Shake It Baby

Hi Friends of Earnie & Ellie

We want to introduce you to our Australian friend, Eden.  Her Momma co-owns Byron Baby Shop in Byron Bay, NSW, Australia, where they carry our wood baby rattles in their lovely shop.  We just had to share Eden's rattle joy with you all.  She has got some fabulous rhythm!  We hope you enjoy this as much as we did.  Happy last day of November to you all and remember

Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Earnie, Ellie & Myrtle Efforts
(aka Rick, Heather & Myrtle the wonder dog)

Mothering Magazine Best Rattles and Baby Toys

 Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts - We are excited to share with you that our wood baby rattles are featured in Mothering Magazine's 2011 Natural Toy Guide for Baby Toys & Rattles.  Our rattles were chosen when Bootyland Kids of Seattle, Washington were asked to share their favorite rattle with Mothering Magazine.  A very sweet review was written by Melanie Mayo, the web editor of the magazine.  Thank you so much to Bootyland Kids and all of our customers over the years.  We are deeply grateful & honored!!!  Happy Holidays to you & yours and remember to...

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

Tidee Didee & Hunting Pacific Yew Trees

Good Morning Friends of Earnest Efforts -

Before we share beautiful photos from our day fishing/hiking trip up the North Umpqua River we want to welcome Tidee Didee Diaper Service & Natural Baby Boutique to the growing circle of retail stores that carry our wood baby rattles.  Cindy Martin is the owner of this service & boutique based in Portland, Oregon which was started by her grandparents in 1954.  Can you believe that?  The year after Earnie was born :-)   If you live in the Portland area, please visit her boutique, welcome her and shake a rattle for us or visit her shop online at

Susan Creek Falls

Last Sunday we spent the most glorious day along the North Umpqua River fishing and hiking.  My idea of a perfect day.  The kind of day that makes my chest feel like it's going to burst with happiness.  Damp moss, dripping trees, the smell of fungi in all of it's amazing forms. 

Pleurocybella porrigens (aka Angel Wings)
By the way, Earnie didn't tell me that he found these delicious morsels.  He showed me the pic while we were eating breakfast many miles away.  Really...I kid you not...:-(

Earnie hiding his mushroom secret
One of the many best parts of our adventure was finding the Pacific Yew tree to photograph for our Etsy shop - I know that sounds really geeky, but what can I say.  If you have visited our shop you will know, without a doubt, that the Pacific Yew is my very favorite wood and I love to post new Pacific Yew boxes as soon as they are finished.  The following photos are a couple of the new pics we've added to our collection.

Pacific Yew Needles

Small Pacific Yew Tree
And Myrtle wants you all to know that she LOVED her day in the North Umpqua Watershed as much as Pappa Earnie & Big Mamma Ellie. 

I sometimes wonder if she know how amazing her life is.  Sometimes I have to mentally pinch myself to see if this life is real.

Psychedelic Madrone tree bark
Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts (aka Heth)

PaintCutPaste Blog Interview & Giveaway

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts natural woodworking,

I have to say that Jen of PaintCutPaste has written one of my top favorite blog interviews ever of Earnest Efforts.  I LOVE Jen's enthusiasm and have enjoyed visiting her blog just to read about the fun her & her daughter have with art.  Her daughter, "N" is just now in kindergarten and will now have some new leaders in her life, but she is one lucky girl to have had a mom like Jen to start her journey exploring life through art.  If you would like to win one of our Wood Baby Rattles or Wood Spirit Shakers, please visit her blog, read her interview and follow the directions on how to enter to win!  You can also follow Jen & "N" on Facebook

Enjoy, be well & remember...

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

TLC Natural Baby - New Online Shop

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts natural woodworking

It is always so hard to decide what to write about first when you have lots of new good news.  So...I've decided to write two separate blog posts so each gets their own top billing!!!

TLC Natural Baby owner Tej & her son Maddox
Tej Carbone contacted us recently about carrying our wood baby rattles in her new online shop TLC Natural Baby.  The shop has been up and running for just a week now and I'm sure she would love to have you stop by for a visit.  Tej is also a certified babywearing consultant with one-on-one and group classes in the Orlando, Florida area and their new shop carries a variety of baby carriers (including slings and woven wraps) and other natural baby items.  We shipped an order of rattles to her a week ago, and they are up and ready for purchase at her shop.  You can also visit her on facebook at
Best of luck to Tej & her family and remember...

