Heavens I’m meeting myself coming backwards these days. What with the launch of the all new Brocante and another few days spent at home with one hand on the laptop and another stroking the fevered brow of my poorly little boy, it’s been all go, and somewhere along the way I forgot to share my favorite treats from April’s Puttery Post.

And so my little Honey Bunnies, without further ado, I hereby present my favorites from a month stuffed with puttery scrumptiousness…

Savon de Marseille

It is rare that I urge you to spend a little money in the pursuit of Vintage Housekeeping nirvana, but today I really must insist that you seek out a block of Savon de Marseille and add it to your laundry room armour because it is quite simply the most scrumptious way to get your vintage linens snowy white.

Seek out the cubes that weigh at least 200g because it these that are most commonly colour and fragrance free (though depending on the base oil used to create your soap it will vary in colour from green to greige to white) and it is this size that you will find most cost effective and useful in the home.

Use Savon de Marseille to hand-wash and soak stained and yellowed linens by grating a handful at a time and adding to a bowlful of hot water with a drop of soluble lavender oil, or use, as I often do, one of the corners of the soap to rub at a stain before popping into the machine.

Keep it on a vintage saucer at the sink and you will quickly find it invaluable: if only because it looks so deliciously French and speaks of the kind of gentle dedication only the laundresses of yester-year could afford to offer in terms of time…

If ever there was a better reason for booking a week in France I cannot think of it…

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The Correspondance Album

Though I will admit to being a hopeless correspondent, I treasure each and every personal card and letter I receive…

I have until today, always kept my precious letters in a series of tins, but today it struck me that hunting for a specific letter or card was becoming rather cumbersome and that there must be an easier way…

And so I have come up with the idea of keeping a letter journal: a sort of scrapbook into which I will gather the cards and letters I hold most dear, all in one portable, lovely place…

I will keep my eye out for a blank-paged journal of heirloom quality and when I find it I will make it a habit to tack my correspondence received inside, until the day comes when I find myself holding my friendships inside a book I will always treasure.

The paper inside the book needs to be of a reasonable weight if it is to support the weight of envelopes, postcards and cards. If letters are written on one side only I will glue them down, but if they are not, I will glue the facing side of the envelope in which they were received to the blank page and store the letter inside it…

A journal like this offers an opportunity to keep the ephemera we so often include in personal letters in one place, to make notes alongside letters, keep records of replies sent and addresses right there to hand…

Albums of correspondence were common in the days before email, and I rather suspect they will carve out a valuable place in our own hearts in the future…

I rather think I’m going to enjoy this one…

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And finally…

Laundry Hearts.

I simply cannot resist those charming heart shaped lavender pillows one finds everywhere from Ebay to Selfridges, (especially if they have been stitched from a scrap of broderie anglaise, adorned with red-work embroidery and stuffed with the finest of English Lavender: but then that is a rather personal penchant!), but having started to collect them I now find that having only two bedrooms in the house I am now at a loss as to what to do with a collection growing and added to by many a much appreciated gift…

And so I have stared stringing them from a row of hooks in my laundry room, giving them an occasional crunch to keep the scent alive, and when I am drying bedroom linen, throwing one or two of them in the dryer to gently add another layer of scent to my laundry…

When the scent fades I spritz with a solution of distilled water, vodka and lavender oil and tuck them inside the pillows in my linen closet.

Won’t you add a little heart to your laundry room?

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Happy May Housekeepers!