Santa Rosa Tattoos & Blues Festival 2018

A tattoo convention, in the heart of Santa Rosa wine country? YES PLEASE! Hot rod car culture, live rockabilly bands, and talented tattoo artists…that was the winning formula for (a newly revamped) The 27th Annual Santa Rosa Tattoos & Blues Festival, held February 23-25, 2018.

Located at the old-Hollywood-glam-style Flamingo Resort Santa Rosa, packs of pinup girls in full regalia meandered through rows and rows of classic cars outside, eyes stylishly shielded from the sun in retro cat-eye shades…

Once inside, tattoo artists from all over busily buzzed away, while groups of tattoo collectors mingled, perused, and added to their ever growing collection of tattoo work-be it a new tattoo, art hanging, or a hand painted, one of a kind sign for the studio. This is not a huge crowd convention, but has a big main room featuring the bulk of the artists, with a couple of smaller, more private satellite rooms. Hardly any vendors selling merch, but lots of cool tattoo work happening- and the lounge was often jumping with live music, long after the show had ended for the day. Musicians performing included local favorite rockabilly bands “The Rev Tones”, “The Vintage Vandals”, and “The Aces”.img_9378Heads up, when the convention floor is overwhelming….the Flamingo Resort has a pool area (featuring two Olympic sized pools, with lap lanes), a gym (including hot yoga classes), massage therapy, and is the perfect place to get your self-care, pamper-time on! Too bad it was chilly outdoors, the water was quite nice and warm…not lay by the pool weather, even in CA.

Tip for the pinup buffs, hanging on the wall by the lounge, there are some really cool vintage photos of Jayne Mansfield in a bikini, posed by the Flamingo Resort pool in ultra pinup glam fashion, circa 1960.

The updated Flamingo hotel lobby design also features wine displays from Ehret Family Winery in Santa Rosa, which focuses on sustainable growing practices, growing Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux grape varieties. img_9456Sonoma and Napa Counties were hit hard during the Thomas fire, and there was structure damage in Santa Rosa–but less than three percent of local wineries were impacted! The best way to support the winery trails are to get out there, and visit tasting rooms. The Santa Rosa wine community is ready to welcome wine tasters and tourists back, complete with open arms and full wine glasses…the least we can do is show up and enjoy the world class hospitality they have to offer.

Full sad disclosure, I was still getting over a sinus infection, so my tasting tour for Sunday was mostly as a photographer–the mustard cover was in full bloom, and it’s on my bucket list to see! We stopped at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens to explore the property and frolic through a bit of ground cover mustard greens (*plus, I wanted to report back to our winemaker friend Nathan Kendall in the Finger Lakes that I had finally visited and toured the notorious behemoth KJ winery that has all the rights to his last name…).

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img_9425Even with the sniffles, husband took me for a quick taste (and of course to grab a couple of bottles) of the delicious new 2017 Pinot Noir Rosé at Balletto Vineyards. The tasting room was hopping with guests, and our tasting host was nice enough to give me a complimentary pour of the rosé…even though I was sick, and already sold. Gorgeous light pink blush color, partial whole cluster crush, and juicy ripe fruit on the nose is what I have to look forward to once I’m recovered–a perfect way to end the weekend–with a haul of rosé….

A quick detour to Bohemian Creamery in Sebastopol led to the discovery of a boutique goat cheese spot, crafting some of the most lovely, delicately nutty, funky cheeses I’ve tasted this side of Corsica. We bought a chunk of delight home with us, especially to pair with the Balletto Rosé. Don’t miss it! Super fun spot, and a cheese tasting is always worth stopping off for.

A big thank you goes out to the folks that worked hard to put on the new incarnation of Santa Rosa Tattoos & Blues, from the entertainers and artists, to the security and convention center crew. It was fantastic to attend a tattoo expo, right in the heart of California wine country, bringing my two loves together in a way I’ve never seen before! We will definitely be back…and just maybe, next year, there will be an official BoozyLife booth!

