Saturday, June 30, 2012

Stevie Pagano

Today I have the pleasure of chatting with artist Stevie Pagano. I first saw Stevie's unique works on Facebook. In this blog post, we will be introduced to her Kraken Flasks, her other works, and what to expect in the future!

Cynthia: Welcome, Stevie! Please introduce yourself to my readers.
Stevie: My name is Stevie, I have been a production artist working for the film and entertainment industries since the early 90`s. It has been my great pleasure to work on projects for clients such as Cirque du Soleil, Disney and DreamWorks Pictures.

I moved to Portland, Oregon about 12 years ago to work for Will Vintons Studio, and fell in love with this area that is now my home. In 2010 I began making my own art and started the Elstwhen Shoppe on Etsy.

Kraken Flasks
Cynthia: You make some wonderful creations out of glass flasks. Tell us about them.
Stevie: Thank you Cynthia. The Kraken, is a Norse legend, with a German name (Kraken is the German word for Octopus) and a Greek literary history, I just think that's kewl!

I have always loved glass, how it catches and bends light, that it is a solid and a liquid, it melts, and is ever recyclable. Octopi and glass have a lot in common, from light bending abilities to solid liquid forms and beautiful fluidity, it seemed natural to put them together. They are a combination of my love for the sea, history, lore and, of course, octopus.

Getting all dressed up in costume and going to the fairs, has always been fun. I like all of them, Renn, Faerie, Pirate and now Mer! Last year I took some of the first Kraken Flasks to the Portland Pirate Festival. It was a great show, my first one as a vendor, and it was a most encouraging experience.

Kraken Flasks have evolved from a small pirate costume accessory, into fine art glassware and decanters. Each one is sculpted individually, using a stone-hard material that is firmly attached to the glassware. These sculptures are made to last for generations.
The Krakens are hand-painted with acrylic paints and gloss finished, then they are ready for their photo shoot. Afterwards, they are cleaned and sanitized, corked, packaged, and ready for shipping. Each one takes up to 2 weeks to complete, and no two are the same. It took a while to figure out how to make them cost effective and continue to sculpt what I love. There are some very lucky pirates out there who purchased early made Krakens at buccaneer prices.

Sea Stars
Cynthia: What is new or special?
Stevie: The Sea Stars are new, they allow me the option to use a lot of bright colors, and smaller glassware. The sculpting on these takes less time than the Krakens, making them more accessible as costume accessories or tropical decor. Many of these smaller creations make wonderful color changing night lights, when combined with the "Glamorpus Night Light Kit" (available online at the Elstwhen Shoppe). I have also added barnacles and color changing Swarovski Crystals to many of the new works.

Cynthia: What creations can we look forward to in the near future?
Stevie: A new line of "Merware by Elstwhen" is in the works, including crowns, scepters and jewelery, featuring original designs and sculpture. I am currently very excited to be working on several nautical collaborations with artist and good friend, Susan Tooker of Spinning Castle.

And the first ever "The Krakens of Elstwhen" Volume 1, a hardcover coffee table book featuring full page photos and maps, lore and tales of their captures. I hope to have the book available in time for Christmas.

Cynthia: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Stevie: I just want to say thank you Cynthia, for helping introduce Elstwhen to the Mer-community, and thank you to my patrons. With your support I am able to create and evolve the artwork I love so dearly. Elstwhen supports "Art in Schools" by contributing to The Eight Arms of Inspiration Project.

Krakens with Glamorpus Night Light Kit
Cynthia: Thank you very much, Stevie! You can connect with Stevie on Facebook on her personal page and you can also drop by and Like her Elstwhen page.

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

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Six Month Review

For those that haven't been counting, the Cynthia Mermaid blog is now just over six months old. The first post was published on December 20, 2011. This post is number 44 with a new post going online every 4 to 5 days. Let me take a few minutes to provide a few statistics that I hope you will find interesting.

We have had over 8800 page views since we started in December.
There have been over 2300 views in the past 30 days.

