A November To Remember, And My First Storybook Character Taxidermied Mouse

My dear friends and Mermaid Junkies, 

Now I'd like to tell you a little story about why I have returned to calling many of you Mermaid Junkies. 
Oh, wait, before I get going, let us have tea, shall we? I'm having a cup of earl grey creme'. I was scouring the Martha Stewart website last evening in search of a variety of new scone recipes. I bookmarked a blueberry-buttermilk recipe. I was enlivened because it pertains buttermilk. I tend to favour a receipt that has buttermilk, as it seems to taste a bit better. To me, anyway. What do you prefer?

Very well, then. Let me return to why I'm calling you misfits {wink,wink}, Mermaid Junkies. In 2014, when I was 'ALL ABOARD' and officially registered my non-profit 501 {c}{3}in the state of California {I have since registered, The Carter Settlement in the state of Florida}, I had named the organisation The English Settlement. The branch umbrellaed from that for the girl's school was called Mermaid Junkie Academy {It's a Mermaid school using personal development skills, Mermaid Methodology and my experience as a real~life, Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid}. Consequently, instead of eliminating that all together, I have kept it. The Mermaid Junkie portion that is. I have renamed the organisation to The Carter Settlement. Otherwise, all the rest is still the exact same.

Furthermore, I have the words Mermaid Junkie trademarked, and that was much swimming about to just let it be lost, so, needless to say, It's staying. I shall share a little story about what happened and why I was attempting for a moment in time to disassociate with it. That is until I had another epiphany and decided to nationally register a day called Mermaid Junkie Love Day! More on that in another post. I want to dedicate an entire post to it and explain all the details to you. It's so thrilling! 

A few years ago, when I was really talking about it {Mermaid Junkie} and calling myself Mermaid Junkie Raquel {I even had photos printed and changed my Instagram name and everything}I had a dear friend call me. We were chatting on the phone, and we were talking about my ideas of the mermaid school for girls. She kindly said to me that she didn't think the idea of having a school for little girls was such a great idea as {let's just call her, Sally} she thought of drugs when she heard the word Junkie. I know 'Sally' was kindhearted when giving her opinion. However, that's what I've always done is to push the envelope of being distinct. I was that way when I was a young girl in elementary school, I was that way in high school when I started trends that the girls would laugh at me about, and then they inevitably would ring me to see if they could borrow my clothes I had made. I seriously could relate to Pretty in Pink, like no other. It's the misfits and oddballs that are the ones that change the world. It's time we flip the script of being followers in this world. We must as women stand proud and confident. Once again, I felt as though it was another person telling me to mind my manners and do what everyone else is doing. I'm not here to be that kind of woman. I am here to be different. I mean, honestly friends, I have/had a career as a real-life mermaid for goodness sakes. 
So as dear as my friend is to me, I thought that I would flip that thought on its tail (heh). Not all landlocked folks think of drug users when they hear that word. My Momma is a real straight-laced Christian woman, and she thought of Mermaid's salvaging treasures from the oceans. And to be quite frank, more power to me if folks do believe that. I will show that people being put into a square box doesn't work for most people in the world. I'm convinced that many folks are triangles and that's why we will never fit in. We were meant to stand out. So swim along with me dear friends and Mermaid Junkies. We are going to make a splash in the world in our very own unique way!

Misfits Align! {teehee}

Which brings me round' to my next little adventure from this week. I taxidermied my first little creature! {Ekkk} I have in queue a little storybook based on my Momma, which is entitled, "The Tale of Melinda Mouse."

