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Tail Flip THE CELTIC MERROW DIY: TREASURE PURSE TYPES OF SWIMMABLE TAILS

ISSUE 3 SEPTEMPER 2012


ISSUE 3 (September 2012) 4 6 10 12 13 14 16 17 18 19 20 21 24 25 27 29

Types of Swimmable Tails The Fan List of Movies & TV Featuring Mermaids! MerPalooza 2012 Photos MerWorld Online Upcoming Events The Celtic Merrow Cover Model: Emily Cover Model: Alexandria Glass Straws Review: Lost Voices Review: Seven Tears Into The Sea Artist: David Ayala DIY: Treasure Purse Mer of the Issue: Lanai DeviantArt Feature Mer of the Issue: Raven Cover photo taken by Peppiportraits.com (FB)


The Mer Community

Photo courtesy of Mernetwork Facebook account & used with permission featuring admin & founders Malinghi & Iona.

The mer-community is alive & splashing! Want to be involved? A great place to go is Mernetwork.com Here’s what moderator Malinghi has to say about it: “MerNetwork is the world’s largest website dedicated to mermaid & merman costuming. Launched in July of 2011 by Malinghi & Winged Mermaid Iona, the site is the direct successor to an older costuming forum originally created in January of 2010 at mer.yuku.com. MerNetwork is intended for men & women of all ages & levels of involvement, from casual enthusiasts still looking to make or buy their first tail, to experienced professionals. The ultimate goal of the site is to serve the merfolk costuming community & help it grow. In addition to a forum, the site also features compiled lists of how-to guides & of professional tailmakers for making & buying tails respectively, as well as an FAQ.”

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Types of Swimmable Tails Mers of the world are constantly wondering what their best option is for a tail. Maybe it’s a homemade tail they seek or perhaps one made by a professional artist. The fact is many are confused as to which material is the right choice for their needs. This article will identify the main materials used in most tail making, giving you an idea of what may be right for you.

Neoprene While neoprene is often used as a base in latex and silicone tails, it can also be used on its own. Some mers simply make their neoprene tails similar to fabric while others embellish with scales or paint. Neoprene is also light weight, smooth to the touch, has a bit of stretch, the water can flow through it, and can be maintain with a strong industrial sewing machine or by hand. Depending on how a person makes their tail it can be very form fitting. Hannah Mermaid and Kariel Mermaid are both examples of professional mers whose tails are made from Neoprene. Usually feature monofins.

Neoprin Neoprin is a cheaper alternative to Neoprene. It continues to stretch throughout its lifetime, has a scratchy feel as opposed to neoprene, can be quite buoyant, and also allows water to flow through. Like neoprene it can be used as a base in latex and photo is by Lunnaya Nadejda Fabric Tails silicone tails. Some tail makers have been known to Fabric tails are one of the cheapest alternatives use this material in the past- though it is frequently to tail making. They are light, easy to take care of, complained about. If investing for a professional tail generally easy to make, can be customized, & for this material may not be your best choice. Usually most mers very easy to swim in. Fabric tails are sold feature monofins. professionally by a variety of tail makers but can also be made using patterns or by creating your Alex Plus own. Fabric tails can be fitted with swim fins or a Alex plus is a silicone/ monofin. If you’re savvy with a sewing machine a latex bonding used as fabric tail can be easy to fix. While many will argue caulking. It was widely that fabric tails aren’t very realistic- the Weeki Wachi used by professional Mermaids are a perfect example of how fabric can tail makers and novice be utilized. Consider the type of fabric you use as ones for a long time. swim fabric will be different than stretch fabric or While it can achieve vinyl. One of the down sides to fabric is that it can a realistic look when be very easy to see wrinkles, leg outlines, and fin mixed with paint and outlines. Sometimes these tails may simply have imprinted over top of open bottoms without a monofin or swim fin. neoprene or Neoprin, is it known to break down quickly. Alex Plus also comes with some health risks if not cured properly. There are many threads on mernetwork that share tutorials on making a tail from Alex Plus and some tail makers use it today. An Alex Plus tail can last so long as the user takes care with it. Fishbutts is a company known to do amazing things with alex plus. It off gasses. Features monofins and swim fins. Can be very buoyant. Water cannot travel through and will become stuck in flukes not glued down.

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Silicone Caulking Silicone Caulking is also used in the same way as Alex Plus over neoprene or Neoprin. Sometimes it is mixed with paint, while other times it’s put over paint. It carries the same warnings as Alex Plus but can be used just as well. Mermaid Shelly had a lot of success with her silicone caulking tails. Silicone caulking is often used in other tails to fill up the fluke to keep it strong and not full of air or water. It off gasses. Features monofins and swim fins. Can be very buoyant. Water can’t travel through and will become stuck in any flukes not glued down.

Real Latex Real latex is often purchased from spfx stores. It can be spread on neoprene or Neoprin, or it can be moulded. Dr. Seaweed and Mermaid Star have both made moulded tails on a neoprene base with latex. Real latex poses little to no health risk, and will last longer than caulking. A very realistic look can be achieved. Latex can also be used on its own without a fabric base. Usually features monofins. Somewhat buoyant. Water cannot travel through and will become stuck in any flukes not glued down. Coloring done through pigmenting or painting on the latex.

Urethane Urethane is one of the main products used in the making of the Thom Shouse “Mermaid Rentals” tails. It can also be moulded or imprinted, pigmented or painted, and achieves a very realistic look. It’s known to last a very long time and can be purchased though spfx stores. Usually features a foot pocket, in some cases monofins. Somewhat buoyant. Water cannot travel through and will become stuck in any flukes not glued down.

Real Silicone Mostly supplied through the dragon skin product, silicone is thought to be top of the line for mermaid tails. Depending on the thickness of the tail it can be different weights and buoyancy in and out of the water. Coloring is generally achieved through pigmenting and paint wont “chip” off. Water cannot move through this material so it can become trapped in any flukes that are not solid. Some flukes are fitted with a monofin while others are solid silicone and have a foot pocket. Silicone tends to give the most realistic look as it will generally only wrinkle at the knees during movement. This is a material many professional mermaids use. Make sure you’re always double checking the website of tail makers. You want to be sure you know what they’re making your tail out of. If you assume it’s silicone or latex check to make sure it’s not caulking first. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the care of your product and the pros and cons of how the tail maker makes them! Good Luck.

