In Color Gallery & Design

In Color Gallery & Design in Historic Cottage Grove, Oregon
Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -

On my way home from a most glorious day at our Eugene, Oregon Saturday Market, I had the rare opportunity to deliver the first batch of our natural wood baby rattles and spirit shakers to a shop.  Laura Harmon is the witty and gracious host and fellow artist of the cheerful and inspiring gallery In Color Gallery & Design on Main Street in Historic Cottage Grove, Oregon. 

My Mom & I spent the afternoon in Cottage Grove in early July and we truly fell in love with the quaint downtown atmosphere, friendly shops and all the delights that surround.  That's when we met Laura.  While chatting about a recent experience with my Nannie (Grandma), she shared the most amazing painting she had created of her beautiful Grandmother.  A phenomenal painting and such an incredible tribute to her Grandmother.

If you are traveling through the heart of Oregon down the Interstate 5, take the time to visit Laura, her gallery and the beautiful community of Cottage Grove.  I would also recommend the Fleur De Lis Patisserie & Cafe just down the street from Laura.  My Mom, owner & president of Old Dominion Collision Repair Centers in Eugene & Springfield, knows everyone, including Maureen Rosenberger, proprietor of this delicious patisserie & cafe.

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

Fossil Fuel Freedom

Ellie preparing to bike Etsy & wholesale orders to the post.  Myrtle says she wants to go with big mama.

Good Morning Friends of Earnest Efforts -

When I moved down to Olalla Valley in Southern Oregon I didn't realize that I would forsake my bicycle for 14 years because of a fear of being run over by a log truck or an unsuspecting motorist.  I grew up in Eugene and bicycling was a way of life for myself and my friends - normally our only form of transportation.  I've biked 741 miles along the West Coast from Eugene to San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge, the road from the Lihue to Hanalei on Kaua'i, and rode the trails at Kaena Point on O'ahu.  My dreams are often filled with the freedom of gliding on my bike.  I needed to bring this dream back to life!

My brother & I invited our Pa to ride around Crater Lake in August as a birthday gift to him this spring.  Our excitement rubbed off on my Mom and she said she wanted to ride and then Earnie said he & Myrtle would camp and hold down the fort while we ride.  I've been weight training after yoga class a couple times a week since this winter, but I just needed to RIDE and this was the solution!!!

One night a few weeks ago it dawned on me that I could ride my bike to the post office in Tenmile to ship packages.  I couldn't sleep all night I was so excited.  Why was I suddenly not afraid to get on Olalla & ride?  I think part of the reason was I now had a purpose and that purpose had replaced the fear.

My bike in front of the Tenmile Post Office

It's been a few weeks of riding now and I am excited to announce that the hills are getting easier and I feel safe.  I can hear any log trucks coming from miles away and prepare to get off the road if I am in a tight spot, and the motorists out here have been amazing - slowing down & giving me a wide birth.  The more often people see bicyclists on the road the more they begin to think about us and anticipate our potential for being just around the corner.  There is one other consistent rider who collects bottles & cans (Oregon has a 5 cent deposit on water & soda containers) and motorists have seen him around for years.  Now there are two of us.  Maybe some day there will be many more. 

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

Flat Stanley Visits Earnie, Ellie & Myrtle Efforts

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts-

Earnie's daughter, Hickory, is a preschool teacher in Eugene, Oregon.  She had a kiddo in her class who needed someone to take her Flat Stanley on a little trip, so we volunteered to have him come out to Olalla for a weekend.  Here's what Flat Stanley saw...

In front of the Sawdust Cathedral

Helping Earnie cut boxes on the bandsaw

Helping Earnie sand boxes
This is Agnes, she hatches all the baby chicks
Agnes lives inside

My new friend Buddha

Earnie built this greenhouse with recycled materials
I LOVE garlic

Olalla Creek is blurry
Myrtle and I played ball
Riding on Mustang Sally

This is Teeter of the Teeter & Totter Show

Totter plays a little rough for me

Walking a log across Byron Creek

I'm A Tree Hugger!!!

A dandelion seed head

Making a wish for my preschool friend
Moss is the perfect place for a nap

Hiking trail

Native trillium along the hike

Bleeding hearts in the woods
Earnie, Ellie & Me!

Mama's Emporium

Hello Friends of Earnest Efforts -

We are delighted to announce the newest shop to begin carrying our natural wood baby rattles.  Mama's Emporium is located in Englewood, Colorado and online.  I enjoyed reading Amanda's recognition of the many people who encouraged the environmental entrepeneur she has become. 

"The love of recycling and re-purposing things have been instilled in me since I was very young. My Mom was super thrifty and she could make anything, She taught me her love of bargain hunting and I inherited her creativity. My Grandpa Ralph was the owner of Ralph's Emporium, a second hand store in Aurora, CO :) Grandpa was a patient listener and he encouraged the entrepreneur in me by telling me when he thought an idea I came up with was a pretty good one. My Aunt Gail taught me to be resourceful and to trust my gut. My teacher Mrs. Clark made the importance of recycling and being Eco-friendly real for me with hands-on projects. Mrs. Clark taught me that being thrifty and environmentally conscious go hand and hand and she encouraged me to follow my entrepreneurial dreams." -Amanda Dinkel

We hope that you will stop in and visit Mama's Emporium and shake a rattle for us, and remember to...

