June 2011

Suri & Katie board their private jet en route to LA on Tuesday, 26th.

Andrea's Half-Sleeve with Mermaid

Today we are checking out an awesome traditional half-sleeve by Charlie Foos at Reade Street Tattoo Parlour. I spotted it on Andrea outside of the Fuse studios on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan:

Andrea told me this was completed in three sessions of three and a half hours each and was inspired by s piece of jewelery. "I bought this pendant of a ship," she said, "and I decided I wanted a half-sleeve of something traditional." The rest is history.

Thanks to Andrea for sharing this great tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

This week on Hello Giggles!

Head on over to Hello Giggles to weigh in on "Mom-petition"! I'd love to hear your thoughts! :)

Kerry Unveils Some Masterpieces

A couple weeks ago, I felt like I had won the Tattoosday lottery. In my own neighborhood, I ran into Kerry, who had a bit of a tattoo peeking out of her left sleeve. I stopped her and introduced myself, and she shared some simply phenomenal work. We'll get to that left sleeve in a second, but Kerry figured I'd be impressed with this tattoo on her upper right arm:

Well, she was certainly right about that!  This is a piece by Anil Gupta at Inkline Studio in Manhattan. The detail of this work is astonishing.

Anil Gupta is considered a master of the biomechanical tattoo. Kerry explained:
"I'd seen Gupta's work and I really wanted something in the biomechanical style ... I just thought of a butterfly, which is usually something very feminine and soft, just made it out of parts and steel ... like a cool mix of the styles ... we just kept building and adding more stuff to the design ... he was great to work with."
To get a full appreciation of the tattoo, check out the work from Gupta's portfolio. Simply stunning!

That's twenty-five hours of work by a master of the biomechanical.

Remember, it wasn't the Gupta tattoo that caught my attention, but this colorful section of a sleeve, on the lower part of Kerry's left arm:

Kerry rolled up her sleeve to reveal the entire arm:

What you see is approximately forty-two hours of work by the talented Kaz at New York Adorned.

Kerry explained the genesis of this sleeve:
"I saw this picture when I was looking up samurai stories, because I'm a martial artist and, initially, we were just going to do it half-sleeve, but then just decided to go whole hog. Kaz is really good, so I just let him go crazy with it."
Kerry's focus in martial arts is grappling and kick-boxing. 

And to think, I would have missed all of this amazing work, had I not been intrigued by the head of this Japanese monster, peeking out from one of her sleeves!

Thanks to Kerry for sharing her simply stunning tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

8 Weeks to a Better Me: Recap (kind of)


It's been 9 weeks now since the start of 8 Weeks to a Better Me, and I've absolutely enjoyed setting small goals and (mostly) achieving them!  Some of the goals I set have actually become a part of my daily life/routine, and I think that's pretty awesome. I thought it would be great to recap each of the weeks and break down how I did! So, last night I began doing so (it took me two hours with little flashes of internet window shopping)...hit publish, and blogger gave me an error message...and wouldn't let me go back. I logged in this morning hoping it had saved, but alas, it did not. I believe one of my goals was not to waste my time (if it wasn't it is now), so I am refusing to retype, relink, and rethink all of it! What I will say though, is how much I truly enjoyed this project, and perhaps I'll bring it back closer to the new year with fresh topics and ideas!

I also wanted to say thank you one more time to all of my fabulously inspiring contributors and super supportive (and equally inspiring) readers. I love you guys!

p.s. if you'd like to go back and read through each of the weeks, click the "8 weeks to a better me" tag below!

Henry: 7 months

7 months

7 months is so much fun! I love this age, and it's definitely my favorite month yet. Spoiler alert: I think I'm going to end up saying that every month! This past month though has been awesome. Henry's personality is shining through, and just like I thought, he's a funny, sweet, very independent little dude. And getting funnier and sweeter by the day.

This month went transitioned into solids, and started off with rice cereal (hated it), then oatmeal (also hated it), and a week later decided to start vegetables. Our friend Robyn got us the Baby Bullet as a gift and I LOVE it. I've been making batches of homemade baby food and it's just so easy to use. I'll blog more specifically about it sometime soon, but it's really a great tool. So far Henry has tried sweet potatoes (his first food), avocados, and yesterday he tried peas. We've been feeding him once at day around 4pm. Here's a little video from his first pea experience- don't mind my commentary!

