I tried google, but I see a limited selection and thought maybe someone who made them, wouldn't necessarily have a website. Have you seen any for sale somewhere?
There are several places in this area (Lakes Region in central NH) that I've passed, but I don't know specific names. If you are going to be taking a trip this way or want to try contacting them through email or phone, I'll get more info for you.
There is also someone listed in NHMade, and though they don't have a website up (what's listed is 'under construction') you might be able to contact them through email or phone, both listed in the link below. Spofford is in the SW corner of NH between Keene and the VT border.
Here is a link that might be useful: contact info for Walston Woodcraft
Thanks Babs for those ideas...I have emailed Walston Woodcraft. That NHMade site is interesting. It reminded me to try 'Etsy' too, which is another website for home made items.
There are usually some at the NE Flower Show, if you happen to be going to that. (Not that I shop at the shows, mind you!)
I'm interested because my neighbors are driving me crazy. Most recently, they painted a bright mural on the back of their house, on an extension that's clearly illegal because it's about 3 feet from the boundary, no less. It's on a wall they can't see from their own yard, but it pretty much dominates the view from my kitchen window. I was thinking that mounting a few (lets say 20 or 30) whirlygigs on the fence there would get their attention. Just another fantasy, but it gives me a lot of joy to consider it.
I don't know of anyplace to buy them but your question brought back some wonderful memories. When I was growing up, my family went to the Adirondacks every summer. It was still quite remote--no highway from the NYC area where we lived. Just an interminable day in the back seat, my brother and I having turf wars.
When we finally got well north of the city, on Rte. 9, inching our way thru so many small towns, not a McDonald's in sight, the countryside would then stretch out. As we got farther north, we would start to see remote houses where they made whirligigs as a way to make a bit of money from the tourists driving by.
They were wonderful--so many differnt styles, according to the whims of the people who made them. They really were folk art, all spinning in the breeze. I knew we were finally getting close to the lake as the whirligig population increased.
No, my parents never stopped, never bought one. They were true New Yorkers and definitely not whirligig types. But I have to tell you...I think I am.
dtd, I would not have thought of the Flower Show, thanks. And I love your fantasy about the 20 or 30 whirligigs...lol. If they can't see the wall from their h*ouse, I guess it wouldn't really get you the desired effect, but I wonder if it would make you feel better? [g]
ginny, I have never had a whirligig in any h*ome I ever lived in and we moved a lot. Although I don't think my Mother was averse to them. She loved plants and gardens and animals and I think she would have enjoyed whirligigs. I don't remember a friend having one either. I've always enjoyed them when I've seen them but I guess I haven't seen one in some time. Usually when we were on vacation too, on the Cape maybe. I love anything that moves in the wind. I have a small collection of windchimes that I really enjoy.
Your reminiscing about your childhood has me remembering rides in the country when I was growing up. I remember the smell of the earth and growing 'things' that would waft through the window when you would really be in a rural area. And fireflies at night. Then once in awhile, you would drive by something fragrant. Haven't had that lovely experience in a long time. Of cou*rse, now there is air conditioned comfort as you ride along, but I don't know if that particular smell actually still exists.
My brother and I would always be in the back seat too, when we drove to the North Shore for vacations. I don't remember fighting too much, at least in the c*ar. It was another story at h*ome. [g] Maybe because it wasn't that long a ride. I loved to ride in the c*ar and my eyes would be glued out the window all the way there but inevitably, I would fall asleep on the way home. On longer trips my mother would try to keep us busy singing or looking for license plates, etc.
Also, talking about h*ome made wooden items that people would pick up a little extra cash with. My mother bought a small little dog h*ouse plaque for the kitchen wall from a neighbor. It had tiny little black scotty dogs with our names on them and hooks they hung on. If someone was in trouble their dog would go into the doghouse. lol I looked for one for a time, but I never did find one. Another thing I've tried to find without luck, was an old fashioned balsa wood Christmas decoration that had small candles on it and lighting the candles would make it move, I think. It had angels on it with trumpets and I seem to remember it was quite intricate. It was like an indoor wind chime. I have no idea how it worked.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane too. :-)
PM2: I've never seen one made of balsa wood, but this Angel Candle Chimes is the type we had as kids for Christmas decoration.
Claire, what a riot!! You know, I'm trying to sort out what I am remembering. That looks very familiar. Thinking about it, how could something made of balsa wood be used for candles like that. Well, thank you very much! I was starting to wonder if I was remembering it right, that candles would actually move it. Maybe I am remembering two hol*iday deco*rations and mixing them up. We did have something made of balsa wood, but I wonder what...lol. I do love the Vermont Country Store too. I didn't know they had an online site. I still get their catalog.
I don't know of anyone local, but I just got an email from one of my favorite on-line catalogs and they have some interesting whirligigs.
I went back to the site and just noticed that there's a Youtube video linked to the Garden Angel Whirligig. Click on the "Click to Play" under the picture to see the thing in action. They don't seem to have it for the Flamingos, though.
