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’d love to have received a JL email card from you. That person must have been having a very bad day.

    I’d love a gingham heart to give to my granddaughter – she would absolutely love those.

  2. Ohh, so difficult, think it would have to be a felt bird lavender bag, They are so lovely. A Merry Christmas to you both.

  3. Hopefully whoever it was that was such a misery are still reading your blog and realising what a numptee they are!
    The hand painted silk bags are lovely!

  4. Don’t let one miserable person upset you. I would be delighted to receive a surprise e-card. How can anybody object to a goodwill missive?

    I am not looking to be included in the virtual bran dip as I was so very fortunate to win a Homebase voucher in your competition earlier this year. Having said that …. the bird lavender bags do look very pretty……..

  5. Jacquie Lawson cards are beautiful. I am always delighted to receive one. And if suspicious about the provenance of unsolicited e-cards, I don’t open them but I surely don’t complain about them! WRT the bran tub, I think the little packages you get from them are best left as surprises 🙂 I hope you get lots of e-cards, real cards and many happy little surprises over Christmas and into 2012

  6. Some people are just plain ungrateful. If I were one of the lucky ones, I’d love one of the silk bags. 🙂

  7. Badcat666

    Ohh what a bah humbug! i think sending an e-card is a lovely thought! Bless you each and every one.

    The cats have voted already for me.. they are eyeing up the catnip toys 🙂

  8. Well I’m sure the miserable grumpy git called the Complainer will have a rotten Christmas in spite of other people being nice!

    OOh a bran tub!Lovely….I used to love these as a child…I still remember the smell…..

    What would I choose?Either a I’d love to have a silk goldfish bag adn a blue gingham heart, or two gingham hearts in each colour.

    The sweetpea seeds sound divine, but unfortunately my husband is allergic to sweetpeas.I adore them but the beautiful smell and looks of the flowers aren’t worth weeks of scratchy eyes, snotty nose and breathing difficulties!

    Happy Christmas!

  9. Would just like to thank Fiona and Danny for a must-read-daily site. I don’t post often but I make sure I keep up with CSH happenings. As for the miserable Bah Humbug poster, he/she is obviously in a very small minority, so may they continue to be a grumpy old so-and-so. If I were to win, I should be delighted to receive some organza rose/milan mix sachets. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all at CSH.

  10. Another Bah Humbug person! If you don’t want an email delete it, simples!
    I love christmas and giving simple things like a card or home made goodies gives ME pleasure (and getting them too, of course).
    If I was lucky with my bran tub dip it would have to be catnip for Milo and perhaps something like the spiced rose for me.
    Have a lovely Christmas everyone.

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