Happy Halloween

I hope everyone had a happy Halloween yesterday. Here at the Fridge Halloween can only mean two things: 1) the candy report, and 2) the pumpkin.

First, the candy report. How much did I have? None. Yay me. In fact, total caloric input for the day was just 1770 calories. I’d go eat more but I’m frankly just not hungry right now. Second, the pumpkin. If you’ve been reading BTTF for the past two years, you’ve already seen my pumpkins. If not, go back and read the 2008 and the 2009 posts on the topic.

Last year I carved my first fake pumpkin. I figure with all the work I put into them, I should at least be able to keep them around for more than four hours. And since I picked Severus Snape, it was only logical that I should try an entire Harry Potter series. Which meant just one thing: this year would be Harry.

So just like last year, here’s the complete photo walk-through of the process, beginning with the reference photo. I begin this project by searching the web for some quintessential picture of the subject. This year, I settled on a traditional Year One picture of Harry:

Harry reference photo

With that in hand, I reduce it to three colors, since that’s all you get when carving: 1) all the way cut, 2) none of the way cut, 3) part of the way cut.

Harry reduced to three colors

To help visualize, I change the colors to be more pumpkiny:

Harry changed to pumpkin colors

After that, I clean it up, to make it “carveable”:

Harry made carveable

The final step is creating the negative image, since you have to carve the negative in order for this to work.

Negative Harry

And now we begin! First step is easy: stick the print-out on the pumpkin. Be sure to check out my half eaten piece of peanut butter toast there on the right.

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Next, grab a sharp X-acto blade and cut out the black areas:

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Here’s a sample of the first few areas cut out. It’s important to start with the small shapes first, since you need a lot of surface area to hold the frail bits together. My main worry on this pattern was getting Harry’s thin-rimmed glasses cut out right.

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Next I pulled out a drill to do the eye glint. This was actually my only real mistake today. The drill bit was too large and I don’t really like the way the eyes turned out. Of course, that’s something only I can see. It probably looks fine to almost everyone else.

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Here we have all the black areas removed. That was the easy part.

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Next come the “half” cuts: cutting away the surface and leaving the white behind. I really need to get better tools to do this next year. The knife handle really began digging into my knuckles.

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Here I am hard at work. No, I have no idea where all my hair went.

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Look at that blade in motion!

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And tada! The final cut. It doesn’t look like much, does it? It’s amazing how adding a little light to it turns this negative into a positive.

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The pumpkin, the artist, and the blade. I cut out the bottom of the pumpkins for lighting. And since these fake pumpkins are highly flammible, I can’t stick a candle in there. So I plop it down on a lamp. Works for me.

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Closeup:

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And one shot of last year’s Snape.

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The final step, of course, is to put them both in the front window and start handing out candy. It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year.

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Can’t wait until 2011!



9 Responses to “Happy Halloween”

Michelle said
on
November 1, 2010 at 6:02 am

I’ll say that your pumpkin carving skills far outweigh the jack-o-lanterns with smiles I did for my kids.

Congrats on the no candy! I’m trying but chocolate keeps calling my name rather loudly.

Anna said
on
November 1, 2010 at 6:35 am

WoW! I was around last year, and the year before, I think. But still, your carving skills amaze me.

I’m just trying to imagine where you will put all the fake pumpkins for the next 40 years? lol You’ll have to buy a special pumpkin house πŸ™‚

Thanks for sharing and happy halloween πŸ™‚

Anna πŸ˜‰

Helen said
on
November 1, 2010 at 7:49 am

Wow. You really take your pumpkin seriously. I didn’t even bother to carve mine. I plopped them outside and hoped no “trickers” would steal them.

How about using those new fake “electric” tea lights to light them up? Because surely you’re going to run out of lamps soon.

Charlie said
on
November 1, 2010 at 8:29 am

Correction: I was at 2081 calories for the day. I forgot about the PB toast, in spite of the fact it was sitting in plain view. And that’s also certainly why I didn’t feel hungry.

Thanks for the pumpkin comments so far.

Any votes on who I do next year? I should probably bite the bullet and just get Ron and Hermione done at the same time. But not until I find a good replacement for the xacto blade.

Biz said
on
November 1, 2010 at 9:57 am

That turned out really good Charlie!

We only had 8 trick or treaters πŸ™

Proud to say I didn’t have any candy either – t0day is day 1 of South Beach – but I’ve lost 5 pounds in the last 5 weeks – not too shabby! πŸ˜€

Tony (Mr. Biz) said
on
November 1, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Perhaps a pumpkin carved with the face of your 2nd favorite brother in law, or twin pumpkins featuring the brain split duo.

Hah, I have it now. A pumpkin dedicated to your first love Cheez- its.

Julie said
on
November 1, 2010 at 2:42 pm

WOW!!! Now that is a carved pumpkin, nothing like my butchered ones.
One day I did make a really cool pumpkin, it was Cinderella’s coach. Even used jewels an all.
You did great with the candy. I too didn’t eat any. Mike has offered me a piece here and then but I’ve refused.
Keep up the great work Charlie. Take care and God Bless!!

DaejiGirl said
on
November 2, 2010 at 9:52 pm

GET OUT! That’s quite amazing! I’ll be telling people about this for DAYS. (Yes, my life is that sad).

    Charlie said
    on
    November 3, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I suppose now that it’s out on the web, that technically counts as me telling people about it for years. πŸ™‚