Pumpkin Party

I have a special place in my heart which is completely reserved for fall.  Not only am I a huge nerd/bookworm/excited student who always looked forward to school in September, but fall was made even more special when Dan proposed to me in an apple orchard three years ago.  Therefore, I need absolutely no convincing to go on a fall adventure!  Today, I completely ditched all of my household chores in favor of fun at Riamede Farm, our favorite orchard in New Jersey.  This place, with its charm and efficient traffic flow of customers, possesses everything that my fall fanatic heart desires.  Exhibit A: The Apple Cider Donut.  Words cannot describe the magic trapped within the doughy walls of this masterpiece.

Exhibit B: Pumpkins.  Lots of pumpkins.  Which, of course, I had to carry (just kidding! Dan carried them most of the way, though I was quite attached to my two choices).  He just wanted to take a picture of me working hard in the patch.

So, let’s talk pumpkins.  The front porch has been on my mind again now that summer is officially over.  In order to dress up the porch for fall, we bought some mums at Home Depot last week, but it wasn’t enough to quite give us that fall feeling.  I decided that pumpkins would do the trick.  Before I go any further, I’d like to announce that I love Halloween just as much (if not more) than the average person.  However, I am not a huge fan of Halloween colors, so my pumpkins are a little unorthodox.  It’s a white pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Enter the white acrylic paint.  I knew that I wanted to use lots of fun color on my pumpkins to brighten up the porch, so I opted to go with a white base.  It only took about 15 minutes to paint both pumpkins completely white with some leftover acrylic paint that I had from last year.  This is what two coats of white paint on a pumpkin looks like!

The first pumpkin project features one of my all-time favorite patterns: polka dots!  After considering several options, including using stickers, cutting out circles, and freehanding,  I took a field trip to Michaels post-apple orchard and found a set of Martha Stewart foam pouncers for $3.49.  These were the perfect tools to get my polka dots started.

I chose two colors of paint: a light, minty blue and Barbie hot pink to create the polka dots.  All I had to do was lightly dip the foam pouncers in the paint.  They went on relatively smoothly, though the pouncers are designed for smooth surfaces, so a pumpkin was a bit of a challenging canvas.

I took a small paintbrush and filled in some of the circles where there were gaps.  This pumpkin is by no means perfect, but I love that it has a personal touch.  And of course it’s full of brightness even as we move into fall!

Next I decided to repeat a project from last year: the ombre pumpkin.  Again, I started with a full white base for the pumpkin.  Then I started painting the bottom third of the pumpkin with the darkest color, hot pink again (consistency, people).

Next came layer #2: orange!  Same thing. I just used my trusty medium-size paint brush and allowed the paint to overlap between the bottom and middle layers.

It started to get dark at this point, so I opted not to paint the top section with another coat of white.  I used a Q-tip to wet the middle sections and create more of a blended look.  It didn’t come out quite as blended as I would have liked, but I’m still pretty happy with the way they came out.  Here’s the final product!

It’s beginning to look a lot like fall…

What fall activities are making you feel festive these days?  Maybe fall is your ideal season for crafting and home renovation projects? I’d love to hear about them!

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