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:



Some New SHeep Hoof Candle Holders



I just shot this fresh batch of sheep hoof candle holders yesterday; I'll be listing on etsy later this morning. 


I call this pair the dancers.  I experimented with posing and got as close to an on pointe stance as I could.  The bases and candle cups are pieces harvested from antique silver candle holders.

Evoking a ballet costume, I needed sequins or some sort of flash.  I used these hand beaded patches on the back to conceal what isn't the prettiest part of a sheep's hoof.  Kind of like a dancer's worn and beaten feet, I suppose.




This single piece is slated to be a gift for someone as part of my ongoing twenty4twenty project; I'll write more about it and its recipient after sending


I wanted something to suggest a beautiful woman, and for some reason this glass beaded fringe loosely wrapped and dripping me down the side reminded me of a goddess draped effortlessly in a flowing robe.


I wanted some of the beads to trail behind like a gown, which isn't necessarily safe for something with a flame on top of it but thankfully there will only be civilized adults where this piece is going-no children.




Here are my Moroccan Dancers.  I've never been to Morocco but it's on my list of dream visits, as I am endlessly inspired by the colors, dress, style, food, houses, everything I see from there. 


I used antique brass hand cups and bibeches with a pair of inverted antique glass bibeches with what appears to be hand made glass beading.  SO much provenance in these pieces.





I can practically see them shimmying.  Can you?











Here's my little Cossack hat candle holder.  He's a simple one, standing alone with his slim figure and poofy top.  He'll stand guard over your most intimate evenings, the ones where you spill all your guts onto the table.








Twenty for Twenty: #10, Amanda Palmer

I hadn't done a Twenty4wenty piece in so long that I had to go back in my blog and check how far along I was.  I am honestly kind of shocked to see I'm only up to 10!  In my mind I was up to 16. 
Oh well, the list changes as I evolve, so I suppose it's a gift to have more breathing room than I'd thought.
Which is fantastic because while I've always taken comfort and even refuge in the Dresdon Doll's album of the same name I can't genuinely say I'm a fan of Amanda Palmer because while I love her voice and to this day am still positively enchanted by the lyrics in The Jeep Song and Girl Anachronism, I never made the effort to explore any more of her body of work.
Then I heard her Ted Talk.  Like the uncannily precise lyrics I liked her for, this talk stabbed me in the heart.  Money is something I obsess over.  Do I have enough of it, how can I get more, where will I get enough to be able to do this, I hope my ankle isn't actually broken because that means I need to wrangle up more money. 
Sometimes I think, what if there was no money?  What if we all just did what felt right and provided our services and goods as needed or requested and trusted in the fact that it would come back to us?  The more I think of it, money is seems more like a middle man, an annoying wind that moves masses of itself from place to place but doesn't MEAN anything. 
These are just the thoughts that swirl about my head though, I'm not describing Amanda's talk in any way the does it justice.  See for yourself if you haven't already:

Imagine my surprise when the stars aligned and the universe presented me (OK, I cajoled a bit) with the opportunity to pass a gift onto Amanda Palmer with just one simple middleman. 
I think she's positively dripping with juju so it only seems fitting that she receive a Baculum Charm.  Also from what I gather she travels a shitload, and handing over a hatbox to someone about to take a bunch of planes and trains seems like a rude thing to do.
SO VOILA:
Thanks Kyle Cassidy.
 This is the charm, in all its glory.  I just ran out of steam but I think I said all I want to say. 
10 more to go?

Revisiting my TWENTY4TWENTY Project, a Vintage Post:


Twenty 4 Twenty #8: Temple Grandin

It’s hard for me to write about Temple Grandin because I usually start welling up with tears at the mere thought of her.  I cry just watching the trailer to her movie.  I saw her speak the other night and felt my eyes filling up at several points throughout the evening.  She was speaking at the Academy of Natural Sciences, and her presentation was very similar to her TED talk, if you’d like an idea:


