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Friday, June 28, 2013

#gardencherub #antiquecherub
French - or; en or, d'or
an element, a precious yellow metal used for making jewelery etc

When I think of "gold", I think of a treasure or something of great value.

Beth and I have been searching for "gold" to add to our collection for quite some time now.  If not figuratively in our minds as we dream, then literally as we dig for treasures in far away lands finding things to share with you.  Beth found this antique cherub in England during one such expedition, and it reminded me of yet another piece of "Or" we have to share with you. (By the way, the cherub is one of a pair and they are coming over in our container which is due to arrive this next weekend!  Remember, I'm not good at waiting and it has just taken wayyyyy too long for this container to sail across the Atlantic.  I can't wait to see everything in person.)

Well, this particular story involves a "diamond in the rough", a "one-in-a-million" or maybe another "ugly ducking turned swan" but certainly "one-of-a-kind".

When I saw this ottoman, I didn't immediately think of a treasure, nor did I think of something valuable, but I definitely did notice the gold!  Somehow however, like everything we find, this particular piece had personality, character, and blew the socks off unique!
Let's just say that I wasn't necessarily enthralled with green velvet cover or the spray painted gold legs.  I thought it was a Christmas stool that had gotten lost! Hehe....  But, I did fall in love with this little gem's age and the fantastic lines; albeit on those gaudy gold legs. 
 I was more than willing, maybe even excited, to see what it was made of, and I think Frank may have been as well!
It took some time removing the gold paint and the green velvet fabric with all those old tacks. After a good deal of coaching from my husband (who is a very talented wood worker himself), I almost literally dug for a buried treasure.  My fingers were crossed that the effort it took would be worth it in the end.

What I discovered was a beautifully-aged, antique mahogany footstool frame with the most gorgeous yet handsome legs.  Oh my..........
When I showed Beth the photo above, she had the perfect solution for the appropriate upholstery fabric.  It was an antique French burlap grain sack with a rustic, masculine feel.  It pairs perfectly with the sturdy, stated legs on the ottoman.
Notice the old twine sewing right above this leg (below).......original and sewn right into the grain sack.  
We also decided to use flat tacks to finish the edges and to keep the raw, rustic feel.

But, the crowning feature of this "Or" is the antique French printing that now adorns the top of the ottoman.
Mills Champdotre Gold Coast
It is from a French grain mill in the City of Champdotre in the South of France.  The mill was owned by M. Michelot, and the words Cte d'Or translate to "Gold Coast"!  Wait........was that "GOLD Coast"??  I think I just heard that little cherub sing! 

Gold, perfectly returned to "Or"!

What a fun project it was to complete and we just can't wait for you to see it in person at our market debut. 
You may have already seen our "Shop" tab on our FMF Compagnie blog (click here).  It shows just a few of the many things we have for sale on our website (when it is up and running) and at the Santa Monica Antique Market on July 28th.  In the meantime, feel free to email Beth or I at to inquire about anything you've seen in our collection.  We would love to hear from you!

You will also want to see our page called "Crossing the Pond" (click here).  It has a beautiful photo stream previewing part of the collection we have available. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

