I’m still alive: a Rose Tattoo story

Au Revoir unadorned arm

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 (FAIL)
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:

Thursday: Photos as tattoo colour inspiration

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.

Stencil + Trepidation

But oh, he was right.

And then there’s a gap … Craig had to hold my hand while the outline was tattooed.

The shading is less painful
The shading was much less painful.

Maybe a teeny bit of blood
I love the reflection in my glasses.

I think he's adding the gold to the leaves here
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.

Tattoo with Brunch Sleeves
The next day I covered it for brunch (a fresh tattoo is not brunch appropriate) but couldn’t help peeking at it.

I love how it peeks out of my t-shirt sleeve
And! I lovelovelove how it peeks out of the sleeve of a regular t-shirt.

My Rose Tattoo - All bruised!
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.


Week Thirty-Five

365 in 2009!

Sunday: Gelato in Eastbourne
Watermelon Gelato from Gelissimo in Eastbourne aka DELICIOUS.

Monday: Exhausted, Icecream, Apple Mac
Exhausted on a Monday night, eating peppermint icecream and looking at my flickr contact photos.

Tuesday: Woo! D-G Cup
My e-cup self is very very excited about this.

Wednesday: Packing
I spent about 15 minutes packing my bag for Auckland.
It looks empty here (and it really was) but the addition of a hairdryer and GHDs meant it was quite heavy after all.

Thursday: Missed the Bus
Looking at my faux-brogues in shame after missing the bus.

Friday: Apartment Building near K Rd
A cool apartment building being constructed just off K Rd.
(Yes. This was tattoo day. But Craig took all those photos!)

Saturday: Mount Taranaki
Mount Taranaki (AKA Mount Egmont) as seen from the plane on the way back from Auckland to Wellington.


Bedhead and Beautymark in Auckland
Bed head and Beauty mark in Auckland.


Tattoo photos tomorrow, I promise!

Weekend Break

Wednesday: Packing

Tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow Sir C and I ride off into the sunset. Uh that is, for the weekend. Ish. To Auckland. And I finished packing in just under 15 minutes. I am just a little worried BUT! my plan is sound:

The trick to packing a carry on bag (as forced upon me by my former flatmate who went carry-on only for a fortnight in Italy) is either to plan a trip down to the last second (sigh) or (OR!) to take items which can be twirled around and mixed and matched to suit almost any event. Which is much more fun.

I am taking:
1x blazer
1x skirt
1x dress (which can be packed packed down)
1x pair of jeans
1x cardigan
1x magenta waist belt (to cinch the cardigan or add to the dress
1x black cami top (with the jeans and cardigan or skirt)
1x tee-shirt (to wear with the jeans & blazer or the skirt)
1x 3/4 sleeve tee-shirt (again again again with all)
1x formal ish faux brogue flats
1x heels

And just from that I can imagine outfits for: the day of work pre-travel, coffee & aquarium, tattoo appointment, drinks, dinner, movies, museum, dancing, a show, in fact almost anything save for black tie. And even then, with the right accessories …

But of course (of COURSE) I have no idea what we are going to be doing in Auckland (save for the tattoo appointment) so my carefully crafted long-weekend wardrobe might fall down around my ears.
And then, I’ll be glad of the extra space to shop!

From the Archives

Approaching the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbour
27 August 2008

Approaching the memorial

The Memorial marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors killed on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Approaching the Memorial

The memorial was dedicated in 1962 and is visited by more than one million people annually, and it spans the sunken hull of the battleship without touching it.


To the Memory of the Gallant Men here entombed.

New names

The survivors can choose to be interred with their shipmates.


Looking out over the Wreckage.

USS Arizona


Red, white, and blue at the Arizona Memorial

Week Thirty-Four

365 in 2009!

Sunday: Reading in Bed
A beautiful way to spend a day: curled up in bed with my darling cat and a book about a serial killer*.

Monday: Spinner Necklace from Allumer at Kabiri
My Wink spinner necklace by Allumer arrived from Kabiri and I fashioned it into a bracelet so I could wear it immediately.
Also? hands look very strange when you cut any indication of fingers or thumb out of the picture.

Tuesday: Pad Thai pre Premiere
Dinner at Oaks before the premiere of my baby sister’s high school movie.

Wednesday: Crystal Skull. Activated by Amar Himself!
I have come into possession of my very own (dun dun dunnn) Crystal Skull (aaaaaah) which has been activated by Amar himself (ooo) but really? the best part is the emails I now get from CrystalSkulls.Com**.

Thursday: Discovery
Teetering about for hours and THEN I realise I have a huge run in my stockings.

Friday: My baby sister is now a Lady
I picked up part of my baby sister’s birthday present and I see that the photo I had framed has been deemed that of a Lady.

Saturday: Cheeseburger Cupcakes!
But she’s not so grown up that I can’t make Cheeseburger Cupcakes for her on her birthday.



