At The Good Life France we are always on the lookout for sites about France and we especially like it when we find someone who clearly loves France and has a passion for sharing that love. We recently came across Vintage French Hen. It is the blog of a lady called Marcia Chun, a mother of three and grandmother of two from Northern California who loves Paris and French style. Her blog follows her life in which she hunts for “beautiful, shabby, chippy and vintage items”. She likes to recycle, re-use and reinvent beautiful things for her 1900’s farmhouse and we asked her where her fascination with all things French began and here she tells us starting with her signature greeting:
My interest in the French lifestyle first began in the 70’s when I was in High School. Taking French as my foreign language and poring over books from my local library really peaked my curiosity.
My father’s ancestors have a French background, and I was reminded of that each and every time someone tried to pronounce my last name. Brouillard. It was followed by comments like “oh, that’s so pretty”, and “what nationality is that? It sounds so French!” In my somewhat vivid imagination I would imagine it meaning something romantic, but in reality, it meant “FOG.”
It didn’t matter however; I was still in awe of the French culture. I was curious – what do French women eat? How do they possess such grace, elegance, style? In other words, that “Je ne sais quoi.”
I fantasized about visiting France one day with my true love. I wanted to travel up to the top of the Eiffel Tower and kiss my sweetheart under the stars. Eventually I did go to Paris and I did travel to the top of the grand Eiffel, however it was with my three children instead. After their father passed away, I wanted to take my kids on an adventure none of us would ever forget. We went to Europe to allow the healing process to begin, and there was some “kissing” involved as well.
As we were on the elevator to the top of the Tour De Eiffel we were joined by a young couple who kissed the entire way up. They made really loud, bordering obnoxious smacking sounds! [Editor note: Marcia – that’s so Parisian, kissing loudly and being oblivious to everyone else!].
We laugh about it now, but seriously – when the doors opened up we were completely captivated by gorgeous view right before our eyes. Paris!
While in France we ate French food, went to the Louvre, shopped and rode the rails. We took the Bullet down to Nice and discovered a hidden treasure…Eze!
This quaint medieval village nestled on the side of the mountains above The French Riviera was breath-taking! The view of the Mediterranean Sea below was simply incredible.
It was here that I made my first purchase of a French Provencal tablecloth.
I think I have become an addict to French linens – well, all vintage linens for that matter, ever since!
I use vintage linens in my home decor just about everywhere. I also love the look of French dishes. I have a few pieces but they are a bit harder to find here and are usually out of my budget!
The French influence is just about everywhere here in the States now. It’s one of the fastest growing trends that I have seen in a long time. Many vendors here in California travel to France specifically to purchase vintage items to resell in their own shops or at flea markets and antique shows.
Just this past weekend I was in the San Francisco Bay area to attend a very popular antique show that is held the first Sunday of every month.
There were plenty of beautiful antique French treasures to be found. I enjoy going to events like this or into shops so I can see what is new and if there is any possible way I can try to create it myself. Magazines and books are also full of new and inspiring ideas for the home and garden. (Editor’s note: We bet Marcia would not go home empty-handed from the antique market at Montreuil-sur-Mer!].
Here are a few pictures from my own home here in California. It’s a turn of the century farm house decorated with what I like to call a Shabby-French flair!
The French style market in California
And now I have another dream…
I dream that one day my new husband and I may return to France, and maybe I will get that kiss on top of the Eiffel Tower after all!Marcia