…This is the unfinished draft of my tattoo post…
...I hope to find the finished one…
…If I can’t, I’ll just keep on editing this one…
…From now on, I’m writing my posts in “Word” so I can have a backup…
…Sorry for the technical difficulties…
Since the title of my blog is “Tattoos and Tiaras,” I figured it was about time I wrote a post about my own tattoos, how I began this lovely addiction and all of the “talk” they garner.
I started getting tattooed when I was 26. I had wanted one since I was about 17, but I didn’t have the cash and looking back on it, I am so very grateful for my poverty, because if I had the cash, I would be covered in some ugly ass tattoos right now. Not that my first tattoo at 26 was that great–it’s covered up now. I had a long term boyfriend/fiancé (I was never going to say yes…) who died in a motorcycle accident. It was horrific.
…post about our relationship coming soon…
After his death and burial, I didn’t know what to do. My family and friends kept me buy, going out drinking, concerts, the beach, but I had so much of what I now know is guilt, I felt I had to memorialize him in some way. So, I decided to get a tattoo. I didn’t want his name or birthday of an “in memory of…” tattoo, so I chose two Japanese symbols. One (supposedly) meant “Detective” and the other (supposedly) meant “Protect Me.” Who the hell knows what they really meant. I found them on a google search.
I brought the print out to a seedy Brooklyn tattoo shop and sixty bucks later, I walked out with my first little tattoos on my right ankle. As time passed, people constantly asked me what they meant. I hated retelling the story over and over again, so I decided to get another shitty tattoo around my right ankle to take some of the attention from my Japanese symbols. I thought it was cool at first, but looking at it now, it’s simply a comparison of what makes a bad tattoo vs. a good tattoo. It’s a band of black/gray daisies around my ankle. I hate its guts, but I’m going to keep it–to show people “DON’T CHEAP OUT ON YOUR TATTOOS!! DO YOUR RESEARCH!! SAVE YOUR MONEY FOR SOME GOOD WORK!!!”
For my next tattoo, I decided to go big and bury The Detective forever. I went to a well known artist who happened to be good friends with my (ex)husband and they bartered. My (ex)husband would help the tattoo artist with some legal business stuff, and I would get this glorious cherry blossom tree on my right calf with heart shaped rose petals falling gently from the branches adorned with flowers. Two sparrows sit happily on the edge of a branch. It’s really quite lovely. I would post a picture, but I don’t think I have one and I read on Gala Darling (my favorite blogger of all time) that she tries not to pose for pictures with her tattoos fully showing because they are her creation and she doesn’t want people walking around with the same tattoos. I understand that. A nail technician once asked to take a photo of my cherry blossom tree and I let her. When I told my tattoo artist, he said “no,no,no! Don’t let people steal your work! You thought of this, went through the pain and it’s yours!” So that was that, lesson learned. Anyway, The Detective is buried beneath the roots of my cherry blossom tree where he will remain forever.
My next two tattoos were “treats”. A skeleton key next to my c-section scar (he he he) and “Brooklyn” written in script across my left foot arch. I wasn’t too happy with the skeleton key, but you can’t see it un;ess I have my panties off or am wearing string bikini bottoms, so who cares? Right?
It’s ok. I’ll live with it.
I don’t get too many comments on either of these tattoos, though I catch people checking out my foot when I’m wearing flip-flops or sandals. Nor do i get too many comments on my Cherry Blossom piece unless I’m wearing something above the knee.
For my next tattoo, I wanted a Mermaid. I was still in the frame of mind that tattoos HAD to mean something. I’m over that train of thought. I get tattoos now because I like the way they look; not necessarily because they mean anything at all. They’re just pretty. (I have girlie, girlie, girlie tattoos…) I seriously wasn’t expecting the same tatto artist who did my previous tattoos to make this one so gigantic, and I should’ve said something, but he was still working for tips only because of the barter, so I kept my mouth shut. It stretches from my left hip, takes up my entire thigh and reaches just about three inches above my knee. I never quite finished this one. Because it was so big, and was taking a lot of time, I think his payment was fulfilled and he became a little lazy. I added two giant sea flowers (one still needs color) to add some background and some color to the otherwise greenish/aqua coloring, but it’s not my favorite and again, unless I’m in my panties or a bikini bottom, no one can see it.