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

Sprout Reopens Their Doors & Soundbirth Joins Earnest Efforts

Good Morning Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -

 We wanted to share the news that our old friends at Sprout in Brattleboro, Vermont reopened their doors this spring and will be receiving a fresh order of our Natural Wood Baby Rattles in a couple of days.  Welcome back friends, I'm sure your community is thrilled at your return!

Our rattles have been wandering around eastern Australia for a number of years now, and now they are making their way to Western Australia and what a perfect place to land!

                      "I have created Soundbirth to connect the power of sound with pregnancy, birth and family life as I hold the intention to bring relaxation, energy and connection into people’s lives."
                       -Nicole Lloyd creator of Soundbirth

If there is a natural baby store or parenting resource in your area that might be interested in our wood baby rattles, we would love to hear from you.  You can contact us directly at  Many thanks for visiting and remember to...

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

Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture

Good Morning Friends of Earnest Efforts-

Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture
 We have been so busy this Spring that I've found it difficult to keep up with keeping you up on what's happening with Earnest Efforts.  So I retreate back to what my Mom has told me time & time again - when do we learn? - "don't try to eat the entire elephant at one time, but take small bites".  I've never asked her where this comes from and as an environmentalist & vegetarian, it may be time to change this one line parable a bit to "don't try to eat the entire garden at one time, but take small bites".  Mmmm, I like that better.  This said, let's move forward to the point of this entry, which is to introduce the newest shop to begin carrying our Natural Wood Baby Rattles.

"Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is a non-profit farm and education center located just 25 miles north of Manhattan in Pocantico Hills, New York. Stone Barns operates an 80-acre four-season farm and is working on broader initiatives to create a healthy and sustainable food system. Through our Growing Farmers Initiative, children’s education programs, and diverse public awareness programs, we aim to improve the way America eats and farms.
Stone Barns is open to the public year-round, Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Come walk through our gardens and pastures, sign up for a public program or tour, and enjoy a meal at our partner restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns or at Blue Hill CafĂ©."  Our wood baby rattles are now available in their store & visitor center.

If you live in the Pocantico Hills of New York, or you will be traveling through that area we would love to hear about your visit to the Center.  The images on their website make me wish I could go for a visit! 

Thanks for stopping by to check in with us and remember...

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

The Motherhood Center

If you live in the Houston, Texas area stop in to say hello to the newest retail shop to carry our wood baby rattles & spirit shakers - The Motherhood Center on West Alabama.  This center must be fabulous from the yoga classes, nursing & doula services to their photography studio and babysitting services, Mommas and Papas have just about everything they need in one wonderful place. 

Peternity Pet Memorials Joins Earnest Efforts

We are excited to announce that Peternity will be carrying some of our wood boxes in their online pet memorial shop.  They found us on Etsy and chose some of our most beautiful larger boxes to serve as urns for their customers.  We have been honored to provide urns to market & festival customers for over 25 years, and are excited to have our boxes in Peternity's shop.

Happy New Customer

Precious little son of future webshop Moon Baby Diapers, loves his new
Earnest Efforts Natural Wood Baby Rattle.   

So Much To Say...

Dear Friends of Earnie, Ellie & Myrtle Efforts -

Wow, do we have a lot to share with you.  I suppose if I were to share more often there wouldn't be such a large collection to share in one post.  When I let myself get overwhelmed my Mom always tells me this - "don't try to eat the entire elephant at once, just take small bites at a time".  Beautiful advice for a vegetarian, but I digress.  Let's begin with the most recent news...

We have always had a list of all the retail shops who carry our wood baby rattles on our website, but it was a three page list, alphabetized by shop name, and I never thought of it as very customer friendly.  Of course, during a rarely indulged caffeine induced moment of inspiration, I decided this weekend that I absolutely had to rectify this problem immediately.  I found a fabulous site Pinmaps where I could pin (with little tree pins) all the shops who carry our rattles all around the world and got busy.  Now customers who come to our website can easily find a small local shop who carries our rattles!  Check it out if you like.

Next on the list, now with a very large check mark, was a project that had to sit patiently (maybe 25 years) while Earnie collected salvaged materials to finish the job.  Finally it began, the last of the materials salvaged and a little cash saved to buy the lumber for the structural element and Earnie was able to complete his vision to enclose the loft in the barn which is attached to the Sawdust Cathedral.  All of the windows were salvaged from remodels; often more than once.  The 6-pane windows originally came from the old VA Hospital in Roseburg (35 miles from where we live) and were a part of our living room for about 18 years.  When we replaced those windows with thermo-pane (nice and toasty in the winter) they were saved for this barn project.  The siding is asphalt shingles left over from multiple roofing projects from all over Oregon and all the trim was salvaged from here, there and everywhere.  Oh, and the colorful glass circles at the very top - those are old train crossing light covers.  Earnie never ceases to amaze me!!!