Please watch this.  If you’re anything like me, you will be saying YES YES YES at so many points throughout her talk.  I think why I get so emotional over hearing her story and thoughts is how I relate to her.  Obviously, I’m not autistic and have in no way braved the type of adversity as Ms. Grandin but I am, like Temple, a visual thinker who struggled with school and various aspects of life due to the fact that I just couldn’t wrap my mind around certain things.  I still to this day cannot figure out space and direction.  I memorize routes by visual points but I have no idea what direction I’m going in and still get turned around and lost in my own city, especially if it’s dark when I’m leaving some place I arrived at during daylight.
The point is, I spent the first thirty years of my life convinced that I was stupid. All because I was presented with examples of intelligent minds and how they functioned, unable to relate to a single one.  The fact that I was compelled to play with dead animals didn’t help things.   Thankfully I was equipped with an abundance of social awareness and empathy which gave me the ability to charm, feign wit, and feel out even the subtlest of social cues so I could “play the game” and interact with other people even when it was painful to do so.  Don’t get me wrong; I love connecting with people.  It brings tremendous joy and meaning to my life when a real connection is struck.  It’s just that there are many, many social situations where I feel everyone is speaking a language i don’t understand and I have to smile and nod because I can’t relate in any way to what’s going on.
What I’m expressing isn’t that unique; I realise now that I’ve become comfortably enmeshed in a community of like-minded thinkers, that I’m not at all strange, and that there are in fact, many different kinds of minds. All different but none less.  That’s part of what’s so important about this talk that Temple gives.  Kids need to hear this.  They need to be encouraged.  I was fortunate enough to have parents who indulged my artistic whims and let me dress in outfits that made absolutely no sense in the context of 4th grade playgrounds.  Most children aren’t that fortunate however, which is an absolute shame.  There are some truly truly outstanding minds in this country and our education system isn’t nourishing them.
Maybe if the world could cast aside its hangups about the little boy who likes to paint his nails pink , or the shy middle-aged woman who enjoys spending all her time finding ways to communicate with extraterrestrials, maybe if everyone (you and me) could just ONCE have their whims indulged, the world could take a collective deep breath and sigh it out in contented relief.   After all, these thoughts and desires we all have are real, and come from a real place.  You can’t discount that.  Somehow shame crashed the party and stuck on all of us like foul smelling plaque.
What touches me most about Tenple Grandin is that she appears untouched by shame.  She just does what she does and if you think she’s weird, then fine.  She could not care less.  It doesn’t matter what you think because she is fulfilling her destiny.

I made her this brooch because I know she wears those colorful Western shirts and thought this would be a nice accent.  It’s very soft and feminine though, which I am not sure is her taste.  I gave it to her, in a box, after I saw her speak on Tuesday night.  She put it aside on her book signing table (thank goodness, I feel so awkward when someone opens a gift in front of me when they’re in front of an audience) and for all I know it’s still in that box.  She said thank you, asked what I was, and I said “artist.” I shook her hand and as I was walking away she said “What kind of artist?:
“Taxidermist,” I replied.
“Oh.  OK.” she said as she turned to the next person in line.
She is completely unfettered by the social expectations most other people would feel compelled to adhere to like smiling, nodding, inserting witty statement here, etc.  And I love her for it.

I don’t even feel like talking about the brooch, who cares.  I got to look Temple Grandin in the eye and shake her hand.
I hope the world makes more like her.

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.

Twenty 4 Twenty #8: Temple Grandin

It's hard for me to write about Temple Grandin because I usually start welling up with tears at the mere thought of her.  I cry just watching the trailer to her movie.  I saw her speak the other night and felt my eyes filling up at several points throughout the evening.  She was speaking at the Academy of Natural Sciences, and her presentation was very similar to her TED talk, if you'd like an idea:











Please watch this.  If you're anything like me, you will be saying YES YES YES at so many points throughout her talk.  I think why I get so emotional over hearing her story and thoughts is how I relate to her.  Obviously, I'm not autistic and have in no way braved the type of adversity as Ms. Grandin but I am, like Temple, a visual thinker who struggled with school and various aspects of life due to the fact that I just couldn't wrap my mind around certain things.  I still to this day cannot figure out space and direction.  I memorize routes by visual points but I have no idea what direction I'm going in and still get turned around and lost in my own city, especially if it's dark when I'm leaving some place I arrived at during daylight.



The point is, I spent the first thirty years of my life convinced that I was stupid. All because I was presented with examples of intelligent minds and how they functioned, unable to relate to a single one.  The fact that I was compelled to play with dead animals didn't help things.   Thankfully I was equipped with an abundance of social awareness and empathy which gave me the ability to charm, feign wit, and feel out even the subtlest of social cues so I could "play the game" and interact with other people even when it was painful to do so.  Don't get me wrong; I love connecting with people.  It brings tremendous joy and meaning to my life when a real connection is struck.  It's just that there are many, many social situations where I feel everyone is speaking a language i don't understand and I have to smile and nod because I can't relate in any way to what's going on.



What I'm expressing isn't that unique; I realise now that I've become comfortably enmeshed in a community of like-minded thinkers, that I'm not at all strange, and that there are in fact, many different kinds of minds. All different but none less.  That's part of what's so important about this talk that Temple gives.  Kids need to hear this.  They need to be encouraged.  I was fortunate enough to have parents who indulged my artistic whims and let me dress in outfits that made absolutely no sense in the context of 4th grade playgrounds.  Most children aren't that fortunate however, which is an absolute shame.  There are some truly truly outstanding minds in this country and our education system isn't nourishing them.



