This week’s Tipsy Tuesday Question is from Pat. I will paraphrase her question to what I think she is asking:
“I like how your designs go over the edges, and that many times the back ground is not a solid color. How do you decide how to design a piece?”
The funny thing is, when I started having design elements spill over the edges, it had more to do with controlling the size of a piece than it did an actual desire to design something clever. For example, I hate really wide bracelets. I find them to be very uncomfortable for the most part. I like them to stay an inch wide at most, if I can help it.
But sometimes I need just a tiny bit more space to get a design element to work. To make it smaller would just compromise the detail. So I figured, fine. MOST of the bracelet will be an inch wide, but in just a few spots it will be just a tad wider. This works for the design, and keeps most of the bracelet in what I think to be in a comfortable width.
The same held true for amulet style patterns. I didn’t want the piece to be wider than 3 inches, but needed just a little more to keep the design elements at an optimal size for the detail I wished to create. The first design I ever did with this approach was the Fire Serpent design in my book The Magical Amulet Bag Vol 2. Ever since then, I liked this approach.
The borders were added because I thought that they lend a more “Finished” and “Professional” look to the piece. But since the design extends past the edge, I had to have the border stop at the design element, which makes the design pop out of the “Frame”.
So, it wasn’t some sort of clever design concept I had that got this going, but rather one of controlling the overall size of the project.
As for the background, sometimes I try to make it variable so that it appears more "real". Giving it a mottled or shaded appearance helps. And who wants to bead vast areas of all one color. It does get a little boring.
But you have to be careful not to make the piece look to "busy". Sometimes a solid background is what is needed otherwise the design gets lost. I have on many occasions tried a varied background, only to scrap the idea since it just didn't look good. It's all a matter of balance.
And the balance for me as a designer is in my own personal taste...and...well...many of you know how unbalanced I can be at times!! :)
Norm the Gnome in the Know’s Response:
I love the wild look. Flowers grow where they like, and don’t care about edges and borders. Plus it is a lot of work to keep the flowers in my garden well behaved.
I do have a lot of trouble with the weeds more than the flowers. I hate weeds. I hate pulling them up. My back hurts after a while, and I hate the thought of using chemicals.
Twice a year in my Village, we have a weed pulling party. This helps control the weeds and makes light work.
Barney the Brainy Bruin’s Response:
I stopped wearing clothing because my belly always spilled over my waistband. It was too tight, and kept getting tighter. Now my belly has no border, and I don’t have to worry about spilling over the edge of stupid pants.
Besides, don’t you think dressed bears look ridiculous? Have you ever seen that bear that puts our fires? What’s his name? Pokey the Bear? Or is it Dorkey the Bear? Anyways, whatever his name is, all dressed up, he looks DUMB!!
Bears should be naked…and without borders to worry about.
It happened again. I got a message in my inbox on my Etsy account. Some damned idiot wants to “buy” my peacock tapestry (yah, right). The same bad English, the same deal of sending me more money than required so that I could pay their shipping company. I would think that anyone at this point who falls for this type of “sale” has had their head under a rock and qualifies for a “stupid” badge.
Of course I reported the scheister to Etsy and they were promptly removed.
Of course, I had to play along a little to see where it went to. It must be the inspector in my blood (darn day job always influences me) that makes me want to play along. It must be the thrill of leading a “suspect” down a path and watching them trip over their own lies that provides me a sick sense of entertainment. But it is also the desire to do what I can to inform all of my fellow artists and whoever else I can expose these butt holes to.
I would love to hang these cheap gutless wanna be theives from a tree and let the buzzards have at them. I despise people who try to steal from artists and the naïve. Just don’t ever fall victim to this type of scam. Promise??
Here is the communication to date. If there is further communication, I will let you in on it. Feel free to pass this around to anyone and everyone you think would benefit from this knowledge. These people even hit those on ebay and other auction/sales sites.
From the “Buyer”
SUBJECT: A Peacock and Doves in a Garden, listing #13061082
I am interested in the immediate purchase of your item and will be make payment via cashier check/money order, my private shipping company will handle the shipping, but before payment will be made i need to be sure of who i am dealing with if you are going to be honest and sincere throughout the transaction. A certified cashiers check is cash-able the same day,there is going to be an excess fund on the check ,the excess fund is meant for the private shipping company who will come to your place for pick up of the item, so shipping is not a problem,will you be able to transfer the excess fund to the shipping company the same day you receive the check?. check would be sent to you so when you get payment you can easily cash it at any cashing point near you or deposit in your bank. You'll be sending excess fund to my shipper , which would be meant for shipping arrangement.if you agree, signify your interest by forwarding to me your Final Asking Price, Full Name & Contact Address a
nd Tel # also i will want you to email to my husband private email address email@example.com make sure you reply back to my husband email,So plz kindly email me to my email address I await your response soonest.
