Friday, July 31, 2009

Great Day

I got a late start but the day was going amazingly well. I was enjoying some tunes (Regina Spektor's latest and my newly discovered Lenka) while Benson was lapping up the fresh air. Three hours later, I decided to hit a park that bordered our final destination. Benson was thrilled and to be honest it did feel good to get out and stretch. After this pic was taken--Benson bolted. It was like a scene from a movie. Wild, crazy dog running through overgrown shrubs and trees while wild,crazy owner runs after dog then wild, crazy owner crashes into overgrown shrubs and trees fearing she may have broken her arms,legs, or neck. Seriously. When I think of it must have been really funny...but not at that moment.

As I'm disengaging myself from the landscaping in the park- worried about my health but more worried about Benson- I hear "Excuse me, Miss? Are you looking for something?"
I spin around (looking like a complete fool) and there is Benson sitting next to a very nice looking man and I really think- honest to goodness- that Benson was smiling.
The stranger helped me out of a tangle of branches and explained that he was playing with his dog and Benson joined in the fun. I didn't know if I should be happy that Benson was safe or angry that he bolted from me.
Anyways--long story somewhat short- the man had just moved to town, owns the sweetest yellow lab, and is a dog trainer. And here I am with my dog who basically ran away from me. Unfortunately I didn't get the guy's name but he was very encouraging under the circumstances.
We're in the hotel and tomorrow I'll set up a time to scoop up my ebay find. I'm thinking I may be giving someone else a call as well. Have a great weekend everyone!

bags are packed

Ready to roll. I've actually only got one suitcase. I'm a pretty good packer and don't like to bring too many extras. I know I'm only traveling a couple hours from home but it feels like such an adventure.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

road trip

Although I will be traveling with a male (the furry canine variety); any similarities with these movies that have road trips and me should end there. I'm not planning for any Thelma & Louise adventures.
I wish I had a big bowl of popcorn and loads of time to watch these but I should pack. I'll have my laptop so I'll keep in touch.

shop dog

Having Benson at the shop is hilarious. This dog finds the funny in everyday life and although my manager, Ralph, goes crazy picking up after him; I secretly think he adores this new found friend.
Benson's new doctor gave him the "thumbs up" as far as health goes and his only guess as to why no one has claimed him is that "he's a handful". Yes, he is...but he fills my heart with so much more.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


These things just sing comfort to me and their imperfections make me enjoy them even more.
*1.image via sweetspace 2 image via twopinkpossums

Two for the Show

Thank you EVERYONE for your words of advice, kind comments, and encouragement for this weekend...I'm blown away and I've decided I'm going to do it.
I have to travel to pick up the chest anyway so I've set up a "dog-friendly" hotel in the town for a couple of days, and after some super sleuthing I found out my uncle's phone number. I'm going to listen to my gut on this one. If I feel it's the right thing to do...I'll call and see where this adventure takes me.

Monday, July 27, 2009


After Ralph's initial snarking about Miss English Rose ("Did she mention anything about stopping over for tea or long live the Queen?") he actually brought up a valid point about my impending road trip (everyone needs a Ralph in their life).

But, first you need to know some history.
I had no idea I would talk about this when I started the blog, but I never knew I would have a dog either...crazy...this is all so crazy.
Feel free to pour yourself another cup of coffee or shake up a cocktail.

My father left my mother and me when I was a kid. He didn't stick around to see me grow up. Whenever the subject of dear old dad was brought up, my mother had an amazing way of changing the subject. I know she was just trying to protect me while she was alive but it's always been a bit of a mystery to me.

With the close of this auction, I just found out that my uncle (from my father's side- who I've never met) lives in the same town as the seller from eBay...Miss English Rose.
Ralph, of course, went nuts.
"You have to see him. You spent so much time finding out where he lives but you've never taken the first step to meet him. He could answer a lot of your questions you have about your father."

Of course, I'm waffling. I don't know if it's the right time. Maybe this uncle is as big on "family" as my dad was.
The only reason I would want to see him is that it was important to my mom that I have at least one living relative in my life (you know...for that possible kidney transplant. Sorry; laughter is always my back up if it gets too deep)
Anyways- the trip will take place this weekend- so, I can figure it all out in the next couple of days. Geez, my palms are sweaty.


She gets terrible gas mileage...but I still love her. I emailed Miss English Rose about the auction and looks like it will take me a couple of hours to drive up. I may end up and stay for a couple of's interesting how life plays out and the opportunities that's a long story that I'll share a little later...crazy or kismet?


