Inked: FFAF Edition

01-P2870103 Our Labor Day weekend was a fun mix of the Boston Tattoo Convention, season three of Portlandia, and a little bit of backyard BBQ. We tagged along with two friends of ours who've done the whole thing before, and had an SF-based artist booked for the day (the very talented and super gentle Gordon Combs from Seventh Son). Apologies in advance to anyone squeamish about needles - for what it's worth, I get light-headed and faint any other time I have to deal with them myself!

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The first time we met Gordon, it was when we were still living in San Francisco and one of the friends was staying with us. She'd scheduled an appointment with him for an awesome, monocled cat-head air balloon, and we kept her company while he worked on her. It turned out amazing, so of course we jumped at the chance to work with him while he was in town for the convention, even if it meant waiting nearly six months! We knew we'd be in excellent hands.

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We arrived not long after noon and more or less got started right away. Folks were trickling in but it wasn't crowded, and gradually the quiet hum of needles buzzing grew to a dull beehives-on-megaphone roar. Those of us not in the chair did some wandering around, ducked out for snacks, avoided dudes with tails or weird contact lenses in, but mostly we kept one another company (that's what friends are for).

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Naturally, M wanted a shark. I have no idea how long she hoarded the image I found for her, but it was a long time, and Gordon really took it to the next level. It's super rad and the colors are gorgeous as well. She was a trooper and went first in the day! I was second, our other friend went third (octopus with a bowler hat riding a bike), and the fourth took off somewhere during mine to get a cutie pie slice of femme cake added to her already highly decorated leg. (Being the most hardcore of us all, she returned Sunday night to sit for a four-hour tattoo covering her entire forearm.)

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I wanted something homey, and was inspired by a beautiful art nouveau print of Oakland I stumbled upon sometime in the past year or two. It's really perfect, and even though my last tattoos were text and like eight years ago and much, much smaller than this piece, he put me at ease and worked fast and well - I was all done at just past three hours or so. The whole thing is just so pretty, the colors and shading, the teeny tiny baby Sutro Tower and magic key, and it makes me giddy and a little less homesick to look down at it.

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Why is my hair so big? I honestly cannot say. By the end of the night we were the last ones left. The lights in the massive convention hall got turned down halfway, and midnight came and went. With the emcee gone we had peace and quiet, so I played The National from my phone. As our friend's octopus got its finishing touches, one of us was sprawled on the floor, M was happily chattering away, and I was offering my finger as the sacrificial squeezing lamb (friend getting the octopus had already bitten the nipple off the stress reliever boob pictured above). Kind of a perfect ending to a gem of a day.

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We spent Sunday recovering, and Monday gingerly running errands for a proper Labor Day BBQ. I think I'm on the cusp of the itchy phase of healing, so keep me in your thoughts! I declawed myself over the weekend just in case.

Your regularly scheduled FFAF programming will return in the next day or so!

XOXO, FFAF