Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tail Makers

When you feel the water calling you... when your inner mermaid/merman awakens... you have a choice. As we discussed in an earlier blog post, you can make your own tail or purchase one. For those that choose to buy one, I have compiled a list of mer tail makers.

Please note:  When choosing a tail maker, ask yourself these questions:
- How realistic a tail do you want? The more realistic tails usually cost more:
Fabric --> Neoprene/Latex --> Silicone
- What style of tail do you want? Note the size and shape of the tail fin (fluke) being offered.
- Does the tail maker have a good reputation? Search for reviews and customer comments. Begin with the MerNetwork forum and go from there. This step is very important.
- How long will you have to wait to receive the tail? Are delays common?
- How will the tail be customized? This includes tail color(s), extra fins, matching top, etc.

When you order a tail, you will be asked to take a number of measurements. Tails are custom made to fit snugly. Take all measurements at least twice. Errors can be costly.

Here is my list of tail makers. If your favorite is missing, send me an email and I will add them.

Mike Van Daal - FlipTails

Connecticut Coast
Thom Shouse - The Tail Man

Merman Jesse - Mermaid Creations

Eric Ducharme - The Mertailor

Foxmoon - Merfolk Tails

Mermaid Shelly - Shell Tail Labs

Emily Angelfish

Merbellas
Web Site

Boston, Massachusetts
Mermagica

Aquatails

The 2 Tails

Mermaids R Us

Oceankia

Monika Naumann
Etsy Shop

Finfolk Productions
Facebook

Miami Beach Mermaids
Web Site

Fin Fun Mermaid
Web Site

Mermaidreams
Web Site

Watersong Mermaid Tails
Facebook

Magictail (Germany)
Web Site


Thank you for visiting! Comments and questions are always welcome. I would love to hear from you. This page was last updated on 23 September 2016.

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Mermaid Lanai


I met Mermaid Lanai on Twitter not long ago. After reading just her Twitter Bio, I came to the conclusion that she would make a great interview candidate. Instead of the usual question and answer format, Mermaid Lanai would just like to tell us about herself. As always, thank you for visiting!

Lanai: The ocean has always called to me so much, within my family there are relatives who work in the ocean, from a former whaler to a fisherman, to a manatee expert, an aquarist and of course me. The ocean and my family are bounded in some way, from former whaler, to fisherman etc., they all grew up by the ocean. Though my actual immediate family is more towards the city.

Mermaid Lanai
Ever since I was little I was drawn to cetaceans (whales & dolphins). Since the young age of three years old till now (30), my father exposed me to the ocean and traveling. He took me to different places and to see various animals. He would take me whale watching, and to see dolphins in both the wild and in shows and allow me to do many interaction programs. Something about dolphins and whales called to me and my father knew this. He would always go out of his way to take me to see them.

My "Moment", I guess you can say was being able to learn and interact with amazing dolphins and whales for 9 wonderful years. After leaving the aquarium- due to medical issues, I moved on to animal rescue. I've rescued many animals from birds to turtles and other marine life. All the experiences I've had I would never change for the world.

The passion for marine life is all thanks to my father. From the young age of three he exposed me to the ocean, aquariums and interaction programs. I did my first whale watch at age 10, first dive at 16 and from there my interest grew. Something about dolphins and whales called to me and my father knew this. At the age of 17, I began to volunteer as a docent at my local aquarium for a few years before moving deeper into the education department and becoming an educator.

Mermaid Lanai
Through my many years there I worked with a wonderful pair of bottlenose dolphins and some whales, and it was an incredible learning experience for me. On occasion we were allowed to interact with them, which was something that always stays with me. After many years working at the aquarium, due to medical issues I decided to let it go and heal. Only 7 months later during a visit to a friend’s rescue center was when I knew, where I was supposed to be. I’ve rescued many animals, from abused/unwanted parrots to various marine life.

