Fabulous New Boxes on Etsy

Ash Driftwood Box
California Buckeye Box

Hi Friends of Earnest Efforts - We posted a handful of new boxes on Etsy yesterday.  Thought I would post a couple pics for you.  You can view more at our Etsy shop at http://www.earnestefforts.etys.com/
Pear Branch Box
If all goes well, we should have some more Spirit Shaker & Box Sets on Etsy by this evening.  We are now able to post new Etsy items directly to our Facebook page, so if you aren't already a friend of Earnest Efforts, come visit and befriend us.  We can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/people/Earnest-Efforts/100001918516145
We wish you a most joyful day and
Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts (aka Heather)

Lil Fish Studios Spirit Shaker Review

Acorn Mushroom Tutorial
Lisa's Felted Mushrooms

Good Morning Friends - We had a nice little surprise this morning when we checked our messages.  Lisa of Lil Fish Studios Etsy shop has written a nice little review of our spirit shakers on her blog at Lil Fish Studios Blog.  When we joined the Eco Etsy Team just a couple of weeks ago Lisa, also a team member, was our first customer from the team, which made us feel even more welcome than we already felt.  She makes the most precious felted wood goodies.  My favorites are the felted mushrooms & acorns.  Lisa's blog is a wonderful collection of ideas and instructions for making all kinds of wonderful items from nature, and her photography is exceptional.  Her blog is probably the first I have visited that has made me want to slow down my early morning hike to collect some of mother nature's finest materials for a fun little project.  Please visit her Etsy shop and blog page to find your inspiration.
Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts (aka Heather)

Hip Baby Blog Review

Dear Friends - This week Hip Baby Blog, which is written by the Hip Baby Stores in Vancouver & Victoria, B.C. wrote a lovely little review of our rattles.  Our rattles were Jenna's favorite toy 16 days before Christmas.  Please visit their blog at http://hipbabynews.blogspot.com/2010/12/these-are-few-of-my-favourite-things_09.html to read this lovely review.  Both locations of Hip Baby started carrying our rattles just a couple of months ago.  If you live in their area, please stop in and say hi and shake some baby rattles.  Have a joyful weekend and...
Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts (aka Heather)

Earnest Efforts Makes A Pledge

Earnie & I take our responsibilities as stewards of our beautiful mother planet very seriously and we are dedicated to making conscious decisions about what we buy, eat and who we support.  In an earnest effort to further reduce our ecological footprint we would like to take this opportunity to announce our pledge to plant at least twenty native trees every year.  We live on 27 acres in the beautiful Olalla Valley with woods, two creeks and our small organic farm and have always planted trees as a small offering to this amazing land.  We thought it would be beneficial to share our pledge with all of you in the hopes that we might inspire someone else to do the same.

We give you these words to carry in your hearts during the holiday season and always - Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Earnie & Ellie (aka Rick & Heather)

New Member of Team Eco Etsy

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts - We are so excited to announce that we have been accepted  into Team Eco Etsy.  This is a wonderful team made up of nearly 300 Etsy shop's dedicated to eco-friendly practices in their art, business and personal life.  Team Eco Etsy has a blog that you can visit to learn about the different team members, their art, and what members are doing to reduce their ecological footprint on our beautiful mother earth.  We are greatly honored to be a part of this wonderful team.  Visit our Etsy shop to discover other artists we have met since joining the team and view their work by clicking on favorites.  There is a link to the Eco Etsy blog on the right hand side of our blog page.  Thank you for visiting our blog and have a joyful day.

Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts (aka Heather)

New Mailers for Earnest Efforts Shipping

Good Day Friends of Earnest Efforts -
We are excited to announce that we finally found some eco-friendly mailers to use instead of the typical bubble wrap filled mailers.  These mailers are made from renewable resources and made from 90% recycled materials and 50 % post consumer materials and recyclable.  They are also made in the USA!  What a relief to have this wonderful alternative!  Have a beautiful day and take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh.  Ellie Efforts (aka Heather)

