March 16, 2009

The Tattoo That Almost Wasn't

I've been wanting to get another tattoo for a while. The last one I got was my sixth, and I got it a couple of years ago. You can see my first six tattoos here. For my birthday last year, one of the things in my awesome gift basket from my friend Violet was 1/2 the price of my next tattoo! We planned to go before the end of the year, but that obviously didn't work out, so we just FINALLY made it last weekend.

One of the things Violet gave me for my birthday was that necklace over there to the left. It's a hippocampus. She bought one for herself at the Portland Pirate Festival and bought me one at the same time. We particularly like it because it looks like it has a unicorn horn. The thing is that Violet loves mermaids, and I love unicorns. So, this particular hippocampus is kind of like a mix of both! We decided that we would try to get a better picture of it and get it tattood on us. Yes, that's right, we got matching tattoos. I know, I know, it is a tad bit hokey. BUT, I have always felt like Violet and I are meant to be friends. We have such similar tastes that it's eerie sometimes, and I know we will be friends forever.

So, we managed to get a good quality photo of the necklace online, then asked one of our friends to draw it out for us. That's where the trouble started...

Reasons this tattoo almost didn't happen last Saturday:
  1. Our friend who drew it out for us got into a little fight with her husband. In his upsetness, he purposely threw away the drawing.
  2. When we found out, we started trying to print a copy out of the photo from the computer. It took forever because Violet's husband was trying to resize it and make it easy for the tattoo artist to copy.
  3. Once he was done, we couldn't print it because one of the printer's ink cartridges was out of ink.
  4. We finally got on the road, and arrived at the tattoo shop over an hour after we'd told her we'd be there. She didn't think we were coming, so was working on a walk-in and it was going to be a bit over an hour before she could take us. We had already been away from home at our big girls sleepover the night before, so we were a little nervous about how long it would take.
  5. The tattoo artist said it would be really hard to draw it from the actual necklace (which I had on), but Violet's husband had given her the photo on a USB drive, so we went off in search of somewhere to print it.
  6. We went to Walgreens down the block hoping we'd be able to print it at their photo center.
  7. There was someone using it. We waited like 30 min and she was STILL using it. At that point we realized there was a SECOND KIOSK we hadn't seen before.
  8. The picture wouldn't print because it wasn't in a recognized format.
  9. We drove around Everett looking for a print shop. THERE ARE NONE. We stopped at 2 different places and checked to see if they were open. In the pouring rain. They weren't.
  10. We found out there was a Kinko's by the mall. We drove over there. We never did find the Kinko's but we DID finally find an Office Depot. It took about 10 minutes to print it out, but we FINALLY had it.
  11. It had been over an hour since we'd left in search of our printout. We were feeling guilty about how long it would take. Violet wasn't sure we should still do it, we didn't know how long it was going to take for each one, and it seemed like the signs were all going against us!
Luckily, we got back to the tattoo shop (Mothership Connection in Everett, WA) and Janna quickly drew the tattoo out. I went first, and she put the stencil on my leg. It took even less time than we'd thought it would - less than an hour for each one! She was really excited about these ones, she had never heard of a hippocampus before, and she had done a little research and thought they were really cool. She was enjoying the design, and we are "model customers" - ie sit still and don't flinch or tell her to stop. We also generally take her suggestions on coloring, so she gets to do what she things looks good with just guidelines to go on. She told me afterwards that one of the reasons they went so quick is that if she really likes the design and the person is sitting still, she goes faster. Which also means she goes a little harder, but I think it's worth it for it to be over quicker.

We both got them on our right outer calf. Man, it frigging hurt. The thing is, I think the lining hurts more than the filling colors. But at the end, she switches back to the lining needle to do the highlights. With this one, I was definitely in "please stop it needs to be over" territory for the last 5 minutes or so. I think that this might be the most painful one because it was so big, and that part of my leg was fairly sensitive.

But that was yesterday, and today it is fine. It just feels like a big scrape, and it only really hurts when I flex my leg a certain way. Or when a cat rubs up against it. I wasn't able to get a very good picture, because my camera is still getting fixed, but I took a picture with my camera phone. So, without further ado, the tattoo that almost wasn't!

I can't wait for it to heal to get a really good picture because the colors are still not showing as well as they will because I bled a fair amount and it's still healing.


Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I LOVE IT!!!! I want another one so bad!! It really came out nice. Glad you got it!

Megan R. said...

Very cool! I only have one tat, on my lower back. My BFF and I got them done at the same time (different' tats, same place) and I drew them both for us.

Dumblond said...

That is wicked awesome!! I am sooooo jealous! I want another tattoo sooo bad!

Chris said...

Very cool!!! Love the design.

No joke, my word verification says cudhurte. DUH! They're jamming you with needles thousands of times. Of course it cudhurte.