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Hey everyone! First and foremost I wanted to drop by real quick and say... I'm still around! Just too wrapped up in working on things to take the time to show off the things I'm working on. lol! As a result my taxidermy social media accounts have all been woefully neglected.

I have continued taking photos of nearly every finished piece before it leaves the shop, and those photos are currently sitting on my camera and/or computer waiting to be sifted through and posted when I can find the time and motivation. You all can expect those to show up here (as well as on Tumblr and Facebook) um... eventually? Hopefully in the near future. Maybe as my workload begins to slow down in the next few months or so. Will try to remember to use Instagram every once in a while too. It's become a lot to keep up with.

That said, I was featured recently in an article about taxidermy! Had a fun chat about the business and taxidermy in general up at the shop last weekend with a writer from The Austinot, a blog highlighting local businesses, entertainment, culture, etc in Austin, TX. You can read the article by clicking on the image below!



I was also included quite some time ago in a photo project by photographer Liz Moskowitz about the taxidermy community in Texas. Also featured were tanners, makers of glass eyes and mannikins, hydro dippers, butchers, woodworkers, and other taxidermists. You can see the photos and their captions at this link.

Like the title of this post says... just a little publicity! :) Hope all of you are well. I'll try to be more active again here-- and everywhere else-- soon.
Soft mount commissions are still open! This only applies to the removal of my soft mount listings at Etsy.

This is just a notice to let y'all know that I have deactivated my soft mount listings for foxes and coyotes at Etsy. The listings have been active for maybe a couple of years now (not sure how long exactly). I feel like I spend so much time answering questions about soft mounts, many of which I have already answered and explained in detail in the listings themselves... and very few of these inquiries ever actually result in an order placed. Very few.

I checked my Etsy convo history, and here are the numbers. After roughly 65 convos relating to custom soft mount commissions, I have received only 3 orders. 3 soft mount foxes. That means that less than 5% of people who reach out to me, 1 in 20, end up placing an order. It is simply not worth the time I spend on replies (that sometimes require some research) and I just don't have the patience for it anymore. I've even reached the point where notifications from Etsy make me grouchy, lol, and that ain't good.

Most of my soft mount commissions come from DA anyway. Most of you, my wonderful soft mount customers, are based here. Not there. So those listings have come down for the time being, but of course you can still reach me reliably here at DA. :)

*Editing to add: If any of you feel more comfortable ordering through Etsy, you can always place an order request at Etsy and I'll create a custom listing for you. I just needed to take down the soft mount listings themselves to put a stop to the constant exposure and barrage of casual inquiries. Both listings had been added to favorites almost 400 times, and that number was climbing every day...
Hey everyone,

Just writing to give y'all a quick heads-up. In the morning I'm flying with a big group of friends to JAPAN, where I will be spending the next several weeks (and South Korea for a few days, too). This is a trip I've been wanting to take for, gosh, almost a decade. Of course I'll still be online from time to time, via either my phone or my laptop, but replies from me will probably be slower than usual throughout the month of October. And on that topic, I want to apologize for those of you I've been sluggish about responding to lately (over the past three weeks mainly). Things have been extremely busy on my end regarding work, planning for this trip, visits from family, and other personal projects that I needed to complete before taking off to see the other side of the globe. I'm normally better about all that. Anyway, back to packing-- so last minute, I know.

(Really though, today I drove and delivered a tanned zebra hide back to its customer, sawed through a couple of elk skulls that were brought in last night so the skull caps can start drying, dropped off at the post office a fox skull that sold on Etsy yesterday... among other things. And only now I'm packing for a flight that's in less than 12 hours. Just crazy.)
So this happened this past weekend.

CarMeetsTree01 by WeirdCityTaxidermy
CarMeetsTree02 by WeirdCityTaxidermy
CarMeetsTree04 by WeirdCityTaxidermy

That's life, I guess.

I actually heard it happen around 6:30 AM on Sunday morning. It woke me up (I'm a light sleeper)! Sounded like a car wreck out in the parking lot, minus the sound of breaking glass. But seeing that the apartment was secure (I thought someone might be trying to break in) and it was dark out, I went back to bed. Wasn't until a few hours later when neighbors knocked on my door to ask "Is that your car?" that I saw the damage. Took one look at it from my apartment door, chuckled, and said, "Yes... that's my car." He commented that I was taking it "surprisingly well". Yeah, well, I'm not the type to really react, I generally assess things pretty calmly-- I mean, at that point it was like, what can you do? And to be honest, it didn't come as a huge surprise.

