Tuesday, 1 April 2014

My Guilty Secret...

I was debating with myself on the train home whether or not to write about this…

I was anxious because firstly, most of my current readership is for my crochet posts, so I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested. Secondly, this is kind of like a little guilty secret I have that very few people know about…

Then I thought: firstly, it’s my blog about my things, so I’m being silly if I think I shouldn’t write about it – and there’s plenty more crochet to come, so if this particular post is not that interesting to you you can always pop back again later to see something else to interest you! :) And secondly, it’s pretty daft to be so shy about something that is kind of bold, and these days is even kind of normal!

So my ‘big’ confession? I really like tattoos! And today I got a new one. It’s not really a big deal is it? I feel quite silly that I’ve been so secretive about it for so long!!

I have several tattoos – today’s addition brings the total up to 7, although some are quite small. They are all in very discreet placements and are not visible when I’m dressed; most people don’t even know I have any tattoos, and are normally quite surprised if they find out!

Today’s tattoo has some lovely meaning behind it for me. I’ve known my best friend from school now for over 20 years (eek - where on earth has all that time gone???) We don’t get to see too much of each other since I moved away for University, and this will become even less if the visa is approved and I emigrate to Australia! We therefore decided that we would design and get matching ‘friendship’ tattoos together.  

This friend has 2 sons, and although they’re not mine I love them so much! I didn’t feel right about getting a tattoo for my friend without getting something to represent her boys too, so I also set about looking for a design for them. I thought flowers would be nice, so I looked up what the boys’ birth month flowers were. I went by the UK style ones, but for these months they are also the US style ones.

So the flowers are:
March, the Daffodil, representing “spring, rebirth, domestic happiness, respect, regard and friendship” 

June, the Rose, representing “love and appreciation”

The roses should be red, but I wanted to use my own photos and this is my only one of roses!

These are lovely flowers and lovely meanings anyway, but I was very happy that in addition they happen to be the national flowers of Wales and England respectively: I am from Wales, now living in England, while my one of parents was born in Wales from English descent, and the other born in England from Welsh descent. So these flowers had another layer of relevance – I love it when one image has multiple layers of meaning and significance :)


I hadn’t seen many daffodil tattoos, and many that I have seen do not look that great. I therefore did lots of looking for reference material – and came across this very brilliant artwork:


Fully expecting the artist to be either untraceable or unfeasibly far away, I was delighted to discover that she was indeed traceable, and is called Jessi James – and that she is in England! Plymouth is quite far for me, but I thought it would be worth the journey in order to get the artwork I wanted. So I was even MORE delighted to find that she had left Plymouth and was moving to Newbury, to open her own studio!! Newbury is much closer and easier to get to! And it became even more brilliant, as during our planning for the joint friendship tattoos I discovered that my friend loves watercolour-style tattoos, which Jessi does beautifully. So my tattoo for the boys could be by the same artist as the one for their mum! Perfect :) 

I booked in with Jessi, and we emailed back and forth a little to arrange everything. Yesterday she sent me the watercolour painting she had done for my tattoo:

I really liked it, I liked the bold simplicity of it, while at the same time it still looked delicate. I liked that she had added a ribbon to tie the two together, not only because it made the composition make sense – the flowers wouldn’t grow like that, but you could make a posy like that – but also I thought that the dash of contrasting colour really worked.

I just asked for a couple of minor changes. I asked for the daffodil’s trumpet to face the other way, as I felt that’s how it would sit if the flowers were really together like that. I also asked for the daffodil to be in front of the rose, I wanted the Welsh flower to be most prominent! 

Today was the day, and I went to Newbury by train. That’s not really relevant; I just mention the train as I had to go through Paddington station, and while I was there I couldn’t resist seeking out the Paddington statue and getting a picture! There was a man there taking a picture at the same time as me, and we had a little embarrassed moment together as we each indulged our inner child! 

Please look after this bear - thank you

I made my way to Black Rabbit Tattoo Collective, I was feeling sooooo nervous! But a lovely chap there made me a nice cuppa, and when I met Jessi she was really really lovely. She had made the changes I’d asked for in the design, she made up the stencil to the size I wanted and then we got started. Her studio is really lovely, the staff were really friendly, her music was really fun. It was a really friendly relaxed place and I was very soon feeling much more relaxed. I also liked that the tattooing is done in private rooms rather than having you ‘on display’ in a shop floor set-up.

We chatted throughout the tattoo – at least when I wasn’t gritting my teeth too hard, or the particularly sensitive bit where I went “aaaaaAAAAA!!!” and she said I sounded like I was practising to be an opera singer! With the friendly chatter the tattooing seemed to go by pretty quickly (I only had to ask for one wimp break), and while it had been lovely talking to her I was pretty relieved the tattooing was over…

I looked in the mirror to see the finished result, and apart from some unwanted muffin top I was very pleased with what I saw! I’m now quite looking forward to going back for our friendship tattoo at the end of next month :)

A bit red and swollen, but I think it will look great when it heals :)


  1. I really, really love it!! It's just so delicate and subtle.

    I also have a collection [is that the right word lol??] of tattoos and also [like you] I only have them in places where no one else [other than my hubby] will ever see them. Mine are all butterflies but two of them are quite big....ahem. Yes, people are always really shocked when I tell them I'm tattooed....obviously neither of us fit the 'tattooed lady' criteria lol...

    I've decided they're addictive as I'd have another tomorrow if I had the money, which I probably would do if I didn't keep buying yarn.


    S xx

    1. Wow, who knew we would be two tattooed crochet loving ladies?! How cool! [I think 'collection' is a totally acceptable word by the way]
      Butterfly tattoos can be so pretty! I don't have any butterfly ones, but I do have one that you can just see a smidgen of in the top left side of my picture, which is of Camellia sinensis, better known as Tea!

    2. I did notice the 'hint' of another tat on the left there.

      I thought I should choose something that didn't date or go out of fashion, hence butterflies....Flowers was my second choice.

      Not sure about 'guilty secret' but 'guilty pleasure' for sure lol...xxx

    3. I guess mine isn't a secret any more actually... will have to call the next one 'guilty pleasure' perhaps :) xx