All Fall

It's definitely fall.

That's an awkward way to start off a blog post. But it's true, right now is most definitely fall. I love autumn so much because of how crisp and excited everything feels. And I absolutely adore pulling on the warm sweaters and fuzzy socks and curling up on the couch with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa.

For some reason, stores don't seem to think it's fall. Every department store near my house is decorated with mistletoe and jingle bells and snow. Starbucks has stored away the pumpkin spice lattes and brought out the mint frappucinos. I'm not saying winter is a bad thing- in fact, I love winter and Christmas and everything about it- but it hasn't even been Thanksgiving yet!(for those of you who aren't American, Thanksgiving is that day where we all act stupid and eat a lot-oh wait, that's every day.)

Anywho, I wanted to share a two really cute fall crafts with you. They involve the use of gourds, which are fairly inexpensive and can be found at a lot of grocery stores- and often craft stores- in autumn. The gourd I used had been sitting in a cupboard for four years after my sister bought it along with two others, thinking she would do something with it then forgetting.

I used an oblong gourd with big thingies on each end. I'm honestly really bad at describing this is what it looked like, after part of its top being sawed off for the bowl.

 A lot of gourds have this shape, so if you're using one like this, then sawing about half of one of the bulbous ends off will give you the bowl shape you need. I'm really excited about the fact that I used the word 'bulbous'. The reason I can't call this a DIY is because I didn't do it all myself, I made my dad saw the top off because I'm a little kid.

Anyways, the inside of the gourd will be filled with all sorts of weird stuff. Because mine had been sitting for roughly four years, yours might be a little different on the inside than mine. But if it's similar, there will be some papery stuff clinging to the inside, as well as lots and lots of seeds. Scrape most of the papery stuff out, especially on the bowl.

 Sandpaper the edges and, for the bowl, the inside, until it's mostly smooth. Now rinse them with water, and you're ready!

Because the bigger part of the gourd will take longer to dry, it's probably easiest to start by painting the bowl. Multiple sources online told me that acrylics were best for painting gourds, so I selected some warm, vivid colors that I think really sing out "autumn".

I am not really the most artistic person in the world, so maybe you will figure out a different way to do it, but I started by painting a simple pattern on the outside, then after that dries, a different sort of pattern on the inside. Once I was absolutely certain the inside was dry(it takes longer than the outside), I painted a solid color on the edge.

The outside of the bowl

I used my little gourd-bowl as a candy dish, but I'm sure there are many other ways to use it, and I'm certain you can find one. Acrylic are non-toxic, but I wouldn't advise putting unwrapped food in them.

Now onto the vase!
I painted the vase with a solid color on the outside. Once that was dry, I painted the same color halfway down into the inside. Because you won't really be seeing the inside, especially deeper down into it, it's only necessary to paint the inside to about a halfway point. Then, once I was sure both sides were completely dry, I painted a simple pattern, similar to the one on the bowl, on the outside. The edge was painted a solid color.
The inside 
The outside

Then I filled the vase with cloth flowers, although feel free to substitute these with real flowers! I
 just happened to find these sitting in the cupboard and thought I should put them to good use.

I think I might make apple cinnamon lip gloss today. I'm not sure if fruit juice and simple cinnamon powder will work with the petroleum jelly used in lip gloss, but we'll see! I'll update to let you know how it is.

Thanks for ready and happy autumn!


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