i swear we were infinite.

For as long as I can remember, I have been a huge book nerd. I think partly because I’ve always had trouble sleeping, even as a kid, and without a T.V. in my bedroom, I lost myself in books. Also, I have an extremely short attention span and I liked that I could read a few pages, put it down when I got distracted and pick it right back up. The Boxcar Children, The Babysitters’ Club, Little House on the Prairie…I read through all of them eventually.
 As I have gotten older books have continued to play an important role in my life. I’ve always had trouble “switching off” and “winding down” at the end of the day. I just can’t turn my brain off, thinking about everything I need to do, should have done, SHOULDN’T have done…ect. and reading before bed has been the most effective way for me to de-stress.
I’ll admit it, in college, I was a huge book snob. I felt that anything I read had to be a classic, a prize winner and challenging.  While I read some of my favorite books during this time including: The Brothers Karamazov by Dosteovesky, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Marquez and Anna Karenina by Tolstoy…

I was halfway through Swann’s Way by Proust (and had almost no clue what was happening in the book) that I started to realize that I no longer was enjoying reading!

So, it was at this point that I decided..gosh darnit! I was going to read whatever I wanted and never looked back! Anyways, that was bit of a rant but there is a reason behind it I swear…about 6 months ago I picked up a book entitled Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I was heading to NYC for a quick getaway and wanted a book that I could carry in my bag….I admit I picked it up because it was a thin book and I liked the bright cover (okay, not the best reasons for picking a book but sadly I pick books based on their covers more often than I should). Needless to say, I started reading it on the plane and couldn’t put it down. I finished it that night in the hotel. I don’t like trying to summarize or explain what it’s about because I always do a lousy job and if I tried then you might not want to read it. So, I will refrain, except to say “YOU SHOULD READ IT NOW!”


The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Turtleback Scho Edition) by Chbosky, (Google Affiliate Ad)

For Christmas, I bought 6 copies of Perks of Being a Wallflower and gave it out to close friends and families. Some of these recipients might be classified still as “book snobs” (Sorry guys if you’re reading this but it’s true). I asked one friend if he had started reading it and he said he tried but writing style was too simple and thus, he said, he didn’t think the author was a very good writer. The book is written from the perspective of a freshman in high school named Charlie and he has a unique and fresh perspective on the world around him that is profoundly simple. Please, do yourself (And me) a favor and read this book. And then you can email me and we can talk about how awesome it was.

Anyways, it didn’t take me long to find that I wasn’t the only one who was so moved by the book. I find lots of lovely body art and artwork inspired by the book and I am including them here:

                                       http://literarytattoos.livejournal.com/990589.html

http://thisisrexxie23.tumblr.com/

tattoos: i want them, i need them pt. 3

my forearm tattoo with the Native American symbol for rain clouds (which symbolizes continual growth and renewal) and “kenaz” which stands for inspiration and creativity)

I can always tell when I start to get an itch for another tattoo…last night I was up until 3am looking at pictures of tattoos on the internet.  I am in awe of some of these tattoo artists…especially the one’s who specialize in watercolor tattoos. I think it is hard enough to create a watercolor painting, but these tattoo artists who can make realistic looking watercolor tattoos have my upmost respect.  I don’t know anything about the art of tattooing, except that it looks extremely difficult and you can’t make any mistakes- so I can only imagine how difficult it must be to blend colors and to do shading on skin. I want to give credit to the artists who created these tattoos and tried to find out who did each tattoo…so I listed their names and their websites if possible. but there were a few that I couldn’t put a name to, so if you recognize it and who it belongs to please feel free to let me know!

This is a beautiful watercolor tattoo by Ondrash out of the Czech Republic. 

This is another piece by Ondrash

AND four MORE by Ondrash! 

This one is by a tattoo artist based in Las Vegas, Holly Thomas. She currently works at Voodoo Tattoo studio located behind the Palms Casino.

                              
I love this tattoo…I like the simplicity and detail of this watercolor tattoo by Amanda Wachob. I love the splash of light blue and the black splashes dotting up behind the ear.  I would seriously consider getting a tattoo very similar to this but with a second bright color and only a few bits of black.

