We’re really excited about the latest addition to our range – although actually its less of an addition more of an added extra!!
We now offer a bespoke embroidery service, so that you can personalise our organic kitchen aprons with someones name, favourite phrase or even both.We embroider each apron to order – the embroidery is done here in the UK. The lead time is 5-10 days, so we recommend not leaving it too late if you want a personalised apron for a special birthday gift, housewarming present or even a wedding present.
We can even send your personalised apron direct to the recipient in one of our posh Ochre and Ocre gift boxes with a handwritten fabric covered gift tag.
We put together a selection of our favourite phrases for our photo shoot to help give an idea of what can be created.
You can choose from 3 different fonts, and we’ve chosen the best thread colour to go with each of our designs and colours, (there is a choice of 2 on the Madelaine designs).
The rest is literally up to you.
As for the photoshoot – well as you can imagine any shoot involving 7 children (one under 6 months!) was a bit chaotic! Luckily we’ve worked with photographer Rachel Spivey for the past 6 years, and as a consummate pro she was cool, calm and talented in the face of lots of noise, toddlers eating cake decorations by the handful, and disappearing when we needed them! A huge thank you to all of our models.
Luckily she captured the essence of Ochre and Ocre again in this shoot – practical, colourful and wearable!
The latest design joining the Ochre and Ocre stable of organic homewares is called Garden.
The starting point for the design was Tess’s mums garden at the height of the summer last year. Tess wandered around her mums garden with her camera phone shooting the flowers and plants that were in bloom. It is a very beautiful english country garden on the Welsh borders and it was the simple petal shapes of the Hydrangea and Cranesbill flowers that provided the starting point for the design. Working with graphic designer Lindsey Joyce, Tess was able to turn her ideas into a finished design.
The colour palette was drawn from the natural colours in the British countryside and chosen to compliment the existing Ochre and Ocre designs.
The Garden Green Grey looks lovely when mixed with the Madelaine Sage polka dot and the Garden Ochre Grey works well together with the Ledbury Ochre Grey.
Tess wanted to get a feeling of her mums garden into the shoot but given the time of year (early Spring) and the British weather, an outdoor shoot was not an option. So she opted for the next best thing; bringing the English countryside indoors. She chose to work with local company Great British Florist as their range of British grown flowers were the perfect accompaniment to the new design.
Tess worked with Rachel Spivey and her assistant Dan Barnes to create some great shots. Rachel has worked with Ochre and Ocre from the early days and has a real understanding of the brand, and is brilliant at capturing a relaxed, informal feel to the shots.
Needless to say having worked together for so long there are quite a few laughs, and we had great fun at the shoot.
We were really lucky to have the use of a rather gorgeous kitchen for our shoot, (big thank you to Jan, Nigel and Nigella, and of course Amigo for letting us take over for a day) with some amazing views of Midsummer Hill (part of the Malverns) in the background.
Even the dogs got in on the act and as well as our pair of frenchies, Amigo a cute terrier was rather loathe to get out of the pet bed.
Visit the Ochre and Ocre website to see the new design.
We were so pleased to come across Mangle and Wringer and their natural cleaning products; and thrilled when Vanessa the founder agreed to write this piece for us on natural stain removal, as it is something we get asked about alot. They have a fantastic natural bleach which we would recommend for removing stains from tablecloths.
Mangle and Wringer are also offering a whopping 15% discount off their products, so you can try them for yourself. Simply pop over to their website http://www.mangleandwringer.co.uk and use the discount oando14 when you check out. Valid from October 1st until 30th November. Look out for a special giveaway from Mangle and Wringer in next months newsletter.
But for now we will hand you over to Mangle and Wringer to share some of their tricks of the trade;
There’s nothing more annoying, after giving a lovely party for family and friends, than spending days afterwards trying to get the red wine and spilt curry or spag bol off the tablecloth and napkins! And if you’re a messy cook like me a lot ends up on the tea towels as well!
The good news is that stains and spills can be removed quickly and easily, without the use of harsh chemicals, if you follow a few simple rules.
The most important one is to identify the stain you’re dealing with. Most people assume that a good – often double – dose of detergent and hot water is the answer, but in fact hot water will set protein stains permanently and you wont be able to shift a tannin stain once you’ve tried to remove it with soap.
To make it easier stains fall into four main categories:
Tannin stains are usually liquid and include: fruit juices, wine, tea, coffee, colas, tomato juice, beer and alcohol stains. They respond well to hot water but will set permanently if you use soap.
Grease stains usually respond well to hot water and soap. If a grease stain remains after washing, however, don’t iron the fabric until the stain has been completely removed as the heat will set it.
Protein stains are usually quite easy to remove but avoid any form of heat initially as hot water will set these stains. Make sure they’ve been completely removed before you iron them or put them in a dryer.
Protein stains include protein food types: milk, egg, cream, yogurt; organic stains like mud and grass and bodily fluids: blood, urine, faeces and vomit, for example.
Combination stains are a mix of the above: coffee and cream, for example or sauces that contain grease and tannin or grease and protein and which are often the most difficult to tackle.
The next essential is speed. Obvious really, but the quicker you can treat a spill or stain the more likely it is to come out immediately. Start with the simplest method first: often saturating with soda water will remove a red wine or juice stain immediately. Forget the white wine remedy! It’s just the fact that it’s liquid and as far as I’m concerned a waste of good alcohol!
Remember less is more. It’s very easy to put the tablecloth or tea towels in the washing machine, add an extra scoop of powder, a dose of stain remover and increase the washing temperature only to find the stain is still there when you take it out. Far better to spend a bit of time tackling the stain in the right way before it goes into the machine. A persistent approach is the best one. Don’t give up after the first attempt as little and often can work wonders.
