I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Art of Pumpkin Carving

As I've likely mentioned before, I grew up in a family that practiced non-traditional pumpkin carving. So, after all those years of haunted houses, college mascots, favorite characters, and more being on display in your front yard for all the neighbors to marvel at, it makes me realize I will never be satisfied with a regular old jack-o-lantern.

To illustrate my point, here are the past few years of pumpkin carving (in order starting at the top left and going clockwise - Arizona cactus, my church, Olaf (from Frozen), and Mickey Mouse):

This year, I probably should have carved the Cubs logo for Halloween. (Or, I could have "flown the W".) Then again, maybe that would have given rise to the "curse." 

Since I am just slightly obsessed (if you didn't already know) with the musical, "Hamilton," I decided to not throw away my shot to capture the iconic cover art.

So, I made my (rough) sketch...

And I searched all over Trader Joe's for the perfect canvas - I mean, pumpkin.

I tried to be as symmetrical as possible...

And I made some pretty ugly sketches on the pumpkin...

Until I finally got the ideas I wanted translated onto the pumpkin.

And then, as much as I wanted to carve it right away, I decided it was better to wait for it because otherwise it might rot before Halloween.

(Alexander Hamilton, we are waiting in the wings for you...)

Finally, at one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine... there are 10 days till Halloween, I grabbed a few kitchen knives, newspaper (thank you, Chicago Tribune), and got to work. So messy, yet so wonderful!

My hands were covered in icky pumpkin slime, so I didn't get any pictures along the way - just before and after. As you can see, I was planning to cut out the individual Hamilton letters, but they were too small, so I made some minor tweaks.

And lights, camera, action!

The A.Ham pumpkin hasn't made it to the window yet, but I've been watching it burn while grading and while cheering on the Cubs, so it's served its entertaining purposes so far.

It's far from perfect, but it was really neat to be able to bring my idea to life. (Sometimes in the classroom, things look a lot better on paper and then completely flop...you know how it goes.)

Now it's time to sign off and get ready for some friends' wedding celebration.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant, KMF

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