Henry has also been moving and grooving like crazy. He has pulling up on anything he can get his hands on, and prefers to be standing. He's even starting to try and take steps while holding onto his crib. It's really weird to see him over by his toy basket, pulling himself up to pick out a toy to play with. I keep thinking back to just a few short months ago, when he was a non-mobile baby, and it's insane to think about what a difference those weeks have made. It's neat though, and I'm excited for him to start being able to get where he wants to go.

7 months

7 months

7 months

7 months

This month Henry:

is eating and loving solids
is still breastfeeding
takes 2 naps a day
can pull up on anything
loves to stand
laughs when you squeeze his thighs
loves swimming and being in the water
is starting to get very attached to mama
makes lots of babbling sounds
doesn't have any teeth yet
is wearing 9-12 month clothing
doesn't like to wear shoes or socks
loves being in one of our slings
really enjoys going on walks and jogs in the BOB jogger
lights up with Daddy get homes from work
is fascinated by remote controls, cell phone, and plastic cups
drinks water and breastmilk out of a sippy cup

7 months

As far as sleeping goes, he's been wanting to go to bed earlier, and likes to start his bedtime process around 6:30pm. That seems SO early to me, but it's naturally when he gets tired and no matter what we are doing or where we are, he'll curl up against me and start sucking his thumb. The thumb is ALWAYS an indicator of nap time, and during the day I can totally gauge when he needs a nap and when he will actually go down for a nap based on when that thumb gets popped into his mouth. It's almost like clockwork. For the past week Henry has been waking up in the middle of the night wanting to eat around 1am. He eats for about 5-10 minutes then goes back to sleep. I can't tell if it's because he's actually hungry or if he just wants to be comforted, but either way it's okay with me.

7 months

And speaking of eating, last week while at my parents', I left Henry for the evening to go to a show. He doesn't take a bottle anymore and hasn't for months, and our doctor advised me against using one this late in the game. So, we used a Born Free sippy cup my Mom got him. I pumped the night before, and my Mom filled the cup with a bottle's worth of breast milk, gave it to him before he went to bed in place of our usual feeding, and he drank the whole thing while sitting in her lap. He went right to bed and slept through the night. I was SO relieved, because I have three different weekends over the next couple of months that I'm going to be leaving him with Hank, and I was so, so nervous. It makes me happy to know that this worked well.

So, happy 7 months to our darling little man. He's the best thing in our life and it's only gets more and more fun everyday. I can't wait to see what this month has in store for us!  And if these photos are any indication, you can bet it's going to be a good time!

7 months

Nicole Takes Us to Candyland

At the beginning of the month, I had the pleasure of encountering a young lady named Nicole in Herald Square (34th Street and 6th Avenue, for you out-of-towners).

Nicole is heavily inked, estimating that "about 45%" of her body is tattooed.

So with so much work, where to begin? She offered up her lower left leg, which is fully-sleeved.

I always find photographing sleeves challenging, because it is so hard to capture all of the details accurately and perfectly in a photograph. So here's a collage of Nicole's Candyland sleeve:

Why a Candylamd-themed sleeve? Nicole explained,
"Growing up, that was my favorite game in the whole world.

Getting my tattoos never really meant anything, so that was kinda the one, like, childhood thing . . . I feel like if you're a girl, you should have pretty, colorful tattoos ... otherwise, you don't look 'girly' anymore.

So that's why I did that."
Nicole credited Brian Randolph, formerly of New York Adorned, with this work

Nicole informed me that Brian had moved to California, but he comes back and forth every six months.  She did say that, although this work is solely from Brian, she also gets tattooed by Justin Weatherholtz at Kings Avenue Tattoo in Massapequa, New York.

Thanks to Nicole for sharing her incredibly colorful leg sleeve with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Tattoo Tuesday V.76

Name and blog name: Morgan // Morgan and Kim

Age: 23

Occupation: Chaplain and Barista

Age of first tattoo:

Favorite tattoo: Ship

Featured tattoo/location: Left Thigh

Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: Tattoo Artist- Sento Shop- Chapel Tattoo / Melbourne, Australia

1) Tell us about your featured tattoo- is there a background story or special meaning? Why did you choose this particular piece of art? 

