Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Shop Hop December 14th; Santa Tours the Town collecting Toys for Tots December 15th

Baltic Birch backed with gold stars on red cotton

We're going to have a wonderful weekend in Georgetown, Massachusetts~ Small Businesses like Wooden Toy and Gift and the new Quilters' Quarters will be offering refreshments, entertainments, discounts, door prizes and more on Saturday, December 14th.
Two layers of Baltic Birch backed with brown cotton fabric

And on Sunday the 15th, Santa will be touring the town, visiting every street in every neighborhood with the U.S. Marine Corps' Toys for Tots campaign.  Each year, Georgetown residents donate over three thousand gifts to the toy collection. The Georgetown Fire Department sponsors this parade of apparatus and vehicles to gather the toys right from the source: Georgetown families.

Fire Department Christmas tree backed with red and green cotton

Wooden Toy and Gift helps the fire department by collecting donations in our shop and placing them in the Marine's hands as they come by our shop.  We make our own donations to them on that day as well. 

A new collection of ornaments at Wooden Toy and Gift

The beautiful wooden rocking motor cycles have all been sold, and many of the large pieces of 18" doll furniture have also found their way into homes that treasure their dolls.  Rick is making more small items now; he has a collection of scroll sawn ornaments, plaques and figures for sale in the shop. 

Two layers of Baltic Birch with red cotton fabric
Terry has expanded the Terry's Thoughts and Threads  portion of the shop to include Quilters' Quarters, a place where townspeople and others can find fabrics, notions, threads, batting, ribbons and trims that we used to be able to buy in our five and ten store called Cressy's. We lost that wonderful resource several years ago, and now Wooden Toy and Gift and Terry's Thoughts and Threads are stepping up to replace the goods that stitchers have had to travel out of town to find in recent years. 

Frosty the Snowman and a little girl sculpting him; open design

Enjoy this "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and join in the celebration this coming weekend.  Santa will be glad to see you street-side offering your donated new, unwrapped toys to the Marines that ride with him each year in Georgetown.  And we'll look forward to seeing you on Holiday Shop Hop Saturday!

Away in a Manger, open design

Merry Christmas, everyone!

with love and care,

Rick and Terry

Baltic Birch backed with green cotton fabric
Remember, you can buy Rick's beautiful scroll saw work in the shop, or order online at www.woodentoyandgift.net.

You can also visit Terry's Thoughts and Threads portion of the shop at  www.terrycrawfordpalardy.com.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fall Season is ending; Winter changes are ahead.

We've had some time this fall to think about the changes ahead for Wooden Toy and Gift.  The larger pieces, including the rocking motorcycle and 18" doll furniture are dwindling in numbers. They continue to be sold with a 30% discount to lucky buyers who will  have items in the limited collection designed and made by Rick. The shop will be adding more plaques, puzzles and small wooden items in place of the larger ones.

Please stop in to see us on Small Business Saturday (November 30, 2013. We'll be celebrating the new Quilters' Quarters with door prizes and discounts on fabric, batting, sewing notions and more. And of course, we'll be serving hot cocoa and home made cookies.

Visit our webstore at the www.woodentoyandgift.net site to find which items are still in stock and on sale. Or come visit us and save shipping cost! We'd love to see you.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fall Clearance Sale!

The beautiful weather has seen Rick and Terry out front this weekend. With a multi-family yard sale next door benefitting a young girl's college fund, Wooden Toy and Gift has again set up the canopies and is offering a great price on the larger wooden toys that Rick makes.

Rick is going to begin focusing on the smaller, more detailed scroll saw work, creating  plaques for many special occasions. Weddings, births, retirements, homecomings ... college, military and public service affiliations ... disability awareness butterflies and angels, large and pocket size ... along with the smaller-sized trucks and puzzles that intrigue and inspire creativity and imagination in young children ... these are the items he will continue making. "Beautiful things that make people happy" is still his goal; toys that allow kids to think and enjoy playing with for years ... things that will last from generation to generation ... these are the things that are worth the time and care he puts into his work.

And so, from now until the larger items are sold out, Rick is offering them at a 1/3 discount. This may be the last chance for shoppers to acquire the large rocking motor cycle and the 18" doll furniture pieces:  his  pedestal dining table and arm chairs, the armoire, china hutch, grandfather clock, bureau and picket fence bed will all become collectors' items of
limited numbers. You really don't want to miss this pre-holiday clearance sale!

