Condo Blues




Thursday, October 14, 2021

How to Make a Gnome Costume

I am playing a gnome at a renaissance festival. It’s a fun project because I’m a  second generation Danish American and nisse (what the Danish call gnomes. Some countries also call them tomte) are something we celebrate all year round but especially at Christmas when we thank the nisser (plural for nisse) for protecting the family and helping farms prosper with a bowl of rice porridge with a pat of butter on top on Christmas Eve (similar to American kids leaving cookies and milk out for Santa.) 

That’s why some non Scandinavians call them Christmas Gnomes when in reality, there is no such thing as a Christmas, Halloween, Easter, etc. gnome. Gnomes are just gnomes all year round (similar to Irish leprechauns. They are dress and act the same year round too.)

 

Nissa the Gnome Ohio Reniassance Festival 2021
Everyone say hi to Nissa Tomtesdottir the Gnome!

Traditionally gnomes look like a little man (with or without beard) or woman wearing a red hat, a red, blue, or gray Scandinavian peasant tunic/bodice and skirt, and is the about the size of an 8 to 10 year old child. This is what I am using as the start of my women’s gnome costume while making it in a 16th century silhouette with Scandinavian elements (more difficult than it sounds because the Danish national costume is different by region and based on clothing from the 17th to 19th centuries.) 

I have the added challenge of designing a mythical creature described as looking like a small human (at least I have that part down!) like she belongs with a group of Shakespearean fairies who have very elaborate makeup which doesn’t work for a gnome.  I’m required to have rosy red cheeks (which I’d rather not do at all but I’d rather that than being required to airbrush all of my exposed skin a different color) and wear my hair in braids (I bought these cute rose metal hair hooks to hide my modern hair ties.) (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) 


Ohio Renaissance Festival Fairies and Gnome

 Family entertainment from the Fae Family! Sprout, the Seed Fairy (left,) Fawn the Fairy of Fluffy Animals (center,) and me as Nissa the Gnome (right.) Photo courtesy of Steven Kohus

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Fall Chili and Friday Favorites Linky Party 600

 Yesterday was the official start of the Fall Season and the weather decided to cooperate.

With a 20 degree dip in temperature and overcast rainy day. Which makes it a perfect opportunity to brew a cup of tea, break out a cozy afghan, and count the minutes until tonight's chili dinner finishes cooking in the Instant Pot.

Why do they call it chili when it's hot?

Let's get this party started! Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Friday Favorites Linky Party 599

Let's get this party started! Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 


 


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Sunday, September 12, 2021

How to Make a Fairy Walking Stick

I will be walking untold miles throughout the day while I’m performing at a 35 acre renaissance festival. I’m thrilled to “people” (with safety precautions) again! 

 

Until the day after a first rehearsal when my legs reminded me how much time I sat around the house in 2020  instead of being active and out and about. Let’s hear it for Epsom salt baths!

 

A walking (or more like hiking towards the end of the day) stick should help. Let’s make one!

 

DIY fairy costume walking staff
Save this costume idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Easy DIY Elf, Fairy, Gnome, or Wizard Staff

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Wearing Wood Dutch Shoes Part 2 and Friday Favorites 598

One of the first questions I get when I'm wearing my Dutch clogs (called klompin. You can guess why) is are they a comfortable shoe to wear? I've had my shoes for awhile, broke them in during outdoor show rehearsals, and the opening weekend (12 hour days) of the festival I am performing in.

My answer is :

  • Yes, once you get used to walking in them (toe first instead of heel toe,) and  as long as you are wearing very thick socks/leather klompin socks (if you want to wear a slightly thinner knit sock) and
  • No, because I bought the wrong size. My first pair was a smidge too small and gave me blisters, they felt like they were heavy as rocks at the end of the day because my feet hurt so much. 

Fortunately, I found an unworn pair of wood shoes in my size on eBay and was able to get them much more quickly than ordering a new pair from the Netherlands. The correct size pair looks giant compared the original shoes I bought, take a look.

I am not wearing my thick wool socks in the photo so you can see that a correctly sized Dutch wood shoe is supposed to have a much larger gap between the shoe and your foot than when you size and buy leather shoes.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Labor Day Weekend and Friday Favorites 597

We're celebrating Labor Day this weekend in the US which we traditionally consider the end of summer.  Our agenda is full of BBQs, gatherings, and lot of head scratches for Lacey.

DIY dog treats
If you could fill this empty treat jar with some yummy homemade treats, that would be good too.