Home & Garden

Annual service for wood burners, multi fuel and solid fuel stoves

Housewarming Selby offer a complete annual service for wood burners, multi fuel and solid fuel stovesAt the beginning or end of each heating season, as well having your chimney swept, your stove should undergo an annual service which will include stripping, inspecting and cleaning the appliance. It is recommended that this work is carried out by a HETAS registered installer to ensure all checks are carried out efficiently and you are safe in the knowledge that your stove is operating at it's peak performance and not allowing the ingress of Carbon Monoxide into your home. We offer a complete annual inspection and service on all solid fuel, wood burning and multi fuel stoves and we can also recommend a good and reliable chimney sweep.

After a long period out of use your stove will certainly benefit from at little care and attention. It's best to consider this service now rather than waiting until you need your heating, if minor work or spares are required it gives you chance to have the work completed without causing disruption or leaving your home cold. Also for you peace of mind we supply long lifespan CO monitors which will give an audible warning if Carbon Monoxide is detected. As the gas is colourless and odourless it can go unnoticed and presents a health hazard if there are serious issues with your stove or flue system.

Housewarming Selby
56 Flaxley Road,
North Yorkshire
01757 212992


Homemade Spiced Plum Jam

Homemade Spiced Plum JamThere is often a glut of soft fruits at this time of year. Plums seem to have done remarkably well due to the long hot summer. However there are only so many plum to can or should eat. Consider the effects of prunes... If you've a tree full of plums heading towards the over ripe stage, this recipe is for you. Bring it out at Christmas to remind the family of the warm late summer days.


3kg very ripe plums
500g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, to taste.


(1) Wash plums, dry and remove stones. Cut into small pieces and mix with sugar. Allow plums to soak overnight.
(2)Place plums into a heavy pot and bring to the boil while stirring constantly. Reduce temperature to a gentle simmer. Simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours, stirring often. Once the plums begins to thicken, stir in cinnamon and cloves.
(3)Fill into clean screw-cap jars.

Environmentally Friendly Wood Burning Stoves

Northern Living - Environmentally Friendly Wood Burning Stoves - Housewarming SelbyThe early 21st Century has seen a time-warp of sorts, as more and more homes have gone back to burning wood – hundreds of years after it was largely abandoned, firstly in favour of coal and then subsequently, oil, gas and electricity. The lure of this natural, renewable and carbon neutral fuel is easy to understand, but like every other form of energy we harness to help us live our lives, it has an effect on the environment – though in some ways that you might not expect.

One area that has produced some concern is the particulate emissions coming from wood burning stoves. Obviously in built up areas this might conceivably become a problem, but even so, a typical wood burner emits only around 30 per cent of a conventional open fire – so they’re unlikely to cause much of a problem under normal circumstances, despite their growing popularity. Although some places have been designated “smoke control areas” by the local authority under the provisions of the Clean Air Act (1993), a number of manufacturers have designed wood burning stoves which are classified as “exempt” for use here too. Making sure that you only burn fully dried logs – or commercially available pellet or chip fuels – should help avoid creating too much in the way of smoke or particles. Even if you don’t live in a smoke control area it's not a bad idea. Efficiency has a big influence on the environmental impact of using any kind of energy – and wood is no exception. The good news here is that the latest generation of wood burning stoves offer unprecedented levels of efficiency compared with the alternatives. Today’s stoves can routinely achieve 80% or more, while conventional open fires offer 25% at best – dropping to around 5% at worst.

Habitat and Biodiversity

One very positive aspect of the upsurge in wood burning has been its effect on biodiversity and habitat. With a growing commercial value in forestry products, managing woods has itself received a welcome shot in the arm at a time when, in many parts of the country, natural woodland habitats and the species that depend on them have been suffering from years of gradual decline. Wood is, clearly, one of the most sustainable of all fuels; growing trees in Britain is scarcely hard. In choosing and using it to heat our homes we pick as near perfectly carbon neutral a source of energy as it’s possible to find, while at the same time helping to ensure the long-term future of forests and the animals and plants that thrive in them. As impacts go, that surely has to be a pretty good outcome!

Everything we do has environmental implications, and that is as true of wood burning as it is for anything else. Utilising any energy source – however essentially renewable it may be – inevitably has some kind of an impact, even if the overall environmental cost/benefit balance ultimately ends up being a positive one. All in all, given its growing popularity, although wood burning might seem a decidedly backward-step, it looks like its time has come!

Article sponsored by Housewarming Selby
56 Flaxley Road,
North Yorkshire.

