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Monday, February 22, 2010

Apple Valley Woodworks Review and Giveaway!  

I know I have been speaking about craftsmen and artisans
a lot lately. I can't help it for I see some of the work
these extremely talented people do and just have to share.
When people talk about products being made in the U.S.A
they always forget about these kinds of products and
these are the items that really separate our citizens
from other citizens. I don't just mean craftsmen and Artisans
from the US either, I mean from everywhere in the World. A locally
made item reflects the culture around them and I like to think
of it as product Olympics. Instead of Bob down the block showing
the World how fast he can run or Betty how high she can jump
they are showing you how creative they are in a design of a
quilt or a Coffee Table. I don't know about you guys but when
I see an item that was hand made I am proud the person who made
it is a member of my neighborhood for it reflects the best of
us and the skills our neighbors and friends have. When I buy wind
chimes from a craft show at the local Church the first thing out
of my mouth when someone asks about it is that it was made by
a local person. It makes me proud to be a member of our community
and when I find stores that feature craftsmen that honor old fashion
skills and make items by hand I am proud to shop there for I know
that tradition and quality have not gone down the Assembly line
with Edsel Ford or worse yet, outsourced to another country. I
can still buy it right down the block. When I go on vacations I
seldom hit the tourists stores and instead look for the road
side stands or craft fairs where I can buy an item that truly
reflects the people in that region not just a T-shirt, made in
Taiwan with a Florida Stamp on it. Give me the Sea Shell Necklace
that the lady picked the shells herself and strung in a specific manor
to the wee hours of the night. I want Maple Syrup from Vermont and
Pecans from Georgia. Florida is Oranges and not Coffee Mugs
and better yet is picking them yourself. I support hand made
dolls and toys and clothing and that is one of the reasons I
am so fond of Etsy. It breaks my heart that the guy who hand crafts
a rocking chair that will last several generations can't compete
with the cheap furniture you can pick up at Walmart. If they
only realized that Walmart chair will be gone before their children
outgrow it and the one Gary the Carpenter made will last forever, they
might think twiceabout where they spend their hard earned cash!

I found a store I want to share with you guys for it has that
old world charm, the forgotten quality, that eternal nostalgia
and is created by a man with more talent for his craft then
a whole warehouse of particle board shelf makers at Value Village!
Apply Valley Woodwork's is the name of the store and they dabble in a
little bit of everything as long as it is made out of wood. I
was so impressed with his work I had to contact him and tell him
all about it. When I was young I had a rocking chair, one that was
made just for children, that I loved with all my heart. I passed it
on to Andrew for it was passed on to me from my Mother. I don't know
if it had a history prior to that for I never thought to ask but I
do know had I not suffered a house fire when Andrew was around 5 it
would still be going strong today for it showed no signs of wear and
Andrew was already getting to big for it. It wouldn't have been much
longer before I stored it for his Children and I wish I would have a
little sooner for the only rooms in the house to loose everything were
Andrews room and mine. Had I put it in the basement Rowan would
be rocking away on it today. I have never seen a chair just like that
but because of the love I felt for it I always look at woodworking stores
and privately owned furniture stores. My dream is to someday run across
one and be able to snatch it up for future generations in my family and
though it is not the original it would be an Heirloom to me none the
less. So far I have not came across that style but I have found a lot
of beautiful items and some remarkable products over the years and I
may have walked into a store looking for one thing but I never came
out empty handed. I can't remember just what I was looking for when I
found this next store but once I saw the word "Wood" I knew I had to
check it out for it would be just my luck the one store I didn't look
at would be the store that had just what I was looking for. Now they
did not have my chair but oh, my, the items I found. He offered to
send an item for review and this will be an item that stays in my family
forever too! It is a step stool for Rowan that has her name hand painted
on it and is so superbly crafted I had a hard time telling it was hand
made at all. If it wasn't for the fact you can see the grain in the
wood and swirls from the natural hue of the wood you would swear it was
made from pressed wood for it is just that smooth. A lot of love went into
its making and even more pride for it is completely perfect in its
design. This is something you buy for your child and they pass it on
to theirs and someday a great great great grandchild of yours will be sitting
on it listening to Robo Whatzamabob read them a story while their parents
jet off to Mars for the weekend. This is one of those items in a home that
has history and a story and each person passes down a little more love
with the stool. This is something you daughter asks for five minutes after
she tells you she is going to have your first Grandchild. Something she
explains has to be in the Babies Nursery or the room would just not be
complete. This is a piece of Furniture you build a room around not something
that fills up space. Items like this vibrate with the love of everyone who
sat on them and come with stories and memories all of their own.
Rowans stool is a work of art in my eyes and she already knows it is
hers and though I am not quiet there when it comes to trusting her to sit
on it she has it right next to her in play area 2 ( my room) and it is
her leaning post and where she sets her toys she is busy taking inventory
off and right now she is using it as her own little table and soon I know
I will see her dragging it through the house. Not I am sure she will also
use it to get in a little mischief for hey, if you can't reach the cookie jar
her handy little stool will work great in a pinch but it will also be there
for her when she gets on and off the potty her first time. Or brushes her
teeth at the big girl sink. Or stands next to Mommy and helps to make Holiday
cookies or we cook our first meal together. It will be there with her when
she finds her first hiding spot in the closet or is peaking on the top shelves
of mine looking for a Holiday present with her name on it. She will have it
when we all sit together as a family for a movie or just needs an
extra spot for a friend to sit for her first sleep over. The point is
Apple Valley Woodwork's doesn't make Furniture they make memories
and traditions. Nothing is sitting around waiting to be bought, everything
is made for you. From the time you place your order your piece is
given special attention and detail that reflects in the quality and
is made to last lifetimes. They have the stool that I love so but
you can also get your little Princess a Cradle for her baby that
will stay with her forever. Wooden toys with old fashion charm and
banks that make the perfect gift for any child. Walk over to the
adult side and you will find a Mantle Clock that is so stunning it
took my breath away. We had one in our family forever and I told
you how my Mother and I neglected to fall in love with heirlooms
we should have and made the mistake of giving it away to another
family member. When I saw this one I realized how we never should
have done that for when you own an item like this is becomes a
part of your family's spirit.

