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A little late to the party...but 2018 lets be having you!!

Ok,  so I didn’t make it in time for the January blog, the one where I wish you a Happy new year, tell your of all my hopes and dreams, my resolutions, tell you how incredibly productive I am going to be in 2018 and how I will be skinny and wonderful in time for summer and my business will have taken to new shiny heights. Instead I am here to tell you its February, I barely sat at my desk in January in fact I achieved very little in terms of business production. I fell off  the “Dry Jan” wagon, never really got started with my clean eating and although sales were good I didn’t eally do much too generate them, which in turn will come and bite me in the backside I am sure…

2018 Loading

However do you know what?  I didn’t give up or throw the towel in just because January was passing me by;  I had good tidy up of the house and got on top of all my daily chores. I helped bring a litter of puppies into this world and spent many a moment just staring at them and my beautiful Labrador thinking how wonderful the circle of life is. I wrote numerous lists, got my head around slightly healthier eating patterns for the longevity and went to bed early. A Lot! I had some nights out with friends, some nights in with my hubby and played games with my children. And now and only now am I ready to take on the year ahead….So a little late to the party lets be having you 2018…or what’s left of you!!!

 

I'm sure I am not alone, please re-assure me I'm not and feel comforted in the fact that neither are you! You really will know when you are ready!!!..... Charlotte xxxx

 

 

 

 

Removal Of Stains and Tannins in Oak

From the Oak Tree is just in its infancy in comparison to Hortus Ligneous Ltd our oak framing, carpentry and joinery company. We deal with many renovation and restoration projects over at Hortus Ligneous and are often find ourselves making oak "good" again.

I just thought my friends at From The Oak Tree may be interested to know one of the only things apart from sanding that can improve the look and remove those unsightly stains often found in aged oak.  Once the tannins ( a combination of sap and chemicals in the timber that seeps out) and iron come into contact a reaction occurs and forms a blue-balk stain on the oak.

REMOVAL OF STAINS AND IRON STAINS:  

Water, tide marks and Iron stains can be removed by scrubbing the stained area with a solution of oxalic acid in water. Dissolve 1kg oxalic acid to 6Lt of warm water. Scrub stained area using a stiff-bristle brush. Thoroughly rinse with water after treatment. When completely dry, lightly sand the surface. Surface must be clean and completely dry (not just surface dry) before refinishing.

Use an oil or  wood stain for a perfect finish.

TO LIGHTEN OR RESTORE OAK:  

To restore the natural oak tones of the wood use 75-125g of oxalic acid per 5lt of hot water then apply by spray, brush or wipe on. 

NB: Oxalic acid is an ACID and therefore the correct protective equipment should be used- should your skin or eye come into attention SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION URGENTLY.

 

Get scrubbing...and don't forget your PPE!!

Oxalic Acid

 

 

Mothers Day Gift Inspiration

I have just been looking through last years magazine articles and I noticed that we were in the March issue of Rutland Living Magazine featuring some editors choices on mothers day gift ideas. I thought I would share those ideas with you here. The editor chose the small bits and bobs bowl which makes a lovely gift for any mum and is suitable for spare change, keys and jewellery and looks stylish on any side. The solid Oak bowl makes a great gift as it compliments any home decor.

The other recommended From the Oak Tree gift was the very popular Mini Oak Chopping Board that would make any keen Mother Cook or Mummy Chef happy smile when receiving this oak gift. If not such a keen master-chef then what would be more perfect to prepare and chop the lemons for the G&T she so rightfully deserves on this mothers day!

For further inspiration for mothers day gifts that can be personalised please have al ook around our online shop at From The Oak Tree.

Mothers Day From The Oak Tree in the Rutland Living Magazine

An Ode to My Mother!

Ode To My Mother
Beautiful words...a day late but it was International Woman's day yesterday and I would like to thank my Mother for being stronger, more driven and giving me much more than any precious stone ever could. 

It's A Commercial Affair

There is no question that our oak goods always make such fabulous presents.  Many people buy our personalised oak chopping boards for friends and family or of course as a little gift to ones self.  

However, we have also been commissioned to engrave and personalise our chopping boards for our friends at Jameson Landscape  as a little gift from them to say farewell and thankyou to some of their customers.

In order to make our oak chopping boards even more personal we added their own logo to the top of the board, leaving  their customers a sweet little reminder of them from time to time.  

