Boo! Happy, happy Halloween! It’s not really celebrated here in New Zealand (which genuinely makes me so sad!) but hey, I know I’ll be all dolled up in my ASOS bat jumper and eating as much candy as I possibly can. Oh, and watching my all-time favourite, Hocus Pocus on repeat! “I put a spell on you and now you’re mine!” Enjoy, guys! ♥
A while ago now, I decided that I wanted something really big for my 25th birthday – that something being my thigh tattoo. You wouldn’t believe how many questions I’m asked about my tattoo. From “can I touch it?” (yes, really!) to the design process, and of course the one I hear most of all (even from strangers!) “are you going to colour it?” I thought I’d share a bit about why I chose this for my tattoo, and how I got it from an idea in my head to a decoration on my body.
For as long as I’ve known, I have been sailor obsessed. I own an insane amount of sailor themed clothing – I just love it! I always knew that I wanted my first ‘big’ tattoo to have a sailor theme too.
My boyfriend, Barnaby and I sat down and talked about sailors. We made a massive list of everything even remotely sailory; rope, anchors, ships, treasure, tattoos.. you name it – we had it! Eventually, after a couple of ciders and a whole lot of Googling, we started talking about sailor tales. I love the story of mermaids luring sailors in with their voices, so decided to base it off that. So basically, my design just plain comes down to the fact that I really like sailors!
The design process:
I sketched out so many ideas. I was looking on Pinterest constantly, both for tattoos and poses, to brainstorm exactly what I wanted. When I had decided that I wanted a sailor and a mermaid, that’s when things started to come together. I sketched up a draft of how I roughly wanted it to look, and as you can see that it’s very close to the final design.
Finding the artist:
This was the bit I found really hard! Finding the person to bring it all to life is really tricky, man. I Googled like mad and couldn’t find anything.. I went on Pinterest, but nope, nothing.. Eventually I started looking through hashtags on Instagram. I found a tattoo artist from London, James Moule, and I loved the way he drew faces. We messaged, worked things out, and after a bit of backwards and forwards correspondence – I had my design. He even posted the original paper design over for me – how neat is that!
Next we had to find the tattoo artist to do the actual tattooing. I went to four different parlours before I found the one I was happy with. My requirements were making sure the artist’s line work looked clean (as I wasn’t getting it coloured) the shop was clean, and the price wasn’t too insane. I ended up going with the very talented Joe Chin from Ninjaflower. Call me a nerd, but it was pretty neat being a Jo getting tattooed by a Joe!
Update: I’ve had a few questions regarding whether what I did was normal for a tattoo process. Here’s your answer: nope! Usually you bring your idea to the tattoo artist and they take you through the entire process of designing as well as tattooing. I completely respect this and WISH I had as much talent to do the same – you guys are amazing! The thing is though, I knew exactly what I wanted and how I wanted it to look, and couldn’t find any local artists to create that vision. So you definitely can go straight to the artist, in fact it’s 99% more normal than how I did it. Hopefully that clears things up a bit more!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Did it hurt?
Yes, it really, really did! This was the most painful by far out of my three tattoos, especially the closer to the inner thigh. The picture on the left was (obviously!) during the tattoo process. On the right was a few hours after it was all finished – isn’t it swollen!
Are you going to colour it?
At this point, no. I was never sure whether I wanted colour or not, but now I love the simple outlined look.
How long did the tattooing process take, and how long did it take to heal?
My tattoo took about three hours, from start to finish. It took about three weeks to heal completely. After a couple of days it scabbed (sorry if you’re eating!) then slowly started to flake away, leaving the finished picture behind.
Lately, for me, it’s been all about the ‘hive. There’s an odd feeling of satisfaction when you get your hair twice as big as the last time you did it (challenge accepted). Plus, I really hate washing my hair all the time, and they say that dirtier hair works better for grip, so yay; an excuse!
Are there any other contact lens wearers out there? My eyes have basically gone on strike and water like mad any time a lens comes even remotely close. My new specs couldn’t have arrived at a better time, and paired with a beehive & this beautiful (x100000) floral dress by Joules I felt like a modern Joan Holloway. And that’s never a bad thing, am I right?
Also: is it wrong that I totally read out the title in an Austin Powers voice? Answer: yes, yes it is..
It only takes a quick glance at my Instagram feed to see that I’m pretty freakin’ obsessed with flowers. Sure, I might not know terribly much about them, but I can certainly appreciate a pretty thing or two (or in this case, thousand or two!) Every year the Wellington Botanic gardens puts on a spring Tulip festival. I drive (aka. bus) past every day on my way to work, so have been keeping a close eye on their blooming schedule to make sure I visited at the peak time…
What I didn’t think about was that everyone in Wellington would be doing the same thing!
Something they don’t tell you about being a blogger is that you’ve got to be brave around other people! I twirled around and sat beside the tulips, ducking the crowds the best I could. The funniest point was when I bumped into a little boy from my work (I’m an early childhood teacher, by the way!) and he got so shy he wouldn’t even talk to me! Though I’m sure I’m a bit more intimidating with my thigh tattoo on display and giant hair, especially if you’re only two years old! Eep! I wore my favourite piece of clothing, this pink (!!) sailor romper by ASOS. It’s massively on sale at the moment, and was far too hard for me to resist – you know I love my sailor clothing!
Bows – I love ‘em, what more could I say? I’m a bit of a girly girl, that’s for sure, so whack a bow on a dress and chances are high that I’ll like it. Make it in yellow? Pretty much a guarantee! You might have seen this dress before on my Instagram. It’s been hanging around in my wardrobe for a good six months – and it’s basically all I want to wear at the weekends. So, here it is! Hello yellow!
In other news: how great are brooches?! I always wanted to be part of the something-witty-on-my-brooch club, but until now hadn’t found quite the right thing. Um, so then I found one that mentioned burgers (!!) and was sold. On the scale of good vs great things, burgers definitely rate pretty high, don’t you think? The other brooch, the rose was a present from my lovely Mum after we spotted it on a thrifting adventure. Something I say rather often is: “if you’re gonna do it, do it right” – and I think it clearly applies to brooches too; after all, why wear one brooch when you can wear two!
Is the cat obsession still going? OH, YOU KNOW IT IS! As long as my beloved Pepa Loves keeps creating dresses as sweet as this one, you just know I’m gonna be crazy about feline fashion. Just look at that print! And a pan collar too? Come on guys, you can’t expect me to have any willpower, right?
I had the purr-fect location in mind for shooting this little number, but when it didn’t work out we had to switch to other options. Just based off the fact that there is a giant Wille E. Coyote graffitied on the wall shows that sometimes makeshift locations turn out way, way better than what you planned. Sometimes it’s best to just roll with it, because honestly, what’s better than a giant Loony Toon plastered on a wall? (Answer: two!)
Before you think I’ve jetted off on another holiday.. Sadly nope! This beautiful mint coloured building is home to a cafe & coffee bean roasting HQ, known as Havana Coffee. With the most appropriate car ever (really!) it just seemed like the perfect place to shoot this pin-up inspired flamingo dress by Sourpuss Clothing. I definitely had more than a few odd looks as I twirled around in front of this ol’ Buick, but hey, it’s parked between a coffee shop and a post office, so being shy isn’t really an option! This was a bit of a different look for me, but the pastel palette had me feeling a bit like Kailey or Kate – and it’s really not a bad thing to feel like one of your favourite bloggers now, is it?
Oh hey! It’s just me, hanging out on South Las Vegas Boulevard, dressed like a watermelon. Cue: “I been dranking watermelon...” I’m well aware that my fruit obsession is getting out of hand, but this really was the perfect Vegas dress (aka. there were a lot of breathing holes. That town is hot!)
These photos were snapped right outside our hotel, looking at my very favourite casino – New York, New York. Do you see that enormous roller-coaster? I know what you’re thinking, and yes – we went on it! I am horrendous when it comes to heights, but in the midst of a YOLO moment, we hopped on and screamed ourselves silly. It’s unreal how much I was shaking afterwards. And food was definitely off the cards for more than a few hours.
Strangely enough.. these are the last of my photographs from Las Vegas! I can’t believe it’s been so long already, but it’s definitely given me the travel bug. I’m working at the moment on a photo album from our time away, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Don’t ‘stay tuned’ though. I think it’s gonna take a while!
“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.“
- Alice in Wonderland.
I really, really love the story of Alice in Wonderland. The whole idea of tumbling down a rabbit hole into an upside-down world of talking flowers and size-altering biscuits sounds incredible. Naturally, I love it when any of my outfits even mildly remind me of my favourite old stories, let alone Alice (if you read Lost in the Haze during my first days of blogging you might remember my Red Riding Hood or Cinderella posts). It really doesn’t take much to want to dress up like a book character. After all, my mother was a librarian, so what can I say – it’s in the family!
The start of spring didn’t quite have in mind what I thought it would.. I ride past the gardens almost daily on the bus, and it looks as though they are bursting with blossoms. But once we ventured inside it was hard to find any form of flower. Not that it really mattered; tip-toeing through overgrown paths in such a delicately embroidered dress (by Chicwish) made me feel just like Alice. Well, gazing down at the white rabbit & Alice rings I was wearing probably helped too! ; )
Tights – ASOS / Shoes – Le Bunny Bleu
Have you ever seen trees this colour before? I certainly hadn’t! Every day on my way to work, I would pass this tree as I rode the bus. It’s a weird feeling; looking at something so many times, but never actually standing right in front of it. After weeks and weeks of watching this tree bloom and slowly begin to decay, I couldn’t take it anymore. Arming myself with my trusty Nikon camera and “a ticket for two please” I was soon on my way to sharing this special place with my love. And it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Slap bang in the middle of winter, the skies decided to treat us to… warm weather! You wouldn’t believe the wonders it did for our moods! Keeping with my ‘fruit fashion’ obsession I dressed in this pin-up inspired cherry print dress by Chicwish. I kept accessories to a minimum; instead choosing to focus on wearing bright red lipstick - my favourite! Now, as I bus past this tree, I smile to myself. It makes me think of an afternoon spent with my guy, laughing and pulling silly faces for the camera. ♥