Best and kind regards,
Subject: go ahead, send it
Send money ($4000) to
PO Box 577916
Modesto CA 95357
I assure you, I am every bit as honest as you.
We both know the answer to that.
(Note to blog: My PO box is a public address printed on all my books, website etc, so no fears…)
From the “buyer”
Thanks so much for the reply.The deal is done because am
100% interested in the item and am ok with the condition and the price,
In fact my wife was also happy to read your previous 'message. I wanna
alert you that you dont need to bother yourself for shipping, I have
contact a shipping company
in the state today, concerning the shipment so they can come for the
pickup. I 'll include the cost for the shipment on the Money Order and
the added funds goes to the shipping
company agent. Once you receive the payment You take your
money out of it and make arrangement to get the remainder funds wired
to the shipping company agent via Western
Union Money Transfer only before they can come for pickup
.Is that alright?
I want you to delete the ads from the site now, just
because i dont want you to sell it to another person or get carried
away with another offers because the deal is definately done, just
because i don't wanna lose it. Once you receive the payment you will
kindly help me out with the shipment in which you will send the excess
fund to the shipping agent. You will have to wire the shipment funds to
the shippers agent through Western Union Money Transfer,
and do you have any nearest western union outlet nearby to get that
done? When that's done they can come for the pickup at your destination
with immediate effort. The shipping company will contact you once you
get the Payment for you to send them the funds.
email me your full name and address with phone number not po box address your home address
I will be mailing out the payment to you tomorow,
because i need the item delivered to my new apartment. and i still have
some items at the old apartment, and the same shippers will be
responsible for the pickup.It will be done after they schedule the
pickup at your location, they will branch my old apt to pickup my Couch.
I ill be sending your pickup address to the shipping company agent,and i
will also gave them my own shipping address as well. I await for your
prompt reply .
(Note to Blog: I did not alter the email. It ended with “thank” and no name. Simply cut and paste for you to read)
I am not home during the day. So perhaps you can send payment to me at work:
Beaded Bear (my legal business name)
C/O City of Modesto Police Dept
4206 Technology Dr # 3
Modesto CA 95356
I can bring my item to work
Note to Blog: I got a response from the Buyer that is Exactly as their last email
So…I responded once again:
I suppose you did not see my address:
Beaded Bear (my legal business name) or..to my name: Sgt Sig Evans
>C/O City of Modesto Police Dept
>4206 Technology Dr # 3
>Modesto CA 95356
PH XXX XXXXXX (gave them my work cell phone to see if they dare to call)
We will be awaiting your money and courier
If anything comes further of this...I will let you know. I would be suprised if they are that STUPID!! But then.....maybe English is not their first language, or maybe this does not translate well to Nigerian or whatever shitty country they are from.
I have a question for those of you who have beaded tapestries and have had them framed. I have always hung mine from a tapestry dowel of some type by extending the entire top of the beadwork to fit over the dowel. I don't like tabs since sometimes the piece will buckle. Beading across the entire length prevents this.
For those who do frame the tapestries, how do you do this? Do you take it to a professional framer? Is there anything you do to prepare the piece?
I get this question quite frequently, and I usually advise going to a professional framer. Any advice? Any thing to beware of (horror stories)? Success?
I am sure that any advice will be appreciated by a lot of beaders, including myself!
I nearly fell off my chair this morning when I opened Martha's email with this image! Here is The Waiting by Gustov Klimt. Klimt is one of my favorite artists, especially with the use of rich golds. Martha also had this piece framed perfectly. She better have guard dogs around her home. I might just come over and steal it!!
I am beginning to have a huge dislike for the end of June. I am not even sure I like July. Sometimes I wish I could just erase these months from the calendar.
I should like these months. It is summer, the days are wonderfully long, and the 4rth of July Holiday is coming up. With visions of Norman Rockwellesque kids fishing, swimming, playing with dogs, lemonade stands and ice cream, what’s not to like?
