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/Users/Charlotte/Documents/Claudia From The Oak Tree.movEveryday like many millions of people I check my emails several times.  I trail through endless junk mails, newsletters from online stores that tempt me, work emails and my favourite ones from friends and family ( actually I'm slightly partial to the ones from From The Oak Tree telling me I have a sale too!! )  However the one's that make me smile the most are the ones from Claudie ( our daughter!) 

 Ok, so we gave in to her and her need ( her words not ours)  for an iPad and helped her on her 9th birthday, along with other generous family and friends to get her very own iPad mini.  Its been worth it's weight in gold already; helping her for homework, freeing up our devices that we need for work, keeping her in the know with current music, and of course the usual entertainment through apps and well monitored you tube! No need to panic though, Claudia also loves to play, I mean really play with REAL toys.  She has a vivid imagination and still, at 9, loves to role play with her babies and siblings.  She also is very creative and loves all things art, recently teaching herself to knit. 

Anyway...back to emails.  Claudia had been at home all day today feeling rotten, the type of ill that requires you to do a lot of nothing but bed is a step too far ( soft mummy I hear you cry). When I sat at my desk this afternoon, my emails started to ping through and one name appeared that made me smile. Claudia. I sifted through all the other emails, binning them, saving them and responding and saved this little gem to last.  In fact who really knew it was a little gem- she uses email to communicate her many manner of moods to me; I receive emoticons (happy, sad, weird and wonderful), photos (memories and ones Id rather forget.  The Looser sign springs to mind) , I get told how wonderful I am as a mummy ( honestly) and also how terrible I am as a mummy ( honestly!).  Sometimes all of these are recieved within minutes!!   

So this email was still sitting, waiting.  It was a movie- just for me, just for us! A trailer in fact. Showing her whole family and From the Oak Tree; telling us a story, I suppose, of how our new venture fits in with family life, through the eyes of a "tweeny" (thats somewhere between 8-12!!). Impressed! Proud! What a fab interpretation of our reasons!!!


Wood You Be My Valentine???

We have just launched our brand new, valentines oak gifts and chopping boards and are getting a lot of traffic to the site which is simply amazing...Thankyou! It got me thinking why do we actually celebrate valentines and where did it start? So I did a little research....


Valentines Day

For those of you who don't know, Valentines day is the 14th February, everyyear and is a day when people traditionally show affection towards another person. By buying cards, gifts (oak gifts!) flowers and chocolates with messages of love.

St Valentine

Most people know that the name comes from the famous saintbut there are several schools of thought on who he was.  The most popular belief is that St Valentine was a priest from Rome in 3rd century AD. In those days the Emperor Claudius II had put a stop to marriage as he decided married men didn't make great soldiers, St Valentine thought this to be unfair and arranged secret marriages.  Once the Emperor found out he through St Valentine into jail and was sentenced to death.  Whilst in prison he fell in love with the jailers daughter and when he was taken to be killed on 14th February he sent her a love letter signed "From Your Valentine".

How did Valentines Day Start?

It is a very old tradition thought to have originated from the Romans.  They had a festival in February and it is thought that as pat of the celebrations, boys and girls drew names out of box.  they would then remain together for the festival and sometimes they would get married.

The church wanted to turn this into a christian celebration and decided to use it to remember St Valentine too. Hence why people started to use his name to express their feelings to their loved ones.  

Please take a look at From the Oak Tree's Valentines collection for a range of inspiring oak gifts and products that can be personalised with intimate messages, pet names or simply inspirational words.  How ever you celebrate one another we can help!!

Our Oak Swing in the Lime Light!

A new year and a brand new company showing off its oak wares in the local lifestyle magazine!  From The Oak Tree was lucky enough to be featured this month in the Rutland Living and Market Harborough magazines, within the editors choice section.  We were delighted that Abigail Richardson, the Editor of both magazines liked our products so much she wanted to feature them.  She choose the Oak swing, with our daughters Claudia and Beatrix, looking angelic ( really they are not!!)  

The photograph has become one of our well used, signature images and certainly encourages alot of comments; you may remember it being pictured on our signage at Irnham Winter Fair.  The picture provokes such happy memories of a family day and a photographer, on set in our garden, fooling about with our wooden delights.  The swing had the desired effect that it should bring to every child: happiness, a bellyfull of laughs, playfulness, fresh air and exercise!!

