Monday, March 30, 2009

Family Photo Request - Responses ???

I've got several great ideas on how to have Gnomey respond to Zinnia's request for a family photo, thanks to your comments to date. What I'm doing is posting several possible responses. I am still countin on your comments to help me.

Possible response A:

Zinnia & Dahlia,

Here's an ol family photograph. This picture was taken about 100 years ago. That's me right up front. I guess I was about 80 years old then. Remember, we Gnomes live to be about 400 years old. That's me Momma and Papa in the top row. It's me sister and uncle behind me.

Possible Response B:

Same as "A", with this added:

It has only been in the last 100 years or so that we have had the opportunity to have pictures made of us. We still don't really like to be photographed. Some Gnomes are to bashful, some are even scared of the camera. As you can see, I am not scared. I am not bashful either.

Possible response C:

Oh Zinnia and Dahlia, we Gnomes are too bashful to have our pictures taken. There really are no actual photographs of a Gnome. There are lots of photographs of drawings and paintings of Gnomes, but no photos of a real Gnome. But we really are your friend, and we will always leave something for you, to let you know we are real. You know, like a dropped hat, some clothes on the line, and little notes.

Request For Gnomey Family Photo!

After a few days of no message activity around the Gnome house door, I found this message pinned to the door this morning. And it sure looks like I'm in trouble. Well, not real trouble, because I have the collective imaginations of lots of readers that had better step up and offer some guidance. A "family photo" has been requested. This is where I need some serious, imaginative (one can do both, can't they?) help.

I'll have to do some further checking about the "mailbox" that Zinnia is referring to. There are a few empty nut shells that have appeared by the door, but this message was still pinned to the door.

And the salad, I think I can handle myself. Zinnia asked me the other day if Gnomes like grass to eat. I responded that I didn't think so. I said that they probably liked the same kinds of salad we liked....

So far, I am thinking they still believe....

Friday, March 27, 2009

Santas Ready For Paint

These Santa Christmas tree ornaments and pins are ready to be painted. For any who have not followed my blog, I have an absolutely super arrangement with a decorative artist, Kaaren . I would much rather carve than paint. And I suspect Karren would much rather paint than carve. You should pay Kaaren a visit at her blog, for "the rest of the story". Kaaren's blog is "The Painted Quilt" and can be found at:

I'll hopefully carve about ten more, to add to this bunch and send them to her on Monday.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yippee a Picnic!

All set to deliver a note from the Gnomes to the flower girls. Checked their driveway. No van. Girls not home yet. Was in my best sneaky mode, goin across the yard when I heard the van coming down the road. Suddenly, my sneaky mode transferred into a quick dash for cover. Yesh! I didn't know I could move that fast, and this late in the day too. Alas, the note will have to wait until the girls leave tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Landscape Makeover For Gnomes House!

Last night at dinner time the flower girls came running over and exclaimed, "You have to come and see the Gnomes house". To that I said, " what's going on"? They said, "come on, you'll see". At that point both girls were way ahead of me. Their mom came out and stuffed a packet in my pocket and said, "Here's the presents the girls left for the Gnomes". I had told her that I needed help to retrieve notes and presents that were left by the girls for the Gnomes. As you can see from the first photo, the girls had been busy "decorating" the Gnomes yard. The white things are small slabs of marble. They made a patio and a picnic area, under a tree. You also notice that there's a golf ball under the clothes line. I asked. "Do Gnomes play golf?" Dahlia, answered, "NO! Gnomes don't play golf". "It's a soccer ball". Dahlia plays on a soccer team, and was on a ice hockey team. At four years old! Maybe I can imagine soccer, but ice hockey. The ice hockey involved swimming pool "noodles" for hockey sticks, and stuffed animals for the puck. I think the main reason Dahlia liked the ice hockey was she could hit people with the "stick" and not get into too much trouble. I am sure she was the teams "enforcer".
When I got home, I opened the package that the girls mom had stuck into my pocket. My conclusion is that these are more "jewels". Maybe the girls want more the magical transformation of their big gray cat. Believe it or not, they are quite happy with their cats new role, as protector of Gnomes. By the way, the cats name is sometimes "Boo" and sometimes "Buddy".

Weekend Update

I decided to let the neighbor girls have some time to write a note for the Gnomes. It is their turn, you know.

I started writing this blog to talk about, and share my fun with carving and quilting. The photos are of two efforts that I finished this week end. The carving is a few of the mini segments for a friendship cane swap. The rag quilt is a doll quilt for a swap.

