Wednesday, October 26, 2011

hey fall, thanks for showing up

Being a Florida resident has its seasonal downfalls. For instance, sometimes the date on the calendar has a tendency to be at odds with the temperature in the air. This would occur when it's, oh, say, 94 degrees in the middle of October. Don't get me wrong, I'm immensely grateful that I don't have to wrap myself in twelve layers of wool to walk to work in the morning, but still... a couple of leaves on the ground and a brisk chill in the air wouldn't hurt anyone.

Which is why I was extremely excited when we got our first real cold weather of the season a few weeks ago, and I've had fall on the brain ever since.

Fall has to be my favorite season. There's so much to look forward to. It conjures up all these warm, rich memories for me: football gamedays, family roadtrips to the Carolinas for Thanksgiving, and comfort foods. One of my favorite feelings in the world is when the air is cool but the sun is at its peak, shining on everything. It creates the most magically comfortable temperature in the world and it makes me itch to spend all my time outside. Let's also not forget how much fun it is to wear fall clothing (I mean I've been practically begging every weekend for an appropriate temperature to bust out my fall scarf collection.)

Anyway, last weekend we participated in what I think is the first ceremonial ritual of the fall season: pumpkin carving. It's the first time I've actually carved a pumpkin as an adult and had a front door of my own to place it in front of, so I was pretty excited.

Jason, his sister Kim, and I went last Saturday morning to a local pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkin canvases. Of course I had to pick out one of the biggest, heaviest ones that I could find. (Thankfully I managed to convince Jas to carry it back to the car for me. I seriously thought I was going to have to roll it.)

Kimble with her awesome pumpkin! 
This pumpkin is in fact quite large, but apparently it
dwarves in comparison to a 6'5" gorilla-handed man.
(That's not a derogatory comment, his hands are seriously
the same size as the gorilla hand prints at the zoo.) 
The whole way home I was trying to think of what I wanted to carve. I looked through some of the templates that were in the book that came with our carving tools, but nothing really struck my fancy. In the end I just decided I would do something free-handed and see where it took me. I had seen a pumpkin before with the word "boo" and I thought that was cute/simple enough that I could start there and experiment with the rest. I also wanted to play around with the whole "shaving" technique because I love designs with the lighter color orange and the darker orange.

The part that I had apparently blocked out of my memory was scooping out the gross innards of the pumpkins. I'm not going to lie, I was a bit of baby at first. (Sorry, but it's the gooiest, grossest feeling EVER to scoop out stringy pumpkin guts.) I will officially state, however, that Jason is quite possibly an even bigger baby than me when it comes to getting his hands dirty. Kim practically cleaned out his entire pumpkin before he'd even think about carving it. What a wuss.

Our command center

I pretty much had no idea where I was going from here.

Humble beginnings.
We had a great time with the whole thing, though. We listened to music, threatened to fling pumpkin guts at each other, cooked up some pumpkin seeds (delicious, by the way) and went out to eat after.

I think they turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. I love Jason's shark, even if I am a little jealous that his is cooler than mine. I make myself feel better by saying mine was more "intricate." (Come on, free-handed flames deserve just a little bit of credit.) After we were finished, we set them up on the front stoop as the sun went down. We must have walked out there twelve times to admire our handy work in every shade of lighting.

Okay, fine, it's cool.
(Jason has been referring to it as "the shumpkin.")

Still in-process at that point...

Kim's haunted house!
Da crew.
Pumpkin carving is such a great tradition and it's one that I hope we'll continue. When Kim left to let the dogs out at her house and Jason and I were left alone, there was a moment amid my carving that I looked up and realized we were both just standing there, completely immersed in our carving, not saying a word. This is what happens when you put two creative people together and give them a project. It was one of those great moments I definitely took a step back and smiled to myself.

Anyway, I put some more in-process shots below and definitely be on the lookout for some more fall crafting. I fully intend to soak up every second of the season, and I can't wait for Thanksgiving to get here!

(I'd also like to let it be known that I'm continuing my relentless pursuit for something fall-ish to hang on our door. I kind of like the fact that Jason refuses to support a wreath because it forces me to get more creative. Let the creativity begin...)


  1. How did I miss you having a blog?! Anywho, I didn't get to carve pumpkins this year and it's kind of sad. The heat definitely hasn't made it feel very fall-like this year. Hopefully that changes soon.

    PS Love Jason's shirt! ;)

  2. I agree! Can we get some cold weather, stat?! And yes, this little blog is where I try to stretch my craftiness/writing legs every once in a while. My goal for 2012 is to be much more regular with it though. Thanks for reading, and so glad we got to meet!

  3. love the pumkins! i cheated and painted mine this year (with S-W paint, of course).

    also, check out my most recent post and a shout-out to your haven:

  4. You have no idea what happiness that brought my day! Thanks so much! I guess the point isn't to give the award back to the giver, but just know that I love reading what you and Ben are up to! Oh and I forgot to tell you how perfectly stinkin' cute Grace's baby shower was. ALMOST makes me want to plan one. Almost. 

    ps. "moved back to FL to be with her love." This makes my heart smile. :)