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How to carve a pumpkin

I love All Hallows’ Eve, Halloween, whatever you want to call it, but entering a pumpkin carving competition for the first time has unleashed the wilderbeast in me and I am afraid, very afraid. Now I completely understand those people who grow vegetables the size of trucks. If  a pumpkin-carving-performance-enhancing drug was available I would’ve used it.
There may not have been any EPOs available, however I did give myself the following advantages:

  • Buying one of the bright orange Halloween pumpkins from the supermarket.
  • Using a ridiculously sharp knife (courtesy of Gonzo’s sharpening skills.)
  • Finding a trusty permanent marker.
  • Choosing an art scalpel and Dad’s old wood carving tools as my weapons of choice, but art supply shops have lino carving sets for about $10 and they would do just as good a job.How to carve a pumpkin | Blah Blah Magazine

Drawing is not one of my strong points, so I used a template of a Venetian mask and face shape I found online. However, my fellow domestic goddess, ahem, Martha Stewart has some templates, including some kid-friendly Jack O’Lanterns, purty Autumn leaves, a witch, haunted house and kitty cat.How to carve a pumpkin | Blah Blah Magazine
The  strategy of war was:
1. Cut the top with a sharp knife. A circle around the stalk is fine, I did a star because, well,  look up crazy-must-win-at-all-costs-lady in the dictionary.How to carve a pumpkin | Blah Blah Magazine

2. Pull out the all the seeds and pulpy gunk. You can scrape the inside walls with a spoon, but I didn’t worry about that too much (this all smelt kinda odd to me, otherwise I really needed a shower.)
3. Draw the image you want onto the pumpkin. If you’re using a template, pin it on and with a wet cloth sponge it so the paper snuggles up nice and close to the pumpkin (afterwards, you’ll have to wait for the paper to dry before moving onto the next steps, otherwise it rips.)How to carve a pumpkin | Blah Blah Magazine
Pumpkin acupuncture or ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ voodoo is the delicate art of pricking the paper (and pumpkin underneath) with a pin along the lines in the template design.How to carve a pumpkin | Blah Blah Magazine

Pull away the paper and  join the dots with your trusty permanent marker.How to carve a pumpkin | Blah Blah Magazine
4. The carving is the business end of the stick. I sliced along all the black lines with a scalpel and removed the orange spaces in between with the wood carving tools.How to carve a pumpkin | Blah Blah Magazine

I gouged out the eyes with the scalpel.How to carve a pumpkin | Blah Blah Magazine
5. I painted the pumpkin with some chalkboard paint I had in the shed, so I could show Lady Pumpkinhead’s more serious side…How to carve a pumpkin | Blah Blah Magazine
I made Lady Pumpkinhead some ghostly friends from an idea I saw on A Beautiful Mess by wrapping little Styrofoam balls in cheesecloth or muslin and tying with string. These ones I stuck bamboo skewers in their bums.How to make Halloween ghosts | Blah Blah Magazine
And these ones I put a couple of stitches in their heads and left them out to dangle in the breeze.How to make Halloween ghosts | Blah Blah Magazine
The only Trick or Treat costume I can get Little H to wear for any length of time is his own creation – The Scariest Ghost Ever – Woooo…Harry-the-ghost-600




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Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine

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  1. Oh my GOURD! That is the most amazing pumpkin I have ever seen!! Clever lady! And, could that be a certain someone’s bridal veil that the cute little ghost is wearing?

  2. Very impressive! You’ll laugh when you see my best effort. http://www.roamingtales.com/2009/11/24/halloween-and-the-holidays/

  3. Miss Jo, there is something a bit Miss Havisham about Little H’s costume, but no it’s the mozzie net from his old cot x
    Caitlin, I am impressed with anyone who gives Jack O’Lantern a stab x

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