We are happy to discuss any commercial requirements with you. Please do call me, Charlotte on 01664 650075 or email me on enquiries@fromtheoaktree.co.uk for more information.

Jamieson Landcape Commercial Chopping Board

 

 

 

How To Oil Your Chopping Boards

We often get asked how people can look after their beautiful oak gift and keep it looking pristine and beautiful looking for as long as possible. The magic is in the oiling. 

Before our products leave us they are are treated with 2 coats of food safe and nut free mineral oil before leaving our workshop.  The mineral oil is a wet oil and dries without the sheen of some other oils and offers a natural look, its perfect for things like chopping boards and kitchen products because it offers a non-toxic, non smelling finish which is completely food safe.  

However if you would prefer an oil a closer to hand and have no allergy towards a nut of vegetable oil feel free to use. These will offer a protective cover =, similar to the mineral oil. but may carry a slight smell. Owe would recommend olive oil or rape seed oil which are perfect for carving boards!!!

Our advise is to re oil your product every week for a month and then once a year.  

There is a little saying: 
"Oil it once a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for a year, and then once a year for the rest of your life.”

With regards to general every day care- try to avoid emerging your board in water - wash it with warm soapy water, store it on a flat surface to avoid movement and do not subject the board to significant changes in temperature.

If you would like any more information with regards to treating your oak gift feel free to drop me a line...you all know I love to chat!!!

Different Timbers....From the man who really knows his stuff!

Hard and Softwood

Ok so I usually write all of our blogs, using my knowledge or my own research but today I have asked Sam to give us a little insight into his own knowledge after I overheard him teaching one of our lovely new apprentices the difference between hard and soft woods. Here is what he had to say: 

"Hard woods are used all over the world for building houses, frames, boats and a huge range of other products .....they are as the word describes them incredibly hard to the touch and dense to feel and very hard wearing . They are less likely to rot and will grow to a very old age. They are slow growers and are deciduous which means they loose all their leaves ( think of a country park in the autumn covered in leaves- they will prodomanatley be from a hardwood trees.) Examples are Oak, Iroko, Idigbo and Beech and they often bear a nut or a fruit.

Soft wood is much less dense, it is not as strong nor as brittle so it's much easier to get nails in. It will rot overtime and won't last as long. It's perfect for lighting a fire and burns really well.  It is mostly used for fencing, roofing and house manufacture. They are mostly evergreen and keep their leaves throughout the winter.  Pine, redwood, douglas-fir are all good examples! " 

I found this all pretty informative!!! Thanks Sam! In true wife form I double checked and his explanations were pretty spot on! Nothing like being an expert in your own field hey Sam? 

If you would like to see more of Sam's handywork away from From The Oak Tree then please take a look at Hortus Ligneous Ltd.

 

 

Beating For The First Time!

Last weekend I was sent a beautiful photo of one of our shot glass trays on a shoot in action.

Shot Glass Tray

I got really excited as in a few weeks time I will be beating for the first time with the children. It got me researching: knowledge is power and all that!  I don't want to stick out like a sort thumb!!

So below is some information I found out about beating for the first time on "Totally Gudogs" that someone else may find helpful too!! ( Everything in red are my not so "helpful" comments!! lol)

1. Leave your dog at home

Don’t take your dog with you  the first time you go beating. Learn the ropes without them! (Haha ;Could just imagine me with the three mad labs!! Right I shall learn first then teach them! )

If you spend the whole day focusing on the dog,  he will probably run riot and at best you won’t be asked back. ( Imagining Ludo right now!! Bentley would have been amazing)

2. Your fitness

The next proviso is about your welfare and safety.  Some shoots,  take place in very demanding terrain.  Virtually all shoots contain hills.  Sometimes very steep ones that you may be required to walk up several times.  Beating is very hard work.. (Ok, I have three more body coach sessions before the date- will this get rid of the layer of fat and get me davina fit again...I think not- I shall just have to pretend!!!!)

3. Finding a shoot to beat on

Getting involved on a shoot can be difficult.  A personal invite is ideal but shooting folk can be wary of strangers due to previous experiences with animal rights fanatics. (Ok So been invited...hence why Im trying to get the right...so we get an invite another time!!)

What does beating involve?

In very simple terms, each shoot ground is divided into ‘drives’.   Each drive is an area of countryside containing the habitat that pheasants enjoy and populated with the pheasants themselves.