Apple Valley Woodwork's has many items you can
personalize and some you can choose the wood or finish or both
and colors to please all. I have always been fond of a natural
finish in my items but as you can see by the Photo of the
Stool they made for Rowan the color and paint gives it a little
girl charm and you know it was made for someone as darling
as she is. Every child has a step stool sometime in their youth
and I am proud Rowans came from a place like Apple Valley
Woodwork's where I know it has the quality to keep up with her
energy and was not only made for her it reflects her personality.
If I had got the stool on my own I would have set her Easter
Basket on it for it would make a darling Easter gift for any little
boy or girl. If you are looking for an item for your own children,
your grandchildren or just a friends or even for something for
yourself, you can not go wrong with a one of kind, gorgeous
item from Apple Valley Woodwork's! I know I will treasure it
forever. I have so fallen in Love with a Rocking Burro the have
on the site and know I have got to get something like that for
Rowan for her Birthday. The only complaint I have is I already
know I will have to listen to a three hour very convincing story
on how the stool would not only look better, but would be safer
at my Mothers house and how she should hold onto it to Rowan
is older and can appreciate it. Now I know as she reads this she
will deny it but she is more like my Grandmother then she knows
and hey, Mom, if it doesn't go perfect here I have no problem painting
for a stool like this makes the room not the other way around!

Apple Valley Woodwork's was super great to work with and truly
have as much heart as they do skill at their craft. They have offered
to give one of my readers a stool like Rowan received personalized for
their own child. To enter just head over to their site and take a look
around then come back and tell me what item you would love the most
and who you would give the stool too! The contest will start tonight
and run to Midnight on April 16th.
USA and 18 and older can enter daily and the winner
will be contacted by email and have 72 hours to
contact me with their mailing information. As always
you can earn a bonus entry by entering the contest of
the day and other ways to enter are posted below.

Apple Valley Woodworks

Extra entries.
Extra entries only count after the initial entry
is completed.

1. Become a follower of my blog or
post that you are. 3 entries,
please post 3 times.

2. Enter any of my other contest. I entry
per contest, separate post for each entry.

3. Grab my button. 5 entries. Please post
5 times.

4. Blog about this contest somewhere else
and post the link here. 5 Entries Please
post five times.

5. Tweet about this contest elsewhere. 5 entries
please post five times.

Hey there, while you are here don't forget to enter
my Mommy Tool Box and Port a Pong Contests!

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Picture I used on cards

Picture I used on cards
Rowan with soap hair