The Little French Prop Shop:
From Pressed Glass to Tea Pots with Cheese Boards in-between
I have an obsession, it’s simple, I cannot resist tea pots, pressed glass, pots, pudding basins, crockery, cutlery, silver spoons, mugs, cups, plates, knife rests, toast racks, sugar tongs, glassware, egg coddlers, pie moulds, basket ware, linens, casserole dishes, butter dishes, bowls, lemonade jugs………and so the list goes on! I have cut back on my collecting, and I’ve also sold lots of my assorted paraphernalia, but the need is still strong and I find it VERY hard to walk past a bric-a-brac shop, brocante, antique shop, car boot stall or any market where all of the above items are so blatantly on offer. I go through stages of collecting; it all started with tea pots – family and friends bought them for me and the collection grew and grew more than I could brew……then I started to collect toast racks, then spoons and cake stands, then it was egg coddlers and my current obsession is for blue and white crockery, revisited!
I am lucky enough that I have a house that can accommodate all of my finds, although, they do say you fill to your capacity and I cannot remember having quite as much stuff prior to moving here! But, my obsession has finally paid off, in a manner of speaking; since starting my blog two years ago I have discovered that I have a plethora of items for food props and styling. So now my champagne buckets, tea pots, sugar bowls, cake stands and jugs all have a place in my home, as well as my photos.
Today’s post is based on an idea that Janie, the author of the amazing Hedgcombers blog, had; she recently challenged a group of us to “Show and Tell” and share photos of our food props, so I went around the house clicking away and decided it was such a novel idea that I would share my photos here too. I did go a bit mad and took loads of photos, which I will share in The Little French Prop Shop gallery at the end of this post. Why French? Well, my props are mainly a combination of British and French, but as I have most of them in my home in France, where I am at present, it’s a French prop shop! Regular readers will recognise lots of the items I have photographed, as they appear in many of my food photos, so you see, I DO use all of my bits and bobs.
There is little more I can tell you about my addiction, other than to say that ALL of the booty that has been photographed are from second-hand shops, or are gifts from family and friends; I never pay a lot of money for any of them…….most of my pieces are “hidden treasure” that I have found lurking, unloved and dirty in boxes and tea chests. I hope you have enjoyed taking a peek into my world of kitchenalia! See you soon with some FRUITY new recipes, Karen
The Little French Prop Shop Gallery:
Impressive collection 🙂 I hope that one day I’ll have my own big “props shop” as beautiful as yours. Sylvia x
Thanks Sylvia, all very cheap too…..we need to have a prop swap and prop sale one day! Karen
Oh boy! I’m on the next flight over! Love love LOVE the bread boards, tart tins and your cheese domes.
I would love to go shopping with you kKaren 🙂
You are welcome any time Janie, and what a ball we would have! Karen
Just as well you have a large house! I have one of those cosy teapots it was my gran’s, but I am envious of the matching milk and sugar!
I found these IN France Janice and they were just a few Euros too, about €6 I think! Karen
Oh my! What a collection! Love the Le Creuset, love the tart cases and jelly moulds. Sigh…xoxo
Thanks so much! Karen
Franglais kitchen says
Wonderful collection Karen, I am envious, but having seen your cookbook collection in a previous post I am not surprised your prop collection is equally extensive!
Thanks Nazima, I am often worried that I am just this side of obsessive though! Maybe passionate is a better word to use! Karen
Oh wow – my husband would freak! I feel that when I have my “final” house, which will be a cottage with a view and a large garden, that my own little collecting obsession will be let lose! Love all your vintage pieces, Vohn x
My husband does have a bit if a go at me sometimes, but then he collects and hoards all sorts of tools and stuff like that, so he hasn’t got a leg to stand on! Keep your cottage dream alive, one day……..Karen
beautifully organized lovely props
THANKS so much! 🙂 Karen
I am in heaven… if ever we do an event where we need glorious little kitchen nick-nack I sure know where to come… the little french prop shop… it’s all so adorable Karen, makes me want to visit even more!
We should do an event Dom, we talked about it, UP North too! And, you know that you and the Viking are ALWAYS welcome to come to stay! Karen xx
Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry says
I am sooooooo coming to visit you and all your pretty things…..
Thanks Bintu! Karen xxx
Practical and beautiful, such a lovely array, and those are just the pieces you have shown us! Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for stopping by to comment Rebecca – I DO use them all, which is so much better than hoarding them away. Karen
I have quite a growing collection too, along with some inherited pieces, but WOW! as my 3 year would say, that is impressive. Have a lovely hot weekend x
Thanks Carina! I would love to see your collection too, as one addict to another! Karen
Liz Thomas says
What a super collection — all lovely. I’ve got three of those glass flower holders with the holes in them but I never knew they were called “Flower Frogs”. I love your blue and white plates too.
