Monthly Archives: June 2011

Farm Craft

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The man who lived in our house before us was a farmer through and through. He left us an orchard, and a huge wood shop (he used to make and sell cabinets), and a trash bag full of dried out “bird house” gourds…among other things. He used to wood burn images of hunting and animals and landscapes on them an sell them on the side. Now the left over plain ones are all mine to do whatever I want with them.

I had never worked with gourds before and I had never wood burned anything. As for wood burning, the concept seemed easy enough. As for the gourds, I just had no clue. Fortunately, the gourds had been dried out already (…for about a decade in my attic) but unfortunately for anyone who wants to do it on there own it doesn’t seem like a very fun process. ( http://gardening.about.com/od/vegetables/a/DryingGourds.htm )

Anyway, I decided I would try my hand at making a tutorial on what I did when I found my gourd.

What you need to recreate these steps is…
A dried gourd
x-acto knife
medium grit sand paper (or sanding block)
pencil (or stamp with brown ink)
Cream and Charcoal colored paint
Paint brush
Wood burning tool and tips
Orange colored fine tip marker
Matte clear coat spray

I started by shoving an x-acto knife at the base of the cone part and cutting the entire top off at an angle. Inside was a gross, dry cobweb of that gunk that you find holding all the seeds together when you carve any pumpkin for Halloween. There was a bunch of seeds inside as well which I plan to plant. I don’t know if they’ll grow or not but I know several plants can remain in a dormant state for decades so we’ll see.

Anyway, after removing all the extra stuff, it looked a little like this.

I sanded down the inside so the veins weren’t so pronounced. I didn’t take a picture of it at the time but hopefully you can get the drift from this one.

I then drew a picture on the bottom that I wanted to wood burn into the gourd. I made a couple trial runs on the bottom and then I decided I wanted to paint the entire thing cream colored. I painted it and then I redrew my little flowers.

If you don’t want to draw your own image, you can stamp it on. I would use brown ink if you stamp though so it would look more like then burn in case you make a mistake.

After making sure my image was just the way I wanted it, I started wood burning. Let me tell you, a lot easier said than done. I think I screwed up a dozen times, but thankfully, you can’t really tell unless you look 🙂

After I finished wood burning the image on, I decided a little color would be nice. I colored in the petals with an orange fine tipped marker and I thought it looked awfully nice.

I then covered the entire thing with a matte clear coat.

Now comes the hard part – realizing when you’re actually done with a project. I liked the way it looked on the outside but the inside was still unfinished. So I painted the entire inside cream as well which was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be. The inside of the shell was spongy and absorbed the paint which was really annoying. I ended up going through an entire bottle of paint on one little gourd! Then I thought I would add a little depth by painting the bottom of the inside a charcoal gray.

So looking at it from the front it looks like this.

I think I’m going to do one more thing to it before I’m done. I think I’ll add one blade of grass and a flower to the back, directly in the center, on the inside. I’ll color it orange as well so I think it’ll bring it all together well at the end.

Ta Da! This is the finished product. I think I like it 🙂

I hope you enjoyed!

Captain Neen

For more ideas on what to do with any gourds you might come across try these links.

Gourd Candle Holder

World of Gourd Art

Movie Review: Death Wish (1974)

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Let’s talk for a little bit about movies. I really enjoy movies. I get it honest from my father (who could play three degrees to Kevin Bacon with every actor known to man from the early 60s to the 010s and probably even earlier). My fiance is not so much of a fan. In fact, he hadn’t even seen Miracle on 34th Street until I forced him to sit through it last Christmas. Oh well, we can’t all have time to sit around on our bum and take in a good movie at least once a week like some can. Anyway, I had the bright idea this evening to do a little movie review section in my blog. Now, I promise I’m not going to review any new movies because I’m sure you’ve seen enough about them already. I’ll try to work more on the things that have come out pre-1980s but the 80s and 90s were great for that grungy- I’m-running-away-from-home angst or “coming of age” movies as I suppose they’re categorized as. So we’ll see how this turns out.

Death Wish

I get most of my movies because my dad buys DVDs almost compulsively while I’m away at college and then over the summer I have plenty of new material to work with. So, tonight when I looked for something new I found one still in the wrapper. Death Wish. From the back it sounded like the Boondock Saints with a little bit more of a personal back story to it. I was right, but the beginning is so graphic I was on the verge of turning it off. My fiance up and left after asking what I was watching and then saying it was disgusting, but I decided to stick it out. It was if I was trying to sit through the beginning of Clockwork Orange -a good movie to see once but I’d rather fast forward the beginning than sit through it. Anyway, it gets a lot better after the daughter (who is old enough to be married and not a child btw) gets raped and the wife is beaten to death. Worst scene of the whole movie. The rest of it is great. I suggest watching it. This is simply Death Wish (1974), keep in mind that there are 6 of them and this only speaks for the first. Yay for squeezing every last dime out of any money making movie venture! *cough* land before time *cough.*

Fun fact, it was Jeff Goldblum’s first movie. He was the freaking rapist btw (super disappointed but I guess someone had to do it).

Anyway, check it out!

Good night folks,

Captain Neen

first summer craft

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I’ve seen a few posts around lately about succulent wreaths. They look great and in theory, seem to be a good idea so I thought I’d try to make one myself.

Instead of posting my own tutorial I thought I’d just share the one I used to make mine.

http://www.prudentbaby.com/2010/12/diy-simple-stunning-living-succulent.html

I thought it was simply beautiful and I only had two types of succulents (two different Hens and chicks) and I collected several types of moss from my own back yard. Anyway, here is a picture of mine about a month after I finished it. I thought I had taken a pic right after I made it but I can’t seem to find it.

1st summer project

I believe the two hens that seem to be lengthening out like they are is due to the fact it’s hung under my porch roof and isn’t getting as much light as it wants. I’m currently looking for a new place to hang it before it begins to look to other-worldly.

I hope you enjoy the tutorial, get out there and get crafting!