After a hiatus in 2013, Pumpkin Carve-Off makes its triumphant return! Take a peek at your first set of pumpkin masterpieces. I like to call this grouping Famous Characters and Their Related Google Searches. Cast your vote at the bottom of the post to help determine the winner of the 2014 People’s Choice Prize!

(For more information on how this competition will go down, click here.)

. . .

tonya’s queen elsa of arendalle

tonya's pumpkin |

tonya's pumpkin |

You may remember Tonya from Ginger 2013. She worked at the bakery where I did my work term for baking school, which means she saw me lift 50 pound bags of flour like they were NOTHING.

Tonya wrote: I have been to Walt Disney World three times in the past four years, my shelves are filled with endless memorabilia and as of right now, there are currently 42 Disney films sitting on my movie stand.

Yowza. That’s a lot of Disney. This probably isn’t the best time to mention that I haven’t seen a Disney film since 1978.

I present to you, Queen Elsa of Arendalle! Frozen has undoubtedly become the most popular animated film to date and I absolutely fell in love with it when I saw it. I was drawn to Elsa’s strong personality and confidence once she decided to be her true self and admire the love she has for her sister Anna. Also, she has to be the most beautiful character I have ever seen! Drawn by hand and carved with love, I hope you enjoy my creation.

Enjoy it? I love it. It is so delicate and pretty! I really like the contrast of the blue snowflakes on the white pumpkin. And that photo of Pumpkin Elsa lit up like a beacon in a snowstorm? Nice touch. Of course, I haven’t seen Frozen. I looked it up on Google, but stopped reading about the movie after I got to the word fjord. See, I had to look up fjord, and that google search led me to a page about ice segregation (fascinating), which led me to a page about ice lenses, which led to a search about pingos (aka hydrolaccoliths), which finally led me to Pingu. Have you seen Pingu? I think you’d like him – he’s a claymated penguin. His best friend is a grey seal named Robbie.

Anyhoo, I love this gourd!

. . .

natalie’s peppermint pusheen

natalie's pumpkin |

natalie's pumpkin |

Natalie writes:

I originally planned to carve a ballerina into my pumpkin, but I didn’t want to come off as desperate, so I decided to carve my spirit animal, Pusheen, instead. 

Because I had to carve it a full week before Halloween and I was leaving town the next day, I followed this advice from the website TheKitchn, who told me that spraying the pumpkin with peppermint soap would extend its life. Surely this would keep Pusheen safe for the week until I returned and put him out for the trick-or-treaters to see. 

Unfortunately, the peppermint soap expedited the rotting process and my pumpkin was covered with mold within two days so we won’t be able to display it for Halloween after all… 

Oh boy! Let me begin by saying that I adore Pusheen. ADORE. And I adore this minty fresh, uber clean pumpkin. The wee whiskers! The happy little catbrows! Who cares if the kids in your neighborhood see it? They’ll be out setting stuff on fire tonight anyway.

Thanks, Natalie, for the lesson in not trusting the interwebs. That said, I did a Google search and learned that a gentle cleansing inside and out of the pumpkin with a mixture of bleach and water (1 tablespoon beach, 1 quart of water) and a thin coating of petroleum jelly works well for pumpkin preservation. Of course another site recommended white glue…

Anymew, I love this pumpkitten.

{Natalie blogs here – check it out! You can trust her.}

. . .

aaron’s oogie boogie

aaron's pumpkin |

aaron's pumpkin |

Natalie also sent in an entry for her husband. I’m assuming he doesn’t know how to use email. (Not to worry, 2.0 hasn’t figured it out either.) Natalie included the following note with Aaron’s entry:

Mr. Eats (Aaron) also wanted to submit a pumpkin this year. He carved Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas. When I asked him if he would like to say a few words to send in with his pumpkin he said “It’s a pumpkin. It’s Oogie Boogie.”  I think he choice of a sinister villain from a Tim Burton movie shows that he truly does have the dark and twisty tortured soul of an artist.