Earnest Efforts Facebook

Vine Maple Box
Happy Black Friday Friends of Earnest Efforts - I just wanted to give you a quick update.  We finally have a Facebook page.  Etsy has created a great way to link our Etsy shop from our Facebook page with an Etsy tab.  It's a simple and convenient way to access our shop!  Our plan for our Facebook page is to keep our friends up-to-date on our newest Etsy items.  Hopefully we will have some new boxes to post this weekend.  Thank you for checking in with us and remember to think like a localvore.
Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts (aka Heather)

What's New With Earnie & Ellie

Big Leaf Maple in Olalla Valley where we live

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts - Our Saturday Market has officially moved indoors for the next six weeks so we are warm and cozy in our booth and surrounded by the smells of delicious food, the rythms of ecclectic music and the eyes are dazzled by the colors, patterns and beauty of the wares all of these incredible artists create!  The customers are a joy to engage with and as always they are joyful and inspired.  How very fortunate we are.  As we say, "only in Eugene" and it's true!

We have been so busy the last six weeks with store orders for baby rattles and spirit shakers, that it's really nice to have a couple days off to warm up and relax.  We are adding another baby store in a week when we finish their order.  We are thrilled to welcome Classic Kids in Grants Pass, Oregon to our list of stores who carry our baby rattles.  If you live in the area, please visit their store and check out our rattles!

We are also excited to announce that we are in the process of searching for an eco-friendly mailer to ship our orders through the post.  We have found a couple of options and goal is to use a recycled material that does not contain plastic.  We will be able to save a lot of money and reduce our ecological footprint.  And that is what it is all about for us!!!  If you have any input on mailer products you've found, we would love to hear from you.  Thanks for visiting us here and we wish you a blessed day filled with joy.

Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts (aka Heather)

Mommy Moment and Going Green With Noah Blogs Reviews

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -

Time has escaped me and I just realized that I didn't post the new blogger reviews of our wood baby rattles.  The women who have written blog reviews of our rattles have all been such a joy to work with and it has been an honor to have them write reviews of our rattles.  These two bloggers are no exception. 

Melanie of Going Green With Noah wrote a review of our baby rattles a few months ago and our Etsy shop sales really started pouring in.  When she contacted us about the review we had no idea that there was such an incredible network of mommy bloggers out there.  What a fascinating world to discover.  Melanie has now written a review of our wood spirit shakers with wonderful photographs!  She has a special talent for photography and I admit I stole her idea for photographing the rattles & spirits in their trees from her.  Thank you Melanie for such glowing reviews!  You can read Melanie's review and enter to win one of our wood spirit shakers at http://jonathanandmelanie.blogspot.com/2010/11/spirit-shaker-earnest-efforts-rattle.html

We contacted Mommy Moment to request a review and Kristi replied that she had a 4 month old daughter who would love to review our baby rattles.  We were so excited to be reviewed at this blog site, because they have a wonderful following and a lovely blog page.  We were thrilled with her review and the response by her 4 month old.  Thank you Kristi for the honor of such a wonderful review.  You can read the review and enter to win one of our wood baby rattles at http://www.mommymoment.ca/2010/11/earnest-efforts-wooden-baby-rattle.html

Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts (aka Heather)

Three New Stores To Carry Earnest Efforts Wood Baby Rattles

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -

The past six weeks have been incredibly busy for Earnie (aka Rick) & I.  Our Etsy shop orders have been better than ever and so have the orders from the baby stores who carry our wood baby rattles.  We are thrilled to announce the addition of three new stores in the past week.  So, if you live in their area, please stop by their stores, say hi and play with one of our baby rattles.

169 Throckmorton Ave #4
Mill Valley, California
Aster and Bee
4819 SE Division
Portland, Oregon
296 E. Main St.
Ashland, Oregon

Next weekend our Eugene Saturday Market moves indoors to the Fair Grounds for our Holiday Market.  This is our busiest time of year as well as a festive time.  Although our home rarely gets decorated for the holidays, we are surrounded every weekend for six weeks with the festive energy of the Market through the smells, decorations, music, and beautiful wares of all our neighborhood market friends.  It is extremely hard work to keep up with the work we have in preparation and sustaining the Holiday Market, but every year it ends on Christmas eve with a feeling of success, pride and melancholy at saying farewell to another season of inspiration and sharing.  We wish you all those same feeling of joy that the Holiday Seasons provide.  May you be able to take a moment to breath and enjoy each moment and share your joy with those around you. 

Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts (aka Heather)

Our Last Saturday Market of The Season

Good Morning Friends - This last Saturday we decided we would take the last couple of markets off to get ready for the Eugene, Oregon Saturday Market.  It was a cold and damp day, but we all had some great laughs and time to share with one another.  Great story follows.

I purchased cloth bags from Bzz Bags two Saturdays ago to replace the plastic produce bags that we reuse over and over to reduce our impact on our beautiful mother planet.  I used them the following Tues. while grocery shopping and when I got home I decided to keep the tomatos in Bzz Bags in the fridge.  It wasn't until Friday that Earnie (aka Rick) asked about them.  This is what he said..."Why do the veggies need pajamas?  Are they too cold in the fridge?"  When I told Beth, the creator of Bzz Bags, we couldn't stop laughing.  I just had to share this story and post her picture with her wonderful bags in her booth at our Saturday Market.  You can visit her blog to see more Saturday Market photos and more of her work including fabulous diaper bags at http://bzzbags.blogspot.com/  or visit her website to shop at http://www.bzzbags.com/.  Please remember to bring your bags to shop and help reduce our impact - one small choice can make a difference.

Beth of Bzz Bags at Saturday Market in Eugene, Oregon

We wish you a lovely week and enjoy the Fall.
Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts (aka Heather)

Eugene Saturday Market

Good morning Friends of Earnest Efforts - I really wanted to get this image posted, so this is just a short note.  Saturday we all expected rain all day, but it turned out to be a fairly lovely day with quite a few customers.  We actually had a better day than the week before when it was beautiful.  There's no rhyme or reason to a market day, and that's what makes it exciting!

Fall & Fish at the Eugene Saturday Market
photo by Paula Gourley of Lilyhouse Studio Editions
My friend and Market neighbor and soap maker extraordinare, Paula Gourley of Lilyhouse Studio Editions took this photograph.  It is the backside of three Market booths with the Fish Fountain in the foreground and the beautiful colors of fall in the back.  What a spectacular photo.  I just had to share it with you all! 

Paula and her lovely soaps at Saturday Market

Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts (aka Heather)

New Baby Rattle/Spirit Shaker Photos on Etsy

Good morning Friends of Earnest Efforts -

New Walnut Baby Rattle Photo

I've finally posted some new pictures of the baby rattles & spirit shakers on Etsy.  I actually got the idea from Melinda's blog review of our rattles in Going Green with Noah where she has a beautiful photo of one of our rattles resting in a tree.  So, I've placed the rattles & spirits in the same type of tree the wood originated from.  I've also placed photos of the trees with the relative woods.  I would love to know what people think about the photo with the label on or should it be left off?  I thought it gave the rattle more dimension, making it easier to visualize the shape.  I would love some feedback.  Here's wishing you all a beautiful and joyful Fall day,
Ellie Efforts (aka Heather)

New Blogger Review & New Store for Earnest Efforts

Good morning Friends of Earnest Efforts - We are thrilled to announce the addition of a new store to carry our wonderful wood baby rattles.  Hip Baby has two locations in Vancouver and Victoria, BC.  They will be receiving their first order of walnut and cherry rattles late next week.  Check out their website at http://www.hipbaby.com/ for more information about them.  We are so pleased to be doing business with them.

Jen Carlson of of Beah and Bubbas Blogspot at http://www.cavanjenleah.blogspot.com/ has posted a new review of our wood baby rattles and it is wonderful!  There are the most adorable photos of her daughter - Leah - playing with the rattles.  My favorite is a picture of Leah rubbing two rattles across her face.  Apparently she loves how smooth they are on her skin.  Jen has graciously offered to post a giveaway of one of our rattles, so if you would like to enter to win one of our rattles please visit her blog, read the review and follow the guidelines to win.  We are very grateful to her for taking the time to write this review and grateful to Leah for reviewing the rattles!

We have also posted some new boxes on Etsy, so I thought I would share them here.

