from my person blog. thank you for reading. Peace 🙂
From my personal blog… I am appreciate you taking time to read it! always nice knowing someone is!
Have a great one! 🙂
It’s been a while since I have sat down and been able to think about writing something in my professional blog… heck it’s been a month since I posted in my personal blog as well! Things… have been crazy I suppose is a good adjective for what August was. That’s probably not the greatest of reasons… but… maybe after I attempt to explain in my ramblings… you will accept my craziness as a decent excuse?
So… let’s see… towards the end of July (as you may have read in a previous post) I gained a new JOB #2! I am still happily working away at On The Fringe hair studio and spa in Vancouver, Washington and I cannot say enough great things about my new Job #2! It was definitely the best choice for me and I have no regrets with my decision with quitting my threading job at the mall for this position. Life certainly throws you curve balls at moments when you aren’t quite sure if you should go left or right… if you should lead or stay in the crowd… you just truly have to follow that gut instinct and I did… and I am so pleased that I did! Working at this salon has made my desire and passion for my career come back and a new light has awakened with me! I am regretful that I allowed my job at the mall to darken my path even for a few moments let along months… before I finally was able to get away!
I am happily fitting in well with the staff and building a great clientele base. I have serviced several of the stylists clients as well as many of my previous clients from the mall have slowly started to find me at my new location… in fact a few that either lost my contact details or they weren’t able to learn about my departure until after I was gone still managed to get my details after calling and bugging a few of the employees at the KIOSK until they finally broke and either got told exactly where to go to find me or they were given my contact details to reach me directly! I must admit… it’s a nice feeling knowing I made that much of an impact on someone that they were willing to go that far to still want to keep using me! It does make me feel important and special! Definitely puts a little swagger in my step at moments! LOL!!
So my professional part of me is starting to get better… each and every day I am at that place and in Woodland at the local salon I am feeling more in touch with my career and happier… more the way it felt when I first started! It is amazing when someone or something can place such a horrible weight on your shoulders that you start to question why… I am glad I was able to get away from said job and moved onto something bigger, better and a place I can definitely expand my proverbial wings!
My new boss, Tina is amazing… she really seems real and has taken me under her wing and helped me build a good start to my clientele… her clients seem to really like my work and the threading has given me a nice niche in the Esthetics world… something she can brag about and talk up that isn’t available hardly anyplace else around!!
Things are great professionally…. personally… hahahaha… that’s another thing. 😦
I have learned much about myself in the past 4 months since a significant change occurred and I am learning why now I can truly appreciate said break… it wasn’t what I wanted or desired. But, at the end of the day, I do understand and I hope he will always know my belief will never change. I understand the rock and a hard place we were and are within… it’s not a fair position we were placed within… but… for now, we are being who we need to be and that is what is important… we have to take care of ourselves and just believe…. and know in our hearts what will pass shall pass and all good things aren’t necessarily ever over, they just change and get better… eventually…. or not? 😉 I just know without said persons support, wisdom and comfort and the big pushes made with me… I’m not quite sure I’d be where I am or believe what I sincerely do believe! I am a product of my environment and what I have experienced, felt, touched, tasted and I am forever grateful for every single good, or bad thing that has came into my life… these things have helped to create the fantastic woman I am right now! And the even better woman I will develop into as the years come to pass.
Turning 40 was definitely something I am happy about… I wasn’t sure what to think and feel when that number approached me back in May, but, I can attest that I am happy being 40. I am even happier that most don’t even think i appear 40… most seem to guess around 35 and that’s more then okay with me! Anytime I appear younger is great! Which means I am doing something right… I am happy with myself and loving me.
This summer… the summer of 2012 was a pivotal change for me… for my professional life as well as my personal life. I have seen and experienced much in my 40 years…. and I am grateful for each experience. Good or bad, liking them or not at the time… they have all molded me into ME. That being said… I do not think personally or professionally I would be where I am right now if it weren’t for a few amazing people that helped me create the ME I am right now… and I want to thank them all…
You all are so incredibly important to me and my successes… when I have failed you have been there encouraging me and when I succeeded you were the people that I thought about first and wanted nothing more then to share my success with most of all. There is one extremely special individual that I was not able to share this with… my successes that is… yet. But, time seems to have a great way of showing me that anything is possible… and I think just as everything serves a time, place and need… I will have that day… until then, I am and forever remaining on my path of greatness I have set for myself and I will continue to challenge myself every single day to be the best I can be. I want these people to always be proud of me and I want to always be held accountable for my successes and failures… I own then both…
So… as Fall seems to be approaching at warp speed… I can only hope that this new year I have in front of me will be full of the best, most amazing adventures, that I will continue to be challenged and come through for myself and continue on with my happiness. I will never surrender and I will never give up on ANY of my dreams…
As I close this post… I am left to reflect on the date… 9.11.2012… 11 years since my perspective changed… I think being raised within a country that provides so much automatic freedoms we become lack-luster and maybe not appreciate everything we have available to and for us… 11 years ago that started to slowly change for me. I started to do the “stop and smell the Roses” thing much more often… I started to realize what being vulnerable meant and could mean… fear had a different set of rules… but, with time, we all start to get back to a similar routine of our daily lives… and forget… I will never ever again forget how much I have to be grateful for… this past year reminds me of the important things I hold true to myself… I don’t need all the materialistic things to be happy… this I have learned… sure it’s incredibly nice to have such things… but… truly… it’s not necessary.
