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Myakka Blog

Indian furniture, Dining Table, Nest of Tables, Cushions and Accessories

Movember Update - Week four, the finished Mo's

Friday, 30 November 2012

Today is the last day of Movember and as our minds slip firmly into December and Christmas we thought we would bring you our final Myakka Movember update. Haven’t the boys done well!? Nine of the Myakka guys started on the 1st Movember clean shaven and ready to start growing a Mo to help raise awareness for men’s health and eight (the ninth is currently off sailing the Atlantic so we aren’t quite sure of his progress!) of them have come out 30 days later with a Mo to be proud of. 

As of the 1st December the boys can be Mo free (until next year) and we are sure they can’t wait to get the razors out. We think it suits a few of them especially Paul and Martin who have put a lot of effort to grow very styled and matching Mos (bottom right and left). 

Don’t forget as well as raising awareness, Movember is also about raising as much money as possible for Men’s health charities such as Prostate Cancer UK and the Institute of Cancer Research. So if you would like to make a donation to the boys and all their effort simply visit and follow the simple instructions.

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Surin Furniture – the Monkey Pod Wood Range

As our Surin furniture range grows in popularity, we’d like to give you an overview of how the tables and stools are made. This process is slightly different from our other ranges of furniture and can take longer as it involves extended drying periods and is based around a cottage industry with small family units hand carving just a few select designs.

Monkey Pod Wood
Also known locally as Acacia wood, Monkey Pod wood is thought to be named after the monkeys that used to gather below its canopy and eat the seed pods of the tree. The tree is fast growing, about 1.5m a year up to about 24m tall and has a canopy which normally reached 30m but can grow as large as 60m. Because the Monkey Pod tree grows so quickly it makes it a very sustainable hardwood and is perfect for furniture manufacture. The straight grain and coarse texture allows it to be relatively easily carved into interesting shapes… perfect for items such as the Surin Forest Table.  The trees were originally planted to offer shades in open areas such as parks and also to offer shade to crops from the hot tropical sun.  

Surin Furniture Production
The production of our Surin furniture differs significantly from the production of our Sheesham, Acacia and Mango wood furniture ranges. Surin furniture is hand carved in Thailand predominantly by small family units. The skills of carving and woodwork are passed down through generations and small family units generally work together, specialising in one or two designs only. For example, one family may be skilled in carving the Infinity Table while another family will specialise Elephant and Owl Tables.

The small, fair trade suppliers will provide the families with the wood which is normally harvested from older trees on managed plantations. The skilled craftspeople have to wait for the wood to be dry enough to carve which can sometime take a number of weeks. Then once they have worked their skilful magic, the carved table is left to dry further, sometimes in kilns although most are left to dry naturally in the warmth of the sun. While this improves the environmental credentials of the finished item, it can take some time as it is weather dependent and like ours, the Thai seasons can vary from ‘hot and dry’ to ‘rainy and mild’. From start to finish, this construction process including seasoning can take up to four months. Once complete, the furniture is hand waxed to bring out the natural lustre and highlight the interesting grain and colours of the timber, before being packed ready for shipping to the Myakka warehouse.

Surin Furniture Care
Although the manufacturing process is different for our Surin furniture range, it is still a solid wood piece of furniture so our care instructions are very similar. To enjoy years of happy use and good service from your furniture, we recommend just a few simple care tips:

  •   Wax your furniture occasionally: We recommend using Mylands Clear Wax which helps protect, develop and deepen the lustre of the grain. We would recommend avoiding the use of silicon based polish sprays as they block the natural pores of the wood and prevents it from breathing. 
  •  Avoid direct sunlight: As with any solid wood item, it's wise to avoid direct sunlight or heat sources as they may cause movement or cracking of the wood.
  •  Keep mats & coasters handy: Because our furniture is traditionally waxed (not lacquered or varnished), heat and liquids may cause a bloom or ring marks to appear. Keep a supply of coasters handy – we have the perfectly matched, wooden ones in our accessories collection.
  •  If you should get a ring mark on your hardwood furniture, click here to watch our short video showing you how to remove it in moments.
  •  Use felt pads: As minimal moisture may remain in these products, we would recommend the use of felt pads to allow ventilation around the base. 

