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plant a tree gift

Growing A Forest

plant a tree gift with every purchase

Every time you buy a handmade, wooden gift from Love HeartWood you’re also giving the gift of a tree. Thereby helping to reforest our planet.

I’ve been looking for a way to create more positive change through my business for a while now. So when I discovered treesisters it was the perfect fit. I ‘m delighted that Love HeartWood is now fundraising in aid of treesisters. To find out why and how it works read on.


treesisters’ vision

Imagine if it was normal for all of us to give money for trees every month. To consciously balance both our taking and our warming….we could reforest our planet in no time.

TreeSisters is about building a huge engine of change in the form of a global network of women working together to re-robe the planet as fast as possible.

tree sisters plant a tree

why reforestation in the tropics?

Atmospheric carbon levels now point beyond two degrees of warming. Carbon Sequestration through Global Reforestation (to slow warming) is a global imperative.

Fast growing tropical trees sequester carbon three times as fast as temperate region trees. The tropical forest belt is crucial to the hydrological cycle (rain creation and transport), planetary cooling, (transpiration), and harmonisation and balancing of our weather patterns.

The tropics are also where some of the poorest people live. They face the greatest climate extremes of drought and flood – the negative effects of which are significantly reduced by increased forest cover.

together we can grow a forest!

In response to this global climate emergency, Love HeartWood has partnered with treesisters in their trees for transactions programme. This means I’m embedding restoration into the heart of my business by donating a tree for every product purchased.

Every item you buy funds the planting of a tree.

My goal is to plant 1,000 trees by May 1st 2021!


plant a tree gift

Visit the online shop because for every item sold a tree gets planted.

Match my donation by either adding the donate a tree item to your basket or by ticking the “plant an extra tree on me” box checkout.

Like and follow treesisters on your preferred social media channel and let your friends know about them too.

Treesisters is about encouraging every person to balance up what they take from the earth by giving back. So why not plant your own forest?

“restoring our planet with TreeSisters”

tree sisters logo plant a tree
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keepsake urns for ashes

acorn shaped keepsake urns commission

the initial enquiry for a wooden urn

This pair of acorn shaped keepsake urns were commissioned by Belinda to store her father’s ashes. We initially got talking at the Caversham Artisan & Farmers Market in July 2019. She was intrigued by a small, acorn shaped box I had on display and asked if I’d ever made a bigger version as she was looking for an acorn container for some of her Dad’s ashes. I admitted that I hadn’t but that I’d be happy to make one for her.

discussions

In October Belinda emailed me asking if we could discuss her idea in more detail. So through a series of emails we decided on her specific requirements. The majority of her father’s ashes had been scattered so she wanted two smallish keepsake urns, in the shape of acorns, for her and her mum.

acorn urn design ideas

design sketches for handmade wooden acorn urns

Once I had an idea of what Belinda wanted I created lots of quick sketches of different urn ideas. Belinda and her mum had a look at them and picked their favourites.

Belinda liked the idea of an urn that laid flat while her mum preferred one that had a stand.

Next, we finalised details like the size of the urns, the type of wood, the and the estimated timescale and price. I estimated it would take at least 2 months. This was because the wood needed to be rough shaped and left to settle and dry fully for most of that time, before being turned again to finish the shaping.

turning the urns

I drew up precise, scale drawings and used them to create both urns and the stand. The bodies of the urns were of Box wood. The lids were Oak with Box wood inserts. Belinda wanted the lids to be very secure and screw on. The best wood to achieve this is Box as it’s very hard. Fine threads can be cut into it without it crumbling. The Oak was chosen to go with the acorn design and because it contrasts nicely with the Box.

The making of a bespoke
pair of acorn keepsake urns

When making urns the wood has to be completely dry because the fit is so precise. If the wood continues to dry after its been turned then, after a while, the lid and body will no longer fit together. That’s why it took till the end of February 2020 to complete them.

I finished both urns with a plant based wax/oil to protect and nourish the wood. It gave them a beautifully soft, natural shine.

completion and delivery

Belinda ‘s a local client, so I delivered the urns personally. It was lovely to see her reaction to them in person. I also emailed her this PDF which shows the stages each log went through to become a finished wooden urn.

the story of a pair of wooden funeral urns
The story of the making of Belinda’s pair of acorn urns.

