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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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Thank you Prickli Pear. About 60 miles from Arizona. In many ways we have more in common with Arizona than with Costal SoCal. Sometimes I wish they would move the Arizona border to include us LOL


Boy Mike the GIANT Chinese Jade Tiles are really cool.

So many things you could use those for like a side knee wall like they have to divide services bar areas. Even cooler the way you back lit them.

Great Job!

Thank you Skip. They do look quite dramatic with the backlighting. I liked them so much I made another set LOL I had another blank space on the ceiling so I just went for it. I had another piece of MDF and already had the template made so I figured this was a good time. I had considered selling this extra set but I made the mistake of tracking my time. With $55 in supplies and 5 hours invested, I would have needed to sell for at least $150 to be worth it. I wasn't sure I could sell for that. Plus at 4x4 feet and 35 lbs, I would have to sell local (San Diego) which would limit my market

I did this one a little different. No bamboo frame, no backlighting, and mounted diagonally instead of square. Because this one is mounted directly to the ceiling joists (instead of hanging on chains) I have more vertical clearance. I may hang an Asian inspired lamp from the center or 4 small ones from the corners.

I have been painting my ceiling dark brown. 40 feet done and 10 feet to go.

image000000 (1)

The Giant Jade Tiles are part of an overall ceiling treatment. I wanted to do something with my patio ceiling with restrictions of cost, heat, dust, wind, moisture, and nesting birds. Plus I wanted it to do a better job of hiding my electrical cords. I ended up color matching paint to the same brown as extension cords. It was more of a task than I anticipated and close to $200 in paint. I've been working on it for a couple months and finally finished while I was off work this week. It really makes the ceiling decorations "pop" and does a great job of hiding the cords. 296297445_3370713543173745_4895188247690907277_n 296453219_3370713366507096_5504995433048255733_n

The brown ceiling fan now blended in with the brown ceiling which was boring so I painted it faux bamboo. It's a bit stylized or cartoonish. I would have preferred photo realistic but that's out of my artistic scope of practice so this will do. image000000 (1) image000001


Cool fan Mike.

But you have been holding out on us that light behind it is really cool!

Man, I want to make one myself, trying to figure out how to tweak it to make it just different enough so they won't say I stole your idea. Needs a cutout and tapa on the bottom.

If I make one, I will say I stole your idea.

Very cool.

Thanks Skip

The lamp in the last pic? That was just a tealight holder I picked up at Ross. Already made. I just bought a glass vase to fit, Modge-Podged some fabric to it, and dropped a bulb it. And you are welcome to steal anything you see :D

[ Edited by MadDogMike on 2022-08-02 07:25:14 ]

Oh, I think your fan treatment is just about perfect! Folks aren't going to closely examine it--they're going to glance up and think, "Cool! He's got bamboo fan blades!" and that'll be the end of it. They'll be spinning most of the time, anyway. Great job, period.

And I agree with Skip. That may be just a cheap tea light holder, but you've repurposed it into a distinctive lamp that is eye catching. It all adds up!

Thanks Jayme :D

My father in law Ben owned at Tiki bar and restaurant in the 60s and 70s. He had a guy that came by a couple times a year selling curios. Mostly nautical, things like whale ribs, turtle shells, giant clams, nets. pufferfish, etc. Ben had brought a Jenny Haniver and hung it in the bar. Dating back to the 1500s, Jenny Hanivers were made by sailors at sea by cutting and drying stingrays into wild looking sea monsters that they would sell in port. I wanted one for nostalgic purposes but wasn't sure how a real one would hold up outside. so I made one out of foam. Doesn't look quite real but it reminds me of Ben.

0 A real one

1 Basic cutout from high density 1 inch styrofoam

2 Basic carving

3 Shaped with a foam rasp

4 Eyes, nose, and ribs done with a hot soldering iron. Coated with some paintable caulk to smooth out the roughness

5 Painted and hung from the ceiling with some shells


I was think'n how real that thing looks & then I scrolled down. Good job! I bet they get better each one you do.

Thanks Will, didn't mean to fake you out like that LOL I had considered draping it with a "skin" of Modge Podge and tissue paper or fabric. I think that would make it look more realistic. I still can but my wife likes the cute and friendly look :)

Happy wife.......You know the rest.


My BBQ on the Tiki patio was boring, I decided to spice it up a bit. The plan is to cover the lower part with a plywood box then decorate it somehow like you would a small bar. Could have gone with bamboo, lauhala matting, wooden Bosko style mask but decided to take a different approach instead. Admittedly more "Adventureland" than "Tiki" but I'm OK with that.

Cut my panels out of 1/4 plywood and burned them slightly with a large torch 4

Wood stained a swampy green and attached to the front of the BBQ, looks better already 5

I had a 3 piece plastic crocodile mold. I rolled slabs of ceramic clay and laid them into the molds, pressing the clay into the details. I reinforced areas there screws will go through. 1 2 3

The demolded ceramic pieces will be attached to the plywood in this configuration, corner to corner across the plywood. 6

Because the ceramic pieces are thickly reinforced in some places, it will need to dry for a week or so before firing. Then glazed and fired again before being attached to the BBQ

[ Edited by MadDogMike on 2022-08-27 11:49:55 ]

Pretty cool bbq…what kind of swampy green stain is that, without having to kill me

Thanks hottiki. The stain is Cabot Evergreen. Lowes has it in various sizes. It comes as a neutral base and they tint it the color you want like paint.