The ship has two quotes- on the top in a banner it reads 'Ain't no Ship Like Friendship' and on the bottom it reads ' Les Copain D'abbord' which is an old French song by George Brassens which translates to Friends First/Friends Aboard (it's a play on words). I am French and I want to always remember the great friends I have.

2) Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where?

I have “In Christ" in script on my wrist (this was my first tattoo), I have a quarter sleeve on my left bicep area - with a lion, lamb and dove, God's hand from michelangelo's sisteen chapel touching a star and written "Patris, Filii, Spiritus Sanctus” which is Latin for “Father, Son, Holy Spirit”. I have matching anchor with my mum on our ankles and I have a French horn on my right arm. I also have a Bike on my ribs which is designed by Melbourne based artist Ghostparol. I got it while getting my Ship, and although one of the smallest tattoos, it is by far the most painful.


3) Do you plan on getting more?

Kim would like me to get a pin up girl and lately I have found a few inspirations, so maybe, but I like to thinking a tattoo design for a year before getting it done, so in a year I probably will get one.
4) How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them? Do you have a significant other? Does he/she have tattoos? 

My wife Kim loves tattoos and has a big leg piece of her family tree. There is a different animal for each member of her family. She is the Deer and I am the Fox. My parents are ok about it, but it was a challenge at first. My in-laws are pretty old school too, and not so keen. I haven't faced much opposition about them, I'm sure some people judge me from looks before getting to know me. A lot of the time people ask me about different tattoos which is nice.


5) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet?

Consider your design for a long time before getting it (I wait a year), draw it on if you have to. Ask you friends and family how they feel, because although you don't do it for them, it's nice to include them in your decisions (it also softens the blow once you get it.)

June 2011
Suri & Katie visited Tom on the set of "Rock of Ages" in Fort Lauderdale on Friday, 24th.

Suri was wearing Lime Peace Top SS'11 by Bonpoint.

Suri was also using Birds & Flowers Umbrella by Hatley.


Giveaway: Swayable

This week Lindsey from Swayable is offering up one of her adorable hand-made, custom-designed, sterling silver stamped necklaces to one lucky winner! I have a necklace on the way myself (I got a disc for Hank and a disc for Henry), and I can't wait to wear it. It's truly the perfect gift for yourself, or someone you love.

You have a few ways to win your very own necklace, with up to three discs (6 names, front and back):

To enter: Create a Swayable either on the Swayable iPhone App or on the Swayable Website. and post the Swayable URL and your name/email in the comments.  (If you guys remember I shared a Swayable in this iphone apps post- it's super easy and fun to use!)

For an additional entry:
tweet or blog about this giveaway, and leave an additional comment with a link to either post, and your name/email again!

And for one more entry:
Like "Swayable" on Facebook or follow on Twitter and leave yet another comment letting me know you did so, and leave your name/email again.

See official contest rules here. One winner will be selected at random on Sunday, July 3rd! Good luck!

Guest Post: Dear Baby (a day in our life)

Hi all! Today I have the honor of posting on my gal pal Melissa's blog, Dear Baby. If you're curious about what a typical day in our life looks like, head over there and check it out!

Thanks for having me Melissa!

Gussy Sews Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Vanesssa on winning $75 to the Gussy Sews Shop! Vanessa, please email me at sometimessweetblog @ gmail to claim your prize!

Musician Monday: Doug from The Sleeping and Gramp's House

This installment of Musician Monday features Doug Robinson, lead singer from the rock band The Sleeping. I ran into Doug last week in Penn Station and stopped him when I saw all of his tattoos.

Doug has had some of his work featured in Tattoo Magazine and is in the current issue of Tattoo Flash, so I was indeed honored when he agreed to share a piece from his right forearm:

Doug explained that this tattoo is based on a logo created by a friend of his, whose grandfather had passed away and left him his house. Doug's friend, along with Doug and three other guys, lived in the house which they dubbed "Gramp's House." The home was, as Doug told me, "a really important place for all of us," and many of them got this logo tattooed, as a tribute to that special place that they all held near and dear.