In one of my first posts, my daughter Devan shared how I am clueless on the computer, but I am beginning each day to "surf" around and ride some waves! One amazing "ride" has been finding a blog site called Velvet and Linen by Brooke Giannetti. Appropriately for this post, she is building a home in Ojai, California where people truly surf the waves! I was captivated with her site for many reasons - watching her new home  being built weekly, perusing through her and her husband's previous beautiful projects, and watching an evolution of style from one house to the next. Brooke is endearing in how she shares her business, family and constant decision making with grace, so I continue to be a visitor marveling each week with her progress at Patina Farm.
One week ago, she shared her five star chicken coop. I laughed when I read several comments that people viewing wanted to move in! For the first time in my life I wanted to be a chicken - preferably being a French Faverolles, and to be adopted by the Giannetti family! Their chicken coop has been so thoughtfully constructed for the chickens to be comfortable, well fed and entertained.
Jim and Beth as Favorelles!
I also admired her potting area within the coop. So, many of her accessories are old, well used items from previous farms most likely. It was encouraging to see her galvanized sink application, and her vision to take an old sink, re-purpose it to showcase well with her collection of galvanized watering cans, rustic terracotta pots and miscellaneous tools for feeding and giving water to her chickens.
Jackie and I will have two sinks just like Brooke has used in her chicken coop, as well as watering cans at the Santa Monica Antique and Collectible Market July 28th. We will, in addition, have low green buckets, two handle galvanized buckets and many well used gardening tools.
As I am imagining being a chicken, I'm reminded of a nightmare story. My neighbors across the street in Castle Combe had chickens and one night the fox got to them all. Absolutely heart breaking for their two little girls who would regularly wander in the village carrying their chickens like little babies. Just two nights ago I saw this menacing fox dash across my low stone wall at the back of the garden.....I'm back to my senses, I only want to be a chicken if I'm living in the Gianetti five star chicken coop resort!!! And I know I would be loved and safe there!
Just wanted to add another "posh" chicken coop featured in Southern Living....Enjoy!
To Enjoy Velvet & Linen Blog, Go to the Links Below:
Velvet & Linen Blog

Monday, June 17, 2013

I once heard a story about a traveler who often visited his family in a small remote village.  There happened to be a young woman who lived there, known for her homeliness.  She was likely to never have a husband, she was so ugly.  One day she met a man who seemed to show an interest in her.  Of course, she was skeptical and so were the other villagers, but it didn't thwart the gentleman’s attempts to court her.  Eventually, the gentleman asked for her hand in marriage and the pair was wed.  While the traveler visited his family from time to time, he was made aware of the very deep and abiding love the gentleman showed his bride.  He lavished her with praise and love and took very good care of her.

Years passed and the traveler made his way back to the village.  Much to his surprise, he was shocked when he saw the young woman.  He had hardly recognized her.  She was now a very beautiful woman.  The traveler, in his amazement and curiosity, began asking the other villagers what had happened to the young woman…….Overwhelmingly, the villagers confirmed that the admiration and love that her husband poured over her and into her soul had begun to change her and through the years, her inner beauty began transform her outer countenance.  She was now truly beautiful!

Sometimes, we all just need a little tender love & care, don’t we?!  I really think that’s where transformations begin. 

(I just read that story to my husband he’s not quite sure I can bridge the gap here, so bear with me.)
Now, where was I……….oh yes, transformations!!

Remember this photo from one of my blog posts several weeks ago? 
The antique white French sheet Beth found has beautiful cut work and embroidery.  It’s stunning!
 The antique French grain sack has a pair of beautiful cobalt blue stripes but the background is woven in white and oatmeal, an incredible coarse textured linen.
Back then, this “transformation” was merely a glimmer of a project plan, tucked away back in the little “studio” in my mind. With everything else I had to do and with all that Beth and I have been working on to get our full blog site up and finished, continued progress and planning were S-L-O-W in coming.  I found myself downright anxious to keep it moving forward!

Then I found this worn wing back chair at a sale one day.  I think my husband, Mike, may have thought I was crazy for even wanting it, but he obliged and it went home with us in the back of his truck.  (Good thing he has a truck!  I seem to ask him to use it quite often these days.)
If you read the “About Us” page here on our blog, we talk about the criteria that Beth and I use when we are considering a purchase for our FMF Compagnie collection, “Would I want to use that in my home?”  In this case, not quite the state it was at the moment. However…..I knew this worn out wing back chair was something very special.  It just needed a “transformation” and a little TLC, and I felt up for the task! 

It took me a few weeks to settle on the entire plan for the chair. (Could one liken that to an egg in a chicken coop......incubating for a while?  I’m teasing, but you get the idea! Oh, and Beth and I really do love chicken coops by the way.)

