*Disclaimer* Reading this particular post with small children on your lap, or impressionable 12 year olds hanging over your shoulder would not be a good idea.
When you do something in your life that is of Epic proportions, you need to find a way to commemorate it.
Saturday July 7th I arrived in downtown Duluth, MN to meet these crazy women I was going to be spending the next week with. Only I didn't know they were crazy, but I had a hunch.
I hadn't slept well the night before, nor had I eaten anything that day because I was just too excited and nervous. I pulled into the hotel parking lot and Tink came out to greet me with a huge hug. I got to drool over her BEAUTIFUL bike (she'd glued swarovski crstyals all over it and it's stunning!) We sat down on the varanda as a group to figure out what to do next. First stop, FOOD! They'd gotten in earlier in the afternoon but had waited for me. What I didn't know is the plans they'd been trying to make!
We sit down in a sandwich shop, exchanging some small stories, trying to get the feel of who each other really is, when Tink says to me, "So...uummm...last night we were trying to figure out how we could commemorate our trip. We wanted it to be something big, but..umm...well Bev mentioned how about we all get a tatoo? I told them I doubted you'd go for it, but since I really don't know you, I have no idea."
"A tattoo? I've been wanting one for a long time! Where do I sign up."
"Well...ummm...actually....we have an appointment at 8:00 tonight (it was now about 5:00) with a guy named Jeffie. Really, you don't have to do it if you don't want to. We think we're going to all get the same thing, but we want to go look at the guy's work."
And so it was decided. Keep in mind that I'm a tatoo virgin. There isn't a drop of ink on my body, but the other girls each have one or two...or 5.
Meet Jeffie. He is an artist at Dominic's Dowtown in Duluth. Doesn't he look just like a tattoo artist? The funny thing is, his name is really JESSIE but Scharlett misunderstood on the phone. And so, as would soon become a habit for us, we renamed him.
Jeffie was very patient with us. We told him the purpose of this trip...a freeing experience, and one to bond with our fellow biker sisters. An expression of independence and a celebration of life. We wanted it simple (aka not expensive!) and we all wanted the same thing. Jeffie disappeared into his studio to draw something up. About 15 minutes later he came back with a couple different designs which we tweaked a bit, each of us adding a small item to make it our own, yet the same as the others.
First there was much discussion about WHERE we would put our new artwork
And naturally we had to sign our life away!
Then more discussion about who was going to be first. Tink volunteered, and I was allowed to go watch and take pictures, which was a lot like watching Miami Ink on T.V. except different. My pictures didn't turn out the greatest, because my camera didn't like the lighting. Also Tink was trying very hard to put on a good face for me since I was still a virgin, and it's just possible my nerves were showing a little bit.
While she was getting done, this man was in the next chair. His name is Mike, and he's having a guardian angel put on his back. I don't know his whole story, but this angel holds great meaning for him, and he has survived tragedy. His spirit was very sad, and I hope getting this tattoo is a step to healing for him. From an artistic side, the shading and detail in this tat is fantastic!
Next up was Bev. She couldn't get hers in the same spot as the rest of us, because she already has one there. Bev's daughter Pam died shortly after giving birth from an embolism several years ago. On her chest, Pam had a tat of an angel blowing stardust. Bev's tattoo is very similar, only the face resembles Pam, and inside the stardust are the letters to spell out PAM.
I was next. I was very nervous by this point, but Jeffie handled me well. ;-) First he applied the stencil.
And then the work began! OUCH! I don't know how in the world that Mike guy could stand to get his whole back done, or for that matter anyone else who I know with large tats!
Getting right up close and personal!
Scharlett was next. She made the mistake of not wearing the right shirt so she had to take it off in order to get her tattoo. Poor Scharlett.
And, the picture you've all been waiting for....the finished product! Notice the slight swelling. I am such a wimp. LOL
Some of you know I've been trying to design a tattoo about my kids for some time. After looking through the books in the shop, and talking with Jeffie I've finally gotten it figured out! I know where I'll be going to get it done.
Coming soon, "Split Rock Sisters"