Gutting Pumpkins

For some reason, the pumpkins that got carved on Sunday rotted by Wednesday. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen. But, to help the five-year-old feel better, we carved a new one today. The one that rotted was Good Cop/ Bad Cop from The Lego Movie, so we replaced him with Lord Business.

I was in charge of scooping the insides out. I think that might actually be my favorite part of carving the pumpkin. Except this pumpkin had a non-existent stem to pull the lid off with.

Luckily this house is full of wine bottles and cork screws. Best makeshift stem ever. And of course we had to cook his guts once they were removed.

And we ate them all within the afternoon. While those cooked, the five-year-old “helped” me carve the face. As in he held the knife while I actually did the cutting. But he tried to do it on his own a couple times. That’s just a really difficult (and dangerous!) thing for him to do on his own.

In the end, we have Lord Business as he was falling into the pit. That happened in the movie, right? I’ve seen the blasted thing at least five times and can barely remember anything past MilhouseĀ and quoting Batman’s “I only work in black. And sometimes very, very dark grey.”

Happy Halloween, Everybody!

Printing Cards

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something non-knitting. To be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve done anything non-knitting. I’ve been in a self-imposed knitting rut trying to make all those blasted squares in such a short time. Really have to stop doing that to myself.

Anyway, I seem to keep adding more media to my…”artistic repertoire”, if you will. This one is pretty cool, though. I’ve taken up lino carving. It’s a way of making your own stamps.

For this first one, I got a kit with a lino block, carving tool, and brayer (the thing you use to put paint on the stamp). The carving tool has interchangeable ends to carve different widths and depths of lines. The block that came with the kit is a hard material attached to a wooden block.

The process goes a but like this:

  1. Draw out the design on paper. This is especially essential for words, because the print is going to be reversed from what you see on the face of the stamp.
  2. Trace the drawing onto tracing paper in pencil. It has to be pencil so it will transfer to the block. I filled in all the areas I wanted to cut away to make it easier on myself. That way you just remove all the pencil marks and don’t have to worry about hollowing out the wrong part.
  3. Place the tracing paper onto the block and rub really hard with your pencil to transfer the design.
  4. Carve out the parts where you want “white space”, being really careful. Remember, any place there isn’t rubber, there won’t be ink. Even if that is just a slight scratch.

I decided to make something I could use for a while. What kind of a stamp could one use most often? A “thank you” stamp, of course. Somehow, I don’t have a picture of the actual stamp, but these are the cards I made from it:

Thank You Cards

It took a little experimentation to get the right concentration of ink so the image showed up without being blobby. I think I got it down pretty well. I really like the “distressed”(?) look these have.