During the past week, the following have been the top searches that have brought readers to the blog:
Mermaid Parade 2012  [95]
Mermaid  [51] Number one until pushed to second place by the parade.
Movie Review: Mermaids (2003)  [5]
Mermaid Marla  [4]
Monofin Mermaid  [4]

If you look at the past month, the results are somewhat different:
Mermaid  [292]
Mermaid Parade 2012  [95]
Mermaid Pictures  [14]
Mermaid Body Found  [12]
Mermaid Kariel  [10]
русалки  [6] Russian for Mermaid
Movie Review: Mermaids (2003)  [5]
Mermaid Fins  [4]
Mermaid Marla  [4]
Mermaid Tail Koi  [4]

Google is, of course, the top referring site. It is followed by Facebook, Seatails and MerNetwork.

Visitors to this blog come from locations all over the world. Here are the top ten from the past week with their totals:

United States [414]
United Kingdom [27]
Germany [26]
Canada [25]
Philippines [14]
France [12]
Australia [7]
Austria [6]
Hungary [5]
Sweden [5]

This all goes to prove that people do love us mermaids! Thank you for a fin-tastic six months!

Rescue Reef

SGN has recently released the game Rescue Reef for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. It is currently available in Apple's App Store.  The game invites children to 'Be a hero and save the sea!'  The colorful graphics help make the game enjoyable as kids work to clean the ocean, breed rare endangered species, and release them back into the wild. The game is free to play, but there are some in-app purchases to enhance the game that are priced at 99 cents to $4.99.

A Reminder

Speaking of cleaning the ocean... The photo to the right was taken at a bridge over a small stream not far from my home. As you can see, a large amount of trash has collected here. The photo is not pretty, but it is nothing compared to the smell. Please remind your family and friends not to litter. A lot of it ends up in the streams, rivers, and ocean. Click on the photo for a larger view.

Be Interviewed!

I am looking for mermaids and mermen that would like to be the subject of an interview for this blog. I ask that you be active in mermaiding, 18 or more years of age, and have a good grasp of the English language. Please contact me at the email address below if you are interested. Thank you!

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

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mermaid Cydney

Today we are traveling to the southwestern part of the United States to meet Mermaid Cydney, a very active mermaid and a friend of nature.

Cynthia: Good afternoon, can you tell us about yourself?
Cydney: My name is Cydney. I am a 20 year old native of Colorado. When I am not a mermaid, I am a full time student and a part time nanny. I love animals, exercise, traveling, and random adventures.

Mermaid Cydney
CynthiaHow did you get interested in mermaids?
CydneyWhen I was young, I saw The Little Mermaid and was fascinated with the underwater world. It was completely foreign and magically to me because at that age I had never seen the ocean. From then on out I checked out anything and everything having to do with the ocean. I even had my parents paint my room blue with an orca and dolphin. I didn't see Splash until I was much older but I was in awe when I watched it. That is what really made me believe in mermaids. I wish they showed even more of her tail in the movie. It's cool to see something in a movie when you are younger and learn about it when you're older. When I found out I could have my own custom tail, I knew I had to have one.

CynthiaYou do children's birthday parties?
CydneyI have done a few children's birthday parties. It is always a different experience, so it never gets dull. Being landlocked makes it a little more difficult in my opinion, just because the demand for mermaids is fairly low. Who would have thought they would start appearing in the middle of the country? I would love to do other kinds of parties and events as well!

CynthiaDo you have a story about kids or adults seeing you for the first time?
CydneyThe looks on their faces is the best part. Some do double takes, others come up and ask why or want their picture taken with you. Poking your head out of the water and then diving down so they can see your tail is fun. Children think that you are real so it's really special to be able to bring that magic to them and leave them with a great memory.

CynthiaTell us about the Awareness events that you participate in.
CydneyUnfortunately, I have not been to an awareness event in my tail yet. I have attended a few and it really helps to get background info on what is actually going on in our world before presenting the information as a public figure. I look forward to gaining more knowledge and making sure it is accurate, and then passing it on to others via my mermaid persona. I hope to organize my own event in the future as well.

