So here is my not-so-floral-after-all pumpkin.
The floral pattern just didn’t work out: I wanted to carve intricate little coriander patterns into it, just like on my Rachel Barker tea pot. It seemed like such a simple (by which I mean possible) idea – I can’t draw, and yet this seemed like the sort of pattern I could emulate.
I couldn’t. Not carved into a pumpkin, anyway.
I spent rather a long time carving the pattern carefully into my pumpkin, and then tested it out by lighting a candle in it to see if it needed tweaking. Hardly any light showed through, and in fact there was so little air getting in that when I returned to the room a moment later, the candle had extinguished itself.
So I did a bit more carving, widening all the little lines I’d carved. Then I added two round air holes on the back, to help the poor candle get enough oxygen. It was at that point I noticed that the side with the air holes looked rather better than the side with my pattern on. So I added a nose, and a mouth, and turned the whole thing around.
You can see the reverse side here – to me they look nothing like the pattern on the tea pot now – rather, they look like little creatures (aliens?) reaching their many arms out. So I suppose that fits the Halloween theme. What baffles me most is how the Americans, with their fancy pumpkin-carving ways, can turn out such ornately carved pumpkins so easily. Do they have sharper knives, better skills or is it genetic? Whatever it is, I am lacking it this year. But I’m pleased enough with how the pumpkin turned out in the end, and we had a few trick or treaters stop by, all of them polite and well-costumed*, so I’m calling it a successful Halloween. Hope yours was too!
*By the time the last bunch of trick or treaters knocked at the door, my bowl of goodies had just three bags of Malteasers in it – and of course there were four very young children. I asked them if they could possibly share, and while the mother accompanying them enthusiastically said they could, their faces told a different story. So three of them got chocolates, and the fourth one got to take home a toy snake I’d put in the bowl. I think he was happier with that that he would have been with chocolate anyway.