Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Halloween Pumpkins

The one “craft” I did partake in for Halloween was the pumpkin carving process. The kids both painted pumpkins at school and got little tiny ones for table decorations, but I am a big fan of the carving. Part of it is my need to design and render something festive and part of it is my love of the roasted pumpkin seeds as a reward for all of that hard work.

I’ve always thought that the pumpkin carving kits you see in stores were silly, but this year I learned I was wrong. I got a hand me down set from Todd’s teachers last year and I actually remembered to use it. The downside is that the blades are really bendy and by the end of the process the two knives and one borer had broken off of their handles. But while they were still intact that worked really well for the carving and had a lot more control than the kitchen knives I’ve used in the past. I’m hoping that I can either find a sturdier set for next year or maybe find some cheapie ones on clearance to stock up. I will definitely be using those tools again. Not to mention that the scooper for getting the guts out was about 10 times faster than my ice cream scoop method (and the scooper didn’t break).

Heather helped for a lot longer this year than last – she scooped for quite a while and she drew the faces. Todd helped a little, but was more interested than watching. I look forward to a year when they are old enough to help more significantly so that four pumpkins don’t take 6 hours of work…but I am happy with the results and the two bags of roasted pumpkin seeds. J

Pumpkin #1 – Heather’s

She drew the face she wanted directly onto the pumpkin. Initially she drew more detail than I could feasibly carve and some of the features were proportionally small. But all I did was make the elements larger and simplify the lines. You could say I faithfully reinterpreted her design for the carving medium. :-P

Pumpkin #2 – Todd’s

When she got tired of scooping, Heather drew out a number of possible jack o’lantern faces for Todd and Daddy to choose from for their pumpkins. She had a variety of happy and sad faces, and Todd insisted on a sad face. Again, this is Heather’s design reinterpreted for the medium.

Pumpkin #3 – Daddy’s

This is based on one of Heather’s sketches, that was drawn onto the pumpkin by both of them. I’m not sure who added the extra eye – if it was on purpose or a chance occurrence – but daddy was very happy with Heather’s design.

Pumpkin #4 – Mommy’s

I started with a sketch that Heather had designated for me, but made a few alterations for my own preferences. This is my “ideal” face and the first year that I have been happy with the way it turned out. (Thank you, pumpkin carving kit.) Next year I may do something more different now that I have finally gotten a good basic face.

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