Puttery Goodness

By Alison August 18, 2011 23 Comments 5 Min Read

It is almost the end of the Summer we haven’t had and I for one am all too ready for lovely autumn to come wrap her arms around me and tell me everything is going to be alright…
But for now there are just the grey skies of no weather at all to deal with, and the temptation to stay home and putter up a storm is too great to resist, and so, for your pleasure and mine, please find below a lovely new list full of puttery goodness to inspire your daily housekeeping. 
* Revolve images of your children in a frame on their bedside tables and make a lovely new ritual about telling them the story of themselves before they go to sleep…
* Go incense shopping and choose a heady, warm fragrance that will bless the coming Winter with a  scent memory all of it’s own. The key lies in burning it nightly until Spring falls… Alexandra Stoddard suggest pinon incense for a fragrance you will not forget.
* Write a Winter Bucket list of everything you want to achieve between now and Spring in a teeny little notepad at your bedside and ritually remind yourself what it is you should be throwing your heart into daily…
* Stitch buttons on to the four corners of your duvet covers and make coinciding buttonholes in your favorite blanket, so that you can layer up your bed as the nights draw in without running the risk of waking up shivering when the blanket shimmy’s its way off your bed…
* See if you can survive the Winter without buying shampoo, conditioner of hairspray and reap the rewards of DIY haircare…
* Honour your marriage by simmering your wedding ring in a solution of softened water and two tablespoons of household ammonia for ten minutes, then polish  to a lovely shine and pop back on to your manicured finger.
* Declare yourself the magazine fairy and get into the monthly habit of tying magazines up that you have read and gifting them, parcel style, to those who will appreciate them.
* Have a Deanna Durbin evening every week between now and Christmas. Add her films to your netflix/lovefilm queue and offset the madness of our modern lives with Deanna and all her vintage glam and giddy innocence. Start with The Amazing  Mrs Holliday if you can…
* Make art out of your house rules: include policies on kindness to each other and care of the home and print out, frame in something wonderful and hang in the kitchen.
* Lengthen the life of a lovely umbrella by spraying outside and in with hairspray to render it thoroughly waterproof all over again.
* Print out a series of “Note for the Teacher” templates ( Dear Teacher, this morning I wanted to let you know that…), ready to grab, scrawl and go on rushed school mornings.
* Knit one teeny tiny Granny square per week and by spring you might just have enough to stitch together a blanket woven with memories of nights curled up on the sofa…
* Make jars full of dried onion rings ready to throw into cosy home-made soup. Simply slice and boil your onions for two minutes, then blanche, drain and spread across a few baking sheets and allow to dry slowly in the oven for up to three hours, before allowing to cool and storing in an airtight, brown paper lined jar.
* For sparkly windows grab a pair of sunglasses and you will see all the streaks clearly as you work. Looks crazy but works a treat.
* Soak the bristles of your garden sweeping bush in a strong solution of salt-water and get into the habit of sweeping your decking daily to prevent a build up of the kind of debris and algae that can become hazardous in Winter months.
* Add three fragrant cinnamon sticks and a spoon full of all spice to a tin of cocoa and tuck away at the back of the pantry for a fragrant cosy treat come Halloween and Bonfire night.
* Resolve to keep one of these delicious Chocolate Biscuit cakes in your fridge all Winter long for quite the most indulgent of elevenses or the perfect after school welcome home with a glass of cold milk.
* Sew the prettiest buttons you can find on to a length of velvet ribbon and wear bracelet style around your wrist. You could fill a jewellery box with these lovelies…
* Alleviate the symptoms of an Indian summer cold by steeping handfuls of lemon balm in boiling water and sipping it slowly.
* Dried orange peel tucked amongst layers of cosy, woolly blankets will gently scent them with the fragrance of Winter while simultaneously scaring moths away. Dry the peel on a low light in the oven, then store in an airtight jar until you need it.
* Create your very own domestic tool basket ready to have to have for the teeniest of DIY crisis’s and inspiration. Seek out a hammer, pliers, a few different grades of sandpaper, and a picture hanging kit and you are good to go. No more the helpless female.
* Tell yourself there is nothing wrong with climbing back into bed with a book, your lap-top and a cup of cosy warm coffee for an hour entirely to yourself once the masses have left the house first thing in the morning. Make sure to re-make the bed properly before you get into it and have the curtains open so the sunlight prevents you from slipping back off to dreamland. This is quiet-time, not sleep-time…
* Make a ritual out of laying your childrens “at home” clothes on their bed before they get home from school. Insist they get changed before they do anything else.
* For a truly shiny sink, sieve a fine layer of flour over the entire surface, then buff to a scrumptious polish with a duster.
* Glue, thread or tie a length of pretty ribbon around the top of your wellington boots in pretty preparation for the Autumn showers we are bound to have.
* Cut a lemon in half and scoop out the flesh, then fill each half with olive oil and leave to steep upright in an eggcup overnight. Thereafter use this gently fragranced refreshing oil to soften feel calloused from a summer of sandals…
* Make up a solution of soap flakes, hot water and a few drops of pine oil and use to wipe down all the painted surfaces of your home for an almost instantaneous sense of scrumptious wellbeing and a well kept (bacterial fighting!) home.
* Ring the changes on colder days by serving a wholesome, filling bean and bacon soup for breakfast. Yes really: soup for breakfast with a delicious slice of good bread toasted and dripping with butter.  What could make more sense?
Happy Puttering Housekeepers! 


