Sir C and I flew all the way up to Auckland for ever-so-slightly under 48 hours in order for me to go to Sacred to get a new tattoo.
It was all because of the internet. I put the call out for recommendations for colour tattoo artists in the Wellington area and the internet came back with one recommendation. I asked about Auckland? New Zealand? Anywhere? and I received many many more.
The only person who received more than one was Dan at Sacred Tattoo.
My best "I'm not nervous at all" face (HA)
I took in the idea of a traditional rose tattoo, sans stem & avec curlicues, in shades of pink (FUCHSIA!), the size 8cm squared to 10cm squared, and these photos:
The lovely Dan talked about what I was looking for and drew 3-4 different traditional style roses (after each one I proclaimed "I love it!" and then amazingly the next one was even better) and talked me into ... bit larger than I was originally thinking.
But oh, he was right.
And then there's a gap ... Craig had to hold my hand while the outline was tattooed.
The shading was much less painful.
I love the reflection in my glasses.
I think Dan is adding the gold to the leaves here. But there's a little bit of blood in the way, I'm basing it on the ink on the paper towel.
The next day I covered it for brunch (a fresh tattoo is not brunch appropriate) but couldn't help peeking at it.
And! I lovelovelove how it peeks out of the sleeve of a regular t-shirt.
And on Sunday? the yellow bruising came in.
But I love it. So much.
The painterly black shading and the three (four?) different shades of pink. Dan says the colours will really come into their own more as it heals. The curlicues and veins in the leaves are actually dark-grey to the outline's true-black, the three (four) different shades of pink, the different shades of green etc etc.
This tattoo definitely makes my others look like babies. I cannot believe how worried I was about the cupcake! But, as Dan says, a little trepidation is healthy. Otherwise you can be caught unawares by the pain.
I was caught a little ... by the post tattooing pain. I thought it would be like my others, a little itchy and after three days it would still feel a little raised but otherwise just like skin again.
This time it feels more like sunburn. It aches, every so slightly, just enough so I forget and over extend my arm and then the pain, the tight-skin sunburn kind of pain.
But of course, I'm not complaining. Because it's my own damn fault.
And totally worth it. Adoration abounds.
By the way? Dan and Sacred Tattoo were amazing.
I felt like Dan helped me design my own tattoo based on quite broad general ideas, and their hygiene and safety procedures were unlike anything I've experienced before. I had to fill out a form with any allergies or medications, that I understood tattoos were permanent (Yes! Seriously!) and that I had agreed upon the design with the artist, Dan even showed me the sealed packaging of the one use needles (At my earlier tattoo appointments I'd seen them open the needles and seen the empty packages but still).
And after all that? it worked out to be cheaper than I had been quoted.
The internet is amazing.
Craig and I were sitting in Starbucks post-tattoo and I was bouncing up and down in my seat, peeking at the glad-wrap covered tattoo and Craig smiled and shook his head:
Me: What? I just love it!
Craig: We're going to have to come all the way to Auckland for any other tattoos you want aren't we?
Me: Yip! Well ... maybe.
But if they are colour? then Yes. Definitely yes. Dan was worth the flight.