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The French Muse, Textile Brocante

We enterered via a small forged iron gate, through a heavily perfumed, Iris lined pathway  – a private antique textile brocante heaven in a Provencal 1800s townhouse – just for our French Muse experience guests.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

Everyone has their own technique when they go to the brocante, mine just happens to be a somewhat less efficient method than more serious buyers.  Of course I love the rummaging in dusty boxes for treasure but what I love most of all is the exchange of stories, knowledge and passion.

You can blame it on the Irish gift of the gab but I can easily spend eight hours, chatting, sharing, touching textiles and getting to know these women who have immersed themselves in creating with and collecting textiles for over fifty years.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

And so at a recent flea market I chanced my arm and asked if I could come visit the home of one of my favourite sellers, and if I could bring some friends.

..and guess what? She said yes!!  and she added “I will open all my armoires for you to see everything I have collected” (little jump for joy)

   The French Muse, Textile Brocante

It was beyond what I could ever have imagined.

The perfect day. The sun was shining and as we rounded the corner of the little path, I forgot to breathe as I took in the tables my friend had laid out in her garden, boxes of textile treasures lay dappled in afternoon sunshine.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

Imagine having an opportunity to browse antique textiles without any crowds, with an expert gently guiding you through each box, carefully explaining the techniques used in each piece, what it would have been created for, what a particular stitch was called – so much fun!

Every so often, my friend would disapear inside her house and emerge a few minutes with an antique boutis or tapestry from her vast collection.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

Generosity.

Of time, energy, knowledge, spirit and passion.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

A meeting of kindred spirits. Nourishing.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

Beauty everywhere we looked.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

Our hosts created the most simple & elegant lunch that was for me the essence of French cooking; fresh, seasonal, unfussy and delicious in every way.  At one point I lifted my head from the boxes of textiles to catch everyone photographing the table – our hosts must have thought we were crazy.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

..and just as I thought my senses couldn’t take anymore, our host brought us into her atelier.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

Floor to ceiling shelves of an antique meuble de metier filled with the most incredible patterns. I couldn’t pick a favourite.

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

A day I will never forget!

The French Muse, Textile Brocante

Corey and I are already planning some wonderful activities for our September French Muse experience so if you would like to find out more please email us on ruthribeaucourt at gmail dot com

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Niki May 23, 2015, 12:29 pm

    What a wonderful day! I was part of that first group and it was magnificent! I would love to go each and every time.

  • Jeannie May 23, 2015, 5:42 pm

    You have just lived my favorite dream. I dream I walk into a sunlit attic room and there are open wardrobes filled with cloth from the ages. Your description is beautiful and your love of textiles shines through. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lyn May 23, 2015, 9:57 pm

    How absolutely wonderful.

  • Susanna May 23, 2015, 11:02 pm

    Beautiful! What a treat to have seen this collection. I especially like the summery green ribbon around the mannequin’s neck (pretty) and the pile of bedding (I would never leave the bed!). You have me dreaming of a future trip to France…

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