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Southern Arizona Gourd Association
                 Newsletter - No. 25  Tucson, Arizona October, 2001

  Quote of the month: (In the context of the gourd drum workshop conducted last month.) "The
             drums started blending, synchronizing, singing together." -- Judy Dennis.

Only two more months until the year, 2001 is over. Gosh, where has the time gone?! How are your gardens doing?
In the Hunter garden, I still have gourds growing and even the flowers are still blooming. Some of these gourds will
make it to maturity before the frost; other late-bloomers will not. Around the gourd vines, I planted my Fall peas,
beans, radishes, carrots. My tomato plant is still going okay. I erected two teepee poles of Sunflower stalks for the
peas to climb up. If you'd like to see pictures of my Fall 2001 garden, go here on the Net: I hope you're enjoying your Fall planting as much as I am.

Meeting notes for November, 2001.  We had a short, small meeting for the month due to World Series fans in the group. I was merciful and cut the meeting short. hahaha.

First on the agenda was deciding what we wanted to do with the rest of the money left in the SAGA Treasury.

Suggestions were to nominate someone who has contributed to the group alot this year and give them a gift certificate; split up the money among SAGA members and give them each a certificate; give remainder to a local charity; buy several things at craft stores and have everyone pick and choose among the goodies until they are all gone; carry over the remaining money for next year's gourd contest. What we voted on doing was to take half the money and buy craft goodies so everyone could have a choice and leave the other half in the "bank" for next year's expenses such as entrance fees or the SAGA Gourd Contest. Members volunteered to go buy the craft goodies was Phyllis and Judy D.  (It's a tough job but someone had to do it! giggle.) Kasin has to turn in the remainder of her receipts so we know what we have left to devide up for the purchases and the bank savings.
Second, was to discuss a visitation to Judy Iwata-Smith's gourd farm.
We decided to go November 15th. There will be three vehicles going. We will meet at the TTT Truck stop on I-10 at 9:30 a.m. Judy will be making a big pot of homemade soup plus a huge salad fresh from her garden on the premises. Everyone is encouraged to bring something for potluck. Things already being taken: desserts, chips, bowls, soda, spoons, forks, crackers. Things needed - napkins, salt/pepper, chili spice, cups, etc. If you are going and you weren't at the meeting, please, be at the TTT Truck stop, November 15th no later than 9:30 a.m. If you are going, please, bring something for the potluck. Also, bring some handcutters to harvest gourds if there are some left to harvest.  Thanks.  (Directions to get to Judy's farm follows this text.)
TPL!!!  Third, I announced the acceptance of SAGA gourd art into the main Tucson Public Library.
Each year the Tucson Public Library sends out a Call to All Artists around Southern Arizona. Artisans send in slides of their work to be reviewed by a library board. Selected submissions are then assigned a month during that current year in which to display their artwork. Few are chosen to show. I wanted our gourd club to be able to show their gourd art, so I submitted several pieces of my own art to make the library aware of what gourd art is and that we, SAGA (The Southern Arizona Gourd Association members) were available.

The waiting was difficult, but after several weeks, I received a phone call from the display coordinator.  She had gained permission from the board to accept gourd art for the display cases. We were to bring in our artwork for display for the entire month of November. I was ecstatic! I announced our acceptance to the SAGA group the last Tuesday of November, then quickly gathered up the gourd art from our members. November 1, 2001, I filled the display cases in the street-level, lobby of the main Tucson Public Library. What great exposure for SAGA and for gourd art! Here's some pics.

The three display cases in the main library, visible to everyone who enters from the front door.  Here's the web page with pictures of the gourd display in the Tucson Public Library:

Next was discussion about whether or not to sign up for the Tucson Arts Odyssey Family Event.
Held on Sunday, January 13th, 2002 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center and La Placita Village, it is sponsored by Arizona Daily Star.  Last year, it had 50 participants and 12,000 attendees and they expect even more this year. Since this wasn't a "money maker", no one in SAGA was interested. I would have entered for us, but it takes a team to put this on.  Too bad we missed out on the $100.00 honorarium!  Maybe next year there will be more interest from our group!
Workshop this month was on No Bad Gourds, how to use all those bits and pieces of gourds left over.  Here's a good gourd page on same subject, specifically how to make your own Gourd Dog out of gourd pieces:

New Treasurer needed.  Our Treasurer, Jo Ludwig, is moving on to different crafting pastures.  We need to nominate a new treasurer for the year 2002.  Have your nominations ready for the November, 2001 meeting.  We'll vote on who will fill that office during the November, 2001 meeting.  Remember, no meeting in December.

To Judy's we will go!  To Judy's we will go! Hi, ho, the merry-oh; to Judy's we will go!
Grab a dish for the table and meet us November 15th, 9:30 a.m. at the TTT Truck stop on I-10. Traveling I-10 east, exit 318 Dragoon Rd., turn right onto Dragoon Rd. Travel this road as it will weave in and out of the l ittle town of Dragoon and straighten out taking you down into the Sulphur Springs Valley about 13 miles this road ends, turn right, drive about 4-5 miles to Birch rd. turn left on Birch, drive 5 miles, road will end turn left onto Kansas Settlement Rd, drive 2 miles turn right onto Sulphur Springs Rd.  Follow this road for about 6 miles, you will pass cross roads and drive onto private roads as you travel this straight dirt road, just keep on going cuz our property is at the end of it.
You will see an orchard to your right then you will know you are on track, right after the orchard there is a road to turn right on, turn there and you will see our little homestead.


Growing: Hey! It's October!  See you in the Spring?!  No?  Okay. One tip. Harvest your gourds when the stems are at least 4 inches dry so they will be mature enough.  Okay. Two tips.  Toss all gourd vines. Don't compost them.

Making gourd paper --I have made gourd paper and its not tuff enough without adding extra paper. At least that is what I was told. You can add papertowels etc. Just anything to add strength. Rowena

<< What is the  best source of cloth fiber in your house?  Your clothes dryer. >>  No teasing here - I figured out a long time ago that my lint is almost all cotton and dog hair, so mine goes in the compost pile, but any recycling  sounds like a good idea to me! Anna

Another use for dryer lint......... hair...... that is hair for dolls or gourd dolls or trolls.

I had a lovely lady wash brown clothes and blanket especially for me when I needed brown hair of a doll.  Hazel nut

You can use the lint alone with the cellulose binder (wallpaper paste) or combine it with other recyclables (can't spell  when I'm tired).  I know many who collect all their junk mail and use it.  I  do color code and mine also has black lab hair in it (it's everywhere).  I'm  particular to glitter and metallic thread, unless I'm using it for drawing or pastels.  Molds (terra cota) are great if you're just starting to play with  this. Use toilet paper or paper towels; 5-7 layers mashed into mold with a  wet sponge.  Then you can bake or microwave to dry.  Of course you can always play with the paper mash and use it for a liner in a gourd. Dawn

So, what is the adhesive for papier mache?  I always used latex wall paper paste.

Hi everyone - I use Ross's art paste for a lot of things.  I mix up a gallon or so and keep it on hand.  The elementary kids cal it elephant snot.  I love  it.  I haven't been overly concerned about everything being archival.  It's a  valid concern I am working with students more than I am creating for gallery
exhibition at the moment.  I would be interested in trying the US ARt Quest  though.  How do you attain it.  Ross's should be at any craft or art store.   Great stuff, good with tissue paper, dries shiny.  Dawn

NOT Exactly Gourd.  For years I made jewelry out of dryer lint.  It makes really nice earrings and pins. Nancy.

NOT Exactly Gourd.  Dryer lint is neat because you  can add glue to it and shape it in many different ways.  Once you make 2 shapes, mirror image for earrings, you dry and them paint, add glitter, gems, etc.  You can drill holes in it for dangling earrings or add clips or posts on the flat backs for button style earrings.  I did decorated clothing before it was popular and made matching earrings out of lint, paper, buttons, bottle caps, miniature silk flowers, seashells, and more than I can think of right now.  I did this for 11 years. Sometimes new towels make the best lint because the colors are so rich and vibrant.

A clean Gourd is a good Gourd.  Hello All!  I just have to jump in and tell y'all about the dowel cleaner for the  inside of the gourds.  I posted before about the cleaner which someone in our Bayou Gourd Society here in Louisiana demonstrated.  It also was a dowel but instead of slits it had holes drilled into it.  The first hole was about an inch from the end and then another hole was  drilled exactly opposite about a half inch above.  Then a piece of Weed-Eater  Cord was pulled throught each hole-insert into a drill and the gourd is  cleaned almost instantly.  (The holes should be just a little smaller than the cord to make for a tight fit.)  Anyway this is great.  Rheba

Them bones, them bones . . .   If you will use a concentrated solution of TIDE and soak the bone or antler in it will clean and lighten and deoderize.  webb.

The dreaded gourd dust . . . I caught a glimpse of something on tv the other day.A man took a square fan the kind that sits on the floor and taped a furnace filter on one side the back I think and set it by a saw table where he had falling saw dust,the fan pointed away from the sawdust sucked the dust through the fan and into the filter. I wonder if it would work for gourd dust, I have a fan like that,have to get the filter so haven't tried it. Wonder if running something like that a few minutes every day would dust my house.I know I have a lot less dust in the summer when the air conditioner is running. Just a thought.

Make your mark!  WALNUT HOLLOW FARM WOODCRAFT STORE , 1409 State Road 23,
Dodgeville, Wisconsin 53533.  Phone 1-800-950-5101 or fax 608-935-7511  for branding irons (your name on your gourd art.)

Not all gourds are created equal.  Someone had mentioned earlier about the paper bag trick.  I had a gourd that was weak in spots.  Even had a few holes but still wanted to use it.  Used the paper inside and out.  Worked great.  Painted brown.  Mod Podged pressed Queen Anne's lace on it.  Martha

And again . . . When I have a weak spot, I use a piece of a used dryer sheet - glue it down over that weak spot -- those fibers seem to srenghthen it - then I can finnish the inside the way I want.  Haven't tried brown paper, have used handmade paper, but the brown bag is a great idea.  Margaret

Another recipe for Paper Clay for Gourds....
4 cups sifted flour  and 4 cups cold water.
Stir together with wooden spoon until there are no lumps.  Stir continually over medium heat until the mixture is clear. Remove from heat--use wooden spoon to make a hole in the mix.  Add 1 pint of Elmers Glue (or any kind of white glue).  Mix until smooth.  Tear a half roll of CHEAP toilet paper (the cheapest kind works best for some reason) into pieces and work into mix.  Set aside to cool.  Place in a
baggie and keep in fridge.  Will keep for a few weeks.  Works like modeling clay, and is easy to form on gourds.  You can mold it, paint it, etc.  It is a fairly large recipe, so you could share with some
others or try making a half batch.  Passed on from another gourder from another club........


Q and A - How do I soften philodenren sheaths?  A. water  B. glycerin or C. water mixed with glycerin - 50/50.
Answer:  C.  they not only are soft and pliable but they retain their beautiful autumn colors.

Next SAGA Meeting:  Tuesday, November 27th, 6:00 p.m., Far Horizons East Mobile Home Court.  Workshop: inlaying and special texturing effects on metals by Judy Dennis. A must see workshop.  Also, Kasin will follow-up with a how-to making your own feathered gourd turkey.  Questions?  Call Kasin Hunter at 520-7461563 or email


  The Gourd Lady - Judy Iwata-Smith 
  P.O. Box 193, Pearce, AZ 85625 
  1-520-824-3644 or 1-888-486-3640
Beckelman Farms - gourds: minis, dippers, bottlenecks, kettles, baskets, apples, more. By
appointment only. Call Larry Beckelman 398-2300 in Arivaca, Arizona.

Georgia member, Kathy James and her husband, Bob, have a small gourd supply webstore at They sell Fiebing's leather dye for $4 a bottle, waxed beading cord for
$4.50 per 75 foot roll in 3 colors, 450 ft spools of 3-ply artificial sinew in 4 colors for $7.00 each,
special transparent rulers for marking even holes around gourd rims for only 50 cents each, gourd
notecards, special braided sinew, beads, seashell slices, feathers, how-to booklets, and more. They
sell more than is listed on the website, so ask for whatever you need! They can be reached at the
website or (229) 420-9982 or by emailing Bob at

Devil's Claws/coyote gourds.  Kasin Hunter is selling native growing Devil's claws for $2.50 each. They are unique botanical ornaments for gourds and wreaths.  Coyote gourds, the only native growing gourd in the United States makes wonderful Christmas and Easter ornaments.  Light, glass-like, about the size of a tennis ball. $1.00 each, dried.  Contact Kasin Hunter, 520-746-1563 or email Add $3.50 for Priority ship.

Gourd Teeshirts: "Gourds are like potato chips . . . you can't just have one!!!" with illustrated front and back. Quality Fruit of the Loom material. Sizes small, medium, XL, XXL and XXXL available.  Only $12.00. Add $3.50 for Priority ship. Call Kasin Hunter 520-746-1563 or email  While quantities last.