Monday, June 25, 2012

Brocantes, the life of France

A good brocante is a funny place.

Depending on what you're looking for, it can be a quick run through or an incredible dig.

Two years ago, we happened across an incredible find, a brocante off the beaten path, filled to the brim with crazy goodness.  We emptied our pockets into Guillmile's hands, threw fresh lemonade down our throats, and promised we'd return the following year.

So, when we showed up on a blazing hot day this year, to the same exact warehouse and found it locked up, no one around, we had a slight moment of panic.

We all clambered out of the car, walked all over the property, shaking big doors and trying to peek into windows to no avail.  Just as we started to drive away and wonder, if he'd actually closed up shop, would he have left all those fabulous old doors and window panes outside along the property?! we were barked at by a dog and noticed this huge stone house we'd be standing alongside that nearly disappeared into the overgrown ivy.  We knocked on the front door.  An older man opened the door, "Oui?!" and in our broken French, we tried to ask where Guillmile was?  Shouldn't he be open?  Did he happen to know anything about it?  Oui, oui, but of course he did!  This was Gui's landlord, he owned this massive, sprawling  property we were traipsing all over and yes, he had Gui's number if we could wait here at the door just a moment.
Now, we're the curious types and it's hard for us to sit just outside such an ancient looking house and not, at least, poke our heads into the foyer.  So, I began to crane my neck just inside the door, it was so dark, I could barely see a thing...but it was old in there.  Very, very old.  I heard a t.v. and my sister thought she saw a stove of some sort.  We both noticed the incredible wallpaper, peeling right off the walls and the narrow, wood staircase that swirled up to somewhere...when he suddenly appeared again at the door with Gui's phone number and a very nice "Au Revoir!"

We stayed on the property, we rang Gui, he told us he'd be there in 10 minutes (though after a half an hour, we started to wonder if we'd actually understood... did he say "dix minutes" or did he say "dix mois"?!).  Eventually, he opened the enormous warehouse doors and let us in.  He had redecorated, redesigned and had so much new (read: old) great stuff!!  The educational posters were one of the first things I noticed, so we took them all, every last one of 'em!  Gui was thrilled, we were thrilled...this time we gulped down cold, fresh apple juice and we all left happy!

Brocantes are a funny place, and whether its the shops, the owners or the stories that come out of the adventure, they make for some of the best times we have in this fabulous France!

Friday, June 22, 2012


while i'm away, yeah, i miss her a little bit...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Outakes From An International Shoot

Though we are here in France for one job, we still need to keep doing the others that keep us in business back home.  Mine is to get some shots together for our new greeting card line, "Greetings 101".  I designed this juicy, super-stripy collection based on the color ways of vintage travel posters and suitcase labels I've collected over the years.

I thought I'd use my niece as a model, as well as the old French chateau we're currently staying in.  It seemed appropriate, as she's half Spanish, and so are the cards!

She's been a real sport about the whole thing (because she's fantastic that way).

These are just some of the shots we probably won't use, among the 40 or so others that we shot.

All cards, in both French and Spanish, are available on our website at 8mm ideas.

Monday, June 11, 2012


We celebrated our dear friend, and fellow hostess on the Chateau Getaway, Cathy's birthday today in France. I made her three pieces:  The triptych of life. They were so fun to make, I want to do more when I get back.  Maybe start doing one of a kind pieces again and putting them out into the world.  I'd like to create and follow through on some real tactile goals this coming year.  Making small pieces of art work for others seems as good a goal as any. 

ThereYouAre by mollshot
ThereYouAre, a photo by mollshot on Flickr.
LifesShort by mollshot
LifesShort, a photo by mollshot on Flickr.

allAboard by mollshot
allAboard, a photo by mollshot on Flickr.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Boom, is right

We're all getting very excited to head off to the South of France to start the French General Chateau Getaway...leaving tomorrow morning and landing in Toulouse on Saturday.  I'm anxious to see my parents who've been traveling around France for the last two weeks, to hear about all the fabulous places in the Mediterranean they've visited.  I know they'll have a million stories of people they've met, addresses they've exchanged.  And we all land in a house together for the first week to catch up, drink, eat and get a whole lotta merry...  Boom (o boum) is right! (top five favorite songs of all time)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dads, Pops, Fathers

Fathers Day is coming up...and we have some fabulous new cards in our shop that I'm so excited about.  It's so cool to have this online card shop now:  So nice to be able to finally say,
'oh, whats that? you want to know where can you get my cards? well, online, of course!'
instead of, 
'um, well, if you live in (name town I don't have an account in) I'm not'  Soooo, there's that!

I really love our mothers day cards, too, and though that 'holiday' has passed, you can still get all our mom's cards in the shop, as well.  The great thing is, the cards are just right for sending to your mom any day of the year.  I've always been a fan of just celebrating the mom, herself, rather than yelling out 'happy mothers day'... I like sending my mom a card any ole day, just cuz she's my mom (or madre, or mutter, or maja), hence the official cry of that national holiday hasn't hit up my cards yet.

But, back to fathers day, which is what we were talking about in the first place... 

I decided to make a little photo studio to work with...

Compared to other photo shoots I've worked on over the years, this one was surprisingly easy going!  The models were a charm to work with.  And we all really believed in the cause, as well.

Don't forget to send YOUR dad a fathers day card this year!  Tell him stuff you don't tell him all year long, you know, the good stuff, the juicy stuff, the how much you love him and how he's influenced your life in all the right ways stuff.  Dads like that kind of stuff!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bon Voyage!

One week from today, I'll be on a plane heading to meet my mom, my sister, and mogull for our annual French General Chateau Getaway.  I know it doesn't sound like it, but it's actually a job.  Sure, there's amazing juiciness to be found in every day we're there.  Really, how can it be otherwise? We're in the South of France, glimpsing a life so far removed from the ones most of live every day... well, there's going to be magic found at almost every turn if your eyes are open.

And while much of it is returning to places we've been before, or visiting artists we've visited before, for the 60 or so women that are coming along with us this year, it's all brand new.  That's where some of the real fun comes in... It's such a treat to see, some women who've never left the U.S. before, some who've only been to the city of Paris, some who've only heard about the life in France, all coming together and experiencing a live farmers market, or a tiny apartment of a weaver who's entire half of her house is taken up by a 15 foot loom, or eating lunch atop a medieval village while gazing over lavender fields.

And then there are the moments that we laugh til we're crying, or we discover we had a talent for something we didn't know was possible (we do a lot of fabulous craft classes out in the studio at the chateau), or I'm strolling the streets with my mom when she finds the perfect *thing* she loves and must have (most likely vintage linens of some kind, it's an addiction) and we squeal with happiness and make our way back through the little village we've lost ourselves in.

We meet so many incredible women from all over the world who join us for one solid week of a life-changing event.  Every year I have to pinch myself that this is my "summer job".  It's a ton of work, but the rewards are many.

I don't know many people who get to travel to Europe and even work with their family, especially their mom, but this summer we actually have two guest artists that get to do just that:  Debbie & Shea Fragoso of A Guilded Life and Wendy & Monica Addison, from Theatre of Dreams.  Mother and daughter teams, creatives, and super fun women.  We also have the artist Charlotte Lyons coming for one of the weeks, as well.  All these women, besides being incredibly talented and very funny, share very similar obsessions with me: vintage ephemera, fabric, and the juicy dig!