I'm a 20-something-year-old kid.

posted October 31, 2005 by Jenn

JennHalloween 2005 is upon us. And this year is going to be different, for me at least. I haven't done or made anything for Halloween since I was in college. Oh, I've gone to other people's parties and whatnot, but I haven't had an actual costume or carved a pumpkin in over 5 years. This year, I changed that all in one fell swoop.

It began with two pumpkins, one weighing about 13 or so pounds (hereafter referred to as Pumpkin Sr.) and the other weighing about 6 pounds (hereafter referred to as Pumpkin Jr.). Pumpkin Jr. was a Regulation Pumpkin given to me at the place I work, as I had entered the pumpkin carving contest. Pumpkin Sr. was chosen for a more utilitarian purpose. It had to be at least 10 inches in diameter and more than 27 inches in circumference and more than 13 inches tall. I thought it'd be a bit difficult to find a pumpkin that matched such rigorous measurements but, as luck would have it, I found the squash at the second patch I stopped in to search. Excellent.

After washing off the pumpkins, I began the ritual evisceration and disemboweling.

Pumpkin Jr. fell before the knife first. It didn't put up much of a fight. Just a soft gasp and it was all over. When it was hollowed out and given a brief scrubbing inside, I put its hat back on and pronounced it prepared for carving.

Then I turned my blade on Pumpkin Sr. Now. Pumpkin Sr. did put up a bit of a fight. Had a lot more guts, it did, but that was to be expected. It took about twice as long all together to hollow out this pumpkin, not only due to its size but because the hollowed interior had to be scraped down to exact measurements as well. There was much scraping and checking and measuring and more scraping before Pumpkin Sr. was ready for carving.

After gutting and cleaning, I started with Pumpkin Sr. I measured and sketched and placed pins so I could get the eyes level and the nose and mouth aligned with each other cuz damned if I was going to have a lop-sided face on this pumpkin when I didn't intend to.

On with the cutting! Pumpkin Sr. had a thick shell and, oddly enough, required one of my older and sturdier pocketknives, after being stone sharpened, to cut cleanly and with any decent accuracy. Worked rather well. The teeth were the toughest part of course, what with the close edges and small angles and corners. I also had the assistance of a heavy-duty, woodcarving X-acto knife for the smaller details. I would also like to point out that no Jenns were harmed in the carving of these pumpkins. All my blood stayed on the INSIDE! Hooray! The measuring for Pumpkin Jr. wasn't quite as rigorous but it turned out rather well for being nearly completely freehanded.

Faces are done, but in this case, there's not much too them just sitting like that. So, starting with Pumpkin Sr., I applied several layers of $.50/bottle paint (which turned out to be rather GOOD paint for putting on a pumpkin) and got a base color coat.

While that was drying, I started on Pumpkin Jr. with a base coat. Several coats of paint, a steady hand, some glue and a couple of marbles and the pumpkins were complete. Pumpkin Sr. became a large feline-like face with beady, green eyes with a head big enough to wear my Hat.

It managed to fray the nerves of one of my coworkers. She's excitable anyway, but I didn't expect THAT reaction. Did I mention this pumpkin is big enough and was carved so that it fit on my HEAD?

Yes, indeed, I created a Halloween mask made out of a pumpkin.'s NICE. Pumpkin Jr. became a high contrast face of the slightly clownish persuasion with great big mismatched marble eyes. I think it's unsettlingly cute!

This is my pumpkin carving contest entry. The contest is over and people liked it quite a bit as far as I could tell from comments made in the room. It turns out that clown face won me third place out of 11 entries. It's alright though; the pumpkins that won first and second were quite good. There exists a picture of me in full costume, but it exists on someone else's camera. I shall post it once I get my paws on it. Digitally.