Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spooky Sunday: Pumpkin Massacre

Halloween is almost here!  In lieu of Summary Sunday, I'm going to take advantage of this Halloween Eve to share a little present with you. I love Halloween. In fact, it's my favorite holiday. Collin apparently had no idea of this and came out with "Who the heck has Halloween as their favorite holiday?" when it was brought up on a TV show this afternoon. I think he figured out very quickly by my glare that he had really stepped in it. I have to admit, I don't love Halloween for the typical reasons. I hate horror movies and I'm not super big on masks and scary things. But I love fall. LOVE it. I like the weather, the leaves. I like handing out candy and seeing cute trick or treaters. It also doesn't hurt that Halloween is our anniversary. Collin and I had our very first "date" five years ago tomorrow.

I've gotten Collin into the swing of things and we had a lot of fun preparing for it this year. We've been planning out this year's decor since last Halloween. Our yard is the home of a pumpkin massacre. We based our plan on the snowman sketches from the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes. We had plans all drawn out and thought that we had stored them with the Halloween decorations. But...when I got out the decorations a few weeks ago they were nowhere to be found. So we sat down a few Sundays ago and mapped it all out. We whittled down the items we had planned and got it down to our three favorite scenes.

We counted out all the pumpkins we would need and hit the grocery store. We got a few strange looks as we walked through with three full carts of pumpkins. The didn't have the mini pumpkins we needed, so we hit up another local store on Thursday.

It's been a very busy weekend trying to put this all together.  I started working on the pieces at the beginning of the week, as I showed you earlier. I started carving pumpkins on Thursday night and just finished the last of them this afternoon. In all, I carved 13 mini pumpkins and six regular sized pumpkins. Collin and Darian both helped scooping and Collin did yard assembly.

We have three scenes in all: our headhunter, our captured pumpkin and our monster scene. Our neighbors watched us construct the mess and I think they were getting a kick out of it as much as we were.

Our headhunter scene consists of the headhunter himself along with four mini pumpkins in a cauldron and three "shrunken head" pumpkins on sticks. I sewed the mouths of the shrunken heads shut using embroidery floss. This was Collin's idea. The headhunter was the most complex carving - he took me quite a bit of time.

The mini pumpkins were the most fun to carve. Darian helped me to pick out the faces we were going to use. It was great to be able to have such a wide variety of sketches.

Our captured pumpkin is our victim tied down with rope and surrounded by his captors, five evil mini pumpkins.  The mini pumpkins have their arms constructed from the leftover hanger pieces from the construction of the large arms. Collin helped me to tie the big guy down and we fixed his arms under the rope.

This little guy is my favorite. I like how goofy he looks. You might notice that the faces of my pumpkins look a little shiny. This is because I coated as much of their carved surfaces as possible with petroleum jelly. This should help them keep their moisture and maybe last a little longer. I'm hoping to keep the scene up until around Thursday or Friday.

And finally...our monster scene. We have our monster at the back eating a mini pumpkin and carrying the skull of another pumpkin. He is chasing three other pumpkin men. One has tumbled and broken his head open. His buddy is traumatized by this and can't keep down his lunch. And one other guy is obviously quite scared by the event.

Collin and I were giggling throughout the construction project. Every time we got another guy put together we lost it. It was a really fun project to do together. We've definitely decided that this will be an annual event. I'm pretty sure we'll start planning next year's scene soon...I have a few ideas.

I love the screaming guy. With the way he ended up being assembled, he's leaning in a way that really makes him look like he's running. And not to toot my own horn, but I think the arms are awesome.

The puker was brought back from last year. Collin created one of these that sat on our step for Halloween 2010. The kids thought it was hilarious so I wanted to make sure he showed up somewhere this year. He was probably the easiest pumpkin to carve.

The monster was the most challenging as a whole. We knew that he would need to be as large as possible and that he was going to be holding a pumpkin "skeleton" on one hand. The problems of balance and weight were concerns. But we worked through them with the use of dowels and skinning the skeleton pumpkin as thinly as possible from the inside. I also worked in my pumpkin from last year. You can't see him very well in the picture, but he's in the monster's mouth, screaming.

I'm hoping to get some pretty good pictures tomorrow night when we light the whole yard up. Every pumpkin I carved has the ability to add a candle. I'm super happy about that. It should turn out pretty awesome. We also have three yard lights that we've positioned to illuminate the area. They look pretty cool.

So a Happy Halloween to all of you!! Enjoy your trick or treating and trick or treaters. I'll be handing out candy at our house while Darian is out gathering up his candy stash.


  1. You are AWESOME!!! I LOVE IT!!!! Halloween is maybe my favorite holiday I plan my costume in April or May. I love this idea and may have to steal it and do a scaled down version! You are so talented!!!

  2. That is incredible! I love the Calvin and Hobbes snowmen scenes but you made it even better with pumpkins!

  3. Thanks! I'm a super big fan of the snowmen sketches. I'm going to have to come up with something magnificent for next year. I LOVE Halloween.

  4. This is EPIC! LMAO! I love this and your blog. You're so creative and fun. :0)

  5. I LOVE these! Huge kudos to you and Collin! I just shared them on my blog — I hope you don't mind!

  6. I don't mind the share - you gave me credit, which is all I ask. :) Thanks!


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