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Crafting for Fright and Fun!!!! (Elective)


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Welcome to Halloween Crafting for Fun and Fright!  We have a marvelous professor of inspiration and creativity to lead you in today’s fun and frightful activity!   Pumpkin Carving!  Professor Martha ArtsyFarsty will be explore all the things to do with a pumpkin….pies, seeds, icky gooey pumpkin guts fights…..


To start off though…we all need a pumpkin!  Now there is the traditional earth grown variety that comes in Orange and in White!  There are also foam pumpkins!  The only drawback to the foam variety are the lack of pumpkin seeds..the advantage is no pumpkin gooey guts to mess with…always a good thing in my book! 


What is the perfect pumpkin?  Big or smallish?  Round or oblong?  Does it make a difference if it has a blemish?   What do you all think?  *grins*    Let’s get going though and head out to the pumpkin patch to pick our pumpkins!!!  Tell us what is your perfect pumpkin looking like?


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Hmm... the perfect pumpkin...


I like really big ones and the rounder, the better. Blemishes don't bother me, since I tend to make them "beauty marks, anyway. *smirks*


As for color, this is the one place where I will say this (so, Frenchie, take note), Orange is the only way to go. Save the green and white ones for those fall decorations after Halloween, these need to be orange!

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*Professor Martha Artsyfartsy (aka faerielin) steps up to the podium and taps her knitting needles against the wood*


For carving an earth-grown pumpkin...

In addition, to your perfect pumpkin, you will need the following:

-A pumpkin carving kit which may include the following:

a carving saw, a poker, and a scraper/scoop for cleaning out pumpkin guts. Or a kit from your kitchen including: a serrated knife, a paring knife, toothpicks, and for scooping, you may use your hands.

Any combination of the above is acceptable.

-A marker or pen if you will be drawing a design directly on your pumpkin or if you will draw a pattern onto paper to apply to your pumpkin.

-newspaper to keep your floor clean.

-a trash bag (we reuse a grocery bag) for the pumpkin guts.

-a collander or bowl for the seeds, should you wish to toast them for an after-carving-snack.


If you wish to carve a foam pumpkin, stick around, we'll have more info on that and with luck Prof. Sorandha will stop by to share some of her expertise and techniques with the foam.


More to come, pictures and lots of info!

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Okay, carving pumpkins with the pumpkins ran quite a bit late....


to start with, gather your tools, whether a store bought kit or tools from your kitchen:


store bought kit, including scraper, two saws, poker and "drill"



kitchen tools, a serrated knife, paring knife, toothpicks and ice cream scoop or spatula (not pictured)



trash bag, collander, tape, pens, patterns


And of course pick your pumpkin:


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First step is to cut out the top of your pumpkin.

draw a circle around the stem. Cut at an angle so the "lid" doesn't fall in as the gourd dries and shrinks a bit. dcp_3358crop.jpg

Make sure you cut an opening big enough to fit your hand into.


Decide which side of the pumpkin is the front. Then at the back, make a mark or cut a notch in both the lid and the pumpkin to show how the lid goes back on.


Then, the best part, surgically removing the pumpkin guts.

Using your scraper, ice cream scoop or spatula scrape the inside of the pumpkin clean. As you remove the guts, separate the stringy bits from the seeds. Placing the stringy bits in the trash bag and the seeds in the bowl or colander.


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Now for this lesson we used a pre-printed pattern. I believe you could use this technique for any picture that could be traced as a line drawing.

The picture is taped to the pumpkin:


Tape the corners so that the image lies as flat as possible against the pumpkin.


Then using the poker or toothpicks, trace the design by poking through the paper enough to leave an outline of dots in the skin of the pumpkin.


This is tiring on the hands. You will most likely not want to do more than just pierce the skin of the gourd as trying to poke each and every hole all the way through the pulp will cause your hand to ache within the first 5 minutes. (I started this way and regretted it. I finished by just piercing the skin as described above.)


When you finish, you will have an easy to follow pattern ready to carve, by connecting the dots. :D


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Finally, finish by carving out the design. Using larger knives/saws for bigger areas and the smaller knives/saws for smaller detail areas. The drill came in handy for poking out the center of the eyes.



Poke out small portions at a time. Be careful to cut all the way through the pulp. Both of these cautions will help to avoid breaking away details of the design.


This is the pattern my 4 year old chose. He cleaned out most of the guts. His daddy handled the tracing and carving.



My 3 year old chose this design. I did the work with the sharp tools.


Now my pumpkins' jack-o-lanterns are ready for candles/lights and display. I'll post those pics tomorrow along with the final product from the "grown-up" pumpkins.

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*claps and bounces up and down*


WOW!  That was great Professor Martha ArtsyFartsy!!!  Pumpkin carving has come along way from when I first started in the dark ages!!!  The basics of cleaning are the same..but back then we just used a marker and drew triangles and circles for a scary face, and mom's carving knife!!!!


Thank you!  That was awesome!!!


Hey!  If anyone else has any kiddie Halloween crafts they would like to share...just hop on in!!!  I think our Headmistress has one for lollipop ghosts, and I will also have one to share this afternoon!


Share pics of your pumpkins too!!!!

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Thank you. I had quite a lot of fun putting it together! (but then, I'm still fairly new to this message board thing and it's still a novelty to me) :D


Anyway, I found a ton of links for toasting pumpkin seeds. If you don't care for any of the links below, you can google "toasted pumpkin seeds" and you'll see dozens more to pick from.