These dang TREES have been a constant hazard for the 2 years I've been living here. They drop limbs every time we get a bout of rainy weather and I have the documentation to prove it (photos), though this is by far the worst I've seen yet. For this reason I actively avoid parking directly under them... but no, this tree snapped way down at the trunk and came out at poor Cory (my car) sideways. Well, I guess I was still too close to really be safe. Dang trees! This one really wanted to kiss my car. Property owner had to call out a landscaper to remove the fallen limb with machinery that could lift it-- after they cut away the smaller branches with chainsaws, that is.

Anyway, I'll probably get it fixed soon. I have comprehensive on my car, just trying to get around my deductible as best I can. Body shops are all quoting complete roof replacement, and Cory earned himself a nice collection of dents along the frame too which will need fixing, mostly on his right side. Some were from the initial impact; others resulted from the tree limb rolling forward and hitting the frame a second time while being removed. I'm just glad the limb didn't break either of my windshields because that would have rendered my car immediately not drivable until repaired. Could have been worse. You did good, Cory. You were strong!
Starting tomorrow I'm going to be out of town for about 10 days, so things may be a little quiet on my end until I return. Of course I'll have my phone on me so I'll likely still reply to things, just more slowly. Just getting away for a bit. The mountains of Colorado are calling my name and I must answer~
Weird City Taxidermy is now on Instagram! Check it out: www.instagram.com/weirdcitytax…

I'm not sure how much I'm going to use it, as this is yet another taxidermy social media account for me to keep up with. Only time will tell. But I met another local taxidermist not long ago who is really into IG, and according to him (and my family and several of my friends) Instagram is the place to be? Ahh, we'll see. I did recently get a newer phone with a nicer camera and room to spare for more apps and photos, so I suppose I should put it to use!
Just wanted to give a shout-out to owlapin and alekivz, who I ran into by chance this past weekend at Anime Matsuri Convention in Houston, TX! I definitely did not expect to find myself having a conversation with someone who happened to be familiar with my taxidermy business through my blog/gallery here at DA, while at that sort of event. That was very cool! Even if I was wearing a cutesy fleece fox hat at the time...

Thing is, it isn't every day you see animal skulls and bones being offered for sale at a convention celebrating anime, Japanese culture, and related arts. Tails are common enough-- foxes primarily-- but bones? I couldn't resist wandering over to check it out, especially after spotting the little glass jar filled with baculums (penis bones). Of course I had to ask how those were being marketed. The raptor dakimakura (body pillow case) featuring Blue from Jurassic World was also quite eye-catching. :XD:

I hope the rest of the con went well for the both of you!
When you hear the other taxidermist who you work with meowing at the various bobcats you have in progress around the shop… including the one you’re currently skinning on the floor.
So a guy came into the shop maybe two weeks ago, looked between Larry and me, and asked, "Which of you works on... animals?" Of course, Larry and I were both like, umm, well, we both do, what kind of animals do you mean?

...Mammals. The word he was looking for was mammals, lol. I knew what he meant. Because Larry is your man for birds/fish and I only work on mammals.

Also, yesterday I reached 2,000 followers on Tumblr! It doesn't mean as much as you'd think since, in my experience so far, Tumblr so rarely results in any kind of business. Even so, I think of it as a milestone.

By the way, has anyone here noticed how on Tumblr taxidermy often gets tagged "dead animal"? I used to think it was a curious thing and didn't mind much, but nowadays it really irks me. The aspiration of a taxidermist is to make an animal-- yes, a dead one-- look alive again, so frankly it's a little insulting to see your work consistently labeled "dead animal".

*sigh* I get it, I do. The Tumblr crowd is a bit sensitive, and "dead animal" is meant to serve as a trigger warning. Doesn't mean I have to like it though!
Took a trip to McKenzie last week to grab some supplies~ Of course, it was just my luck that I picked the one day of the week that wasn't sunny and beautiful to hit the road. Rather, it was dreary and rainy all the way there and back... the type of weather that makes you want to stay in bed all day, you know? Still, I feel very fortunate to have a McKenzie distribution center so close, about an hour and a half drive from the shop. I enjoy being on the road, and gas is so inexpensive right now, so why not!

McKenzie01 by WeirdCityTaxidermy
McKenzie02 by WeirdCityTaxidermy
McKenzie03 by WeirdCityTaxidermy
McKenzie04 by WeirdCityTaxidermy

Oh, I just realized these photos don't show the big rock ledge I also got, or the two foam earth bases...
NewTextDecal by WeirdCityTaxidermy

Finally got a text decal on my car's back window. Thanks to Print Monkees in Round Rock-- our new neighbors-- for the service! Not sure yet if that bottom left sticker will be coming off. Think I'll just leave it for now.