CynthiaHave you attended any merfolk gatherings?
Cydney: I did attend the World Mermaid Awards in Las Vegas in 2011. It was great to be able to spend time with fellow mermaids that I have met through the internet! There were a lot of events to go to and plenty of different outfits to see. Definitely something I would consider going to again. There seems to be a lot of gatherings popping up lately, so it is good to see the community expanding.

Mermaid Cydney
CynthiaI hear you create mermaid accessories.
CydneyCreating mermaid accessories is one of my favorite hobbies. The most time consuming projects are the custom seashell bras, by far: finding pairs, drilling, decorating, and tying everything together. I also make hair clips, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Things have been pretty crazy lately so production has come to a halt but I'm hoping this summer will lead to more creating.

CynthiaWere family and friends understanding of you being a mermaid?
CydneyMy friends and family are extremely supportive of what I do. Whenever we go on vacation, my mom is so patient when I ask her to take some photos to document my travels. My dad and little brother don't really get it but they understand that it makes me happy so they help me around when I need it. I couldn't ask for a better best friend. She supports me 100% and even humors me by trying my tails on.

CynthiaWhat kind of drawings and paintings do you do?
CydneyI wish I was a better artist haha. I tend to draw and paint animals and objects more than people. I really love to make three dimensional multimedia pieces. The last piece I made had melted crayons, real starfish and seashells, fake seaweed, glitter, bubble beads, and other materials. Fantasy is something that is always incorporated; what is art without a little imagination?

CynthiaThank you, Cydney! Best of luck in your future adventures! Look for Mermaid Cydney on Facebook as well as her Deviantart page.

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

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Mermaid Parade 2012

Mermaid Parade

An important event for merfolk is quickly approaching! The annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade will be held on 23 June 2012 in Coney Island, New York. Parade assembly begins at 10am, and the parade officially starts at 2pm. This is the parade's 30th anniversary, so don't miss it if you are in the area.  In the evening, the Mermaid Parade Ball is set for 7pm. Visit the event web site for all the details on this and many other events in the area.

If you are planning to attend the parade this year, please take some photos and send me a few! I will feature any that I get in an upcoming blog post for all to see!

Tail Makers List

Back in late March of this year, I published a list of mermaid/merman tail creators. In addition to that list, you may also want to visit the list compiled by the folks at the MerNetwork Forum. As with any major purchase, do your homework by looking at multiple reviews by other merfolk.

Mermaids Magazine

If you have ordered the special edition Mermaids magazine, you may be wondering why you haven't received it as yet. For an up to date status, read this blog post by editor Carolyn Turgeon.

Be Interviewed!

I am currently working on my next mermaid interview, and hope to have it ready to be published soon. In the meantime, I am looking for other mermaids and mermen that would like to be the subject of an interview for this blog. I ask that you be active in mermaiding, 18 or more years of age, and have a good grasp of the English language. Please contact me at the email address below if you are interested. Thank you!

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

Sunday, June 10, 2012

News Shell 2

This morning I was floating on my back, making little ripples in the water with my tail... it was a lazy kind of morning. Suddenly, something comes out of the water and flies over my head. It flies so far that it lands at the shoreline with a thud. I swim over to investigate... and find today's News Shell! I really must have a chat with the news-merboy. His aim is getting worse!

Mermaids from Studio del Vetro
Studio del Vetro

Glass inspires Deb Dimarco, and it is easy to see that mermaids do as well. Studio del Vetro offers a variety of unique glass mermaid creations. Also available are vessels and signature art hearts. The three examples on the right are just some of Ms. Dimarco's mermaids that will be swimming into Charleston, SC for the Mermaids and Merwomen in Black Folklore exhibit. See my earlier blog post for more information on the event.

Awesome Pools

In a recent Gizmodo article, we are introduced to the ten most awesome pools in the world. I'm sure at least one of these will get your mermaid heart fluttering! Let me know which one is your favorite.

