it´s been a while, but here´s a puttery treat!

I haven´t been into vintage housekeeping for a while, and I have been dead silent on the Brocante Home forum, mostly because I have been so much into ATCs. But now I´ve got a new, very vintage-y background on my blog, and got inspired, so - here is a puttery treat for you (from the Brocante Home):

*Cultivate the habit of leaving your dishwasher, washing machine doors and drawers open overnight in order to let the air circulate and prevent smelly mould taking a hold.

This is a treat that doesn´t take much work or thought for me - I always leave the dishwasher door open, because it´s the easiest thing to do - usually the dish will end up inside, and not in the sink. Usually, I said! And for cupboard/wardrobe doors - well, I don´t have much say there, my cats have decided that they are meant to be open, not closed, so that is how they usually are - open. I close them every time I enter my kitchen or bedroom, but the cats are there again every time I turn my back. I guess now I´ll see it more from the bright side: the air circulates, and it prevents smelly mould. Maybe I should appreciate the work my cats do for me from now on...

PS! I do wish the Vintage HouseKeepers Circle was up again!

And a quich treat: a 5 minute chocolate cake in a mug in the micro!

treating myself to a good morning


Get up very, very early. Just you. Creep downstairs, light candles and drink coffee in the dark, melancholy silence of  an early Winter morning.

I am truly a morning person, so this should be one of the BrocanteHome Puttery Treats I do every day, but I have to admit - it isn´t. I usually wake up very early (often with the help of my dear, I´m-sure-I-will-kill-them-any-day cats), but linger in bed for a couple of hours with the company of a good book - oh, how I love the warm bed, a purring cat and a good read early in the morning! But, the other day, one of the few days I have off from work, I woke up (maybe not as early as I normally do, but quite a bit earlier than I had hoped), feeling I couldn´t possibly stay in bed any longer. So I went up, made a cup of tea (I have bought a new teacup, I´ve been coveting it for so long, and now I´ve got it, it´s big (I love teacups big!) and there´s roses on it, and it´s hand made - it´s pure luxury drinking from it!), and pulled out a film on the DVD-player. A warm throw, a warm cup of tea, knitting in my hands and a good film - it was a very enjoyable way to begin the day - a moment of quietness and peace after the Chritmas rush. And the cats - they loved it, me being up, keeping them company instead of curling up under the duvet. And they really appreciated the early morning feed too...

And a quick update, if there´s anyone who´s wondering how my cold tin is coming along: I´ve found a very pretty vintage tin, it holds some children´s hankies (not vintage I´m afraid, but it´s a start), and a bottle of caugh syrup, so even if I´ve got a few more things to add, it´s coming along nicely! And judging my my sneezing and sniffeling, it´s right on time!

a pantry party!


I did this one before I even knew it was one of the BrocanteHome Puttery Treats:

Now I know this might seem a teeny bit anal, but emptying out your pantry and doing a stock take will make you
feel dementedly organised and the likelihood of you doubling up on stock cubes will simmer down to nil...

I have a rather big pantry, and the story could´ve ended there. But - it is deep, and it only has two shelves, and one of them houses my microwave oven, which means everything else was crammed onto that one shelf. Finding what I was looking for required me to take out everything, and then putting it back. Fast forward: I went to visit my family back home, where my sister finally had moved to a flat of her own. it was small, but very much her, and what stuck the most was the memory of her pantry: she had used one of her top cupboards (she didn´t have much choice - her kitchen´s tiny!) to store her dry foods, and it was so easy to see everything, and it was so neat. So when I got home, I got to work. I emptied my china cupboard (fortunately I don´t have that many plates!) and away went food past the expiration date, in went everything that was left, neatly organized. The difference, I tell you! Later, I have refined even further, and have bought beautiful glass jars, which now hold things like sugar and cocoa - it´s become a thing of beauty. I can see all my food just by opening the doors, I don´t have to rummage, I know when I´m out of something. And all of this, thanks to my wonderful, clever sister!

Oh, I found another Puttery Treat to combine my pretty pantry with:

Get out your pinking shears and line your pantry shelves with pretty oilcloth offcuts.

I actully do have a dream to hang pretty lace, or oilcloth edges along my shelves, both in the pantry, but also in my other cupboard - I love how darling vintage it looks!

On request, pics of my pantry here and here!

wipe your hands pretty!

Embroider your teatowels with the days of the week.

A treat that is perfect to combine with

Sew yourself some new teatowels. Choose any cotton, linen or linen union fabric and if you don't have a sewing machine, handstitch the edges et voila! instant freshness for your kitchen

This is a BrocanteHome Puttery Treat I can relate to! I have a huge crush on pretty tea towels, and I have managed to gather a pile I can show off with pride. I don´t want modern tea towels, no clever ones either, say minimalist and I run the other way screaming, no give me pastels, polkadots, lovely flowers (mmm, roses!), vintage, and I´m a happy camper. Swedish baking show, "Leila bakar", has the most darling tea towels you could imagine, and certainly didn´t do much to help curb my towel obsession - Cath Kidston and Greengate can both bee seen, and both is virtual tea towel temples. Which somehow leads me to the puttery treat of this post. Can you imagine my delight, when I found PatternBee, and her amazing vintage embroidery transfers. I immediately threw myself over the kitty task-a-day transfers, thinking they would make the most gorgeaus, vintage-looking tea towels, especially if I use pastel coloured floss for the embroidery. Guess what? I was right! I´m on my third towel, and they turn out so pretty - how can I possibly bare to wipe dirty hands on them? And the best thing? When I´m done with the whole set, there´s many more patterns, so I can make many more embroidered vintage tea towels! How´s that for a treat?!


This is the very pretty Leila, who bakes on TV. You can see some of her addictive tea towels in the back, and as you can see - all of her props are to die for!

doesn´t it make you want a cold - right now?!


Press your collection of vintage hankies. Then put them in a tin lined with eucalyptus scented paper.

Add a little pot of Vicks and some vitamin C drops. Just in case...

This is one of the BrocanteHome´s puttery treats that is more in the planning stage than anything, but I love the thought of a little tin to make you feel better at a time when you usually feel very small and miserable. But I haven´t come far in realising it - I have some throat caramels waiting to be put in a tin. I am on the lookout for both a tin (which needs to be both pretty and of the right size) and some vintage hankies (I didn´t discover until very recently that a vintage hanky collection is something I must have in my life). I don´t know where I can find essential oils to scent some paper with eucalyptus, and do they even sell Vicks pots anymore? I have an ancient pot, but it´s more for smelling than actually using. But vitamin C shouldn´t be impossible to find, I guess that the easy part on my quest for a cold tin. I´ll keep you posted on how the hunt goes!

puttery treats - a new re-occuring category

I had fun writing my entry in the Puttery Treats Challenge, so much, that I decided to continue to write about how I put the puttery treats to use in my life. I didn´t win the last challenge, I didn´t even make it to the finals, but there will be a new challenge in January, and with some practice, the Brocante gift box may someday be mine. And while I´m trying, if my life end up so much more scrumptious, the better for me!

Have a row of scented geraniums in a window with no view. Scrumptiously retro country. Circa 1979.

Some years ago, I discovered the wonderfulness that is pelargoniums (or geraniums, which ever you prefer). Yes, they may be a bit granny-ish, yes they may have a strong scent, but oh, the beautiful flowers! And the leaves! And yes, even the scent, if you choose some of the scented varieties - apple, mint, roses, lemon... I fell so much in love with them, that first summer you might even call it a bit of an obsession. I bought every kind I could lay my hands on, I even took the train about 500 km for an exhibition (which ended up being closed that particular day...), bringing home two bags of pelargoniums. Then, when winter came, I looked for somewhere cool and bright to store them, put them in the attic - and they died. Every single one. And that might have been the end of my story.

But, a few years ago, I fell into the pelargonium spell again, even though a bit less obsessive. My collection grew, but slower, over months and years, not over days and weeks. I put them on my balcony, and was rewarded with the most beautiful flowers. They spent the winter in my windows, where I kept my radiators on low heat, only for their sake. And this year, when I brought them inside for autumn, I made a horrible discovery. The sniffles and sneezing that´s been going on for the last years, it was made worse when I brought the pelargoniums inside. A lot worse. So all of those pretty plants, some I´ve had for years, some were almost rare, they all had to go. Fortunately, I am blessed with sisters and friends who loves pelargoniums as well, and they offered my plants new homes, when summer comes again, I hope to be able to visit my old friends.

But my treat this time, it´s about removing those scrumptiously retro pelargoniums from my windows, and find something else to replace them with. Now, when it´s almost Christmas, I´ll get some white hyacinths, maybe I can live with them. If not, hey - the cats look awfully pretty perked up in the window sills...


The BrocanteHome Puttery Treats Challenge


Something I know I have mentioned more than once, is my total and absolute crush on The BrocanteHome, the place for the ones of us who can´t get enough of the vintage housekeeping spirit, where the best ideas can be found, and where you always get to challenge yourself, and in this case, eachother. Since the beginning of BrocanteHome, there has been the Puttery treats - how to make you and your home look and feel the best you can possibly be - Brocante style of course, and now there´s the challenge to tell the world how you´ve used the ideas in your own life, and there´s a great price at stake. So, here´s my contribution:

Since books are one of the favourite things in my home (and in the world!), it had to be this treat:

Re-arrange your bookcase. The busyness of it has become commonplace in your minds eye. Find a way to hush it. Chuck some paperbacks in the recycling bin (You are never going to read them again) .Colour co-ordinate your hardbacks. Stack big books on their side and use them to prop scrumptious little treasures on, like a favorite postcard on a teeny easel.  An apparently abandoned  pretty little cup and saucer.  A tealight on a rose patterned plate...

Actually, my bookcase has been a work in progress for a while, I´ve done some redecorating at home lately, from dark and retro, to white and vintage, and my almost-black bookcase didn´t work (it was a bit too small as well) - it had to go, and ended up being sold to the thrift store. Did I have a new bookcase to put my book in? No, not exactly, so all the books ended up lined up on the livingroom floor, waiting for the new bookcase. The story could´ve ended there, but no. Enter the Puttery Treats, and enter "Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui" by Karen Kingston, and boy, did my book collection suddenly live a dangerous life. I had a huge collection of mostly books on interior decoration, loads of paperbacks, and all the other books that tend to gather. Well, no more. All of those books, which I had thought to be impossible to live without, they didn´t seem so important anymore. They didn´t fit my sence of style and way of life anymore, the paperbacks, I figured I could borrow them at the library if I ever wanted to read them again. Let´s put it this way - next time I move, there will be a lot less book boxes to carry!

The bookcase? No, I don´t have it yet, but when I get it, I know all of the books in it will fit me just right, they will suit my taste, the way I look upon life, what I want to achieve and accomplish. And I know there will be room for some puttering - an apparently abandoned pretty little cup and saucer, big books stacked on the side to prop scrumptious little trasures on, a tealight on a rose pattered plate... Or maybe, if I dear to dream, some nice Brocante treats, because as they say - good things comes to those who feng shui!

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