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The Fan List of Movies &

1. Splash (1984) Director: Ron Howard Cast: Tom Hanks; Daryl Hannah; John Candy 2. Divine Madness (1980) Director:Michael Ritchie w/Bette Midler 3.She Creature (remake) 4.She Creature (1955) 5.Beach Blanket Bingo Director: William Asher 6. My Life As A Fairy Tale:Hans Christian Andersen (2001) USA 7. The Little Mermaid 8. Night Tide (1961) w/ Linda Lawson & Dennis Hopper. 9. Ineo Gongiu 10. Sea People 1999 USA Director:Vic Sarin Cast: Hume Cronym;Joan Gregson;Tegan Moss 11. Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia 12.Secret of Roan Inish (1994) Director: John Sayles 13. The Shirley Temple Show The Little Mermaid 14. Fairy Tale Princess Collection The Little Mermaid 15.Dagon Spain. Director: Stuart Gordon 16. Mermaid (2000) 17. Peter Pan 18. Mermaid In A Manhole a.k.a. Za iniipiggu4: Manhorunonaka no ningyo 19.Rusalochka (1976) Soivet Union/Bulgaria Director:Vladmir Bychkov 20. The Mermaid (1904) 21. Mermaids (1990) USA Director:Richard Benjamin Cast: Cher; Winona Ryder; Bob Hoskins; Christina Ricci 22. I’ve Heard The Mermaids Singing (1987) Canadian Director:Patricia Rozema 23. Missippi Mermaid (1969) a.k.a. La Sirene du Mississippi Director:Francois Truffaut Cast: Jean-Paul Belmondo;Catherine Deneuve 24.Tarzan And The Mermaids (1948) Director: Robert Florey with Johnny Weissmuller

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25. The Little Mermaid (1976) 26. Wire In The Blood: The Mermaids Singing 27. Mermaid Forest vol. 1 28. Mermaid Forest vol. 2 29. Mermaid Forest vol.3 30. Mermaid Forest vol. 4 31. Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid (1947) with Ann Blyth;William Powell Director:Sebastian Gutierrez 32. Million Dollar Mermaid (1952) 33. The Little Mermaid II: Return To The Sea (2000) USA 34. Hook (1991) 35.AquaMarine 36. The Mermaid Chair 37. The Thirteenth Year (1999) 38. Big Blue 39. Lady In The Water 40. Dora The Explorer:Dora Saves The Mermaids 41. Splash, Too (1988) USA Director: Greg Antonacci with Amy Yasbeck 42.Hans Christian Andersen Little Mermaid 43. Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

44.Lucky Me (2007) with Debra Messing 45. The Mermaid (1967) 46.Mermaid S.O.S. (2004) Israeli 2 minute animated cartoon 47.Last Resort a.k.a. National Lampoon’s Last Resort or National Lampoon’s Scuba School 48. Mad ABout Men (1954) UK Director: Ralph Thomas with Glynnis Johns 49. Mexican Mermaid (1970s) 50.Mermaids Illustrated (1993) 51. The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure 52. The Little Mermaid TV Show (1992) 53. Kids Klassics Vol. 5 The Little Mermaid and Friends Cartoon 54. Ren Yu Chuan Shuo (1994) Hong Kong a.k.a. Mer-


TV Featuring Mermaids! maid Got Married 55. Fishtales 56.Magic Island (1995) USA Director: Sam Irvin with Zachery Ty Bryan; French Stewart

57. Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Japanese Anime Series 32 episodes 58. Suzhou River 59.Undine 60. Analyze This 61.Acri (1996) Japan a.k.a. The Legend of HomoAquarellius 62.Dear Mr. Cash 63. Aqua Sex 64.Incubus Music Video 65. Mermiads of Tiburon (1962) 66.PAX Mermaids (2003) 67. By The Sea 68.Aladdin My Dear Disney Cartoon Movie 69. Neptune’s Daughter (1914) w/ Annette Kellerman 70.Weeki Wachee Girls (various short films) 71.Phra Apai Mani (2002) Thailand 72.Yu Mei Ren (1966) China 73.Acapilco Rock with Tatiama La Sirene (1904) France Silent Movie Directed by and Starring George Melies 74. Pet Shop of Horrors 75. KO Beast Century 76.The Little Mermiad (1975) Japan 77. Blood Reign of the Yoma 78. Those Who Hunt Elves 79. Mermaid’s Scar (1993) Japan 80.Jason And The Arognauts (1963) 81. The Glass Bottom Boat (1966) with Doris Day

82. Don’t Give Up The Ship 83. Diver Dan 1960s Children’s Show. I remember watching this growing up. 84. CHARMED A Witch’s Tail 5th Season (2002) 85. Bewitched Samantha And the Loch Ness Monster 86. A Mermaid Called Aida (1996) 87.Warszawska Syrena (1956) Poland a.k.a. Mermaid of Warsaw 88. L’Atlantide (1961) France/Italy Director: Frank Borzage (uncredited) and Edgar G. Ulmer 89.Dyesebel (Philippines) Cast: Charlene B. Gonzalez 90.Mai Amorska Vila (1975) Czechoslovakia 91.Koch Ajmy Syrenkiaki Love The Mermaids (1967) 92. Mermaid Rescue 93. Moon Over Miami (1991) a.k.a. Off And Running 94. Principles Of Lust 95.Brice de Nice (2001) France 96. Deep End (1971) a.k.a. Na Samym Dnie Poland 97. A Ring of Endless Light (20020 with Mischa Barton 98. Sous le Sugne du Poisson (1991) French-Canadian version of Splash 98. Un Armor Distinto with Tatiana 99.Rusalochka (1968) Russia Russian version of The Little Mermaid 100. The Heart Of A Mermaid (1916) Cast: Mary Fuller USA Silent Black & White 101. A llha (1990) Portugal Director: Joaquim Leitao short English-language mermaid mystery 102. Local Hero (1983) 103. Luke and the Mermaids (1916) 104.Mermaids (2003) USA Director: Ian Barry 105. Miranda (1948) UK 106. Sirens of Atlantis (1948) USA 107. Sirens (1994) Australia/UK 108.The Little Mermaid III (2008) 109. Sahasa Veerudu Sagara Kanya (1996) India 110. Timeless Tales: The Little Mermaid (2007)

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111. Pokemon: The Misty Mermaid (2000) 112. The Vision of Escaflowne 26 part Japanese Anime Series 113. Contempt (1963) 114. The Smurfs episode Crying Smurfs 115. The Little Mermaid TV Series 116. The Love Boat Mermaids 1985/86 Season 8 women sang and danced 117. Isaac & the Mermaids 4th Season 18th episode 1981 118. Roxy Hunter And the Myth of the Mermaid (2008) 119. Faerie Tale Theatre: The Little Mermaid (2004) 120. Mermaids Of The Cavern 121. Sea Fever: The Best Of The Mermaids 122.Dream Of A Mermaid 123. The Little Mermaid (1989) 124. Mermaids Fantasy (2007) 125. H20 Just Add Water TV Series 126. The Chronicles Of Narnia:Prince Caspian 127. Black Jack:Biohazard 128. The Smurfs episode No Smurf Is An Island 129. Andersen Douwa-Ningyo Hime (movie) 130. Merlin NBC Mini-Series (1998) 131. Oh! My Zombie Mermaid 132. Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea The Mermaid episode 77 Season 3 1967 133. Ecco 134. Hans Christian Andersen: The Fairy Tale The Little Mermaid and Other Stories 78 min. (2007) 135. The Daydreamer a Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Animated Movie that has The Little Mermaid; The Emperor’s New Clothes; Thumbelina and The Garden Of Paradise (1966) 99 min. 136. Finding Neverland (2004) 101 min 137. Peter Pan-Return To Neverland 138. Peter Pan (1960) Mary Martin as Peter Pan 139. Peter Pan (1999) Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan 140. Marina The Little Mermaid 141. Saban’s Adventures of The Little Mermaid

