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Friday, May 31, 2013

Beth was so kind to tell you about the gift we sent to her sister-in-law while writing her last blog.  Truth be told, all those years ago (when we were working side-by-side at the school fundraising boutiques), Beth shared those talents with me.  So, really, she is my mentor and the beautiful gift you saw was a reflection of her unique sense of what is beautiful and enduring!  She herself is an amazing gift!

I wanted to share a few photos of some of the sewing that Beth has done for FMF Compagnie.  What you see in this photo are drawer liners, filled with beautifully fragrant lavender and pieced so lovingly together out of antique monogrammed linens.  Each piece of fabric carefully and intentionally placed to frame the beautiful monograms......

They are lovely gifts to give and as Beth mentioned, they are available on our Etsy store.  We promise to make every gift (even if it is for yourself) very special!

So, while I was taking photos for the blog this morning, guess who was sneaking around my old red French bucket? 

This is our kitten, Frank!  I can't tell you how many times I've tried to get a photo of him so I could share it with you.  No success.....until this morning!  He's not quite a year old, so you can imagine how hard it is for him to be still!  And yes, he is named after a favorite of mine......Mr. Frank Sinatra. (Although, I'm not sure how Mr. Sinatra would feel about it! Ha!)

Ok, one more thing to share with you.  I'm in the planning stages of the military badge pillows and I went out the other day to find a coordinating fabric.  I came back with very fine wool suiting in navy.  I'm using a French white linen piece for the center and backing and will add some unique trim.......

Stage 1:
Stay tuned for more!

I received an email from Beth, we are so excited with all that is going on!  We think you are going to love what you see at the market in Santa Monica!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

This morning I received an email with attached pictures from Jackie regarding an order I had placed with our company FMFCompagnie. Now you might find that strange that I would order from our company, but since I  live "across the pond" and I need a special gift delivered that will express my love .........Jackie is who comes first and foremost in my mind. Jackie has always given gifts where she puts special thought in to the celebration, or the occasion. It begins with her thoughtful idea, but it is her heart that is reflected in her detail to coordinating the writing, wrapping and presentation. There are so many times through the years when she has delivered a gift that was so beautiful, I truly did not want to open it. I wanted to admire it "as is" and take in her love and friendship that was wrapped in to the bow.  This past week I was in need of a gift that when it was received, it would express a very heartfelt love from my family and I. Jackie came through......
Very unexpectedly my sister-in-law's mother died. I thought a beautiful gift and a reminder of her mother's legacy would be to give her our lavender sachets with her mother's initial, my sister-in-law's initial and her two daughter's initials. My hope was she would tuck them in her top dresser drawer with her personal things and daily they could be a reminder of her Mom. I just wanted to share with you what Jackie put together and got mailed off.

I have all ready imagined how my sister -in-law will react when she opens it because of the love Jackie poured in to this gift, but I know Jackie pours that same effort in to every purchase from our company. She and I love gift truly is more special than being on the receiving end for us. So, if we can ever help with a special gift request that you have, we would love to be of heartfelt service in every detail for you.
FMF Compagnie's lavender sachets are available on etsy; We make our sachets from old English and French linens and they are monogrammed in the United States. We do find old monograms on napkins and linens and we also make those in to sachets, drawer liners,pillows and custom furniture pieces. Our sachets would make beautiful graduation gifts for young gals going on to college to use in the dorm room. They would also make special bridesmaid gifts personalized.  The possibilities are endless for you and FMF Compagnie because they are custom made.  Please just allow a bit of time.

We will also have our beautiful collection of sachets, pillows and furniture at the Santa Monica Flea and Antique Market July 28th.

I can't help but to show you a few finds this week. I was running errands and my favorite little shop was open and the owner was unpacking boxes from her weekend purchases. It is all about timing isn't it!!!

