Diamond Tooth Taxidermy

Exquisite Taxidermy Art and Design

© 2013 Diamond Tooth Taxidermy
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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:



VINTAGE POST: LADIES TEA & HAT COMPETITION AT DEVON


Devon Horse Show LaYDEEEES day: 2012 edition

Early Wednesday morning my friend Mearah swung by to primp and prep for our first Ladies Tea at Devon. Neither of us had attended such an event but thankfully it was the first one of its kind  so all of us were excited about having no expectations.  Upon arrival we’d be meeting my other friends Beth, Claudia and Sharilyn who all were kind enough to be my hat models for the day.  We arrived in time for the contest and “parade” and while Caron Kressley was not in attendance (he did so adore my duck hat from 2010, poo) I managed to hit it off with Bill Henley who made for a great consolation prize.  We paraded ourselves in front of the judges and Diamond Tooth emerged victorious, placing fourth among excellent company.
Image from the magnificent Susan Scovill
I of course chose to wear an entire Guinea Hen on my head which, being the most in-season option my butcher could provide, made for a sensational dinner as well as a fun hat.
photo by Brenda Carpenter, http://brendacarpenter.com/
You will see this same hen make a guest appearance in a few weeks as part of a short video profile about taste makers in Philadelphia: she was a dream to work with.  Absolutely no drama.   But I digress.  I fasbricated some new, and sourced some classics for the rest of my gal pals ranging from tastefully conservative to somewhat more exotic.  When I’m not crafting my own hat bases for my pieces, I pair up antique hats gifted to me or sourced from flea markets that I collect.  Along with all the trinkets I collect from the street, it’s profoundly rewarding to marry up materials after having held onto them so long.  Of course, what I’m doing is certainly nothing new or that shocking- I just hope that I can do the legacy of high society ladies from the late 1800s justice with my interpretation of their taxidermy hat fashion. I do understand that taxidermy is not for everyone, as I’ve said many times.  How boring would the world be if we all had the same tastes?  Lucky for me I was in the presence of some classy, kind and open-minded ladies.
Thank you Susan Scovill!
As you can see, my ladies and I had a great time.  Beth, on the left, is wearing the Prairie Chicken Hat from my website while Claudia sports a gorgeous Bantam rooster saddle mounted on a vintage brown velvet beret.  Next is Mearah with a rehabbed vintage blue cap with a rooster wing and glass charms affixed to it. I couldn’t find any shots of all of us together but here is Sharylinn (below, center) wearing a fascinator I made from (tada!) more Guinea hen feathers and some antique cage veiling.  It’s hard to see but some rooster tail feathers are peeking out here and there as well, plus assorted gems:

After we did a little winners’ photo trot, the whole gaggle of us headed across the grounds to the Ladies’ tea, of which my friend Jen McGowen did a sensation job planning.  I was actually on the planning committee with a dozen or so other women, but spreading the word and promotion was about the extent of my planning.  Jen seemed to shoulder the bulk of managing this event with the grace and panache of the Fresian horses I was drooling over later that same day.   Once under the tent we ran into some old friends and made new ones.  I was making every attempt to visually memorize all the beautiful dresses and shoes I saw:
Again, thank you Susan Scovill
I could sit and watch pretty ladies, dressed up and socializing for hours.  Sometimes I still feel slightly intimidated as my financial status does not allow me to dress in much aside from second-hand or hand-made, but seeing as one cannot buy style, it levels the playing field for me a bit.  Not like I needed it: these ladies are all so kind and friendly and sociable it just makes for a truly enjoyable and uplifting experience.  It warms the cockles of my heart to see a great group of women from assorted backgrounds coming together to not only sip champagne and nibble cucumber sammies (my FAVE) but also to simply enjoy each other, our health, and how amazing life is that it allowed us to spend such a luxurious morning together.  Just look at these happy faces!  I kind of fell in love with the three ladies in cream in the left of this photo.  I didn’t actually learn their names but they were a dream team.
Photo from Constant Contact
After the tea wrapped up, a few of us stayed back to soak up some pony action.  Ladies side-saddle is a perennial favorite of mine to watch, and this year I caught some of the Fresian dressage (I could be wrong and probably am- it looked kind of like dressage but not quite.  The riders wore top hats and brightly colored coats, and in one event the horses pulled them in little chariots!).  Of course I need to bone up of my pony facts but I do absorb a thing or two from other spectators who are generous enough to share their knowledge with me.  Example: there is an entire industry which manufactures hair extensions for horses!