  1. LissyLou says:

    great puttery treats!! i will certainly be trying some of these.
    Can i make a suggestion of what i would love to see on your lovely blog? Piccies of your home and you implementing your puttery treats etc!

    1. brocantehome says:

      Oooh Liss Lou I'm soooooooo camera shy. Isn't it ridiculous?? And a bit rubbish with a camera. Ooh and I live in a cottage darker than the cupboard under your stairs.
      Hmmmm, can I think up any more excuses or shall I just bite the eight year old bullet and get round to taking photo's of a house that is currently a major work in progress??
      Yes. I really should, shouldn't I??

      1. Sarah R. says:

        Nonsense! I'm sure you have a lovely home. I'm so pleased that you've posted this list. It was exactly what I was searching for today. It's still quite bright and warm here, but I am in the mood for fall.

  2. elisa says:

    my little girls will flip over the the beribboned welly idea. we like to dry orange peels on our wood stove in the winter, i shall try making some for the blankets. i have great plans for a granny square blanket just as soon as we are back in our cottage! x

    1. brocantehome says:

      Oooh I'm thrilled you have found something to take away from Brocante today… I would love a proper stove to dry things on, lucky you… x

  3. Mimi says:

    Oh Alison, you make my heart ache with the loveliness of it all! Thank you x

    1. brocantehome says:

      You are welcome Sweets, puttery treats are what I'm here for aren't they??

  4. Gena says:

    Oh Alison! you really are the Queen of all things puttery! I live for these posts! I am so going to wear my sunglasses when cleaning the windows! I also love the idea of the winter bucket list,fabulous! and may I say,I love the picture! it is you and Finn! xx

    1. brocantehome says:

      I knew there was a reason that picture spoke to me Gena… do share what's on your bucket list should you get around to writing one won't you??

  5. Barbara says:

    These are all sheer delight and I want to do them all! Thank you Alison

    1. brocantehome says:

      You are welcome as always Barbara, puttery treats are a pleasure to dream up…x

  6. Sandi Moran says:

    Such wonderful ideas you always have! I am looking for new things now that I am housekeeping (sadly) for one. Oh, and congratulations and wonderful wishes on the new changes in your life. I always love to read everything you share with us.

    1. brocantehome says:

      Oh Sandy Darling, my heart is breaking all over again for you… but then those of us with precious memories are resilient enough to keep on keeping on and I know you will keep looking for the kind of everyday beauty that will sustain you… thinking of you Sweeheart, thank you for popping by..x

  7. Sally Hackney says:

    Dear, dear Alison, your puttery treats are the perfect balm for a very stressful day with the grandkids. They simply made me smile. I'm going to try crocheting a little square daily and see what I come up with. Thanks, Sally

    1. brocantehome says:

      Ah see how ambitious you are, I suggest a square a week (because I can't knit/crochet for toffee!) and you up the ante to a square a day!
      And as for those Grandchildren… well I know my Mum would be ready to sympathise with you…!

  8. Lynn Kane says:

    Love this x

    1. brocantehome says:

      Oh goody! Go have yourself a lovely puttery weekend Lynn.x

  9. As always, your wonderful puttery treats make me love my home all over again…

    1. brocantehome says:

      Which is of course BrocanteHome's raison d'etre…x

  10. Kristen says:

    Alison, I've just entered the work force and I dread my going to work days. I'm reading this post before work, and it has brightened my outlook considerably! I'm really a home and hearth person, and now I have that extra bit of loveliness to look forward to besides the end of the day 🙂 Thank you!

    1. brocantehome says:

      I sometimes think that the pleasure of "coming home" is a gift I miss out on being here day in and day out…. absence makes the heart grow fonder?

  11. Ali H. says:

    Sweet Autumn! My favourite time of year. Can't wait for it.

    1. brocantehome says:

      Oh Ali, I love how much YOU love autumn… year after year you mark it.x

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