Monday, October 29, 2012

How to Carve a Pumpkin From Your Own Picture

I don't know about you, but I love carving pumpkins... I always get really excited this time of year to make new creations. In year's past, I've only ever tried carving from stencils I've found online. 
One of my all time favorites being Jack from the Nightmare Before Christmas.

This year I wanted to try something unique and personal. I thought it would be fun to try to put one of my own pictures on a pumpkin. Since I was carving pumpkins with my niece and nephew, I decided to try out carving a picture of their dog, the sweet Catahoula/Australian Shepard mix Dasha. I snapped pictures of the process to share with you! (Pardon my outdated version of Photoshop, haven't had the time/money to upgrade!)

1. To start out, choose a picture of your subject where you can really see their whole face. Some faces might work better as a profile, or slightly to the side. I chose this shot of Dasha... She always looks like she's deep in thought...

2. Next, crop around your subject's face. Be sure not to crop in too close, but don't leave in part of the photo you don't need. I made sure to crop just high enough to include the full outline of the top of her head, just low enough to get a little extra room below her nose, and just enough on the sides to include her ears.

3. Next, use the levels to bump up the contrast. This step is important to really outline the  details in the face. I made the shadows darker and brightened up the midtones.

4. Change the picture to black and white.

5. Next, I used the cutout tool under the filters tab. This step will make your picture look like a cartoon, and will make it much easier for you to look at the picture as a bunch of shapes to cut out instead just seeing your subject.

6. Print out a full page copy of your picture. Attach it to your pumpkin with either tooth pics, or tape. Make sure to smooth the picture over the pumpkin as much as possible. If part of the picture need to be folded over to fit, try as much as possible to make it parts of the picture that don't include the face.

7. Next, use a toothpick, or a pen, or if you want to buy one of those pumpkin carving kits, they include a tool for this step. Carefully poke holes through the paper onto the pumpkin. I decided to cut out the large white parts of this picture, to take the skin off of the parts that are gray, and leave the darker areas alone. When you're planning where to cut, make sure you are thinking about the big picture. If you carve too much, the whole picture will fall out. Check out this website for extra tips.

8. I wanted to cut an outline around Dasha's face, but made sure to leave enough attached to the rest of the pumpkin so the face wouldn't fall out. I made myself basic outlines around where I wanted to take the skin off. When I took the paper stencil off, I kept the picture next to me as a reference. To cut off the skin, simply make a cut, and stick your knife underneath the skin and peel. Be careful not to cut too deep into the skin!

Here's the final product!

Dasha was happy with her pumpkin. :)

Try to carve one of your own pictures this halloween! Be creative!

<3 Lauren

Linking up with the Inspired Room's Favorite Fall Projects

Friday, October 26, 2012

Coming Back Soon

Hello everyone! Sorry for the hiatus, I've been busy getting my application for graduate school together. The past month has been dedicated to studying for the GRE. The test is over and my application will be turned in shortly! Hopefully I'll be starting my graduate studies in the Spring; keep your fingers crossed!
My best girl Hannah & her bridesmaids - October 7, 2012
October has been a great month for me.
I got to be a part of my best friend's wedding,
Hannah & me
Vladimir and I celebrated our one year anniversary,
Vlad and me on our wedding day
our good friends who moved to London last winter surprised us with a visit,

Lucy enjoyed their visit as much as we did :)
spending time with our pooch,
and we've been able to spend more time with family. I'm really excited to share with you the projects that are in the works! Remember my tudor style post? Vlad has invested in supplies and will shortly begin construction :) Hope all is well out there in cyberspace! See you soon!

<3 Lauren

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What's in Season, Virginia - OCTOBER

Photo Source: Joelle Morris, National Geographic

Here's a list of produce in season for the month of October:
Broccoli Raab
Brussels SproutsCabbage
Celeriac/Celery Root
Collard Greens
Green Onions
KohlrabiMushrooms (wild)
Winter Squash

And here's a list of the produce available year-round in Virginia:
Mushrooms (cultivated)
Sweet Potatoes

Have you bought local produce this week?

<3 Lauren