Last Year’s Pumpkin

Every Halloween I have the exact same conversation with myself.  I say “Myself.  You are NOT going to carve an elaborate pumpkin again.  You are going to carve a normal pumpkin with triangle eyes and a carrot for a nose and a corn cob pipe.  Or whatever.”  I argue it’s too time consuming, too much pressure and a waste of several hours that could be spent watching MasterChef Australia.

And then I go out, buy a pumpkin and spend the better part of a day carving it.  I never EVER win arguments with myself.

I’m having the very same argument with myself at this very moment.  So my goal this year is to come up with something that’s as impressive as my sculpted pumpkins, but half the effort.  Carving a Papaya perhaps.

Until then, I leave you with the pumpkin I carved last year.  I normally just start with no real idea in my head and let the shape of the pumpkin sort of guide how the carved face looks.  But last year I came across a pumpkin on the Internet I loved so much I used it for inspiration.

I can’t find the picture again to link to it, but to be perfectly honest with you I wouldn’t link to it anyway because theirs was so much better than mine.  So there.

I started off with an oblong shaped pumpkin with a great steam that curved down onto the pumpkin.  (the one on the right)  Sorry for the horrid pictures, they’re just quick shots I took with my iPhone last year.

Whole pumpkins

To gut the pumpkin, I cut a hole in the back as opposed to the top of the pumpkin.  That way nothing interferes with the design on the front of the pumpkin.

Back of Pumpkins

And then I start carving.  First scraping off the skin of the pumpkin with this tool, and then carving with a variety of other tools including my fingernails.

Pumpkin 4

By the time I got around to taking a picture of the completed pumpkin it had been carved for over a day so it was getting a bit dried out and wrinkly.  Sadly, pumpkins age at about the same rate as a methhead.  So, it’s not in its best condition, but you get the idea.

Pumpkin 2

Pumpkin 1

Looking at it, with its rotting teeth, the pumpkin actually kind of looks like a methhead.  Which has given me an idea.  Forget carving a Papaya.   This  year I’m just going to sit a methhead on my front porch.





  1. Penny says:

    The methhead on my front step scared away all the kids, I’ll be eating these damn fortune cookies for weeks!

  2. Denise says:

    Love the carving and great idea making the hole in the back! I’m thinking I’ll have to try that next year

  3. AnnW says:

    Geez, what Can’t you do? I suppose a pumpkin pie is not a Real Pie, also? How are you doing with the iPhone. My husband and daughter just bought them and are entranced. Ann

  4. ModFruGal says:

    OK..I’m with Lauren and the few others to squee about the fact there is a Masterchef Australia and that it rawks.

    Your pumpkin skillz are amazing…I had no energy for carving this year so luckily triangle eyes and teeth was enough for my peeps his year.

  5. Kelsey says:

    Amazing carving!

    If you are looking for something smaller (and less time consuming) to carve, I tried a turnip:

    Mine is just the triangle-eye variety, but I think a turnip would lend itself to serious carving too.

  6. Gayla T says:

    Any one who can carve that well is truely wasting time and talent on a pumpkin. Use orange Skulpy and have it forever. Really! This year Peter Peter Pumpkim Eater and next year Michaelangelo! I always mess up the one with triangle eyes. LOL

  7. Del says:

    So our Master Chef is better than the American one! I’ll be buttered – on both sides! Nifty pumpkin:)

    • Karen says:

      Del – Your MasterChef is 100 times better than the American version. I’m on the 2nd to last episode of yours. Soooooo enthralled with it. Actually …. an Art of Doing Stuff reader was a contestant on it this year! I was so excited when she told me. Shannon is her name. Look her up. :) ~ karen

  8. Angela says:

    I have never carved an elaborate pumpkin but the shape of my pumpkin this year begged to be carved as Sloth from Goonies :)

    It turned out pretty good! Now I just have to find a Babyruth to shove in his mouth…

    Happy Halloween Karen!!

  9. CourtneyOutLoud says:

    I think a meth head may be cheaper in the long run and then you also have a way to get rid of all the candy that didn’t get passed out. it’s a win-win!

  10. Nicole says:

    GREAT carving work. I don’t have the patience. I cut really well though. This year I’m doing crows. I’m loving the crow theme for some reason.

    By the way, a pumpkin stem is called a peduncle, which is a lot more fun to say than stem. Like, my, what a great peduncle you have.

  11. Clare says:

    Ack! I was really proud of my pumpkins until I saw this! Yours are amazing. I am consoling myself with the fact that I have never done it before … as a recently arrival here in the States this is my first Halloween.

    BTW I used a rotary tool to get rid of the bulk on mine, then went in with a soup spoon and a vegie knife. Love love love cutting a hole in the back: Not only does it look better, you can put a candle in there without burning your fingers (dont ask) … ouch!

    And yes, we do have Australian Masterchef, Australian Idol, Australian Next Top Model …

  12. Heather says:

    Your punkin work is amazing, Karen. You must have the patience of a saint, honestly.

    I was so excited to carve up some punkins this year, especially because its our first year in a house with actual neighbors. … only to find out from our neighbor that they don’t get trick or treaters on our street because its mostly older couples whose children have grown. ::sniff::

    • Nancy says:

      Same here Heather..we bought this place and then found out there were no trick-or-treaters here..we miss the fun sooo much…Awesome pumpkin face Karen..kinda reminds me of my ex-husband..he wasn’t a methhead but he was as scary as

  13. Jane says:

    I LOVE your Blog!
    esp. when you say stuff like ” Sadly, pumpkins age at about the same rate as a methhead” This has me laughing so hard…

  14. Sarah says:

    Way cool carving! I love how the face follows the natural shape of the pumpkin…if only I had that kind of talent! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Bev says:

    Oh before kids the fun of pumpkin carving – they like triangle eyes and such. I just cover the patio with newspaper, set out pumpkins and paint and let them paint away! If they mess up, I just hose the pumpkin off and let them start again. One day too soon I will have designer pumpkins again and yearn for my kids painted ones.

  16. Wow you’re great at carving! I still go with the triangles. When I can even be bothered to do that. Pumpkins are slimy.

  17. Nicole Rossetti le Strange says:

    Awesome doesn’t even come close to describing you, Karen! You rock!

  18. Lucy says:

    You may have gotten your inspiration from here: I saw these earlier this month and marveled at them. You did a good imitation!

  19. Wow Karen! Makes my attempts with a star cookie cutter look not so good. I can’t wait to see next years post about the visiting methhead!

  20. Elen says:

    Heart the meth-face. I’m taking away cutting the hole in the b a c k . That is so brilliant, and I never, in all my days, thought of that. Huh.

  21. Lauren says:

    I’ll play the “Girl Who Misses the Point” and enthusiastically exclaim “There’s a Master Chef Australia????”.

    Seriously, though, you carve a mean pumpkin.

  22. Aimee says:

    Very nice!

    Last year we grew a massive pumpkin which my husband then “sculpted” with a spoon. If you visit my site you can see it, he made it pretty darn spooky! :)

  23. Laura Watt says:

    I am actually NOT going to carve an elaborate pumpkin this year as I forgot to buy one at the market today so we are carving tiny pie pumpkins instead. Also toddlers do not care that their mothers would love to spend the afternoon carving pumpkins. They only want to turn what was a previously nice evening into super-danger

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