New projects for the new year.

I have more to show you than just this, but I couldn’t wait to put it up. I’m so excited about this project! Angela wanted a big, beautiful peacock tattoo on her arm. I am really stoked to work on it again. Check it out:


I’ve been busy the last week or so, but that’s all I’m showing off for now. Other than tattooing I’ve been knitting, hanging out with my guy on New Year’s Day, seeing movies, watching soccer (Everton! Who wants an Everton crest? I’ll cut you a sweet deal), and of course eating black-eyed peas for luck on the first day of the year as well. I didn’t know until I moved up here that, apparently, that’s a southern tradition only. Don’t worry, I got some collards in too.

On the work front, I’ve got a painting date with Alice next week and lots of fun things lined up – today I’m doing a big Pacific Northwest love tattoo on one of our lovely shop-girls, Candace! Yesterday I started a big coverup, of which I will post photos in a few days.

Hope the start of your 2012 has been as good as mine. See you soon!

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”

My dad recently quoted the above Benjamin Franklin to me. I’ve been doing a lot of tattoos and other things recently that step outside my usual comfort zones, and it seemed awfully topical.

Brian and his sister got matching black and grey ferns from myself and Betty Marie. I love to do black and grey but do more color (and love that, too), so it was fun to work like this for a change.

Apologies as usual for the godawful iPhone photo. It looks so good on the phone and so bad on the blog. I finished Scott’s gritty anatomical rib piece on Wednesday. Scott is so awesome and so fun to work with!

I covered some old punk tattoos on Alena the other day. Crystal flowers!!!! I love doing crystal flowers! Wow, this was fun. Alena is the most fun ever.

Teigen got a lovely compass rose. This one was so fun to draw and to do! I love doing compass roses. Come get some more, Portland!

I started this Harry Potter themed chestpiece on Kim. I’m really excited about it; the magical smoke will be grey and purple, and we’re doing some awesome stippling in the magical bursts off the wands. Also pictured: golden snitch, elder wand, Harry’s wand, Deathly Hallows, Ravenclaw motto. Guys. I love Harry Potter tattoos. I can’t wait to work on this again!

And I finally was able to finish Faye’s dancer. I love this tattoo and this lady! It was so wonderful to finish it, and I’m SO pleased with how the blue skeleton came out.

I’ve also been eating a little meat in the leadup to going to Ireland for a lot of reasons, and the other day I roasted a chicken. It made feel kind of sad because I am a hippie. I probably won’t continue with it once we get back, but it’s definitely a necessity for the trip. I stuffed it with thyme and garlic and rubbed it down with olive oil and salt and fresh pepper, and then roasted it with onions and potatoes. My fellow says it was good, which is excellent because I have nothing but 12 years of vegetarianism and some foggy memories of chicken fajitas upon which to base the result.

I also made this risotto from Serious Eats’ Food Lab a week or so ago. I highly recommend it. I made some edits so I’ll post my version below, even though probably it was more sticky and less saucy than the author suggests. It tasted totally great so I’m unrepentant.


Mushroom Tomato Risotto:

  • 1 1/2 cups (about 13.5 ounces) risotto-style rice (see note)
  • 1 quart Imagine brand “no chicken” broth (it’s just a mild vegetable stock)
  • 1 cup diced italian tomatoes from a can, with juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter (plus more for finishing if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, grated on a microplane grater (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 a small onion, small dice
  • about 1c total fresh mushrooms (I used chanterelles that I had the good fortune to forage myself with my friend Lisa! but something else is fine. Maybe crimini? Whatever you want!), chopped
  • about 1/2c milk or more to taste
  • 3 ounces finely grated parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped herbs or other garnishes, as desired


  1. Combine rice, stock, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Agitate rice with fingers or a whisk to release starch. Strain through a fine mesh strainer set in a 2-quart liquid cup measure or other large bowl. Allow to drain five minutes, stirring rice occasionally.
  2. Heat butter and oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add rice and cook, stirring and tossing frequently until all liquid is evaporated, fat is bubbling, and rice has begun to take on a golden blond color and nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Add garlic,onion, and mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring frequently until aromatic, about 1 minute. Give reserved broth a good stir and pour all but one cup over the rice. Increase heat to high and heat until simmering. Stir rice once, cover, and reduce heat to lowest possible setting.
  3. Cook rice for ten minutes undisturbed. Stir once, shake pan gently to redistribute rice, cover, and continue cooking until liquid is mostly absorbed and rice is tender with just a faint bite, about 10 minutes longer.
  4. Remove lid and add final cup of liquid. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring and shaking rice constantly until thick and creamy. Off heat, fold in milk and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in herbs as desired. Serve immediately on hot plates.

