Posts Tagged ‘life improvement’

New Adventures: 2 of 30 – Tattoo Fixage

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

When I was really young and crazy at the tender age of 20 or so, I got a medium sized tattoo of vines & roses. I didn’t research it at all. Just walked into the tattoo parlor, with visions of roses in my head and picked some flash off the wall and pointed to my back. I think the piece was originally drawn for an arm band or something, who knows… The artist at the time didn’t necessarily do a bad job, but he also didn’t do an awesome job. Also, I was kinda an idiot about tattoo aftercare. I remember smearing on some neosporin on my back, not bothering to cover it & going to bed, only to wake up with an greasy/inky tattoo transfer on my bedsheets. Gross & horrifying, I know.

It has about 9 years, and the tattoo is pretty faded & you could see some problem areas. Uneven lines, uneven shading, uneven placement, etc.. I needed to fix that shit. I knew that I needed to fix that shit about 5 years ago, but just put it off. Not exactly sure what I wanted. If i just wanted it touched up, added to, covered up, or whatever. I finally decided to bite the bullet. I still love the roses & the idea of vibrant colors & it’s a pretty design, so I decided that I wanted it added to and redesigned a bit. Rose is my middle name, so I really wanted them to be a focus. A botanical/overgrown jungley feel, that looked less like something you could pick off the wall at a tattoo shop.

After some online research, I found Precision Body Arts in Nashua, NH. They had good reviews, a good website and I thought that all of their tattoo artists had pretty impressive portfolios. I went in & ended up talking with Nick Kelley. I showed him what I had & what I wanted done to it. He is a man of few words, and I get really overly verbose when I’m nervous, so I probably came off as a crackhead & threw out a bunch of lame-ass buzz words. Lord knows how, but he ended up figuring out what I wanted and drew a great sketch that was basically the look that I was going for & then he made a few minor changes to make stuff more girly & swirly. It was kinda crazy on point how he totally got what I wanted  & the style blended perfectly with what I already had. It’s hard to tell where the old one ends and the new one begins. Nick did a really fucking amazing job, period.

Here’s the original design before:
IMG_1061

And the magic that Nick Kelly made happen:
IMG_0372

Such a crazy awesome transformation. I’m super happy with how it turned out. Many thanks to Nick, and also to my tattoo buddy Brendan, who brought me crosswords to occupy my mind because I’ve apparently become a bit more of a wuss in my advanced years… Whatever. At least I take pain stoically and silently, unlike this random crazy chick.

2 of 30 completed.

New adventures: 1 of 30 – Hammock procurement.

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Hammock with Fifi and me.

Originally uploaded by emmasart

#1 on my list of 30 New Adventures Before Turning 30 was “Purchase & use a hammock in my yard.”. I decided to make good on that a few weeks back.

I’ve always loved hammocks. Laying in them. Reading & writing while blowing back and forth in a wonderfully cocoon-like net. They are totally blissful and relaxing. I came across one at Lowe’s for about 60 bux, and decided to take the plunge.

We hung it in our back yard, between 2 trees, and cleared out the poison ivy underbrush directly underneath it. It’s delightfully stealth green, meaning that you can’t see the hammock unless you’re kinda hunting for it. The sun peaks through the forest canopy sometimes, but you’re generally reclining in a fair bit of shade with a nice steady breeze that comes down the hill through the woods behind our house. It’s pretty fricking awesome.

I’ve been spending a boatload of time in it, as has Devon, as has FIfi. She loves it & its crazy to see her climb around in it. She totally goes all psycho arboreal lizard in it, climbing the ropes like jungle vines. It’s quite a sight to behold.

All in all, this is a great adventure. And I can’t believe that it took this long for me to finally get a hold of one of these things. They rock. Though the one downside is that it’s quite easy to lose track of time relaxing in a hammock.

1 of 30 completed.

30 New Adventures Before 30.

Monday, May 9th, 2011

I’m turning 29 later this month. That means I only have a little over 1 year left of being in my carefree 20′s. There are a bunch of things that I want to do while I’m still young and spry. Similarly there are a bunch of things that I think are good things to know how to do in general, and definitely would like to learn them before I hit my 4th decade.

