My name is Iva Slater and I live in Artesia, New Mexico with my husband of 43 years this month.   Our 2 sons live in Wisconsin, our daughter lives in Oklahoma. We are blessed with 7 grandsons.  Both of us are retired and enjoy our family and friends, crafts, RV camping, and hanging out at our local Senior Center.  I have been Line-Dancing with a great group of senior gals for about 9 yrs.

Crafting has always been a part of my life, but sewing will always be my #1 love.  When I started wood crafting all I knew how to do was color book paint.  I then took a class to learn how to shade, etc.  My art teacher told me about the little gourds that grow along the highway here in the Southwest, called Coyote Gourds.  Those silly little pumpkin faces that I painted on the little gourds were such a great seller at a local Fall Craft Show.    I also had many of my woodcrafts for sale.

 Then my Daughter, Karen Manasco, introduced me to some REAL Gourds that she grew in her Wuv'n Acres Gourden in Oklahoma.  I brought them home and have been crafting on gourds ever since.  My painted gourds have made Cameo appearances on her www.wuvie.net web site.  Karen is one of my biggest fans and my best friend.  She is a huge inspiration for me as her own creativity amazes me.  Wonder where that comes from?
 
Snake Gourd as my Rainstick. This 25 1/2 " long snake gourd, while still growing on the vine at Wuv'n Acres Gourden in Oklahoma, was wrapped with a nylon stocking, thus giving it it's spiral shape.  I used Kasin Hunter's tutorial on making my rainstick.  I emphasized it's shape with my painting design.  Using Yucca seeds as my filler gives it the soothing sound of a spring rain.Thank you to my daughter, Karen Manasco for the gourd and a big thank you to Kasin Hunter for the lesson. My 10" Storyteller Gourd is fashioned from 2 Gooseneck Gourds to make her head appear like she is telling her story to the 4" Bottle gourd children.      This 10" diameter Bushel Basket Gourd has a pine needle rim and is sponge painted. 
     My Ivy basket is made from a 12" diameter Bushel Gourd with torn paper bag lining sealed with a decoupage coating for the inside.  The leaves were cut from the discarded parts of the gourd.  Grapevine is wrapped around the twisted handle. This project is painted.

The gourd albums on Club Gourd show images of some truly talented artists.  I love scanning through their work.  I am so fortunate to be  featured artist for the month of May, though I am just a novice, itís such a  rewarding way to start.
 
Sunhat Birdhouse  - project by Sammie Crawford. I used a 7 1/2" diameter Basketball Gourd for my top with a 14" diameter circle of plywood for the brim of the hat. Treasures of the Heart - pattern by Sue Hollon. I used a 7 1/2" diameter Basketball Gourd for this jewelry project.  The key is tied to the heart with raffia on the gourd stem. For the back of the heart, I chose to use matching red leather in the shape of hearts for the hinges.  Bee Skep Birdhousepattern  by Aurelia Conway. I used an 8 1/2" diameter Kettle Gourd for my Bee Skep.  It stands 11 1/4" tall.
Aurelia Conway is one of my favorite gourd artists
Herb and Chili Bowl - another 
project by Aurelia Conway. I used a 13" daimeter Bushel Gourd that my son-in-law gave me.  Red Chilies, garlic, parsley, coriander, chives, cilantro and basil adorn this huge 40" circumference gourd. Get out the tortilla chips and salsa for this bowl.

 

   I am partial to the apple gourds.  I have an apple theme in my kitchen and dining room with many apple crafts that I have made including  apple gourd items.
 

Opens into candy dish!

I am learning how to Woodburn on gourds. I have been practicing on gourd parts.    Club gourd artists have taught me so much about the art of gourd crafting.  I am looking forward to see who will be the next featured artist.
My Gourd Tip:
    Painting the inside of gourds can be hard on your brushes.  I use a # 8 or # 10  fabric stiff round brush just for this purpose.
Unlike your artists brushes, the fabric brushes can withstand the rough surface of the inside of gourds and wash up good as new.
 

                                                                                            Lady Gourdiva