Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Heartfelt LLC in Minneapolis, MN


http://www.heartfeltonline.com/
Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -

We are very excited to share that we have a new indie shop in Minneapolis that will be carrying our natural wood teething rattles & a few spirit shakers.  The concept behind Heartfelt is wonderful. 

http://www.heartfeltonline.com/

"Heartfelt is a cozy one-of-a-kind shop nestled in the Linden Hills neighborhood near Lake Harriet in Southwest Minneapolis. Heartfelt stocks a unique selection of natural gifts, toys and crafts, as well as offering inspiring and unusual craft classes. Vibrant colors, interesting products, comfy chairs and a large table for craft classes make the shop intriguing for adults and children alike."  It sounds like an amazing place and one that every community should be so lucky to have.  If you live in the area, please stop in for a visit and next week you can start shaking our teethers/spirits!

Treehouse for child play & large crafting table
http://www.heartfeltonline.com/

Thank you for visiting and Happy Spring to you & yours,
Ellie Efforts

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cutie Pie in Hood River and A February Slideshow

 Good Morning Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -


It's always such a joy to be contacted by an indie shop who wants to carry our natural teething rattles, but when they're already familiar with them because their kiddos grew up chewing on them - that deserves a HURRAH!

This morning we're heading to the post with the first order for Cutie Pie Consigment in the beautiful city of Hood River along the Columbia Gorge on the Oregon side.  They first discovered our teething rattles in Eugene where they lived until they purchased Cutie Pie last year.  They have a wonderful following in their community and a newly remodeled shop that is getting rave reviews from their customers.  We look forward to a visit one day and hope if you get up that way you stop in to say hello and shake some rattles!

Flooded Hiking Trail

Season Earnest Efforts Creek

Earnest Efforts Woods

I love the pic of my boots in the water - I'm standing in the middle of our hiking trail.  Myrtle gets a hike every day around our land in Olalla Valley in SW Oregon.  We have created paths that weave through the woods, pastures, along the creeks and up on the hill - over 2 miles in trails.  Although the weather has been gorgeous for the past 2 weeks, prior to that we had some good solid Oregon rain.  It came back last night, so we're back to growing moss between our toes.

Not a picture of Earnie's bloody thumb

In January we were both laid out flat by a horrible flu virus that attacked our lungs.  Terrible, and I saw Earnie sick for the first time in 16 years.  Seriously sick.  I got to learn all kinds of new skills in the shop like overcoming my fear of the router (not the bandsaw).  It's just so horribly loud & powerful and I could just imagine it taking off across the Sawdust Cathedral on it's own.  It didn't and all went well and just when he was starting to feel better - seriously - maybe an hour after he told me that he thought he could go back to work in the morning - he opened his thumb with the lid of a soup can.  (I had vowed to buy a new & properly functioning can opener earlier that week).  For Pete's Sake!  It was really bad and we got to drive to the hospital, 40 minutes, in the dark, pouring rain.  Ugh!  19 stitches later, and I got to practice my routering skills some more :-)

California Redwood Pin
What's new in the world of wood?  After I cut all my long hair off, I sadly realized I could no longer wear my gorgeous hair barrettes, which I often pointed to as an example of our work when someone wanted to know what we create.  My Mom had the brilliant idea of using one of my barrettes as a scarf pin and was getting rave reviews everywhere she went.  So, we bought some pin backs and I started making wood pins.  You can view a handful of them in our Etsy shop

Redwood, Fig, Smoke Bush, Birdseye Maple Burl (from top left clockwise)
I have to say I'm thoroughly enjoying making and wearing these new pieces, because I can use even smaller bits of scrap wood than I was able with the barrettes. 

Eugene Saturday Market
We are just 3 weeks away from the opening day of our Eugene Saturday Market and I'm afraid we have a lot of work to do to be prepared.  We've sold out of nearly all of our market inventory through our Etsy shop and we've been distracted by two rooms in our house...

Our House
...our office and Middle Earth.  Our house was a turkey shed in the 1880's and only became an actual house in the 1950's when the original house burned down.  The details of our house' history are too much to get into now, but let's just say our house is funky, fun and fabulous.  Anyways, Earnie's office has always been in Middle Earth, which is a room in the dead center of the house with NO windows.  The carpet in this room was 60 year old outdoor carpeting that makes me gag to think about.  The office was Hickory's room, so it had PINK carpet!  Double gag!
Middle Earth in the fore & office in back.  Please excuse the mess!

Pano of empty Middle Earth - soon to be a storage closet & guest room
Our new office together!!!
Thank you so much for visiting our site and taking the time to make it this far down in my post!  I didn't think I had much to tell.  Ha!

Take care, be good & kind and do your darnedest to laugh,
Ellie, Earnie & Myrtle Jo The Wonder Dog

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Book Includes Us!

