Paris Puces

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 Schlabach129twigandvine_paris_flea ©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


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

MS and the Mr.reply
October 11, 2013 at 10:07 am

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

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
October 11, 2013 at 10:15 am
– In reply to: MS and the Mr.

Yes, hit the Paris fleas in your lifetime. They never disappoint. And the clocks. Oh the clocks….!

October 11, 2013 at 10:40 am

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

Kate Georgereply
October 11, 2013 at 10:40 am

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

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
October 11, 2013 at 11:08 am
– In reply to: Kate George

Imagine!!! Too fun. xox

October 11, 2013 at 11:16 am

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…

October 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm

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!

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
October 11, 2013 at 1:06 pm
– In reply to: lovelucie1

Thanks for telling this story! I could wander those alleys for days.

Caitlin @ The Siren’s Talereply
October 11, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Love that vintage library card catalog!

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
October 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm
– In reply to: Caitlin @ The Siren's Tale

It remains a favorite from that day. Oh the things I could store in all of those drawers!

October 11, 2013 at 3:01 pm

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!

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
October 11, 2013 at 3:15 pm
– In reply to: summerjosephine

Thanks! Someday you’ll go….

October 11, 2013 at 8:18 pm

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…

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
October 11, 2013 at 9:24 pm
– In reply to: squatorclamor

Sweet dreams, dear Victoire.

October 12, 2013 at 2:26 am

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

October 12, 2013 at 6:01 am

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.

October 12, 2013 at 6:02 am

Ugh – ‘tomorrow’ should read ‘time’

October 13, 2013 at 11:08 am

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

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
October 13, 2013 at 9:21 pm
– In reply to: bumbleblue17

If I can haggle in French you can too!! 🙂

October 13, 2013 at 3:17 pm

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

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
October 13, 2013 at 9:20 pm
– In reply to: vintageattitude

A pleasure. Thanks for your kind words.

October 14, 2013 at 12:38 pm

great photography!

October 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm

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

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
October 18, 2013 at 3:25 pm
– In reply to: artsylikeme

Thanks! I love your blog name. Will check it out. Have a great weekend.

Cheryl @ Artzzlereply
October 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm

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.

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
October 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm
– In reply to: Cheryl @ Artzzle

Hi Cheryl. Of course-thanks so much! Warmly. Sue

Featured Favorites | Artzzlereply
October 19, 2013 at 3:26 pm

[…] I could just go on and on about this next site. .129 Twig and Vine […]

Cheryl @ Artzzlereply
October 19, 2013 at 3:40 pm

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!

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
October 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm
– In reply to: Cheryl @ Artzzle

This is so so kind! I really appreciate what you wrote. I’ll look forward to a good look at your blog when I’m on a computer, not a little phone! Happy weekend.

Cheryl @ Artzzlereply
October 19, 2013 at 10:29 pm
– In reply to: Sue Schlabach 129twigandvine

When you take a better look at my blog, be sure to leave a comment there too. Thanks again.

Jack Flaccoreply
October 21, 2013 at 5:37 pm

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

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
October 21, 2013 at 6:10 pm
– In reply to: Jack Flacco

Thanks! I do like rustic…. Be well.

October 24, 2013 at 6:56 am

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

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
October 24, 2013 at 7:03 am
– In reply to: jessthetics

So true! I always bring home old papers or fabric. Would love a pair of metal chairs or a big chaise!

Zia Vangerreply
October 27, 2013 at 5:25 am

O my god, o my god, it’s Paris!

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
October 30, 2013 at 10:36 am
– In reply to: Zia Vanger

Indeed. *sigh*

October 28, 2013 at 5:20 am

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. 🙁

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
October 30, 2013 at 10:35 am
– In reply to: miiu

Someday you will go! (And take your little girl). Be well.

Karen @ Dogs Don’t Eat Pizzareply
October 30, 2013 at 8:37 am

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

October 30, 2013 at 8:38 am

(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!

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
October 30, 2013 at 9:58 am
– In reply to: dogsdonteatpizzakaren

Hi karen! Got them both. Thanks so much! Nice to see you over at instagram too!

November 4, 2013 at 8:11 pm

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

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
November 4, 2013 at 8:13 pm
– In reply to: aidastrocovsky

Why thank you! I appreciate it. It’s hard to take a bad shot at a Paris flea market. Warmly, Sue

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