East Coast Trip, Part Two!

For the second leg of our trip we made our way to our family's home in Shelburne, Vermont, on Lake Champlain.  This is one of my most favorite places in the entire world, if not my MOST favorite, and I've spent countless summers here making some of my most treasured memories with my Aunt Ellen. Seriously, I love Vermont- it's hands down my favorite state. I love everything about it, from the green rolling hills to the gorgeous lake, incredible skiing, and lush, lush forests. I can't get enough. And every summer we spend in Vermont makes me fall in love a little more.

This July was no different. We spent our days boating, swimming, and eating delicious food, our family gathered around the table laughing and telling stories. We went night-swimming, enjoyed downtown Burlington, and my sister and I went on long runs each morning.

Here are some photographs from this part of our trip:

Vermont, Summer 2011
Vermont, Summer 2011
Vermont, Summer 2011

Vermont, Summer 2011

Vermont, Summer 2011
Vermont, Summer 2011
Vermont, Summer 2011
Vermont, Summer 2011
Vermont, Summer 2011
Vermont, Summer 2011
Vermont, Summer 2011
Vermont, Summer 2011

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Vermont, Summer 2011
Vermont, Summer 2011
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Vermont, Summer 2011

Emma's Monarchs, and a Spalsh of Verlaine

At the end of July, a young woman named Emma missed her train in Penn Station and had some time to kill. Her wait was shortened when I chanced upon her and asked about this lovely tattoo she had going on her left arm:

She explained the origins of this wonderful body art:
"I knew that I wanted a monarch. And I knew that I wanted it on my arm. And I knew that I wanted it coming out of a chrysalis ... I did a lot of research online and ... didn’t know who I wanted to get it done by and was just in San Diego for the day with my cousin. Pacific Beach, actually, and was ... shopping in Pacific Beach and walked into a tattoo parlor, just like 'Oh, let’s go look at tattoo parlors!' and was flipping through all the catalogs and it was like dragon, dragon, dragon. Samurai guy, samurai guy, samurai guy. And then opened one and it was just all these amazing beautiful naturescapes and just amazing detail and I immediately, right there was like, 'whoever this is, I want this person to do my tattoo'. And they were like, 'Hold on. She’s in the back' … her name is Rebecca Min and I basically came to her with the idea and was like, 'You’re the artist, so I want it hanging from a dead branch. I want the branch to be black and gray and I love monarchs.'

I have always loved monarchs for my whole life from when I was three. That’s one of my earliest memories, I found a monarch caterpillar with my great aunt and took it home from Wisconsin to, at the time, Chicago, in a jar with some milkweed and watched it spin a chrysalis and then hatch out of the chrysalis and then let it go and ever since then I’ve just loved monarchs …they’ve reminded me of the older women in my family, my grandmother, my great aunt.

It’s still a work in progress and she combined all these pictures, she put them together and I knew that I wanted the chrysalis to be empty, like it had just come out of the chrysalis, like a rebirth sort of thing and we both had the idea to make it translucent so that you could see the branch through the chrysalis...

We’ve been working on it for over a year and a half now, just bits and pieces , my longest session was three and a half hours and I had the idea to do a whole swarm from different perspectives and once we have all of those one, she’s going to pick a light source from one direction and do shadows….and she’s  gonna do moss on the branches, a white lichen."

The shop where Emma began to work with Rebecca Min was Chronic Tattoo. Emma says Rebecca has moved on to Eden Tattoo, although she is still listed as an artist on the Chronic website.

Emma also has these tattoos on her wrists:

The left wrist reads, "Les roses ├ętaient toutes rouges et les lierres ├ętaient tout noirs" which translates to "The roses were all red and ivy were all black."

The right wrist reads, "Voici des fruits, des fleurs, des feuilles et des branches" which translates to "Here are fruits, flowers, leaves and branches."
Emma elaborates:
They are the first two lines of the last two songs in a set called "Aria T'oublie" by Claude Debussy. The poetry is by Paul Verlaine. I was a classical voice major in college and I wanted to do the set for my senior recital and I am obviously not your normal opera singer and my voice teacher said, 'Okay, that’s fine you can do the set, except for the last two songs. They’re too hard for you.' And I said, 'Fuck you.' And I took a year off and did nothing but practice and did lessons and studied and performed the set and was, too my knowledge, the first undergraduate ever to perform the set in its entirety. And so this was my badge of honor. Now seven year later, eight years later and until I’m in my eighties, I can look down and read these first two lines and remember every single word in French to both of these songs.
I was in West Hollywood, I was 23 and had 50 bucks and was like 'who can do this for really cheap?' and I don’t remember what his name was but I do know that at the time he had a sprained wrist and he was like 'I’ll do it. I’ll do it cheap. But I can’t believe you’re making me tattoo in a foreign language, upside down, with a sprained wrist.'
A hearty thanks to Emma for sharing these cool 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.

