Deep In The Heart Of Texas

Twice a year Round Top, Texas – population 77, explodes into a flea market bonanza of epic proportions. Highbrow antique dealers intermingle with lowbrow farmers selling their wares ranging from exquisite European masterpieces to pots, pans and pictures dug up from the church attic. Spread out along a byway in the middle of nowhere Texas, this sprawling market encompasses dozens of smaller collections of every collectable imaginable. Require that last Hummel figurine to round out grandma’s collection, or perhaps a vintage stone fireplace mantle from the Black Forest, no problem, it’s here.

Initially overwhelming but never intimidating this is the perfect time of the year for Texas. The fields are covered in wildflowers, the sun is warm and not too high in the sky, the small towns are ooh-so-cute and everyone is so syrupy friendly you think you just landed in some charming southern fairytale (although in this fairytale everyone has a holstered weapon and a mag-wheeled SUV!).

So put down that skeet rifle, take off your boots, loosen your belt buckle and prepare to be wowed.



Like I said before, I usually find a couple of cameras here, a couple of camera there, …here a camera, there a camera, now its everywhere a camera, camera (sorry, you try to hold a six month old and write a blog at the same time).

Projectors, viewfinders, magic lanterns, cameras in all shapes and sizes, even one to take exotic pictures of distant stars and galaxies. Come fiddle and click to your heart’s content, we have more knobs and buttons than NASA.


Alphabet Soup

Letters, letters everywhere. Big ones, small ones, wood, steel, copper – spell your heart out. Collect your initials, make a rhyme, or just make your partner blush. Authentic and original, we have literally thousands and thousands to chose from.


Truthful Likeness

On August 19th, 1839 a bold inventor, Louis Daguerre, premiered his invention a “truthful likeness” at the French Academy of Sciences meeting in Paris. These daguerreotypes created a highly detailed image on a sheet of copper plated with a thin coat of silver without the use of a negative. Seductively beautiful, these earliest photographs required a significant amount of skill.

Whenever I hit a flea market, I always end up looking through old photos and picture albums, or fiddling with antique cameras and film equipment. Something about these fading images of someone else’s past, lost loves, fantastic journeys, or fabulous sites can keep me spellbound for hours. The art of the photograph has been lost somewhat. It used to be quite a big deal -the preparation, the chemistry, the manufacture, now all replaced by the digital age. Capture, edit, delete or save, print or send, copies? ..no problem. Usually I find a small assortment of items, browse for several minutes purchase a few favorites and move on. This time, however, I never moved on. My husband, who usually gets bored with “smalls”, was totally immersed in a conversation with the stall proprietor regarding a series of “magic lanterns” and an overwhelming pile of halotypes (glass plate images, the precursor of modern slides). I had not looked up from the thousands of daguerreotypes, tintypes and carte-de-visites. We finally looked at each other incredulously and, after some back and forth haggling, purchased the entire lot: cameras, film, equipment, photos, pictures, and the like. One truckload to go please.

Anyway, over the next few days I will show you some of the wares. Too much to explain, you have to come see it to believe it.


Dora the Explora

Three times a year, the sleepy south Florida town of Mount Dora transforms into a bric-a-brac Mecca. Dealers far and wide descend to the rolling grass covered fields setting up trailers, tents or just plain old lean-tos under the sprawling moss covered oaks. Furniture, glassware, baskets, jewelry, your aunt Emma’s favorite 1950’s prom dress, you name it, you can find it here. The more “elevated” finds reside in the large exhibition hall or along a quaint “street” of the cutest little shops. The real extravaganza, however, happens outside. If the weather is good – and this past month that Florida sunshine was just grand – this is where the action is. Nothing like a piping hot corndog in one hand, a cool sweet tea in the other, perusing someone else’s treasures. And treasure we found. I don’t know if it’s the economy or what, but I have noticed things back on the market that have been practically impossible to find the lasts several years.

We blew our budget in the first 15 minutes. Wow, holy crap, expletive, expletive, we found the mother load. More tomorrow!



Five months. Just five months and life has changed forever. A newborn can certainly rock your world. Between diaper changes, bottle-feeding, and late night (or is it early morning?) lullabies, I’m half-hazed most days and my husband looks like he’s back in the midst of residency. Exhausting? …yes; difficult? …at times; would I trade it for the world? …never! My clothes look like a similac Rorschach, my nails like I work a jackhammer for a living, and my hair – now even my husband knows I’m not really a blond. I have learned words like Bjorn, Bugaboo and Bumbo. I truly believe the inventor of the pacifier should receive the Nobel Peace prize. My home has gone from curated to chaotic. My favorite scent is bleach. Toys litter the furniture and floor - even the dogs think the house is messy. Yet even at my most frazzled, bleary eyed, sleep-deprived - one crooked smile, one joyous squeal of delight and I melt: pure love, pure joy, and complete happiness!

