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...
Ellie & Earnie

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


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

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Something Monumental Occurred In The Sawdust Cathedral This Week

Earnest Efforts 1953 Boice Crane Bandsaw
Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -

This week we said so long to an old friend and welcomed a new one.  It may seem foolish to talk about a piece of equipment as a friend; anthropomorphizing an inanimate object.  However, this inanimate object, for which we have great affection, was built in 1953 from someone's sketched dreams into metal, and became an extension of Earnie; to cut his wood dreams over the last four decades.  My theory as to why our hearts felt a little heavy when the Boice Crane was unplugged and moved over for a new friend; tools are an extension of our hands and our hands are connected to our hearts, our dreams, and our creations. 

An old friend unplugged & moved
So, we said goodbye to one (no worries - the Boice Crane will remain a permanent part of our the Sawdust Cathedral) and welcomed another.

Oregon Tool is our local tool supply
Our new Shop Fox Bandsaw

No words; a smile says it all...
Old Boice Crane Upper Wheel
New Shop Fox Shiny Upper Wheel
Old blade & guide
New blade & shiny red guide 

Beautiful old directions

Fence rail with tape measure

Lower Wheel - also shiny

New 'Concepts' bulging from Earnie's brain

Someone else got a "new" bandsaw this week.  Earnie found a used Sears bandsaw for me a couple of weeks ago.  We have been waiting for a part to arrive in the post and yesterday I cut my first hair barrettes on it.  WOW!!!  It cuts like a dream.  I must say, as much as I loved the Boice Crane, I now realize it was one very scary piece of equipment - loud and jolting, lurching, jerky...  I didn't realize that cutting on a bandsaw could be a calming, meditative experience.  Ha!

Ellie & her Sears bandsaw
Small blade & guide

Myrtle says, "Don't put your head in there!" 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer is Delicious in Olalla

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -

Large moth I found at the Tenmile Post Office
I've been wanting to share these pics of the this moth for ages.  I had a small epiphany the other day while working on this post in my head.  We have moths that live in the Sawdust Cathedral (among other startling creatures) and I want to honor their presence in our lives by sharing them with you here.  So, be prepared to see a regular parade of moth images here.  They are quite spectacular!

Gourd flower in our garden

They smell like cucumber

Cut and glued drawers with spirit shakers in the background

California Redwood box in the making

Preparing to glue box lids

Ellie's barrettes in various stages

Oregon-myrtlewood slab with roots


Miscellaneous brown moth (not especially pretty)

A very good deal on new old sanding equipment.  Hurrah!

Dead but still beautiful

Our hens love heights & giant zucchini

Bear's Breeches acanthus

Earnie & Baby Pearl

Baby Pete LOVES the hens

Earnie & our dear friend Jen celebrating a weekend of her beloved Timmy gone one year now...

Baby skunk cruising for yellow jacket nests

Earnie's garden

Myrtle in the Coquille River (she really doesn't like to get wet)

I think these pics do a fine job of portraying our last month of life as Earnie, Ellie & Myrtle Jo Efforts.  There are moments when we stop and inhale, taste or feel the breath of our amazing lives together.  It is delicious and momentous and we are filled with gratitude.  Thank you kindly for visiting us here, in this place and we wish for you the same delicious life.

Take care, be good & kind, and do your darndest to laugh (I've been misquoting Earnie all these years),
Ellie Efforts