Tuesday, 30 January 2018

After a fallow few years.... the Cottontails Kitchen Garden is BACK!

It's been eight years since I first created the Cottontails Kitchen Garden, a little project to market the children's gardening equipment I stocked, and since then much has changed - not least we have moved house so I had to wave goodbye to the original raised beds. But... Moulin Roty have just released a new gardening catalogue, Le Jardin du Moulin, and I've decided -  the time has come to dig again!

So - it's a new year, a new location, a great new space to work with not far from my back door, and plans are afoot to once again enlist the help of the fabric animals to grow veg, fruit, herbs and flowers and then come summer / autumn we'll be harvesting and cooking with our haul.

Before I begin, I thought you might want to revisit what I did before - and looking back I feel so proud - I really GREW THINGS! And believe me, I am no natural gardener. So here is a link to a few of the posts I wrote back in 2010, the first time round, and a few of the pictures from back then too...

This time round I have decided it would be wise to enlist a bit of help - and given his superior digging skills and general affinity with any and every veg patch, there's only one man rabbit for that role. Introducing Head Gardener, Sylvain Rabbit. 

Here he is this very morning, with his new domain in the background behind him... and it seems we have the perfect soil for snowdrops.


Over the coming weeks Sylvain and I will be making plans, planting seeds, digging, raking, scratching our heads, grumbling about the soil and all the usual stuff. We'll also be taking delivery of the beautiful new Moulin Roty gardening and wild activities range and having a go at everything - pressing flowers, catching minibeasts, the lot. 

In the meantime, here he is in his natty gardener's jumper checking out the new Moulin Roty gardening catalogue.  With a cup of tea and a carrot, of course.

So 2018 is going to be a wonderful year of gardening and cookery for Cottontails. I am so excited!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Christmas is coming, the goose is going shopping....

I know it's a bit early, but I spotted mince pies in the Co-op the other day, so I thought it would be nice to take a peek at the forthcoming Christmas offerings from Moulin Roty and Maileg this year.

This is just a very small selection of what is coming, but it gives you a flavour... and it should all begin arriving in the next two or three weeks, so watch this space.

From Moulin Roty we have some new festive Grand Family decorations, some wonderful present ideas from their Memoire d'Enfant range, and  few old favourites that do well (i.e. sell out!) pretty much every year. Here is a glimpse:

Moulin Roty Grand Family advent calendar and decorations

Lovely new gift set of Sylvain and Nini in their own house

Brand new classic rabbit and mouse family - meet The Mirabelles

Old favourites - carpentry, tea and sewing sets

You can flick through the Moulin Roty UK Christmas catalogue here - it's not everything they do but gives you a good flavour. I will be stocking most things, but if there is something you particularly want, do get in touch as I can probably order it in for you. 

And now on to Maileg, which I will split into the departments I use on my website...

Decorations and Festive things - I'm stocking LOTS of pigs this year, plus there will be a new crop of mischievous pixies arriving soon (uh-oh!) and some lovely decorations, cards and accessories

Pixies, napkins, decorations

Pigs! Decorations, wooden, candle holders, fabric...

Bunnies - a few new arrivals and the lovely angel bunnies

Bunny and a few accessories - wellness set and tea and biscuits

Angels - many sizes and types flying in

Mice - how great are these new superheros? Plus a plethora of new arrivals scampering in soon

Mice, clothing and suitcases


Saturday, 3 June 2017

Happy and Sad

This is a happy and sad post. But don't worry, the sad bit happened a long time ago now so I'm okay.


Say hello to Ralph!

I would like to introduce everyone to the lovely Ralph, the latest member to join the 'team' (i.e. me) at Cottontails.... in fact Ralph has been with me for some months now, I just haven't launched him on the world before now because hand in hand with introducing Ralph is writing sad news about dear Rudolph, and I just haven't felt up to that really. More on that in a bit.

Ralph is an ADORABLE rabbit. Of course he is a rescue bunny - he was 'unwanted' by his previous owner (what a bloody fool she was) and left at a rescue centre, a subsequent re-homing attempt failed and back he went to rescue again before he came to me. But despite his difficult start he is the friendliest, most relaxed rabbit I have ever known. A truly lovely little chap. And as you can see, he is settling in nicely!

On door duty

Supper time

As I said, he is the most relaxed rabbit I have ever met!

An unfortunate fondness for my sitting on my desk

Now of course, those of you who have been following Cottontails for a while will perhaps be thinking, what about Rudolph?

Very, very sadly I lost Rudolph a long while ago now - it was last year - but I just couldn't face writing about it at the time.

It was heartbreaking.