“They are beautiful and the pdf is wonderful to see”

Belinda
Caversham

If you’d like to commission a bespoke urn

click the button below

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Wizard Wand Custom Commission

wizard wand bespoke commission

I’ve just completed a wizard wand commission. If you’re looking for custom wands made from real wood I’ll talk you through the commissioning process. Here’s a short explanation of how it works and how the wand was created.

Thomas’ mum wanted to present him a custom wand for his 10th birthday. She told me she’d looked online but couldn’t find one made of real wood. “They’re mostly made of plastic,” she told me, ” but Thomas wants a real magic wand.”

the custom wand brief

Luckily she knew the exact type he wanted since he’d taken online quiz to determine his ideal wand. It should be made of Chestnut wood with a Dragon’s HeartString core.

I was very excited to make a custom wand as I hadn’t before. As luck would have it, I had a suitable piece of wood so we agreed on a price of £25 and a timescale of a couple of weeks.

chestnut magic wand
11 1/2 inch magic wand made from fresh Chestnut wood.
chestnut branch
Freshly cut piece of Chestnut

magic wand design features

After some visual research and sketching I came up with a simple but interesting design that should be strong and durable enough for a wizard who looks after their wand.

I made it from a length of fresh Chestnut branch. The handle’s shaped to give a comfortable grip.

A bit of the tree’s bark remains on the wand’s pommel because I wanted to remind Thomas that his wand came from a real tree.

the turning process

Fresh wood is wet and springy, so the wand was roughly shaped on the lathe and left to dry for about 12 days. For the first week it was in a paper bag to slow the drying process and then on a shelf in the workshop. If the wood dries too quickly it can crack. I kept an eye on the moisture level and when it was low enough replaced the wand on the lathe to finish the shaping.

The wand had dried slightly oval. It whipped up and down on the lathe because it was so thin. That made finishing it a bit tricky but added to its character enormously.

I then made a feature of the handle by painting it with an Auro plant-based natural stain. I also applied a couple of coats of pure hemp oil. This seals and protections the wood from dirt and staining and makes wiping it clean much easier.


The accompanying certificate designated the wizard chosen to wield this particular wand and it’s magical characteristics.
chestnut wood wand in bag
The wand all ready to be presented in a cotton drawstring bag. The certificate’s secured with a recycled ribbon.

wizard wand extras

On completion of the magic wand I had lots of fun designing a suitably detailed certificate of authenticity to accompanied it to its exited new owner. It ends with some simple care instructions: Buff with a soft, damp cloth. Do not wash, lose or sit on your wand.

I think a wand truly is a magical toy because it can set a child’s imagination free. The world of magic is one without the usual limits meaning they can cast whatever spells they dream up.

The idea that different woods exhibit different characters is a very ancient one and my research into the subject of tree lore was fascinating. I will certainly be exploring it more fully as I plan to make more real magic wands in the future. If you’d like to find out more about our native trees and their associated folklore why not visit these wonderful nature websites?


If you’d like me to make you a wizard wand or want to chat about your own commission idea please get in touch below. Alternatively, if you’d like to make a comment in the box below that would be very welcome.

If you enjoyed finding out how I made the wand and want to see more turning transformations please follow me on Instagram. I post step by step photos of current projects in my stories.


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dad gift experiences

Gift Ideas for Practical Dads who love to tinker

Dad’s are hard to buy for aren’t they? But if yours is a practical soul and loves nothing better than a spot of tinkering then I have some perfect present choices for you. What’s even better is that since in this time of social distancing we have to keep our distance these gifts can be given without breaking the rules.


Pencil Spinning Tops

These beauties are a tinkerer’s dream. Dad’s can happily fiddle with them for hours chasing that elusive perfect spin. A great gift for the kid’s can give and then share with dad. If he lets them!


Eco Friendly eCard

This is an ideal last minute gift as you can send it instantly. Specify the exact amount and send to any email address. It’s also a wonderfully environmental gift option.


Give an Experience not a Thing

If your father doesn’t need more things why not give him a memorable experience? Choose a date (sometime in the future obviously) and book either a 2 hour taster session or a whole day of beginner’s wood turning. You can even come with him and create some wonderful memories are well as wooden items.


Eco Positive Gifts

Any item bought from Love HeartWood, be it a spinning top, an e-card or a wood turning session, also plants a tree. My target is to plant a 1000 trees by March 1st 2021. If you’d like to match my donation and add a tree of your own you can. Simply add 40p into the ‘plant a tree’ box at checkout.

I hope my eco friendly gift ideas have inspired you to say a big thanks to your Dad. 

However you’re celebrating it I wish you a very Happy Father’s Day!

