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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Pull away the paper and join the dots with your trusty permanent marker.
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.
I gouged out the eyes with the scalpel.
5. I painted the pumpkin with some chalkboard paint I had in the shed, so I could show Lady Pumpkinhead’s more serious side…
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.
And these ones I put a couple of stitches in their heads and left them out to dangle in the breeze.
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…