you source French treasures to create your own “Made in Paris” designs!  Ask also about our Embroidery and Needlepoint Tours.  Offered midweek or on a weekend combined with a trip to the Paris Puce!

Following you can enjoy a few snap shots from a recent Antiques Diva French Fabric and Frills Craft Tour in Paris!

Marche St Pierre – Paris Fabric District where the bargains abound

While I love vintage buttons, shopping for new buttons is just as fun!

Fun with French Ribbons & Bows

The tour is the brain child of Antiques Diva Guide Franca G who happens to be a crafting genius!


Paris Diva Guide & Crafter Extraordinaire –  Franca

Bonne Shopping & Bonne Crafting!
The Antique Diva®

In the Press: Antiques Diva Italian Tours

Dear Diva Readers,

Perhaps I should have started today’s blog with a hearty “Buongiorno Baby”, for  The Antiques Diva® & Co’s new Italian Tours are in the news! 

Belle Inspiration – one of my favorite online magazines (and coming to print soon) – has just done a giant feature on my company, interviewing Diva Guide Susan P who leads our antique shopping tours in Italy – a whopping 12 page feature discussing Italian antiques.  They discuss where to buy antiques in Tuscany, what Italian antiques to buy, favorite Italian flea markets, how to negotiate for discounts in Italy as well as the tours we offer.  Susan, our Italian Diva, even gives hints & tips on other Italian Lifestyle & Tuscan Travel Tips!

For those of you who are willing to twist your tongue into Italian there’s even a section on Italian Antique Shopping Vocabulary – words you should know before you go!

While articles in Belle Inspiration magazine are usually only available to subscribers, Mimi Bleu – the sensational tour de force and editor-in-chief at Belle – has kindly set the article – An Essential Antique Shopper’s Guide to Italy – in a special publication specifically so Diva Readers can read the news!!!  And while this excerpt of the publication should be saved in your favorites, I have a suspicion you won’t want to miss another word Belle Inspiration has to share! Their Italian issue is down-right divine with 150 pages of Italian Inspiration!

If you’re as much of an Antiques Lover as I am, then this is one article on Antique Shopping in Italy you won’t want to miss!!!

Ciao Bella,
The Antiques Diva®

Pretty in Pink in Paris’ Marché aux Puces de Vanves.

to 10px; width: 300px; height: 400px; text-align: center;” src=”” border=”0″ alt=”” />Dear Diva Readers,

top: 2px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>While every client at The Antiques Diva™ European Shopping Tours is special, this summer I had the opportunity to travel with an extraordinary client – my 16 year old niece, Tessa! On her first European adventure I initiated her into The Antiques Diva™ Lifestyle by taking her to my favorite French flea market in Paris – Marché aux Puces de Vanves.

One of the things I love most about my job leading travelers around the flea markets of Europe is what my clients teach me as they introduce me to their passions and collections! Each client inevitably is unique – with a different interest, different hobby and different collections they’re looking to add to while out and about, shopping in the European flea markets. My 16 year old niece was no exception! With her pink head pulsing thru the market, vendors simply adored her, pointing out perfect Parisian pink treasures for her to take home. Ever the fashion plate, she picked up this gorgeous 1960’s French silk gown (above) shortly after we arrived at the flea market for a mere 36Euro. It fit as if it were made for her and a few days later she wore it to lunch at Café Marly nearby the Louvre!

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She also fell head over heels for these vintage French frames at 12 Euro and sported them around Europe for the next month!

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Of course, she was crazy for this Daisy Necklace picking it up for a friend as a souvenir de Paris for 6Euro!

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I’m not certain whether it was she or me who noticed the stuffed camel first – but we knew that it said exotic travel décor with a 20 E price tag!

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She decided against buying this Charlie Chaplin hat for 30E but was sorely tempted by it!

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In general, the French hats were of great interest and we spent a good 30 minutes digging thru this box where all the hats were marked 10E or less!

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But perhaps the catch that got away was the magnifying glass paperweight. We decided against purchasing it at 45E, but in retrospect perhaps we should have! Where else could she have been framed so perfectly in Paris?

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After all that hard work shopping, we were ready for a break. So we hit a local café to have a Diablo Fraise! A Diablo Fraise is a typical drink you’d order on a sunny day in Paris – it’s carbonated lemonade with strawberry syrup that just so happened to match Tessa’s perfectly pink hair!

