This was the most fun thing I think I've ever done in a long time. In my box of practice gourds was this large bottle gourd. I covered her in purple ink which oddly enough doesn't need to be heat set. The orange spirals were done with oil paint sticks. I then covered the whole gourd with polymer medium.
The beading was the most fun. I found a children's book at the library about a little gourd growing on a vine and all her friends and family start disappearing. One day, she is picked off the vine and is scared until she sees her friends + family have turned into pretty shekeres. For the string, I used Maysville carpet warp and the beads were in my stash of glass beads. She's a lovely instrument.