Monday, January 30, 2012

Tattoo Design

In my spare time, I've been fond of taking tattoo commissions, as well as designing some just for fun. I haven't shown them off in a little while, so I thought I'd do a post about what I've been up to.

My biggest piece of pride is the design I created for my boyfriend, Max. I won't go into the true nerdiness of this Magic The Gathering Tattoo, but I was asked to compile the game's key elements together, to go on the back of his arm. My original design was circular, which I realized was dumb of me and would never fit - but I will post it here anyways, so you can see how it progressed. I then created a more linear one, which became the final. The shading I left to the artist, although I have gotten better at that myself. When he went for the first session, he told me the artists at our local parlor praised the drawing for being an apt body art piece, and not just a wonderful drawing that might look shitty on skin (apparently this happens a lot, I'm not surprised). I was super pleased!

After this, I took on a few other commissions. Recently, I drew this small piece for a friend of a friend, who was inspired by the water designs in my boyfriend's tattoo. She wanted a small sunset piece of the sun over the water to go on her hip, in black and white, with little shading. After eyeing both good and bad tattoos, and going back and forth, we decided on this little piece. She did not like the idea of rays, so this was my way of depicting the sun, so it didn't just look like a giant orb in the sky.

But besides just these, I've been doing other larger pieces. I was referred to by a friend to a girl who wanted a tattoo up her side of a tree of life, inspired by her favorite tapestry that hangs in her room. Alongside it, she wanted Hindi text that reads "My Family, My Life," and in Hindi because of her time abroad. I went off the deep end with the original design (the DNA tree below), which I loved, but it was not for her. I continued it for myself anyways, but her tree morphed into something quite different. Originally, I designed the words on scrolls woven through the tree, but she disliked the idea of traditional scroll work, and liked it much better when I simply ran the text down one side. I'll post both here for curiosity. She hopes to get it this semester, and I hope to see photographs when it gets done!

I was also commissioned by a girl online to do a chest piece. She had sketches of ideas, but wanted them shaped into something more solid, and colored as well. Though I still remain half unpaid for this, we all learn from the first time taking online commissions - be wary of young people with no money and make them pay beforehand (did pay half upfront, but then dropped off the face of the planet when I finished the tattoo). Either way, I loved this design, and I'm proud of what I did with it. This was my first color commission.

For fun, I've been designing pieces based on one of my favorite shows, Seinfeld. I have quotes saved from one of my favorite tumblrs, Seinquote. Deciding to work on created text, I took on the quote "They're real and they're spectacular," meant to curve under one breast. My text still needs work, but needless to say, it was fun to create my own and not rely on fonts.

My most recent work lies in another design for my boyfriend, which he wants as a chest piece someday. Also to be in black and white, this piece is to be in the Art Nouveau style, and will depict key imagery from his favorite Shakespeare soliloquy in Macbeth. I really love this one so far, and it might be my best and favorite! It isn't finished, but here is it's progress:

I hope there will be a lot more to come. Please let me know if you're interested in any designs for yourself, I'm always open for business. :) Just email me at !

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I'm Back!

My laptop just came back from the shop last night. Before I took it in, it wouldn't start up, and looked like this:

Scary, right? Sometimes, it was even plaid, not stripes. Oh man. Unfortunately, my graphics card crapped out on me. But it was an easy fix, and for free! It took longer than I wanted, but now, I'm just glad to have it.

Stay tuned for more posts soon!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

DIY Shorts Pt. I: Cutting, Bleaching, and Distressing

After cutting my first pair of shorts, experimenting with distressing for the first time, and dying as well as studding (and even employing my mediocre sewing skills), I decided I wanted more.

I headed out to a local second hand shop, and bought the only two pairs of jeans I could find that fit me. Many other pairs were large, but if there had been more, I would have so bought them up (they were pretty cheap). One pair was plain, and the other a Guess pair with a peace sign on one back pocket. To my delight, the Guess pair had zippers on the bottom. Guess who will be making more zipper shorts?

Taking them home, I cut them. I left one pair long, having in mind I'd try fringing them. Fringe shirts have worked out well for me in the past, why not try bottoms?

After cutting them, I threw the long pair in a bucket filled with bleach mixed with water. Here's a shot of the bleach I used, the bucket in the laundry sink, a beat up towel, and gloves. Make sure you're wearing something you don't care about, bleach splashes easily!

I had no idea how long it would take, but after an hour passed, I added the rest of the bleach. Oddly enough, the long pair took most of the afternoon, and turned a very pale yellow. Expecting the second pair to take just as long, I threw them in and left the room. Within half an hour they were white (which surprised me when I returned to check up on them). I still have no idea why the first pair took so long, but I suppose I'll never know. Below is the first pair soaking, and the second pair white.

