Whimsical Woods - Old log gnome homes, bird houses, bird feeders and more, handcrafted in Dungeness Valley, on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State. Check out our website: http://www.whimsicalwoods.net.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Gnomes and Birds

You will find gnomes and birds are the best of friends and, like best friends, depend on each other. A good gnome will always have a pocket full of dry bird seed to share. Probably very early morning as they meet at the first sign of daylight.

A gnome will also move  a forest log to expose fresh bugs or worms for their bird friends. Gnomes are said to be 7 - 10 times stronger than a man for their size. They love smashing dried poppy seed heads. What the birds don’t eat goes into bread making or likely a drink.

When gnomes need special transportation, they call upon a pheasant with a specially attached little basket around its neck. For long trips, we know they call upon geese which are used to flying long distances. Think of them as the 747 of gnome travel.  So, when it comes to helping friends, the gnomes take very good care of the birds and they return the favor. Not sure about chickens, but one can just see a chubby little gnome rolling away a few fresh eggs for breakfast! One egg would feed the whole family.

Spring is a long way away yet. The more bird seed the better for the birds and gnomes.

All is well in our forest here in the Pacific Northwest. Big weekend ahead. Gnomes Berry Ball Playoff. More on gnome games soon. Beer and Berry Ball. Sounds familiar!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Gnome Door, Cedar
Gnome Door, Fir
When we see an artistic garden gate, or a large unique driveway entrance, we subconsciously wonder what is behind it as it  pulls our interest beyond the gate.

I feel the same way about gnome doors and the illusions they trigger in one’s imagination. That’s what I want to happen when you place a gnome door at the base of your favorite tree. I think the more whimsical and natural, and the more real gnome like the better. Plastic doors and windows made in China, just don’t stimulate my imagination.

If you do not have a natural gnome home, then I think you should find the best looking natural real wood door you can find. Let’s say you have a small grove of  trees outside your window.

Setting out a few well designed little doors with soft ground level 12 volt DC lighting at night will landscape your small grove into an imaginary gnome village. How fun! Can you see it in your mind now? Perfect! All will be very well. Need help? Let me “gnome” - ha ha

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gnome Homes

Gnome Home from Birch Log

Thatched Roof Gnome Home
Gnome Homes in a garden setting
From what I have read and heard, the gnome homes vary in appearance across the US and around the world. We  build special log woodland homes and very cute garden gnome homes for those who want to attract our little helpers. Just like bird houses, the use of all natural old logs and forest materials comes together as an attractive and inviting home. No plastic or paint!

Gnomes make various natural color dies for fabric, wood, ceramics, etc. Red for their hats, blue for the jacket and brown for their pants. One I use myself to color new wood to look old and gray is made from steel wool, rusty old nails and white distilled vinegar made up like a tea. You can use red wine too, but only if it went bad and you can’t drink it! A gnome isn’t going to waste wine for coloring.

Gnome home placement: somewhat hidden but yet visible. A grouping of three or more in a small village setting will always bring smiles to both gnomes and humans. I will include some pictures of new settings this Spring. Gnome homes bring goodness and happiness to all and that means all is well.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oh Beer Me!

The origin of gnomes can been found in early Scandinavian folk lore going back to approximately 1200 A.D., I’ve come to learn. They migrated to Germany, Russia and most of Western Europe. With that migration, their love of beer is no surprise. They have mastered the art of beer making and no doubt continue to refine that to this day. The basic ingredients are easily found: wheat, rice, hops, barley, yeast, etc. They use what is available.

We planted hops here last year for their foliage and likely some of those hops were taking for beer making. Little did we know, but all to a good cause. Got to keep our little friends happy. If I ever find a small beer keg, I’ll be sure to provide a photo.

Gnomes also make berry wines and fruit drinks which they also consume in volume. Perhaps there is more to the name, “beer garden” - likely a lively spot in the middle of the night!

It all comes together as the gnomes have found a pleasant balance of hard work, hard play and family. Sounds like a very good mix to me. Come Spring, fill those snail tins in your garden with beer. You never know!

