Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!

New Year's Eve takes me back. Every year until we moved to Arizona when I was 13, my parents would pile everyone into the car and drive us up north to our best family friends' house.  Both sets of our parents would go out to the Fireman's Ball to drink and dance the night away, and our trusty babysitter Betty would watch us girls.  It was always the four of us- two sets of sisters: Lauren and me, Corin and Caitlyn. Corin was my age and Cait was Lauren's, and we grew up spending all of life's milestones and family vacations together. Our Moms were best friends in college, bridesmaids in each others' weddings, and after each of them started a family they all became one big group of friends along with some other couples and their kids too. It's neat to look back at all the fun we had, and New Year's Eve was always such a fun night that we looked forward to all year. In typical fashion once our parents left we'd indulge in a million appetizers our Moms would set out, we'd eat yummy cake and German sweets (thanks to Aunt Marita) and drink soda. We'd giggle and run around the house, get into the The Twilight Zone marathon, and at midnight we'd watch the ball drop and toast with our little cups of sparkling cider. Sweet, elderly Betty would somehow round us up and get us into bed, but we'd never sleep. This was always a late night for our parents, so for the next couple of hours we'd have "sister wars," playing pranks on Lauren and Cait, they'd spy on us, send little notes under the doors, and try to avoid Betty coming back down the hallway telling us to go to sleep! We'd always make up little missions for each other- "sneak down the hallway and grab a piece of chocolate cake without Betty noticing." Oh, we were rebels! haha. Then sometime around 2am our parents would come home, we'd pretend to be asleep, then pretend to wake up so we could snack on some of the yummy treats they'd bring home for us. It was so magical.

Nowadays New Year's Eve means family for us. This year we planned on having a few friends over to celebrate, but we ended up coming down to Phoenix to spend it with my parents, sister and brother-in-law. I'm so happy to be here, and I couldn't be more ecstatic to ring in a New Year sitting in our pajamas, eating too much food, and knowing that Henry is sleeping soundly upstairs. 

2011 was wonderful, and just like I said about last year, it really was the best year of my life. I feel lucky that I'm able to say that once again. I think this past year was more about personal growth than anything. As I expected this first full year of being a Mom was so transformative; I feel like so much has changed. Having a baby has a way or re-prioritizing everything in your world. Insignificant things that were once important seem to fall away, and life begins to simplify a bit as your focus narrows. That was 2011 for me.


I am looking forward to so much in these next 12 months. I love the New Year and think any sort of fresh start is inspiring. Yes, tomorrow is just another day, but it still is a fun symbol of starting anew. I'm not making specific resolutions but I am focusing on a few different areas of my life, and I'm excited to keep making headway on those things.

2011, you've been good to us. We continued adjusting to our new role as parents, my sister got married, we had an AZ blogger meetup, and I attended some great concerts and shows.  I had a lot of fun girls' nights (like this one and this one), I started writing for Hello Giggles, I began the last year of my 20s, started Henry in swim class, celebrated his first 4th of July, and took a 2-week vacation all around the East Coast.

I traveled to California to celebrate Shirley's bachelorette weekend, took fun family day trips like this one to Flagstaff, my best friend Sarah got married- I was her Maid of Honor, and we celebrated the beginning of Arizona's centennial. I also got my blog redesigned, visited Las Vegas with my little family, and later took an amazing trip back with some of my favorite ladies, and was a bridesmaid in sweet Shirley's wedding too.

Henry visited his first pumpkin patch, took part in his first Halloween festival downtown, and we happily celebrated his first Halloween. Our little guy turned one, we had a fun party for him, and we had two family photo sessions with our friend Christina. We ended the year celebrating Christmas with a light parade, a fun girly sleepover, and spending time with family.


It's awesome to look back, and then to think ahead and imagine what great things this next year has in store for us. Thank you once again, from the bottom of my heart, for reading along with all 558 of my posts this year (wow!). I love you guys.

Happy New Year!

Usher in the New Year with a Hugs and Kisses Monster!

I met Laine earlier this month in Penn Station and she shared this, one of her "eight or nine" tattoos:

Laine explained that her friend Jason Lee, who tattoos and DJs in Florida under the name "Mr. Monster," inked this on her as a spur-of-the-moment tattoo. She was with a friend who was getting inked by Mr. Monster and it just happened. His signature tattoo is a monster design, so he just drew it on her with a Sharpie, and because they are such close friends, it developed as this friendly "Hugz and Keesez" monster.

Thanks to Laine for sharing this with us here on Tattoosday and happy new year to all! Please beware the Hugs and Kisses monsters lurking on New Years' Eve!

This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Weekend links

my other true love
flashback Friday: Madeline and me, two years ago

Happy weekend everyone! I'll be back tomorrow with a little New Year's post, but until then here are some links to explore. Enjoy!

If you click ONE thing in this post, click this link to read about 30 things to stop doing to yourself now. I love this.

The top 12 vegan recipes on Oh She Glows. Awesome!

How adorable would this necklace be for a newlywed, or even at a bridal shower (or even now...hint, hint!).

A list of 'Pay It Forward' ideas. Super inspiring.

After reading her post about getting fit in 2012, I am sending Krista a huge internet high-five.

Are you in the market for a new day planner for 2012? Check out this post.

My friend Casey sent me the sweetest gift this past week- a painting! I'll share a photo of it soon.

I'm always looking for fun ways to spice up get-togethers, so this appetizer idea is great.

Great news, Amber is blogging more.

I enjoyed reading about Michelle's 11 random things and found out we have a few very weird things in common!

True feeling versus should-be-feelings. I liked this post about accepting ourselves.

Need some NYE inspiration? Look no further than these pretty images.

The Chicago Tribune has named the best books of 2011. Are any of your favorites on there?

Etsy sponsor love: one, two, three!

Have you check out the "Sometimes Sweet" project for Funk Off yet? I think it smells pretty darn good. ;)
Loving Martha's collection of lighter New Year's party food!

One of my friends mentioned that she wanted to be less of a "yes" person in 2012. How perfect is this brooch? ;)

I posted about this two week's ago, but my buddy Jason's new site Passionfruit is launching soon! Check it out.

One of my favorite people is having another baby! I for one cannot wait to follow along. I adore Katie.

I love Carly's 2011 recap! It gets me excited to write one of my own this weekend.

This article about dealing with negative or difficult people is so on point and so what I needed to read. Maybe you'll relate too.

I'm loving Leigh-Ann's outfit here! She's adorable.

And finally, in the mood to discover a new blog? Check this one out! And this one, too! I'm loving both of them.

Happy New Year's weekend everyone!

Nothing but music - the endless post?

This is an ever changing and (hopefully) expanding list of some of the songs I have mentioned before in this blog or simply stuff I have found somewhere on the web that I find interesting, but have no time to write about. All files have been found somewhere in cyberspace (and NONE of them have uploaded by me, so I cannot help you with any requests you might have - just keep returning and something new might pop up), so they will be available until the artists, record labels, fans, whatever decide to remove them. Thanks to a few readers, I've just finished yet another round of cleaning up (actually I'm doing this more or less all the time). But please leave a comment if some of the links are no longer working, and I will do my best to remove them as quickly as possible...

If you are interested in finding even more songs than the ones I have listed below, these links will provide you with lots and lots of free AND legal mp3's - I really hope you'll enjoy the list!!

* Badman Recording
* Bad Taste Records
* Barsuk Records
* Beggars Group USA
* Better Looking Records
* betterPropaganda
* Cityslang
* Cloudberry Records
* Eenie Meenie Records
* Force Field PR
* Friendly Fire Recordings
* Go, Jukebox!
* Hush Records
* Indiecater
* Indiepages
* Jade Tree
* Jagjaguwar
* Joyful Noise Recordings
* killbeat music
* Killrockstars
* Labrador
* Lefse Records
* Lujo Records
* Magic Marker
* Matador Records
* Matinée Sounds
* Merge Records
* Misra
* Music From Denmark
* Music Is My Girlfriend
* Parasol
* Plastilina Records!
* Pox World Empire
* Radarmaker
* Secretly Canadian
* Series Two Records
* Shelflife
* Sick Room Records
* Slumberland Records
* Songs I Wish I Had Written
* Subpop
* Supertroels
* We Are Free
* What Are Records?
* White Whale Records
* Wonderland Records
* Yellow Mica Recordings
* To be continued......

Have decided to remove all links and instead start rebuilding the list...this is just the beginning...

+ The Antique Toys - Joey
+ Arcade Fire - Keep The Car Running
+ Asobi Seksu - Walk on the Moon
+ The Ballet - In My Head
+ Beach House - Norway
+ Belle & Sebastian - Come Monday Night
+ The Big Pink - Dominos
+ Blonde Redhead - 23
+ Blue Foundation - Enemy
+ Bon Iver - Blood Bank
+ The Bridal Shop - For Seas
+ Brideshead - If The World Stopped Turning
+ Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
+ Celestial - Lake Como (Remix)
+ Champagne Riot - Scandinavian Warfare
+ Choir of Young Believers - Action Reaction
+ A Classic Education - I Lost Time
+ Club 8 - Western Hospitality
+ Dearling Physique - Discipline Your Hands
+ Death Kit - Devadasi
+ Easter Island - Proud
+ Elk City - Nine O'clock In France
+ Every Move A Picture - Signs of Life
+ Fanfarlo - Finish Line
+ Faunts - It Hurts Me All The Time
+ Gentle Touch - Smedby
+ Get Well Soon - 5 Steps / 7 Swords
+ Handsome Furs - What About Us
+ Houses - Soak It Up
+ [ingenting] - Halleluja!
+ Interpol - NYC
+ JJ - Let Go
+ Kisses - Bermuda
+ Mads Langer - You're Not Alone (Olive cover)
+ Jens Lekman - The Opposite of Hallelujah
+ Loch Lomond - Wax and Wire
+ Mariage Blanc - Whatever You Say I Am
+ Mikrofisch - The Kids Are All Shite
+ Mixtapes & Cellmates - Soon
+ moi Caprice - The Art of Kissing Properly
+ The Monday Photo - Alies (No Tomorrow)
+ Moto Boy - Blue Motorbike
+ My Favorite - Burning Hearts
+ The National - Bloodbuzz Ohio
+ OMD - If You Want It (Marsheaux Remix)
+ Otter Petter - Winter Days
+ The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Higher Than The Stars
+ The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Higher Than The Stars (other in conversation remix)
+ Phantograms - When I'm Small
+ Play People - Goes Out
+ The Poems - Ballad Of A Bitter End
+ The Radio Dept. - Never Follow Suit
+ The Raveonettes - Last Dance
+ Sad Day For Puppets - Again
+ Secret Shine - No More Inside
+ The Shape Of The Earth - Alone In This
+ The Sky Drops - Swimming With Fishes
+ Spoon - I Turn My Camera On
+ Stars - Fixed
+ TempEau - Mädchen aus Greifswald
+ Tetris = Therapy - Seasick
+ The Thermals - Now We Can See
+ Those Danicing Days - Toxic (Britney Spears cover)
+ Tower of Foil - Shaping The Sky
+ Twig - Helen of Troy
+ Ultrachorus - Words Kept Talking
+ John Vanderslice - They Won't Let Me Run
+ Chad VanGaalen - Willow Tree
+ Viola - Neon Lightning
+ Chad VanGaalen - Willow Tree
+ Voxtrot - The Start Of Something
+ Warm Morning - Disconnected
+ Windermere - Trailer Park
+ The xx - Basic Space
+ Yeasayer - 2080

Shanon Inks Lovely Thoughts

Last week, my brother Seth was in town, and I met him after work at a restaurant near Madison Square Garden, where he was having a quick bite with Shanon, an old friend of his from Southern California. He had just seen Shanon in a performance of Peter Pan at the Garden. Shanon is with the touring company of the show, and acts in the role of Curly, one of the Lost Boys, and is an understudy to the title character, played by Cathy Rigby, as well as the role of Mrs. Darling. The show closes in New York today (December 30, 2011).

I was talking to Seth and Shanon when I noticed that she had a tattoo on her inner right wrist. Of course, I went into Tattoosday mode, and she agreed to share some of her ink with us here on Tattoosday.

This is the piece on her wrist:

Shanon also removed her left shoe, to display her foot tattoo:

We took pictures of both tattoos because they each relate to Shanon's journey as an actress, and her role in Peter Pan.

The tattoo on her wrist references a verse in the Bible's New Testament, Mark 9:23. Shanon said that she was specifically drawn to the passage's proclamation that "Anything is possible to he who believes."

Her foot tattoo instructs "Think lovely thoughts," which is from Peter Pan itself, most popularly in the song "I'm Flying".

The show was the first play she remembers seeing as a child, and it is her first professional job in New York. Both messages tie into the fact that Shanon pursued her passion for performing and was able to attain the goal of being on stage in New York City. The road between first seeing Peter Pan and being on stage at the theater in Madison Square Garden, "the world's most famous arena," is no easy route to take. Believing in oneself and positive thinking are just two elements in attaining one's goals.

Both tattoos were done at Action Tattoo in Yorba Linda, California.

Thanks to Shanon for sharing her inspiring tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

This Week on Hello Giggles: On Being a High School English Teacher


This week I'm talking about my experience being a high school English teacher, and what I learned during those six years. Head on over to Hello Giggles and check it out!

The Long Story About a Small Tattoo, or, Megan Massacre's Golden Touch

Tonight on TLC, New York Ink premieres its second season. For those of you who may have blinked, I got about six seconds of quality screen time in season 1, episode 7, at the tail end of the show. I figured I'd share my experience here, in conjunction with the premiere of the show's sophomore run.

Ever since news broke earlier this year that Ami James, formerly of TLC’s Miami Ink, was opening up shop in New York City, and developing NY Ink, people within and on the periphery of the tattoo industry were waiting to see how it would play up.

Bits and pieces of news fragments floated about during the spring, in the blogosphere, and in the print media. This piece, in New York magazine really caught my attention.

So, a few weeks before the series was set to premiere on TLC during the first week of June, I was excited to see, on one of my favorite sites, Tattoo Snob, this blurb:

New York Ink’s $50 rooster deal

Wooster Street Social Club (A.K.A. the home of New York Ink) will be hosting/shooting a $50 rooster tattoo event on Friday, May 20th. The event starts at 11am, and will air at the end of Season 1 of New York Ink.

Send an RSVP email today to with the subject: RSVP ROOSTER. Be sure to include your name, phone number and email address and you’ll be put on the VIP list.
Well, as you would imagine, my interest was piqued, so I dashed off an email and crossed my fingers. I then asked for Friday off, anticipating that I could get down there, thinking they were going to do one of those Friday-the-13th-like events, tattooing hundreds of roosters on adoring fans. Surely, I thought, I was fast enough out of the gate to make the list.

Unfortunately, that night I got an email from NY Ink breaking it to me that I wasn’t selected, but I was more than welcome to come down and be an extra.

Not really interested in missing work to not get a tattoo, I chalked it up to experience and BBM’d my boss and told him I’d be in Friday, after all.

“Never mind about Friday,” I messaged, “just got an email saying they were booked solid.”

“That sucks,” he wrote back.

“I could go, but no guarantee,” I messaged back, “not worth it.”

He tried to console me, “At least you won’t have a dumb rooster on you for the rest of your life.”

That was one way of looking at it.

The next day, I had just returned from lunch when the following e-mail hit my BlackBerry:

Exciting news! We have added 5 more spots to the guaranteed rooster tattoo list for tomorrow. If you are still interested in the $50 tattoo event tomorrow, and 100% want to get the tattoo please reply to this email by 2pm today with the subject line "100% rooster." Please note we need you to arrive by 11 AM sharp, and do not have an end time for the shoot. You need to be able to commit fully to the day in order to be involved.

The first 5 people to reply to this email will be added to the guaranteed rooster tattoo list. You will receive a confirmation email and phone call if you are chosen. Anyone we do not respond to is still more than welcome to attend the event but cannot be guaranteed a rooster tattoo.

Thanks and good luck! 
NY Ink Casting

I responded immediately and things looked promising when I got this message:

Hi Bill-

What is your phone number?


Moments after sending my number, I got the call. I was in! The production team sent me the logistics and I was good to go.

I got completely razzed by my boss, but he gave me the day off.

With my mother's birthday approaching, I thought it would be fun to dedicate the rooster tattoo to her late "pet" Golden, memorialized here. In addition, I thought that the personal side of this story would make my rooster tattoo stand out among all the others being inked. It was a decent strategy, I thought. Just to show I wasn't making this up, I brought a picture of Golden along with me to the shoot.

I arrived early, about 30 minutes or so ahead of the call time, bemoaning the fact that I was arriving much later than I anticipated, thinking they were going to be inking a ton of roosters. I was the only one there, but the crowd quickly grew to a few dozen. Still, I thought, much less than I anticipated.

I even spotted a Tattoosday contributor Liz in line and wondered who else I would see. It was a bit of a blur, as people filled out forms, had photos taken, and mingled. I met a guy named Roy, who saw I had checked in on Facebook, and he friended me as we stood in line. He had driven up from Philadelphia for the occasion.

A light rain had started to fall, and we huddled under a construction scaffold across the street from the shop.

I was still puzzled by the small group of people present, considering the call for volunteers. When one producer asked “those getting rooster tattoos” to come up on a landing above the sidewalk where we were all standing, I was even further shocked by the small group of us that broke off of the main group. I asked the producer how many of us were getting tattoos and my heart jumped when she looked at her clipboard and said, “There’s only ten of you.” I was stunned, I thought we’d be vying for airtime with dozens of people, based on the instructions we should be expected to stay “all day, into the evening”. It would certainly be easier to stand out with only nine other people getting inked.

Cut to us being ferried across the street for some exterior shots in front of the shop. Slight drizzle still falling. It was then that I noticed, maybe forty feet away, Corey Miller standing under a tree watching us. I had just met him the night before (recounted here) and 24 hours later here he was again! There was a slight buzz as a few of us recognized him and wondered, would we be getting a rooster tattoo from Corey Miller?

Time sped up as the moment of truth arrived. After an unknown person, who we later learn is Floor Manager, Robear, does a rooster-costumed warm-up in the light rain, Ami James opens the door and yells “who wants a fifty dollar cock?”

That’s our cue to file in and I am number five, or last, in the first group. A woman named Jessica, the shop manager, gives us paperwork as the cameras roll. I watch with envy as I see Tim Hendricks pick a client, then Ami James, then Tommy Montoya, and Roy, who knows Megan Massacre from Philly, gets paired up with her. Who’s left? I don’t see Chris Torres, but there are people running around everywhere, and the shop looks amazing. Huge, spacious, covered with art.

I chat with Jessica and discover she knows Marisa and Brian, from Needles and Sins. I show her my picture of Golden, the famous Hawaiian rooster, and she hands me a post-it with the number five on it.

Golden, photo courtesy Diane Ferreira

The next five sign in at the desk and the other folks from the line sit in the waiting area, as human background. I stand around, eschewing a seat, figuring I will be more visible and not overlooked. When the show finally airs, I am prominently lurking in many of the shots, maroon Tommy Bahama shirt sticking out like a sore thumb.

Tattoo machines whir and Jessica comes up to me telling me she’s going to set me up with Ami. This brings me great joy. The flash for the roosters is a little disappointing, five versions of small tribal cocks, in various positions, crowing, strutting, with various color schemes. Black. Black fading to red. Black fading to blue. Black fading to green. If I am going to get a small, unimpressive rooster silhouette, let it be from Ami James, I think.

I do an on-camera interview with the producers, plugging Tattoosday and sharing the story of Golden, my mother’s deceased Hawaiian rooster. I know it’s not likely that much of it will air, but I figure it’s good for something.

The second wave of clients get tattooed. I pay my $50, including a $10 tip. I am keeping an eye on Ami but he doesn’t seem to be gearing up for another client. I start to get a sinking feeling about the likelihood of his getting to tattoo me. I am standing around nervously, imagining how this could be going wrong, with a worst-case scenario playing out in my head, as they give me my money back and apologize.

Of course, that doesn’t happen. Jessica approaches me, biting her lip and saying, apologetically, “Ami’s not doing any more tattoos, but I’ve set you up with Megan. She’s really good.” I don’t doubt what she’s saying, but the disappointment clearly made itself known on my face.

There’s only a few clients left in the shop. Most of the “background” people have taken off. I observe the goings-on about the shop with keen interest. I always knew that these reality shows relied on orchestration and staging, but I am struck by how much of the show seems staged for the cameras.

In the mean time, Megan is ready for me. She is sweet as sugar and much better looking than Ami, so I start thinking that this might not be so terrible after all. But then, much to my surprise, Megan Massacre makes me a fan for life by going completely outside the box.

I show her the picture of Golden that I brought along for inspiration, and she asks which design I want. I show her the silhouette and she asks if I mind if she tries something a little different, with some color, to make him more like my mom’s rooster. I give her full artistic license and she starts tattooing. I ask for it on my inner right arm and she uncannily picks a spot and orientation that matches my Friday the 13th Anchor tattoo.

I want to be surprised so I don’t watch much. Tommy Montoya and Tim Hendricks swing by to check out Megan’s work. Everyone else is done and people are cleaning up their stations. Tim whistles and exclaims, “Megan, are you trying to show us up?” I consider this a good sign. Tommy makes some crude remarks, “Megan, you’re making his cock bleed.” I laugh and say “Hey, my kids watch this show!” Tommy later proclaims that Megan just might get the award for “Cock of the Day”.

When Megan finishes, I get a good look at her handiwork and I’m stunned. I was expecting a solid tribal rooster and I got this instead:

I am astonished at what she has done with colors to give my rooster a dusty brown and gold appearance. Compare this to the type of rooster others received:

Photo by Roy Chapman
I know for certain, Ami would never have done that for me, and I doubt that Tommy, Tim, or Billy would have done that. I didn’t even ask for it. Megan just went with it and hit it out of the park.

Three days later, on my mother’s birthday, we called her on Skype in Hawaii, and I showed her the Golden tattoo. She was thrilled that their old rooster was immortalized on my flesh.

The show aired on July 21, 2011. I was excited to see a glimpse of me the previous week in the preview at the end of episode 6. Of course, shortly thereafter, the huge controversy surrounding TLC’s one-off Tattoo School blew up on Facebook and it seemed like most of my tattoo artist FB friends had "Boycott TLC" profile pictures. So, I gathered, not that many artists watch the ink-based “reality” shows on TLC, but there were likely fewer watching than normal. Such is life.

When the show aired, the Rooster event was left for the final five minutes of the episode. I pop up in the background quite a bit, and wham! There I am “William” talking about how Ami is going to tattoo my rooster, dedicated to Golden, whose picture I show on camera. But that’s all of me. No blog mention, as I gathered, but I was a little disappointed because, they showed quite a few of the finished rooster tattoos, but they didn’t show Megan’s effort which I think, all personal bias aside, was the finest one of the day.

Thanks to Megan Massacre for giving me a remarkable tattoo when she could have just given me the standard rooster everyone else was getting. I still look at it and marvel at how well she did with such a tiny piece, and I continue to receive compliments on it.

This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

A "Good Morning" Playlist

Happy Wednesday! Today is unfortunately a bit of a "sick day" at our house. Poor Henry has a cold and I'm starting to feel pretty under the weather myself. There's nothing worse than being sick right along side your baby, but I am thankful we made it through Christmas before feeling it. Send healthy thoughts our way please! But sickness aside, the week after a holiday is always a little slower than normal. I don't drink caffeine so when I need a little pick-me-up in the morning I turn to good music to get me going. Below are some of my current favorite songs to get my blood pumping and feet tapping. Trust me- wake up tomorrow, turn on this playlist, and start your day off with a smile (and some booty-shaking). I think you'll love it!


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

"Because You Can't Take the Brooklyn Out of the Girl..."

Back in October, my friend Ronni introduced me to her friend Elizabeth via the web. Elizabeth is from Brooklyn, but resides in Seattle, and was looking to get a New York-themed tattoo on an upcoming visit. She wanted to find a reputable artist and shop in New York City.

Although I am by no means an expert on tattooing in the Big Apple, blogging about ink here for 4 1/2 years certainly qualifies me to speak on the matter with some authority.

I recommended several shops and artists, mostly in Brooklyn, because Elizabeth had a specific idea in mind. And rather than just showing up in a tattoo parlor and going with the first available artist, Elizabeth took my suggestions and did some research, contacting several of the artists, and poring over their online portfolios.

Ultimately, Elizabeth wanted a Brooklyn Bridge tattoo. No easy feat, as she did not want a BIG tattoo, and the architectural wonder lends itself to looking best on a larger scale, in my opinion. This piece, for example, seen here back in July, took up a whole upper arm.

Elizabeth ended up at Saved Tattoo in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, and she got exactly what she wanted:

Elizabeth is extremely happy with her new tattoo. She writes "Zac Scheinbaum ... did a great job, got in a lot more detail than he led me to expect. Now you can definitely not take the Brooklyn out of the girl."

Thanks to Elizabeth for sharing her little piece of Brooklyn with us here on Tattoosday!

[Update: After posting this, Elizabeth wrote to me, adding, "what gave me the idea of having the Brooklyn Bridge tattooed to begin with (and the idea of the location at my heart followed almost immediately) was seeing a woman in the dance tent at the Falcon Ridge Music Festival whose entire upper arm was tattooed with the Brooklyn Bridge. I think it must have been Mariam- unless there's more than one woman with a Brooklyn Bridge on her right upper arm like that. That adds a nice circularity to your piece, for me."]

This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.


Christmas this year was great. We celebrated it three times actually since Hank has two sides to his family, and I have my one. It's pretty neat to have so many people to enjoy holidays with, although to be honest it can be a little bit overwhelming at times trying to fit it all into two days! I'm sure some of you can relate. I mean I absolutely cannot complain but I feel stressed sometimes wanting to make sure everyone gets "their" time. Overall though it was so much fun this year and I think Henry is a pretty lucky kid to have so many loving people in his life!

Hank and I exchanged gifts quietly after everyone had gone to bed Christmas Eve, and we both got each other a couple of wonderful things that were nice surprises, including a new scarf and some cold-weather running gear for me. I got him a couple of shirts and a book on coffee. Simple but great. We naturally focus more on Henry during the holidays now, and it was so much fun to watch him open his presents that next morning.

I hope whatever you did, you had a great day filled with love. I know we sure did. There so many times I kind of took a step back in awe of how wonderful the day was.

Christmas Eve- (these are just photos from my parents' visit- we actually spent the evening at Hank's Mom's and it was a ton of fun too.)

Could I be anymore festive? ;)

Christmas Eve 2011
Christmas Eve 2011
Christmas Eve 2011
Christmas Eve 2011

Christmas day (feel free to make fun of our matching pajamas!)-
Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011
Picnik collage3
Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011
Picnik collage2
Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011

Nigel from the Dirty Thirty Shares Some Traditional Ink

I met Nigel on the Upper West Side last month, across the street from Verdi Square. I spotted some tattoos on his arms and asked if he wouldn't mind sharing some of them. He was happy to oblige.

The first piece is a gypsy, inked by Dan Santoro of Smith Street Tattoo in Brooklyn:

"The gypsy," Nigel said, "is pretty much from travelling and bouncing."

He also shared two pieces done by a friend of his from Richmond, Virginia, Gerald M.

"The eyeball here on my right arm is ... blood sweat and tears," he told me. "It represents a lot of different endings and beginnings, as far as work and life and whatnot."

I particularly like this tattoo, on Nigel's upper left arm:

"The train is," Nigel explained, "more or less a story of how my art finished and started." Also by Gerald M., Nigel had nothing but praise for his work:
"His specialty is roses. He won an award in Las Vegas for doing the best rose last year, so that's kind of his thing.  His little trademark is an eyeball, as well, so you'll see an eye in most of his pieces."
The banner identifies "The Dirty 30," a nationwide art collective of which Nigel is a part.

Thanks to Nigel for sharing his tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

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Tattoo Tuesday V.102

Name and blog name: Spencer Michael Jordan Kmyta, OR

Age: 22

Occupation: Tattoo Artist, Owner of Captain's Tattoo (editor's note: be sure to check out Spencer's shop and some of the photos of the interior- it's so pretty!)

Age of first tattoo: Thirteen… ish, my mom and I have had this argument for years, I remember being twelve and a half, she argues that she never would have let me get one that young, and says I was fourteen. So we'll say thirteen and play it safe.

Favorite tattoo: I'm getting a half sleeve done right now by Shawn Barber, he's a legend in the tattoo industry, primarily for his oil painting, documenting tattoos and tattoo artists from around the world in his "Tattooed Portraits" series. I'm only 2 sessions and 2 trips to Los Angeles in to the tattoo, and it's already my favourite for sure.

Featured tattoo/location: Honeymoon rose tattoo, right hand.

Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: I got this tattoo by Colin Wiley of Tattoo Zoo in Victoria, BC.

1) Tell us about your featured tattoo- is there a background story about why you chose it, or maybe a special meaning?

I got it June 21st, 2009. I remember the date so well because it was the day after my wedding, and after what seemed like an awfully long, hung over ferry ride from Vancouver to Victoria I was super excited to get it done. It's a traditional rose tattoo with "Carly" written on the banner. Carly obviously being my adoring wife (recently featured in a recent "Tattoo Tuesday"). The tattoo turned out great, and Colin is an extremely gentle artist. After the tattoo, my hand was so swollen, my knuckles were completely non existent. Super rad, super hilarious.

2) Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where?

I have a few tattoos…
-Rose on my right hand
-Bats on my left hand
-1970 on my left hand
-Anchor on my middle finger, lower knuckle
-Diamond on my left palm
-Alien fetus on my left forearm
-Memorial tattoo for a friend on my inside left forearm.
-Misfits tribute piece on my left bicep
-X-Ray of my skull on my right forearm
-My hands holding my first shop key to my studio, and my favourite tattoo machine on my inside right forearm
-3 Snakes and Skulls around my neck and throat
-Ramones tribute tattoo on my shoulder blade
-Metallica Tribute Tramp Stamp (I'd prefer not to talk about that one hahaha)
-Mars Attacks Alien head on my right thigh
-Black widow on my right thigh
-Large heart with "Clovis" written on the banner for my cat, on my left thigh
-Small heart on my left thigh
-Sparrow on my left thigh

That's it for now!

3) Do you plan on getting more?

Definitely, I have 2 full days booked in late January with Shawn at Memoir Tattoo in L.A., to hopefully finish my right forearm, and then begin the process of planning the upper portion!

4) How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them? Do you have a significant other? Does he/she have tattoos? 

Being an artist myself, I find I'm surrounded by great friends, and great family, 90% of which I have worked on and have at least 1 or 2 tattoos themselves. There's always going to be the occasional smug jerk here or there out in public who choses to believe you're a drug smuggling Hells Angel because of your tattoos, but in the end it's important to remember that when you chose to become heavily tattooed, you're choosing to put up with that. It comes with the uniform. My wife and I try our best to show those people who we really are, sometimes you can change someones point of view by doing something as simple as giving them a nice smile, or grabbing the door for them. It's a little extra work sure, but if I can have my cake and eat it too, I'm a happy guy.

5) What's the most interesting experience you've ever had in regards to your tattoos? 

Haha, too many to count, a couple days ago I was standing outside my studio with a couple friends and clients, a cute old lady smiled at me as she walked past. Once she got about ten or fifteen steps away, she turned and held her hands at her neck, gesturing some kind of pain to her throat as she stared at my neck tattoo. She paused again, smiled, and said "I wouldn't want to be your grandmother." I smiled, and laughed awkwardly. She walked away.

6) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet?

Yes, so much advice. Don't look for a deal, the expression is and always has been, if you're getting a great price, you're probably not getting a "great tattoo." This has exceptions of course, and I only speak to those people that I meet daily who tell me about "their buddy" who tattoos them for as long as they can sit for $20. Tattoos are permanent, but not only are they permanent, they're a permanent expression of who you are as a person. If you're a cheap person at heart who doesn't really care what you look like. Than those $20 tattoos are perfect for you. Go the extra mile, seek out an artist who charges within your budget, someone whose portfolio makes you sick with excitement every time you turn the page. Take your time, it's not realistic to get a "sleeve in one session, for cheap." I don't mean to rant, but your tattoos are an investment. Don't be cheap, take your time, don't compromise, and relax. It's not so serious, it's fun.