Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Itch

And no, I'm not talking about my healing tattoos. They haven't hit the itchy stage yet. My foot is healing awesome, too. Mark's gonna be so proud.

I'm itching for a few things. Namely, a full sleeve on my left arm (the arm with Lucy). My parents would absolutely wig out, so that will probably have to wait until I no longer live at home. In other words, I'll get it when I'm about 30. :P

I'm also itching for some new piercings. I'm gonna give my nostril one last try. If it screws up for a third time, then I'll accept it and move on. I still want my lip pierced and my "teardrop" dermal. Jason said he probably wouldn't be able to hide a lip piercing. I know Piercing Experience has jewelry that is flat and tan/brown. I really don't want to have to go there to buy the jewelry and then go back to get pierced by Jason or Melanie. I may need to powwow with one of them a bit more on the subject. The dermal would be hidden by my hair, so that's no biggie.

I'm also still toying with conch piercings (ear). I hear they can be finicky and you really need to have a CBR in them to get them to heal right. I wonder if that would fall under "not appropriate" at the office? I'd hate to ask because then they're onto me. If I just came in one day with it, that's another thing. Again, powwowing needs to happen.

But before all of that...bedtime.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Foot Cover Up Experience

In all the shuffle, somehow writing the experience of getting my new foot piece has gotten lost. Clearly this must be remedied.

After donuts next door I shuffled over to the shop. Mark was late, so I offered donuts to Jevin and Andrew. When Mark did arrive, he came storming in complaining about some woman in the parking lot. The mullet and aviators were what really made the visual. I wish I'd gotten a picture.

We opted for 3 roses instead of 4. Originally I'd wanted 4, but he just couldn't get them to fit in a way that would heal well. Fair enough. So we went with red, purple, and blue which are the colors of the birthstones of the women in my immediate family. So now I have a grand total of one tattoo with "meaning". Go me.

It hurt, but nothing that made me want to start crawling away. I was hanging off the edge of the massage table and Mark had my foot on his knee. He commented at one point that his leg had gone to sleep. That was met with a glare. Silly man. The worst part was right near my ankle bone. It's also where the swelling has been the worst. I started to feel a little out of it in the last 20 minutes or so. I think I've gotten to the point where I know there's only a little bit left and my body starts to let itself go a bit. The three donuts I had earlier did me right and I was fine. I may have discovered the secret to keeping one's blood sugar up during a tattoo. Donuts!

He bandaged me up and I was on my way as he had another appointment after me. As it turns out she's not from Atlanta and I was thrilled to shop at H&M over at Atlantic Station while she waited. Nice to know I helped a fellow fashionista out. :) I really like it. The color is great, I love the old school twist he put on it, and it looks much, much better than what I had. It totally accomplished the task of covering up the old piece. You can't even tell anything else was there.

It's day two of healing and other than some swelling, it seems to be doing alright. I've got some light scabbing, none of this scaly business, and it hurts to stand for prolonged periods, but other than that it seems to be doing okay. Hopefully this means I can avoid a touch up. I'm supposed to check in with Mark in about a week, so maybe I'll pick up donuts for the fam as well. Might as well combine trips, right?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday Night's Alright for Fighting

Got into an argument with my dad last night over the tattoos. We spent a good 20 minutes on it. He doesn't like the whole "agree to disagree" thing, but honestly, what else can we do? Of all the reasons he gave me for not liking them, I only felt one was really valid. He even said "What if you find a guy you like and he doesn't like your tattoos?". I was like "Then he's not the guy for me". I can't believe he pulled that one out. It just seemed so ridiculous. That's something my mom would do and see it as a totally valid reason. He kept hammering on me "When is enough? When are you going to stop?" and I kept saying "I don't know". It's true. I don't. I strongly suspect it'll be much like how this whole thing got started. I woke up one morning and decided to get tattooed. I may wake up one morning and decide to quit. However, that doesn't come with a defined time frame.