                   

Okay, so funny story about this tattoo. I randomly came across this tattoo last night (via http://blogs.discovermagazine.com) and recognized it right away as a inking of a neuron. And, not just any type of neuron, a hippocampal neuron. Those of you who know me or have read any of my other blog posts, might be asking yourselves how I would know something like this, since I am pretty clueless when it comes to all things math and science. Well, my husband is a neuroscientist who works with these exact types of neurons. In fact, I noticed a tracing of a neuron pinned up in his lab one day and commented how that would make an awesome tattoo. So, I  scrolled down to the comment section and the first comment was from Nelson Spruston who said: “Patrick, this is super cool. I think it’s a neuron I reconstructed years ago and published in a 2005 J. Physiology paper (Golding et al.). It’s a beautiful neuron and it looks great as a tattoo.” Who is he? And why does it matter? He happens to be the professor who runs the lab where my husband works. small world! And that’s my story. Yay.

               
I could not for the life of me find out who this tattoo belongs to or where it orginated. but I love it and it makes me want to add more simple lines to my tattoo.


While engaging in my endless online search of tattoos, I came across ALOT of feather and bird tattoos. This one stood out to me because of it’s vibrant colors. I am not sure who the tattoo artist for this feather was but I found it on fyeahtattoos.com

I wish I was cool enough to rock a tattoo like this one. (sigh). This one is by the tattoo artist Guy Le

Do you notice a pattern? I really like tattoos with simple lines. I found this one on http://rodeo.net/tattoologist/.

Another cool idea that incorporates the simple lines but can convey a powerful message. This one also comes from http://rodeo.net/tattoologist/.


goodness. I will never be as cool as this chick. I don’t even have enough confidence to wear shorts in the summer let alone get a huge dream catcher tattoo down the side of my thigh.

tattoos: I want them, I GOT one.

Okay, I have to expain what the design means because that was an important part to to me. The half circles and small vertical lines or dashes form the Native American symbol for rain. (I found that info here: http://horsehints.org/IndianSymbols.htm) and looks like this:

             or this…..

and it stands for: change, renewal, and fertility (not so sure about that part yet).

Underneath the lines are what look like the letter “V” sideways. But, it is the Runes’ language symbol “kenaz” which literally translates to “beacon.” It stands for: vision, revalation, knowledge, creativity, and inspiration. (I found that info here:http://www.sunnyway.com/runes/meanings.html).

These meanings are all very representative of what I am experiencing in life now and I have always wanted to get this tattoo on my forearm so that I have a constant reminder of the important things in my life. Also, I guess my personal life is in the shit-er right now and drastic times call for drastic measures right??

Butch drawing the design on with markers first
Butch’s drawing of my design. 

 I went to Certified Customs http://www.certifiedcustoms.net/ in Denver Colorado and my Tattoo artist’s name was Butch. He was awesome. They closed at 12am but he said he would tattoo me after his last client (usually, they are appointment only–but I was desperate)

 Everyone there was really nice and pretty friendly for it being 2am on a Friday night, and them being tattoo artists.

Can you tell its starting to hurt now? Yeah, it was. But, it was good pain. 
my best friend Cassie on the left and my new friend Blair in the red. 

woo hoo! Finally done! Both of us looking worse for the wear. 

tattoos: i want them, i need them pt. 2

It’s time for round two of beautiful tattoo designs I have been coveting lately. I swear, if I was in a stable job right now, there would be nothing holding me back Last night, while I literally spent all night long looking at people’s “boards” of tattoos on pinterest and found some beautiful, inspiring and unique tattoos. Sometimes, I fall in love with some tattoos but always in the back of my mind I cant help but think…how will I feel about this having to see this every day for the rest of my life?

Lately, (and I am pretty sure this change has to do with my new found obsession with pinterest), I am finding the most amazing tattoos that I would get in a heart beat.  I am being to see a pattern in the types of tattoos I love: simple lines and also brightly colored designs  saw a few beautiful colorful tattoos that look like water color paintings.

I LOVE the colors in the above blue flower tattoo. They are so rich and look so real and textured they look. I also love that the colors aren;t hindered by the thick dark outlines and end up looking like a coloring page….if that makes sense at all.

A few of the MANY stunning watercolor tattoos by artist Amanda Wachob. Check her work out at: http://www.amandawachob.com/gallery/skin/. I have never seen anything like these tattoos. 

Another example of beautiful colors and distinct blending. 

Do I love this tattoo or am I maybe blinded by the beauty and “coolness” of this model.

the tattoos I am most drawn too, can be categorized into two differing types.  First: simple and elegant lines and patterns;  second: bright and bold colors. This is the one I am leaning towards getting. Something about the simplicity of the lines calms me. While I am more drawn to big and bold colors; something about the simplicity and evenness of the lines calms me. Ever since I was born, I have always had an uncanny knack for creating unnecessary chaos in my life. My parents used to say they could always know where to find me by following a path of discarded and broken items. My husband is always shocked and annoyed at how quickly I can turn a room, or, my life, upside down. I tend to worry about everything and focus on the unimportant little things in life and I think this tattoo would serve as a consistent reminder to simplify my thinking. I don’t know why I think that way, but even just looking at the even circles makes me feel more peaceful.

I also really like this one but I don’t think I would get it on my hand. Mainly because, I don’t think I would be able to get away with it as an elementary teacher.

A couple more……LOVE all OF THESE!

tattoos: i want them, i need them.

Lately,  the urge to get another tattoo has been gnawing away at me. I have two at the moment: 

 a small dove on my foot, that both of my best child hood friends have as well in the same spots (which I got when I was…19 or 20?)
And three peacock feathers on my back between my shoulder blades that I got when I was 21 and going to school in L.A. 



I told myself after the peacock feathers that I would wait 5 years (plus, I’m terrified of needles and had to go back to the Tattoo Parlor at least 4 times because each time I came, I would pass out). I’m 27 now and so much has happened since then. I’ve gotten my Masters degree, got married, got a job I love and feel much more stable and solid than I was 8 years ago. 


Also I’ve lost two important people in the last 2 years: one of my best childhood friends (not one of the ones who got matching tattoos with me) past away from an aggressive cancer, leaving behind a beautiful 5 year old daughter and my grandma who was so beautiful and also happened to be my favorite person and passed away after suffering with Alzheimers’ disease for 16  long years.

grandma in all her 90’s glory (in the silk blue suit)
about 5 years into her disease, after a stroke (around 1999) 
right before she passed

 Before I lost these two people, I was very very lucky to not have to face death and deal with the sense of loss, anger, confusion, and the infuriating feelings of guilt for leaving things unsaid and undone. 

Anyways, these things have made me want to get a tattoo in honor of my grandma and friend. A close friend of mine, who has had a difficult life and has suffered so much more loss than I, has these beautiful and simple plain black bands on his forearms. Some of them are thick (an inch or more), others very thin. 
my friend’s arm

I had an idea of what I thought the bands might symbolize and knew that he treated each tattooed band with stoic reverence. I finally asked him to tell me about them and what they meant to him. Ever the philosophical fellow, he replied with: 
“Humans, like trees, grow rings of memories.”
Which I loved because I have always loved trees (such a silly statement to make, I mean, who doesnt like trees??). I love how they look, how they smell and what they have symbolized throughout man’s existence (life, death, wisdom, nourishment, hope, growth, security, family). 

Anywho, I am thinking of getting two thin bands on my left forearm, one in honor of my grandma and one in honor of my childhood friend.
Although, my friend also warned me of getting a tattoo that symbolizes the loss of someone you love in a place that you have to look at all the time. He said that every time he looks at his tattoos it only reminds him of those he has lost and makes him sad.
I thought about this and realized that I think the reason I want them in such a visible spot is to remind me to make the most of the time I have with my loved ones and to act in such a way when I am with them, that on that very distant day in the future when I have no more time with them, I will be left with no regrets.  
But, I will continue to evaluate the real reasons I want this tattoo, where it should go, and what it will represent to me.

In the meantime, here are some badass tattoos that I find to be lovely and inspiring (via this cool website I just stumbled on: http://fyeahtattoos.com/

by artist: Dan DiMattia 
Illustration from my favorite book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein Tattoo Artist unknown
 not sure who did this one but it is so lovely. 
 I LOVE this Joy Division album artwork, and apparently so do many people. I have found about a dozen tattoos with this artwork tattooed somewhere on them. I think the forearm one is my favorite.
 one of my favorite paintings by one of my favorite artists! (The Kiss by Gustav Klimt) Tattoo artist unknown
loverly.

holy tattoo batman!

Okay, I apologize for the following bit of shameless (or shameful) self-promotion…. but I am just so excited/honored that I had to share!!  A few months ago I sold a greeting card of one of my wave carvings to someone through my etsy shop. Here is a picture of the stamp: 

What’s the big flippin’ deal right? Well, this amazing individual messaged me a few days ago to show me pictures of her arm.. Why did she send me a picture of her arm you might ask….BECAUSE..she got my wave carving tattooed on it: 

I feel incredibly honored and flabbergasted. It is kind of crazy to think that something I created is on someone’s arm forever (unless of course she opts for laser removal surgery) …that’s a lot of pressure! What if it becomes one of those tattoos she regrets?