Monday, 1 September 2014

Researching the Doves...

Bev, from Kainga Happenings, asked me if I knew when my doves plate was made, so I did a bit of research.

This is the mark on the reverse of the plate.

porcelain mark on doves plate

According to this site, this mark was used at the beginning of the early 20th century by A. Lebacqz & M. Bouchart.

It's a bit confusing as there are many marks for St Amand porcelain (I think I would class it as earthenware, or simply 'china' although the French information definitely refers to it as 'porcelaine') and, although there is quite a bit of information on various sites, I have not been able to find out anything about Messieurs A. Lebacqz & M. Bouchart.

This led me to take another look at the plate I bought from a previous brocante, with a flowered pattern called Marie-Louise, in a similar shade of blue...

Marie-Louise plate

On the reverse side is this mark...

porcelain mark on Marie-Louise plate

It seems that in 1818, Maximilien Joseph de Bettignies, a ceramicist from Tournai, opened a factory in the hamlet of Du Moulin des Loups at Saint Amand - the same hamlet on the mark on my Marie-Louise  plate. According to the same site as I used above, this mark was used for  long time - between 1896 and 1952 - a pretty good innings!

So now I think that St Amand china is a variety of china and not a manufacturer, referring to china that comes from the St Amand area.

Hopefully I will find out more about this later.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Bussiere-Poitivine Brocante

Lovely day and a good selection of stalls.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera, so I can't show you the model boats on the lake, but I can show you this picture I took in Paris in days of yore... (2007), although the ones at Bussiere-Poitivine were nothing like this...

sailing boats on pond 3

I'd love to have a model boat like one of these, with patchwork sails!  Hopefully you will see them better if you click on the picture.

I also bought a pretty blue and white plate...

Doves plate

...with doves on...

Doves plate, close

...and an old, faded embroidery.

Christmas embroidery

Christmas embroidery, close

I'm guessing it's for use at Christmas, from the holly and the berries...

Monday, 25 August 2014

Those Dolls Dresses...

I promised you pictures of the dresses on a couple of dolls, so here they are.

The blue one...

Blue dress on doll

...and the white...

White dress on doll

Very pretty, I think you'll agree.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

A Quick Update

...on those dolls dresses I was knitting.

Well, I finally finished them and here they are...

White and blue dresses

The blue...

Blue dress

...and the white...

White dress

...although the white looks a bit pinkish here.

I just have to put some buttons on the back and then I can show you them actually on some dolls!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Brocanting...Again!

Every weekend we go to one brocante or another.  This year  the weather has been pretty awful, but we still usually go and see if any 'exposants' have turned up, and if so - are they still there putting up with the rain?

August being the French holiday month, there are not as many brocantes about, but that doesn't matter. And today we discovered a new attraction - the brocante PLUS the Marché des Producteurs.  Today we went to Breuilaufa (no idea how to pronounce that!) and it certainly lived up to our expectations.

The brocante was good - through the streets rather than on a soggy field - and the Producers market was great.  I had tomato tart and Dan had a steak, which was barbecued for him, and I also bought a plate of salad between us and we had the obligatory chips! The salad plate was gorgeous - chopped up tomatoes - an ancient, very tasty, variety; finely sliced, rindless cucumber with a delicate dressing and coleslaw with a slightly curryish dressing (Turmeric in there somewhere, I think).  This was at lunchtime, but still there was lots of wine flowing at a very low cost, as well as beer and cider.  However, since I was driving on to another venue, I didn't have any.

Tomato Tart and salad

From the brocante I got another lovely teapot stand...

Birds and Plums Teapot Stand

...and was very happy to find some good binoculars, which I have been keeping an eye out for...

Binoculars

We went on after lunch to Cognac la Forêt where another brocante had been advertised, on Brocabrac.fr.  This was a little disappointing, as it turned out to be a regular fortnightly one, at the side of a Dépôt Vente building and only had about 10 stalls. However, I did buy a lovely crystal wine glass from one, for just €1. So that was pretty good.

Crystal glass

We had a look round the Dépôt Vente too and I found a fabulous parcel of upholstery trimmings for just €5!

Bag of upholstery trimmings

Yesterday I helped a friend with a stall at another brocante - in aid of Cancer Support France, and there I got an amazing bargain - a vintage Elna Sewing machine. It is from the 1960s and MUST be a collectors' piece.  It is practically perfect, though I haven't had time yet to master the way it works, which is by a knee lever rather than a foot pedal!

Front view

booklet front

booklet open

Plate on side

It seems to have everything with it, including oil and screwdriver in the original plastic bag!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Fabulous Friday Finds

Today is a holiday in France.  Assumption.  So there are lots of things going on.  The Virgin Mary obviously just loved brocantes and festivals, so there are lots on, today.  In Mézieres there was a GINORMOUS brocante which I obviously just HAD to go to.  The weather was fine, so off we jolly well went.

This is officially a brocante and melon festival, but there were only two stalls selling melons.  As I had half a one in the fridge already and a melon plant in the potager, we didn't buy any melons.Well, by my reckoning, it just would be disrespectful to the plant - which is doing its best. It has had some flowers already, but no fruit so far...

Anyway... the brocante was MEGA!!!!!

It covered the car park...

Broc 2

the adjacent field

Broc 1

AND the lorry park nearby!

Lots of amazing stalls with gorgeous things at low prices...

Broc 4


I only bought 3 things, but I'm very pleased with my purchases.

A lovely old bowl with a Christmas Rose design...

Xmas Rose bowl

Xmas Rose bowl outside

...It has this on the bottom, but I don't know the factory mark...

Marks on base of Xmas Rose bowl

I also bought a much smaller bowl - from the 70s I would say - with a fish and a dove on it.  I love the colours, but again, I don't know the rubric on the bottom.

Fish-Dove dish

Marks on base fish-dove dish

I think it looks Spanish, or Italian, and I wonder if it says "Hand-made by Francesca"

If you know. email me and let me know!

My third purchase was a bag of crochet cotton, with a crochet hook and a small embroidery hoop on as well as several balls of blue mercerised cotton,  A fantastic haul for just a few euro!

crochet haul

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

WOWW

Another Week - another Wednesday!  And I'm back home now and sitting, knitting, 'cos the weather is pretty awful!  Apparently the rain which lashed down all night was the tail end of Hurricane Bertha.  Hopefully she's all rained out now!

Anyway, here's what I've been mainly knitting - a lacy dress for Sasha...

I'm showing you the pattern because I've only got as far as half a skirt in white and one and a half in blue

Lacy pattern for Sasha dress - white

Sasha lacy dress skirt

It's a fiddly pattern - and on 2mm needles so it is rather slow. When I've finished the skirt part I have to pick up stitches for the bodice. And then there's the sleeves...

Ah well - it keeps me out of mischief I guess!

Incidentally, I have been unable to access Sheila Vincent's website and an email gets no response, so I guess she has stopped producing and selling her patterns.  A shame, because they are lovely. If anyone knows what has happened to her and her patterns - please let me know. You can email me by clicking on the link in the right-hand sidebar.