Bienvenue 2012

Welcome to 2012!

We are so thrilled to be entering this new year with you! We have shared a year with you via our blogging and your support and comments, and now we are beginning a new calendar year. We are hoping that we can take the steps to make this year better than 2011, and we invite you to do the same. 2011 was a very nice year for us as far as personal and professional growth and we hope that during this new year, we continue to thrive along with you. 

Wooden Grape Carriers from the 
Bordeaux,france area

To make this a great year we will not be sitting around waiting to see what good things this year will bring us, but we plan to roll up our sleeves and do everything in our power to make things happen for us.  Life can deal us all sorts of cards, and we have to be ready to work with them. It's not about "rolling with the punches" or accepting our circumstances, it is about taking the reins and doing everything possible to deal with life's little circumstances.


1850's French Journal books, see all of the winter finds 
that will be in our spring container Here  

Carpe Diem! It is a new beginning and it gives us a chance to gauge, evaluate, get a new perspective, and take a different approach to continue to grow, to continue to evolve. "When you are through learning, you are through." Open up, do not despair and keep moving, keep loving, keep the faith!

Happy New Year
Team Atelier

Heavy wicker baskets out of the Champagne area in Reims,
19th century Louis XVI Mirror found west of Paris


joyeux noel

We are so grateful for all the gifts we get from you all year: the encouragement, support, compliments, visits to our blog and Facebook page, and also when those who can, come and see us at our events and of course for all the purchases. We are very fortunate to have met many of you in person and virtually and hope we continue to please you with our style, our writing and images.

Image left and right taken at brocanterie Déjà-vu here

Some of the items in our next spring container here

We wish all of you a glorious Holiday Season and end of the year and hope you have a joyous time in whatever manner you celebrate. May there peace in your homes and in your heart. Thanks again for a fabulous year and for your friendship!


Trinidad, Johan, Martin


And the Winner is.....

First of all, we'd like to thank all of you who responded on our blog. Our gratitude to all of you who have been following us, constantly commenting, and providing feedback and support as we develop. And a warm welcome and thank you to all our new followers. We truly value your visits and comments and not just because it feeds our ego, but because it provides affirmation, support, and yes, guidance as we continue to grow into our own. 

Again, if someone had told me a couple of years ago that I'd be blogging and accessing the social media as we are now, I would have said, "You're crazy!" These new venues that are accessible to us via the new and ever-changing technology field, can be very fun and also very casual, but I still think that it is on us as individuals to use them in the best responsible and respectful way. And it doesn't mean that because it is casual, we create blogs haphazardly. I enjoy reaching out to you via this blog and I want you to come back and enjoy perusing through it. 

Items above and below in our next Spring 2012 container

Several people have given us feedback about the inspiration aspect of it and we love hearing that. Some folks have mentioned how it's a little respite and how they felt they were vicariously traveling along with us when we wrote about our buying trip and that is great feedback. It spurs us into improving when we sense that people do enjoy reading about our work and yes, sometimes our idle rants. Smile! 

It is also via our blog that we come across other amazing bloggers and creative people. Several of you have blogged about us and given us more visibility and we are very grateful. Some of you have placed us on your blog rolls and that makes us very proud. I am looking forward to another year of writing for our blog 
and reading more of those you write.

We have selected two winners as we had announced. A regular follower will receive a copy of the Jeanne d'Arc Living book, French Atmospheres, and a new follower will receive a copy of the Holiday Issue of the Jeanne d'Arc Living magazine. We have selected Debra from Acquired Objects blog here who has been not just on our follower list, but constantly providing comments with feedback and observations and affirmations. Thank you Debra and congratulations. The new follower, winner of the magazine is Miss Flibbertigibbet. We were struck by what she is most grateful for and commend her in her act of love of adopting 4 children.... Blog here

Again thank you all for your input and support and stay tuned because this year, we want to do a few more give-aways and plan to continue improving on our work. This coming year we will be stepping a bit more from writing about just us and write about other bloggers, and other creative people and interesting businesses. Our next blog post will be about someone who is an amazing blogger and human being. Stay tuned!


