Announcement - 2015 AGS Special Artistry Award

The American Gourd Society board has voted to take on responsibility for an annual Artistry award, and the cash award will be a higher dollar figure for 2015.  Entries for 2015 will be limited to those who enter an AGS judged show and receive a Best of Show, a People's Choice award, or are entered in a non-judged Grand Masters division which is typically open only to previous winners of those two awards.  Because the award   is now be sponsored by the AGS, the artists must be a member of the American Gourd Society to qualify for entry.
The winning entry will receive a $300 cash award.  
With festivals already having taken place this year, there are already several people eligible to send in their entries.  This is not automatic; artists or show chairmen must submit photos of their qualifiying entries for consideration. Photos of qualifying entries should be sent to the Artistry award committee chair: 
Look for more details in the  AGS Gourd Magazine.   Not a member?  It's easy to join at  Membership is only $15 a year and includes 4 full color magazines!    ENTRIES TO DATE: 4
Arizona Gourds
Updates from the desert southwest...
Thanks for checking out the latest news! Feel free to pass the newsletter link along to your friends.

Not receiving the newsletter?  Join the newsletter mailing list on the Arizona Gourds home page.  
If you are receiving duplicate mailings, or want to unsubscribe from the newletter list, please send me an email.
Featured Books:

Search Now:
You can use this Amazon search box link to find all kinds of books and other products. Amazon purchases made through the links on this website help to support this site. 
*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.
Note:  Not getting the emailed notices about the newsletters?   It is probably going to your spam folder!  YOU ONLY NEED TO SIGN UP ONCE.   *The current issue is always available from our home page.

Gourds with Southwestern Motifs by Bonnie Gibson

Out of Print - some copies still available through Amazon and they are at a reduced price. 
What's new on the Arizona Gourds website? 
(Click on book cover for ordering information.)
Featured Gourd of the Month:

Deer Spirit  - Cast resin antlers, leather, misc embellishments. 
Tell a friend about this page
Printable PDF File
Newsletter Index - article and tip index from all the past newsletters
Newsletter Index
The Gourd Art Enthusiasts site has over 4600 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.
Check out our two GAE T-Shirt designs ! 
*Want to see my listing of top gourd books?  Here is my  "Listmania" listing on Amazon
With September comes a return for most of us to a steady routine now that summer vacations are behind.  Hopefully everyone had some time to do a little gourding and perhaps take a class or attend a festival.  I'm looking forward to some cooler weather and my gourd growing friends are excited to see what their crop will look like at the end of the growing season.   I am keeping busy and will be traveling to New Mexico, where I will teach classes in two different locations.  Because of this, Arizona Gourds will NOT be shipping from September  15 - 20.  I appreciate your patience during these times; I know it is an inconvenience, and I promise to ship your orders as soon as possible on my return.
"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.)

*NEW GROUP on Facebook - "Gourding Destash".  This is the place to sell your used gourd tools and excess supplies.  No fees to sell your surplus supplies and raw gourds.* 
Do you enjoy the newsletter?  We appreciate when you share it with your friends!  Bookmark and Share here:
*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!

Just type what you are looking for into the seach box below. *Can't see the search box?  Please disable your ad blocker for the Arizona Gourds domain.
UpdateGourd Classes

The first two books are some just for fun art books that other people have ordered in the past using Amazon links on the Arizona Gourds website or through the GAE links. 

The bottom two are delightful adult coloring books. If you like zendoodle designs, you may really enjoy these.  While we were at our family reunion recently, people from 12-75 had fun coloring and visiting.
Click on the photos for links leading you to the page where they are listed.
Arizona Gourds Newsletter Index
See all our old newlsetters from the past 9 years!  Articles and Tips are indexed.
Newsletter Index
I often get questions about shipping costs that are added to shopping cart sales.  To clarify things, I've added a new page to the website,
Shipping Policies.
I am using a no-frills shopping cart program that has limitations and little flexibility.  By not paying for expensive software, I can offer you lower prices on the website merchandise.  I'm not looking to make a profit on shipping;  if you order lightweight items you will likely get a refund or some freebies to make up for it. Please take a minute to look at the shipping policies page for clarification and explanation of how things work.  If you ever have any questions, please feel free to email me directly.  I value your business!
Welcome to the September issue of the Arizona Gourds newsletter! 
Enter your email address and hit the submit button to join the class updates notification list.
Tip of the Month:  Fun Outdoor Decorating with Gourds

It may be a bit late in the year for some of these ideas, but you might enjoy creating a gourd fairy garden or to make gourd planters for gifts or for yourself.  For low water plants, you wouldn't have to treat the gourd in any way; in fact, if you don't plan to keep your mini gourd garden for more than one season you shouldn't have to do anything to your gourd bowl to protect it.  (For some protecion, you could line the inside of the gourd with Apoxie Paste or a tar like waterproofing material for pottery.)  Don't want to plant in an actual gourd?  There are several weatherproof predecorated gourd fairy houses that may be placed outside in your garden for decoration.

August Travels and Classes

In August, my husband and I attended a family reunion that was held in Hood River, OR.  For two days before that, we were invited by the Washington Gourd Society to teach a couple of days of classes for their members.  The classes were held at the home of Jane Smith in Onalaska, WA. The scenery was stunning and the hospitality of the WA group and especially Jane and her husband was fantastic.  Because her location is somewhat remote, there were people tent camping on site, and Jane and the WA Gourd Society provided lunches both days for everyone.   The weather was a bit misty on one of the days, but coming from the desert heat, the cooler weather was a plus.  Classes were the Spiral Carving project and Fancy Filigree, and most people got quite far along towards completion during class.

