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. I love Jackie Laawson cards. I’ve received two already for this holiday season. I love the Luxury Silk Bag “ Blue Green Stripey

  2. Goodness me, what a harsh response to a nice gesture! And if I won…. I’d like you to surprise me 🙂 Love your site, and we made the banana chutney for last years xmas, and it went down really well.

  3. Well if I had £10 to spend it would have to be a gingham heart and a bird. Also loving the eyelash fabric bags! I am cursed with indecision!

  4. I am always delighted to receive something wonderful whether requested or not.Therefore, if lucky enough to win a dip in the bran tub I’d like you to decide what gift to send.

  5. Got to be the catnip mice for my psycho cat to destroy

  6. If I was lucky enough to bag a bran-box tenner, I would want you to donate it one of those charities that provide an Xmas dinner for homeless folk.I will be lucky enough to be having mine here, and would like to think that someone somewhere is sharing it with me.

    doesn`t your email have a “recently deleted” folder you could retrieve the address from?

  7. Sue Scott

    Well I’d love to receive a Jackie Lawson card from you. You have provided such amazing & straightforward recipe ideas that really I should be sending you a card! Catnip for a our daft cat would be purrfect.

  8. What a miserable person Fiona, we got a Jackie Lawson card from a friend this year and it was lovely, and such a surprise. If I win I’d love some of those little silk screen bags, I love the jazzy ones

  9. It would have to be the silk for me, and for the evil twins, the catnip of course!

  10. A felt bird OR cat nip birds. The deciding factor would be whether I could determine in advance if scrat terriers also like cat nip 🙂 I hope you are both well and warm.

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