Fins Reminder

For fans of the Fins series of novels by Tera Lynn Childs, the wait is almost over. Just for Fins, the third book in the series, will be released on July 3rd. Visit Tera's web site to see how you can preorder a copy for your very own! If you haven't been introduced to the Fins books as yet, check out the first novel in the series, Forgive My Fins.

Mermaid Quilt

In May of 2011, quilter Claudia Pfeil of Krefelt, Germany won best of show with her creation, The Magical Mermaid's Castle. You can read the full story and see pictures of Claudia's highly detailed quilt at the APQS web site.

For Jellyfish Fans

Are you a jellyfish fan? A real jellyfish fan? If so, then take a look at the Desktop Jellyfish Tank at the Smarthome web site. Four options are available, and prices range from $285 to $799.

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

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Merman Patrick

Mermaids are indeed rare aquatic creatures. The merman, even more so. Today we will be chatting with Merman Patrick, who we find splashing around in the western part of New York state in the US.

Cynthia: Hello, Patrick.  Please tell us a little about yourself.
Patrick: I am from Rochester, NY, USA... a rather landlocked area far from the ocean but on the Great Lakes and the Finger Lakes of western NY. Was born, raised and currently living in the town of Greece which is a suburb of Rochester.  I have been fascinated with merfolk for 40 years now and have been swimming as one now for eight years.

Merman Patrick
Cynthia: How did you get interested in mermaids?
Patrick: I have always held a fascination with mermaids for as long as I can remember. When I was six my parents put in an inground pool so I naturally took to swimming like a mermaid. Grandpa had a novelty fishing lure with a mermaid attached which I had to plead to have, sans hook. By the time I was in junior high I was drawing and sculpting mermaids and mermen. By the time Splash and The Little Mermaid hit the theaters I was literally hooked, lol.

Cynthia: Where do you usually swim?
Patrick: I have only had the chance to swim at friends pools or at my sister's when she goes on vacation and I have private access to her pool. Being in the northern realms does not lend itself convenient to warm waters.

Cynthia: Where did you get your tail? Other merfolk are always interested.
Patrick: The one tail pictured is from Earth Song Designs by Lyndsey on Etsy. Other tails I have are from Foxmoon Productions, MermaidFX and from LuxuryLatex on eBay.

Cynthia: What are the reactions of humans that discover you when you are swimming?
Patrick: LOL an older couple actually caught myself and a friend at the beach one time. The woman thought it was very cool. The guy thought my female companion made a better mermaid... or as he called me: a male mermaid.

Cynthia: Are you active in helping to save the environment?
Patrick: Not very active but I do do my part at home and at work to recycle, avoid non-biodegradables, etc.

Cynthia: Have you attended any merfolk gatherings?
Patrick: Not yet but do hope to do so in the near future. Most mer-outings have been restricted to the local beaches and water areas as well as Halloween.

Cynthia: Do you have a collection of mermaid or nautical items?
Patrick: I have always collected mermaid items, mostly Disney's Little Mermaid in the form of pins, figurines and animation artwork. Most is stored away but some day I hope to display all my treasures around the house. With the internet I found a host of images and started collecting them as well... at last count about 3,000 images.
Why is the rum always gone?

Cynthia: Were your family and friends understanding of your merman side?
Patrick: LOL Family does not know... friends however have been very accepting and are often fascinated by it although some still think I am a mermaid, lol.

Cynthia: I see that you also have a pirate side.
Patrick: Aye, lassie.. right ye be!!! I got into the pirate side about seven years ago when I went to our local ren faire at Sterling, NY. Started out as a generic pirate but have gradually added to my costume til it took on a Sparrowish life of its own. I stay mainly locally in the western NY area, attending local pirate events as well as making the rounds during Halloween.

Cynthia: Thank you, Patrick!  It was a pleasure learning more about your pirate side as well as your merman side. Readers, you can find Merman Patrick on Facebook.

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

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