Tuesday 29 July 2014

Frequently asked questions

 Do you live in a thatched cottage in the wilderness?

No. We would LOVE to live in a thatched cottage in the wilderness and I hope one day we will. Like most people we walk past lovely old houses while out walking whilst going "ooooh I love that one" and "nah that ones too big for my liking" but for now we live in a 2 bedroom Victorian terraced cottage, in an old market town in Hertfordshire. 

What's your house like? 

Our house is old and has lots of character, which I love. However it's dimensions are quite small and we're outgrowing it to be honest - as you know I like collecting things! Although it's not our dream house, I do love it. It has 2 bedrooms (our bedroom and a hubby manhole - meaning his studio, he doesn't work in an actual manhole) and it has a small garden. It does us perfectly well for now and we're lucky to have it. However, I do have my hopes pinned on a thatched cottage in the wilderness - or something like it :-) a shed perhaps?

Does your house always look lovely and tidy?

Noooo ... look below! That said I can't function well around mess, whereas hubby thrives in it (so his man cave door stays closed). I really enjoy having lovely surroundings, images, colours, craft, ornaments with a story, antiques, photographs etc however I don't have kiddies running around yet, so keeping it tidy is relatively easy for me. Ralphy's quite tidy too, always put his toys away.

Why write a rustic lifestyle blog if you don't live in the country?

The reason I started this blog in the first place, was to show folk that you don't have to live in the countryside to lead a rustic lifestyle. You can craft a lovely home wherever you happen to live, in whatever style you choose, and on whatever budget you have. You just have to jump in and 'have a go.' Making our house a home was all about thrifty buying and some quick & easy DIY ... I only like quick and easy projects ... I don't have time for time consuming projects.

But you do spend a lot of time in the countryside right?

Yes, there is lots of countryside in the surrounding areas, and thanks to Ralphy and 'walkies' we get to spend time regularly walking in the outdoors. We work hard, (hubby and I, not Ralphy ... he works hard in his own way, eating bones and terrorising the postman and Miggin's cat Cliff) So hubby and I always make time for a walk together in the day, or evening. Dog walks are a great excuse to explore the surrounding areas and spend a bit of time together. Plus if it wasn't for dog walks I'd be the size of a house thanks to my love of cake.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

This blog has made me enjoy my life a bit more. There's so many things we'd all like to do but we often put on the back burner because there's more pressing matters, like work / housework etc so writing a regular blog about craft and rustic living has actually encouraged me to do the things I love more often! Sharing the things I made for our handmade wedding has also been lovely, especially when I see it inspiring and helping others. When someone writes saying 'I tried this! and it turned out lovely' I beam ... it's a lovely feeling.

What do you enjoy least most about blogging?

When readers interact it's great, it makes all the hard work worth it. Often one post could take an entire day, sometime two - to actually make something, photograph it and put it all together. Once you post it, followers often comment and interact, but as we're all incredibly busy, often they might not. So even if lots of people are reading what you write, unless they 'like /share or comment the blogger has no idea and it can feel like there's no one listening. So if I read a post I like I always take a moment to comment now. Bloggers need / rely on that, but at the same time I don't want to annoy my readers by asking them to do that ... so it's a tricky one.

Who is Mrs Miggins?!

 Miggins is an eccentric old lady who lives next door - she's a tough cookie who likes to dance the tango with her straggly-but-lovely old cat Cliff (named after soul mate Cliff Richard - she said they dated for a time) ... she pops up on the blog from time to time, but won't be photographed - she said she's wanted in 4 counties and she doesn't want old boyfriends and MI5 knowing her whereabouts .... she's 87.

What inspires you to write?

Nature. I spend a lot of time in the countryside with hubby and Ralphy (our Jack Russell) it fills me with good energy and has a definite impact on how I like to live, and the style in which I live. Aside from nature, crafty things inspire me, anything to do with fabric, cross stitch, embroidery, crochet, patchwork. Beautiful old things with a story to tell also inspire me.

Can I use one of your photographs?

We go to a lot of time and effort taking photographs and I try and keep all of my content original where I can. I'm more than happy for you to use a photo if you credit and link back to me but please do ask first. Taking and using someone's work without permission is just naughty, and karma will bite you in the bum for it! 

You sometimes feature artists/crafters. Can I be on your blog?

Possibly! If you're crafty, arty, into natural beauty or are a rustic lifestyle-related business (big or small) and you think you, or your product would be a good fit for my blog or newspaper column then please do get in touch or send me a sample of your work / product. I can't promise anything, but if I love what you do the chances are high. If you're interested in featuring or advertising on my blog please email at ahandmadecottage@icloud.com

This was from a piece I did with Gardennomey, my 
gardening guru. She was featured on the blog 
and in my column in the Observer.

JM x

If there's a question you'd like to know the answer to then please email me at ahandmadecottage@icloud.com

Ralphy used a photo without asking on his dogblog -
look what happened to him!

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  1. Fantastic q&a seeing as I only just stumbled across your blog! I very much look forward to reading lots more! We are currently in the process of moving to a tiny house in the countryside so i think your blog will be a staple read ;)


  2. What a lovely Q&A post! thanks a lot for sharing something of you, I love to read about other people life and blogging experience!
    And thanks a lot also for this wonderful blog! I love it! I'm planning to start soon a blog and your show me how simple a wonderful blog can be.
    I'm going to follow you for the future! just keep going in this way, you are doing a wonderful job!

    1. What a lovely comment to wake up too. Thank you Eilinor, that's really lovely of you to say. Re blog - that's great news, DO IT! just start and the rest will come. Once I had the framework in place, I wrote a 'welcome to A Handmade Cottage' post and then I was off. Enjoy and let me know when it's up - would love to read it. Jodie x

  3. My sister and I love your blog. It inspires me to get creative and also to get outside and take in fresh air! I love your home style. It is so cozy looking.. thank you for sharing :)

    1. Ah that's lovely to hear, I'm so pleased ... thanks for letting me know, hearing comments like that make it all worthwhile :-)

  4. So lovely Jody! I also live in a very old house in a small town in Germany. My house is so old, there aren`t any papers left from when it was built. Haha. But they guess it is from post World War II. and I bought it with all the old things and furniture still in it. It is a little treasure box with lot`s of character. But just like in your case, I have outgrown it because I collect as patiently as you do. I have a small textile workshop and I do write novels, childrens books and poetry. I am an elementary school teacher and seemstress. I really love and enjoy your blog so much!!!! Reading about your next door neighbour made me laugh! She must be some lady ;-) !!! Keep up the wonderful work! Huggs from Adelberg, where there are more children than grown-ups as citizens. :-) 3000 all together in the middle of wonderful Schurwald Forets. <3 Love, Christina

    1. Aw it sounds wonderful Christina! your workshops sounds lovely, and how nice that you write novels and children's books! thanks for always being such a lovely fellow crafters and follower, it's always a pleasure reading your comments :-)

    2. You are very welcome Jody :-)