Monday, July 25, 2011

The Abbey by the Sea...

My weekend was gladly spent sitting in a castle chapel, gothic windows open to the sea, musicians with hurdy gurdies, psalteries and tribal drums, spellbinding bellydancers, wonderful conversations and beautiful costumes, a jewelry booth in one of my favorite settings ever. Oh, and a chambord brownie. Yum!

In my downtime, I took many photos of the inspirational architecture and the museum's collection of artifacts both real and replica. These images were taken only in my small area if you can believe it, you just have to visit yourself to see the rest of the magic :) John and Rich, the "keepers of the castle" are great folks too, and I was really happy to see them again after too many years. 

Sadly I have to mention my grievance with the prevalence of fur tails at festivals lately.
I find it a very sad "trend" and do not feel any better by being told that they are "humanely harvested" or gathered from roadkill (are there really that many animals killed on the road with undamaged fur to support that amount of business?)

Finny where he was happiest, at the ocean's shoreline

All it looks like to me is the tail of my beautiful dog Finny, may he rest in peace, chopped off and stuck on someone's behind. In my mind, foxes, raccoons, coyotes and rabbits are no different than the cats and dogs that bring so much joy and love into our home. I do not believe in PETA style confrontation or shaming, that tends to create the "I wear it to spite them" mentality, instead of having a thoughtful, empathetic dialogue about the realities of the industry. Just hoping that this trend goes away doesn't feel like a good enough option for me, but I really don't know what else to do but speak my mind on this controversial subject. 

Luckily, I am not alone in speaking out for those who cannot speak for themselves. Please view the below links if you are so inclined, but please be advised that some may contain upsetting images and information. Sadly for some it needs to be seen, to learn the truth.

 The Discerning Brute: Tail between the Legs: blog 1 & blog 2

an eyeopening article from the Guardian: Happy Animals: a shared capacity for feeling demands a radical shift in our relationship with the animal world 
I also like these quotes by the wonderful Tim Gunn:

"Wearing fur is like wearing a big sign reading, 'I'm in favor of inflicting cruelty and pain on animals as a fashion statement.' Unspeakable torture is inflicted on dogs, cats, bunnies, raccoons, foxes, minks, and myriad trapped, helpless creatures in the name of fashion—yes, dogs and cats."

"I would say if you're going to use fur, you have a responsibility to know its origins. "

and finally: Meet Gidget & Gadget . Warning: they will steal your heart away!


  1. I just lost myself in your set of Flickr images - so many details I'd never noticed on previous trips, but it is easy to be overwhelmed in that place. Your jewelry looks so at home there - as do you.

    The continued use of fur in fashion, photoshoots and faires will continue to sadden and anger me. I have no words...

  2. *gasp* Is that your "keeper relic"? It didn't show up before.

    You are amazing!!!!

  3. Thank you so much for spreading the word against fur and doing so so well. I'm glad that the weekend was still fun though, it looks like SUCH a beautiful and magical place! I hope I can visit sometime :).

  4. Hello Jen,
    I wanted to thank you for posting about Winslow Animal farm earlier but time got away from me, what a wonderful place! My husband and I currently have a charity where we care for approximately 80 cats, feral and tame (most of the ferals have been tamed now to the point where they consider themselves lap cats!). I also design events for a living and it is a dream of ours to create a sanctuary like the folks at Winslow have done and host events there too (you probably already know about this as you very kindly are a follower on my blog... thank you ever so much!). I am also obsessed with faeries so in my dream I see wonderful faerie cottages and hidey holes both for the animals and in other areas on the land where we could host a most magical faerie festival with all proceeds going to the animals.
    When we get a little further with this vision I will contact Winslow for advice on how to make this happen. Land prices in California are astronomical so not sure if we can pull it off here. North Carolina is a place dear to our hearts so maybe our future lies in the Smokey Mtns. We shall see but it is wonderful to see someone else with a similar vision. Thank you so much for bringing them to the attention of blog land.
    And as always I adore your jewelry and wear my lovely pieces often with great happiness.
    Thank you,
    Tricia Fountaine
    PS couldn't agree more about the animal tails. The ignorance among the public is stunning! I think if most people understood what is behind the scenes of fur mills they wouldn't touch it. Sadly the media could do so much to educate (about so many subjects!!) but seems to be there just to titillate. It is too bad. Thank you for your sentiments and awareness!

  5. thank you everyone, this was a beautiful place to be for the weekend and I am still reeling from the inspiration.

    Tricia, you are so wonderful for taking care of so many cats! What a dream. Your vision for the future sounds really exciting, I really wish I could do the same. North Carolina is beautiful, and seems like it would be a great place to build & grow. New England is pretty overpriced now as well...of course the winters have me dreaming of warmer climates as well but I love our museums and architecture so I put up with it. :)

    Please do contact Debra at Winslow, she is such a fantastic person and I'm sure would love to talk to you. She gives so much to those creatures she takes care of, I am planning my second visit sometime this month.

    Thank you of course for your kind words about my work and for being a kind customer! I would love to work with you someday on an event or photoshoot. How fun that would be!

    Glad I am not alone in my opinions on the fur tails too. Thank you so much, it means a lot to hear from like minded souls.