Hopefully as I settle into my newfound motherhood, I will again have some time to blog the day away. Thank God for our “Reba in Paris” through whom I’ve also been living vicariously the past few months. What a treat with my morning coffee.

Anyway, the winter has come to an end, spring travel season is almost here and my baby needs a passport like yesterday. Since we are currently somewhat internationally constrained, our focus has been on national classic favorites. We have hit some doozies already and I will bring you up to speed in the coming days. Wait until you see what we have in store!


Postcards from Paris: {In America}

Time has passed along in the strangest way.
One day I am in Paris, France. Then the next day in Zurich, Switzerland. And now, the United States. Georgia, specifically. I have yet to find the tree that buds and blooms money, so I temporarily reside here to collect a new round of savings to live off of. Come May, I will be returning to the wonderful city of Paris where I will continue my exploration and inspiration. Until then, for the rest of March, and all of April, Billie Holiday's version of April in Paris will be on repeat, and I will fall asleep and wake up to my ceiling view of Paris.

Perhaps I will see you all again in May.


Postcards from Paris: {serrures de l'amour/Locks of Love}

Along one of the pedestrian bridges crossing over the Seine, my new French friend took me across to show me the many love locks connected to the wire fabric of the bridge. Each little lock represents the love of two companions. Rumor has it that the couple takes the lock, finds a good view for the lock, and secures onto the metal fencing, then throws the key into the water. It seems like a nice little ritual. There were some locks that had been rusted into the bridge, securing the love even more so, and there were some unfortunate looking ones which were on the verge of breaking off and becoming lost forever in the Seine. I don't know the superstition behind the strength of the lock, how long it remains, or how rusted it becomes. I like to imagine that each developing characteristic to the specific lock has some sort of significance to the couple's enduring love. It can seem silly to dwell too much on the subject, but I openly admit to glancing through my horoscope if it happens to be in the latest fashion magazine. I don't walk under ladders. I make wishes whenever possible; blowing out candles, shooting stars, holding my breath through tunnels, tossing coins into fountains, and all that jazz. Yes it may be silly, but for the sake of that sort of romantic intrigue, I justify dwelling on a little superstition.


Postcards from Paris: {Cab Rides, Celebrating Chopin}

My first cab ride in Paris:
I was helping a friend move from her apartment in the 5th to her new place near the 11th. We ate a healthy amount of protein sourced from some delicious sushi in order to prepare for a haul of six suitcases via the metro. It became completely clear after our struggle just from her flat to the ground floor, that it would be best and most logical to call a cab. The frenchman arrived promptly after the call was made, dressed in light-blue denim overalls over a thick, off-white wool sweater. He wore a little cap, which called out to be just what all cabdrivers should wear. The daylight had been long gone, and Paris was lit by it's infamous lights. I had seen Paris by foot and by metro, but this new vision offered an entirely new intrigue. Since 2010 marks the 200th anniversary of Frédéric Chopin, the radio was in rhythm to the celebration. The frenchman drove with ease and patience, a great contrast compared to my New York taxi ride experiences. The music played as he offered up some small talk en francais, it was an embellishment to the scene, never distracting from the beautiful sounds of Chopin. Most of the indescribable, beautiful experiences I have had here, can be summed up by saying, Chopin was playing in the background. From waking up to my first snowfall here in Paris while eating a fresh baguette with homemade banana jam to that very cab ride; it was the music of Chopin that made those moments sentimental.
Please, if anything, just listen:



Postcards from Paris: {Les Enfants}

I cannot begin to number the many times I have been completely charmed by the French children. I cannot even count how many conversations I have had with my female American friends about how these little children with their French-spoken tongues are the number one cause for our expression of, "awww." Today's moments just added to that count.
I spotted my first shot while soaking up some sun in le jardin de tuileries. These children all in a row, heading towards Le Louvre.
With the sun out all day, and plenty of occasions to stay out and enjoy the sun, my friend Xuan and I walked through le Jardin de Luxembourg, where once again children out and about. Their joy and excitement was contagious as they circled the water-fount with long sticks in hand, yelling, "bateau, bateau."
These past couple of months I have been attempting to live a life similar to that of a stereotypical Parisian; one that is appreciative of the simple things in life, finding happiness in small experiences, and expressing that joy when one is happy.
More or less, it's a life similar to a child's.
And it feels so gratifying.