Friday, October 28, 2011

Hallowe'en Pumpkins '11

Just a preview for now, as I've only just finished the basic carve/gouge of the Batman pumpkin.   I meant to time how long it took, but my mum phoned part way through and also stopped to make lunch for the kids.

I'd estimate 15 minutes prep - to open the top, clean out and prepare the inside, and tape on the stencil.  Maybe 40 minutes after that to get to this point.  I still need to smooth out all of the yellow pumpkin flesh, poke the eyes, and clean up the mouth.

As I said in my instructional post last year, I just searched google for the stencil using "Batman Colouring Page" and picked the fourth or fifth one in.  This was a great stencil because unlike last year's Tinkerbell one, I could copy it exactly.  Leave the skin where the stencil is black, carve the skin where the stencil is white.

Here it is lit up with most of the rough scraping completed.  The mouth needs to be thinned still, but with such a sliver I'll leave it until last, since it would easily break off in handling.  Still a bunch of detail scraping left to do.  Basically anywhere the pumpkin flesh is opaque or darker orange (in and around the right side of his cape) needs more scraping.  Where it is translucent and bright yellow (the bottom of the circle, his shoulders, armpit, and part of the left side cape) is almost complete.

I'll leave the rest until Hallowe'en day though, because it will dry out and need to be redone anyway..

Although partly the fault of the camera, you can also see the final product isn't as translucent.  Carving three days early allowed the pumpkin to both dry out and soften.  Do it the day of, or at most the day before for best results.  I started to scrape the dry flesh off, but the carved area of the pumpkin had softened so much that I was worried I would break it.  The only small change from the last photo was to poke the utility belt all the way through.

A plain Batman Symbol Pumpkin.  If you are just learning to skin carve a pumpkin, this is a great one to try first.  It is a simple design, like last year's Transformers pumpkin.  It doesn't take a lot of time (from start to finish it took me 30 minutes), and the lack of details mean there isn't a lot of mistakes you could make.

Pumpkins 2012: Master Yoda Pumpkin, Cookie Monster Pumpkin
Pumpkins 2010: Tinkerbell Pumpkin, Transformers Pumpkin with Autobot and Decepticon logos
Pumpkins 2009: Scooby Doo and Shaggy Pumpkin, Mystery Machine Pumpkin, Yoda Pumpkin, Boba Fett Pumpkin
Pumpkins 2008: Ernie and Bert Pumpkin, Soccer Ball Pumpkin
Pumpkins 2007: Calvin and Hobbes Pumpkin, Spiderman Pumpkin, Toronto FC Pumpkin
Pumpkins 2006: Darth Vader Pumpkin, Homer Simpson Pumpkin 

Important Announcement

I got in some trouble last child for failing to widely inform people that he was on the way.  So I get in less trouble, be it known (rather belatedly) that #3 is on the way.  More info in a week to ten days!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My children are so well behaved

Blonde hair, blue eyed Odin, age 2, was wearing his spiderman suit, making goo-goo eyes at the ladies, and flexing his padded muscles.  So I might have expected a 'your children are so cute'.

Mars was discoursing on the attributes of dinosaurs, pronouncing names I can't, and telling me what each one ate.  So I might have expected a 'your children are so smart'.

Instead, the grandmotherly lady said "Your children are so well behaved".  Personally, I thought they were getting a little silly giddy as we were about to leave the restaurant.  I said thanks.  She said she hadn't seen such well behaved children in a long time.

I find it strange.  As cute and smart as they are, the most frequent comment we get is about how well behaved they are.  At restaurants, at stores, out in public.  Every few weeks, a complete stranger will talk to us about what nice, well behaved kids we have.  I guess they are well behaved.  Most of the time.  In public.  I suppose what we consider normal is actually well behaved these days.