I loved this brass tray with an inlay of enamel flowers. She said it is from the time of WWII and was brought back from a trip to India. I love the aged brass and the state of the patina. I also found another bread cutting board.......I love these.....daily bread! I also found a set of wood bowls for lawn bowling. They were made in Glasgow and have the name Murray personalized on them. Always on the hunt.....Jackie has been doing the same in Phoenix. You can just imagine our emails going back and forth with pics!!!! So much fun!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This past weekend my family celebrated Memorial Day together.  It is always a bittersweet day as we are grateful for our Country and the freedoms we enjoy, and yet we are sobered by the ultimate sacrifice that so many have paid.

While we were enjoying the spring flowers and US Flags "planted" in the beautiful flower pots scattered around the patio at Mom and Dad's, the discussion gravitated to our own family patriarchs who served our Country and left a legacy of freedom and opportunity.

General Clyde H. Mitchell
Two-Star Major General, US Air Force

"Grandpa" Mitchell dedicated most of his life to serving our Country in the Air Force.  I've heard that he was a strong, yet caring man.  The medal you see in the photos is a "Distinguished Services Medal".  When I was taking the photograph, I noticed the beautiful detail that went into the well-deserved award.  It is stunning!

"Pop" Funkhouser was also a man who worked hard.  He was wittingly intelligent and invested his life in the growth of our Country during the early part of the 20th Century in the automobile industry.

Mearick Funkhouser
Vice President, Delco Products Division, General Motors

It was really precious family time as we discussed the roles that each of these amazing men played in the history of our Country and our family, and I was also reminded of my heritage in the generations of American Farmers who work, literally by the sweat of their brow, to produce crops and food for our families.

What an honor to remember them all!

The service and commitment of men who fight for freedom as well as those who lead our country with strength, vision, and hard work throughout the ages strikes me with awe.  Their brave commitment to future freedoms, successes, opportunities, and provision is humbling.  

After the long weekend of celebration, rest, and reflection, I came back to Scottsdale and was reminded of a  package that Beth recently sent to me from the UK.  Inside were three incredible British military service patches.  I can only imagine the brave men who were decorated with them.  They are truly beautiful and I'm sure, worn as a result of sacrifice and commitment.

The badges are part of a project that will showcase these "sentiments of strength", but until I am finished, I will have to share bits and pieces along the way.

Here is a peek at one of the badges..........

Dieu et Droit Mon is the motto of the British Monarch in England. It appears on a scroll beneath the shield of the coat of arms of the United Kingdom. The motto refers to the divine right of the Monarch to govern and is said to have first been used by King Richard the Lionheart as a battle cry and official motto of battle, then adopted as the royal motto of England by King Henry V in the 15th century. (We've just had a refresher in British history!)

I'm anxious to continue to share the other badges and finally the completed project with you over the next few days.  Do stay tuned!

In the meantime, Beth and I are busily planning the market; emails are flying, fleeting, racing, and zipping across the internet while we communicate and plan.  We are so excited and anxious to share our things with you!  

