Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween is just an excuse

Just as my kids find Halloween an excuse to load up on candy and put on fancy dresses, pumpkin carving is an excuse to get out some tools. Those pumpkin carving kits definitely make things easier, but they can be improved upon. I just saw that Williams Sonoma has this kit. Ooh it's on sale, I might have to have my wife stop in and get it.

Cutting into a pumpkin with a steak knife might be fun if you want to get out some aggression, but the easiest way to scalp a pumpkin is with a saber saw.
The scoop in the kids' kit works ok, but I need something I know I won't crack in half. An ice cream spade works much better at scraping and thinning the walls of the pumpkin. Don't get me wrong, my kids do get to work on their own pumpkins. It took a little bit before they were willing to get their hands dirty; but once they got started, they did well. I would scrape the inside and one would scoop out the junk while I scraped out her sister's pumpkin.

The girls traced on their designs and cut out the eyes, mouth, etc. with the tools from their kit. But when my one daughter wanted a perfectly round nose, you can't beat a wood-boring bit.To light up the pumpkins I thought about using kerosene and toilet paper, but instead I opt for something more traditional (and something I can leave on the porch). I take an old light bulb socket and stick it through a hole that I again drilled out in the back of the pumpkin. Those flickering lights give a nice candle effect without the wind constantly blowing it out.

This year I did not break out the dremel tool for these designs. Last year my daughter used it to carve (yes it's safe enough for a first grader) out a design from our local paper that featured our mayor. To be honest my wife was surprised that I didn't get my own pumpkin this year. I guess I just wasn't inspired enough. :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Making greeting cards

My wife loves making greeting cards and does a great job. She gets out many of her different scrapbooking tools and really gets into it. I think I would just draw a blank trying to come up with a good design and decently written text. Maybe it's just because I prefer using different tools. I have to admit this video has gotten me a little inspired. Good thing her birthday passed recently.