Fast forward a "few" years ahead. I'm no longer 13. I'm still mature, but couldn't pass on the offer to carve pumpkins at a friend's house on a Sunday afternoon. While contemplating my artful master piece, my mom suggested I do maple leaves! And I thought "why not?!" I love the fall, I adore seeing the trees in all their glory as they change into crimson, golden, orange and burgundy colors. And so it was decided - I was going to pick up a few fallen maple leaves and use them as a template for my first carved pumpkin.
I used a sharpie to lightly outline different size leaves in a random pattern and then got to carving. Don't forget to save pumpkin seeds and roast them while you are carving. I like to roast mine with olive oil, kosher salt and a touch of cayenne pepper.