The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Virtual cards and the Grand Cottage Smallholder Christmas Bran Tub Bonanza

Handpainted silk lavender bags with satin ribbons

Handpainted silk lavender bags with satin ribbons

In the past we used to send a Jackie Lawson New Year card to all the people that commented on our blog during the last year. The Jackie Lawson site is not designed for corporate bulk giving. So this took quite a while, two or three days in fact. Deleting my JL address book and creating another and another etc. But I enjoyed this ritual, knowing how much a surprise card has meant to me in the past.

After the second session I received a curt email. I can’t remember exactly what it said but it was something like this.
“I have received two unsolicited email cards from Jackie Lawson from you. Although I enjoy your site and occasionally comment, I do not want to receive these cards. If these continue I will be forced to stop commenting.”

I was surprised and hurt. And made the mistake of deleting this pouty email. If I’d made a note of the address, I could have deleted the name from our card sending database. Instead I stopped sending the cards to everyone.

This afternoon as I was pottering around the shops, looking for stocking fillers I remembered that email. I realised that I had been so stupid. One person has this attitude and I stop giving a sparkle of pleasure to everyone else. Crazy.

So this New Year I’m going to do it again. It will mean that if The Complainer has commented during the last year, another card will fly through the ether and into their inbox!

Men's anti moth fragrant sachets

Men's anti moth fragrant sachets

Moving from cards to presents, we thought that it would be fun to have a Christmas giveaway. We have hidden three £10 vouchers deep in our virtual bran tub. These exclusive vouchers can be redeemed in the Cottage Smallholder gift shop. This lucky dip is open to everyone across the world. To slip your hand into the tub, just leave a comment at the end of this post indicating what you would choose to buy with your voucher.

The lucky winners will be selected at random by Danny at 6pm on Monday 19th December and notified by email.

Wishing all those who furtle in our bran tub the best of luck!

Exciting update on December 17th!!
Santa  popped into the cottage to examine our bran tub. I’m on speaking terms with a bearded man who calls himself Santa Claus (I suspect that he might not be the real one – he was wearing the same clothes as D). Anyway, he furtled and found a small pack of home harvested sweet pea seeds nestling in the bran. So this will be our 4th  bran tub prize!

Thrilled to find some whacky marigold seeds on December 18th

Danny pushed me into the bran tub 🙁  But I found a small pack of mixed marigold seeds. These are great – a really good combo of fuzzy, fine and spectacular. Harvested by hand from our garden. This is our fifth bran tub prize. Good luck!

Keep checking back for updates. Our bran tub seems to be even more magical than we thought.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona
    Sent email on the 4th did you get it?

  2. Fiona just a note to say I did reply with my address for the bran tub prize that you picked me for, resent it again in January, as I had heard nothing, and hadn’t received my Marigold seeds:(
    Just checking you did get my emails:)

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Mhairi

      No I didn’t get your email 🙁 It must have gone into the spam folder (this is deleted after a week) Please send your address again and I’ll check in spam and put you into my address book!

  3. Kooky Girl

    I’m coming to this post a little late – I was in a bit of a tiswas on the 19th, but I have to say what a cute post. I love the bran tub gift idea, and the fact you made it open to everyone around the world. So many are ‘US only’ which counts us out of course… Never mind. I will also mention how totally touched I was by the card you sent me. Thank you, it was my only eCard this year, and I think they’re such fun. No bah humbug from me! :o)

  4. Planet Penny

    Well I’ve just received my New Year e-card from you, and I’m bowled over! Thank you so much, that person is SO ungrateful, it’s hard to believe. A Happy New Year to you all x

  5. Happy New Year to you all. I haven’t commented for a long time but I still follow when I have a bit of time to myself. Then, I catch up on weeks of posts. I had to reply to this one though just to let you know that when I received my JL card I was so touched that you took the time and trouble to think about us and send us all a card – it was lovely. I’m sorry that someone could be so mean-spirited and rude as to reply in such a negative tone. I’m sure they could have let you know it was unwelcome without being rude about it. Though how anyone could be so ungrateful over a kind act like that beats me. I thought it was lovely before I knew how much time it took you to send – I’m now even more touched that you went to all that trouble.

  6. already have just the place to hang my prize many thanks and merry christmas x

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Barney

      Posted your prize this afternoon. Should be with you by Thursday!

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