drawing | second hand

objects that have shone in other people's lives, turning up on our doorstep... looking back, i realize i've been buying second hand and brocante (before it desperately and masterfully got labeled vintage) for over thirty years, kick starting it, when i lived just round the corner from the brussels' daily flea market on place du jeu de balle - vossenplein, in the early eighties. the flea market survived the years {images left = collection STADSARCHIEF - right = "voddemet" - bastin & evrard}. it was all about richly printed, silken pj's back then.

all these beautiful, wonderful, mysterious, filthy, hard and soft, fragile goods. some things you give away again, because the object doesn't ring with you in the end. some beauties get broken (glass breakage an average of one a week, easily, in our house...). sixties and seventies curtains dying on you (but not before you make a postcard from the impressive design). cashier ladies carefully wrapping up tiny objects; others showing you the door. ... {farmer girls above will make a reapparence here, over the coming months.}

books, second hand books! we have so many books, sitting round waiting to be read. we can make books from second hand matter!... here's my first ever home and hand made notebook. it does look clever, don't it? do take a closer look. the endpaper, although a little wrinkled, sits well in the front of my notebook, does it not? okay. 

turning a few pages.... uh-hoh... upside down, is it? yes, we did it : gone and glued the whole she-bang in topsy-turvy... ☻

but ha. i'll turn a blind eye, put on me sunglasses and give my own personal second hand the exit role. joke's drawing challenge theme this weekend is just lovely, lovely. it made me rush off to the thrift shop yesterday morning to still my craving and not having my camera on hand, i just drank in the scenery. for future reference. {image above and not thrifted at all: celine's necklace. "how're you celine, and don't you come up with more found objects, hear! ☻" & that hand!}. off to sniff around yours now. & RIVER UPDATE


  1. Oh Nadine, you talked about second hand books, I've got a lot of Art books, second hand, very cheap, and that smell.... I always put my nose in a book. Yes, you said it, all those second hand stuff does have a history, and that's great. I love a good story.

  2. i might go wild at your markets, might be full of treasures that american ones don't have ;-)
    lovely to see your treasures and handmade book, which is wonderful.

  3. AAAAH you are the sweetest Nadine! That necklace looks good on you ;-) Thanks for asking, I'm doing okay I think: just really tired of the last couple of months. I have to recover a bit from all the turbulent times, but I will be fine! And no: I did not find anything else, haha! I have to think about how to frame them or keep them save because I think they are part of the house.
    I love your images and especially your handmade book, that just looks beautiful and I must say I love to see your hands. They look like work and I love that! Have a good weekend! Liefs, Celine

  4. Your post is a beautiful ode to the fleamarket! - eric

  5. I love the book Nadine, well done. To me, having the pictures/designs upside down makes me smile and is ideal. Perfection is highly overrated! That necklace is very pretty. Hope you have a lovely and relaxing weekend. Big hugs. :D

  6. Hi Nadine, it was totally clear to me that this theme will be as easy and nice as it would for me and yes here you're with all eh a tiny few of your fab finds and your book is so phantastic, well and mistakes happen, I did the same mistake with my summerbooklet, but that makes those handmade books even more valuable I think.
    And guess what I've the same necklace of Celine! So fab!
    Enjoyed this post a lot!
    Hugs barbara bee

  7. Love the book. That would be a possibly cool project for my soon retirement! But I will be careful not to paste upside down! Seriously, that is something I would do.
    Love the necklace too. I don't go to flea markets much but I will occasionally go in our two antique 'malls' and look things over. I love bottles, crocks, and posy vases. Got a vivid cobalt blue glass one awhile back---love it. :>)

  8. Dear Nadine - I like your handmade notebook. Never mind upside-down. I haven’t made book or notebook, but I like to put the covers on a book or a notebook. I often use used wrapping paper of lovely colors and patterns. The necklace looks nice on the indigo-colored shirt. I got warm thoughts from your hands which really know what life is.


  9. Hello, Nadine - loved seeing your finds and reading your always poetic text. Happy week to you!

  10. Dear Nadine,
    yes I am also scared when I start a collage...but I try as my 7 year old daughter told me, not to think to much about it...just do it, it will work.
    Your handmade book is great...a special challenge with the upside down pages....

  11. wonderful post - love every single picture. and of course fleamarkets...
    It's a shame I can't attend this dc, but I had to much to do for my exhibition.
    :-) mano

  12. Maybe to go to the flea market is a walk into a world of second hand. attractive, to which we go to buy items for us, and to buy items to give to friends. However, not all people like second-hand.
    I liked your book. It is strange, with second-hand things, you made a book, a new object, then it is not second hand! :)
    Certainly, Celine could have brought many second hand items found !!

  13. Oh my...you lived close to a daily fleamarket? Really? I mean...DAILY?? That would be my personal ruin. Or at least ruin my finances...haha! Your homemade notebook looks beautiful (even with its upside down pages, that's your special surprising element)! Celine's necklace suits you perfect, by the way... :-)

  14. making books! very clever! i used to make my school diary/calendar each year in high school.
    (hope you did read Sigrid Undset before making it into a different kind of book!)
    i thought of you today as I went to a second hand store thirty kms away to look for a window. i'd been there before over the years, though not very often because of the distance, and was so surprised to find it packed with people. they weren't looking for treasures, but for necessary things at bargain price. in this terrible economy, second hand stores are where people regularly shop these days.