Tuesday, September 8, 2009

TRAPPED AT THE VIDE GRENIER -

ONE WOMAN'S HARROWING STORY, in words and pictures...

OK, so maybe I exaggerate a little!
Sunday was a lovely day. The Rentrée was going pretty smoothly, and at church things were up and running after the summer break. Son 2, now the eldest in the Club de Dimanche, enjoyed himself, and Son 1 set off with the youth group ('Pringles') after the service for a progressive meal, with games and activities, round the homes of church members. They got everywhere by Metro, so with the combination of food and trains, what better way for a 12 year old to spend his afternoon?
The three remaining family members ate Sundy lunch outside and then I set off to a local, very rural, Vide Greniers. I parked in a field!
There were some good vintage pickings to be had, mainly at good prices. This sweet addition to what is fast becoming a collection was only two euros. There were three lids - two managed to come home with me - I think the set is best off without them!
You may know about my chandelier - it's fun and colourful, but, let's face it, ultimately tacky. One of these days I'm going to get fed up with its multi-coloured plastic crystals, and with that in mind I collect glass 'pampilles' whenever I see them at a good price.
These four glass 'cups' (for candles, or for bulbs?) were one euro each, and each one has four (or three) pampilles hanging off it. After a quick swoosh through the dishwasher to get off the dirt and smoke of ages, here they are...
You'll note the red, white and blue theme for autumn taking off on our kitchen table. I was on the look out for cheap red bits and bobs, and found two matching embrodieries for a euro the pair. The frames are battered but I think I'll just shabby them up a bit more evenly so that it looks like it was meant!
Then it was on to the Metro Park and Ride, to pick up Son 1 - we don't often go there and I accidentally went to the wrong one! No problem - I grabbed a ticket and shot off on the Metro, probably arriving one train after the 'Pringles' themselves, so no harm done. He and I rode back to the car on the next train, and had a good chat about what he'd seen and done (and eaten).

On our way back, we passed the tail end of another Vide Greniers - a suburban one this time. I thought, why not just pop along the side road and have a glance, see if it's still up and running? Hmmm.... What I hadn't realised was that this side road had just been re-opened, and was, in fact, the main road leading into the VG itself, now clogged with stallholders emptying their stalls into their cars... Ten minutes of being hooted at later, it was clear to me that there was nothing for it but to park up and leave the car until the stallholders had cleared one of the roads ahead of me. TRAPPED! What was I to do?
Do you sense that the question: 'avez vous des boutons?' may have been part of my solution? If you do, you would be right. I just asked the stallholders who were still there, and looking willing, if they had any buttons amongst their stock. Most people DON'T have buttons, so it was an enormous surprise to me to find three button tubs - one woman gave me her few mother of pearl buttons, and her husband gave me two videos for small children, plus a delighted account of all the English vintage cars he had recently seen. Then the jackpot - two dealers next to each other who let me sort through their button tins as they packed, the woman charging me three euros for a huge set, the man one euro 'because she had more than me'.
Some were pretty grimy and I experimented, very carefully, with washing them in the dishwasher at 35 degrees. I was very pleased with the result.
Above is what our patio roof looked like yesterday evening! There's even less of it now - the builders are hammering away as I type.
And finally - TRAPPED - ONE MANTIS' HARROWING TALE OF KIDNAP BY A SMALL BOY AND HIS FAMILY...

Stay tuned! My next post will be on Thursday, when I announce the winner of my Giveaway...

16 comments:

claire said...

phew! at least you got out safely lol!!
Love the crochet blanket and great buttony finds.. I like a splash of red around the home. I think doing something bloggy for advent sounds a great idea..I had similar thoughts..mainly based on the advent book I recently purchased, be interested to hear your ideas.xxxxx

Michela said...

Lovely finds!
Where can I see a picture of your mad chandelier?

Itch2stitch.com said...

Fantastic post again! I really enjoy coming here to see what you write next! Suzie. xxx

bad penny said...

How lovely. I have been going through my button box too !

Elizabethd said...

Your buttons are so very pretty, you must have thousands now!

Lululiz said...

Oooh, you lucky lucky girl, finding those gorgeous MOP buttons right at the end of the day! Clever idea, putting them through the dishwasher like that.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Nice finds. I recently bought a chandelier, that I will be taking the plastic off of also.

summerfete said...

Bonsoir mon amie!

Have you ever thought about selling your French finds to us gals in the uk?? Pleasse!!!

Strompfette xx

sharie said...

LOL, such a funny post. So sad that you found yourself stranded amongst traders selling buttons. What a horrific experience that must have been! LOL!
I'm glad to see you escaped with a few buttons ;-)

Pomona said...

All's well that ends well, hein?!

Pomona x

Sarah said...

Sounds like a lovely dream really. Those buttons were supposed to be yours obviously. And those glass danglies are beautiful. Can't wait for the transformation of that! Hope you aren't too busy now that school has started back.

beck said...

What a fun post Floss! You had me by the seat of my pants! Such tension, such intrigue!! I love the buttons in the dishwasher idea, might try that myself. Please tell me how the praying mantis got on? Did it escape or was it destined for a life behind bars/plastic? xo

juanitatortilla said...

Being trapped turned out to be a good thing!
You must have a HUGE collection of buttons!

re said...

Looks like you got some great finds. The mantis remainds me of when my boys were small they used to trap all sorts of insects to keep as pets.

Karens Hopes said...

how exciting car booting french style.....
You had some lovely finds I love the jars.
Karen

Cal said...

Great to find all those lovely buttons Floss. Will we see the completed chandelier? Or have you already shown it? And what happened to the Mantis? Looked at your Brittany posts - lovely pics and loved the blue theme. Benodet is in southern Brittany at the mouth of the Odet river.