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142. Siren of the Sea Silent Movie Annette Kellerman 143. A Daughter of the Gods (1916) Silent Movie Annette Kellerman 144. Queen of the Sea (1918) Silent Movie Annette Kellerman 145. Head (1968) The Monkees 146. Robot Chicken Season 2 episode 25 4/30/2006 Djinni Mermaid skit 147. Pekka ja Patka sammakkomiehina (1954) Finnish 148. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) 149. Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue (2000) 150. Mahou Sentai MagiRanger (2005) 151. Dengeki Sentai Changeman (1985) 152. Hikari Sentai Maskman movie (1987) 153. Seriously Weird Harris & the Mermaid tv episode 154. Talk Dirty To Me III (1984) 155. Talk Dirty To Me IV 156. The edited version of Talk Dirty To Me is called The New Talk Dirty To Me Part III 157. BayWatch in the episode Rendezvous Marliece Andrada played a mermaid 158. In the Anime Bakugan, Klaus’s guardian Bakugan, Sirenoid is a mermaid 159. Hong Kong Mermaid Movie 160. The Prince,The Witch & The Mermaid 161. Heart’s Atlantis 162. Legend of Sudsakorn 163. My Mother the mermaid 164. The Seventh Stream (2001) TV movie 165. The Enchantment Collection: Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid & Thumbelina Box Set 166. Visual Storytelling With Ianin McGaig 2: Cosmic Mermaid Character Design 167. Mother Nature: Orca Whales & Mermaid Tales 168. Lazlo’s First Crush Cartoon Network 169. Legend of Heaven and Earth The Mermaid Episode 2 Part 1


170. Sanctuary First Episode Sanctuary For All Part 1 Sci-Fi Channel 171. The Man From Atlantis was on NBC during the 1977/78 TV Season with Patrick Duffy the show only lasted for 17 episodes. Episode 13 The Siren. Mark (Patrick Duffy) has to save a Mermaid that was Mermaidnapped by a Pirate. 172. Sea Hunt The Legend of the Mermaid (1958) 173. SeaQuest DSV episode Abalon (1994) 174. My Bride is a Mermaid 175. Assoulto Amore episode 43 Sara (Dark Mermaid) sings her song to capture Mitsuki 176. Xena Princess Warrior Season 5 episode 15 Married With Fishsticks Gabrielle (Rene O’Connor) is hit on the head and falls into the sea where somehow she enters a strange parallel universe under the sea where she appears to be married to Hagar and have 3 Mer-children. 177. Easy to Love (1953) Two men compete for the love of a mermaid Director: Richard Thorpe Cast: Esther Williams, Van Johnson 178. Mala’ morska’ vila (1975) Czechoslovakia 179. Hercules:The Legendary Journeys Season 5 episode 18 Love on the Rocks 180. Sabrina The Teenage Witch 1999 movie Sabrina Down Under. Sabrina and a witch from England take a week long vacation where they try to help protect a hidden mermaid colony whose habitiat is threatened by Ocean Pollution and by a local Marine Biologist, Dr. Julian Martin determined to find the colony as his claim to fame. 181.National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978) There’s a scene in the movie where Goldfish swim inside the see-through breasts of a cut-out Mermaid at the bar 182.Vampire Princess Miyu: Season 1 Episode 15 Dream of the Mermaid (1997) 183. It’s Punky Brewster! Animated Satuday Morning Cartoon Spin-Off episode Fish Story 184. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids episode She’s Like a Fish out of Water Honey (1998) 185. Sirenita Y Otros Cuentros Spanish 2006 subtitled

186. Deep Jaws 187. Sea Prince and the Fire Child 188. Eve and the Merman This isn’t exactly Mermaid either however it is Mer related and like #187 above it should be included in this list 189. The Private Lesson 190. Hot Dogs In Ibiza 191. The Sex Is Crazy 192. Fairy Tale Police Department: Case File #5 193. Two Bob Mermaid (1996) 194. A Mermaid Dance (1902) 195. A Massive Mermaid Movie 196. Mavis and the Mermaid 197. Mermaid & See Through the Lies (2002) 198. Bi bo xian lu (1960) Hong Kong A Mermaid’s Love 199. Maid, Mermaids and More Maids (1919) 200. Barbie in A Mermaid Tale 2010 movie 201.The Seventh Stream a 2001 TV movie 202. Fish Tales 203. Pirates of the Caribbean 4

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MerPalooza 2012 Photos

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MerWorld Online Here are a few Mer links to help you navigate. www.iamamermaid.com Check out this blog by well known author Carolyn Turgeon. Not only does it feature many Mers but also includes celebrity interviews, music & literature connections, & lots of great mermaid kitsch! www.cynthiamermaid.blogspot.com A previous article contributor Cynthia has been one busy mermaid- interviewing everyone she can find involved in the mer-world! Check out her blog for some insight into the most interesting of fishes! www.mermaidtails.net Constantly googling your way through the tail maker community? Well, google no more! Alasea the Blue Mermaid has created a handy dandy index to all the known tail makers who advertise their services online. Check it out & buy your dream tail! www.mermaidtales.net Want to hire a mermaid but who’s local? Check out Blue Mermaid’s Index of professional mermaids! If you’re a professional mermaid you can also contact her to have your name added! www.mermaidminerals.com As environmentally conscious Mers feeling pretty without harming the environment is important! Mermaid minerals is a mermaid-owned company that has created a line of beauty products & makeup that are organic, natural, & as eco-friendly as possible. Known for their frequent sales & contests for free swag, Mermaid Minerals is where the fishes head to get that extra other-worldly glow! www.seatails.org In the early days of the internet, seatails was the online last word in all things mermaid. The site has evolved through many stages to be a forum dedicated to all things mermaid & fantasy related. Some content is NSFW & intended for adults, but that’s all clearly labelled. www.deviantARTmermaids.deviantart.com The largest group on DeviantART dedicated to mermaids! Check this group out to see thousands of mermaid art pieces, costumes, photos, & lit pieces. Join & contribute your own! Excellent place to look for mermaid art prints too.