As I suspected she insisted that he drive me to the convention which is why we even got into this in the first place. I think I've come up with a reasonable compromise. Once I finish my thigh piece at the convention, I won't get any more until Phoenix. I already canceled my dove on Wednesday and I'll cancel with Kurt next week in person. Then I'll only collect two in Phoenix. I've already told one guy I'm having second thoughts, which is true. I know I want the geisha from Tim and the pirate from Scott. I'll probably just tell Thad that I changed my mind. In that time, I'll be putting the extra money toward my credit card bills. That should keep him off my back, I'll still have something to look forward to, and then we'll deal with it again after Phoenix.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


After some serious thought and talking with a few people who truly "get" my obsession, I'll be getting a collaborative tattoo from Russ and Muriel. For those who don't know, it's when two tattooists are tattooing at the same time on the same piece. They usually also share in the design process. It's a way to get a large piece done in half the time. I called today to confirm and Russ, by way of Jason (?) was all for it and said I was awesome. He was tattooing so I just let him know that I was in and would be by to meet with both of them shortly before this goes down.

When I originally asked about it, he said they got to pick the design, I'd only be on the hook for one of their hourly rates, and it would probably take 5-6 hours. Placement will most likely be the front of my right thigh. Now I think he's open to my input on what I want it to be. Crap. That means I have to think! I trust them both, so I didn't much care what they picked, as nuts as that sounds. I have so many ideas, I don't know what would look good on that large of a canvas. This is an opportunity to do something big and visually stunning. And all on display for other convention goers.

Downside is the convention is in Augusta, so I'm going to have to drive 2+ hours one way. The harder part will be explaining this to my parents. I'm less nervous about it now than I was when I made the decision, but I can't just disappear for a day or so. The good news is, if I don't feel like driving back on Saturday night, I can crash at my grandparents' house for the night. They'd probably be happy to see me. That will all be hashed out sometime this week. Daddums is the tougher critic, so I'll deal with him first. I'm half expecting him to say he'd rather do the driving to and from. I can see him at a tattoo convention now. LOL

So that's my big news and will be my final tattoo until September. Yikes! At least I'm going out with a bang before my hiatus. ;)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tattoo Quest '09: Holy Mother

The first stop on my body mod tour was Holy Mother. It had fairly positive reviews, though not many, and I'd never heard anything negative about it. After stopping by Ink & Dagger to get pictures of Lucius, I headed over to Little 5. I was expecting to wait as it was a Friday night after work.

I walked in and it was dead. Good for me, bad for them. The shop girl (didn't catch her name) helped me immediately and was quite the character. Jett was next up in the rotation and he whipped up my design in about two minutes. I had barely finished my paperwork and he was ready for me. I did get my ID back this time, which was good.

Jett went out for a smoke while my stencil was drying. It's been so long since I've dealt with a habitual smoker, I forgot they need their fix. ;) He was still really cool though. The conversation was easy and he worked quickly. I think from start to finish, it took 25 minutes. That was probably the best part when I was used to sitting for several hours.

I had a little chat with a couple of the other guys after I was done. The vibe was good and I'd feel comfortable sending someone in there. I'm happy with my piece. Jett was happy that I picked the color I did because he had a huge bottle of it and had only ever used it for one tattoo. I love the color and I think the blue really makes it pop. Now for the list:

Friendly staff: Check
Parking/Easy to find: Parking sucks because it's Little 5, but the shop itself is easy to find.
Reasonable prices: Check
Private tattooing areas: Nope, open air

I give it a 4 out of 5.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Great Tattoo Quest '09

Some people go on quests to visit every baseball stadium or every sushi restaurant, I've decided to get tattooed at every (reputable) tattoo shop in the city. Yeah, it's nutty, but it's something that I know I'll enjoy doing. So here's the list as it stands now.

Overlord (duh)
Ink & Dagger
Only You
Black Cat
Holy Mother

In the queue:
13 Roses
Memorial 2
Sacred Heart (original location only)
All or Nothing
Psycho 2

Some of them are harder to get walk ins with, especially All or Nothing. Plus, they're all the way in Smyrna. That will probably be one of the last I go to. I'll Yelp about it and post my experiences here. I'll judge them on the following criteria:

*Friendliness of the staff
*Private tattooing areas
*Reasonable prices
*Parking/Easy to find

Those are the basics and I may decide to add more later. There are of course the intangibles like the vibe I get from the shop, the general talent of the staff, and whatnot. The shops I listed are all fairly well known and not full of scratchers.

