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. Catnip anything!Even at the risk of making Team Tabby more bonkers than they are already.

    Emailing to complain about a card-could you hear my jaw dropping? Well, clearly someone is not busy enough having fun with friends and family!

  2. I learnt about Jacquie Lawson cards when you sent me one. I loved it and signed up myself following your links. (I only stopped because they automatically renewed my membership when I had specifically ticked the do not renew box. This ticked me off. Bad mistake on their behalf because I probably would have renewed in any case and still may!)

    I loved receiving your card. If I am lucky enough to dig into the bran tub, my ideal would be a cotton crisp lavendar bag – you choose the design. Love to all at The Cottage, Sally.

  3. It has to be a catnip mouse as you helped me rid my kitchen of mice, with your recommendation of the best mouse traps for the job. My cat is very upset as she now has no run-away mice to torment, so a catnip one would do nicely, she says!

  4. A catnip birds to keep the two junior members of our cat clan busy so that old Ginger can get some peace.

  5. Original Redhead

    I might be in a bah humbug mood as a result of life circumstances but I would never even consider being so rude as complain to those trying to include me in the festive spirit. As regards bran tub – so much choice I think I’ll wait and act on impulse when I win.

  6. What a lovely idea in the run up to Christmas. It would have to be the catnip bird for me as so far my Tess has nothing for her Christmas stocking, but have to say that everything in your shop looks lovely especially the hand printed silks!

  7. Hard to get things right sometimes, there will always be those who pout. Have a great Christmas Fiona and Danny and take good care of yourselves

  8. Definitely a catnip bag for Trigger – it might save me having to remove numerous dead things from under the kitchen table where he deposits them. Oh and a Jackie Lawson card would be lovely.

  9. Janet Anderson

    Oooooh virtual bran tub, I like that! 🙂 I love so many things you sell like the lavender birds but I think I would have to get your Spiced Rose Potpourri cone and some of the men’s anti-moth sachets. The second because I usually like scents targeted at men more that sweet, sweet florals. Spiced Rose sounds intriguing though. 🙂

    Thanks for the give away whether I win or not. I enjoy reading all your posts. I think your virutal card idea is sweet…don’t let one grouch spoil your enjoyment of giving joy to others.


  10. Michelle from Oregon

    Who in their right mind wouldn’t LOVE a Jackie Lawson card? Her work is so beautifully done! Bah, poo to the grump!

    Hmm, how about a lavender bird for me and a catnip bird for the cat hoard? They adore the one we have!

Leave a Reply to Fiona Nevile Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.

2,234,537 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

Copyright © 2006-2012 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder