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happy MAHALOween!

i read that term - happy MAHALOween - on a tiki bar's website.
when this fun phrase gave me a way to incorporate my love of
tropicana decor and tiki culture into October celebrations, i was IN!

(truth is, i'm not really into Halloween anymore - fall, yes. pumpkins, YES!
the 'scary horror bloody zombie creepy clowns and witches' kinda' decor? nah.)

since i have NO intention of dressing up in costume, 
 i simply decided to give a pumpkin a costume. with a tiki mask!

continue reading for the details and an easy paint tutorial...


coco fiber planter liner pumpkins

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i spied this item one day at Lowes - do you know what it is?
in my endless search for things i can turn into tropical decor for our home,
i'm always looking at textures and colors that work - on the cheap - 
and this looked for all the world like a giant coconut to me!

turning it into a pumpkin was easy-peasy - 
so much so that creating the tutorial for this post took me MUCH longer
than actually MAKING the pumpkin!

have you figured out what i used yet??
continue reading to see the answer... plus a few variations!


coconut tiki mug pumpkins!

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i was cleaning our indoor tiki bar the other day,
and as i moved some of the tiki mug collection off of a shelf to dust it,
i sat the two ceramic coconut mugs upside down on the bar top.
my hand stopped in mid-air as i looked at what i had done
and an idea came to mind...

 yes, i turn a LOT of different things into pumpkins!
first it was plates. now it's mugs. 
and it's so easy it's not even funny!

continue reading to see the details...


let's make plate pumpkins!

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this project was hatched when i started to throw something away...
and then thought twice about it!

my 'thing' is to embrace the 'trash to treasure' approach
to life, decorating, crafting, etc -
using up stuff from the recycle bin and the waste basket,
stuff like junk mail and empty containers. and sometimes, even bonafide trash. 

why? because it's cheaper, it's easily accessible, it's good for the planet
AND it makes me stretch my creative muscles to use what i have.

that said, you don't HAVE to use 'trashed' plates for this project.
there are many possibilities and permutations - any kind of plate would work!
(check out the ones i made using ceramic plates the end of this post)

continue reading to see them all...


NEW! faux painted bamboo pumpkins

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my penchant for tropical decor and tiki culture inspired this new pumpkin project...

our So Cal home is filled with tikis and bamboo and leafy palm fabrics,
because during the pandemic lockdown we had to cancel our trip to Hawaii
and decided to just make HOME feel as much like Hawaii as we could.
and we love it!
so, i like to create seasonal decor for us that coordinates with that theme.
pumpkins that look like they are made from bamboo are a perfect fit!

continue reading for my paint tutorial...


pumpkins + mushrooms = 'shroomkins!

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last spring, when i created my new Original Sweet Sweater 'Shrooms,
i ALSO had the idea for this project. i just ran outta' time to make them!
 and forgive me, but i gotta' be honest
and say that they are one of my FAVORITE creations ever!

since mushrooms are still having a moment,
and pumpkins are my JAM, i combined the two
to create these whimsical fall decor pieces
that i'm calling " 'shroomkins"

continue reading to learn how to make these -
from cheap styrofoam pumpkins and a pool noodle!


NEW! Pyrex pumpkins

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what happens when a girl's been surfing Insta too much because she's hiding from the heat,
and is following five or six collectors of Pyrex?

said girl decides to let their collections and her own pieces inspire some
Pyrex pattern painted pumpkins
(try to say that three times fast!!!)

last year, my sweet lifelong friend Miss Kim
(yes, she of the Farmhouse Makeover!) sent me a thoughtful gift
of some happy 'Vintage Charm' Pyrex-inspired bowls in sunny yellow:
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they sit in my studio holding miscellaneous tidbits,
and one day i looked at them and had the brainstorm to replicate them on pumpkins.

i started painting dish patterns on pumpkins a few years ago,
when the blue and white Chinoiserie trend hit...
that's not my vibe, so i made decor that IS my vibe!
this is just one more way i'm incorporating what i already have into new decor ideas.

wanna' see how easy this project was? continue reading!


NEW! faux 'sand' painted pumpkins

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let's just jump right in to pumpkin season, shall we?
during my summer break, i let my creativity + imagination run wild,
which resulted in a bunch of fun new pumpkin decor projects for 2022.

first up, a new idea that is the perfect transition from summer to fall:
faux 'sand' painted pumpkins

if you're a beach lover like me, or a tropical / tiki culture lover like me,
or perhaps a 'coastal grandmother' like me??! ha!
this idea may be the perfect way to bring some beach vibes home...

continue reading for my easy paint tutorial!