Let's begin!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Atlanta Convention and the Final Lineup

The picture is from last night's Yelp event. Jason (the piercer at Overlord) works for the donut guy, so we showed our donut love for the cameras. Yum! I think he did better with a goofy face than I did.

I'm now going to the convention here. I'd pretty much scrapped the idea because getting information was like pulling teeth. However, Aileen expressed an interest in going and Jason confirmed that good artists would be there. So I figured what the hell? It's a few more days to hang around "my people". I'll also be getting tattooed, but we'll get to that in a minute.

I had a super embarrassing moment today. My phone rang and it was a number I didn't recognize so I figured it was one of the tattooists calling me. I thought he said "Zack" and for about 5 minutes, I thought I was talking to a totally different person. Turns out it was Thad, who I contacted early on and then never heard from. He took it in stride, though, which made me feel a bit better. Still embarrassing, though. So I sent him a few ideas to see what he thought. No one has been giving my cupcake any love, so maybe he will.

That finalizes the line up for Hell City:
Friday first thing-Geisha bust on my left shin by Tim Beck
Saturday first thing-Lock and ribbons on my right foot or ankle by Thad Ritchey
Saturday night-Pirate pin up bust on my lower stomach by Scott Ellis
Sunday first thing-Dragon back piece by Matt "Skinny" Bagwell

I'm probably insane and the plane trip back is going to suck, but I'll have some awesome new art to show off. I'll probably load myself full of Advil and Benadryl and just sleep. The best part? In normal clothes, it'll only look like I have one new one.

As for the convention here, another guy from Ace Custom where Matt works will be coming down. His work was really solid, so I decided to see if he still had time to tattoo. He did so he's going to my magnolia blossom and peach on my right hip under and slightly behind Lola. I called a shop in Savannah, but the guy who will be coming is off today. He'll be in tomorrow, so I intend on calling him first thing about some small work I've had in mind. So it could look something like:

Friday evening-Bumblebee and ladybug on my feet by Clay McCay (in theory)
Sunday afternoon-Magnolia blossom and peach on my right hip by "Lil" Tommy McCarter

Now I just need to get a money order so I can pay for my pass to the convention. It's a bit of a pisser that they don't have an online option to order because money orders are a pain in the ass to get. Why can't I just send cash? Or better yet, drop by in person and give them the money.

Now back to Bones and relaxing. Or trying to...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

So It Goes

Sorry if yesterday's entry didn't make much sense. I was fiddling with some HTML and I'm rather inept at that sort of thing. Oops.

I got an email back from Scott Ellis as I think I mentioned. He liked my pirate pin up idea, but thought having the whole body would make her face too small. I am wondering if I'm asking for trouble tattooing directly on my stomach. I guess everything on my torso and even my feet are at risk if I get pregnant (and I figure I'll probably decide to have one or two of the little monsters eventually). I'm not terribly prone to stretch marks. The ones I got when I gained weight are almost invisible now. I guess I have to weigh how much I want it with how heartbroken I might be if pregnancy screws it up. I assume he would've said something if he thought it was a really terrible idea. He already said the whole body would be a no go, so I figure if he thought my stomach would be an issue, he would've said something. Also, Yelp has been a total godsend during this process. I've looked up all the shops I've contacted people from and they've all got 4.5 or 5 star reviews from at least 5 reviewers. I read over and over again how good Scott was, so that put my mind at ease a bit. Russ also said this was an "all star" convention and that I'd get great work regardless of who I saw.

Sent Jeff another MySpace message. I figure I'll need to keep on these guys to make sure they don't forget about me. I'll see how that goes and if it pans out. I really do like his work and he seemed to think he could do something cool. So I guess we'll see how long it takes him to get back to me.

Also, if I really like my experience with Muriel, I could always get something else done by her when I'm there. :P

As for my issues with possibly attending Memorial's little party, I think if nothing else I'll swing by. If they've got a particularly cute black sheep, I'll put my name on the list. If not, then I guess I'll go on my merry way. I've never been to one of these and it might be fun just to see what the experience is like. I've missed every single one up until now, so I'm pretty determined that I'll at least see what it's like.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Emails, Phone Calls, and Sheep

Got another email back. This was one of the first guys I contacted. I gave him a few ideas. I figure I'll get the best tattoo possible by giving them choices and having them pick what they think they'll be best at.

