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I find myself in remarkable situations.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Did we all have a fabulous Christmas? Miss Frenchie was spoiled!

Look at my shiny pretty machines! I can't wait to give them a go! I'm looking forward to getting to know them, every machine is different, and I've been working with Kev's machines, a different one each time. It's nice to now have my own, extremely pretty, machines!

It's been a while since I last blogged. Excuses excuses, but it's been a busy few weeks! I've been getting right stuck in tattooing, trying to get as many clients in as I can, which has been great. We had our Christmas night out, Kev took us to the Corinthian where we had dinner and champagne, I could get used to that, and sang along to Elton John songs (We love a bit of Elton!).

Onto the tattoos...

I did these matching hearts on two of Kev's clients, Sandie and Lauren. I was a bit freaked out about tattooing wrists. They're so weird and grizzly, and veiny and just creepy. But it didn't feel too bad once I got going. I wasn't really tattooing over the tendon or whatever it is, which was fine. It's interesting getting to see how different each bit of the body is, and how much it varies from one person to the other! I guess you can never really get used to that.

Katie was back... Again. We've decided that this is quite a dangerous combination... She just loves to get tattoos, and with me here... Uh oh. As soon as we're finished with one she's ready for the next! Red ink is quite possibly my most favourite thing in the world. It just looks amazing when you're using it! I love roses too, so I really enjoyed doing this one. I'm still having skin stretching issues. My left hand is weaker than my right (not that either of them are particularly strong, wimp that I am!) and having quite small hands as well makes it quite tricky to stretch the skin, particularly on certain areas of the body. The tummy is a hard bit to work on, and when you don't get the skin taut enough, your lines will wobble, as the needle vibrates and shakes the loose skin. Again, it's just practice and experience that will make me improve, so I just have to keep going, and try my hardest not to get too upset when things don't go to plan! I'm happy with the end result though, and I think Katie is too, which is the most important thing!

An old school friend got in touch via Facebook when she saw I was looking for some guinea pigs. Laura who I tattooed a while ago had bought Lisa a gift voucher for Christmas, so she put it to good use getting this chain done around her ankle. It was certainly a challenge! Lisa managed to make it through from the east in all that horrible snow... Kudos to her for making the effort!! One of the most difficult things about this tattoo was the positioning of the stencil. You can have a perfectly straight chain drawn up, but as soon as you place it on the curves of the body it will distort. It involved a lot of cutting and sticking, and reapplying to get it right, but it ended up sitting really well, and was worth the effort. I've found that the positioning of a tattoo can make it or break it. Something could look alright in one place, but even just moving it a few millimetres can make it look amazing.

This was my most detailed and intricate tattoo I'd done. I really had to get the lines spot on, there wasn't much room for error. I was about three lines in, and Kev had to leave to catch a train to London to go and see Biffy play at Wembley (JEALOUS), and due to the weather he had to leave earlier than planned. AH! I'd never been left to tattoo on my own... and this was a difficult tattoo! I then realised, and Kev did too, half way to London, that he'd never shown me how to mix grey ink. I mean, I had a rough idea, but you don't want to go messing about with it... Luckily Ross was at hand to show me how. It turned out a bit darker than I had planned but I'm still happy with it. We then added a little heart charm to the bracelet, as Lisa wants to add charms to it at significant times. I love it!

Next in was John. Kev has tattooed John in the past, and he popped in to the shop with this design hoping that I'd be able to do it. I was excited about it, despite being a girly girl, I have a bit of a thing for skulls and skeletons, and I'm really enjoying using colour now too.

As you can see, John's not the smallest of boys... which was the biggest challenge for me, being so wee! I had to stand for most of the tattoo, as when John lay on his side, I couldn't reach! Oops. I got some of the lines really perfect which I was dead pleased about! The positioning works really well too, and every tattoo is good experience. I was on my own for this one again, using Ross' room. It's quite strange being on your own, I like the banter of several people being in the room! It's nice though that Kev is trusting enough of me to let me do it though. I still made sure that Kev saw the stencil before I started, and I always show him the line work before I start shading. John's already planning his next, so that's a good sign!

