Sunday, March 6, 2011

Gnome Comes to Life in Palm Springs

It came to my attention that our garden Gnome was in rough shape. He was badly faded and in dis-repair after years of keeping watch so loyally for the past 9 years. There he stood, poolside all those years in the scorching hot, unforgiving desert sun and through many long nights in the cool moonlight, never a word or complaint. A local hummingbird brought the situation to my attention, whereby I realized something had to be done. After all, I didn't want a gnome uprising, revolt or protest, citing poor living conditions, lack of basic care and upkeep, and worse yet- no sun screen. I immediately took action. After all, not only did I wish to avoid a Gnome uprising of epic proportions, it was the right thing to do

I dispatched John to Michael's in Palm Springs to buy some Acrylic Folk Art craft paint. Fortunately his dad suggested we also buy some Krylon acrlyic clear coat spray with UV protection (see photo below)

Soon we were off and running. Rick's Gnome Restoration Service was born. A poolside studio was set up, to provide plenty of natural light, and also to ensure that our Gnome was comfortable. He stood ever-so-still as fresh coats of red paint were applied to his all-important official Gnome hat.
We deliberated about the color of his jacket (blue or green, blue or green. hmmmm. I tried to contact the Palm Springs Gnome Society, but they were closed (it was a Saturday). So we made an executive decision to go with blue. I think he felt left out of the decision because his back was turned when we started the blue jacket.
There was no question about the color of his belt. Brown. The Gnome giggled nervously as the tiny paint brush stroked his belly. I did my best to respect his personal space and maintained absolute professionalism at all times.
Hair and skin care was another matter. The Gnome was thrilled to get a deep cleansing facial and rejuvenating skin creams. He opted for a type of gnomey-collagen enriched substance to minimize wrinkles. I went to work and performed his skin and hair treatment in spot of shade. He smiled happily throughout the procedure. At this point I wish to put to rest any of the vicious rumors of any botox use on the Gnome. They are scurrilous attacks on him, so please!
While the Gnome waited for his skin and hair treatment to complete, I assessed his fingernails, a good manicure seemed in order. Naturally, being a Gnome he thought that was nonsense, and resisted any such treatment. 
Instead he continued to grip his axe handle firmly. I took that as a sign not to argue, so I let it go.  
Wearing my Tillman Rose Parade t-shirt I toiled away
Darkness fell and my Gnome Restoration Service was still underway. I had to let the Gnome know that his pants needed mending and fresh color. I checked his inside leg and measured the waist too. I had sufficient green paint to go to work. It is tricky business painting a Gnome's paints, let me tell you. I held him very steady as I painted around his nether regions. I nervously kept an eye on his hand which still gripped that super-sharp axe. One false move and he could have swung!
Soon darkness enveloped the patio, and yet I continued to toil away. The Gnome was getting antsy, but I still had to address his base and footing areas. A few coats of paint on his black books and he was as good as new. I think he wanted to wander off at this point, but I asked him to remain in place, with his feet firmly planted in the base. Being ever-so-polite, he complied with my request. Such a good chap.

The restoration was nearly complete, it had been a long day and the Gnome was tired from a full day of restoration and rejuvenation. The soft glow of the patio light was comforting and made the Gnome feel relaxed. He still needed a spray of clear acrylic, but that wouldn't be applied until the next morning. And so he rested for the evening.

Even the Palm Springs Gnome Society would approve
Early this morning, just after dawn, the Gnome had found his familiar place poolside under a palm and near his favorite Sago plant. I looked across the pool, smiled and waved to the Gnome and said 'Good Morning!' I'm quite sure he was smiling back at me too. But I hadn't had my coffee yet.

Woodstock stands happily in his garden
I went for my morning swim and went to the edge of the pool for a closer look at the Gnome. I reminded him that he would still need a clear coat spray sometime today. He protested, saying that he didn't want to be shiny and be laughed at my other Gnomes in Palm Springs. I assured him that I had matte finish acrylic spray, so no one would know he was wearing a protective finish. There was one last demand from the Gnome in his rights and privileges. He wanted a name. All these years he never had a name; frankly it never even occurred to me. Gnome rights! Gnome respect! He chanted, and mumbled something about contacting the Palm Springs Gnome Society tomorrow. I realized the error of my ways and agreed he deserved a name. My nieces chose his name: 'Woodstock', because he has an axe and chops wood. So the Gnome will henceforth be known as 'Woodstock' and shall live happily ever after in my garden in Palm Springs.


Intoxication of Easy Listening said...

Charming. Utterly. I think I had as much fun reading it as you did in the resoration process. :)

Rhodester said...

We have a neighbor who looks exactly like "Woodstock," only he's about five and a half feet tall. But no kidding. He always wears a hat similar to that and has a big, bushy beard and his face is identical.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful makeover! I had fun following that. Good color choices... And thank you for not making him shiny!

Rachel said...

Love your gnome! What a wonderful service you provided him. Woodstock should be happy to live in such luxury! Well done!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a delightful post, Rick...And your dear "Woodstock" looks absolutely wonderful! A freshly painted hnome is a Happy Gnone---that's for sure!

Tha nks so much for your understanding comment about the loss of Betty....I'm not sure I will ever get over it either---I know from past history these types of losses are not something you get over, but...maybe the pain will lesson, in time....Then again, maybe it won't. Time will tell. Right now I'm still feeling as if a truck had run over me and I'm im the 'recovery room'....very very tired....

Sharon said...

Thank you for sharing your Extreme Gnome Makeover. Very enjoyable!

KathyA said...

Now you've done it!!! I have to go outside and check out our gnome!

Cheryl said...

This had me laughing! So cute. I'm going to check on my gnomes now to make sure they're up to par.


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