I've been handknitting and felting my wool & mohair hats for over 17 years now and I finally decided that the time had come to grab hold of those customers who love my hats but are knitters themselves and not going to buy a hat they can make.  My dear friend Felice has one of the top 50 shops on Etsy NicholasandFelice and a booth at the Eugene Saturday Market where we met about 17 years ago.  She is the one who turned me on to Ravelry, which is an online knitting & crocheting community.  Wowzza - I have to limit my time on this site.  This is where I found the pattern for my Owls sweater and my inspiration to finally tweak my hat pattern, create a color chart and put it out there for knitters to enjoy.  You can click on my hat, above, to take you to the pattern.  

We proudly have another new shop in Australia!!!  We love people from all around the world, but we have to admit that the Australians have won our hearts with their joyful spirits and delightful enthusiasm for our work!!!  (We realize we can't stereotype a people - we're just saying...).  And we have enjoyed chatting with Mirakye, who owns Epoche and describes her shop with these words...

Located in the heart of the Dandenong Ranges, in Kallista, overlooking Sherbrooke Forest.
Epoche is for the child at heart in everyone and is filled with beauty, spirit and wonder.
Our exclusive range expresses an innate reverence for children and the natural environment. We offer a discerning choice of finest quality natural products that nourish the whole child and nurture creativity.
We are dedicated to the provision of merchandise made from safe, non-toxic natural materials that have minimal impact on the environment.
Epoche is a Steiner-inspired gift store that specialises in:
  • traditional wooden and natural fibre toys
  • beautiful children's books
  • anthroposophical and inspirational texts
  • handmade dolls and felted gifts
  • premium art and craft supplies
  • organic cotton and 100% wool clothing
We are delighted to announce that their first order of our wood baby rattles are starting their long journey from up above to down under this morning and should be ready for the Kallista community to enjoy in the next couple of weeks. 

Hold tight - two more announcements...

We were recently approached by a couple more online sites wanting to include us in their listings.

Fab Oregon has the most enthusiastic and wonderful mission -

FAB OREGON is a social enterprise company with a mission to increase awareness of, and demand for, products made in Oregon; to boost Oregon manufacturers, craftspeople, and artisans; to grow Oregon jobs; and to increase Oregon’s gross state product.  Call us dreamers if you like, but we envision an Oregon with a diverse and vital economy worthy of its fabulous mountains, forests, coastline, wildlife, and people, and we think it’s doable. 

Visit their site to read more & explore the amazing work that is produced in Oregon. 

Cottage Life is the other site that found us on Etsy and included one of our boxes in an article suggesting Valentine's Gifts for Cottagers.  We didn't reply to their message quick enough to have a picture of the box included, but nearly 90 people visited our shop from this page.  Not bad for a little box!

                                                                     ~*~  ~*~  ~*~

I think that about covers it for our latest news.  Life is amazing and we are grateful every day to all of you for helping us live our dream.  May peace and joy fill your hearts and remember to...

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

Ellie & The Owl Sweater

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -

Ellie in the Owl Sweater

Close up of owls & antique buttons for eyes

This may or may not be off topic, but I just have to brag about this Owl Sweater I just finished.  It is only my second sweater, and I think I'm now over my fear of sweaters, so there will be more to come (Earnie keeps asking if I've started his sweater yet).  It was designed by Kate Davies and I found it on Ravelry.  If you've been to our Eugene, Oregon Saturday Market or seen us at any other art festival you are probably familiar with my handknit, felted wool hats, but you've never seen my hats online until now...

I just can't bear the thought of trying to sell a hat to someone through cyber-space.  How do you get a good fit?  So, I'm thinking about selling my hat patterns on Ravelry.  I'll let you all know when I get that project checked off my list.  Until then remember...

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

Winter in Olalla & New Friends

Upper Olalla Valley from the Efforts land

Snow covered home of Earnie, Ellie & Myrtle Efforts In Upper Olalla

Ellie's very special Douglas Fir tree in our woods
Dearest Friends of Earnest Efforts ~*~
We've had our first snow (about a half foot) and Myrtle & I agree that although it is nice for about half a day, anything after that is just cold, wet & simply a damper on our day (we don't mind rain, but we do mind snow).  We're heading off for our afternoon hike here in 15 minutes, so I need to write fast & get ready for the wind that's blowing this next snowstorm from the NW.  Hope you enjoyed the above pics because yesterday morning was grand!

The real reason we're writing this quick note is to send a thank you out to Addicted to Fluff who wrote a fun & kind review of our wood baby rattles being enjoyed by her two boys.  The videos are great & we would love it if you would check them out & write her a comment.  We bloggers (can I call myself a blogger if I only write on rare occasions?) love the comments! 

Hope you all are staying warm, dry and filled with loving kindness.  I've got a lot more pics to share, but time to get out & hike before Myrtle sleeps the day away. 

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