I called Immaculate to try and make an appointment. First of all, he doesn't work on Saturdays. Secondly, the shop girl had no idea what I was talking about when I mentioned the convention. That wasn't a good sign. I told her that I'd been told to make appointments ASAP as a lot of people fill up before they ever set foot at the convention. She was fairly helpful, but since he wasn't there, she just took my name and number. She also warned me that he probably wouldn't call me even though she'd let him know I called. Frankly, if I get in with Scott, that will give me three appointments and that's probably more than enough. The plane ride back is going to suck balls.

In other news, I have a bit of a conundrum on my hands. Memorial is doing a special on Memorial Day (hmm). It's black sheep tattoos for $40-$100, along with beer and bbq. The usual rules apply for one of these things. Normally, I'd go without hesitation. However, I feel really terrible canceling on Phil then rolling in to get a $40 tattoo. It's like saying "Well, I can afford you when you have a sale, but no when you're charging what you normally would". It could just be my paranoia at work. They probably don't give a shit and I'm reading too much into it. Of course, I could be working that day, which would render the whole thing moot. Still, I feel like I need an outside opinion to tip me one way or the other. If nothing else, it sounds like fun.

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*Rant* Covering Myself

And I don't mean with long sleeves and long pants.

Since I've been discussing my trip to Hell City, I've gotten more than the usual interest in both my current tattoos and those I have planned. More than I hate anything, I hate the "Are you going to cover yourself in them?". Most people are genuinely curious, but tend to say it like there's something morally wrong with it. Some people are just being assholes about it and look down their nose at me because no having tattoos gives them some kind of moral high ground.

For the record, it's the question I hate the most. If I want to cover myself, that's my decision. I'm an adult and I'm perfectly capable of handling the consequences of my actions. I don't need to be reminded that they're not socially acceptable. Do you think I somehow missed that memo every day of my life when someone stares at me for too long or I have to wear a sweater in July? Just shut up about it. Seriously. I don't comment about habits of yours that I think are strange. I don't comment if you want a boob job or a nose job or to dye your hair. You have your forms of modification, I have mine.

Please do me a favor and keep it to yourself. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings by losing my temper at the wrong time over it. I know most people have know way of knowing the frequency with which I find myself answering this question. Consider this your public service announcement. I know what I'm doing, so please respect that, and keep it to yourself.

Friday, May 15, 2009

For Those Keeping Score At Home

No new emails when I got home. It was a wee bit disappointing, but I also know that Friday is a busy day for most tattooists. As it stands now:

*Booked in with Tim for the first appointment on Friday.
*Still working on the design for my dragon with Matt/Skinny. Probably going to book that in on Sunday.
*Heard back from Jeff. He said he could do something cool with my peach idea. He asked for my cell, but I haven't gotten a call yet.
*Still going back and forth with Eva about a design. The dragon won't work on the curves of my hips, so we're batting around ideas. We both love the placement, but haven't hit the "it" design yet.
*Haven't heard anything back from Scott, Durb (not surprised), or Thad.

I may find myself in a bit of a battle to get the time off from work, but I'm not stressing about it too much. My situation could be totally different in September, so I figure I'll bide my time. If absolute worse comes to worst, I'll just tell them the day before I leave.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's Official

So much has happened today.

After feeling almost frustrated for choice with all the tattooists who are attending, I decided to call Russ and get his advice. I figured he'd know a fair number of the attendees and be able to point me in the right direction. Firstly, we discussed my desire to be tattooed by Muriel. I told him I hadn't heard back from her yet so he gave me her number. He also gave me a list of about 5 guys who I should talk to. I picked the first guy he suggested Jeff Ensminger and the guy he said he knew somewhat well Matt "Skinny" Bagwell. But before I get to them, I called Muriel.

She is super, super nice. She said she'd gotten my email, but hadn't replied yet. So I told her to ignore it since I'd changed my mind. We batted around a few ideas and decided on an iron work inspired 1/4 sleeve around Lucy that fades into cherry blossoms on the back of my shoulder. Since I'm looking to go more traditional Japanese on my back, I figured the cherry blossoms would flow the best. We talked for a good 10 minutes and I'll be seeing her in person when she gets into town. That way she can see what she has to work with and then set up an official appointment. I'm really excited to work with her.

