Opening Day at Marburger Farm Antique Show

Today was the day. The day when city girls invade the Texas Hill Country in Round Top, Texas, in search of treasures large and small at the Marburger Farm Antique Show. This semi-annual show (known simply as "Marburger" to regulars) has gained a national reputation and attracts a big time crowd, but since it's in a huge, open field, there's plenty of room for everyone...and everything!

I will say this: in the years that I've been going to Marburger (my first show was in 2001 with a seven-month old baby in tow...never again!), the booths have become more sophisticatedly styled and the goods have gone up in price, but I still love going and finding inspiration in the middle of a hayfield!

I'm by no means the authority on trends, but if the vendors at Marburger are an indicator, here's what's HOT (meaning everywhere!): nubby French linen and European grain sacks. I wish I had bought more when I was in Provence years ago!

I enjoyed this booth (Machtolff's Mercantile Antiques) because everything was so beautifully arranged and easy to access vs. the boxes and tall stacks you have to rummage through at the markets in France.  The red stripe was what I saw most frequently in the parts of Provence I visited, but the blue is popular as well. And take a peek at these unusual stripe combinations:

Pillows and seat cushions are the obvious way to put these textiles to use, but I've also seen chairs, stools and ottomans upholstered with them. Sturdy, great texture and neutral tones...the perfect upholstery fabric for the small piece you're dying to recover. Why didn't I think of the wing back chair in my studio?
If you find a large roll (or two that could be connected), how about a stair runner? Oh, my! If I walked into a house with a French grain sack / nubby linen-lined staircase, I would have to pinch myself to be sure I wasn't in my French dreams!

Of course, the French are not only known for their nubby linen, but they have also produced some of the finest hand-embroidered linens in the world. During my first trip to Provence, I drove two hours by myself in uncharted territory just to step inside of an  embroidered fine linen shop (the town was Lumiere, I believe). It was worth it!

I was happy to have an embroidered linen fix at Marburger today!

I taught myself to embroider in the French monogram style with a book I bought in Provence, but I can tell you I have never and will never be able to do it like this...with such perfection and depth. Gorgeous! I wish I could make stationery monograms look this good on paper!

And speaking of paper, these French book bundles are another hot item! You'll see these all over Marburger and in French antique stores, but you'll want to buy them from Murielle Abeger's booth, French Influence. She has the best price ($20 a bundle) and by far the best selection.

I love seeing Murielle at Marburger. Her French accent and easy smile charms me into speaking French despite my lack of practice...and in the middle of a Texas hayfield of all places!

One final photo:
If you're thinking I have a small pot fetish, I think you might be right. I wanted to buy the whole box of these French hand-potted clay and miniature zinc pots! And if I knew that some of you might want a few, I would have! I did allow myself to by a dozen of the little zinc pots (I've got a zinc fetish going right now, too!). I've got a few creative thoughts on how to use them, but am looking for inspiration! Open to ideas for these two-inch tall treasures! Anyone?

There is much more at Marburger than what I'm sharing, which is why it attracts so many different people, but these are just a few of the things that caught my eye and inspired me today. If you get the chance to go, it runs through October 3rd.

However, if travels to Marburger and France aren't in the plans, don't despair! I've got some great online French finds to share with you soon! All for a great price and one to be given away to a lucky reader! Stay tuned!


  1. I love those little zinc pots! I've never been to Marburger, but this makes me want to go even more!

  2. I am so sad I won't be able to make it this year... I WANT those zinc pots. Were they reasonably priced? I am also having a zinc fettish so do share if you have any other good zinc sources. Also, those linens are lovely! Thanks for sharing.

  3. You won't believe this, but she sold me the pots for a dollar each (instead of $6 each). I should have bought them all and given them away! Zinc is popping up everywhere these days. I'll keep you posted on what I find!

  4. I love the linens! Which booth was that?

  5. The beautiful, hand embroidered linens are at La Bahia...in the little house (front left corner). La Bahia is on 237 (same road as Marburger). Hope you get to see them sometime!


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