The Gnomes have kinda crept into the blog, and I am glad they did. But believe it or not there are lots of other things that I manage to get myself involved with. I am getting ready to start the beginners quilting classes at the senior center. There are two of us doing this. The classes are limited to 10 real beginners. But there are always problems. One of the persons who signed up for the beginner class is an experienced quilter, and is know to cause problems in every class she takes. Since the Senior Center let her sign up, I gave them the opportunity to call her and tell her that she cannot be in this class since she is not a beginner. I think they are reluctant to make this call. So I told them if they preferred me to make the call, I could not guarantee to be quite as nice about it as I am sure they would be. We'll see!

The flower girls from next door did spend quite a bit of time here at our house this week end, playing with my grand daughter. They sure did have fun, but kid germs must have the the rule of the day. I was just getting rid of a cold caused by kid germs, now it's back. Oh the price I some times pay.

I am also too deeply involved in an on going citizen effort for more openness and transparency in local government. So far I have been able to keep the blog somewhat focused on quilting and carving, plus a little fun diversion with Gnomes. I hope I can continue to do so......

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Grand Daughter keeps A Secret!

The flower girls came over to our house to play with my visiting grand daughter, so they did not immediately get to the back yard, and therefore had not discovered the Gnomes clothes line. Later on in the day my grand daughter remembered this and suggested that they go out side and play. It wasn't too long before they all came running up and telling of the discovery of the Gnomes clothes line with a quilt and pajamas hanging on it. They were so excited that they forgot to read at the note. They all said at once, "and there's a note too". To that I asked, "whats the note say"? They looked at each other and turned around and ran back to the Gnome door yelling, "we forgot it".
Later my grand daughter (10 years old) said to me, "pa pa they really do believe there are Gnomes living under their deck". To this I breathed a sigh of relief. My grand daughter, the one who has said she cannot keep a secret; had kept one.

Tonight I just have to leave this note for the girls.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wash Day At The Gnomes House

My daughter made and sent the little mini quilt and a set of Gnome pajamas. This morning, at the first light, before the flower girls got up I "hung the wash out to dry", and left the pictured note.

I have had some conversations with the flower girls mom, and she relayed to me, that the Zinnia and Dahlia are really still made at their cat for chasing the Gnome. Just when I think they are catching on, something like this "pops" up. I guess I'll take one of your suggestions and some how tell the girls that the Red Jewel's magic has made the cat protect the Gnomes. Any way, the adventure continues.

Swaps & Exchanges - Progress!

In my quilting efforts there is one swap I am currently participating in. This swap is THE DOLL QUILT SWAP #6. Each person in the swap is given a name of another, for whom you must make a doll quilt and send it to them. Knowing that I am not the most talented quilt maker, I selected a small rag quilt design. I determined the colors that my quilt recipient likes, which is red, and went to work. However, I soon found out that 2 inch squares were not the best choice for a rag quilt; at least not with 1/4 inch open seams. Whether this works is still to be determined. I might end up with a GIANT hot pad.

My current wood carving efforts include carving 14 individual Friendship Cane segments. These are for a mini Friendship Cane exchange that I organized on the WOODCARVING ILLUSTRATED magazines forum/board. Each cane segment must be carved from a blank of wood no larger then 3/4inch x 3/4 inch x 2 inches. This is a great way for wood carvers to share their carvings with other carvers. And the "cane" is a great way to exhibit the carvings. I am doing a mix of carvings for this exchange.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Conversations With The Flower Girls

The girls did find and read the latest mail from their Gnome friends. After excited pronouncements of recieving the mail this was the essence of their conversation with me.

"I hope the magic jewel protects them from the coyotes too."
"Tom can you make a Gnome hat?" "They need an extra hat" "They need a hat with a string to tie it on so when they run it won't blow off"
"I wrote about the Gnomes at school today"
"I wonder when we'll get some girl Gnomes"?
"I am making a scrapbook with all the gnome letters in it"

I told them that yes the "red Jewel" will protect the Gnomes from the coyotes.
That I would research about Gnome hats and see if I can make one with a string to tie it on. (Zinnia said she wanted to give it to Gnomey as a present)
I wonder what Zinnias teacher will be thinking.
I told the girls that this summer when it gets warmer that maybe the Gnomes will leave for a while to travel and find some brides. (settin it up for when I go on vacation).
Dahlia said, "I hope they get married.....that means baby Gnomes!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Magical Jewel

This is the "letter" that the Gnomes have left for the flower girls today. I have Kaaren to thank for this suggestion. I think it's perfect. Now I just have to wait until I can sneak over without being seen, and put it beside the Gnome door.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Continuing Gnome Saga

Has anyone noticed how I have posted that I will use readers ideas and suggestions, in the continuing Gnome story? Any one remember Tom Sawyers fence painting scam? Well, I do, and that's what I am attempting here. The "Gnome ball" is in my court. I need to have the Gnomes respond to the flower girls notes and present.

I was actually considering a note from the Gnomes requesting that the flower girls get rid of that pesky cat. That they fear for their lives. See, the dad doesn't like the cat anyway, and is allergic to it to boot. The cat has to be outside cause it pees all over everything when in the house.

If I left that note, and it was successful, I'll bet the mail to the Gnomes from the flower girls dad would include at least a $20.

I just can't bring myself to do this. So don't be bashful about leaving a comment with a suggestion.

This an That Photos!

An example of some friendship canes that were carved and assembled from wood blanks that measured 2" x 2" x 3 ". There canes were done at the Gathering of Woodcarvers (GOW), held each year in the fall. These were carved and made up to be raffled off to help with the Gathering expenses
Second photo is the ol' pretend Irish Gnome.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Gnomey's Hat returned With Messages

I had to make arrangements to have the Gnomes hat picked up from the Gnomes door while I was out of town. Dang! this is requiring a wee bit of "sneakyness". I now have the hat and new notes from the girls. If it's alright, I think I'll start calling the girls "the flower girls". I think that is appropriate.
The round, hand written note is from Zinnia, and the "computer printed" one from Dahlia. It took me a while to figure out the notes. The hand written note is from six year old Zinnia. The way I figure it, Zinnia wrote the note on her own, and Dahlia of course saw it. Now Dahlia can't write yet, so she must have talked her mom or dad into typing her note and printing it off. The "jewel " on the note is the "present" from Zinnia.
I have it on good authority that the "flower girls" race each other to the Gnome door every day now, to check for activity. The future activities will most certainly include the suggestions made by followers of this adventure.

Mini Friendship Cane In The Works!

On the Woodcarving Illustrated magazines forum/message board I have organized a mini friendship cane segment exchange. The friendship cane is a collection of individual carved cane segments. Each segment starts out as a 3/4" x 3/4" x 2" block of wood, with a 1/8th inch hole drilled through it. There are 13 carvers participating. Each carver will carve 13 cane segments and send one to each of the participants. Each participant will thread the cane segments onto a rod for display. When completed each participant will have a very unique cane made up of very unique hand carved segments.

The photo is but a mere sample of such a friendship cane (on a very small scale).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Types of Gnomes

If a four year old can look at a very small piece of printed material and say it came from a computer, how long will it be before she notices no wires or cable where the Gnomes live? Of course when they do notice this they will probably tell me how technologically advanced "their" Gnomes are. Wireless no less! Which brings me to another point. According to Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet's Book GNOMES, there are six types of Gnomes: Woodland, Dune, Garden, Barn, House, and Siberian.

Do we now have to add another type of Gnome? A Technognome.

I can see him now. Wares NIKES. Pocket protector, Cell phone holster. Ear buds, Blinking Bluetooth Headset, etc, etc.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gnome Hat found and Returned

Door bell rang! Zinnia was there, all out of breath and very excited. She exclaimed, "look what I found"; as she held up the little Gnome hat. Next she exclaimed, "and I found this letter by the Gnomes door". She read the "letter" to me. Zinnia reads very well. At this point I must confess that I was beginning to think that maybe Zinnia (the older sister) was "playing" me, rather than me "playing" her. But, next she stated. "I know you didn't write this letter, cause I smelled it, and it doesn't smell like your house." "It smells like under our deck".

Next she said, "come with me, I'll show you where I found the hat". We were then joined by her little sister, who was just as excited: but quite upset. Soon I found out why, as she started scolding their big gray cat. She was really worried that their cat would catch and eat the Gnomes. I assured her that any Gnome could outrun any cat, and that she had nothing to worry about. But she kept scolding the cat anyway.

Next, they were off to place the hat next to the Gnome door and write another "letter" to the Gnomes.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Continuing Saga of The Gnomes!

This morning after the neighbor girls left for there respective schools (first grade and pre school) I placed a little felt Gnome hat in their yard, not too far from the Gnome door..
Next, I placed this message beside the Gnome door, exactly where they left a message. We'll see what happens.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I will be teaching a beginners quilt making class at the Senior Center, along with another "quilter". We have envisioned this class to be for real beginners. Real beginners (maybe some men) in the sense that they have never used a sewing machine and/or never tried to make a quilt. That's our idea, and is our intended focus. Others seem to feel that the class should be open anyone interested, regardless of their experience level. It looks like I have "drawn a line in the sand". I am standing firm on the real beginner entrance requirement. I have been in too many classes that were advertised as for beginners. Once I enrolled I find out that there are many very experienced folks in the class. How very discouraging, to a true beginner.