After that, I shot Jeff an email and then got the number for the shop Matt/Skinny works at. He was tattooing, but one of the other guys helped me out by playing middle man. I decided to give him the dragon. I described what I wanted and he requested a picture of my back to see what's currently there and my height. I ended up taking this vaguely soft core porn shot of my back as no one else could do it. I think it still gives the idea, though. So I guess I'll hear back from him in a day or so once he's had time to look at the pictures and source material.

So everything is booked. There was some drama over my flight, but in the end I only ended up paying $36 out of pocket. Sweet! I just have to fly out about 4 hours earlier than I originally planned. I'll get in around 2 and check in isn't until 4, so maybe I'll just explore for a few hours. I think they said something about a shuttle to the mall and I know they'll hold my bags until check in time. Maybe I can ask if I can lay out by the pool before I'm officially checked in. ;) That means I'll be there well in time for the meet and greet at 8. Yay!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Everything in Life is Location, Location, Location

Okay, I think I've got this figured out.

Firstly, I'm moving my Picasso dove from my right foot to the outside of my right thigh. As I thought about it, I realized that it doesn't go with the rest of what I want down there. Also, it's such a delicate piece, I think my thigh would be a better canvas. Plus, I have a bird on the outside of my left thigh, so there's symmetry. Woohoo! So that's step one...

Doves are often used to symbolize the Holy Spirit and I want the angel pin up girl on the inside of my right thigh. So not only would I have an angel, but a dove as well. So that's cohesive. A cardinal doesn't exactly stand for evil, but he's red and the devil pin up's dress will be red. Again, we have some form of cohesion.

Then there's the matter of my back and the potential quarter sleeve/shoulder piece I want Muriel to do. I still haven't heard back from her, so I figure I'll just drop by the shop the day she comes in. I've tweaked my design a bit so it'll fit with both my left arm (home to Lucy and 2 roses) and the idea I have for my back. I still want the filigree work, but instead of ivy, I could incorporate cherry blossoms. Then the filigree almost fades into just the flowers on the back of my left shoulder. The would keep the Japanese theme that would fit with my dragon.

Thanks to my friend Sara, I now have new ideas on placement for my cupcake and peach. Both she and another friend have tattoos on the outer fleshy part of their hips, but still near the bone. If that makes any sense at all. I wouldn't have to deal with cohesion issues as much, either. It also has an added bonus of not being visible on a daily basis so I wouldn't have to explain it to my parents. I also want a bell tattoo that has a banner (can you tell I'm obsessed with banners right now? LOL) that reads "Southern". Southern belle, haha, get it?

So in summary:
*Dove on thigh
*Saint & Sinner pin up girls on thighs
*Geisha bust on lower shin
*Dragon going up the center of my spine
*Peach on right hip
*Southern bell(e) on left hip
*Filigree and cherry blossom quarter sleeve/shoulder piece
*Cupcake on upper part of right calf

Too Many Ideas!

I officially made my appointment with Tim this morning. I talked to his apprentice Zach, who was super nice. He was really helpful. I'm booked as Tim's first appointment on Friday, whenever that is. Neither of us knew when the official start of the convention was, so we decided to just say "first tattoo of the day". It took everything I had not to squeal in the poor kid's ear.

I got replies from two more tattooists, Eva Huber and Thad Ritchey. I emailed Eva back with a few ideas (detailed below) and gave Thad my cell, but haven't heard from him.

Now I have a dilemma. I've decided that I want all the tattoos I get that weekend to have an old school feel to them. Sailor Jerry and Ed Hardy of course being the kings of all things old school, but still awesome. I've already got the geisha booked, so I was browsing for more ideas. I came across this shirt and fell in love. The dragon is also a Japanese motif I can relate to. I was obsessed with dragons as a kid and had a stuffed dragon that I literally loved to pieces. He's currently sitting in the top of my closet so I can resist the urge to snuggle with him. My first thought for placement was going up my spine above my current tattoo and stopping right at the nape of my neck. Then I thought about putting it on my lower stomach between Mae's foot and Ol' Blue Balls. However, I don't think that's going to fit. It's a much smaller space and these guys are fairly detailed. My back may just end up being an incoherent mish mash of everything. And then Russ would cry. I guess a third option would be running up the back of my right thigh, as well.

