Diamond Tooth Taxidermy

Exquisite Taxidermy Art and Design

© 2013 Diamond Tooth Taxidermy
Stacks Image 109

About Beth Beverly


I am a State and Federally licensed taxidermist who graduated from the Pocono Institute of Taxidermy in 2010 with high marks. I have a deep respect for this craft and those who strive to preserve it.

It is my pleasure to work on any trophy mount, be it a shoulder, life-size, rug, or fish.

I accept custom orders for fantasy mounts, wearables, and bridal hair pieces.

Sculptural mounts and hats are available for rental provided they are in stock at time of inquiry.

Contact me describing your wish and I will be delighted to make it so.


Diamond Tooth Taxidermy Blog:



What to wear to Dressage? Or Traffic Court?

Diamond Tooth has you covered.



The Cher:
 Platforms aren't giving you enough height? Fret not, this piece will add a solid 6" to your statuesque figure while framing your face in luxurious iridescent turkey feathers. Made from the saddle part of a wild turkey, fanned out over hand-made buckram band frame, and embellished with vintage studded jewelry and chains.



Death on Two Legs:

For the woman (or enterprising gent) who wishes to never be forgotten. Dress to kill in this vintage buckram frame hat with a taxidermy wild turkey wing swooped around and hugging the head. No nonsense, just outrageous. The spotlight is on you and you alone. 



 The Lydia:
 Thin out the herd of simpletons on a daily basis with a piece like this- only the bravest of hearts will dare approach. Ideal for the young woman who already knows not to suffer any fools.
A taxidermy rooster head swirls into a nestled coil with a horsehair cushion on its underside. He holds a giant pearl in his beak for eternity. The entire piece is anchored to a steel headband, rendering it quite sensible for the young lady on the go, be it cycling, dancing, or levitating with the ghosts of deceased football players.








The Jane:
 The Jane is for a quiet, practical sort of gal who can hop off her cruiser bicycle to deliver a breached calf or present a thesis on the benefits of counter-transference and disclosure in the therapy hour with the same relative amount of ease. She's not a show off, look at me type (not that there is a SINGLE thing wrong with that), she's more of the silent but deadly type. The kind you definitely want on your side.
A taxidermy chicken wing wraps the head of an antique felt cap, embellished with vintage lace detail.






 The Margaret:
 The Margaret is for the reserved but stylish woman; ideal for strolling through an apple orchard to pick apples or simply survey her domain.
The base of this piece is an altered antique velvet cap; a chicken tail & hide pieces frame the front. Embellished with vintage buttons, the amount of provenance in this piece is palpable.




 A Simple and easy to wear piece with maximum impact. A disc of premium, lush iridescent turkey feathers stands straight up, anchored by a steel head band. Sits slightly cocked to one side for asymmetrical hair styling options. Ideal for adding height without making too much of a splash.


Night on The Concorde:
Channel your inner classy and carefree airline attendant with this jaunty and easily beautiful piece. Take your Coffee, Tea or Me with a dash of modern class in a hat that can compliment long flowing locks, or a formal work-appropriate chignon.
Taxidermy rooster wing mounted onto a felt hat base with a silk fringe tassel and fabric bow detail.












Chicken Wing Mohawk:
Add instant height and intrigue to any ensemble and hair style. Taxidermy chicken wings fold into each-other on a hand made buckram frame which is anchored to a steel headband, making an easy to wear (except on windy days!) piece for any gal (or guy) who intends to stop traffic or command a room.



Fox Tail Earcuff and Rabbit Tail Earcuff
The tip of a fox tail dangles from a chain and attaches to the wearer via a sterling silver ear cuff. Instantly dress up any look for the day with this piece, while simultaneously giving yourself something soft to handle during dull moments.
A no brainer




 





Raccoon Baculum Charm Necklace:

 Dare to wear a Raccoon Baculum (penis bone, Texas Toothpick, etc) and see what good juju comes your way. Women have been known to don one while trying to conceive. Gamblers wrap a baculum in a $10 bill, tuck it in their pocket and head to the track to clean up. They are said to generally attract positive energy and spirits, aside from that they are an elegant and beautiful bone to behold. This one is embellished with a genuine Swarovski Amethyst and several snug brass jump rings. Necklace included.





Halo Rose and Araucana Headpiece:





Fabric roses and Araucana chicken hide nestle together onto an antique buckram halo frame to form this playful and romantic piece. A bit Spring-like in appearance perhaps, but the right lady can work this topper any time of year. It's easy to wear and frames the face is a most flattering way.










The Pearl 2.0:




A second incarnation of the original Pearl hat, this one is a bit more compact and snug against the head, ideal for riding horses or traversing the avenue with your best "don't F with me" face.
Very no nonsense.
Taxidermy rooster wing hugs the curve of the cap and a vintage gem holds up a portion of the brim creating a face flattering swoop. Hat base is vintage felt, Stetson quality.






Possum Tail Necklace:





A taxidermy Possum tail curled into an elegant swoop, and capped off with a steel end hangs from a chain at just the right length to flatter any decolletage. Often reviled as undesirable, creepy rodents, Opossum actually have some their own sort of beauty as demonstrated in this piece.





Rooster & Deer Tail Beret:

Meeting a stranger in a cafe for a clandestine exchange? Here's your hat. Elegant and practical, with an amount of flair that will get you noticed by the right people and deter the rest.
Taxidermy rooster hide woven with dyed deer tail swoop around a vintage brown felt beret, terminating in an antique charm.






Rooster Hide Visor Cap:
Make sexy eyes across the arena at that handsome Terrier breeder during the next American Kennel Club event. Dogs and humans alike will be drawn to you in this vintage altered velvet cap with black visor and rooster hide.


The Harvest Queen:
This piece made its way up to Sharon Springs this year and was an honorary guest at the Harvest Festival kicking off an entire 3 days of celebrating all things seasonal, local and organic. Seeing as it's crafted from a taxidermied chicken hide sourced from a farm just down the road in Cobelskill, a repurposed vintage hat base and a handed down magic amber button embellishment sewn on with antique suture thread, The Harvest Queen was a perfect fit. She is full of provenance and positive energy, an asset to any wearer.






The White Witch:
Goes perfect with a glass of champagne and an icy attitude. Altered antique faux fur hat sprouts taxidermy chicken hide and tail from the front top, and is embellished with vintage jewelry. A snug fit, perfect for the Anna Wintour in your life.







Taxidermy Chicken Wing Epaulets:
 I haven't listed these on etsy yet because I'd like to get more shots of them, from the underside explaining method of attachment.  Basically they pin onto the shoulders of whatever the wearer' has on, like a brooch.   If you're in love and don't want to wait, just email me directly at diamondtoothtaxidermist@gmail.com and we'll talk.


Thanks a bajillion to me talented and patient photographer James Coughlin, and the lovely Bell sisters.  Pearl is more than a great model; check out her plethora of other talents here.






I got your HANDS ON experience right here:


As I've mentioned here before, I'm getting more involved with workshops and group engagement in terms of taxidermy.  What has been a deligthfully solitary craft for me all these years is slowly morphing into a social experience as more people gain interest in this practice.  I've actually just finished my first week of private tutelage with a  talented and creative young man who completed his first pheasant mount from scratch under my watchful eye. 
It's exciting to see how may people want to peek behind the curtain and see what taxidermy is all about.  In Brooklyn, the Morbid Anatomy Library hosts a slew of various workshops and educational events ranging from how to mount your own squirrel to setting up your own beetle diorama.  I can now list my own specialty among the roster: How to create wearable taxidermy.
Here's a full description of the workshop:


Event

Wearable Taxidermy Workshop by Beth Beverly
Date: Saturday, July 27
Time: 12  6:30 PM
Price: $150
RSVP Email: diamondtoothtaxidermist(at)gmail.com
This class is part of The Morbid Anatomy Art Academy

Students will be provided with pre-skinned and tanned chicken hide elements (wings, tails, heads, etc) along with millinery hardware and all the glues, threads, chain, and miscellaneous decorative elements to create a one of a kind custom taxidermy headpiece.
Starting with the malleable hide parts, students will be instructed on how to manipulate, fill and and position the feathered sections while anchoring them to the metal hardware using foam mannequin heads (provided) for stability. Millinery accents like netting, crinoline, jewels and metal embellishments can then be added to complete the students' own personal design, finishing off the workshop with instruction on lining the inside and adding a personalized garment tag.
Students will leave with their new wearable piece of fashion taxidermy, along with printed out lesson sheets and sourcing info so that they may employ these new skills for life.