Being a State Employee, and meeting the end of a fiscal year is what’s not to like. Every year it seems it is another variation of the same bull crap. Some years are a little worse than others, but always it comes down to the same threats and moral destroying tactics by politicians and the ill informed view and debasing by the general public who really do not understand what it is to be a State Employee.
The budget debates during the first three years of my employment with the State always included the threat of layoffs. Being on the bottom of the totem pole, I would have been the first out the door. I hunkered down, and waited for the storm to pass. Each year, I feared the worst, but it never happened.
Since the early years, I have endured two rounds of Furloughs (not counting this present one). They weren’t called Furloughs then. They were called Personal Leave Program (PLP). We had one day per month where we had to work with no pay (this was the equivalent of a 5% pay cut). In exchange, we received 1 day (8 hours) banked under “PLP” which could be used as vacation. The first go around, I accrued 144 hours, the second was in 2003 and I accrued 94 hours. I still have the full bank of hours.
Since then we had about 6 years of no cost of living increase when the inflation rates were 3-4% per year. To offset some of this, we were given an extra holiday. Big deal.
Working for the State has always been a trade off. The State has always paid its staff less than the average pay for like work in the private industry. For example, when I was earning 40K per year, my counterparts in private industry were earning about 60K, PLUS profit sharing. The trade off was that we had 40 hour weeks instead of 50+ and a marginally better benefit package.
Of course, now, 2 holidays have been snatched away from us, and our benefit package is not near as good as private industry, and our pay scales are still below comparable positions in the private sector. We have been furloughed for 2 days per month starting in Feb. 2009, then 3 days per month that started in July 2009. Add it up, it amounts to losing 2 months of pay. That’s a lot.
Negotiations are on going for the next fiscal year. We are now facing the possibility of a permanent 5% cut in salaries (which would also reduce our retirement), one day furlough per month, and a 5% (doubling) increase in our contribution to our retirement. Oh…and yes, a significant increase in payment for health care. It makes the 3 day furlough per month look good.
To add insult on injury, since it is doubtful that the budget will be passed in time (June 30) , they are threatening to pay us Federal minimum wage (not even State minimum wage which is a bit higher) until the budget is passed. There have been years when the budget debates have dragged on until September, so it can become a significant hardship. Sure, once the budget is passed, we are to be paid the balance of our salaries (and that can take a while to get those checks cut), but in the mean time, how do we meet our personal financial obligations? Do you think the banks will be understanding when our mortgages go unpaid? Do you think that my Visa card will wave a late fee?
To those who have a hatred for State employees because you think we are all a bunch of worthless, lazy do-nothing slobs who live off of the hard work of others, think again. Who does process your disability checks? Welfare checks? DMV? Who is it that enforces workplace safety, environmental safety, and a performs a host of other services that you depend on? Who do you call when you want to complain that your work place is making you sick? Who tries to keep the air you breathe and the water you drink safe? State employees are often blamed for things that are beyond our control. Often we are hamstrung by those with loftier positions who sit much closer to the Governor. Those of us rank and file employees do the best we can with what little support we have. Don’t blame us for the handi- work of politicians. Do you hate the long lines at the DMV? Believe me, the employees at the DMV would love to have more employees to help you out the door faster. Don’t blame them, blame those who determine how many can be hired.
How can we possibly keep up our moral when every year when the State finds itself in financial crisis it uses its own employees to balance the budget upon? How can we keep up our moral when an X-Governor stated publicly that he disliked State Employees? How can we keep our morale when the very laws we expect other employers to abide by are thrown aside and ignored for those of us who go out to enforce the laws that don't seem to apply to ourselves? Sometimes, I think we are second rate in the eyes of the Governor, and various Division heads.
Maybe I will find a busy street, set up my own lemonade stand, bake some cookies to sell, with a side of beaded earrings. Maybe that will tie me over till the budget is passed. I doubt I will have to worry about the State Board of Equalization visiting me. There might even be a State Board Employee setting up shop next to me!
Those of you who have been following along know that I have a particular fondness for Gnomes (and bears). I have a nice collection of them. Most in the back of the house, and some in the front.
I went off to do my day job this morning, and came back home for lunch. I thought it odd that my token pink flamingo was in the middle of the front yard and not with the gnomes where he belongs. I wondered that perhaps Steve might have done some work in the front yard and simply moved him out of the way.