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

New Friends & Exploration Into Cyber-World

Good Morning Dear Friends

Blueberry Baby's Newest Love
First of all we want to introduce you to a new friend and a future satisfied customer of Earnest Efforts baby rattles.  Blueberry Baby in Fairbanks, Alaska has been carrying our wood baby rattles since 2007.  We wish we could take a trip up to meet co-owners Betsy and Laura in person and all of their wonderful children.  Instead we get to love on them through cyber-space and we're grateful for this.  Betsy's newest love was born in September and she is a precious beauty!  She already has her first baby rattle and we can hardly wait until she's old enough to play with it!  Congratulations Betsy and her family!!!

And now, we're excited to announce that we have officially entered the 21st century with DSL and voice mail.  What a new, amazing and addictive world we entered this week.  The first day we were up and running I had our netbook set up in front of our home pc and was wondering why the mouse wasn't working on the netbook.  Ha!  So, it's Sunday morning and I'm in my sanding "uniform" sitting in our office writing to you.  Life is great!!!  We have already been posting new boxes on Etsy at lightening speed, which is about how fast they've been selling.  What a great feeling to experience - being unable to keep up with your Etsy sales.  What more can we say... 

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

Kings Mountain Art Fair Photo Journal

Hi Friends - Want to share these images with you of our experience here on Kings Mountain above Half Moon Bay, California.  The fair is a benefit to support their elementary school & fire station.  The volunteers and customers of this fair are a joy to be with for the Labor Day Weekend.  This is our third year coming up here and we are truly honored to be invited!!!  Hope you enjoy this little glimpse into our weekend...

Young Senan with his very first Earnest Efforts Rattle

Myrtle's New Friend Atlas From San Francisco

Kings Mountain Art Fair in the Magestic Redwoods

Our Booth in the Background

Lovely Emily
She Saved Her Money For This Special Cedar Box
Thanks to everyone who attended the fair this weekend.  Besides the trees & hiking trails, you are the best part of this fair!  Be well and remember...

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

A Very Happy Customer & Kings Mountain Art Fair

Good Morning Dear Friends -

Byron Baby Shop
 We are excited to share the news of our new shop Byron Baby Shop in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia.  Kim & Nat are the co-owners of this shop and we are thrilled to thank them for carrying our natural wood baby rattles in their shop.  They've only had them for about a week and they are selling very well!!!  Nat had purchased one of our rattles in our Etsy shop for her daughter Eden - she is one very happy customer.

Happy Eden with an Earnest Efforts Baby Rattle
Daughter of Nat
Eden is not only happy, she's beautiful!  Thanks Nat & Kim for carrying our rattles in your shop!
Just a quick note that we're in the redwoods above Half Moon Bay, California at the Kings Mountain Art Fair - our very favorite show of the year.  Hopefully I'll get a chance to post a couple of pics for you all to enjoy.  I'm afraid the camera doesn't do this amazing place justice, but you'll get a little taste of the majesty of this place!

Hope you all have a glorious day and remember...
Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts (aka Heather) 

Earnie's Daughter Get's Married & Our First Magazine Feature

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -

Earnie's daugher, my step-daughter and dear friend, Hickory married her true love, Greg, a couple of weeks ago outside of Eugene, Oregon.  We were honored with the joy of growing all the flowers and making the bouquests & the wedding cake (organic carrot) ...yummy. 

The most precious part of the wedding was the beautiful ceremony that Earnie performed. 

I have never been so proud in my life as I watched him perform the ceremony to join these two in marriage.  Not only that, I got to see him dressed up in a button down shirt.  He looked so handsome!!!  We are honored to share our family with her new husband!!!

THE IMAGINATION ISSUE (August/September 2011)

We are so excited to tell you all about our debut in a printed magazine.  Natural Child World Magazine is a new magazine in print and available by subscription online.  Our natural baby rattles were included in a feature of children's toys called Second Thoughts.   We can hardly wait to get our copy in the mail.  The magazine is available in some stores in California - visit their website to find a store near you at  We're also even more excited to announce that the editor has interviewed us and is planning feature Earnest Efforts in a winter issue, so we'll let you know when that article is published.

Thank you for visiting our blog and sharing in our excitement.  We wish you a beautiful day and remember...

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

One Satisfied Customer & Two New Stores

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts

A very satisfied 7 month old customer
Thanks so much to one of our young mommas, Angie, for sending us this photo of her precious one.  Angie had to do some hunting to find our baby rattles and tracked us down in our Etsy shop.  Angie's mom had first found our rattles in Eugene a few years ago.  We are honored to be a part of the early childhood development of babies.

Our rattles can now be found in two more brick & mortar stores in the USA. 

Eric & Catherine Bolden, founders of Reusable Future
 Reusable Future is located in Verona, WI.  Please visit their website and read their story.  It was inspiring to read about their history and mission and dedication to reducing their environmental impact on our Mother.