It helps to have a few natural stain removers on hand, which can include:
Bicarbonate of soda is a fantastic natural stain remover. It is safe and non-toxic and works on most surfaces to clean and deodorise them. In the laundry it can be added to hand washed items to help break down protein stains. As a stain remover make into a paste with a little water and leave on for 30 – 60 minutes. It is especially effective for mud, grass and perspiration stains.
Cornflour is great for greasy stains. Sprinkle onto fabric and rub gently. Leave for 30 – 60 minutes and brush off. Launder as normal.
Glycerine is a great stain remover for tannin stains. Mix glycerine 50:50 with water and work into the back of the stain. Leave for 30 minutes. Launder as normal.
Lemon Juice acts as a mild bleach. Apply directly to the stain and leave to dry.
This is particularly effective on white fabrics and if left in the sun works doubly fast. On coloured fabrics a colour test is recommended.
Milk is the original enzyme cleaner! It is very effective on juice stains and washable inks.
Turpentine is a natural oil distilled from pine resin. It is a great solvent for oil, tar and paint stains, however it must be used with great care, as it is toxic and flammable.
Soap is perfect for greasy stains and great for collars and cuffs where it can be rubbed on prior to washing in hot water. Never use soap on tannin stains.
Soda water is a great remedy for coffee, tea, wine and other tannin stains as described above.
Washing up liquid is good for removing greasy stains. It should preferably be a colourless, biodegradable, plant based detergent, which is unperfumed.
Apply directly and agitate the fabric. Rinse in hot water.
White vinegar is another mild bleach. Perfect for use on urine stains as a deordoriser, mud and grass. Soak for 1 – 2 hours. On coloured fabric a colour test is recommended.
Tannin stains respond well to hot water but remember not to use soap of any kind until the stain in completely removed. Run hot water through the stain and if possible pull taut over a bowl with an elastic band and pour the hot water from a height to force it out. Be careful of splashes. If the stain remains use glycerine or white vinegar and work into the fabric. For older stains Mangle & Wringer Natural Bleach is very effective.
Grease stains respond well to hot water and soap. Add soap directly to fabric and agitate in hot water. Once the stain has been removed launder as normal.
Protein stains respond well to rinsing in cold water and can usually be completely removed if tackled quickly this way. Bicarbonate of Soda works well on protein stains followed by soap. For older stains Mangle & Wringer Natural Bleach is very effective.
Combination stains are more complicated. For combination stains without the tannin element tackle the protein part first. Soak in cool water and apply soap to both sides of the stain. Agitate and soak until stain is removed. Launder in warm water. For combination stains with tannin, tackle first with glycerine or vinegar. Once removed use soap and warm water and launder as normal.
For stubborn stains we recommend Mangle & Wringer Natural Bleach. It is safe and gentle and completely biodegradable. For further information see:
Please persist and be patient. It may take a few attempts to remove stubborn stains, but it often doesn’t take more effort, just a little time and it can be very satisfying.
© Vanessa Willes 2014
Vanessa Willes is founder of Natural Cleaning Remedy company Mangle & Wringer.
Launched in 2013 Vanessa was lucky enough to inherit cleaning recipes and tips from long time housekeeper Bette Smith.
Bette went into service at the age of 14 in 1934 and spent the next 15 years as a kitchen maid, laundry maid, housemaid and eventually lady’s maid. In 1949 she moved to Gloucestershire with her husband and young family where she ran a thriving laundry business, earning the name ‘Mrs Mangle’.
You can read more about our story at:
After spending a lifetime in retail working 6 months to a year ahead has become the norm. Because of production lead times and press requirements you need to allow time to get sampling in early, and creating images that will grab the imagination of the magazines.But even a hardened retail hack like me still finds trying to recreate Christmas in the gloriously sunny British weather quite surreal.
What we were trying to achieve this time was four very different Christmas stories, but using our current designs rather than specific Christmassy ones. Luckily we could set up the day before, as you will not believe how much work goes into getting every setting look right. Lots and lots of ironing of the Organic Cotton table cloths and napkins to make sure the base is perfect, before we get to add all the props. The work of making all the props started weeks before, with handmade crackers, gift wrapping boxes, and making stars. The lovely peeps at Squeak Gift & Party kindly lent us some of their beautiful ceramic stars and snowflakes which we threaded onto fishing wire for our back drop.
One of the biggest problems with working out of season is finding the right greenery and flowers to keep it looking authentic and Christmassy. No mistletoe or holly with berries, luckily ivy is in abundance all year round. Poinsettia are out of season, but a simple red or white rose still looks right. Another challenge is then keeping everything looking fresh in the heat, (cue lots of water sprays and keeping the studio dark before the shoot).
As always there are a few things that are unexpected. After spending days painting some chairs to go with the shoot, when the new seat pads turned up the day before we realised they were the wrong shape for the chairs – so some last minute scrambling around for different props was required.
As you know at Ochre and Ocre we do love our dogs, so it has become a bit of a Christmas tradition to do a Christmas dog shot – unfortunately due to the heat our office pooch was not quite up to the part, but she gamely performed, and after a bit of arm waving and treat dangling she looked the part!
We are very lucky to have worked with the same photographer over the past few years now, and I feel Rachel Spivey really understands Ochre and Ocre the brand and what we want from our pics. She is also a perfectionist, and no creases or wonky forks will go unnoticed. Rachel is assisted by Dan, and he really adds to the mix as that third pair of eyes spotting things we’ve missed, grabbing some great impromptu shots and some energy for all the lifting and carrying when we are flagging!
We can’t wait to share the new pics with you, but we will leave it until it’s a bit closer to Christmas!!
Written by Tess Heslop from Ochre and Ocre