The Girl with the Prison Tattoos

download2I’ve talked about my relationship with tattoos before. Where it began, how I used them to rebel, how I used them to express myself, gain strength and empowerment, accept my body and sometimes just for shits n’ gigs. So what on earth else is left to say?

I thought I would try to tattoo myself recently because honestly, why not? Stick and poke has become super popular, even more so than it was back when I got my first, administered with a needle tied to a piece of bamboo in Thailand.

So, as with many things over the years, I thought I’d give it a go myself. Like singing and stand-up comedy, there’s always something that makes me wonder whether this new thing, whatever it is, could be my thing.

This time it isn’t but it’s still good to try, right? Turns out stick and poke tattoos are hard to master. Who knew?

My first was quite ambitious. I chose a Beyoncé lyric because why wouldn’t you? And then I just went for it.

DISCLAIMER: I should note here that I bought proper tattoo needles and ink and then did a shitload of research on poking your own skin (which meant watching a ton of horrible amateur videos). I made sure my ‘station’ was cleaner than Rory Gilmore’s mind and that, my friends is all I can tell you. 

img_2874You can argue that my first tattoo didn’t turn out that great. The reality is that I got bored and uncomfortable in the position I was hunched in. I used a very thin needle (3s), which made it harder to punch the ink into my skin.

It stung a bit but it wasn’t bad. I was more paranoid about cleanliness. I think I’ll definitely go back for another go, why not? I’ve since been given a bit of advice by a tattooist on needle size (start with 7s) and he thinks this will clean up quite nicely.

Maybe I’ll share the results, who knows? Not so bad for a first attempt though, right? Plus, Queen B always.

~

img_0698I’ve wanted tattooed cuticles for TIME and that is the main reason I bought the needles.

I love how these have turned out but I suppose it would be very difficult to fuck up what is essentially just a full stop. They took forever but I am so happy with them. It also feels kind of badass rocking my own ink, administered by me.

I’m not sure this is the secret new career for me. Gone are the very brief dreams of me discovering a (deeply) hidden talent and rising through the ranks to become the finest stick and poke tattooist in the land, revered by all, feared by many. Or something.

I’ve been asked by a couple of friends to do some dots on them though.

Which is kind of the same thing. ❤

Express Yourself

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Click on image to see more of european.son.420’s work

Bit of a cheat post today.

You might have noticed that I failed to post yesterday and am making up for it today with a 2 for the price of 1 deal. I guess it doesn’t matter as long as there are 31 published posts by the end of October, roughly one a day, right?

Right.

This barely counts as a post but I thought I’d share. I got this tattoo this afternoon by an artist I’ve been admiring for a while on Instagram. He was very lovely and I’m in love with it.

I got another but I’ll share that for Halloween as it’s fitting.

I think I’ll also take some time in the last week of Blogtober 2016 to talk about my relationship with tattoos. Consider me inspired by my old mucker Meghan Lightle. It’s a topic I find endlessly interesting. Maybe you guys will too.

Happy Sunday all, hope it’s been a wild one (or, like mine, not) ❤

 

Painting the Walls

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I’ve never identified more with an illustration found on Twitter before (Heather of Yummy Sushi Pajamas kindly sourced the artist, who is Suzeart).

This is exactly how I view my tattoos and how wonderfully that’s been put here. Too often I’ve told myself I’ll wait until I’m a certain way (thin, obviously) before I treat myself to nice clothes, a decent haircut – new tattoos. Once I even set myself the goal of a new tattoo at every significant weight loss milestone – how sad is that? If you want ink and can afford it, why wait? Treat yourself NOW dammit.

I didn’t really start to love myself until I started to take some ownership. To witness other fat ladies online doing something as radical as loving the fuck out of their bodies had such an impact that I can’t really put it into adequate words. I knew I had to start taking responsibility too. This involved taking back the word “fat”, using it as a descriptor rather than a derogatory term, accepting what I really look like and not hiding away in shame.

And not putting my body down.

That’s the hardest part for me I think, seeing myself caught on camera by someone else and not freaking out, feeling crushed by how grotesque I am. But nobody said it would be perfect, or easy. Learning and maintaining a strong sense of love for oneself is an ongoing project as far as I see it. I very much doubt you one day arrive at a permanent plateau of total and utter satisfaction for who you are – or maybe some people do.

I started getting more into brightly coloured tattoos about 2 years ago. Before that I had tattoos, but they were mostly rebellious or part of my rites of passage. I was lucky enough to make friends with a tattooist who could facilitate this on the reg and together we changed the landscape of my chubby little arm forever. Although we’ve both moved on and I see Alex now instead, during that time I started to think of myself as less of a useless lump and more of an empowered person, doing what I wanted without permission.

That felt good and although I’m nobody’s door mat, I sometimes find it hard to demand things for myself. Painting the walls and hanging pictures all over my body is a form of expressing exactly who I am, without having to use the words I so often stumble over.

I put myself under the needle again yesterday afternoon and let me tell you that ribs are a whole other ball game when it comes to tattoo pain. Youch. So so worth it though to be able to rock the piece below.

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Yes that’s side boob

This is my new mantra BTW. When I feel the need to run myself down to others or be derogatory or rude about my looks, I shall stop and remember that I love myself. More than that, I completely adore myself, rolls and all.

It’s fitting somehow that I went through Hell to get this tattoo (not really, my tattooist is very good) – a nod to the journey *puke* from utter repulsion to self-acceptance. None of it’s easy, for any of us but if we can at least get on the right track, we’ll start a happy life-long relationship with someone who will love us for the rest of our lives, and love us better than anyone else can.

It’s okay, I’m going now. I just wanted to share the above illustration and a few of my thoughts on moving into your body fully and decorating as you see fit.

I know tattoos and body modification aren’t everybody’s idea of expression but I think this can translate to how you wear your hair and make up your face, how you dress – not everything has to be permanent or set in stone. I just happen to like my paintwork that way.

Always have, always will ❤

Lest we forget my inspiration for the above skin decoration, my original post featuring Artist Yayoi Kusama.

Grrrl

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Today I got this.

It was somewhat impulsive, I won’t lie but I feel it’s very necessary. I need a little Riot in my life, right now (and always).

Who doesn’t?

I’m having a few more bits done at the beginning of February and then hopefully 2016 will be a rather inky year for this guy.

Tattoo by @alexneweytattoos (on IG).

Goals

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This year I’m doing goals rather than resolutions because let’s face it, those are just made to be broken. Why set yourself up for a fall before you’ve even begun?

God knows what the Hell I was waffling on about when I posted last year’s but they’re here if you’d like to see for yourself (Top Tip: Don’t bother).

So, my goals and things I would like to achieve in 2016:

  • Travel – don’t care where but preferably, finally, NYC
  • New job – it’s about time I started thinking about what I can do and using that, rather than just making do. Sad, but true
  • Coding course – I really want to learn more about web building, etc and I’ve found a great course. I just need to find the funds now! (See Shopaholism, below)
  • Continue to be active – I love what the gym has done for my peace of mind and stress levels so I would like to keep it up
  • Say ‘No’ more – I have to stop making plans with people I’m just not that into. I do it to avoid being mean and then end up sitting through boring evenings with people I’d like to punch really hard in their patronising/self-absorbed/smug faces (and breath)
  • Pay off my debts – boring sensible goal but one that hopefully will be within my grasp this year
  • Crack my Shopaholism – I’m not going to stop shopping because that is ridiculous when it brings me so much joy but I do need to curb it, and try only to buy quality, or pieces I really can’t live without
  • Get more tattoos – finish my arm, retouch some old stuff and be a happy tattooed babe
  • Do something with my writing/do some actual writing – because a portfolio doesn’t just build itself

That’s me this year. How about you?

What are your goals for the new year, if any?

Day 10: Give No Fucks

All the cool girls have finger tats (me)
Day 10: All the cool girls have finger tats (me)

I like the concept of giving no fucks, though I’m definitely a girl who gives too many.

I care what people think of me and I don’t know why, honestly. I mean, not strangers or random people in the gym/street/cafe. They can think what they like, it’s of no consequence to me but I do care about the people I know and love.

Have I said the wrong thing/been annoying/taken advantage/talked over someone/been too self-obsessed? Usually none of these things but still there I go worrying.

I would like to be more of a badass in this respect and give in to a Zero Fucks policy. And maybe I will but I think it’s okay to care a little bit. If I were to mimic this tattoo, mine would say “Give some fucks”.

Maybe, “Pick your fucks” because not all fights are worthwhile fights, and the same goes for fucks, I would say.

I’m just enjoying typing the work “Fuck” over and over.

Did you know that in my dreams I am often an avid smoker? My subconscious thinks it looks cool. My subconscious is very shallow.

Fuck fuck fuck.

(Sorry Mum).

Crumpets

wpid-img_20151115_123240.jpgIt’s been a lazy weekend. I saw Panda for an early (ish) Saturday rendezvous, then we (G and I) did a few chores, went to the gym and I read for the rest of the day. (A v. spooky novel called The Ice Twins. Perfect Winter/hibernation material).

Then I found out there was such a thing as giant crumpets, so of course had to hunt them out this morning. Pictured is a little scale for your reference. They are as round and wide as my very own moon face.

Glynn had a tattoo touched up by my favourite tattooist, Alex and while I waited I decided to treat myself to a new piercing. I’ve been considering one for a while. It hurt like a motherfucker, I won’t lie but it looks so cute and was over in seconds.

I was jealous that I wasn’t the one being tattooed this time around, but hopefully I’ll get back on that bus in 2016.

That’s it from me until tomorrow’s film review. Next weekend is my (almost) birthday weekend so I’m looking forward to seeing family and eating my body weight in delicious foods. It doesn’t take much to please me.

Happy Sunday night, all.

Things & Inc #2

I love doing these posts and I feel I should do them more often, since there are so many great things to think about, even in low key February while it’s frosty out and there’s not much going on.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m in hibernation mode and it’s been a really fun time to reflect on my blog and reading list, to watch some great (and shit) TV and films. Not enough films mind.

So, inspired by my lead up to Christmas edition of Things & Inc, here’s part 2. A few of the things I’ve been thinking about/digging in February.

jessicaharrisonflash1Jessica Harrison

This artist blows me away in general and I have seen a few of her piece pop up over the years, and always been impressed. But I have a very special place in my heart for the Painted Ladies. They are magnificent!

Since it is unlikely I would ever be able to afford one of the original figurines, I have been looking at the photographic prints instead. Still a little bit of a hefty price tag, but maybe one for a birthday wish list.

PLL

 

Pretty Little Liars

Yet another US TV show that has sucked me in and won’t spit me out until I’ve devoured all five seasons.

PLL is actually pretty good. It’s no Gossip Girl, of course, but nothing is. It’s very twisty and turny; and feels like a continual teen horror movie.

The gist: When pretty (and bitchy) Alison DiLaurentis goes missing, her clique are left to wonder what the eff went on and who would want to harm her. While the girls had been drifting apart before the disappearance, they’re thrown back together by a common enemy, the sinister A; who is threatening to tell all their secrets, and worse.

Honestly, it’s been quite gripping. Thanks as always, Netflix.

NB: I should say here that I’m trying hard to cut down on my television watching during the week. Left to my own devices, I will just sit dribbling in front of the box for four hours straight every night without gaining anything from it. I know it’s no good for me, so I’ve been coming home and reading, blogging and pottering instead. It feels good. 

taylor-swift-asos-magazine-january-2015-01ASOS Premier

This is such a material thing to include, but never mind. It’s a total game changer! You know I love ASOS anyway and lust after a lot of items on the site (too much), but upgrading to the Premier account has just been amazing.

Basically: Unlimited next day delivery, courier pick up if you don’t like something; the ASOS magazine to your door and preview emails about upcoming sales, all for just £9.95 a year. £9.95! I know I’m no longer shopping, but when I am… this will change everything.

 

Girls Season 4

So happy that this show is back again. I love it, even though I dislike at least 75% of the main characters. The writing is fantastic, the characters are flawed and frustrating; and I’m very interested to see where it goes.

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I like Lena Dunham and will always be into what she brings to the table, even if she doesn’t always present it a way I agree with. I read Not That Kind of Girl and enjoyed it. I might come back to that in a separate post soon.

Other Bloggerstype

Ah, other bloggers. Such a massive part of why I’m enjoying blogging so much right now.

Again, my current favourites will fill their own future post in the next few weeks but this week I have had some great interaction, when I really needed it, and I am starting to feel very excited about my blogging future.

I have some fun things coming up, including a collaboration with a fellow film lover that really peaks my creative interest!

So that’s what I’m about this month! What are you digging?

All images via Google.

My Week Filtered

PicMonkey Collage

This week has been a good one with many highlights. Here are a few of them, from Left to Right, Top to Bottom:

  1. It was pissing down at 9am yesterday but by lunch it looked like this: I like to call this image ‘Narnia after the thaw’. Despite the title of this post #nofilter
  2. The prettiest tree I have ever seen, right in time for the upcoming Christmas period #nofilter
  3. Short classic red nails. This may not seem like a big deal to anybody else but this week I cut my very long nails down to this length and I think they can stay! It feels so fresh, modern and practical
  4. #obsessed 
  5. What’s a lunchtime stroll around the cemetery without a dorky #selfie?
  6. This is one of the coolest charity shop finds I’ve ever unearthed. Love Miranda July, and I bloody love the British Heart Foundation! Saturdays are for the Open Market and charity shop rummaging (except today as I think I may have food poisoning from some dodgy chicken last night)
  7. This happened! I love it so much, it feels like a sexy secret tattoo that in the end only Glynn and I will ever see. My friend Ella has just started tattooing and she’s ace. She does dotwork and it’s so delicate and beautiful. It could become a big problem for my tattoo addiction… #never
  8. This also happened and I adore it! I’ve wanted a paper fortune teller like the ones I made as a kid for a long time, and this is perfect. Also by Ella
  9. Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows I’m a bit of a sucker for graffiti. I don’t know quite why this appeals so much, but I like it a lot #brightongraffiti

Happy weekend all!

Think Ink

When I was a teenager I wasn’t sure of anything really, but I did have a slightly rebellious streak (that I cultivated to push against an76467164700c60e1c37c733e0cd53e93 imaginary enemy). My lovely mum was pretty cool with most things so I was fighting myself, mostly.

When I was around 14 (in my anecdote I am 14, but I suspect I was actually 16), I convinced my uncle to take me to get a tattoo. We chose a tiny little shop in an alleyway in Hastings Old Town one Saturday and I had absolutely no plans for a design.

I am from a family that you wouldn’t exactly call ‘tattoo friendly’ and before this had never had an older family member with a secret tattoo. If my own grandfather has a fuzzy blue mermaid anywhere about his person then I have never heard of it, much less seen it.

So it was brave of me I think to walk into the buzzing atmosphere of my first tattoo parlour that afternoon. In those days it was easy to fake a birth date on a flimsy piece of paper, no ID was requested and to be fair I don’t think anyone cared all that much.

I pointed to a tiny pink butterfly on the wall and before I knew it I was in the chair, a huge man with a ring through his nose looming towards me with a needle.

I took it well, marvelling at a feeling I had never had before. I know it now to be a flush of adrenaline but my childish heart was just delighted to be doing something so unauthorised. So free.

While he waited, my uncle fell in love with a dream catcher design (or was it a mushroom?) and went back a few weeks later for his own ink. And I’ve been in love with tattoos ever since.

If I didn’t know anything else, I knew right there that one day I would be covered in them if I only had my way.

Today I have quite a few. The artwork on my body varies from very very bad to really great and there are some oddballs in between. People talk about tattoos being a map of events in your life and that is true for me to a certain extent. There’s the 18th birthday present from my high school BFF (shooting stars, ankle), the ill-advised travel tattoos (tiger cub, hip/multiple lotus flowers), the great big Fuck You.

There’s the love token (letter ‘g’, back of neck), the BFF that is no more tattoo (tiny star, behind ear) – and then there are the ones that I just had to have because I like stuff (sugar donut/nail polish bottle/hula hoop). What I have is for me and nobody else, although I do run it past Mr Bee first. It’s not a request for permission per se, just checking in.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what other people say, how many times they ponder when I will stop or if it will affect my ability to get a job in the future. A big oaf in the Co-op asked me if they were real and then proceeded to tell me how much he hates tattoos. Great customer service, my friend!

It is my body and if I’ve thought it through and want to do it, I will. I’m not as heavily covered as some friends, but have quite a bit more than others. Some of my friends have nothing at all and always make me think of what Ozzy Osbourne once said:

If you want to be —-ing individual, don’t get a tattoo. Every —-er’s got one these days.”

This week, today actually, I am popping in to hang out with my friend and tattooist, Alex, who is going to draw me up an epic piece. I’m at the stage where slapping things on empty space isn’t an option anymore, they have to fit in with existing pieces so that the overall ‘sleeve’ knits together.

I like colour and I love the traditional style, and I’m also a massive girl so everything I have has to have a feminine edge, even my lumberjack is drinking from a fine bone china cup and saucer. I don’t really know what I’m doing but I do know what I like so that’s half the plan sorted, right?

As for my family, well my Mum at least, she came round eventually, electing to have a tattoo to celebrate her 65th birthday. Her son-in-law paid and every time I see it I get a glimpse of the bad ass within. She gets complimented by hipster waitresses and I admire her for doing it because she wanted to.

She’s still not sold on the idea of me being covered but that’s just because I’ll always be her baby girl. She loves them on other people.

So what are your views on tattoos? Do you have them/want them/abhor them?