Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's Pumpkin Prepping Time!

It's inching closer and closer to my favorite day of the year. That's right! Halloween is a mere fifteen days away. While I'm super excited for it to get here...there is a TON of work to be done. As I have two projects in the works that are currently literally waiting for paint to dry, I'm going to run down the whole plan with you tonight...a sneak preview of sorts.

If you remember, last year's theme was the Pumpkin Massacre, based on the snowman cartoon strips from Calvin & Hobbes. We had a blast with those and everyone seemed to enjoy coming by the house to see them...not to mention the explosion of views to that post on the blog.

This year, the theme is Classic Halloween Monsters. And I will give credit to Katherine, my assistant at work, who came up with the winning idea. We did get a few great suggestions that might become themes in future years.

I'm really excited about where we're going with this one. If it turns out right, it's going to be out of control.

Last year we really only capitalized on one side of our yard. This year, we're using all three main sections. We've recently removed two trees from the west side, opening up a whole new area of useful space.

I'm going to go through each item piece by piece and give you a little taste of where we're headed. Hopefully you get almost as excited as I am...

I've been gathering up photo ideas over the last month or so. I'm going to share those with you, but I apologize that I don't have the sources available for them. I'm usually much better about that.

All of the monsters are going to be full bodied monsters...meaning that they will have a head attached to a standing body. Some of them will be full carves, meaning that all three of the involved pumpkins will be carved.

Monster #1 : The Witch

This one will be fun. I actually already have her head pumpkin thanks to Patti and her work friend, Mark (who supplies me with all the zucchini I could ever want in exchange for zucchini bread).

Our witch will be equipped with a hat, broom and an active cauldron. She will be accompanied by her black cat (down further).

Monster #2 : Frankenstein

Frankenstein will have a green head complete with bolts. I haven't decided yet whether he will be a stencil or freehand carve.

Monster #3 : Bride of Frankenstein

This monster will be based on the classic picture of Elsa Lanchester as the Bride of Frankenstein in the 1935 film version. I just love her evil eyebrows.

Monster #4 : Mummy

The Mummy is the first of the full body carves. Once he's all carved up, I'm planning on painting him white. All sections of the mummy will also be lighted.

Monster #5 : Vampire

We're talking traditional vampire here...no sparkly boy toys in this yard. The vampire will include a cape and quite possibly a little "blood" around the teeth.

Monster #6 : Ghost

Yup. No picture for this one. You know why? The ghost is going to be one of my easiest carves. I'm going for the standard "boo" face on a sheet body. Easy. His head will be painted white.

Monster #7 : Skeleton

The skeleton is the second of my full body carves and the second most difficult the monsters to put together. I'm going to base him on a combination of Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas and a standard anatomical skeleton. As with the mummy, all three parts of the skeleton will be lighted. We'll see how it goes. I envision swearing...

Monster #8 : Zombie

I'm still working the zombie out in my head. I like this little green guy quite a bit, so I may go based off of him, but I think it will also require a little open head wound action with some carved brains. We'll see how fancy I get.

Monster #9 : Werewolf

The Werewolf is another one that I haven't quite worked out. I'm not sure if I'm going to go full stencil on him or stencil the face with some additional "hair" added on. I guess it depends on how my test run with the "hair" goes.

Monster #10 : Grim Reaper

The Grim Reaper is just slightly more difficult than the ghost (hence no photo). He'll have a more intricate face than the ghost, but his body will be simple. Darian actually has an old grim reaper costume that I'm going to "borrow".

Monster #11 : Headless Horseman

This is the monster I'm most concerned about. The headless horseman is going to be the most difficult to assemble. It's all about weight distribution.

His head will be carved, as will the horse's head...for which I'm using a template of the BSU bronco. I'm excited about that part.

Mini Monsters/Accessories : 


We're still deciding on the bats. I may go with painted; I may go with carved; I may go with both. Regardless, some of the bats will be suspended in the air as if they're actually flying.


The spiders are definitely going to be painted. Nice and easy. I need an easy one. They'll be crawling out of the planters on my front step.

Black Cat

And, last but not least, the black cat. He'll be made out of mini pumpkins that have actually already been picked out. He'll be hanging around the cauldron with the witch.

So there you go...that's the grand scheme of things. To help keep you up to date on our progress, I've created a countdown similar to the one I did for last Christmas. Each pumpkin represents a piece to one of the monsters. Head, arms, body, etc. As we complete them for display, I'll put a nice blood red "x" over a pumpkin. And when they're all crossed out...you'll get to see the final project.

Let the countdown begin!!

This post is part of a series. To see the other Creative Crafting posts, click here.

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