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  1. I love your scrapbook style! I love all the little bits. I like to see vintage treasures, love book reviews and anything else that would be of interest. I am sure if you are interested.. I am interested! Cant wait to see what you do!
    Cheryl

  2. I love the insights into your life, your honesty and clarity and enjoy celebrating your triumphs with you. I'm not so bothered about little frou frou things to buy, but I love the books you bring to my attention

  3. Truly, I look forward to your blog as a 'lifeswap' of my own (as you mentioned above with Dottie Angel). What I love most about your blog are you musings about your day to day life, your posts about family and friends, your posts about your fears and dreams and frustrations. It's like a I have a friend halfway around the world that I can rejoice and sympathize with. I also love your puttery treats and book reviews. If you wrote a book, I'd buy it in a second. Your blog is my absolute favorite on the web. A treasure I am lucky to have found randomly about 4 years ago. I check it every day. Best wishes, Alison, in 2011! Merry Christmas! Thanks for all the inspiration.

  4. I love your work. Have for a long time. Sometimes I wish it was more streamlined…I don't even know all the places to find you…Posterous? RSS? Email? Where else? But it's always scrumptious. I love your "voice" encouraging us on and the practicals you provide. Maybe switch up the pink-polka-dots and stream-line Brocante's "logo"? Best of luck in the New Year!

  5. I have enjoyed greatly your lovely blog. I love the concept of "vintage housekeeper." I am a mother of seven, farmwife and lover of keeping our home. I am particularly fond of your puttery treats. I love planners that are lovely, all the way down to the grocery list. I dream, too, of an Aga in my kitchen and all the lovely things that could be made with it. I'd love this book…would put it right next to my lovely copy of The Virginia Housewife by Mrs. Mary Randolph.
    Thank you for all this fun.
    Warmly,
    A Real Virginia Housewife

  6. It may sound melodramatic but my finding your website has been a lifesaver. Invalided out of work as my ex dumped me on my Silver Wedding Day. Tied to the home, I browsed looking for kindred spirits. I love my home, enjoy vintage and have to decorate on a budget but love to alter things to suit me. You spoke to me Alison. All you said I thought yes that is me ! I related so much. My humour has been a boon to me and I recognised the same trait in you.
    I loved the original 2005 Brocante Home. Found it easy to navigate. Have ordered many of the books you mention. Christmas ones always a treat. Different from what I can find in ths shops. Puttery treats a favoutite, always comforting. I log on every day and feel cosy and inpsired. I have cried and laughed with you and have lived in fear that one day you will say I am too busy to carry on with Brocante. Please keep on keeping on. Wonder if you know the pleasure you have brought ?
    Personal stories yes. be good. Shared recipes might be an idea . House Tours as they do on Hooked on Houses ? Easy for me to say do this do that !
    Thanks for keeping me up.
    A very Happy Christmas to you and Finley.
    Hope 2011 is kind to you.
    Love Chrissie X

  7. I think you have the lovliest way of writing and have enjoyed following you thru the years. I do not follow any other bloogers, because they don't hold my attention as you do. The puttery treats are wonderful. The advent calendar has been such fun. I would like to see something written to address people who have their lives turned upside down every week by shift work, if possible.

  8. I love your blog! I recently found you -I wish I could remember how-oh dear ! I love your stories -I love your photography -What would I want for next year -umm-well I do plan on starting a blog -so yes I would like more tips on blogging and photography. I would love to meet you and other followers on tweeter -like once a month or even once a week ., Love inspiration for decorating, meals, cleaning, organizing , feeling darn good about ourselves, any thing really -I turn 50 in 2011 and I too want to "be better" , maybe daily ways we can make a difference to someone that day , stress that our family is so important -how to make our spouses feel most important . Maybe do a online book club here with your readers . I just know however you 'update" your blog -it will still be you and your perssonality will still shine through 🙂 and I'll be here reading . Thanks for the chance for a give away.
    Blessings and Merry Christmas !
    Kathy