Last time I dyed my shorts, I expected a mustard color, closer perhaps to a brown, especially after using dark yellows to dye my shorts. I was surprised when they came out a little more green - but of course, I had not bleached them, and thought the light blue wouldn't effect it so much. This time, I got smart and bleached test strips cut from the legs, that way I can test dyes on them to make sure I have the colors I want. Below is what they looked like unbleached. I left one zipper on the front of that one short leg, showing how I plan on sewing it. I will cut out the middle, and probably sew fabric between the zipper (after dying the shorts).

Shortly after, I began to cut the fringe on the legs of the first pair.

This made a lot of lint...

While shortening one end, I accidentally cut one fringe. It was just too noticeable to leave. So, I cut every other fringe off, which actually made them look better (in my opinion).

When I was finished with those, I started distressing the second pair on the front and back, using my Swiss army knife. I am debating whether or not to distress the fringe pair, which are already pretty busy. But, I have distressed the second pair, both on the front side that will not have the zipper, and the back pocket that isn't studded into the peace sign.

I am thinking of studding one front side completely of the fringe pair (evenly spaced studs). I am still thinking of colors for both. Ideas for how I should dye? What colors I should use? Or use of studs? Comment! :] Stay tuned for my progress once I get back to school. That's where the dying and sewing fun starts!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fun and Recent Purchases

This year, I told myself my resolution was to spend less money. My ideal was to save all of the money I'm getting, and only spend using gift cards I've gotten for Christmas on fun purchases (the truth is, I don't NEED anything more, especially clothing).

I've broken this resolution a few times already.

I am planning on letting it take effect when I get back to school. But for now? I treated myself to a few last things.

Just today, I bought two great things. I hadn't looked at Threadless for a few months, and remembered it today after running into a frequent tee designer on DeviantArt with some cool things. Browsing pages forever, I wanted so many. Since so many designs were on sale, many of the ones I had my eye on were sold out in my size. A few were just the wrong color for my skin, despite being a great design (I just can't do beige tees). But I settled on this one.... unusual, but too wtf hilariously awesome to pass up. I saw that there was only one left in stock, and it was my size. Meant to be!

A few hours later, camera accessories and nerdy items came up with my cousins when I went to go visit my aunt's house. She and my uncle had just received large canvas prints of three of my photos to hang, which will be going in their upstairs hall. It looks super awesome, and I will be posting on those soon. But after some visiting and Internet browsing, I settled on using a bit of the money for the above commission to buy something nerdily camera related that I've wanted forever - Photojojo's camera lens mug.

I have a Pentax, and sadly no one likes Pentax, so there was no mug for us - but the Nikon one was definitely my favorite of the options (two types of Nikon and Cannon lenses). It will be on it's way to Lake Placid soon, so I can settle in with a nice hot cup of cider in a lens on the chilly days to come!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Friendly Feature

I've got a resolution to be better about this blog now that I'm coming into my last semester at school. I will be working a lot, and hopefully should be making some pretty fun things (this includes clothes AND photographs)!

But to make up for neglecting my blog, and some of my lamer entries these past few months, I wanted to share a blog written by a friend of mine who has a lot of cool things to talk about. If you like reading about strange animal facts, scary movie magic, and how to potentially control your dreaming, you might want to check out Notes of Ranvier.

I don't know how people come up with this kind of stuff. People who manufacture helmets are looking at Woodpeckers for inspiration, and resources on lucid dreaming suggest you can become a practiced dreamer by learning to control certain aspects and actions of your dreams. In the end, I'm the kind of person who loves learning random stories and facts like this. It's inspiration for something to talk about with your friends with at dinner, or possibly to read about further just for fun.

To get the story on this odd looking creature, you're going to have to take a read! :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Scenes from Jupiter Island, Florida

This New Years I've been down in the warmth relaxing for a few days. But of course, it's only natural that I spent my first day of 2012 photographing.

My uncle has been thinking about hanging some photographs down in his house here, where we are currently staying. They are having trouble finding nice paintings, but want something to cover all the wall space in the various bedrooms. What he wants most is nice scenes from around the area.

Though I've spent most of my days here reading by the pool or relaxing on the couch, today I got off my butt in the afternoon to cart around in search of good shots. Yes, golf carts are allowed on the roads here on the island... but it's quite fun.

I have a few more places I didn't get to hit before the sun went down, but here are some iconic places here that I thought he would like. Enjoy, and happy new year! :]