Sunday, February 3, 2013

More Shopping

First, I would like to thank everyone for the best wishes and kind emails I received resulting from my last post about my hospitalized loved one. You have warmed my heart and given me strength in a period of difficulty. When there are bumps in the road, I usually turn to my blog and say "Now I need to make something good happen." And it is thanks to you, my virtual audience, that this is possible. And so, today I can address a more cheerful subject because my loved one is at home and slowly recovering. I am grateful for that and for you.

I took a day off in January to go with a friend to Hammamet, a beach town about thirty minutes away. She proposed visiting several antique stores. Admittedly, I'm not much of a shopper, but the brocante (antique/junk stores) present treasure hunting opportunities. So off we went.
The first shop we walked into had some gorgeous items mixed with less interesting "stuff."
There were some lovely pieces in carved and inlaid wood. I found the big copper bell intriguing
and I would have liked to own that nail-studded chest.
Prices were a bit steep in this shop; the owner knew the value of what he had. 
Then I took a few pictures of Hammamet, which was originally a small village
that grew with the construction of beach hotels and the arrival of tourists. 
It was a glorious day, however, what struck me was the emptiness. No tourists, no traffic, very few inhabitants, lots of closed shops and businesses. The Tunisian economy is doing poorly.
We had the restaurant at the top of the old fort to ourselves.
Fish was the specialty of the restaurant and it was an excellent meal.

Another shot of the beach from the restaurant.
This beach is usually crowded. 
It felt like a ghost town, a ghost beach.
But that didn't stop us from visiting a couple more shops.
Cute store front, however, this store had only one interesting item. The third and last store was the best, rather overwhelming, actually.
Having a copper collection, which I showed here
I was enamored by the many copper pieces.
The old irons drew my eye as well. I showed my collection here.
There were a lot of interesting items.
I considered taking these gloves home, which were late 19th or early 20th century. 

Lacy and with yellowed buttons. However, the owner wanted fifty dollars, and I couldn't in all good conscience do anything to them (like cut them up or stitch on them) because of their historical value. Maybe they'll still be there if I go back.
The other item I liked was a door knocker. I was satisfied with taking a picture.

If I should give the impression that I exercised restraint, it's just that I'm saving the very best for last. Indeed, restraint flew out the window. Here is the one interesting item in the second shop with the cute store front.
Yes, she called to me. Ok, I don't own a treadle, but maybe someday I'll persuade her to sew for me. 
It was the beautiful designs that made me bring her home.
Such elegance, such finesse, a visual pleasure.
The owner wanted about $150, I offered $100. Sold to the only bidder.


Cate Rose said...

My goodness, look at all those wonderful treasures!!

Els said...

Hi Nadia, sorry to have missed your last post and hope all is well now and total recovery will be soon for your loved one .... !!!
Wow, that first pic was a mystery first, but now I see, and I can imagine that you took this beauty home ! Enjoy
Looks indeed funny those empty beaches and restaurants ...

Debbie said...

What a beautiful town and beach. You got the best find around it seems. There is lots of info on line and I am sure you can get this one stitching if you so desire. Either way, it is a beauty.

deanna7trees said...

thanks again for a wonderful shopping trip. i just love virtual shopping. you did come home with a beautiful item.

Unknown said...

oh what yummy goodies!!! And of course you could not have passed up that beauty of a sewing machine!!

Elaine/Muddling Through said...

Nadia, I thought that was a sewing machine. It looks like a beauty. Maybe you could make it into a hand crank. Here is a link to one:
It doesn't look like she ships to Tunisia, but maybe you could find something similar.
Glad things are getting better for you!

Ellen said...

Wat een prachtig verslag van een heerlijke dag ,wat een schattige winkels.Jammer dat het toerisme zo stil staat ,nu maar hopen op stabiliteit en dat alles weer goed komt..
Groet Ellen

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Oh my - she would have come home with me too!!

Merilyn said...

Your new sewing machine is a 'jewel', and I don't think I could have left her there either!!!! Even if she never sews another stitch she and you win! You can't tell I love vintage sewing machines can you?LOL!! I have 7 of them, and I love each and every one, and they all sew, including the treadle!!! I could have a field day in those shops LOL!!! I'd need my own shipping container to bring stuff back with me!!! Thankyou for sharing those wonderful photos, it's really wonderful to see parts of a country of which I know virtually nothing! Glad to hear your loved one is home and hopefully progressing well!!!!

Roxanne said...

I couldn't help but drool at all those antiques. And what a wonderful treasure you went home with.

Sujata Shah said...


What a beautiful find! I loved seeing all the pictures of your trip. I would want to bring everything home.. Specially, those irons!

Michele said...

Nadia, so sorry to hear about the recent hospitalization of your loved one. I'm glad they are home recovering now. Your shopping trip looks wonderful! You found such treasures. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures.

Michelle said...

What a fun shopping trip -- thanks for letting the rest of us vicariously enjoy it!

Unknown said...

Dear Nadia, I always love going along with you (vicariously) - you have a great eye! Serra is a treasure, and whether she sews for you or not, I am so glad you brought her home. Best wishes to you and your loved ones, hope healing is proceeding apace. xxoo, sus

Nat Palaskas said...

Glad to hear that your loved one is on the mend! Thanks for taking me on the shopping trip with you. I love the bricks-a-bracs shops. It reminds me of the shops in Muscat Souq. Enjoy that Serra sewing machine - Hugs Nat

barbbouk said...

I'm actually seeing things in your pictures that I don't remember seeing while there! When do you want to go back?? :-)

Norma Schlager said...

I'm so glad that your loved one is home and doing better. Your shopping spree looks like so much fun. Thanks for taking us along. Your new purchase is beautiful I can see why you had to have it.

Carole Reid said...

Nadia, thanks for taking us along on your trip. It makes me sad to see your empty beaches but I had to smile when I saw your beautiful Serra. You bartered well. So glad to hear healing is happening in your home. Take care of yourself while you are nurse. xo Carole

O'Quilts said...

So happy you got a deserve it after your scare! Thank u for sharing your excursion.

Mo Crow said...

what a beautiful old machine, Nadia! Lizzie Lenad has some great videos and posts about restoring vintage machines on her blog

Sarah said...

What a beauty. I think you showed great restraint!

Anonymous said...

Hi Nadia
I like this kind of trips. Sorry to see the city was empty from the tourists which is so sad. Enjoy your treasure
Happy stitching

Emma said...

Glad health is improving, you deserve the special treat of that beautiful machine. Such beautiful beaches empty, surely they will come back one day.

Threadpainter said...

I so enjoyed your visit to the antique shops and the views of the lovely place where you live. I was given a very old treadle, years ago, and she has the most gorgeous gold designs painted on her ... I understand why you were smitten !