Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Changing it up

Of course my son slept over his Mimi's house last night so I went to bed late and woke up early. Great plan. I guess I'm trying to enjoy some alone time and get things done that I haven't been able to manage. The other day I was discussing that there are no longer real days off when you have a child. At least they aren't the same. Selfishness is set aside for when they grow up and move out of the house. I suppose I'm taking advantage of time alone instead of unobstructed sleep, which I haven't had since before my beloved child was born.

My husband and I could really use a vacation. Please note that if anyone wants to trade a vacation time share for tattoo work, I'm down. Last night we were reminiscing of the times we went away when we first met - LA, Vegas, Daytona. We would come and go on the chopper, go out to eat anytime we wanted. A little taste of that for a few days would be nice.

Anyway there's so much I want to do, but finding the priorities is what's important. Of course the blog was changed. How do you like the new layout? I also finally exported my old iTunes libraries to my present one so that I could update the iPod my hubby gifted to me on my birthday weeks ago. It's like having new music all over again. It'd be nice to get a hair cut and do some shopping, but really I should clean and draw a sleeve for tomorrow. It would be ideal to have it all.

At least I've updated my portfolio at Body Graphics, and I now have an official cover up book. Although I don't have all of before pics for some old cover ups and especially ones that I won awards from. It's been trying to get people to send me healed pics of their work that I want in my portfolio too. I really have some that I'm so proud of and want to share. That's a common plight of the tattoo artist. The work really isn't yours. Anyway, if you have any healed pieces, please send high res digital pics to The best way to photograph them is without a flash in non direct natural sunlight. Just saying.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Never ending

Cleaning is a never ending cycle here at our house. I have no idea how my house keeps on turning into a disaster area. Well.... actually we had people over here on Sunday and most complied with the "no shoes" rule. However, there is dirt everywhere from the kids coming in and out from the backyard. Not to mention the dogs aren't wiping their paws off when they come in and out. Yesterday on my day off I tackled the kitchen dishes, the mountain of laundry, and organizing my own clothing. It's still a disaster. Since I have to work today, I've been answering the endless emails for scheduling and rescheduling and printing out new pics for my portfolio. I don't know where to begin!

I wanted to make a better "cover up" section in my portfolio or a whole book in itself. However I've lost so many older photos due to the laziness of not backing the computers of the past up and losing many great pics. It's a bummer since I did win Best Cover Up at the Boston Tattoo Convention three years in a row. Here are some photos:

Even though they are't the most complicated or the award winning ones, I'm still pretty psyched to have them as examples in my books. It's about time I updated my portfolios.

On another note, where did Spring go? We had to go out and buy some summer clothing for Talon yesterday since it's now suddenly summer here in South Jersey. We also raided Bed Bath and Beyond with a stack of coupons in hand. Let me add that their coupons never actually expire and you can use Buy Buy Baby coupons there too. Plus you can use as many as you want. So we went home with some great frames, Steamer balls, a steamer, kitchen mitts, and a Bodum espresso maker from the clearance section. Score!

After shopping, my son had to have noodles so we stopped in a local Vietnamese restaurant. He commenced to embarass me twice here. First he was pointing to a group of guys and yelling "Bad Guys" over and over. Then when his food came out, it landed on the table causing a stink. He said "ew, Mommy farted!" over and over. I couldn't help but crack up at both of the incidences. That kid is a riot.

So now here I am finishing up laundry and wondering where to begin the cleaning and then drawing for one of my appointment's today. Let the craziness of the work week begin after a couple days off. I'm out!!

Friday, April 22, 2011


That's the product of 7 days of brining, 2 hours of drying on a rack, and 3 hours of smoking late into the night. After falling asleep and not waking up from my 1:30am alarm, I jumped off the couch at 3am to remove the beloved bacon from it's cooking vessel. This morning was a delightful breakfast despite the extreme anxiety I had about overbooking myself once again.

Someday I will get the hang of it. Now that I'm on an appointment only schedule, I've still been packing the work to the hilt. However, I had a cancellation tomorrow and eased one of today's appointment's in the slot. Initially I had a smooth day planned, but put someone else in instead of my original appointment after receiving some terrible news from a client. I felt like I wanted to appease this client by putting her husband in since her health isn't good enough to get tattooed. So now all is good for this Good Friday Earth Day. Tomorrow should be just as smooth as well. After the past couple of crazy busy days of non stop tattooing and drawing, I'm now decompressing to a normal busy schedule instead of an insane one. Let this be a lesson to myself.

So now I can get ready for work in a normal fashion. Perhaps I can skip putting make up on at red lights. Tonight I will get home, begin the curing process of a fresh ham for feasting on Sunday. Oh yes, there will be quite a feast besides the visit of the Easter Bunny. My son will be so happy and full of candy yet another day, and we will have a couple of days of rest and family fun.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A day in the life

The sound of electronic waves crashing from my son's sound machine fill the air of the house. All is pretty quiet here after a busy day off. The hubby was at work today so we ventured out to a local "farm" to decorate cookies with one of our play groups. The weather was poor so I invited everyone back to the house for an impromptu play date so the kids could interact. After everyone left, there was a time consuming tantrum and a battle to get him to nap. The hampster habitrails were cleaned during the crankiness. Finally he went down, and I got to shower for the first time in two days (or so). In retrospect, before kids there was so much freedom. Although, life is more fulfilling even though the terrible two's can make anyone go batty.

Tonight I got to escape and see Vanishing of the Bees at a local theatre. it was part of a film festival hosted by Whole Foods. The turn out was pretty bleak. Too bad since the film was very informative, and it validates that choosing Organic and local produce is the way to go. Call your congress people and speak your mind, folks. Bees are pretty darn important, and we could be in trouble if we keep up factory farming. We left soon after the next movie, Planeat, began. It was another food documentary trying to suggest eating mostly plant based protein diet and avoiding meat. I've had an overload of vegetarian propaganda lately so that didn't hold my interest.

Tomorrow begins a crazy four days of work. I have to draw most of the day, and tattoo at night. Thursdays seem to becoming a regular 12 hour day, and this week is no exception. Friday is jam packed 10 hr day as well as Saturday.

Somewhere in there, I'm going to have to smoke my cured pork belly to transform it into bacon. I guess that day will be tomorrow... Rain please don't come til later...

I'm pretty excited for this Holiday feast in which I'll be curing and cooking my first ham. If it fails, then we always have rabbit to back it up. I'm sure my family is beyond excited to eat the rabbit . Personally I can't wait to continue the tradition my great grandfather used to prepare rabbit for Easter every year.

Ok I just answered a bunch of work emails, and now I'm off to bed if I can sleep. For some reason the full moon is giving me insomnia. I'm feeling energized and free in a quiet house.

Monday, April 18, 2011


This week's culinary endeavors will allow me to add more home made charcuterie to my repertoire. There's some pork belly in the fridge being cured in a brine, and it'll be ready to smoke in a few days. A fresh ham is defrosting and will be ready for it's brine in a few days. It's funny to think that 16 years ago, I was a vegetarian for some time. Not anymore!

I'm all about experimenting with meat. Of course we try to get local, humanely raised and slaughtered, free range, grass fed products. Last fall, we purchased a half pig and 1/8 cow, We're almost out of both. I was lucky enough to get the cuts from the pig that allowed me to experiment with delicacies such as head cheese and now the bacon and ham. Due to bartering with a meat man, our deep freezer is stocked to the hilt. Check out the bacon brine about 4 days in.

While I'm experimenting with meat and home made body products, my son is obsessed with photography. He enjoys "playing pictures". In fact, he's taking some now with my Nikon D 40x. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. His paternal grandfather is a photographer, and I'm an amateur photographer myself due to taking photographs daily to add to my tattoo portfolio. Check out some of his handy work from an egg hunt with one of our play groups the other day.

He's awesome, isn't he?!

My husband thinks I'm crazy because he says I do too much. Perhaps this is true, however I enjoy making everything home made as much as possible. This includes cooking, crafting body products, and hobby gardening in the small amount of land at our place. Well add my work - drawing and tattooing to that as well as raising my son, and is that too much? Not for me. Idle hand to the work of the devil so they say. A client suggested that I'm such a control freak that I need to have my hands in everything we use. At least I don't solder my own needles anymore. I don't make my own clothes. He thinks I validated the craziness when I mentioned the other day that I was goign to extract lanolin from sheep's wool. Our egg and meat farmer, Carla from 7th Heaven Farm said that she has an ample amount of wool so I'm interested in breaking it down for use in some Eco Darling products. A girl needs hobbies, right?!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

13 hours

Whoa nelly! 13 hours of drawing and tattooing yesterday. Thankfully in between the drawing and going to work to tattoo, I managed to brush my teeth and take a 4 minute shower. If it weren't for the 25 minute commute and red lights, I'd never have a chance to apply make up. Therefore the next three days I'm taking off with lots of fun to be had. Although drawing must be done at some point, I'm really happy to have some free time. This morning we meet my old friend and her son, and took the train to the Aquarium for a play date. My son was elated, and I was hoping for a LONG nap. That didn't happen since the transfer from the car was unsuccessful.

Another Spa Night got cancelled so I won't be showing off my body products. Anyone want to host a party? Please? I've got quite a bit of stuff, and want to share it with y'all.

There's more to come. There's some pork belly in the fridge defrosting in prep for a quick cure for bacon. Thursday night is a ladies night, which I haven't had in a very long time. Friday is an egg hunt and who knows what. Wait... maybe we should get those taxes done, eh?!