The whole reason I got into mermaiding wasn’t because of The Little Mermaid or Splash, but because of my issue. After my major lung surgery, I currently have half a lung missing, which was the result of spontaneous pneumothorax. I took to swimming with fins, holding my breath and pushing myself to be “normal”. But from the fins came the monofin, then I found out about mermaiding, and it went from there.

Though I’m still a “new” mermaid to the lagoon, the educator in me is still there. I love to educate and entertain kids, So I decided to be a mermaid working to raise awareness for Cetaceans and Sharks. I would do that though teaching everyone to- Educate, Rescue & Conserve (Educate those of the hazards plaguing our oceans, Rescue those animals who are in need of our help and Conserve all the precious plants and animals who live within the blue waters.)

At the moment I am working to get a web page up, probably by late July. I'm also working on a Wordpress Blog to share my adventures as a mermaid with everyone.

Cynthia: Thank you very much, Lanai! If you have any questions for Mermaid Lanai, please let me know and I will post the answers in future articles. Be sure to visit Mermaid Lanai on Facebook as well as her blog.

Blog Index

I have recently created a Blog Index.  This will be the place to go when you can't remember where you read about something in this blog.  You can also browse the index for interesting topics to read.  The index will be updated as each new blog post is published.

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

Monday, March 19, 2012

Aquaria and More


The Mermaid Problem

This is an adult topic...  If this is not of interest to you, feel free to skip to the second topic.

Literature in which mermaids play a part occasionally mention The Mermaid Problem. It appears to be important enough that there is an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to the subject.

Basicly, The Problem involves the inability of a human male to 'make love' with a mermaid.

Fortunately, The Problem does not hamper the writings of author P. C. Cast in her book, Goddess of the Sea. While definately an adult novel, it is an excellent read for a number of reasons.


Mermaid Dreams Fulfilled

In a story that dates back to February of 2009, we meet a New Zealander by the name of Nadya Vessey. Having lost both legs to the knee when she was a child, she contacted Weta Workshop, and they agreed to create a mermaid tail for her.  Here is the full story.

Note to mermaid tail makers, the tail fin (fluke) on this tail is one of the best I have seen!

Approximately a month after the first article appeared, a follow-up article was posted by ABC News.


Aquaria

Although not a mermaid themed game, Aquaria does take place under water. Naija is a lone under water dweller in search of her family. Guide her as she explores caves, open sea, a kelp forest, and the mysterious darkness that is found in deeper waters.

Aquaria is the creation of Bit Blot, LLC. The game is available on several platorms including PC, Mac, and iPad. A level creator is included so that you can create your own game levels.

Aquaria, winner of the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the 2007 Independent Games Festival, features over 175 strange and wonderful creatures (including several massive and ancient "bosses"), 8 magical forms with unique abilities, 50 original music tracks, and over 2000 pieces of hand-painted 2D artwork.

The goal of Bit Blot is to make unique games with compelling stories and game-play.


International

According to my blog statistics, I have readers from many parts of the world. Here are a few international web sites with a mermaid theme that you may enjoy. The first is a Spanish language site called Sirenas. The other is a German language site called Mermaid Mania.

If you are aware of any other non-English language mermaid themed sites, please let me know.


Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mermaid Kariel Revisited

We first met Mermaid Kariel back in my 19 February 2012 blog post. Around that time, I asked her if I could enhance the blog post with a few interview questions. Since then, we have been playing mermaid tag (similar to phone tag), and we just recently got in touch with each other. Let's return to Hawaii and see what Mermaid Kariel has to say.

Cynthia: Your web site lists 3 hotels where people can meet you.  Do you teach your Fin To Fitness class at all three of them?
Kariel: I only teach Fin To Fitness at the Ihilani JW Marriott. At the other two hotels, I entertain the guests by teaching their kids self esteem and inspire them to share their talents. I do this by reading them my book, symbolic face painting and coaxing the children to show off their talent in front of the group. Then we head to the pool and the children get to swim and play water games with me.