No wonder the blurb in the Leicestershire and Rutland magazines read: "Tempt them into the garden with this gorgeous personalised swing from local company From The Oak Tree".   What child wouldn't fancy swinging away the winter cobwebs on a wonderfully natural, Oak swing?

A perfect way to get the children out and about in the garden enjoying themselves in the fresh air.  Why not "aim high" or "reach for the stars" on your own personalised, hand made oak swing. 

From The Oak Tree Garden swings from £85 

Today is happy day!

Today is a good day!  We have been eating clean for the last two weeks, lost some of the excess christmas podge already and my skin is feeling good.  I'm getting up early for a little me time every day, time for exercise, a chance to plan the day and sort the house before I have to drag four little 'grumpy mumpy's' of bed ( Here at the Willows' we are definitely NOT morning people!)  
The children are on pretty good form, by limiting their sugar, in turn their behaviour has improved!  They are happy to help each other, they are desperate to play each others games and keen to talk about their days happenings. Happy children = Happy parents = Happy house!!!
What else is making me happy?  Well the house is clean and tidy, I'm not slaving away but things are generally in their places and we are all trying hard to clean up after ourselves.  The building work is coming along ( poor Sam, he does that whilst he is supposed to be sleeping!) The main business, Hortus Ligneous is ticking along nicely and all the staff seem happy too.  Products From the oak tree are being well received and we have positive comments daily about our oak gifts...who wouldn't be happy with that!!
Whilst pondering over my happy, positive feeling today I realise how incredibly lucky we are with our friends and family.  You can't choose family, but I would pick ours any-day and I think we have been extremly lucky to have picked up our friends along the way!! The oldest friends are like fine wine, they just get better with age. Time spent with them may be more sparse these days but the memories serve us for such a long time.  Even our university pals are becoming a little vintage and minutes spent together is better than therapy!!  
Then there are the local mates, made through having young children and work. Although the friendships are hot off the press, we all have so much in common and are lucky enough to spend special times and some of the most precious moments of our lives with them as and when they are happening.  
Our friends are awesome, too many to name.  Each, individual. Similar to snowflakes; all different and all beautiful, and we are just grateful that our paths have crossed.

What were our most popular personalised oak gifts?

So it's a Happy new year from him and a happy new year from me, to all of the friends of From The Oak Tree.  We thank you for all your support over the last few months as our little acorn of a business started on its journey to bring you hand crafted Oak gifts, From The Oak Tree. We had a fabulous festive season introducing to you our oak product ranges and collections. 

We found our oak Mince Pie and Dear Santa small oak boards popular as gifts to families and children and we were delighted to hear that Father Christmas loved the contents left on the personalised oak boards...showing his thanks and appreciation with sacks of gifts for many children. 


 The biggest most popular selling gift in the lead up to Christmas were our oak swings:specifically personalised with children's names, house names or simply with moto's such as: 'aim high' and reach for the stars.  All of our oak swings come with 6m rope but you can order extra rope should you need to, please contact us to create a more bespoke order.  Hopefully many children ( and adults)  are now swinging their way through our great British winter!


Gifts for men were made easier this year by From The Oak Tree. Our oak device chargers were a big hit with women buying for their husbands and partners and children buying gifts for their Dads. Many of these oak gifts were engraved with catch phrases suited to that individual person, cheeky slogans and mottos..."DAD iN CHARGE" was a good one but the oat popular was off the shelf 'iPad'   ( single oak charging unit) which surely made him feel good on Christmas Day when he received his very own charging unit!!


 We have already had a couple of lovely reviews about our gifts saying how they brought so much pleasure to those who received them offering many years of joy we hope!  We look forward to helping many more lovely people find that unique and special personalised oak gift in 2016! 

" Those gifts are ever more precious which the giver has made precious! "   


How To Look After Your Oak Chopping Board.

Once you have your beautiful, solid oak, personalised, engraved chopping board in your arms how should you look after it...I hear you ask?!  Here at From The Oak Tree we use mineral oil to treat our oak chopping boards as it is naturally nut free and food safe and it is also kind to our bodies too.  You can purchase mineral oil for the majority of hardware stores and many chemists too and it will keep your hands even softer than your oak board.  

There is an old saying about the how often you should treat your board:   "Oil it once a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for a year and once a year, there after..."  

Basically, the more you oil your oak chopping board the longer it will look new and will handle food products.  A solid Oak board will of course be around for many generations; it will probably out live you and your grandchildren but through regular treatment and care your board will look more pristine and aesthetically pleasing.  Oiling your board will also help the oak board to keep naturally clean and help it to steer clear of picking up odours from a variety of foods.  As the oak chopping board is a natural product, it is likely to stain, depending on the foods that are put on it.  A light sand and coating of oil can improve its appearance and get it looking as good as new!!