So, off the chair went to get its “transformation”, restoration, and tender love and care.  It was just the end of last week when it was finally complete.  What do you think?

One of the elements I love about this design is that only a single side of the chair's cushion was covered with the grain sack, so when you turn the cushion over, the entire chair appears to have been covered in the exquisite French antique linen. 
This allows the chair to be used in a very formal, pristine setting with the white, but if you have a casual, airy, seaside or feminine casual design, the blue in the grain sack gives a light, comfortable feel.  We can't wait for you to see it in person at our booth at the Santa Monica Airport Art & Collectible Market on July 28th!  

Maybe Mike was right……the story about the young woman’s transformation could have been a bit of a stretch.  I still think it is a good story……..just like the saga of our newly “transformed” 19th Century French Wing Back Chair, I think that's a great story!  It's all about the "Ugly Duckling becoming a Beautiful Swan!"

Both Beth and I have been inspired through the years by a few favorite of the local Scottsdale Arizona Arcadia Neighborhood gals, Caroline Van Slyke, is one of them!  Our mutual love for farms (and chickens) and everything pure and lovely, causes us to often peruse Caroline's sweet site Boho Farm and Home.  Check it out.......we know you will enjoy it.........and stay tuned for more on the "chickens"!

If you are interested in the fabulous 19th Century French Wing Back Chair at FMF Compagnie, feel free to email us at and see this and our other lovely pieces on our Pinterest boards:

Friday, June 14, 2013

This week one evening I was watching one of our favorite regular shows on the BBC - Countryfile. It comes on Sunday night at 6 and it has a team of presenters that tell stories on animals, plants, restoration, environment, farming and history throughout England. It also does a weekly weather report at the very end of the show and it is watched not only by the farmers, but a mass audience because it is done so thorough. While I was fixing dinner, watching the show and a story really caught my attention. It was on faeries. (That is the British spelling!)
Remember last week when I showed you the pretty blue and white oval platter from the late 1800's that was a romantic scene by the river? When Devan and I were looking at that picture, we both commented about the little elf like people carrying up the picnic baskets to the two couples all ready lounging by the river.....admiring the verdure! Did you notice them? So, when the show began talking about faeries in this forest area in Devon, I was intrigued. Clicking in my ol' brain - late 1800's, Victorian, elf/faeries - I stopped my chopping and listened.
The presenter interviewed a woman in a magical forest while she played on a harp. The camera darted around as if magical creatures were peaking from moss covered rocks, sitting in trees and flickering behind them as well. The presenter begins by saying she thought only children believed in faeries, but the woman said in Victorian times the belief in faeries was an obsession. To the Victorian women, faeries represented everything women wanted to be - mostly free to do as their heart desired. The Industrial Revolution was happening and people were leaving the country for the cities, so there was nostalgia for the old folklore of the lands.
Once WWI came, the idea of faeries could not hold up to such a harsh reality as war.
I now will look at the pottery pieces intently looking for faeries to see if they are depicted more than just in that one piece I found. It truly is the stories behind these pieces that make you admire and love them all the more.
I just finished that little "bit" above in the blog and was asking Devan what else could I write to build on this idea of faeries in England.....and that young mind reminded me of a favorite movie of ours on the author James M. Barrie - Finding Neverland. James Barrie was from Scotland but his adult life he lived in London and wrote theatre and books.  Devan studied him and read Peter Pan for a high school English literature class and was reminding me he lived during the Victorian period as a young boy and wrote about faeries a lot and created the most famous faerie of all time - Peter Pan. At one point in the movie, James Barrie has created a play for his dear friend who is dying and Peter Pan in the play says "Do you believe in faeries? Say quick that you believe. If you believe, clap your hands!" I just got teary thinking of the end of this movie...I just want to keep clapping!

