Thursday, October 04, 2007

Jack o' Lantern Gallery

This looks like fun! I was looking at recipes on line at AllRecipes and found the following I thought i'd share with you...

Pick The Perfect Pumpkin
Thump a pumpkin--a ripe, hollow-sounding one will be easier to scoop out.

Make sure it has no soft spots anywhere and has at least one smooth, unblemished face for carving. Put it back if there is major discoloration on any side.

Having a strong, well-attached stem is a sign of healthiness.

A medium-sized pumpkin is easier to work with than a huge or tiny one. But be flexible about the shape--a tall, skinny pumpkin may be just the thing for your design.

Balance is important too; a solid bottom that supports the pumpkin means less chance of rolling or being knocked over.

Advanced Pumpkin Design Tricks
Think about light. Part of the art of great pumpkin carving is thinking about shadows. Small designs in the back of the pumpkin can cast a wonderful shadow on a wall or door behind the pumpkin. Just remember to keep the design small, because the light that emerges gets magnified. If you are going to do this, be sure to scrape the inside of the back of your pumpkin to slightly under one inch in thickness.

The mouth. When you are working on the mouth, you can make more realistic teeth by only peeling off the outer skin of the pumpkin within the mouth and leaving the pale flesh beneath. You can then carve lines between individual teeth. The candlelight will shine through the fleshy teeth, but you should also make an opening between upper and lower teeth for more light to come through.

Adding pieces. You can use the pieces of pumpkin that you have carved out to fashion ears and fit them into slits that you have cut. Or you can use corks for ears (make holes and wedge them in). You can carve hair at the top of the pumpkin by scraping straight or curling lines all around the cap. Use a chisel or a linoleum cutter for this. Try a carrot for a nose or maybe a radish.

Finishing touches. When you are finished, use a paper towel to rub petroleum jelly over all the cut surfaces, inside and outside the pumpkin. This will help preserve it for several days.

Light up your Halloween night with these charming pumpkin carving ideas. Just click on the links next to each pumpkin and print off the your favorite template, or click here to view and print all six templates.

Pumpkin-Carving Templates
By: Reader's Digest

Hissing Cat

Catwalk Template.pdf

Lopsided Grin

Grin Template.pdf

Cat Whiskers

Whiskers Template.pdf

Happy Jack
Happy Template.pdf

Go get creative then send me a photo of your creations and I'll post them on the blog here for everyone to enjoy!


the feathered nest said...

The petroleum jelly trick is new to me. I like the cat whiskers one!


Elijah's Mommy said...

That was a new one for me too! We'll have try it this year and see how it works. I thought the cat whiskers idea was the cutest one.