Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Pumpkin Time!

I am at work, and for once there is nothing going on. And there is much rejoicing. The Doctor is off doing her thing, Annoying Coworker hasn't shown his face too much since our last email battle over policies and procedures, and the boss is off at meetings. Even Drink Man is not in; he's stuck at home waiting on a plumber.

So that leaves me free and (relatively) stress free to post pics from last night's pumpkin carving party. The party was a huge success, although attendance was minimal due to illness and torrential rains - one friend pointed out that whenever One Ring and I host something, it pours. Odd. Still, we carved some awesome gourds, if I do say so myself. But first, a brag from yours truly - The Haunted Mansion model is just about complete!

There are a couple of cosmetic details that need to be added, and it would have been finished in time of the party, but what initially looked like two steps turned out to be roughly 24. So obviously the roof metalwork and some of the masonry was not added. Still, I was able to bring it out and show off.

That being done, it was time to carve up some pumpkins!

One of our friends decided to go old school, as in pre-Christian Celtic tradition of using turnips(the tradition changed to using pumpkins for Jack O' Lanterns when the Irish came to America)! We thought she'd be in for a fight, trying to cut faces into the little things, but she came out with an awesome trio of retro looking jack o' lanterns.

After a minor setback involving the gross discovery that his pumpkin had rotted from the inside and was now populated by a colony of fruit flies and other nasties, another friend switched to his backup - a "ghost" pumpkin. I had never seen one of these carved. Turns out that the interior is a light green, almost melon color. I have no idea if it tastes the same as a traditional pumpkin, and I wasn't about to find out. He followed another tradition - carving a face free hand with only his imagination and a knife.

One Ring joined me in chosing a design from this year's Pumpkin Masters books. I thought she did an excellent job, despite having a massive pumpkin that had extremely thick walls. I like the topic, as haunted houses and ghosts are a few of my favorite things!

I had trouble deciding which design to use at first; this year's designs were really good and there were a few from books we had bought over the last several seasons that looked great, too. But I finally decided on this one, which I thought captured the spirit of Halloween. When I imagine what a personification of Samhain (pronounced "Sow-win") looks like, this is kind of what I see. Of course, others have depicted Samhain in similar ways, so it's nothing original. Oh, I deviated from the traditional by using a craft pumpkin, which is essentially a styrofoam shell spraypainted orange. It is very thin, so carving is easier. The only downside is that I can't use candles in it, since it's VERY flamable.

All of these pictures were taken with my cell phone camera, which explains the poor resolution. One ring took several with our digital camera, and those pictures came out great. They're on my facebook page at the moment, and I'll try to copy them over here if I can remember.

Well, back to the grind. Hopefully more will be posted later.

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