Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In Which I Give It A Try

Late last week, when The Boss and I were making our plans for the weekend, I mentioned that I wanted to set aside some time to carve a pumpkin. In all of the years that we've been together, we have never carved pumpkins for Halloween. It had been a number of years since I had carved a pumpkin, and I wanted to give it a try. So, when I first mentioned it to The Boss, she looked at me with a mixed expression of surprise and concern.

Having never expressed to her any interest in carving a pumpkin before would explain the surprise, but the concern most likely came from the fact that someone as clumsy as myself should probably avoid situations involving slippery substances and sharp knives.

Nevertheless, she agreed. We made a trip out to the store to pick up a couple of decent-looking pumpkins and some carving tools, and set up our workstation outside our apartment on a picnic table. Being the geek that you all know me to be, I did a little bit of research on pumpkin carving technique before I started. The idea I had in mind was more than your basic jack-o-lantern, and I didn't want to screw it up.

After assessing the size of her pumpkin, The Boss opted to paint her pumpkin instead of carving it. Not having any concrete plans, she was going to free-hand a design and just run with it. Me, on the other hand, I had my hand-drawn sketch and an array of tools, and I dug right in.

Before long I had the top cut off and the innards all scraped out. I sketched out my design carefully, and slowly began carving. It was tedious and time consuming, taking almost four hours from start to finish. The Boss finished her painting long before I was done, and sat there on the bench watching me work. I had to do some major improvising when I realized that part of my design just wasn't going to work, but in the end I was pretty satisfied.

I meant to take pictures of the entire process, but I got too involved in what I was doing and forgot. So, I've got the standard Before and After pictures. First, though, here is The Boss' pumpkin painting:




This thing scared the crap out of me in the early hours of the morning, when I stumbled into the kitchen for a drink of water. It's those eyes, man. They followed me around the room.

Here is the Before picture of the pumpkin I carved:




Here is the finished (un-lit) product:




When it got dark enough, I took this picture:




It was a lot of work, but I'm pretty satisfied with the end result. It's not perfect, but I had a blast doing it. I think I bit off more than I could chew initially, having never done a carving using the negative space technique. It was much harder than I thought, but it worked out well enough once I got the hang of it. Lucky for me, I have a lot of patience.

And, to the surprise of both The Boss and myself, I didn't cut myself once.

---

Only three days left to enter the Fall Season contest!

49 Comments:

Tammy Howard said...

That is AWEsome!!! I am pea-green with envy. Oh, yours is nice, too. I keed! I keed! Very impressive!

Mwa said...

Great work. But four hours? That is dedication!

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

I love your design

Shari said...

Both pumpkins are cool. But dude.. where is your nose?

f8hasit said...

Very cool. It's SOOOO BadAss Geek.
There's a possibility you could market the stencil and have little BadAss Geeks all over your neighborhood and the world next year.
Now that would be sumtin'.
:-)

Well done.

Technogran said...

Actually I like them both. I have also never carved out a pumpkin, yours is a very original concept. What will you do with it after Halloween?
After all that hard work and dedication I would be very reluctant to just through it away. Do they keep?

The Peach Tart said...

both pumpkins rock

Moonspun said...

Hey I know this great contest that you could enter that it...oh wait, never mind, it's yours!
You should be so proud of yourself, that's pretty darn cool! I am impressed you had the patience to do it for four hours. I myself am feeling guilty since I am relieved that lil moonspun gets to carve a pumpkin at school and so that takes the pressure off me to do it with her!

Logical Libby said...

That makes my pumpkin look like crap.

Employee No. 3699 said...

This is why I love you.

Salut! chou chou said...

I'm definitely not going be carving a pumpkin after seeing this! You're a natural pro! And yes, the bear's eyes can't possibly be any scarier.

Notes From the Grove said...

Hahahaha! Holy crap, dude! Your pumpkin ROCKS!

And The Boss's is totally awesome. I can see why he scared the crap out of you, lol. Definitely the eyes...

Manju said...

that is so cool!love it!

mysterg said...

Loving the sef-portrait although I hope The Boss doesn't look like hers otherwise I would be terrified if I were you!

Alan said...

Both of those are freakn' AWESOME! The Boss has some talent! And your pumpkin is amazing how you have carved it just thin enough so you can see the lights inside. Awesome dude...seriously...

Stereos and Souffles said...

Freakin awesome! I'm gonna have to post a pic of mine. Not nearly as cool as yours.

Caron said...

How very cool!

~Jennifer~ said...

Wow. Both you and the boss have some amazing creative talent. We have to buy the kits around here or all the pumpkins look like standard jack o'lanterns.

Amy said...

Ok, I'm slightly annoyed that you stole my idea for your fall contest.
*sigh* I'll submit it anyway, although now your's will probably be far superior!

Seriously, nice job!!

Mrs Soup said...

What a great set of pumpkins! That bear is going to give me nightmares.....

MommyGeekology said...

That is am amazing pumpkin. It looks just like "you"!

Aunt Becky said...

Dude. AMAZING. You guys RULE. I couldn't do that!

Nyx said...

Very cool. Theh Boss' pumpkin is a bit...scary. Like a care-bear gone homocidal or something.

I'm debating about doing a carving into one of my gourds. Well, I will do the traditional jack-o-lantern (of course), but I'm not sure if I want to do something a little more sculptural or not...Hm. We Shall See.

mumma boo said...

