How did my obsession with Garden Gnomes begin? I believe it would've been around 2005. I was playing a video game called Animal Crossing on the Nintendo GameCube. There was an item in the game that you could put in your house...the Garden Gnome. He was really cute.
One day I was in Deals (a dollar store) with our niece who also played the game. I saw ceramic Garden Ghomes for $1 each, so I got her one and me one, like in the game. That's where it began. I named him Elvis.
Elvis was my only GG for quite a while. I don't remember when the population started growing, but it was within a year, I'd say. I would see one here or there and buy them. Small ones, slightly larger ones.
I went on eBay and saw a pair of genuine English GGs. Had to have those. So I bought them and across the ocean they came. They arrived a little worse for the wear...one of them had a smashed foot. So my dad glued him back together, painted him up, and they were as good as new.
Within the past 2 years it grew into a full blown obsession. I have them at home, and lots more at work. I ran out of space at home, so I moved them to the office. My coworkers love them and have even contributed some in the form of gifts.
An online friend sent me a poster (Hanging with my Gnomies) and it's at work. I now have calendars, big GGs, little GGs, ceramic animals to go along with them. Candleholders (Yankee Candle had a great selection this spring.) Slippers, games, a Gnome-in-the-Box. Whatever I can get my hands on, reasonably priced.
They always make me smile.