I live in a very small place, actually, many might claim it as being extremely meager… yet, I have experienced more in this place I call my home then I can ever begin to acknowledge. The love, the emotions, passion and memories I have surrounding me… they will continue to inspire me and help me every single day of my journey.
I hope you all had time to breath today and smile… and just be. There IS truly so much that surrounds us that never should ever be taken for granted. Never walk by without taking that first glance… because that first glance may be all you ever get.
okay… sorry… I was getting deep… had to have my moment I suppose.
I am once again, very sorry for the delay and I hope you at least enjoyed my retrospective of my past month and my ramblings about all things ME. LOL…
I have some great ideas floating around in my head about posts I plan to create very soon… and I promise they will be much sooner then a month from now! So hang in there and thank you for reading and I hope my blog has been useful for you… If you have any suggestions of people, places, ideas or anything Esthetically pleasing… please by all means let me know! I’d be happy to share it with my world!!!
Happy Tuesday Evening everyone! Peace out!
one of my favorite quotes
so very true…
I really love this song… Jason Mraz is one of my current favs… hope you enjoy! 🙂
Thanks Again for taking the time for reading!
BIG THANKS AND APPRECIATION POST…
REGARDING TWO BLOG AWARDS I WAS NOMINATED AND ALSO AWARDED!!
Not long ago I was given a very sweet honor of being nominated for TWO blog awards!!! I am posting today to let you know I, in fact was awarded them BOTH!!! YEAH ME!!! and Yeah to my little blog that could…
Since the very end of February I have been slowly adding posts and gaining readers and my little blog that started out with one amazing persons encouragement (acknowledgments will follow below) I believed and begin this journey.
As it currently stand as I am writing this blog I have nearly (and I do mean NEARLY) 3500 reads to my blog… I have 20 people that have subscribed to my blog and I know I have others that stop in and read when they can… THANK YOU EACH AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR FOR MAKING MY BLOG and me feel so important!! I wasn’t sure where and what I’d do in a couple months… but… It’s going strong and I am overwhelmed with the readers that I have collected from ALL OVER THE WORLD!
Places like Australia, Canada, the United States (obviously… lol), England, India, China, Japan, Germany, Romania, Dubai, Africa, Russia… and the list goes on and on… I am always wearing a smile seeing where all my amazing readers are from!!! It truly satisfaction and an award just knowing so many people are actually reading my blog!
Recently I have also been finding that more and more people have used my blog and found ME at my two jobs… I find it so thrilling and flattering that my little blog has helped someone discover new techniques, learn new things that have helped their quality of skincare!!!
So again… thank you everyone!
The two awards are:
“One Lovely Blog”
I want this space to be dedicated to the one person that helped me start this blog in the first place. He was and IS my inspiration and the one person (besides my child) I cherish most in this world. He pushed me to create this blog, when I wasn’t confident or sure of much. I have had many issues and battles to overcome, this person has always been my rock, my support, my source for comfort and love. I intend to always make sure this man will forever know just how very important and special he will always remain in my heart and life.
The rules for receiving these awards are as follows:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them.
The awards I was given were nominated by http://skingoodness.net/
I definitely want to give a HUGE thanks to her and make a point:
that IF you haven’t read her blog… it’s a definite must read/see!
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
1. I can pinch REALLY ‘good & damn hard’ with just using my toes! 🙂
2. I currently have 4 shades of color in my hair (besides the natural and bleach)
3. I can pat my belly and rub my head AND rub my belly and pat my head!
4. I want to live on a S. Pacific Island; sun, sand and a hammock!
5. I model professionally on the side for fun!
6. I use to weight well over 400 pounds.
7. I have competed locally, statewide and nationally on the back of a horse, as a young girl.
3. Nominate 8 for the One Lovely Blog Award and
15 for the Versatile Blogger Award…
Nominations for the awards are:
1. http://heatherdecker.wordpress.com/ (one lovely blog & versatile blogger)
2. http://sunnysleevez.wordpress.com/ (one lovely blog & versatile blogger)
3. http://skinbycarrielorrain.wordpress.com/ (one lovely blog & versatile blogger)
4. http://sarahonthego.com/ (one lovely blog & versatile blogger)
5. http://selfprofessedproductobsessed.wordpress.com/ (one lovely blog & versatile blogger)
6. http://somethingville.com/ (one lovely blog & versatile blogger)
7. http://sorinphotography.com/ (one lovely blog & versatile blogger)
8. http://handmadebylory.wordpress.com/ (one lovely blog & versatile blogger)
9. http://nvpsarabouamra.wordpress.com/ (versatile blogger)
10. http://mergimeberisha.wordpress.com/ (versatile blogger)
11. http://imjustbeautyfulme.wordpress.com/ (versatile blogger)
12. http://flibbertigibbetsanonymous.com/ (versatile blogger)
13. http://beautylovelavonne.wordpress.com/ (versatile blogger)
14. http://betweenfearandlove.com/ (versatile blogger)
15. http://beautynthebrains.wordpress.com/ (versatile blogger)
I hope you enjoy… not much… just me and my personal update… just felt like sharing with my little world…
thanks for reading me!!
let happiness shine…. you’re amazing, and the most AWESOMENESS!! 🙂
Just a little from my personal blog today… been a busy girl… with tons of things happening… but… I’m still ME…
Full of emotions… passion and my loves…
Enjoy. and Thanks for reading… if you’re interested…
“Here’s to being Happier… Always & Forever.”
