Wow what a year it has been! All of our chances to see you, our beloved felters and comrades in fiber, have been cancelled. Coronavirus is running through our communities relatively unchecked by our leaders. Us white people seem to be having (hopefully) a collective awakening to the racist reality in our country that we have long turned a blind eye to. Though tragically it has taken the lives of untold Black Americans to get us to this moment. And we are staring down the barrel of an election that very well may prove exactly what kind of country we are headed towards, and who it does and does not care about. There are a lot of reasons to despair, to feel helpless, to be depressed. We spent months separated from family and friends - many of us out of work, unable to be out in the world. I don't know about you but it was a mental and emotional test that I am still reeling from. So here we are in the fall of these turbulent times, and trying to find ways to look ahead to an un-plannable future.
On top of everything else it has been a trying time for Going Gnome with appendix and tooth extractions, not being able to work with one another, and having to pivot and reframe our business as we know it. Jen and I would like to say from the bottom of our hearts - thank you so much to everyone who has reached out, said hello, purchased kits and figures, and stayed connected to us during these hard times. Your support means the world to us!
Here at Going Gnome things have changed a lot! Without shows to attend our felting has become fairly non-existent. We did release a special edition Maryland Gnome and our first Mystery Kit Club - which I think has been a success! Here's a peek at kits 1 and 2 of the club (Harp Seal and Mini Yeti).
The usual fall anticipation, nervousness, and excitement for our busy season has taken hold of us and the gnomes, despite all of our in person shows being cancelled. After careful consideration we have decided to retire some of our kits. One thing that Coronavirus has provided, besides a deep inability to focus, is a boon of fun and cool ideas for new kits! So Going Gnome is pivoting away from the production of felted figures (our arms, hands, and backs are soooo grateful for this change) and focusing our creativity and energy on bringing you more new kits more frequently! We intend to keep our permanent line of kits around 20 to allow for new kits to flow in and out of it, as well as to be able to offer special clubs, limited editions, and special designs. Hopefully you will love these changes! Keep an eye here for new items posting in October!! Check out our collection of 2020 retirees and grab them before they are gone!
So for now I will leave you with a taste of how we spent our time in quarantine. We had a weekly Saturday challenge and family members submitted pictures or videos. It was a fun way to feel connected even thought we were physically separated.
Enjoy and stay healthy!
The color challenge:
Recreate a childhood photo:
Recreate an album cover:
New kits for 2020! November 15, 2019 16:36 1 CommentOur new kits for this year have just been released, and wow! They are selling like hotcakes!! We thought this years additions, and limited edition kits were a good batch, but had no idea they would be this popular!
Instructional Video Realeses May 5, 2015 14:37
Our first instructional video (FELT IT! Make Mini Gnomes) was released on April 29, 2015! We are very excited for the release of this video, and the 3 to follow in the next few months (Mushroom House, Owl Babies, and Sleeping Fox) It's been great working with Interweave, they are also carrying our kits in their on line store!
The link for the mini gnome and mushroom house videos are here, and I will continue to add the other links as they are released.
(The links for the videos can also be found on the corresponding felting kit page in our products catalog)
Please check them out and let us know what you think!
Also check out Anita's blog post about our new videos on Spinning Daily!
A felted chess Set April 13, 2015 00:00
As mentioned in the previous post we were invited to create an art piece for the gallery at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC. We decided to create a felted chess set, with the pieces consisting of Gnomes (obviously) vs. Vikings.
Viking King and Queen
Gnome King and Queen
We wanted the set to be larger than life so we chose to make it a 4ft. x 4ft. board with the pieces averaging around 12-14inches tall. It was a challenge to create pieces that people would be able to recognize as their traditional counterparts. Mushrooms were an obvious choice for the pawns on the gnome side, as were a gnome king and queen and viking king and queen. Bishops presented a bit of a representation challenge, being settled with tree gnomes on the gnome side and howling wolves on the viking side.
Viking dragon riders and gnome bear riders were fun to make for the knights.
The most frequently asked questions about building this felted chess set were: How long did it take? Did you each make a side? Can i make a move? We spent a total of about 200 hours working on the set, and were thrilled with the results! We both worked on both sides, though one of us made each set of companion figures (ie I made both wolf bishops on the viking side and gnome king and queen, Jen made both dragon rider knights and the viking king and queen. We both spent many hours making mushroom and rock monster pawns! We did let people (carefully) play the game both in NY and in Seattle - boy are there are a lot of chess enthusiasts out there!! Most were thrilled that the set was complete with a chess clock and and a gnome time keeper!
New ideas for new large scale art pieces are always swirling around.....stay tuned....