I’m addicted to car boot sales in the UK but in recent years I have found that the French Brocantes have become very expensive — at least in the area of our house anyway which is about 45 km from Brive La Galliard, we are just outside Beaulieu sur Dordogne. Spent quite a long time there last year but not sure about this year. Too much work here in China at present to plan a long holiday!
Thanks so much Liz and interesting to see you currently live in China, as I lived in Hong Kong for 12 years!
You are so right, the French brocantes have become very pricey and most of this collection was purchased at least five years ago now. I know your area of France quite well, and we are not that far from each other. We must meet up when you are next back!
LOVELY to meet you and do you have a blog I can visit too?
Liz Thomas says
When did you live in HK? I arrived there in 1977, I met my husband there, and we moved to Macau in 1984 and we are still here nearly 30 years later. We’ve seen a lot of changes.
It would be wonderful to meet up with you in France and will certainly let you know if we get there this year.
I’m actually in the process of trying to establish a blog right now. I’ve signed up for the basic free WordPress one and am trying to get my head around the process — I’m a bit of a dinosaur! If I can manage to get it right and it starts looking good I’ll progress to a proper purchased version. It’ll be mainly about Macau but will have a recipe section too.
I’m really enjoying your wonderful blog
Cheers and make the best of the heat!
Hi Liz, we lived in Hong Kong from 1962 to 1982, with some time back in the UK in between; we lived in the New Territories for most of the time, apart from a short stint on HK Island.
Thanks so much for your lovely comments, it’s been great to meet you through my blog, and let me know if you need any help setting yours up! I am also wordpress, but, self-hosted, but I can help with dashboards etc!
Liz Thomas says
Right! I’m guessing your father was in the military — RAF or Army. So in the NT you’d have lived in Sek Kong area and on HK Island, Stanley (if it was Army). I think I’m quite a bit (big bit!) older than you so you were probably in school there.
I’m probably totally wrong!
I’m pretty busy right now with a lot of writing to do as a possible book opportunity is in the offing (Macau guide and stories) so I’ve not got vary far with my blog, and I have only just registered it and I’m really quite clueless. What do you mean by self-hosted? I will probably have a bit more time to explore and find out what it’s all about next week, or the week after and I’m very grateful for your offer of help.
Typical South China Summer here at the moment — very hot and sunny one day and then rainy and humid the next — that’s today. We were in France during the heatwave last year so know what you are experiencing now. I loved it though, except at night when the lack of aircon was a problem — we’re just livable and not renovated so no insulation. During the heat of the day I had great fun making meringues in the car and drying herbs to bring back here!
HI Liz, just seen your reply now! Been so busy, not had time to check dashboard! I am a 1958 baby, so you can work out my age compared to yours from that! 🙂 DO email me if you want to chat more, via the contact form at the top of my blog…….my dad was not military as it happens, but worked at Tai Mo Shan, you should know what that means! Karen
looks inviting and mouthwatering stuff!
Gill Bland says
I’ve seen those cozy teapots andalways fancied one, but I have bought a full set of piquot ware, several pieces of poole pottery and various other things….I think I am merely an apprentice where you are a jedi.
Hahaha! You have made me laugh Gill! If I am a Jedi, than I am an obsessive one! 🙂 Karen
What a great eclectic collection of things. I especially love your teapots and the blue and white china. Great idea to use them as props, and thanks for sharing them with us.
Thanks Eira, eclectic is the right term for my random collection! Karen
Alycea aka Piddlewick says
I adore Vallauris cheese/cake boards. So wonderfully kitsch and unique! I was having a look and came across your photo and hence to your blog. I have been following you for years, but hadn’t seen this post. Great stuff!
Karen Burns-Booth says
Thanks so much Alycea, yes, they are terribly kitsch, but as you say, very unique and I also love them too! Karen
Glamorous Glutton says
I love this post. You should have photographed your wonderful buckets of rolling pins, I love those. Still, there’s so much it must be hard to choose! It looks like you have just a few textiles rather than the wonderful drawers of fabulous things. GG
Anna @ Freelance Content Writer says
Incredible collection you have out there in your beautiful home, Karen. It feels so special seeing them; classic and elegant. 🙂
Karen Burns-Booth says
Thank you so much Anna!