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Thursday, 26 March 2015

TATTOOS: Swan tattoo progress by Georgina Lilane

2015 has started off well with tattoo collecting, with my first tattoo of the year at Brighton Tattoo Convention. Then two weeks later I was booked into see the talented Georgina Jurd of Intense Colours in Bitterne, Southampton.

As with most of my tattooist discoveries, I found Georgina through Instagram, and also follow her on Facebook. 

Her unique dark, romantic style drew me in, featuring animals, lace, jewels and flowers. I just knew i needed a tattoo from her and decided her  style would look great  as a half sleeve.

Swans are one of my favourite animals. They are beautiful and graceful birds, and remind me of one of my favourite locations; Marlow in Buckinghamshire (also where my wedding reception was located). They are also the symbol of my home town and county.
The swans were furthered cemented as my ideal tattoo as they are one of few creatures who mate for life, which I love the idea of.

So after some back and forth emails, the day was finally upon us, and I was not disappointed. Georgina designed a beautiful piece.

Swan tattoo Georgina Lilane


This is still a work  in progress clearly, with  about 3 hours of colour  to come but i can honestly say the design is better than anything I could have come up with. 

Plus Georgina is a total sweetheart and so easy to chat to - we had extensive  conversations about cats and conventions  (she's  working her first convention this year, Southampton Tattoo Festival in July, more on that soon).

To finish this post I will urge you to follow Georgina on Instagram and her Facebook page if you want some beautiful tattoos in your feed. And here's just  a few of her amazing tattoos.

tattoo Georgina Lilane


*do not copy any designs from this post, or blog in general. It is not cool. These should inspire only.

Monday, 23 March 2015

TATTOOS: How I prepare for a tattoo session

Dani Green Tattoo - How I prepare for a tattoo


So after many many tattoos in my seven year history of collecting, I've  learnt a few tricks of the trade when it comes to sitting through some of the longer, tougher sessions. 

I'm  pretty much a complete wuss when it comes to tattoos. My pain threshold is pretty minimal. I mean indigestion has me in tears... I am a huge cry baby. 

Anyway, in my time I have successfully sat for a number of tattoos lasting longer than three hours. In fact, I'm  currently writing this post whilst sitting through a three hour tattoo. My longest tattoo session was six hours. I'm  not going to lie to you.. it was f**king tough, and really hard work. I've  also cried during two tattoos (I did keep going) and have come close a number of times to just stopping midway through  a session (but I persevered through to the end!), so I do know what many of you will be thinking  and going through.

Dani Green How I prepare for a tattoo


So here's  some of my hints and tips for getting through  a long session, or even a small session.

Eat...

Seems simple and pretty obvious, but eating something a minimum of an hour or so beforehand will really help with keeping your sugar levels at a consistent level and help to stop you feeling sick or faint. It also helps to have some sugary foods for during  your session if you're  going to be sat a while.

Drink...

This goes with the above point. Again, something sugary will help you get through the sore patches. A lot of studios have a fridge filled with soft drinks for this very reason.

Music....

Fill your phone or Ipod with your favourite tunes and pop your headphones in. The music will help distract you which will take your mind off the pain, making it hurt less.

Write...

As I said previously, I'm  writing this post (published later) whilst sat at Brighton Tattoo Convention  being tattooed by Jenna Kerr. I find concentrating on writing really stops me focusing on the tattoo which makes the entire process so much easier. Admittedly this hasn't,  so far been particularly  painful (I'm  putting it down to a good pain day and light work from Jenna) but it's still a useful technique.

Films....

If you can bring a film on your tablet or ipad.. do it. Again, it's  all about distraction techniques. If you give your brain something to focus on it won't  be able to focus on the pain as much so it will hurt less. Personally I'd  recommend something funny like a comedy which will boost  endorphins in your system to make you feel good, or Disney, because who doesn't love Disney?!

Chat...

Talk to your tattooists, people  visiting or call your mum. Have a good chat about anything  and everything.

Don't  work it up in your head...

Possibly the worst thing you can do, and definitely easier said than done. It's  not going to hurt that much, if it did no one would get tattoos, and no one would repeatedly get them done unless they really loved pain. Working up to be worse in your head is only going to make the session harder for yourself, and potentially  your tattooist.

So that's  my tips, but what are yours?
Share them in the comments below...


*do not copy designs - these are one off designs by Dani Green, on myself. 

Saturday, 21 March 2015

TATTOOS: Healing with Palmers Cocoa Butter



From my many years (OK seven) of getting tattooed I have been through the healing many, many times. From this post you can see I have a tried and tested process for healing my tattoos.
However, I'm  also quite happy  to try new techniques if advised by a knowledgeable person i.e. a tattooist. 

After my recent tattoo at Brighton Tattoo Convention, Jenna Kerr recommended using Palmer's Cocoa Butter (fragrance free) to heal colour tattoos. I decided to give it a try, and I'm really pleased I did.

