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.

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Paws down, the best charm in town.

I recently was contacted by a lovely gal in Alberta, Canada about a custom rabbit’s foot charm.  While I have been thinking about making these for over a year now (it seems so obvious), it took this request to get the ball rolling.  Now I’m excited to get more into production as they can be carried for good luck or hung from key chain, necklace, anything to be touched or held in times of stress, with the pleasant knowledge that every part of this creature was used.

While working on this piece, I did some light research (read: plugged the term “rabbit foot charm” into a search engine) and found out that the rabbit’s foot served as a talisman way back in 600 BC when the Celts carried them as good luck charms.  There are specifications as to just what can count as a good luck amulet (according to Wikipedia):

  • First, not any foot from a rabbit will do: it is the left hind foot of a rabbit that is useful as a charm.
  • Second, not any left hind foot of a rabbit will do; the rabbit must have been shot or otherwise captured in a cemetery.
  • Third, at least according to some sources, not any left hind foot of a rabbit shot in a cemetery will do: the phase of the moon is also important. Some authorities say that the rabbit must be taken in the full moon, while others hold instead that the rabbit must be taken in the new moon. Some sources say instead that the rabbit must be taken on a Friday, or a rainy Friday, or Friday the 13th. Some sources say that the rabbit should be shot with a silver bullet, while others say that the foot must be cut off while the rabbit is still alive.

There is also the belief that rabbits are shape-shifting creatures which are actually witches.  So a rabbit’s foot sourced under the conditions described above is actually the foot of a witch.

SO COOL!

Here is an absolutely gorgeous example of an old timey Victorian Rabbit’s foot charm:

https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/12/Rabbitsfoot.jpg

(Brilliant!)

 

While the foot I used is actually the front left foot of a rabbit that I’m betting was not shot in a cemetery, I believe  in taking the old rituals/lore and infusing them with new energy.  All my work is saturated with thought and emotion; I like to think that I’m filling each piece with positive energy which will then benefit whomever receives it.  And I actually admire witches so I hope this rabbit wasn’t a shape-shifting lady…or else I fed her to my cats!  Trippy thought, cats eating witches.

 

 

 

 

Here’s a hint….or seven

I did a search for a video with the word “hint” and this came up. Listen while you read; it’s invigorating ( I think she’s saying, “I love wearing taxidermed birds on my head Beth Beverly should be rich and famous by now she is a god in my heart”):

So I’ve lapsed a bit in my writing and for that I feel bad.  This tends to happen when I work on multiple projects all at once; there is a period of holing up in my studio and then a burst of online activity once it’s all finished and photographed.  Another thing pulling at me in administrative issues.  Paperwork, licensing, biz shizz, etc.  It’s time-consuming and profoundly mind numbing to me, but necessary.

So while I have no new pieces to report on, I have several works in progress, such as:

Can you guess what this mystery item is?  Come and see it and others like it at the Art Star Holiday Craft Bazaar next month!  Friday the 18th is the preview party; part with a few shekels and be the first to browse all the wares whilst sipping cocktails made with my favorite spirit, Root.  I’ll also be peddling many of these:

and these:

Oh! and several pairs of these:

Along with these smaller trinkets I’ll have fascinators, hats and brooches on hand so you, your roommate, your crush/lover/one night stand AND your mom will have something to fit them.  Be gifted!

Plus, I’ll be debuting a very unique pair of  shoes.  Hint, hint:

Along with prepping for the bazaar, the PA Hunt Cup is next Sunday.  This is one equine event I have yet to dip my hooves into so I’m not sure what to expect, but you can bet I’ve got new hats in the works.  Fall themed, of course:

Speaking of hats, I’ve got two sweet ones, plus a brooch in the works for my next three Twenty4Twenty recipients.  One is a drag queen, another is an fitness goddess and the third is an accomplished and published huntress.  They are inspirations to me and  I get a kick out of their pieces living in my studio together while they come into their own.  Here’s a hint of two:

On top of this, I’ve been forever preparing a custom form for my favorite client’s cat.  I want it to be absolutely perfect so it’s to my benefit that she is very patient.

There also some other miscellaneous client projects in the works, as well as sourcing materials for my entry in this years Rogue Taxidermy Competition.   More on that soon.

That’s a wrap, yall.    And now I’m off to Mexico….again.