Cynthia: I am interested in hearing about unexpected encounters with humans (divers for example) when you are out swimming.  Do you wave at passing sailboats?
Mermaid Kariel
Kariel: All the time. There is a place I love to swim with many fish to play with. Usually boats and tour boats will stop there. In the beginning this shocked the crew and the guests. Now I have  relationships with the tour boat owners and they love when I help their guests find a mermaid in the waters!

Funny things have happened. Years ago, the first time I went out in the ocean with my blue tail I did not wear goggles. My girlfriend made a lycra tail and went with me for her first time as well, again with no mask. We swam about a mile out. Were we dumb for doing this... maybe, but we were seeking the thrill of feeling like real mermaids! All of the sudden in the middle of nowhere in the ocean we were alone. We saw this blurry giant gray blob. We froze... peeing in our tails! We thought it was a shark staring right at us. We were both frozen and saying, "Do you see that?" We were both scared to duck our heads under and see the burry image again. But when we did it was gone. We will always remember our first day and our freaky encounter!

It has been about 4 years since that day and my husband was flying to Bangkok with a new pilot. They got to talking and they put together that he was that big gray blob that day!  He described the day as being rainy and overcast, he was out on a boat with friends. No one wanted to dive with him, so he jumped off the boat and went alone. He froze when he saw two mermaids in the middle of the ocean. When he got back to the boat his friends were haggling him, "So did you see anything cool?" He replied Yes, I saw two blonde mermaids!! No one believed him. Needless to say, that pilot can't wait to meet me and tell his friends that he wasn't lying! Ha ha ha. That is just one story of many! Its a small island here on Oahu.

Photo by Alicia Franco
Cynthia: What would be your favorite mermaid themed books and/or movies?
Kariel: Little Mermaid by Disney.

Cynthia: What is your favorite color for your mermaid tail?
Kariel: Aqua, but im working on red right now. Red is my color of the year. It's symbolically going to inspire me to be FIERCE!

Cynthia: Do you have any advice for those new to being professional mermaids?
Kariel: Think outside of your normal box. It's all what you make of it. You have to go out and sell yourself just like any other sales job!

Cynthia: Tell us about any activities of yours related to protecting the environment.
Kariel: I do love the environment, however as far as taking a philanthropy approach I am more children based. I'm passionate about coaxing children into being great leaders of our future. I want children to be confident in themselves to use their talents to better our world and future. I help my husband run Angel Flight West which is a non profit that flies people in need when they have no other options. We fly lots of children. Also, we feed and serve at the Ronald McDonald house on holidays, and of course I help and inspire kids for a living! If I'm putting my energy into something, then you better bet its for the greater good.

Cynthia: Any final words for my blog readers?
Kariel: When you put all your heart into your talent then dreams really do come true. But it's no luck. You have to make it happen and believe in yourself!

Cynthia: Thank you, Kariel!  Please keep in touch. We're always ready to hear another good mermaid story!

Be sure to visit Kariel's web site and look for her on Facebook.

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mermaid Kae-Leah


Today we will be chatting with Mermaid Kae-Leah, the Royal Purple Mermaid Princess. In addition to being a mermaid, she is also an author and an environmentalist.

Cynthia: Welcome, Kae-Leah, please tell us about yourself.
Kae-Leah: My name is Kae-Leah, and I'm a mermaid activist, FictionPress author, and vintage fashion doll collector who just happens to live with both an autism spectrum disorder and severe scoliosis from the Pacific Northwest.

Cynthia: What inspired you to join the mermaid community?
Kae-Leah:  Part of the reason why I originally decided to buy a spandex mermaid tail from Fin Fun Mermaid Tails was to do mermaid cosplay photo shoots to promote my FictionPress novella series, "Nerissa Sanderson, The Part-Time Mermaid of Sunshine Valley, CA", but I've also been greatly inspired by the passion for ocean conservation other mermaids like Hannah Fraser and Raina the Halifax Mermaid have, and I wanted to join them in sharing my own passion for protecting marine life by adopting a mermaid identity.

