Butternut-Squash-O-Lantern

This year instead of carving a pumpkin for Halloween, I got the bright idea to carve a butternut squash. I don’t know what made me think I’d be able to easily summon enough brute strength to carve something pretty into one of these tough vegetables. Now that I’ve done it, I don’t recommend it. I see now that pumpkins are much more suitable to carving. That’s why it’s pumpkin carving, not squash carving, that became a Halloween tradition.

Halloween butternut squash carving

If you’re curious, this is how I Halloween-ified my squash. First I sliced the top off with my big chef’s knife. I planned to use a smaller knife to remove slices from the solid squash neck until it was hollow. Within a minute I had snapped my knife blade off in the squash.

I decided power tools were in order and got my drill. I didn’t get my battery-powered drill, I got my big manly drill that plugs into the wall. That worked pretty well to hollow out the neck of the squash. I drilled a bunch of holes until they all banded together and formed one big hole. Hole cooperation.

Halloween butternut squash carving

Next I flipped the squash over and cut a traditional serrated “pumpkin top” shape into the bulb at the bottom. I scooped the seeds out of the base and continued drilling down the interior length of the squash until the whole thing was hollow. Then I put the top and bottom back in place.

Halloween butternut squash carving

I tried to think of something to carve but couldn’t come up with anything that wouldn’t also lead to me losing a finger. I already had my drill out… so… I just drilled holes all over it. It’s a technique I used a few years ago on a pumpkin, but maybe I get bonus points for using a butternut this time? It’s way too much fun to drill holes in food with power tools. I couldn’t resist once I already had the drill laying there next to the squash. These are the drill bits I used.

Halloween butternut squash carving

Taadaa!

Halloween butternut squash carving

Halloween butternut squash carving

Happy Halloween everybody! What did you carve this year?

Terrarium Before & After

A few weeks ago at the West Elm Local launch party in Durham I was chatting with Megan of The Zen Succulent about my Score + Solder terrarium. It made the rounds on Pinterest a while back, and most of the succulents in there are still going strong. Megan suggested I post a follow up photo of how it has grown, and I thought that was a darn good idea.

My terrarium the day I planted it:

terrarium before and after

My terrarium over 3.5 years later with the original succulents:

terrarium before and after

Pretty crazy, right? The smallest pinkish succulents in the before photo died fairly quickly, but the others are still doing fine. Well, that wonky one isn’t getting enough sun (which is why it looks like that), but it’s alive and growing. That’s all I can ask for! This is the longest I’ve ever kept succulents alive. What’s the longest you’ve kept a houseplant alive?

Cards for Autumn

After a long lull I’ve been riding an awesome wave of creative energy the past week or two! I just added some of the latest fruits of my labor to the shop.

Fall and winter are my favorite seasons, so when this card idea popped into my head I had to drop everything and make it happen. A card to celebrate cold weather and the freedom to grow out your leg hair?! Yes please. It works for any occasion this time of year or even for the holidays. It’s in the shop here.

sweater weather card

Here’s the sketch it originated from. I made her a little less bow-legged in the final version.

sweater weather card

Every year since Wit & Whistle began I’ve tried and failed to come up with a decent Thanksgiving card. Finally, I think I’ve got a winner. It only took me 6 years. This unhappy turkey is in the shop here.

bite me thanksgiving card

With a little rearranging this sketch turned into the “bite me” card. I recycled the leafy pattern from one of my discontinued throw pillows.

bite me thanksgiving card

Eco-friendly Business Cards

I finally finished redesigning my business cards! I cut some of my imperfect greeting cards into rectangles and designed a rubber stamp to print my info on the opposite side. Each card is a unique crop of an actual Wit & Whistle greeting card. Recycling at its finest!

rubber stamp business cards

rubber stamp business cards

rubber stamp business cards

If the urge strikes I can stamp my business cards on manilla tags, envelopes, bags, people’s foreheads… the possibilities are endless!

rubber stamp business cards

I don’t sell custom rubber stamps, but if you’re interested in a business card stamp like this I scouted around on Etsy and found a couple similar options for you in other folks’ shops—this one from stationeryboutique and this one from TwinSoulStudio. This cute one by papersushi is a totally different option. I also spotted these awesome business card stamps on MaeMae & Co a while back, but their shop appears to be down at the moment.

Completely unrelated question. I’m working on a selection of new art prints. Are there any of my greeting cards you’d like me to make available as larger prints for hanging?

Dragon Fruit

I discovered another new-to-me fruit that was too wild not to photograph. Are you familiar with the dragon fruit? How magical looking is this thing? The inside is the same texture as a kiwi, but it’s very bland with only the tiniest hint of sweetness. Now that my curiosity has been satisfied I don’t think I’ll feel the urge to eat another one, but it was great fun dissecting this magenta, spiky wonder.

dragon fruit

dragon fruit

dragon fruit