But that was not the case. Upon closer inspection...sadly a few of my Gnomes got nabbed. In particular the large solar light of 2 gnomes playing checkers, and a few other smaller gnomes and a turtle. This happened this morning while I was away. Steve heard nothing, even though he was home.
As tacky and corny as some people find gnomes, I took a bit of pride that I had a nice rose garden with gnomes. It made my home have a magical feel that made me smile to see it when I came home from work.
Of course...to prevent further theft, we moved the remaining gnomes and Barney to the back, where I hope they will be safe.
I don't know if this is true, but one of the neighbors stated that someone near by had a gnome thrown thru their car window. I don't know when this supposedly happened. I don't think it was one of my gnomes, but it is possible I might be missing one that I forgot about. Perhaps it was one from another garden, I noticed during my walk that there are 2 other homes with a couple of gnomes.
Sometimes I think I should stop listening to the news. All too often there is something that really gets under my skin. Today, the news item that infuriated me was the news that McDonald’s is being sued by consumer advocate groups regarding targeting their marketing of Happy Meals towards children.
I am NOT a fan of McDonald’s (or similar fast food restaurants). I only find them useful as potty-stops while I am enroute somewhere. The last time I ate at McDonald’s may have been about a year ago. And even then I wondered why I made that choice. It always amazes me when I drive past McDonald’s on my way home from work that there is always a long line at the Drive-Thru windows (and don’t get me started on Drive-Thru windows. That is another topic.). I am surprised that there are people who actually choose to eat there! Really?? And since the establishment is not even near a freeway, but very near a residential neighborhood, these folks can’t claim needing a “pit stop” and something to eat while on a long road trip. Why people would choose to eat the greasy, mostly tasteless boring food is beyond me.
All that aside, I am appalled that McDonald’s is being sued over kid-geared advertising of Happy Meals. I totally support McDonald’s in creating and advertising something that would appeal to kids. To me, it all comes under the header of Freedom of Choice, which as an American, should be very important to all of us.
I do not argue that Happy Meals is geared toward the 12 and under group of kids (my estimation of the target audience, I don’t really know the “official” target of the corporation). I can’t see a self respecting teenager-wanna-be-adult wanting a Happy Meal, do you? Unless of course, the toy is really cool. Nor do I feel that Happy Meals are a good thing for kids. Kids should not have a diet that is full of bad food like this.
Since it is youngsters that the marketing is geared towards, how many 5 year olds do you see driving or walking to McDonald’s alone to make their food choices? If you see any, then I believe there are much larger issues that need to be dealt with.
It is the PARENTS who make the choice of going to McDonald’s in the first place. It is the PARENTS who make the choice of buying their kids Happy Meals. If we hold anyone responsible for the over consumption of Happy Meals, should it not be the parents and not McDonalds?
Happy Meals were available when Jasmine was a young child. We never went to McDonalds with any regularity. Sure, sometimes she wanted a toy that McDonald’s offered in their Happy Meals. Sometimes I would take her and we would have a “treat” (or was it a punishment?). Other times, I would slip in and ask to just buy the toy for her. Unless things have changed since then, parents can buy the toy without the meal.
There are many unhealthy food items that are marketed towards children (and adults too, lets face that fact). Overly processed, overly sweet, overly fatty, lacking significant nutritional foods such as cereals, candy, prepackaged lunches, and beverages with colors that just do not exist in nature are marketed heavily on TV and other venues that children watch or listen to. When was the last time you saw an ad for Fresh Express Salads geared toward a 7 year old? Don't we "vote" for keeping products available by our dollars we spend on them? If you don't like it/want it, don't buy it. Enough people who don't buy a bad product will cause a company to stop making it. That's simple economics.
So now comes a group that blames McDonald’s for the poor choices that parents make and wants to sue McDonalds. They want to control what McDonald’s sells and how they advertise. The side effect is that they wish to control our ability to choose.
Over and over again, I see regulations and lawsuits that want to control something because it is perceived that we aren’t able to make decisions or take responsibility as adults. Regulations and laws are set up to protect the stupid from being stupid and injuring or killing themselves. Self-responsibility is taken away from individuals and assigned to someone else. We then become brainless drones.
