One of my daughter’s favorite summer vacation destinations (alone): Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

This year’s stay got a bit of an extension because  — “We just don’t get everything done in a week”, she said.

So after a two week stay this time around, she came back home with lots of fun memories of junking, gardening, picnics, cousins, parties in the chicken house, fishing, art projects, dribbling competitions with my dad, sleeping in and ‘air conditioning’.  (her first question when we picked her up was…do you have the air conditioning on at home?) Funny.

They explored Grandma’s newest addition to the gardens (she’s been helping my mom garden since she was in diapers — for some reason, she finds it more fun there than at home…*laugh)  –have to admit though, my mom’s garden is what you would call more colorful and playful than ours….her latest surprise was Gnomeville.  Madeline LOVED it…it was like a miniature village and after having seen the movie, she had all kinds of playful plans for her and her new friends.  Her only suggestion was that Grandma needed more ‘blue hats’…

Madeline got her started on her gnome collection with these two little gems several years back… (and to think, I laughed when Madeline would always pick them out for birthdays, mothers days, etc…wondering where Grandma was going to display them…::)

We’ve all cracked some fun at the yard ornaments out there, especially the ‘gnomes’…but I gotta say, I’m thinkin’ they may be back en kitschy vogue!  Love how she used all the driftwood, log slices, mosses, and miniature structures….all nestled in amongst her perennials…….

Even the trees got a ‘mushroom’ trim….

When maddie wasn’t rearranging Gnomeville, she had plenty of other adventures like going out on the river with Grandpa and raising nets for the first time.  (not the best place to be sporting ‘white’ pants, she found out)

They made aprons out of some old valences that Maddie discovered in a junk pile.

And she came home with some mad box building skills…..

This now sits outside my office…..

I too spent a lot of time at my grandparents growing up.  Good times.

Cheers to Grandparents everywhere….AND GNOMES!!!


  1. Anie Minogue says:

    Recently saw your show for the first time on public television here in Denver. Great! Trying to find the listing so I can calendar it. Never liked gnomes, or especially, pink flamingos, in yards. Husband teases me about pink flamingos. But, making the gnome village, no that I like. Really cute. Maybe my garden needs one to keep the fairy garden company.

    Have a recycling art/fashion idea for you. I have always thought that the shells from pistachio nut just too neat to throw away. Have used them in raised garden beds to lighten and loosen soil, but that didn’t satisfy me. So I tested dying them with food coloring. Works great, esp. with undiluted liquid colors or with paste colors, cover shells barely with boiling water and stir in the dye to a rich color. Helps to run them through 2-3 minutes in microwave also or sit out in the sun for the day. Once rinsed and air dried, use a small bit in a Dremel tool o drill one or two holes up at the end where the half shells connected and string on stretchy beading cord for necklaces, anklets, bracelets. I also paint some with gold leaf or silver leaf paint and dye some black with ink to contrast. Plain, undyed ones can also be used for contrast. Multiple rows make even neater bracelets and anklets which make noise. In addition, circles or squares of thin plywood or cork board about 6-9 inches across, with shells glued onto it in patterns will make great trivits. Would love to see what ideas you come up with.

  2. Debbie Connelley "THE KEEPING ROOM" says:

    How fun!!! I so enjoyed looking at these pics. I too have several gnomes and fairies in my garden. I’ve laughed at myself over them, wondering if it’s too much, but they are in and among perenials, and look as though they are very busy “living” in my garden! I love looking for miniatures to go with the fairies. They are currently having a tea party on a small (thick) tree slice, which makes for a perfect table, with smaller size slices to use as chairs. Fun to play, even as an adult! :-) Loved Maddie’s little box house!

  3. Michele says:

    Thanks Bill! Machelle….That gnome sounds adorable…and it’s never too late to start your collection…. No need to worry…she actually does have a life vest on ….only it’s under the oversized sweatshirt she threw on…which I’m sure would cut down a bit on the overall effectiveness of the life jacket, however…:) LOL……Also…my dad’s very safe out there…I grew up on the river with him out there and was never once in a ‘dangerous’ situation…it’s not exactly a ‘speedy’ job either…..and if the weather conditions were poor…us kids didn’t go…..but you’re right….life jackets are a must for kids on the water….minus a coat over top :) Cheers, all!

  4. Machelle says:

    while browsing a gift shop in Jamesport, Mo, i found a black gnome! at least i think he was black….my sisters thought he might be hispanic, but whatever nationality he was, he was DARN cute! at the time i was in a rental house so didn’t buy him. now i own a home and wish i had him living happily in my garden! also….it doesn’t look like Maddie has a life jacket on….this worries me.

  5. Bill says:

    What fun—looks like a home that ant grandchild would enjoy visiting–many fond memories of my visits to my grandma in colo. Thanks for sharing. Bill

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