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Third Day of Pumpkin – Pumpkin Decor

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Inspired by Stu Mills of CBC Ottawa Radio One, who has vowed to air a pumpkin story daily until Halloween, I’ve decided to write and post my own little segment of the Twelve Days of Pumpkin.  This is my tenth piece… The Third Day of Pumpkin –Pumpkin Décor.

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My quest to write pumpkin daily has strayed as far away from a cookbook as a teenager from laundry basket.  Despite how much I love to cook, there are far too many pumpkin recipes for a small Twelve Days of Pumpkin series.  I can say, however, that I am probably the worst interior decorator known to home décor-respecting women.  There is an antimartha, and dustbunny be thy name.  I have a “I should do something about that” attitude about my priceless porcelain vase which holds court with a vase decorated by one of my kids for a school Mother’s Day craft.  Or my kitchen table lazy Susan adorned with beautiful candle votive holder next to a bottle of ketchup.  And what to do about my front foyer is adorned with a lovely print of the Toronto harbour at the turn of the century, next to my kids ski school pictures.  My je ne sais quoi style is truly je ne sais doodlé.

However, that is all about to change.  This sad reputation I carry will soon be cast off now that I know all the incredible creations I can make using pumpkins!  Leaving the art of pumpkin carving itself and store-bought Halloween decorations aside briefly, I have totally turned the corner now and my home will soon be Living-magazine-perfect in all its pumpkin glory.

Floating Pumpkin Candle Holders:

Collect a few miniature pumpkins at your local market; trace the outline of a tea light candle on top; scoop out just enough of the pumpkin such that the tea light candle can sit nicely inside (and can I tell you I found lovely pumpkin-scented tea lights at Bed, Bath and Beyond?); fill a decorative bowl with water and voila… a truly lovely seasonal centrepiece!

Pumpkin Bird Feeder:

Well, I admit I do have to credit my friend Martha for this one:  lovely carved out pumpkin filled with birdseed; strategically hung where only the birds can admire and enjoy its contents and not the many squirrels and mangy crows .

Pumpkin Air Freshener

Clean the insides of a small or medium pumpkin; cut holes in the sides using an apple corer; rub your favourite spice (cloves, nutmeg, anise, etc) on the inside; use a beeswax candle and, what a mmmmmmmagnificent aroma!

Pumpkin Beverage Cooler:

Scoop the insides out of a big pumpkin and fill with ice and crushed ice; use as a cooler for your next Halloween party!  Probably float too!

Bowl of Pumpkins:

Attach a variety of patterned ribbon to double stick tape and wrap around miniature pumpkins.  Imagine what I can now do with all those rolls and rolls of hockey tape we have lying around.

Miniature Pumpkin Wreath:

Transform a plain plastic form wreath into a lovely Fall door ornament by attaching miniature pumpkins to the wreath using florist wire and filling in the gaps with sheet moss.  If you live in a warmer climate, the pumpkins probably won’t last as long and may start to decay 😦

I implore you to give these a try.  If you do plan on giving these a try, I also implore you to seek out your own and probably better instructions (because heaven knows if any of this will actually work – given my reputation!)!

What’s the neatest home décor piece you’ve ever made using a pumpkin?

 

Fourth Day of Pumpkin – Petrifying Pumpkin Prose!

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Inspired by Stu Mills of CBC Ottawa Radio One, who has vowed to air a pumpkin story daily until Halloween, I’ve decided to write and post my own little segment of the Twelve Days of Pumpkin.  This is my ninth piece… The Fourth Day of Pumpkin – Petrifying Pumpkin Prose.

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Peter Peter pumpkin eater,
Had a wife and couldn’t keep her!
He put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there he kept her very well!

In trying to come up with ‘pumpkin’ themed posts for this series, this rhyme popped up.  While oldEngland is typically known for its nursery rhymes, this one actually originated in North America because pumpkins are not indigenous to England!  As I researched its origin, I learned that there are a number of theories out there as to what exactly this Peter and his wife are up to – and none of them are particularly cheery!

