Festive autumn lights

10 11 2020

Autumn in the Islands is comparatively warm, but the trade winds can kick up, and we have rain. The holiday season looms as it does everywhere. I’ve been getting into a festive mood. I found new lighting by shopping online; so easy and dangerous for the pocketbook when self-isolating during the current pandemic.

Artificial Jack-o-lantern, battery powered, in the front yard


Moon rising on Halloween night


Gorgeous sunset over the Koʻolau Mountains as seen from Kāneʻohe Bay last Thursday. Flame torches provide ambiance for dinner with friends.


New tiny white lights decorate the house exterior. They are on an automatic timer for six hours a night for as long as their batteries last. An online catalog find.

I can’t wait until the day after Thanksgiving to put up our Christmas tree.

Be well and stay safe. Love,


Beauty at Longwood Gardens

27 11 2017

Whenever we’re in this part of Pennsylvania we pay a visit to Longwood Gardens. This time the designers decorated the halls and conservatories for the holidays for “A Longwood Christmas.”

We went in the afternoon and imagined how lovely it is at nighttime with the Christmas lights. No matter what the season, it is always a treat to see. Here’s my album.

Floating green apples and red cranberries for a design

Green apples and walnuts afloat in water

Close up of Christmas tree made of succulents

Phalaenopsis orchids cover this tree

Close up of the orchid tree

Amaryllis buds

Glass ornaments made by children

Merry Christmas

Virtual snow

7 12 2016

Aloha, studio fans! As you can see it’s snowing at Rebekah’s Studio! In reality it is the time of ho‘oilo, the wet and rainy season in Hawai‘i. Damp and muddy! Amid the hustle and bustle of the season and the busy highways, I remind myself to drive safely and really be aware of what is around me. It’s a crazy time of year in many ways.

At the studio we are still wrapping up a couple of publishing projects—a coffee table book for my high school class’s 50th reunion (you do the math, haha!) and a second printing of a family recipe book, originally published in 1999. Painting and music classes are finishing up for the year. The holiday calendar of events is starting to fill now, too.

Be kind to each other. I wish you all much deserved peace and serenity, inside and out, with plenty of aloha! ~ Rebekah

At Honolulu Hale (City Hall)

At Honolulu Hale (City Hall)


Hawaiian garland for the holidays

10 12 2011

In Hawaii we are fortunate to grow gardens with flowers and foliage to decorate our homes and adorn ourselves the year ’round. I’ve started to show others how to craft holiday garlands, such as Christmas wreaths, table centerpieces, hostess gifts, and swags.

Today some of us gathered at the yacht club in Kaneohe to put the decorations together. It’s a fairly easy method adapted from the Hawaiian wili style of lei making. We substituted wire for natural fiber used to whip the plant material together, and we omitted a separate backing that is unnecessary because the stiff stems of ti leaves are sufficient foundation.

This fresh wreath is made of green ti, red ti, laua‘e, and song-of-India leaves. Red and pink ginger blossoms offer pops of complementary colors. A big bow completes my creation.

Just in time for the holidays: handcrafted decorations from our gardens

Copyright 2011 Rebekah Luke

Oh my goodness, look at Lanikai beach

31 05 2011

Classic Lanikai view

Aloha! This weekend our family spent some time at a beach house in Lanikai, Oahu. The idea of going there to relax this 3-day Memorial Day holiday was not an original one, as you can see. Never in my life have I seen this beach as crowded. On a normal day it is pretty secluded, tucked away around the corner from Kailua town, with outrigger canoes going out for practice in the early morning and late afternoon, a handful of sunbathers, and maybe a wedding shoot. But not yesterday. Take a look at all the activity!

Afternoon paddlers

Memorial Day 2011 at Lanikai

Escaping for some solitude on the sea

Beach sentinels

Please throw it again

Colorful Hobie

One of several "bathtubs"

One of several rafts



Looks like Waikiki beach

Sand caterpillar

Copyright 2011 Rebekah Luke

Makahiki, yule and gift giving

9 11 2009

With the winter holiday season upon us, most families are starting to get into the spirit. The signs include that real or imagined cold snap on Halloween night, slick merchandising catalogs overflowing from our mailboxes, store mark downs everywhere, and the lure of local craft fairs and festive events.

Conversations now include, “What are you doing for (fill in the holiday)?” and newspaper features carry tips on how to remain stress free. We want to remember family and friends and hope no one is left alone. As families extend generationally, geographically, and by marriage, there can be many decisions to make.

DH and I have a couple of philosophic ideas and old-fashioned traditions that give us a sense of peace. They link to our respective roots—Hawaiian Islands for me and Pennsylvania (Delaware County) for him.

One is to acknowledge and be mindful of the Hawaiian Makahiki season, roughly from mid-November through January (exact dates depend on the moon). The planting season is over, work is pau (finished), and warring ceases. It is the time of the god Lono.

The best of the harvest is dedicated to Lono in the form of ho‘okupu (offerings). The people give thanks, relax, socialize, play outdoor games, and generally enjoy themselves. No stress. It’s officially okay to play!

The other is adopted from Winterthur, Delaware, not far from DH’s birthplace. As tourists we visited Winterthur, a museum and the former country estate of Henry Francis du Pont. During his life H. F. du Pont collected whole room interiors of various periods, not to mention whole street fronts, and installed them in his mansion.

The museum decorates the rooms of this big house for Yuletide, and visitors can tour them around the same months of Makahiki in Hawaii. The holiday decor matches the period style of each different room. It’s educational and very festive.

When we visited, our favorite room showed how du Pont’s own family celebrated in the first half of the 20th century. The story was told that Yuletide, the time around the Winter solstice, was a time to visit and entertain friends, to rest and to celebrate a successful harvest. Children were seen but not heard.

Decorations consisted of a small table-top evergreen—adorned simply with cookies, candles and strands of popcorn and cranberries—that was set atop a pie crust table. Gifts were exchanged among immediate family members only and placed in a basket for each person. If the children behaved well, they could have the cookies!

We liked the idea so well that we brought home a furniture piece similar to a pie crust table for ourselves, in a nod to the East Coast style and DH’s regional heritage. Each year we hang on a small tree the wooden ornaments crafted by DH’s parents for their first granddaughter on her first Christmas.

At a lost for that special gift?

FOR YULE or any other special occasion such as a wedding, a big birthday, an anniversary, or a move to a new home, do consider giving a painting. Yes, a painting! An original oil painting is special and unique, so unexpected, so memorable. It is a one-of-a-kind piece of art, it’s durable, and it can provide years of long-lasting enjoyment. Support the Native Hawaiian artist! I can work with you now on a selection and a payment plan, if necessary. I will be traveling and away from the studio for a good part of December, so if you are at all interested, please contact me. Click on PAINTINGS in the menu bar to see the images. I’ll be installing additional pieces in the next few days too. Thank you!

Copyright 2009 Rebekah Luke


In years past I have participated in the Makahiki observance on Kahoolawe island. You may read about Makahiki on the Protect Kahoolawe Ohana website:


For more about Winterthur and the du Ponts, click on this link:


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