Belatedly: I’ve been up to a lot of things!

Hi friends. It’s been a busy couple of weeks settling into fall! I’ve been tattooing a lot, doing fun fall activities with friends, eating my weight in winter squash, and even got tattooed myself. Good times!

I got tattooed by the amazing Silje Røe Hagland a few weeks ago. She did a snowflake matryoshka doll on my forearm to match my snowflake hand tattoo! I’m so happy about it! I borrowed the photo from her. I can’t take pictures of my own arm like that.

My lovely client/friend Scott asked me for a gritty, sketchy, black and grey anatomical tattoo. This has been a real stretch from my usual tattooing style, and so much fun. I’m happy with how it’s coming out and it’s interesting to work in a way that is so different from my usual!

I did matching space knitting tattoos for Chanin and Erin! They were SO delightful and I wish I got to tattoo space crafts EVERY SINGLE DAY. Ladies, you can tell people you have a tattoo of a spacecraft! So funny. Or maybe only funny to me. Anyway, oh my goodness was this ever a fun tattoo. Also, I’ve belatedly realized I misspelled Chanin’s name in the photocrop. I’m so sorry, lady!

I had the privilege of tattooing a traditional eagle on my friend Tashina, who was featured in my last update too! This eagle is definitely among my favorite tattoos I’ve done to date, and good thing, because this lady is also one of my favorite people! She tipped me in shoes (she works at Buffalo Exchange), which is pretty much the most awesome thing ever, because it’s what I usually WANT to spend all my money on whether I should or not. Check these babies out:

Yeah the 90s are back. Deal with it.

I also went chanterelle hunting with my friend Lisa Maurine. We found a pretty good number of them, and then went back to my place and made delicious dinner and hung out with my gentleman friend and stoked a fire in the fireplace. Whoa guys, fall is really fun. (Photo credits to Lisa!)

Painting with pretty ladies in my living room. (Photo by Alena!)


What happens when the boyfriend leaves town?

I spend a lot of time listening to Sunn O))) and painting. I have a few things to share with you all!

First, I got my knuckles tattooed by the talented Jared Hunter of Anatomy Tattoo and I’m SUPER stoked on them. Wouldn’t you be?

I also had the pleasure of tattooing some of the summer flash from Melanie, Nick’s and my summer flash day on Jared’s lovely lady companion, Tashina. She got my two favorite things from my flash sheet: the hot dog with traditional butterfly wings and the satanic olive.

I’ve also been painting A TON, as mentioned before. My boyfriend Rob is on a short California tour with his awesome band The Shivas, so I’ve been hanging out with lots of lady friends and painting and painting and painting! I’m excited to show some of these off. Originals are for sale as always (once I get scans of them) and of course I’d LOVE to morph any of these into tattoos.

I love the movie Metropolis. Fritz Lang is a genius.


I taught my friend Alice to paint with liquid acrylics by making two copies of this rose on watercolor paper. This is the one I painted while we hung out! Not even two years ago Jared (of the above knuckle tattoos!) taught me to do this the exact same way- starting with roses – and it made me feel so nostalgic and happy to see the progress I’ve made (though I still have long way to go yet).

Last but not least, the scan of this is totally horrible and cuts off the bottom of the pearl necklace (which makes me really sad because I’m super proud of it), but this is the painting I just finished for Icon’s shop postcard. So unlike things I do on the regular and so fun. Anyone want a fierce wolf tattoo? Because I’m really excited about that fierce wolf.

Owl cover-up finished!

Remember the cover-up I started on the lovely Becky a few weeks ago? I finished it today! I’m so in love with it and she was such a delight to work with. She also sat through a totally egregious amount of mechanical failure today. What the hell, machines/tubes/power supply cords? Thanks for being so easygoing, Becky! No thanks to you, equipment! As if the fact that it’s really hot and we don’t have A/C doesn’t suck enough.

Anyway, the up-side is that I got to work with really lovely people this week, and I got to do rad tattoos. If only the weather and my pieces-parts would behave. It does bear mentioning that I am probably the only person in Portland who thinks this constitutes the weather not behaving, just so we’re all clear.

So fun. I am actually sorry this tattoo is finished. I’ve had so much fun with it!

Surprise fun for the week!