I've already got 6 full birds skinned, tanned and ready to head up to NY next month; I'm using my best and brightest specimen because I truly want to create a dazzling workshop for my students and make sure they take home something truly beautiful.  I even had a Polish Hen ( I rarely get those) but got greedy and decided to keep that one for myself.  Here is a hint at some of the colors/textures I'm offering that aren't Polish hens:




 A nice assortment, and I've still got loads more!  In fact, I'll be going up to the farm to collect some freezer treats from the boys at The Farmer's Husband early next month so who knows what stunning pieces I'll have!

I'm looking forward to this workshop and meeting the folks who are as enthusiastic as me over wearable bio art. I'm also eager to see what other creative minds come up with, left to their own devices.  There's still a few spots left if you are in or near Brooklyn on July 27 and would like your own custom made for you by you piece of wearable taxidermy!  Just email me through my website or go to Brown Paper Tickets to secure your place in class.

Devon Ladies Tea, Twice as Nice!



Last Wednesday was the 2nd annual Ladies Tea at Devon, in which over one hundred finely topped women took shelter from the oppressive sun under the shade of a well decorated tent bursting with endless champagne, tea sammies and mini pastries.  This was following the annual hat competition of which this year I had the honor of being a judge.  To think, just three years ago I was a fresh faced hopeful contestant! 
Here I am, roasting in the stands with Bill Henley, the only man brave enough to sit next to the lady with the fox on her head. 



There were, I believe, 130 contestants- by far the most I've ever seen- and I found picking my favorites to be a bit mind boggling.  Thankfully there were several categories so we didn't have to narrow all the ladies down to 2st second and third.
Here's the lovely Gabrielle, who posted some great photos of the event on the Ladies Tea Facebook page that I reposted here:

I just love her ensemble.  It seems this year more that ever women put forth a notable effort in their entire looks, not just the hats.   
Here we are together.  I went with a fox theme complete with tail necklace.  Seeing as the theme was British "proper toppers" I thought it would be cheeky to reference the ongoing feral fox issue currently plaguing London.  It's no secret that I'm a bit of an outsider on the Devon scene; the wise and gracious ladies of privileged zip codes have embraced me and my ilk, knowing that you cannot keep the artists away from where they wish to roam.  And that we enhance whatever environment we choose to inhabit.


It was also nice to be called "Foxy" throughout the event by complete strangers.  I wouldn't mind that nickname sticking.

Here's our panel of judges.  From left to right:
Patrick Champalou (Cartier), MOI, Carson Kressley, Sheila Connelly,  Brenda Waites Bolling  Alicia Vitarelli (6ABC) and Bill Henley (NBC10).


(Photos from the ever present and always fantastic Susan Scovill)

Here's best in show Tiffany Arey flanked by some dapper dudes.  I met her the first time she ever competed and she was taking home ribbons back then too.  I don't think she's ever left a competition empty-handed; the gal is dripping with class and talent. 
Below you'll see Jen McGowan, the mastermind and graceful ringleader who acts as chairwoman to Ladies Tea.  This was only the second of the annual event and it was tremendous.  It will surely get better every year and I'm eager to watch it grow into a time honored tradition.  And oh look she's wearing one of my Gatsby hats!  That would be The Daisy perched upon her lovely head.

 
 Below is Best in Show Robin Sweet.  I can't seem to find a good photo online of her entire outfit; it was a picnic theme from head to toe- complete with watermelon slice decals on the soles of her shoes!  Carson was smitten with her from the start.

 
Below and to the right is Jaden Rhinehart who won Most Fascinating.  I need to track her down and find out where she sourced that sheer butterfly onesie.


Oh Hello there!  Here's a shot Hughe E Dillon snapped of me taking a sun break and watching the ponies.  I almost forgot what Devon was all about!


Vintage Post: Early Polo Days

The warmer climes have me dreaming of ponies, so I thought today I'd revisit one of my early polo polo matches.  Soon it will be long lazy afternoons of steeple chase, polo and dressage.
Mostly polo though. Polo people are my favorite.

 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

If there WAS a hat contest, you would've won the whole thing.

Last Sunday I took my gals back out to the Brandywine Polo Club for the 1st annual Philadelphia Cup.  This time we didn't work so hard; we just snagged ourselves some VIP tickets and hung out in the tent with the open bar (where the bartenders were pouring the BlueCoat with very heavy hand, if I may say so.  No complaints!).  While bringing our own tailgating supplies is fun too, on a super hot day it's nice to have the luxury of a VIP tent and everyone else doing the work.  Plus a DJ.  You's almost forget why we were there...







Oh yes-the game!  In between getting to know some of the members and networking with my hats  (it really was too bad there wasn't a hat contest but I'll take being showered with attention any day) we caught some excellent polo-pony action, and luckily wound up rooting for the winning team!







However, I think it's agreed that we all know who the REAL winners are.  My fascination with all things anatomical has me quite interested in horses; particularly polo ponies.  It takes a certain breed of horse to play polo; one that is shorter in the back and able to turn on a dime, one who is also capable of short bursts of speed comparable/greater than that of a race horse.  I imagine they're pretty intelligent too, as some basic understanding of what they're tying to achieve on that field must be present.  I can't help but marvel at their graceful, delicate looking ankles and how they hold up all that weight while gracefully trotting, running, turning, ect.  Having dissected a horse leg myself (I'm still working on the shoe; updates next month I swear) I have  a more vested interest in seeing these muscles in action for reference, as well as appreciation.



Those bandages on the front keep them from getting hurt when they get inadvertently whacked with a stick.







Speaking of sticks, one fo the female players from the winning team happened by and chatted us up while we admired the horses.  She was a darling by the name of Kathy Whitman and even gave us a brief lesson in hitting the ball.







That's Rachel Lynn K, our photographer for the day, and as you can see a real beauty.  All the ladies wore my hats swimmingly.







And look who we ran into!  One of my adversaries from hat parade past, Lauren St. Clair!  It's more fun to compete with people you really like, so we've become fast friends.  She even invited us on one of her gastronomical adventures taking place later in the day.  If you haven't heard about her eating her way through Philly, act like you know, fool.  Where all the food goes on that little frame is beyond me, though.



I know, I need a tutorial on how to mug for pictures.  I look like some kind of crazed animal.







Here's Eva in my squirrel hat; she was gracious enough to wear it and I think it gave her super powers....the unexpected side effect of wearing taxidermy on your head!







At halftime we all went out on the field to stomp the divots and surprise a sweet little red Ferrari (OK, I know nothing about cars so that's all you get) drove out on the field with Miss. Philadelphia sitting on the back with Maria Papadakis, both of them waving to the crowd.  While they're pretty and nice and all, the REAL sweet stuff was in the trunk which was filled to the brim with bottles of Veuve!  Those were promptly opened and we all enjoyed a toast ( or two or three) on the field.



When the game resumed we all took turns imagining ourselves driving such an exquisite piece of machinery.











Back in the tent, my hat was still commanding plenty of attention.  These ladies were pretty bummed about Mexico losing their world cup game earlier in the day but I think petting my duck lifted their spirits somewhat.







Handsome creatures:















And the winners!  What a fantastic day.



Dances with Chickens (and goats, sheep, rabbits, sweeties, etc)

               
Recently. when the kind folks at Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction approached me about curating a show of my work, I responded with an enthusiastic yes (despite my having sworn off any type of gallery-style exhibition after a spell of lackluster experiences - AITA and their products/people are a sound and superior bunch and will always be near and dear to me). I took the opportunity to do something I've been itching to do for a while now- write a public love letter, of sorts, to my guys at The Farmer's Husband where about 99% of my specimen come from.




