Hoot! There it is!

July 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last year for Christmas, one of the many delightful gifts I received from the kids (read: Kit) was a certificate for some fresh ink. I decided to redeem it as a reward to myself for finally finishing the Neverending Sweater (more on that in a later post, and yes, that’s where I’ve been keeping myself and why blogging has been sparse at best), and since the design I wanted featured a big ball o’ yarn, I wanted to try to get it before heading up to The Knit and Crochet Show last week (again, more on that later — I got a lot of stuff to tell y’all about!). So two Fridays ago, I headed over to Lola’s Tattoos in Bogota, NJ and Johnny hooked me right up with this:

It’s (not) a press on tattoo!

I designed and drew it myself, and although I was cool with Johnny making suggestions/changes, he thought it was cool the way it was and the only real change he made was to make it a little larger so the fine lines wouldn’t bleed together.

But what does it mean? Well, I’ve wanted to get an Athenian owl for a while now, and I’ve also wanted a yarn-y tattoo. When I went to college (not that long ago — I was 30 when I finally got around to doing that), I fell into the Classics program and absolutely loved it. I often find myself tempted to consider going back for a PhD, but have heard too much about the crazy politics involved in those programs and I’m just not interested in that part of it. But I do still enjoy supplementing my education by reading lots, and I find ancient civilizations and religions just fascinating. In case you don’t know, Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom and the owl is her symbol. In addition, she is the patron goddess of handcrafters and artisans, so I thought it would be appropriate to have her owl holding a ball of yarn. As I was researching images to base my tat on, I found an ancient coin that showed the owl grasping a spindle full of wool (scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page) which I thought a) was pretty spiffy and b) lent even more support to my idea. (Okay, so the description says it’s an amphora that the owl is perched on, but it really looks like a spindle to me.)

Then a couple of months ago, I came across a tattoo of an elephant done in this really awesome style, outlined in thick lines with little random designs, and something  just clicked. I knew I wanted to mimic that style for this tattoo. I found it originally here — well, on Pinterest, but pinned from there — but supposedly it’s by someone named David Hale. I can’t find any evidence to support that, but if you like beautiful tattoos, his gallery is worth flipping through.

So I sat down one night, and what you see above is pretty much exactly what I drew. I had originally thought to get this tat ( back when it was still generic “owl holding yarn ball” — not as drawn) on the underside of my wrist, but then someone (can’t remember who) (see what I did there?) suggested the shoulder as an alternate location and clearly, that was sheer brilliance. So now I have my little craft owl — whose (again! I did it again!) name is Pete*, incidentally — perched on my shoulder, whispering wise and crafty ideas into my ear.

*When I was a very little girl I had a velveteen stuffed bulldog named Pete that was bright electric blue and white, and my dad used to make up off-the-cuff stories about Pete the Bulldog for me sometimes at bedtime. Pete was really smart and creative and silly and funny, and every time I thought about what to name my owl, I came back to Pete. I know it’s not a bulldog, but it just works for me and makes me smile.


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