Many parents do not want to be parents. They do not want to guide, teach or discipline their children, because it is work, and at times unpleasant. The director of Center for Science in the Public Interest (DO WE REALLY NEED AN ORGANIZATION LIKE THIS??!!), Michael Jacobson says:
“At some point parents get worn down. They don’t always want to be saying no to their children. We feel like an awful lot of parents would be relieved if this onepressure was removed from them.” (Click here for article).
With all due respect, Mr Jacobson, TOO F-ING BAD!!! Part of being a parent is guiding and teaching a child about food choices, about advertising and how it plays on the desire to be like those artificial people in the commercials. Parenting also requires learning how to say “NO” to a child and being firm with the child, no matter how much he wants a Happy Meal or whatever else if that is something that the child should not/cannot have. Too bad if the parent has to say "No". Children will test and they will try to wear a parent down. Either be a parent or don’t have children! How many "pressures" should parents be allowed then? Two? Three? If a parent can’t say “NO” to a Happy Meal and stand by that decision, how the hell can that parent place limits on much more difficult issues such as dating, and moral behavior?
If the case against McDonald’s does go to litigation, I sincerely hope that McDonald’s wins. Not because I like McDonald’s, but because there is a much larger issue at stake. Freedom of Choice, Free Enterprise, and the acceptance of personal responsibility are the REAL issues, not marketing strategies.
If McDonald’s loses, what choices and freedoms will be next on the firing squad’s cross hairs? Maybe I can suggest a few…
Perhaps Ice Cream should be taken off the grocery store shelves, especially in the summer. As good as it tastes, what nutritional value does this fat laden goodie have?
Let's add potato chips, and all sorts of instant dinners (such as Hamburger Helper, Macaroni and Cheese), Spam and Velveeta while we are at it. They are overly processed junk! Let's make everyone cook from scratch.
Should we go back to prohibition? No more fruity rum drinks in the summer for me? Or Red wine with dinner?
Perhaps Amazon should stop sending me emails with advertising based on my shopping history. They always know what books I just can’t live without!! Amazon is the cause of much of my credit card spending. Maybe I could blame them for my high bills.
Or maybe the windows of Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma should be blacked out so that I am not tempted to go into the store and buy a new cooking toy. Ditto on blaming them for my credit card bills!
Maybe my favorite travel company should stop mailing me brochures that make me want to travel. If I never traveled, maybe my other bills would be paid! Help me from myself!!
How about the pretty shiny displays of beads at a bead store? Shouldn’t they be less attractive so that I won’t be tempted to overextend my budget? The worst culprits of my overspending..Ha!! Let me blame Fire Mountain Gems and Shipwreck Beads, Caravan Beads....and the list goes on. They are hazardous for my financial health. Consumer Advocacy Groups come help protect me from myself!! PLEASE!!!
Nah…I say we should have the choices. Good, bad and indifferent. If you want choices to be made for you, if you think that someone not only should but must make those choices for you that are “in your best interest” so that you don’t have to consider the benefits and consequences of your choices then perhaps you should move somewhere where they do all of this for you…How about somewhere like Afghanistan, or North Korea?
This week’s Tipsy Tuesday question is from Cindy. If you have a question on any subject (it doesn’t need to be on beading) send it in. It could earn you a free pattern and maybe an entertaining answer!
When working in peyote (I usually am working on smaller pieces that I can finish faster because I have so many projects that I want to work on – and always have started), I found that while stitching the piece I have to flip the project over each row because I find that working one direction I catch the thread on my finger (i.e. when I work a row that I point my needle down as I am working I don’t catch the thread around a finger – and when I don’t flip the piece over and I am attaching the beads by passing the needle upwards the thread catches on my finger. Is this normal? Or, is there something else that I haven’t thought of to do other than flipping the piece over so that the needle always passes downward through a bead so that the thread doesn’t have a finger to catch on? I find it easier if I don’t have to flip the project if it is more detailed.
How do you handle working on a larger project. I am getting ready to work on a larger piece and I wondered whether you held the whole piece in your hand (like a smaller project) or do you keep the larger piece flat on the table? I would be interested to know how you work on your larger pieces.
Every one has their way of holding beadwork, there is no single right way. It can take a little experimentation to find what works best for you. This is what works for me:
I hold the beadwork that I am working on. It is very rare when I work with it laying on the table. I find that I have much better control of the piece and tension when I hold it.
For peyote stitched panels and tapestries I hold the piece at right angles to my body and work away from my body. I will always work in that direction. For the tapestries, once they are big enough, I will roll them up, leaving the working edge exposed. Leaving a large piece fully open would make it hard to work on.
