Life with a Taxidermist

My husband is pretty supportive of my newfound hobby of working with dead animals. He is understanding, but not super into it himself. He grew up in a hunting household so he has seen his fair share of dead critters throughout the years. He is not grossed out by it, but sometimes he would rather I kept some of my activities at a distance.

Here are a couple exerts from him that I quite enjoy:
“How do you taxidermy a bird and have the feathers not fall out? Actually… Nevermind.”
“No, a beetle box is NOT a good idea.” (Referring to dermestid beetles).
“Can you please organize the freezer? I thought I found a bag of jerky… It was a mouse.”

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Murdertarians

I wanted to write a little bit about the way that I eat. I think people who are interested in my taxidermy creations and curiosities may be interested in my murdertarian lifestyle.

My food choices underwent a major change after reading ‘The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter” by Peter Singer. Prior to reading it, I used to eat healthy-ish, but I wasn’t too concerned. This book showed me the implications of my eating habits. Most of the animals that people eat are raised in factory farm feedlots in very poor conditions. I was aware of this before reading the book, but not the details and extent. As soon as I finished reading, I knew that I would never buy meat from the grocery store or restaurant again.

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Taxidermy

I am pleased to share my first work of successful taxidermy! The end result exceeded my initial expectations and I am very happy with it. I have received many comments on the realism, which was my taxidermy goal. My sewing skills came in handy, as well as my crafting experience working with small and delicate materials.

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Wasps and Nests

This summer there was some wasp activity under the siding of our house. My husband used some wasp spray and it seemed to solve the problem. This fall while cleaning out the chimney, we pulled out a wasp’s nest on the chimney broom! So naturally, I kept the useable pieces and made something with them.

These are in limited quantity, as I do not hope to find any more wasp’s nests. However, one never knows 😉

Bones

Sometimes I find bones when I go for a walk in the woods.

Nature does a good job at bringing animals back to the earth. When an animal dies, other critters come along to clean up. Coyotes, vultures, and crows take care of the big stuff. Bugs and creepy crawlers take care of the little stuff. Then mice and shrews come to eat the remaining bones. This process can take several months and up to a year to complete. This is why it is not too common to find bones in the woods; Nature’s clean up crew does it’s job well.

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Cruelty Free

No animals are harmed to collect these materials. All of the bones, feathers, and quills I use are found on my property in rural Kings County, New Brunswick.


I love going for walks in the woods. I live on a back road off a rural side road, hidden deep in the woods.

It is amazing how much activity happens from the local animal residents. I have seen tracks and traces from many animals that are found in New Brunswick. Some examples that come to mind are black bear, lynx, bobcat, coyote, moose, deer, rabbit, porcupine, groundhog, raccoon… I never know what I might find!

Birch Bark Baskets

IMG_7111I have been having fun experimenting with birch bark as a craft medium. Birch bark has traditionally been used throughout the world for creating beautiful and useful objects. I chose to create a traditional Baltic basket based on an Estonian design.

Once I have removed the outer bark layer from older dead birch trees on my property, I am left with pieces of thin bark like this: 

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