In place of the larger items, space in the shop will be refurbished to accommodate a woodworker's and a quilter's dreams ... for several years now, Georgetown has been without its Five and Ten Cent hardware/general store in town. When Cressy's closed downtown, a piece of Georgetown's history was lost. The place where local shoppers could stop in and find almost anything they were looking for had met the needs of local quilters for many decades. While Wooden Toy and Gift can't physically accommodate all of those varied shoppers, there is a small group whose needs have not been met by the other retail stores in town: stitchers have had to go out of town to find those essential little notions to begin or finish their quilts and fabric needs.

The second half of Wooden Toy and Gift known as Terry's Thoughts and Threads will expand to fill the open space. Fabrics, threads, needles and pins, batting, trims, patterns and books will begin to appear in the first floor shop, and sewing lessons will be offered in the space.  In time, the second floor will become a quilters' studio where lessons for beginners and small groups of quilting friends can gather to share ideas and skills with an end-goal of producing small quilts that will be donated to those in need. As the disability plaques honor those who face and meet challenges, the charitable quilts will warm those in need of a bit of comfort and love.

A little bit of the town's history will be reborn ... memories of the centuries past will be reawakened as Terry shares her knowledge and care of treadle machines ... . Rick will continue to honor the accomplishments and courageous battles of those who face illness and those who face challenges in protecting our way of life. And together, they will continue to use all that they have to fulfill their retirement dreams of hosting local shoppers in the little shop "just two doors north of Perley School" in Georgetown, Massachusetts.

Watch for the clearance sales, and listen for news of the quilt shop's opening. There will be updates here at the WTandGNews.blogspot.com, at www.WoodenToyandGift.net, at www.TerryCrawfordPalardy.com. and on our Facebook pages for Wooden Toy and Gift and Terry's Thoughts and Threads.

And watch for a new book that will surely follow all of these events ... the Happily Ever After years of Rick and Terry's retirement are coming true~

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stitchers' Delights

Rick does make beautiful things of wood that make people happy. I'm Terry, his wife and partner, and Rick never fails in making things that I, a quilter, absolutely love. And so it stands to reason that other quilters or stitchers of other talents will also love these. Take a look at some of the special work he is doing on stitchers' behalf.
Rick's quilt racks are made of his favorite wood for furniture: Eastern White Pine, select quality. His choice of planks have few knots visible; sometimes, though, customers want a knotty-pine look, and he will choose wood that has visible knots. As you can see in the picture, the racks have five rods: three at the top are one inch diameter dowels, and two lower rods are a three-quarter inch size. The racks shown stand thirty-one inches tall, twenty-nine and a half long, and eighteen inches deep. 

Originally, the intent of the lower rods was to 'tuck in' the bulk of the quilts hung over the upper rods. I choose to use the lower rods to hold small baby quilts or matching pillow covers. Because some stitchers make or collect crazy quilts with lace embellishments, Rick also offers to cover one or more of the rods with white pvc piping. Although he carefully sands and smooths the dowels, varying humidity levels in homes can tend, over time, to raise the grain slightly; in turn, that wood grain might snag an aged fabric or delicate trim. 

Rick enjoys making special pieces of furniture for special people. He also has a whimsical side and likes to make plaques that appeal to different artists, professions, services and more. We shared the disability awareness plaques with you in an earlier post. 

But these plaques are what I call a "stitchers' delight" as they make use of many familiar sayings that quilters and other needleworkers can relate to. "Any day spent sewing is a good day," is one that most of us can say is true.

"May your bobbin always be full!" is a way of leaving a stitcher with good thoughts in mind, and optimistically a needle and fabric in hand. "Sew much fabric Sew little time" is a sweet play on words that stitichers will appreciate.

I think my favorite, and the truest one that fits my lifestyle, is the one that reads "When I learned to sew I forgot how to cook." Rick is the chief cook and bottlewasher in our house; he may have to make a small plaque that holds that saying as well.

These plaques are all scroll-saw cut from one eighth inch Baltic Birch Plywood and hand-filed and then sanded to a smooth natural beauty. They can be hung as ornaments in sewing corners, windows, doorways or on trees. As with all of Rick's creations, they are left without stain or paint. They measure three and a half by five inches; they can also be mounted in a plexiglas-sealed frame, like the disability-awareness butterflies, if customers want.

Visit our webstore (www.woodentoyandgift.net) to order online, or come by our shop to see these sweet, delicate plaques that pay homage to the stitcher in your life. Or email us at woodenoyandgift@comcast.net to special order a framed plaque. Let us know what color fabric (or natural wood) you would want in the background. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sidewalk Sale Events!

Come and visit us, please? We will be out front displaying many of the beautiful things Rick makes with wood, and some of Terry's books and quilts.