Meet Bailey and Thomas.  For those of you who don't already know these two dolls, they are a delightful pair who lived in Philadelphia until just a couple years ago.  While still in a row home in South Philly, they had already begun their slow and steady ascent into full blown farming with a chicken run, two beehives and many plants packed in their teeny back yard like a tetris champ's wet dream.
I met Bailey first when he contacted me through a mutual friend about borrowing some taxidermy to incorporate into a window display for his floral shop, MODA botanical.  It was kismet.  I had been admiring that shop for a few years and wondering who was behind the mind-altering arrangements on the other side of the windows.  I met Bailey at his house one day and he showed me the elegant urban farm system he'd set up outside.  I believe he sent me home with a couple fresh eggs.  I was smitten.  Thus began a long and careful courtship into Dear Friend Land, in which Bailey would call me when one of his chickens passed and I would come spend some time while collecting nature's spoils. 
Bailey is a thoughtful and deliberate person, like me.  Perhaps even more so.  I immediately admired him for his approach to this farm life he was taking on.  He knew from the start that he would eventually graduate to  "real" farm out in the country, but he also was smart enough to build a solid foundation upon which his future lifestyle could be layered upon.  No cutting corners when it comes to educating oneself on raising livestock and self sustainability.  Most of all, it was his calling and something he pursued on his own, not something to brag about (I think I brag about him and Thomas enough to pick up their boasting slack) or impress friends with- which I think is a dangerous trap many of us fall into at this time of intensely curated lifestyles crafted to be shared on social media.
Thomas came into Bailey's life shortly afterward and it was like I met my long lost brother.  I'm fairly certain that he and I shared a womb in another life.  I actually can't imagine Bailey without Thomas, now that I think about it.  It's like he was always there.
They fell in love, got more chickens, peeved the neighbors (deal crack and scream obscenities at 4 in the morning, YES.  Raise chickens in your yard that cluck and shit, NO) and decided to move on.  Two years and two farms later, they've grown and evolved beyond our wildest dreams. I wonder if they ever gaze out upon their 100+ acres housing chickens, turkeys, geese, peafowl, goats, sheep, and pigs, and scratch their heads in astonishment at how far they've come and how gracefully they did it. 
Anyway, I love these two.  I love their farm, their lifestyle, their philosophy, their aesthetic.  I love the way I feel when I'm there and the happiness hangover that lasts for days after I leave.  These are two delightful and compassionate people who make the most of every last bit life has to offer. I urge you to read their blog- it might change your life.  In fact, I'll spoon feed you and start repostig their posts on my own blog.

Hence the inspiration for this show.  Almost all the pieces on display are made from specimen sourced on the farm.

I often will use chickens in parts, separating the pelt from the wings and legs to make several different items.  Talon charms are my calling card, so to speak:

 I created several new mounts using chickens, showing them interacting with man-made elements.  I wanted to convey how smart and creative these little birdies can be, and personify them a bit just for fun.  This guy is guarding an antique glass light fixture filled with pretty trinkets.  Perhaps this will add a bit of edge to his game with the ladies.  Or maybe he actually is a lady.  I still have a hard time discerning the two!
 A yawning chicken in her repurposed bird cage, and another who can't handle the sight of skulls.



Many thanks to Daniel at AITA for providing all the farming accouterments.  His curating skills and sourcing ability really brought the show together.
 

A small vignette of life inside the farm.  

  
Goat hoof candle holders.  These are from Harriet, the 80 pound goat I skinned in my bathtub before I had a proper studio.  Her hide and head were incorporated in to a rug/floor lamp which is on display in the shop window for the show. Please come see her in person.

 Finally, what Diamond Tooth show would be complete without hats, my signature specialty?  All from chickens on the farm:

Thanks again to the folks at Art in the Age, and to Bailey & Thomas.  Seriously, read The Farmer's Husband to keep up with developments on the farm, and info on ordering some of their future edible delicacies like hand raised porrrrrrrrk! (I just had some a few weeks ago and it pretty much blew my mind).

Millenery Boomerangs.

Some time ago I was fortunate enough to receive a box full of magnificent vintage hats from old college chum Rebecca Strzelec.  This was just weeks after embarking on my twenty4twenty project and I'd sent out a few of my hats with no response whatsoever.  Seeing this giant box of beautiful hats on my doorstep reminded me that everything, every intention you put out into the universe comes back to you , but rarely in a form you'd expect.



These pieces had been sitting in her home, I believe, for years, and once she arrived at the conclusion that she had no use for them they became mine.  All she asked in return was that three hats make it back to her: two for her daughter and one for her.



Let's start with mom:







I chose this base since it was just misting (dripping would be too much) with class and elegance.  Very proper, like my friend.



















For her child, there were two smaller hats.  This first one I bent the brim to give it a more formal feel but the actual material was so delicate that it proved quite challenging to work with.







I added miscellaneous feathers and sourced gems:















This base was much easier to work with.  Plus I have a huge sift spot in my heart for bonnets so it was a natural fun piece.







I added chicken wings, a chicken foot and switched out the white button for a pearlescent pink bead in the talon and on each side, plus a poof of white fox fur for good measure.































So that's that.  I was very touched to be given such a magnificent gift from Rebecca.  She is an amazing, talented and accomplished woman whom I am honored to even associate with.



Also I am short on words today because sometimes life beats the vocab out of you.  More soon.

Brandywine Polo Season Opener

This past Monday brought us a dreamy mix of sun and clouds for the Brandywine Polo season opener.  I rounded up the lovely Bell ladies and we set up a picnic under a tree to celebrate birthdays, America and ponies.  It was a fantastic match and got the whole gang excited for the 2012 season.











I wish all anthems were presented so regally:







Have you tried Spodee yet?  What are you waiting for?







I could hardly see anything with these tiny binoculars.







There's my friend Sharilyn bringing water to her polo playing beau, Juan.



Does it seem like I don't have much to say?  That's because I spent all my word-power writing this article for the Brandywine Polo Magazine.  Please give it a read if you like:











And that's really all she wrote.



Good night!

Radnor Hunt Wrap up, 2012









 



The annual Radnor Hunt Cup was this past Saturday, and an exceptional day it was, as one might expect.  This time around I didn't take any pictures since I'm not really on speaking terms with my phone.  I think my new modus operandi is to just be photographed as much as possible and then hunt for those images online. It's fun and I highly recommend it for any fashion conscious gals and guys out there who hate carrying cameras and prefer to leave their hands open for cocktails and shaking other hands.



One tip: Wear the biggest, brightest, loudest thing you can find. This vintage dashiki  I'm wearing is like a brightly burning light,  attracting shutter-bugs to my flame.



 



[caption id="attachment_1634" align="alignnone" width="300"] That's my agent Erika to my left and our body-guard who shall remain nameless a few steps behind. photo compliments of Malvern Patch.[/caption]



 



The theme for the Radnor Hunt was "Islands, Large and Small" so I went with Cuba.  I basically channelled my inner Santeria Priestess and also this woman:







Sure a dashiki is an African garment but there are plenty of Cubans of African descent, and isn't that where it all started anyway?  I hope my loose interpretation of the cultural melting pot isn't offensive to anyone; I just want a piece of it all.



World Clique, y'all.



My hat is a series of rooster wings and tail feathers gathered around a visor with a vintage cat brooch and other embellishments.  A millinery masterpiece by no means, it was a last-minute confection whipped up just for fun and FUN IT WAS. I rolled in four deep with some polo friends, old and new and upon entering the Philadelphia Style tent dove headfirst into the oyster table, forgetting that whole 6 days of food poisoning that ravaged my internal organs just two weeks ago. We had already enjoyed some Spodee (have you had it yet?  Le duh.  Try it!) and now it was onto the race-themed cocktails.  I enjoyed a Finish Line with champagne and berries.



Soon enough I was chatting away with all my pals who I hadn't seen since last Summer and watching the races.  They got off to a rough start, with several riderless horses running the course after having thrown their jockeys,  In another entry I'd like to explore my thoughts on the complicated world of horse racing when I can articulate it better, because it's much more emotional and complex than on might think from first sight, but for now I will focus on the fun stuff.



I bet on a horse named "On the Corner" for the second race but he mostly stayed on the corner and didn't win me any money.  No matter; just being there enjoying my health, my friends, the food and sunshine was all the winning I could have asked for.



My friend Jaun, who plays polo, is also apassionate photographer. He is the best as covering these events, photo-wise.  I ran into him and the lovely Sharilyn, plus their wonderfully engaging daughters, under the tent but didn't have much time to chat- saving it for the  Brandywine Season Opener next week, suppose?  Can't wait.  Anyway, I can't steal any of his pictures to post on here so please go to his site and check them out.  He's got it call covered: Juan Vidal Photography.



Other folks who have the Philadelphia social scene on lockdown are Susan Scovill who is a perennial delight and one of my fave rave folks to run into at these venues; (check her out here: Susan Scovill) plus Hughe from Philly Chit Chat who never remembers my name but gives me love nonetheless.  In fact he threw me some of that on yesterday morning's episode of Good Day, Fox 29's morning news show.  I took the liberty to upload a video of just the segment relating to MOI.  Turn up your volume for the chuckles:



 



[





For full video go here:



Was Jenn Fred At The Radnor Hunt?: MyFoxPHILLY.com







We had to wrap it up and head out a wee bit earlier than last year (no rest for the wicked Mole Street crew) but it was just the right amount of fun and revelry.  Oh!  The hat contest.  By the time I mosied up to the judges stand, the women were piling into a gold cart to hand out the prizes to winners whom they'd already determined.  One shot me an exasperated look and I just shrugged.  Another one managed to hand me an "honorable mention" ribbon as a consolation prize.  Familliar scene?  Perhaps, except this time around sans heartache.  I've realised that sometimes it's best not to be judged.



