The Great Pumpkin Challenge

A true "Jacko" lantern! Photos by Terri Bryce Reeves

A week after running a fabulous article about our Mother Meres mural, St. Pete Times correspondent Terri Bryce Reeves challenged the Garden Fairies to “think outside the pumpkin”. Of course we accepted! After doing a mural that took seven months to make, one night of pumpkin decorating sounded a walk in the park. And besides, more free publicity is always welcomed in Fairy land.

Gluing sh!t on sh!t, Halloween style!

On the Monday night before Halloween, seven of the Garden Fairies gathered in Heather’s Safety Harbor studio armed with pumpkins, bags of decorating items, power tools and (of course) glue guns.

We were given a choice of three themes; recycled, botanical and candy.

Rike and Siobhan thought the candy challenge sounded “sweet”. Their entry was Flaming Candy Man. Someone suggested it could also be called “Jacko”-lantern. (ugh!), referring to the time Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire.  Like all art, interpretation is subjective.

Do you think MJ ever had this procedure? That would explain the migraines.

Flaming Candy Man, an eye- popping pumpkin features a licorice hairdo with birthday candles hot-glued to the ends of the licorice. You need a bit of patience to get the candles to glue properly: glue and hold for at least 10 seconds, watch out not to burn your fingers! We used a Dremel tool to slice the end off the jawbreakers, yielding eyes with a shocked look. To complete the look of bewilderment, we carved an open mouth and finished him off with a few candy corn teeth. The butterfly-shaped ears and circles around the eyes are made from gummy type candies, purchased at a store in the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs that sells old fashioned candy.

Shannon's creation reminds one of an aging rocker's head. Think Keith Richards, on a good day.

Shannon carved the skull and sprayed the inside of the sockets and mouth with black spray paint and silver on the skin. The hair is made out of a Bromeliad and some fiber, and the eyes are red ginger blossoms. Shannon said “I love the funky shock of hair”. He’s got a lot of personality.”

This couple gets a perfect "10" for creativity

Heather, Kiaralinda and Jan found inspiration in “trash” they have been collecting over the years. Heather was happy she was able to use some of the bulbs she was saving for years for the somewhat intoxicated-looking pumpkin that resembles Dudley Moore.

Kiaralinda, another master recycler, used a bucket lid for the brim of the hat. For the top of the hat, a she used a water bottle filled with corks. The spinning flower was cut from a soda can and corks cut in half were used for nose and teeth, with a hummus container plastic lid for a mouth. Jan worked on the Bo Derek pumpkin. A recycled idea from the 1979 movie “10” completes the picture, using braided cornrows from yellow plastic bags. “I learned everything from watching my mother in her beauty parlor,” Jan said, rolling up a spool of hair.

If you are tired of  plain-ol’ pumpkins with personality-free triangular eyes and goofy-toothed grins, try the Garden Fairy approach to pumpkin decorating. Harvest the recycle bin and have fun with your friends and family.

Thanks to Terri Bryce Reeves for her fabulous photography and wonderful writing. While Terri has chronicled the Fairies many times over the years, this is the first time she has served as a catalyst for the craziness!

Recent Garden Fairy Press:

St. Pete Times- Garden Fairies pump up ho-hum

Press about the our mural in Tarpon Springs:

St. Pete Times- Mural honors Tarpon Springs woman who made gardening impact

Bay News 9 video

Suncoast News- Garden Fairies Magic

Riké, Jan, Siobhan, and Barbara; Heather, Shannon and Kiaralinda. Say that 3 times fast!

3 comments on “The Great Pumpkin Challenge
  1. gaye says:

    You GFs are very funky – Looks like fun and very Creative Pumpkins – wish I was there!

  2. Queenjoy says:

    Thinking outside the pumpkin was a winner. I think it would be fabulous to share the process with the public on something like this. Setting up in a public area so wannabes could see the creative juices flow would be
    Beyond Fab


  3. Donna says:

    I absolutely loved the pumpkins. They were all so creative and fun.