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When the waiter noticed this, he decided that Tessa would make an ideal art installation on the Parisian streets! And he artfully arranged colored straws in her hair!

Tell me – where else but Paris would a waiter make you into street art?

From time to time I’ve had clients on Diva Tours tell me that their teenage sons and daughters wouldn’t be interested in antique shopping, preferring instead to antique/vintage shop solo. But I have to tell you, my 16 year old niece loved the Paris Flea Market! Tessa found nearly ever souvenir she purchased in Paris at the Porte de Vanves Flea Market – so for your next trip abroad, forget the typical souvenir t-shirts when shopping for a teenager in Paris, consider instead vintage fashion and fun French antique accessories!

Until next time, Bonne Shopping!

The Antiques Diva™
(seen right with The Little Diva – Tessa at the top of the Tour Eiffel)

Paris Travel Files!

Located in the 14eme arrondisment at the avenue Marc Sangnier and avenue Georges Lafenestre, “The Other Paris Flea Market” is located near the Porte de Vanves metro stop. to 10px; width: 297px; height: 299px; text-align: center;” src=”” border=”0″ alt=”” />The market is open year round e
very Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 1pm – though experience tells me vendors aren’t really ready for customers until 9am, so take advantage of a “late start” and sleep an extra hour before shopping the fleas!

Bonne Shopping, Diva Style!

Najaarsexpositie in The Hague

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Just last weekend I wrote sharing details on one of my favorite vendors in The Hague, S van Leeuwen, and not so long before that I was divulging details on the oh-so-diva-worthy Rocks & Clocks. They recently teamed up Chez van Leeuwen for an Antiques Diva Tour of The Hague, sharing historical information and fascinating stories on their inventory and seriously regaling the ladies on the group Diva Tour. They’re back together again for what I’m certain will be a wonderfully good time (full of great buys) in S. van Leeuwen’s Najaarsexpositie Dec 3-13, 2009. You’ll want to add this date to your December To Do’s!

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />S. van Leeuwen specializes in antique Dutch furniture, Chinese & Delft porcelain as well as high quality silver work, while you’ll recall Rocks & Clocks specializes in classic and designer jewelry from 1900-1940.

Make sure to stop at S. van Leeuwen’s located at Noordeinde 164 on one of the following dates:

Dec 3 & 10, 5-9pm
Dec 4 & 11, 12-5pm
Dec 5, 12-4pm
Dec 12, 12-5pm
Dec 6-13, 12-5

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 399px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />And if this duo wasn’t already enough to get your blood pumping, they’ve added a few other diva-worthy vendors to their exposition. Not only will S. van Leeuwen & Rocks & Clocks be offering special items just in time for Christmas, but they’ll be joined by their colleague from Antes Art Form, a specialist in French glassworks from the Art Deco and Art Nouveau period as well as Brigitta Sueters who makes jewelry inspired by the past!

to 10px; WIDTH: 75px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 100px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Kunsthandel Willemspark will be there as well, offering one of my favorite buys. Have I mentioned before in past Diva blog posts my weakness for vintage posters and signs? I’m downright bummed to miss his inventory in person as while this event is going on I’ll be doing La Diva Loca for a few days this December in New York City! My loss might be your gain as there’ll be more for you to buy if I’m not on the scene scooping up the goods before you!

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Last but not least, I think the dealers stepped on a stroke of genius when they decided to branch out beyond antiques by offering a little something extra – wearable art! Hat designer Suzanne Scheepers will be onboard showing her hand-made designs, making this event a perfect Diva’s Day Out!! I’m seriously bummed to miss it!!! You’ll just have to go on my behalf and, as always, tell them The Antiques Diva™ sent you!

Happy Shopping!!!

The Antiques Diva™

Do Note: Diva Tours is closed December and January for Holiday! We’ve got some great tours planned for Spring 2010 – email for details!

One Minute Diva: Jolietrouvaille – Great Vendor at Chatou!

