Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 2013

     December was a BUSY month, as it is for most.  I decided to make many of my gifts.  Alongside the sequined tail I was still working on (see October blog), I also made ornaments for each of my mermaid friends, which started as a sustainable secret santa gift for one person and turned into ornaments for everyone!  It was made using household items and leftover paint.  They were a fun surprise for everyone!
     In the cards I was sending out, I donned my mermaid tail and jumped into the Oceanarium at the Pacific Beach Hotel in Waikiki.  There was a nice Christmas interior and exterior to which I could pose with a "Merry Christmas" sign.  Next, I made a mermaid top to match the tail I made for my friend's daughter (pictured below).  It was uniquely designed to fit her then hand-painted and hand-sewn with tiny sequins as an added touch.  The difficulty was having it fit her without being able to measure her...luckily, it fit!!   I also made a monofin for the same friend's other daughter to match the tail that I put aside that fits her (see October blog).  We were able to do a test swim post Christmas, and she rocked that monofin!!  She truly was a mermaid in the making!  Last of my mermaid gift-giving, I made a monofin for the girls' mom who is a dear friend of mine who has helped me in sooo many aspects of my mermaid career.  Much of what I have done could not have been possible without her!
     An unexpected gift on Christmas came from the love of my life!  He surprisingly found a necklace I have had my eye on for at least a year!  It was made by the ever-popular Facebook name of The Vintage Angel.  Occasionally, she makes mermaid and ocean-inspired antique jewelry.  This particular piece is surely an eye catcher!  When I opened the box tears came to my eyes as I was in such awe that he even found this piece as I didn't believe she was still making them.  Such a sweet and thoughtful gift!
     It was a busy month, but the joy of having others enjoy a piece of what I do is well worth the time, effort and sacrifice of putting aside my own new tail to make tails for others.  'Tis the season of giving, and these gifts were so special to give!  :-)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

November 2013

     In November, I went to get my hair cut by my favorite hair stylist, Jen Jackson of Hottie Hair Hawaii.  She was so enthralled with my long layers she asked if I could model in her showcase for the Raw Artists of Hawaii.  How could I say no?  Later when I got some information about the show, she was unsure of what to put in my hair.  I told her I had recently made some sea crowns which she could use.  I showed them to her later, and she loved them!  When I was at the event, my hair was getting prepped for what was to be a mermaid afro!  Curls galore coupled with 19 multi-colored feathers and hair chalk topped with a mermaid crown was more than my hair had ever experienced (which is a lot to say after 15 years of stage and competition experience)!  I loved it!!  I did my best ever catwalk, which displayed my awesome hair done by Jen Jackson!  It was truly a memorable experience as I was able to cross off "Walk In a Runway Show" off my bucket list--and to add to it, to wear my sea crown across the stage!  :-)

     One thing I don't think anyone considered was what it was going to take to wash this out.  Oh.My.Goodness!  I conditioned the life out of my hair, trying to get through all the nests of knots put in by the feathers.  I couldn't get the feathers out; I could hardly find them!  Two days later, I still had nests in my hair.  I was able to get most of the feathers out, but still could not brush through many sections of my hair...I finally took the last drastic measure and razored the remaining knots out of my hair.  (By the way, Jen offered to have me go to her place two days after the event to help me out, but our schedules did not match up until 5 days after the event--I couldn't wait that long).  This is the post conditioner and brushed (yes, this was brushed) version of my hair.  Oh, the life of a mermaid!  :-)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

October 2013

     Halloween--one of my favorite holidays!  I love dressing up (could you have guessed?)!  I love watching people's creativity come out and see others dress up as well!  My big plan was to sit in front of my house, hand out sea animal toys and just enjoy seeing all the children in their costumes!  The sun was going down, the outside light was on, and I was all ready to don my tail!  I look outside...where were all the kids knocking on doors saying, "Trick-or-Treat?"  There were NO CHILDREN!!!  NONE!!!  I had a good idea that they were all at the local mall.  So I took my pail with sea animal toys, went to the mall and walked around asking kids if they wanted a sea animal.  I got plenty of funny stares, but what else is new?  :-P  What a great night seeing everyone in their costumes and being able to share what I do best!   
     Earlier in October, I was commissioned to make yet another child's tail!  Great!  But...could I please make it a surprise for Christmas?  Ohh...no fittings or measurements!  The client's daughter and a mutual friend's daughter may have been around the same size so the plan was for me to could make it to the friend's daughter's size.  I was also given a pair of stretchy pants of the client's daughter.  I fitted, pinned, hemmed and sewed this little tail to another child's measurements.  Once it was finished, I just wanted to be sure it would be a nice fit so we decided to have the two girls have a play date wearing stretchy pants.  Unfortunately, the client's daughter was a few inches taller and a almost a year older so the little tail didn't fit.  Back to the sewing machine.
     I had extra material to which I was able to remake her tail, putting the other one aside for the little girl to which it fitted.  Hours, days, weeks and a couple months later, a fully sequined, hand-sewn, hand-painted tail was complete.  Not only a tail, but a matching top and swimmable head piece.  Unfortunately, I never did see her in her tail and have yet to see photos of her in it, but was told she loved it!!  This photo is the friend's daughter in the tail (to be sure it was big on her).