Tattoo Tuesday V.85

Name and blog name: Shannon // i love mazzy + zephyr 
Occupation: Stay at home momma (of two!) crafter and DIYer I hope to open an Etsy shop soon
Age of first tattoo: 20
Favorite tattoo: My back (also my only tattoo right now)
Featured tattoo/location: Peacock, entire back
Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: Done by Alex Garcia of Dolorosa Tattoo, Studio City, CA

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

I chose this piece because my father passed away when I was young and he had a peacock holding a banner with my name on his forearm. I wanted something in honor of him and the short time we had together. The peacock also regrows its feathers every year, thus symbolizing renewal. In various religions they also symbolize resurrection. Renewal and resurrection were fitting themes at that time in my life. The beams of sun coming out from behind the clouds were very symbolic for me leaving behind and old life and starting over. Progress has been postponed twice when I got pregnant but there are no babies planned for the near future so I hope to continue with the coloring soon! 

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

I don't right now. My first tattoo (a gothic cross) is now covered up. I want to focus on finishing this piece and I am thinking long and hard about the placement of the tattoos I want next.

3) Do you plan on getting more?

Definitely! I plan on getting something for my two little ones.

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 family is quite supportive. If my dad were around I know he'd think it was awesome. He had a ton of tattoos himself. My mom loves my tattoo and she just got her first at age 50! My tattoo doesn't show all of the time but if I am wearing a shirt where it does show I have got some looks and people can be rude but I don't pay them any attention. It's my body and I think its beautiful! My husband has two half sleeves and a couple of tattoos on his back and legs. He plans on getting full sleeves and more tattoos. One he really wants is a portrait of Willie Nelson.


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

I would definitely say take your time deciding what you want. I know not everyone has a special meaning behind a tattoo but I think if you find something that does have real life meaning for you, you will love it forever. I got my first tattoo on a whim, and it didn't last, I wanted it covered up as soon as possible. My peacock symbolizes many different things for me and I continue to find new meaning in it as the years go by.

Giveaway: Black and Decker Steam Mop

Okay. So when Black and Decker first contacted me about reviewing their new steam mop, I have to admit I was a little excited, because my Mom has a fancy steam mop that I've been coveting for some time. And yes, I realize that fully puts me into the grown up category but I don't mind one bit!  B&D sent us over one, and we are so in love with it. We have a mix of large tile and carpet throughout our home, and Henry is all over the place, so we needed something I could use everyday to sanitize the tiled floor, but without scary chemicals.  I'm self-admittedly a bit of a neat freak, but I also really love spending time doing fun things (cleaning the floor does not fall into that category!), so we've been looking for a mop that is quick and easy to use, and gets the job done.

Enter the Black and Decker Steam Mop.

This thing is awesome.  I love that it's a chemical-free way to clean and I can feel comfortable having Henry crawl around on the floor without thinking about all the germs (or hazardous chemicals) he's picking up along the way.  I also really like the dial that turns to the specific type of floor you have in your home. We may eventually put in hardwood flooring in some of our front rooms, so I like that this mop kind of grows with you too.

From their website:
  • The power of steam deep cleans floors killing 99.9% of germs, mites, and bacteria without using chemicals

  • Smart SelectTM dial automatically releases the right amount of steam according to the floor type

  • Safe on all sealed hard floors - even delicate enough for hardwoods

  • Swivel steering for easy maneuverability around furniture and in tight spaces

  • 15 second heat-up - ready fast, no pumping required

I would never recommend a product to you guys that I didn't love, and I tried this out almost daily for a good month before deciding I would go ahead and move forward with a giveaway.  I'm actually really excited that one of you will be my steam mop twin and happy you'll get to enjoy the super simple, super efficient cleaning power of this adorable thing.  Yes, I called our mop adorable.

