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. Hmmm – it would have to be a catnip bird for our cat Enzo, I think, and I do love your lavender birds – they really cheer up my wardrobe. 🙂

    Merry Christmas Fiona and Danny. Wishing you a lovely 2012.


  2. We’re glad you are defying the mean person.We love both giving and recieving JL cards and think that’s a really lovely thing for you to do for everyone!
    Bet you’ve already guessed that I’d love a catnip birdy 🙂 and would treat L to a lavender bird as she’s so kind to me :-)Love your pretty works of art.

  3. Karen Lizzie

    I would be hopelessly torn between the beautiful hand painted silk lavender bags and the beautiful felt birdies! Perhaps I’d better not win as I don’t know how I would ever choose.

  4. To “The Complainer”……Bahhhh Humbug! Silk Lavender bag would be nice, any colour.x

  5. Sarah Garth

    I would buy Felt Bird Lavender Bags as they are so lovely and would look great in my caravan all year round!

    Merry Christmas to Fiona, Danny, Min Pins et al! x

  6. I don’t want anything from the bran tub (just what is a bran tub, anyway?) – it’s just been a long time since I commented and I wanted to wish you guys a Happy Christmas and prosperous and healthy 2012.

  7. Oh…grumpy person. I look forward to my card.

    Virtual bran tub….lovely generous idea and for me, taking part is enough but if I was lucky enough to win it would have to be one of those beautiful silk lavender bags, they are just divine.

  8. Love this idea, thank you!! If I was lucky enough I would have to get some of the felt birds, I just adore them!!!

    And PS, the e-cards are wonderful and I’m so happy you have decided to keep sending them! x

  9. janerowena

    I love the idea of the man sachets – but I am astonished that someone didn’t appreciate your e-cards. I’m always grateful just to be thought of at all!

    However, I run a gardening website so am privy to the email addresses of my members and once, perhaps unthinkingly, I sent an email of a personal nature through email rather than through the site’s personal messaging service. The recipient did think of it as an invasion of her personal space – I put that down to people’s age and not quite understanding how most people view such things now.

  10. jackie durrant

    Please carry on sending e-cards to everyone, its such a thoughtfull idea.

    If I was lucky enough to win I would choose a blue-green silk bag and a gingham heart. Wishing all who visit this site a very merry christmas.

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