In which there is a celebration, and artist people Art the Thing

After my good mare Story died in 2006, somebody asked if I had a picture of her.

Yes.  Yes, I do.

I got the horse and tribal part done in 2001. The horse was drawn from
a photo of Story.  The moon and clouds were added after she retired.

I decided a few years ago that I wanted to get a tattoo representation for Fiddle as well. But the design eluded me, and the timing was never quite right.

Until recently.
My library colleague Ann has a knack for dragons.
The text of the short dragon poem displayed on the bulletin board
can be viewed HERE.

Adding a dragon to the existing tattoo made for an interesting artistic challenge.

Fortunately, Ann was up for the challenge of designing the new tattoo...

AND she recommended a tattoo artist, as well:  her niece Cassidy.

Cassidy's studio isn't nearby, however.  To get there from Haiku Farm, it's needful to get up really early and drive for an hour to catch a ferry.

The Keystone ferry on Whidbey Island has an erratic schedule
when the tides run exceptionally high or low,
as they did last weekend.

My favorite companion for this kind of adventure:  Santa Jim!

When we arrived in Port Townsend, second breakfast at the Blue Moose was in order.

When you visit, try the smoked salmon scramble with spinach, mushrooms and
sharp white cheddar cheese.  Also: show up early
or be prepared to wait for a table. Worth the wait.

And then second tea.

The Better Living Through Coffee shop on Water Street has amazing caramel
rolls and good coffee.  Plus tea, for those who do that.

Finally, we meandered up the street to the Bee's Knees Tattoo studio.

The studio is on the 2nd floor of a building that used to be
a brothel, and has several smuggler's passages underground
to the waterfront!

Cassidy prepped the equipment, 

and messed around a bit with Ann's design

transfer paper

the design applied with transferred paper and felt pen

and then she got to work making Art.

Outline in black

checking the progress

adding the color
Cassidy wasn't content to just color in the design that Ann had provided.  She originally trained as a painter, and so the overall balance and composition is important to her.

She tweaked the design, and also did some modifications on the existing tattoo:  sharpening the horse's sillouhette, and adding colors in the cloud to balance everything and make the entire piece more cohesive.

Admiring the finished product

The finished piece

Folks always ask if getting the tattoo hurt.

I gotta say that, after having both hips replaced, I don't define "pain" the way I used to.  Even with that said, truthfully, I've had sunburns that were more painful than this tattoo.  Seriously.  The pain is completely tolerable, even when it's happening.

And afterwards...

There's an awesome little crepe shop near the Kingston ferry dock

More food.

My crepe had chicken, lemon-artichoke pesto, and some veggies.
Fairly amazing.

My date for the day, still charming at the end of it.

peanut gallery at the ferry wharf

All that adventuring, and we still got home in time for a short pasture-ride.

Fiddle now gets 20 minutes hand-walking plus
20 minutes of walking under saddle per day.
Not exciting, but it feels good.

Happy birthday to me!  It was a good one!


  1. Happy birthday to you! It sounds like you had a great day! The tattoo is really well done - the dragon and the colouring are pretty impressive.

  2. It's beautiful! I love the colors and how it blends with the previous tattoo. I love the form of the dragon itself. What an artist!

    I was at a breakfast bar and you could make your own crepe. I was excited to try it but had no idea it takes skill. I ended up cracking up in front of all the people waiting in line as I created a pile of what looked like scrambled eggs on the griddle. Your egg breakfast sounds perfect.

  3. I just got my very first tattoo (not FB official yet, since I have some changes I want made to it already), and I have to agree that it didn't hurt. Like, at all. It was mildly annoying for a couple minutes of the process, stung a little right after, and then hasn't hurt a bit since. I can see why folks could get addicted! Yours is beautiful, and so meaningful. Mine is just black and black shading, but is meaninful to me--my cat's pawprint who just passed away, right over my heart, which also happens to be where her paw would lie while I was snuggling her in my arms. Anyway, yours is very cool. Love it!


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