Charmed Life

Here’s a short sweet little post about a few talon charms I made the last week. All are chickens sourced from my favorite farm in Schoharie  New York.

This Foot is clutching a wooden Saint charm gifted to me by a friend whom I know through Bailey, one half of the Farmer’s Husband. (Side note- I was mentally composing a list in my head today of all the people I have to thank for my blazed taxidermy trail and it’s astounding how each one is connected how we are all connected but that’s a post for another day).  I’m not sure what saint is represented here but I think it looks so much like Dora the Explorer that I just named it after her:

Accentuated with soft ducking hide:

 

Another gift from this friend was a horse shoe charm bracelet.  Hence:

FYI: For anyone who doesn’t already know this, horseshoes should always be kept in the is direction so your luck won’t run out.

 

Remember Miss. Hannigan from Annie?  I imagine her wearing this:

Sorry that picture is so terrible; clearly I do not poses my husband’s camera skills.  Here’s a better one:

 

Something I’ve been wanting to make use of is this mini watering can:


It won’t pour water but you can stash your drugs diamonds in there!

As usual, if any of these strike your fancy don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

And that’s been post.

 

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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.

Something Old, Something New,

-Something Taxidermied, and Something Blue!  Perhaps the Blue Quail Fascinator, below?

If you’re in Philly and planning your wedding, perhaps you already have leafed through the pages this most recent issue of Philadelphia Wedding Magazine with a mug under your face to catch the inevitable drool.  There are some gorgeous pieces in there.  Diamond Tooth had the honor of being featured as an Editor’s Pick and they included my treasured Blue Quail Puff Fascinator in their bridal shoot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really do have a mega soft spot for weddings sometimes I fantasize about having mine over and over again just so I could wear every type of dress that struck my fancy.  Seeing as that plays out much better in my fantasies where logic need not apply, I’m just as thrilled to work with brides-to-be on their head adornment fantasy.  Just knowing that a piece which I have poured so much love into can be an integral part of someone’s very important day makes my heart swell.

 

In fact, this Blue Quail Puff made an appearance at a real life wedding in Philadelphia recently:

 

Such a handsome couple!

So ladies, if you’re floating down the aisle any tim esoon, please peruse the Diamond Tooth Bridal page for ready-to-wear pieces as well as inspiration for any custom head piece you can dream up.

Thanks to Meredith Communications for bringing the right people to the right place for this shoot!

Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog…

And pics of talons on my blog!

Feast your eyes, lovies, all of these voodoo talons are up for grabs!

 

Here’s a two tiered chicken talon, appx 8″:

 

 

Up next is a very large (apprx 9″) specimen clutching a functional Barbie locket.  Perfect vehicle for love letters, or BFF notes…

 

 

 

Here we have a chicken claw holding a rainbow crystal charm.

 

It was difficult to catch the sparkles in the gem but this blurry shot kind of captures it:

 

Here we have a sweet little campy claw with a vintage beaded earring.

Again, I lit the piece from underneath to catch the razzle dazzle of the gem- this foot has a large CZ in its grasp:

 

A more vintagey looking talon holding an antique earring with metal globe details:

 

Fancy some chicken of the sea?  How about a chicken holding some pearly shells, with fur and pheasant detail?

 

Chicken with rabbit fur poof:

 

Chicken with mink fur poof:

 

Here’s a not so common specimen with low reaching feathers growing down to its toes:

 

Want to be more charming?  This talon comes with beads and a fully functional locket on the small side, but could certainly hold a tablet of something magical…

Chicken, chicken, DUCK!

 

Metal horns, anyone?

 

Last and never least: my treasured Skeksie talon.  I lied earlier when I said these were all up for grabs; this one has been sold and is shipping out to NY later today.

 

 

If you see something you like, please email me directly at diamondtoothtaxidermest@gmail.com.  Otherwise they will all be posted on my etsy shop and website tomorrow.

And I’m TALON You…

Time has been skipping and speeding up quite magically over here at Diamond Tooth.  Maybe I’m not tapping into the voodoo magic of these new chicken talon charms correctly; it would be behoove me to figure out how to slow things down a bit.

