First Attempt At Foam Pumpkin Carving

I love to carve pumpkins for Halloween. I often spend hours searching for designs and creating my pumpkins. I have been doing it for years now. Check out the links below to view some:

Pumpkins 2020

Stranger Things

Pumpkins 2018

Pumpkins 2017

Pumpkins pre-2016

I recently carved my first craft foam pumpkin. I always wanted to do a more permanent pumpkin that I can display yearly. Since I can spend anywhere from 3 to 8 hours carving a live pumpkin, why not have it last longer than a single season?

My wife requested that I do not do a “Fan Art” pumpkin. She wanted me to try and do something more classic and still a bit detailed. So I chose to make an owl- my favorite one as well. The Burrowing Owl. Owls are Halloween, right?

I used a black and white image online as the basis for my owl. I’m about 85% satisfied with the results. I can see what I can do differently next time. But since I have not worked with this style of pumpkin before, I’d say not bad for a first attempt. Next will be to see how it looks with a small LED light inside.

Have you worked with foam pumpkins before? Or do you prefer the real thing? Let me know in the comments or feel free to share pictures of your detailed pumpkins. I love to see what others create.

Want My Wood?

My father-in-law enjoyed woodworking for many years. Once they moved out of this house, we had a lot of the pieces remaining for future use. But as most hobbies go, you end up with more than you require. And the hobbies take a spot on the back burner.

Since we are coming up on the last few months before we move, it was time to tackle the wood collection. There was large and small “cookies” cut from trees all stored in the upper part of the woodshed. I didn’t want it to get thrown in the fire, so it was time to start giving it away.

About one tenth of what we have.

My wife’s brothers came by over the last couple of days to collect a few pieces that they wanted. One of their friends also came by and he took a few big pieces. (We are getting a fresh Turkey for Easter out of the deal!) Later this afternoon, a few people locally are coming by to collect some pieces. Next week, I will be contacting a few other local craft/woodworkers and see if they could use some pieces.

Considering the wood has been here for decades, it’s all dry and in great shape. I used a few pieces a couple years ago and Painted them for decoration in our home. I’m not a wood worker, so the rest isn’t for me. I want it to all go to good use, and I’m sure my father-in-law will be happy to know it’s getting used the way it was intended.

If you are local and want to grab my wood, give me a shout.

Carving Pumpkins 2020

This year I bought some pumpkins for carving. My two daughters and I try and push the limits on our skills as well. Both of them are getting much better at pumpkin carving all thanks to my advice and assistance.

Although I will say, our oldest is getting to a point of almost surprising my skills. Take a look at the detail in her “Audrey 2” carving.

The leaves and the lips have definition and realism added! This took her about five hours to complete. I am truly impressed.

Our other daughter has been at her carving for hours. She even took a break and started working on it again today. She still isn’t finished, but I have faith in her. She’ll get her meme completed by Halloween!

I did one of my favorite fandoms- “Firefly”. In my carving, I love the way the light shines through the title. My spaceship isn’t quite as detailed as my daughter’s pumpkin. It still took my nearly four hours to complete. Of course, immediately after I took my photos of the pumpkin lit up, I dropped it and it broke in half.

I was a bit upset. But not angry. Pumpkins get thrown away after as it is. So for me, the carving is the therapeutic exercise that I enjoy. I’m glad I got the pictures at least.

How are your pumpkins looking this year? Ever have a failure like I did after hours of hard work?

Let me know in the comments.

Carving Up An Education

Our middle child entered grade nine back in September. The one thing about her is that she strives for excellence in all of her classes. A few years ago, her grade four teacher advised us that she could easily skip a grade because of her intellect. My wife and I discussed this at great lengths but came to the conclusion that as proud as we would be in pushing this, we wanted our daughter to remain amongst her peers. This proved to be the right decision socially.

Back to the start of this school year…

Our daughter had made her selections for classes the year prior and was looking forward to some of the possibilities that awaited her. When she found out at the start of the school year that she’d be taking a class she had zero interest in- let’s just say disappointment was prevalent. That class you may ask?

