When a cougar had to be chased away by the neighbour’s dogs before starting the interview with the giant gnome creator, you know you’re talking to someone who lives close to nature.
Christy Cartmell spends a lot of time foraging in the forest in and around Hixon where she now lives.
She lived in Prince George for many years working as a care aide but when her beloved dementia patient passed away she knew she wanted to make a change.
“I moved back to Hixon to grow a market garden this year – I grew up in Hixon so I am coming back to my roots,” Cartmell said.
And when she needed some extra cash to winterize her home she turned to nature in the most creative way.
Cartmell built six giant gnomes using foraged materials.
“I thought it would be nice to create something from nature that would go beyond Christmas decorations that could last the whole winter season that was still Christmassy and fun,” Cartmell said.
“It seems people like them as much as I liked making them,” she added because she sold them all so quickly.
She created six charming characters – all uniquely different – but don’t ask her their names – that’s for each person who is providing the gnome their forever home to decide, she said.
The mythical woodland creatures were fashioned using spruce tree boughs for the bodies, moss, straw and dried perennials for beards. She assembled them using upside-down tomato cages and reused old pots.
Cartmell laughed about the square-thumbed mittens all the gnomes are sporting as she admits she’s no great seamstress.
But people are loving the bigger-than-life gnomes.
Some of the gnomes can be found in Hixon while others are living in Prince George.
Keep your eyes open for these unique creatures sure to bring a little joy into so very many hearts.