It's definitely a little strange though... The decal states "Austin, Texas". But my phone number's area code (817) is for Fort Worth, because it's my cell phone and I grew up in a suburb of Fort Worth. That definitely throws people off. And what's more, my license plate frame says Toyota of Dallas. Hah!
2016WCTHappyNewYear 02 by WeirdCityTaxidermy

To quote the kind folks at McKenzie Taxidermy Supply, as written in a nice letter I received from them this week... Here's to wishing everyone a most prosperous and peaceful new year!
WCT Logo Halloween 2015 by WeirdCityTaxidermy

:bademoticon: :bademoticon:   Happy Halloween, y'all! Have fun and be safe! :bademoticon: :bademoticon: 
Not very long ago Paypal at long last implemented a feature I had been waiting on for what seemed like ages: The ability to make partial payments on invoices! I never quite understood how that wasn't already a thing, but alas, it simply wasn't... until now!

If the new Paypal Invoicing works as it should, I expect it will be a great way to manage payments and payment plans for my soft mount customers here at DA. Before this recent change to Paypal Invoicing I would have had to e-mail an invoice every time I was requesting payment, which was not too bad I suppose, but just kind of a hassle. Now I'll be able to send via e-mail a single invoice for the full amount, and the customer can make partial payments whenever they please / as they're able to. While I do still strongly prefer the 50/50 plan that is so common among taxidermy practices (50% down, remaining 50% upon completion plus shipping if applicable), the new invoicing option does at least leave the door open for other types of payment plans... and the important thing is that all payments are consolidated on one invoice.

Though I've made use of Paypal Invoicing to collect payments here and there for some time now, I'd like to make it a regular thing from now on. I just think it helps to have a nice, clean record of the project and all related payments reflected right there in one document, if possible. (No doubt this is my accounting background speaking.) =p (Razz) 

Other Paypal Invoicing benefits include:
  1. It eliminates confusion over whether a payment should be sent as "for a good/service" or as a "gift". For the record, y'all, I prefer that you DON'T send me payments as gifts-- unless the money really is a gift! ;)
  2. No more wondering if you, the customer, should add extra to cover the Paypal fees. What you pay is the amount on the invoice.
  3. You can pay the invoice without having a Paypal account!

Thoughts? Questions? Concerns? Send 'em my way!

“Dangit! I hate it when the eyes pop!”
AR smaller by WeirdCityTaxidermy

To you Amazing Race fans out there: tune in to CBS this Friday, September 25th, at 8 PM EST (7 PM Central Time, which is my time zone), to see my big bro and his best friend begin their race around the world against 10 other teams in season 27 of The Amazing Race!

AR for DA by WeirdCityTaxidermy

Left: Tanner Kloven of Fort Worth, TX
Right: Josh Ahern of Dallas, TX (my brother, yeah!)

September 25th is almost upon us... I can hardly wait! Josh had a lot of great stories to tell when he and Tanner returned from the race, and I look forward to seeing how much of their experience makes it onto the show. Go #TeamTexas!
Alright!! VFX work on Lazer Team wrapped on Monday, which means that I'm officially done with that project and ready to jump back into that "taxidermy state of mind". In fact, it's kind of funny... After working 4 weeks straight without a single day off, plus the month of "crunch" before that, yesterday afternoon found me at the shop working on that big taxidermy project (that I've kept pretty quiet about...) that's just been waiting for me to get back to it. I can't stand to leave it there untouched any longer! This also means that I'll be starting on everyone's soft mounts very soon, too. I have all the supplies for them except for one pair of eyes currently en route from the UK, purchased at GlassEyes.com.
Hey everyone! w00t! 

Now, I don't use this space very often (or at all, really) to share things that are not related to taxidermy or my taxidermy business, but life in general has been absolutely nuts lately-- good and bad-- and I've decided "Well, why not?" It isn't that I'm this intensely private person who doesn't like to share what's going on in her life-- quite the opposite! I suppose it has something to do with my not wanting anyone to worry about the state of my business, and therefore the status of the work they've sent to me, if I'm seen writing about being tied up with other things. Of course, if something came up that was going to cause a serious delay in my schedule of taxidermy work, then yes, I would absolutely say something, either in a public journal entry or in private notes sent to each of my customers. Probably both, to be honest.

