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I find myself in remarkable situations.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Ups & Downs!


Have you seen our sensational new sign!?! If you haven't, come and see us! It's gorgeous. We had a traditional sign writer, Frank Carty of Artisan Artworks do it for us in 24 carat gold leaf. Very swish! It's beautiful, and just what we'd wanted all along. Frank's work is fabulous, you should check him out. He does mad things like murals and paintings on kid's bedroom walls!

Now that autumn is most definitely upon us, the chandelier is on more days than it's not, and the shop is just oozing fabulosity! We've also taken to playing big band music, a bit of Sinatra or some burlesque soundtracks most of the time, it's like being back in the day!

Things are going really great in the shop. We've just published an advert in Total Tattoo magazine, looking for another artist. We're getting really busy which is awesome, but we don't want to leave all our lovely clients waiting months for an appointment! As I write this, we have two available days before Christmas... and we are fully booked until then! It's definitely time to get my bum in gear and get tattooing properly!

Tattooing... It's been a bit of a roller-coaster these past couple of weeks. Some days I've been doing really well, others I've been terrible. I've been tattooing a lot of different things. We've stopped using pig skin, it's a bit minging and smelly, although it was quite good to work with. It was good fun drying it all out too. Perhaps there is a secret taxidermist within me...
I bought some artificial practice skins on ebay, supposedly just like skin and great to experiment techniques or learn on... Baws. I had bought quite cheap stuff, as I didn't want to waste money on something that might be no use. It just would not take the ink. You had to have the machine turned up really high to get any sort of impression into the skin, and my lines were just awful. It was very thin so I had to double it up to make sure the needle wouldn't go right through.

We then moved on to pumpkins. I have no idea why, but Kev suggested it, and I thought it'd be fun. I got myself a wee pumpkin from Roots & Fruits and gave it a bash. The pumpkin didn't take the stencils well, they would just wipe away, so it was a case of going over the stencils with a Sharpie first. But it was good to tattoo, took the ink magnificently and with its spherical shape it gave a hint of what it would be like tattooing the curves of the body. But still, I was terrible. The "witch" I tried to tattoo just looked deformed. My swallow looked like it was vibrating through the air. But I did manage quite a nice bow. I experimented turning the machine up and down, seeing what effect it had, and began to learn a bit more about why my lines were going wobbly and how to solve it. It helped my lines if I positioned my hand so that I had somewhere solid to lean on, and I just really took my time and I managed to get them under control. This was the best bit... The rest is just awful, so it's staying hidden!

I was still a bit annoyed at myself. I was getting really frustrated at my poor lines. When I'd been tattooing the pig skin I was doing really well. And I felt like I'd regressed. I'd lost my mojo! I was apprehensive about getting going again, especially when Kev said I really needed to get some real human people in to tattoo... How petrifying!

I ordered some more high quality practice skin online, in a bid to boost my confidence. This stuff was the same price for one sheet as it was for 10 of the cheaper ones. It arrived over the weekend, and I set about tattooing it yesterday. And woohoo! It was SO much better. Obviously it just can't replicate skin. But it took the ink a whole lot better than the first skins, and my lines were much smoother and more solid. I'd made up this stencil for the pin up weeks ago, and had been dying to tattoo it. I had great fun doing it and I feel much better about everything.

I've learned that you can't be fabulous everyday... But it's fun to try!
So, I'm looking for people to tattoo... if you have a little bit of skin you'd like to donate to my cause I'd be delighted. Get in touch with me either on my blog, facebook, or hit me up in the shop!
Frenchie Fabulous xx