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Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>In preparation for to-join-two-special-antiques.html” target=”_blank”>Diva Tours Fall French Flea Market Extravaganza, I wanted to highlight again one of my favorite vendors at tou/foire/jamb.htm” target=”_blank”>La Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambon. This Paris-suburb flea-market in Chatou is in only a few weeks and the anticipation is driving me crazy – everyone is talking about it! I can almost smell the ham in the air! In this One Minute Diva, I wanted to encourage Diva Readers visiting Chatou this fall to stop by (and shop your heart out) at one of my favorite vendors – Blandine Bavoux’s quintessentially French stall located at 72 Allée Nouvelle.

top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;margin-left:10px;font-family: Arial,Helvetica,Georgia;font-size:22px;line-height:18px;color:grey;text-align: right;”>Armchair travelers don’t despair! shop online Jolietrouvaille

Armchair travelers, don’t despair! The good news is that you don’t have to go to The National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham to benefit from Blandine’s cute French country kitchen collectibles and antiques. You can either stop by her stall at Chatou or buy online at Jolietrouvaille! Either way, make sure you tell her The Antiques Diva™ sent you! By the way, I happen to know she keeps a stash of cookies and warm tea on a shelf in her stall – it’s reserved for special guests but I’m certain if you linger long enough that she’d indulge you!

tou.jpg”>tou.jpg” border=”0″ />tou-brocante.html” target=”_blank”>The picture above is courtesy of fellow blogger Tara Bradford of Paris Parfait. Visit Tara’s divalicious site to see more gorgeous photos of Blandine’s stall and other Chatou pics! Tara intersperses gorgeous photos and musings of her life in France with witty political commentary!

Until Next time,

The Antiques Diva™

(picture at right taken in Blandine’s Booth at the March 2008 La Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambon )

P.S. A very special “thank you” to Blandine for supporting the Diva Tours at Chatou!

An Invitation to Join Two Special Antiques Diva Tours in Fall 2009

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Dearest Diva Readers,

You’ve heard me dish about my dalliances in Paris time and time again. I’ve talked of sipping champagne alongside the Seine, sashaying past the crowds at Les Puce de Paris, promenading at the Porte de Vanves Flea Market and doing the Diva-Loca during Les Soldes. I’m constantly dazzling you with details of miscellaneous brocantes in the city of light, tossing out frivolous French addresses and tempting you with stories of antiquing conquests! But I have an important question to ask:

“Why just READ about it when you can LIVE it?”

Join The Antiques Diva™ for A French Flea Market Extravaganza!

Here’s a Special Invitation to join The Antiques Diva™ in Paris for one of two upcoming divalicious tours this Fall 2009 in a French Flea Market Extravaganza!

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Not only will we shop the traditional Paris flea markets, oohing and ahhing over everything Louis and beyond, but we’ll also hit the Mother Load of Divadom at one of The Diva’s two favorite French flea markets: la Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons on the île de Chatou or The Antiquities Brocante at the Place de la Bastille (depending on the dates of your tour)!

When you think you’ve literally shopped until you’ll drop, The Diva will revive you with champagne or café au lait – you name your poison – we’ll leave the flea markets behind, stepping into Hemingsway’s Paris, hitting a bar named after him and parading through the Ritz as if it were built for us alone. On another day The Diva will take you, arm-in-arm, strolling the streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, showing you the hottest shops, the best boutiques, the obvious and the out-of-the-way in her private Paris, sharing memories and making new ones! We’ll even make a rendez-vous to meet up in person with some of the best Parisian bloggers and online personalities! Should food or wine be your thing, let Diva Tours know and for an extra cost we’ll schedule French cooking lessons or steal some time for a wine tasting or two!

Picture it. You, The Antiques Diva™ and Paris. It looks good, doesn’t it?


Option 1

tou.JPG”>tou.JPG” border=”0″ />Option 1 takes place during the famous La Foire Nationale Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons, a fair going on annually in the Parisian suburb of Ile de Chatou since the Middle Ages! Tour includes trips around Paris to the Porte de Vanves flea market as well as the world-renowned Paris Flea Market at Clingnancourt. We’ll hit a few Paris tourist sites to check some Paris Must See’s and, as this is Paris, we’ll shop the clothing boutiques and vintage fashion of St-Germain-des-Prés! Dinner plans will be discussed before the tour. Dinner is at your own cost but Diva Tours will secure the reservations. Hotel and Airfare are not included in tour cost; however, we can make hotel recommendations and suggestions on which area of the city in which you should stay!