The shoot manager decides which way he wants or expects the pheasants to fly and lines up his ‘guns’ (people who are shooting) along this edge of the drive.  The beaters are lined up along the opposite end of the drive.  Their object is to walk in a line towards the guns,  making some noise and disturbance.   Dogs may or may not be used to aid in this process.  The idea is to flush the birds in little groups,  a few at a time.   

What to take with you

If you turn up with a stout stick it will be appreciated,  but if you don’t have one most shoots will have spare ones.  The idea is to get the birds moving forwards and away from the beaters.  Tapping with sticks and waving flags is all a part of the process.   You will also be expected to make a noise.  Take a small bottle of water and you may  need a packed lunch.  Some shoots provide all refreshments.

What to wear

You don’t walk around things when you beat,  you walk through them.   You really need a tough thornproof jacket and some very tough trousers. Several thin layers under your jacket that can be removed are a good idea.  

At the end of the day

When you finish your first day’s beating you will probably be shattered.  The other beaters may troop off to the pub for a pint it is a good idea to go along with them.  You’l learn a lot just by listening to them. (Perhaps this is the time to get the shot glass tray out and earn some stripes!) 

If you would like to see our Shot Glass Trays available for engraving please look on our bottoms up page!


 

Rest In Peace Orland Dixie. An obituary

For the last nearly 13 years I have had to compete with another woman for Sam's attention but this time last week we had to say a sad farewell to our beautiful chocolate friend"

An Obituary:

Known to the Kennel Club as Orlando Dixie you came to us as an 8 week old puppy and have added much sparkle, mud and barks to our lives. Our chocolate drop, with otter feet and the most beautiful nature has been set free to chase rabbits in the sky.

Bentley you were the most simply amazing specimen of a Labrador ever.  You were living proof that chocolate Labradors didn't have to be crazy but could be calm, loving and above all so incredibly intelligent. You graced our wedding with your licks, greeted each of our four babies with a sniff, were always keen to collect pigeons and would sit the length of a football pitch when told. Camping trips were so easy with you by our side, walks were made more enjoyable and cuddles were immeasurable.  You aged gracefully and in the latter year enjoyed nothing more than a short stroll and early tea and a bed in-front of the fire! 

 We are proud of what you were - you have left paw prints on our hearts and an amazing legacy behind.  So many of our beautiful friends have their best friends because of you. You always were a legend and your nature will live on through all of your four legged pups.

Bentley, life without you will seem very different and we miss you so much already xxxx

8th May 2004 - 4th January 2017

 

Our ever-growing family!

So many of you know how much I love my dogs...each and everyone of them!! So I thought I should introduce them properly!!

It all started with our little cairn terrier Harley 14 years ago. She brought much happiness, love and fresh air! Next came Bentley our Chocolate labrador...a shy little thing so placid for a chocolate Labrador so we decided she would be the perfect mummy.

And so it began and Cooper ( Black), Beamer (Fox Red) and Ludo all came along from a variety of litters.

5 beautiful four legged friend. Friends for life. Each bringing much happiness and love to our busy home. Each adding a little stamp on the world with their own little brood...

Two of whom have recently produced 18 little puddings, all here to celebrate Christmas with us. Who needs gifts on Christmas day when you have 18 beautiful labradors to play with!!

Babies

To see our oak dog bowls inspired by our beautiful dogs please go to The Boot Room 

 

Beamer, Bentley and CooperLudo, Beamer and Cooper

To Inspire Is To...

I've been working on my marketing this morning and trying to set up my handmade on amazon profile and it set me off on a tangent when it asked “what inspires you?”. I was left wondering if my answer was supposed to be relevant and related to From The Oak tree or if it meant generally.  

And so, I started to day dream...or procastinate ( whatever one would like to label it.)

I find inspiration in the everyday. What we each experience in our everyday lives makes us who we are and that is amazing. I am fascinated by relationships of all types –happy ones, complicated ones, unusual ones.  I enjoy the challenge of communicating and love making new relationships.  Each of these relationships inspires me to be...well me. The BEST me possible.

I often leave a conversation and analyse it (one of my mahoosive down falls and something I spend far too much time worrying about) but in finding a positive, I feel that upon reflection I am helped and inspired to be kinder, more hardworking and a more thoughtful person. I do in turn hope that sometimes I have the opportunity to inspire friends and people I meet- not in order to improve them but to encourage them to chase their dreams as well.