I don’t know what an Oogie Boogie is, and I’ve never seen a Tim Burton movie, but damn, that’s a fine looking pumpkin. Sinister grin, creepy eyes, and a hat that desperately needs rearranging? It’s a classic, scare-the-crap-outta-the-kids-on-the-street type deal. I’m assuming that this is especially true now that it has rotted from the inside out with a peppermint coating. Dark and twisted indeed.

You’ll be happy to know that I did a Google search of Oogie Boogie, which lead me to a search about Ken Page, which led to a page about cabaret, which ended in an hour spent watching Liza Minnelli on YouTube. Time well wasted, if you ask me. Thanks, Aaron.

. . .

alison’s stay puft marshmallow man

alison's pumpkin |

alison's pumpkin |

Alison, who you may remember from Ginger 2012 or Pumpkin Carve-Off 2012, writes:

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is, in my opinion, one of the scariest movie villains of all time. How could something so adorable be so murdery?

Actually, I’m pretty cute and murdery. Just sayin’.

Now, Alison threw in the following quote, and if we’ve learned anything today it’s: I don’t watch movies. So, I didn’t know what movie the quote was from, but I didn’t Google it because if we’ve learned anything else today it is: I can’t get out of web searches once I start.

Alison continues:

Dr Ray Stantz: I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never ever possibly destroy us. Mr. Stay Puft!

Dr. Peter Venkman: Nice thinkin’, Ray.

The artistry in this particular masterpiece comes from stealing my dad’s old “Scully” hat from his RCN able seaman days in 1965 and converting it into something Stay Puft would wear. I’ve included a shot of my dad wearing the hat in its proper context. This hat, I should point out, is sized 7 3/8, which is HUGE. My dad’s head is HUGE. So I had to find a pumpkin that was proportional. This one cost me TWELVE whole dollars and is heavier and more ungainly than my 40lb corgi. So the real amazingness is behind the scenes, as I had to scoop out this massive interior where the flesh was about 6″ thick. 

Side-note: the Beaucoups are a family of unusually large heads. That’s probably why I like this pumpkin so damn much.

I lit it with some battery-powered white LEDs, and Stay Puft’s “tongue” is an orange knitted dishcloth. While you can’t see it very well in the shot, the blue and purple scarf in the background is the same colour as the crossed streams the Ghostbusters used to kill Stay Puft in one of the greatest movies of all time. But you’ll have to take my word for that.

Ah, it was Ghostbusters! Thank goodness I didn’t Google it, because I’m betting there’s A LOT of information about that movie online. I DID look up crossed streams, which led me to this video which includes the quote from above, the crossed streams AND the roasting of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. And Alison, I’d say you captured the essence of that scene perfectly. This pumpkin sums up all that is best about Halloween: big heads, marshmallows and creepy pumpkins.

Is it just me, or do those pumpkin eyes kinda follow you wherever you go?

{Alison blogs here – check it out! She DIY’s everything. Even hats.} 

. . .

Cast your vote below! The overall winner of online polling will win the 2014 People’s Choice Prize!

Repeat voters are blocked by cookie and IP address.
Polls close at 8 am AST, Saturday, November 1, 2014.

Click here to see the second grouping of Pumpkin Carve-Off 2014 entries.
Click here to see the third grouping of Pumpkin Carve-Off 2013 entries. 


  1. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef on October 31, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Voting group 1 done. It wasn’t an easy choice.

  2. shannon on October 31, 2014 at 9:23 am


  3. Willow @ Will Cook For Friends on October 31, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Gaa! I so meant to carve a pumpkin this year! But then two days ago, I overheard my husband talking to someone on the phone and he was like “yep, I took Friday off since it’s Halloween”, and I was all “what what WHAT?!” so yeah, no pumpkin. That said, the entries this year are fabulous so far. That Oogie Boogie man? Spot on. (How have you never seen Nightmare Before Christmas? Full of weird characters and creepy singing and dancing, it seems right up your alley.) But then the Stay Puffed Marshmallow man, I mean, what could be creepier than that? So hard to choose!

  4. Please vote for my pumpkin! | Ali Does It Herself on November 2, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    […] You can vote for the entries in my group here. But make sure to check out the other entries in the other groups as well! […]

  5. natalie on November 4, 2014 at 12:24 am

    hold on, can we go back to the part where you don’t know what an oogie boogie is?

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.