This weekend, August 3rd and 4th, Rick is giving away 'swag' at our tables: we've found a supplier of small round tin buttons to pin on hats and T-shirts.

Terry is also autographing her books for shoppers: her newest title, Multiple Sclerosis, Melanoma and More (the sequel to her memoir, Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigma) is here!  Terry's books are priced at $12 each, but for the Sidewalk Sale you can buy 3 books for $33.

Two important reminders: Wooden Toy and Gift and Terry's Thoughts and Threads are both able now to accept Discover, Visa and MasterCard payments, as well as local checks and cash.  And, On-Street-Parking is legal on late afternoons, evenings and weekends. The town's No Parking signs out front specify that parking is restricted on weekdays during school hours only. So feel free to pull over and join us out front!

Here are a few pictures of what we're displaying on the tables out front ... and we're offering a 10% discount on all wooden items: trucks, doll houses, doll furniture, work bench (with plastic toddler tools by Black and Decker,) puzzles, the locomotive and more.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


One of the things that Rick enjoys the most is making wooden trucks for children. As with most of his woodworking, Rick uses select quality Eastern White Pine for the truck bodies. And for most of his trucks, he also uses the pine for the wheels. Some of the wheels are cross-hatched with 'treads.' All of the trucks are sanded and rubbed to a smooth finish that allows the natural beauty of the pine to show through.

These trucks don't stay in stock for long. Most visitors who have little ones at home are drawn right away to the wooden hutch that holds the trucks. One visitor picked up the monster truck, and carried it throughout her tour of the shop, saying "I don't know who I'll give this to ... maybe, I'll keep it at my house for whoever comes to visit me."  That was such a wonderful idea!

The five piece puzzle truck is one of the first trucks that we had in the shop. Currently, it is out of stock, but Rick plans to have more made by the end of September. The overall length of the tractor and car carrier trailer is about 20 inches.It is made with purchased maple wheels, of a size that might be a swallowing hazard for toddlers under the age of three.  When fit all together properly, the height is about 7 inches, and the width 1 3/4 inches. The three cars that fit together form the body of the trailer and comprise the puzzle: they will only fit together one way. This invites little ones to use trial and error to put the cars back onto the flatbed. That's the kind of play that we know is so important for eye-hand coordination and problem-solving skill development.

What child doesn't like to have a dump truck to play with in the yard or on the beach? This truck measures 7 inches in length by 6 inches in height and 4 inches in width. To avoid pinched fingers, the dumper does not lift and dump. The cab of the truck has two wheels, and the dumper has eight wheels (two sets of doubles on each side.) These wheels are made by Rick of Eastern White Pine, and are shaped carefully to allow smooth rolling on a rug or in grass.

This flat bed trailer will carry either the dump truck (above) or the bulldozer (as shown here and below.) The trailer, tractor and wheels are all made of Eastern White Pine. The tractor has ten wheels of its own: two single tires at the front and four double sets support the goose-neck connection to the trailer.  The trailer has four double sets at the rear: eighteen wheels in all for this piece. The tractor and ten wheels measures  7  inches in length,  4.5  inches in height and  4  inches in width. The trailer, with it's goose-neck attachment and eight wheels measures 14.5  inches in length, 4  inches wide. When linked together by a wooden peg assembly, the overall length is 20.5 inches.

The bulldozer has four single, wider wheels. It's length is 6 inches, height is 3 inches (plus 3/4 inch dowel for exhaust) and 5.75 inches wide. The blade is 1/2 thick, 6 inches wide and 2.25 inches tall, and lifts up and down via a wooden peg system.

The VW dune buggy will be a favorite at the beach or in the sandbox. The vehicle and its wheels are made of Eastern White Pine. Extra-wide wheels with no tread support the bug's body, which features a cut-through window shape. This makes it easy for little hands to carry and move through the sand or the foliage. Here it is shown sitting in a bed of English Ivy (unfortunately not included :)

The Monster Truck has Very large wheels cross-hatched for tread. The wheels themselves are 2.75 inches in diameter and 3 inches thick, making the overall width of the truck and tires 8 inches. It stands about 7 inches high and about 7 inches in length. Made of Eastern White Pine, this truck delights both toddlers and older children alike.

Stop into our shop to see our trucks ... you never know when you might need one on hand for a special gift.  Or visit our webstore at www.woodentoyandgift.net and purchase via PayPal.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Christmas in July 2013

Christmas in July!
59 North Street (2 doors north of Perley)
Georgetown, Massachusetts

Come to our shop in Georgetown, Massachusetts. We're having our annual Christmas in July celebration on Saturday and Sunday, July 13th and 14th, from 9:00 am until the crowds dwindle.