It’s been a while since I have posted anything… and my apologies goes out to you all. I have questionable excuses at best… I’d like to tell you it’s due to my non-stop busy-ness and my go go go life… and at times… it does feel that way, but, honestly, I have found time to blog in my personal matters in my personal blog… I have just, it seems, stared down this blog, I have attempted several blogs, get iratated and eventually delete it or walk away from said unfinished potential master piece (seriously kidding on the master piece portion)… so today… I am going to let you in on what’s happening professionally these days… which, I think is a huge turning point for me… both professionally and personally I suppose as well.
A few months back around mid-April a couple clients at the threading KIOSK job in the mall mentioned to me that I should look into a company called “Plum District” – they are much like Groupon and Living Social, however, they are just for mom’s with small businesses, they promote your business on their blog as well as offer coupon/advertisement on their official business web site. This was something I kept tossing around in my thick stubborn skull for the past few months… looking into it finally and finally reaching out and making contact only to find it was taking a very long time for anyone to reach me. So I waited… patiently… and that’s a big obstacle for me at moments… so I give myself kudos for that part at least.
So after waiting a couple weeks with no response I resubmitted another request and in about a week I was finally emailed something from a regional manager and then we eventually were in contact. Things that started out slow started ramping up… so to speak.
I spoke with the lady, Rhonda, she was very kind and extremely helpful. She and I through out ideas and then I was advised to create my price list and then she would create some mock ups and then send me them for final approval. Eventually they will be online via Plum District and when they are I will be certain to advise you all on it…
I have essentially signed the contract, now I am just waiting for the mock-ups and to get the “ball rolling” — I am hopeful it will hit the web by early this week… VERY excited and very nervous… this could be huge things for my little business… or could tell me I need to walk away and try something else… I hope it’s the first!!! I REALLY believe in this and I believe in myself and I know my abilities and what I can do!!!
Things have been crazy and insane at job #2 and this is one of the many reasons why I have chosen to finally step off the ledge and take the plunge… I know I have feared things way too long in both my personal and business life… and I am truly pushing myself and trying to make myself see what someone once attempted to show me… he was my light and my guidance for a very good portion of my new “life” – I may have destroyed that with this man… but… I am here to tell him and you that I am learning from my mistakes… TRULY learning… not just saying so and not following through… which we all do way too much… talk is hugely cheap… it’s time to step up and take the bull by the proverbial horns and pull him the the ground for once and for all… because THIS IS MY LIFE… MY BUSINESS AND I AM going to do something that will make ME proud of ME!
It doesn’t go without saying that if it wasn’t for this incredibly man/person that helped give me the mental and physical push I desperately needed I personally know I would still be caged, in extreme fear and waiting for someone to screw me up once more. I need to thank this person… he made my life better… and I think he knows it… but… I will forever be grateful and I will never go a day without mentally thanking him. AND wishing, hoping and believing that one day we will have something more again… but, that’s a different story… no today, right now… I am here to say thank you to him. You know who you are and many also know of this amazing person. He is something that I will never be able to let go of… to know this man is to love him in some capacity. He swept in like the most amazing wind… that not only filled my life with hope, passion and love… but also showed me who I really can be… who I was, and that my stubborn streak was in denial in allowing that true ME out to play.
He also made it possible for me to have a business in the first place. He gave me the backing, both monetarily, but also mentally…. always and forever pushing me to see what I had right here in front of me… and reminding me I cannot fix things that have already happened… and that I need not worry about what will happen in the future… to only think about the now… the present. Be conscience of what was happening right now. I am sorry to admit I didn’t always see eye to eye with him on this… I played like I did… but… deep down… I needed to figure it out I suppose on my own stubborn self. 2 months ago I had to start facing it on my own… so to speak. Realizing no one but yourself can do it for you… I faced myself in that proverbial mirror…. and I didn’t like what I was seeing. I forced myself to see the fears and bullshit I was clinging to so hard for so long that was truly destroying my here and now… and what may have destroyed what might have been my ONE true love… that’s what really made me fight back and show the world… me included and yes… even him that I am not a quitter and I am not too stubborn and full of myself to see I am a work in progress… I need a lot of learning… and I have made myself conquer fears and face them full on and do with with a smile on my face… I am here today to tell you I am proud of what I have accomplished in the past 2 months… will that bring him back to me? that’s not why I am telling you all this… granted in the beginning I was doing it for him… obviously for me as well… but… somewhere along the way I felt the light bulb click on and I suddenly “got it” — I still want to show him… I would still love for him to share my world with me… but… I know in the end he showed me things that I will forever hold deeply as a special and most important life lesson.
We cannot always control everything… but, we can attempt to make ourselves better in the environment we live, and breath in. This goes with our personal life and professional life.