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Positive sightings of Mermaids in social media! The Huffington Post ABC News In Touch Magazine The Examiner The Shine Ocala Kickstarter Mertailor Featured The Daily (1) The Daily (2) The Daily (3) The Daily (4) (Screenshot from Video)

Merbella Stiodos Inc. Tails Buzzfeed GQ US News (Image by ERIC THAYER / Reuters)

From MerPalooza Orlando Sentinel (1) Orlando Sentinel (2) Orlando Sentinel (3)


Upcoming Events

Photo by Mike Suerdieck

Monthly Mermaid of The Month Contest Would you like to receive FREE Make up & Skin Care? Every month Mermaid Minerals host a Mermaid of The Month Contest. All you have to do is post your photo on our Facebook page. Then you get YOUR fans and friends to “LIKE” your photo! The photo with the most votes wins FREE products from Mermaid Minerals!  NO, you don’t have to have a tail to enter, nor do you have to be a Mermaid! Just love Mermaids! We encourage winners to post on our interactive blog on our website. You can see previous winners on our website! We have a gallery of winners!  Mermaid Minerals is also looking for the FACE OF MERMAID MINERALS 2013 ! The entry process is the same except there are 2 winners for 2013. One is by peoples choice votes and the staff at Mermaid Minerals chooses one. The winner gets a huge box of products. Winners are asked to agree for Mermaid Minerals to use their photos on our website and in promotional material. There is no cost to enter and no purchase necessary. 

Title: Mermaid Retreats Date: Various going through September 2013 Location: Williamsburg, Virginia Ticket Price: $325 for weekend (different options) Requirements: Should have basic swimming skill. Website: www.mermaid-retreats.com Description: Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a Mermaid? Would you like to learn to swim in a tail from a Professional Mermaid? Does a weekend of exploring your Inner Mermaid sound like a wonderful opportunity? Join us for a two-day Journey and become a REAL MERMAID! Retreats are divided into age groups: 18-35, 35 + and Teen/Family. Retreat activities include a Mermaid Makeover with Hair and Makeup artists, Professional Photo & Video Shoot, Expert Training in Underwater Skills (dolphin kick, flips, rolls, choreography, breath/ buoyancy control) and more!

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The Celtic Merrow The Lament. Her lips murmur a haunting refrain, From a heart trapped and full of pain. Liquid eyes plead to be set free, To her magickal home beneath the sea. Her red cape stolen by a mortal hand, As her precious tears fall to the sand. Her lament a tune over oceans cold, Teasing seafarers with her song of old. Return my cape, please set me free, Each rolling wave my sanctuary, The ebb and flow of water’s breath, On land it spells my certain death. I long to frolic within the sea, With turtle and dolphin I need to be. Adorned in coral, pearl and shell, Where my Siren song can weave its spell.

place is held within Gaelic mythology for her. Like a coin, there will always be two sides to the stories that get handed down from generation to generation, and the tales heard of the Celtic Merrow are by no means an exception. There are those that say she coaxes seafarers to their death with her delicate and ethereal features, enthralling them with the mystery that flows softly within her gaze, and capturing them inside the muted tones of her haunting song. That by glimpsing her sitting atop the sea-swept rocks signalled storms and disasters at sea, her presence an omen, a portent of tragedy. But there are more that hold this Irish sea maiden, who dwells in Tir Fo Thoinn, ‘The Land Beneath The Waves’, close to their hearts, for it is she who rescues the damned sailors from their prison within the ‘soul cages’ made of kelp and coral, that her male counterpart condemns them to It is she that breaks the mortal men free from the torment that jealousy pays upon them because the male merrows, through time have become ugly with envy at the fascination and fondness that grows inside the sea maiden’s heart for humans.

Merrow maidens are creatures of grace, with the tail of a fish, and white, diaphanous webs between their fingers. Their hair, long and flowing, is an enchanting blend of numerous shades of green, from the palest sea foam, to the dark verdant green of a wind-tossed ocean, their eyes bottomless pools of wisdom and bewitchment, whilst their hearts are full of valour and protectiveness for the Lilting music that sounds from within the depths creatures that dwell within the arms of the sea They of the ocean, whose evocative notes choose posses the ability to shed their skin and assume their waves upon which to convey the song of others that are more beautiful and bewitching. the Celtic Merrow, to some a temptress’s aria with which to lure young men into a state of enchant- The merrows possess ment, held forever within her watery embrace; the red Cohuleen to others the key that opens the underwater Druith, meaning soul cages of sailors and fishermen lost at sea. ‘magick cap’, or sometimes a beautiful red The female Merrow, also known as muruch cape, that enables (mermaid) or maighdean mhara (sea maiden), them to dive down is the Irish equivalent of the more familiar into the deepest Mermaids that can be found woven into the reaches of the ocean, rich tapestry of folktales and legends from other or navigate the frigid cultures and civilizations. She is a Sidhe water waters of the craggy faerie whose magick is so powerful that a special Irish coastline, it is

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their lifeline to the sea and also an aid that helps the Merrow in her smooth transition from sea to land creature. It is because of its very magickal nature that whilst the Merrow is upon land that she keeps her cap or cape well hidden, because she is dependent upon it to return to the sea. In the sea the Merrow is as wild as she is captivating, yet whilst she is on land she cloaks herself in shyness, retreating from humankind in order to exist with them, dwelling within a quiet and reverent dignity as she surreptitiously takes in all that is happening around her. But she will never leave the ocean for long, as the waves call to her, and she sings a lullaby back to them. Although the merrows on land closely resemble humans, an observing eye will notice little oddities such as the shape of their unusually long feet that do not quite hold the balance of human feet that are used to walking upon the ground. Or her slightly ungraceful bearing as she copes with the atmosphere and gravity of land over the weightless fluidity of drifting through water, her true home. Perhaps even the glimpse of the delicate webs between her fingers would give her away or the jewel like drops of water that wink upon her hair in a certain light.

beauty and workmanship), and should she place the cap upon her head, or wrap herself snugly within her cloak, her memory of her true home will return in full, and she will joyfully return back to the ocean. And with the return of her memory, she will regain her youth and exquisiteness which were lost during her time spent amongst the mortals Merrows are capable of connecting with humans though, and because of their fascination with mortal men, they have been known to marry of their own accord, their husbands blessed with a dowry of gold, pearls and jewels that the merrows have collected from the crumbling wrecks of sunken ships, and with the miraculous abundance of fish that they unexpectedly find caught within their nets But with time the calling to return to the sea is just too strong to ignore, and inevitably they will return to their watery home, leaving behind their grief-stricken husbands and any children that they may have birthed without a thought. But when the Merrow returns into the arms of the sea, the aquatic world rejoices that its daughter is home, for she tends tirelessly to the creatures of the deep, interacting with even the smallest member of her watery family, her presence a blessing of beauty, grace and intelligence. By: The Celtic Mermaid. (Janey Fae).