Much of my From the Oak Tree inspiration not only comes from those who I already know but those I would love to get to know either for the long haul or just in that instance whilst we work together to create that special and most perfect oak gift.

It would be remiss of me to conclude this little blog without mentioning the two biggest relationships I have that inspire me...

Sam, my husband has an amazing ability to just "get on" and "get stuff done". When the day is over he has the capability to switch off and "shelf" what is on his mind in order to finish his working day, get a little "me" time and relax.  He motivates me to be work hard and play harder. He helps me to realise we can achieve all of our dreams...together!

Lastly but probably most importantly our four gorgeous children inspire me. They inspire me to be the best mummy I can. They fill me with the urge and the ability to be kind and gentle and energise me way more than I ever thought possible. They are the reason I jump out of bed each day, the last things on my mind as I go to sleep each night and they put the smiles in my every day - even when the chips are down. They are my inspiration to be the best "me" I possibly can!  Without them and their inspiration From The Oak Tree would still be a pipe dream...

I would love to here what inspires you? Is it a relationship or a dream or something quite different? 

All the best and remember "wake up and smell the inspiration!!"

XCharlotte 

Find Us On Coffee Tables Nation Wide!!!

Today we did something we have never done before.....we featured in a national publication and yes we are very excited about it!!! House and Gardens have featured us in their national publication featuring our welly boot rack and this little snippet of information on page 220:
From The Oak Tree : Finest oak gifts made especially for you. These beautiful solid wood products can be personalised with your own choice of engraving, offering that personal gift that will last a lifetime. For beautiful chopping boards, swings and other oak gifts visit:
From The Oak Tree  or call Charlotte on 01664 650075

Oh, I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside!

School holidays always seem to come round all too quickly especially when you are a working mummy with four children, two business, 5 dogs and a large renovation project but this one really couldn't have come soon enough. After nearly a year of trading with From The Oak Tree we were well and truly ready to re-charge just in time for the (fingres crossed) festive rush ahead if us.

So, we headed south, to Devon.  We enjoyed a weekend with some really old friends   (not age just the length of time we have known them! :)) How times have changed; we used to spend much of our weekend with endless cheap beers, long lie-ins and very late nights. This weekend was spent enjoying good food and wine, trying out the range of tractors, diggers and amazing machines that was Digggerlnd and supporting the lovely Ells Bells running a half marathon. It was the best beginning to our break we could have wished for.   I can't imagine they would want us to recommend their gaff, just in case you all flocked to north Devon to "Chez Yeo" so instead of highly recommending them as hosts we definitely can't recommend Diggerland enough!!! 

After a lovely lazy Monday morning walk and saying our goodbyes we set off on our leisurely drive to the South Hams in Devon, we found our way through many winding roads to Swallows Flight.  An incredible farm house with some old barns a converted barn, beautiful grounds a hot tub and a “Air Stream” caravan we would call home for the next few days. The sun shone and we set on our adventure with camping style living in the autumn sunshine, recharging our batteries and enjoy some good wholesome family fun.

We played rugger on the beach, enjoyed fish and chips by the sea, caught crabs, made sand castles, enjoyed leisurely soaks in the hot tub, family stories and fire pits.  Life back at home was a dream away and our engines were well and truly charging.  

From The Oak Tree was left to its own devices for a week and I feel proud that we were able to let the online store do its own thing whilst we had our little family break. After all, we work to live don’t we?  Although, it feels good to be sat at my desk as I am generally very happy to live to work and play as I really do love my job!!!

In Reflection...

What a fabulous summer it is been- the first summer on the sales circuit and we have had a wonderful time.  We have mingled with the BBC at Country File, we've raleighed  with the cyclists at Erocia, we have walked the course with the Burghley Bunch and we are still smiling!!
From The Oak Tree has been well received and we have had so many wonderful comments about our products, our stands, our website and company ethos.
 “The wine rack has arrived and I am totally in love with it. The engraving is so beautiful. Shame it's not for me!! Thank you a million times”
“I will be in touch again as I absolutely loved your display at Burghley and have already had ideas for Christmas presents and milestone presents”
 “Thank you for the voucher that's really kind and it's been a pleasure purchasing something from you” 
 “No worries Charlotte X I love your chopping boards they are fab so big thank you xx”
 “Hi Charlotte.  The bowl arrived this afternoon and I'm very pleased with it indeed. It's well sanded, smooth and has a beautiful chamfered edge on it. It's lovely.”
 “Our fantastic boot rack and beautiful chopping board arrived on Friday and Saturday. They are amazing. Granny loved her chopping Board and our family were completely delighted with their boot rack and its in situ in the boot room at the Cottage!”
A season full of hard work and a lot of lessons learnt -new ideas on how to reduce set up times, different ways to display our oak wares, advice on new product lines. One lesson that I didn't need was that this business is all about the people - fun, serious, organised, excitable and the loveliest of people. 
Without any of these people our shows would be nothing- so thank you to the people who brought,had good ideas, payed a compliment, helped organise, set up, visited our website, made constructive comments and those who have raved about us- we love you all!! 