That said, the past two months around here have been pretty crazy for me and I've been itching to share for some time. Let's see if I can keep this relatively short... It began near the end of June when I left town for 5 days to attend the Texas state taxidermy convention (speaking of which, I never did get around to uploading photos of all the competition mounts...). When I returned home to Austin after the show, I walked in to an apartment that reeked of mold and-- surprise, surprise-- mold growing on things! On furniture, on a few of my clothes, and in a few places on the walls. At some point while I had been gone, water had come in, likely from the apartment above me, or perhaps from outside during a heavy rain that had blown through that weekend, and it had gotten into the walls and even under the floor. Who knows! To this day we still don't know for sure where the water came from. Stare 

Well, the property management company moved me and my new roommate (who had moved in just that week!) out of the apartment and into a nearby extended stay hotel while they cleaned the mold and replaced the floors and walls in the apartment. The two of us were stuck in that hotel for over a MONTH. We finally moved back into the apartment in early August. Good thing we got along really well, because it was very much like sharing a dorm room all over again... Meanwhile, I had sent my cat, who I am very close to, to stay with my parents 3 hours away. That was hard. But let me emphasize how good it is to be home again. Hotels are really only fun when you're traveling or are on vacation! Dead (RIP) 

Well, while all this was happening I was finishing up my last semester of school at Austin Community College (ah, the joy of summer classes 4 days a week for 4 hours each day), where I've been working toward an associates degree in 3D animation. Yep, I've been an accountant, I am a taxidermist, and I'm also an animator new to the scene! La la la la 

Then, in about mid-July-- while living at the hotel, wrapping up final projects in my classes, and somehow still finding time to be at the taxidermy shop on occasion-- I began working as an animator for an animation/VFX (visual effects) studio in south Austin. We're in the final weeks of working on a live action feature film produced by the popular Austin-based production company Rooster Teeth. The name of the movie? Lazer Team! While I was still in school I was averaging about 35 hours per week at work. Now that I've graduated I'm spending maybe 70 hrs/week in the studio? 7 days a week, 9-12 hours a day... Ahh, crunch time. It'll only be this way for another week or two, I expect, at least for my part. The movie is set to premiere here in Austin on September 24th! Really looking forward to seeing it finished! But mostly I'm excited about seeing the Rooster Teeth fans/fandom react. Giggle 

As I'm sure you can imagine, all of this craziness hasn't left me with very much time to devote to taxidermy. However, it's OK because this is a very slow time for my business already-- it's summer after all-- and because I was self-tanning most of my animals last winter I finished up the majority of my taxidermy work by late spring. I do have one BIG project outstanding (still in progress because the customer wanted some major things changed after the mount was nearly completed) along with a handful of other odd jobs. I finished up a longhorn shoulder mount a few days ago, which I'll post photos of... sometime in the near future. I've also taken in a few soft mounts recently, and for those of you reading this, there is no reason to worry! The turnaround times that I have quoted my customers are accurate and I fully expect to meet them. Even as hectic as things have been lately, I do my best to be vigilant about my schedule, and I fully expect that things will calm down soon. In all honesty, I'm feeling really blessed to be given the opportunity to work on so many neat projects! Nothing makes me happier and leaves me more fulfilled than feeling creative and productive. :D

 And I think that's all of it! Ahh, so much for keeping it short. I'm not so good at that. Just had a lot to share. :)
CanonEOSRebelT3 by WeirdCityTaxidermy

About a week ago I finally did something I had been meaning to do for ages... I bought a new camera! All in the pursuit of taking better photos of my taxidermy work. It's a used Canon Rebel T3, if anyone is curious. A long-overdue upgrade.

Up until now I've been using an old point-and-shoot Canon Powershot SD1000 that I bought way back in late 2007... my second year in college and my first year away at University. That little Powershot has proven to be a durable piece of tech over the years, that's for sure. We've been through a lot together! It was just getting to the point where I was spending far too much time editing photos in an attempt to force them into looking at least somewhat professional. Of course I still enjoyed taking photos of my finished work; it was the post-processing I dreaded. This new camera is going to save me a lot of time. Plus, you know, better photos.

I will still use the old Powershot for other things, of course, because it's small enough to toss in my purse on the go while the Rebel isn't... It just won't be my go-to for finished photos. I'm really looking forward to learning this camera. The recent three-tailed kitsune photos were taken with the newer camera, by the way, on an auto setting right out of the box. Honestly, I thought they were almost web-ready straight off the camera!

CornerShoppeMall by WeirdCityTaxidermy

I also went and visited The Corner Shoppe again last week! Hadn't been there in too dang long. I am so fortunate to have this place nearby, here in Austin. In fact, they recently moved to a new location after 30 years at the previous address, and it's a bit easier for me to access! Nice place, too, with high ceilings and all. The other reason I went was to scope out antlers for an upcoming project, which I won't talk about now but hope to start posting photos of in the coming weeks. Stay tuned...
Texas Honey by WeirdCityTaxidermy

Mmhmm. I've been waiting for this cider to hit store shelves for over a year, and I found it at my nearby Whole Foods over the weekend. Made local, and flying off the shelves from what I hear! I bought some to keep at the shop.

Oh, I also got new cards! About a month ago, but yeah. I like them; they're a little nicer than my previous cards I think.

WCTNewCards by WeirdCityTaxidermy