While pumpkin decorating remains a timeless classic, this bejeweled beauty puts ordinary jack-o'-lanterns to shame!
Meet “Taylor Swiftkin,” the enchanted 399-pound pumpkin created by artist Jeanette Paras, from Dublin, Ohio, that’s spicing up the fall tradition.
Paras, an artist with 35 years of experience in transforming colossal pumpkins into stars, made a special tribute this year to none other than the iconic Miss Taylor Swift.
The Swiftkin, grown by local farmers Jason Johnson and Kurt Rossbach, sports a whimsical makeover in the style of Taylor Swift's ensemble from the 65th Annual Grammy Awards. It flaunts oversized replicas of the purple sapphires, Paraiba tourmalines, and kite-shaped diamond Lorraine Schwartz earrings, along with the ever-popular signature red lipstick and a high bun that required the use of nine wigs.
From Kanye West to the Kardashians and Donald Trump, Paras tells Scripps News that her pumpkin decorating routine remains consistent each year: picking a celebrity or personality that is capturing headlines that year, sketching their likeness based on an inspirational photo, and then painting them by hand, work that takes her anywhere from 10-12 hours to finish.
“With so much going on in the news today, much of it disturbing, Taylor SwiftKin stood out. I considered ‘pumpkinizing’ others, but Taylor is a bright star in today’s pop culture,” said Paras. “And then, when she was romantically linked to two-time Super Bowl champion Travis Kelce, that certainly made her more interesting. As I like to say, I don’t make the news; I pumpkinize it.”
But that's not all; next to Swiftkin, it's a 25-pound "football" sitting on a planter with Kelce's jersey number 87 with the branding "NPL." Get it, National Pumpkin League!
While this all sounds like fun, this is also a very serious thing for Paras. One of the main reasons she enjoys decorating these pumpkins is because she's a "two-time breast cancer thrive-r" and she uses the popularity her masterpieces get as a platform to raise awareness and funds for the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at the Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“I really have a lot of fun doing this. A lot of other people really enjoy it. And that's rare. Really rare. It's a rarity to do anything that has such widespread appeal,” said Paras. “The other very, very important reason why I am also doing it is that, well, October is a big month. It's my birthday, my wedding anniversary, and very importantly, it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”
Paras leaves her pumpkin outside with signs encouraging all who visit the super-star pumpkin to donate at www.give.osu.edu/ParasPumpkins. Paras says she will match the first $2,500 in donations dollar-for-dollar.
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