 



 

Rogue Recap









I treated my husband assistant and I to a little weekend jaunt out to Los Angeles last week to attend the opening reception of the biennial Rogue Taxidermy Show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery, and while it's been written up, tweeted, and shared in many places I can find online, I do feel it is my duty to at least jot a little down here in my own blog about it (even if it's mostly links to other sites who did a much better job than I documenting the experience).



We flew out on Virgin America which was a delight after having endured too many multi-part flights to LA.  Direct flight?  Cheapest airfare in town and multi-media players for each seat?  SOLD!  So that was pretty neat, and then we landed and it was time to try my hand at driving in LA for the first time.   One word comes to mind: AGGRESSIVE.  It seems like there are just no "Streets" in LA ,even the smaller thoroughfares are four lanes wide.  It's quite efficient though and I noticed an abundance of bike lanes which was encouraging.  It's just a little more difficult to navigate.  The entire system felt like a series of swirls, whereas Philly is a grid.



We got to my friend's house in one piece, however, albeit a little jet lagged.  She came out with us to a Mexican restaurant where I proceeded to throw my ethics out the window and have my first red  meat in months in the form of an all beef enchilada.  I think I was punished for this and other offenses, but more on that later.



The next day we took a drive down Mulholland and looked at all the giant houses. I really don't have the words to adequately describe how I feel about these structures.  It just seems like a dream; I can't wrap my mind around that kind of wealth.







After we descended back down to the land of mortals, we headed to Amoeba records in Hollywood where I purchased the soundtrack to "Blow".  It proved to be an excellent CD for driving down all the long trafficy strips in LA.  Just listen to that Stones song I posted above right now and tell me you wouldn't feel like  a total badass cruising down the Sunset strip in your sexy Ford Fiesta.







That night was the opening reception at La Luz, so I slapped on my finest drag and we all headed out to a French restaurant beforehand for dinner.  This is where A) I stood inches from Erin of The Office after mistaking her for my friend and almost telling her about how we'd be waiting 20 minutes before getting a table, and B) Jim and I ate some raw oysters that I'm pretty sure changed everything.  More on that later.



We mangered and then walked over to the Gallery.  Here are some photos from the opening I borrowed from Lee Joesph's flickr page which is pretty amazing so go check it out.







Those are my hats, standing at attention waiting for Dita Von Teese to come buy them all.  Or Kat Von D.  Or anyone, actually.  These ladies are too beautiful to not have a home.







This was probably the highlight of my evening: meeting these two.  Sarina Brewer I've admired from afar since I first realised other people were doing what I was doing, which is toiling away behind locked doors doing unconventional things with dead animals.  I am a total fangirl; she was basically the trailblazer for chicks doing cool taxidermy.  Plus she's as kind and delightful as one could imagine.  In the center is Vega, who was also showing some pieces that night.  She's super kind and very present in a way that can only be described as West Cost.  They are a different breed of human out there; I often muse about it when I visit and wonder if it all can really be chalked up to differing climes. When I find myself face to face with a West Coast breed, I used wish I could just relax a little, and chill.  Like them.  It's an admirable way of life and a wonderful energy to have.  I am however, a Philly girl.  Born and bred and full of defenses.  It's taken me 34 years to accept it but I wouldn't have me any other way.



After the gallery closed a few of us went to the bar across the street for a nightcap.  When we got back to my friend's house to call it a night, I felt sore and achy.  And freezing cold.  I dismissed it and went to sleep, only to wake up sore all over and still chilly.  Jim was sore as well, plus we both felt like we had the hangover of the century.  This was strange, considering I only had three or four drinks over the course of five hours.  Soon came the stomach cramps but we decided to ignore it and head out for some early morning adventures, like coffee and yardsaling in Silverlake.  I scored a pink Christian Dior turban for $2 and Jim got himself a nice Pyrex bowl for $1.  Not too shabby.  Later on we hit up the MOCA to catch the exhibition curated by Mike Diamond of the Beasties before it came down that night.  We both still felt seriously hung over but kept it up-this was our vacation dangit!  We drove to Malibu and laid on the beach for a few hours which was about all I could do at that point.  Like idiots, we drank more alcohol (hair of the dog?) and felt no better.  We both passed out at 7pm and that was the end of it.  Enter stomach issues too grotestue to describe, made worse by the fact that we were guests in someone's house with only one bathroom.  Needless to say, the flight home on Sunday was almost unbearable.



We were pretty much laid up for that whole week, unable to keep any food in our stomachs long enough to actually digest, until we finally saw a doctor on Friday who put us on antibiotics.  A bacterial infection from the oysters seemed to be the popular theory, but I can't help but wonder if it was the universe punishing me for casting aside the moral high ground I'd declared just a few weeks ago in regard to not eating meat unless I am familiar with its source.  Message received, universe.



Food borne illness aside, it was a great trip and LA is a wonderful town.  I look forward to going back.  Jim took some great shots of the beach and other stuff:







check out his recap here: SNAP BAM SPLAT



Up next: My new studio!!!!!!

2012 Biennial Rogue Taxidermy Exhibition: Truly Outrageous

I'm almost done packing my bags and headed off to bed to get some beauty sleep before I hop on a sexy new Virgin America airplane for a direct flight to LA. 



I'm almost as excited for the flight as I am for the purpose of my entire trip, which is this:







I'm over the moon to be showing with some folks I've been admiring from afar for quite some time now.  It's truly an honor to be in their company.  I still have pangs of self-doubt here and there as I prepare for this trip, wondering how my pieces will measure up in person when displayed next to everyone else's.



And yes, I know it's not a competition and I know those aren't pretty feelings but it's me giving you the truth.  I also know that everything I fret about always turns out fine in the end so I'll cross my fingers, kiss my elbow, and enjoy my mini vacation.







Speaking of crossing fingers, you may recognise that gal above from such things as your childhood, saturday mornings, or recent forays into tv nostalgia.  It's Jetta, from the Misfits.  My three submissions in the show are hats of course, all made from chickens sourced at my dear friends' farm.  As the pieces came together and I listened to MIA's "Bad Girls" song on repeat (I cannot stress enough how much of an inspiration this video has been on every single facet of my life) , these identities started rearing their naughty heads.







Jetta is composed of a Brahma Hen mounted atop a vintage pillbox cap.







Sparkly embellishments abound, of course.















I'll bet you remember most clearly Pizzazz, the leader of the Misfits.  Man, what a bitch.







This Polish rooster was just dripping with attitude  (wait until you see the spurs on this cock) and came to be Pizzazz quite naturally.











I see you!











This guy is also perched atop a vintage hat, this one an old mink pillbox.







Last and never least is Roxanne. Did you know she was from Philly?  Of course she was.  And I'll bet she walked around with a razor blade stashed in her mouth, Goretti girl style.







Roxy is a Buff Orpington Hen with a bad-ass beak piercing, nestled firmly into another vintage pillbox hat.  I should mention that the brass sculptural elements are from a remarkable lamp I trash-picked one Sunday morning- a time which I never would have been out and about except for walking what was at the time a brand new puppy.  So thank you, Jonesy, for that.































So that's that. In keeping with my theme I've whipped up a poultry themed ensemble which I will be tweeting and facebooking and blogging all about so stay tuned should you be so inclined.



Along with the show opening, I'm pretty pumped to catch some good comedy in LA (I'm a stand-up hound, did you know that?) and perusing some estate sales.   Or napping in a hammock and eating some stellar sushi.  For now, toodleooooooo!

Hats Off!

 



This past Sunday brought sheets of rain,  thunderstorms and my lovely friend Pearl to Diamond Tooth Studios for a shoot.  Ms. Bell is more than just a pretty face, she's also a lifestyle and home enthusiast.  She can wave her magic wand over any home, wardrobe, or human and said item will emerge sparkling and wonderful.  Please check out her blog, 7pm.



Together with the talented and professional services of Diamond Tooth on-sote photographer, Jim Coughlin, we had a few flashy packed hours together.  He like to shoot, paint, spray, stencil, and make music.  Please check out all the wonderful things he does on Snap, Bam Splat!