Twenty 4 Twenty #9: Buck Brannaman

For anyone unfamiliar with Buck Brannaman, just check out this trailer for the documentary "Buck":











 



And then, the first chance you get, watch the entire movie.  It's so thoughtful and sweet.  My husband introduced me to "Buck" a few weeks ago thinking I'd dig it since I'm so interested in horse people.  I more than dug it, I'm now obsessed with this guy.  Good thing when I embarked on this Twenty 4 Twenty project I didn't have my complete list of recipients, because I seem to constantly be discovering new heroes.



Perhaps I too am a tortured soul but I relate to so much of what Buck says, his philosophy, and like him and all the scores of people who feel an intimate connection with animals, I've had an easier time connecting with four-legged creatures than the bipedal sort.  As an adult, I've learned how to better treat myself and others but I cannot stress enough how much Mr. Brannaman's words ring true when he calls your horse a mirror of yourself.  I think this can translate to just about any domestic animal. As humans we tend to project everything onto other people (which is why one ought to be wary of folks spending so much time preaching about to evils of homosexuality, of sex positivity, etc- we take the things we fear and hate in ourselves and cast them onto someone else.  Understanding this has made me a much more laid back person). Not just our friends/family/coworkers, we project these things onto our pets.



Have a hyperactive nervous dog?  Next time you walk them, check your shoulders and body language are you tightened up, anticipating a transgression? I know I was, when we first got our dog.  It took me months to relax.  I was also a very nervous person in general, terrified of my own thoughts and feelings.  When that transgression happens do you correct it by whacking the pup on the head and yelling?  Is that how you were disciplined by your parents and other authority figures?  Ia that how you treat yourself?  Do yourself and your animal a favor and take a long look within.  You deserve it.  Everyone deserves to be treated with compassion, so start by practicing on yourself!



 







I've been holding onto this old cowboy charm for years and years, and finally the time to use it arrived.  I incorporated it into a lapel pin with miscellaneous pheasant and chicken feathers, thinking he could stick it in one of his hats.  Or not.  In my letter to him,  I suggested passing it along to someone he cares about if it doesn't fit into his wardrobe.  The point was to create something with my hands to express how touched I am by his story.  That's been the main lesson of this project, is learning not to expect anything in return, not even a thank you. I already have my reward and it's knowing these people exist.







 



Thank you Buck!  Keep spreading the good word!



 



 



 



 



For a more in-depth interview with Buck, check out this video:



buck-describes-abuse-finding-peace-15426113



 



"Gospel of Buck"!  Swoon.

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:



 



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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.



 



 

Giddyup!

Incase you didn't know, we're in the middle of a ridiculous heat wave, and while I tend to prefer warmer climes, today I've given up on trying to get anything done.  Unfortunately the first thing to go when I overheat is my vocabulary, so I'll make this brief.  Here are some photos from last Sunday's Chasin' for Chalfin fundraising polo match, which was a blast.  The sun became a bit oppressive for us delicate flowers at one point but fortunately some seasoned tailgaters absorbed us into their party.  Behold the pros:







Much better visual coverage can be found on Susan Scovell's site: Susan Scovill on the Mainline.  That's where I found this lovely group shot of Meredith, myself and our hosts.  I made a new hat specifically for the day, and I'm quite pleased with it.  Better pictures to follow.







Voila!  The front of our tailgate, an antique Rolls Royce.  Looks pretty glamorous, no?







Wait until you see the back!



That would be our hosts, pulling the custom-fitted wooden folding table out of the trunk.  Upon it was placed a heaping amount of finger sammies, meats, cheeses, and a dubious mixture in a plastic bottle with the words "polo punch" scribbled on it.  It tasted like citronella, perhaps an acquired taste?  (Give me a break, I'm still learning the ways of the tailgate!)  Regardless, it was a divine picnic.







In the event you were wondering, it's never the wrong time to whip out your Hooters coozy.  Never.







This is what I love about polo.  Everyone is there to have fun, and it's all-inclusive.  Just.  Have.  Fun.