Monday, September 30, 2013

September 2013

     This month was so fun!  I had the opportunity to go out and do a photo shoot with three great photographers!  I was with Carlos from Simple Touch Images, Jason from Wicked Moon Photography and Sharon Kamura.  We had to the opportunity to go down to the cliffs of Halona Cove, most known from the infamous movie "From Here to Eternity."  I did a couple private photos for some by-standers who were excited to see a mermaid at the beach.  It was such a fun, but painful experience sitting on the sharp rocks of the cliffs.  At one point, a huge wave came and dragged me across some rocks, which gave a nice mermaid bruise, but I would do it all over again as it was such a fun experience!  There were many great photos that came out from that shoot on such a beautiful, picturesque day!  

     I also finished the baby tail I had been working on.  200 hours, 11 weeks and 2200 sequins later, I was able to present the smallest, swimmable tail along with a Certificate of Authenticity to Baby Madison.  With the tails I have been making for children, each child receiving a mermaid tail also receives this certificate, which makes them an ambassador for the ocean to which they vow to take care of the ocean and its inhabitants to the best of their abilities.  I am now embarking on a two children's tails (and my own tail) to be done by Christmas!  Phew...busy life as a mermaid creator!  More pics of the baby in the tail to be seen soon!  :-)  

Saturday, August 31, 2013

August 2013

     Wow, this was such a busy mermaid month!  The busiest I've had so far!  The first three weekends were spent doing birthday parties, which I owe a HUGE shout-out to Mermaid Harmony for setting me up with these!  When the kids asked where Mermaid Harmony was, and I told them she swam to the mainland for a while.  They agreed that was a very far swim!  :-)
     The parties were great!  The first was my first boy pirate party!  For craft time we made pirate hats, and I brought the birthday boy a special pirate had of his own.  The next week, was a half landlocked/half in-water party.  We made priceless sea crowns and also some splashes in the water!  And lastly, my landlocked party was indoors where we made more sea crowns.   I also presented the birthday girls with a mermaid headpiece made with all the love the ocean!  It was such a great, fun month of parties!
     The last weekend of the month was spent a little swim away to a neighboring island: the Big Island.  I was overwhelmed with the sea animals.  First, I was able to visit the world's largest sea horse farm.  It is an amazing facility that breeds sea horses and releases them in hopes of increasing the numbers of sea horses in the world's oceans.  The next day was a much-awaited day for this mermaid, but I took the opportunity to trade my mermaid fin for scuba fins to see some fantastic sea life.  I have always wanted to see garden eels, which were a great surprise to find.  Later there were scorpionfish, eels and finally, what I have been waiting a lifetime to see: Manta Rays.  I was no Hannah Fraser when it came to interacting with them underwater (see "Manta's Last Dance" on YouTube), but they were quite a sight to see!  I will never forget the 11 rays that came to show their grace and beauty.  Thank you, Jack's Dive Locker for such an amazing and unforgettable experience!  I hope to see them again someday.  
     Not only did I have party preparations going on and manta rays to swim with, but I was also working on a baby tail for the littlest swimming mermaid.  I had hoped to have finished by the end of August, but I wanted to make sure every detail was complete.  It is at the brink of being complete, and I cannot wait to see the little mermaid make her first swim!
     To see more photos from this month and others, you can visit my Facebook page: Facebook.com/MermaidLindaStephanie    

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July 2013

     This month, I continued working on my new tail, and I also started work on a tail I have been commissioned to make for an 11 month-old mermaid-in-the-making!  It is the CUTEST little tail!  Pictures soon to come; it should be finished in August.  I have been in the works of making a new video, which is now complete!  We were trying to get more footage with sea turtles and rays, but the day we went out to our prime location, conditions were terrible.  Luckily, we got some good footage of in the end.  I absolutely LOVE swimming in the beautiful, warm waters of Hawaii!  The sea is crawling with amazing creatures that cannot be seen in the video.  Take a look, and let me know what you think!


                                   Like and share on YouTube and Facebook!  :-D

Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 2013

     I attended one of the CUTEST mermaid birthday parties!  Everything was down to a 'T.'  They had sea star sandwiches, algae juice and even dingle-hoppers!  All the decorations and items were ocean and/or mermaid related so I felt right in my element!  There was even a photo backdrop for mermaid pictures!  But what mermaid birthday party isn't complete without a mermaid?  I was a surprise appearance to this little birthday girl who adored everything mermaids.  She had no idea I was coming.  When I showed up, she shouted, "A MERMAID!!!"  All the girls were dressed with their mermaid shirts, and they had just had mermaid make-overs complete with make-up, jewelry and nails.  I pulled one of my tails out for the birthday girl to use for the day, which made her mermaid dreams come true!  I also presented her with a gift with a sea crown made from all the elements of the ocean: shells, seaweed, pearls and a little sparkle.
     It was then that we began to add on to their mermaid ensembles by making sea crowns.  During this time, I was loaded with questions which I was only too happy to answer.  After all, how often do you get to ask a mermaid questions about her life under the sea?  We talked about sea animals and sleeping and eating and where I lived.  I told them about some of the animals I have encountered, and explained that not everything is out to get you; they just want to live happy lives like us.
     There was a moment of silence when the birthday girl exclaimed, "This is the best day of my life!"  That was a moment that warmed my heart; to have the chance to make someone so happy!  She also brought out her mermaid book to have me sign for her, which I felt honored!
     Once the sea crowns were complete, it was time for photos now that they were head to toe (or shall I say, "fin") in their creations.  It was hard to break away from such a fun afternoon!  I hope we meet again someday because though it was one of the best days of her life, it was also one of the best of mine!  :-D

Friday, May 31, 2013

May 2013

     I continued working on my new tail.  Unfortunately, I don't think it will be ready this summer; it is taking such a long time, and I have been so very busy!  I also ran out of materials, and am currently awaiting for them to arrive from the mainland.  This is truly the most tasking and long-awaited project I have done thus far!  As I have said before: I cannot wait for it to be done, but I love the process!

     I was so excited to take myself and my tail on a plane to Florida!  It has been a long awaited opportunity to get that way.  I saw my very first crocodile, manatee and loggerhead sea turtle.  I also saw dolphins and pelicans...we don't have pelicans in Hawaii!  I certainly did not expect such weather; we were caught in a few thunder and lightening storms...which we also don't have much of in Hawaii.  Luckily, one late afternoon, my photographer and I were driving by a beach when I said, "Stop there!  I want to take pictures!"  It was a nice, secluded place just before sunset.  The photos were great fun, and I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to be there! Unfortunately, I never got a swim in because of such inclement weather.  And I couldn't get in the water during the shoot because we were leaving the next day, and I didn't want to take a heavy, wet tail on the plane.  Oh, the travesties of being a mermaid, hehe.  I cannot wait to return and explore more of Florida and swim in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 2013

     I was so excited to be THE mermaid for the 2013 Hawaiian Ocean Expo!  It was two days of pictures, pictures, pictures!  Approximately 10,000 people showed up over the weekend, and I was able to teach many kids about sea life.  Many children agreed to help me pick up trash on the beach and in the oceans to help the sea animals live longer.  It was such a great experience, and I was also happy that Mermaid Ayesha could come join me on Saturday.  One of my fondest memories of that day was when three girls asked me how I got there, and I told them that my photographer brought me so I could teach them about sea life.  Then they found Mermaid Ayesha's tail under the table (this was when she was walking around).  I explained to them that she was a selkie (a mermaid who can take off her tail), but if a human takes her tail, she has no choice but to follow that human.  They asked who took her tail, and I told them my photographer did so she could help me teach about sea life.  I think they were a little distraught by the intentions of my photographer to have us sit there all day, hehe, but I assured them that we were so happy to be there, which made it all better!  
     Another funny story was when some kids asked why my tail was so dry and I told them I had been out of the water for too long.  They wanted to go get me some water so I wouldn't dry out anymore.  So sweet!  I assured them I would be in the water soon enough!  :-)  It was such a fun experience and I have already been contacted to return next year, yay!    

     I also had the privilege to model for Lisa, a photographer in Honolulu.  We had such a great shoot!  That day, the waves were huge!  They were about 9-10 ft, which is the largest I have ever seen.  The power of the ocean is so fascinating; I wanted to jump right in!  Well, the ocean must have heard my calling because I was sitting on some very sharp rocks overlooking the water about an hour (moving around wasn't much of an option, I had bruises on my legs for a week after).  The rocks were a good 12 ft or so off the water, and I was a good 6-10 ft in from the edge.  I was posing for a photo and BAM!  A huge (what seemed like) tidal wave came over the back of me.  In the photo, you can hardly even see me in the wave.  It was very unexpected, but the ocean came to me when I couldn't go to it.  This is one of the photos taken after the wave.  More photos to come!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 2013

     On many occasions, I have gone to a Secret beach where I enjoy watching sea turtles and doing REEF surveys.  There is a broad range of many beautiful, tropical reef fish; some that are rarely seen.  I have always envisioned doing photos here when the tide is low and the algae on the rocks exposed on a beautiful, sunny day with no clouds.  Well, wouldn't you know, the day I had planned to do a photo shoot here was just that: the perfect day!  I truly enjoyed myself as the waves crashed on the rocks and covered me like a blanket.  I feel most in my element in the water, and I was truly in my element!  The pictures were spectacular!  If you are interested in having photos of any kind,  I highly recommend Simple Touch Images.  They can be contacted at Info@SimpleTouchImages.com.

     Because I keep so busy, my mermaid body said ENOUGH!  I was sick in bed for over a week!  I had been wanting to work on my new tail for a long time so I took this opportunity to take the pieces I had for my new tail and lay in bed and sew them together.  I could only sit up for a couple hours a day to work on it so if I could lay down sewing pieces, I did!  Two days later, everything was constructed and I began the decoration process.  It was great, however, a week later, it seemed like I barely made a dent!  I'll continue working on this new piece of art, and hope to be finished by summer (I could probably be done much sooner if I had this kind of time to sew all day).  New opportunities are coming soon, and I look to them forward with much anticipation.  I will keep you posted!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 2013

     February was a busy month!  I had a very special birthday to attend with a very special little girl who has dreamed of becoming a mermaid!  It had been two months time since I had begun making a tail for this littler mermaid.  The biggest challenge was that she wanted a HOT PINK tail!  It was certainly one-of-a-kind!  At her party, her tail was presented as a mermaid gift for all to see.  Everyone was in amazement at this special gift.  I even had one little girl come up to me immediately and say, "I want one!  I'm a size 6."  Soo cute!!  The newest mermaid got a quick mermaid lesson (as she was already a comfortable and confident swimmer) and took off in her first swim as a mermaid.

     Later on in the party, there were two youngsters sitting all alone in kitty pool painted with sea animals.  Well, if this wasn't meant to be!  I made my way to the kitty pool with sea star and ray (aka "stingray") toys in hand to teach them about the sea animals around us.  To my surprise, the younger boy said "sea star" for starfish!  This made my day that he already knew this.  Many people call them "starfish," though this is incorrect as they are not fish.  They contain no vertebrae or fins to be able to be called a fish, therefore, they are namely called: "SEA STAR."

     I continued on my own new tail, day by day, week by week.  Though the final product is in sight, there is something about the creation of the day-to-day process which draws a connection, almost a "relationship" with the final product.  I cannot wait for the day when I can swim in my new creation, but the process is a fun journey in and of itself.

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For more information, contact me: MermaidLindaStephanie@gmail.com

Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 2013

     January was a month of traveling!  Unfortunately, there were two tragedies in my family, which happened to be about an hour away from each other in Arizona.  Typically, I like to catch up on books while flying, but during this particular flight, I was uninterested in reading.  My mind was wandering about rays and sea turtles and mermaids.  As it continued wandering about sea life, I came up with stories about a ray and a mermaid and a sea turtle and a mermaid.  I started with what I had and got my laptop out.  Failure.  It didn't work on the plane.  I had some scrap paper in which I wrote a 20 page book on with scribbles and black-outs...I felt like a real author!  It didn't take long to come up with the complete stories.
     The next day, I had a lot of car traveling (as a passenger) and continued editing the stories.  I was finally able to type them up.  I continued editing them and had so much fun reading them to my close friends and family, and decided to read them at my upcoming birthday party. 
     For months I had thought of making a unique, swimmable crown.  Time finally came around that I decided to sit down and put it together.  It was so fun going through designs, shapes and shells; the possibilities are endless!  Three days later, I went out for a quick swim to try my new crown and TA-DA!  Perfection!  It was truly what I have been wanting.  I believe that if you put your heart into something, you can make it happen.   It may take time and patience, but the end result is so rewarding!