 



I've been busy working with the materials from that load of vintage hats I received a few weeks back, mixing and matching the elements from each piece with other pieces from my studio alongside certain taxidermy ingredients that revealed themselves as an ideal match.  This Gothic Bridal Fascinator started out as a black cage veil with white fabric roses.  I dyed the roses a fade-into black and added two mounted wings from a fancy chicken.







 



 







I kept the original velvet ribbon and added some black fur.







Here is another bridal fascinator; none of these bridal pieces are white  as they are geared towards a less conventional woman who is looking for something unlike what she can find in traditional bridal boutiques. This results in a versatile piece that could be worn by the maid of honor or even the mother of the bride..or for an event that isn't even a wedding!







I used the blue veiling from an antique wide-brimmed blue hat (shown later in its reincarnate form down below) and attached it, with the wings of a fancy chicken, to a wire fascinator base.  The feathers are hand curled to compliment the wearer's hair.







 



This is my Blue Poof Quail Fascinator.  This quail has been worn in several ways, before I found the perfect base for it which is the vintage blue ostrich feather one you see below.  I switched the original blue veil out with an off white, Swiss-dot one from another vintage piece and added a strand of sea pearls around the quail to bring out the creaminess.  I think this piece would be perfect for a Winter wedding....or even Spring!







 



 







Behold the wide-brimmed blue hat I mentioned earlier.  It's a strong, beautiful piece of millinery that stands  on its own without a ton of bells and whistles so I simply added the mounted and embellished cape of a chicken, some pheasant feathers and a few pieces of antique hand-tatted lace, all meant to compliment the shape and motion of this piece.







 



 







Hair Doin'!







Next up is the duck wing fascinator which Pearl has worn before.  I very much enjoy manipulating crinoline/horsehair, and look forward to making more of these.







 



It's light and easy to wear, ideal for the individual who wants to express some fashion sense but isn't willing to compromise her comfort level.







 



Here is another bridal piece, this one crafted with the base of a vintage fasctinator which originally was a simple green bow.  I took the fabric off, rearranged it and added a green cage veil from another antique pice.  Then came the mounted wings of a chicken and vintage charm in center.







The two wings are firmly pressed together in a way that makes the feathers pop out on the opposite side, not unlike what your fingers do when you clasp you hands.







 



Hold on!







OK, perfect.  This is my beloved montera hat, embellished with a mounted chicken head  that has been encrusted with jewels. This hat generates a very healthy dose of attention and makes for an excellent conversation piece. Ole!







It also opens up some fun opportunities for various hair-dos.  I like twisted locks around and under it, but a side pony tail or a combed out fro would also work just as well.







The last piece of the shoot was another fascinator Pearl had worn before, crafted from an antique base with a delicate off white veil.  I added the wings from a chicken which had been source mid-molt, so the spiny veins of the feathers are exposed.  This made them ideal for stringing beautiful beads on; I got these marble and pearl beads from two vintage necklaces.  I also hand curled some of the feathers.







 







 



Not to be outdone, our house model demonstrated his ability to work a chapeau.







 



And that's a wrap!  For more info and pricing, please visit my website, Diamond Tooth Taxidermy, or my Etsy shop.



 



 

I Always Dress for Success

And that's what last Sunday's polo match was all about.  Us spectators were treated to a  beautifully played match (although I spent a good portion of it mingling in the VIP tent tasting amazing food and drinking Magners and champagne I really have to curb my socializing but it's so hard with all the great people to chat with!) and we were cheering for a cause: Dress for Success.  Hit that link and familiarise yourself if you haven't already.  It's ok, I'll wait.



OK, that's hacky.  Sorry.  Anyway, it was action packed, and while Susan Scovill has all the great pictures of the people (including me serving champagne for the halftime divot stomp!), she is unfortunately (for us) on vacation so I cannot borrow her images.  In the meantime, I have a few fun shots of my own as well as some borrowed ones from Amy Dragoo and Milicia Stojancic.



The beautifully captured photos of the horse-action is all Amy.  I think I am her biggest fan.  I truly adore her work.  It doesn't hurt that she's a quickly blossoming chicken master, either.











There was a hat contest advertised, and yours truly was slated to be judge.  The wheels sort of fell off that bus early in the day however, which is unfortunate because there were some pretty hats.  I chose my three favorites, anyway, and below is Cecilia (a rep for Dress for Success, coincidentally, although I didn't know if when I chose her!) who I deemed "Most Classic Hat".







Look at that priceless reaction; clearly it's in response to one of the flawless coast to coast hits during the match.  She can't believe her own eyes!



"Most Creative Hat" would've gone to my new pal Milicia Strojancic.  She crafts these lovely fascinators with botanical themes.







Pretty ladies! That's Milicia's friend Christine with us; she had a sweet little bird on the back of her head but we thought it would be polite to take a picture of her front)







There were some pretty ladies on the field, too:







Duke & Winston set up shop outside the VIP area; Pearl and I had the extreme pleasure of tending to this charming little guy while his human did all the grunt work of setting up the merch:



(I borrowed this picture from their website...again, Susan has all the good pics.  Susan, come home SOON!)  I also picked up a shirt for my mister; the tees are made from a really high quality cotton and I could touch them for hours.  Oh, and there's some pretty cool screen printed images on them too.







The winners!







The only time its acceptable to wear filthy white pants.  Well played, gentlemen.







I had seen another hat which I deemed "Best Vintage" but the wearer disappeared before I had a chance to get a photograph.  It was a beautiful white cloche-type chapeau with a large white multi-pleated ribbon hugging the back of it.  I did manage to catch a shot of this lovely gal, who I made a category up for:  "Best Dressed":







She has a polo match on her dress!  I love it.  She'd also been dancing, as we all had.  Nobody's shoes lasted too long after the music started.



Here's myself and polo pal Pearl.  We got pretty silly, like we always do, and had plenty of laughs.







And then somebody whipped this stuff out and the rest is kind of fuzzy.....







See you next time!!!

The Patron of Christmas Tree Farms.









I've met Kathy.  She really is the patron of whatever team she's playing for.  Super classy lady.  I wonder if I can be the Tanqueray of taxidermy?



Sure, why not.  One of the players complimented our headwear during the lap; you can hear me thanking him.



 







In case you couldn't tell, yet another Sunday was well spent by yours truly taking in a match at Brandywine Polo Club!  I gathered up two of my favorite gals and tried out two new fascinators on them.



 



Pearl is sporting a piece fashioned from one of the vintage hats recently gifted to me; I used a chicken of the frizzled breed with spiky, featherless feathers.  Perfect for holding jewels!







 



I attached a quail head-piece I've been working on to the "muppet" fascinator from the vintage set.  None of these pieces are finished quite yet; this was a test run on some works in progress.  I'm not entirely happy with this one.







 



Action!







 



This was the first time that I lazed about on my blanket during halftime, opting out of the traditional divot stomping.  My belly was full of black licorice, champagne and happiness.  AS you can CLEARLY see from this photo there was a horse-drawn carriage on the field, complete with a heralding trumpet player announcing its arrival.  That carriage actually seems to show up at every match; I think I need to start rubbing elbows with that lot.







If I could only get up.







 



Here is Maria trying to cut the end off a particularly sharp spiky feather vein that kept poking Pearl in the neck.  I had no intention for the hat to be so dangerous.







Did I mention she's using the serrated-edge mini-blade on a wine opener?  After two bottles of champagne that can be hazardous.



Alas, all ended well.  We stuck around and I talked hats with some of the club members; we nibbled on strawberries and called it a day.



A very, very fine day.



Vintage Hat Surprise!!!

First, you take about thirty vintage hats and fascinators.



Next, you put them in some fabulous antique hat boxes (stack the hats thusly, please):



 







Then, you give them all to ME!



Me?  Did someone say....ME?  Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.*







Anyone who knows me really well can spot two of the most special people in the world gracing the outer edges of that picture above.



Seriously, though, how amazing are these boxes?  I want to live in a time where items are crafted this well out of materials that AREN'T plastic.



 







 



Foxy!







This Stetson box had an inner structure to support a top hat, but it was so worn the actual box didn't quite survive.







I'll take time to photograph the hats better in the future, but here are a few I hung up in my studio.  Several of them were too perfect to alter, so they're in my dressing room awaiting a wearing.  The rest are a bit worn/tired, and just begging to be embellished/repaired.







 



This little number I call "Blue Haze".  It consists of a simple navy cap swathed in a cloud of blue veiling and white flowers.







