Monday, December 29, 2014

It's been a long month of December... lots of pictures!

Many of you out there who follow me on Face Book know that the month of December has been a VERY long month for me indeed.  Not only does it hold the longest day of the year, but it certainly felt like it was the longest month of the year too!

A brief explanation:  my mother became very sick and was in ICU for about a week and a half.  Leading up to that point in time, I was on the run, trying to do "house checks" on her to be sure she was ok, until it came to a point in time when I knew she was not improving and needed to be seen by a Dr.  She lives approximately an hours drive from my home so I was spending a lot of hours driving.  This, and I am the designated taxi service for my son to and from work as well...he is employed about 30 minutes from the home.  So, all of this driving to and from left me with no time to create and barely enough time to get my Christmas tree up to enjoy over the Holiday.   At any rate, she is now home and currently staying with me until she is strong enough to live on her own. 

Fortunately amid all of the hustle and bustle (and not the holiday sort of running about), I did manage to get in a little bit of time and finish up the Santa's on my work bench.   I am VERY pleased with how they all turned out and very happy to say that they have all been sold too!   Next year, I hope to have more available for purchase.  At least, that will be the goal anyway.  At any rate, here are the pics of the 3 completed Santa's.  I hope you like them! 

Bodach na Nollaig,  Scots Gaelic for Old Man of Christmas

Bodach na Nollaig, Scots Gaelic for Old Man of Christmas

Santa of Peace

Santa of Peace

The Holly King, 3rd Version
 
The Holly King, 3rd Version
Now that Christmas has past and we are off to the New Year, I wanted to share with you the auction that I have running at this time.  It's the last one of the year and the first of the New Year!  Nothing like killing off 2 birds with one stone, heh?  LOL   I have finally decided to put up one of my favorite pieces, "Cricket"!  He is such a cute little critter.  Whomever wins this auction will be taking a piece of my heart with them.  I just love his cute little dimpled smile and those freckles....oh my!  I know he will not last long at his low starting price.  So don't miss out on "Cricket's" auction.  If you do, you are missing out on a real treat!  http://www.ebay.com/itm/121530283593?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Cricket
 http://www.ebay.com/itm/121530283593?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649
Aside from these, I have been looking into "gourd art".   About a month ago, I was lucky to find a gourd farm going out of business within a reasonable driving distance from my house.  I drove over and bought a butt load of dried gourds to try my hand at this ancient art form.   Of course, with all of the unfortunate happenings, I have not had an opportunity to even mess with them...until last night, when I stuck them in the wash basin to soak so I could clean them.  Unfortunately, some of them will have to soak a bit longer, AND, I could only soak a few at a time.  Suffice to say, they will all eventually be cleaned over the next few weeks I hope.  HAHA  Anyway, since I am new to this craft, I wanted to show you the process of cleaning dried gourds....at least, what I have learned so far.
This is an uncleaned gourd that has not completely dried yet.  I grew this one myself and it was supposed to be a bottle gourd.  As you can see, the top rotted but the bottom portion will still dry and possible make a nice bowl or something.  :-D The dirty portion on the gourd is actually the rotting debris of the outer skin and it is dried mold.  Once it is completely dried, that will have to be scrubbed off. 

I bought 4 HUGE bags full of different types of dried gourds in different shapes and sizes. These still need to be soaked and cleaned. 

Here is the wash basin and a copper scrubbing pad.  I have a wet towel over the top of the gourds to help soak the top portions of the gourds that are not immersed into the water.  The cleaning solution is warm soapy water with 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.  I admit, I did not do the exact measurement...it was more an "eyeball" measurement. LOL   

Here I have removed the towel and started to scrub some of the gourds.  You can see where some are still dirty with the mold and you can see the portions that have been scrubbed. 

A couple of cleaned gourds.

These 4 have been cleaned and are now drying once again in the sun.  It will probably take a full day of drying before I can do anything to the outside of them.  Once they are dried, then I will decide which ones are cut open, etc.  If they are cut open, then I must also clean the inside portion. There will be a lot of mold dust inside, so I will have to wear a face mask to do that job.  But, once they are cleaned, they are safe and can be used for drinking and eating out of just like in the ancient times by tribal folks. 
So that is where I am with the gourds.  Looks like a lot of fun, huh?  Hopefully I will be able to create something very unique and fun with them.  You will just have to check back at a later date to see what I do with them.  :-D   In the meantime, I wanted to remind all of you good folks that it is now open registration for the Quinlan Show in Philadelphia coming up in April/May.  Here is the link to the website for more information.  http://www.quinlanmuseum.com/convention/registration.html   Also, I will be attending the IDS show in Asheville, North Carolina.  For more information, you can follow this link http://www.internationaldollshow.com/

In closing, I wanted to get a little feed back if I could from you kind folks out there in bloglandia.  I was considering closing my Halloween themed blog and just keeping everything here on the one blog.  It's not that it is too difficult to keep up with the 2 blogs, but truthfully, they are pretty much the same things and I feel as if I am double posting.  That might get a bit boring for some of you out there.  Speaking for myself, I would not want to re-read something I just read....unless I was having trouble understanding what it I was reading.  LOL  At any rate, I would appreciate your input on the thought.  I'm torn with the idea, but I think it would make things a bit more simplistic.  What do you think?   And, with that notion....I'm off to try and clean more gourds.  :-D 

Thanks for stopping by The Pixie Knoll!  Have a wonderful day!