We'll be displaying things on the sidewalk out front, and the shop itself will be AC cool!

Take a look at how we're advertising street-side this weekend:

And, surely you remember this little guy? We're giving him a better role than he used to have in the way-back-when days...

Come on in - we are a smoke-free environment, and it is still Kool inside! We'll give an additional 10% discount on any one item to the first person who knows his advertising name...

It wouldn't be Christmas in July without a train on the table, right?
 This will be our first weekend for accepting Visa, Mastercard and Discover! Come on, shop with us~ buy them all; we can make more.

Online shopping? Visit our webstore at www.woodentoyandgift.net. PayPal does not understand discount weekends, so to honor our Christmas in July sale for our online customers, we will include a refund check of ten percent of the order (post-tax) with your package. Looking for something special? Email us before October 1, 2013, at woodentoyandgift@comcast.net, to let us know what it is you would like. We will do our best to fulfill your dreams before Christmas! And if you email us the penguin's advertising name before anyone else does, we will send a check with your order for the additional ten percent discount prize.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Angels in your Pocket

All who know Terry know that she never starts her day without an angel on her shoulder. Sometimes she also has one in her pocket. For years she carried one in her school bag as well. And, of course, her guardian angel went with her virtually everywhere.

After Rick made the beautiful butterflies for the disability awareness plaques, Terry asked him about making angels. Within minutes, Rick had located a pattern for various angels online, and soon after that, he was at work.

The dear little Pocket Angels are painstakingly cut from 1/8" Baltic Birch Plywood with a scroll saw, and then carefully filed by hand to a smooth finish. Each one measures approximately 1" square.

Rick then downloaded more angel patterns. He's made one that is about the size of the butterfly (4" x 4"). It might be hung in a window, or on a wall. It might also decorate a Christmas Tree. In a frame, it could, like Rick's military, firefighter and disability plaques, sit on a shelf or desk.

That Rick makes these angels happily adds a special sentiment to the treasured pieces of wood. They are made with love and care, and they bring that love and care with them, where ever they go.

You'll find them in our shop, or at the online web store. I'm sure you and whomever you choose to give them to will love them as much as Terry and Rick do.

Remember, everything that Rick sells in his shop and his online web store are always made right here in Georgetown, Massachusetts, using select quality wood. Wood is a renewable, biodegradable product and all of Rick's products are hand polished to reveal the natural beauty of the wood, without added stains or paints, and so are non-toxic to you and your community. We are proud to say that everything we sell is MADE IN THE U.S.A. !

Visit our webstore to order these angels online: http://www.woodentoyandgift.net/apps/webstore/products/show/3988960

Or come on in to see us: just two doors north of Perley School in Georgetown, Massachusetts.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Buying Local, Buying American