All is well. “Gulp” - ha ha ha

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Winter Days and Long, Dark Nights

At this time of year here in the Pacific Northwest, we have about 8 hour of (rainy) daylight and 16 hours of darkness. Lots of indoor projects!

As we have read, our little gnomes are very skilled in crafts and building. Gnomes have learned to harness nature's energy to power various tools. They have been using the wind to grind corn and nuts, etc. The swaying breezes in a tall tree are cleverly harvested to drive saw mils for home building and furniture making using a series of pulleys and ropes. Likely all these pulleys, levers, brackets and gears are made inside over the long winters.

Our farmers also spend the off-season working on fixing equipment /Add to wood working, candle making, pottery, tool making. home repair and of course, more beer and they seem to fill in the time. Gnomes  use natural energy. As simplistic as they are ingenious! All is well.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Norman the Gnome Finds a Home!

Norman the Gnome is new to the Olympic Peninsula. He apparently ended up in our friend, Mary's car during a recent trip to Leavenworth, Washington. They just somehow latch onto good people, it seems. A very good omen I'm sure!

Norman needed a home, so with inputs from Mary, I went about constructing Norman's new gnome home out of a large old stump. Mary, husband Bob, and Norman, have selected the perfect spot to place the large gnome home. A little landscaping and positioning and indeed, Norman will have his new home complete.

We will post pictures of the housewarming events here when the big day happens. Norman will surely attract other local gnomes, and maybe a Mrs. Norman! Hard to tell now, but with this large custom home, there are bound to be a lot of new visitors coming to Mary and Bob's garden. Best set out some good bird seed and always a dish of  beer. Too cold for snails now, but I'll bet the beer will be gone in the morning.

New home, nuts and beer.  "Beer nuts." All is very well. Thank you Mary and Bob.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Gnomes Made Me Do It!

Happy New Year to all the “Gnome-ites” out there! A quick reflection of appreciation to all readers of our “No Place Like Gnome” blog and our website, Whimsical Woods.net, (http://www.whimsicalwoods.net). Interest in our log bird houses and gnome homes has grown!

This year I will add more gnome home photos by popular request. Many are looking for garden setting examples using gnome homes, large and small rocks, mounds of dirt and of course, very carefully placed foliage to accent the gnome home. The addition of outdoor ground mounted low voltage 12 DC floods on a timer, just set off a very unique garden focus or front yard attraction. We make the homes from 12” to around 48” high. So, more pictures as well as continued story lines.

The button was a Christmas gift from my daughter in Portland. She found them at: http://shop.cafepress.com/gnomes.

It is all the gnomes’ fault! :-) We welcome your feedback and interests. The story continues. All will be well.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Sound of Music

Our little gnome friends need very little excuse to have a gathering for just about anything. A new baby, a bountiful harvest, new neighbors, a wedding, or the annual community meeting. With roots from Yugoslavia their music and dance are passed down and to this day, remain the same. Lots of beer, boot slapping, stomping hand clapping and yelling. The women dress up with all sorts of beautiful classic local flowers and berries. The men just show up! There are lots of handmade drums, bells and flutes with perhaps a rare harp or violin. Singing comes after a few beers and all get louder and faster as more beer is consumed. Singing and dance are a favorite gnome pass time. Pass around the beer and be assured all is going to be well.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Gifts and Crafts

Ole Van Sven’s new granddaughter is doing just fine I am told. A new baby in the forest! Many stories to come. As she grows, her mother will teach her how to make clothes, cook, take care of the home and keep all happy. Both parents are experts in various handmade crafts: wood working, pottery, metal working, sewing and helping the small forest animals.

I’ve read that the dividing rod came from gnome folklore as a means to find water underground and other treasures. With these handmade skills, the gnomes make wonderful gifts which they exchange. Some are bakers, pottery makers, blacksmiths and even glass blowers. Gnomes have central community centers where they gather and produce these gifts, tools and crafts. These community locations generate a strong sense of humor and good will. Sharing and gift exchanges are very meaningful experiences for the gnomes.

Peace and happiness follow. All is well.