Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Norman the Storytelling Gnome...

This is Norman...

Norman the Storytelling Gnome came all the way to California from South Africa and was lovingly hand knit by an amazingly talented Waldorf Momma. He was knit with hand spun and hand dyed pure Merino wool and filled with pure fleece. He has two holes in his arms to put your fingers in to move him during his storytelling sessions and even comes with a bag of gems.

Norman arrived at our doorstep just before Easter, but was kept sleeping in his bag until we were ready to wake him and this is how it happened...

We decided to add a special addition to our normal bedtime routine in which the girls set up a circle on our rug, using small rocks we have collected on our numerous hikes, which we keep in a basket near our fireplace. The pine cones are brought out and set up, along with one special rock in particular, which will be Norman's sitting stone (this rock changes daily so all the rocks get a turn). Momma gets our seasonal table candle and the girls excitedly bring Norman (still sleeping in his bed) to wake.

This is Norman's bed - a lined basket with hand dyed silks...

The candle is lit and we all gather around the candlelight and say a verse which makes Norman *magically* come alive...

"Little gnome, wake from your sleep.
Tell us a tale, that we may keep!"

Norman, with the help of Momma, rises from his bed and greets each of us. Sometimes we have a bit of conversation before he begins his story, especially when the girls are feeling chatty.

The girls each pick a gem from his bag to hold while Norman takes his seat on his specially chosen rock and begins to weave a tale...

The girls listen intently...

They are quieted, reflective and inquisitive...

When the tale is finished, Norman yawns, stretches and settles down again for a rest. The girls tuck him into his bed, the candle is extinguished, the rocks and pine cones put away, and we head upstairs for the night.

I can't believe what a BIG hit Norman has been. We have always read to the girls and we have told stories to them, but I didn't realize what a huge impact the art of storytelling *with Norman* would have on them. Both of them can't stop talking about their beloved gnome and they both keep asking me when nighttime will fall because they can't wait for Norman to wake up and tell them another tale...part of what makes him so special is the ritual that surrounds his arousal and that he only comes out for the stories, so I'd love for others who haven't tried this yet to give it a go with one special *storyteller*, be it a gnome, a wooden animal, a silk scarf, a pine cone, or whatever you wish to try :)

As an fyi: for those interested, as of the date of this blog posting, Norman can be found on Linda's mamma 4 earth etsy site bookmarked on my blog. And the lovely silks can be found on the syrendell etsy site, also bookmarked.


  1. What a beautiful ritual. I bet Linda is so pleased with this; what a lucky little gnome to have found such a beautiful family.

    Thank you so much for your words and wishes today. I wish you the same, so many of us are in the same boat right now....I felt the need to speak out.

    Best wishes,
    Lisa ;)

  2. Hi Jen!
    I am so glad that Norman has settled in so well! You have taken such beautiful photos of him and I am so thrilled your girls love their story time! And I am so happy that Norman is so loved! Seamus is on his way to you and I can see that he will have a wonderful new home! Thank you so much for blogging about Norman, I really appreciate it!

    Chat soon,



  3. The candlelight photos really bring to life how beautiful this is!

  4. Oh, what a beautiful post! Norman looks so happy in your home, and tucked in with the silks. Linda is a very talented knitter. Your girls are just precious!