Friday, November 22, 2013

Fall is coming to an end in Michigan, at least the spectacularly beautiful part.  The colors are mostly gone except for the brown of the dead leaves still hanging on.  Frost is becoming more common.  Scraping the windows in the morning has once again become something to keep in mind when planning how to arrive at destinations on time.  The glory of Michigan Autumn is transitioning to the character building adversity of our beautiful winter.  Time to religiously apply hand cream if I don't want my thumbs to crack.  Time to be sure heavy coats are worn, or at least are in the car, in the case of a breakdown.  Time to get out ALL the gloves and mittens.

That being the case, why I am I writing about something that is quintessentially associated with Autumn?  Because I never got around to writing about it when it was happening!! OK?

Liz with her friend Jonathan at the starting point of pumpkin carving.

Our family has enjoyed pumpkin carving for many years.  We've done simple patterns and complicated patterns, patterns with personal significance (like university logos), scary patterns, and darling patterns.
I've only recently realized that not everyone knows how very easy this is to do.

Patterns are available everywhere...Meijers, online, etc.

You take your paper pattern and tape or pin it to the pumpkin, folding the paper over the folds of the pumpkin.  Then, using a push pin, you push little holes into the pumpkin along the lines of the pattern.  When the paper is removed you have the pattern to cut outlined on the pumpkin.  Then all you have to do is cut it out!

Special pumpkin cutting tools are probably essential.  They usually come with the patterns if you buy them at a drugstore or Meijers, etc.  They're little, cheap serrated saws and knives.  Sometimes you can find just the tools, separate from the patterns too.  Once we even found a little battery powered electric saw.  Of course, my husband had to have that. :-)

Sometimes advice from the old pro is helpful.

The cat was Mary's, a pattern she's done before.  Always impressive, it's not that difficult because there are no odd angles and all the lines are pretty easy to cut.

 Jonathan did "the joker."  This was difficult and an impressive first project.  You can see the many little lines.  It took a long time.  In fact, he and Liz just barely finished theirs before the trick-or-treaters started to arrive.

Liz did this "Tinkerbell."  It was also difficult, with very small lines and several parts, like the wings, where you only cut partway through so the light is a little diffused.

Fun family projects!  What I love about pattern pumpkin carving is that all ages can enjoy it, with the possible exception of the very young, and even they can do simple patterns with some help.

And everyone enjoys the results!!

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