I’ve decided to be like a million other people and make a list of 30 things that I’d like to do, try, learn, or re-try before I hit the big 3. oh. I think it’s totally doable and my list an extended version of a bunch of things that I’d like to do. And I reserve the right to change things out and add to as I see fit. Here we go: (in no particular order)

  1. Purchase & use a hammock in my yard.
  2. Fix my lower back tattoo (finally, after 10 years of saying that I should!)
  3. Get the new tattoo that I’ve been mulling over for over a year. (It’s been a year & I still want it, so I think its time!)
  4. Take part in a beach bonfire.
  5. Go to NASCAR!
  6. Learn how to cook Coq Au Vin.
  7. Learn how to braise a huge delicious monster hunk of beef.
  8. Practice alcohol abstinence for a month.
  9. Shoot arrows at random shit.
  10. Drink out of a fishbowl.
  11. Run a mile. (This body wasn’t built for running, so this should be interesting.)
  12. Run 5K. (This should be doubly interesting.)
  13. Learn how to can something savory. Like pickles. Or tomato sauce.
  14. Go winter surfing in New England.
  15. Go vegetarian for 2 weeks (organic & locally sourced when possible & maybe for a month if I get my act together.)
  16. Watch a sunrise.
  17. Watch the sun set.
  18. Visit a new continent.
  19. Go on a road trip without a destination in mind.
  20. Travel solo internationally.
  21. Learn how to disassemble, clean & reassemble a gun.
  22. Play paintball.
  23. Paint a mural.
  24. Work as an artist’s model.
  25. Model in a Fashion show.
  26. Go fishing.
  27. Learn how to gut and clean a fish.
  28. Go snowboarding. (Not on the bunny slope & without the day ending in a temper tantrum, haha)
  29. Rent a car on my own.
  30. Go skinny dipping!
  31. Read 15 new books.
  32. Go on a bike-riding day trip.
  33. Run away & join the circus…. (This is open for interpretation obviously…)
  34. Go sky diving.

Obviously some of these are contradicting. Like trying to follow a vegetarian diet. And then cooking meat, going fishing & butchering fish… But I’m kinda a walking contradiction in general.

Anything I’m totally missing? Anything that’s a really bad idea? How about you? What do you have on your Adventuresome To-do List?

Vegetable Garden – 2010 – Planning Phase

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
Thanks Lilley1 from Flickr!

Spring is quickly approaching, and I finally got around to ordering seeds for my garden this year. I’ve decided to go through Johnny’S Selected Seeds, which is a local employee owned company that has pretty reasonable prices. In addition, I used their seeds last year & stuff turned out pretty well, so why not be a repeat customer? :)

This year I’m going with Red Grape Tomatoes, Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, Zucchini, Collard Greens and Scallions, along with some various herbs, and maybe I’ll pick up some Pepper or Broccoli plants later in the summer. The tomatoes should be interesting, as I’ve never grown those from seed before. Last year I just gaffed some plants from my mom, so hopefully I can figure it out on my own. Also, I’ve never tried scallions before, but how hard can they be? :)

Now all I need to do it get my gardening staff (aka Devon) started on building the 2nd raised bed so I can increase our harvest by double this year!

Fall back.

Friday, November 6th, 2009

It’s November. Jesus. I’ve once again fallen dreadfully behind on updating. The past month has been really nice. Falling back in touch with old friends, some of whom I thought had been lost forever. Exploring new places and activities. Hanging out at the airport at night with A, which is eerily quiet, and surprisingly relaxing when I don’t actually have any travel plans. Doing Cambridge pub crawls with two friends where we got collectively propositioned which was unreal and kinda creepy. Checking out a townie bar in Littleton with my girl, Katie, that has awesome karaoke nights, and you’re not sure if the end of the night will wind up with your corpses being dragged out into the woods. :) I discovered that the commuter rail is actually a thing of beauty, and makes me rely less on my car to get into the city, and I love that. Sometimes I love driving, but it just seems horribly wrong to do it in Boston. I like being a subway rat, and the commuter rail will allow me to get back to that. It’s good. I love getting out of the house and being social, and doing random things. This past month has been really great for it, and I look forward to doing it more.