Am I correct in my thoughts?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Carved Santa Ornaments - To Good Use

Here's a little update on my offer to carve 100 Santa ornaments/pins. and give them to some one if they would make sure that the ornaments would be used for charity. Since I will have more than 100 of these little Santa's several folks who have offered to put the Santa's to good use will be obliged.

The first person will be Kaaren, a retired decorative painter. Kaaren has designed several Americana pins that were featured in "Painter" magazine. The first pin being a tribute to the 9/11 victims. All of the proceeds of the sales went to the widows and orphans fund of the NYPD and NYFD.

Kaaren has offered to paint my Santa's, sell them, and donate the proceeds to a charity. This just sounds great to me, as I generate at least three Santa ornaments per day, while drinking my morning coffee. And my passion is the carving, not the painting.

Check out Kaaren's blog at:, and be as impressed as I am.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gnome Mail News Flash!

Just had a conversation with four year old Dahlia (next door neighbor), about the letter that the Gnomes that live under their deck sent them. She was very excited at getting the letter. She said her sister Zinnia read the letter to her. John, if you're reading this you were right. Dahlia next stated, "our gnomes have a computer too - I think it's probably an Apple". But she still believes.

Singer 201 to the ER!

Well, took my ol' 201 in to the ER. They kept it for a major transplant and some adjustments. Been assured that she'll be better than OK. In fact the technician said with the necessary remedies, she'd outlast me. But the estimated price for this will be a bit in excess of $100. However, according to the attending technician, these 201's in healthy condition are selling for $200. Here's the breakdown:

Service call that includes cleaning, oiling
and greasing, adjustment.......................$43.00
Replacement foot controll.......................$50.00

Now, I only paid $25.oo for it. Oh decisions, decisions, decisions.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Gnome Mail

Spring is trying to arrive here in central Ohio. It's getting warmer. You may remember that last fall I installed a little Gnome door on the foundation of my neighbors house and deck. My neighbors being Zinnia (6) and Dahlia (4). This was an innocent act on my part. But the girls really believe that Gnomes live there now. In fact the youngest has actually got down in the mud and put her ear to the door and announced that she could hear the Gnomes. The little white "packet" to the right of the window is a message.
Yesterday the girls told me that they had put a message up for the Gnomes to read. I slipped over and retrieved the message when they were gone. Here it is in the hand writing of Zinnia. Click on the photo to enlarge.
I next had to wait for the girls to leave, and then left a message for them from the Gnomes. They should have some fun with this when they get home. It sure looks like I've got some pen pals - Zinnia, Dahlia, and some Gnomes.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I spent all day yesterday at the local High Schools pancake day and craft sale. This event is a major fund raiser for the schools sports programs. I team up with a fellow carver friend for these events. I had some stuff there to sell, but mostly I just sit and carve for the kids. What I mean is, I carve little things and give them to the kids (See photo). This activity is a source of much joy for the kids, but enormously more for me. Watching and listening to these first graders and a little older kids is amazing. Just looking into their eyes reveals so much of their trust. We as adults may forget from time to time just how much impact we have on young kids. Kids seem to be drawn to wood carving. They will stand and watch you carve for hours. And if you engage them in conversation, and listen to them you will hear and understand. I heard so much love revealed for their grand paws and uncles who carved or made things for them. Maybe some of use need to pay a wee bit more attention to our kids, grand kids, and great grand kids. We are very important to them.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Suprise In The Mail!

One of the nice things about carvers and quilters, is their sharing and swapping. I am involved in several swapping events in both carving and quilting. This means that I am always either sending or receiving something carving and quilting related in the mail. A few days ago I received a package in the mail, that was not part of a swap. I opened the package and found some real nice fabric, along with a card that said "for your stash". The "present" was from Lani, who follows this blog. The fabric is of a style that I really like, and will most certainly use in a small quilt. I do however, have a confession to make. I was going to refer to the fabric as "fat quarters", but it occurred to me that I wouldn't know a fat quarter from a chicken quarter. In any event, thank you Lani.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Santa Carving - Update