01757 212992


Crystalis3d Ltd

Crystalis3d Ltd - Converting your photos into 3D and laser etching into crystal glass – ever wondered how it is done?

Crystalis3d Ltd - Converting your photos into 3D and laser etching into crystal glass – ever wondered how it is done?

3D laser etching is created by manipulating digital images with sophisticated software and a sub surface laser machine.
Crystalis3d Ltd specialises in converting normal digital photos (2D) into 3D images and laser etching them into crystal glass blocks. Once the photo has either been scanned or received digitally, editing work is then carried out to create the final 2D image before converting it into 3D. This can include repairing a damaged photo, taking out the back ground, adding two or more photos together. With the latest software, designed and created in Germany, a CAD mannequin is created to emulate the 2D image. The subject matter of the photo can be anything ie pet, sport, cars, buildings, people, logos. Once the CAD mannequin has been created the photo is then wrapped around the 3D mannequin giving the photo a curved 3D effect. The next stage is to convert the 3D photo into a ‘point cloud’ this means that the 3D image is changed into thousands of dots, the light colours in the image being the most intense. Once the ‘point cloud’ has been created another software communicates with the sub surface laser machine calculating the X Y & Z axis of each image according to the size of crystal glass block they wish to work with from a range of sizes; 30x20x15mm to 200x150x100mm.

Crystalis3d Ltd - Converting your photos into 3D and laser etching into crystal glass – ever wondered how it is done?

High grade K9 crystal glass is transparent to laser light, so laser can pass through without causing damage. With the use of digital high definition control, the intensity at a given point exceeds the threshold within the glass crystal only were this is intended and effectively you can control the etching process with incredibly high precession. As a result a microscope point is made. By making many millions of points in this fashion the complete 3 dimensional image can be formed. When you look at an engraved crystal, the marked area shows up as white and unmarked area as background transparent glass.

Once the image has been lasered wording can be added to crystal as a special message, name, date etc.
Each crystal is made to the customer’s specifications creating a unique memento that will be cherished and appreciated, whether a memento, gift or trophy, personal or for business. Crystalis3d Ltd offers this unique service.
“We have the latest software and technical expertise to convert your photos into 3D and laser them into crystal glass.”
With a Studio based in North Yorkshire, Crystalis3d also have a 3D scanner which can take perfect headshot portraits of people to be laser etched into crystal glass.

Crystalis3d - Crystal engraving, have you ever wondered how it's done? Crystalis3d Ltd
The Old Vicarage,
North Yorkshire.
YO51 9LY
07824 557253
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Cherry Laurel - Prunus Laurocerasus. Seasonal Dangerous Plant Warning.

Cherry Laurel - Prunus laurocerasus. Seasonal dangerous plant warning.  At this time of year and with an increased number of Polish folk living in Britain it is worth making a specific note of the Cherry Laurel and perhaps also making your children familiar with it. It is a widespread shrub used in urban spaces. In the spring it has clumps of attractive white flowers and at this time of year – August onwards these result in fruits which look like a small glossy black cherry. Throughout the year the shrub retains glassy dark green oval leaves, which can be confused with the Bay leave. Such a mistake as popping a could of leaving in your lasagna would result in the whole family spending the evening in A&E. although the greater majority of the toxic agents would have evaporated due to cooking temperatures and your mistake would be unlikely to be fatal. The seeds, twigs and wilted leaves of the plant contain the chemicals Cyanogenic Glycoside and Amygdalin which are very poisonous and can cause death if eaten. The chemicals result in the evolution of cyanide if the leaves or pits within the berries specifically, are crushed. The whole plant should be treat with a reasonable respect. Certainly using a garden chipper to dispose of the prunings in a confined space would be very unwise. Likewise transporting bundles or prunings in a car would be much safer with at least one window open. 

The increased danger of poisoning over several years has counter-intuitively arisen as a result of the greater skill of our Eastern Europeans friends when dealing with wild plants and fungi. In Poland a sweet jam is prepared in some rural locations using the fruiting bodies of the Cherry Laurel. Great care is used in removing the flesh from the berry without damaging the pit within. In doing so they harvest the only part of the whole plant which is safe to eat. Unfortunately in recent year several children have been seriously poisoned having eaten the fruits. I has been suggested that seeing Eastern European people collecting the berries has given the false impression that they are safe to eat.

Although it would be dangerous to indicate a lethal dose, both the leaves and the pit within the berry can readily kill a grown adult in surprisingly small quantities. It is best admired as a shrub and left well alone. Making, especially, teenagers aware of the dangers of this shrub could save unnecessary incidences of poisoning.


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