DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!


Oct 29 2013


by Jesse M

There are a lot of things to love about Halloween: the haunted houses, the costumes, the candy! But perhaps my favorite aspect of Halloween is one I observe every year, even when I don’t elect to dress up or decorate much, and that is pumpkin carving.

Extreme pumpkin carving coverThe origin of pumpkin carving is uncertain. In the United States, the first jack-o-lantern associated with Halloween was recorded in 1866, although carved pumpkins were first associated with the harvest season in general long before they became emblematic of Halloween.

Freakishly cool pumpkins coverThese days, the art of pumpkin carving has evolved into a complex affair, with numerous contests showcasing elaborate and inventive works of art that most of us couldn’t hope to equal. Yet there are resources available through DCPL that can help you create the jack-o-lantern of your dreams (or perhaps nightmares?), such as How to Carve Freakishly Cool Pumpkins and Extreme Pumpkin Carving. Other good resources for techniques and ideas are available online.

Did you carve an awesome jack-o’-lantern this year? Snap a picture and share a link to it in the comments! Here is one I’m particularly impressed by: R2D2 of Star Wars fame, carved just yesterday by my girlfriend. Below photos courtesy of Amy E.

Photo courtesy of Amy E.

Photo courtesy of Amy E.

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Oct 27 2010

Play With Your Food

by Joseph M

With Thanksgiving a month away and Halloween just around the corner, pumpkin season is in full swing. This time of year, our taste buds are tantalized by a wide variety of pumpkin-flavored seasonal products, from tea to scones to milkshakes to Pop-Tarts, and my personal favorite, the delectable pumpkin pie (smothered in whipped cream!). And of course, the gourds themselves are in high demand for the traditional Halloween art form of jack-o-lantern carving.  The library has plenty of books on the subject, including fiction and nonfiction titles. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your pumpkin carving, you might try Kids Pumpkin Projects: Planting and Harvest Fun or In A Pumpkin Shell: Over 20 Pumpkin Projects for Kids . Or you could peruse the numerous jack-o-lantern galleries available online; I found one featuring zombie designs!

Even though pumpkins take center stage this time of year, there are lots of other foodstuffs that you can transform into surprising and delightful art projects as well. Take a look at some of these titles for ideas:

Have fun!

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