In and Out

Hi there,

I’ve been scarce lately, both on my blog and in real life.  Not much time to explain but I’m getting on another plane in a couple hours, just wanted to touch base and let all ten of you know I’m still here.  I’ve got a super fun show coming up, plus many many other projects so stay tuned.  I’ll be in LA for a couple days and then on another ship.  If you’re into twitter, please follow me- it’s not always taxidermy related but worth your eyeballs: Beth Beverly on Twitter

This I swear.

 

Coming soon: Many, many more talon charms, rabbit feet, a pirate bunny, a white pheasant, a blue wing Teal, 2012 bridal pieces, three Misfits-themed chicken head-dresses, two foxes and a partridge in a pear tree!

xoxo

BB

Devon Dressage? More like Bon Voyage!

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks and I’ve neglected this blog.  Did anyone notice?  I hope so.  Anyway, I’ve been wrapped up in outside jobs like painting pumpkins for a corporate gig and transcribing VHS tapes of reality shows.   I do these things to support my taxidermy habit.   In other words, I work so that I can work.  It’s exhausting but thankfully one of my many hats requires me to spend copious amounts of down time lounging on the Lido deck of cruise ships where I catch up on all my beauty rest.  In fact, I’m leaving for one of those trips in just a few hours, and I will soak up every drop of precious sleep that comes my way because once I hit dry land again, it’s go time for holiday craft show prep, the annual Carnivorous Nights/MART competition and other projects in the works. Amongst all this hustle bustle I attended Devon Dressage last week.  This week long event features a ladies hat day and as you may recall I received accolades for my squirrel fascinator entry last year.  I believe that my work has improved significantly since then and was quite proud of this years entry, a black rooster bedecked with crystals and gems mounted in such a fashion so that it would appear to be curling up on the wearer’s head, and providing bangs out of its wings.  Sadly, I have no pictures from the event but last night my friend Rachel came by for some wine and chat and a photo project so we snuck in a couple shots of the new rooster hat just for fun:

Pardon my dirty mirror; let  your eyes instead be dazzled by the giant cock on my head.

Anyway.  Devon Dressage.  I didn’t win a thing. Nada!  Zilch!  Can you believe it?  I couldn’t, but then I saw this guy was one of the judges and figured I should take his millinery opining with a sizable grain of salt.  I know I’m a winner and that’s that counts, (or so mother always told me) so I gracefully let the other women take what I thought should be mine and spent the rest of the day in heaven with two dear friends, watching beautiful horses and insanely skilled riders perform the horse ballet known as dressage.

So now it’s almost midnight and I have to decide if I should just stay up a few more hours or try to get a tiny bit of sleep.  I’m all packed with plenty of Diamond Tooth goodies in tow (hopefully this time will not be a repeat of DELTA= Don’t Expect Luggage To Arrive) so I can properly saturate the high seas with my product.  Plenty of pictures and fun stories to follow, see y’all next week!

xoxo BB

Triumphant!

I have returned from Brooklyn a winner…in so many ways.  The entire two day experience was a blast, the crowning moment obviously being when I was presented the title “Best in Show” at the Carnivorous Nights taxidermy contest.  The evening was a cavalcade of awesome, however, beginning with arriving at the venue and peeking at the other entries.  I felt very timid and nervous, not having any idea how this whole thing was to go down, and lying on the presentation table backstage were some pieces that I would embarrassingly refer to many times that night as “stiff competition”.  (Could’ve been the one too many cocktails to steel my nerves or my complete lack of wit, take your pick).

Melissa Milgrom, author of Still life, adventures in taxidermy, opened up the evening with a brief chat and I was hanging on her every word.  Even though I’d read the book and all that she described was somewhate familliar to me, I always admire a decent public speaker.

Mike Zohn, host of Discovery Channel’s new show “Oddities” was the key-note speaker and I loathe to admit that his speech was lost on me because at that point my nerves were starting to get the best of me.  My hands were shaking and I was trying to go over my presentation in my head while fighting off the near-crippling fear that I would say something stupid. Thankfully I was seated next to my dear friend Thea who brought her recording equipment and was producing a piece about the event.  I look forward to listening to her material so I can refresh myself on what I may have missed. Behind me was Daisy Tainton, who I traded quips with throughout the evening.  She specialises in insects and snark.  Seriously, her presentation has me spraying red wine out my nose.  In fact, I found most of the contestants to be quick with a joke and very humorous.  I, on the other hand, was possibly just the right combination of awkward, sad and sweet.

Here I am describing my first entry, Elke 2.0.  She was the beloved rat terrier to a local Philadelphia family for 14 years before she passed recently in her sleep.  I spoke of getting the call from a friend about the friend I was about to meet, and my trepidatious handling of the manner.  Basically what I tried to convey (and I believe reached everyone present) is my undying, unconditional love for animals and my goal to treat them with utmost respect after death. It was slightly emotional.

 

Next to Elke 2.0 is Grazyana, a Polish hen which belonged to another friend of mine.   I buy fresh eggs from him whenever they’re available and this little gal didn’t make it to laying age.  She was petite and so special; I imagined her as a Princess Bride.

 

On my head is a piece composed of a Selama hen, also a donation from my chicken master pal.  I basically mounted her in a position which would hug her to my scalp, with a wing fashionablly covering one side.  Lately I’ve been inspired by the beauty of feathers and how the dermis can be manipulated into different positions which accentuate this natural beauty.  I’m enjoying the attempt to mount creatures in ways that would not be found in nature.

 

 

Winner!  I went out to celebrate with my gracious hosts that night and celebrated until 3am.  I woke up exhausted but still elated.  Thankfully that elation stayed with me, through my ten block walk down 7th ave (after getting dropped off at Penn Station instead of 42nd street) while clutching a giant trophy and 3 foot long box of taxidermy sculpture, as well as my navigation of the Broad Street line and subsequent walk home from the station.

There were several impressive write-ups covering the event including a piece in the NY Times, and the Wall Street JournalDrew Anthony Smith is a photographer I met who took some really terrific pictures of the event several blogs covered the night’s festivities quite nicely.  I suggest reading these (Love Train for the Tenebrous Empire, Pink Slip, Stars and Garters, Big Bad Bald Bastard, to name a few) for more coverage on the other contestants since every entry was fantastic and I’m only telling my own story here.