Is There a Gnome Festival Happening Near You in 2019?

As gnome enthusiasts, collectors, and artists, we often to think of our gnomes as homebodies. But there are actually a surprising number of events across the country (and around the world) that bring gnome fans together to share stories, make crafts, and be entertained. It often takes a some asking around town or some Googling, but I love searching for gnome-themed festivals and events close to home and in places I plan to travel to.

Some events are very well-established and draw in lots of people each year, such as the annual Festival of the Gnomes at Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park & Theatre in Joliet, Illinois. This gnome festival takes place in early December each year and is filled with live music, “gnomemade” crafts, red pointy hats, and even festive drinks. Of course, there’s the epic Australian Gnome Convention that celebrates Australia Day in the Blue Mountains at Glenbrook Park. This January event usually draw in around 8,000 visitors, has over 2,000 gnomes on display, and has everything from food to train rides and even dog demonstrations!

But there are also lots of smaller and more localized gnome festivals that take place at nearby parks, trails, and botanical gardens. For example, the Buffalo Botanical Gardens in Buffalo, New York hosts a Fairy and Gnome Festival in May that offers kids the opportunities to create their own miniature gnome garden or gnome house. The Oatland Island Wildlife Center in Savannah, Georgia offers an annual Fairy and Gnome Festival each May as well that encourages gnome costumes, crafts, face painting, and plenty of imaginative play for little ones.

Similar annual fairy and gnome festivals also take place in the spring at the AnnMarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center  in Dowell, Maryland, the Evergreen Children’s Center in Xenia, Ohio, and the Kimball Jenkins Estate in Concord New Hampshire.

Need some more ideas? Perhaps you can check out Gnome Fest in Townsend, Delaware, go on a Gnome Adventure Hike at Kroger Wetlands in Marietta, Ohio, attend the Seabrook’s Gnome & Fairy Festival in Washington State, or head over to the Fairy and Gnome Home Festival in Centerville, Utah.

As you can see, there are ways to embrace your love of gnomes all over the country! All of these local events are family-friendly and many accept volunteers. They’re also wonderful opportunities to get the little ones in your life interested in gnomes and to feel spirit of love, nature, and adventure that they represent. Is there a gnome festival happening near you this year? Please share details with us, and we hope to see you there!

Gnome Travel in the UK: Fun Guides to Plan Your Trip!

It’s no secret that the UK is THE place to be for all things gnome. Check out a couple blogs from international gnome journalist, Alyssa, to get inspired to a trip across the pond!

My Dream-Come-True Visit to Ann Atkin’s Gnome Reserve

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“Gnome Hunting” with the Boden Gnome Ranger at a Lovely UK Arboretum

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How to Turn a Pumpkin into a Gnome: A Halloween Tutorial

All gnomes know the story of Cinderella and that part when a pumpkin is magically turned into a coach to transport our heroine. Well it’s Halloween season, not fairy tale season, so we’re mixing things up a bit!

Lots of you visiting pumpkin patches with hopes of decorating the most awesome pumpkin in the world this year. But let’s face it…what could be more awesome than a gnome?

Here’s a 10 step tutorial on how to turn a pumpkin into a gnome. We went with the “evil gnome” theme, because well, ’tis the season. But you could paint a nice, pretty gnome (like me( if you prefer.

Step 1: Choose the pumpkin that speaks to your soul

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Step 2: Cut out a “quarter circle” of felt for the hat to match your pumpkin size

Step 3: Sew the side up to make a cone-shape

Step 4: If you’re feeling fancy, turn the bottom over to sew a hem and hide the edges

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Step 5: Grab a nearby gnome to use as a model and sketch out a face!

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Step 6: Now paint that face!

Step 7: Use white needle felting felt, polyester fiberfill, or cotton balls to make a beard and eyebrows

Step 8: Stick the beard and hat on with super glue (carefully!)

IMG_0444Step 9: Go wash all that nasty stuff off your hands with some festive soap

IMG_0448Step 10: Treat yourself and your new gnome friend to some tasty pumpkin bread to celebrate!

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And BAM! Just like that…a pumpkin is magically transformed into a gnome!

What’s your favorite gnome craft for Halloween? Share your ideas with us and we’ll try to send you a leftover piece of this bread.

xoxo,
Craft-master Trixie

Meet Stephen R. Feilbach: The Chainsaw-Loving, World-Traveling Dude on a Mission to Rescue Trapped Gnomes from Trees! (A human guest post!)

Have you ever looked at a tree and thought, “Hey! There’s a gnome stuck in there and I should rescue him!”

Maybe not, but believe it or not, there is a guy who’s made it his life’s mission to save trapped gnomes from forces beyond their control. And he calls himself the “Gnome Dude.”

