Arizona Gourds
December updates from the desert southwest...
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Featured Books of the Month:

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Use our Amazon search box link to find all kinds of books and other products!  We appreciate those of you that do so; Amazon purchases made through the links on this website help to support this site.

*Do your holiday shopping with our links and support both the Gourd Art Enthusiasts and the Arizona Gourds website.
Here's an eclectic mixture of gourd books for you this month. 
Holiday Fun - Painting Christmas Gourds by Sammie Crawford fits right in with our holiday feature.  It's not to late to create some Christmas gifts or ornaments!   The Joy of Zentangle by 3 Certified Zentangle instructors including Suzanne McNeill is a brand new offering just released this month.  The Vanishing Gourds - A Sukkot mystery is a new Jewish holiday book for children.  Gourd Girls by Priscilla Wilson of Gerogia is a memoir about her life as a gourd grower and crafter.   The Gourdmother and Gourdfellas are mystery novels by Maggie Bruce.  I have corresponded with Maggie in the past, and she is a gourd crafter herself!
*Please visit the book page links shown at right to view collections of related  titles. Each topic includes a variety of suggested books about each subject.
What's new on the Arizona Gourds website? 
Featured Gourd of the Month:

"Patina Lizard Canteen"

Gourd canteen with textured patina coating and Apoxie Sculpt lizard.
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Printable PDF File
Newsletter Index - article and tip index from all the past newsletters
Newsletter Index
*Join the class updates list to receive advance notice of upcoming classes.  Get the news first and have the best chance for popular classes! 
The Gourd Art Enthusiasts site continues to grow!  We have about 2900 members, with gourd enthusiasts from all over the world!  Membership is free and easy.  The site also has state groups, event listings, a Q&A forum and a chat feature if you need an quick answer to a gourding question!  
Check out our two great new GAE T-Shirt designs ! 
*Want to see my listing of top gourd books?  Here is my  "Listmania" listing on Amazon
"Like" Arizona Gourds on Facebook to get special offers, up to the minute news about new products and classes, and other gourding updates.
(Just a note - I don't add gourd friends on my personal page, I save that for family and non-gourding friends.)
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Tip of the Month:  Green Scraping Gourds - and more
I always enjoy getting tips from our readers.  No matter how long you have been doing gourds, you can always learn new tricks!  This note came from Brenda Saffioti of Cherokee Village, Arkansas

"I recently got a green gourd and was going to scrape it as you suggest in your book, with a knife, and my husband suggested trying a potato peeler. It worked great! I did have to use the knife in tight spots.

I also have another suggestion for organizing my spools of leather. Put a dowel on a 3 inch base of wood and you are organized. Just wanted to share these tips with you and thanks for all the work you do for your letter. Lot of great ideas and tips."

Thanks to Brenda for sharing her ideas!  Do you have any helpful tips? We'd love to share them with our readers, and we'll be sure to give you proper credit.   Please send them to:
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*ALL Amazon purchases made through site links and the search box help support  Arizona Gourds and the Gourd Art Enthusiasts websites, and it costs you nothing extra!
Exciting news - Due to customer requests, we have changed our Patina paint supplier.  Our previous product was difficult for some people to use, and the shelf life was relatively short. 

We are now going to carry products made by the industry leader, Sculpt Nouveau.  This is the same product recommended and used by Judy Richie and Hellen Martin and is truly a top of the line, high quality product.  The metal coating paint is now packaged in a convenient jar instead of a bottle.  This makes it much easier to mix and to use.  The new product is far more lustrous, thick and creamy, and has a higher metal content.  The product application and use remains the same, but your results should be far better.  This product is so superior that it is even appropriate for outdoor use.  Each kit now contains an printed instruction sheet that is far easier to read than the small print on the product labels. 

Even though this product is of higher quality, and costs us more, we are going to keep the prices the same! Look for the new product on the Patina Paints page
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Reader's Mailbag
Hi Bonnie,  The feathers I started carving in our classes last summer are complete and I hope you can accept the gratitude for the role you have played in helping me to be the best I can be.  I love the process and I think there should be another word for a gourd that has been lovingly crafted.....     Sophia Delaat - Missouri
Book Review - One Gourd at a Time

Last month, Schiffer Publications released "One Gourd at a Time: A Beginner's Guide" by Tricia Sutton.  Over the years, there have been many gourd technique books published, and some are quite repetitive with information that is available in other books.  While this book is indeed, a book designed for beginning gourd crafters, it does include some newer materials and products and pulls them all together in an easy to follow format.  Schiffer books are usually photo-heavy, and this one is no exception.  It is filled with a large amount of color photos of the various projects.  The projects are simple enough that the limited text is still adequate.  Some people learn better visually; this book is for you.

Feature - Holiday Gourds
This month we'll be sharing some holiday gourd photos that were either sent to me by newsletter readers and facebook fans.
All photos and designs copyright © 2012 by Bonnie Gibson and may not be used without express written permission.
Still time for those quick gift projects using our Nightlight Kits!  You can now buy 2 kits at a discounted price!  Look for them on the Kits and Displays page
*When Lark Publishing introduced my "Gourds" book in paperback a few years ago, I bought hundreds of copies of the hardcover edition.  I've been selling them steadily for the last few years, and now I'm finally down to about my last 10 copies

If you are interested in a hardcover, autographed (and personalized if desired) edition, please act now before they are gone, as there are no more available.  You can find them on the Gourds Book page.