Hi Friends of Earnest Efforts-
I know, two posts in one week?  Ha!  We just realized we ought to share the exciting news that we were one of 21 eco-artists included in this wonderful book created by Julie Rawding of the blog Can or Can Not and her Etsy shop of the same name at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CanOrCanNot


Julie has a wonderful eye for great art and this book is truly a blast for reading & inspiration.  You can either go to her Etsy shop and download the PDF or you can get the paperback copy on Amazon at The Upcyclers USA

We hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Take care, be good & kind and do your darnedest to laugh!
Ellie Efforts


Friday, November 14, 2014

One Week Until Holiday Market Starts!

Fresh hats ready for new heads
  Dear Friends - It's that time of year when we go full-force until Christmas eve.  Starting next Saturday, we will be at the Eugene, Oregon at the Lane County Fairgrounds, Booth #14, for our Eugene Saturday Market's Holiday Market.  It's exciting and motivating and time that's filled with inspiration and sawdust.  We pretty much have a rhythm down that keeps us from getting overwhelmed which makes it much more fun than it used to be!  I'm going to take you on a tour to let you see what we've been working on, finished and the many piles we've made (along with the added treat of some of Earnie's cathedral wallpaper).  My apologies for any strangely colored photos.  Sometimes photos from the Sawdust Cathedral have a sawdust hue which makes everything a little blurry.  The following are the various stages of rattles, boxes, drawers & barrettes.










Teeter - Queen of the Sawdust Cathedral




We hope you enjoyed the tour.  We look forward to seeing you at the Holiday Market, booth #14 along the south wall.

Take care, be good & kind, and do your darnedest to laugh,
Ellie Efforts


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Earnie, Ellie & Myrtle's Fall in Pictures


Myrtle had her 6th birthday last week!
 
Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -

As we make our way towards the holidays, our world seems to shrink and we become more & more obsessed with creating lots of sawdust.  The lovely rains are filling our valley as I write and one of my favorite things is to listen to the rain falling on the roof of the Sawdust Cathedral and watching the drip, drip, drip of water slipping through the tangles of moss living on the tree not three feet from where we sand.  The following are simply what we've been seeing in our daily life while we work & play at home.


 
Sawdust horizons inside the bandsaw
Wet moss on the oak tree by the sander
View while sanding
Earnie's boxes in the works

Barrettes in process
Running low on barrettes for market :-)






Thank you for visiting us here and we wish you and all you love joy & laughter in this season of beauty and change...
Cheerfully,
Ellie & Earnie

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Change


Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -

August and September have been filled with change.  The seasons have started shifting and the mornings are now crisp, crunchy and colorful.  I always feel re-inspired as autumn comes, which I suppose comes from the natural instinct to ready ourselves for winter.

I find myself staring out at the autumn woods along the creek and wondering where to start.  On 17 August, on what would have been our Grandpa's 99th birthday, our Nannie (click on link for an earlier post about a visit with her) started her transition to the other side with my Mom & I by her side.  We weren't surprised, because she had been declining over the past year and our Grandpa passed on her 80th birthday. However, when Mom asked her if she wanted to go see Grandpa, she said, "What for?"  That was Nannie :-)


I wont say that her passing was beautiful or that death is beautiful.  I don't understand those sentiments, but I will say being by her side, being with my Mom and my siblings, my Pa and my cousins was beautiful.  That was what was beautiful & special and those are the memories I will hold dear.  We held a perfect celebration of life, 'Nannie's Special Day' with friends, family, her famous biscuits & chocolate gravy and her peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that taste like our childhood (I made 350 cookies as I worked through my grief).

 

We then readied ourselves for a little hike down memory lane with a camping trip to Rock Creek.  Rock Creek is a tributary to the North Umpqua River in the Cascade Mountain Range of Oregon and is the place we camped as a large group all through my childhood.


And through the moments we breath life we continue to work and we find solace in that work.  Earnie held things together at home and sold at market while I was with Nannie.  He kept the sawdust flying in the Sawdust Cathedral cutting gorgeous new boxes and teething rattles & spirit shakers while he grieved and loved on me. And, when I was ready to come home he had plenty of rattles ready to sand for the new indie shops that contacted us.  All my gratitude to you, my beloved Earnie, for surrounding me with love and laughter over the past month and our 16 years together...

We are delighted to announce that four new shops contacted us in the last month.  Spreading our wings all over the country -

Tantrum in the Cole Street neighborhood of San Francisco, CA
Bona Fide Green Goods in Concord, New Hampshire
Ginko Gallery & Studio in Oberlin, OH
and coming soon the Enchantments Studio in Narberth, PA...

Oh, and last, but not least... yes, I cut my hair.
I donated 4 ounces and 16 inches of hair to Locks of Love.  It feels GREAT!

Our gratitude goes out to all of you who extended your love and sympathy in our time of loss.  Our hearts still overflow with that love.

Take care, be good & kind, and do your darnedest to laugh,
Ellie Efforts