I cooked mine in a skillet last night. I think I like it better in the oven. They cook faster and require less monitoring in the oven. I think I usually set it to about 250. Most of these sites recommend covering the seeds in oil, but I don't usually do that when I cook them in the oven.

So, I made a batch with salt and garlic powder and a batch with cinnamon and sugar. I really like both, although I think I'd prefer plain salt to the garlic powder.

Oven - http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Roasting-Pumpkin-Seeds/Detail.aspx



Microwave - http://homecooking.about.com/od/vegetablerecipes/r/blv311.htm

Skillet - http://homecooking.about.com/od/vegetablerecipes/r/blv312.htm


And for those of you with the time and energy to try, here's the pie recipes:

From scratch - http://www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/pumpkinpie.php

From a can - http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Libbys-Famous-Pumpkin-Pie/Detail.aspx


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Is it just me or does that pumkin look like it's bleeding here:


*grins* Awesome job, Fae! :D


And you know I've got kiddie crafts, silly heads. I never bothered to grow up for Halloween (and a few other holidays, but we'll save that for later. ;) ) AND I teach, which gives me an excuse to use them. *laughs*


How 'bout I cheat and just give you a link to a bunch of 'em?


Here are Halloween people made using those little clay pots:

Bride of Frankenstein







And a link with a TON of stuff for kids, from color pages to craft projects:

DLTK's Halloween Collection


Enjoy! :D

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oh thank you!!!  Pie from scratch is a pain!!!  But man it is an accomplishment to do!!


Thanks for the pumpkin seed links!~  I have here a pretty simple recipe and some variations that I'd like to share too!


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


You'll need about 2 cups of pumpkin seeds, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon salt, or more to suit your taste.  Rinse the seeds well in cold water to make sure you rinsed away any leftover pumpkin guts.  Pat dry with a paper towel.  Pute the sees, oil and salt in a large bowl and stir well to coat the sees with oil.  Spread the seeds on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake until crisp and golden, about 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Taste for seasoning and add more if desired.




Herbed Seeds

Use olive oil in place of the vegetable oil and add 1 teaspoon each of dried rosemary, drid basil and salt.


Spicy Seeds

Add two teaspoons chili powder along with the salt.


Indian Seeds

Add 1 and a half teaspoons curry powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper along with the salt.


Pumpkin Pie Seeds

Substitute 4 tablespoons melted butter for the vegetable oil, and add 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, and a pinch each of ground nutmeg, ground cloves and salt.  (or after the brown sugar you can use a tablespoon of Pumpkin Pie spice)


Ranch Seeds

Add 2 teaspoons of powdered ranch dressing mix with the salt.


Anyone have any other flavors?  I like this version because of the stirring it all up to coat the seeds...and not to soak them in the oil!


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So, here's one of the coolest parts of the pumpkin carving experience. Our jack-o-lanterns lit up at night!




and just cuz they're cute, here's my boys with their pumpkins...

Brendan (age 4):



Ian (age 3):



And I know this will come as a shock, but here's my pumpkin. I wimped out this year and used a pattern for mine as well.



Hubby's pumpkin will be the best of all. (but mine's cuter. ;)) He's carving it as we speak. And I do mean carving. He's doing one of those fancy 3D relief carvings that will have lots of depth and detail with the candle lit behind it. Freehand, too. *turns just a little green with envy*

I'll probably have to wait till tomorrow to post that pic.


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Now onto the Kiddie crafts....


Unfortunately, we barely got dinner into my munchkins in time for bed, so they'll have to make theirs tomorrow.

I used craft foam sheets. I have a brick of different colors; kinda like construction paper (which would also work for this). I also have a large container of precut shapes in different sizes. Plus, the special craft foam glue, a pair of scissors and a pencil.  ;D

I think these are pretty self explanatory, but if there's any questions, feel free to ask.




Aren't they cute?

Every shape is either precut foam shapes, modified shapes or cut directly from a foam sheet.

I really thought they could use some glitter and/or sequins, but I don't have those on hand. Oh well. Maybe someone in the class will have something with more bling, bling to share later on.  ;)

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Fae those pumpkins are soooooooooooooooooooo cool!  I love them!  Freehand?  Can't wait to see it!!


Now those boys are just adorable!!!!  *chuckles*  Just want to give them a huggle!  What are they going to be this year?


And those are great kid crafts!  I have yet to meet a kid that doesn't like playing with the  foamies!!! 


Just a note...aileen's tacky glue or any craft glue will also work with the foam sheets!  ;)

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*Stands before class and clears throat to gain attention*


  An easy alternative to traditional pumpkin carving (And especially useful with little ones who want to do the work) is pumpkin painting.  We used a set of paint brushes that have the paint in the handle (Squeezes out through the brush).  My wife, my daughter and I all put a face on the same pumpkin.  My wife's was made with paint alone, mine was outlined with sharpie and painted by my 4 yr old, and she also painted her own side.  A less messy (Mostly) option from the traditional.  (No pic at the moment) :( 

  Also for those who go the traditional route...If your pumpkin has dried and shriveled some, soak it in water overnight to rejuvenate it.

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*chuckles*  My husband got a kick out of the "gourd of the sith"  and both of us were very impressed!!!


Paints are fun Sam!  We have done that with youth groups!!  When I was little, we always got a smallish pumpkin that stayed inside for decoration..and it was decorated with buttons!  Yup...got to dig through my Mom's button jar and use whatever I wanted and pinned them to the orange canvas for a work of beauty!!!

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