Going Gnome is getting a kick start! August 4, 2014 14:58
So, we've enlisted the help of our gnomes to get our kits packed with 100% US materials, and now in 100% US packaging! We have spent the past few months working hard to improve out great instructions - we've even added photo detail in them! The new kit design is amazing, but having the packaging made in the US means buying them in large quantity. The gnomes have launched this Kickstarter project to help us get the tubes here. Please check it out, share it with your friends, and back us if you can. You can get some great rewards - just a $25 pledge gets you a brand new, never before sold or seen felting kit - Prickle of Hedgehogs!!
Thanks for supporting us!
Where do your gnomes travel? April 17, 2014 12:42 1 Comment
2013 ended with, and 2014 began with our gnomes spending a lot of time on the road exploring new places!
The first big adventure was the trip to Chicago for Vogue Knitting Live!
We drove out and had an amazing weekend in the windy city with our dear cousin, and introduced so many mid westerners to the art of needle felting! We also got enjoy a trip down memory lane to the place where I was born - South Bend IN! We stopped by our old house, and low and behold the rock that our Dad painted with our initials 30 years ago is still there! The gnomes were excited to check it out.
We also got to see the amazing walnut forest that our neighbor planted for the future in his retirement - incredible how a forest can grow in 30 years!!! And though we didn't stop, we drove past good old Bonnie Doons Ice Cream!
We also detoured to Niagara Falls on the drive home!
After Chicago it was off to Brooklyn NY for the Renegade Craft Fair.
It was a great weekend accompanied by a bunch of visitors and some great holiday shopping for us all!
Some of our shop customers even stopped by to see us :)
We rang in the new year with another trip to NYC for another Vogue Knitting Live! Vogue New York was a first for us - we were asked to build an art piece for the artists gallery at the event. We created a 4'x4' chess set - Vikings vs. gnomes. It was so well received and was so much fun to create! Check the next blog post for details and more pictures.
Here is the set mid game:
With its great success in New York, the Chess set was invited to travel to Vogue Knitting in Seattle! this was a first trip to the west coast for going gnome. We added a few days to the trip to do some exploring on the Olympic peninsula which was breathtaking!
Now we are in high gear getting ready for our spring shows and our next trip to Maryland - This is a great one for us as we get to see so much family while we are there.
We will miss seeing our cousin Jay, as he has set off on his own gnome accompanied journey to thru hike the Appalachian trail from Georgia to Maine! His backpacking gnome friend Winthrop is keeping him company on this amazing 6 month hike.
They have already covered over 200 miles and are hiking strong!
Check out Jay's travel blog and witness his amazing woodland travels!
We are so lucky that our gnomes take us to so many wonderful places and allow us to meet so many amazing people.
So now we want to know - where do your gnomes travel???
30 Gnomes in 30 Days January 10, 2013 17:16 2 CommentsWhat an amazing, record breaking year 2012 was! We felted our fingers swollen and bloody, our necks and backs ached with fatigue, our right biceps began to resemble one of Popeye’s forearms, and despite not being able to find anything on the internet related to “felting injuries” I’m quite certain I had a severe case of Felter’s Thumb.
2012, June??? June 12, 2012 12:59
Greetings from Going Gnome! This blog entry has been waiting to be written since January, I am amazed and somewhat horrified to see it is now June! I had great intentions for posting my thoughts and reflections on 2011 and all that happened for Going Gnome. Well, now that just seems like old news.....seeing as we're already in full swing with 2012 felting and show season.
First off how about a shout out to the beloved sheep that provide us with such an amazing substance to work with!! WHoop WHoop! Here are a few I pass everyday when I drive my kids to school, lambing season on a sheep farm is a wonder to behold, with new tiny babies arriving every day:
For my second shout out I'd like to thank my Aunt, Uncle and cousins for hosting us for the weekend of the PA Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm! It was at this event that we debuted Going Gnome's latest new creations: DRAGONS! In a burst of creative inspiration 4 dragons were born and travelled to the Fair and were loved by many:
Give me a " Huzzah!" for 30 pounds of wool not blowing off the top of the car on the return trip from PA.
And my third and final shout out is to my sister and partner in gnome crime - Jennifer! I can't really begin to describe how amazing it is to have your work (and i use this term loosley since having as much fun as we do it can hardly be called work) be so fullfilling. We really have more fun than should be allowed, she keeps me inspired, and Going Gnome wouldn't be here without her.
Next stop: the Stockbridge Arts Festival.....Keep an eye out for more new creations, Melissa
Holiday Shows November 28, 2011 17:00
Busy busy felting.....felted rings, sheep, birds (Jen?), jolly St. Nick, mini gnomes, and much more fresh off the felting pads! After a few weeks of rebuilding our stock we are ready for some holiday cheer. This Friday Going Gnome will be together with Soasa designs and Asia Luna at the Bard College Craft Fair in Annandale NY. Friday December 2 11am - 5pm.
Check out this great blog about the event and see some of the wonderful crafters and artisans that will be there....
After we leave Bard on Friday evening we head straight to Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School in Harlemville NY to set up for Saturday's Yuletide Fair. Saturday December 3 10am-4pm. This school holiday fair is a truly beautiful and festive occasion, complete with caroling and a gingerbread house gallery that is not to be missed! Plenty of crafts for the kids (they can make their own stained glass!) and a good time to get a jump on your holiday shopping.
The following weekend finds the Gnomes headed back to CT to the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School's Holiday Handcraft Fair, and then back to good old Great Barrington for the Holiday Stroll on Saturday December 10th!
But that's not all....Stay tuned for more information about our own last minute holiday BLITZ! details coming soon........
Back from Rhinebeck... October 19, 2011 20:36 1 Comment
I only have a moment to spare here, lots of felting to do to get ready for the New England Sheep and Wool Fest in Springfield MA, but I wanted to post a picture that a customer sent us. This is what she made with our baby owl needle felting kit!
Great Job Ellen and thanks so much for sending us the photo! This is one of the sweetest baby owls I have ever seen, and what a great idea to use some of the wool in the kit to make a branch, and the catapillar is inspired!
We'll keep posting pictures if you all keep sending them to us! Seeing things like this keep us inspired and excited to create more kits :)
Until next time, happy felting, and keep sending us pictures!
Getting ready for NY Sheep and Wool October 10, 2011 12:42 1 Comment
Things we look forward to at the festival every year:
1. Seeing our booth neighbors (I need to restock on Heal my Hands)
2. Maple flavored cotton candy - It is white and looks exactly like wool batting - If I had a dollar for every person who sees us eating it and thinks we are eating wool I could go ahead and take early retirement!
3. Chicken pot pie! It takes a good hour wait in a VERY long line to get a pot pie, and often they run out before you get one, but they sure are worth it!
4. The parade of the fair goers woolly finest. You would be hard pressed to find a better sampling of fine knitted, woven, felted, and crochet goods being worn around in one place - it is truly inspiring.
5. Listening to the sheep bleating, seeing the llama parade, admiring all the wonderful yarns and wool goods for sale are just the icing on the cake!
6. And last but certainly not least, seeing customers form previous years, hearing about the things they’ve made with our kits and other adventures in felting, and meeting lots of new faces that are as charmed by gnomes as we are!
So, for now I better get back to my felting - 6 mushroom caps are staring me down and wondering when they will get their stems. I’m so excited for Friday’s set up, and the opening of the fair on Saturday. If you’ve never been you should really check it out, it is a great event!!!
Remember to stop by booth T in building 36 - look for the mushroom topped tent - it’s hard to miss....
Hebron Harvest Festival September 15, 2011 19:50
Jennifer and I recently returned from a weekend of selling our needle felted gnomes and felting kits at the Hebron Harvest Festival in CT. The fair began on Thursday September 8th. We arrived at the fairgrounds to find ourselves up to our shins in mud - both inside the tent and out. Seems the folks of Hebron had been out of power for an entire week from the storms and rain - and boy was it saturated! Spirits were low as we slogged our goods through the mud. But by Friday morning things were looking up, we awoke to sunshine and a much more dried out fairground!
Not to mention a first place win in the Juried Artisan Best in Show competition! Our needle felted gnome house won us a round of applause from our fellow vendors, as well as a ribbon and a $200 prize!
The weather only got better and better for the rest of the weekend.
We did a lot of needle felting demonstrations. This was a great way for people to see and learn about needle felting and even give it a try. It really excited people to buy our felting kits, and we got some great new gnomes made in the process!
Sales were a bit slow throughout the weekend, but fortunately people were enthusiastic about our gnomes, many claiming they had never seen anything like it. This is surely one of the wonders of sculptural needle felting, people can not seem to figure out how it happens without sewing! Even after all these years I still find the process miraculous.
other vendors around us were a great deal of fun to be with - good
thing too considering we spent 40+ hours together over the course of the
four days. Our booth neighbor was kind enough to act as a living gnome
to further entertain our customers (Thank you Rick of Common Good Market
!) Saturday proved to be a long day - by hour 13 Jen and I got a little punchy (as the photo below can attest) and practically turned into gnomes ourselves!
My daughter Grace is still somewhat troubled by the thought of Jen eating her Siberian gnome.
We are back home now in Great Barrington, Off the Beaded Path is open and undergoing some reorganization to make room for all our wool, kits, and gnomes. We are busily felting away, rebuilding our stock for the CT Renaissance Faire, which we will be guest vending at on the weekends of September 24 & 25, and October 1 & 2. King Arthur Faire
The wool is flying, the gnomes are multiplying, and I am thinking about making a lava rock monster as requested......
Until next time - Remember - if you look away from your work stop poking or you’ll end up with holes in your fingers, OUCH, or someone eating your gnome......