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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Naughty and Spice Hot Chocolate

My most favouritest day in the whole wide world is coming up.  The craftiness of it all is mind boggling!  From creative costumes to deadly décor, it’s the kind of stuff that can make a Crafty Bitch’s knees go all wobbly.  I really wanted to make some Halloweenish treats leading up to the big day, so I do what every good Crafty Bitch does: head to the nearest drug store, stack up on crafty magazines, pop open a bottle of cheap champagne (the cheapness is imperative to the process) and get to work.  So I’m diving into twenty billion magazines and I’m seeing all these amazing looking foods and all I can think is, “Wow, this stuff looks awesome”.  But scanning through a lot of ingredients made me think twice.  I mean, if you dip a hot dog in cream cheese and wrap cold fettuccini around it, it sure looks like a mummy.  But here’s the rub, my little poppets: who the frig wants to eat cold pasta wrapped around a hot dog.  I understand the creativity is there, but, well, yuck.  So, I’m going to do my darnedest to come up with some Crafty Kitch originals.

As I seem to do with most of my posts, I’ll give you a little insight into my life:
When I was 14, I saw the movie Chocolat and decided I was going to open my own chocolaterie (I know, I’m impressionable, I spent one summer trying to learn sign language because of an episode of “Little house on the Prairie”).  Then when I hit about 18 I got too big for my britches and thought that becoming a lawyer would be a much more sensible, stable, and overall impressive career.  Then I went away to university and all of the essays, exams and what not made me realize what I really want to be when I grew up:  a professional alcohol sampler.  Until that career takes off, however, I’ve found myself reverting back to my childhood and dreaming of making sumptuous confections for the whole world.  One thing I can’t resist is a nice cup off hot chocolate.  Powdered shit makes me wanna ralph though so I’m going to send out my recipe with a slight, autumn-y alteration.

Ingredients:
1 cup half and half cream (use whole milk if you want to be less of a fatty)
1 cup of water (you may need a little more depending on taste)
1 ½ -2 table spoons of pumpkin puree (buy a big can, it’ll give you an excuse to make and eat a pie later)
2 tbsps of vanilla extract (I used a vanilla bean cause I had one around the house)
7-10 tbsps of milk chocolate chips
1 tbsp of pumpkin spice
Your preference of whipped cream.

Step Uno:
If you have whipped cream that has to be whipped up, do it.  You’re going to want it to be set so you can spoon beautiful little pillow-y clouds upon your little mug of happiness.  I like to use Dream Whip because it reminds me of my mom’s angel food cakes and you have to make a whole pack so the rest can be eaten while crying and watching Grey’s Anatomy.

Step Dos:
On a fairly low head set your cream, water and vanilla bean or extract in a sauce pan and stir until it just barely starts to boil.  If you’re using da bean, make sure you slice it in half and let all it’s beany goodness out into your mixture. Let your milk mixture barely boil until it’s good and heated, then use a fork to extract your vanilla bean.
Or fish the sucker out with your fingers if you’re lazy.

Step Tres:
Add pumpkin puree and stir until it’s all melded together to be at least somewhat of a uniform substance.  Then add your chocolate chips one spoonful at a time.  Wait until each spoonful melts before adding the next, and it’s best to give a good taste after each one, starting when you hit number 7.  It might not look like a lot of chocolate at first but you don’t want to give yourself the diabetes.
Step Cuatro:
Add pumpkin spice.  I usually stick to a tablespoon but again, you may want to taste and add more.  Pumpkin spice, like craftiness, makes me go weak in the old knee-knobs.

Step Cinco:
Pour into mugs (this recipe makes about four servings).  Adorn your tiny liquid creation with a generous dollop of whipped cream and enjoy while basking in the genius of your culinary skills.
I like to read comic books while drinking my hot treat because I’m super cool.