I also still want a lock tattoo. I'm perfectly happy with the tattoo I got from Kevin, but in the end, I'm still lacking a lock tat. I though it could somehow be worked in with the rose and key I currently have, maybe on the back of my calf or something.

I'm also running into the issue of pieces being coherent and well laid out. The roses on my left foot will look fine with a geisha bust. But how well would a Japanese dragon and two Western style revolvers go together? Should tattoos on the backs of my calves or thighs be a pair? Maybe not, but they should have the same feel to them. I think a cupcake and a peach, both with banners describing my personality and heritage, could work. Or a cupcake and a bell. The right tattooist can give the cupcake the right feel to it.

If I opt for the dragon on my back, the revolvers are going to have to move. Now revolvers and pin up girls, that could work. I'm sure someone with Danielle's talent could keep the feel of the revolvers and wording in the same style as a pair of pin ups. It's a cliche place to have them, but I think in the long run I may be happier. I'm not concerned about it going with the shamrock or Ol' Blue Balls simply because they aren't visible even in a bikini. Let's face it, I wear a bikini once a year whether I need to or not. So it's more what makes the most sense artistically. In all honesty, I would like to stay away from my back. Perhaps just my original idea of "Tough Bitch" and a pair of lip prints on my ass like I started with. Then there's no meshing issues and it's still a tattoo I can be totally happy with.

Enough with the stream of consciousness for now and time to work out. After all, I'm still 7 lbs away from earning the right to have that "Tough Bitch" tat.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

First Appointment!

I know I just posted, but it's my blog and I think this deserves its own post.

I got my first appointment booked for the convention! As I said I would, I sent out a bunch of emails and I got a response from one. His name is Tim Beck and he's based in Illinois. What caught my attention was how different the thumbnails for his work looked. So I clicked on his full portfolio and was super impressed. It's here for those who'd like to take a peek. When he said he had time and actually hadn't booked anyone in yet, I told him what I wanted.

As mentioned, I thought about a geisha bust. I'm not really much into the Japanese stuff, but I am into pin up girls and it's somewhat in the same vein. I also wanted something Ed Hardy inspired. Though I couldn't find an actual tattoo of the geisha bust I wanted, I found tons of the tees. This one really jumped out at me, in spite of it being on a shirt. I didn't notice any obvious Japanese work in his portfolio, so I waffled for a minute about suggesting it. It's also the biggest of the ideas I have. I kept mentally coming back to it. Sure enough, he loved the idea and was very enthusiastic about doing it. So I'm glad I pitched it to him. Plus, that's a reward for responding so quickly. He got the best idea I had. Anyone else is going to get one of the smaller pieces. Which brings me to...

Part of the purpose of the meet and greet is schedule time with tattooists. I think what I'll do is maybe book one more and then have two for sure. Everyone attending is super talented, so no matter who I go with, I'm going to get an awesome tattoo. Ideally, I'd like to work with someone who is from a state I doubt I'll ever find myself in, much less with time to get a tattoo. Tim is a great example. When am I going to find myself in Peoria with $300 and 3 hours to kill and near a tattoo shop? Probably never. Russ and Kreusman are the only GA reps, then there are a few guys from Alabama. The next closest is North Carolina. Sunday is probably the last day to fill up, but it is Labor Day weekend, so people will probably be staying until Monday morning because they can. I guess I'll see who gets back to me and when. I'll save Sunday for my "wild card" tat. I may be crazy for trying to get tatted in 3 days, but people before me have survived and I'm confident.

I'm so excited about this. It feels so amazing to know I'm going to get to spend 3 whole days immersed in the culture I adore and worship. If Russ is going, it's got to be a legit convention. This means meeting all kinds of super creative people in their element. It'll be such a breath of fresh air after my stuffy day job. I just have to wait 4 months for it! I think I'll start myself a countdown on my Chippendales calendar.

