Artsy Things The Gnome Project

Published on May 18th, 2015 | by Julie Finn


The Gnome Project: Jessica Peill-Meininghaus Makes a Gnome Every. Single. DAY

Crafter Jessica Peill-Meininghaus makes a gnome a day. She calls it The Gnome Project, and it’s her daily meditation.

The Gnome Project: Jessica Peill-Meininghaus Makes a Gnome Every. Single. DAY

I don’t have a daily “practice.”

I don’t meditate (boring). I don’t pray (atheist). I don’t do yoga (also boring).

Sure, I clean and cook and exercise every day, but those things suuuuuuck, and I only do them so that I don’t starve or die from a bacterial infection or inertia.

So, like all good rubberneckers, I found it appealing to read the memoir of someone who DOES have a practice.

A non-boring practice.

A CRAFTY practice!

In The Gnome Project (which I received free from a PR firm, because strangers offer me free things and sometimes I take them), author Jessica Peill-Meininghaus explores the act of creating a daily practice, using an intent to make a needle-felted gnome every single day for a year as her spine. During the process, Peill-Meininghaus worked through the challenges inherent in such a daily commitment, and eventually began to experience the benefits, as well.

But of course, I’m mostly interested in the gnomes!

Needle felting is one of the ever shrinking number of crafts that I have not yet tried, and I was fascinated to watch Peill-Meininghaus’ gnomes develop throughout her year of daily gnome creation. She played with color, went through a baby gnomes in walnut shells phase, and grew as an artist as well as a crafter.

I love this idea of crafting as a daily practice. With the right choice of product and material, the process can be contemplative and enhance your skills and stretch your creativity. These gnomes, for instance, have infinite scope for variability, and yet they’re portable and relatively quick to complete.

It would be interesting to try this with another type of art or craft that one would want to improve in. I could see sitting down to a daily embroidery, clay, drawing, or piecing project as other rewarding outlets for a crafty practice.

Photo credit: gnome image via Jessica Peill-Meininghaus

I received this book free from a PR firm, because I can’t review a book if it hasn’t inspired me to take needle-felting supplies on the city bus–and THAT was an adventure, let me tell you!

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

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