Regardless if we want to separate our professional and personal lives… they intertwine… it’s natural… and I almost think a bit human. But, what we can do is control the here and now and how we react to that said environment. I have learned to smile at adversity and believe and listen to that deep down voice that has always been there attempting to show and guide me on the right path… you know the one… that most of you neglect and refuse to listen to… I was one of the stubborn ones that refused to hear it for many many many years… well I listen to my inner diva now… I have embraced her and therefore embraced ME and I LOVE me and I am proud of me… that goes for my business and personal life…
Granted I do regret a few things… it’s not good to regret… this I know… but… I also know I am human and I am trying. I am truly 100% trying… this isn’t something I could honestly admit to a few months back. and I can say I am a bit angry and pissed off at that ME for being so obtuse and stubborn for so freaking long! I refused to be happy… because…. well… honestly… this is going to sound like a real royal asinine excuse but…. for some reason I had it in my head that it was unfair to be happy if WE both couldn’t be happy… course… in my stupid naivety I neglected the other part of this equation… one that I should have never done so… the other human being that was in this with me… he needed my support as much as I needed his… I broke my part… I became this self-absorbed whiny bitchy person that when I look back… who the hell could blame anyone for needing to walk away from me… I would have! Seriously. I forced myself to take that very hard look and walk back over myself… not for a punishment purpose but… just to help me realize my own idiocy and acknowledge my wrong doings… and identify them and know I will never do said things again.
That being said… and going back to my professional life… this all bleeds back and forth from personal vs professional… it just does. We try not to allow it… but… when we have a bad day at work… and we try to desensitize ourselves before we are around our loved ones… it doesn’t always work… then when we have issues in personal life… drama happens… it’s life… we try not to take it to work… but guess what?! WE DO!
Here’s something I have learned… I cannot change my historically fantastic mistakes I have made over the past several months… obviously I’d be lying if I said I didn’t ever wish I could take them back… but… guess what… I cannot… you cannot… it’s just not going to happen. So… we have to move forward and learn. Take it with that proverbial grain of salt and learn… LEARN from your mistake and you are better for it. Smile through it… smiling improves our days… as hard as it is to lift those lips on your face… it’s actually a healthy thing to do… TRY IT!
SEE… told you!
Take a nice deep breath and realize each day is a new day and we are free to make ourselves better… make ourselves into the people we have set out to be. We just seem to let that asshole bosses words pull you back and loose momentum… just believe in your self worth and what you bring to the table. If you are right inside… then SHOW IT. When you have a bad drive into work… before you work with your clients, answer the phone or anything else… step back… do something cathartic and realize it wasn’t anything you did… and you cannot fix that persons disposition… but you can fix or adjust yours. If that client runs off at the mouth, is in a fowl mood, goes off on you because you pulled one too many hairs or just plain is hateful… just realize one important thing…
WHICH IS: You’re not her/him… you can smile… you can take a deep breath and know…. you aren’t them stuck in that nasty disposition and unhappy existence and the only thing they did for you is to show you who you don’t need to be like, act like or worry about…
In the end… we control a little bit of our days… let that control be good control… don’t hold yourself back due to some unforeseen, future fears that haven’t happened yet… just do it! Just smile through your pain and realize we make us who we want to be… NO ONE ELSE CONTROLS US.
Thanks for reading… and I will be updating soon with more details on my business adventure!!!
I leave you with a couple of my favorite quotes… and what I am looking like (somewhat) these days… yes, I put much more ‘color’ into the hair… there’s actually 4 colors besides the bleach and my natural color!
Live Happier… 🙂
Dribble-Drabble Friday, May 18, 2012
Greetings! I haven’t written much personal on my esthetics page… so much has been happening in my “personal” life… I haven’t felt much like writing about work related problems these days or work related things… they are taking a back seat to my personal matters… I suppose that’s an appropriate thought? Perhaps?
Today was a good day. I felt the desire to share…
I worked the 9:30-6 p.m. shift today… I was only scheduled for two days this week… I sort of put my foot down and said I wouldn’t be working this weekend! You see I turn 40, and I personally didn’t want to spend the next two days… threading eyebrows, lips, and facial areas on strangers… it just didn’t seem appropriate to celebrate my big day attending to others… I have worked the majority of my past birthdays… that is when I was employed. I have only been unemployed maybe 5 total years since I was 14 years old… so… working through my birthday holiday has always been something I have done. Not this year… I am trying things differently in my life… placing myself first, trying to at least. My heart still remains a fixer, and wanting… no desiring to fix? Maybe… but be there for the ones I choose to love and desire to be near… I do feel better when I am helping others. I am learning it’s not always healthy to always be this kind of person and not think about yourself first… “Self-preservation” wasn’t something that was taught readily as I grew up… so it’s been something I am trying hard to realize. I believe I am finally coming around… “seeing the light” so to speak.
So… I have become a “big fish” in the small fish bowl… I liken to call that damn KIOSK at the mall… (I actually call it the “Fish Bowl” – because no matter where you stand, look, you cannot hide… you are always having eyes on you… from the sides, above you from the top floor of said mall… there IS no hiding) It feels good to be “loved” by so many… I suppose I can feel the self-confidence that I have built within myself… I am sure not the girl that started back in December… I am self-assured, confident in my abilities and it shows… and it feels AMAZING!!!
