These gourds are gorgeous
MANY CIVILIZATIONS throughout history offered prayers of thanks following a bountiful harvest. Festivals, thanksgiving feasts and harvest celebrations were held by early Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, Chinese and Egyptians.
The Greeks gave thanks to Demeter, their goddess of grain. The Romans' harvest festival included music, games, sports and a feast in honor of the goddess of corn, Ceres. The word cereal is derived from her name. And for more than 3,000 years, Jewish families have celebrated an autumn harvest festival called Sukkot.
It's not surprising that early settlers in North America would want to thank God for a good and bountiful harvest after a devastating first year in the New World. They stored corn, fruits and vegetables. They cured meat over fires and preserved fish packed in salt to feed them through another winter.
In honor of the harvest season, I used pumpkins and gourds to make small figures with items I found in my neighborhood, such as leaves, nuts and beans. I found directions for "gorgeous gourds" at familyfun.go.com.
Take a walk outdoors to gather a few items to build your "pumpkin people." I bought small pumpkins and gourds at the grocery store. Use whatever items you can find, and supplement them with small items such as buttons and beans.
Supplies you will need
* An assortment of gourds or ornamental pumpkins
* Beans, seeds or buttons (I used black-eyed peas and lentils)
* Leaves, pine cones, acorns, flowers, pine needles and twigs
How to make it
Wash and dry the gourds. Start by trying different gourds together until you get a head-and-body combination you like. Ask an adult to cut off the stems of the larger, heavier ones to use on the bottom.
Glue a leaf or two to the top of your gourd base for a collar, then glue on twigs for arms. When you have the lower part of the body decorated the way you like, glue a smaller gourd on top for a head.
Decorate the face with buttons, seeds or beans for the eyes and a nose. Add an acorn or pine cone to the top for a hat. I gave my "gentleman" gourd a leaf "tie" and pine-needle "hair." The "lady" gourd is holding a bouquet of flowers.