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The Perfect Turkey Board

Christmas dinner is literally one of my favourite things of the year. I picture it in my head, just like the cheesy adverts and the Dickens novel; my angelic children sitting nicely, laughing over pulling crackers, while the biggest turkey ever grown sits juicy and golden in the middle of the table. Heaven. Never mind the desserts.....Read more

Christmas for Kids - From The Oak Tree

Fed up of the Argos and Smyths adverts yet? The plastic, breakable, loud annoying toys, whipping the children up into a cacophony of screeching about how they “need that” for Christmas?

Let’s take it down a notch. Let’s move back to environmentally friendly, sustainable, beautiful presents that will be loved and used for years.

Read more

Christmas Gifts for the Girls - From the Oak Tree

As usual, I'm nowhere near ready for Christmas, despite my best plans. So, I’ve put together some gift guides to save all of you wonderful people, with great intentions from the drama that needn’t be! Let's start with the ladies in your life.Read more

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