The Cottage Smallholder

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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. Ruta Masteika

    What a miserable person to complain about getting a card. How hard is it to press the delete button if they don’t want it?
    After long deliberation I would chose a blue/green bag with spiced rose for my side of the wardrobe and some Milan mix sachets for his side. That should keep the moths away.

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Devongarden

    I hope that The Complainer gets one. Naughty but true 🙂 I’m much punchier now than I was back then.

  3. devongarden

    The silk bags, or maybe the lavender bags.
    I like Jackie Lawson cards–I hope the person who didn’t want to get one lets you know so you don’t get another cross email!

  4. If a Jacke Lawson e-card is the worst unsolicited email a person gets in the year, I want to know their email provider. Or to know what response they send to the various more ‘colourful’ unsolicited emails.

    I’d hope for some gingham hearts or some of the men’s sachets from the virtual bran tub.

  5. I’d never heard of Jackie Lawson cards so had a look & I’d be pleased to receive one & what a thoughtful gesture sending them out.
    I enjoy your postings & like the look of your lavender bags….

  6. With three sweet cats in the home I must say the catnip mouse would be the cats meow.
    PS. Is this open to those in the US? I hope so, if not one can dream.

  7. Toffeeapple

    Oh what a miserable person to say that!

    I do like the silk lavender bags…

  8. wow, what an ill-spirited person. I was so surprised and charmed to get my first ecard from you.

    Naturally, I would snaffle a catnip mouse from your bran tub. Mystère would be pleased as he has been reduced to chasing an increasingly bendy carrot up and down the stairs. And some of those pretty painted silk bags.

  9. Sue Burton

    I’d have one of the silk bags! Difficult to decide between the pink stripy ones or the goldfish though. Maybe one of each!!

  10. Easy – another catnip mouse. This one to gift as DawsonCat’s original one is still going strong. And some of the more masculine scented bags for G’s wardrobe.

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