For brick stitch, I do work with it horizontally, and rarely do I flip the work. I work with the piece oriented in the same position as it should be when it is done.
No matter how you hold your work, it has to be comfortable for you. What is comfortable for me, might not be for you. Sometimes it just takes a few tries to see what you like!
Norm the Gnome in the Know's Response:
If I don’t hold my tools just right, I get blisters! Sometimes I might even get a splinter from my wooden handled tools. Wearing gloves to protect your hands might be smart.
Also make sure the tools you use are the right size for you so that you can hold onto them, and work with them with the right leverage.
Barney the Brainy Bruin’s Response:
Hold onto work? NEVER!!! Oh I think Humans are silly. Why would you want to hold onto work? I try to dump off my work onto someone else as quick as I can! Let someone else do it!
This past weekend, Jasmine and I went over to the coast. The main reason we made the trek was not really a “get away” as it was to check out a couple of wedding venues.
I just cannot believe my little girl is getting married. Those of you who have read my marathon memoir “Narcissistic Sundays” on this blog, know how close we are. I am just adjusting (still) to her having finished college (Masters in Education), being an adult (often more so than me) and living in her own apartment (what do you mean she isn’t coming home tonight?). Now this!!
No, it was not a surprise. Jasmine and Ozgur have been together for about 3 years. She met him in Istanbul when she took a Study Abroad Program. He was one of the program assistants. Yes, he is Turkish, he speaks English very well, and seems to be a very nice young man. I can hardly wait to meet him.
The immigration process has been long and arduous for Jasmine and Ozgur to get through. The final interview date is set for Sept. 15, 2010. If all goes well (and there is no reason why it shouldn’t) then Ozgur should be in California by the end of September.
Since he is coming over on the “Fiancé Visa”, the time frame is quite short for the two to become married. With that as part of the driving force, Jasmine wanted to start making arrangements for the wedding.
The first place we checked was a rustic outdoorsy type of place. We camped there on Friday night, and toured the place on Saturday. It was a lovely place but would take a lot of work to decorate.
The second place we considered was the one Jasmine fell in love with. Flowers were everywhere. It was the right size for our small (tiny) gathering of about 20 people. And what we loved is that we weren’t feeding a large corporation. This is a small privately owned by a husband and wife Bed and Breakfast. The wife was so happy we signed up with them that she was in tears.
The date is set for Oct 18, 2010. Hopefully everything will go well with the immigration. Then Ozgur will have the challenges of adjusting to living in the US, which shouldn’t be too difficult. Hopefully, he can find a job, which I know might be a challenge. But I am sure that he will have the drive that he needs to make it all work.
So now…in the future, I see myself looking on, singing (at least in my mind)…”Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler in the Roof. And getting all emotional.
On the other side…It will be a joyous occasion. Jasmine will be so happy. If she is happy, then I am too.
Then, I will have to accept that Jasmine has grown up, I will no longer have my little girl…
But on the other side…I will have the son I always wished I had.
"Barney was pretty frantic" said Superfly as he continued with his report.
Barney looked high and low, here, there and everywhere for his dear friend Norm. Just as Barney was about to give up hope in finding Norm, he smelled something. “It smells like Norm’s favorite dinner!! It smells like Schnitzel, Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage and Spaetzle!” said Barney. He followed the familiar smell until he got to a big hollow log. He scraped away the brush and rocks and there was Norm!!
“BARNEY!!! How did you get here!!???” exclaimed Norm as he leapt for joy.
“What are you doing here, away from the other Gnomes? I didn’t think I would ever find you!”
“ Barney, it was awful!! I was in the garden thinking about our silly argument and thinking about what good friends we are. I was so deep in thought, I never noticed the G.O.O.N.s as they snuck up behind me. One bit me, and everything went dark. When I woke up, I was in this awful place. I saw so many of our friends working in the factory...or worse!! I wept, I was so sad about the horrible sight and thinking I would never see you, or my lovely wife Olga again! The G.O.O.N.s didn’t put me to work in the factory with the others. They wanted me to work as their cook. That’s why I am here.... Where are the G.O.O.N.s?"
Barney told Norm the story as they walked back to the others. By the time they got back to where everyone was, they were all gathered around Ms. Tabby and Jenz. Jenz was telling everyone about how Ms. Tabby had helped take him to G.O.O.N.-Ville.
