Pumpkin Carving Magic: All You Need is Bibbidi, Bobbidi, and Booze

So, I was creepily scouring peoples’ Facebook pictures the other day and I realized that sooo many people were getting out in the world and doing fun, autumny things.  Quite a few people were visiting farms and picking their own pumpkins and what not and while my outdoorsy-ness really does only extend to watching my man rake the leaves from the safety of our deck, I got super jealous that I wasn’t a part of all of these corn maze-ing, pumpkin-picking, hay bale-ing good times.  So, while I was at the liquor store I figured I’d take a short jaunt over to Sobey’s and pluck myself up a nice ripe pumpy and have a little carve-fest date with my dearest.  While he’s all about date night, he knows his place– he leaves the crafting business up to me.  So he played a marvelous game of Call of Duty, and plied me with praise and alcohol (don’t tell me that’s not love), while I whipped up a Halloween wonder in the form of Cinderella’s carriage.

Step one:
Punch a hole in that sucker.  Most Jack-o’-Lanterns have their access holes on top around the stem, but I put one in the back so my wee carriage will look sleek.  So many people have asked me how I managed to carve it without putting a hole in it.  I said: Magic.  That’s not me being clever, that is me being saucy.

Step 2:
Scoop out your pumpkin.  A lot of people call the “stuff” pulp.  However, if you look in the trusty Bitchionary you’ll see it’s actually called “punkin guts”. This part is tedious.  so I recommend cracking open a cold one to help you get through it.  Sigh.

Step 3:
Next I decided to have a door and some windows installed. You don’t have to print off the MS Paint blueprints I’ve attached to the bottom of the page,  I assume you know how to draw an oval.  But I do recommend making a little paper stencil for yourself first so your shapes don’t look wonky and mismatched.

 

If you want to be a fancy pants you can add a tiny working door on your carriage.  Just take the oval you cut out for your doorway, chop it in half and  use some wire (or unbent paperclips if you’re going to be resourceful about it) and make teeny tiny hinges.  Shape one paper clip like a “U” and drive it into the pumpkin wall, then use a second paper clip and thread it trough your first one, then drive it’s prongs into the door.  Give the prongs a little twisty-twisty business so they’ll hold in place, and ba-blam! You got yourself a door. If Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater ever comes looking to buy a house for his missus, I’ve got myself a new gig.


Step 4:
Take your little creation into the back yard and and give a good coating of silver metallic spray paint.  I got mine at Michael’s, or as I like to call it, my happy place.   It cost me about 5 bucks and it dries in a nanosecond which is extremely convenient if you’re impatient like me, however it’s extremely inconvenient if you’re the poor little caterpillar that got a thick coating of silver paint in my garden.  I’ve really got my fingers crossed that he’ll turn into a beautiful, silver butterfly instead of the more probable fate of a beautiful, silver caterpillar-corpse.

Step 5:
The last step is really just adding all your fixin’s.  I made some swirls with plain old Elmer’s craft glue and sprinkled on some glitter.  I used Sterling and Crystal Fine from the Martha Stewart 24 vial glitter multi-pack.  You can use any old sparkles you’ve got lying around the house, I just consider myself a bit of a glitter snob.

I also added some wooden horses that I had crafted up for a Christmas project.  If you want to try your hand and painting them you can get them for about a buck-fiddy each at Michael’s (mmm, happy happy happy).   Although the carriage looks swell without them.  Again, I added some Christmas ribbon but it’s not necessary if you don’t want to be at it.

Lastly I found some wire lying around the house and I wrapped it around a beer bottle a couple times to make curly wheels and just jammed their little pointy ends into the pumpkin to keep them fixed in place.  Glue on some fake moss (or real moss if you’re the type of person who likes to go foraging for your craft supplies).

There, now your ready to go to the ball.  Or kegger, whatever you’re into, really.

Blueprints:

Song of the Day:

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Cheap and Easy (Dresses, not the Bridesmaids)

So, my friend Katie got engaged a while ago on a beach in the Dominican.  I always assumed her wedding would go somewhat the same– on a beach on some tropical island, on a boat off the coast of no-where, by Elvis in the Chapel of Love under the bright lights of Vegas.   However, once it was apparent her family, future family, and probably future husband weren’t too kean on any elopement theories they set their destination in a little place called Cow Head.  I know, I know.  However, you’ll be surprised to find that Cow Head is actually a beautiful little place. 

Now, here’s the catch.  Try having a full and lavish wedding with an elopement wedding timeframe.  Katie had about three months to plan and execute a dazzling display of love, devotion, commitment and all that other traditional foolishness.  Understandably, brides who have months of planning and wedding planners at their disposal often end up in a tearful heap on the bathroom floor more than once.  To me the term “Bride-zilla” is synonymous with “Just-trying-to-freaking-cope”.  Granted, many matrimonial monsters are created out of the “me-me-me” attitude that has an overwhelming fear that everything won’t be perfect for “MY special day”.  However, I suspect that many wives-to-be, my best friend Katie included, are afraid that their guests won’t have a good time, or that, they’ll have 50 years with the memory of a streamer and tissue paper nightmare of a decorating job.   So, when Katie asked us all to pick out our own bridesmaids dresses, she was being a real peach of a bride.  However, finding brown dresses to fit our four different body types and preferences was easier said than done.  A week before the wedding Katie became the oh-so-gracious-one again and actually friggin changed everything around to accommodate us and what was available. We picked up some pretty purple dresses, but it got me to thinking that wedding attire in a pinch can be a real sticky sitch.  Therefore, I have preplanned my bridesmaid’s dresses (for my imaginary  wedding, of course).  They’re a little bit granola, but they’re also inexpensive, hassle-free, and unlike every other bridesmaid’s dress in the universe, you can actually where them again (minus the sash).

Step One:
 
Buy a white cotton dress.  These are easy to find and extremely inexpensive.  I bought this one at Winners for 15 bucks.  As well, while they may have a slightly different cut, most knee length white cotton dresses have the same look to them.  So finding a number of them in an array of shapes and sizes is no problem-o.

Step Two:

Wash said white cotton dress.  For the dying to work it needs to be clean and free of any dusty-bits that may be there from sitting on the rack.

Step Three:

 Read instructions carefully (This may require taping them back together if you’re a savage at opening things like me).

Step Four:
Follow instructions and commence the dying sequence.  Just a couple side notes, if your instructions say add salt, add lots of freaking salt.  The last time I went a-dying I skimped a little and ended up with what I call my Jackson Pollock dress.  Also, when the instructions say “Not for tub dying”, they are not kidding (see picture below for proof).  Use a plastic bucket or something you can give the old heave-ho to after you’re done. 

Step Four:

Once you’ve soaked your dress until it’s good and covered, let it sit for a little bit.  The colour it is when it’s washed and finished will be muuuuch lighter than right now.  So, wash it, let it dry and if it’s not the colour you’re looking for, give it another go. 

Step Five:

Ad any pretty little embellishments you would like to make your dress look fancy.  I bought this giant spool of ribbon at Michaels (or as I like to call it, Church of the Crafty), for 14 dollars.  It has enough ribbon on it to make about 6 sashes. 

Step Six:

Get all gussied up.  Not too shabby for a dress that costs about 20 dollars.