Enjoy your Oak Chopping board and give it the care it deserves, after all it will be around to serve you for many many years to come!

From the Oak Tree sells a variety of sizes in hand made Oak chopping boards but we are happy to discuss your own individual requires should you wish a bespoke board to be made.  All products can be personalised and engraved with your own words and inscription.

What do you love about our Oak Gifts and Products?

Last week we ran a little competition on our Facebook page to see what people have got to say about our personalised Oak Gifts and chopping boards.  It seems that they think they are beautiful, gorgeous, classic, traditional and made with Love- we concur!!! Thanks peeps we think you are all winners although a special well done to the winner of the Mince Pie Chopping Board with your gorgeous appraisal of our personalised engraved oak pieces:

"Unique yet traditional,
Precise yet rustic,
The perfect 'anytime' gift"

The other reviews were as follows:
Totally original and gorgeous! Xx
Hand made with a beautiful finish x
Timeless gifts, lovingly made in England from one of natures finest treasures!
Top quality craftsmanship made by the best carpenter extraordinaire!  x
You can see the love in every product.
Beautiful, bespoke, handcrafted gifts x
A classic gift, made with one of the finest woods - crafted and finished to a high standard with a bespoke finish to collate memories made with loved ones - a gift that will stay in the family for years and years to come .. ?
Made with love x
No house should be without one
A sentimental heirloom which is given with love and will improve with love.
Oak trees beauty lives on x
Beautifully crafted, gorgeous pieces

Irnham Hall Winter Fair

So we have just recovered from a busy few days at Irnham Winter Fair last week.  After  a busy few months getting the website up and running and From The Oak Tree off the ground we threw ourselves in at the deep end in order to get everything ready for our little fledging business to stand at this show.  Hindsight is a wonderful hindsight we WOULD repeat the whole experience...what a launch!!!      

Irnham is seamlessly organised by Leila Benton-Jones in aid of The British Red cross.  Clothing, gift and food stalls all set up in the ground of Irnham Hall ( in a marquee) and people from Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Rutland and further afield come and enjoy christmas shopping all under one roof.  From The Oak Tree couldn't have asked for a better pitch- we were the first stall as people entered the fair and we managed to entice many people over with our really big oak bits and bobs bowl of chocolates ( personalised with the inscription "One for me, two for you"!)  Those not interested in the chocolates appeared to be attracted to our Oak garden swings, oak welly boot racks or perhaps it was just Ginny and Catherine's infectious smiles!!!

The Oak Garden Swings ( Ultimate Oak swing and the Standard Oak swing) prompted a lot of interest.  Many customers were inspired by the "Aim High" and "Reach For the Stars" inscriptions and they teamed these together top personalise their own gift with children names on the other side of their hand finished oak swing order.  What better way to get the children out and about in the garden over the cold winter months than on a personalised solid oak swing?! 

The personalised hand finished and engraved tablet chargers and personalised oak multi device chargers were really popular too- especially amongst ladies buying for their husbands and fathers- what better way to get them "#organised" or "in charge!!!"  

The highlight sale was a wonderful lady who spotted a "Nice Baps" Oak Bread board! She just couldn't resit as a little gift for her husband on christmas day!!

A perfect few days spent with fabulous company.  A great way to show off all of our oak wares and personalised oak products and a great way to raise our profile- not to mention our confidence that From The Oak Tree really does have something to offer everyone!!!  Please do have a look at our website and see if you think I am right!!!  


Our Debut Radio Interview

Irnham was such a fabulous, first event for From the Oak Tree and to top it off I was interviewed about our products by BBC radio Lincolnshire.  As you can tell I was jolly excited about telling the world ( well the whole of Lincolnshire) about our wonderful oak products from From The Oak Tree.  I couldn't keep it to myself that all the products are made by my darling husband the "Carpenter Extrodinaire".  Have a listen to see and see how proud I am of my clever husband and why he has a reason to be a little "smug" and rightly so!



New Logo!!!


So we have changed our logo...already!! After a little market research ( over coffee and cake of course!) we have decided to be a little more contemporary and use the grey tones.  We love what our clever designer has come up with, we think it reflects our new, 'with it" business and we are excited about sticking it here there and everywhere to promote our gorgeous, personalised oak wares!!!!