Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pumpkin Carving

Found this info online and thought I'd post it. We're going to carve our pumpkins this weekend. We're also going to have a bon fire. The weather should be nice and cozy for a big bon fire. : ) Can't wait!!!

Halloween Pumpkins 101:

Perfect pumpkins are one of the favorite autumn icons. Here's how to find, carve, and care for a Halloween pumpkin.

*Consider possible locations for your pumpkin. On a front porch you may have space for a pair of large pumpkins or a trio of small, medium, and tall sizes. Smaller pumpkins can be a better fit for mantels, stairways, or windowsills.

*Look for unblemished pumpkins that are solid, not mushy.
You'll want to select a pumpkin with at least one good side if it will be placed against a wall. All sides should be presentable if the pumpkin will be used in a table centerpiece.

*It is generally simpler to carve pumpkins with a smooth, hard surface.
The style of your carving pattern should help determine what shape pumpkin to purchase.

*Smiling faces and designs with carved wording fit easily on large round pumpkins. Look for tall, narrow shapes to add variety or create spookier face designs.

More Ideas:
*Choose your favorite pumpkin color. If zesty orange isn't in your decorating scheme, consider harder-to-find pale green, dark green, bluish gray, or all-white pumpkins.
*Consider choosing matching pairs of pumpkins for a symmetrical look on either side of a front door, or have fun putting together a mix-and-match grouping of different colors, shapes, or sizes.
*Most pumpkins need to sit flat on a table or floor, so test your pumpkin to make sure an off-center base doesn't cause it to topple over.
*Store uncut pumpkins in a cool location before carving.

Pumpkin Carving Help

*Look for free online pumpkin stencil designs. Print them out and use a copier to reduce or enlarge the design to fit your pumpkin.
*Oops! Cut out a piece by mistake? Try reattaching it using straight pins (though this makes it impossible to cut farther into the pinned piece).
*While carving, take a break now and then to stand back and look at the design. You may see places that need a bit more attention.
*When cutting away larger pieces, it may help to insert a tool into the center of the area that is to be cut out. From there, begin to carve until you cut away everything up to the cutting line.
For thick pumpkins, try tracing your design with shallow cuts first. Go over the incisions, making the cut deeper and deeper until they come loose.

Keeping a Pumpkin Fresh
Help your Halloween pumpkin last longer with these tips to keep it from wilting prematurely.
*Select pumpkins that are very fresh and firm. Avoid choosing a pumpkin that has bruised or soft areas or cuts or other visible blemishes.
*Store cut or uncut pumpkins in a cool dry place to keep them fresh longer. You may have a cool basement or room in the refrigerator.
*Remember that warm weather and hot sunlight can speed decay in a pumpkin. If you live in a hot climate be sure to store your uncut pumpkins in a cool spot and wait to carve them until a day or two before Halloween.
*Once a pumpkin is carved, cover it with plastic for a day or two to help keep moisture in the pumpkin.
*Smaller cut pumpkins can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator for a few days before Halloween -- helpful if you are having a party and need to carve them ahead of time.
*Cover all cut edges of a pumpkin, as well as the entire interior, with petroleum jelly. This is the best way to reduce moisture loss and keep a pumpkin looking fresh longer.
*Heat from electric lightbulbs and candles can also contribute to the early demise of a pumpkin. *Try cutting a hole in the top of the pumpkin, allowing heat to escape.

Here's a link to some cool jack o lantern pics.

2 comments, add yours here:

David said...

Your link doesn't work. When are you going to put a cool pic on this thing instead of the white?

Tisha said...

Got the link fixed. ; )

Thanks, David.