Sprouting Up
Sara is the new owner of Sprouting Up located in Jefferson City, MO.  We are excited that our rattles were one of the first new items she added to the store.  You can see photos of her store and read her story at her website.  Sara is also dedicated to protecting our Mother and writes about her lifestyle choices on her website.

Thank you for visiting our blog.  We hope you all are enjoying a beautiful summer.  Remember...

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

Chokecherry Driftwood Debute

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -
Chokecherry Driftwood Box

Ever since Earnie & I took our first trip to the Oregon Coast together and he taught me about the wonderful world of driftwood, I have been dragging home one particular driftwood that has always caught my eye.  The color and pattern in the wood always seemed so unusual and beautiful and I loved the contrast of smooth & rough slit-like texture of this wood.  However, they were usually too small in diameter for a box and became either a walking stick or a decoration for the house or yard.  Not this time.  Earnie cut up a piece we found on our last trip and it is to the coast & determined that it is Chokecherry (or Wild Black Cherry) and amazing!!! 

Black knot - natural color/texture without fire

According to Oregon State University (OSU) the Chokecherry is one of the most widely distributed trees in North America.  The Native Americans ate the fruit fresh and dried them when they were plentiful.  The fruit is now often used in making jam.  The wood also has a very strong, rich smell that I just can't seem to place.  A wonderful bonus with wood.  We've posted the first Chokecherry Driftwood Box on Etsy and there is one in our booth at the Eugene Saturday Market today, where it is a rainy and damp day.  This driftwood came off the Coquille River near Bandon, Oregon on the coast, where we collect approximately a quarter of our wood. 

Driftwood on the Coquille River, Oregon
If you get a chance, please visit our Etsy shop at and wander through our collection of boxes, baby rattles & spirit shakers.  Thank you for visiting our blog, have a glorious day and remember to-

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

Ash Driftwood, Friendship, Flowers & Woods

Unfurling poppy in the garden

Greetings Friends of Earnest Efforts -
Because we're still on dial-up, my goal has been to write our blog on Saturdays while I'm set up at the Eugene, Oregon Saturday Market. This is obviously not happening and I honestly don't know what I was thinking. When did I think I would have time to do this? I'm simply too busy with customers to have more than a few minutes at a time online. With sanding and errands done for the day, I'm writing to you from my office in Olalla and hoping I have time to write this post, make granola, pick greens from the garden, make our dinner and make Earnie's oatmeal before tomorrow. Ha. So don't be surprised if I write this on Tuesday and post it on Friday. Here goes...

View from the sander in the Sawdust Cathedral
This past week I spent some time behind the lens collecting images that I now realize are a collection of the many blessings we have witnessed this week. Just a small sample of the moments that fill our hearts, make us laugh or reflect and keep our hands busy and our minds present. What amazes me is that this is just a minute collection - I wish I could share all the others with you as well.

Steve and his boys and Sierra & Myrtle in the foreground

With the amazing and glorious image of the unfurling poppy already posted I can rewind to this past Thursday when our dear friend Steve and his two boys joined us for a visit. Steve and I have been friends for more than 20 years now, which just doesn't seem possible, and I am grateful for every moment we are able to share. His friendship is a constant reminder of how delicate life is and to treasure the precious ones who fill our journey with stories. We're grateful for the laughter and nurturing food, stories and quiet moments we were able to share during their visit. By the way, Myrtle & their black lab, Sierra, absolutely adored one another.  Sierra taught Myrtle that there are not only soccer balls, but tennis balls.

Harold E. Robbins Memorial Park in our woods
When we have friends come visit us on our farm in Olalla there are so many things we love to share, and my personal favorite is what I see as our greatest treasure - our woods. Earnie bought this land in the early 80's which included a 5 acre parcel of small christmas trees along the south central portion of the land. The trees had already been purchased and were to be cut; however, to make a very long story very short, the guy who purchased the trees for cutting ran off on his wife and the trees were never cut. They now stand at about 35 years of age, protected from the blade, and are guardians of many of the trails that we hike. The picnic table was built by my Grandpa - Harold E. Robbins who passed over the year we were married. He was never able to come to our home in Olalla during this lifetime, but he is with me on my hikes - for he was a man who walked many many miles. I come from a long line of walking feet.  Honoring his memory by placing his picnic table in these awesome woods was perfect, so wee call this small area the Harold E. Robbins Memorial Park.

