Friday, November 15, 2013

A Bamboo Story

                                                                                           by Kelli Pope

Years and years ago, my husband Steve and I attended a Derby party.  (If you're not familiar with the Kentucky Derby, it is THE event in Louisville, Kentucky.)   We found out about it from some other friends who had attended.  Initially, we were not so sure.  It was a party in "some guy's" backyard.  You could pitch a tent on Friday night (yes, in his back yard) and stay through Sunday.  There was a charge to get in, but all proceeds went to Make A Wish foundation.  We showed up with our lawn chairs and coolers, and had a BLAST!!!!!!!  It's called the Hillbilly Outfield.  It has been a yearly event for us and a large group of friends, pretty much ever since.  Free food, free beer, a huge silent auction, bands playing each night, and of course, TVs everywhere under tents to catch every race on Derby Day.  And all for an incredibly wonderful cause.  .....So, the first year we went, I put in some bids at the silent auction. One of the items was a HUGE bamboo plant. By HUGE, I mean HUGE.   25 ft tall.   The root ball on it was probably 2-3 ft around, or so.  Of course, when Steve found out I'd bid on it he was not exactly what I'd call ... "happy".   :o)      We have a VERY small fenced in back yard, no trees or bushes, and two very  large dogs.    I of course fell in love with the size, the wildness of it, and the fact that I wouldn't have to baby it, or water it, and couldn't kill it! (purple thumbs, here).     To Steve's dismay, I was highest bidder.  We had to borrow a trailer to go back and pick it up the next day.   The root ball just fit in the 6 ft bed of our pick up truck, with the rest laying out across the 6 ft trailer, and then some.  HA!..  I thought it was a great adventure and couldn't wait to get my prize home... Steve on the other hand...... Well, let's just say he happily lopped off about 10 ft from the top so we could get it home.    

Once home, we knew we had to build a box for it, as bamboo is extremely invasive. (I loved it, but I didn't really want an entire bamboo jungle out back)   We built a 4 x 4 box in the middle of the yard to plant it in.   It has thrived and grown ever since.  
  I'd say it's well over 20 ft now.  
I just love it!   What I haven't loved is the dried up bamboo stalks that have been laying on my hot tub for QUITE some time now.  
They have been moved around for months. I've wanted to throw them away several times, but Steve kept saying "no".  He has "a plan for them"....... OK. 
 "They need to dry out."
   OK.  So I've just kept (grumble, grumble) moving them around.
Apparently, he and Chopper had been making a plan.
 ... and after much deliberation.........
unbeknownst to me, they had decided to make me some beads. 
Last night, I came home to these little beauties :o) 
With a natural hole in the center, Steve had seen what I did not.  He cut different lengths, sanded them, stained them, and sealed them. 
I'm already seeing them with carvings, markings, and with different stains.  .....(he and Chopper may have bitten off more than they can chew!  HA!!)
I can't wait to use them in my designs! 


Artisan Beads Plus said...

What a great story AND a great idea!!! I love them!!!

Keith@ Vintage Crab Jewelry and Crafts said...

Sometimes we husbands can be pretty great, can't we, lol!

Saraccino said...

Oh, that is really so sweet!

My partner is like this, grumpy on the outside (Do you really need all this stuff?) but knowing exactely what I like (mh... just thought you could use it...). :)

Unknown said...

I found this really interesting so thank you for this. I've been looking for a jewelry store in Libertyville, IL.

stacilouise said...

very cool! I have been eyeing up some of justins deer antlers myself ;) everything is a possible bead

Almost Precious said...

You have one very creative hubby. His handmade beads are wonderful and I'm sure you will use them in some fantastic jewelry designs.

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