With all the Labor Day picnic activities and friends visiting, our gnomes’ peaceful sleep was apparently disturbed. Being night folks, who sleep during the day, they are seldom seen in the daylight. I’m sure they found a sip of beer or wine about, so how upset can they really be? Some requested more parties! I’ve used beer in a saucer to catch slugs in the garden, but perhaps it really went into a little gnome bucket for their enjoyment. They don’t much care if it’s dark or light beer, just beer!
It appears the gnomes will gather for a Sat. night meeting and woodland potluck. Lots of fresh produce from our garden, thanks to their help, provides a plentiful setting. Maybe I’ll scatter some good black sunflower seeds about to add to their banquet along with a red strawberry or… two. I know they’ll disappear overnight.
Garden Gnomes are very popular and a desired visitor to most any garden. You want them to keep a lookout and assist in your garden’s success. These little helpers can turn a black thumb into a green thumb in one season!
They are fully aware of organic gardening skills and care for various vegetables and flowers. They are know to be very shy and moody as well as very observant of us and nature. We want to keep them happy with fresh water, red strawberries and little snail tins full of fresh beer. Most important, lots of fresh beer! They will deal with the slugs and snails after they brink your beer. And all these years you were taught that snails crawled into the beer and drowned. The Garden gnomes drink the beer and then toss the snail in. Very smart. Venture into your garden at night and listen for a little “belch” or “burp.” Have you ever seen a snail or slug actually crawling into a beer filled tin? But you find them there in the morning. So, there you go. Garden gnomes are very good to have. You’ll need a gnome home, however, for them and you already “gnome” where you can get one of those!
I have not read of gnomes making small boats for their travels. They much prefer to hitch a smoother ride on the back of large migrating birds. Having traveled hundreds of years ago to England, chances are they snuck onto a large sailing ship rather than try it alone. I don’t know if gnomes eat fish, but can imagine them smashing clams and mussels for a tasty meal. No doubt they live near the water’s edge and use those natural resources to construct their Nautical Gnome Homes.
This picture, from Karen, is a nautical style gnome home I custom made for her local beach house location. I used sea glass, shells, driftwood and even made a gnome surf board! Where have you ever seen a gnome surf board? Look out O’Neill’s. Now, a gnome in a bathing suit holding a surf board would be something! Maybe I’ll make one and combine it with a gnome. Hang-ten little one.
All in fun and all is well. Surf’s up!
What is it about gnomes that cause most people to smile when they see a little gnome or one of our gnome homes? What triggers this reaction? Happy thoughts and emotions. Visitors to our booth usually start to smile when the see the gnome homes and figures. I will say, the reaction is 99% from females.
Is the fondness for gnomes hidden in our youth? Many tell me family stories of their elders collecting gnomes and telling stories around the camp fire years ago. Most have old family memories associated with these happy little people. The reason may not be a single answer, but a variety of memories and associations that come out, somewhat uncontrollably on our faces. A big smile and deep breath. I appreciate and enjoy that something I make and do brings smiles to strangers faces.
We are meeting more and more people who travel with a gnome and have their picture taken (smiling broadly!) in different locations. I think the Travelocity Gnome got this started.
This is a gnome village project that Terry and Sylvia from Seattle installed. Excellent placement of the Whimsical Woods large gnome homes in and under the nearby foliage. The goal is to partially hide the gnome
homes during the day and softly illuminate them at night with low voltage outdoor lighting. If you have a similar scene, try to plant a small fern or other tall, leafy plant in front of your ground-mounted light. As the wind blows the plant, it will rake the shadows over your gnome scene creating a very whimsical effect. Brings it alive!
Any questions on low voltage outdoor lighting, send me an email. It is amazing what new effects you can generate from your existing yard with a few up lights at the base of a tree, into a large rock, etc.
Large or small gnome homes can add a whimsical
touch to your garden, deck, patio, porch, etc. Let us know how we can help!
Where have we been you might ask? The Costco Connection magazine printed an article about Whimsical Woods in their March 2012 edition. Some of you might have seen it. If not, here is a link. With appreciation to the fine editors at the Costco Connection magazine, we have been a little busy filling orders and shipping gnome homes, bird houses, etc. all over the country for the last 4 – 5 months. http://www.costcoconnection.com/connection/201203#pg95
We also completely revamped our website to bring it up to date with modern day web technology, Thanks to ouir awesom web designer, Jef Gunion. http://guniondesign.com.