I was collecting eggs one evening, and I noticed a dead field mouse laying next to the chicken's water supply. I nudged it with my work boot, and It was still soft. I placed it in a cooler on ice for the night, and the next day decided I was going to play Taxidermist. I had always adored the way that Beatrix Potter and Tasha Tudor would freeze casualties and use them for their artwork. Bertram {Beatrix's brother} loved to taxidermy little animals. Beatrix was known for feeding her rabbits posies {oodles} of hemp seed so they would be extremely lethargic. She vowed that they would be in such a slumber she could manoeuvre their sleepy bodies in positions so she could paint them for extended periods. I right like that idea. Where does one collect hemp seed, though? Hmmm...Oh, that Beatrix, she was a rebel, I just knew it all along! 
This is me on the last stages of the project. The sewing up part. It really was something that I wasn't sure I could do at first. I could rarely cut up a raw chicken for stir fry; however, I told myself that if I can mend my broken heart since losing my dear boy Sawyer to murder, there is NOTHING I can't do. This is easy peasy stuff. I told myself that I am giving this new little creature another life. Won't 'Melinda Mouse' be a sight when I get her powder blue eyelet dress assembled and her small reading glasses placed on her? I think she'll be a delight! 
This is her before drying completely. I will remove the clay eventually, and dress her, but she needs time. I'll show her in all her glory once she complete. 
Would you ever be interested in Taxidermy? If so, comment below, and I'll send you a link from Youtube. I went through dozens of how-to videos and finally found the perfect one. 
Here is the sketched version of Melinda Mouse. The little city in the background resembles my hometown, with the real shop names and cobblestone streets. Isn't she adorable? I have yet to add colour to her, but I was eager to give you a peek.   
It turns out that my Momma is quite the photographer. I'm still wearing my Victorian corset daily, look at my cinched waist! {ekkk} Look at the sweet Oliver.
And the finale for today. I am making a red cape/cloak. I made a velvet one for my daughter Zoë Kennedy one year for Halloween when she was Little Red Riding Hood.

My Momma was going through Christmas decorations and pulling certain items from the Christmas boxes, and she realised she had a large piece of fabric that was my Grandmama's. {The house that my folks live in is the childhood home of my daddy.} So, there are many treasures stashed away, just waiting to be unearthed. Well, my mind went to creating, and I immediately thought to make a cape such as Tasha Tudor was known for. I'll show all the pictures and the DIY once I've completed it. My fabric is a cotton/Poly while Tasha's was from wool. The varying climates are suitable for where we live. 

I thought I'd give you a little sneak peek. Here is the Tasha in her cloak at Christmas time. The book is from Harry Davis, "Forever Christmas."
I am off to strip and refurbish an antique tea cart. It was a sweet gift from my little brother. He gave it to me, and I have had it in storage for a few months, so I think I'll start on that project today.

I wanted to remind you about my fun newsletter. I hope you've signed up. I'm going to be having a giveaway soon. It's my way of launching the month of Christmas. 

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx


  1. Congratulations on your bravery for making that taxidermy leap! Your mouse came out well, and I adore your drawing of her. My daddy was a man of a million hobbies, and one of these was taxidermy. It was beyond my mother's tolerance to have this going on in the house, or even the garage, so Daddy built a nice shed in our suburban back yard with electricity and called it his "taxidermy shop". After he got fairly good at it, his hunting friends would pay him to stuff animals they'd hunted. It's a fun and somewhat odd memory - my sisters and I sometimes try to list all of his learning endeavors over the years, but always agree it's an impossible task.

    I will admit that my mind goes to a very loose drug connection with "junkie" but not in an unpleasant way, just as "addicted to something". Such as, "I'm a Jane Austen film junkie" or "Don't let me go in that store, I'm an antique junkie!" I think the commonality of the more general usage has stripped it of a tight connection with drug use at this point.

    I can hardly wait to see your cape! I've made a couple over the years and am always struck at the approximately six bazillion stitches it takes to hem the beasts ;).

    1. Kimberly, That is amazing! We have so much in common. I love that your daddy worked at taxidermy. Like I stated before, it does seem an oddity and bazaar activity, however I'm fascinated by it. And you know, that a lovely way to look at the word "Junkie." I must confess I, too am a Jane Austen junkie, Victorian literature is everything to me. I am in the thick of writing one and I am hoping to pull it off. I'll turn over an entire library before it's over. Thank you for the visit today, It means the world to me. Have a happy week. Raquelxxx

  2. Hello! I just came across your blog and...I love it!! :) It's comforting to know that there are other women out there in the world that like the things you do. I look forward to binge reading your blog soon.

    1. Aliska, Oh my! What a delight... welcome welcome dear friend!


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