Doug credited Jelena Nikolic from Lone Wolf Tattoo in Bellmore, Long Island, with this tattoo.

Thanks to Doug for sharing his work with us here on Tattoosday!

Check out The Sleeping's video for "Don't Hold Back":

This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Journal Day!

{unknown photo credit- please let me know if you know!}

I love being a stay-at-home Mom, but there are some days when I really miss being a high school English teacher, too!  Most of all I miss the creative writing. For six years of my life, every Tuesday and Thursday, we had Journal Day. At the start of the year, each child would get a journal of their choice (typically a black composition notebook), and we'd add at least two pages per week. Upon the students' arrival in class on they would see a prompt on the board. They could always choose to free-write, but typically the kids would choose to at least start with the prompt and then let their writing go wherever they wished.  I had no rules for their journals- they could write about whatever they wanted, and although they did get a grade for completing each day's writing, I never gave them a grade on content. At the end of each journaling session, we'd go around the room and everyone could share anything they wanted- at the least just one word, and at the most, their entire entry. Some kids started by just offering up a word or a phrase- "good day" "sad" "really weird mood" - but as the year went on everyone got more and more comfortable. There were so many days I heard something that then prompted me to talk a child after class. Perhaps the one word they shared sounded a bit off, or maybe they shared a lot, and I knew they needed to talk to someone. I found that it was pretty therapeutic for a lot of the kids. I mean, I know some couldn't care less, but I do know there were more than a few that loved it. And I miss those days, I miss the writing, and the mix CDs the kids would bring it to play during those ten or fifteen minutes. The sound of the pencils on paper, the look of concentration. The feeling when one of my "non-writers" would say, "this isn't so hard after all."

So I got to thinking. And I decided that I'm going to bring back those journal days right here.

And if you'd like to join in, I'd absolutely love it.

Here's how it will work- I'll post a prompt, and then write about it below. You can write on the prompt in your blog (feel free to grab the image up top), then come back here and leave a comment with a sentence or two from your entry, and the link.  I know I'd be so honored to be able to read what you write, and I know a lot of others would love to, too. I think this will be a fun way to get a writing community going, and I'm so looking forward to getting to know more of you through your words. All of these prompts come from the notebook I kept in my desk in my English classroom and they come from various places; college writing courses, my own mind, websites, friends and colleagues. I'm so excited to share them here, and bring back the most important aspect of blogging to my blog- writing.  I think this will be a neat way to infuse some creativity into our daily lives too, and inspire each other to write a lot more! So, here we go.

Describe a "first" (first date, first lie, the first time you experienced something, first time in a particular setting, etc). Include as many details as possible to paint a picture.

When I think back to my first kiss, it's strange because in my mind a lot of that night is so vivid, but at the same time so much of it has faded with time. What I do remember, though, is in the small, small details. I was in 7th grade, the age when you think you know so much, but in reality much of what you know is clouded by a veil of naivety.  I grew up in a town with one middle school, so going to a party where there would be guests (boys!) from another town over was as exciting as exciting got in our small New Jersey town. Like most cliched "first kiss" memories, mine did indeed happen in a basement, and did indeed happen during a game of Spin the Bottle. I can remember the couch (brown, tweed-like), the carpet (green, shag) and the lights (dim, so low). I think back and I recall my friend Caitlyn sitting next to me, my friend Melissa across from me, the circle mixed with boys we had grown up with. And in between them, one or two boys we didn't know. We sat there, and although I honestly have no idea whose house it was, whose party, whose negligent parents...I remember my clammy hands, the smell of the Sunflowers perfume I had hastily applied as a last second decision, and the feeling that maybe-possibly this would be it, this would be my first kiss. A girl whose name I can't quite remember brought out a bottle. It was a large soda bottle. Maybe green. Maybe orange. We all sat there, awkward in our early-nineties preteen-ness. Some with braces. Training bras. Chapstick. The aforementioned perfume bought with allowance money from a drugstore. A classmate named Maria spun the bottle first. I don't remember what happened, but I remember that I was beside her, and I kept thinking, I'm next, I'm next, I'm next. In moments like these, it's almost unreal how you can think back and remember the lump in your throat, damp palms, the unsure feeling in the pit of your stomach. Then, oh! My turn. I spun the bottle, and it spun and spun. The maybe-green, maybe-orange vessel turned and turned, and landed on one of the boys from the town over. Eddie. In that moment my pre-adolescent heart was so vulnerable. Thump, thump, thump. The what ifs ran through my head I'm sure; what if he refuses, what if he doesn't. All of those thoughts in a quick second or two. And then. He leaned over. I leaned over. We met in the middle. So awkward, so clumsy. I remember the kiss being soft. And gentle. And tasting like Trident. And feeling like it lasted for minutes when in reality it was a moment. We both sat back on our sides of the circle with small smiles, although inside I was beaming, my heart doing a victory lap in my chest, feeling like I had won the sweepstakes. I would finally be able to say "yes! I have! I've kissed someone!" when Lori and Amy and Elizabeth inevitably got to talking at lunch. It was one of those memories that almost seems to come straight out of The Wonder Years in how it happened, and it's still funny to me that I can remember it with such detail. Eddie. Trident. That basement. My first kiss.

