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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Country Christmas Market

Saturday, December 10, 2016


What is for sale in the sixth annual French Country Christmas Market? 

Each year I get excited about all the beautiful, fun things I find for the Christmas Market Event in the garden shed behind my house, and want to share them with you who read Botanic Bleu, but cannot attend the Christmas sale. 

Plus, those who will be able to come on December 10 or 17, the following will give you an idea of what's in the shop and where it is located. 



When you enter the garden house shop, here is the overview of what you see. Pretty overwhelming until you take a look at each section by itself. 

So, we are going to take a tour of the shop by the way the shop is laid out.




The table in the center of the room always sets the overall look each Christmas. This year it is all about red and white which was determined by the gorgeous Michel Design pattern called Snowy Night. The red and white runner on the table is actually two kitchen cotton towels in the Snowy Night pattern placed end to end. 

The large French-style pot is one of three sizes available. Watch for this pot in different places around the shop. 

The hand-carved wooden Russian Santas were found this September at the Maison Objet Paris International Trade Show. Each year I try to find at least one very special item to offer that takes center stage on the table. Two of the four Santas are signed by the artist who carved and hand-painted them. 




The second very special item this year is the hanging white metal candelabra. Red and natural French script fabric ribbon suspends the candelabra above the table in the middle of the room. 





The candelabra is versatile. A base comes with it that allows the candelabra to sit on a table as another way to use the candelabra. Perfect for using on outside tables that do not have a place to hang a candelabra. I love hanging it which allows glittery snowflake ornaments to dangle from it. 




On the table, a white deer bowl that can be used for soup, candy, or as a counter catch-all for keys holds a box of matches in the Snowy White design. 




The fourth hand-carved wooden Russian Santa sits between a white glass swirl tree and a red-framed Merry Christmas tree print. Love those touches of blue in the Santa... 




The Snowy White collection has so many beautiful things in it. Lotion, long-burning soy candles, and paper coasters in a decorator tin sit on a cotton kitchen towel. The matches have green heads to complement the red and white box design. The candle comes in a decorator keepsake box, too. 

The little white glitter trees are natural wood with rustic wood trunks for their bases. 




Script papier mâché ornaments come in two sizes and two styles, hearts and stars. I call the script French, but I am not sure if it really is. Does not matter to me. These look wonderful with fresh greenery and add a little French inspiration. 




Vintage silverplate fork handles are elegant key rings and make beautiful stocking stuffers. 




I buy lots of nice generic ribbons at discount stores for wrapping packages, but watch for speciality ribbons to offer in the French Country Christmas Event each Christmas. 

  1. Brown fabric deer make an unusual napkin ring.
  2. Ivory and red fabric reindeer ribbons have a tiny bells that actually ring. They are perfect for gift package decorations, tree ornaments, and for decorating napkins, table runners and pillows. 
  3. Red fabric cut-out ribbon has two French-style patterns that can be used in the same ways as the reindeer ribbons. The red and natural canvas French-script ribbon is strong enough to hold the hanging candelabra. Wouldn't it be beautiful as a garland on a Christmas tree? 



White-washed wooden snowflake and angel ornaments come in two sizes. Trucks carrying Christmas trees are all across the internet from vintage toys as table decor, painted ones on pillow covers, and art prints. When I found these adorable white glass trucks with campers carrying white bottle brush trees, I did not have to think twice about ordering them for the garden shed shop. 




Moving from the central table area is the real Fraiser fir tree in one of the large French-style ceramic pots as a tree holder. 




On the wall next to the live tree is a rustic towel holder made from an old broom handle, an oak dowel, and weathered redwood 2x3 boards. It holds towels from France. 




The top two rungs hold vintage French kitchen towels found at Paris flea markets this September. The 6" preserved boxwood wreaths make them look so Christmas-y. 




The red and white towel with the upside down fleur de lis has an image of Chateau Chenonceau. Found at Chenonceau this fall, the towel is new. 

Wooden deer clips with glittered antlers and hooves hold the hand-painted golden NOEL banner. 




My grandmother's buffet that sits in front of the second set of French doors holds fresh paperwhites on one end. Small and medium sized French-style ceramic pots hold 3-4 bulbs each. 




The other end of the buffet holds a faux Christmas tree laden with white ceramic deer and hand-carved bird ornaments. A smattering of small grapevine wreaths and ivory fabric deer ribbons also decorate the tree that is good for a masculine area such as a home office or a teen-aged boy's room. 




The counter on the back wall is for kitchen linens and accessories. Kitchen towels, pot holders, and oven mitts are available in a variety of designs that coordinate with bottles of foaming soap, paper plates, paper placemats, paper napkins, and sets of resin coasters. 