In order to come ashore the Merrow must set aside her cap or cloak, and if a mortal man should happen upon them, recognise them for what they are, and hide them, she would be bound in marriage to him, not until being able to return to the sea again until she could somehow retrieve them. Her memory of her aquatic life would be erased, yet still she would have a longing within her that she could not define, because she could never truly adjust to living upon the land. However, if a Merrow should happen upon her stolen cape or cap, (because it is a rarity for a husband to destroy them due of the material’s matchless

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Cover Model: Emily Our cover model is little mermaid Emily whose photo was sent to us by her loveing mother & photographer. What inspired Emily to become a mermaid? The first mermaid movie Emily saw was ‘The Little Mermaid’ when she was 3 years old and we had to watch that movie over and over for months! LOL Then last year she watched ‘Splash’ at her 7th Birthday party and the whole obsession started again! What is her favorite part of being a mermaid? Emile loves the whole process of becoming a mermaid. The makeup, the hair, putting on her tail and having that magical feeling of being a mermaid! Plus she loves when her dad (the mertender) has to carry her around and all you can hear is Emily having a giggle. What is her tail made of? Believe it or not? I made Emily’s tail out of an old pair of white leggings, cardboard for the fluke and many many hours of drawing on the scales with fabric paint! Does Emily have any future mermaid plans? Emily is currently saving all her pocket money to buy a custom made tail from ‘Fish Butts’ which she plans to be the first mermaid to swim the Busselton Jetty in Western Australia.

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Cover Model: Alexandria Alexandria Jeffery of Alexandria Designs was the model for Tail Flips second Issue.

What inspired you to become a mermaid? I always loved mermaids, made a few costuming pieces for Raina and  a Splash inspired dry tail. I only really got into mermaids when I was asked by a friend to help with costuming for my local renfair a few years back. She wanted to bring mermaids to the Muskogee fair and asked me to join. So I went searching for realistic tail costuming ideas and found the Mernetwork and was introduced to so many amazing people and artists. Now close to completion of my own swimmable mermaid tail I am hoping to create my own mermaid persona and join the ranks of the other amazing merfolk and  mermaid tail designers. You are a costume designer, what kind of mermaid items do you make? I make mermaid tails, yes I do. I make headdresses, belts, hair clips, necklaces, treasure chest purses (check out my DIY this issue) in my own style. I post all my work on my blog along with progress of stuff that is in the works. My blog also has links to my store & Mermaid works.

What is it like being a Renaissance fair mermaid? I work with the Buccaneers of the Coast, an Oklahoma pirate reenactment group, as both a rowdy rum drinking pirate and a mermaid. The fair is in Muskogee during the month of May. My mer-sisters and I get to hang out on the pirate ship at the Renaissance fair. We are hoping to have our own area for the mermaids soon as mermaids are beginning to boom at Renaissance fairs. The children just love the mermaids, I have seen so many little faces light up getting to see a mermaid, even grown ups have to have their photo taken with a mermaid. What’s it like modelling in a tail? It is not as easy as it looks! I have had one photo shoot with Kimmy Stafford, the Artist who created my cover photo, with my Renaissance fair modeling tail. I am hoping to get another photoshoot in with my new mermaid look before the summer is over. Modeling with your legs bound and trying to look relaxed and ethereal is a challenge. A big props to Mermaid Raven, that girl can work it. What’s important to you as a mermaid costume designer? I love the old fairy tales of mermaids, the stories of sirens that drowned sailors. I love  bringing an ethereal she creature look to my designs and of course lots of glitter!

Tell us about your mermaid costumes? I have made a few mermaid tails in the past, they were for modeling photos. My process is heavy on designing, research and learning as I progress. I get inspiration from everything from fish to high couture fashion. How did you feel about being our cover model? I was flattered, I am not an active mermaid as most of the other merfolk in the community, I mostly make costumes. I was very surprised and showed my friends and family. The cover photo was taken by Kimmy Stafford, a good friend and fantastic photographer here in Oklahoma. Photographs by Kimmy Stafford

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Review: 7 Tears Into The Sea Book Type: Novel Author: Terri Farley Pages: 288 Summary (goodreads.com): At the age of ten, Gwen Cooke had a strange encounter with a boy with dark, slightly tilted eyes. He came to her on the beach, whispered strange words in her ear, and then disappeared. Shortly thereafter, her family moved away from their seaside home and Gwen never saw the boy again. Now seventeen, Gwen is returning to her childhood home. Her nana asked her to come. But Gwen knows it’s time to go back for another reason: She yearns for the sea. Perhaps the sea itself is calling to her. Perhaps the memory of the boy and his haunting words are drawing her back to the place they met. Perhaps it’s time for her to face her destiny. My Review: Before I begin my review, I would just like to point out that this book is not about just any mermaid. There about a very special type of mermaid call a Selkie. For those of you who do not know what a Selkie is, it is a shape shifter type of mermaid. They are seals when they are in the sea, however, if they wish to walk on land, they can shed their sealskin. Selkies have recently become a literary interest of mine, and I am trying to find more books on the elusive creatures. I could not put this book down the moment the main character, Gwen, arrives at her childhood home. What an adventure she has with a strange and handsome man! You will fall in love with the romance shared between Gwen and the mysterious man she meets. Not only that, the ending to the book is shocking. I have read this book twice, and both times I have cried at the end. However, whether it’s because of something positive or negative, I will not say! I don’t want to ruin it for you. This is a great book for people who love to read about Selkies, romance or just mermaids in general. I give this book 5 stars. -Ms. Mermaid

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Review: Lost Voices In Sarah Porter’s telling of the Rusalka legend, young girls who are abused and betrayed beyond endurance by those who should protect them are transformed into sea sirens intent upon avenging themselves against the humanity that abandoned them. This is what happens to the fourteen-year-old orphan, Luce, who is left alone on a sea cliff after being nearly raped by the alcoholic uncle who was supposed to care for her. She feels herself fall, but instead of dying, Luce finds she has become an immortal mermaid with a voice and song so beautiful that humans willingly die to hear it. She is adopted into a tribe of girls like herself who accept and love her. Her tribe is ruled by a queen, Catarina, loving but touchy and fiercely secretive. Catarina and the tribe are governed by a set of laws, the Timakh, which, among other things, demands that all contact between mermaid and human must end in the human’s death. There’s only one problem, Luce does not want to kill.

have more in common with the lost boys of The Lord of the Flies than the lost boys of Peter Pan. Is there anything I didn’t like? There were just a couple of little things that tried to set off my BS sonar. The sheer quantity of carnage wreaked by this small tribe of mermaids would be enough to empty the seas of shipping in just a few short years. It’s hard to believe that this could go on for generations without them being found and ‘dealt with’. As for the villain, well perhaps I’ve led a sheltered life, but I’ve never actually ran into anyone who was really that shallow, thoughtless and utterly empty. Nevertheless, I would recommend this book without reservation and I look forward to reading the second volume of this trilogy. I give it four and a half fishes out of five. Review by Alveric

Can Luce avoid killing without breaking the Timakh (which would lead to exile and likely death)? Was the tribe responsible for the loss at sea of Luce’s father? Can Catarina maintain her control despite the reckless actions of some of the newer mermaids? Will those reckless actions lead to the mermaids being discovered by humans? Can the tribe continue sinking ships at all without being discovered? What happens to boys who are abused and betrayed? Porter builds a mermaid world that, like the Siren’s song, is both harsh and heartbreakingly beautiful. The characters are sympathetic and believable with their emotional scars. You care about what happens and could happen to Luce, Catarina and the other girls. Even when they do terrible things, it’s hard not to feel for them. She avoids the temptation to portray the girl’s existence as being idyllic. There are cracks and flaws in their world, which exposes it as a tragic, dreary cycle of endless destruction. Even their beauty and their song are weapons meant to kill. It is also almost inevitable that they will turn on one another once the fragile balance maintained by Catarina is disrupted. These lost girls

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Glass Straws As many eco-conscious mers know, single use plastics are some of the worst pollutants out there! Usually made from flimsy plastic that can’t be reused and often not included in recycling, single use plastics range from plastic utensils, cups, fast food packaging, plastic wrap, general packaging, and even things as simple as the tops from bottles. We often don’t realize just HOW MUCH single use plastic is in our life!

