Upon further consideration, I think Fridays are full enough...with RED Friday sales and the inevitable invitation to lunch, I'm doing really good just to get the champagne opened at the end of the day...much less blog about it all. Saturdays are calmer...usually. This one happens to be accompanied by a steady drizzle and the promise of a pre-game nap later today. But first...some small business love.
I'm going to start with the Christmas gifts I handed out and follow up with Etsy artists I've been using for my business and our home. On my 101 list was to give everyone handmade gifts this past year for Christmas. Surprisingly (or maybe not), the hardest ones to shop for were Neal and my two tween nieces. My sister had been pinning handmade jewelry on Pinterest for months so the hardest part about that was narrowing it down. And my parents...well, I could give them twigs wrapped in twine and bacon and they would think it was the most clever idea ever.
So, let's start with the kiddos...because what they want more than anything is whatever is made in China. If it has lights, sirens, shoots marshmallows, or could cause bodily harm to one's sister, it's on the wish list. That doesn't exactly mesh with what's listed under "toys" on Etsy. Wooden trains, cloth ring stackers, stuffed bunny rabbits, felt food, and painted puzzles filled my page. None of these would fit the bill for 2 elementary school-age girls who play sports and computer games. On the brink of giving up and waving the white flag in the direction of Toys 'r Us, I stumbled upon this....
This particular catapult was made with reclaimed wood in a solar-powered wood shop and is hand-sanded before it's finished off with non-toxic mineral oil. Mother Earth just called. She wants you to buy from these people. They also build wooden toys that move, buses, and people.
The bottom line:
Etsy shop: WoodToyShop (Portland, Oregon)
Feedback: 1079 with 100% positive
Price: $18.00 plus $4.95 shipping
Shipping: Arrived about a week after purchase, well-packaged for protection