On that note, once I finish with my current plans, I'm quitting and saving up for the convention. I know I can do it because it's a defined goal. If I quit for 3 months, I'll get 2-3 awesome new tats. So I'll get my left foot cover up done, my Picasso dove, and my filigree/ivy/floral 1/4 sleeve thingy and I'm done. That'll all be done by June 7. Then it's almost exactly 3 months to the convention. I may have to swing by the shops just because I'll start to pine for all my tattooists.

*runs around in an excited circle*

Now my Benadryl is kicking in and the screen is starting to look shaky so I'm off to bed.

Hell City Bound


Through a series of site jumps from Ink & Dagger (shameless plug), I ended up looking at Hell City Tattoo Fest in Phoenix. They have the flagship convention in Columbus, OH at the end of the month and then the Phoenix event over Labor Day weekend. I was thinking of taking a vacation by myself this year and the tagline for the Phoenix event was "Tattoo Vacation". A sign, mayhaps?

There was the small matter of money. I knew I was getting a nice tax refund, but we filed right at the deadline, so I figured I wouldn't see it for 6-8 weeks. Lo and behold, I come home and my Fed refund is in today's mail. Sweet! So once that gets deposited, I'm booking my flight and hotel for Phoenix.

As for the matter of being tattooed, there are tons of talented artists. One will actually be guesting at Ink & Dagger at the beginning of June. I emailed her on Sunday about doing some work while she's in town, but haven't heard back. If I don't hear back from her before she's in town, I'm gonna call the shop when she gets in and set something up. She'll also be at both Hell City events. So if I like her and she likes me, maybe I can go ahead and book time with her for Phoenix.

There are tons of others I'm interested in, but I've only sent emails to two of them. One I got a form email back thanking me for my interest. He's one of the organizers, so I doubt I'll get in with him. Though, I got in with Russ so stranger things have happened. I also emailed a guy from Austin. I'm gonna send more out today to others I was interested in. I have several ideas that I think are ideal "convention pieces". They are:

*A cupcake with devil horns and a spaded tail. Possibly a banner that says "Devilishly Good"
*A peach with a banner that says "Dirty" (my take on a Dirty South tat since I am a GA girl)
*An Ed Hardy inspired piece, right now I'm between a geisha and a flower inspired by this bag.
*Something that uses the text "No Love Lost"

Russ will be attending so if he's there when I next find myself there, I fully intend to pick his brain. Plus, they have a "worst tattoo" category in the competitions, so I may have to enter Ol' Blue Balls and see how we do. This could get interesting.

Now time to email more tattooists and see who wants to tattoo me.

Friday, May 8, 2009

New Plan

The dermal didn't happen today. The problem with asking for permission rather than forgiveness is it gives them a heads up to your plans. And brings up the opportunity to discuss other...issues. The operations manager (my de facto boss) told me I need to start covering the tattoos. Also, the lip piercing was deemed "inappropriate". I was upset for about an hour, but then put my devious little mind back to work.

It's been suggested several times before to get tan or brown matte jewelry to look like a mole or freckle. I'm going to see if Melanie can get her hands on something like that for my lip and my nostril. The dermal will remain either clear or ice blue. Where I want it placed is always covered by my hair at work. At first I was hesitant because I didn't want them telling me it had to come out of they saw it. Frankly, if they didn't tell me the chest dermal had to come out and they see that on a daily basis, I think I can keep the teardrop covered. I'm going to hold off on it for maybe a few days to a week. I want to give them time to forget a conversation was even had.

As for the nostril and lip, I'm going to use a brown eyeliner pencil to experiment with how it would look. I have plenty of moles and freckles, so I doubt anyone would think twice about it. Plus, it will give me the ability to futz with placement a bit. If I used my brain power for actual productive things, I could probably take over the world. I'll probably get my nose repierced in a month or so and then the lip a month after that. As I said, I want to give them time to forget a conversation was even had.

As for covering the tattoos, it wasn't unexpected. In fact, it's even an opportunity for me to go shopping. I don't have any cardigans with long sleeves, so I need a few of those. I also need more dress pants. I really only have two pairs right now and one of them the hem got ripped out a little in the back. I'll probably give up on skirts entirely because that means wearing either tights or hose and I hate both. It would also take too much time to put makeup over everything that will eventually be on my feet and ankles. I already have quite a few long sleeved shirts, both button down and tees, so I'm set there. I think I can still keep the pin up vibe while making them happy.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I can't believe I've gone a whole 5 days without posting in here. Amazing, kiddies.

The new tat is healing well. It's all scabby, but some of it is starting to come off. I can't wait to see what it looks like actually healed. I'm sure it'll be very pretty.

The big news is I'm getting myself another dermal anchor tomorrow. I've been itching for another one, but I thought adding more to my chest might prompt the office dress code nazis to crack down. I love the look of "teardrop" anchors and realized that the way I wear my hair every day covers that spot pretty well. Bingo! For those who don't know, it looks like this:

I want one that's either light blue or clear and Melanie was pretty sure they had a blue one. They have clear ones for sure. I think it'll look really pretty, though maybe not for the first few days as I bruise so easily. I'll be pierced by Jason because Melanie's off on Fridays, so that'll be a good experience. I hope. I know he has more experience with dermals that she does, so it might be for the best in the long run, especially since it's on my face.

I also finally got the guts to ask about a lip stud. I asked one of the female managers because for some reason I felt more comfortable asking her. She said she would look into it for me, but that she thought they'd probably say no. I told her they allowed my nose stud, though I didn't tell her I asked for forgiveness rather than permission. ;) So hopefully she'll get back to me soon on that and it'll be good news. I won't be totally heartbroken if she says it's against the rules because our handbook is very, very vague on the subject of dress code. The only things it covers in specific are no formal wear and no weekend wear. It doesn't say anything about tattoos, piercings, or unnatural hair colors. Those are easily the 3 biggest issues employers have. I think when I told her they allowed the nose stud, it gave her pause. I also have no client contact, so that should also help my case. I even gave her an example of size. I feel like I made a pretty good case, I wasn't whiny, and if she says it's a no go, then I'll just accept it. I hope she says it's okay, though.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Unexpected and Amazing

As you can see, this not the tattoo I described. However, I love it. Even when it's swollen and still a bit bloody. It's also rather difficult to take a picture of your own ankle.

My original appointment was schedule for 9:30 last night. I get a call around 6:30 from Kevin saying he finished up his previous appointment early and could I come in earlier. So I pull myself together and head out the door. When Kevin showed me the sketch, my first thought was "Where's the lock?". I didn't say anything because I did like the sketch and it had the feel I was going for. It took forever for us to decide on colors. It's supposed to look like a white rose, which will be more apparent when my leg isn't red and swollen. I already have red and pink roses, so I wanted a different color. So we decided to fake the white by just using my skin tone.

It really wasn't that painful. We took two breaks, one for me to stretch and Kevin to smoke and another because my skin got really red all of a sudden. I think the whole thing took about an hour and a half but I have no idea what time we got started. It's a great looking piece and I love it. It's a lovely addition to my collection.

The true highlight of the evening though was watching an 18 year old get his first tattoo. He wasn't taking it well. One of his friends had come with him and it soon became a communal effort to keep him from freaking out, passing out, or some other equally unpleasant option. He got it on his upper back right below his neck. I don't have one there (yet) so I can't speak to the pain factor, but I would guess it's on par with an ankle depending on how bony you are. He was amazed at how I was just chilling while Kevin worked. His friend pointed this out and he was like "But she's got it in places that don't hurt!" and I was like "Oh honey, you have no idea". He survived, though, and swore up and down he'll never be getting another one. They're not for everyone.

Mark and I worked out a final plan for my foot cover up. He told me the cupcake idea just wasn't going to work. We decided that while roses seem a bit uninspired, they're really the best option for covering up black work. We're gonna do several different colors and pretty it up a bit. I'm sure it'll look infinitely better than what I have. And really, who can argue with roses? I know I can't. So that's set for May 24. Then I'll be getting my other foot done 3 days later by Danielle. My poor feet are going to hate me for about a week. Oops. On the up side, it's an excuse to buy more pants and shoes. ;)

I'd definitely like to get more work done by Kevin. He's really nice and obviously very talented. He's not as much of a smartass as Kurt or a misanthropist as Mark, but definitely a cool dude. So I guess we'll see.