I started with this fan cluster pattern.
While I liked the pattern this way, I wanted the colors to be more tropical and I made the "foam" rows a little more random. I cut the yarn and turned the work after each row. I have to weave in the ends, but I like the effect.
At this point, I have made a new pattern. I didn't have to come up with a whole new idea. I just had to tweek an old one a couple of times.