 



Judging by the hand stitching over the tag, I'm guessing this hat was a homemade creation, embellished post-purchase.  Discoveries like this make me feel closer to some woman I never knew.  DIY at its finest.







 



A simple black cap:







 



A green bow fascinator!  Perfect for a wedding...I may taxiderm it up and add it to my Bridal collection.







 



A cream fascinator with white florals.  This ones a doozy!  I can't wait to show you what I've done with it.







There were some veils in the bunch as well.  More for the Bridal collection....







Also, sorry these pictures aren't so great.  It's clear to me I need to invest in some new display heads.



Here is a darling little black veil with white silk flowers on top!  I almost love it the way it is too much to change it.....almost.







These roses! J'ADORE!







 



Here's another veil, off-white with some red roses.  A little worse for the wear, but I love the idea.







 



I call this one the muppet poof.  It's already been switched up a bit; another potential Bridal piece in the works.







 



This is a simple black velvet wire base fascinator:







And another, non velvet....







 



I've been having a very exciting morning pairing natural/animal elements with these vintage pieces and everyone is getting along swimmingly.  Updates coming soon!



*a reference to one of my favorite videos:











 



 



A HUGE thank you to my mother, and her pal Carol, without whom this well of inspiration would not have happened for me.  XOXOXO!



 

Ladies Day 2011

"Oh hello there.  Like the view?  This is what a winner looks like, dearie, and don't forget it. "







Well, at least I was viewing this from the shaded and breezy environment inside the winner' box whilst sipping my ice-cold Cartier champagne.  Those ladies had to roast out there for a good fifteen minutes.



Do I sound catty?  Bitter?  It's no wonder, given the fact that after making two special pieces for the hat competition at Ladies day at the Devon Horse Show, with the goal of winning the Mad Hatters category, we missed the entire judging. Unbeknownst to us, (with any sort of update suspiciously absent from the website), the judging had been moved up by over an hour.  I heard claims of  excessive heat being the reason for this, but I can't help but wonder if they heard we were coming and decided to slide one in under the wire.



Paranoid delusional, you say?  Maybe.  Maybe not.



Greg Powell, the talented milliner who took last year's blue ribbon, wears one of my fascinators and laughs in disbelief at our crummy luck.







Fortunately we looked too good for anyone to deny us access to the judge's box, so all four of us were invited in to sip on champers and mingle with the winners.  Here is my lovely model Rachel, wearing what was intended to be my mad hatter entry  #1.  She is primarily a photographer when she's not being a good sport and wearing hats for me; in fact she took all the pictures you see on this post. Due to the heat and our massive champagne consumption that day, she feels these photos may not be up to snuff. Please check out her site: rachellynnk.com







And here I am wearing entry #2, with the fabulous Megan donning the tried and true duck wing fascinator that all the gals look great in.  I love her pose in this picture but I'm not sure what my hand signal is saying.



The mad-hatter entries were composed of hand-made visors (something I plan to expand on more for my fall line) and a swirl of fancy chicken wings, outstretched and reaching upwards.  Looking at them on our heads in photos, I already see a million things I want to change.  For a one-off experiment though, I would say I am pleased.







 



Maybe I was asking for a close-up shot of my eyelashes.  Pony lashes, to be specific.  Carson Kressley noticed them right away, maybe because they were framing my huge, sad, about-to-burst-with-tears eyes as I watched all the winners being announced and he said "Where were you?  You were late!"







 



We made our way up to the stands to watch some horse action (I guess that's why we're all really there) where we were joined Lauren St. Clair Lynch.  As gracious as ever, she only had nice things to say about my hats while we enjoyed light snacks and sipped on a creation I'd like to call a gasoline shandy.







 



Looking good:







 



Looking very, very good.  All winners in my book.







Rachel and I:







Discussing plans for Ladies Day domination next year, which include but are not limited to: camping out overnight, sprinkling tacks on all surrounding roads, and planting moth eggs in the closets of our competition.







Actually, that was Megan, a very experienced rider, giving us the scoop on side-saddle.  I never fully appreciated how difficult a skill set this is, to ride mounted with legs draped on the same side of the horse.  All I can think of is how sore the rider's back must be afterwards.  I believe the reason this method of riding originated was to protect a woman's purity, both figuratively (a woman straddling a large beast could be quite unbecoming) and literally (it was thought that her hymen would not remain in tact unless her legs were firmly shut).







As I watched these graceful ladies make their way around the course, moving seamlessly with the horses despite the intense raging heat and the added difficulty of handling everything from one side of the horse, I thought about how throughout history women have been thrown extra challenges, just because of our bodies and the fear they evoke in the opposite sex.  Foot binding, corsets, all the little hoops the fairer sex has been made to jump through (by men and women alike) that have only bred a stronger and more adept, versatile woman over time.  Try keeping an air bubble from rising up in the water; use your hands, use machines, whatever device the mind can think up, but the plain and simple fact is that the air will rise up to the top.  Time is on our side.







Did that just get weird?  Here, look at Greg, watching in awe as horses jump over a five foot tall oxer (two obstacles placed closely together).



 







Outside the fairgrounds, I turned to a tree stump for sympathy.  I'm not going to lie; I was crestfallen for the rest of the day.  It's really hard on the heart to have expectations and not meet them.



Fortunately, every day is an opportunity to be a better person then the day before, so I listen to the wise words of Aaliyah and TImbaland and motor on.







Horses? What horses?

My Memorial Day was deliciously taken with white wine and cheese-filled, prosciutto wrapped figs at the Brandywine Polo Club with a side of horse action.



My two lovely hat models accompanied me and supplied the picnic:







We had front row seats for all the action.  I'm still getting a grasp on exactly how polo works, but despite all the things I don't know, I can say with absolute certainty that it's an event I could watch for hours.  The athleticism, the pageantry, the uniforms...







My GOD the uniforms....







Unfortunately my action shots are embarrassingly low-rent, but I know someone who took about five hundred OUTSTANDING photos and her name is Amy Dragoo of akdragoophoto.com.  Please please check them out; you will not be disappointed.







I almost think she and I were the only ones watching the game!  Polo is fun like that; there is so much eye candy and great conversation, it can be hard to concentrate.  I was rewarded for my focus by seeing several truly fantastic plays, none of which were caught by my camera.  It's much, much better in person though.



At the mid-game break, the fans are invited to step onto the field and stomp the upturned bits of earth back into the ground.  It's fun to watch people accidentally jam their shoes into some fresh horse crap.







These are the fascinators I worked on for the event.  The one on the right has actually made an appearance at the club before but it complimented the ensemble better than the one I had just finished, so that one will debut at another time.  Polo matches are the perfect place to wear fantastical head-gear; not only is the the sky (literally) the limit but they act as a magnet for other fun people to strike up conversations.







Also, I think it's polite to dress up for the horses who are working so hard.











I'm hooked. You might be too...take a gander at what's available at Diamond Tooth so you can get gusied up for the next match!



See you there...



 

Release the Hounds!

But after I've unstuck my pink stilettos from the grounds, please.



The soil is quite moist from the precipitation we've been experiencing.  I aerated (free of charge!) about 80% of the green you see below:







When I wasn't feigning absolute comfort in the most impractical shoes in the entire place, I was relaxing in style under the -speaking of which -Philadelphia Style Magazine tent.







What is this event,you ask?  Why, the Radnor Hunt Steeplechase of course!  I was the very fortunate guest of my dear friends at the Brandywine Polo Club who joined forces with the Style mag to produce the most luxurious tent-mosphere I've ever had the privilege to enjoy.  The furniture, the florals, the displays, all were thoughtfully arranged and delightfully polo-philic.







These mini arrangements were scattered throughout the infield seating area.







These chaise lounges were borrowed from my future powder room:







Lush, green grass is a nice touch.







If I hadn't been wearing fishnets I would've taken the heels off and dug my feet in.







Look at the bridle bits!  My love for all things equestrian is making it hard to write.



Below is a solid gold chair crafted by hand from three generations of British royalty on loan from Will & Kate's personal collection.*







In the tailgating area the classic cars enjoyed their moment in the sun.











The theme this year was the Great American Novel.  First person to leave a comment correctly naming this story gets a taxidermy treat from me!







I'm sure this tasted just like chicken.







Old Man and the Sea, complete with Mr. Hemingway himself!







I met a lovely woman named Heather who had a daughter competing in the hat contest (thankfully there is a child's division so no "accidents" had to happen to the little dear); they invited me to this particular tailgate where, along with the Old Man, I encountered an entire roast pig!