Sometimes, doing this job, I get a little extra lucky. Thursday was one of those days. A totally delightful fellow walked in and asked for a giant traditional eagle on his shin, and let me tell you! I was so excited that Melanie passed him to me! I love traditional tattoos so much and don’t get a chance to execute them half as much as I’d like. If you are thinking of getting one, and wondering who’d be stoked, I WANT YOU TO KNOW I WOULD BE STOKED.

Riley was on a road trip from Salt Lake with his lovely wife. Here is the souvenir he’ll be taking home (and everywhere else he goes!):



For some reason Widmer Bros. is having Oktoberfest down the street. If you aren’t totally clear, IT’S SEPTEMBER. Unlike 5 o’clock, I am pretty sure it’s not always October somewhere in the world.

Also, tonight is my friend Betty Marie’s art show opening at Leisure Public House here in Portland! Please come if you aren’t too busy seeing bands, going to the park, going camping, etc.

Cover-ups, birds, etc.

I’ve had some fun projects lately. I’m excited to share them with you!

First, I got another painting-inspired walk-in the other evening, albeit more modern this time. First, Ben came in and set up an appointment with the lovely and talented Niki, and then his wife Sam decided she wanted to get tattooed, too! They were from Kansas City, a place I’ve never been but from whence I’ve inherited a few friends, and it was so nice to be a part of their Portland experience. Sam wanted a tattoo of a pretty stylized little bluebird, and I explained to her that the body will mostly turn into a blue color wash over time but she was still excited about the tattoo, so we charged on ahead. I think it came out a lovely little bird:

The next day, I was so lucky as to be working on yet another cover-up. I love doing these. They’re so gratifying – taking something that someone has lived with and disliked, and turning it into something really beautiful and new and more illustrative of the person’s adult personality. Usually it’s teenager tattoos that get covered. I love to be a part of someone’s process, and I am with every tattoo I do, but it’s so much more the focus with a cover-up. They really are one of my favorite things. Obviously, it’ll still be a little muddy until we get the color in there, but here’s the outline and shading on Becky’s owl:

I’m so happy to be working on this tattoo, and Becky’s so awesome to work with! I’m really excited about the collaboration process we went through, and excited about her suggestion of pinecones, and so excited about the way those little pinecones curve around her shoulder. I’m also in love with those big bold roses! More of those, I think. I’ll be sure to post color photos as soon as I have them.

My family’s also been in town and I’ll be sure to post a few pictures from that as soon as I get them from my stepdad.

THAT’S OWL FOR NOW. Oh man, I’m so funny.

I’d like to reiterate:

I have the best job in the world.

Mark and Mikola wandered into Icon a few Saturdays ago and I was lucky enough to get the job of doing a reworking-to-be-tattooable of a Hieronymus Bosch painting (actually a composite of two) on his arm. They are SO lovely, and were such fun to work with, and what a fun tattoo idea in the first place!

We did the peasants from this painting:

And the fish from this one, because how can you resist this guy:

And turned it into this:

Photograph by Mikola Accuardi

Seriously, this was so much fun. One of the best things about my job is getting to collaborate with so many other awesome people out there in the world! I love that other people are constantly a part of my creative process. I’m a big believer in discourse, idea trade, and the idea that from collaboration and cooperation come something greater than each individual contributor, and I love that my job constantly reminds me of this.

I was also chastised by my friend Paul for not posting a photo of the moose tattoo I referenced earlier, so here he is:

I started this guy in my apprenticeship, and Ryan is so fun to work with, too! He’s a mountain climber (whoa.) and these are all mountains he’s personally summitted. Pictured are, from top, Three-Fingered Jack, Mt. Hood, and Mt. St. Helens. How cool is that?

a sweet story

Sorry for the shoddy photo quality; my phone seems to have some kind of problem that prevents it from EVER FOCUSING ON ANYTHING. iPhone users, know anything about this…?


Now then. I did this sweet locket on Allison the other day. Mary Ann and Robert were her grandparents; they passed away this spring within a month of each other. They were married 50 years. What a romantic thing that is. It was so fun to tattoo and I’m really pleased with the outcome – so fun to work in black and grey but still stay pretty traditional! I don’t get to do that as much and I really enjoyed it. Love doing that clean, sharp, traditional lettering, too.

Later in the week (read: when I get it together and find one of my camera cords, which are all currently MIA from my recent move) I’ll post pictures of the huge cover-up I started on Becky. I’m psyched to work on it again as soon as we can!