Those are amazing! You both have some serious pumpkin art talent. I have yet to carve pumpkins with the kids - I can just see us ending up in the ER. We put costumes on ours instead.

Little Ms Blogger said...

This is the first year we HAVEN'T carved a pumpkin.

Love both of them. The bear cracks me up especially since you're from Maine.

Melissa said...

LOVE the pumpkins. That looks like it was hard to do.

Are those Vampire fangs? Are you going to be a no nosed vampire for Halloween?

The Good Cook said...

Those pumpkins are awesome!!! We are carving tomorrow night - 7, count em' 7 pumpkins... no way can we spend 4 hours each.. so you totally win the best pumpkin award!

Christina said...

Ahahaha! Awesome.

carissajaded said...

I love your pumpkins!! I haven't gotten around to doing one this year yet, but if I do it will be painted like Bosses.... can't... carve... to save my life!

Crafty Green Poet said...

both painting and carving look gerat! I've never carved a pumpkin!

Rebecca Knight said...

The Boss' pumpkin made me jump in my chair a little when I scrolled down :). Fantastic, both of you!

Sandy said...

Great job! Both of them! I laughed out loud when I saw yours. I can't believe you did that the first try. Awesome! I would have ruined at least a couple. Did you keep and cook the seeds??? That's the best part.

Mrs. B said...

Awesome!

plentymorefishoutofwater said...

You're more patient than me. Am slightly jealous of the results, though.
Just stumbled by this blog, not sure how. Great stuff.
Check out my dating disasters:
plentymorefishoutofwater.blogspot.com/

Aunt Juicebox said...

Wow! I wonder if I can carve a piece of bacon and have it actually look like bacon.

Melanie's Randomness said...

That's amazing!! Love it!

Mad Woman said...

I would have given up after the first 30 minutes and just carved a bunch of triangles into it. But that's an AWESOME job!!

Like The Boss's punkin too. Very creepy!

Laura said...

Love your pumpkins. This is the first year we haven't carved any in a long time. I love carving pumpkins!

world of sekimachihato said...

wow, that's some skill you've got there!
i've never carved a pumpkin, but you have made me wanna try!!

mmm, hong kong pumpkins are pretty small though...

Coach J said...

So, what will you give me if I too do a BAG pumpkin? I'm smelling a contest coming on!

JennyMac said...

and this is yet another reason you are bad ass. Its awesome Michael...I LOVE your self portrait pumpkin.

Kathy Garmus said...

Awesome job, both of you!

Badass Geek said...

Tammy Howard: Thanks!

Mwa: I am VERY dedicated.

Janie: Thank you!

Shari: It sort of... fell off... while carving.

F8hasit: It sure would be.

Technogran: I'm going to be sad to toss it, but yeah, after a week it'll be going in the trash.

The Peach Tart: Thank you kindly.

Moonspun: Oh, it makes a huge mess.

Logical Libby: Oh, I'm not sure about that.

Employee No 3699: Aww, thank you!

Salut: I agree about the eyes. Creepy.

NFTG: She's calls it Freddy Bear. Get it?

Manju: Thank you!

Myster G: Luckily, she doesn't look like a crazed, demonic teddy bear.

Alan: She does have some talent. I keep telling her this.

Stereos and Souffles: Oh, I don't know about that.

Caron: Thank you!

Jennifer: Yeah, thats what mine would look like if I wasn't such a perfectionist.

Amy: Sorry!

Mrs Soup: Me, too!

MommyGeekology: Even the fangs!

Aunt Becky: Thanks, dude!

Nyx: Post a picture if you do!

Mumma Boo: Sounds much safer.

Little Ms Blogger: Bears don't often look like that. Only the ones that go off their meds.

Melissa: They sure are fangs.

The Good Cook: Seven? That's a lot!

Christina: Thank you!

Carissa Jaded: I didn't think I could, either.

Crafty Green Poet: Never? Give it a try!

Rebecca Knight: I still am a bit leery of it myself

Sandy: I'm surprised I didn't ruin it, too.

Mrs B: Thanks!

PMFOOW: I was blessed with an abundance of patience.

Aunt Juicebox: I wonder...

Melanie's Randomness: Thank you!

Mad Woman: After 30 minutes, it was too late to turn back.

Laura: Yeah, you've got a lot on your hands right now.

WOS: Give it a try!

Coach J: Do it!

JennyMac: Thank you very much.

Kathy Garmus: We thank you!

rebecca said...

Wow! That's awesome! I wasn't expecting that. Original and very much worth the time put in.

Nej said...

Our dog is terrified of pumpkins. No carving, no painting, just your standard run of the mill orange pumpkin...sitting on the floor in the kitchen. She barked and growled, and I'm surprised (and relieved) she didn't pee herself too.

Crazy dog. :-)

Both of your pumpkins are awesome! The painted one is disturbing (disturbing = awesome)...and the carved one you did is rockin'!! :-)

Children of the 90s said...

I am totally impressed. A little vampirical Badass Geek pumpkin. Awesome.

Lola said...

Nice work, you guys!!! I'm totally impressed.

Tony said...

Dude, that is so awsome. I like both of them a lot.

S3XinthePantry said...

Oh, it's great!!! (& so glad you were safe!)

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