Linens around the shop include...
  1. Michel Design 20"x28" kitchen towel designs 
  2. French vintage and new linen kitchen towels 
  3. Mary Lake Thompson western-design linen towels
  4. Three to four patterns of Michel Design towels 



Foaming soaps, paper coasters, and paper placemats coordinate with the Michel Design towels making it easy to give a small gift or a larger gift by including several coordinating items in a gift basket.




The wall above the foam soaps displays two vintage French prints from an 1846 French book. The prints came from a Paris brocante on Rue Cler this fall.




The other end of the sink counter holds a collection of French-designed items, including the large table lamp.




A French-style medieval angel glass plate is one of my favorite decorator Christmas plates.




Finally, the fourth wall holds an old pine table and hutch filled with a variety of dishes, candles, bubble bath, and small items like gift tags and Joyeux Noel imprinted pencils.




There is no way to show everything in the shop, but here are some close-ups of items.

  1. Glittered white wood trees and gold bird topped butter dish 
  2. Rustic handmade box with an old Texas truck license plate allowing the box to stand or to hang 
  3. A red metal North Pole Post mailbox filled with fresh Christmas greens to hang on a door as a fresh alternative to a wreath 
  4. White glass truck carrying a white bottle brush tree 
  5. White metal soap dish that sits or hangs... would be a cute chalk holder for a large chalk board 
  6. Script papier mâché hearts and stars 
  7. Wire bird cloche that could have Christmas cards or photos clipped to it 
  8. Small white or gold Santa holding a white bottle brush tree and wearing a fur-trimmed coat/hat 
  9. Map of the South East United States in Christmas colors... nice subtle Christmas decoration in a home office or study 



The garden shed shop is filled with Christmas inspiration. 

After Christmas some of these items will be available in my online Botanic Bleu Square shop. I will post when the online shop opens for orders. 

What is your favorite item in the shop?


Please join me at these inspiring places for more joy of living. 

SUNDAY
Dishing It and Digging It @ Rustic and Refined

MONDAY

TUESDAY

19 comments:

Art and Sand said...

Oh how I would like to visit the shop with you!

Decor To Adore said...

Oh those Russian Santa's are gorgeous! I somehow missed those. Ah well, next year. :) I hope you enjoyed the Botanic Bleu post that ran this past Thursday. When you get a moment can you send me the recipe for the fruit salad you brought to the cookie exchange? I'd love to serve it to visiting family members on Monday.

Ginger Valdes said...

Oh, Judith! How I wish I could be there! Anxiously awaiting your online shop to open! I want everything! I love that lamp, (you already know how I covet the French style ceramic pots), and a papier-mâché heart is a must have!

Ginger Valdes said...

BTW, I didn't get this post directly to my inbox. It was at the bottom of your "5 favorite pics" post as a small "you might also like" box. Glad I found it!!!

Eilis said...

Lucky for me Laura missed the Russian Santas. I got a darling one!

Katie Mansfield said...

It was lovely. I love my purchases. What a darling shop.

Kim said...

Beautiful, Judith. I would love to shop there...

Christina Paul said...

Oh how could I pick a favorite?- So many lovely things and so artfully displayed - Wish I could shop there! (sigh)

Sarah said...

Judith, I would love to shop your little French market. You've many beautiful things. The hand carved Santa figures are exquisite. I'm eyeing the wreath place card holders. If they are available, please let me know.
All the best for a successful market. You've done a wonderful job!

Shannon @ Belle Bleu Interiors said...

Judith, what a wonderful little French market you have. I saw lots of beautiful things! I wish I could visit. Where is your store located?

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Thanks so much for stopping by!! What a cute post!!
Hugs,
Debbie

ourfrenchoasis.com said...

Absolutely gorgeous,my favourite has to be the candelabra, so simple and yet so effective and a great idea that it can be either placed in the centre of the table or hung. Looks like a great place to visit for Christmas pressies and inspiration. have a lovely Sunday xx

Carole West said...

Everything is beautiful and displayed to perfection. I'm not much of a shopper anymore but if I do probably later morning or early afternoon. You're onto something here!

Carole @ Garden Up Green

Joyce - Quilted Nest said...

it's all SO pretty!

The Charm of Home said...

That Snowny Night pattern is very pretty! Have a wonderful Holiday! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

Jennifer walding said...

Did I miss where you're located?

Jennifer walding said...

Did I miss where you're located?

Jody Gabara said...

Judith, I love your French Country Christmas Market. You've done a fantastic job! Thanks so much for sharing at Simple & Sweet Fridays! Wishing you and your family a Happy Holiday!
Hugs, Jody

Botanic Bleu said...

Jennifer,
My French Country Christmas Event is in Mansfield, Texas, a suburb of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. I should have put a link to my flyer with all the details in this post. There is a flyer about the event on my right sidebar.
I tried replying to your comment by email, but you are a "no-reply".

Thank you for asking about the location.

Merry Christmas, Judith