If you have not seen this movie, you should rent it. It is wonderful.
From faeries to reality.....wash to do before Dev leaves for London....I'll be clapping as I 'm doing the wash!! Summer time always seems to fly by to fast just like a faerie does, so it won't be long till we are in Santa Monica for the show July 28th....hope to see you there.

I've had a sneak preview of Jackie's Wing Back Chair-- can't wait for her to show it to you all!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

#antique bicycle #vintage garden #English garden
#English Garden #vintagegardencontainers

Isn't Beth's English Garden breathtaking?  I love when she shares its progress with us.  She's not new to gardening, though, when Beth lived here in Arizona, her gardens and the grounds around her home were always beautiful, just in an "Arizona" kind of way.

After having grown up in the Midwest where things were green and the growing season was fairly predictable, I have missed and longed for a beautiful green garden. Believe me, I've given it my best, but the "Midwest Farm Girl" in me still thinks that summer is when things grow and bloom and that's not quite the case here in Arizona!

Beth and I both love gardens and the bounty and beauty they bring, and we are always looking for ways to bring the garden inside our homes.  

This English Round Wooden Cutting Board is one such thing.  Can you imagine using it at your family table or during a dinner party to serve your favorite cheese selection?  So charming and tasteful!  I love the carved words that circle the board "Give Us This Day..." 
#Antique Wood Cutting Board #Giveusthisdayourdailybread #Englishcuttingboard
Antique English Cutting Board

In our first container, due to arrive the first week of July, there are several delicate vintage floral fabrics that one would love to have in their "garden"!  I'm anxious to see them and begin pairing them with some of the antique and vintage French sheets and ticking to make beautiful "bouquets" of color for your home.

They will be a perfect addition to the "fragrant floral" pillows we already have in stock.  All of our pillows are made with antique and vintage French fabrics and have soft, luxurious down and feather inserts with zipper closures.  You can imagine while Beth is out enjoying those beautiful summer days in Castle Combe, she's also finding more "flowers" to share with us.

#antiquefrench #Frenchpillows #antique fabric #French home

This set of 3 pillows are some of our favorites.  If you notice, this fabric is the background of our blog page and we think it is soft, feminine, classy, and is a perfect portrayal of our's the petals in life, isn't it?

We also love this sweet vintage blue & cream floral piece that we paired with antique (never-used) French linen hotel towels.  It is the perfect size bolster and lovely for a boudoir, dressing room, or the French chair I have in my office! 

#antiquefrench #antiqueblueandwhite #antiquefrenchlinen #antiquefrenchhome

I recently came across this lovely little bit of English prose, calling us to be certain to tend our "garden".......

An Old English Garden Poem

There is peace within a garden 
A peace so deep and calm 
That when the heart is troubled 
It's like a soothing balm

There's life within a garden 
A life that still goes on 
Filling the empty places 
When older plants have gone

There's glory in the garden 
At every time of year 
Spring summer autumn winter 
To fill the heart with cheer

So ever tend your garden 
Its beauty to increase 
For in it you'll find solace 
And in it you'll find peace

--Author Unknown                    

I'd bet Beth smiled and nodded as she read this......"For in it you'll find solace, And in it you'll find peace."  Whatever your "garden", be sure not to miss the flowers and the peace and solace.......make it beautiful.

It just so happens, we can help you make your "garden" beautiful and we are really excited for you to see our "flowers" and things at the Santa Monica Art & Collectible Market, July 28th!  Check out our page called "Crossing the Pond" for a beautiful tiny "bouquet" of things you will see in our booth at the Market.

One last peek at a pair of "pedals" you will absolutely have to have in your garden!  This antique English bicycle was probably a necessary vehicle for the paper delivery boy, shouting, "Extra, all about it!" as he threw his daily papers on the steps of English cottages all through the village.  When you see it at the Market, we may have replaced the newspapers with ivy and bright red geraniums.  We think you will love it!  Come see us in July!! 

