Countdown to The Feast of the Strawberry Moon

June 13-14 in Grand Haven, Michigan. One month to go! Actually, we have less than a month, as we are taking 10 days out to visit family in Texas.  There are a few pieces  to finish up, lots of tagging and packing to do.

Celtic Knot Gourd

This simple knotwork design has a big impact. Woodburned on a light colored gourd with a waxed finish.

many gourds, one dog

Tagging a selection of gourds with lids. Nelson the dog in the background.

gourds on a rack
Ornament gourds, wood burned and waxed on a new display rack.
Unfinished gourd
Work in progress.  I could use a few more antlers!


fish design on gourd
Three fishes swimming in a Celtic sea

Sneak Preview

Here are a few pictures of my latest gourd projects.

gourd pail

This primitive gourd pail has a cheesecloth lining and a rusty wire bail.

gourd with cross design
This intact gourd has been cleaned and woodburned (pyrography) with a Celtic Cross design, waxed finish.
yet another gourd
Antler bowl with coiled rim and woodburned wolf print in the antler.
gourd with celtic fox design
Intact gourd with Celtic Fox and knotwork.
Gourd bowl with Colonial style bird and vine next to a gourd birdhouse.
do you really care?
Gourd container with a lid and buckeye knob. Woodburned with a Celtic braid design.

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peak for the upcoming season!  More new work in the next post.

After the Big Move: Gearing up for 2015

Traverse City House
Traverse City House

Having moved to the cold, but beautiful bay town of Traverse City in Northwestern Michigan, we are excited for the 2015 Reenactment Season. This year we will be attending The Feast of the Strawberry Moon in Grand Haven, Michigan; The Feast of the Hunter’s Moon in West Lafayette, Indiana; and  The Kohkohmah and Foster Encampment in Kokomo, Indiana.

Big changes all around, including a new house and remodeling the cargo trailer to make loading and set-up easier on these old bones.

Trailer remodel
Trailer remodel

Room for all our 1700’s camping gear and 16 gourd bins.  Fortunately, the gourd bins are lightweight,  as the  camping gear is pretty heavy. We added pull down camper steps to the small door up front and a folding ramp for the back end.  These are going to make a huge difference. We sold our old canvas tent and purchased a smaller wall tent with an awning.  Sturdy new ridge poles are finished and Dan is working on building a second period-correct knock-down bed to sleep in at the events. This new bed will be much easier to assemble.


I painted a new sign for our tent, but it needed something more….

A Gourd Vine!

A gourd vine!

New Gourd Creations for 2013

Brand new items at Gentry Gourds:


Gourd Purses

Gourd Purses! Featuring gourd bottoms, brocade bodies, beautiful fringe and  satin ribbon drawstring closures.

Gourd Purses

Gourd Purses


Handmade gourd rattles filled with hard corn and trimmed with glass beads.




Gourd Head Dolls!!   Hand made soft bodies with gourd heads, and Colonial style clothing. These are a few of the dozen or so I’ve made.  I just love dressing up these little ladies in  petticoats, apron, kerchief  and mob caps. I hand draw the faces onto the gourds after they are attached to the bodies, then add the caps for the final touch.

Gourd Head Dolls

Mississenewa Mudhole

Interesting time at Mississenewa 1812 this past weekend.

We arrived on Thursday afternoon, and we were able to stop the truck and trailer right in front of our site to unload.  We must have timed it right because there was an almost constant parade of trucks, trailers, and RVs passing on the path as we worked.  I found myself helping several of the larger vehicles navigate the tight spaces between the parked ones, especially one gentleman in an old Ryder truck that was determined to rip the front bumper off my little truck after it was caught by his exhaust pipe.  I ended up having to move the pickup over to let him by.

After we had everything out, I was able to find a pull through parking spot not far from the gate.  I’m not very good at backing up the trailer, so I was glad to find it.

Day one (Friday) was school kid day, and there were a lot of them!  Here is the conversation we had a thousand times:

“Oh look, bird houses.  What are these?”


“What are gourds?”

I worry for the quality of education in Indiana.

The Proprietors
The Proprietors
(note the mud on my left sleeve and shin)

Day two was a pretty good day, crowd wise.  Even though our spot was towards the end of the road, we still had plenty of visitors, partly because they had to walk past us to get to the facilities.  We had great conversations with those that stopped by, many of whom had dried gourds in their barn or shed that they didn’t know what to do with.  (Apparently, their kids haven’t learned about those things in the barn)

It all changed though in the mid afternoon when the rain came.  Boy, did it ever rain!  Our fairly new tent held up well and kept the water out, although I did get pretty soaked trying to close the sides.  The last battle of the day went on as planed (after all, the original battle was in snow), but the crowd thinned out fast.

We decided to skip the participant dance because of all the mud, and instead went into town for Chinese food (just as our 19th century ancestors would have done)

After more rain during the night, we woke to a muddy park.  During my first walk of the day, I slipped and fell on wet grass, getting my new shirt and pants muddy.  Good morning!  Walking around to retrieve breakfast, I noticed that many of the spots back in the trees were pretty sloppy.  There was definitely an advantage to being located at the far end of the road.

All morning, we heard the sound of trucks stuck in the mud, including a large trash truck that took 2 1/2 hours to extract.  The tow trucks were quite busy.

At closing time, we decided to pack up as much as possible before pulling the truck and trailer up to our spot (unlike most, who felt the need to clog up the road as soon as the gate opened).  When I finally did go to drive up, I learned how lucky I was to find that parking spot, as I had no problem traversing the short section of road into the park.  Those that had parked down in the low parts of the field were still being towed – one at a time.

We drove through one more nasty rain storm before arriving home after 9:30.

Mississenewa Here We Come

Mississenewa 1812 LogoWe received word last week that we have been accepted for the Mississenewa 1812 festival in nearby Marion, IN on October 12-14, 2012. Of course, we had to order different clothes to fit the time period.

This will be different for us because we will be camping at the event, rather than sleeping in our nice warm, comfortable house.  We will take plenty of sleeping bags and blankets.

Hope to see you there!