BoozyLife is going LIVESTREAM 

Things are happening on the BoozyLife front in California, and the shift has started!

I’m making the move from print blogging to live video streaming–you’ll be able to see FIRST HAND what I’m drinking, what tattoo convention we’re headed to next, our adventures on the road, and meet some VERY cool artists along the way!

So, now the important questions–what do YOU want to see? Wine, tattoo art, tiny houses? Otters? Well?

Comment here, on my FB, or any of the BoozyLife social media platforms…we’ll be getting a schedule plan worked out soon, and if you’d like to be featured? Drop me a line!

1st Annual Winnipeg Tattoo Convention 2017

Moving to California has definitely been fantastic, but we’ve had to make some tough travel decisions and sit out some great tattoo events in 2017. We’re adulting! We’re not homeless! All the good things….but we miss our friends. Friends we enjoy running into and working along side, all over the world.

International artists like Rich Handford, who we see in Montreal, in the States, in Paris at the Mondial du Tatouage Convention–who, this time, had his own show, loaded with a roster of international tattoo talent in Winnipeg!

Sadly, August 18-20th, tattooer husband Lefty and I had to miss the 1st Annual Winnipeg Tattoo Convention, sponsored by Kapala Tattoo and Good Guy Supply.

Organized and promoted in a CRAZY short span of time (about six months) by artist Rich Handford (Instagram @richhandford) and his incredible wife Sheri, they are also proud owners of Kapala Tattoo Winnipeg.

Two more friend and professional tattoo industry couples, Rob and Natalie Jobe (pictured with Rich) along with Lucas and Jaime Ford, are the force behind Good Guy Supply, the second show sponsor. Tattoo supplies for tattoo artists, by other accomplished tattoo artists, of the highest quality!

The dedication, hard work, and tireless effort that it takes a team to put on a convention is gnarly, but in a five month crunch, it would be hard to even imagine the logistics. These folks made it happen in a big way! According to tattoo wife extraordinaire and Winnipeg convention promoter Sheri Handford–

“We’re still married!! We planned an amazing show in 5 months–There was very little that went wrong, and we had an amazing team that helped make everything possible! We all worked tirelessly and it showed–We had plan A, B, C and maybe a D!! We can’t wait to do it again next year! Hopefully you and Eddie will make it, but also glad you’re not homeless!”

With a successful and well received first year behind them, we look forward to Winnipeg Tattoo Convention next year in 2018 for the Molina’s! Congrats to all of the Winnipeg Convention’s crew, team of volunteers, and sponsors for a hugely successful show– we can’t stop hearing glowing reviews from a weekend of tremendous talent–you guys killed it! See you out there!

*All photos taken by Dwayne Larson Photography

A view to the Pacific from CA RTE 46 

Driving Rte 46 from Paso Robles towards Cayucos, you will see several mountain vistas–stop and enjoy the view! Fog was rolling in from the ocean, creating a beautiful layer of clouds between the water and the sky…

These pockets of microclimates are incredibly important for growing grapes, and the temperature between inland and the coast often differs by twenty degrees–Paso might be at 101 degrees Fahrenheit, but Cayucos on the ocean might be in the mid 70’s range. Location is everything! 


Cayucos Sea Glass Festival 

This past weekend was the annual Cayucos Sea Glass Festival, a fun weekend on the Central Coast –full of beach glass jewelry, music, wine, and mermaids! 

The jewelers and artisans of the juried sea glass portion of the show are the main event, with a dizzying array of jewelry, exclusively featuring beach glass. There were unfortunately no photos allowed in the art tent; however, I did ask to feature a couple of artists, whose pieces especially caught my eye. There was just so much incredible work to see, luckily most have Etsy stores as well. 

Kate Samson Design out of San Diego, CA (you can check out her Etsy store here: Kate Samson Design) had some gorgeous pieces, very simple and elegant. My favorites were her heart shaped necklaces in a rainbow of colors, perfect for bridesmaids gifts or matching sister pieces 💙💚💜💛 

Kate’s background in graphic design is evident, with clean lines and beautifully structured pieces. Her booth was busy and I had to run, but I’ll be putting my own Etsy order in! Check out some of her rings as well, and if you DO buy anything lovely, tell her BoozyLife sent you!

Suzanne Morgan is the artisan behind Saltwater Silver (SaltwaterSilver on Etsy is on a short break, but you can reach Suzanne through email or be alerted when she’s back), also from San Diego, CA.

I finally ended up buying a pair of her simply styled silver hoops, threaded with silver beads and a lovely piece of pale green blue colored beach glass. She also makes incredible, mermaid scale-like necklaces that held several pieces of beach glass that I wish I could have taken pictures of. Stunning!

I love promoting local artists work, especially from our new coastal location–be it tattoo art, or something that I enjoy and want to share with all of you! 

Photo by Cayucos Cellars

Cayucos Cellars was pouring tastings of some of their wines as well, so of course I had to swing by! They are a very local, all family run and operated affair that has been making their wines since the 1980’s–and have continued in the same fashion to today. 

I especially liked the 2012 Petit Sirah, an earthy red with lovely deep color, and the fruity, light, easy drinking Zinfandel Rosé. Small batch, family vineyard wines, right here on the Central Coast. Have a look at their website for operating hours at their new tasting room, and more info on their wine club. 

Explore Montaña de Oro State Park Tide Pools

One of my passions in this crazy life is the ocean. I fancy myself a landlocked mermaid, and also have a sleeve tattoo expressing my ocean love–complete with a mermaid and little octopus dude!I enjoy exploring the sea life in and around our local areas, and photography is much more fun for me here on the central coast. We have California starfish. STARFISH!!Today was our first hike to the tide pools at Montaña de Oro State Park. Low tide is the best time to check out the pools, so check a tide chart before you go. Anemone, starfish, crabs, mussels, are all visible for a short time when the tides recede.

Anemone in tide pool

Starfish

Gorgeous life inhabit each puddle, but you need to take your time and watch your step.
Not terrible life advice, all in all. It was definitely a bucket list afternoon–Bring a picnic lunch for the view and enjoy!

A Sunday By the Bay -Bay Area Tattoo Convention 2017

First tattoo convention for this tattoo wife in 2017 (as a visitor) was this past weekend –the 13th annual Bay Area Tattoo Convention…and, as you know, we love our 13’s! Perfect way to start my first year on the West coast….

The Bay Area Tattoo Convention is held at the Hyatt SFO, and the hotel is attached to the convention venue (always nice for an escape to the room or the pool to breathe) 

Nick and Ellen Chaboya


The show is on the smaller side, but with a high caliber of artists tattooing. Inspiration is everywhere. 

Jeff Gogue

The Bay Area convention is put on every year by powerhouse shop State of Grace Tattoo (Taki is the creator of the viral phenomenon Monmon Cats by Horitomo. Molly, his wife and accomplished chef in her own right, is the author of Knives and Needles blog…a very striking companion to The BoozyLife, for sure! Tattoos, food, booze, and travel….hell yes…)


The show itself had smaller crowds on Sunday, undoubtedly due to downpouring rain the in the area.

Lefty, Grime, Brian 2017


We were able to walk around, checking out work and goings on, and of course socialize with friends that until now were a Coast away. 

This was my first visit to the area, entirely too short, and focused almost entirely on the convention…but we did get to check out Golden Moon Gallery, a stunning new art space in San Mateo. 

Operated and curated by SF tattoo artist Nick Chaboya and his lovely wife Ellen, the gallery features work by internationally known artists, including fellow tattooists. Really quite fantastic to see a space for this incredible artwork, crafted by several of our talented friends–from paintings, to jewelry and sculpture, all slightly flavored with tattoo culture, yet vastly different and always changing. We wish them luck and continued success! Can’t wait to explore this region and spend more time on wine 🍷