Alder Driftwood Box

Black Walnut Drawers with Tagua Nut Knobs
Thank you all for following our blog.  Here in the next month we will be hosting our very own wood baby rattle giveaway, so please check back with us.  We look forward to any comments you would like to share.  Let us know if there is something in particular that you would like to know about us.

Have a joyful day and...
Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh
Ellie (aka Heather)

The Handmade Marketplace Book Review

Good morning Friends - I wanted to share with you all this wonderful book that I recently found at a little bookstore in Bandon, Oregon on the coast.  It's called The Handmade Marketplace - How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally & Online written by Kari Chapin and published by Storey Publishing 2010.  If you are an artist and looking to start selling your work this is the book to read!  The book covers everything from Etsy, Blogs and Festivals to branding your business and promoting.  She has filled this book with
wonderful tips by fellow artists who have been successful in selling their wares online and at festivals. I found so many wonderful ideas to improve our business that I can hardly keep up with myself. 

I've just passed the book onto my dear friend Felice.  She is my inspiration especially when it comes to Etsy.  I wouldn't have been able to get started without her as she patiently explained each step and was always honest in her opinion of our store.  Please check out Felice and her husband Nick's Etsy store at http://www.nicholasandfelice.etsy.com/ to see their beautiful jewelry and shawl pins.

I wish you all a beautiful and prosperous weekend and don't forget to laugh.

New Spirit Shaker & Box Sets

Good morning Friends of Earnest Efforts - It is a wonderful and joyful day here at Saturday Market in Eugene.  People are in high spirits and looking forward to a prosperous day filled with sharing, good food, people watching, and the delights of this amazing market.

Pacific Yew Spirit Shaker & Box Set
Last week we started posting our beautiful Spirit Shaker & Box sets on Etsy.  They are made from one piece of wood and the spirit shaker fits perfectly inside the box.  When we cut our boxes, the core of the cut box is saved and used to make another box or rattle or spirit shaker.  We posted three sets and sold all three in less than a week.  We are thrilled, so next week we will be posting more.  We will also be posting our Tooth fairy box & baby rattle sets as well.  They are made the same as the spirit & box sets, but the rattle inside is our baby rattle shape.  We look forward to your response to these two new items.

Thank you for checking in with us and we look forward to any responses you would like to share with us.  We wish you a day filled with awe and joy!

Ellie Efforts (aka Heather)

Eugene, Oregon Saturday Market

Good morning Friends - It is a beautiful day in Eugene at our famous Saturday Market.  Market is 40 years old this year, and the longest running outdoor craft market in the country.  Everything booth here contains beautiful and unique items made by the person you meet.  There are approximately 240 artists booths here, a lovely international food court and across the street the Lane County Farmer's Market is set up.  We couldn't ask for more - life is grand.

We just posted three new boxes on Etsy, which I've posted below.  Let us know what you think.  They are some of my favorites.  They each have a story, which you can read at our etsy store.  See our link on the right.

Filbert Burl Box from Eugene, Oregon

California Buckeye Burl from Orick, California
Vine Maple Box from Coquille River in Bandon, Oregon

Also wanted to mention that we have added a new brick & mortar store this week - Mighty Nest in Evanston, Il.  They now carry our wood baby rattles, so if you live near there, stop by and say hi and check out our rattles in person. 

We wish you all a beautiful day and remember...
Take care, be good & kind and don't forget to laugh.

From the North Country Fair back home to Olalla

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts - We made it home yesterday afternoon damp and bedraggled, but with joyful spirits.  We would like to thank the patrons of the North Country Fair for finding their way to the fair through the rain and making the fair another weekend to remember.  We made a few more friends, as usual, and wanted to share a couple of photos with you.

Katrine with her new Pacific Yew drawers with clay knobs by Elise Corin (Eugene, Oregon Saturday Market artist)

Jordan wearing a mask he made walking in the All Species Parade
If there is anything you readers would like to know about Earnest Efforts and our adventures, please post a comment for us!  We would love your feedback.  Thank you again for visiting our blog and we wish you a beautiful day filled with joy.

Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,

North Country Fair, Arcata, California

Good morning Friends of Earnest Efforts.  We're writing to you from beautiful (even when it's raining) Arcata, Calif., where Earnie is setting up our booth while I post this message to you wonderful readers. 

