Hello and happy fall! Or rather, happy pumpkin palooza! Although Fall is my favorite season, I usually don’t decorate and leave all of that fun stuff for Christmas. But I had some ideas and ended up getting super excited. I spent too much, and slaughtered a few gourds. Live and learn.
I know this is going to sound super lame, but a few years ago I had some pumpkin epiphanies that should’ve come sooner. For years, I carved the same pumpkin at home with my folks. The classic smiling pumpkin with a jagged smile. Never thought twice about it. Never considered the idea of carving something else. That’s just what a jack-o-lantern looked like. Sheltered, I was. During nursing school, my bestie and I went to town and I got schooled on jack-o-lantering. See here.
Here’s what I did, what worked, what didn’t. All in the name of hallow's eve. I got a few “real” pumpkins from Martins. There seems to be a shortage or maybe I was just late to the ballgame. I thought it would be a great idea to buy some fake ones so I could keep them year to year. I spray painted almost all of them. It was a nice base to work with although the fake pumpkins seemed to have a hard time coping.
Enter Michaels and the paint aisle. Holy moly it has changed since I was last there. Martha has taken over and there’s paint galore: glow in the dark, crackle, glass, pearling, liquid leaf. You name it. I grabbed copper liquid leaf, Martha’s gray wolf in satin, cloud in satin, chalkboard paint in gray, her crackle coating and a pearlizing medium.
The crackle paint was the biggest let down. I followed the instructions and nothing. Zilch. Nada. I even did it the “wrong way” thinking I wasn’t reading the instructions right on the bottom of a few pumpkins and it was still a failure. Oh well. I guess pumpkins weren’t meant to be crackled. Things I also tried that went ‘womp-womp:’ watercolor dripped pumpkins [it just didn’t take], plus a swirled texture I found online that was for easter eggs that included oil and food coloring. It was a bit frustrating. But luckily I learned what did work so next year I don’t have to waste so much time or money.
The fake pumpkins took the Martha paint really well even without a white spray painted base. The chalkboard paint was a beautiful color and went on nicely.
The pearling paint was amazing. I had never seen it or worked with it before. It was a thin enough coat that you could still see the original color underneath but it added shimmer. Not smack you in the face glitter-like shine but just a little wink to let you know it cares about its appearance in a sophisticated kind of way. I used it on this guy, used chalk to mark where I wanted to drill and made this:
I love it. I would’ve liked more holes but my drill died and I lost interest. It did hurt the paint and the pearl couldn’t cover the straight orange that was exposed in some areas. So maybe spray painting this guy post carving would be helpful. I cant wait to see him lit up.
My favorite was the ‘n.’ I have seen initial pumpkins for quite some time in magazines but they also seemed so formal to me. I’m not formal if you haven’t noticed. Then I thought of doing it in lowercase. I love it. It was great too because I used the chalkboard paint so I just drew the letter before cutting it out. And the chalkboard paint covered nicely for touchups afterwards. I'd love to try this in different fonts in the future.
Also, for the first time I cut the bottom out of one instead of the top. See how my mind was blown in pumpkin terms? It was interesting and nice to have a pretty top but I had to use painters tape to secure the bottom.
|bottom taken out|
|top taken off|
Inside I have a basic, large pumpkin in the grey. I may write on him in chalk later. There’s a little blue one that I “sponged” with the liquid leaf. I like him. I love the little white one too. I added the pearl agent to him and he just outshines the rest. Love the embroidery floss with the touch of pink.
And there’s rudy the rat, photo whore.
So there they are. I’m a bit perturbed that there were some craft fails but it’ll just make next year better [or so I tell myself]. Although I set myself up for failure by deeming this weekend a project marathon, only to be called in twice for a total of 9 hours. Should've seen that coming. And to be honest, it’s so hard to concentrate on Halloween because I’m p.u.m.p.e.d for Christmas. You have no idea. It’s sick. I'm not one for decorations out so early, but yes, I'm one of "them."
Anyone have some creative pumpkin ideas out there? I'd love to hear them! Check out the link.