* The Boston Strangler. Not my favourite kind of serial killer but still.
** For example, did you know that to mark the significance of 09.09.09 …. there will be an historic gathering of significant crystal skulls and their guardians – this is probably the largest gathering of known ancient crystal skulls in our time.
Presenters and crystal skulls include:
1. The Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull (aka The Skull of Love)
2. Sha Na Ra
3. Synergy
Like in Jem! Except I don’t think Synergy was a Crystal Skull in Jem. But you never know, she MIGHT have been.
4. Rainbow
5. Nagak’u
6. Rosie
7. Maya
8..Bob (The Skull of Wishes)
Bob! I think he is my favourite
9. Mystery Crystal Skull : rarely seen in public

I think my crystal skull needs a name. Suggestions?

From the Archives

Pearl Harbour
27 August 2008

Pearl Harbour

The From the Archives feature was spurred by my Darling Mother who claims that she had absolutely no idea that Craig and I ever went to Pearl Harbour when we were in Hawaii. I was appalled. And then I found out that I hadn’t actually ever posted the photos on this darling little website and that in fact they were all sitting in my Flickr account (along with, it seems, a great many more) as private aka PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE PHOTOS BEHIND THE CURTAIN aka oops! and that it was entirely possible that maybe, just maybe, I’d forgotten to mention it?
No. I’m sure I mentioned it.
She is sure I didn’t.

Either way. I’m making up for it now!

For here we must do nothing rashly


Ue of Iacchus (Bacchus) is borne, crowned with myrtle, tumultuously
through the sacred gate, along the sacred way, halting by the sacred
fig-tree, (all sacred, mark you, from Eleusinian associations,) where
the procession rests, and then moves on to the bridge over the
Cephissus, where again it rests, and where the expression of the wildest
grief gives place to the trifling farce,–even as Demeter, in the midst
of her grief, smiled at the levity of Iambe in the palace of Celeus.
Through the “mystical entrance” we enter Eleusis. On the seventh day,
games are celebrated; and to the victor is given a measure of
barley,–as it were a gift direct from the hand of the goddess. The
eighth is sacred to Aesculapius, the Divine Physician, who heals all
diseases; and in the evening is performed the initiatory ritual. Let us
enter the mystic temple and be initiated,–though it must be supposed
that a year ago we were initiated into the Lesser Mysteries at Agrae.
(“_Certamen enim,–et praeludium certaminis; et mysteria sunt quae
praecedunt mysteria_.”) We must have been _mystae_ (veiled) before we
can become _epoptae_ (seers); in plain English, we must have shut our
eyes to all else before we can behold the mysteries. Crowned with
myrtle, we enter with the other _mystae_ into the vestibule of the
temple,–blind as yet, but the Hierophant within will soon open our
eyes. But first,–for here we must do nothing rashly,–first we must
wash in this holy water; for it is with pure hands and a pure heart that
we are bidden to enter the most sacred inclosure. Then, led into the
presence of the Hierophant, he reads to us, from a book of stone, things
which we must not divulge on pain of death. Let it suffice that they fit
the place and the occasion; and though you might laugh at them, if they
were spoken outside, still you seem very far from that mood now, as you
hear the words of the old man (for old he always was) and look upon the
revealed symbols. And very far indeed ar

The Classics Nerd inside me just adores that a passage about Bacchus is hiding advertisements for Viaga and Cialis.

And I also worry a little that I read all the way to the Latin and then had to scroll all the way down to see the ad before I realised that it actually was Spam and not just a delightful email.

Week Thirty-Three

365 in 2009!

Sunday: Gollum at the Weta Cave
A group of friends, Craig, and I went to Yum Char then on to the Weta Cave.
The Weta Cave was severely disappointing. But I did like the anxious Gollum.

Monday: UK Sweets, Hurrah!
I found a place that stocks Wispa bars! It made me far too happy.

Tuesday: Last frost of the Year?
The last frost of the year? Fingerscrossed!
(Before I knew how to deal with an amputation)

Wednesday: Walking to the Station at Dawn
I walked to the train station at dawn.
Terrified of coming across a car accident. In case I had to deal with an amputation.

Thursday: Pocket full of Posies by Baby Jayne
My baby sister’s Wearable Arts outfit won an award at her school’s fashion evening.

Friday: 2nd Hand Books
$1! how could I not?

Saturday: Dom's Diamond Jubilee Mass Celebration
My first-cousin-twice-removed, Sister Domenica, celebrated the 60th anniversary of becoming a Sister of the Society of Mary. She received a blessing from his pope-y-ness himself!



Excuses, excuses …

Dear The Internet,
I have spent all of today learning about CPR, AVPU, DRSABCDE, and another acronym I cannot remember*, and spent this evening regaling my family with helpful facts about the colour & viscosity of intra-cranial fluid, how to deal with a partial amputation, & how much blood is lost as a result of total amputation**. They love me!
As a result?I forgot about this darling little site until just now. Please accept this photo of stingrays & their adorable stingray faces with my sincere apologies.
xoxo Sarah-Rose

* Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation. Alert, responds to Voice, responds to Pain, Unresponsive. Danger, Response, Send for help, Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disruption, Exposure/Environment.
** Straw coloured & like cooking oil. Move back into position, apply pressure & a moist dressing. Only about 2 tablespoons!