The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Behind the scenes: update


Photo: Last year's snow

Photo: Last year's snow

Our online shop is buzzing and that’s why you’ve heard nothing from me for a few days. The lavender birds and hearts are going very well and the last few days have been awash with felt, gingham and ribbons. Our local shop has had to order in more supplies to keep up with our demand! Exciting stuff.

The most heartening thing is that we are both working on the online shop. Designing the products together – Danny has a good eye for colour and detail. At the moment I’m responsible for making up the stock and Danny manages the orders and does the packing. I wonder if by next Christmas he will be whirring away on a sewing machine too!

Following your suggestions we have bought ‘genuine catnip’ online and will be making catnip cat toys soon. The prototypes will be tested out on Seraphina’s cats – Bubble and Squeak at Christmas.

We will be making kits in the New Year, when we have time to research wholesale suppliers. Meanwhile we are bursting with ideas and having fun. As a member of the Blue Peter generation I spent my childhood making things and it’s so good to be back in a similar space again after all these years.

Six months ago I wouldn’t have believed that we’d be doing this. A lucky break finding a £10 second hand sewing machine and a large stash of material has snowballed.

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  1. Brilliant! Nothing quite like starting a business by surprise…..must get back to my sewing too….

  2. My little heart missed a BIG beat when I mis-read Fiona’s line as “We will be making KILTS in the New Year”. 🙂

    We love Danuta and all Scots (F can trace her ancestry back to the Stewarts) but that would be a sarong too far for her fledgling empire!

  3. Well done! I hope it proves really profitable for you. xxxx

  4. Well done Fiona and Danny, if you get Danny sewing you might find you’ll need another sewing machine!!

  5. I’m so glad this is working out so well for you!

  6. Well done! I think Zeke is looking forwards to the catnip toys!! 😀

  7. Michelle from Oregon


  8. I’m so pleased for you. Amanda xx

  9. I am so pleased for both of you. You deserve success.

  10. This is so exciting, Fiona! Your new livelihood is taking shape, and it’s great that you and Danny can work on it together.

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