I won the auction!
Relive the moment with me:
Nat: And three, two, one...YES! It's mine! Wow! That was a great one, Ralph! It was so close at the end.
Ralph: I felt the earth move, darling.
Nat: It was so exciting...what a rush. You know... it's just located North of you think Bessie can make it?
Ralph: Is that the dog?
Nat: No, that's my truck...little Blue Bessie. Benson is the dog. I won Benson, I won!
Ralph: Benson is ecstatic...I can hear it in his voice.
So, looks like I'll be taking a trip after I get a few more details from the first road trip with Benson.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Treasure Hunting Rules

You may think I'm nuts, but I've got my eye on this on eBay:I love to find the beauty in such a piece by sanding it down or with paint (ivory? black?), new pulls, and some TLC. Unfortunately, some people start bidding, bidding on the piece at the beginning of an auction and drive the price up. People. I want this cheap and your bids are not helping. From the sounds of it, I can actually drive and pick this up, so it could be a steal (and maybe a certain cute dog would accompany me?! no word on the owners, folks.)
For the larger pieces at my shop I search estate sales, word-of-mouth ("my grandmother has such and such and would you be interested?")flea markets and traveling across the finding a piece I can turnover on eBay is unusual (shipping is astronomical now). Auction ends tomorrow...I'll let you know.

lovely lovelies

*le sigh*

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sleepover with the boy

He's still here. I've decided to name him "Benson" clue; just liked it. I'll see what happens over the weekend and keep you posted. And speaking of- enjoy yours and stay tuned!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Where did that come from/Part 2

Just last post I mentioned that it was raining buckets in the city. Thunder, lightning...the perfect storm. I was closing up A French Cloud and heard scratching at the front door...and look what was there. Meet my new house guest...that is, until I find the owners. He bolted into the shop; shook his wet coat and let out a shower of raindrops, and then jumped into the nearest chair. Luckily I found a couple of dog chews (thanks to Ralph--always thinking to keep our customers satisfied- even if they do have 4 legs!) and that seems to keep him busy.
I have no idea who he belongs to...but isn't he just SO cute?! I'm sure he'll only be an overnight guest. Tomorrow I'll put ads in the paper/craigslist, call the shelters, put up posters and try to find his home.
I never had a dog growing up. Did you? It was just my mom and me and we really never had too much time to take care of a dog...I had a bird...probably not the same.
Anyways, tonight I have a dog. Wish me luck!

Where did that come from?

wow! what a cloudburst--raindrops down, umbrellas up!

I believe...

I believe that you all are the sweetest people in blogland- thank you for all the well wishes. Lots to tell you!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I'm off doing a little treasure hunting for a couple of days--enjoy your middle of the week, loves!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Have you heard about Operation Beautiful? A one woman start up that has spread across the world. The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous notes in public places for other women to find. The point is that WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. You are enough... just the way you are!


Pardon my drooling. Kate Towers and Holly Stalder are the queens of design in Portland. Check out these dresses, the ruffles, the details and more on their etsy pages.

sugar sky

Don't you remember wishing you could do this? I always thought how much fun it would be to jump from cloud to cloud!
*image from fantaisiee

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Sand

I'll meet you here.
*image from here

Saturday, July 18, 2009

sweet day

Thank you Paul...I will have one of those.

Friday, July 17, 2009


yes, please.

second in charge

hello everyone. my name is Ralph and I owe my life to Natalie and a French Cloud *grin*
I love working here. I sometimes feel like Natalie shouldn't pay me because I do have so much fun; but there are other times when she bids and wins a pair of hideous candlesticks (thanks eBay) that I must use my superpowers of persuasion on Mrs. Adams and tell her how fabulous they would look in her entryway that I feel like I should get double my salary.
Natalie's a dream. I only wish she would go out more. I beg her to come with the boys and me to Martini Madness but she always comes up with an excuse not to go. Help her, readers!
Speaking of, I need to teach her blog etiquette. She comments, you comment. She's a lonely girl. She's reading over my shoulder so I should go.

plain white T and these

I'm not a dressed up sort of girl. I stick with the basic white tshirt, a pair of worn in jeans, vintage cowboy boots and if I'm of these. The artist who designed these came into the shop and I immediately had to own everything she brought in. Love it. One of a kind pieces using vintage treasures she had collected and designed into new wearable art.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the shop

A French Cloud is a small boutique filled with love. Things I love, things that other people love, and filled with the memories of people I love.
I spend most of my time treasure hunting, eBay bidding, and I can't even tell you how many estate sales I've dug through to find those one of a kind items everyone looks for. My mom and I started this shop and have been very successful, but sadly my mother passed away last year, so I'm on my own. Well, not really on my own. My manager's name is Ralph and he's a dream. More later.

getting to know me

Hello. My name is Natalie and I'm an EBayaholic. From clothing to clocks to leather chairs that look like I dug them up in a Paris bar; I have found and bid on them. It's not all for me--much of it is for my shop, A French Cloud...more about that later.
I hope to share with you things about the shop, about my friends, and about my life. Enjoy.
*photo from Smitten