I have always wanted to bring my little gnomes to life on the page but have been fearful of working on paper again. It has been a long time since I have sketched on paper. So 2018 I will step outside my comfort zone and start sketching my gnomes and see where this will lead me.
I found my old sketchbooks, watercolours and colour pencils. Now I just have to put my fear monster back in the closet and have some fun.
After the last few weeks of insanity that is my life I thought it was time to escape while she was selling her stuff at the Cranbrook Farmers Market. I had 4 hours to plan and implement my strategy. I figured I would be safe. I figured wrong.
I had made it out through the hole in the screen door and carefully slid along the side of the house, stopping when I heard a noise in the flower beds.
Meet her first line of defence. An army of trolls and other creatures protecting the perimeter of the house. Okay. Yes. They may look innocent enough but do not be deceived by their size. Especially the rock troll on the right. Trolls may not be that bright but they are almost always unfriendly.
The trio of mushroom heads in the back row whistled in three part harmony and the next thing I know I am confronted with these 2 crazed “Vikings”.
Erik the Red spoke first, “and where do you think you’re going?”
“Just out for a morning stroll. Filling these old lungs with some fresh mountain air,” I replied, backing away from the two of them.
Knut the Great chimed in, madly waving his shovel around narrowly missing my new hat, “not thinking of going anywhere are you?”
“No, of course not. Now why would I want to do that. I love it here. Things couldn’t be better.” I turned, slid back along the outside wall and crawled through the hole in the screen door.
“I know you’ll feel a lot better if you just come for a ride. Who doesn’t love a parade?”
Me, that’s who. So once again I am forced to spend a day in the life of a crazy Canuck. This is me on the dashboard hurtling down a country road at top speeds. That dull humming sound you hear are my muffled screams.
“We are taking you to Cranbrook’s annual Sam Steele Days celebration. Plus, it’s a great warm up to Canada’s 150th birthday party.”
Ha-a-a. 150 years. That’s nothing. I lost count when I hit 200 years of age. Stopped celebrating the passage of time right about then. Too many candles. Too many trees. However, I may not see not see 300 if I cannot escape.
She tries to appease me with her interpretation of a Swedish Fika** Where’s the cake?
My second humiliation of the day is posing with her country’s flag. Do I look like I belong?
Wait. Things are looking up. Look at those colours. Remind anyone of a country’s flag.
Then I recognized something. If you look very closely over my right shoulder there is a slightly out of focus Viking. Have they invaded Canada? Are they here to celebrate? Are they here to take me home?
I was finally at ease until I turned around and saw this. I think one of them is looking right at me. I must take cover.
Ahh refuge in the top of the big Dane’s hat. Here I will stay until I am safely back home.
Let me start by telling you what happened on Friday. Never trust a crazy woman with large scissors who says, “Your beard just needs a bit of a trim.”
Then those fateful words, “Oops. Well don’t worry it’ll grow back.”
Yep. That’s a new hat too. She made it. Fits great doesn’t it. I look ridiculous in this thing. There was nothing wrong with the old hat. I’ve had it for over 150 years. My sister made me that hat.
Oh and yes that is a bicycle seat under my feet. Oh and yes my hair is more grey than last week. After that harrowing experience of her dressed as a Viking I am more grey than I have been my entire life. I think it’s permanent.
So onto this mornings antics. She stuffs me in her pocket and takes me along on a bike ride. “Come on,” she says. “It’ll be fun,” she says. Tell me folks. Do I look happy?
Oh and why are my pants pulled up over my face? Well when your hurtling down a bike path surrounded by trees, fields and swamps there are any number of creatures that can fly into a screaming open mouth. Enough said?
Ah, Sunday mornings. Eyes closed. Feet up. Enjoying retirement. Thinking back to all those years annoying farmers with my antics. Life was good then. Life should be good now. But not when you live in a foreign country with a crazy and deranged human.
Seriously why would you stand over a 200 year old sleeping tomte gnome dressed like this waiting for him to wake up. Do we want to test his ticker at this late stage of life? Really. Look. Look at her. She’s laughing.
I thought maybe I could reason with her Viking Danish husband. Man to gnome. But he has escaped for the weekend. Can you blame him?
So, I must plot my revenge, but I cannot do it on my own. I wonder if these guys might help out. They love hiding keys, wallets and phones. Imagine what the six of us could accomplish.