"Yes" said Barney. "When the troops and I came upon your town, Jenz, we were told that you and Ms. Tabby were off to where the G.O.O.Ns lived! We followed Ms Tabby's tracks! That's how we found you!"
The Gnomes told Barney how they had to string and bag cheap necklaces and plastic beads and all the horror behind it. They said they learned that many Humans allowed Lawn Ornaments and Gnomes to be captured and taken away by the G.O.O.N.s because Humans did not appreciate the magic they bring to gardens. To these Humans, Gnomes and Lawn Ornaments were “Creepy” and “Tacky”. Gnomes and their friends were often neglected and not loved. Some Humans do not realize the joy, color and wonder that Gnomes and their friends bring to gardens, and even inside Humans’ homes.
What is a garden without a Gnome? Gnomes keep flowers company, encourage them to grow and help to keep magic alive. Lawn Ornaments such as other animals, cherubs and gazing Orbs, add to the magic in a garden too. Flowers, Gnomes and Lawn Ornaments together create a magical land that Humans can escape to for joy and comfort. How can anyone be sad when they visit a magic garden? Perhaps those who understand this, need to tell others of the magic and joy that can come with these little people and their friends.
"Now my job is done." said Superfly, running his fingers through his trademark Afro." I think I will help myself to one of the G.O.O.N's scooters!"With that, Superfly went off to who knows where, to become a "fly on the wall" for someone else needing his services.
The rest of the story, is pretty simple. The walk home for the Gnomes and the Lawn Ornaments was a joyous walk.
Families and friends were united. A huge celebration unlike any ever before was held. And of course, Ms. Tabby was invited.
The Gnomes were happy to see their flowers. Lawn Ornaments were happy to reclaim their positions. Once again, gardens grew and flourished. Ms. Tabby prowls around the gardens constantly keeping an ever watchful eye for G.O.O.N.s and their friends the C.A.T.s. She vowed to protect the magical garden-villages for all of her nine lives.
If you ever wake-up in the middle of the night and think you hear singing and laughter, but you are not quite sure where it’s coming from, or if you might have imagined it, and if you have a Gnome or two in your garden and you notice that they are not in the same place as where you thought you last saw them, that is because when you aren’t watching, the Gnomes come to life and celebrate their freedom and the joy of being in YOUR garden. Please love them always, and they will always love you in return.
As for Barney and Norm. They are finally back home with me. They have forgotten what they argued about (which set this whole story in motion). They are best friends again, and eager to help me out in answering your questions on "Tipsy Tuesdays".
Even Norm’s lovely wife Olga does not mind if Norm doesn’t get all the chores done, as long as they share time together!
I am glad Barney and Norm are back, as are all the Gnomes in my own garden.
Now that you know where they come from…if you love Gnomes, don’t buy cheap plastic beads! They are the residuals of forced Gnome Labor. And the Plastic Animal beads, well you know now where they come from, don't you? Oh the sadness of it all, still makes me cry!
To celebrate, and if you too believe in the magic of Gnomes (and other Lawn Ornaments) here is a free bracelet pattern of our Heros! Wear it proudly in support and love of our magical little people!!
“We have you now!” said the lead G.O.O.N (Garden Ornament Only Nabber). “And to think that you were one of our own, Ms. Tabby! Now you will be caged and never let out. And thanks for bringing us a new Gnome for our factory!”
Jenz was dragged to the Gnome Factory. Here, under the watchful eye of the guards, Gnomes were put to work in packaging the plastic beads, and stringing shrunken Lawn Ornaments into necklaces. The Gnomes were forced to work at full speed.
The Gnomes had to toil day and night. They could never go outside to work in gardens. They were never allowed to see flowers. Without gardens and flowers many Gnomes were horribly depressed. Some Gnomes recognized Lawn Ornaments that had dwelled in their villages, now they were tiny and destined to become cheap necklaces. Upon seeing this, many Gnomes would weep for hours.
Jenz was thrown into a room with a few other “new” Gnomes. “We have to get out of here!” he whispered to the Gnomes. “We have to come up with a plan!”
Still groggy from the G.O.O.N.’s venomous bite, one of the Gnomes said, “There are rumors that Barney the Brainy Bruin is leading an army of Gnomes, Flamingos and Cherubs. Maybe they will be here soon. We can only hope!"