If you've ever thought that artists have the easy life, take note.  My favorite camping/hiking spot in California is Patrick's Point, just North of Arcata by about 20 miles.  The last three years we've stopped there to see if we could camp and it was always FULL.  The state has closed more than half of the park every Fall and we always show up too late in the evening to get a space.  So, where did we stay last night?  In a very lovely rest area about 14 miles North of Arcata.  Honestly, it is quite lovely as far as rest areas go, with a little path that leads to picnic tables and an even smaller path to walk Myrtle on.  Thank you Arnold, for not closing this stop.  We did sleep well, but it was still a rest area.  These are some of the fun aspects of being a traveling artist on the circuit of art shows.  I'm sure there will be more to come.

Back to the North Country Fair.  If you live in the area and are planning to come down and enjoy the wonderful art booths, the delicious food and drinks and the amazing parades of dancers and kinetic sculptures, please stop by booth #128, where Earnest Efforts is set up.  We would love to have a follower come by to say howdy and if you do you will be gifted with a big smile and a free spirit shaker of your choosing.  How does that sound? 

One more thing.  This weekend is also Earth Dance, just south of Arcata in Laytonwille.  I wanted to share with those of you who might be interested that there will be a Global Prayer for Peace happening at 4pm today at Earth Dance and around the globe.  Visit the Earth Dance website to read the prayer for peace at http://www.earthdancelive.com/ and share the moment of prayer with people around the globe. 

Thanks for reading again, and we'll bring you back pictures from the Fair when we get home, so please check back in with us in a few days.  Have a beautiful day.
Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts

Adventures with Earnest Efforts pictures

Thank you to those of you who have visited our new blog.  Below are some pictures from our lives.  Enjoy!
Earnie (aka Rick) cutting rattles on the old 1953 Boice Crane Bandsaw
Ellie sanding rattles in the "sawdust cathedral"

Myrtle hiking in the Superstition Mtns. in Arizona this March

Wood Baby Rattles Review by Mama V

We have to share our thrilling surprise this evening.  We thought we would check the blog to see if anyone had visited the new site, and low & behold, we had a follower.  This gets more amazing though.  When we opened the follower's blog we found a beautiful review of our baby rattles.  Turns out Mama V posted her review of our rattles today and what a wonderful review it is with beautiful pictures and glowing recommendations.  Please visit her blog at

to enter to win an Earnest Efforts Walnut Baby Rattle and read this fabulous review.  Thank you to Mama V for making our first blogging day a success!!!

Ellie & Earnie
(aka Heather & Rick)

First Post

Did you know that you can roll nearly 150 yards of yarn into a ball in the time it takes to open this page to compose your first post when you're still on dial-up. 

And here we are, blogging, to we don't know who, but we hope that you find us. 

It is a beautiful clear day in Olalla, where we live, and I'm planning to take my knitting outside in the sun to make hats.  We are headed to Arcata, Calif. this week for the North Country Fair, where we have been selling for the past 12 years.  We returned home from the King's Mountain Art Fair on Wed., was home a day and then headed back to Eugene for the Saturday Market. 

Saturday Market was a perfect day...everyone was in joyful moods and eager to purchase boxes, rattles, and hats. 

Back to King's Mountain Art Fair.  It is an annual fundraiser for the local fire department and school.  If you've never been and live anywhere in the Bay Area, or Santa Cruz Co., actually anywhere within a days drive of Woodside, California, San Mateo Co., you've got to go visit this art fair.  It is set in the Redwoods on the top of a ridge overlooking the valley to the east and the Pacific to the west.

The show was amazing for us this year and last (our first).  As an artist you couldn't ask for a more beautiful setting.  The volunteers who work so hard to make this happen are friendly and inviting, and the customers are most appreciative and kind.

In the future, our plan is to keep you up-to-date on the adventures of Earnest Efforts.  We'll write to you of our travels to art festivals, to gather wood, and our latest wood working creations.  We would love to hear from you...contructive criticisms and howdys.  Make it a joyful day and remember...
Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to LAUGH.

Ellie (aka Heather)