Lots of various pictures from May and June 2009

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

So I just emptied out the old pictures in my camera, and BOY! Do I have a bunch of various photos in there.  We built our master bedroom closet, I looked GOOD, I investigated wild orchids in MA, we went to Brian & Jen’s wedding in New Orleans, I turned 27, I gardened, my iguana looked super cute, and I explored Russell’s Mill Pond and the Chelmsford town forest on my bike…

Pouty face!
Apparently MA has about 10 or so wild varieties of orchids.
Devon very happy to have a plateful of beignets.
My Mardi Gras mask.
Russell's mill pond.

Check out all the pictures here.

Helpful Tip #1

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

When plugging in a Tivo box, make sure that you’re plugging in a Tivo box and not a DVD player. It’s totally crucial to the whole endeavor. :)

A wonderful day in the yard.

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Today I finished filling my raised garden bed. The snap peas, carrots, spotted mint and some cilantro are in the ground. I have other stuff to plant, but it’s too early to plant them.

Fifi also had a lovely day in the garden. She got out and romped around, eating as much clover as she possibly could. She even made a friend who had similar interests….

Fifi made a bunny buddy... Click on picture for larger view.

Fifi made a bunny buddy... Click on picture for larger view.

:) Cute no?

Beginning of a Garden

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009
Emma gardening

"Emma" gardening

First off, I love using photo shop poorly. Next. It’s spring time and I’ve always wanted to have a small garden to grow things to eat. I’ve experimented in previous rental houses with herbs, collards and flowers… I’ve also planted a blueberry bush that I harvested about 6 ripe blueberries off of last year, and we had a patch of wild stawberries that the squirrels harvested the night before each one was ripe.

Now that we have a huge yard, I’ve decided that I will actually have a real garden. We’ve decided to go with a raised bed version, so its not as permanent, if we decide to move its location. Also, hopefully it will make it a bit easier to keep kritters out… Ok, they can share, but they can not eat everything! hehe. My garden staff, aka. Devon, will build/help build a pretty simple one, that will be about 4 ft. by 8 ft, and it should be big enough to hold the few things that I plan on trying to grow this year.

They are: Collard greens, yellow summer squash, carrots, sugar snap peas, nasturtiums and possibly zucchini. I’m also thinking about doing some herbs like basil, cilantro and parsley in some containers. We also have a big apple tree in our back yard. We moved into the house too late last year to see if they were yummy or not. But yeah. I’m feeling a smidge domestic… Although, we’ll see. Devon and I still have to build the raised bed tonight…. and then I have to plant things… Oh yeah.. and then weed, and weed, and weed, and weed. Good times.

Is anyone else trying to growing anything this year?

Book Review: Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve written a book review. Probably since most of my recent reads have been trashy romance… erm… I mean “historical-romance novels”. But as of late, I discovered my local library’s graphic novel section… So I picked up a few, and a couple were really good.

My fav thus far: Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea, by Guy Delisle.

Guy Delisle is an animator who has traveled to many countries through his work…. Helping direct & manage jobs that get outsourced to other countries where its cheaper to employ animators. His graphic novel Pyongyang is about the time that he spent working in North Korea. It’s really faciniating. You rarely hear such indepth reporting from outsiders about what life is like in Korea. Its especially interesting in graphic novel form, since outsiders are forbidden from photographing so many things, Guy had a great advantage as an illustrator, being able to depict his experiences.

His experience with the locals there is surprising, although not entirely unexpected. How there is no opposition to the regime, and how noone ever says anything against their country. The idea of that is just so foreign to me. It’s something I love about the US.  While I have many issues with how many things are handled in my country, I just can’t even imagine such total domination over a country’s population.  The book Pyongyang made everything seem just so “1984“.

In general, I recommend all people to check this book out. It’s very thought provoking to say the very least, and it certainly makes me want to learn more about North Korea’s history and the US’s relationship with them. The book is available at Amazon.com, or see if you can borrow it at your local library.