Our First Year!!! Giving Thanks and a Give-away

We are ecstatic to be celebrating the first anniversary of our blog. 
We posted our first entry last year on November 24.

I had begun to follow several blogs and was intrigued by their power as a source of inspiration. I could see how some of the bloggers were really dedicated and paid attention to detail. They took pride in what they delivered. One of my favorite blogs was Trouvais by Trish.Here To my surprise, she blogged about us one day.  It turns out she had seen Trinidad selling at the Alameda here and later she came to one of our container sales and again blogged about it. Here Meeting her really prompted me to work on creating our own blog. We also discovered that Christina from Greige had included some of our photos in one of her postings.Here and here 

          Jardiniéres here      Ma Petite Maison d'Hotes here

Our first posting was about our "garden house." here. I had cleared out the shed we normally used as storage and created a sort of garden house. I staged it with the items we had just brought in our most recent container, took some photos and posted them.  My goal was to create  a blog that would cover the different styles of  merchandise we offer to our clients, which we bring from Europe. I wanted to create vignettes of items to combine and integrate in interior as well as exterior environments.  I also wanted to post about vacation spots, other businesses, our travels and our experiences hunting for antiques and other treasures in the markets of France and throughout Europe. I had all this in my mind but the truth was I did not feel equipped with the writing skills to do it. My first postings had but a few descriptive sentences of the content. We also didn't get but a couple of comments. 


Ile de Ré here and here            En Route here 

When Johan started blogging for Atelier de Campagne I was mildly curious, but was still not sure of how blogging would support the growth and development of our business. I am a self-admitted technophobe and was definitely not interested in blogging or even following blogs. Johan tried to get me excited about it, but I wasn't buying it. Teasingly, I told him he just wanted an excuse to "play house" which is what I used to call the time he'd spend on creating vignettes and taking photos even before he started blogging. "Johan, did you spend all day playing house?" I'd ask him when I'd get home and he'd have some area staged in a special way. Even though I teased him about it, I recognized his talent and the importance of experimenting with design. He'd always do a great job at our store, and at the fairs and gift shows.

Top left Aging with Grace and Beauty here 
Tor right Creations D'Ambiance here 

One day, while selling at an antique show, a customer approached me and said, "Trinidad, what is going on? I am following your blog, but you guys have not blogged in a few weeks." I didn't know what to say, so naturally I blamed Johan. LOL! I said, "You know, Johan has been busy and he is just learning." "Well," he said, "I think he is doing great and he needs to do it more often." I remember calling Johan that night and saying playfully, "Johan, your fans are clamoring for more postings!  "Some guy came up to me and was somewhat upset you haven't posted lately." Johan followed the humor and said, "What? Fame at last!"  I said, "Seriously Johan, people who read the blog will expect more constancy." He laughed and said, "People who read the blog? Trinidad, I barely write a sentence or two. You should write it, you are so good with words and your writing is more engaging" I did  not want to give in because I was still working as a consultant and teacher educator and flying all over the country. Then a few other people blogged about us and I started getting excited. 

Style Industriel here  Aging with Grace and Beauty here    Baskets here  

I remember Andie from Divine Theater here posting about us with a sentence, "I cannot believe this site has only a handful of followers?" here I decided to write one of the postings with the condition that Johan would still be in charge of the photo selection and the technical part. My first post was in February and I wrote about baskets.Here. I was thrilled that I got eight comments! Well, Johan and I started sharing the task of writing and selecting topics and photos. We started getting a few more followers and then a few other people blogged about us. Glenda from The Paper Mulberry here & here and others started to include us in their blog rolls. It was exciting to know more people were finding us and that they liked what we were doing.

The Sign of the Time here

Sometimes, it's hard sharing the task of blogging with Johan living in Belgium, and the difference in time. I am getting ready for bed when Johan is waking up and vice-versa so we have to find the right time to get it all together. Tonight, we have already talked a few times on the phone. We are not always in agreement as to which photos to use and how much text to include.  Even though I have always enjoyed writing, I was timid about sharing my writing publicly. Not that I now think of myself as a "professional" writer, blogging seemed casual enough as to not feel intimidated to make my musings public, and you are all so forgiving. 