In a matter of hours he went from being a happy, healthy little chap into becoming desperately ill. I had been away for the day, and returned home late at night to find him clearly feeling very poorly. I called the vet and rushed him down at midnight... overnight they did everything they could but he passed away the following morning. It was a terrible shock, he was only five years old.

Rabbits are such delicate creatures really. Their digestive systems in particular. Rudolph had a case of something called 'bloat' where something (a sudden obstruction? we don't know) stalled his digestion and the fermenting food in his gut caused a gas build up. He was fine and happy at the lunchtime, critically ill just a few hours later.

Rudolph was the first rabbit I had lost quite so suddenly in this way. In the past, all my beloved rabbits have become ill gradually, usually as part of getting older. Of course that is challenging in itself. But this was brutal and I just couldn't write about it.

But that was a eight months ago now, and since then lovely, friendly, funny Ralph has moved in and makes me smile countless times every day.

So over the coming weeks and months, expect to see him gracing the pages of Facebook and Instagram.

And if you have a beloved pet - go and give them a cuddle right now, and appreciate every day with them - because you just never know. 

Dear Rudolph

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

The Cottontails Grand Harvest Sale!

Launching today - The Cottontails Grand Harvest Sale, as I clear a bit of space ahead of festive arrivals next week. The perfect opportunity to gather in (harvest - get it!) a few bits and bobs of Maileg and Moulin Roty at lovely prices.... Happy Harvest Shopping!


Thursday, 7 July 2016

New LOWER PRICES across the board at Cottontails!

Online retailing has changed enormously in the thirteen years I've been running Cottontails. There is now far, far more competition and many more shops selling way below RRP. In the past I've relied on a lovely brand, a comprehensive range and good old fashioned customer service to carry Cottontails, but it's been a bruising couple of years and it's time for me to get a little more business savvy if I'm to compete in this evermore more cut-throat market place.

 So, time for a few changes... LOWER prices, REDUCED delivery charges, but of course the same trustworthy, friendly, personal service!

Very competitive prices for Moulin Roty and Maileg

Although I've only ever sold things at the RRP, there are now so many competitors consistently undercutting the guide price that I simply have to join in the game. So I've combed through item by item and cut prices to a bare minimum.

Almost everything has dropped by at least 10%, and I think this makes me the most competitively priced major retailer for Moulin Roty and Maileg in the UK. I'm pretty chuffed with this and hope you will be too!

Delivery charge reduced!

A new LOWER delivery charge! I have reduced the delivery charge by nearly 25% - so standard UK delivery is now just £3.50. And don’t worry there are still options to upgrade to an express service if your order is urgent.

Simple, affordable, trustworthy

As ever, when you order from Cottontails you are dealing with just one person… me! I will process your order from start to finish, from the moment the email pings into my inbox, through to the drive to the post office to get your parcel on its way. This means if there is an issue with your order, I will pick up on it and personally let you know. And if something disappears in the post or gets damaged– because these things happen – I will always sort things out for you.

 When you order from Cottontails you can relax – because a real person takes ownership of your order and makes sure you are happy.

So, all in all, I hope that with the keen new pricing and the lovely old customer service, Cottontails will be hopping into a brighter future... Please hop and shop with us!


Friday, 1 July 2016

Tis the season for Christmas catalogues...

 It's that time of year when the catalogues come out with the toy ranges for Autumn, Winter and Christmas. It's always a bit strange to be browsing pixies and polar bears in the middle of summer - but let's face it, it's not much of a summer so far is it so it doesn't feel all that peculiar this year!

The two big ones for Cottontails are Moulin Roty's Memoire d'Enfant catalogue, and Maileg's Autumn Winter collection.

Moulin Roty Memoire d'Enfant 2016-2017

The Memoire d'Enfant collection are my favourite Moulin Roty toys, and this is the catalogue I look forward to more than any other. Quirky cloth toys, wooden classics and lots of fun French stocking fillers. View the full catalogue here, and below is a little taster

Coquettes rag dolls - and just look at the new dogs!

Loads of new additions to the Once Upon a Time range

New Parisienne dolls!

And of course the new Maileg catalogue is always a joy! They produce two books a year - spring / summer comes out in January and contains the Easter collection, then in mid summer - now - they publish the autumn / winter book. View the complete catalogue here, and again there are a few tasters

Maileg Autum Winter 2016

A new range - meet 'The Gingers'! 

Polar Friends - look at the penguins!

New angels - love the 

I will be working up my orders during July, and I would LOVE to hear about anything you particularly like. It's always hard to know what will be popular, so I love to know your thoughts.

Now, enough of Christmas. Back to our blazing summer!

Friday, 25 March 2016

Happy Easter!

Rudolph and I wish you a very happy Easter... May your weekend be filled with relaxation, happy times and many chocolate eggs!