There's a place on RT 1 Seabrook, NH just south of the Home Depot on the east side of the street. Don't know the name, but I always notice all the whirlygigs outside!
PM2: Oh, but you ARE remembering correctly about the balsa-wood ! The ones
that my Dad brought home from Denmark in the 50's where made completely
of wood, and you had to use specific candles, short enough that they didn't
ignite the wood, but the warm up-draft caused the paddles to turn. Things
like that would never pass U.S. fire codes today, of course. . .which makes ME
remember my first Christmas in Denmark in the '60's, where they still used
real burning candles on the Christmas tree, held perfectly erect in cleverly
counterweighted lead candle holders. Ooops. . .I've drifted OT. . .
Thanks Claire, for the links, those are cute whirligigs. I like the Gar*den Angel and the Flamingos and the Dachshund. They all must work about the same I am sure.
Thanks jant...I can't remember the last time I was in the Seabrook area, but that's not that far. A nice Sunday drive away. It would be nice to see a selection in person.
Carl, Thanks! I thought I was losing my memory....lol. I have no idea why I remember those balsa angels that rotated with the candles, but they must have been very pretty and delightful to a ch*ild. It's too bad they couldn't make them any more, I would have liked to get one. I suppose they don't put real candles on Christmas trees in Denmark either. That's great that you've been to Denmark. I've always wanted to go. Have you been able to go recently? No, not OT at all. You are following along with the flow of the conversation, just what is called for. :-)
I think that they still must make the balsa angel spinners, though where to get them I'm not sure. When I was in the midwest during Dec. and Jan., I stayed with friends for about a week. Steve was assembling their two balsa & brass angel, c*ndle driven "merry-go-rounds." He and Peg had really had to search for them, and had found one on line and one I think locally.
I'll email and see if they can shed any light.
Prairiemoon: Found this interesting website for you!
P.S. Got back to Denmark again in the 80's, and it, and all of Scandinavia, are
some of the few European destinations I'd thoroughly enjoy spending time
in again. . .and some folks DO still use live candles on their Christmas
trees. . .some traditions never die out - or burn out, as the case may be!
Here is a link that might be useful: German Candle Pyramids
I've seen the angel chimes, both brass and wood, at gift shops--even Marshall's--at Christmas. Just start looking at Thanksgiving, or even before, sad to say.
If you want a truly wonderful, memorable Scandanavian Christmas experience, then put the Lucia celebration in early December in Boston on your calendar. Santa Lucia is a major Christmas festival in Sweden and I have celebrated it for many years, tho without a drop of Swedish blood.
The good ladies of SWEA Boston have the most fantastic festival every year--lots of delicious Swedish food to eat there or bring home, lots and lots of Swedish Christmas decorations, and of couse the traditional Lucia procession. That is barely scratching the surface.
One year, Will Ferrell was the host. His wife is Swedish. And sorry to say, I had never heard of him--"Who is this guy making jokes?" My kids were shocked, horrified that I was so dumb. I have been enlightened.
BTW, SWEA means Swedish Women's Educational Association and it promotes Swedish culture worldwide. What fun, even if you're Irish :)
Here is a link that might be useful: Lucia Day in Boston
If the SWEA Boston site opens in Swedish (what, you don't speak Swedish?), look for the little American flag in the upper left. Click on it for English.
And this year's Swedish Yuletide Lucia festival will be December 11. I advise getting there early for the best selection of food and decorations--and parking.
Well aren't you all a wealth of information. :-) That Angel Candle Pyramid is something else, Carl! Thanks for that link. It is sounding like I might be able to find one of the balsa wood angel spinners before Christmas. I haven't got time to look right now, but I definitely will. I would like to add it to our Christmas decorating.
Ginny, I've lived in the Bos*ton area my entire life and never heard of that festival. How interesting. It's nice to see how other people celebrate the holidays. I don't have a drop of Swedish blood either. [g] Thanks for that link.
I made over 75 different whirly-gigs at one time many years ago. I also bought Walston Woodcraft gigs too... A customer came to my store a few weeks ago looking for the bass fisherman... I have tried to contact Walston but no luck...
I do still make, per order, many of the regular style whirly-gigs like bears,turtles,and birds ect...
I am now a national wholesale/retail mfg. of cedar products but still craft and make over 300 other products...
Hope this helps and if you or anyone else is looking for a particular whirly-gig or other crafts please let me know...
Randy @ WOODCRAFT
Here is a link that might be useful: WOODCRAFT
If anyone had them, I would suspect you'd find them here (which would be a drive for you, but the Lakes region of NH is TOTALLY worth the drive).
This store is just SO COOL
Here is a link that might be useful: The Old Country Store, Moultonborough, NH
I know it's not local, but ebay has pages of whirligigs, new and vintage.
I've never had a whirligig, but I like them. I love brightly colored murals too, but I'd place it on the inside of a wall facing my house where *I* could see it, if I went to the trouble to paint one.