Gnomes, fairies, and magical denizens of nature are all around us. NBC’s Today show is offering_ tips to build faerie gardens, Pinterest abounds with gnome homes, and the TSA has a gnome in Nome_. Ad campaigns are built around garden gnomes, and pranksters take them on world tours, sending gnome selfies back to their amused (or less-than-amused) owners.
Why are we drawn to these gentle, magical beings? I think because, at least since the iconic 1977 book by Dutch physician Wil Huygen and artist Rien Poortvliet, we associate gnomes with simplicity, community, and harmony with nature, qualities that we often long for in our fast-paced, screen-filled society.
This month we are bringing you the first of a line of needle-felting and multi-craft kits from Going Gnome, a business that embodies the values of its namesakes. Begun with community support—a Kickstarter campaign—by Jennifer and Melissa VanSant, two sisters living in the Berkshires, Going Gnome offers needle-felting products made with locally sourced wool and American-made packaging, supporting the community and minimizing their environmental footprint. The designs are made with simplicity and love, and offered in that spirit.
Each of our kits included a video in which Jennifer and Melissa take you through the steps of creating gnomes and other magical creatures. This month's kit is a set of mini-gnomes to felt, and we hope you will share the love: Make gnomes with a favorite child; have a needle-felting party with friends; add hanging loops to make ornaments or gift decorations; make them into pins to give away; populate a faerie house in your garden to delight your family.
Like gnomes in harmony with Mother Nature, crafts build peace and health. May you, too, go gnome.
(Image one: The TSA's gnome in Nome, Alaska. (by Transportation Security Administration, via Wikimedia Commons)
(Image two: Gnome spotted in a hotel frequented by bird-watchers in San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico. (photo by Anita Osterhaug)