Rassembler les Tresors here


Bring France to Our Garden here

It has certainly been an enjoyable process and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who follow us, especially to all of you who comment and give us feedback. Our gratitude to our fellow bloggers who have taught us so much, and to all the folks who have given us more visibility by blogging about us. We are so indebted to so many folks! We are looking forward to another year and plan to include more topics. This first year we tried to establish ourselves and focused mostly on ourselves: our merchandise, events, etc. Our plan now is to be more inclusive of others, but continue to share about our work and of course images of the treasures we find for you.


 Bezier, Avignon, and a bit of Isle Sur La Sorgue here

I normally don't have a role in the writing of the blog and have just recently joined Team Atelier, but I have been able to see how this blog has developed. Sometimes I get to hear these two (Johan and Trinidad) argue about the topic or the photos or whether the posting will be done by a certain time or when to post, but I have also listened to the joy when they read the comments, and enjoy when customers approach us at the fairs and exclaim,"I follow your blog! I love it!" As we traveled on our buying trip through Europe last summer, which was a first for me, we would all take photos and Trinidad and Johan posted along the way.Here. It was cool to read comments of people who said the photos and writing made them feel as though they were traveling along with us. The trip was an amazing experience and it was also gratifying that we could share it with others via this medium of blogging.


We'd like to celebrate this first year and this Thanksgiving holiday by giving away a copy of the French Atmospheres book to one of our regular followers, and a holiday issue of Jeanne d'Arc Living magazine to a new follower. If you are a new follower, please introduce yourself, and make a comment telling us about something you feel grateful for this year. We will select one of the entries or comments of a new follower and one of the names of our frequent visitors. You will be notified on our following posting if you are a winner.

We also invite our new and old followers to peruse through or archived posts and give us some feedback. We always appreciate your comments.

Trinidad, Martin, Johan


Rococo, Late Baroque? Just call it beautiful!

As I'm driving to antique and brocante markets along France, I pass by many beautiful old houses. The kind that attract me most are the Maison de Maître. These were the homes of the upper class in the 18th and 19th century.  I get carried away imagining how I would decorate such a home, were I living in that era.

XIX century  Maison de Maître in the Cognac area here

Some of the  trumeaus, and other fancy mirrors, armoires  and chandeliers  come from houses like this.  The detail in each item shows craftsmanship  in every piece. The sculpting of flowers in the furniture,  plaster and wood ornaments in mirrors as well as ironwork of window guards, garden doors, and balconies are evidence of the artistry of woodworkers and blacksmiths. This era in design was known as Rococo or Late Baroque.

To borrow a bit from Wikipedia(yes, we know it's not totally reliable) Rococo, also referred to as "Late Baroque", is an 18th century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly ornate, florid, and playful. Rococo rooms were designed as total works of art with elegant and ornate furniture, small sculptures, ornamental mirrors, and tapestry complementing architecture, reliefs, and wall paintings. It was largely supplanted by the Neo-classicstyle. In 1835 the Dictionary of the French Academy stated that the word Rococo "usually covers the kind of ornament, style and design associated with Louis XV's reign and the beginning of that of Louis XVI". It includes therefore, all types of art produced around the middle of the 18th century in France.

We are fully aware that this style, florid and elaborate does not meet everyone's taste. "Cada cabeza es un mundo." But even if it's not your style I am sure you can appreciate the ornate craftsmanship and artistic flair in it.  We like to select  pieces like these and breathe new life into them. Some of the pieces, I leave as they are, depending on the patina and age on them, while I choose to paint some of them in a chalky gray.  I mix my own, and add my own touch. I call it "a touch of frost" You might want to see a previous posting on this. Here
Maison de Maître in right corner photo above info here

Sometimes I like to take a piece from an armoire, bed, or other furniture and turn it into something else, something new and provocative.The top of an armoire can easily become a ciel de lit or canopy, while a fronton or splash, or any decorative top from an armoire can look stunning above a door or window. I have taken the headboards of old beds and created a mirror frame or the back of a bench.

I am now on my way to a market in the west of Paris 
and wonder what treasures I will find there to send back to you folks!