And try not to step in any horse shit during the half time divot stomp! (I did, this time.  I guess I was overdue)







We were treated to a show of this horse-pulled carriage toting around two elegant gentleman and several gorgeous ladies., who dismounted and served us all champagne.  Delovely!











"yes, that's the right shade of yellow.  Perfect, darling, please proceed."







Oh, right, there was an antique car show!  Pretty nifty one here.











Believe it or not, there was an entire polo match that day!  There will be another one this Sunday, with cocktails, an after party and music!  Oh!  And a hat contest to be judged by yours truly.  Won't you come?  I'd love to see you, darling.







Tickets start at ten bucks!  I highly recommend you treat yourself to some VIP action though, check it out.



Click here for tickets: BRANDYWINE POLO CUP



Until then, the caravan of fab has left the building.







See you Sunday!

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.



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...



 

Hands Down

I've been in an equine hole the last two days, working on hats for two horse-centered events  while in front of my computer watching every episode in the two season cache of the show "Jockeys.  I can't quite seem to find words that can accurately express how much I love this show but I will try.



For anyone who may not have seen , the show is a reality series covering the lives of several jockeys during a thirty-day period known as the Oak Tree Meet at Santa Anita Park in California.







There's the couple who competes against one another:











There's the young hot-shot, Joe Talamo:











 



and the newbies, the old heads, the injured, the bitter, the hopeful,etc.  They're all in a different spot in their career which gives a perspective from a myriad of points.  In the first season there is heavy concentration on the new jockeys just trying to break their way in and get a chance to race.  Kayla Stra came all the way from Australia to see if she could cut it and I couldn't hold back my tears watching footage of her being turned down repeatedly by owners and trainers not willing to hire a no-name* jockey.  I can relate, as an independent artist, feeling completely hopeless and exasperated sometimes and wondering if it will ever all come together. These guys have to look failure and rejection in the face time and time again and they greet it with a smile.  There seems to be an unspoken rule that if you're not grinning, you'll be ostracised.  The horse racing word is riddled with superstition and from what I gather, a jockey who isn't positive for one second or who lets even an iota of doubt cross their mind will be seen as the racing equivalent to a broken mirror or a black cat.



How do they do it?  When people ask me how the taxidermy business is going, I try to emulate this good sport attitude even when things aren't so great.  It's no easy task trying to find your own way, especially when you encounter rejection.  I get really emotional thinking about how much these men and women inspire me with their fearlessness and drive.  More than that, it's almost impulsive: there is nothing else on earth they could possibly do with themselves.  They were born to ride horses.  I feel the same way about creating.  I don't know how to do anything else, at least not happily.  I know I'm not alone; there are so many of us out there just trying to make it.  It's hard not to blame one's self for not being where they had hoped they'd be in life, while overloooking the plain truth which is that there are too many factors at work in the universe to make success for one individual such a simple and clear-cut path. My favorite jockey, Aaron Gryder, sums up the feeling pretty well in this clip:











So we motor on, focusing on the future, hoping for that break.



And when that break comes, people respond, but they probably have no idea how many hundreds of hours were spent putting in nonpaying/underpaid work, being exploited/used and feeling terrified/uncertain of what's to come.  These jockeys risk their lives every time they get on the track, sometimes only to clear $17/race.  We all notice the ones who place, the ones who are in the money, but for each of those there are many more who walk away virtually empty-handed.











The second season is even better, exploring more controversial issues like performance enhancing drugs for horses and conflict between riders.  The whole series gears up toward the biggest race of all, the Kentucky Derby.  As someone who went to the derby and left still feeling puzzled over how the betting works and what exactly odds even are, I wish I'd seen this show before the trip.  There are one-on-ones with a professional better named Jimmy Hats who breaks down the betting system for the viewer, and a slew of nuances are covered like how greatly starting gate position affects the odds for each horse.



The only thing lacking in the series was good music. I'm not sure if it was too difficult to obtain the rights to use certain songs but the songs which were used are just awful, in my opinion.  Of course, this is coming from a gal who has Ke$ha and Nikelback in her current workout rotation...so take that with a huge grain of salt.



I just wish there was a season three.











 



*no-name by their own local standards, or course.



 



P.S: I was definitely a horse in a past life.

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.

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.



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.



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