Condo Blues: gnomes




Showing posts with label gnomes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gnomes. Show all posts

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

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Hearts and Gnomes Christmas Decoration House Tour

This year I mixed old and new to decorate the house for Christmas. As our gnome population grew so did my collection of Danish Christmas heart decorations. Actually many of them are Valentine's Day decorations I bought in February and use as Christmas hearts. As crazy as this year has been I think we all need to share a little more love, kindness, and compassion now more than ever.

Christmas out door decoration house tour
Save these Christmas decorating ideas to your Pinterest boards for later! Share them with your friends!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

IKEA Christmas Decoration Shopping Haul and Friday Favorites Linky Party 556

Most of the time our Christmas decor usually favors our combined UK heritage and how we met as Elizabethan entertainers. I have some decorations that need to be retired/retired themselves. It wouldn't hurt to add more of my Danish heritage to our Christmas celebration since it will just be us at home this year.

So I went to IKEA and bought the place out. 


cute Christmas gnome decorations
Shopping with my gnomies!


I should say I was very, very tempted to buy the place out because it was filled with cute gnomes. In the Scandinavian countries many of their Christmas decorations are gnomes (the Danish and Norwegians call them nisser and the Swedish call them tomte) because all these little ones ask for their service of protecting the family (and help take care of the animals if you live on a farm) is a bowl of rice porridge with a pat of butter on top at Christmas. Nisser are particular about what they want and how it is given because, well, they are just being Danish😃.

Here's what my cart looked like as I waited in the socially distanced line at checkout.


Best IKEA Christmas 2020 Decorations
There's a whole lot of happy in this shopping cart.

Many Danish families still decorate Christmas trees with real candles that they light for a few supervised hours on Christmas Eve (that's when Danish families open presents.) As much as I love burning candles, I'm leery of putting a lit candle on a dry tree. The glass clip candle ornaments are the best of both worlds - traditional candle look without the potential fire hazard.

The heart ornaments are another Danish Christmas decorating tradition in addition to the gnomes. This year has been a series of one thing after the other. I figure we should show a lot more love for each other and have the protection of as many nisser as possible.

I used the gnome Advent calendar bags to make a Christmas tree Advent calendar I'll add to the link party below. 

The most exciting score is the ceramic Julebuk (Swedish Yule Goat)! The Julebuk used to deliver presents to Swedes before Santa hit the scene. Most Julebuk decorations are traditionally made of straw but I really like the clean modern look of the IKEA Yule Goat. I look at it as a trade off since I never had a chance to buy IKEA's iconic Dala Horse decorations (another Swedish tradition.)

Time to link up your best projects, home improvements, recipes, and creative ideas!