I am starting to plan my calendar for 2016;  so far the only firm commitment is the Gourds and Basket Conference in Visalia, CA, April 22-24.  I am honored to have been chosen as the keynote speaker for this event, and the AGS annual meeting will also be held at this event.  In addition, this will be the culmination of the AGS membership drive and a silent auction of gourds and prizes will be held, with the proceeds going to the state chapter that has increased their membership the most (by percentage gained).  NOW is the time to join the AGS if you aren't already a member.  If your state does not have a chapter, you can indicate which state should receive credit for your membership.   It's easy to join, and for your membership fee you will also get 4 full color quarterly magazines.  JOIN HERE
All of my class sessions scheduled through October are currently full. 
Sign up for the email class updates list to find out when new offerings are posted on the website.
*If your patch or state society is interested in having me come to teach classes in your area, please email me and I can send you information.
Reader's Mailbox
Hi Bonnie,   We did a nightlight project with kits from your site.  Kids filled jars with water and floated model car paint on the top.  They dipped their gourds and let them dry.  We cut them in half and made the nightlights.  I think they are really neat looking.  They also drilled a design into the front of the light.  Some were crosses, hearts, and one was the Texas A&M logo.  Thanks again for getting us the kits so quickly and having plenty of them on hand.  Beth Lively - TX
All photos and designs copyright © 2015 by Bonnie Gibson and may not be used without express written permission.
Thank you!  Your purchases made from Arizona Gourds and from our Amazon links enable us to keep these free newsletters and the Gourd Art Enthusiasts site available.  We sincerely appreciate your business.
A very simple gourd planter with a low water succulent.

Right:  Two commercially made resin gourd fairy houses that can be used outside in your garden.  Click on the photos to see them on Amazon.  The photo to the right shows one used in a large dish garden.
Reader's Mailbox
Hi Bonnie,  Just wanted to say thanks for the extras you included on my last order.  I love your web site, it has provided me with so much information!  I went to the gourd festival in Casa Grande, and I was hooked!!! I bought your book and now I'm having so much fun carving.  I just sent in another order, and your promptness with the order amazes me!    I just finished my first gourd, and I used many of your techniques included in the book.   Here's a pic of my gourd...I'm busy working on 2 more now!  Your gourds are amazing!  The  ones at the festival were beautiful! Thanks so much for your great website and all the inspiration!   Cindy Cartright - MI

Did you know:   In 1937 the "Gourd Society of America" was founded by Mr. Sterling Pool of Rockport, Massachusetts. In 1970 the society was moved to Ohio and renamed The American Gourd Society.  Today, AGS has over 4,000 members and acts as the unifying body for 26 state chapters.  State chapters are chartered in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
PLEASE - If you were a judge or show chairman, or if you just know of someone who qualifies for this award, please send me their contact information or reach out to them and encourage them to enter!  All they have to do is send in photos and just a note about themselves and their winning piece.  We should already have at least a dozen or more entries!! (Who doesn't want to win $300??)
Hmmm... Was Jeanette sampling the local brew? 
You have to love the name at least.
Shawna Stout sent me photos of her finished projects!
Thank you to Diane Frederick for some of these class photos.
After the Washington classes, it was off to Mount Hood, Oregon, where 15 of us shared a large house and some local relatives joined in one evening as well.  We even had a visit one day from Tucson friends that were passing through the area.  If you haven't spent any time in the NW states, it is well worth a visit.  So much beautiful countryside to enjoy.  It was unfortunate and sad that so much of the area has been suffering from an extended drought, and the smoke from the wildfires blanketed the entire region.  I hope all of my gourd friends are safe!
Never too old for coloring books!
Above: Cannon Beach, OR         Below: hike on Mt. Hood.
Multnomah Falls, OR
The view above is what we saw from our VRBO rental place each day.  This was one of the only days without heavy smoke.
Below:  Susan Atkinson passed along this Copyright Guideline by Ginger Davis Allman that was published by  It is hard to read the text clearly here on the newsletter, but you can either download the PDF link (left) to view, print or save it, or you can click on the photo below  and it will take you to a higher resolution photo on the blue bottle tree website.   If you have ever had doubts about what is permissible and what is not, this is a good basic guideline.
Left: Special Purchase of Deerskin lace.  This lace normally sells for $1.50 for a 36" lace, this special purchase lace is on sale for 50 cents each while they last.  On the Special Embellishments page.  What you see here is all there is.

Below: Metallic hematite heishi - the photos don't do this item justice.  People that see it in person love it!  On the Inlay supplies page.
Below: Coming soon!  I lost my previous supplier for long and short handled scrapers, and have found a new one.  These scrapers have a sharp metal head and work great for getting into tight openings and under the lip edge of gourds.  Watch for them on the tools page!
With Apolgies to David Letterman.....

A top 10 list of why it's great to go to a gourd festival or class!

10. Everyone’s hands and fingernails will be a mess, so you can cancel the manicure…
9. No one will ask you if you are “Out of your Gourd"
8. Yes, everyone thinks you are crazy for being a gourder, but they will love you for it…
7. Someone will loan you a dremel tool because you forgot to pack yours.
6. People will expect you to make a mess…
5. No one will look at you strangely as you dig through vast bins of gourds with your head buried deep in the pile.
4. You will go home with more ideas for gourds than any human could possibly make in a lifetime…
3. You will be surrounded by hoarders of strange materials like cactus fiber and cut off gourd tops...
2. You will see friends you only see every once a year at the gourd festival…
1. You will make new friends.

Reader's Mailbox
Hi Bonnie,   I did this using your feather tutorial!
Shawna Stout - WA
FYI:  Apoxie Sculpt has announced a price increase starting at the end of September.  The price will remain the same on the website until my current stock is depleted or I have to reorder.