The Santa Monica Airport Antiques & Collectible Market is noted as one of the Top Ten "Flea Markets" in America!  See you there, July 28th!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Boots or trunks? Memorial Day or Bank Holiday? Even though we speak the same English language, we say many things differently. In the States we name our holiday weekends; Thanksgiving, Labor Day, President's Day, Memorial the UK, they are not as creative - it a Bank Holiday - banks are closed! But we both love our long holidays and this time a year the celebrations head outside, we both crank up the grills, hang the hammocks, put up the umbrellas and enjoy hopefully some sunshine. Happy Memorial Weekend to all of America and a heartfelt thank you to all who have served in the USA to keep us safe and have all the freedoms we have. God Bless you all.
#castlecombe #castle comb # england #best village #kingcharles #englishdog #britishgarden
Another word change in the UK is a Boot are probably envisioning rows and rows of boots for sale, but this sale is not the items that go on your feet. The boot is rather the externally accessed storage compartment at the back of the the US we call it a trunk. The British fill their boot with everything they want to sell that day. I think the British Boot Sales are really more like our garage sales or on a larger scale like our Flea Markets. When the days warm up and there is more daylight, Boot Sales return to the English landscape. Some of these are quite large (100's of vendors). People sell items from overstocked wardrobes, used toys, videos, books to the occasional treasures and antiques. My husband, Jim and I love to go to the local boot sale. We can walk up the hill and through the fields to a local race track that is opened early in the morning. Everyone drives their cars in and opens their boot. Some people sell right out of the back of the car, others bring tables and set their things out and others just put it out all over the grass. When they open the gates, there is a small fee to come in, but it all goes to a local charity which is nice. Jim and I love the hunt for some treasure. Some boot sales we find nothing, but some days we do get lucky and find a treasure.
#britishtrunks #antiques #WE Jackson Sons #antiqueluggage
At  our local Boot Fair, a couple of weeks ago, this is exactly what happened.  We stumbled upon an elderly man standing alone and looking lovingly at his items, touching them and taking care of them. He didn't have many items, but we spied 2 large trunks (old canvas and wood straped suitcases) with initials and looking to be in very nice condition for their age. Approaching the man we asked if he knew anything about them. He proudly told us they were his parent's trunks. His story began that after the war, (WWI), his father returned from the war to his fiance'. Lovie Jenkins. She was a patient young lady whose heart remained devoted to a young man, Bernard Barnes. The elderly man, who owned the trucks, added " beautiful Welsh names". The trunks had been purchased before the war in anticipation for their future travels. After the war, the young couple married and became the parents to this elderly man. His story was very touching and then he added he very much wanted to sell the trunks as a pair so that they remained together. So we bought them both!!! As we started to carry the trunks away the elderly man quickly wrote down the names of that young couple so at least his story will venture "across the pond".
When we find treasures, we always seek to find 'the story' to pass along when we share our finds. This story of Bernard and Lovie is so sweet but also seems appropriate in honoring Bernard's service in the war as well this Memorial Day Weekend.  Hopefully, Jackie and I will sell the trunks together to a wonderful home in Santa Monica at the Flea Market July 28th.

So this blog is not about a Boot Sale.....but really a Trunk Sale!!!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Today is my birthday!  (How's that for an announcement?!)  So many thoughts race through my mind as I think about writing today, posting on my birthday... this message is particularly important to me. 

Maybe I'm getting a bit too sentimental today, so please forgive me now.........but, if there is anything I've learned in 48 years, it's that there are times in life when we don't realize what we have until we reflect.  Let me wait until that time.......never again!  From now on, no doubt, no unexplored dreams, no one left unloved, and I'm not allowed to feign attention or intention!  

How does this apply to FMF Compagnie you might ask?  Very simply, it's about the details and the special occasions! Making, discovering, and re-designing amazing finds into "special occasions" for today, not missing the details in each special occasion that crosses our path.

Did you see the amazing French Bottles and Olive Oil carrier Beth posted a few days ago....can you imaging the valuable storage they provided for a family during their day..........or the stunning church "collector" from yesterday's post that could now be a stunning part of a well-appointed home office?  Those two items are examples of noticing the potential of "special occasions" for use in our daily lives and they are truly beautiful and significant. Precisely why they have been featured in Beth's writings and our blog, so they could grace your presence today with a "special occasion" if you wish.

Yesterday I had the privilege of delivering a custom, hand-made pillow to a neighbor of my sister-in-law.  Heidi reached out asking for someone to make a copy of an antique pillow that charmed the bench by her front door for many years, but weather had taken a toll on the beautiful pillow.

It was my pleasure to re-invent a copy of this memoir, indicative of the decades of thriving citrus groves that were once prevalent in local Scottsdale neighborhoods.  Many of those lovely citrus groves have since been divided and are now backyards and neighborhoods all of their own.  As I worked to re-make the pillow for Heidi, I was reminded of the history behind it and was honestly honored to create a new image of the memoir.

