My New Tattoo

January 6, 2015
Back when I was 18, I did one of the stupidest things I think I've ever done in life.  A couple of my college friends and I were bored one night, so we thought it would be fun to get pierced on a whim. While deciding what we might get pierced, one of the gals thought that maybe getting pierced wasn't the best idea and that we should get tattooed instead.  We went to a place that did an excellent job on some tattoos that she already had, so I felt comfortable going there.  The only thing was that they were closing in a half-hour, so instead of doing the intelligent thing of you know...waiting a day, we decided to just go back to our dorm, think of ideas, and then find any ole place that was open. Earlier that year, one of my friends decided to get her tongue pierced at this same location because it doubled as a piercing place as tattoo parlors often do.  They ended up piercing her tongue with a 10 gauge, which is not the standard gauge.  I believe it's supposed to be a 14, which is way smaller.  My friend wasn't asked if she wanted to go bigger than normal--they just did it.  On top of that, they made me hold the tongs for her tongue piercing which...red flag, hello?? My friend also complained and said that her piercing was crooked.  So, even thought ALL THREE of us KNEW that they didn't do a good job piercing my friend's tongue, we decided to still go ahead and get inked at that same place.  I'm surprised I'm even admitting this on here, but like I said--I was young and dumb!  

At the time I got my tattoo, I was also obsessed with the band The Smashing Pumpkins.  Side note: I still really love their old-school stuff (most anything pre-Zwan), but prefer the band with its original members and not how it is now.  Anyway, for my tattoo I wanted to do something related to the band and the songs, but didn't want it to be too obvious.  A very popular choice at the time for a Smashing Pumpkin fan was to get this heart drawn by the band's frontman, Billy Corgan.

Image via: TShirtSubway
Since that was the go-to tattoo for any Smashing Pumpkins fan, I instead went with some album artwork, to be more specific, a drawing of a star inside the lyric book of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.  I showed the tattoo "artist" (I use that term loosely) what I wanted and he said that we were good to go. I thought everything was okay, until after he started the tattoo he said, "Oops."  I said, "What do you mean 'oops'!?!" and he responded, "Nevermind."  After that, he said, "Oops" two more times which wasn't exactly encouraging.  I couldn't tell right away, but after my tattoo healed, I could see three mistakes in it, one for each oops.  I was okay with my tattoo at first, but I never really loved it.  As time went on, I grew to hate it.  Not the fact that it's related to the Smashing Pumpkins--it's just not a tattoo that's well-done, but I made the choice and so I had to live with it.  

My before picture
When I would make new friends over the years, the subject of tattoos would sometimes come up in conversation.  Of course I would get asked if I had one, at which point, I would shamefully put my ankle on display.  I thought I was stuck with it forever unless I tried to get it lasered off one day.  I didn't really think lasering would look too good because if I could still see remnants of Angelina Jolie's Billy Bob/dragon tattoo, I knew that it would be hopeless for me seeing as how Angelina can afford the best of the best.  One of my friends who has several tattoos brought up the idea of getting it re-done or covered up.  I dismissed the idea because after having a tattoo that I didn't like for so long, I was too scared of the possibility of getting an even BIGGER tattoo that I was not proud of.

The years passed, and I started researching tattoo cover ups and was amazed at what I saw.  Most of the tattoos that I saw just looked like normal tattoos--I wouldn't have known that they were cover ups at all.  When I moved to Savannah, I decided that it was time to make an appointment with an artist and see if anything could be done.  I wanted to get it covered up with something floral just because I think flowers are timeless and could possibly disguise my ugly star.  I researched tattoo studios in Savannah and then started looking at artist's portfolios to see whose style I liked and who might specialize in floral designs.  That's when I found Kim's portfolio at The Butcher Tattoo Studio and decided to have a consultation with her to see if there was anything she could do.  I wanted something that looked like real pressed flowers and showed this picture of a floral "tattoo."  The tattoo isn't a permanent tattoo, but it's absolutely gorgeous all the same, and I told Kim that I wanted her to use it as inspiration when coming up with my custom design.  Kim agreed and then told me to e-mail her pictures of flowers that I liked and she would try to incorporate those, as well. I scheduled another appointment with her so that she could show me what she came up with, and once I approved it, she put me down for a five hour session.  


When I went in, I was really nervous...Just because I'm older and wiser (at least I like to think so!) now and know what it's like to be stuck with something that I don't necessarily want on my body.  I just kept telling myself to relax and remember how great Kim's work looked when I went through her portfolio.  