This would be a great Christmas gift for yourself or a friend.  In addition, I'll send a free project packet of my choice with each copy.

The book includes a few pages at the beginning with basic information such as describing very simple cutting tools and crafting aids, and how to clean gourds both inside and out.  The projects are divided into groups such as simple projects that can be made with uncut gourds, and projects made from scrap pieces. Most projects are very simple and do not involve cutting the gourd or cleaning the interior.  Some projects bring in techniques and materials such as wax resist, using dyes and paints, jewelry making, and using embellishments.  While the material is very basic, there are a few tips that may be new to even more experienced crafters.

If you are a beginning gourd crafter, you will enjoy this book.  If you are an intermediate gourd crafter, you may still get some new ideas and information.  If you are more advanced, then this book has little to offer other than a quick perusal and enjoyment of the photos.
Gourds: Southwest Gourd Techniques & Projects from Simple to Sophisticated

(Click on book cover for ordering information.)
Welcome to the December issue of the Arizona Gourds newsletter! 
UpdateGourd Classes

Wuertz Festival Update:  My class sessions are all full and have waiting lists.  I plan to offer more sessions of classes here at my home during February or March.  Watch for new classes to be posted soon.

Next April 26th  -30th, I will be teaching at the annual art retreat at the After Midnight Art Ranch in Sonoita, Arizona.  Classes will be announced soon - watch the After Midnight site or sign up for the class updates list.

Plans are underway for a 3 day gourd workshop to be held in June at the Golden Hills Ranch & Resort in Raymondville, Missouri (in the beautiful Ozarks).  For more information about the workshop, or to suggest classes (the exact classes are still being considered), please contact Sophia Delaat, the event coordinator.

I will also be returning for workshops in Colorado Springs.  Please contact Merle Dallison for information.
I want to wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas (or whatever holiday you observe) and many wishes for a happy holiday season.  The gourding community is a close one, and I regard many of you as family as well as friends.  Enjoy your time spent with your loved ones and hopefully you can sneak in some time for gourds.  Our feature article and photos may give you some ideas for fun holiday projects!

Upcoming Event:  I'll be doing a demo at the Red Door Gallery (in Tubac, AZ) on December 15th from 11am to 5pm during the "Cowboy Christmas" activities.  Hope to see some of you there ~ Tubac is a fun town to visit and there are lots of activities going on during the event.
The metal coating paint is now packaged in convenient jars for easy mixing and application.  The colors are lustrous and highly metallic for great results.   Instruction sheet is included in each kit.

Be sure to check out the featured gourd this month at the bottom of the newsletter!
*Are you interested in creating your own metal rimmed gourds?  These small aluminum rings are manufactured in Argentina and are the same ones they use on their yerba mate cups.  Anticipated price would be around $3- 3.50 each.  Let me know if you are interested so I can order appropriate amounts.  (email me at
Left: Christmas Stocking made with 14 gourds. It was donated to Festival of Trees to sell for supporting the Arts in our area.  Bonnie Adams - IL
Group of Santa and snowman sculptures by Linda Dunlap of Ohio.
Mouse and tree ornament by Miriam Sagen of AZ

Below: Ornaments by Wanda Shirey of AZ
Left: Snowman sculpture by Cyndee Newick of CA
Below left: Snowman sculpture by Debby Skelly of NC
Below: Ornaments by Lolly Yancy of AZ
Below & Right:  Ornaments by Elaine Sutherland of IA

Left:  Santa by Dee Bryant of TN
Left: Lovely holiday gourd bowl by beginning gourd crafter, Sunny. (sorry - no last name included)
Reader's Mailbag
Hi Bonnie. With my last order you sent a wonderful cabochon with a note that said 'bet you can make something cool with this'.  Just wanted to show you what I did with it.  I think it's "cool."  :>)  Thank you!  Kathe Stark - NM

*Sometimes when shipping costs are low, I include a few surprises!  Kathy made great use of this dichroic glass cabochon.
Don't forget, if you plan to order holiday gifts from, please use one of our search boxes or links.  Your purchases through our links help to support our free newsletters and the Gourd Art Enthusiasts website.  It doesn't cost you a thing, and you help us at the same time.  Thank you!
*Just for fun - here's a large paper mache snowman I built for a car dealership's outdoor display a few years ago.  (It's about the only snow we might see in Tucson!)
Left: Christmas moose by Selma Carrow of FL

Right:  Snowman birdhouse made by Sue Brachter-Weise of MD
*New Tutorial*
I received a lot of questions after posting my brass inlay project last month, so I've written a tutorial for inlaying brass with resins such as InLace or with CA glue (which is what I used for pictured gourd.) 

The tutorial is available separately, and related supplies are available in a kit.  Please visit the Project Packets page to order .

Haven't done inlay?  The book to the right is a good basic primer.