It made me happy when Heidi told me that the pillow was "perfect and just what she wanted".  I hope it continues to bring something "special" to the entrance of her home just as the original did.

Today, let's not forget those special occasions and special friends that go along with them.........Beth and I will be looking forward to sharing our "special occasions" with you in the Santa Monica Airport Antique & Collectible Market!  See you there........July 28th!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Busy nothings.....not Jackie and I! I can just imagine Jane Austen sitting on the river Avon outside of Bath in her beautiful hat waiting and dreaming of Mr. Darcy as Jackie posted in her last blog. But Jackie, while waiting for our shipment to arrive, is probably dreaming of new designs rather than Mr. Darcy. I'm sure if she is wearing a hat, it is to shield herself from the Arizona sun!!! Over the weekend she has been busy sewing, designing invites, searching for treasures and most importantly being a wife and mother. Half way around the world, I switched gears from FMF Compagnie to my local village fete (fete is an outdoor festival). 

#historic #church #castlecomb #antique #stone #concrete #architecture #stainedglass #glass

Castle Combe has a stunning church in the center of our village. Every day it is opened by a local within our village, so tourists can peruse the inside. Our village has won numerous awards and accolades for being the most beautiful village in England and everyday visitors from all over the world come to wander through Castle Combe. All of us who live here are very proud of our church and we do an annual fundraiser for it. The proceeds go to maintain the church and we hope to some day have a museum about the history of Castle Combe.

#boot fair #england # garagesale # yardsale #fleamarket #imports @antiques

My busy nothing this weekend was helping in the plant stall. I love gardening so being involved with selling plants is a joyous task. Friday and Saturday we picked up perennials, annuals, and bushes from growers who generously loan us their beautiful plants for the sale. Then we were making signs, pricing and setting up our booth space. Luckily, it was a gorgeous day and the turn out was fantastic. The British love their gardens and everyone couldn't leave the fete without a plant! We had a very successful day. I couldn't leave without buying a few my busy nothings continued last night after the fete. I went back to my cottage garden and planted some of my perennials while there was still sunlight! 

Busy nothings continue to Monday.....I still have a lot of planting to do before the English rains come! But I wanted to show you a very special piece that will be coming to the Santa Monica Antique/Flea Market July 28th.  It is a beautiful holder from the doorway of a church in England. It could possibly have held weekly devotions, prayer requests, announcements and exchanges of correspondence. I think it would be wonderful in an office at home filled with envelopes, stationary and bits of keepsakes. Hope you can come see it in Santa Monica and also be a part of Jackie and I seeing each other for the first time in two and a half years. It will be a sweet reunion as we will be busy do nothing!!! HAHA.
#antique #church #office #paperorganizer #office #organization #industrial #shabbychic #fmfcompagnie #french #1920s

Friday, May 17, 2013

Oh Dear....Somehow I don't think I'm very good at waiting!  Beth has been sharing photos with me for literally months now, photos taken during her trips to the quaint little villages and hidden away spots in the UK that mostly only locals know of. So, to say that I'm anxious to see the treasures firsthand is ..........well making me feel famished with excitement! LOL  

Believe me when I tell you that even though the "ship has sailed".....I know Beth well enough to tell you that she will continue to be very busy gathering and planning and assembling packages of treasures and the next time she flies to America, her suitcase will be filled to the brim again!  (I'm really not kidding about the famished with excitement thing, though I'm sure it applies to both Beth and I!) 

While "we" are waiting..........oh bother........I thought it would be fun to show you a few "before and after" projects I've done with some of the beautiful antique fabrics that Beth found (picture lugging a large, heavy suitcase).....  The stunning antique linen hotel towels you see above were found, never-used.  Their textured cream linen back and vibrant red border "glass cloth" were a perfect combination for the delicate antique red and cream French floral piece.  I just fell in love with the lily bells on this one!

