It is truly amazing how a limited budget can boost one’s creativity!

This Sunday is Charlotte’s birthday. For the past couple of days I’ve been working on creating a family of gnomes. Utilizing the leftover wooden dolls from our Alphabet of Catholic Saints, I’ve also been handknitting little caps and other apparel, using very small needles and an exquisitely “fallish” sock weight yarn in a delightful shade of russet. I’ve been snatching little bits of time, here and there, and finally managed to finish last night. What an adorable little family! If only they had a suitable abode…

Yesterday, Gawain and I went to our local craft store to survey the materials available. We looked at ready-made dollhouses, birdhouses and even considered buying supplies to construct something from other natural materials. Then Gawain spied the ready-carve pumpkins and dried gourds. Eureka! The gourd was exactly what I’d been looking for. I had remembered seeing a very cleverly rendered dollhouse made from a birdhouse gourd and thought it would suit our gnome family just fine. Gawain picked out a few silk flowers and leaves to adorn our little cottage. Total expenditure: $9.35.

The results: adorable!! I think Charlotte will be very, very pleased…

The “Gnome Sweet Home” banner was created by Arthur using his feather-quill and iron-gall ink on parchment…a recent gift from a very dear friend:

A side view. The curtains are silk fall leaves and look just as cute from the inside as they do from the outside:

Rear view: a large opening to allow little hands to arrange furniture and play. The door knob is a hickory nut!

Mama and Papa Gnome…I’m contemplating a beard for Papa…

The siblings: brothers, sisters…who knows! Charlotte will decide. Don’t you just love those acorn hats?! We found those in the woods:

Arthur crafted this cradle using cherry wood twigs and a milkweed pod:

Mama and baby look so sweet together:

I’ve purposely left the interior natural. The “carpet” was made from silk fall leaves glued into place to even out the rough floor:

A family photo:

Rear view:

And that’s that. A sweet little gnome home ready to be loved and played with by the birthday girl. It was such fun working on this project. The best gifts are always the ones that we put our heart into…