As most people know, I am a huge fan of gnomes. We have several in the garden and a huge one in the shop (Graham). They’re iconic, kitsch, happy, sinister and dare I say, ahem, sexy.
I’m utterly thrilled that Royal Horticultural Society lifted it’s ban on gnomes at the Chelsea Flower Show 2013. The previous ban had been in place for a years and although I’m not really sure why they were excluded from the show, I’m sure they’ll provide a fun, colourful and quirky angle on what is usually seen as a straight laced affair.
Anyhoo, here’s a potted history of gnomes for your delectation.
Garden gnomes, believe it or not, are not the product of a 20th century lapse in good taste, as their garishly colored clothing and smiling countenances may indicate, but rather an 19th century one.
In the second half of the 1800s, German sculptor and potter Phillip Griebel started a business molding ceramic into lifelike busts of animals, a fashionable home and garden decoration at the time. Inspired by the gnome myths of his home, he began fashioning small, pointy-hatted ceramic gnomes for gardens; the first gnome went to market in Leipzig in 1884 and was an instant success.
Production was halted during World War II, and following the fall of the Nazis, garden gnomes were banned briefly as the German Democratic Republic rose to power in East Germany. Still, the gnomes managed to pull through and Griebel’s garden gnome dynasty exists even now, although in a much diminished capacity, owing to the cheap labour and even cheaper materials coming out of China.
Nowadays, garden gnomes can be found in a wide variety of attitudes and poses: Reclining on one elbow, smoking a pipe; fishing with a wee fishing rod; standing proudly, hands on hips; pushing a wheelbarrow; or holding open his robes to reveal his naughty bits.
Do you have any nice pictures of gnomes for me to admire? Please email me and I’ll feature them on the blog.
This year the scandinavians, and in particular Sweden, are hosting the annual smorgasbord of everything musical; from kitsch to camp to just downright weird. Still, we celebrate ‘vive la difference!’ (not sure what the Swedish translation is).
Fifty seven glorious years and hopefully many more to come. Good luck Bonnie Tyler!
Yes, you read it correctly. Baby booties made from breast milk! They’re not that practical as they can’t be worn (no surprise there), but they were made with World Breast Milk Donation Day in mind which happens to be this Sunday. Made entirely from donated breast milk, they were created by Nick Gant and Tanya Dean who are both lecturers at the University of Brighton. They made various other creations from leftover ‘waste’ products’. If you’d like to read more about the booties then you can. Here is the full article.
We’re thrilled that Jo Nesbø has released the next installment in the Harry Hole series. Here is a great article from Ingrid Harstad which includes as ‘teaser’ extract. Look away if you don’t want to spoil it!
Looking outside at the rain and putting an extra layer on whilst I do so, you would be mistaken thinking it was autumn. It’s officially British Summer Time and we’re just waiting for it to kick in.
We’re quietly confident here at FKHQ that the sun is just around the corner and when it does finally put in an appearance, we’ll be here with lots of summer goodies. Kicking off with some fab tshirts from the Netherlands. Logoshirt makes licensed tees for men, women and children with characters such as The Hulk, Captain America, Assorted Marvel Comic peeps, Che, Star Wars, Batman et al. There’s definitely something for everyone. We have some very cute Heidi tees for children along with the revolutionary himself, Che Guevara (which also comes in ladies sizes).
Gnomeville and Dala horse from Michael Miller have also been restocked and I’ve got some made up into A-line pinafores waiting to be photographed. Again, these will be available early next week.
As a an official Mancunian I suppose I should be doing a tribute to Manchester United and in particular, Sir Alex Ferguson. Wracking brain for what but I do have some lovely red jersey that I can conjure into something. It’ll definitely be a TA-DA! moment when it’s done (whatever ‘it’ is). Suggestions gratefully received!
And finally, to all your mothers, moms, mums, mams etc. I wish you all a happy mother’s day (not in the UK though as we had our mother’s day some 2 months ago). Hope you’re being spoilt rotten.
Sari Ahokainen is a Finnish designer born in 1977. Her formal education is in human sciences but eventually she discovered her true passion in designing. Sari works for companies worldwide creating fun, funky, simple yet strong designs for different products – ceramics, fabrics for Lillestoff, including sweet days and rainbowphant and more.
If you like collecting things then our site has a few collectibles for you to collect!
We have a log of new products from maileg – check out the maileg mice.
Every year Maileg has a new collection featuring these playful little mice.
Also from maileg are the maileg stuffed animals…these are really well made, high quality that have something about them.
Next we have the japanese made woodland dolls – we recently displayed these at a local fair and the childred adored them – one little girl must have come back to our stall 5 times – she kept picking them up and cuddling them, and one time she ran off with one – we didn’t stop her – it was a delight to see.
And lastly if you want something quite small to collect then the sonny angels are incredible as well as being very affordable. These little angels all have characters of there own.