Friday, 26 March 2010

Bits and bobs...

This will be something of a bits and bobs post as I am writing it without a theme, just as something to do while I am running various bits of software to extract and verify emails ahead of my first ever email campaign.

Firstly a very belated but very big thank you to Sue over at A New Life in the Country who very kindly sent me some lavender goodies a few weeks ago when I was lucky enough to win her giveaway.

She sent a huge array of lavender themed things which turned my office into a really relaxing and fragrant space for a while. And this is my very favourite - a simple but pretty little lavender filled heart. It is hanging next to me as I type.

Thank you so much Sue. And for anyone who has yet to discover her blog do go and have a look - it is fascinating stuff. As the the title of her blog suggests Sue really has started a New Life in the Country - growing veggies, raising chickens and attending country markets with her lavender things. It sounds like a dream life doesn't it, and in many ways it is - but I know I couldn't do it. There is hard work outside in the cold and lots of mud. Go and see!

It is Friday which means that Isobel will be coming over later - Mike's daughter who lives with us at the weekends. I love this picture of her in my office with Humphrey.

And while we're on family photos I kept meaning to post this picture of Mike I took when Ernest the rooster came to stay. He is probably going to kill me for publishing it (those of you who know Mike will know he is not the sort of man to enjoy being photographed with a soft toy rooster) but I think it's a nice photo!

Well that'll do for now and I'll post something a bit more 'professional' later on...

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

More Moulin Roty gardening...

I've just been adding some more Moulin Roty things to our new gardening department. Humphrey - and some of the other rabbits - are particularly taken with this lovely grow your own carrots kit...

This one contains Sylvain rabbit and carrot seeds, but there are four other varieties available including Felicie hen and sunflower seeds, Nini mouse and poppy seeds and Perlette frog and pumpkin seeds.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Gardening (and where is Ernest?!)

Just a quick post to let you know that we now have a dedicated children's gardening department at Cottontails. It has been a new and different experience to write the product descriptions - I am so used to describing soft cuddly things that are safe from birth, it is an altogether different thing to be describing, for example, a 3' garden rake - not safe from birth!

One of my favourite things is this small wooden weather vane - perfect for the shed, summerhouse, play house etc - when I get some spare time and a sunny day I am going to put one up on the Cottontails office.

Humphrey meanwhile likes the look of this salad garden kit...

The plan is for me to set up my own little Cottontails garden over the coming weeks, and to use some of the equipment as I do so. And I will of course be writing about it on here...

(****NEWS FLASH****As I am in the middle of writing this post another huge gardening delivery has just arrived - so my gardening department is about to grow!)

Just a little update on Ernest who left for his next destination at Pomona's last week (in case people are wondering where he is, and thinking that maybe I have rooster-napped him and not actually sent him on his way at all - which did of course cross my mind....) Anyway, Pomona has left me a message to say that Ernest has indeed arrrived in Faversham, but that the family has been a bit under the weather so there hasn't been chance for adventures and postings yet... but keep an eye on Pomona's blog and I'm sure he'll pop up very soon now.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Lovely Humphrey takes a nap

For some reason both Humphrey and I seem to be sleepier than usual this week. I have been in bed by 9.30 the last two nights (which is most unlike me) and Humphrey has, as you can see, taken to downing tools for an afternoon nap....

Monday, 8 March 2010

...and After

Later that day...

This is the visitor's chair, okay there is still stuff on it, but it's an easily moved pile of pictures (there's nowhere else to put them):

A neat and tidy desk...

And a packing table with space to pack!

Humphrey thoroughly disapproved of the clean up - he much prefers his environment scattered with bits of hay and cardboard, and piles of things to hide behind, not to mention his deep loathing for the vacuum cleaner. But he's not too bothered - wise old bunny that he is, he knows this won't last long.


This is going to be like one of those 'before and after' magazine photo shoots - trouble is, there is no 'after' as yet

This is the horrific state of my office this morning, following several days of unpacking boxes in a hurry and pulling out stock to photograph and describe, and not tidying up as I went along.

This is my visitor's chair. Good job I don't have any...

This is my packing table - lots of room for packing, as you can see.

And worst of all, this is my desk. Words fail me.

Even Humphrey's area is in a mess. This photo looks a bit staged but honestly, this is the state of the floor after a frantic search through my children's books to find a suitable backdrop picture for some photography yesterday.