Maybe if the world could cast aside its hangups about the little boy who likes to paint his nails pink , or the shy middle-aged woman who enjoys spending all her time finding ways to communicate with extraterrestrials, maybe if everyone (you and me) could just ONCE have their whims indulged, the world could take a collective deep breath and sigh it out in contented relief.   After all, these thoughts and desires we all have are real, and come from a real place.  You can't discount that.  Somehow shame crashed the party and stuck on all of us like foul smelling plaque.



What touches me most about Tenple Grandin is that she appears untouched by shame.  She just does what she does and if you think she's weird, then fine.  She could not care less.  It doesn't matter what you think because she is fulfilling her destiny.







I made her this brooch because I know she wears those colorful Western shirts and thought this would be a nice accent.  It's very soft and feminine though, which I am not sure is her taste.  I gave it to her, in a box, after I saw her speak on Tuesday night.  She put it aside on her book signing table (thank goodness, I feel so awkward when someone opens a gift in front of me when they're in front of an audience) and for all I know it's still in that box.  She said thank you, asked what I was, and I said "artist." I shook her hand and as I was walking away she said "What kind of artist?:



"Taxidermist," I replied.



"Oh.  OK." she said as she turned to the next person in line.



She is completely unfettered by the social expectations most other people would feel compelled to adhere to like smiling, nodding, inserting witty statement here, etc.  And I love her for it.







I don't even feel like talking about the brooch, who cares.  I got to look Temple Grandin in the eye and shake her hand.



I hope the world makes more like her.

Twenty4Twenty #5 & #6: Duncan Trussell and Natasha Leggero

Friday night I made an impromptu trip up to NYC to see two of my favorite comedians in the whole world perform.  I found out about Duncan Trussell via the Joe Rogan Podcast which led me to the Lavender Hour podcast where I learned about the amazing Natasha Leggero.  I get all of my outside world info through podcasts; its impressive how much of the medium I take in every week.  Anyway, Lavender Hour IMMEDIATELY  became my number one audio obsession.  Usually when I discover a new podcast, there are a few month's worth of backlog for me to indulge myself with but I caught the Lavender Hour just a couple weeks into its existence, leaving me refreshing my podcast tab on iTunes every day like a slobbering maniac.



It's that good.



Sure, the quality and sound levels were awful.  AWFUL.  They still leave something to be desired.  But who the fuck cares, the gems, the pearls just dripping from the mouths of these two are so rich with depth, humor and wit that I'd even listen to one of them chew food into the mic just to hear what they have to say.  Please, listen for yourself.  My little words can barely do it justice.  I recommend Air France Man as an excellent Lavender Hour cherry popper.



Needless to say, these two have been on my Twenty4Twenty list since the start.  I've tweeted at them, sent Facebook messages, emailed them via their respective sites, and gotten nothing.  I mean, they're kind of famous.  Which means they're kind of busy.  Busy with all the shit that goes along with being a personality, whatever that may be.  I hope someday I know it.  Intimately.



So when my gal pal Carmen suggested we take a little jaunt up to see them perform at Carolines comedy club, I was ecstatic.  Duh.  Of course we'll meet them after the show and I can hand them their Twenty4Twenty gifts in person.  But would it be creepy?  Eh.  And was there time?  I figured I would just whip something up for them and then feel it out.



First up: a hair ornament for Natasha.  Looking at it now, I cringe.  I had no time.  I made it so fast, and it doesn't reflect my true skill level/ attention to detail. But it's still pretty cool.  I used a hand carved bone comb dyed red, and embellished it with THREE taxidermied bird wings.  Plus diamonds.  Lots of diamonds, as a nod to her material.  The added feathers are from pheasant and guinea.







I just can't help but wish I had more time.  And more knowledge.  Judging from her photos, I guessed that she had a full head of thick, luxurious hair.  I mean, shes undeniably gorgeous:







And a girl after my own heart, judging by that outfit.







So that's Natasha's comb.  I was going to make Duncan a set of cufflinks, based on a rant he went on recently (on the podcast, obviously) about making an effort to dress well more often as a protest of the general American Malaise in regard to fashion.  But last-minute (thanks Jim!) I went in a different direction and made him a personal rooster claw voodoo charm, which I embellished with vintage gems.











SO.  We chanted our way through the Lincoln Tunnel Friday night traffic and made it to the venue just as the MC was starting the show.  We were seated practically on the fucking stage and I was sweating bullets.  It's a strange feeling, seeing someone you've been a fan of for so long in person, on stage, performing.  I get nervous for them.  Please don't fuck up.  Don't let me down.  Live up to my impossible expectations.



And they did.  Both sets were great, all great, great, great, great.  We filed out after the show and saw Duncan and Natasha out in the lobby but I had to pee so bad that we couldn't say hi right away.  Plus I had to check my look.  I'd been laughing so hard for so long that my lipstick surely had run.   OK.  Here we go.