Perhaps you’ll have more luck.  Behold a slew of new charms; photographed yesterday, while the remaining batch continues to cure on the vine.

Large talon with vintage locket

Fully functional locket whose photo would YOU slip in?

Large talon with original ID cuff still in tact

Small talon with real jade stone

Large mega-feathered talon with glass bead

Look at those feathers!

Medium talon with vintage pink sparkle charm.

Medium talon with antique unicorn charm

 

Although I have no magic training and make no claims about the voodoo potency of these charms, I’m a firm believe that teh energy I’m putting into these pieces (and all my creations for that matter) can only bring positive vibrations to the recipient.  It’s the same concept as never serving food to someone when you’re angry for fear of poisoning them.  Bad vibrations, man.  Just for fun:

“The chicken foot is traditionally used in Southern rootwork and “New World Voodoo” (ie, New Orleans Voodoo) for protection with an undercurrent of “scratching back” against those people, entities, or energies that would harm you.”

I’m a believer.

All of these feature chains ending in a lobster claw fastener, to easily secure it to your necklace, hair doodle, rearview mirror, purse, window, etc.  If any of them strike your fancy, don’t hesitate.  Your voodoo charm is waiting for YOU!

Twenty for Twenty #7: Cherie Lily

Behold the goddess known as Cherie Lily.  I have been an admirer of hers since I first met her, briefly, in the ladies room of some bar in Austin during South by Southwest, 2010.  (Which, technically should make her ineligible for this project since it’s about folks I’ve never met but nobody cares so there).  She was wearing a spandex get-up not unlike the one you see pictured below, and washing her hands. I walked in with my friend and exclaimed, “Great outfit!  You look awesome!”, to which she replied, “Hey thanks, I’m performing upstairs if you’re interested!”, and I was too embarrassed to tell her I had no money to see any ticketed shows; I was only there to catch the free performances on the outskirts of the SXSW event…so I just peed and left it at that.

Cut to two days later when my friends and I went to see the free GWAR show, and among the day long line-up of performers, there she was!  Cherie Lily, onstage with Andrew WK, aerobic dancing and looking like a neon spandex glamour queen.  In between songs, the audience was treated to multiple aural doses of positivity, feeling good, loving yourself, and being beautiful no matter what anyone says.

Does that sound hokey?

Well then go fuck yourself.

Sorry, harsh.  What I mean is, if that sounds hokey it’s probably because self-acception/celebration is an unfamilliar concept to you.  And that is sad.  Forget what your family/acquaintances tell you and embrace your body, your dreams, all of it.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

This attitude in mind, I started with a felt hat from a vintage collection I received as a gift from a friend (more about that in the future), a bright kelly green one because of the strength represented in that hue.  It had some wear and tear; I re-pressed it ad gave it a new shape, but some of the small pock marks couldn’t be erased.  That’s ok, I thought, they’re the small imperfections which document a full life lived.

I placed the taxidermy accent pieces under a studded flap on the side of the hat; chicken feathers, red squirrel tail, dyed deer tail, and some blue dyed feathers which I acquired with another vintage hat. When worn, this would be the straight-on view:

It’s on the small side, meaning that it’s more like a fascinator since it won’t fit snugly on the head; it will need to be set in place with combs or a hair pin.  I sewed two combs on the inside, envisioning her pulling it back over her thick hair and it resting in place.  But, this is an unsolicited gift for a woman I can’t even say I know, so all I can do is touch wood and hope it works out on her head.  I did get a thank you email from her this morning, all full of kind and gracious words, but I can’t help but wonder if maybe it didn’t fit well enough.  Alas, she said she can’t wait to wear it so I’ll eagerly await any possible sighting of her in this little ditty.

Finally, as a detail, I incorporated an old wrestling pin I rescued from the trash heap in my brother’s room.  The ten year old in me can’t help but chuckle at the homoerotic-ness of these two spandex clad men in such an embrace, and I thought, as a gay icon, she would appreciate it.

As a gay man with lady parts, I know I can.

Let me know if you see her wearing it, New Yorkers!

And thanks Cherie Lily, for inspiring self-confidence in little freaks like me who never felt they could possibly fit into any of the factory modeled forms provided.

