Turning A Classic Fall Craft Into A Competitive Party Mixer

img 6511 225x300 Turning A Classic Fall Craft Into A Competitive Party Mixer

I was invited to a Pumpkin Carving Contest at a friend’s house recently (Thanks Patrick and Becky!) – a contest I soon realized was to be taken more seriously than I had originally thought!

Being a newcomer to the rowdy sport of Competitive Pumpkin Carving, my “A-Game” strategy went only as far as planning the size and shape of the Pumpkin for my team! I zipped through the pumpkin patch with nephews in tow, searching for the perfect pumpkin to inspire fear in the opposing teams. My final purchase measured in at two feet tall and a solid 42 pounds, and was the heaviest squash I was capable of moving into and out of my SUV’s trunk!

Sure that my giant orange veggie would baffle and intimidate the competition, I entered the competition with confidence! Unfortunately, I learned that having to gut a gianormous pumpkin can be a detractor in a timed competition (who knew?!), so my team chose a better proportioned one for the actual carving. As my teammates and I put our heads together to choose our “top-secret” design in the minutes before the stopwatch started, I began to notice the power tools and carving paraphernalia appearing on the opposing teams’ tables. Black and Decker power tools, 70 piece drill sets, and specialty carving knives lined the other tables, and I began to wonder if I shouldn’t have spent some time online doing a little more research on carving theory and practice!

As the time was called to begin, good natured trash talk started to fly along with the occasional piece of rind and string of seeds. From my vantage point above the competition on the upper deck in the back yard I scouted out the other group’s designs while the Senior Pastor and host that were a part of my team tore through the gutting process, “accidentally” dropping small bits of pumpkin on a few of the pregnant ladies below us. Our chosen carving design was a pirate themed pumpkin, and the host readily supplied all the necessary costume supplies for us as I drew and helped cut the pirate’s face.

We triumphantly finished up our little pirate pumpkin as the competition scrambled to complete their own designs, and were the first team to carry our finished product to the waiting tables in the darkened laundry room, where they would all be lit and judged. When it came time for my team to enter the judging area we pondered anew the possible ways to cheat and rig the final drawing, but could come up with nothing plausible, and individually cast our votes for the best carved Jack-O-Lantern design.

It is with deep regret and embarrassment that I must relay to you that my team took third place, and lost the 2008 edition of the Pumpkin Carving Competition. As with all lessons learned though, I’ll dedicate myself next October to the study of impossibly intricate pumpkin design, and be that much more prepared for the 2009 carving season.

Your Thoughts: What creative fall traditions do you have? Do you or your family have a favorite pumpkin theme when carving?

About Amy



  1. [...] Go to the author’s original blog: Turning A Classic Fall Craft Into A Competitive Party Mixer [...]

Speak Your Mind