Ash Driftwood Branch Box in our Etsy Shop
Speaking of trees, as we often do, I had to share this latest Ash Driftwood Branch Box with you all. We haven't had any Ash in a long time, but we collected some in January and finished a handful of them last week.  It is fabulous. There were 5 new Ash Driftwood boxes at the beginning of this week, but they are starting to make their long journeys to far away homes. One is off to Florida this week, while another went to North Carolina. We like to tell our customers that a little bit of us travels with everything we create and it's nice to know where we're going.

20 thousand friends
Finally, we are grateful to have this amazing, fertile soil to grow the food to nurture our bodies and flowers to nurture our bees and birds. Just a week, or so ago, we hauled the swing into the garden to make the experience as delicious as possible. I feel like I've reached nirvana when I am in this swing reading, watching the bees and chatting with Earnie. "Life is good" as they say and I can't imagine how it could get any better.

I hope you've enjoyed this little hike through our daily life. I'm already planning the images for our next post!  Thank you so much for visiting and may your days be filled with peace & joy and...

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

Just A Beautiful Day

Hi Friends of Earnest Efforts -

Myrtle & Lupines in our Lasting Laughter Asylum Farm
Our voracious hummers are back with attitude!
What I have to share with you this week is the joy that can be found in these two photos.  I find myself day dreaming while I sand about the flowers, the wonder dog and the hummingbirds.  I should also include a photo of Earnie & the blue sky sunshine to complete the image.

I'm actually enjoying a beautiful and mild day here at the Eugene, Oregon Saturday Market.  The tourists have officially arrived this weekend with graduations around town and our boxes, rattles & spirits are traveling to places as far away as China and Iceland.  What a thrill it is to know that something you have created is traveling so far away.  We love to tell people that a little bit of us travels with everything we create & it's nice to know where we're going. 

The following is a little glimpse of market viewed from our booth so you can see what I get to enjoy on Saturdays. 

Jude Toller's Booth across from us

Cristine's booth behind us with our Incense Cedar tree trunk on right

This is Kit - Shhh don't tell anyone I'm here

Jude Toler's tile work
The South Lawn on the west or fountain side
I'd best be posting this and getting ready to pack up in a bit.  Thank you for visiting and we wish you a glorious & joyful weekend.  Please remember to...

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

Made In Oregon Joins The Earnest Efforts Adventure

Hi Friends of Earnest Efforts -

I'm writing to you from our booth at the Eugene, Oregon Saturday Market where we are finally outdoors and dry.  Earnie & Myrtle are at home frolicking in the sunshine and playing in the garden and sawdust cathedral.  At about 7:30 this evening Myrtle will take her place in the drive to watch for "Big Mama" to get home so she can sniff my ears and smell where I've been.  It seems that summer may finally be just around the corner.  The community and visitors from across the globe are wandering through the delights of market with a bit of a sun-dazed gleam in their eye.  You can't help but be filled with joy on a day such as this.  These are the days when us Oregonian's air out the webs between our toes and shake off the mold from our hair.  Days like this make an extremely wet winter and spring worth every drop of rain.  That said, it's time for our big announcement...

We are so excited to finally announce that five of the Made In Oregon Stores will begin carrying our wood baby rattles & spirit shakers in the next couple of weeks.  If you are going to be in the Portland, Oregon area you can visit their website for directions to the Clackamas Town Center, Pioneer Place and Washington Square Mall.  If you are going to be flying in or out of the Portland Airport, look for our rattles & spirits at two of the airport locations.  I've loved shopping in the Made In Oregon stores since I was a kid.  They have always carried a wonderful collection of Oregon artisan wares, so we are proud to have our baby rattles & spirits included in their stores!  If you do get a chance to stop in and browse please leave us a comment and may you shake with joy!!!

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

Fabulous New Baby Rattle Review

Good Morning Friends -

I'm skipping Saturday Market today due to the chance of thunderstorms (sorry to be a fair-weather friend of the market, but the wood doesn't care for the rain.) This gives me time to work on our Etsy Shop, sand rattles and write this post. 

Gretchen, who lives in Washington state has kindly written this wonderful review of our Wood Baby Rattles and graciously offered to host a giveaway.  A little bonus feature in her review is a video of her precious Jem playing with her rattle.  Of course, I'm at home today, so I'll have to wait until the next wifi trip to town to watch the video, and I can hardly wait to see it.  Hope you get a moment to visit That Mama Gretchen and enter to win one of our wonderful baby rattles. 

We have decided that this will probably be our last blog review for a while (we're super busy with store orders right now) so we are offering a 10% discount in our Etsy Shop if you visit Gretchen's blog and enter to win one of our rattles.  The giveaway ends on 6 June 2011, which will be here before we know it!

