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11 January, 2009

How I Found My Favorite Plates...or...Picture Tag

You may be wondering why I am showing you this photo of a little overly-enthusiastic Frenchman trying to sell you his torchons...dishcloths. (It sounds so much better in French.) Well, I have been tagged by KD at Southern Whimsy to play Picture Tag! Here are the rules:
1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer.
2) Select the 4th picture in the folder.
3) Explain the picture.
4) Tag 4 people to do the same.

And this guy was waiting for me in my 4th folder, happy to display his wares! I think that if somehow he found out he was being featured in my blog, he'd be rather pleased, don't you? I did buy the very one he's holding, by the way...and more good stuff. Let me explain....

That picture and the ones that follow were taken at the Sunday antique flea market in l'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France. This was the little town I used as my headquarters for my retirement celebration/vacation. I had discovered it thanks to Rick Steves and Peter Mayle, both of whom have written wonderful books about Provence. This flea market is considered to be the 3rd best in France, and that is good enough for me. There was some of everything...colorful perfumed soap from Marseilles... 13 euros for 10 of them!!!! What was I thinking??? Why didn't I load up my suitcase or ship a ton of them home?? That's about $1.75 each! This soap is $6.00 each here in the US! Sheesh!

And on the other end of the scale, there were a little over $100 a pound. This is the kind you cook with that pigs dig up...not the yummier chocolate-covered kind. If you enlarge the picture, you can see that he has a very large one in a little cage on top of the boxes beside him and several displayed on the table. If you can't afford truffles, there's always truffle oil!

Now this lady made me the happiest person at the market. Just look at my squinty little face! I went to France with a very short list of must-haves, due to a small suitcase and an even smaller budget. At the top of my list was antique Quimper ware. I knew it would call my name when I saw it and it did...

...with this pair of antique Quimper plates! I fell in love immediately. She wanted 60 euros each and, for the first and only time in my life, I managed to bargain. I offered 100 euros for both and she took it! That's about $135 for both of them!! I was dancing with glee. She looks pretty happy, too. Americans like these, she said in French. Maybe I was her only shot at a Quimper ware-crazed American that day. No matter.

I came away happy. The plates were stored safely away in my toile bag and managed to make it all over France and back to my house where they hang safely on the wall (of course) in my dining room. Sooo....a rather long explanation of how the French guy selling dishcloths was at the start of a glorious day!

Now I would like to invite the following blogger friends to play, hoping that it will be fun:

Kathy at Emptynester

Dixie's Whimsy at Fench Lique, Texas

Michele at Beautiful Orchids

Please drop by to visit the blogs of these amazing ladies. You'll get to tour some amazing places, hear some funny stories, and find out how to make some really cool stuff!!
I would also like to thank my dear friend Sheila...affectionately known as Mrs. Magpie... at
The Quintessential Magpie for kindly giving me the Proximidade award. It is so appreciated and I ask her forgiveness of my tardiness in thanking her, as I have been under the weather for a few days. All I can say is...Right back at 'cha, Babe!!


  1. The plates are gorgeous and even that dishcloth is pretty. Waaah! I want to go to that flea market!!!...Christine

  2. Debbie... I always love your posts and stories... thanks for tagging me for picture tag... It is amazing the stories that pictures tell us... but then, I guess that's why we take and keep the pictures... to remember.
    Hugs, Dixie

  3. Hi Debbie, I was just staring at those truffles! I guess they are not like the ones you buy in the store. $100 per pound? wow! Looks like you had a great time. I've been to France, but it was when I was about 15. I would love to go back someday. Thanks for taking a look at the frames. I love the pet idea! You guys are really giving me some great ideas!! Thanks, Kristen

  4. Debbie thank you so much for my very first tag, I am so excited. By the way I also love your posts, I always look forward to the next one.

    I would have loved to be shopping with you at that flea market, it looked like so much fun.

    Thanks again for including me.


  5. I had never heard of Quinperware plates but they are gorgeous. I love the story of how you came to buy them. Also, the plates on your dining room hutch are lovely. I can tell by reading your posts that your trip to France was wonderful. Also, you have quite a staff!

