I love tattoo’s, I always have, especially girls with tattoos. But I made a huge mistake when I was about 15 or 16. I tattooed myself with a needle & ink, then got a tattoo on my arm. Both of which I totally regretted.
At the time I thought I was so cool. I don’t have photos to show you as they have both been covered up but they were a mess.The one on my ankle, which I did myself, was Winnie the Pooh inspired bees buzzing around my ankle. So they had the bees plus the little swirly dot trail behind them. What I was thinking I do not know. Not only did it look hideous but it was so dangerous. I did sterilise the needle before hand but even so, at that age you just don’t think of the consequences.
Back in the 90s, Chinese tattoo’s were all the rage. I went into the tattoo shop at 16 years old with my little sister who was 11 at the time, and chose a tattoo off a poster on the wall.
The only thing was I was too young so instead of getting a tattoo of the year I was born, instead I got a tattoo of the year of the dog, which matched being 18. Why that bloke went ahead & did it I don’t know as I clearly didn’t look old enough, especially going in the shop with my sister.
After having my first boy, I wanted his name tattooed on my forearm, by my wrist but not actually on my wrist as that was where everyone was getting them at the time. I wanted it in a handwriting style font, something quite delicate.
I walked into our nearest tattoo shop & told him what I wanted. No problem, I’ll do it now he said. As he started doing it freehand I felt sick straight away but I just didn’t have the confidence to tell him to stop. I just let him finish it, paid & left. I really wasn’t happy with it but couldn’t tell him that, but also didn’t want to say that I didn’t like my tattoo of my child’s name.
I’d been scarred by my experiences & was too worried about getting another bad tattoo.
My husband told me of a tattoo shop he delivered to, he said he’d seen the work & they were amazing. So off I went for a consultation. I was told I’d have to have them lasered off as a cover up wasn’t possible, the only one they could work on was the tattoo of my sons name as it was only small.
Off I went to think of some designs. I decided I wanted teacups & roses. I come from a family of strong, independent Northern women who can solve anything over a cup of tea. No matter what has happened, pop the kettle on, let’s have a brew & sort things out. That teacup represents my great grans, two fiercely strong women who I miss every day, it represents my Nan, my mum, my sister & cousins. All the women in my family.
I adore that tattoo, the traditional style, the colour, the line work. But they said they couldn’t work with my other cover ups without laser first, which was so expensive.
So whilst I was saving to pay for laser removal I found a new tattooist, recommended by a friend who’d had stunning tattoos done by her. Plus she actually said she could cover them no problem.
Finally after 20 years they were going to be gone!
I decided on a sunflower tattoo to cover up the Chinese symbol. The two sunflowers are for my two gorgeous boys and all the smaller flowers are for my nieces, nephews & goddaughter. It’s just so pretty, I can’t believe you can’t see the old tattoo at all.
I’ve always wanted a sugar skull tattoo so decided on that for my foot, with the flowers around my ankle to cover up the little bees. Again, you can’t see the old tattoos at all & they were thick lined & quite dark with them being done by a sewing needle. Obviously fine line drawing isn’t achievable when done in the way I did them…
Now I’d found my tattooist, it was time to make up for those 20 years & get the tattoos I’ve always wanted but just was never brave enough to do for fear of them being a mess again like before.
After I’d had my cover ups, I wanted a matching tattoo with my mum. We decided on a moon with three stars, the moon representing my mum, and the stars my brother, sister & I. Our dad isn’t on the scene, he disappeared out of our life when they divorced so my mum is a huge part of our lives. We are all so close.
My mum ended up getting her tattoo done on holiday, so instead of cancelling her slot I asked for a matching sun design for my other arm. I adore them both, but the moon is my favourite of the two just because it has more meaning behind it.
Next I had my lady. I’ve always wanted a sugar skull style ‘gypsy lady’. Simply because I find them so beautiful. I gave Dee several pictures I’d found on Pinterest & told her which details I loved from each image. She designed my beautiful lady just for me. It took two three hour sittings.
One for the outline & shading & the second one for the colour. She was stunning with just the black & grey detail but once the colour was finished, it just took it to a whole new level. I think she’s my favourite tattoo.
It took me a long time to decide on her, because it had no real meaning to me other than I just loved the design. Me being me, I was overthinking it. What would people say? Is it too much? Would they think I’m being racist having a ‘gypsy girl’?
But in the end I thought sod it, I love it so I’m having it. Not all tattoos have to have a ‘meaning’. The meaning behind this one is simply that I loved it & wanted it.
My cute little snake was done by Dee’s apprentice Emilee. She’s already amazing even though she’s new to tattooing. Again, the snake has no particular meaning other than I just loved the design. Although a few months later I decided to get some flowers added around the snake. Again, just because I saw a similar image & thought it looked stunning.
I also added a semi colon just recently, partly because Emilee was doing the semi colons for charity & partly because I live very near to a lot of motorway bridges. Every month or so we hear of someone who has lost their life jumping from one of the bridges. Recently it was a mum who jumped to her death, she was similar in age to me with kids similar to mine.
It was when Keith Flint from The Prodigy committed suicide I signed up for mine in order to raise awareness for male suicide, it really hit me hard.
My final one was again another that Emilee did. She’s just doing black line work so I chose something relatively simple for her. I wanted a Manchester bee since the arena bombing. Living in Manchester, and previously working in the city centre. Manchester is my adopted home town & I love it.
We’ve lived here thirteen years now & I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Some of my eldest son’s friends were there, thankfully none were hurt. I wanted the bee to show my support & also because Manchester is a part of me now.
I wanted something a little different though, and something that would sit nicely amongst my other tattoos on that arm. So went for this pretty bee & flowers. I just love the placement. Maybe at some point I may have colour added but I think I’ll end up leaving it as it is.
So that’s me & my tattoos. I know they’re not for everyone but I adore them, they speak so much about me & my style.
Do you have any? If not, would you?