   I remember being a child and hearing and singing this jingle on radio and television commercials:
 "Brown eggs are local eggs, and local eggs are fresh!"
Later, a television infomercial would feature Joe the Grocer, a healthy, hearty man who would appear on Sunday mornings and talk about local gardens and the produce that could be bought there.  I remember him advising us that fresh produce was grown locally and handled by the farmer and the customer, period.
Why am I reminiscing about these two sound bites from the past? Because their messages rang true to me then, and still do today. The message "Support Small Businesses, Local Businesses" today has a different ring to it,  but the truth is still the same. Buying local is the responsible thing to do.
People voice their displeasure at the number of jobs that have been lost in the past two decades. Manufacturing sent overseas for cheaper labor expenditures means lower prices for consumers and higher profits for the owners of those industries, all do to the lower cost of living and level of quality of life for those overseas workers.  But if people here would listen to themselves, they would hear an honest call to shop local.  
Manufacturers of similar goods produced here in the United States, created and developed by workers living here in the  States  ~  where the cost of living and the quality of life is recognizably higher ~  have high labor costs and so must set higher prices.  It is the same for small local businesses. We pride ourselves on our 'first world' lifestyle. We buy, when we can afford to, American-made products. And when times are tough, some of us turn to cheaper imports. But that never helps things here in the USA. We need to spend our money here.
Our economy right now is still sluggish, following the recession that, like a bad storm that didn't earn a name , whirled through the States leaving behind destruction, broken factories and different expectations. But our dreams and beliefs remain the same: we are The United States of America. We have skills, and raw materials, and creative thinkers, and yes, dreamers. But our dreamers are not without plans to achieve those dreams. We set achievable goals. And we strive to meet them.
Our goal, Rick and I,  is to see our dream come true. We've long believed that, post retirement, we would have time to create the toys and gifts that we believe can bring people to the realization of their own dreams and creative strengths. There is another song lyric that I remember: 
I believe the children are our future, Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride to make it easier. Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be. Whitney Houston, The Greatest Love
We know that many people of the world make toys and gifts. But what I want you to know is why Rick makes his toys and gifts the way he makes them.  When our first child was young, she would often bring a new toy to her Daddy, saying "Please fix this, Daddy." And Rick would do his best not to let her down.  Sometimes it just needed a battery, but more often the plastic had cracked, or something had fallen off, or a joint had failed, and it "didn't do what it was supposed to do."
Rick decided then, so many years ago, that children were best served when they were given toys that encouraged them to think, to create, to imagine and pretend. Toys that would allow children to return to them again and again and always have a new experience in their play. And so he decided to make his own, for his own, and for all children.
Rick believes in his products. He believes that our children and grandchildren need toys that have value. Rick believes that toys that run on batteries and only "do what they are supposed to do" (and never do anything different) require little originality and imagination from children. He believes that toys need to encourage the next generations to be original and imaginative. Rick makes toys that are biodegradable in time, but valuable in their durability. He makes toys of renewable resources (wood) and doesn't treat them with false finishes (brightly colored and potentially toxic paints and stains.) Instead, he lovingly sands and rubs them smooth to bring the wood's natural beauty to the eye of the beholder. 
I remember more lyrics from that song:
Everybody searching for a hero, People need someone to look up to ...  I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadow If I fail, if I succeed At least I’ll live as I believe  ...
I am so proud to work with Rick in our shop, making my quilts, writing my books, and enjoying Rick's tenacity in fulfilling his dream of providing toys with quality and integrity to children. Rick does make beautiful things of beautiful wood, and that does make people happy. I'll be writing more about the why and the how of Rick's Wooden Toy and Gift shop at this blog, and I hope you'll visit us today and sign up to follow us by email. 
See the 'submit email' button in the right side bar. If you are not local, you can visit his online store at  www.woodentoyandgift.net. Don't miss out on any special offers advertised here on the blog.

I'm asking you to do this because I believe that you share Rick's values, our values ~Toys that are:
·         MADE IN USA. Everything we sell is made by Rick or Terry, right here in Georgetown, Massachusetts.
·         NON-TOXIC.  A little non-toxic acrylic paint is used on some gift items; otherwise, wood is left natural.
·         RENEWABLE RESOURCES. Wood comes from American Trees, which grow abundantly here in New England.
·         BIODEGRADABLE.  Plastics will still be in landfills hundreds of years from now. Wood will decompose.

      *Though our wooden toys are not indestructible, they have the potential to last for years and become treasured hand-me-downs for the next generation. If one has an unfortunate accident, Rick will always answer the call: "Please fix this, Daddy..."
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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Wooden Furniture for 18" Dolls

As we wrote in a previous post, Rick often works with select quality Eastern White Pine, and sands and rubs the wood to a beautiful natural finish. He doesn't use stain on the woods, instead leaving them "unfinished," which is a misleading word. He prefers to sell the items in a non-toxic state, leaving the choice of natural or color to the customer. In the case of the motorcycle, we know of two that were changed: one was painted to match Grampy's purple motorcycle, and one was treated with several coats of clear spray varnish to enhance the beauty of the wood and the durability of the heirloom.

Rick finishes his doll furniture, also made of select quality Eastern White Pine, in the same way. He designed the picket fence bed many years ago, and made a headboard for a twin size bed to match. The full size headboard was soon purchased, and though he hasn't made another, he would if asked; one customer asked for a bureau, and Rick made one with deep drawers to hold doll clothes. Because these dolls have many outfits, one bureau was not enough. So Rick made an armoire to hold fancy dresses and shoes.

He's made a 'pedestal table' and arm chairs out of high quality plywood with carefully scroll-sawn patterns in the chairs' backs. To complement the table and chairs, he's made a china hutch with linen storage benath and a grandfather clock with working movement: the only battery powered item in his collection!

Terry dresses the table with a 100% cotton, washable table cloth, coordinating napkins and seat pillows. It makes for quite a display when the table set, hutch and grandfather clock are used together. Tea sets of old can be purchased at many gift shops - plastic sets for younger children are available at many mall toy store chains.

Due to the small cabinet door handles, these pieces are not recommended for children under four. But once your children are interested in the 18" dolls and their accompanying stories, this furniture is a very good investment. Children playing with tea sets and dolls often become very creative in their thoughts and vocabularies. Many hours of good old fashioned fun will take place around this table!

It's important to note that these pieces also nicely accommodate a family of teddy bears~ He even made a park bench to allow the dolls or teddies to chat about books outside.

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