I have a guilty confession to make. Though I try to be an eco-friendly Mer... One of my biggest hangups is plastic straws. With an illness that makes my mouth and teeth extra sensitive I drink almost every drink with a straw! Straws are one of the worst culprits when it comes to washing up on beaches. But what else can a Mer do? I tried re-using them by washing them... But they could be impossible to clean and I was worried about BPA! (still sadly an issue in Canada) Well fear not fishy folks. Thanks to the wonders of the internet I’ve been introduced to... The Glass Dharma!

Glass Dharma has been producing glass straws since 2007. This is an amazing eco-friendly alternative to single use straws. They can be sanitized and used over and over again, come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and keep you from that nasty habit of biting the straw! They’re durable and they cut down on the millions of plastic straws served at restaurants daily. McDonalds alone gave out 52 million each day! Think of the plastic waste you’d be preventing if you took your own straw with you- the same way you take your own water bottle!

I issue you the glass straw challenge. Buy a glass straw through Glass Dharma, your local farmers market, or etsy! Send us a photo of your merself with your glass straw and we’ll feature it in the next issue of Tail Flip! Let us know your experience! by Raina Mermaid Find Glass Dharma on the web!

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Artist: David Ayala “David Ayala began drawing on walls at an early age. Eventually he ran out of crayons and so he attended the world’s only school for comics and cartooning: the Kubert School located in Dover, New Jersey. Dave has since worked as a graphic artist for over 20 years. He is proficient in illustration, caricature, cartooning, comic book art, and graphics software such as Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. David has designed an overwhelming majority of the gaming tokens manufactured in the U.S. during the 1990s. David’s professional background also includes designing interior and exterior signs for the Las Vegas casino market, he is currently the editorial cartoonist for the Ottumwa Courier, and he’s since branched off into freelance work doing book illustrations, live caricature, T-shirt design, and privately commissioned work. is currently hard at work on a series of mermaid illustrations for the Mermaid Tales anthology book; a comic book limited series titled “Clockgirl and the League of Useless Superheroes”;”Pineapple Street” , a traditional newspaper comic strip; and a graphic novel titled “Insanity.” All of these projects are slated to be released through Lucky Thirteen Presents, a start-up indie small press collective. David has just released “the Art of David Ayala”, a softcover book available on Amazon. This volume features a variety of art including his beautifully detailed mermaid illustrations, the first “season” of Pineapple Street comic strips, the original35 editorial cartoons that appeared in the Ottumwa Courier along with “behind the scenes” commentary on each, several beautifully and extremely detailed pen & ink drawings, plus comics characters and celebrity caricatures. Priced at a modest $7 for 118 pages or art sized at 8 1/2 11 inches.” 1. Can you tell us about your medium(s) of choice? Typically I work like most comic book artists and

of course that was really how I was taught at the legendary Kubert School in over, New Jersey – it’s what I know. The finished art that I do is black India ink on bristol paper. To apply the ink, the typical comic inker uses a Hunt 102 nib and the Raphael #2 brush; that’s about as traditional as it gets. A few years back I stumbled onto these Faber Castell PITT artist pens (generally used for Manga) and found I could fairly emulate the Hunt 102 lines with an “F” or “M” pen and for the brush lines, if I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to dip my brush 1,000 times and deal with a lot of clean up, I’ll use the PITT “B” brush pen. I guess I’ve kind of gotten lazy over the years, but I’m all about speed now since when I get paid, it isn’t hourly. Inking is really kind of an art unto itself and is generally glossed over in schools or college art courses because there’s always been this kind of division between “fine artists” and commercial illustrators – the latter classification of which I fall into – and schools more or less teach fine arts. For anyone serious about learning the craft, one of the best books made on the subject is Klaus Jansen’s “The DC Comic’s Guide to Inking.” Don’t let the cheesy title fool you, this is twenty bucks that could easily replace several years of expensive art courses or trial and error. Several years back, I made the switch from regular pencils to red mechanical pencils and this has helped me for a number of reasons. When drawing in black pencil and then inking in black, after a while it gets difficult to find lines that you may have missed going over with ink. Then when it is time to erase the pencil lines, the ink tends to rub away as well and that’s no good. With the red pencil, I can always very easily see what has and hasn’t been inked in black. Then I don’t have to bother erasing the red pencil lines since most of what I draw isn’t going to be sold as framed art. Leaving the red lines doesn’t detract from anything because in-

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stead the image is going to be prepared for print (posters, books, comics, etc.). I can take the red out in Photoshop with a couple of mouse clicks and the image is finished and ready to use. I’ve always liked the look of detail black and white art. A few of my influences who do that detailed black and white style really well are Dave Sim along with his partner Gerhard on the Cerebus series, and Bernie Wrightson’s brush work on the old EC horror comics and particularly his illustrated Frankenstein book are some of the most beautiful inked brush work I’ve ever seen. I’d love to work in all sorts of mediums and styles, but the world rewards a specialist, and so I’ve kind of chosen the black and white style mostly due to positive reaction from viewers. Encouragement goes a long way towards the choices I’ve made. 2. What is the process you go through when creating an image? The key for me is order and organization. Unlike painters, I only have black and white to work with, so I have to be careful to keep every element very distinct or the human eye will get overwhelmed or confused. Once I decide my subject matter, and lately it is either a Pineapple Street cartoon or a mermaid illustration, I’ll start the process in my head by thinking up the concept first and trying to visualize it. I’m not thinking up a finished drawing, just something vague to get started. When I think I have something interesting, I’ll start with the simplest of flow and direction lines. From there I kind of work in layers, foreground first and that is usually the central figure(s) and then I’ll work backwards thinking only about basic shapes and layout first – keep it simple to start. The next step is to figure out my light source and what textures I’m going to use. The mermaid tail of course has a fun scale pattern, for the

