Wednesday, October 31, 2012

pump-cone carving

First of all, Happy Halloween!

I don't know if you guys know this about me, but I'm not a huge fan of Halloween. I mean, sure, when I was little, the candy was awesome. But then I got older and I found out that my body does a full-on sugar crash from a hershey kiss much less a bag full of peanut butter cups. And you'd think I'd be a big fan of costumes, but a) I always put WAY too much pressure on myself to come up with something clever and b) after coming up with a different costume practically every week in college (the greek system is pretty much just a four-year long costume party), my creativity is a little lacking.

However, the one true thing I take joy in around Halloween is pumpkin-carving. Not only do you pretty much get a blank canvas to do whatever you please, but I love the fact that you feel like you're really making something. Ya know, with tools. And there's carving involved. And other fun italic-worthy things. I like to wield my tools and pretend I'm some sort of highly-skilled wood-working artisan or something whittling away at my masterpiece... (Just me on that one? Thought so.)

In true Carol fashion though, as it turns out, I managed to come up with possibly the most tedious pumpkin-carving idea EVER. Don't ask me how I come up with these torturous crafty tasks, folks. It's just a gift. I will say that I think it was all worth it in the end, but I'll let you be the judge.

First let me start off by saying, I love traditions. And pumpkin-carving has now become a sort of tradition for us. (You do it more than once and that's a tradition, right? Well that's all it takes in my book.)

Last year Jason, his sister Kim, and I all went to the closest pumpkin patch, spent a solid amount of time picking out the perfect pumpkins, and spent the day covered in pumpkin guts in our kitchen, testing our artistic acumen and trying not to stab ourselves with putty knives and screwdrivers (that was particularly challenging for me of course, but luckily I came away unscathed.) Which is why we thought we'd bring on round two this year and plan another pumpkin-carving extravaganza.

First, a quick trip to the patch.

The perfect opportunity for a few fall photos, of course. (I also like to imagine that Jason is a giant and that pumpkin he's holding is normal-sized like the ones behind him. I invite you to do the same.)

Um... hi, what's happening with my hair here? I swear I wasn't an 80's rocker for Halloween. This is just what happens when I go to bed with my hair in a braid-knot and then refuse to brush it the next day thinking I can rock the "natural" look. News flash: I can't.

Expressions like this are mainly why I keep him around.

This is Kim and Jason making fun of me for snapping about a gajillion photos. Me: "YOU GUYYYYYSSS... It's for the blog. Now act casual!" Although giving me a hard time is pretty much acting casual so... I guess they were just doing what I asked.

I was tempted to buy about 18 of these tiny pumpkins and hide them throughout our house for Jason to find. However, I wasn't entirely confident that I'd remember the locations of all 18, and rotting pumpkins under the bed didn't sound like a particularly pleasant scenario.

Okay, at the time I was really proud of this photo because I really felt like I got the light right and caught the wind at the perfect time. Now I just feel like it creeps me out a little bit. Anybody else get that vibe?

And another shot I really liked at the time because of the color combo - that orange and blue do fit together quite nicely. Then I realized... that blue thing? It's a trashcan. Whatever, that's art right? Right.

After each of us had selected our perfect pumpkins, it was back to the house for the actual carving. Rather than explain to you the scene, I'd rather just show you what ensued.

Now, let me bring a few things to your attention here. 1. Yes we are at the coffee table. Jason insisted that we be able to sit down and watch football at the same time (two luxuries we were not afforded last year from our kitchen.) I'm hoping my future children never see this post because I'm thinking the whole "No messy projects in the living room" rule will surely carry less weight after they see mom chucking pumpkin guts on the coffee table. 2. Please note the beer-drinking that also took place over the course of our marathon session. If you're a craft beer lover, Jason is obsessed with Harpoon's UFO Pumpkin beer. (Obsessed like we drove around Jacksonville buying up multiple cases since it's seasonal. Totally normal.) 3. See those little baby shavings on the left-hand side? Welcome to my Sunday. 4. Yes, that one on the right is a giant unicorn head. That would be Jason's. And the one on the left is Mario which is the handywork of Kim. Like I said, just a bunch of pumpkin-carving overachievers over here. 

Which leads me to... my creation. Meet THE PUMP-CONE. It's a pumpkin. That resembles a pinecone. It's a pumpcone. (All name credit goes to Jason. We in the Winegeart family have a STRONG affinity for puns and my ways are finally seeping into his psyche. That is a high-calibur pun though, one that impressed even me. The force is strong with this one.)

The pumpcone took about five hours total to carve. I had the bright idea to do a patterned pumpkin, but to actually carve it since I had seen so many people paint theirs. THERE'S A REASON THEY PAINT THEM, CAROL. Yeah... it was a bit tedious. Pretty sure I sprained something in my hand. But totally worth it because I can proudly say I have a pumpkin that I've never seen before. And what's even better, it's fall-themed. By doing a fishscale-like pattern (which I'm currently obsessed with in general) it ends up looking very pinecone-esque. Unfortunately I didn't carve out the inside of my pumpkin though because I knew I wouldn't be cutting anything out so it doesn't glow or anything. (Lame, right?) Yeah... maybe next year. Jason and Kim's do glow however, I just haven't gotten a photo of them yet. Maybe I'll update this post when we light them up tonight for Halloween!

This is not the prettiest shot of the pumpcone, but it is a glorious shot of our dog, Plax. So regal. I swear he poses for my camera. 

So that's it, folks! Pumpkin-carving was a long but successful event in our household, and I hope you all are living it up for Halloween whether it's watching Nightmare Before Christmas (one of my all-time favorites) on your couch in your PJs or it's going to a costume party with your best friends.

Happy Halloween, and I'll see you in November!


  1. Firstly, you CAN totally pull off the natural look! Before I actually read this post, I looked at the photos and was thinking that your hair looked awesome! And second, I want to steal your pumpcone, but I won't, considering it took you five hours to make.

  2. tedious, yes.. but it looks fabulous! AND since you didn't eviscerate it, it should keep through Thanksgiving!

  3. Thanks so much! And I'm hoping it'll keep longer than mine last year... which pretty much started stinking up our entry way after two days.

  4. You should get PAID for all the work you do for my self-esteem. :) And five hours is being generous. I kind of blacked out at the end there from hand cramps so I can't be sure...

  5. Samantha Kaparos PappasNovember 1, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Looks Amazing!!! I thought carving out little polka dots took forever... I can only imagine this! Your blog is great!

  6. Thanks Samantha! I really appreciate you stopping by - I just saw your chevron pumpkin and I love the color! Hope married life is treating you well! :)