  6. Thanks Debbie, my first tag! This one looks like fun, so I'm on it. Loved your post, you always have such great stories and such wonderful photos. I feel like I'm there with you (I WISH!) Hugs, Kathy

  7. Hi Debbie,
    I am always so delighted by all of your amazing photos and stories. I'm so glad the plates made it home safely and the dish towel is just perfect for you.

    KD also photo tagged me and mine is a picture of my sister's dog. I'll do a pet post very soon. It will all fit with a theme I'm thinking of.
    It seems like a fun tag!
    I had to laugh out loud at Baby Kitty's new picture.
    How ka-uuuute!!!

    Have a wonderful evening.
    ~Melissa :)

  8. Debbie, what a fun post! I loved my tour of the French market, except that I wanted to bargain and buy some things - not the truffles though!! But defintely the Quimperware! I hope you are feeling better. I'm still praying for your daughter and her baby. laurie

  9. Debbie, I love to see the fabulous pictures of your smiling so big. You just look like you're having so much fun. I love the dish towel and the plates are just gorgeous. As usual you always make it so interesting and I would have loved to have been there. Hugs, Marty

  10. Debbie, what a beautiful tag. You always make us feel as if we're right there.. traveling with you. Now, wouldn't that just be the most fun? Am I reading you aren't feeling well either. I'll pray for you and Page and family....hugs ~lynne~

  11. Why is it that even dish towels are fun to shop for in France?! lol Its the darn truth though, isn't it? What gorgeous photos from the flea market...the soaps in those pretty colors look wonderful, and so luxurious. And finally, your Quimper plates are stunning! They are an amazing find, and a perfect remembrance of your holiday. :-)

  12. Hi Debbie...what fun pictures your folders hold...I wonder what a truffle taste like? At $100 a pound, I'll never know though... ;-) Bo

  13. hello Dear Debbie! Thank you for being the first to "jump into the deep end" at the 100th post blitz on A Divas Hammer LOL :) I cannot tell you how greatly that is appreciated. It is by making inquiries of course, i can learn and thus strive to make my blog a place to offer encouragement and enjoyment.

    What a delightful post you have for us today. I can always truly feel your excitement as you talk about your beloved France! So happy you got your plates :) But yes, oh my...the des savons et des choses! LOL

    I love truffles...what was he selling there beside them? sauce aux truffes, la truffe du vin, du vinaigre de truffe ?

    Your words always lift me up, and inspire me to move onward...and to reach for those stars. As do your Fran├žais voyages !

  14. Glad you're feeling better! Thanks for taking me shopping in Paris. I've never done that before! You're right about our boys...sometimes we have to overlook their faults! :O)

  15. And I meant to say congrats on your award! (my daughter woke up - at this time of night! -and I forgot!) I have insomnia!

  16. LOve yout French pictures. Isn't it a great country? Thank you for visiting my blog

  17. Like Bo I wondered what was so wonderful about the elusive truffle's taste. I bought a 2 oz. bottle of White Truffle Oil some time ago, but still have not tried it. The fairly small Kitchen Emporium where I purchased it has now moved outside my traveling area. I wonder if it is still any good or would it have gone rancid?

    I know very little about Quimper ware other than it is very collectible and sought after. Your acquisitions are beautiful, and deserve to be displayed.

    Sorry you haven't been feeling your best. Please make sure to let us know how Page makes out Wednesday at the Doctor. Hope the upcoming week is better than good for you, Page, and all of your family.

  18. How fun! I love those plates, they are beautiful! What a wonderful find, I'm sure they make you smile whenever you look at them. ~Michelle

  19. Hi Glenda...I'm not sure about the shelf life of truffle oil. I would guess that it would be fairly long. I've never cooked with truffles, but have had them. A dear French friend made coquilles St Jacques and had them shaved lightly on top. I honestly must confess that I don't know what the fuss is all about. Perhaps you have to have a more developed palette than mine! If you find a recipe and try it, please let me know. I would be curious about your reaction!
    Thankn you for your continued prayers for Page. We are all hopful. You are a wonderful friend, my dear! Hugs...Debbie

  20. Glenda...oops...that's thank you. I'm doing this without my glasses...a mistake! :-)

  21. Isle was our favorite market as well! We lived for four years in St. Martin d'Uriage, near Grenoble, and found many lovely treasures at the "water wheel market" (what our son called it). I'm responsible for tagging ms "Southern Whimsy" . . . glad she moved the game along to you! (oh, the person who tagged me was my neighbor in France!)

