tattoos

My Tattoos!

So I get asked to do a tattoo blog ALOT, and while I don’t see myself as tattooed enough to warrant one – all of y’all do, so here we go.

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My first tattoo, the one considered to be the ‘gateway’ tattoo.

My first tattoo! I drew myself, mistakes and all when I was 17, and my best friend Hannah treated me to it on my 18th birthday and she got the same tattooed on her other arm. Best friends 5eva. So no underage tattoos here guys! Not for lack of trying…>:)

Now, if I HAD got tattooed underage, I can honestly say I would have been lumped with a monstrosity for life – I drew up my own design of a trad style anchor, with two swallows either side – doesn’t sound that bad right? Well I wanted it in traditional garish colours, and no where other than my lower abdomen. Let’s just say thank fuck for tattoo artists who check ID and don’t just ‘take my word for it, my mum said I’m allowed one and I’m deffo 18.’

I had the tattoo bug from a very early age, didn’t help that we were regulars at festivals like The Bulldog Bash – a motorbike, music and booze festival run by the Hells Angels,  which happened to be a stones throw from our front door. My other best pal Naomi, got her first tattoo there, underage ! And it was me who got called the bad influence!!

Anyway, I fucking love art, so much so I wanna be the art. Is that so strange?

My next tattoo was on a whim, with an old friend of mine in London, we filled up on chocolate vodka, decided to get ‘matching’ hand tattoos and she ended up with an ace of spades, while I ended up with a tiny anchor that has since spread so much it needs explaining every time I show it. Scratcher tattoos, for the win!

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On my right hand, a tiny anchor tattoo sits on my finger! Yes, that is an anchor.

 

My third tattoo, and my first proper learning curve, was that some tattoo artists don’t just ‘know’ what you want! I was besotted with Valerie Vargas style tattoos at this point, having just discovered her work in several tattoo mags, and so when Ryan and I booked a day session I showed the guy a picture I liked and said ‘I want something like that, please.’

19 years old, and shy AF, he showed me a stencil briefly and slapped it on my upper arm, I have a mole on that arm (about where your TB jab might be) and he’d positioned the design – that I’d hardly seen – so the lady’s face had a huge mole on it!

I asked if he could move it, and he scrubbed my arm roughly and moved the stencil. By now I’d seen the design and it wasn’t what I wanted. Feeling too rude to say so and ask for a new one to be drawn up, I sat through an hour or so knowing I hated my tattoo.

Here’s the lesson I have since learnt…

TATTOOS DON’T FUCKING COME OFF! 

They are on you FOR LIFE.

That is what you are paying for. A permanent mark. A permanent design that you will look at – FOREVER. If you don’t like it – speak up ! A tattoo artist doesn’t want you to be unhappy! They want you to love your art, on paper, and on skin. It’s their job, and generally – their passion too. Communicate! Be specific, your artist will want to work with you to get an end product you are happy with living with, and they are happy scarring you with.

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So yeah, here she is, and she’s remained untouched since that fateful day. Sorry hun.
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A few centuries later, had a spell of homelessness, living on the dole and finally getting our acts together and adding to the clan – Lily was born. And upon her ejection, it was time for another tattoo.

I got my second and third finger tatts on Ryan and I’s anniversary, so as an ode to my two loves of my life, I opted for a heart for Ryan (hint hint, I would like a ring) and an L for…Loopy Lily the First. This is one of those photos that at the time I thought was beautiful and now she is grown look back on and think ..urgh Potato Child.

Sorry babe, you are beautiful now.

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On maternity leave and with money and time to kill, the arm began to fill up. This was done at Dust n Bones Tattoo in Plymouth, by lovely Robin!
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Brightened up the peg something chronic!

Then! Fate struck, and two ‘brummies’ immigrated to Looe one fine day in 2017, (infact, TODAY! Two years ago!)   Ryan noticed a shop being refit whilst on a job, and Lo! The Vault in Looe came into our lives, bringing with it two of the best people ON THE PLANET. Melanie Allen (then Bates!) and Cat Allen. We even made them a song. But let’s not go off on that tangent.

Ironically, most of our friends in Cornwall are not Cornish natives, not sure if that says more about Cornwall being The Place To Be, or if it means Cornish folks are…weird AF.

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Anyway! Ryan went in, introduced himself (and me, although I was none the wiser a friendship egg was being laid.) And booked himself in for a hand tatt. Long story short – we go there for all our tattoos now, I recommend them to everyone I know – even Aussies, y’never know when one may be visitin’. And frankly, if anyone else were to touch me with a needle I’d feel like I was cheating.

In 2018, Mel and Cat invited us to be part of their wedding, and we were blessed with being a part of their happiest ever day – what an honour!

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The hand tattoo that started it all, and our place settings at M & C’s wedding!

And so, here are several tattoos laid upon me by the one and only Catherine Rope Head Allen.

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Crystal Ball, the runes mean success, luck all that kinda shit.

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Friday 13th tattoo, lucky ol’ 13! Ryan got one too, and he tattooed one on Cat!
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A birthday tattoo, and yes I drank tea as it was stabbed into me!
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My finger tattoos, and not to sound like a pussy but these are up there with most painful tattoo! I love Cat but when she tattoos me sometimes I’d like to punch her.
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One for the Foot Fetishers

Oh, my most recent tattoo is the swallow on my foot, and I nearly forgot to mention my own mishaps – tattooing ‘Love Hate’ on my toes on Christmas day, probably not my greatest idea, but it was funny at the time. And what’s life for, if not for laughing.

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Another ‘home job’ a sugar skull on my thigh. Hurt like fuck and Ryan did a line too. A blurry photo honestly does it justice.

 

The rest of my arm, a crescent moon which was done by Robin at Dust N Bones, which i got ‘cus I liked it. (Life aint always deep and meaningful!) and then following a few successes with my blog and writing in general I got a writing hand, with the word ‘Mother’. This was my own design and tattooed by the wonderful Cat! It actually covers over some scars which was pretty poignant – like making an ugly reminder of a hard time into something that I am proud of and truly self-made. I’ve done well since that period of life, and now whenever I see my arm I am reminded of it.

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Lucky Horseshoe – Freshly done! This tattoo was a nod to my first love Amy (RIP), Also Ryan tells me I am supernaturally lucky (that’s true!) and he recently got a tattoo that said ‘Fuck Luck’. So its an ode to being a ying/yang. He’s unlucky, but I’ve got enough luck for the both of us.
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Excuse the shite photo, but have you ever tried to take a photo of the bottom of your arm?! This piece was just a gap filler I decided on, on the day. Super bright and colourful dagger and rose.

So… I THINK that is it! Theres another anchor on my ankle, stabbed into me, by me. It’s not too bad actually! I’ve got another tattoo booked this weekend – so we will have to wait and see what that is!! I’m sure I’ll document it all on Instagram…so be sure to check that out! ( @Rocknrollmother_)

I’ve popped a link in above to The Vault’s Facebook if you wanna have a nosy at Cats most brilliant work – I am not the greatest advert for her amazing talent. Their Instagram is here.

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That said! A few of you asked for more tattoo blogs, so there will be more to come! Watch this space for a walk through of Ryan’s tattoos! (Wayyyy more interesting than mine) And tattoo etiquette – a guide to getting your first, third or the rest of your tattoos! Etc. If there’s anything you’d like to read, drop a comment or message on my social media.

Thankyou for reading, I hope you enjoyed it (:

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