Why is such a big deal to meet people you admire?  I'm really interested in this fan/star dynamic.  I mean, they both are clearly people I can relate to and seem as intelligent/creative/ kind as my friends.  But because they're in this industry which exposes them to so many people, they've acquired this kind of mythic status which separates them from me.  From us.  It's like a grander scale of wanting to be in the orbit as the cool girls in high school, except the people I choose to admire as an adult are way, way, cooler.



But I'm cool too.  I'm extremely cool.  So why do I turn into a googly-eyed fan girl in the presence of these folks?  Worth exploring, I suppose.  I just hope they're flattered.  And that they remember the two Purple Popes who came all the way up from Philly to see them work their magic.



We were so enthralled after it all that we couldn't resist doing a turn in times square:







 







 



You're gonna make it after all, indeed.

Twenty for Twenty, # 4: Georgia Pellegrini

When I first heard of the mythical creature called Georgia Pellegrini, I thought "NO WAY."  It was as if someone took all the things I wanted to be in an alternate life and made them into her.  Does that sound creepy?  I hope not.



I came into contact with Georgia through her brother, whom I met via mutual friend.  He told me (and rightfully so) that somehow, someday, our worlds should collide.  So I looked her up.  DANG.  She hunts.  She prepares exquisite meals out of what she hunts.  And she looks amazing while doing all of it:











While so many of us (myself definitely included) are experts at talking the farm to table, local slow food talk, she is living it.  And writing about it.  Her first book, Food Heros, details the noble endeavor of 16 food artisans from around the globe striving to honor their respective culinary traditions.  Her second book, Girl Hunter, is out now and in it she shares the stories of sourcing all her own ingredients for a great meal.   I am starting to feel like a sixth grader writing a book report so I'll just sum up my geekery with a simple "Shes rad."  I hope someday to do some of the things Ms. Pellegrini is doing, with as much gusto and panache.



Another great thing about this gal: she's approachable.  When I initially contacted her about this project, she was completely receptive and eager to participate.  I knew she would be a bit different to design for, given that she is constantly on the go and leans toward all things practical.  What I'm trying to convey is, Georgia isn't wearing a large feathered headpiece out in a field while trying to shoot a turkey.  So I made her a brooch, imagining that she could pin it to the lapel of a blazer or on the band of a small, sensible cap.







The foot is from a chicken which was once part of my friend Bailey and Thomas' flock, and it's wedged tightly into the brooch base along with feathers of pheasant, chicken and peacock.  There is also the tip of a red squirrel tail in there, just for fun.







The puffy soft feathers are from  the tail area (read: butt) of the chicken; these have been a favorite of mine lately because they have a fur-like appearance and move so nicely with the wearer.  I'm constantly astounded by the range of color, shape and texture of the fathers all coming from one bird.



For an embellishment on the brooch base, I found an old pin from my street gift collection that apparently was some prize or medal for 25 years of faithful service in the state of Georgia.  Perfect!  I filed down the back, bent it to the correct shape and attached it to the brooch.







I left the talon colors as is and didn't fuss too much with the natural state of the elements in this piece.  Although we've yet to meet, Ms. Pellegrini strikes me as a true creature of her own element, grounded and proud of it.



Cheers, Georgia!



20 for 20, # 3: Put a Zoe on it.

I just finished making a hat box which is housing the halo fascinator I just finished custom making for Rachel Zoe.  I doubt she's aware of myself or this blog so I feel like the risk of ruining the surprise by posting this before she receives it is minimal. While this is technically the third piece I've created for my 20for20 project, #2's gift is still traveling through the postalverse and I know she reads this so I don't want to spoil it for her.  So there's that.



In a few hours, this piece will be en route to Madame Zoe, by means of which I don't care to bore you with.   The box is somewhat hastily made and it shows, but what's inside was made with plenty of love and thought.







 







I used a vintage halo-shaped fascinator base and built on it with feathers from a variety of foul, along with some salvaged antique mink tails.  My impression of Rachel Zoe is romantic hollywood gypsy, and while I know very little about her personally, I selected her for this project because I love her style, I admire her tenacious drive, and am inspired by the better-to-apologise-later-than-ask-first attitude I imagine her to have.







Unfortunately I don't have a blonde wig but I anticipate the brown velvet and feathers popping quite nicely against her light hair.  The charms make a nice tinkly noise and their translucency in the sunlight gives this piece a very gypsy feel.







I just hope it fits her!  That's the tricky part about designing unsolicited gifts for people-how to predict sizing.  I have very thick hair though, and that's underneath the wig (ha!  I wish this luxurious mane were my real hair!), so there should be a small amount of wiggle room.







Fancy chickens, pheasants, grouse, and vintage trinkets.  Let Madame Zoe look into your future.....







 
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