Somehow, it is really important to me to serve the lovely "this or that" well and with due care.  So, the match in age and color dye in these fabrics really married these pieces together brilliantly!  

Well, what do you think?

I don't think one could really miss on these lovely pillows........they were just meant to be beautiful from their very beginning. 

Here is another fun project....I found this chair at a tag sale and while it was/is a well-made vintage chair, the flat cushion and dull blue brocade fabric didn't match the personality of the beautiful framework, carvings, and legs of the piece.  I just had a feeling about this one.  Here is the before:

After spending some time carefully considering and looking through the antique monogrammed French fabrics from Beth, I found one piece with a monogram that was just the right size and had the same floral touches as the framework on the chair.  I think I found the right piece.............

Notice the original antique monogram that now is framed by the beautiful wood and carving on the is truly a framed piece of art!  Since the monogram......... an "R M", we've appropriately named this chair the "Reyella Monet" chair.  I think it rather fitting and I think you will fall in love with it just like I have!  (Speaking of........Beth, how is it that you part with ANYTHING you find?!?)

You know what, our website is still under construction, but feel free to email us regarding the things you see on our blog, our Pinterest boards or our Etsy store.  More than anything, we would just love to hear from you:

So, here is a sneak peak at my next "not-yet completed" project.  I will share more with you when I get it done!'s a good thing I'm busy, but honestly, I really can't wait to see my dear friend, Beth, again!  She's a treasure and I am "famished with excitement" until Santa Monica.....July 28th!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Well, Wednesday started very suddenly. I awoke to my mom shouting at me in a panic the van was here for the shipment. I looked out my window to see cloudy grey skies--no surprise, it's England--and thought, 'What it's 12?' Thankfully, it wasn't 12 (half my day wasn't already gone)- but it was 10. The shippers were 2 hours early! As Mrs. Funkhouser (or Jackie as you know her) said 'In America they would be 2 hours late.' So, we're not complaining.....

In one word the morning was hectic. I was not prepared. Half asleep, in my pajamas and bare foot-- great combination for helping. I know what you're thinking, it was 10 you should have been up. Yes, but I'm a college student, what do you expect? Despite the fact that they were two hours early, it didn't take away from the excitement my mom was exuding. The only thing going through her mind was, YES I have more space to buy MORE antiques. Oh brother!

 The shippers were gone possibly in under 30 minutes! After we closed our 400 year old door with a huge shove,  (it weighs a ton) I was chilling, eating some cereal when all the sudden I heard my mom freak out. "Dev, have the movers left?"  I ran to see and they had left to our dismay. We had forgotten one full crate of  old French lemonade bottles!  Boy, was my mom not happy! Hey-ho! Next shipment... Now I will hand you over to my Madre! Toodle loo...

........No they are going to make the shipment. I am going to drive them to Bristol manana (my Arizona roots coming out!!!), because the container is still being wrapped and boxed.  YAH!!!! These bottles are so charming. They have their original porcelain tops with the different French company logos. These would be so charming down the center of a table filled with daisies. The crate is special too. It is quite old and is an olive oil crate and has the company name "Huile Lesieur" stamped on the front. Someone in Santa Monica is going to love these and have to have them all.

Yesterday was so exciting to think our first shipment is now on its way "across the pond". I am so thankful for all of Dev's help since she came home from college. This will be a sweet memory for me that she was a part of FMF COMPAGNIE from the beginning.....pretty sure she won't have the same sweet memory!!! All moms out there - I know you understand!!!! And we had more exciting news yesterday....we were accepted in to the Santa Monica Flea Market for July!!! Fingers and toes crossed the Castle Combe cargo gets there by then. Jackie and I are both buzzing with ideas on displays and the layout of our space.....that will keep me busy in between going out antiquing and Jackie is revving up the sewing machine!!!

My parents live in Santa Monica, so super big bonus for me to get to see them. To see what is heading over across the pond check out our Pinterest page (the link is on the right hand side).......hope to see you in Santa Monica!