As you will understand, due to the truly handmade nature of our Surin furniture, every piece is an artistic original and no two will ever be the same, each enjoying slightly different grain, carving and colour.  By its very nature, the manufacturing process can take a little longer but we hope you’ll agree, the end result will be worth the wait!

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Next Season Samples Are Here!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Even though Christmas seems to be dominating the conversation here at Myakka, we are looking forward to spring and the release of our new spring catalogue in March. Currently we are preparing for a week’s photography of all the new samples that are arriving here at Myakka HQ.

We have had lots of lovely accessories arrive in including some brand new designs such as table runners, new throws and quilts and new cushions. We have now been working with our textile supplier for just under two years and we are getting some great new designs from them. Simon visited India in October and he spent some time working with them to make sure the designs are exactly as we want them.

As well as lovely new textiles we have lots of new furniture pieces arriving ready for the final sign off before photography next week. We have been busy designing new pieces for the Mallani, Hathi and Orissa ranges and we have some lovely new pieces to feature in our new spring catalogue 2013! Many of the designs have been based on customer requests.

Photography begins next week where Georgie and team will be taking over a lovely old house in Salisbury to get some great shots of the furniture in a home setting. Watch this space for a behind the scenes photography update in December and the new spring catalogue in March.

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Our Top 10 Christmas Gifts

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Here at Myakka HQ when we aren't talking about furniture the topic of the moment is Christmas and Christmas shopping. Some of us have completed it, some of us haven’t even started yet. So to lend a helping hand to those of us who just need a little inspiration we have put together a list of our favourite Myakka Christmas gifts...

1.    Surin Library Table
These great book stack tables make the perfect gift for any book lover. Made from solid Monkey Pod wood this table is hand carved to create not only a useful piece of furniture but a work of art.

2.  Wall- Mounted Kitchen Tidy
This kitchen tidy makes the ideal gift for both the house proud and the foodies. With five ceramic drawers and a matching spice jars, hooks and kitchen towel holder this tidy makes the perfect unit to keep everything they need easily to hand.

3.    Moti Ari Cushions
These cushions make the perfect gift for anyone who likes a bit of colour and sparkle in their home. Now available in seven colours and in in two sizes, small and large and made from recycled wedding saris, these cushions are glamour with a conscious.

4.    Motorcycle Rocking Chair
Give them something the will last a lifetime. This cool motorcycle rocking chair will get the imaginations going and will be a favourite long after Christmas has finished. Carved from solid monkey pod wood with a safe and sturdy base, it is even robust enough for parents!

5.    Surin Storyteller’s Chair
Hand carved from solid Thai Monkey Pod wood, this generously sized chair is perfect for one to curl up and enjoy a story. It makes perfect place to let imaginations run wild.

6.    Swimming Fish Candle Holder
This quirky candle holder is perfect for any fish lovers you have on your list. This candle holder will accommodate four tea-lights or pillar candles and the free moving fish will reflect the light beautifully.  The perfect finishing touch for both the mantle-piece and table centre.

7.    Mauve and Green Floral Cotton Quilt
This pretty quilt is a firm favourite here at Myakka. With muted, subtle colours this elegant quilt will look beautiful draped over the end of a bed or ad comfort to a sofa. Soft mauve and green flowers form the pattern on a base on sage green finished with a soft dusky mauve velvet border makes this quilt the perfect gift.

8.    Wooden Giraffe Chair
This is a favourite with so many children who come into the Myakka shop. A friendly giraffe face has been carved and painted to form the back support to this kid friendly chair. Finished with spots on the seat of the chair this will bring a smile to every child’s face.

9.    Patchwork Footstool
Available in four bright colours these pretty and practical footstools make the ideal gift for someone who needs to take the weight of their feet a little more the Christmas. The footstool is made from recycled embroidered and embellished patchwork.