Some friends of the Polo Club (and female players!) were hosting this tailgate, the theme being Moby Dick







Up by where we'd set up the  Polo Club table, there were some tres classy air-conditioned portopots complete with pump flush action.  This stall came with enhanced instructions.  It's hard to see the wording but some clever little scamp wrote "otherwise you might catapult shit onto the ceiling".







She may have been overestimating her strength just a tad.



Back down infield at the Phila Style tent, a handsome gentlemen stopped by with his horse to chat.  I wasn't able to catch it but his four-legged pal took out a woman's mojito in one gulp.  Can't blame the furry guy.







My new friend Claudia!  She's one of the players at the Polo Club.  I can't wait to watch her play.







More friends of the Polo Club.  I just adore how effortlessly well they all match.  Total eye candy.  Listening the Portuguese being playfully shouted back and forth didn't hurt either.  At least I think it was Portuguese.







My all too gracious host Branden Walsh,  polo-phile extraordinaire, with a beautiful mystery woman standing on a chair.  Note the flip-flops.  Very intelligent.  All the ladies seemed to know what they were doing and wore flats or wedges.







This adorable little lady wore boots.  The nicest boots I've ever seen, I might add.  She was learning how to shake hands and properly greet people when we were introduced, but her and I made a silent agreement that shaking hands is totally gauche and real ladies curtsy.  And so we curtsied to one another and if I had gotten a video of it your heart might break.







Parked next to us was a gentleman and his wife and their antique Packard.  Silly of me not to get a picture of the entire car but I certainly enjoyed posing inside of it!



That damned smirk...







Oh!  Right.  That's my ribbon for taking third place in the ladies hat contest.  While I am absolutely thrilled; I really need to work on getting a different color ribbon.  I thought the blue hair would clue the judges in on what I was aiming for...



Thanks to the Daily Local News for this lovely photo in their online coverage of the day:







Back to that Packard: I had the presence of mind to take a shot of my view from the steering wheel, seeing as I have no clue when I might get the pleasure of sitting at the driver's of one of these ever again.



Yummmmmmmmmmm.







Oh hello!  The owner was emphatic in telling me that my sitting in his car had added a significant amount of provenance to it.  I replied that his Packard had done likewise for my seat.  And there begins the slippery slope of dirty jokes that I'll leave up to your imagination.





Considering the world was supposed to end on Saturday, I think it's fair to say I would've gone out in style.  Speaking of which, it didn't occur to me until late in the day that every stitch of clothing/accessories I had on was from WILBUR Vintage.  I didn't even plan that; but I guess I love the shop that much.



For more pictures covering the event, please check out the photographs my new pal Juan Vidal took throughout the day.



*Bev-tale?  You decide.

Kentucky Fried Chickens

Team Diamond Tooth is back from a whirlwind tour of Louisville and the myriad of Derby-related events taking place there.



We drove through the night, leaving at 9:30 pm on Wednesday and arriving in Kentucky about 12 hours and many rest-stops later.







By sunrise we were coasting through some gorgeous country farm landscapes.  We stopped at a gas station for a fill, some coffee, and a bathroom.  The lady's room had a tub with a hose for washing the cow crap off your boots.







Just outside of Louisville, we stopped in a Starbucks to change and freshen up for our first appointment in town.  Here I am, very sleep-deprived and high on adrenaline.







We caught a celebratory cocktail at a sushi joint  just across from Seviche.  I marveled at the fish in the tank.







After Seviche we drove across the bridge into Indiana for a tasting at Bristol.  Our generous hostess then regaled us with tales of the tradition known as "Thunder over Louisville" while we enjoyed the view of the city from our vantage point.  Unfortunately we arrived after the show had taken place, but check out the video below for the action:















We checked into our room and closed out eyes a bit before getting gussied up and heading out to the Barnstable Ball.  Unfortunately we were a little early...







like 24 hours early. Rule #1: sleep is important Staying awake for 36+ hours straight can do unusual things to one's perception of time.  No worries though, we made the best of our fabulous selves and headed to a local bar on 4th street Live where my serama hat caused quite a stir. We then took a cab back to our room. Rule #2: derby rates apply in cabs during this time of year, meaning that patrons will pay about $10/mile. Your best bet is to bring a bicycle or get a room reserved early enough to secure a spot in the middle of town.







The next morning found us sampling chocolates at Gyhyslain, which isn't a bad way to start the day if you ask me.







Next we moved onto Doc Crows for a bourbon sampling where the owner was extremely generous with his time and knowledge, schooling a couple of newbies like us on the ins and outs of Kentucky bourbon.







We then hit up Kentucky Oaks for some infield action.  Meredith fully immersed herself in the experience like the good sport she is.







I hear it's ok to order your wiz wit in any native tongue you please. That's Southern hospitality for you.







Off to the Barnstable Ball, for real this time.  Here I am from my patio perch, surveying the madness on the lawn.  I'm wearing a hair comb composed of quail feathers and head.







Inside the mansion this book was on display.







I found the title an interesting juxtaposition to our surroundings.  Perhaps I should go look te book up before I go getting snarky and whatnot.







Off to the Julep Ball!  By the time we made it, the auction was over and three of my pieces had sold!







The comb went to this lovely lady.







What a great smile!  Her name was Ryan, but that's all I remember.







I then encountered these stylish women sporting my other two pieces.  They were kind enough to permit me to make adjustments.







Gorgeous!  I cannot fully express how honored I am that women with such a unique range of style find my work desirable.







Look!  My Summer beret!







I want to hang out with these gals.







Oh and by the way that's Mike Mills accompanying this lovely pair.  But I'm sure you knew that.  Unfortunately in my excitement I completely forgot both women's names which is my loss because they really strike me as potential kindred spirits.







Derby day.  It all leads up to this.  We dragged ourselves out of bed and proceeded to spackle enough makeup and clothing on as it would take to make us look human.



Or something close to human.  I think we embraced our inner 60's secretaries that day.











Mimosas will always take the edge off.







Derby rule #3: Don't even try driving to Churchill Downs.







The pink tractors belonged to Vinyard Vines, a fashion label that has truly enmeshed themselves in all things derby.  I'm a fan of the pink whale.











Here's a couple of wild and crazy gals posing in front of Secretariat.







Unfortunately I didn't win any bets that day, but it was the experience of a lifetime, and over before I knew it.  We scoffed at the advice given to us by many and left our change of comfy shoes at home.  That is why we hobbled to gate 10 that evening and caught the first pedicab we saw:

Running for the Roses

I love horses.  I've never wanted to own one, I don't even really enjoy riding them...rather, I prefer observing them.  I could watch a horse move for hours.  In my eyes, there is no more perfect example of the balance between strength and agility, brute force and beauty.  I also love horse people.  There is something in their blood perhaps, that I can relate to.  Seeing as all things equestrian tend to be on the financially steep side, one would think that there would be a sort of elitist vibe that could frighten a Bohemian artist such as myself.  I couldn't find that notion further from the truth though.  At every equine event I've attended, I've found myself amongst free-spirited individuals who appreciate a good quirk much more than the proverbial next guy.



That said, it only seems logical to take my love over state lines and partake in "the most exciting two minutes in sports", AKA the Kentucky Derby.  I must confess, the thought hadn't even occurred to me until my sister in law, Danielle, (who dreams big and accomplishes bigger, see here) suggested it over Thanksgiving dinner.  I set my sights on Churchhill Downs for 2011 and since then have worked tirelessly with my miracle worker/facilitator of dreams Meredith Lindemon of Meredith Communications to make it so.  She dove headfirst into the task of getting me not just into the Derby but fully immersed in the entire event.  Contacts were made, sponsorships were proposed.  We worked out this and that, revised the product, toiled and troubled until about a month ago when the pace began to pick up.  Before I knew it I was presented with a ten day deadline to create 4 custom hats for a silent auction and 75 (seventy five!) hand-crafted brooches, hair pins nad combs for gift bags at the Julep Ball.



Remember Barbaro?











I was searching for a Derby related video to include in this post and I fell down the rabbit hole of Barbaro tributes.  I am stunned at just how many of these videos exist (also at how graphic and injury-focused most of them are) and overwhelmed with emotion recalling how the love that so many of us felt for this heroic creature united us that Summer.



And now it's all done and my little army is en route to Kentucky.  I will be following suite next month to attend the Ball as well as Kentucky Oaks and the Derby. Of course I'll need to create something to wear to these events but for the moment I'm going to get a full nights rest and come up for air.  I just wanted to share photos of the newly minted Diamond Tooth Millenary 2011  Derby Line and take a moment to thank these people:



Jim my husband, who never complained while his home turned into a feather filled factory and graciously relieved me of most domestic duties.  Oh, and he happens to be an awesome photographer who shoots all my work for me.