Arrrrrt Starrrr Craft Bazaarrrrrrrr

I’ve come up for air after the Art Star Holiday Craft Bazaar, if only for a moment.  The weekend was a success and I feel pretty good about how my first time at the rodeo went.  It didn’t hurt to pair up with Art Star veteren Maria Eife wh also has an international show plus the Martha Stewart Holiday Craft Show under her belt.

I presented (and sold!)  an assortment of combs, pins, picks, joined earrings, hats, and talon charms.  Below is a smattering of the pieces I’ve been toiling away in my ivory tower creating:

A chicken feather hair pin with vintage jewelry elements,

More chicken feathers with more vintage jewelry,

And look!  An equestrian flair!  I finally got around to creating those horse shoe themed pieces I promised my polo buddies so many months ago!  Perhaps this Summer I’ll actually follow through and sell some at the Friday Night matches…

Some of the combs were feather based while otehrs were built around entire taxidermied wings.  Below is an in betweener, comprised of the taxidermied tail of a chicken.

Oh look!  A frizzle chicken wing!  Perhaps now would be a good time to let you know that 90% of my feathered elements come from my dear friends Bailey and Thomas.  They are quite possible the sweetest, kindest and most compassionate farmers this world may ever know.  Yes, My opinion is totally biased.  They keep an outstanding blog in which they document their adventures in farming, please give it a read: The Farmers Husband.

Another winged comb.  I would also like to give a shout out to my dear friend Daniel who owns Wilbur Vintage for letting me purchase his odds and ends of vintage gems.

For those who choose not to sport a long mane, fret not!  Stick pins are always within reach.  Pop one into your hat, your lapel, blouse, sweater, bag, etc.

This one belwo didn’t sell, much to my surprise.  Instead, it and one cimilar to it are en route to a faraway city as I write this, where it will make Christmas gifts for a pair of very special friends.

The gang!  (some of them, anyway)

I also made a trial run of these fur bangles with tails for the show.  People responded quite positively so I intend to tweek the design a bit and create a series.

Perfect for gesticulating wildly at cocktail parties…

I also created three new higher end head pieces for the show, as my little neon signs to lure in passers by.  They absolutley did the trick, and had many a lady tryign them on.

Right here is a vintage rabbit fur pillbox hat to which I added a chicken tail, with feathers from other birds.

Here’s a view of the side.  Can you guess what that super fluffy soft yellow plush is?

It’s gosling!  Compliments of another farmer friend of mine, Jeannie. I sewed another patch on the opposite side:

Next up: A vintage velvet fascinator base with a pair of chicken wings on one side and down on the other:

It’s hard to see form these photos (all of these hats need to be reshot on a model’s head, but I also added a small metal crown jewel charm to each side; a reference to my new logo, which you’ll see below.

Laslty, my fave piece of all, this vintage black felt hat base with chicken wings, vintage jewelry adn a tassel made by yours truly.  I have a thing for fringe and tassels, and I think you do too:

That’s actually the side view.  Below is the hat, straight on.  The curved shape frames the wearer’s face beautifully.  I just adore this hat.

On Friday night my husband came and got a few shots of our booth.  Here it is, our gypsy caravan in all its glory:

My “side” of the booth:

Like that fox? I worked with the very talented designer Dave Seater to create it and a more cohesive look for all my online presences, which you will be seeing soon.  He’s the best.  The fox with the crown was entirely my idea though; I think it really embodies the Diamond Tooth philosophy.

Here I am making a sale!  Yippee!  Like I said, I feel pretty good about how I did this weekend, as a greenhorn.  I visited with Sue Eggen at her booth, Giant Dwarf where she not only promised to play hat model for my next set of shots but also to toss some much needed (my words, not hers) pearls of wisdom my way in regard to navigating through this wild and wacky craft show life.  Sue, I’m holding you to both these things!

And that is all for the craft bazaar, now its time to work on my entry for this year’s Carniverous Nights competition.  If you plan on coming, buy your tickets now!  ALso coming up: A cat, a fox, a hamster, a rabbit, more bridal pieces and the next 20for20 gift which is going to a mystery man that some of you may have dressed as for Halloween as children…