Here's some o the pieces I've done lately:

Saturday and Sunday I'll be back to work. Then Monday - Wednesday, my son and I are venturing up north to visit family. We're hoping for good weather so that we can make a visit to the zoo. Can't wait to spend some time with family. It's been awhile.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Since few days ago, I've officially been alive for 33 years. The day before my husband and I celebrated at a sweet gastropub in Fishtown, Philadelphia called Kraftwork. Recently I've found out that it's a fave place to several of my clients. I highly suggest this place for a fancy dinner in a laid back atmosphere. If you like beer, there are several to choose from. If you like adventurous food, you will enjoy yourself. We were hooked up with some extra dishes compliments from Chef Brian. He rocked it out of the ballpark - oysters, goat cheese terrine, fried poached egg with frech green garbanzo beans in truffle oil. Only a couple of bites went into my actual entree, a pork belly sandwich on a hearty bread. yowza...

On my birthday, I worked at No Ka Oi for 12 hours. It took so much out of me, and I was toasted and not feeling well on Friday. The last couple of days I worked, but took it easy. The next two days are balls to the wall, and then I get a three day break from tattooing.

Although I have three days off from the shop, there is so much to do. With tax day looming over our heads and a spa party in which I'll be showing off my products, I'm hoping to get some relaxation in there some time.

Speaking of relaxation, I need some sleep. Good night to all, and I'm hoping my son sleeps in tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Eco Darling updates

Life is busy as usual here at the compound. The soap wasn't made today due to rain. However, my MIL gave me some base soap from a batch she made that's already cured. It'll be milled into some nice shapes and flavors hopefully next week. Two weeks are needed for it to cure after that process, and then then Eco Darling will have soap available. Woohoo!

Last night many Bath "not" Bombs were crafted. Now you can purchase Serenity scented and tinted with beet powder, Vanilla with Sandalwood, and more Lavender Orange since we sold out of those. Facial grains exfoliating scrub with pink clay was made also. It may also double as a mask once a week. As a mask, this new concoction is for more normal to dry skin as opposed to our other facial grain scrub/mask, which is for normal to oily.

Today I finally got the hang of frosting the Bath Cupcakes, and they'll be ready to go for our first Eco Darling Soiree on Thursday night. They really look good enough to eat.

If you want an Easter basket for your special someone, please your orders in soon since it's right around the corner. I can make the Bath "not" Bombs in egg shapes for an extra charge, and also display them in cartons. Also we can use Easter inspired shapes for the Lotion Bars or soaps too. You'll just have to hurry with the soaps though due to the curing process. Mother's Day is coming up so don't forget about Eco Darling when shopping for your favorite mom.

If you want to host a party, please let me know. Just to let you know what is planned for a party, I'm going to write about it here. It's not all about looking and smelling what we have available, it's a full on audience participation spa party. We'll do a facial cleansing, a facial scrub/mask, toning, and using a cold creme. You can sample the lip conditioner too. Also we will be soak our hands in warm water with a sample Bath "not" Bombs fizzie or bath salts and then testing the body scrubs on our hands to simulate what these will be like for your whole body. Then you will be free to sample lotion bars, whipped body butter, and body butter. I will also bring information about the benefits of the ingredients used in the products. If you enjoy all natural body products, you will love this kind of party.

I'd love to share these great products with you. I assure you they will help create a wonderful bathing experience, and your glowing skin will shine for days after. So email me if you're interested, and we can schedule a time that most convenient for you.


The weather is so beautiful right now. It's sunny, and I'm outside typing away. I wish it would stay this way. My son is napping peacefully inside. We had a fun morning except it was tough to leave the house. As I got ready, he came up completely naked. Why do kids do this?

The other day we had a pretty big scare. T was barely walking because something was wrong with his leg. In fact, he was crawling and avoiding walking. So I had to cancel a day at work just in case, we had to make a trip to the emergency room.

It's crazy how sick he's been for the past couple of months. He's now on his third antibiotic because on Wednesday the Dr said he still had an ear infection. He despises the meds regardless of the flavors added and occasionally pukes up all over the place. This was the scenario last night. Just as I was about to put him to bed, I gave him his medicine and blammo. Puke everywhere. Hopefully this weather will clear the germs.

I loathe the overuse of antibiotics and wish we didn't have to give them to him so much. One would think that a child who drank breast milk for the first 20 months of his life, would have a strong immune system. Not my little guy. Perhaps this bout of illness will kick his immune system into overdrive.

Today I signed up for a Transcendental Meditation seminar in my home town. I'm so excited. Yesterday while I was having some anxiety, I remembered that this was something I'd always wanted to learn. After searching the local TM office, I was happy to find a free class next week. This is certainly meant to be. So many inspiring and creative people, specially David Lynch, uses TM. After reading his book years ago, I'm finally going to learn what it's all about. More often than not, I have anxiety and let stress get to me. Hopefully, this practice will do wonders for me. Well that is if I can afford it. Fingers crossed.

Tomorrow my mother and law and I will be making a soap base while my son naps (knock on wood). In six weeks after it cures, it'll be transformed into other specific soaps such as milk and honey in cute shapes and sizes for the Eco Darling Body Care Line. I'll be sure to make some for flavors for the Eco dudes out there too. I'm especially excited to make a shaving cream bar, but I have some time before it'll be ready.