Liz

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Gift Guides featuring Love HeartWood

This Christmas I’m thrilled to have my sustainable products featured in two very cool gift guides. What’s really good though is that the gifts featured are not just for Christmas. They could just as easily be given for a birthday, anniversary or any special occasion. The first is The Ultimate Sustainable Christmas Gift Guide from

The Quirky Environmentalist

The Ultimate Sustainable Christmas Gift guide

The Quirky Environmentalist is a sustainable living blog with a focus on helping you live more sustainably and to understand environmental issues better. It’s written by #Yearofgreenaction Ambassador and physics graduate Izzy McLeod.

Her guide is great as it gives you so many ideas divided into helpful categories (13 in all). Love HeartWood’s Pencil Spinning Tops featured in the Waste Free Gifts For Children section. By choosing a gift from Izzy’s guide you are taking a step towards being a more conscious consumer. You can get gifts that aren’t just going to end up gathering dust on a shelf after Christmas. As Izzy says:

There are so many things out there that don’t involve copious amounts of plastic, waste, or even an awful lot of money.


The second is The Gift of Giving Guide from

Sincerely Essie

Sincerely Essie is an online magazine and community, created by Essie, focusing on empowering women. It features guest posts from various individuals on women’s lifestyle, health and parenting.

Essie’s guide is divided into 5 general categories. Love HeartWood’s Gnosi Rattle and Crafty Car‘s are featured in the Stationary & Toys section. By choosing a gift from Essie’s list you are supporting a small business but you will also be helping the environment, advocating ethical practices and aiding various charities with your purchase.

By checking out great gift guides like these for inspiration you can give in a much more meaningful way this Christmas. There are so many great ways to show you care that don’t involve a lot of money, waste or plastic.

Happy Gifting!

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Rustic Wedding Ideas – Wasing Park Open Day Autumn 2019

I didn’t really know what to expect of my first wedding fair. I never went to any when planning my own wedding. However, I’m happy to say I had a great time. I love hearing about wedding plans and I met some wonderful couples and their families. Many people were using the Open Day as an opportunity for their close family to see the venue and plan the room allocations. So essential for making sure everyone can enjoy the Big Day.

The staff at Wasing Park were absolutely lovely too. As well as making the guests feel welcome and comfortable they made sure all the suppliers were happy and comfortable too. They even brought us lunch!

I became a recommended supplier for Wasing Park earlier on this year and we’ve been working on a project that I can now reveal. If you’re having your wedding at Wasing from April 2020 on, I can make your favours and gifts from wood from the Wasing Park estate! This really does gives them a sense of place and specialness.

The outside of the Castle Barn decorated with upcycled tennis rackets. The Castle Barn’s where the Reception takes place.
The most beautifully romantic floral table centres by Ruby & Grace inside the Castle Barn.
The garden room is just one of the places you can have your ceremony at Wasing. Others include St Nicolas’ Church and the Victorian summer house.

Wooden Wedding Favours

These little wooden name tags proved very popular with everyone. Highly practical and unusual they make a great place name and favour in one.
If you want a fun ice breaker on your table how about personalised spinning tops? Again they do double duty as both place name and favour reducing waste and saving money. They can be coloured to match the wedding colour scheme or all different. it’s your choice.
This little lady makes a cute thank you for a flower girl or ring bearer. Wedding peg dolls can be painted in a matching outfit. Adding a personalised message on the base really makes her an extra special thank you. Page boys also available.

Woodland Inspired Thank You Gifts

Unique bridesmaid gifts are hard to find. By choosing hand made and sustainable you’re showing your love for your besties and the planet. Love HeartWood’s Acorn Jewellery Collection contains earrings, pendants and brooches that provide a little nod to nature if you’re having an Autumn wedding.
It can also be hard to find something meaningful to show your appreciation of your groomsmen and ushers. Love HeartWood’s wooden cuff links come in gold or silver. All wood is from Wasing of course.
Woods shown from left to right are oak, Ash , Silver Birch and Yew.

Suppliers with Something Special

Want something a bit retro and fun? Vintage Camper Booths. Guests can step inside, get dressed up and take a snap or record a video message.
Another sustainable, natural supplier Blossom Blessings. They provide gorgeous petal confetti and soothing herbal favours.

I’m looking forward to developing my relationship with Wasing Park. I’m so pleased to be able to work with wood that comes from their extensive woodland. To be able to create special tokens of thanks and love for such a significant day in people’s lives is a real thrill for me.