Some say it has to do with a man whose wife is not exactly devoted to him.  In fact, she’s a trampy wench.  He decided to use a pumpkin as a sort of chastity belt in order to quell her wanton ways.  Oh what we poor women had to endure in the middle ages [sad face]!

I read another version of its meaning in that the nursery rhyme had to do with taking the story about Peter’s wife’s faithlessness a few steps further.  He found out about her disloyalty and murdered her.  He kept her body parts in a pumpkin shell to stave off its deterioration [shudder].

Yet a third version of its meaning is that it’s about Peter the Great of Russia.  His wife and sister plotted to overthrow him thus ending his tyrannical rule, but they failed.  He had them committed to a prison – the pumpkin shell representing the penitentiary.

It’s true that one does not have to go far to find a nursery rhyme that has its basis in some sinister or gruesome historical event (i.e. Ring Around the Rosie), but this was the first I heard of the origins of Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater.  Dreadful.  How very a propos for what is, by and large, a  sinister time of the year.

Did I tell you my husband’s name is Peter?

The Fifth Day of Pumpkin – Peter Pumpkinhead

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Inspired by Stu Mills of CBC Ottawa Radio One, who has vowed to air a pumpkin story daily until Halloween, I’ve decided to write and post my own little segment of the Twelve Days of Pumpkin. This is my eighth piece – Peter Pumpkinhead.

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The Fourth Day of Pumpkin – Peter Pumpkinhead!

I am stretching my creative artistic license from the pumpkin patch to the music crypt. I know I mentioned the Smashing Pumpkins in a previous pumpkin post but I came across this old music video from the Crash Test Dummies … one of my favourite bands from the ‘90’s. This song, The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead, is one of many great tracks from the album The Best of the Crash Test Dummies but was also featured the soundtrack from the movie Dumb and Dumber, giving this Canadian band from Winnipeg some notoriety outside Canada. I can’t say I actually saw the movie (though I am fairly certain some of my Punkin Chunkin fans have), but I hazard to guess that the scapegoat that was Peter Pumpkinhead did not match the characters of the movie played by Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels… but you be the judge:

The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead

Peter Pumpkinhead came to town
Spreading wisdom and cash around
Fed the starving and housed the poor
Showed the Vatican what gold’s for
But he made too many enemies
Of the people who would keep us on our knees

Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
Who’ll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead?

Peter Pumpkinhead brought to shame
Governments who would slur his name
Lusts and sex scandals failed outright
Peter merely said, “Any kind of love is all right”
But he made too many enemies
Of the people who would keep us on our knees

Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
Who’ll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead?

Peter Pumpkinhead was too good
Had him nailed to a chunk of wood
He died grinning on live TV
Hanging there he looked a lot like you, and an awful lot like me!
But he made too many enemies
Of the people who would keep us on our knees

Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
Who’ll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead?
Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
Who’ll pray for Peter Pumpkin?
Hooray for Peter Pumpkinhead
Oh my, oh my, don’t it make you want to cry, oh…

Despite the song’s title, the song never became mainstream Halloween music (possibly because it’s tragic connection with the movie?).

I lament today that there are not more songs about pumpkins or having ‘pumpkin’ in their title. Can anyone think of any?

So, before I leave you with the fabulous video of the Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead, I thought I would also share with you my Top 5 Favourite ‘seasonal’ pumpkin (aka Halloween) songs:

  1. Thriller by Michaek Jackson – am not a huge MJ fan but he got me to the dancefloor more than once with this song!
  2. The Time Warp – from The Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack
  3. Pyscho Killer – by the Talking Heads who came up with some of the weirdest songs and wildest lyrics of the ‘80’s!
  4. The Monster Mash– what Halloween repertoire is complete without this Bobby Picket classic?and finally, the song that to this day creeps me out …
  5. Tubular Bells – the Exorcist them song by Mike Oldfield (I still have not watched the whole movie in one sitting!)

Give a look and listen to one of a favourite pumpkin piece of mine that has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween! What are your favourite Pumpkin songs??

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