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coral backgrounds I use a rocky crosshatching. Water is usually indicated by lines flowing in a similar direction to each other. The general rule is to not apply the same texture to two different objects that are next to each other – the eye will just blend them together into one unrecognizable object creating confusion. Once I have a plan for the textures, I can really concentrate on using line width and dark and light areas to establish focus areas. It’s just a matter of breaking the drawing down into manageable pieces and keeping each element simple. It’s really easy to get overwhelmed when drawing something complex if I don’t start with some sort of structure first. And like learning any skill, it comes down to trial, error and lots of practice. 3. What inspired you to draw mermaids? I went through a long period where I really didn’t do art at all and thought I was going to be this big rockstar – which of course turned out to be a big waste of time an effort. When I moved from Las Vegas to small town Iowa, I couldn’t find any serious musicians interested in the things I wanted to do, so I found myself doing drawings again to fill the creative void. I had done two illustrations that were both relatively detailed and both had that rock texture I still use quite a bit, but they were both more or less a learning experience. At that point I really wanted to push myself and see how crazy I could go with over-the-top detail. And I needed a subject matter that had all of the various elements and textures I wanted to play with. I knew I’d be spending a great deal of time on this illustration, so it also had to be of something that I was passionate about and so I would put that extra effort into. It didn’t take me long to figure out that doing a mermaid illustration would allow me to incorporate my whole bag of tricks into one illustration. For a long time I didn’t go back to drawing mermaids. I had this insane notion that I shouldn’t repeat myself. However, I had a girlfriend that pretty much forced me to draw another one because she knew I loved mermaids, and I suppose I really have to give her credit because now it really makes sense to kind of narrow my focus and special-


ize. It doesn’t hurt that I love drawing mermaids and of anything I do, I’d really like to be known for drawing them.

nity for just about every imaginable hobby or interest. I’m very much just getting my feet wet with the Mer community, so I don’t feel qualified to say much other than I’ve felt very warmly welcomed and everyone seems very friendly.

4. What is different about drawing a mermaid? Quite a bit is different, at least when the mermaid is underwater. Swimming is almost mystical to me when done by someone that really knows how -- it is like flying and very dream-like. This setting allows for a greater variety of dynamic figure poses due to the lack of gravity; the water just makes everything kind of ethereal. The hair flows, arms will be outstretched; then there’s the tail to consider. It all really comes down to the tail, doesn’t it? There’s so much that can be done with it for design purposes. It can curl into a spiral or extend into a long slender arch. It’s all about the curves, which are so much fun to draw.

The first actual mermaid I ever heard of was probably the same as most people – mermaid Hannah. And of course there’s Weeki Wachee for mermaids and I suppose like most people, I figured there might be a very small number of lucky people that did that sort of thing for either fun or a living. As an artist, I spend a great deal of time in the deviant ART community and I discovered Raina on DeviantART quite a while back and she’d generated quite a tremendous following, I was thrilled at the opportunity to draw her because up until that point I’d never drawn an actual person as a mermaid. Anyway, every now and then on dA I’d run across pictures of cosplayers dressed up as a mermaid and always thought the costuming was very cool because there’s a lot of work that goes into that. Now I’m really just beginning to discover what a great number of people are involved in the Mer community in making tails, costuming and jewelry, and of course actually being mermaids – and even mermen. It’s quite a bit more people than I’d imagined and they all seem to know each other and hold events. Of course it’s always great to run across people with similar interests and of course like anyone, I would love to be accepted in such a community for my own artistic contributions. Let’s face it; I plan on doing plenty more mermaid drawings! Find David Online!

5. If someone randomly gave you a tail- would you go for a swim? Absolutely, I’d really like to give it a try and I’ve always loved the water and still do. However, and this is a bit embarrassing, I’m not a very good swimmer at all. I can imagine the only possible outcome of having my feet tied together while trying to swim would be panic and drowning resulting in red-faced feelings of foolishness. It can’t be easy swimming in those tails and it is probably for the best that I leave the mermaid-ing to those that have that particular skill set. I think I know my rightful place in the mer-chain; I’m more than happy to draw mermaids from the relative safety of land, but of course my hat goes off to those that do it. I’ll be on the sidelines cheering you all on. 6. How did you feel/what did you think when you discovered there was an online Mer community? I’ve always been a part of a variety of musicbased communities and along the way have discovered there is usually an online commu-

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DIY: Treasure Purse It was my first year at the Renaissance fair and lugging around a purse as a mermaid kind of breaks the look, so I came up with this. I got a treasure chest looking box from hobby lobby (called Wood Dome Shaped Boxes on the website) and sunk it into the bottom of the ocean, well no, just smothered it in a lot of paint and ade a Mermaid treasure chest purse!. What you will need: 1) Wood dome shaped box hobby lobby or something similar. 2) Paints: Gold, Green, brown, plum, sand, rust, silvery pearlescent and black. Acrylic bottles and black spray paint. 3) Various gems & other various other add ons 4) Fimo, about 2 squares 5) Crazy glue 6) Pencil or bamboo skewers 7) A good movie ( Pirates of the Caribbean series is always fun)

Once they are cooked and cooled down, grab your crazy glue and glue them onto the chest, use your beige and plum paint then slap on a coat of pearlescent paint. I also used some black here and there.

I then added some gems, stones, seashells and seaweed here and there to brighten it up. Give it a good coat of varnish clear  to give  it a wet shine look and you are done.

OK here we go! First we are going to repaint the treasure chest and pretty it up before we destroy it. I added gold to the wood sections then roughed it up with beige to make it look old. I stained up the leather switching between all my paints.

Next is the boring part, once you have a nice beat up look with the chest, grab your Fimo, your movie and a bamboo skewer. Get comfy and start rolling tiny Fimo balls in various sizes and place them on a flat surface. Then pierce the ball with the pencil to create a hole. Make as many as you like, the more you make the better the effect on the chest. Group some together for a different effect Toss them in to the oven, be sure to follow instructions.

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You can get different looks depending on your paint color choices, from  dark and grungy to whimsical and colorful. Don’t be afraid to veer off the path and change things around, every One should be unique. Toss in your personal items or various mermaidy treasures and off you go!

Tutorial by Alexandria Designs, for more tutorials visit her blog.


Mer of the Issue: Lanai 2. Tell us about your tail(s) Well my first tail was a magictail, I loved it but felt I needed something a bit more... Custom. I was designing tails left and right and looked at many tail makers. And then after finding my design (6 months later) Mermaid parties became an interest. Stevi was the first one to make my tail, and I’m sure that won’t be my only tail from her. I’ve been an ocean girl, I love the sea and to me it seems like the ocean calls to me. I say it runs in my blood. My family in some way is connected to the ocean from whaler to manatee researcher; it’s a huge part of my family. My dad always did everything he could to expose me to the ocean and the animals, from whale watching and countless animal interactions, to scuba diving at the age of 16. He made sure I kept that close tie to the sea. I’ve always worked with anything that revolved around marine life, which is why I started working at the aquarium and then went into Animal rescue. Being able to work with the animals became my life’s work and with the experiences I’ve had, I would never change for the world. In the field I met my husband who also shares the same passion for marine life as I do. He supports me in whatever I do, no matter how strange it is. There is so much I can tell you about myself but I would need a book to even share a small piece of my life. 1. How did you become interested in mermaiding? Well the whole reason I got into mermaiding, wasn’t because of movies like “The Little Mermaid” or” Splash,” but because of a health issue. As some know I am missing part of my right lung due to a lung collapse which was cause by Spontaneous Pneumothorax (which basically meant I had a hole in my lung). My doctor recommended taking to the water which would help increase my lung capacity without straining myself.