My folks, who have proven to me time and time again that if you ask, you shall receive.  Not just because they're kind, but because they believe in me.



Danielle, my aforementioned sister-in-law who gave me the idea in the first place.



Daniel Wilbur, proprietor of Wilbur Vintage who would open up his shop early for me and patiently allow me to paw through his trinkets in my attempts to amass enough charms with which to adorn all of my creations.



Bailey  (and all my chicken friends!), aka chicken master; without his donations I wouldn't have had any medium to work with.



Gregory Andrew Powell, millenatrix extraordinaire and my arch nemesis who was kind enough to momentarily bury the poison-tipped hat pins and  share some of his wisdom.



And of course Meredith, who wasn't afraid to push me to reach higher even while I was being a brat.



Sun Hat:







This a Panama hat embellished with fancy chicken and peacock feathers, swiss dot horse hair and antique veil.



.







Summer Beret:







This little beret is composed of fancy chicken and ostrich feathers, swiss dot horse hair and a vintage brooch.



Oh and look!  Leather tags!







Fascinator:







A little something to enhance your up-do; made of fancy chicken wing and peacock feathers, antique ceiling and vintage pearl beads.







Comb:







That is the back of the comb; it's  a tricky shot since there's so much going on.  I used an antique comb from 1920 and embellished it with the tail feathers of a fancy chicken, some peacock, and a vintage crystal necklace.  I added a poof of antique French veil.



Below is the front.  This one is a real doozy.







Brooches:







These are a few examples from the gift bag items.  I used 24K plated stick pins as the bases and each one is one of a kind and infused with my heart.















Combs:







The bases for these are silver plated combs; each one is lovingly hand crafted.











Hairpin:







Only 5 of these; silver plated base with vintage jewelry embellishments.



A little behind.

As anyone who works in a creative field knows, an artist must occasionally supplement her income with tedious, unglamorous jobs such as working gigs on cruise ships down in the West Indies every now and again.   Tiny violins, I hear them.



The down side is, while living on board said cruise ships, no taxidermy gets done. Virtually nothing gets done, since I live in a room the size of a pocket and internet connections are sparse and sporadic at that.  So my apologies, all five of you who read my blog and have perhaps checked in over the last two weeks wondering where I am.  I've been busy acquiring a tan that would make the cast of Jersey Shore green.



Upon my return to dry land,I have hit the ground running, so to speak.  I am in the midst of some prep (some, HA!)  for a really big-time dream project with a deadline that is making me laugh or cry depending on what state of self-medication I am in, I have a thousand or so loose ends to tie up for a performance piece next weekend (I'll post about that shortly) and I'm rehearsing for an aerial dance gig just three weeks away!  Yes, I am a circus performer also.  Someday, my passions will merge together and this will all make sense.  For now, here are some images of samples I made for my mega-project that may or may not be a secret at this point.  Feast your eyes:



 







 







 







 







 







 







 







Next up: more details on my collaborative performance piece with local artist Andria Biblioni.



Between then and April 9: reruns.

If there WAS a hat contest, you would've won the whole thing.

Last Sunday I took my gals back out to the Brandywine Polo Club for the 1st annual Philadelphia Cup.  This time we didn't work so hard; we just snagged ourselves some VIP tickets and hung out in the tent with the open bar (where the bartenders were pouring the BlueCoat with very heavy hand, if I may say so.  No complaints!).  While bringing our own tailgating supplies is fun too, on a super hot day it's nice to have the luxury of a VIP tent and everyone else doing the work.  Plus a DJ.  You's almost forget why we were there...







Oh yes-the game!  In between getting to know some of the members and networking with my hats  (it really was too bad there wasn't a hat contest but I'll take being showered with attention any day) we caught some excellent polo-pony action, and luckily wound up rooting for the winning team!







However, I think it's agreed that we all know who the REAL winners are.  My fascination with all things anatomical has me quite interested in horses; particularly polo ponies.  It takes a certain breed of horse to play polo; one that is shorter in the back and able to turn on a dime, one who is also capable of short bursts of speed comparable/greater than that of a race horse.  I imagine they're pretty intelligent too, as some basic understanding of what they're tying to achieve on that field must be present.  I can't help but marvel at their graceful, delicate looking ankles and how they hold up all that weight while gracefully trotting, running, turning, ect.  Having dissected a horse leg myself (I'm still working on the shoe; updates next month I swear) I have  a more vested interest in seeing these muscles in action for reference, as well as appreciation.



Those bandages on the front keep them from getting hurt when they get inadvertently whacked with a stick.







Speaking of sticks, one fo the female players from the winning team happened by and chatted us up while we admired the horses.  She was a darling by the name of Kathy Whitman and even gave us a brief lesson in hitting the ball.







That's Rachel Lynn K, our photographer for the day, and as you can see a real beauty.  All the ladies wore my hats swimmingly.







And look who we ran into!  One of my adversaries from hat parade past, Lauren St. Clair!  It's more fun to compete with people you really like, so we've become fast friends.  She even invited us on one of her gastronomical adventures taking place later in the day.  If you haven't heard about her eating her way through Philly, act like you know, fool.  Where all the food goes on that little frame is beyond me, though.



I know, I need a tutorial on how to mug for pictures.  I look like some kind of crazed animal.







Here's Eva in my squirrel hat; she was gracious enough to wear it and I think it gave her super powers....the unexpected side effect of wearing taxidermy on your head!







At halftime we all went out on the field to stomp the divots and surprise a sweet little red Ferrari (OK, I know nothing about cars so that's all you get) drove out on the field with Miss. Philadelphia sitting on the back with Maria Papadakis, both of them waving to the crowd.  While they're pretty and nice and all, the REAL sweet stuff was in the trunk which was filled to the brim with bottles of Veuve!  Those were promptly opened and we all enjoyed a toast ( or two or three) on the field.



When the game resumed we all took turns imagining ourselves driving such an exquisite piece of machinery.











Back in the tent, my hat was still commanding plenty of attention.  These ladies were pretty bummed about Mexico losing their world cup game earlier in the day but I think petting my duck lifted their spirits somewhat.







Handsome creatures:















And the winners!  What a fantastic day.



Some of these things were never like the others...

Here are some new pieces that I just got around to getting decent pictures of, thanks to my full time live-in photographer James Coughlin.  You can see more of his work  at Snap Blam Splat.  Honestly, I don't know what I would do without him.  Well, I do actually, I would pay through the nose to rent the equipment and go insane trying to figure it all out. Dude makes a wicked tie-dye too.



This is the hen from a month back; I just got her back from the "Other Nature" how at BahdeeBahdu, which received a nice write-up on Cool Hunting.  I wound up going with the name "Nascita Typica".



















This is the hat I wore to the Polo Cup;it's a female Bufflehead which has been embellished beyond the point of no return.



















And this is the male Bufflehead hat I wore to the Devon horse show a couple of weeks ago.  He's naturally flashy so I let his real colors shine.











Darning Ducks





Yesterday I finally got around to paying the piper in regard to stitching up all the holes I created in my duck skins while degreasing them last week.  The darning process added about an extra hour to the mount time, for the two ducks combined.  Here's some sewn up holes:







One of these Buffleheads was just about shot to bits; there was no leg bone to work with, a shattered wing bone, and buckshot in the beak.  Plus, when I was skinning it I pulled too hard when I reached the neck area and just about tore the entire hood off the damned thing.  Sewing that up yielded no results as the whole creature just looked more pathetic the farther I got.  PLUS I must not have degreased him enough because my fingers kept getting oily as I worked.  I don't mind the finger oil (in fact it feels quite nice on my dry skin) but once I start transferring the oil from my fingers to the feathers on the exterior of the skin, they appear yellowed and dull.  I could always proceed and then clean the feathers  afterwards but that doesn't mean the oil residue on the inside won't bleed out through the skin eventually.



When good ducks go bad. Very, very bad:







I'm not sure how everything went SO WRONG on this one duck but I'm very thankful that all the mishaps were concentrated on him while the other one mounted so easily it was as though I were in a dream-state.



I positioned him on a hat (the 2nd for my Devon Horse Show series) and although he may look slightly unnatural, I wanted the wing to arc around the brim of the hat and frame the wearer's face. I'm trying to achieve just the right balance between whimsy and realism.



See More Posts…

Back to the top of the page