Housekeepers Carousel

By Alison June 11, 2010 9 Comments 6 Min Read

Hello Pumpkins, welcome to a brand new episode of the Housekeepers Carousel, a hippity-hoppity ride around all that has made it into my deliciously inspirational Carousel folder this week, starting with a ruffley tablecloth, courtesy of County Living, which is to me the epitome of Summertime splendour, if only dear little Miss Sunshine would show her face long enough for us to bestow upon her all manner of ruffley loveliness.
* Let me begin by saying a big, big, huge, stupidly enormous thank-you to everybody who has signed up for TRASH IT or TREASURE IT this week. I’m so thrilled to be able to say that the response has been wonderful and there are now just 30 places left up for grabs before the program designed to have you clutter-calm by Christmas kicks off next Wednesday. So if you are drowning in a sea of nonsense you need to get your skates on if you want to tackle it the BrocanteHome way…
If however you are sitting pretty and have no call for neither military style Brocante bossiness or the gentlest cajoling to get your house in ship-shape  order then you are  welcome, instead, to have a little browse around the BrocanteHome Bookshelf– a collection of hand-picked-by-me scrumptiousness from the vast Amazon catalogue designed to cater to every Vintage Housekeepers whim from domestic fiction to working at home, green cleaning to plain old puttery loveliness. Go pour yourself a cuppa and have a root…
* Next up, Treasured Notions: a book collaboration between French General and The Tinsel Trading Company, narrated here by Kaari Meng and featuring the cutest little tinsely bird project that looks easy enough for even me to manage. Because let’s face it, it should be clear to all and sundry from the picture below that crafty anything is not my forte, despite the years at art school…
Our House
* Yesarooney Housekeepers, this was the best I could come up with when Finley was sent home from school with instructions to create a cardboard version of his house to be produced with Mummy or Daddy’s help. Ahem. Bless my child. I duly saved cardboard cereal boxes, and had Finley paint them with the leftover masonry paint from the day the house was painted cream by Sir Paint-A-Lot and then we sat back and scratched our curly heads and finally pulled out all the (rather pathetic) stops to create this…. effort. Complete with twigs, stones and leaves from the garden, scrap paper from my pretties box, and a big fat fake rose to represent our beloved chamelia.
Darlings we were the laughing stock of Year One, I’m sure. Two weeks later Mummies and Daddies and proud babba helpers marched into school carrying cardboard homes worthy of architectural Oscars, some complete with swimming pools and conservatories and brick rooves and other wonders it was clearly impossible for little people to create, and me and my little man delivered our flowery Brocante-esque effort with said little man in floods of tears because I had forget to add a doorknob, which explains the pencilled scrawl on the front of the “porch”.
And yes I am rather ashamed. So let’s move on to something less depressing…
*..Like OlioBoard. Because it was about time someone came up with a truly intuitive moodboard app and this is quite the most scrumptious online mood-moard designer I’ve seen, blessed thankfully without the limitations of Polyvore, and with a heap of bells and whistles that will have you churning out delicious inspiration for decorating both your home and those of your darling blog-readers. Easy peasy, so thanks to Holly at Decor8 for the heads up and apologies that while singing Olioboards praises I haven’t quite found the time to provide you with a demo-board of my own devising, so go play yourself instead
The Kick the Door Down Project
* Next on the Carousel… The Kick the Door Down Project from the ever-so clever Tara at my rather beloved Scoutie Girl: a free downloadable PDF telling the stories of women who used every trick in book to knock down the obstacles in the way of the life of their dreams. Tara is a great writer and the stories she has gathered here are truly inspirational. Go get the zine and summon up the courage to kick your own doors into firewood…
Bright Star
*Onwards and rather heartbreakingly upwards to Bright Star because if you haven’t seen it already then I insist you watch it not just for the poetry or the desperate love story between John Keats and Fanny Brawne, nor for the rather spectacular outfits Fanny sports, but for the most beautiful cinematic laundry line you have ever seen, the sewing, a room full of butterflies, a muslin curtain blowing in the breeze and startlingly sparse, but oh so elegant vignette after vignette of the kind it strikes me only Jane Campion is capable of making true.
*And finally today a quote from Sylvia Plath…
“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story.
From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out.
I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

..Because I want you to promise me that you won’t let your figs go wrinkly. Be firm, stand true, make decision’s, chase dreams and do it because sometimes losing all the rest means gaining all kinds of lovelies you didn’t know you needed.
And sometimes the lovelies you didn’t know you needed are the bestest lovelies of all.
Have a gorgeous weekend won’t you Housekeepers?


  1. Linda Albert says:

    My answer to Sylvia Plath comes from another great writer and one I trust more than Sylvia- Isaak Dinesen/Karen Blixen in Babettes Gaestebud-Babette's Feast
    Old Lorenz Lowenhielm:
    Man, in his weakness and shortsightedness believes he must make choices in this life. He trembles at the risks he takes. We do know fear. But no. Our choice is of no importance. There comes a time when our eyes are opened and we come to realize that mercy is infinite. We need only await it with confidence and receive it with gratitude. Mercy imposes no conditions. And lo! Everything we have chosen has been granted to us. And everything we rejected has also been granted. Yes, we even get back what we rejected.
    For mercy and truth have met together, and righteousness and bliss shall kiss one another.

  2. Linda Albert says:

    Finley's house is perfectly darling!

  3. Gena says:

    Oh Alison! your creation is lovely! much better by far than the hard boiled egg I had to transform at eastertime into Lady gaga,whilst nursing a massive hangover! you did well girl! I fear I may die if I do not see Bright star very soon,it looks wonderful and finally,the Sylvia Plath quote is making me look upon the fig tree I planted last year in my back garden in a whole new light!

  4. Victoria says:

    Alison your house is adorable!! I don't think I could come up with anything better… my SIL insists when my nephew is older and a certain level of craftiness is required it'll be over to me but I'm not quite sure I'm to the job!
    Victoria xx
    My recent post Good Enough to Eat Swap Goodies

  5. Katherine says:

    I'm looking forward to the trash/treasure organization!!!
    Alison–I haven't been receiving the daily "puttery" note–can you check my subscription? Thank you!!

  6. mrstuxford says:

    Looking forward to the trash or treasure, going to do my seasonal scrub alongside it in preparation for my second baby!
    Love the new site – very pretty!
    PS – do you ever use the Boots Traditional products? Just started using the Rose Damask toner and absolutely love it!

  7. Carlie says:

    So lovely Alison!
    And EEP! I somehow missed the Trash and Treasure business….must backtrack to get on the wagon!
    My recent post Miq The Fairytale Genius

  8. Sasha says:

    It breaks my heart how deeply Sylvia Plath just felt everything, and what's more, could express such resonant feelings so perfectly. I often wonder if it is truly possible to have such deep insight, such deep analysis in life, and at the same time ever really be happy. I fear not – and what a cruel irony that is? They do say ignorance is bliss…….
    But you're right Alison!! We must never let our analysis, our indecision, and procrastination allow our figs to shrivel!
    Genius. x

  9. jademichele says:

    i love that movie

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