Just to let you new folk know who is writing this. Here is a selfie. It’s not the crazed woman standing outside the Royal Palace in Sweden trying to impress the guards with her charming smile.
I am a Swedish Tomte. I am not a Danish or Norwegian Nisse nor a Finnish Tonttu although I do have distant cousins living there. We don’t talk much.
I spent many, many, many, years in Northern Sweden helping out on farms. Well sometimes helping. All I ask for in return is a small gift around Christmas. It’s not much – a small bowl of porridge will do. The last farmer took off on holidays to Canada so I may have tied a few cows tails together while they were away. They were not happy. So I left. I packed my stuff and started walking. By spring I had arrived at Hogakusten. That’s when I met her. She was from Canada. I heard on my travels that Canada is like Sweden but better. I am not yet convinced of this.
She said I wouldn’t have to work. I could enjoy my retirement on a rural property. Trees, fresh air and no animals. Wrong. First there are black and white critters that spray some kind of noxious vile liquid when you get too close. Okay so maybe I shouldn’t have tried to repeat the cow trick. I did not appreciate the tomato juice bath that night. My beard was pink for a month.
Then there’s the black beast that lives with us. I did not sign up for being chased around the house and property by an insane terrier with huge teeth designed to kill vermin – which I am not. Try to convince a crazed schnauzer of that. She keeps telling me not to run or move quickly. So I stand there while the beast slobbers all over my boots. I’ve had these boots for over 200 years. This is not my idea of a spit polish.
I can hear her upstairs practicing her Swedish. She’s butchering the language. I’d rather go outside and take my chances with the wildlife.
I am taking over this blog and no my name is not Lyndell Classon. Where is she right now? Outside planting flowers. Not in here blogging like she promised.
So who am I? I am a displaced tomtar living in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I used to live in Northern Sweden – I did not come here willingly. More about that next week.
Right now I am attempting to get a picture of myself so you can put a face to these rantings.
Nope. How does this timer work anyway?
That didn’t work. Let me try one of those selfie things she keeps talking about.
Hey, I look pretty good here. One more time. I think I have the hang of it now.
Ah, there we go. Looking pretty good for an old gnome of 200 years considering I am on the constant look out for the black beast who thinks it’s amusing to chase me around the house every single day.
Oh please, don’t be fooled by that innocent little face. She’s a miniature schnauzer – bred to chase after and maim small fast moving creatures, of which I am one. I only hope I survive long enough to continue this blog.
Wait! I hear something. Yes. No. Yes. It’s the beast. I am off to safe hiding.
Next week. – how I came to live in Canada.
Oh yes, I have also taken ownership of the website so why not head on over for a visit. She’s pretty good plus she’s promised to start working on some companions my own size who do not chase me around the house all day.
We woke up this morning to about an inch of snow. And more fell throughout the day. So what do you do on a snowy cold day in early October when you had your thanksgiving dinner yesterday – you play in your studio.
I was trying to come up with another new ornament to get ready for the upcoming Christmas markets. I wanted something Scandinavian to keep my tomtar company on the table. My husband remembered the Danish Paper Hearts when he was a boy. So I googled around to get some ideas.
Here is my polymer clay interpretation of the Swedish, Danish paper hearts. I used red and green to test these first ones. Now that I have the process figured out the next ones will have white clay. As any polymer clay artist knows white clay (actually polymer clay in general) seems to pick up every piece of lint on and off the work area.
Process for working with white clay:
1: Scrub down as if preparing for surgery
2: Put on your white surgical scrubs including hood, should any stray hairs decide to fall on your work area.
3: Enter the decontamination room set up outside your studio. Close outer door before opening the inner main studio door.
4: Enter studio, sit down and begin your project.
5:Pull your hood down and scream in horror as you complete your all white project and right in the middle is a piece of lint embedded .5mm down. Oh well. Nothing that a little rubbing alcohol and exacto knife won’t fix. Right.
Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and to all my friends south of the border a Happy Columbus Day.
In preparation for my trip I thought I should learn how to perfect taking a “Selfie”. So on this cool, cloudy Sunday I thought it might be a good day to start practising. I grabbed my purse looking for my phone and it wasn’t there. I always leave it in the same place. It had to be in there. I pulled everything out of my purse and turned the house upside down trying to find my phone. Now thinking I would have to get a replacement before my trip I decided to take solace by pre-packing for my trip.
Well, lo and behold there was my phone on top of my pile of clothes. And this is what I found in my photo gallery.