Three Steps to Vegetable Art

‘Tis the season to think of summer camp, badly painted mugs, macaroni projects, string art and powdered tempura paint! Of course, as the wind fairly blusters, it may not seem like June, but it is, and it’s the time of year when back-porch crafts get started, since usually the only knitting and baking that can be done is that which requires the least warm discomfort.

But since it’s still windy – here’s one for the knitting gang. The ├╝ber cool Loom Knitter’s Circle Magazine is up with their second edition, and I really do want that beaded bag! How people think of designs for loom knits is beyond me, but make sure and check out the loop stitch at the bottom of Keeping You In Stitches. Impressive!

My new project is actually kind of an old one. Last summer we planted Chinese birdhouse gourds. I would offer this as a great project for anyone with acreage to spare and isn’t troubled by a conquest-minded plant with stinking sap running rampant throughout all available space. We planted these lovely gourds and then regretted them almost daily once they fruited. We had to hack at them with machetes practically, and they ate the cucumbers. By the time the stalks dried and they were ready for harvest, the gardening season was long over. We left them in disgust on the ground through frosts and rain and finally pulled them up early this year… and left them in a pile, planning on burning them or something, since they were now coated in black mold.

Fortunately, when we got a look at the gourds before we turned over the garden, we realized they had… cured. Without any work on our part, they were dried and seasoned and ready to be sanded and painted. Granted, that was a big job, requiring face masks, eye protection and sandpaper, but we’re fairly pleased with what we ended up with – sturdy, clean, lightweight wooden vessels.

So far, this is what we’ve come up with. Here’s hoping some birds actually… use them?

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