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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

French Brocante at Round Top

Round Top Antique Show has something for everyone. Spread out for 10 miles along Texas highway 237 and for 9 miles along Texas highway 1457, the semi-annual antiques show has multiple venues with wares ranging from early Americana to industrial vintage to European fine antiques with  everything in between.

Advertised as the largest antique show in the United States, Round Top is THE antique show for worldwide antiquers and is on many people's bucket list to experience the more than 2000 vendors over 17 days.  The best known sites are Marburger Farm, Blue Hills, Warrenton, the Original Round Top Antiques Fair, and Big Red Barn.  The dates this fall were September 19 - October 5, but most of these big sites were only open September 30 - October 4.  

French Brocante at Round Top 

French by Design had these antique French flags made from fabric. 
At least one of them was hand sewn. However, they were not for sale and 
were only part of the booth styling.  I tried to buy one, but the owner said the 
flags are getting very hard to find, even in France. If you see one for sale, 
snatch it up.  Buy two if possible, and sell one to me. 

French is in.  All kinds of French... rustic, ornate, architectural salvage, garden containers, linens...  Blue Hills, Marburger, and Arbor International Antiques & Interior Design Show were my three favorite spots for French antiques. 

The real thing.  
A massive stone carved coat of arms cut from a larger stone in France 
is my favorite from the antique show.  
The Round Top experience lets us dream of possibilities. 

Way out of my budget, only possible in my dreams... 
integrated into the stone above a stone fireplace, behind a Viking stove, 
in a sculpted garden, the centerpiece of an interior stone wall in a conservatory,...

Fleur-de-lis iron finials from old French fences 
were in my budget.

A French mirror is on my wish list. 
Not for my living room, but for my master bath. 
One that has French bones, but one that is not as formal as this one.  

So many beautiful mirrors from which to choose. 
Budget, style, and size constraints are all part of the selection. 
My favorite in this group? 
The one at the top left in the trumeau style, but it is too big for my space. 

No, this is not a mirror, but a salvaged wood carving that may have been part 
of a trumeau mirror at one time. 

What is it about a French handwritten document that is so appealing? 

I spent the most time in this one spot during 
my 3 1/2 days rambling through Round Top. 
French by Design's owner was so gracious.  She went to her car 
and got two more boxes of authentic French documents for me to peruse. 

Original documents with embossed seals, including some with bleu seals, are from the 1800s. 

The 'copies' embossed seal is so much more elegant than our current day 
stamped notary seals.  This document is an original 'copy,' which means 
that both an original document and copies were made at the same time.  
No copy machines back then means handwritten copies were made. 
Sounds very similar to when my will was made.  I have the original in a safe, 
but there were copies made for those named in the will. 

Old handwritten pages were glued onto the recessed areas 
of the door and drawer panels of this chest. 

Hydrangeas, a blue feather, and a blue bottle are perfect companions 
for the multi-paged antique French document with a blue cover. 

RF on the tricolor sign stands for Rèpublique Française (French Republic).

Grape pickers' wooden buckets would be beautiful filled with flowers. 
As with most of the French antiques, the vendor's prices were not bargains. 

Of course, my favorite grape picker bucket was this blue one, 
a metal version, but still expensive. 

Look closely at the top edge of this carved door with its original color. 
The door is c u r v e d.
One of a two-door French door set. 

Two designers from Houston were loading the doors 
into their truck when I entered this booth at Marburger Farm.  
A builder will custom build a curved corner pantry 
in a new house just for this set of French doors. 

The doors were sold the first morning that Marburger Farm was open. 
A perfect example of why designers, builders, and name-brand store buyers 
(Pottery Barn) pay $25 for an early-bird ticket to the first morning at Marburger Farm. 

I did not see anything that indicated this carved wooden horse 
came from France, but carrousels have been popular in France for centuries, 
beginning with elaborately-dressed live horses and riders in the 1600s. 

Parisian children can ride on beautiful carousels scattered throughout Paris 
for about €2.50 for a 3-minute ride.

Cactus Creek Daily Round Top Guide
See my Pinterest board, Round Top Antique Show
for more information, including links to Guides to Round Top. 

While the carved stone coat of arms is my favorite in the 2014 fall antique show, 
the blue curved French doors would have been a REAL temptation 
had they not already been sold. 
I did buy some of the French documents and fleur-de-lis finials.

What is your favorite item pictured? 
Did you go to the Round Top Antique Show this fall? 
Did you find any treasures to take home? 

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Friday, October 3, 2014

French Fall Accents at Round Top

You know it's fall at the Round Top Antiques Show in south central Texas by the date,
not by the temperatures.

Today Round Top, Texas was sunny and HOT; 90° was the high,
apropos for Round Top that has a population of ... 90!
That is, until the semi-annual Antique Show extravaganza
swells the population to over 100,000.
It's even been reported to have 200,000 visitors some years,
but Texas is known for its tall tales.

An antique wooden wheel barrow filled with multi-colored and multi-textured pumpkins sets the stage for the fall displays that enhanced all the antiques throughout the antique fair.  Of course, French antiques are what I was looking for.  

French Fall Accents 
 ... some ideas for decorating my own home... 

... white and pale green pumpkins are very chic (elegant)
in gris (gray) and white French urns...

... French pottery direct from a French brocante (flea market)
filled with yellow lantana flowers...

... a large vintage terracotta bowl worn from use... 

... earthy tones of Provence blend beautifully 
with all the yellow and orange fall couleurs (colors)...  

... yellow mums in French pots de cuivre (copper pots)...

... various sizes and shapes of French yellow ware could hold fall flowers... 

... pumpkins with French circular wooden architectural salvage... 

... a French gray urn filled with a pumpkin holding a bird's nest... 

... a grapevine wreath as the base of a pumpkin in a French urn 
with unusually shaped gourds in a wooden box... 

... a row of various French urns filled with purple fall flowers...

... a vintage original water couleur of Paris in the fall... 

Which of these is your favorite idea for fall decorating with a French accent? 
Did you learn a new French word? 

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

4 Ways To Be Cool at Round Top Antique Fair

Another 90°- day at the 
Fall Round Top Antique Show 

Here are four ways not only to keep cool, but also to be cool at the 
Marburger Farm-Round Top Antique Show. 
After all, Round Top Antique Shows are the places 
to see and to be seen. 

  1. Buy an adorable blue and white paisley print straw cowgirl hat at a convenience store on Highway 290 in Carmine, Texas.  Get some of their delicious chicken salad from the deli while there. Then head south to Round Top. 
  2. Wear your sunglasses you brought from home with your new ultra-chic blue paisley cowgirl hat. While shading your head and eyes, wander through the thirteen buildings and nine giant tents that house 350 exhibitors at Marburger Farm Antique Show, one of my favorite antiquing sites along Highway 237 during the Round Top Antique Show. 
  3. Drink plenty of liquids to beat the heat while strolling from tent to tent.  A large glass of iced tea, sweet or unsweet, will cool anyone down quickly.  Marburger Farm has a large open-air covered area filled with long tables that sport red and white checked tablecloths for resting while eating and drinking. 
  4. Generate your own breeze by using a hand-held old-fashioned fan on a stick.  Marburger Farm supplies the cute advertising fans in the shape of a cowboy hat.... to go with your cute cowgirl hat from Carmine.  You supply the energy to wave the fan back and forth, being sure to share your breeze with whomever is standing near you.  Southern hospitality, you know. 
Four ways to beat the heat at the largest antique show in the USA...  
All the while looking chic and exuding Southern charm...  

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