I currently have a “Fish Butts” tail, which the color scheme was designed from a blue velvet damsel. I have an affinity to the color blue, so knowing there were other mermaids out there with Blue tails, I had to “be different”. Stevi took my design and turned it into a reality, from the two toned dorsal and heel fringe to the fluke shape and the color scheme. To put it on and swim in it for the first time was, well incredible. I felt so free, I love my tail, just always looking for an excuse to show it off. 3. What’s important to you as a mermaid? As a mermaid there is so much to take in; so many things, or rather currents to choose from. I felt that my purpose is to fight for cleaner oceans and healthy animals. Right now there are so many problems in our oceans. From pollution to drift nets, there has to be a way to make people understand that we need to conserve our oceans, because it is a huge part of us. I can’t even begin to tell you have many turtles and seals we’ve rescued with nets and other things wrapped around them. We even had a dolphin with mono filament line embedded into his dorsal fin. I’ve seen enough to know that we need to make people aware of what they’re doing to the oceans. This is why I took on the mermaid role, to teach kids (and some adults) to keep our oceans clean and to conserve the animals (yes even sharks) that live in the oceans.

I took to the water with swim fins at first, and then I found out about monofins which intrigued me, so I bought one and fell in love with it. From there I found random sites about swimming and I came upon mermaids. Mermaid Melissa was the one who I knew from SeaWorld as a trainer, so to hear about her as a mermaid, I was amazed and wanted to learn more. It just naturally continued from the moment I found MerNetwork’s first site (which was totally by accident). The interest just stayed with me.

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4. What is the biggest challenge? I’m so accustomed to the mersona I created, I can’t help but throw something mermaid related in my life- especially at work, when I’m sitting there answering phones. And the other is trying to get the tail off while fighting waves in order to not ruin the “magic” for the kids. 5. What’s your favorite part of being a mermaid? The reactions from kids and adults! Being able to interact with them it’s just so much fun. I did a photoshoot recently and met so many kids, who wanted to touch my tail and ask questions about being a mermaid and just stare at “a real mermaid”. It still makes me giggle every time I see a little kid while in tail when their eyes get so wide and they want to just run up and touch my tail or hug me (hey I’m all for it!). I always have a treasure chest with “wishing stones” and “Golden Seashells” to hand out to kids. Even the lifeguards get into it. I had one take a video of me for his daughter who loves mermaids. I even sent her some mermaid “trinkets” with him. Being a mermaid has opened me up to new and different situations, my personality has become so much more open and playful. And being ‘Lanai’ it’s just a part of who I am. Even out of tail, I see a little kid and it’s like the mersona takes over. To me, being a mermaid is a lifestyle not just a costume, I try to incorporate it into my life as much as I can and share my message with everyone I see. I am grateful to have so many family and friends who share and support my interests no matter how unique it is. But that’s what being a mermaid is about, being different and unique.

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Mer of the Issue: Raven The young man with the netting and sea shells strung around his shoulder, tells the crowd surrounding the tank about the legends of mermaids. Children stare on in complete shock, jumping every now and again when they see the curtain covering the tank move, or hear the chirps of what certainly must be a mermaid from inside. The man blows in a conch shell and pulls away the drapes. There she is- Mermaid Raven.

Raven hides behind the fluke of her tail- a shimmery white and green creation that catches the light perfectly. She eyes the children -and their intrigued parents- cautiously, then quickly turns around and gives a genuine underwater smile. She still hasn’t come up for air as she waves quietly. Suddenly she does a back flip, chirping, and sending water spraying at the kids who squeal in delight. The young man tells the story of catching Raven in the ocean, and explains that the music we’re all hearing is an enrichment tool. I am in awe. Despite the fact I know this woman in real life-- I am convinced in this moment she is a real mermaid. Raven’s been convincing people of her mermaid status now for years. Though she’s still in her early twenties this woman has quite the amount of mer-experience under her belt. Speaking of belts, she made hers. Along with all the jewelry she wears and her shell top. It is these extra touches that Raven is known for, that add the extra level of believability for viewers.

Raven had humble beginnings in the MerWorld starting out as many of us did with several fabric tails. Looking through her photos I can see that she really was a mermaid from the start, looking more convincing than many of us would in a fabric tail. She started to climb the ladder of tail types settling on an iconic purple tail that many of us have come to know. With its lavish dorsal fins and extra side fins it was hard to believe it was just latex caulking on neoprene. Raven brought that tail to life which naturally lead to her development of mermaid jewelry and accessories. Raven founded her own mermaid company, “merbellas” and soon photos and videos would fill up the web. Viewers could see her at the beach, in pools, in fountains, at festivals, and parties. It wasn’t too long after that she tried her hand at making a caulking based tail. Of course, she blew everyone out of the water at the time with how far she was able to push this creation... Setting the bar for many of us to follow.

With her new found tail making ability Raven acquired a portable tank. When it became clear that the caulking tails would not made the cut for the level of business she wanted to do, Raven ventured into the silicone tail making world. Jaws dropped all over the internet when she began unveiling creation after creation. A stunning array of colors and scales caught the eyes of tail makers, mermaids, and fans alike. These days we can find Raven touring the country with Merbellas and her tank. Sometimes you’ll catch her swimming in a Florida springs. Mostly, Raven is in her studio filling the world with beautiful new tails through her company “Meberlla Studios”. Find Raven & Merbella Studios Inc. Online!

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DeviantArt Feature

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About Tail Flip Hello everyone! After months of waiting Sirena & I are happy to publish the third issue of Tail Flip! The first two issues got a lot of positive response & I’m so happy to see many community members stepping up to contribute. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to all & please don’t hesitate to contact us with submissions for the next one! This magazine is intended to be a resource for you, an extension of our community, & a product of our community. The majority of the articles are written or contributed by community members, & the few that aren’t were requested. Sirena & I founded this idea out of a common want for a magazine centered completely around the mer community. We have so many interesting people in our world both Mer & non-mer alike. With so many concerned with the environment an e-magazine was a unanimous choice, plus the magazine is completely free! This would not be possible without the volunteering of many members. Want to get involved? Keep an eye on Tail Flip’s Mernetwork thread or swim over to the Facebook Page. You can also contact Sirena & I directly with article ideas, adds, events, & suggestions! Finally, I’d like to say a thank you to Sirena & everyone who contributed. This is what community is all about!

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Tail Flip Issue 3