Normally I  would go with the highly recommended Bepanthen and cling film combo, which does give the desired  outcome, but there were some big differences between Bepanthen and Palmers Cocoa Butter.

1. The price

There is a pretty big price difference.
Bepanthen is a good quality nappy rash cream, loved by mums and tattoo fans, but it comes with a price tag to match. For a 100g tube of Bepanthen  from Tesco, you're  looking at £6.99, compared  to Palmers from Tesco, which for a 250ml bottle is £2.25/£3.00. I think the price difference speaks for itself.

2. Coverage

Bepanthen is a thick cream which is pretty sticky. Of course it is designed to moisturise sore baby bums, so you don't  necessarily  want it to be absorbed too quickly into the skin. But for tattoos it brings with it a mix of problems, including stained and greasy clothes, and a slimey consistency.
Palmer's is a much smoother cream, which glides on much easier. You need a much smaller amount of cream to cover a tattoo. For my thigh tattoo, a ball around the size of two peas would cover the tattoo sufficiently.

3. Stickiness

As mentioned before, Bepanthen is sticky. It needs to be wrapped in cling film to stop it sticking to clothes, which not only ruins the clothing, but also runs the risk of ripping  any dry skin on your tattoo off, which could affect the colour and finish.
Palmer's isn't  sticky. It absorbs into the skin quite quickly making the tattoo moisturised fast. I haven't  had to use cling film at all whilst usimg it.

4. The itch

Anyone with extensive tattoos will know about the tattoo itch. I would say 90% of my tattoos have experienced the itch whilst healing. But using the Palmer's the tattoo hasn't  itched once. I also asked Dann, who has been trialling the technique  with me and he agrees. No itch.

5. Colour

When using Bepanthen I always find I get the horrible slimey, ink/blood/Bepanthen  mix which has to be cleaned which to be honest can be quite gross, and smell  pretty awful. Using Palmer's, meant no cling film, which avoided this. Thus I believe it aids with keeping the colour in the design.
I've honestly  no idea on the science, but I do think the colour pigment is better with the new cream.

All in all, I am super impressed with Palmer's Cocoa Butter (fragrance free - this is pretty important) and will 100% be using it on future tattoos.

What do you use to heal your tattoos?
Will you be trying Palmer's Cocoa Butter?

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

LIFESTYLE: Taxidermy and animals

It's almost a contradiction on the face of it. 

I'm an animal lover. I love David Attenborough documentaries, (is there anyone on the planet that wouldn't  want to listen to him talk all day, I think not) I have two pet cats whom I  love with all my heart, and just adore animals in almost all shapes and sizes.

But I also collect taxidermy. As you can see in this post, i have quite the collection growing, including stuffed birds, framed moths and butterflies and an assortment of bones and skulls.

Basically I love animals, dead or alive.


Many animal lovers don't agree with taxidermy because they feel animals shouldn't  be used for human display or entertainment. I can see their point of view, but I see taxidermy in a different way. I see it as a celebration of their life, and a way to teach others about animals. It almost seems a waste for the, to be put in the ground to rot away when they could be stuffed and their bones used for teaching. 

We intend to use our bones and skulls to teach our future children about animals and anatomy.
Our taxidermy birds and framed butterflies decorate our home and support independent businesses in the UK. 

They are an unique and interesting talking point - you can see some of my collection below.

So  my question to you... would you or do you  have taxidermy in your home?

Taxidermy Kingfisher
Fetal mouse wet specimens
Cat and rabbit skulls
Selection of framed green beetles
Red fox skull

Sunday, 15 March 2015

LIFESTYLE: A letter to my mum on Mothers Day

Lucky mums everywhere are being treated to flowers, chocolates and all manner of bathroom smellies today. And rightly so. Mums have a tough-ass job, so they deserve at least  a day a year to put their feet up and have dinner cooked for them for a change.

So I thought I'd  write an open letter to my mum, to share with you, and all the other mums who are like mine in their own way.


Dear mum,

I'll never know how  to fully explain how much you mean to me. There just  aren't  the words to describe it. 

Bringing  up three girls, pretty much single-handedly, and completely single-handedly for a number of year, must have been hard. We weren't  the easiest children, but we have all turned out pretty OK.

You've  taught me so many life lessons, the value of hard work and money. How you need to work for things in life, and nothing comes for free. The best things are earnt through hard work and perseverance. Something's just happen, for no reason, and sometimes unfairly, but our strength in character is how we deal with the things thrown at us that are meant to knock us down. Never let them knock you down.

You've  always had my back. No matter what. You've  never judged my tattoo choices, always loved them and wanted to see them. I'm very fortunate to have a mum i never have to hide anything from, including  my tattoos.

We share our jokes and have the same sense of dark witted humour. Our combined sarcasm knows no bounds. Our storytelling keeps us both entertained for hours. I could listen to you talk til the end of time.

I don't  know a single person  quite like you on this planet. And for that I'm  thankful because it makes the honour of having you as a mother that bit more special. You are one of a kind, and i will love you until my last day on earth.

Yours always and forever.