So just to assure all you Newbie Estheticians out in the big bad world… hang in there… just because you had a bad day… even if you are ready to rethink what you are doing with your life… take a really deep breath and believe! It will pass and your confidence will come and you will become amazing! You will find your happiness and it will show! Trust me!
I knew my lovely fun shaded hair would come in handy… LOL!!! Today it was very evident… typically, you see I tend to have a few more days scheduled during the regular work-week and therefore most of these clients that seem to want me to only mess with their hair removed can come at different times during said week… well… not this week. I had mentioned as much as I could that I would only be here Thursday and Friday this week… given yesterdays SLOW day… I had a few of my regulars, but, nothing to write home about… figured people got busy. No worries… well damn! Today… HA HA HA!!! OH MY GOODNESS!!! I showed up, to open said KIOSK, and I had 3 people already there… I had to hurry, ready myself, and get them signed in… by the time I was ready to take the first client, another 4 of my regulars came and signed in. Before 12:30 I had already seen more then 10 clients! only 3 were new! My second chair showed up… yet, that didn’t seem to change some of their minds… they still waited, patiently often times up to 30 to 40 minutes to have me thread their brows… honestly… I couldn’t have needed such a boost more then I needed today! It really helped my day go by so quickly, being so busy… but it also helped me feel happy within… that I finally “made it” — I am feeling that inner feeling that I have been trying to find. It’s such a difficult thing to describe… but… a light-bulb went off and I finally “got it”.
I am GOOD! I cannot tell you how difficult that one small sentence has always been to say… silly huh? I fear that if I “brag” about myself… that I will somehow end up showing face and manage to screw things up… sadly, this one thing… has followed me my entire life… and possibly has really messed up my personal life. I hope it can be repaired… eventually. But, I can happily say I “get it” — be proud of ones ability isn’t bragging… on the contrary… it’s confidence… something of which I have sorely had very little nearly my entire life. Never allow someone tell you you aren’t enough… Never take a back-handed compliment… only accept what you deserve!
All day I can honestly say I only had one person that didn’t tip me… which really helped… I have a small paycheck… and little cash these days. I hate getting charged tips… I get taxed on said tips… SERIOUSLY?! WTF?! I hate the fact that I get paid such a crap wage and then… I get literally half my tips swiped away from me… it sucks! And truthfully, it’s not fair…. but… then again… living in the land of the free often times isn’t so fair these days.
Towards the end of my shift… I was getting pretty dang tired and had a few moments to just breath. I had one last client… she had stopped by earlier, only wanted me, but, I was backed up, she said she’d come back, I reminded her I was done at 6 today and I wasn’t staying any later today. She showed up at 5:45…. happily she was my last client for the day and my week.
While working with her, a man walked by with a walking stick, he was sight impaired. He seemed a bit confused… but, he was working something out in his head. Finally he walked towards the KIOSK and asked where Starbucks was… meaning how to get there from the KIOSK. Okay… so I said I was confident with my threading… my work… but… dang it if I couldn’t figure out a simple way to tell this man how to get to Starbucks… SO… I did what my fixer side does… I told my client to please be patient, I asked the man how much he could see, he said “only light” so… I gave him my elbow and we took off to Starbucks… which is about 50 yard (give or take) from our KIOSK. He was telling me he was getting tired, frustrated and got “lost”, he though having a coffee would wake him up. LOL… I got him to his destination… and let me tell you… my entire day was trumped by that one simple act of kindness I did… I felt amazing… I felt lighter, happier then I have in more then 2 weeks…. He will never know just how much helping him made me feel…
It’s funny… we never realize what one small act of kindness can do to our souls… our inner spirits… regardless if he remembers me helping him… I will remember him “helping me”. I needed that today. It ended my work day so well. I was able to walk out to my truck, in the cooling sunshiny day and smile… not because everything is perfect in my life… LOL… far from it… it just helped. I needed to feel that peaceful feeling… I have missed it. I don’t find much peace these days… probably and mostly by choice, I choose to be where I am… I have been given a gift today… something I needed. I was reminded of the small choices we make… and what they can do and make for someone else…. and what they, in the end, do for us, which honestly, for me, is much bigger then anything I did for him was…
My drive home was more relaxed… even when the jerk tried to cut me off… the idiot tried to pass me on the wrong side and then was cut off by someone else… it seemed Karma may have given me a slightly ‘lighter load’ — perhaps just for the evening… but… for now… I’ll take it… just a small victory and a lovely feeling.
Just one thing that would and could make things perfect… I believe in my heart anything is possible. Do you?
Have a wonderful weekend my friends! Cheers to you all!
I have all these ideas running through my head on how to approach this topic. I think, afterall, since I have one, would love more, admire and find tattoos such a statement of who we are as individuals, they can truly mean so many things to the owners of said tattoos, they insight curiosity, mystery, humor, passion, creativity, and often times we can see a small glimpse into someone’s inner self with they choose to share something so very permanent on their skin… which becomes a moving, breathing, artistic statement for the rest of your life… or at least that’s the initial point to the investment in the time, creation and pocket book.
