Paris Puces

129twigandvine_paris_flea ©Sue Schlabach

Summer ended in a flurry of planning and packing for a sojourn to Paris and London in September. I returned to autumn weather, and writing has taken a backseat to the last frenzy of outdoor work and living.

But now, with photos sorted—at last—I’m remembering Paris flea markets.

129twigandvine_enamelware_paris © Sue Schlabach 129twigandvine_flea_paris © Sue Schlabach I love a Paris flea market like I love chocolate. {duh}

Did I just write ‘duh’? Sorry! But going to the fleas (puces, as they are lovingly called in la belle France) represents the thrill of the hunt. There’s just no knowing what you’ll see around the next bend. And, yes, your hands feel gritty after a day or rummaging, and we sneeze from the dust. But the exhilaration of making a discovery, bartering a good price in a language other than your own, and continuing the quest is the cats pajamas pour moi.

This being our 8th or 9th trip in recent years, Laurie (Creative Director at Wild Apple) and I can now manage to get ourselves to the right markets on the right days. We have a favorite neighborhood where we always stay—the Marais. We are a funny duo—she tall and me, not tall. We have a rapport of two that have known each other for many years—finishing each other’s sentences and ordering food we know the other will like. I call her my Paris wife. Our mission at the markets is to sort through musty piles of papers and books looking for etchings, photos, or prints that we can use in the artwork we make at Wild Apple.129twigandvine_flea_market_domes © Sue SchlabachThis year we had rain at the Puces St-Oeun in northern Paris, and at Porte des Vanves in southern Paris.  We had windy cold weather at St Mandé in eastern Paris. Despite, we held our umbrellas overhead, or blew into cupped hands as we sorted through the piles, unearthing all manner of treasures and sharpening our skill at bartering.

Our ability to remember the words for the French numbers improves each year. This was the year of talking down vingt to quinze. With a friendly bonjour, most stall holders were friendly and happy enough to make the sale. 129twigandvine_hessian_chairs_paris © Sue Schlabach129twigandvine_flea_market_clock ©Sue SchlabachBird cages, ancient heavy garden tables, massive urns and shop cupboards filled with numbered drawers taunted me. Perhaps one day we’ll spring for a shipping crate and send some big things home on the slow boat. For now, I take pictures, fill the suitcase with portfolios of musty, beautiful papers, and recall the pain aux raisins and café crème I sipped while watching the rain fall on the Marché St-Paul.

129twigandvine_st_paul_cafe_paris © Sue Schlabach129twigandvine_cabinet_paris © Sue Schlabach

43 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. MS and the Mr.
    Oct 11, 2013 @ 10:07:35

    Looks like fun!! Love the giant clock!! Guess I better update my “bucket list”!! Thanks for sharing!!


  2. Trina
    Oct 11, 2013 @ 10:40:16

    Beautiful pictures and writing! I would love to go to Paris sometime – this looks like it was such a lovely trip.


  3. Kate George
    Oct 11, 2013 @ 10:40:26

    Lovely. Please, please, please take me with you one day! I can hold the umbrella and carry cases.


  4. pippinrunwild
    Oct 11, 2013 @ 11:16:00

    Ooh, so many beautiful things! In September, I went round a few markets in the south of France, and I can’t wait to go again! There are just so many treasures to be found…


  5. lovelucie1
    Oct 11, 2013 @ 12:19:10

    I was there last November and we stumbled across the flea markets. It was so amazing, just coming across them, just around a corner. It makes you wonder where all this stuff has come from. I think we just throw stuff away, here in Britain. Every stall we saw was picture perfect. And I came back engaged!


  6. Caitlin @ The Siren's Tale
    Oct 11, 2013 @ 12:43:32

    Love that vintage library card catalog!


  7. summerjosephine
    Oct 11, 2013 @ 15:01:05

    Ugh! I am so jealous. Me and my mom would just have a blast there. The pictures are amazing, it looked like it was awesome!


  8. squatorclamor
    Oct 11, 2013 @ 20:18:15

    I love this post! It makes me want to go to Les Puces with you one day! But for the moment your photos take me there easily, in my dreams…


  9. Carys
    Oct 12, 2013 @ 02:26:31

    These pictures are beautiful. Now I will daydream of a Paris vacation in my future!


  10. Rachael
    Oct 12, 2013 @ 06:01:30

    Lovely. You are so good at capturing the atmosphere of places. It is a long tomorrow since I was last in Paris, and living in London there is really no excuse! Must remedy that soon.


  11. Rachael
    Oct 12, 2013 @ 06:02:23

    Ugh – ‘tomorrow’ should read ‘time’


  12. bumbleblue17
    Oct 13, 2013 @ 11:08:56

    What gorgeous pictures! I would love to go on a flea market shopping trip to Paris but I fear my gcse french may not get me very far!
    French antiques, cafe au lait and fresh pastries…..what more could a girl ask for! x


  13. vintageattitude
    Oct 13, 2013 @ 15:17:21

    Thanks for bringing me Paris and some of my favourite things about it! I love a flea market….fab photos.


  14. paisleypedlar
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 12:38:02

    great photography!


  15. artsylikeme
    Oct 18, 2013 @ 15:07:48

    Gorgeous pictures. I love the images you chose to capture!


  16. Cheryl @ Artzzle
    Oct 19, 2013 @ 13:35:31

    Beautiful work here, Sue. I follow your blog, and would like to do a short feature on my site. Is it all right to share one of your photos and link to the article? Just let me know.

    Thanks so much.


  17. Trackback: Featured Favorites | Artzzle
  18. Cheryl @ Artzzle
    Oct 19, 2013 @ 15:40:08

    OK, Sue, you’re on my post “Featured Favorites” at Thanks. I enjoy your site so much and wanted to share with my readers.

    Have a great week-end!


  19. Jack Flacco
    Oct 21, 2013 @ 17:37:21

    Great photos! They have a rustic feel to them I thoroughly enjoyed!


  20. jessthetics
    Oct 24, 2013 @ 06:56:55

    Such gorgeous photos! I love paris flea markets, but I’m always so sad that I cna’t fit the things in my suitcase to take home… x


  21. Zia Vanger
    Oct 27, 2013 @ 05:25:22

    O my god, o my god, it’s Paris!


  22. miiu
    Oct 28, 2013 @ 05:20:10

    I love Paris and I adore flea markets, but I’ve never been to one IN Paris. Now I feel like I’ve been missing out all my life. Thanks.😦


  23. Karen @ Dogs Don't Eat Pizza
    Oct 30, 2013 @ 08:37:01

    Found you from Cheryl’s link at Artzzle. Beautiful finds at the puces! I’m glad I found your blog – very cool.


  24. dogsdonteatpizzakaren
    Oct 30, 2013 @ 08:38:16

    (I may be commenting twice – I tried once and I don’t think it worked.) Beautiful photos of amazing finds. Found your blog through Cheryl at Artzzle. So glad I did. What a fun post!


  25. aidastrocovsky
    Nov 04, 2013 @ 20:11:35

    Such great pictures you have on your blog! Virtually all of them, but specially the Paris Flea Market ones.



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: