I've been getting tons of emails and requests to go over my tattoos and explain a little bit about them. Now, don't be surprised if some of them are simply just things I love and things I think are pretty. Not every single tattoo has to have a long backstory and a history to it. But, some of them hold a very special meaning. Some. ;)
Let's dive into it. First things first, I'll try and go in chronological order from when I got them.
1. Mary Katherine - This is my grandmothers name, she passed away in 2009. Irish pride! This baby is self explanatory. Miss you Nana. (Artist: Sean Baltzell, St Louis Missouri)
2. Barcode - Here we go with 17 year old decisions... this is a barcode tattoo that I have on my wrist with my birth date underneath it, 03.19.1990. Definitely one of those "This is so cool".. at the time choices. Poorly done, this was my VERY first tattoo so I didn't know any better. It wasn't necessarily supposed to symbolize anything religious, but it totally comes off that way. What are ya'gonna do... I won't even name the artist that did it because 1) I don't remember and 2) Even if I did, he deserves no credit. Blegh.
3. Mr. Owl - I love this baby. One of my favorite and most known tattoos. I'm a photographer, as you all now know, and I found a drawing of an owl on flickr in 2008 and fell in love. I had my artist put his own spin on it and add a camera in his hands. I'm all for every color, so I told him to make it pop. (Artist: Sean Baltzell, St Louis Missouri)
4. Grapevine - I love the meaning behind this tattoo.. "Don't be afraid to go out on a limb, that's where the fruit is." Cute, right? Cause it's on my limb. *knee slap* I seriously love this tattoo, it came out so perfect. (Artist: Sean Baltzell, St Louis Missouri)
5. Hot Air Balloon - Here's a prime example of a tattoo I got because it's just..so..pretty. Anything colorful I will always embrace and I loved how he drew this. It's another one of my favorite pieces. (Artist: Sean Baltzell, St Louis Missouri)
6. Cherry Blossom Tree - This one unfortunately turned out to be a bit of a mess. Again, another decision made as a 17 year old. But at least there was heart involved. A friend of mine originally did this piece but the pink faded so much on my very pale skin so I decided to have it re-done to give it a little more shape. This was obviously BEFORE I made the conscious decision to go traditional with my work. It's one of my least favorite tattoos mostly because it doesn't match my style.. But again, what are'ya gonna do? The unreadable quote says, "Do not stir nor awaken love until it pleases." (Artist: Melissa & Big Bear Tattoo)
7. White Daisy Greg - As may of you may not know, well... Spencer does, but white daisies are my favorite flower. Simplicity at it's finest. There are two reasons I got this tattoo, one being that I love daisies and two because Greg fit perfectly in that spot. *giggles* No, seriously, he fits perfect. (Artist: Sean Baltzell, St Louis Missouri)
8. Thou Shalt Be Ladylike - This is a matching tattoo that I got with my best friend at the time. Her and I were friends for going on 10 years and I felt it necessary to commemberate that. Even though we are no longer friends, I don't regret it. It's pretty and I always had a good time with her. Good memories for sure. (Artist: Max Klapp, White Lotus Tattoo)
9. Heart Padlock - I got this tattoo when I was 18 years old, matching with my boyfriends at the time... you know, that not so nice BOY I mentioned awhile ago. Again, no regrets, it's really pretty - what are ya gonna do? And I just recently realized the middle of it is shaped like a penis which is completely fitting since I married a dick. HA. (Artist: Sean Baltzell, St Louis Missouri)
10. The Key - You just had to get a key, didn't you Michelle. There IS a story behind this tattoo, which explains a lot about my horendous past relationship.. but I won't go into detail. Let's just say, getting matching keys attached to the lock was supposed to be a symbol of loyalty. I was the only one that got the key. Point made. (Artist: Sean Baltzell, St Louis Missouri)
11. C.E.K <3 - My beautiful and amazing mother. I got this tattoo for her birthday, I plan on getting something for everyone in my family. I'm two away from it. I got a blue rose because those symbolize rarity which is definitely something my mother is. I got her initials C.E.K. in scrabble tiles because if you know my mother, she will kick your ass at any word game. Ever. This is one of my favorite pieces for one of my favorite people in the world. Love you mom. (Artist: Max Klapp, White Lotus Tattoo)
12. Anchor - I know what you're thinking and no, I do not know anyone in the Navy nor does this tattoo stand for anything Navy related. I had an open spot on my wrist and a friend of mine wanted to tattoo me. That's literally the entire story. I was in a very weird and sad place in my life and literally handed him my arm like "ok whatever." (Artist: Craig Carleton)
13. Knuckle Heart - This is a matching tattoo that I have with my sister on our pinkies. Simple. Pretty. Girly. She is one of my best friends. :) That is literally all that needs to be said about this baby. Pinky promise. (Artist: Max Klapp, White Lotus Tattoo)
14. Knuckle Anchor - Believe it or not, this one holds almost the most meaning to me. This anchor is on my wedding ring finger. I got this tattoo AFTER my divorce. I have a lot of people still asking me if I'll ever get married again and assuming that I'm scarred and will never want to dive in again. False. Why would I blame the institution of marriage just because one guy was an asshole? No way. I love the idea of marriage, and yes I didn't speak up when I should have and got caught in a terrible situation but that in no way effects my outlook on marriage. I got this tattoo because the next time I walk down the aisle it will be because I want to and because I'm ready. That man will be my anchor and I will be his. And maybe I already met him, who knows. (Artist: Max Klapp, White Lotus Tattoo)
15. Knuckle Arrows - I mean, I've been obsessed with arrows and nature and mountains since I can remember. Growing up with a cabin in Big Bear, Hello?! Since this whole Girrlscout brand started 2 years ago, it's also been my symbol. (I'll write a blog on how the name came to be, but it's boring, forewarning you) This is just a tattoo I've always wanted and I plan on getting more arrows in the future. (Artist: Max Klapp, White Lotus Tattoo)
16. Bird Cage - This is another one of those tattoos I have that has no specific meaning, it's just pretty. I want to build a little more on it and add some more color eventually but it's pretty. I'm a fan. (Artist: Sean Baltzell, St Louis Missouri)
17. Compass - I will admit, I originally got this tattoo for another "I love nature" reason and because well, look at it, it's gorgeous. But I will say this, my brother in law volunteers for search and rescue for San Bernardino County and whenever I see this tattoo I now think of him. I know it's not completely thoughtful since I didn't think of it at the time, but now it's his. I like that. It's staying that way. (Artist: Josh Rees, Luckys Tattoo San Diego)
18. Sugar Skull - I have been wanting a sugar skull for quite some time since I started getting traditional tattoos. You know me, queen of color. What better? This is another "Look at it, it's so pretty" tattoos. (Artist: Max Klapp, White Lotus Tattoo)
19 & 20. Traditional Rose - The rose on your left is attached to my sugar skull tattoo. I got these two roses at two different times by different people originally so I needed some sort of symmetry to my collarbone. ;) Note: You can NEVER have too many roses. (Red rose -Artist: Max Klapp, White Lotus Tattoo // Purple rose - redone by Max Klapp, White Lotus Tattoo)
21. Lucky #31 Skull - I love this piece. My friend Josh drew this up and I only switched the #13 to a #31 because that's my lucky number. It's a long story but it has to do with 15 year old me admiring a certain lady basketball player and it just stuck. It's always been my thing. And who doesn't love skulls? I'm all about 'em. (Artist: Josh Rees, Luckys Tattoo San Diego)
22. Badass Biker Dad - This is actually my most recent addition. I got this tattoo for my dad, forever a daddys girl. My dad has had a motorcycle since I was probably in the 6th grade and I am the only one in the family with the lady balls to ride with him. Where's everyones sense of adventure?! I've always been in love with motorcycles. In love. And my dad has always talked about getting an eagle tattoo but he can never decide. So dad, let me decide for you, I'll get one in your honor. I had the lady balls here too. ;) aha, Love you dad. (Artist: Max Klapp, White Lotus Tattoo)
23. Sternum Dagger - Ouch. This one, the most ouch I've ever experienced. But also, this one, my favorite. This doesn't have any specific meaning other than well, look at it... it's gorgeous. This was a leap for me and I have absolutely no regrets. I love it so much. (Artist: Max Klapp, White Lotus Tattoo)
24. Foxy Lady Thigh Piece - This one turned into a masterpiece. I originally got this done by my friend Craig, a mistake, yes. But Max so beautifully redid it and I couldn't be happier. I plan on getting more pieces like this on my legs. This tattoo did not hurt as one might assume, it was actually not bad at all, if you were wondering. (Artist: Max Klapp, White Lotus Tattoo)
Tattoos have been such a great way for me to express myself and also express my love towards others. People are afraid because "It's permanent, I'll regret it" and blah blah blah. But now you see, I have tattoos that I got a long time ago that HAD meaning that don't anymore, you won't ever see me wishing I hadn't gotten them or wanting to black them out. Tattoos can have new meanings and can symbolize growth. It all depends on how you look at it.
I can't wait to get more and keep telling stories and expressing myself. I love being one big canvas. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me in my form or comment below.
Happy Friday, I thought I'd make it colorful for you. ;)
All photos by: Baldwin Media Photography