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Monday, December 27, 2010

Gourds and Reciept Confusion

We had a wonderful time at the gourd farm. This time we took a different route through Fallbrook because of some road damage on the usual route. We only saw one place the road was still a bit flooded but it was no big deal. But you could see the high water line had flooded out the road a few days ago.

Mostly we got bottle gourds because they were 70% off.  Even the mini gourds and the jewelry gourds were still $70 off as long as they were bottle shaped (big on top and bottom, with a smaller waist). I couldn't resist getting 3 warty gourds as well.
After the talley we went inside the shop to get everything rung up. I about had a heart attack when the cashier said the price of my gourds with the discount was almost $200. But my boyfriend kept saying she knew her job and if she said that was the total, then that was the total. So I wandered around the shop while he rang up his gourds.  A bit later when the cashier went to put it on the credit card, she saw she'd rung up the 3 warty gourds as 54 warty gourds, so when she fixed that the total dropped down to about $70. Thank goodness I was right and they caught the error before I was halfway home. But how come neither one of them believed me when I said the price she first rang up couldn't possibly be right?

We also asked her to subtotal mine, and his, so I'd know how much I owed him, but when all was said and done she put the sale gourds on one receipt and everything else on the other, so I still don't know how much I owe him. We are going to have to recount and re-lable everything so I can find out whose gourds are whose. I probably got 100 gourds.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gourd Sale At Welburn Gourd Farm

According to my boyfriend, Welburn Gourd Farm is having a 70% off sale on bottle gourds. I'm sure these are the very end of last year's crop. And since we use them to make canteens, vases, and water jugs, we always need some.  I use the bottle gourds for dolls, birdhouses and vases. So with any luck we'll drive out there first thing in the morning.

I hope to get some more little gourds to make gourd necklaces.  I really need to show some restraint or I end up buying way too many.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gourds and Rain

I just wrote an article on crafts here: It features some gourd art so I thought I'd mention it in this blog. I'm looking forward to exploring more pyrography. 

Fish Gourd Bowl by Guy Taylor
We've been getting a lot of rain. One of the bins of gourds on the patio that is sealed against the weather was really heavy when my boyfriend tried to move it. As you know, gourds are super light, so there is no reason this should have been heavy. So he opens it and stink-o. Somehow it was filled with water. So we dumped everything on the dirt to dry again.  That was before this rainstorm that's been going for four days already, so they are all wet again. I sure hope we can save most of them.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Gourds and Hubpages

I've been reviewing and updating all my gourd articles on Hubpages. Hubpages has made so many improvements in the way things are catergorized and linked together, that I had to edit things to catch up with the newer features. If you don't know about Hubpages, come say hi. Hubpages . The link will take you to my gourd santa page and you can maneuver from there.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Beauty of Flaws

Almost every gourd has some sort of flaw in the way of a crack, a wart, or a flat spot where it had been laying on the ground.  But for many gourd artists these are the gourds they go looking for at the gourd farm. Because it is these very flaws that add character and interest to a gourd. I call them 'character flaws'.

Cracks can be laced up or used as doorways and windows.  Indentations can be used as a place to inset a special stone or gem. Lumps and bumps can indicate facial features, animal horns, or distressed marks.

Severely damaged gourds can still be cut into bits to use for pendants, earrings, or parts to add on to other gourds as ears, beaks, or feet. Let your imagination roam free as to how best to use your 'character flaws'.

Canteen gourd with interesting cracks.

This burl like texture was from the gourd resting on the ground.

This is a sock monkey swing.
The gourd had a crack that was decorated and strenghtened using artificial sinew.

The back of the gourd was very thin so I cut it out to form this window for the monkey's tail.

Here is the jester monkey sitting in his gourd swing.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Quick Demo w/ Brewer's Pitch

Use great care when working with melted brewer's pitch. It was so hot steam was coming out of the gourd and one stray drop melted a hole right through the plastic drop cloth underneath.

Working With Brewer's Pitch

Vessels holding fluid work better if coated with something. Here we used brewer's pitch to coat the inside of some gourd pitchers.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Boyfriend's Gourd Projects

My boyfriend has been working on gourd drums and gourd pitchers. I love the wood burning he did on the lettering. His style is very different than mine. On the table you can see the wood burner.
He has his own gourd blog here:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gourd Drum

I worked on a gourd drum today that I'd already dyed yellow and red. As I was cleaning out the interior a bit better, I found a bunch of tiny spiders inside. I guess they'd made it their nest. It seems insects like the pithy interior of gourds. That part gets removed when you clean it, but I've found some bugs like to burrow inside it.
My hands gave out before I was done sanding the top and bottom level. The rest of it will have to wait for another day.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Gourd Nativity Scene

Two days before Christmas I get an insane idea to make a Nativity Scene out of gourds, including the people. It was a present. I barely got it done in time. The clear acrylic spray was still slightly tacky. For inside the 'stable' I used raffia cut into bits. First I tried putting long pieces in there but that was too springy. I used a bit of natural color roving to set the sheep and wisemen on, and I used a wee bit of white roving for under the baby Jesus.

The woman I made it for loved it. And that's what mattered.

The Welburn Gourd Farm is having a clearance of last  year's gourds right now for 50% off, so we are planning a trip out there in a day or two. Hit hard by the recession, they even have a 75% off voucher on their website right now, but you have to spend $200 for the privilege and we just don't need that many gourds sitting around.