The next tattoos I did were the most nerve racking and challenging tattoos I've done. I loved the design, being into all things sailory and nautical. Henry is another client of Kev's, and a lovely chap whose confidence in me really helped me to stay calm throughout! This was another instance of the placement being really important and also difficult. Henry has work on both his arms and on his chest, so it was important that we found the right spot and got the anchor sitting at the right angle so that the whole thing flowed together.

It was my first star, a twenty five million pointed star... and stars are hard. I just took my time and tried to get the lines as crisp and solid as I could. Again, this was a hard area to stretch the skin, I was all over the place trying to get myself at a good angle to work from. I was sooooooo pleased with the finished piece, I'd been concentrating so hard I was a wreck afterwards. I could hardly see, my brain was like mush and my hand was stuck like a claw... Henry was happy, Kev was happy (it earned me a hug) and I felt great! It was my most challenging tattoo, and I'd done it probably better than the simpler things I'd worked on... Apparently I work best under pressure! The plan was to do the same image on the other side of Henry's chest the following week, and I'd hoped to get some practice in between to make sure that I got it spot on again. However, my clients I had booked in during the week had cancelled, so I was worried I'd be a bit rusty. Some of my lines on this one weren't as good as they had been previously, but I managed to rescue it, and it looked good in the end. We spent a LONG time getting the stencil on, taking it off, putting it back, trying to get it at the same position as the first. It's not as easy as it looks!

Karina was back to have her Edgar Allen Crowe finished, I loved the image and couldn't wait to get in there with the colour. (Excuse my finger in the photo!) After the stressfulness of Henry's anchors it was nice to relax a bit and do some block shading. Although it's not the easiest either. I'm finding it quite difficult getting the colour right up to the edges. It's a confidence thing really, and practice. I'm still learning about using the machines, and it's quite hard seeing exactly where the needles are going, particularly on a shader. I love traditional tattoos, and loved working on this, and I'm sure Karina will be back!

The next one I worked on, I'd been looking forward to this for ages! Due to various issues, the weather, my sick cat, this kept being rescheduled. Vonnie who owns the Life Craft on Byres Road had called the shop after reading my blog wanting me to do a half sleeve based on the owl and the pussycat story! I love the story, and I knew it'd be great imagery to work with! Vonnie was inspired by a print that her husband had given her, which was very cartoony and simple. She also loves the work of a fabric designer, whose name escapes me right now, who uses a lot of amazing colours in her fabrics, and wanted her tattoo to take some of the colours from the fabrics. It meant I could just have fun and fire in as many cutesy girly colours as I could. It was so much fun! It's a work in progress, and I can't wait to get my teeth into it again. It's so cool to be able to work on bigger pieces, things that I have to think about a bit more and get to put my stamp on them. I'm still amazed that people have the faith and the trust to let me work on them, especially on such big pieces and on such visible parts!

On Christmas Eve, my mummy came in to have her tattoo finished! It had healed quite well, and had been admired by lots of her friends and our family, which was nice! When I'd been tattooing her the first time, her friend Jane was being tattooed by Kev, and he used this wonderful peacock blue in her tattoo which my mum loved and that was her only request for the colours. I wanted to keep it quite simple, without too many clashing colours, but keep it bright and bold. It was tricky getting the shader into some of the small points but I just took my time, and used the edge of the needles, rather than keeping it flat to the skin. It's amazing how much a bit of colour can make the tattoo come alive. Mama loves it, and I'm so glad! She's already planning her next one, which she wants done before we go to France in the summer. She's got the bug!!!

Again, I want to say a big 'Merci!' to everyone who's let me tattoo them, I am so grateful! As always I'm looking for more people to tattoo, so if you have an idea and some skin to spare, get in touch!

I hope you all have an amazing time at New Year, and hope to see lots of you in 2011. Where has the time gone!?!


Frenchie xx