Cynthia: You are outspoken as an environmentalist.  Tell us about that.
Kae-Leah: I firmly believe that what makes a mermaid or merman is NOT how well they can swim (heck, I can't swim at all, due to my health problems!), how long they can hold their breath for, or how realistic their tail looks. To me living a mermaid lifestyle is all about every day doing your very best to take care of the oceans, by not eating any fish(or at least only eating sustainable seafood), recycling and composting whenever possible, and limiting your consumption of single-use plastics. On my public mer-page, I provide a wealth of information on what people can do to help save the oceans and why making ocean-friendly choices is so important. It is very rewarding to me when people tell me that something I've posted has made them reconsider the impact that their choices have on the oceans, and I try to do my best to ALWAYS practice what I preach.

Mermaid Kae-Leah
Cynthia: What would be your favorite mermaid story and/or movie?
Kae-Leah: My favorite mermaid movie is Disney's The Little Mermaid, though I also like the anime version of The Little Mermaid which is much closer to Hans Christian Anderson's original story, Splash Too, and Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. My favorite mermaid book is the (in my opinion extremely underrated) The Sea Fairies by L. Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz series, which, by the way, is in the public domain and as such can be read online or downloaded to your e-reader legally for free.

Cynthia: Tell us about being chosen as a Mermaid Minerals "Mermaid of the Month".
Kae-Leah: It was a very close contest, but last month I was voted Mermaid Minerals' Mermaid of the Month. They sent me a goodie bag full of their all-natural, vegan products, and I can full-heartedly endorse their Mermaid Mane shampoo and conditioner as since using it, my hair has looked shiner and felt healthier than it has in years, and my allergy symptoms have even improved somewhat.

Cynthia: You are thinking of starting your own blog?
Kae-Leah: Yes, I've been toying with the idea, as I think a "legitimate" blog has the potential to draw more attention to the causes I advocate for, but I haven't decided for sure whether I want to do it or not, as I have been pretty much neglecting my fiction writing for a while now because of being busy with other projects, so I may not want or need to have "more on my plate" at the moment.

Cynthia: How do family and friends react to you being interested in mermaids?
Kae-Leah: My mama couldn't be much more supportive if she tried, as she's my long-suffering mertender and mertographer.  My friend Sondra, who usually does my hair and makeup for mermaid shoots, has also been very supportive. For some, I suppose it may be fair to say that the whole mermaid thing has taken some time to get used to and understand, but overall, I'd say I'm blessed with a very supportive and encouraging family and circle of friends.

Cynthia: Any final messages for my readers?
Kae-Leah: In short, to quote "Finding Nemo", FISH ARE FRIENDS, NOT FOOD! The most important thing we can do to help the oceans is stop treating them like a food bank, as 90% of large predatory fish have been fished out, and eating seafood isn't even as healthy as the fishing industry would want us to believe.

Thank you, Kae-Leah.  You can connect with Mermaid Kae-Leah, the Royal Purple Mermaid Princess, on Facebook.

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Artists and Shops


Welcome to mermaid blog post number 20. Thank you all for visiting my blog and for telling friends and family about it! Please join the blog using the link at the bottom of the page, and continue to comment and email.

In today's blog post, I would like to introduce you to a number of folks that have a talent for creating mermaid inspired works of art. I will also include shops where you can purchase such items. Mermaid art comes in many forms: paintings, tee shirts, jewelry, and decorations for the home.

Artist Jennifer OBremski
I met artist Jennifer OBremski at the 2011 World Mermaid Awards and Convention. Her artwork can be seen at her Deviantart page, and she has a number of unique designs in her CafePress shop. CafePress shops offer tee shirts, sweat shirts, canvas bags, coffee cups, and a lot more.

Seawear specializes in nautical, sea life and Celtic jewelry. I bought a mermaid pendant (#MERM035) from them a number of years ago, and wear it most every day... my way of discreetly telling the world that I am a mermaid.