We have written many gnome stories over the years and they are now included in our new site under the “Blog” heading. Many have not seen them, but now they are easy to access without ever leaving our website.
I thought it would be fun to go back to the beginning of our stories and reprint some of them. That said, we are happy to re-run some of the more popular stories for all to enjoy. So with that, I take you back to our first introduction and continue from there.
Enjoy and let’s hear from you! Keep in touch and the spirit of our friendly little gnomes in your heart. It makes all smile.
No Place Like Gnome! – Aug. 25, 2010
There is news and activity here on our forest floor regarding the pending cooling days ahead. Somehow the ducks and geese flying overhead have alerted the gnomes of a bad winter this year. Gnomes have special means to predict future weather by looking at the foliage and watching the ants. I sometimes see little piles of deer fur here and there which the Gnomes use to make warm boots. We have lots of deer, so no shortage for boots! Likely we’ll see little stacks of seeds and nuts next as they prepare for winter. Here I thought the birds were eating all my food! The Gnomes live well in the forest and with our vegetable garden nearby. I think they are very happy.
To all the Whimsical Woods loyal gnome blog readers, a very Happy New Year, 2012. It surely will be a year of changes and politics. That is something we do not read about in the life of gnomes. They have a vocal leader in the clan – a king, who has a queen. Likely a wise elder couple who have earned great respect over the years. How different!
Although our winter of 2011- 2012 seems to be very mild so far, the winter feeding of the little birds must continue. A favorite here in the northern cooler climate is suet made from real animal fat, or in my case, lard. Here at Whimsical Woods, I prefer to make my own from scratch. I can make it to my liking much better than the cheap corn based cakes available in stores. You can find the lard at various bulk food/restaurant stores (Cash & Carry, Smart & Final, etc.) It is about $1.00 a pound in bulk. I buy a 30 lb. bucket for about $35, which will last a full season. The birds love the protein and energy from the suet feeders.
When the snow piles up on the ground, the winter birds will need your suet feeder and ice free water. Our gnome friends do their best to help, but appreciate human efforts.
The photo is a suet feeder I make and sell at the Sequim Open Aire Market, craft shows and mail order. Commercial green suet cages work, but don’t look as natural and require the use of store bought packaged suet.
Suet Recipe – simple ingredients
1 lb. soft lard
1/4 cup sugar, brown or white
1/8 cup ordinary beach sand
1/4 cup old bread crumbs
8 cups of good quality bird seed mix*
1/2 cup flour (white or whole wheat)*
Mix all and let sit in a cool place for a day, then feed the birds! Suet filled pine cones also work great!
*Note: Add more or less to thicken the mix. Optional: add natural chunky peanut butter.
Found along our ocean coasts are the beach/dune gnomes. These little people are said to be a wee bit larger and have flatter feet so as to not sink into the sand. They are often very weathered and wind blown in appearance. They still have the tall red pointed hat, but the clothes look a little sun bleached.
You will often see little surf birds running in the sand between waves feeding on the little salt water bugs. They’re very fast, but not as fast as our little sand gnomes. At times, they are just a blur as they also try to gather up little goodies from the surf. These guys are the ultimate beachcombers for sure. If you are walking a surf line at night, keep a sharp eye out. I wonder if infrared detectors would work?
Their homes are made of old driftwood and a collection of beach junk that they use to construct cozy little homes on the bluffs in the weeds. Should nature call you while at the beach, be very careful where you go. No pin intended! They love beach picnic and fire leftovers. Not sure if they like s’mores.
Beach gnomes love the water, so someday you just might surprise one if you cross the dune crest unexpectedly. Keep a sharp lookout next visit to your local wild beach.
All is well and Spring really is coming!
|Whimsical Woods in the Costco Connection magazine!|
If you don’t already “gnome,” we/Whimsical Woods, are featured in the March edition of the Costco magazine, “Costco Connection” on their Member Connection page (inside back cover)!! http://www.costcoconnection.com/connection/201203#pg95
This is obviously a big event for us. The magazine is mailed to approximately 8 million Costco members and we have been receiving email inquiries, phone calls and orders from all over the US in response.
We’ve been working with Costco on this for the last 6 months and were thrilled that they took interest in our creations and wanted to feature us in their magazine. We are very flattered and now quite busy!
Not surprisingly, not everyone reads (or receives the magazine, or are Costco members so we are letting family and friends know with this email. Take a look and pass this on to anyone who might have an interest. Let the network begin! :-)
(Article “Reprinted with permission from The Costco Connection, March 2012.”)