A while ago I gave myself a challenge to carve 100 Santa ornaments or pins this year. I went on to say that I would donate them to someone who would be sure to use them to benefit others.
In this box are 72 Santa ornament and/or pins that have been carved. Most must be painted and finished. I never said they would be life sized. Most of what I like to whittle and carve is small.
These are some of the smaller items that I have recently carved. The front row are Civil War busts. The back row has a hillbilly, 7 wizards on a quarter, a mountain man, and a gnome. The largest of these might be 2 inches tall.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Gnome Angels

"To my amazement I have heard that there are people who have never seen a gnome. I can't help pitying these people. I am certain there must be something wrong with their eyesight." Axel Munthe

Gnomes (G-guardians and, N-nurturers, O-of, M-mother,E-earth) can live to be 400 years old in this earthly realm. But gnomes do pass on from this realm to another, as all creatures do. They have no sadness at this passing. In fact this passing is just another door to another realm.

It is with this in mind, that there must certainly be gnome angels. Those gnomes that have been endowed and blessed with special powers (even more than as a gnome here on earth) become angels. These gnome angels continue to carry out their mission as guardians.

This gnome angel was carved for a very special person......

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

St. Patrick's Day - Whittling

St. Patrick's Day is March 17th. In preparation, I've whittled a bunch of little Leprechaun pins. If you all remember, last week I had a very bad day, that included breaking the tip off my favorite carving knife. This is the knife, after the tip was reground and sharpened. Since there is a slight difference in the shape of the knife blade tip, I'll have to get used to the knife all over again. I was my favorite knife, but it will have to earn that place all over again....It's funny how one gets used to something and then nothing else seems to work as well. I guess there's all sorts of parallels to this idea too.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mini Quilt In A Bag Swap - Charm Pack

In yesterdays post I shared the little quilt that my swap partner made and sent to me. This is the little quilt that I made and sent to her. This little quilt was made from the Charm Pack that she sent to me. It's the traditional Snowball Square, with ties instead of hand quilting. I was trying for the 30's ol' timey look.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mini Quilt In A Bag - Swap (Charm Pack)

I better "splain" this one. This is a little quilt that I received as a result of my participation in a swap. It work like this: Interested folks sign up, and are paired up with someone. You send a Charm Pack to your swap partner, and your swap partner sends you a Charm Pack. You use your swap partners fabric from the Charm Pack they sent, to make a quilt. And of course your Swap partner does the same with the Charm Pack that you sent to them. Finally you send the quilts to each other. It's more fun to do than try to "splain". This is the 24 inch x 24 inch quilt that my swap partner made for me from the Charm Pack that I send her. And I would be very remiss if I failed to mention her name. OK I'm remiss! But! check out her blog:

This is a wonderful little quilt, and will be right at home here, with my other little quilts from other swaps.

More Quilt Pics and a Comment/Question

This first pictured quilt was fantastic. The photo does not do it any justice at all. It looks like a tapestry. It was done in kind of a "water color" technique, with tons of very small pieces. This is a full/king sized quilt.
This one is just a fine example of a beautiful quilt.

This is one of those "stack and wack" / "slice and dice"; put pieces in the bag and "mix and match". Kinda different.
All and all, I'll be returning next year for this show; it was a good one. All except the judgement of the "best of show" quilt. The good things I can say about the "best of show" quilt is that the accuracy of the pieces was good. I'll not say any more about it.
Now, on to a comment and a question. I remember when I was employed and actually worked for a living that I could not wait for the weekend to arrive. Friday night was the much awaited for time. And as I remember the days went by so slow. Fridays seemed always way out there. We even named Wed. as "Hump day", or half way there. Now, however, every other day seems to be Friday. Forget the fact that when one is retired, every day is Friday. What I mean is that the days are just flying by. The older I get the faster time goes by. Is this just me, or do others experience the same thing?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

More Quilt Show Photos and a Comment

Here's some more random photos of some of the quilts that were on display at the Lakefarms Quilt Show, in Kirkland, Ohio.
This quilted wall hanging features antique linen hankies.

An interesting Sun Bonnet Sue full size quilt.
This is a close up of a full sized quilt. The squares are about one (1) inch is size.
An interesting and continuing mind set was also noted when I attended the quilt show with my daughter. There was a very large crowd, made up of mostly women. Maybe 100 to one ratio, women to men. And most of these men looked like they would rather be having a root canal than be at a quilt show. There were vendors there, and of course I had to make some purchases. The perception that all things sewing and quilting are in the female domain is alive and well. All conversation about quilts and quilting were always directed toward my daughter and away from me. But my daughter always came to the rescue, with "Oh, I don't quilt, my dad here is the quilter".