SO… I guess I will attempt to do this more as a personal-informational type of blog. “Attempt” is the word. So… I hope in the end, you will find this interesting, entertaining and possibly educational too!
Tattoos…. For me, they really paint a picture; I love them. I have been fascinated by them ever since I comprehended that you could permanently place said art on your skin and it would be a mark there for the rest of your life… I recall I was around 5… my father’s best friends were two gentlemen that often times were judged improperly… I can assume and pretty much guess why, however, to know these men was to know two pretty interesting characters… albeit they were quite rough around the edges and I know without any shadow of a doubt they had checkered pasts… but… then again, that’s what made them whom they were later in life.
These friends also shared years of tattoos… they were covered in them. I always found myself trying to figure out what things were… one in particular stood out… he had this Spider tattoo… it was on the elbow, if you bent your arm just right… it would “grow”!! Well, for a 5 year old… that was COOOOOOOOL!! I loved it! Realizing a tattoo could show I was an individual be someone that stood out… that was pretty much it for me! I of course ran to my parents and told them I WAS GETTING A TATTOO!!… my father just snickered… shook his head and then my mother said “Not until you’re 18… and you had better give it a LOT of thought… think about what you would like then and what you will still appreciate when you’re 80.” she explained that it was permanent. Of course to a 5 year old that doesn’t make much sense… but… I heard her nonetheless.
I think they assumed I forgot about this conversation. When I turned 18, I knew I could do what I chose with my body. But, to set the record straight… it took me another 2 years before I chose what I wanted inked on my body.
I have an orchid, it’s purple, and it has tribal art passing through it. I chose this, and made it my own. There will never be another one even remotely like it. I was and still am proud of said tattoo. It has obviously over time and thanks to gravity changed, but, I can still look down at it and know I chose wisely. I bet you’re wondering why I don’t have more? Well… not by choice. You see, I do want more… but, there were many years that I worked within an environment that really didn’t like tattoos… not that I plan on getting ones on my face or even in places that won’t be hid by fabric for the most part… I have plans, and hopefully I will have at least one more… to represent change, my daughter and a special number that means a tremendous amount to me. I will have these permanently placed onto my skin…
okay… enough of my story… lets talk about how it works…
HOW TATTOOS BECOME PERMANENT:
Artists create tattoos by injecting ink into a person’s skin. To do this, they use an electrically powered tattoo machine that resembles (and sounds like) a dental drill. The machine moves a solid needle up and down to puncture the skin between 50 and 3,000 times per minute. The needle penetrates the skin by about a millimeter and deposits a drop of insoluble ink into the skin with each puncture.
Modern tattoo machines have several basic components:
- A sterilized needle
- A tube system, which draws the ink through the machine
- An electric motor
- A foot pedal, like those used on sewing machine, which controls the vertical movement of the needle.
When you look at a person’s tattoo, you’re seeing the ink through the epidermis, or the outer layer of skin. The ink is actually in the dermis, which is the second layer of the skin. The cells of the dermis are far more stable than the cells of the epidermis, so the tattoo’s ink will stay in place, with minor fading and dispersion, for a person’s entire life.
***Early Tools – Early tattooing methods used picks, rakes, combs and chisels to cut or puncture the skin before adding pigment. Some Arctic and Sub-arctic tribes created tattoos by pulling a thread coated with soot thorough the skin.***
CREATING A TATTOO – STERILIZATION & PREP WORK:
A tattoo machine creates a puncture wound every time it injects a drop of ink into the skin. Since any puncture wound has the potential for infection and disease transmission, much of the application process focuses on safety. Tattoo artists use sterilization, disposable materials and hand sanitation to protect themselves and their clients.
To eliminate the possibility of contamination, most tattoo materials, including inks, ink cups, gloves and needles, are single use. Many single-use items arrive in sterile packaging, which the artist opens in front of the customer just before beginning work.
Reusable materials, such as the needle bar and tube, are sterilized before every use. The only acceptable sterilization method is an autoclave — a heat/steam/pressure unit often used in hospitals. Most units run a 55-minute cycle from a cold start, and they kill every organism on the equipment. To do this, an autoclave uses time, temperature and pressure in one of two combinations:
- A temperature of 250° F (121° C) under 10 pounds of pressure for 30 minutes
- A temperature of 270° F (132° C) under 15 pounds of pressure for 15 minutes
Prior to sterilizing the equipment, the artist cleans each item and places it in a special pouch. An indicator strip on the pouch changes color when the items inside are sterile.
Before working on customers, tattoo artists wash and inspect their hands for cuts and abrasions. Then, they should do the following:
- Disinfect the work area with an EPA-approved viricide.
- Place plastic bags on spray bottles to prevent cross-contamination.
- Explain the sterilization process to the client.
- Remove all equipment from sterile packaging in front of the client.
- Shave and disinfect (with a mixture of water and antiseptic soap) the area to be tattooed.
CREATING A TATTOO – OUTLINING, SHADING & COLOR:
Clients work with artists to create custom tattoo designs, or they chose images from flash, which are tattoo designs displayed in the shop. The artist draws or stencils the design onto the person’s skin, since the skin can stretch while the artist uses the tattoo machine. The artist must also know how deeply the needles need to pierce the skin throughout the process. Punctures that are too deep cause excessive pain and bleeding, and ones that are too shallow cause uneven lines.