Ding Dong The Bells Are Going To Chime!


Who's getting married in the morning?

Well, we have the perfect gift and we are getting so many lovely, exciting orders and enquiries for Oak Chopping Boards for wedding gifts.

Really there is no other gift like it- a personalised board on display for the rest of their years together. The recipe for marital bliss...this long lasting oak gift that will improve with age, just like marriage. 

Many people these days ask for gifts from wedding list or  money but if you feel uncomfortable then a chopping board, engraved with a message, the couples name or date will be a welcomed addition for sure and you will feel a whole lot better about your gift!!

We have something for everyones price range...The Mini Board is perfect for initials and a date.  The Small Board will fit names and of course the date, The Standard Board a little more and the larger boards will fit a a variety of inscription.  Perfect to match everyones budget. 

If you need help with deciding in inscription, don't feel alone, give me a call:              Tel: 01664 650075, I love talking shop and more importantly weddings so a call and make my day!!

Here's wishing all those lovely brides and grooms out there a beautiful day and life full of health, wealth and happiness x

Charlotte xx

 

Badminton: A traders review

So we are back and nearly recovered from a full on few days at our first proper event! Two words: "LOVED IT! " It was everything we expected and more. We bossed our stall and were over the moon with its set up; our pitch on the corner was excellent.  The other stall holders were wonderful, a shout out to Em form Em and Lou (beautiful children nightware), who gave us so much advise and friendship.  

Country living excelled them selves in accommodating us and with the communication. They made us feel so at home and not like complete novices! It would not obviously have been anything to write home about without the amazing customers- their kind words, their feedback and of course their purchasing skills....we loved everyone of you.  

We met the most delightful dogs, small ones and big ones. Many who stopped in for a slurp of water whilst their owners enjoyed a sweet treat.  We had the best help with our wonderful friend Emma, who in wooed many of the dogs with her natural Dr Doolittle ways and in-turn sold many wooden gifts to their lovely owners. Many of our four legged friends manage to persuade their owners that a dog bowl would be the perfect gift for them, quite a few of their human friends obliged! Win win!

We had family visit, friends, some who we hadn't seen in 16 years- thank you to all of you who stopped by to say hi- you will never know how much we appreciated it. 

Just in case you were wondering sam was right...the oak shot glass trays were a hit- they were so well sought after and we have had an influx of orders since arriving home too.

So we are looking forward to all future sales this year and will keep you fully updated on where we will be through our Facebook page.

Have a good day y'all!

 

 

Badminton...it's a Country Living Life!

Pony Club, Hampshire circa 1992. Coach trip to Badminton Horse trials.  A jam packed day out, walking the course, being in awe of the speed and the heights the riders and their horses could achieve and claiming that one day I would be there....( I said the same thing when I visited the Metropolitan Mounted Police on a similar trip!!). 

So this year, 2016, I will finally be returning...still not on horse back, however, but on my bike, peddling our little oak wares.  I am so excited that I could burst!!  Not quite being on board a 17:2 handsome gelding but I am most certainly proud of what my stallion has achieved...(I know, I know, pass the sick bucket, pun intended!!)

Since starting Trading in November 2015,  after trading online and building up an online presence we have been asked to attend a variety of Country Living events.  We have worked hard to create a feel that they approve of and are excited that we will be one of the chosen exhibitors this year in the Country Living Tent at Badminton Horse Trials.  The Tent is pitched just off Beaufort Way, next to the Bank and adjacent to the Mark Todd Big Screen and our trade Stand 43 is the first exhibit on left of the left hand entrance.

Please, please come and say hi- a friendly face will most certainly get us over the first hurdle and will be just what we need during, what is likely to be, a fun filled, tiring and hopefully busy week.