One last note.  Please come back for a visit in the next week or so.  We are currently working out the details with a well known store who is going to start carrying our rattles.  We will announce the store name & locations as soon as we have the order details.

Thank you for visiting and we wish you a beautiful day filled with joy & prosperity.  Remember...

Take care, be good & kind and don't forget to LAUGH!!!
Ellie Efforts

Belly Sprout & Green Depot Carrying Earnest Efforts Baby Rattles

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -

We are excited to announce that two more stores are carrying our Wood Baby Rattles. 

Belly Sprout is located in Fullerton, Southern California and coming up on their 5th anniversary.  The fact that they have chosen to carry our wood baby rattles in their 5th year is appropriate considering the traditional gift for this anniversary is wood.  If you live in their area, please stop in for a visit and shake some of our rattles.  Christy Funk, Founder & Owner of Belly Sprouts says of her shop "I have a high criteria before I purchase anything for the store and have personally used nearly everything in the store for my family. Quality, performance, clean and natural are things I will not compromise. When you visit our shop you will not only leave with beautiful products, you will have the information and education to properly use and care for your purchase."  We are excited to be working with Belly Sprout.

The Green Depot in New York City has been carrying our rattles for a couple of years now, and now they have opened a new location on the opposite coast in San Francisico, my favorite big city, at 1090 Bryant Street.  The Green Depot provides green products and green building materials at 13 locations. We are excited to have our rattles in the new location.  If you live in San Francisco you can now purchase our rattles at the Green Depot and Natural Resources on Valencia Street or visit the New York store in Manhattan at 222 Bowery.

Thanks for visiting our blog and we ask you to...
Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh!

Where Have Earnie, Ellie & Myrtle Been???

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -

Native Dogwood blossom in Olalla
Where have we been?  There is so much to tell, but first I am so sorry for not writing for so long.  Between our travels, new neighbors and keeping up with an extraordinary amount of orders the days have gotten shorter and still no wifi. 

Our travels in the southwest were wonderful.  We met many wonderful people and were able to experience the beauty of the region every night while we camped.  However, those of you who live in the Pacific Northwest will understand when I tell you that driving into Northern California filled my heart with the greatest joy I had felt in five weeks.  When the trees started replacing the beautiful desert void I knew we were coming home and our webbed feet started to tingle with the moisture.  Earnie traveled through this area of Northeastern California a few years prior, but I had only imagined what the terrain was like and it was really exciting.  Coming around the backside of Mt. Shasta was spectacular.  It often felt like I could hardly breath with all the joy that seemed to fill my heart. 

Burned Manzanita bushes in pine forest of NE California
We stopped in one area for a break and low & behold a fire had come through the area recently and we found a patch of burned manzanita burls and the burls just popped out of the ground.  When we left home at the beginning of March, we stopped at the weigh station and wrote down our weight.  Our plan was to stop on the way home & see how much weight we had lost in inventory.  After we filled our bed in the van, Myrtle's bed, with the manzanita burls (the floor was already full of rocks we collected), we laughed when we realized we probably weighed more than when we left.  Myrtle was not laughing.
Buggs & Veronica planting seed trays at Lasting Laughter Asylum Farm
When we arrived home we had one night alone before our dear friends from Texas would arrive.  Earnie has known Buggs & Veronica since the early 70's in Southern Indiana.  They came out to visit us one summer and decided to move into our little cabin on the other side of Olalla Creek.  We hadn't been inside the 1970's Pacific Yew wood pole cabin for nearly a year, but unfortunately the pack rats had.  They moved in quite some time ago and between their destruction and the 40 year old leaky cedar-shake roof we had some work ahead of us.  After about three weeks of work Buggs & Veronica are moved in and loving their new Oregon life in Olalla. 

From left: Buggs, Earnie, Veronica & Ellie (disguised as Hesperis flowers)
Buggs & Veronica come over every morning and help Earnie in the garden, which is going to produce an amazing year of organic flowers and veggies.  Thanks to Veronica's garden hunts in April, we were able to enjoy bok choi greens steamed in vinegar & olive oil for over a month now.

Placing the Queen in the hive
Finally, I have to share our biggest spring news.  We finally have our own honey bees!!!  The other reason we hurried home from our trip was because our bees were to be picked up in Eugene at Glory Bee Foods on a certain date.  We came home with a box filled with the buzz of 20,000 new friends who all needed new names.  Can you even imagine? - Earnie is still working on this... 

Our garden aka-Lasting Laughter Asylum Farm
I hope you all can forgive us now for slacking on the our Blog.  We are having the time of our lives at home in Olalla and we hope you are as well.  Blessings to all of you and remember...

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