  9. I've had so much pleasure from your work over the years – having been through an…unpleasant… relationship breakup I was touched by your honesty, highly amused by your sense of humour, constantly impressed by your ingenuity and vision. I've been wracking my brains trying to come up with a new direction for you and the one I always come back to is the rampant desire for brocantehome books. I love your housewife's planner and the other planners you've created and have placed them lovingly in my decorated folders but what I would really love is to have a 'proper' book, perhaps a year planner with puttery treats for every day and seasonal celebratory ideas. I feel very strongly that you are the housekeeping (by which I mean the whole of housekeeping, cooking, decorating, cleaning, and the all important emotional and spiritual aspects etc.) equivalent of Nigella and Cath and Kirstie (Lawson, Kidston and Allsop). Perhaps your new direction should include books and multi-media. I don't see why you shouldn't be as successful as the Pioneer woman – you have the same honesty and appeal. So there's my tuppence-ha'penny, hope it helps, best wishes to you and Finley and I look forward to seeing what the new year brings.

  10. Well….Hmm,I have always loved everything you write Alison,I especially love the interesting links to websites etc.Because my circumstances have changed in the last two years and I have to actually go out to work,I fear I have become rather sluttish in the housekeeping department and I tend not to have the same interest in the housekeeping tips,mainly because my time at home is limited sadly,I would like to see more sort of spiritual posts that have cropped up on BH before,posts that speak of heart and home,the odd piece of poetry or quotes that I tend to carry around with me in a notebook! I suppose I enjoy being inspired I always loved the pinboard too. recipes! I always loved finding new recipes on BH! It remains my daily fix and I am always thrilled to find a new post xx

  11. Oh sweetheart, too tired tonight to be clever enough to answer your questions at the bottom of your blog 🙂 but always love coming here. And thanks so much for the Girlebooks link. Had been there in the past, but forgotten them. Have now downloaded enough books to last me for awhile (I say that!). Merry Christmas, dear Alison.

  12. I don't think the influx of housekeeping info on-line will EVER make it less interesting to me! I struggle with routine, so I am always looking for inspiration to clean and organize my home… I love the way you blog–I have a blog, but have neglected it the past year. My husband bought an iPad for me for my birthday, and I just downloaded my first book (I'm trying to download a couple that you've sent in the Advent calendar, but they're not working for me–researching that!!)–but I don't think I'll ever completely abandon *real* books… I am very interested in more vintage finds, and I also would love to see pics of your house/town/country more often–I really enjoy reading about your days, and like to picture it (like, one time–you walked to the post office–I was wishing I could see pictures of what you were describing–it's like another world for me…). If you had a picture-every-day blog (365 blog?), I would totally read it–because, as much as I dream about drinking tea in England one day, I don't know if it will truly ever happen… 🙂

  13. Alison your blog is so beautiful and you write so well that it always makes my day when you have posted. There is never enough on the net about housekeeping. I need help with organization and I too feel the need to be better. Have a very Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2011.
    Jennie.

  14. I do blog, and blogging info might be a good thing for me. I love the personal bits about your own life…you're a kind of a literature style "character" to me that I enjoy following along with and thinking fondly of. I love the scrapbook fashion of blogging and your Housekeeper's Carousel has been my favorite recent addition. I get so excited when I see it in my feed. I do like recommendations, your puttery treats, I loved it when you treated a specific area with your puttery style…I remember fondly the one on the refrigerator and the one on the automobile. I think my vintage housekeeping has changed in that I now strive for breadth instead of depth. I try to clean as many things as possible during The Scrub, for instance, not clean the floor as deeply as possible. I am starting to be wary of the word vintage because it suddenly feels a touch cliche or something, that's new. I also have inserted a balanced touch of feminism into my philosophy…housekeeper as strong, capable and respected person, not just submissive and lovely. I love vintage things but don't like the pseudo-vintage stuff that's being cranked out by modern factories…all the "vintage style" stuff you can find on Ebay these days. Another way my personal housekeeping has changed is that I have started to get more exotic/eclectic/vintage and less straight vanilla, farmhouse vintage.
    Oooo…I thought of one more thing. I'd love it if you covered interior design techniques a little bit somehow. I have no idea how to put a room together. I have small ideas for cute things but I really lack big picture design sensibilities. I don't want you to turn into a design blogger but if you could throw in a tip or two from time to time I'd love it.