The fan looks great, so does the monster and wooden box for the barbeque. You think up the most fun projects. I remember when you did the alligator. This will be another fun project.

Thanks Wendy. You've got a great memory! I made that other alligator for my Pirate Ship Treehouse about 10 years ago.

Wendy, the croc's head exploded in the kiln and blew his eye off 😳 I tried some Magic Mender, we'll see if it works?

20220830_152702 20220831_075906

I love that stuff. I think when I sold my supplies to Robert there were around 20 full jars for him. It worked well, I hope it continues to be a miracle fix for you too.

Wendy I fired it last night, it was still at 800 degrees this morning so I won't know if it worked until this evening :D

Deep in the Wahgi Valley of Papua New Guinea lies the Kuk Swamp. Home to Buaya Roh, the white spirit crocodile who feeds on the souls of those who have lost their heads in tribal raids image000000

LOL Just working on mounting the pieces. Used machine screws (2 in each piece) and T-nuts in the plywood. I've got a very crocodile looking brownish green glaze coming in this evening. Hopefully I can get it glazed and mounted by early next week

It's going to look so good. The green background looks like water. Just don't get bit when barbequing.

Making progress in my BBQ. Got the pieces glazed and mounted. Shown here with some Portabello Mushrooms Caprese. Working on a skull face only to mount in one of the blank spots, like it is mostly submerged in the swamp water. Maybe a Austrochaperina frog on top of the skull? 301599469_467820725239152_1429764793597451075_n austrochaperina-sp-2_6086

[ Edited by MadDogMike on 2022-09-06 11:45:51 ]


Looking good! I like the idea of the frog and the croc finish is very nice. For the skull, is that something you make yourself or a ‘found’ skull from a retailer? I’ve been thinking of making a skull, but not sure how to approach it.

Thanks MaulRat. I bought a plastic skull mold. It's made for plaster or cement but I have used it for ceramic clay. I made it intentionally rough to look decayed. It will get brushed with a gray glaze and most of it wiped off, then fired. I thought of the frog idea too late and the skull is too dry to add anything. I'll glaze and fire this one and may make another with a frog 20220906_184604

Looks like the Magic Mend worked! It's a wonderful croc! Oh I love skulls.

Thank you Wendy <3 Yes, the Magic Mend worked just fine!

Ha! I just remembered I have a frog mold too. Since I molded the croc and the skull, might as well mold the frog too. I realize that Poison Dart Frogs are South American and not really "Tiki" but I think the colors will really pop against the stark white skull

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"I’ve been thinking of making a skull, but not sure how to approach it."

You of all people could make one like these.

paper mache skull heads


[ Edited by tikiskip on 2022-09-07 19:33:10 ]


What a croc MDM! I think I've used that Magic Mend, but can't remember. I usually use paper clay and it works great.

You're not going to put anything high gloss on the green wood to make it look wet? Maybe that would be too flammable for a BBQ.

[ Edited by ernimator on 2022-09-08 13:33:05 ]

John Good info, MaulRat isn't tagged (I'm not sure if you can?) but hopefully he'll see it

GROG funny! LOL I have had mixed results with the Magic Mend but it worked this time. My clay store (San Diego) stopped selling paperclay. It always grows mold (which does not affect it) but they say people don't want to buy it with mold on it.

I don't think that flammability is a problem that low on the BBQ but I have yet to find a varnish/polyurethane/etc that will hold up outside here on the Anvil of the Sun. They all start peeling off within a few years

I needed a new porch light for the patio so I picked one up with a round glass globe, painted the globe blue with a glass paint, then used XPS (Styrofoam) to make it Witco-esque. The foam is easier to work with than wood, less expensive, and much lighter.

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You're going to have to change you're name to Mr. Crafty.


Looks good Mike.

Could probably net that globe too.

Oh and try a flame bulb in that light have done that and it looks good, flame bulb looks best when you can't see the big plastic bulb on these newer flame bulbs.

Mike, you cranked this out quick! Very nice!!

GROG, I'm good with that LOL

Skip, thanks. I netted it first but didn't really like it. (This picture was before I aged the netting with some tea) 306324081_3402848689960230_6063315943164470230_n

MaulRat thanks you. That foam works pretty quickly, the only waiting is for the glue to dry

[ Edited by MadDogMike on 2022-09-12 08:33:44 ]


Very nice work Mike.

HILDA!!! Thank you :)

Finished up my BBQ. Nothing spectacular on it's own but just adds another point of interest to the patioimage000000

You know how to do so many things and do them well. It's fun to watch you as you come up with these new projects. The explorer met his fate with the alligator and then you barbequed him. I hope it went well.

LOL, thank you Wendy <3

Playing catch-up and just saw you take on the Jenny Haniver. It turned out great!

I like the idea of making a fake of a fake.

And no dead sea-life involved so it won't start to stink if it gets damp! (Or do some people consider that part of the , uh, ambiance of some tiki spaces?)

Thank you Philot :D Yes, especially outside, dampness (and the accompanying "ambiance") can be a problem LOL

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