…I just got a headache searching through my photo archives looking for a good photo of this mermaid tattoo. I’ll add one later…
My homage to Cinderella sits on my right hip. Two blue birds carrying a pink ribbon/bow in their mouths. They aren’t cartoony birds, more traditional American style. This is the princess in me. I love it, but When I spoke to my artist about getting a gypsy woman, he referred me to someone else in the shop- I suppose my tab had run out.
My birdies look like this, but they’re carrying a ribbon in their mouths.
I’m so glad he did.
I met MJ (post pending) after a lengthy e-mail exchange about the gypsy woman I wanted. I really wanted a profile piece, but he was tired of doing those, so he was inspired by an actress at the Ziegfeld Follies> I was cared, because it wasn’t EXATLY what i was hoping for, but three sessions and eight hours later (should’ve taken six, but we had such great conversations, and he “talks with his hands”–a tattoo artist needs his hands– so that ate up a couple of hours…) What I ended up with was the most beautiful gypsy woman I could ever imagine. I didn’t want her head just floating on my right thigh, so he suggested I add some roses underneath and around the side. So my girl stretches from about two inches above my right knee and the roses stretch all the way up my outer thigh just about to my ass.
Here are some photos of the process not including the extra roses.
MJ and I discussed my next appointment, which would be a rib piece. It’s pink and purple water lilies stretching from my left hip bone almost to my armpit. There is a monarch butterfly resting comfortably on one of the leaves toward my back. You can probably get a glimpse of it in this recent beach photo. (Sorry, I’m not messing around with any of the linky stuff ever since I lost my original.)
When it comes to getting tattoos, I have an incredibly high threshold for pain. I don’t move at all unless I laugh, and I always told MJ that he wasn’t allowed to make me laugh otherwise I would wind up with some scribbles on my body. But the ribs, oh the ribs. The only way I can make you visualize the pain is imagining someone taking a jackhammer to your ribcage. MJ and I didn’t speak at all during this session except for a few words here and there. After two hours, he asked if I wanted to stop and come back to finish in about a week. I said “No way. I’m going through this pain right now and I’m finishing this today.” We did. It took four hours.
After we were finished and settled up, he asked what I wanted next. He made some suggestions and I told him I wasn’t sure about placement. His response was “You have two arms.” And that’s how my two half sleeves began. I won’t go into extreme details about my arms because this post will be about 10,000 words long, but I started with a little birdie carrying a love letter at the top of my right arm. It’s one of my favorites. I added an Asian style fan with two pink peony flowers and a long lavender ribbon flowing from the bottom. Puffs of cloudy smoke are within the actual fan and stretch just past the outside of my arm just past the elbow. I added a diamond ring, a skeleton key a few diamonds on my shoulder and of course, a beautiful blue tiara on the back of my right shoulder. The only tattoo that MJ did not have a part in adorning my arm is a traditional Sailor Jerry heart with my daughter’s name inscribed across a ribbon. This was probably the worst tattoo experience I have ever had. It’s on the inside of my right bicep and was done for a spot on Good Morning America. You’re probably thinking “huh?” But yes, I was on Good Morning America. A woman was writing a piece for “Parenting” magazine about the new “trend” of Moms getting tattoos to honor their children. They called my tattoo shop and asked if they could use it for their GMA piece promoting the article. I received a frantic call from the owner of the shop asking if I would help them out and be their “model.” I would get a free tattoo, but it had to be something simple and for my daughter.
We arrived at the shop in the early morning. I had to bring my daughter and sister with me because they wanted to use my daughter in the clip as well. Everything about it was horrendous. The camera crew was late, the artists started coming in to fulfill their appointments, it was a painful spot, the crew kept asking everybody to stop tattooing because the “buzzing” was messing up their interview with the writer of the article and then, once I was finally finished with this tattoo, they actually asked me to “hang out” before I bandaged it so that they could get a good shot of it, but they had another Mom to interview first. Add the 95 degree weather and it was just about unbearable. And after all of that, this tattoo healed terribly. I never felt as if my body was decomposing as much as I did during the TWO WEEK healing period for this tattoo. To this day you can see that it didn’t heal smoothly, but it was free and for my daughter, so I’ll take it. You can view the clip here. I’m at the very end–like the last 10 seconds. You can see how haggard I was by the end of this session.