Entirely Unique Jack-O-Lanterns, Pumpkin Carving Ideas and Patterns
So I was walking in my local mall the other day, and I noticed some stores were already setting up for Halloween. Columbia's local Hallmark store had scarecrows and stuffed pumpkins, with silly faces displayed in their front window, propped up on Halloween wrapped boxes. It immediately put me into the Halloween spirit.
When I was a little girl, I was actually too shy to go trick or treating. I was always afraid to go up to a stranger's front door. Not only that, but I was also worried about someone laughing at my homemade costume. Anyhow, as I got older I really started to embrace the spirit of Halloween. I enjoy going to costume parties, bobbing for apples, and participating in other ghoulish surprises.
When I finally had my son Zachary, my husband and I took on Halloween with full force. We loved buying costumes for the whole family to wear, and decorating the house in glow-n-dark cobwebs, skeletons, and flying spiders. Slowly over time, our small box of decorations turn into to two boxes, and now....., well lets just say we have several boxes to store each year.
When I first saw Tim Burton's,"The Nightmare Before Christmas," I immediately feel in love with the clay animation. Tim's keen artistic talent, really shined through his ghoulish figures. Needless to say, I started collecting figurines much like his, to create my own "spooky village." To date I have a spooky swamp, a water tower, several haunted trees with lights, a haunted swing set & owl house, and a magnificent haunted mansion.
With each new year my family attends the Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival. Hartsburg, Missouri is an extremely tiny town on the Missouri river, outside Columbia, Missouri. Each fall they have a huge pumpkin festival to sell their homegrown pumpkins, homemade apple cider, and other fall merchandise. The festival itself drawns in thousands of people into a town with less than a hundred citizens.
For the past three years, my family and I have made the affair into a family outing spent with my grandchildren, and each year we all get to pick one pumpkin out of the whole lot, in order to save and carve at a later date. At the end of the day, we take our pumpkins home, wash them off and get them ready to be carved. When it is finally time to crave our pumpkins, it too is a family event. Everyone sits on our home computers, and proceeds to picks out their favorite pumpkin designs. Well last year, my pumpkin design was the face of Jack, the pumpkin man in Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas movie. However, this year my featured favorite is the first one pictured named, "It's hot in here...." I can hardly wait for the Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival to begin. Be safe this Halloween, and remember the children running in and out the streets this season.
Disney's Family Fun Pumpkin Carving Template
Directions from Family Fun.go.com page 2 of 2
Step 1: There are two ways to transfer your design onto the pumpkin. One is to copy it freehand onto a clean, dry pumpkin with a water-based marker (mistakes can be easily corrected with a paper towel). The other is to tape your pattern or template to the pumpkin, then score the design into the skin by poking holes through the pattern with a nail or plastic poking tool (available in some pumpkin-carving kits).
Step 2: The black portion of the image is the part of the pumpkin that you’ll be cutting out and removing. Carve by starting at the center of your design and working outward (this avoids putting pressure on areas already carved). Begin with the innermost and smallest. As each shape loosens up, gently push it out of the pumpkin with a finger or a dull pencil point (a good job for small kids). Larger shapes, such as gap-toothed grins, may have to be removed in pieces.
Tip: If you cut something you didn't intend to, perform an ad hoc pumpkin surgery: Stick a toothpick through the flesh side of the piece and fit it back into place.
Step 3: You can create dramatic effects by letting candlelight through the pumpkin in varying intensity. For a shaded effect, don't cut all the way through the pumpkin. Instead, make a shallow, angled (or V-shaped) cut (1/8 to 1/2 inch, depending on the thickness of the pumpkin wall), then peel away the outer flesh with a knife tip, spoon or vegetable peeler. You also can use deep, angled cuts to remove larger pieces, so that the light reflects off the walls of the hole. Lastly, put your jack-o'-lantern in a place of honor (away from flammables) and remember to blow out all candles before you go to sleep.
For more articles like this one visit, www.familyfun.go.com
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