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Spring Sale: ‘Made in America by American Seniors’

We share a brief update on the “Woodchucks” at SummerHouse of Shoreview – woodshop members whose stories we featured previously:

“Made in America by American Seniors” is the Woodchucks’ slogan. And this spring, the Woodchucks have been busily crafting new items for sale!

Handcrafted birdhouses designed to last are an early, big hit with shoppers. Howard Grivna, resident co-leader of the woodshop, says birdhouse sales have “far exceeded our expectations.”

They designed “Lifetime Cedar Birdhouses” to hold up season after season, year after year. Howard explains, “We use cedar – which will last a long time in the weather – and brass hardware [to withstand rust]."

Catalog and order form.
Click on image to view catalog and order form. 
Best of all, the birdhouses are one of a kind. Howard boasts, “None are as unique as ours!”

Other fine products include:
  • Comfort Cross
  • Model ‘Super Cub’ Airplane
  • Furniture Arm-Table
  • Toaster Tongs
  • Swedish Dala Horse
  • Jewelry Organizer
  • plus more!

The Woodchucks generously donate all earnings back to Presbyterian Homes & Services! 

About the SummerHouse of Shoreview woodshop

SummerHouse of Shoreview ― an independent living community in Minnesota — opened a refurbished woodshop in 2020. Now anyone can continue honing their handiwork or develop new talents when they move here. The woodshop is not just for a small group to use but belongs to the whole community. All are welcome — and made to feel welcome in this space. Every resident receives a key and is invited to make use of the woodshop and join the woodshop committee. Residents pursue hobbies, and some repair furniture for others in the community, such as desks and chairs, at no charge. Many enjoy going there simply to hang out for an hour or so.

Republished from November 2021: Black Friday Sale: See what's inside Santa's PHS woodshop

Announcing a sale today, Black Friday – the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season! Inside the woodshop at SummerHouse of Shoreview in MN, residents have been crafting unique Christmas gifts for all ages.

Their slogan: American Made by American Seniors!

Fine products include:
  • Toaster Tongs
  • Swedish Dala Horse
  • Comfort Cross
  • Model ‘Super Cub’ Airplane
  • Furniture Arm-Table
  • Pinecone Cross Ornament

Your friends and loved ones will be touched by your unique and thoughtful selection! Plus, all earnings are generously donated by residents to the ministry of PHS.

Santa’s woodshop through the eyes of a child

So, what does a kid think about the Christmas gifts for sale? Well, we’re glad you asked! 😉

We brought along Calvin, 11, to sample the products, get a tour and meet residents Howard Grivna and Veryl Johnson.

Watch Calvin’s tour and sampling of Christmas gifts:

'Thank You' letter from Calvin

Howard and Veryl, I was so pleased to see you two! You two and your group have developed such an amazing tiny room! Your pieces of art have made me astonished. You have these amazing products from varieties of wood such as birch and walnut – which I thought was a nut until I asked my mom about it being wood.
Personally, my favorite products were the toaster tong and the plane because, one, I’m always terrified to grab the toast from the slot; two, I think planes are fascinating with the way they look and fly.

[Now Calvin writes to everyone listening:] You should buy them! I wish I could get them! Except I have, like, no money. The machines they had were amazing. They had this thing called a belt grinder. And it would scrape off tiny things that would stick out of the wood and make edges smoother. Another machine they showed me was a router that would curve edges. It was really noisy. Then there was something called a table saw. You’d push wood into the table saw and it would cut it into halves.
These two, Howard and Veryl, are very artistic, creative and fascinating!
Thank you so much for showing me your woodshop! I hope you can continue to sell and make more products!


Read more: Restored woodshop invites conversation and community


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