10.    Contemporary Nest of Table
The Myakka classic, the nest of tables makes the perfect present. They are perfect for small spaces and for those who love to entertain. This neat nest of three tucks away neatly when not in use but provides three useful surfaces when needed. All made from solid Sheesham wood.

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Movember Update – Week Three

Monday, 26 November 2012

As we have moved into week three of Movember the Mo’s are really beginning to take shape of the Myakka guys top lips and are now a lot more photogenic! The Mo’s now almost look like proper moustaches and less like they have forgotten to shave!

Movember really does raise awareness and more and more poeple are aware of Movember and the reasons behind growing the Mo.

Don’t forget the boys are doing this for a great cause and you can help by making a donation to help improve men’s health. You can donate and support the ‘Myakka’ team, any individual or just make a general donation. Making a donation is really simple and anything you give will be going towards helping Movember's men’s health partners such as Prostate Cancer UK and The Institute of Cancer Research.

To make a donation to this great cause simply click here

Simply search for the Myakka team to support our efforts or make a general donation, every little really helps. It really is very simple.

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Get 10% off when you spend £200 or more

Thursday, 22 November 2012

A little help with your Christmas shopping from Myakka…

Whether you’re getting your home ready for the festive season with our beautiful hardwood furniture and home accessories, or stocking up on fair trade gifts for friends and family, this is a great opportunity to boost your shopping powers by 10%!

Simply quote ‘MINCEPIE’ at the checkout to claim your discount.

Order value excludes delivery charge. This offer is only available to use once per person and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion.
Valid until 3rd December only.

Hurry – shop now for guaranteed pre-Christmas delivery on all in stock items.

Somerset Business Awards 2012 Update

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

On Friday evening 10 of the Myakka team attended the Somerset Business Awards at Somerset County Cricket Club for a lavish awards ceremony. The evening we had all been waiting for had finally arrived and we were ready to find out how we had done in the Service Excellence Award. We are always so excited and very flattered to be finalists for these exciting awards.

This was our third time at the Somerset Business Awards and it is always a great evening with great food and a lovely atmosphere. As soon as the four course dinner was finished it was time for the all-important awards ceremony. The Service Excellence was the first award of the evening so we didn’t have to wait long to find out how we had done. After the three finalists were announced and a short film was shown for each of the finalist the winner was announced. We came second and we are very proud of this result. We pride ourselves on our levels if customer service and we always try and exceed our customer’s expectations and getting this recognition was a great result for us.

The whole team had a great evening. The food was delicious and the cheese board was as good as last year with massive slices of cheese! We were up against some stiff competition and the winners were all very worthy. 

The aim of the awards is to raise the profile of business is Somerset both locally, nationally and even internationally. It is great to see so many other local businesses doing so well.
Congratulations to all the winners and all the runners up!

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Gardening Through the Dark Months

Monday, 19 November 2012

Georgie from CommonFarm Flowers is back with her next instalment of her guest blog for us, this time about gardening through the winter months. With her positive outlook towards looking forward to spring and ideas on what to plant now, it really is a great read for any gardening fans....

I find that the more I garden the less I notice the winter.  Not because the days are any longer or the nights any lighter, but because I never stop planting for the next light season, and the promise of next year is always there.  From September when I clear the still-flowering sweet peas out of their beds and compost them, to October when the rest of the annuals are ripped out and the bare beds mulched with well-rotted horse manure, and on through November when the cold nights have me reaching for the kindling, the matches, and a fire, here at Common Farm Flowers there’s always planting to be done, and often there are signs of the spring to come.

In September we plant daffs where the sweet peas were, and my first crop of paperwhites, brought on in the house for an early few posies are about to flower now, their scent rich and honeyed.  We plant hyacinths too, for forcing later, and all the nice big plants that have come from the seed we put in in June are planted out in sheltered beds for flowering in the early spring: white wall flowers, sweet william, californian poppies, honesty, sweet rocket, all have time to settle in and send down deep roots before the cold weather sets in.