Tour 1: Sunday Sep 27 – Wednesday Sep 30, 2009

Tour 2: Friday Oct 2 – Monday Oct 5, 2009

Option 2

Includes everything mentioned in Option 1; however, replace La Foire Nationale Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons with the Antiquities Brocante at the Place de la Bastille, where we’ll storm the antiques and flea market finds in this square chocked full of tales from the French Revolution!

Tour 3: Friday Nov 6 – Monday Nov 9, 2009

Tour 4: Friday Nov 13 – Monday, Nov 16, 2009


Do I really need to say this… where else do you think, mes amies? We will meet in Paris, bien sur! (this said with a French accent and the wiggle of my fake moustache). To best optimize your time, please schedule your flights or train schedules to arrive a day before and depart a day after scheduled tour dates should your Parisian trip not extend beyond these Divalicious tour dates!

How Much:

Four Day Antiques Diva Tour: 1,000 Euro (approximately $ 1,400) *

Girls Trips always earn special discounts as do married couples!

Email for further details, to book your trip or to learn about special discounts which might apply!

* Price is set at 1,000 Euro. Price in USD will be set at booking based on current f/x rate but will never exceed $1,400 as Diva Tours will absorb any exchange rate risk above that threshold.

Day Tours Also Available

Perhaps this all sounds like great fun but you are not looking for a full four day Diva Tour. E
mail to check availability on attending a one-day-only tour
of La Foire Nationale Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons (between Sept 27 & Oct 4, 2009), Antiquities Brocante Place de la Bastille (between Nov 5-15, 2009) or either of the Paris Flea Markets – Porte de Vanves or Les Puce at Porte de Clingnancourt!

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

The Antiques Diva™ Tours are taking pre-bookings for March and May 2010!

Some of you may be thinking you’d love to come this fall but these dates simply don’t work in your agenda. Never fear! As they say, the early bird catches the worm. Both The National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham and The Antiques Flea Market at the Place de la Bastille in Paris occur not only in the Fall but also in March and May 2010! Email me at to discuss dates and opportunities for Spring 2010.

Hope to see you on one of these exciting Paris Flea Market tours!

The Antiques Diva

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Auction News – Upcoming Amsterdam Sales

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ /> top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>If you’ve read many of my articles or blogs, then you’ve heard me time and time again wax poetically about attending auction houses in Europe. If you want to get the best deal on antique purchases, shopping at an auction house is the only way to go!

My advice – skip the middleman and shop at an auction yourself! Should you be afraid to go alone, never fear The Antiques Diva™ Tours offers auction house services whereby a local, native speaker attends auction events with you! We help you evaluate items for purchase in the pre-sale viewing, explain the auction process, either bid on your behalf at auction or better yet, teach you how an auction works so that you are able to bid in future auctions on your own!

Some upcoming “not to miss” auctions at De Eland Auction House in Diemen include:
Viewing Days / Auction Date
6,7,8,9 November 2008 / 9 November, 2008
15, 16, 17, 18 January 2008 / 18 January, 2009

De Zwaan Auction House in A’dam also has a very interesting sale from 4 – 19 November, 2008. See the website to view the online auction catalog and see which items will be auctioned on what days!

The viewing days will be:
Thursday, Oct 30 10am-5pm and 7pm–9pm
Friday, Oct 31 10am-5pm
Saturday, Nov 1 10am-5pm
Sunday, Nov 2 10am – 5pm

Last but not least, don’t forget the gorgeous upcoming Sotheby’s Sale – December 3, 2008. Sotheby’s Amsterdam will devote a special section of its Modern and Contemporary Art sale to CoBrA and the North European Avant Garde from the 1950’s. The young group of Northern European post-war artists that called themselves CoBrA (acronym for Copenhagen Brussels Amsterdam) in 1948 are nowadays considered the key representatives of a colorful and volatile expressionistic style. They are in fact one of a series of key movements in the unpredictable artistic developments that mark the mid 20th century in our region. Key figures of CoBrA are the Dutch artists Karel Appel, Corneille, Constant and Asger Jorn from Denmark.

Email”> for more information on auction house services and Antiques Diva Tours!

Going, Going, Gone!

The Antiques Diva™
(Photo Right with auction expert and Antiques Diva Tour Guide Lucretia)