“QUIET!! NO TALKING IS ALLOWED!! UNLESS IT IS ME!!” barked the Guard.
Jenz was about to say something to the G.O.O.N. when he heard a big commotion outside.
Sirens went off, G.O.O.N.s were running about everywhere. Even the Factory Guard G.O.O.N.s left their posts. It was pure bedlam! Jenz saw this as his opportunity. “GNOMES!! It is time for our escape!! Let’s go!!”.
The Gnomes left their work stations, exhilarated that they had a chance to go outside into the sun. Once outside, they discovered what the commotion was about. Barney had lead his troops of Gnomes, Cherubs and Flamingos into the G.O.O.N.-ville! Gnomes and Lawn Ornaments were being released from their cages! G.O.O.N.s were being captured and caged in the same cages that once held the captured Gnomes and Lawn Ornaments.
Barney’s army was too strong, and too many in numbers for the G.O.O.N.s to stand a chance. Soon they were all gathered and caged.
Everyone rejoiced. “HORRAY FOR BARNEY AND BARNEY’S ARMY!!” Yelled the Gnomes and Lawn Ornaments.
But Barney was not happy. “NORM??” he shouted. “Norm!! Where are you?”
Barney walked through the crowds, desperately looking for his best friend. He was happy to have saved all the Gnomes and Lawn Ornaments, but he wanted his friend. He began to worry that something horrible happened to Norm.
"My sense of duty got the best of me." said Superfly. "Who would hire me, if I didn't continue with Jenz and Ms Tabby! So I landed on Ms Tabby's back and lay still, so I would be unnoticed. This is what happened next":
Jenz grabbed Ms. Tabby’s underbelly fur and squeezed his legs around her tummy. Ms. Tabby approached the hollowed out log. The G.O.O.N. (Garden Ornament Only Nabber) in charge looked at Ms. Tabby. “Hi Ms. Tabby” he squeaked. “What brings you here? I don’t have you on my list of approvals to enter to the operation.”
“ I was sent by THE SHOPPE to bring a special order.” Ms. Tabby replied. “They have really large order that they need right away!"
The guard looked at her suspiciously.
“Hey! I know where there is a wonderful bowl of cream! You still like cream, don’t you?” Ms. Tabby asked.
“OH BOY!!” replied the guard. “Yes I do!!”
Ms. Tabby told the guard where he could find the bowl of cream and the guard allowed Ms. Tabby entrance into the log.
Through the log, down a great depth went our two heroes. At the end, Ms. Tabby was met by another guard.
“State your business.” barked the guard.
Ms. Tabby told him about the special order for The SHOPPE.
“Let me see the paperwork.” Demanded the guard.
Ms. Tabby hesitated. “I don’t have the paperwork. I was told only to put in an order of five Kilos of plastic and resin animal shaped beads.
“Five Kilos of animal shaped plastic and resin beads? Where do you think we get the plastic and resin from to make them?”
“From the the Lawn Ornaments!” Ms Tabby said. “That is why the G.O.O.N.s have been nabbing Lawn Ornaments, right? You shrink the flamingos and other animals down and make beads of them so you can have the captured Gnomes work on assembly lines to string them together and package them. We all know that!"
Before the guard could answer, Jenz lost his grip of Ms Tabby’s fur. He fell with a thud. Hearing what became of the Gnomes and other Lawn Ornaments was too much for him to take. The guard heard the noise.
“Hey!! YOU!!! Where did you come from??!!”
Jenz jumped to his feet and started to run, but at the sight before him, he couldn’t move. Caged Gnomes and Lawn Ornaments were everywhere! The poor things were frightened, not knowing their fate. Jenz was in shock. He didn't know what to do.
Ms. Tabby ran to Jenz’s side, knowing that she would need to protect him. The G.O.O.N guard started to make his way to Jenz to capture him. Ms. Tabby was quick on the counter attack. While in mid air, she yelled, “Hurry Jenz!! Open the cages!! Let out all the Gnomes and Lawn Ornaments!! HURRY!!!”
G.O.O.N.s were coming out from everywhere. Ms. Tabby and Jenz could not fight them all. They were doing the best they could, but it was just the two of them against about 100 G.O.O.N.s Surely they would be imprisoned with an uncertain fate. If only they had more help!
It was just then that a net was thrown over Ms. Tabby, and the G.O.O.N.s surrounded Jenz.