  15. I really like the lists and organizing tips–less excited about charming little things to buy. . . finding things to buy is never a problem! That being said, you do have good taste. But I'm generally interested in paring back, pruning off excess, and enjoying what I already have, rather than acquiring more. Best wishes in the New Year!

  16. I actually really enjoy your stories about your life – I have a little boy the same age as Finn – so I can relate. I 'like suggestions for products and books, and especially some of the great online apps you've recommended. But mostly I come back because of the whole vision of the site – it's like having a scrumptiously decorated room I can go into while I have my morning coffee and dream about a different way of living (one where I actually "keep house" and can decorate with vintage everything). So thanks for that! Have a wonderful holiday!

  17. I hardly think I'm your "average" vintage housekeeper, as I have a full time job and no kids, even though I'd love to be a stay at home mom! It's a funny life isn't it? When I started reading your blog years ago, I was aspiring to be a lovely vintage housekeeper and hoping the days of doing it as a vocation would be soon. But these days I just aspire to be a beautiful, joyful person, whose home is hopefully decent and exudes peace and joy if not cleanliness and order at all times. But in spite of these changes in my life situation (i.e. the doubtfulness that I will do a seasonal scrub in 2011) I still enjoy reading your blog. I identify with you in many ways and love your voice and your authenticity. So even if your subject matter veered into different directions, I'm sure I'd still be reading! I'd love to see you do something different if it's what is truly coming from your heart. And perhaps if it is radically different you could start an offshoot blog?

  18. A misspent life? Perhaps there's some truth in that. While a chaotic home reflects a chaotic mind, an overemphasis on achieving the perfect home can lead to neglecting what's most important – namely, the people who live in it. I remember the resentment I had as a child when my mother nagged on about the household chores, comparing our (far from slovenly!) home with those of her friends who had much more money to spend (and cleaners popping round once a week…) It felt that the house was more important than we were.
    Now, with two hyperactive young children (one of whom has a lot of behavioural issues stemming from an underlying condition) housework feels overwhelming and there seems to be no point in trying to make the house look nice – they'll just wreck it again in five minutes. Meanwhile, the mess gets me down. So I guess what I'd like from Brocante Home is gentle encouragement, small steps towards order and niceness, while not forgetting that its the people who make up a home, not bricks, mortar or possessions. I tried out Flylady years ago, but found it got more and more complicated – so many emails! – and has got increasingly commercial. I don't need to buy another set of dusters – I need someone to motivate me to use them!
    In general, what I want from a blog is authenticity – not necessarily warts and all – but an honest account of the writer's life, of where they're at (not some idealised version of where they'd like to be) Most blogs that I read tend to be visually inspiring and tending towards the positive, but without too much Pollyanna-ish spin on how wonderful life is etc etc. Sometimes an honest sentence about feeling tired or depressed or overwhelmed can mean far more than a treatise on gratitude; "Wow! She feels that way too." Mainly, I think a blog works when the blogger is writing for herself, shaping the blog how she wants it and not trying to second-guess what her audience wants (that's not intended as a criticism of your blog, btw!) Perhaps there's a difference between building a blog and building a website/brand – the first is more authentically personal, the second is more geared towards selling/marketing a product; the question then becomes which of these you would prefer? The likes of Jane Brocket and Amanda Soule, who have landed publishing deals based on the success of their popular personal blogs… or are you aiming to become a brand, like Martha Stewart, Cath Kidston, Shabby Chic etc, in which case the personal is less important than the product/service that is offered? Only you can decide, and I wish you all the best with it.

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