The tattoo itself involves several steps:
Outlining, or black work: Using a single-tipped needle and a thin ink, the artist creates a permanent line over the stencil. Most start at the bottom of the right side and work up (lefties generally start on the left side) so they don’t smear the stencil when cleaning excess ink from the permanent line.
Shading: After cleaning the area with soap and water, the artist uses a thicker ink and a variety of needles to create an even, solid line. Improper technique during this step can cause shadowed lines, excessive pain and delayed healing.
Color: The artist cleans the tattoo and then overlaps each line of color to ensure solid, even hues with no holidays — uneven areas where color has lifted out during healing or where the artist missed a section of skin.
Final cleaning and bandaging: After using a disposable towel to remove any blood and plasma, the artist covers the tattoo with a sterile bandage. Some bleeding always occurs during tattooing, but most stops within a few minutes.
***Extreme Tattoos – Some people choose to use their entire body as a canvas. Others use tattoos and surgeries to shift their appearance from human to animal. One example is Stalking Cat Dennis Avner.***
Since tattoos involve needles and blood, they carry several risks. These include transmission of diseases like hepatitis, tuberculosis and possibly HIV. When tattoo artists follow all the correct sterilization and sanitation procedures, risks for disease transmission are relatively low. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has not been a documented case of HIV transmission from a tattoo. However, doctors warn that non-sterile tattooing practices can lead to the transmission of syphilis, hepatitis B and other infectious organisms.
Infections can occur in new tattoos, especially without appropriate aftercare. Some people also experience allergic reactions to tattoo inks. Although the pigments used may have U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for other purposes, the FDA does not regulate tattoo inks. Finally, some people experience pain or burning during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations because of metallic pigments. Some doctors have also reported interference and distorted MRI images from permanent makeup pigments.
In addition, most states place restrictions on whether people who have tattoos can donate blood. Because of the danger of hepatitis, the American Red Cross will not accept blood from someone who has been tattooed in the past year unless the tattoo parlor is state-regulated. Most states do not regulate tattoo parlors. [Source: American Red Cross]
Tattoo professionals use rules known as universal precautions to prevent the spread of illnesses during tattooing. These precautions are part of the Bloodborne Pathogens Rule issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The same rules apply to hospitals and doctors’ offices. The CDC is a good resource for information about universal precautions.
Other precautions specific to tattooing include:
- Checking gloves for pinhole tears during tattooing, since petroleum-based ointment erodes latex (HOWEVER DUE TO A VAST MANY PEOPLE HAVING ALLERGENS TO LATEX, MOST ARTISTS ARE OPTING OUT OF USING LATEX INSTEAD CHOOSING A VINYL GLOVE.)
- Pouring ink in advance, using clean tissue to open ink bottles during tattooing and preventing nozzles from touching contaminated surfaces
- Patting tubes dry after rinsing during color changes — never blowing excess water from them
- Spraying liquid soap into a tissue, not directly onto bleeding area, since blood can become airborne when the spray hits it
- Giving pens used for drawing on the skin, which should be medical grade and sterile, to the client
Tattoo artists must also take special safety measures regarding their hands. Gloves help prevent disease transmission from bodily fluids, but bacteria thrive in the warm, damp environment they create. This means that artists must:
- Wash hands thoroughly and often
- Inspect hands for cuts or sores and cover them with bandages
- Remove hangnails and keep nails short to prevent punctures to gloves
- Refrain from tattooing when experiencing lesions, dermatitis or allergic reactions
Laws require minors to have a parent’s permission to get a tattoo. So, some adolescents get tattoos from friends or amateurs, who use makeshift tools like pens and paper clips with little if any sanitary precautions. This is extremely dangerous, since proper equipment and sanitary measures protect people from disease and infection.
***A Good Idea at the Time – About 17% of tattooed Americans regret their tattoos, frequently because they include a person’s name. Sound familiar? I plan to do a follow-up post later about what measures you will take to remove a tattoo***
FINDING A REPUTABLE ARTIST YOU CAN TRUST:
Other than the use of universal precautions and laws requiring minors to have parental permission, few regulations cover tattooing, however, as tattoos and the art have been placed within the mainstream of most areas, there are slowly laws, certifications, specific licenses, apprenticeships that are becoming a requirement within the United States. You should still weigh on the cautious side and investigate on your own. An artist that is a professional should never have an issue with your concerns, most people that are specifically within a kind of industry will appreciate that you have done some background and are knowledgeable about and what you plan to have done. You should always remember, this is what you will live with for the rest of your life… therefore you SHOULD have the answers, and get the information that will help you feel confident and comfortable.
In EVERY state if the above isn’t required, a state license usually involves completing a health department course on infectious disease transmission and passing an exam. Some state laws allow anyone to buy a machine, get a license and start tattooing whether or not they have any artistic ability — a situation that professional tattoo artists object to — so it’s a good idea to do your homework before rolling up your sleeve.
Here are some basic steps for choosing a safe tattoo parlor:
- Look around to see if the studio is clean and professional.
