Organizing my Bits

If you carve on gourds than it is a safe bet that you have bits!  I have a ton, big ones, small ones, some that I use all the time and some that I scratch my head in wonder and ask “why did I need this bit?”

For a long time I had this little white box that all my bits went into but it was also a catch all place for all those other easy to lose things like collets and saw blades.

Once I get started on a carving project I want to be able just to move ahead and not have to fumble around looking for “that perfect bit”.

That stupid little white box wasn’t cutting it. At first I would move things inside the box around a bit and see if I could find what I was looking for but after a little while I would just dump the whole box on my table, adding more clutter to my already messy workspace.

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While looking for some other lost thing (I really have to get better organized)  I came across a block of floral arrangement foam and a solution to my bit problem popped into my head.

This cheap little green block of foam is PERFECT for organizing your rotary bits, drill bits, saw blades etc. Now everything is neat and tidy, I can find what I want quickly and my bits are one less thing that is scattered all over my desk.


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The Dreamcatcher Weave

Hello there my gourd friends

Last night I got to sit in front of the TV, relaxing with my kitty on my lap, and weaved on one of my newest gourds. The weave I am doing is one of my favorites.

The DREAMCATCHER Weave.  Anyone who has seen my work knows that most of my gourds are southwestern and Native American in appearance. This weave, based on a Native American Tradition,  captured my attention and heart. It looked so difficult but the reality it that it is really easy.

Gourd Art Dreamcatcher Weave

My Latest Gourd with DreamCatcher Weave

The Dreamcatcher originated in the Ojibwa Nation but was adopted by many Native American tribes. Its pretty commercialized now which, in my opinion, kinda ruins it, but basically it was hung above ones bed to catch nightmares. I used to hang one over my kids beds while they were growing up to help them sleep at night. (Hum..I wonder if they remember that.)

The original dreamcatchers’ were loosely woven on a Willow ring similar to a spider web but for gourd weaving I like the weave to be tight’ I think it has a very cool netting look to it. I still incorporate beads into the weave as well as other embellishments, as you can see from the picture above.

I am not going to discuss how to do this weave because I learned from a really awesome book which I highly recommend. Its called Weaving on Gourds.   This book drew me in because of the dreamcatcher weaved gourd on the cover but sucked me in even further with a ton of other weave treatments.

Update Dec 16, 2015.  Weaving Dreamcatchers on Gourds is still one of my most favorite techniques to use and I always get great reactions to the pieces its used on.  I wrote a very pictorial Tutorial on this technique which is available here. It’s an inexpensive download but I use it very successfully in my classes!!!

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Busy, Busy, Busy with Gourds

I received a Facebook message a couple of weeks ago from the Poteau Rotary Club asking if I would like to be a featured artist at the very first …

An Evening at the Gallery – Poteau Rotary Wine & Arts Festival

Heck yes I do!!  Thanks for asking

I am honored that I was asked to participate because I very much want to bring the arts to our little Oklahoma Town and this seems like a wonderful way to start. The event is being held on April 27 2013 at the New Donald W. Reynolds Community Center, located on the South end of Broadway.

Here is a blurb straight from the Rotary Club’s website

Taste wines from 6 wineries across the state. Sample gourmet food and view exceptional gallery artwork, all while being entertained by musicians and theatrical performers. Must be 21 to attend. Admission includes a commemorative wine glass and free tastings from wine and food vendors.

Proceeds from this event go towards the development of the Rotary Outdoor Complex (ROC) at the base of Cavanal Hill in Poteau; 35 acres and 10 miles of hiking and biking trails, complete with group picnic areas, outdoor kitchen, playground, and restroom facilities. Use of the ROC is free to the public.

Tickets go on sale at their website on March 1.

So now I have to make some gourd art!!  I am down to about 5 pieces left (wow, I have sold alot!) and I have to go with more than that, so I am working diligently in my studio on gourds!  Last weekend I almost completed one and started another.

I have been avoiding working on gourds because I really like to carve on them and that can be really messy when  the only place you have to work is in the house in a room with brand new carpet!  The weather has not been warm enough to want to work outside so I have stuck with pottery and pyrography.  But last weekend, I set a few boards on top of a couple of saw horses inside my studio and dragged all my equipment out there. With Adele soulfully singing and the sunlight pouring in, I completely enjoyed carving, once again!!

Working on Gourds again is AWESOME!

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