It's Fall and that means Pumpkins

Shelley Gartside |


This year in the Comox Valley we've had fairly good weather for fall.  A few rainstorms and rainy days, but hey, we live on the West Coast.  For me fall means pumpkins. I love pumpkins and gourds.  I love their colours.  Some with smooth orange skin.  Some with warty orange and green skin. Now pumpkins come in white, and I've seen some that are almost a blush colour.  When you do what I do, colour consultations, I can get overly effusive about nature's colours.

I was cruising through decor sites a week or so ago and saw a blog from Thistlewood Farms ( about velvet pumpkins and was so taken by the soft look and shape I went right out to buy the things I needed for the project.  Velvet, yarn, batting, and real pumpkin stems.  Whoa! Real pumpkin stems.  Well, we do live in a bountiful valley, I should be able to find those somewhere right?

So after buying the fabrics I had to figure out where to get real pumpkin stems.  As my day unfolded, I ended up going grocery shopping, and the grocery store had massive boxes of pumpkins.  All the pumpkins in the big boxes had their stems firmly attached, and I didn't want to buy a whole pumpkin just for the stem.  When I went into the store though, there was a box that had been full of pumpkins but was now mostly empty, and do you know what was on the bottom of the box?  Stems.  They'd obviously been detached somehow from their pumpkin and there they were!

Well if you know me, you know I'm pretty short.  In fact, the big pumpkin box almost came up to my armpits. The stems were on the bottom and there was no way I was going to be able to reach them. Hmmm…what to do?  I went over to the housewares department and borrowed some long tongs and picked out about six stems of varying shapes and sizes, and then returned the tongs.  Yes...I did get a few weird looks from people, but I had a plan.  When I got to the till I mentioned to the clerk that I had picked the pumpkin stems up, and it was not a problem.  

The next day I set out to make velvet pumpkins.  (There are lots of videos on the internet on how to do it if you want to try this for yourself.)  The thing is, I'm not a sewer!  I can make Halloween costumes, or other things that you wear in the dark, but I can't figure out how to change the thread on my new sewing machine.  Fortunately, velvet pumpkins only require a bit of hand sewing and a glue gun, which is way more my speed.  They turned out to be very pretty, and I was quite happy with what they looked like.

If you would like to win a velvet pumpkin please join my newsletter list at, like my Facebook page, and on Facebook tell me what colour pumpkin you want in the comments.  I’ll let the winner know on October 21st, so you can decorate for fall with the pumpkin.

Enjoy this beautiful weather while we have it, and call or email me if you want to talk decorating.