Carving.

Once she began the year, she took it quite well. Her ambition to maintain straight “A’s” took over the disappointment factor. So she aced the class. It didn’t surprise me. The reason being- her Opa is fantastic at working with wood.

My wife’s father was a brick layer by trade, but enjoyed wood working and cabinetry as well. Much of our home was created and envisioned by him. Our children have been surrounded by his talents so naturally it opened up a door to their hidden abilities.

I love seeing something made from nothing so to speak. Creating art from a piece of wood or a blank canvas makes me happy.

Pumpkins 2018

This year I bought 4 pumpkins for the kids and me to carve. My son decided he didn’t want to do one, so my wife offered to do it. I did my pumpkin yesterday and I’m really happy with the results.

I wanted to do something that reminded me of my youth. So I chose to carve “The Dark Crystal” title. It took me about 3 hours.

Today, our sixteen year old carved her pumpkin. She always does one based on her fandoms. This year’s pumpkin was from “Supernatural” and took her about 3 hours to carve.

My wife wanted to carve out “Aggretsuko” until she saw my daughter and I spending so much time doing our pumpkins. So it fell on me to carve it out. I worked on it while our daughter did hers. Aggretsuko took me about 2.5 hours since most of it was shading.

All that we have left before Halloween is for our younger daughter to carve out hers. Today she is wanting to finish her homework first, so we may do it on Monday or Tuesday instead. I think she is also still deciding what to carve.

If you want to see some of my previous designs, click Here.

Or check out last year’s pumpkins Here. This year’s are far more impressive mind you. I really enjoy making them.

Pumpkin Carving 2016

Today was pumpkin carving day in our home.  


My children each chose a pumpkin and a stencil.  They scooped out the innards and marked up the images.  I ended up carving two of them for my youngest children.  My oldest was still working on hers three hours later…


I love pumpkin carving.  I have spent numerous hours creating art in the past.  Here are a collection of my previous pumpkins:

Jack 2004. 4 hours of carving to create the dim outline.

Coraline. 2011. Took about 3 hours to carve.

Simple Jack 2007.

Minnie 2010. Just before we left to Disneyland.

2009 collection. My oldest carved the smiley face one.


This year’s collection is almost complete. I enjoyed having my children help.  They chose some easier designs that allowed them to help in the carving.  Plus it showed their fandoms off.

Totoro face, leaf shape cut out for the top.

Mudkip. My son’s favorite Pokémon.

 

Besides my daughter who just finished up her Tardis pumpkin, I have one for myself still to carve.  

My oldest daughter’s carving skills have improved drastically.  She takes after her father and is quite the perfectionist.  She took her time and calmly cut away the image she wanted to come to life.

Chainsaw Carving

In the tiny town of Gold River, BC there is a chainsaw carving competition happening. It has been going on for the past few years.  

Gold River’s iconic Penis Boot…


They set up in the only parking lot in the only shopping centre in town.  We went there a couple times today to check on the progress.  Maybe four other people were there… Not including the carvers or their families.  Small draw- making it more intimate with the carvers.


This morning the artists were preparing their pieces for the competition.  From 7am-7pm in the hot sun for three days, they will showcase their artistic skills and  talents.  After almost the entire first day, you can see some amazing progress.


I wish I had the talent these folks have to do such amazing art.  How they can take a large piece of yellow cedar and see life inside of it is far beyond me.  Using chainsaws of all sizes, art springs forward from nothing more than a tree stump.  Throughout Gold River, there are many sculptures and benches from previous competitions littered throughout the town (most available for purchase according to the Chamber of Commerce). 


Surprisingly many of these are more affordable than one might originally have thought.  As much as some have caught my eye, I cannot imagine owning one at this point in time.  We have one piece that came with our home, and he fits in perfectly.  

I am still in awe at the talents that people of the world have.  Plus the smell of chainsaws and fresh cut cedar really screams “The Great Outdoors” to me.  Which, btw, is a cinematic classic.