It's that time of year again! The famous Cotuit Craftfest is this weekend!!! I am so excited I can't stand it!!! Anyone who knows me knows why this is my favorite Crafty weekend of all......... the TOYMAN will be there!!!! I save my change all year long just for this specific weekend (Read on to find out mroe about this local legend!)
Beginning in 1970, and now celebrating their 42nd year, the Cotuit Arts and Crafts Festival will feature more than 125 outstanding artisans and craftsmen. They will gather this weekend from 104pm on both days, to offer their latest creations to those who venture to the quaint, seaside village of Cotuit knowing they will view some of the finest traditional and contemporary crafts of the entire region. Not only will there be amazing crafts, but local music will pepper the soundscape for both days! Food will be offered by the local church, kids activities will take place under the kid tent with the playground on site to entertain the famly.
Below are my TOP Exhibitors who are a MUST to visit and why.....
1.) Lester Ruth The Toymaker (Booth 51) = He is the real deal folks! If you haven't read my previous tribute to this amazing craftr then read it now Tribute of Toymaker Lester Ruth This man is no joke, a modern day Santa if you will. American made wooden toys for children and adults! You can't go wrong with any purchase made here. He stands by his products 100% lifetime guarantee! And the kids LOVE LOVE LOVE his toys!!! These are toys that can be heirlooms and handed down! I cannot say enough great things about this legend, he is just AMAZING!!!!
2.) Mattapoisett Bird Works (Booth 72) = Michael McCarthy hand carves/whittles every single one of these birds. They are absolutely exquisitely done and his attention to detail is superior! I enjoy visiting his booth every year and watch in awe as he carves right in front of spectators and shoppers. I am most excited to bring Ethan to this booth because I know how excited birds make him. Plus I know how he is fascinated in watching creation processes.
3.) Lori Devlin Author of Cape Cod Critters (Booth 84) = Lori will be there signing her book Cape Cod Critters, a fabulous book for kids about the unique wildlife inhabitants of Cape Cod. A fun and playful read, kids love this book!!!
4.) Sweet Baby Georgia (Booth 85) = And when your done getting your book signed, pop in next door to see Abigail, owner of Sweet Baby Georgia who creates adorable handmade hair accessories for babies and girls. She is a fellow Cape Cod Mommy as well and I always enjoy supporting our local moms!!!!
5.) Summer House Natural Soaps (Booth 104) = Natural soaps and body care products, all handcrafted in their workshop in Barnstable Village. I am a huge fan of soaps especially naturally made ones. I love checking out this eco friendly businesses' products and sampling the fragrances! With soaps for even the most sensitive to soaps for furry friends, they cover it all. My personal faves from here are: Bath sea salts, the oatmeal milk bath for sensitive skin (works for babies/adults with excema), and the lip balm - the cranberry oil, cocoa butter and other ingredients will definitely help sooth dry lips this season!
These are just some of my favorites to see this yea. There are over a 100 more crafters who will be there this weekend though! Will you be attending this year? Who are you MOST excited to see?
Today I wanted to give tribute to a very talented toy maker:
I first heard of Lester Ruth in the fall of 2010, when my sister and girlfriend started talking about the toys they had seen at the Cotuit Craft Festival. They raved and raved about the toy they had just bought for our friends daughter.
The following year, my sister reminded me of the festival, so we packed up the car and headed on over. We talked excitedly about the toys as we drove. Upon arriving there were many vendors displaying some pretty amazing products; from hand carved wooden birds with exquisite details to homemade belt buckles and leather shoes. There were even some baby/toddler shoes for only $5! (I bought some of course). But I could not be swayed from finding this myth of a man whom everyone talked about.
We finally rounded the corner and found his display and I was instantly brought back to childhood!
The beautiful wooden toys gleamed on the table, aching to find a loving home with a family and a child who would love them as much as their maker had. There were trains that would delight any child, wooden boats with people that float, walking toys, dogs, dinosaurs, frogs, baby carriages and more. He even had wooden toys for adults! Old fashioned telephones, movie cameras, airplanes and cameras are sure to bring some nostalgia to many!
Lester didn’t disappoint either. He reminded me of slimmed down Santa Clause if you will. He had the snow white beard complete with the glasses, and a twinkle in his eyes. He picked up each toy lovingly and describes how he made it, what it is painted with, whether it has the ability to float, where the people can be moved to, etc. You could tell how extremely passionate he is about what he does and that is something rare to see.
Lester also gives a lifetime guarantee on his work:
“Since 1977, same terms:
Unconditional, unlimited guarantee of satisfaction. If you are ever dissatisfied with a toy you purchase from us, we will, at your sole discretion, give refund or exchange, make free repairs, always, postage paid both ways, collect calls accepted, personal checks are best, or money orders, we take visa, mc and amex. ….”
That’s pretty amazing! It is rare to find toys for our children these days that are American made with a lifetime guarantee, wooden, simple, and that our children will come back time and time and time again to play with.
We came away that day purchasing a 6 seater pull toy for my son while his Aunt bought him a wooden boat that could float in the tub. We knew at the time that these would be great birthday presents.
Since his birthday, my son remains obsessed daily with these two toys. He takes the wooden people out and puts them back, we talk about the colors of the people and I show him how they can slide through the boat. He chases after me as I pull the toy and then stands to mimic me and
tries to pull it along. We even brought it to our Mommy and Me Conditioning class and shared it with the other babies who also loved it! These are toys that will be well loved by our son and can be handed down from one generation to the next. They are well worth the investment to us.
So Mr. Lester Ruth, THANK YOU! Thank you for having the passion to create such simple yet wonderful toys!
Below I have put up a file of Lester Ruth’s order form and toys. He will also create custom pieces upon request. Happy Playing!
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