Since Halloween is my favorite holiday we take every opportunity to take part in holiday festivities. An elderly couple in our ward invites younger couples to their home once a month to do an activity and eat dinner, and in October we got together to carve pumpkins. There were 5 couples that came to carve pumpkins and we all had different levels of expertise when it came to carving.
Caitlin and I chose a soft pumpkin (we didn't know it was soft until we opened it up) so our carving was pretty easy. But that doesn't mean that our pumpkin was the best. Our friends Lesley and Zeke were pretty much pros. Lesley had previously carved someones face into a pumpkin freehand. We definitely needed a stencil to even carve our simple scowl.
Tim and Catherine also needed a stencil, although they chose a more difficult pattern of a cat up against the moon. I guess the proper technique is to create an outline on your pumpkin with small little holes and then carve out the image. We skipped the outline step and starting carving up our buddy as soon before his guts even had time to cool.
Some of the couples, like Preston and Rachel, were super artistic about their pumpkin. We used stencils, they sketched out how they wanted things to turn out. Some people are naturally talented at doing creative and artsy things. Other people (me) have to copy what others before me have done. I tend to do pretty well at copying, so I don't mind lacking artistic creativity.
We are a pretty good team though. Caitlin carved half the face and I carved the other half. Since we are so in sync, the face turned out symmetrical, but then again maybe it was the stencil that helped us with that detail.
Our pumpkin was rotten in less than a week. Next year we are going to get a super hard and under ripe pumpkin so it lasts all October long rather than the duration of one tealight.