  22. Hi Deb, OOOH another virtual trip to France, my favorite.I would have had to ship all those soaps and fufu lotions and potions back to the States.It looks to me like you were a smart shopper and got what was just perfection for your home.I love the dishtowel the colors are so beautiful would look great with lemons and oranges and orangina bottles next to it,hehe. Love ya Kiddo and I am glad you are feeling better, Kathysue

  23. Until your mention of the oil, I had forgotten that I even had it. I purchased it while out rambling one day. I like to try different things, Hubby, not so much.

    He barely "tolerates" mushrooms, so I will probably try the truffle oil tossed on some halved red potatoes before they are roasted in the oven. That is the one suggestion on the side of this very small bottle. Since it is a fungi, cousin to the mushroom, I just won't tell DH how I prepared the potatoes, until after he's eaten. There are advantages to being the only cook in the family. If I'm careful, he'll never know, until I confess later, and by then it will be too late for him to talk me out of it.

    I bought a bag of red potatoes on Saturday, so it is a good time to try the oil. I'll let you know how they come out.

  24. Lovely story to go with your photo and post Deb but omg, I just typed a nice long comment..and lost it *wahhhhhhhhhh*

    I'll be back


  25. Thanks for the trip! So fun! I did love the dish towels! Your plates are so great!

  26. Debbie~~I always feel like I get such a FUN education when I come here! The flea market looks soooo Frenchy-quaint! :-)
    Enjoyed the pics! L~

  27. Debbie, I'm so glad to have found your blog. I too am a plate should see my shop! I'll have to spend some time going back through your earlier posts...

  28. LOL your prose PASSED inspection! LOL

  29. Debbie, I loved going along with you on your journey. Those plates are so.. beautiful. I am sorry to hear that you have been sick, too!! I don't think I've been this sick in 30 years. I am getting a little better. Thinking of you!!
    Hugs, Terrie

  30. Your Quimper plates are wonderful...My daughter was just in France and brought me back a Quimper pitcher, but not a vintage one. Next time I'll have to tell her to look for old stuff...I'm also a fellow Georgia blogger..Nice to meet you....Sue

  31. Hi Debbie...I went back and read your profile..How fun!! I lived in france also and that's where I got the name for my blog from...I was only there for 3 months but it was still's a link to the post I wrote about the time spent in Paris...and I was surprised not to see Amelie on your favorite movie list.

  32. What an ENJOYABLE BLOG!!! I was so there "with you" at the Flea Market~~~ I ABSOLUTELY ADORED them all the years we lived in EUrope, and got sooo many GREAT BARGAINS (which "are" no longer, me thinketh!)... What a delightful trip you must have had~~~~~ fun to read about!!! Thanks, kiddo! Warmly, Linda

  33. Love your Quimper dishes. I was watching an auctin on Ebay recently, but the prices were so high, I was skeerit to participate. I don't think the reserve was ever met.

  34. er, that should be auction.
    I need more coffee.

  35. My goodness,what a wonderful time you must've had.I can only imagine.Sorry,I'm so late getting around.I went to the eye dr yesterday.3,5 hrs of tests.Not much sitting either.i'm finally getting rid of my cateracts.yeaaaaaaaaaaaa....Ann

  36. Hi Debbie,that was fun,I loved those crowns,I'm sure that would be my granddaughter's favorite thing too.It's good to see your happy,smiling face,it made me happy just thinking of all the fun you had there. cyndi

  37. Thank you for taking us with you to the flea market. I love how you share France with those of us who have not been able to travel there. Such a pleasure. Thank you, Debbie.


Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie