Saturday, 8 June 2013


Tattoos, you either love them or hate them don't you?

Some people actually quite like to see them but would never dream of having one themselves.

Me?  I have a slight addiction to them.

It started when I was 17 (tut tut) and just had to have one so I had a little butterfly on my bikini line.  I cannot show you that one for two reasons, one because I am too fat to flash that part of my body off in public, but secondly because when I had a Caesarian section they managed to cut the wings off the poor fellow!
(They had put "severe bruising" on my medical notes for three days following, before I remembered what it was!)

In the next few years I got a flower on my booby, a ribena berry on my thigh and a dolphin on my arm.

There seemed to be a massive dolphin tattoo craze way back in the 90's - got to wonder why, but these were the days when you walked into a tattoo studio and chose a flash design off the walls.  I have to say I love the fact that you can now design your own, or talk to the artist and get it designed for you.

Next came this Celtic kind of 'thing' - another flash image chosen from a wall, I liked it at the time but over the years I hid them away more and more.  I mean... WHAT IS IT?

In around 2000 I got a little bumble bee on my foot.  Yep, another flash image, but he is rather cute and I still like him.

I didn't have any more for a while then I decided I might get another small one, this turned out to be this rather larger one that covered the hole of the top of my right foot.

That was when the real addiction started to kick in,  I decided to carry on with that tattoo and curl it right around my leg up to the knee.  But it had to be meaningful, I wanted it to tell a story.

So first I got a little butterfly, I do like butterflies, and this one has UV ink it in so if I am ever in a night club (coz, like THAT'S gonna happen) my tattoo will show up).
At the same time I got a sunflower, which is my birthflower, and a lovely design that I found on the kitchen roll  (see, I told you it's all meaningful  ;) ).
Next came grapes, this is on the back of my lower leg.  Anyone who knows me will know I love my red wine, so this is a bunch of purple grapes with drips to represent wine :)
Following on up the outer calf I decided to have birthflowers for the kids.  First is a Lily for Shona (August), then a Chrysanthemum for Adam (November - he wanted it to be pink!) and then a Holly for Iain, my Christmas baby (December)

Coming back round to the front of the leg I had a music score because I LOVE music, with the notes spelling out the word "BEADS" - now, the "S" is a little contentious because there is not really an S in music, but Shona, who was studying music at the time came up with a solution - I can't really remember it now, but something to do with Russian music - anyway, it works for me!  Although are those notes the right way round?  They've always looked ok to me but then again I am looking at them upside down or in a mirror most of the time.

The final part of this tattoo I wanted Andrew to design, something to "depict us", I said, this is what he came up with...Peas in a pod.

After our wedding in 2005 and looking back at the photos with my arms on show and some horrible greying tattoos I spoke to my tattooist about getting them removed.  He said that the scar would be as bad as the tattoo perhaps and I should think about "arting them up" instead.

So it was bye-bye dolphin....
Hello flowers....(see him?  he's hiding there in the leaf)

Bye-Bye 'Celtic thing'...

Hello Lady Willyfly...

So, let me explain the Lady Willyfly.  while getting the tattoo one of the tattoo apprentices mentioned that it looked like a carrot, then changed his mind and said 'Willy', so Lady Willyfly was born.

Obviously by this stage I am quite deeply into the addiction stage so why not join them up across the back?
You see that big ladybird?  That is actually a cover up of a cover up.

Again a weird Celtic thing was originally covering up a really naff rose stem, but that wasn't much better.  The ladybird is much grander I think  :)

Did you spot the little name tag in there?

I was born in 1968, so obviously 'made' in 1967, hence the © sign  :)

And there's more.......

I walked Hadrian's Wall last year and I was so blooming chuffed with myself that I had the acorn tattoo to remember it.  (When you walk the wall route you follow this acorn on fences and signposts).

But from afar it just looked like a black blob, so I went back and had some wall put on  :)  To be fair I was only going to have the black map line added but the tattoo artist got a bit carried away  :)

A while later I had a few flowers added to this leg...

Then my favourite quote....

This left a large gap on the outer side of my calf, so I got it filled in with an Egyptian Cartouche.  Can anyone read what it says?

This tattoo is actually unfinished, it has loads more shading to do, but I was full of cold that day and it hurt like hell.  It will look very ancient with cracks in when it is done, looking forward to that.

I love this one too, it's my very colourful flowers one.  This is me being a practise canvas for a very new tattoo artist, I am proud to sport her very first tattoo ever.  It is situated on my right thigh - a nice meaty bit of flesh.
It grew from this...

to this...

and now looks like this...

Room for a few more on there though  :)

My last one (to date) is this....

It is a negative space tattoo, meaning it's NOT a butterfly, if that makes sense  :)  Ignore the scabby bit, I managed to forget it was there whilst shaving the hairy forest that is my legs and nicked a healing bit.

What's next?  Well, some more flowers, the cartouch finished, a patchwork owl and a tree of life  :)

Watch this space..

Do you love or hate tattoos?


  1. I am a bit torn about them ... I love some of your artwork and love the "story of the leg" ... your tattoo artist is great !!

    For myself ... I think it is a no ... saying that ... I had (in a young drunken moment) a name tattooed on my Arm and of course that is now the wrong name ... yes I know ... you should never put a name on. I am thinking about either having that removed (trouble is the guy that removes seems never to be in at our parlour) or have a red hat put over the top of it ... Red Hat because I am a member of the Red Hat Society

    hmmm ... decisions decisions ... I'll make the decision some day ... ;)

  2. Oh yes, a red hat would be great.

    My tattoos are the result of many artists work :)

  3. I am fully in the LOVE camp! Only bad thing about them is having to decide whats next :)

    1. I get you Tory, my next session is already booked but not fully decided on the "what" as yet ;)

  4. I LOVE tattoos, I have 4. I love large tattoos on other people but i wouldn't have a large one my self. My first one when I was 18 was a dragon outline on my tummy, it's beautiful and still my favourite one 13 years later. my second when I was 20 is a Scorpion on my sholder, (I'm a Scorpio), there was a big gap then as I navigated through a couple of controlling boyfriends, then freedom in my late 20's mean't I got my third which is a lizard on the inside of my forearm, he's just an outline and needs some more work I think, then my fourth was a few years ago not long after my third is on my hand a little butterfly. All of my ink is black apart from my butterfly which has a flash of pink. I want a couple more and then I'll stop (possibly), I love hearing the stories behind other peoples tattoos

  5. Before you are declared a work of art, I think you should read this story :)


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