Friday, August 28, 2009

Gourds



My dad is what we in our family politely refer to as a "gourd enthusiast". In other words he is crazy about gourds! Gourds are (as you may know) relatives of squash and pumpkins. Lots of people like to use the small brightly colored gourds as fall table decorations. Not my dad! These days he mostly grows them for size. He can get them HUGE! He enters them in the fair every year and nearly always wins. Not this year unfortunately, as he and Mom came up here for a week this summer to stay with me and Emily while I was on call and Brad and Matt were away at Scout camp. All the gourd vines (they take over the entire yard) died of thirst. Sorry, Dad! This particular gourd is an African storage gourd (I left my card easel in the pic so you could see the size). They are lovely, round and smooth. While Dad and Mom were up here, I tried something I'd been wondering about for a long time--rub-ons on a gourd. Here I used some old SU ones. After I'd applied them I sprayed it with Matte Acrylic Spray. I think it turned out really cool! He also grows a couple of other varieties, dipper gourds (really long neck) and figure 8 gourds (I think they're called). They have a head, neck, and body, so you can tie a lanyard or something around the neck and carry stuff in the gourd. There is also a little wild gourd that grows near where he lives that is round and a bit smaller than a baseball. I think one reason my dad likes gourds so much is that he is a historian (retired) and gourds have played a big role in the way people live for centuries. My brothers and I used to be sort of embarrassed by the gourd thing, but then we found out that there are a LOT of "gourd enthusiasts" out there--some of them extremely artistic!

Keep in mind if you decide to decorate a gourd, the smaller they are, the more curvature they have. Less curvature makes it easier to apply the rub-ons, although if you use a vine type as I did here, it works pretty well. Hope you've enjoyed today's somewhat different post!

4 comments:

Sara Paschal said...

Great use for the rub-ons, sorry for your Dad's gourds this year. We have not had the right summer for any type of garden around here.

Banu said...

Amy this is beautiful. I am not a big fan of rubons, but seeing the decorated gourd, I am getting some neat ideas. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Chris said...

ok, your post made my day...my beloved, love of my life, grandfather loved his gourds...he made me a whole box of gourd birdhouses for me when we lived in navy housing. ppl thought we were nuts but we hung them up and the birds loved them. i don't have any of the big ones left, the squirrels and several moves later....but i have a small one that sits in my window to remind me of him. he passed away last year. so thank you for the memory. your gourd looks fabulous with the rub on. >"<

Jen said...

Beautiful!