October 12th, 2009

Creative Joyous Cat

Dragon and I make a Dragon

I'm in Chicago; went to lunch yesterday with my Aunt and sisters. Hmm...should have a name for the sister I'm going to be talking about mostly here -- we'll go with Dragon, because the similarity of her name to one of the Magic card dragons has led to that being an occasional nickname, so it's easy to remember. She is the sister who went to the Art Institute of Chicago before becoming a lawyer. The other sister became a lawyer late in life and is insanely busy, being both a mother and trying to keep the schedule of a new lawyer in her 20s, when she's in her 40s. At lunch, Dragon and I talked about carving pumpkins. She has a daughter who was born late in October and who always has a Halloween costume party for her birthday. So her lawn was in need of a new decoration.

Lunch was fun, and went well, and my Aunt did very well with only a cane -- the first time out without the walker since she fell.

Then Dragon, the birthday girl, and I went shopping. We got a bunch of pumpkins, some gourds, and some stuff from Michaels. Sadly, there were no gourd-shaped pumpkins for a head. When we got home, the birthday girl mostly went on the internets, though she helped a little.

The long stem on the "head" pumpkin eventually became the nose--the "snout" pumpkin was cored through and the openings shaped to fit the stem. 

Those stripey gourds are really hard!  I ended up calling my mother (Dragon bought the house from Mom) to ask where I could find a hacksaw.  She didn't think there was one, but told me where she had put tools in the basement.  She was right (about where tools could be found) and, happily, was wrong about the hacksaw, as you can see from the pictures.

This would have been easier had I brought my wood carving tools.  Pushing barbeque skewers through pumpkins by  hand isn't easy, but having seen pumpkins dry out, we didn't want to make the holes in the skin of the pumpkin any larger than needed.  Structural integrity is important.

Hmm...no-neck dragon looks too much like snoopy.  Got to add a neck.

During this process, the birthday girl periodically cheered our efforts, and the other denizens of the house came to check things out.  The dog ate pieces of pumpkin that dropped to the floor.  The grey cat came to check things out, but true to her name (Phantom) I couldn't  get a decent picture of her.

And clearly, the black cat is not impressed.

Finally, we get it together enough to get a preliminary photo of the finished effect.

Then it's time to carry it outside.  By this time it's quite dark outside.  Too dark to get a picture without the dreadful flash on my cell phone.

And, finally, here is a picture taken today, with her "egg" (a white pumpkin):