So, here's how to enter the giveaway:

For your initial entry:

Be sure you're a follower of this blog, and leave a comment with your name and email address, and tell me how you'd use the steam mop. What will you clean up? For us, I love to keep our floors squeaky clean so Henry can go where he pleases!

For up to three additional entries:
  • Like Black & Decker on Facebook

  • Follow Black & Decker on Twitter  

  • Tweet about the giveaway with a link to the blog post

For each of the additional entries, be sure to leave a separate comment letting me know you liked, followed, and/or tweeted, and include your name and email address too!

This giveaway will close one week from today on Monday, September 5th.

Good luck!

3 Beauty Products I'm Loving!

I don't wear a lot of makeup (at all), but when I get dolled up to go out on a date with Hank, or out on the town with my girlfriends, I absolutely love getting fancy. My everyday look is simple though- foundation, mascara and blush/highlighter. So that's why I love the products below- they can be used for day or night, and really make a whole world of difference.

1. Trish McEvoy's Eyelash Curler

This is hands down the best eyelash curler I have ever used!  I've been Shu Uemura curler fanatic for years, but recently while shopping at Nordstrom the sales girl persuaded me to try the Trish McEvoy curler, extolling its virtues for a good five minutes. I was hesitant, but I decided to just try it anyway and I am so, so happy I did. I have naturally long lashes so in order for my eyes to look as wide as they can be, I need a little curl. This curler is amazing. It curls 10x better than any others I've tried and I highly recommend it.

2. MAC's Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle

I've turned on so many of my friends to this stuff because it's truly amazing. I use it on my cheekbones (above my blush), on the bridge of my nose, and anywhere else I'd like a little extra prettiness. It adds a fresh, dewy look without being overly sparkly and gives you a healthy glow. If you've never used a highlighter you don't know what you're missing! I suggest heading to your nearest MAC counter and asking one of the makeup artists to try some out on you.

3. Nyx's Felt Tip Eyeliner

Hello, $5 eyeliner! What could be better? I had always used MAC's Fluidline in Blacktrack, but I received this eyeliner for free with purchase at CVS or Target some time ago and haven't looked back. It looks and feels kind of like a sharpie, and like a sharpie it stays put!  It's extremely easy to apply, and the felt tip makes achieving a cute cat eye a cinch! I'm a huge fan, and you really can't beat the price. Definitely worth a try!

Let me know if you decide to get any of my picks, and be sure to tell me what you think. Enjoy, and happy makeup-ing!

*photo above from the morning of my sister's wedding & our friend Nikki's makeup!

Gowrish Shares His Blessing, Amma in Ink

There are times when I feel lucky to find a tattoo by an amazing artist and then there are times I find something that is so breathtaking, I feel honored to be able to share work by a true master of the craft.

Last week, I was walking down Crosby Street in SoHo when I met Gowrish after spotting a flash of color poking out of his short sleeve shirt. After he called the artist to make sure it was okay with her that I take pictures, Gowrish shared what I consider one of the finest tattoos I've ever posted on Tattoosday. Check out this piece by New York artist Denise de la Cerda, of Inkline Studio:

Tattoo by Denise de la Cerda

Gowrish explained who this tattoo depicts:

"This is Amma, who is the Divine Mother and comes from India ... she's a great humanitarian leader and spiritual leader. She does a lot of good work. The 'Hugging Saint' they call her in the West...Denise [de la Cerda]  is amazing, one of the things is that it's really difficult to capture ...it's considered a great blessing  if you can have Amma's image like this ... Denise is very blessed because this is so real life that it's kind of unbelievable....

Tattoo by Denise de la Cerda

She tattoos the way that an artist paints, she's a real artist .... the detail of the fabric and everything you see her are traditional Indian offerings ...  the lotus, apples, bananas ... incense stick - see the smoke ... Indian sweets ... rice ... a lamp ...it's so amazing, right?"

Tattoo by Denise de la Cerda
Take a look, also, at the amazing detail Denise created in the flower garland around Amma's neck. This truly is a sensational piece of tattoo art.

You can learn more about at Amma at http://www.amma.org/. I first became familiar with Denise de la Cerda's talent when I posted these amazing tattoos over two years ago. I encourage people to visit her website, http://www.chicksdigtattoos.com to check out more of her work

Thanks to Gowrish for sharing this amazing tattoo, and to Denise for consenting to my posting the photos 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.