Tidal Treasures
Sirena Solaris creates wonderful pieces of jewelry including earrings, necklaces, and pins. Many of her creations are inspired by the sea, and you can see her work at her Etsy shop, Tidal Treasures.

Another Etsy shop worth visiting is the one by Aqua Shop. In addition to jewelry, Aqua Shop carries a number of other unique items such as a mermaid growth chart for kids.

Rasnick Jewelry
David Rasnick features a number of mermaid and sealife inspired items in his online store. Rasnick Jewelry features handcrafted silver jewelry in a wide variety of styles.

When Mermaid's Cove Jewelers had a shop in downtown Mystic, Connecticut, it was one of my favorite places to visit when I was in the area. The downtown shop closed a few years ago, but you can still find them online.

Michelle Robison creates one of a kind mermaid themed jewelry including rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. More information on her designs can be found in a related MerNetwork forum post.

Magic Horizon by Ocean Oasis Tails is an online shop specializing in shell jewelry and tops.

How will you tell the world that you are a mermaid or merman?

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

Friday, March 2, 2012

Merman Jesse

Over the past few weeks, we have met a number of fine mermaids. I know what you've been thinking, "Where are the mermen?" In an effort to share information about the male of the species, I have left no shell unturned! In today's blog post, I would like to introduce you to Merman Jesse of Ohio USA.

Cynthia: Hello, Jesse. How did you become interested in becoming a merman?
Jesse: My earliest mermaid memories aren't from Splash, The Little Mermaid, or H2O. My memories are of riding in a vehicle down I-75 from Ocala, Florida. We were heading to Weeki Wachee Springs. I remember seeing billboards along the way. I remember being in the underwater theater in the front row, completely mesmerized. Mermaids swam in unison to music in the spring. In the late 1980's, the two shows that were playing were "The Second Magic Show" and "Mermaids of The World".

Merman Jesse
It was on these early visits to Weeki Wachee when the transformation started to begin. I would put pillow cases on my legs and play "mermaid"... LOL  Soon after the pillow cases, my mother made a makeshift tail out of an old pair of sweat pants and a pillow case for the fluke.

Cynthia: How do family and friends react to you being a merman?
Jesse: My parents enjoy seeing me swim in a tail.  My mother likes to film the action. Most of my friends at first think it is strange. Then they see what I can do underwater.

Cynthia: Have you had any interesting encounters with humans when you are out swimming?
Jesse: The most interesting encounter I ever had was when I was wearing my legs after a swim. We had just finished a photo / video shoot at a place I love called Silver Glen Springs. As mertender Dennis and I carried tails up to the parking lot, a guy walking the opposite direction recognized me. "The merman!  I seen you on YouTube," he said. It felt really good to be recognized by my videos.

Cynthia: Do you have a favorite place to swim?
Jesse: I love swimming in the spring fed waterways of Florida. My absolute favorite place to swim in at Silver Glen, especially in February. The main spring is FULL of fish. Occasionally, there is a visit by a manatee seeking warmer water. One word to describe Silver Glen would be "breathtaking."

Cynthia: Favorite mermaid/merman themed story or book?
Jesse: The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen.

Cynthia: Favorite mermaid themed movie?
Jesse: Splash.
Cynthia: No surprise there...

Cynthia: Please tell us about your mermaid tail business.
Jesse: I strive to offer high quality silicone mermaid tails without the high price. I just want people who can not afford a tail from other tail makers to know that there are 'other fish in the sea'.  I am improving my skill by the week. Keep on the lookout for awesome things from Mermaid Creations!

Cynthia: Do you Scuba dive or do any other water activities?
Jesse: I plan to get my Scuba certification by the end of 2012. As far as other water activities, I like to tube and knee board (although I feel it the next day... LOL) I like water parks, and exploring nearby creeks.

Thank you, Jesse!  Be sure to look for Merman Jesse on Facebook.

Thought for the Day

The water is your friend. You don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move. ~Aleksandr Popov

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com