Stella with her backpack

The dogmonster turned 1 this past weekend, and finally got the backpack we’ve been wanting to get her all year. The day was spent hiking, foraging for mushrooms, and enjoying the company of some good friends from work (and enjoying the first real day off I’ve had for three long months). It was glorious.


The ferns were all white in one area.


The first visible snow of the year for me, against an amazingly blue sky.


I loved the way the bright yellow trees reflected on the lake.


Jennifer Billig is an absolutely amazing artist.  Amazing.  Seriously.  Anyone who can take a vague description and a call-phone photo of a headstone, and turn it into *exactly* what I had in my head is exactly that: amazing.

Stage one of The Big-Ass Tattoo is done.  I’m due to go back in September for part of the shading and color, and then again in December for the rest of it.  Hopefully it will all be finished before the end of the year, but we shall see how that goes.

Roughly one hour into the actual inky bit we were up to the elbow, and I was feelin’ fine.  Just fine.

Dogwood tattoo at the first break

Dogwood tattoo at the first break

At hour 3 or so we had the whole arm done, and I was still feeling pretty chipper, although freezing my arse off:

Dogwood tattoo, second break

Dogwood tattoo, second break

Then we did the shoulders and the upper back, and that was pretty much when my body decided it had definitely had enough:

Dogwood tatto, the final hour

Dogwood tatto, the final hour

That last bit was absolutely brutal, which really surprised me, but the entire outline is done, which should be the worst of it, right?

I love it.  Looooooove it.  Love.   Also?  I’m now covered in beeeees!