#antiqueenglishbike #antiquenewspaperboy #Extranewspaper

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

This morning I woke up to Jackie's blog about Elgar and the fabulous Smile Box showing of FMF Compagnie treasures that Jackie designed. Elgar's Nimrod is replaying in my mind as I wander through the garden this morning. ....oh excuse me, Baronet Elgar! I love that composition!! I am sure Baronet Elgar enjoyed many long summer days like we have been enjoying here and found great inspiration for his music in the garden. We, too, have been loving these long summer days in our village the past three days. The sun is rising early, waking the birds and warming the dew. The sun gazes all day on the flowers from above and then slips away late in to the starry night. These long summer days bring back wonderful summer childhood memories of being lazy and playing Hide and Seek till Mom would ring a bell to come in. Now at my age, I love to be lazy in my garden. Lazy you say! I truly am. I am lazy as I peruse through my garden and take in the daily gifts from God.
Last week I shared a few pictures of the cottage garden. Every day there is a new special flower that has decided to open and what fun I have looking for these. I am not the only one. My sweet neighbors are in their eighties and they have a daily routine of walking through their beautiful garden two or three times a day. I don't mean to eaves drop, but I love to hear them talk about their flowers and hear the joy they share in admiring each one. They slowly meander and comment about how big the blossoms seem this year, or what a lovely addition a perennial has brought to a certain area. Sometimes it is about a need to stake or get some water for the new planting. This time a year they love to entertain and many afternoons enjoy with friends scones and tea and then stroll through their garden. Jim and I have been lucky enough to be guests in their garden and it is such a special treat for us. They have shared plants, given us sound advice on gardening in the Cotswold's and told us many wonderful tales about the village. I wanted to share with you some of our roses and other special flowers that have just started blooming in the past few days. I am no different than my dear ol' neighbors, meandering and admiring.
Dev and I were up early Sunday morning for the local boot fair. The great weather made it the largest boot fair I had ever been to in our local village. Usually, we can go and be back home in about an hour. Sunday
morning I was not expecting the "bigness" of it all with Devan in tow. I knew she would never last more than an hour. After all the hours of being dragged through antique shops in her life, this is not her favorite past time like Jackie's and mine.  I therefore started cruising at a pace so I could see as much as I could in one hour. She does have a good eye, so she watched one side of the aisle and I the other. I wanted to share a few of our "fine things" we found. And we were out of there in close to an hour and a half!!!!
We found these charming heart shaped cake tins, set of three for baking a tiered wedding cake possibly? I have one I found years ago in Arizona that I would fill with votive candles and when the candles were lit it glowed the beautiful shape of the heart. I now hang it on a kitchen wall with a collection of other baking molds I have found here in England. The next picture is of two baker's bread baskets. They would have been in a shelving unit displaying baguettes and /or sweet treats. I would love filling these with magazines or using it as a server for taking out an afternoon tray of stawberries and scones. Then, lastly, we found a box of crystal   chandelier prisms. I could not resist. One Christmas, Jim and I were in Paris and a store had in their display window an entire Christmas tree covered in crystals with white lights. I will never forget it! I could see these being used at a wedding where brides and grooms are dangling votives from trees, to mix a few of these in here and there to create a magical feel.  Or, put them around the edge of an outdoor umbrella to sparkle in the sunlight.

"Good things come in pairs" the old saying goes. We found this blackboard easel which is two sided from a school room of year's past and these absolutely precious Oxford educational reading cards for a year one the States we say first grade, the Brits say year one! Every picture is sweet and special and so charming with the simple story line so the children will learn by having clues from the pictures.
The second pair we found were these old framed pieces, "He leadeth me" and "God is faithful".......all I can say as I finish this blog is He leadeth me through my garden and He is faithful in His daily gifts.God bless everyone. Re-play and listen to Baronet Elgar's Nimrod and review our treasures and you will feel as if you have soared to Heaven and back.

 Click Here to Enjoy Baronet Elgar's Nimrod and Enjoy FMF Compagnie Treasures