We plant a lot of seed in September too: though overwintering hardy annuals is a labour of love in my opinion, for me, it is a labour well worth devoting myself to.  The sight of the tiny marigold, sweet pea and cornflower shoots just curling out of their compost in early October, gives me heart. The days are getting shorter, and suddenly there’s a bite of frost, but these strong little friends battle on through the cold.  Though with this weekend’s cold snap forecast I will take pity on them and move them into the poly tunnel. 

So through October the bulb planting continues: camassia, a lovely tall spiked blue prairie plant from the USA loves our thick clay and naturalises happily in the long grass under the acers.  We planted a mix of them, black tulips (a little early – usually tulips are planted in November, but I’m a great believer in doing something when the mood takes me), and my favourite pheasant eye narcissi together under the field maples behind the wild dogwood hedge: so long as the mice and rabbits don’t mow the lot they’ll make a marvellous show in the spring.  I imagine the bulbs fattening up in the damp clay soil, shooting lemon yellow spikes towards the rough grass mat they must work their way through and another wintry day of threatening gloom is gone.

In November the tulips go in: here not that many (for a flower farm), about 1,400, lots of different colours, shapes and moods.  Some of them are in the long grass, some in beds for cropping, and some will go in crates for forcing in the poly tunnel when they’ve had a good few weeks of cold.  I’ll make space for them in there tunnel next to the anemones and ranunculus which are just sprouting through the compost in which I planted them after ripping out the tomatoes about a month ago.  You see how we work here: rip out one crop, make room for another, mulch, water, feed the soil and plant again.  It is the tiniest shoots forcing themselves through compost which give me the most pleasure at this time of year.  Yes, I’m cutting chrysanthemums, and narcissi, gorgeously coloured autumn folliage and berries, but those green shoots sprouting promise me spring, and I’ll nurse them through the winter with fleece and bubble wrap, night lights in jam-jars, parafin burners, anything I have in my armoury so that we’ll have a good crop come springtime and I won’t have had time to notice the dark.

To plant now:

  • Sweet pea seed: soak overnight in warm water before planting into deep post of good seed compost.  Leave outside to sprout but do protect from mice who love a swelling sweet pea seed more than you do chocolate.
  • Tulips: a splash of early spring colour brings joy to any garden.  Close plant some in terracotta pots and when they’re about to flower bring them into the house as living flower arrangements.  Pots of tulips are great because you can move them about to wherever they’ll give you most pleasure. 
  • If you have room: plant a bare root tree or order bare root roses.  Plant these into slit trenches having dipped them into rooting gel easily available from garden centres.  Mulch them (so that the manure doesn’t touch the stems) with well rotted horse manure and stand back to watch them shoot.
  • Take hard wood cuttings: a pot filled with s sand cut compost and struck with a circle of cuttings of spring flowering viburnum or a rose that you love will inspire you to plan a newly arranged border, give you plants to give to friends, but most of all give you hope through the winter as you watch, in amazement, the first white curl of root peeping out from the bottom of the pot. 


  • When you dig over your borders watch out for rooted plantlets coming away from established plants: sedum, helleniums and wild daisies will happily give you little rooted cuttings from the edge of a clump to pot up and save for the spring.  Equally watch out for self-seeded perennials which mustn’t be wasted: pot up alcamilla and aquilegia (columbine or grannies’ bonnets) seedlings and give to friends or save for a rearranged border. 
  • Make heaps of seed heads and garden detritus: just knowing that there’s probably a nest inside a heap of horticultural debris in which  gardening team mates like toads, hedgehogs and beneficial insects might be over-wintering is enough to cheer this gardener on even the grimmest of wet winter days.
  • The garden may look, from a distance, as though it’s sleeping through the winter, but watch it closely and you’ll see that barely a day passes without something moving on towards spring.

Make sure you keep a look out for our next guest blog.We have many more on the way about all kinds of interesting subjects.  So watch this space!

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