Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Night 2014

Last night was pumpkin carving night at my house.  For those who haven’t spent years reading my musings, pumpkin carving and Christmas cookies are two traditions that have had staying power in our family over the years.  Ryan and Emily now have their own household, so it’s a bit harder to get everyone together.  But I’m learning to ask Emily – if I ask Ryan, he tells me that he needs to check with Emily – but if I ask Emily, she decides right away and then tells Ryan when it’s going to happen.

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Which led us to last night.  We had some food that we could get quickly if necessary, but the evening was more about the carving.  Ryan and I have always been “freeform carvers” – Emily likes to work with templates, and encouraged me to try it her way this year.  My freeform pumpkins have always been some variation of “eyes, nose and mouth” – there is not a creative bone in my body (my idea of creativity over the years was putting a couple of teeth in the mouth).  But I tried – spent some time on the laptop looking at templates but couldn’t find anything that just screamed at me.  That’s not quite correct – I found a Herman Munster template that I loved, but I knew that the detail was way out of my league as a first-time templater.  And I looked at a lot of sports-related templates, but a simple logo just didn’t do it for me.


Meanwhile, Ryan finished with his entry for the year (he calls this “One-Eyed Bob”), and Emily switched from the cat template above to an owl.  I came back into the living room with nothing and decided to go back to freeform mode, but the sad look on Emily’s face made me go back to the laptop for one more try.  I went to the Cincinnati Reds’ website to see if they had any templates (for me, “when in doubt, go to baseball”) – found a couple that weren’t bad, but still weren’t calling out to me.  But then the wheels started turning.

I now share my “creative process” – more for laughs than anything else, because for me this is as good as it gets . . .

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I started out with a Reds’ logo – figured I could use it for eyes.  Then I found a hat and moustache (part of the All-Star Game logo for 2015 because the Reds were baseball’s first professional team in 1869).  Maybe a bat for a mouth (I found that elsewhere).

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Then the hamster started running on that wheel inside my brain.  Maybe a skull and crossbones, with bats as the crossbones and the Reds logo as the skull.  And what about the hat and moustache to give it some character.  After a few overlays, I printed my “template” out and went to work.

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Picked up an “observer” along the way . . .


The finished product wasn’t perfect, but I thought it wasn’t bad for a first effort.  Then it was time to take them out on the front porch rail and light ‘em up . . .

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Left to right – Ryan’s “One-Eyed Bob” . . . my creation . . . and Emily’s owl.

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The finished product is never as important as the journey – and I have to admit that it was the most fun I have had on Pumpkin Night in a long time.


All of the activity and supervision did take a toll on Zoe, though . . .


  1. I'm impressed! They are all cool and unique!

  2. You just THINK you aren't creative. I know otherwise! Of course I could be talking about a deck of cards!

  3. Great work, guys. As for make n take question, I'd like the directions and the ability to purchase. Thanks for asking.