Incidentally, this is the book / picture I ended up using:

So, as you can see the website and all the new products are things of beauty, but my office is most definitely not.

So I have bin bags, a hoover, one hour of spare time and a lot of determination - and I will be back later with the 'after' pictures.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Ernest's last day at Cottontails

Well my week with Ernest is just about up and before I send him on his way I decided to throw him a little tea party in the garden. A whole host of friends came along - including Ernest's new lady friend, Felicie Hen. And of course Humphrey turned up - not like him to miss anything involving cake.

The sun was shining and we had a lovely picnic using some of my new Oskar and Ellen play food.

I even served up a bottle of Mike's cider - well, with a name like Henney's it seemed inevitable - but only a thimble full for the little ones of course. Hic!

Humphrey gave a speech saying how much he is going to miss Ernest...

...But nevertheless the time has come for him to move on....

....So, I had a little draw and am delighted to announce that Ernests's next port of call will be....... over at Pomona's place: I think he's going to love it there as apparently there are some real life hens for him to meet! (Pomona - please can you email me your address, then I will send Ernest on an overnight delivery).

Well we'll be sad to see him go, but it's been great fun having him to stay.

It's just you and me again Humph!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Ernest - the date!

As a thank you to Ernest for all his... ahem... 'help' at Cottontails over the last couple of days, I decided to arrange a treat for him tonight - a dinner date with a lovely young lady hen called Felicie.

They were a little shy with one another to begin with...

But by the time the food arrived - a delicious dish of finest porridge oats - they were getting along very well...

When I last popped in to see them Ernest was regaling Felicie with tales of his journey so far (she was particularly impressed to hear that he had been learning to sew over at Mutterings from the Moor)

Meanwhile, not too far away Humphrey was tucking into his own supper...

He was particularly hungry tonight after a valiant attempt at unpacking some stock this afternoon.

I honestly don't know where I'd be without Ernest and Humphrey to help out...!

Ernest goes to work

I decided it was time to put Ernest to work and enlist his help with some parcel packing.

Here he is surveying today's sales and preparing himself for the job at hand...

At first he was more than helpful...

But it wasn't too long before he began to get up to mischief...

...And before I knew it he had landed himself in a spot of bother with the parcel tape.

Having decided that parcel packing is perhaps not his forte, I thought he could help with sorting out the new gardening stock. There is quite a lot of it and I haven't been able to face it all on my own. Perhaps Ernest would make all the difference?

But then he spotted the 'Hip Hop Bird Stop' and took it rather literally. He has barely moved since.

Ah well. He tried.

Big night for Ernest tonight. He is going on a blind date with Felicie hen (do have a look at her - what a stunner!) I'll let you know how they get on...

(And for anyone reading this who doesn't have a clue what I am on about, Ernest is a little soft toy rooster traveling around on his 'gap year' staying with various host families... He set off from his home at The Hen House about a month ago and Cottontails is is fourth port of call. If you would like him to come to you next, just leave a comment on this blog post - or any other Ernest blog post - saying that you'd like him to visit, and I will draw names out of a hat at the end of his stay with me.)

Monday, 1 March 2010

Ernest & Isobel bake a cake

Ernest has had a most enjoyable weekend, the highlight of which being a cake baking session with Mike's daughter, Isobel - she comes to stay every weekend and was very pleased to help entertain our feathered friend!

He helped assemble the ingredients (fortunately I caught him trying to eat the chocolate before too much had gone...)

There was some nibbling of cake mix however...

Slightly tense moment when Ernest looked like he was going to dive into the bowl of chocolate icing...

He sampled the first slice himself and seemed to quite enjoy it :-) He is now a fan of Jane Asher.

Other than the baking he had a very relaxed weekend, hanging out with Isobel and Humphrey, but I decided it was time to put him to work at Cottontails today and will share something of what happened when Ernest got himself into a bit of a pickle with the parcel tape in my next post...

(And for anyone reading this who doesn't have a clue what I am on about, Ernest is a little soft toy rooster traveling around on his 'gap year' staying with various host families... He set off from his home at The Hen House about a month ago and Cottontails is is fourth port of call. If you would like him to come to you next, just leave a comment on this blog post - or any other Ernest blog post - saying that you'd like him to visit, and I will draw names out of a hat at the end of his stay with me.)