- Ask questions: Is there an autoclave? Are the needles and other materials single-use? Are EPA-approved disinfectants used? Do the tattoo artists wear gloves? Professional artists won’t mind the questions.
- Watch the artist and pay attention to health and safety precautions.
- Watch the artist open all needles before beginning work.
- Ask about the staff’s professional memberships. These are not required, but artists who participate may have the most current information about trends, innovations and safety issues.
- Remove the bandage one to two hours after completion.
- Wash gently with cool or lukewarm water, using a mild antibacterial soap; pat dry. (Don’t rub!)
- Apply very thin coats of antibacterial ointment and work into the skin. Too much ointment can pull color out of the tattoo.
- Avoid soaking the tattoo in water or letting the shower pound directly on it.
- Avoid the sun, sea and swimming pool until healed.
- Refrain from picking at scabs. They will fall off as the tattoo heals, usually in one to three weeks
- Use ice packs if swelling or redness occurs.
- Call a doctor if you have even the slightest signs of infection.
People describe the sensation of getting a tattoo as similar to bee stings, sunburn or being pinched. Some say they experience a slight tickling or “pins and needles.” Individual pain tolerance, the size and type of tattoo, and the skill of the artist all contribute to the amount of pain. Location also makes a difference — skin that rests right over a bone is more sensitive.***
***Some of the above details were gathered from the Discovery.com web site, with special thanks to: Sacred Heart Tattoo, in Atlanta, GA, Sean Beck of the Naked Art tattoo parlor, Raleigh, NC. Great online resource within their “How it Works” area of Discoveries web site.
I have spent a good portion of my life admiring tattoos. I have always been one that will ask “why?” meaning is there a reason for getting said tattoo… 9 times out of 10, the person usually has a special story that explains why they did in fact get their tattoo or tattoos. I admire these reasons, they can be as simple and crazy as one night your friends and you thought getting a tattoo was a great idea… you waking the next morning with a slight left over numbness from the night before and an ache on your arm… finding a newly made ink in said aching area… you might not understand or recall the real reason, but, it can bring those memories to the surface and those are always what makes a tattoo… in my opinion the best.
My birthday is coming up very soon… May 20th; while working with a very loyal client just recently she and I started talking about birthdays, come to find out, her brothers birthday is the same as mine. While explaining, her eyes filled with tears, she started to explain she lost him in 2000, and pulled her leg up and showed me her tattoo that rests on her foot; in memory of said brother, with our shared birthdate. Thank you Misty for sharing such a lovely memory with me. I will lift my cup on the 20th and toast your brother and that tattoo will always remain on my mind.
My next tattoo will be very symbolic for me. A change. A change with love, life, career. I plan to have a cherry blossom branch, which will also include a ladybug, to represent both my daughter and luck… my daughter seems to have this uncanny ability to find ladybugs like her… they will land on her often land near her. There will also be a number included within said tattoo… the number 19. not sure if it will be spelled out 19, or be in another language or Roman numerals. I plan to have this placed on my neck with the branch bending down towards my right shoulder… all having meaning.
As I close this post… there is one more thing I want to recommend you do before you set yourself up for this procedure… remember… it’s going to hurt, and dependent upon where you choose to have it placed on your body/skin… it could be even more painful for you. There are locations on your body that have more fat, which could give more “cushion” as the artist creates your tattoo… but, if perhaps you want said tattoo on your foot? your back? on your Shin perhaps? these areas have very little fat, however, they do carry plenty of nerve endings… if you plan on these areas, you should know ahead of time that it WILL hurt. Some precautions to take are taking things like an Anti-inflammatory medication (Ibuprofen or something like Aleve) these products will not stop the pain perhaps, but, it will help with the inflammation that will come as the skin is irritated and becomes aggravated while you are getting said procedure as well as the discomfort you will have shortly after the artist is finished. You should also consider how long you are willing to sit, and how patient you are. Some tattoos can take more then one sitting; meaning one sitting for a few hours at a time the artist might only get the outlining done, then you will come back for the colors or a few more visits to add all the intricate colors and depth of said tattoos.
If you have a great artist you would like me to include for someone to check out… please let me know! I will make sure they get acknowledged!
thanks for reading!!
April 15, 2012
First… and foremost thank you all for taking the time and reading my previous post regarding my so called fear complex regarding red lipstick… just to let you all know… said fear… still there… but much more under control and I have found the way and was able to successfully dive in and I think I found decent results… I have shared a couple photos below with said lipstick… I think it turned out pretty well!
I greatly appreciated everyone that gave me insights and gave me hope that I could in fact do this. Heck just by reading my post… it made me feel better. I am sure some of you got a good chuckle… but… I still wonder how many of you ladies also have a little contempt or potential fear with regards to RED LIPSTICK too? Perhaps my post will help and afford you the embarrassment of having to ask for help in the near future?
regardless… I just wanted to follow up and say a great big HUGE thank you and send my appreciation out to you all for reading, liking and posting to my blog. I really like having you all take the time to do so… it means a great deal and I hope to always make this blog helpful, worthwhile or at least entertaining!
Here’s wishing you all a great start to a new week! CHEERS!