XL Sponsor Highlight Post

When Jamie contacted me about being a sponsor, I was beyond ecstatic. I adore her blog, and when I went and checked out her new shop that she wanted to promote here, I was just as excited. Jamie has great taste, so naturally all of the items in her store are adorable. She has everything from vintage vinyl, baby clothing, awesome dresses, housewares, and more. I'm excited for all of you to check out Shelby Black, and be sure to stop by her blog too (I love the playlist she just posted)! And don't miss the video below either- so, so cute. Happy shopping!

1) Describe your shop:

shelby black. the carefully curated collection of the old, the beautiful...the dirty pretty things that sang to my heart, sang sweet and forlorn histories into my ear, placed their secrets in my hands. pieces that floated down to me like birds, begging to be loved and released. art and ideas that exploded from my chest in a blaze of glory, of thunder, of fire and lightning. notes tucked inside of little boxes, written with fingers stained in excess, tie dye kaleidoscopes soaked into the creases. pretty dresses, buckles and jewels. blankets and crystal, leather and lace. records and jewelry boxes, dishes for candy. treasure for baby, treasure for beloved, treasure for the gypsy living inside you.

shelby black was a person, but she was not me. she was my muse, my songbird, my creatrix. she sang to the stars and the universe listened. she was a live wire, alive and burning with electricity. she made magic with her fingers, spun webs with her mind. men wanted to love her, women longed to be her, children begged her to sing them to sleep beneath the light of the moon. and one day she disappeared, pieces of her diffused into the world like light through shadowed water. and I search for her every day, find the things with her soul inside, create the things to call her back to me, a beacon in the dark. once found, once recognized, I unleash her on those who will cherish her most. searching, hunting, finding, loving...an endless pursuit...the resurrection of shelby black.

2) What inspires you?

things that are old and forgotten, dirty and overlooked. things that bleed innocence, that elicit raw emotion. old houses and lonely trees. layers of fabric billowing in the breeze, contrasting patterns lit by the sun. spontaneity. dusty chandeliers. candles and incense and fans spinning on high...anything that has a story to tell.

3) If you could tell your 15-year old self anything, what would you tell her?

hold tight. don't break. you haven't seen the worst of it, but when you do breathe deeply and sleep soundly. the storm will pass, it always does. no one will hand you happiness, waiting for the sun is a futile endeavor. find it. run fast and hard and don't stop until you do.

**also, don't save text messages, that will most definitely get you in more trouble than you care to deal with. and maybe on house arrest. maybe.

4) Name the first 4 beautiful things you see around you:

a pair of golden puppy eyes watching me closely, a handmade crucifix of warped wood and metal wrapped in barbed wire, a sleeping baby curled up on my lap, a peacock scarf hand-beaded in Turkey.

5) Is there anything you'd like new readers to know?

I chronicle the things I love the most... Beloved and my sweet baby, musings and music, all the ways I see the world and all the days we felt alive. Here's a peek at a golden day: