A little ink, anyone?

by Kristin Daniels

About three years ago, my oldest daughter came to me and said, “Mom, when I turn eighteen, I want a tattoo.” Now, most mothers would probably freak out, say no way, over my dead body, or any combination of the above. But what did I say?

“Cool! I’ll get one with you!”

You see, I’ve always found tattoos fascinating, but up until then, I’d never had the courage to get one. Those “It’s PERMANENT!” and “You’ll regret it!” mantras had been drilled in my head for so many years. So why the change, and why then? Maybe it was the fact that I was turning forty just a few months after she turned eighteen. Or maybe it was that I finally decided what was wrong for someone else, wasn’t necessarily wrong for me.

But here’s the kicker – I hate needles. Yep. HATE them. The fear stems from my childhood (as all good fears do). My sister would throw a fit whenever the time came for our immunizations or any other time she’d need a shot. So, naturally, I followed in her footsteps.

Then, a few months after my sister passed, I was doing a little surfing and typed her name into Google (we were estranged for a while, long story). As a fledgling graphic artist, there were articles here and there about her on the web. I came across a picture (one I’d never seen before), and sure enough, she had a tattoo. And not just any tattoo. My I-hate-needles sister had a half sleeve. I kinda sat back, stared at the photo, and said, “Well, hell. If she can do it, then I can do it!”

That first trip to a tattoo studio is a strange one. My daughter loved it, but I was a little apprehensive. We’ve all seen pictures of tattoo artists with full body art and piercings, which was something I wasn’t quite used to. And after that experience, I’ll be the first to say never judge a book by its cover. The men in that studio were absolutely awesome. They were friendly, caring, and made us feel right at home.


Holy moly did that tat hurt! I got a tribal star on my hip, right above the bone. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best choice of placement for a first tat. But I love it. The inside of the star is purple, a color that symbolizes so much for me and my family (the pancreatic cancer my sister passed from, the Alzheimer’s my mother has, and ADHD that runs in our family). Yep, that first one meant a lot.

My daughter video taping my first tattoo. Sorry for the language, but it hurt!

And now I can say, Hi, I’m Kristin Daniels, and I’m addicted to tattoos. My average is one a year now. After the star, I got a four leaf clover on my left ankle (my mother had a real one that she carried with her everywhere), and the next year it was a small Celtic Tree of Life on my upper back (just like the one my hero Shane has in Chasing Eden!).

I just got inked with my fourth one last Saturday. It’s gorgeous! The artist, Rich Cseri of Waukesha Tattoo Company, drew the cherry blossoms and ‘smoke’ on my ankle by hand. I was in the chair for an hour and a half, but the end result was well worth it. Although, I’m thinking the pain from this one might’ve cured my addiction. We’ll see.

In the meantime, if anyone else is up for a little ink, you can always count on me to hold your hand!


Rich Cseri said...


Let me tell you, as an Artist we don't enjoy inflicting the pain, but we do enjoy the friendships such an Intimate experience creates. I'm thrilled your happy about the Tattoo! it's always fun to Hang and Tattoo the "Soccer Moms"

Rich cseri

Kristin Daniels said...

Hey, Rich! Thanks for stopping by! And I know you don't enjoy inflicting the pain, but it's the nature of the beast, right? No pain, no gain, and all that. Like I said, it was all well worth it in the end. You're an amazing artist, and I'm thrilled to call you a friend as well!

J Hali Steele said...

WTG! girl. They look awesome. I'm debating another, but damn, dragons are big! lmao, My little boobie butterfly is always in flight and needs some company!! *grins*

George said...

I got to be a witness. I doubt you're done. That's what I though after Rich finished my second half-sleeve. If I could only get him back down here to finish off......

Danica Avet said...

I'm addicted to tats as well. I have three, but am trying to save the ink work for milestones. The cherry blossoms/smoke tat is simly stunning! Your artist did a fabulous job.

Catherine Gayle said...

The new one is GORGEOUS! I love it. I've got two tattoos, myself. Actually, I really surprised most of my family by getting one. I was the first of all of my siblings to do it, but the last one anyone expected to do it.

You're right about the addiction aspect of it. I know what I want #3 to be already. Just waiting for the money for it.

Oh, and an hour and a half in the chair? That's nothing. My second one took 4 hours. I was there so long that I fell asleep getting it done.

My nephew loves tattoos. He rubs mine all the time. So, my sister has a friend that is a tattoo artist, and he is drawing up a fake tattoo for the little guy. It's going to be Lightening McQueen. I'm sure he'll be ecstatic. (He's two.)

Kristin Daniels said...

J -- Hmmm, I'm thinking October in OH? I'm an expert hand holder!

George -- Yeah, you were witness to all my whining, LOL. I haven't changed much in that respect from the video, huh?

Danica -- Thanks! And I agree about the milestone thing. The four leaf clover was a treat for my first major rejection by a publisher. Odd, I know. But in my eyes, I'd done something that many others only say they'll do, I actually submitted a book!

Cat, you rock, girl! 4 hrs and you fell ASLEEP? I'm amazed. You're now my new hero, LOL! I'd love to see pics, both of yours and the one your little nephew will be sporting!

Cameo Brown said...

The cherry blossom tat is gorgeous! Love cherry blossoms. My mom used to carry a four-leaf clover, too. She laminated it. I carry it for her now, so I can see how lovely the sentiment is behind it. As for getting a tattoo myself, I love the idea of it, but it falls under "medical procedure" and I just can't do those unless my life is in jeopardy (long story). I admire your being able to get not one, but four! Also working against it is that I have commitment issues. lol I would love to find a nice temp tattoo brand so that I could change every week. That would be awesome. Any suggestions? :)

Kristin Daniels said...

Cameo, you're not alone in the commitment issue! I had 2 friends go with me last week -- one got another tat (her 4th, too) and the other one wouldn't even consider doing it, and probably never will. Have you checked out henna tattoos? Those last for a little while, I think. I've never had one, so I'm not really sure.

Catherine Gayle said...

We're doing the nephew's tatt tomorrow, so I'll take pictures. LOL. And yes, I fell asleep. Mine are on the fleshy part of my calves, so not really over much bone. And after a while, instead of pain it is more a numbing sensation. Combine that with the constant buzzing and staying in the same position for hours...and I fell asleep.

Kristin Daniels said...

Awesome, Cat! Can't wait to see the pic!

George said...

Kris... I didn't mention the sweating or heavy breathing! ;-)