Sunday, July 8

For we are many

At long last, here is a good look at my nesting doll tattoo. Not obscured by colourful tights for a change ;)

The design is by Anna & Mara of Dutch Door Press. If you haven't yet, you should totally check out their website and etsy shop. These two San Francisco ladies make the most beautiful prints, greeting cards and tote bags using an antique letterpress. Of course I think they're totally awesome not only because of that, but also because they allowed me to wear their nesting doll prints (1, 2, 3) on my leg.

My tattooist was Alex Hugianu, and she is a pretty darn cool lady too. You can check out some of her other work here.

I found the design shortly before we went for our unsuccessful interview at the U.S. embassy and I made my appointment to have it done right after we got back from London that day. It seemed like the perfect pick me up after our plans changed so drastically. A move half way across the globe replaced by house hunting right here in Cambridge and a second tattoo for me.

You can find out more about why I chose the motif here.

I'd originally planned for the design to be somewhat smaller, but there is so much detail in these little dolls, I didn't want them to lose definition.

For those of you who'd like to know, here is the lowdown:

Alex worked on this for five hours straight. Lucky me, I don't experience pain very keenly, so once again I got off lightly and it hardly smarted. I'd always been told that areas right on the bone were the most unpleasant, but I must say: In my experience it's working on muscle that's got a real sting to it. That, and apparently it depends on the colour too. The orange lady in the middle was definitely the most unpleasant and the slowest to heal, but of course she was totally worth it ;)

For the first week my leg felt like I'd caught the sun a bit and remained quite swollen too. No surprise there, you might as well think of a fresh tattoo as a pretty darn large graze. I got cramp an awful lot for a couple of weeks, but after that the healing itch finally set in. Can you say "multicoloured skin flakes"? ;)

After a couple of months I was finally ready for a touch up. Luckily I didn't have a lot of paint loss (you can't help losing a little with a larger piece. Even if you're the queen of moisturising, the odd scab will form). An hour later my leg was ready to heal once again. Alex told me touch ups are usually a little more unpleasant than the original tattoo, as soon as you're working on scar tissue. Maybe I show off about my numbness too much, but lucky me, I could hardly tell the difference :D

I am really pleased with my newly colourful leg. It's exactly what I hoped it would be. I've even been ditching my tights every once in a while. See, I got hang ups about my splotchy bare legs (you know, those white dots indicative of lousy circulation & a funky blue vein on my other leg) and knobbly knees, but having a lovely, colourful tattoo was the perfect incentive to get over myself.

So, what's the verdict?

Would I do it again? Definitely.
Am I having any more? Yeah. One more. On my upper arm. Three is a pretty good number if you ask me. The husband doesn't believe a word of it though. He reckons I'll just keep on going until I am covered. I don't think so, but if there is one thing I've learned, it's that you can't be sure about anything, least of all yourself ;)


  1. It's beautiful! It's nice to see it not obscured by tights :-)

  2. these are so lovely! and it's so lovely to see them not covered in tights and in their full glory!

  3. well I am totally in love with the design you went with and the placement is perfect.  Totally worth a little pain and colorful skin flakes :)

  4. oranges_and_applesJuly 09, 2012

    I love them! 

  5. Lauren WidelitzJuly 14, 2012

    This is such a beautiful tattoo. I was thinking about getting nesting dolls for a while, but I can't ever decide on what I want.  I actually emailed a tattoo artist yesterday about starting my first piece.  I'm very excited!