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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.


Gnome Bishops


Viking Bishops

Viking dragon riders and gnome bear riders were fun to make for the knights. 

                                


Viking Knights


Gnome 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 04, 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!! 

Kickstarter Going Gnome

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???





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....

Bard College Craft Fair

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

So here we are, less then a week from the NY Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck NY! 
Saturday October 15th from 10am-5pm and Sunday the 16th from 10am-5pm.
 
The felting needles are in high gear, our fingers are covered in band aids, and the shop is full to bursting with gnomes, animals, and kits galore!  Jen and I are especially excited for the fair this year as we are debuting Going Gnome, several new kits, new kit packaging, and lots of new felted goods (look for the rock monsters - they are awesome!).  It’s hard to believe it’s just a few days away....

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....
 

-Melissa


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.

The 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......