20 for 20 #2: Turd is the Word

I got a sweet note from my newly minted overseas pal The Fashion Turd, so it’s safe to post about what I sent her:


The Turd received a custom created, larger than life, bird talon hair stick!  Based on photos from her blog, she’s got a head full of colorful locks, which made the job fun to the power of awesome because 1) dread locks are thick and strong, and therefore can hold pieces with a bit of heft, and 2)someone who deliberately works their hair into this style is most likely open to wearing items that are less than conventional.

That said, I felt free to go bonkers.  I started with the talons of a very large chicken (sourced from one of my farmer friends) clutching a chunk of electro-formed copper with a crystal embedded in it.  Once this was mounted on the hair stick, I embellished the base with dyed deer tail, rabbit fur and pheasant feathers.  I felt free to get as far out as my heart could carry me, knowing this gifteewould appreciate the outlandishness of it all.

Due to the size and weight of the claw end of the stick, some balance was needed both for aesthetic and functional purposes.

This was achieved by running a large link chain from the top, to a cap which would attach to the bottom, so the stick could be worn securely like so:

I’m sure she’ll make it look even better than I am in this photo.  Now that it’s in her little paws, I am excited to see how she wears it.  I imagine it could even serve as a unique sweater/kilt/cape/shawl closure clasp, not to mention sharp pointy self-defense mechanism for those late night crawls home from the bar, er…pub.  Mind the gap, ye!

xoxo, BB

ps: I don’t mention it in every post but it should pretty much be assumed that all product shots seen on this blog, as well as on my etsy and website, are done by my on site photographer and husband, Jim Coughlin.  He also is a musician and painter; check out his stuff here: SnapBlamSplat

 

Up next: a client update or two

Coming soon on the 20 for 20 project: girl hunters, drag queens and another fashion dragon from the UK!

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…..

 

Birthday Surprise!

Here’s a quick little ditty about a hair pin I made for a very special gal who celebrated her birthday yesterday.  I didn’t have a ton of time, and I was given some very basic guidelines (she’s kind of girly and likes shiny things!) so I ran with it.  The other caveat (for lack of a better word) is that the birthday girl sports a massive mane of dreadlocks.  Long, thick, beautiful dreadlocks, so a typical fine toothed silver plated hair comb wasn’t going to work.  I opted for a pin and combined dyed deer tail (typically used for making fly-fishing lures), pheasant feathers and a vintage gem earring.

When my friend opened her gift; her joy was unmistakable.  I wish the happiness I glean from giving other people something they genuinely love could be bottled and used as currency.  It feels better than money.  Not really knowing her style or preferences, I went with my gut and wound up with a product that, accordingly to the recipient, was an uncannily perfect fit.  This brings me so much joy and seems to be a recurring theme in my custom pieces, which is more than I could have hoped for.  I will touch upon this more when I post pictures of the bridal pieces I presented recently to a client- but until the wedding those details must remain under wraps.

If we catch you stealing, we will stuff you.

I think that was kind of the inspiration behind this piece which my husband, who runs an art supply shop, commissioned me to make last March.  I was fortunate enough to be gifted this road-kill racoon and when I told him what I had on my hands, he practically begged for me to make something special for him out of the specimen.  How could I refuse, really?  This man supported me all through school and has never once complained about sharing his home and his wife with my little army of fantasy creatures.  Creating a custom piece for this bastion of open-mindedness and support is really the least I can do.

Then he told me he wanted the racoon to be making a getaway with a money bag and I inwardly groaned.

How corny!   For some reason, cartoon characters, specifically the silly ones from the Warner Brothers stables, have always made me squirm.  Even as a child I found them intolerable.  It’s a disdain I can’t quite put my finger on, seeing as I can be a very silly person.  I suppose if I were to dig deep and play armchair psychologist for myself I’d say there is a particular stupidity to it all that most people find humorous but I don’t because I fear the stupidity in myself.

I put my own opinion aside, however, and as I worked on Mr. Racoon I began to warm up to the idea of him being a thief.   The theme of raccoons as bandits is popular lore in many cultures and I found this interesting account of some Japanese Racoon dogs in the movie Pom Poko, which portrays them as mischievous little scamps.

He’s hanging by one paw to the wall, and I gave him a hint of a smile with slightly upturned lips.  I sewed a bag from off-white canvas and made a $ stencil to paint the iconic symbol on said sack.  It was then filled with bottle caps, sewn shut and attached to Racoon’s other front paw.

 

 

Here’s a more pensive looking shot:

 

This was my first independent mount after finishing school and I can see how I might have done things differently had I been approached with this project today.  Overall though, I’m pleased, and so was my husband when he received his Christmas Racoon!