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Stephen R. Feilbach, a Kansas City, Missouri native, has been carving faces that resemble gnomes for many years.  Now he’s taken his art to an extreme level and created Gnome Nation, a liberation movement that’s taking America by storm…one beard and pointy hat at a time.

According to Stephen, gnomes began hiding in trees many years ago because people were stealing their hats (which hold magical powers, of course).

How DARE they?!

But apparently, this little self-preservation plan backfired because many of those tree-dwellers became trapped. This is where Stephen steps in and comes to the rescue.

With a little chainsaw magic of his own, Stephen frees the trapped gnomes…then he takes his rescue mission one step further. He adopts out the freed gnomes to loving homes, spreading that quirky joy that only gnomes can bring.

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Disclaimer: a re-gnoming fee may apply to fund travel expenses.

“It just keeps growing and people are contacting me from all over the world,” Stephen said. “Now I’m obsessed with releasing or saving gnomes everywhere and adopting them out.”

Gnomes (and humans obsessed with gnomes) tend to be nature lovers and stewards of Mother Earth. So it should come as no surprise that the wood Stephen uses for his carvings is 100 percent recycled. This means no tree loses its life to allow a gnome can live! Rather, the wood is sourced from dead trees that have passed on to meet their maker.

Stephen’s gift for seeing gnomes trapped in trees and his passion for releasing them doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows him well.

“All of my life I have danced to the beat of my own drums, so most of my friends and family are not surprised by anything I do anymore.”

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So what’s next for the “Gnome Dude”?

So far, Stephen’s gnome-freeing mission has taken him to the Kansas City World Series, Davenport, St. Louis, Central Missouri, and beyond. Stephen and his gnomes have traveled from Maine to Mexico and all over the U.S. – visiting farmers’ markets, festivals, and oddball shops along the way. This summer, he’s headed to Colorado, Texas, and wherever else the wind blows as his following grows and more people discover the magic of his ingenious creations.

So what’s the best way to support Stephen’s mission and welcome one of his gnomes into your own home?

The Gnome Nation Facebook page is a great place to start, because that’s where you can get in touch with Stephen, keep up with his travels, and catch him on the road. He’s been known to leave rescued gnomes behind in shops across the country and update the page with posts to point potential adopters in the right direction.

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Adoption fees start at about $125 for an 18-inch original carved gnome and $500 to $2,000 for a 3-to-5 foot gnome.  Stephen has also made gnomes that soar to over 10 feet tall! You can hire him for custom chainsaw carvings and live entertainment, and he’s even starting to create some gnome paintings on the side.

At the time this article was written, Stephen had freed over 30 gnomes, but was well on his way to reaching his end-of-the-year goal of 100. He does all the carving and painting himself by-hand, but thrives upon the inspiration of people that he meets on the road.

“I’ve always loved taking people’s ideas and making them real,” Stephen shared.

Gnome enthusiasts and artists, like Stephen, are part of a steadily growing international niche community that I, for one, and proud to be a part of.

When asked about the biggest challenge posed by freeing gnomes from trees, this was the Gnome Dude’s top complaint:

“They won’t stop moving before they’re finished!”

To learn more about Stephen’s art, his mission, or just to have a casual chat about gnomes, check out his website or reach out to him directly at 573-418-0765 and [email protected].

 

About the Author: Alyssa is an Atlanta-based freelancer and gnome fanatic who writes for the International Gnome Club and manages a team of gnome bloggers at The Drunk Gnome. This year, Alyssa’s epic travels will take her to the UK and Belgium to visit The Gnome Reserve and the gnome-themed brewery, Brasserie d’Achouffe.

The Makings of a Gnome Tattoo: A Photo Journey

Some gnome enthusiasts are hardcore about their obsession…even to the point of permanently imprinting their favorite gnomes on their bodies!

In the following photos, we chronicle one woman’s journey to becoming an actual gnome herself. A little weird? Yup, we thought so too.

gnome_tattoo_3inThis was the original drawing that inspired the gnome tattoo.
IMG_3769Where all the magic happens – Memorial Tattoo, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. And here we go…no turning back now!
IMG_3773IMG_3774The outline’s looking pretty rad so far…
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Master tattoo artist, hard at work in gnome creation.
IMG_3780 IMG_3786IMG_7884Ta da! The fininished product! Whaddya think? This little lady was oh so very pleased with the result.
IMG_7887And honestly, what goes better with a gnome ankle tattoo than a gnome skirt?

I hope you enjoyed this photo blog of one gnome-obsessed tattoo journey. Would you consider getting a gnome tattoo of your own so you never have to leave home without a gnome in tow?

xoxo,
Roxy the Gnome