Kim's plan for covering up my tattoo with a new design
Up top, it didn't hurt that much, but down by my ankle...OUCH!  I don't know if I'd ever be able to tolerate getting one on the top of my foot because I heard that is even worse.  While I was getting my tattoo done, I started reading Dark Places, which worked as a nice distraction.  When the pain got too bad, I found that I couldn't concentrate, but for the most part, I was able to focus on the book.  

My tattoo ended up taking about 3.5 hours including prep time (getting the colors ready.)  Here is the final result:

After!! 
I have to say that I'm so, so, so thrilled with the result and think that I'll still love it in the years to come.  It's a million times better than that ugly star monstrosity!  My favorite flower is actually the one covering my old tattoo...I love how she blended the colors and incorporated some of the yellow from my original tattoo into the pansy. I'm truly happy that after all these years I'm finally content with the artwork on my body.  :)  I don't know if I'll ever get another tattoo or add onto this one, but I wouldn't hesitate to work with Kim again.  

What do you guys think of the cover up design?  Do you have any tattoos, and if you do are you 100% satisfied with them?  What's something you regret doing when you were younger?
24 comments on "My New Tattoo"
  1. Its beautiful!!! I actually dont mind the original one either (but I love tattoos - I have two). This one is absolutely gorgeous though!

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  2. Janeen Martin MillerJanuary 6, 2015 at 9:37 AM

    This post made me laugh so hard! We were so stupid, I can't believe we went there to get tattoos. I completely forgot that they used the wrong gauge when they pierced my tongue. HA HA. The new tattoo looks great!

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  3. I love your new tattoo! It's beautiful.

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  4. Oh that's so pretty. I'm always in awe of how artists do cover up jobs, especially on dark areas. (I watch way too many bad tattoo shows)
    I have three tattoos and I love all of them. My sister had a bad experience though - she wanted something to do with a flower and her zodiac symbol and she wanted one bigger than the other (I don't remember which way) and the artist got it the wrong way round! She ended up having a couple of laser sessions and getting a cover up.

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  5. Oh my gosh, it's gorgeous!!! I don't generally go in for the flower tattoos, but that looks really good. I think having a good tattoo artist is incredibly important - something I overlooked with mine. Not that they look bad, but I think that's due to luck more than any caution on my part.

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  6. So beautiful! I love the colors you chose!

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  7. What an amazing coverup! I love the colors you chose and the design!

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  8. That looks incredible. I love it!

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  9. I don't like a lot of flower tattoos with the thick, black outline around the petals so I'm glad I researched and found an artist whose style I admire! What are your tattoos of?

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  10. Thanks!! I am still in awe of what a good job she did. :)

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  11. Now I wish I would've taken the plunge sooner, but I'm super relieved/grateful for the way this one turned out!

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  12. Thanks! The tattoo artist made a collage of some flowers (in color), but her actual sketch was just in black and white. She knew what colors I wanted, but I wasn't 100% sure what it was going to look like until she finished it.

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  13. Thanks! Me too. It will be nice to have a tattoo I'm proud of instead of one I want to hide!

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  14. One is really simple - it's the Borromean Rings (3 interlocking rings; if you take one out the other 2 aren't connected anymore) and it's symbolic for me and my 2 sisters.

    The other one is a design I made myself and was supposed to be my only tattoo, but my sisters guilted me into doing another one with them. I'm attaching a picture of the design because it's easier than explaining. The actual tattoo is less pretty, but it's not bad (I'd send a picture of that, but it's hard to get to. :P)

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  15. Amazingly she did. There's this bizarre thing British people do, where we pay for things and say we're ok with things even if we really, really aren't happy with it. Don't ask me why, but we find it near impossible to tell the hairdresser we hate the way she's cut our fringe or tell a tattooist they've done their job wrong.

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  16. Um wow, that turned out beautifully! I would never guess it was a cover up, so pretty!

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  17. I'm so relieved that it turned out well!

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  18. That's neat that you and your sisters all have the same tattoo!

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  19. Wow, that's very different from American culture! I never knew that.

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  20. LOVE LOVE this tattoo!! I think the cover up looks excellent :) I love my tattoo. Wish I would have put it in a different place but oh well. I was young and skinny :p

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  21. But you are still young and skinny! :) I can't wait til it fully heals and to show it off this summer!

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