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 🍷 

13th Bay Area Tattoo Convention 2017

First BoozyLife convention visit this year, and it’s happening on the West Coast! Keep your eyes peeled, here and on my social media feeds–we’re visiting the Bay Area this weekend to check out the 13th annual Bay Area Tattoo Convention, and hopefully visit and catch up with tattoo friends we haven’t seen in far too long…and check out Golden Moon Art Gallery!
Seriously, though…is that not the best tattoo convention poster artwork, ever? Check out Horimoto’s Mon Mon Cats E-store for tees, prints, and more-all featuring these virally popular designs! (Monmon cats online store)

Greece in May 2017-Athens Tattoo Convention and #Winelover Meet Up in Thrace 

Greece is a must-visit for me. I come from Greek heritage on my father’s side, plus my love for wine has led me to time and time again to the region. It’s finally time for me to explore the land of my ancestors, with not one, but TWO events in May that are close to my heart!

The 11th International Athens Tattoo Convention will take place May 11-13th in Athens, Greece. The three day show will feature an impressive list of A-list tattoo artists traveling to Athens from all over the world, artwork, contests, and, of course, tattooing. I’m trying to plan it so this convention will kick off BoozyLife’s Tattoo and Wine Tour of Greece 2017…
May 25th-28th brings the second half of the tour, with the official #WineLover meetup in Thrace, Greece. Luiz Alberto, founder of The Wine Hub blog and LifeLover extraordinaire has teamed up with Ted Lelekas and I Love Greek Wine to celebrate the anniversary of the WineLover community–and I’ve been invited to attend! 

How To Get a Tattoo At A Tattoo Convention

Tattoo Conventions are a huge part of the tattoo artist lifestyle-travel the world, build a name, and practice the craft on collectors that will appreciate their new wearable artwork. So, you’ve heard there is a convention coming to your city…now what? How do you go about getting a tattoo at a tattoo convention?

  • CHECK THE CONVENTION WEBSITE! Is there a particular artist’s work that you love, or that stands out? Are you looking for a particular design, or is it the style of the artist you’re looking at? Have an idea what you want for your tattoo.
  • CONTACT THE ARTIST! Most convention websites have an artist list, as well as an email address for them. Artists mostly take their own appointments and create tattoo schedules, so act fast or they might be completely booked.
  • SEND THE ARTIST A DEPOSIT $$ You are asking an artist to work with you, and booking some of their precious money making time. Deposits vary from artist to artist, but if you are serious about your work, this should not be an issue. DO NOT FLAKE ON YOUR APPOINTMENT! If you absolutely have to cancel, respect the artist enough to try to give them some notice–there are LOTS of other clients that would love that time, and might be able to fit in! A deposit covers the artist’s drawing and design time–if you no-show, that money IS NOT REFUNDED. SHOW UP FOR YOUR TATTOO TIME!
  • DESIGNING DEPENDS ON THE ARTIST. Some artists will prefer to do a pre-drawing and use a stencil, others might free hand a design directly on skin with markers. Depending on the artist, the process, the flow–DO NOT MICROMANAGE YOUR TATTOO ARTIST. The more free reign the artist is allowed, the better the work. You came to them because you like their style, right? TRUST THEM.
  • THE DAY OF THE TATTOO- show up at the convention on time, with no other plans or restrictions (gotta pick the kids up from practice at 4? Don’t plan your tattoo that day, or get some help.) Eat something, no empty stomachs, and make sure to grab something to drink during the process. WATER OR JUICE, NOOOO BOOZE! You will bleed more, possibly sit poorly, and get light headed or pass out.  Sober sitting is always recommended.
  • BRING CASH. Your artist will give you a price or estimate beforehand, so there are no surprises or price misunderstandings. MANY ARE CASH ONLY.
  • SIT STILL! Sometimes, that is the hardest part…
  • TIP YOUR TATTOO ARTIST! Do you live your new ink? Show them! Extra $$ is always nice, but gifts can also go a long way…from a bottle of whiskey to a gift certificate for a massage, appreciation is always remembered!

Conventions bring some of the world’s top tattoo talent to you, and often help bypass a year (or longer) wait at their home studio. Enjoy the show, the culture, the vibe….and come out with a spectacular new piece of work. This is why we travel the way we do! See you on the road 🙂

A million and one THANK YOU’S to Kaija Heightland from BC, (@tattoosbymisskaija on IG) for custom designing and tattooing a lovely Luna moth on my calf–my new lil buddy is healed perfectly, and no one can believe how bright it is in person! A perfect little bit of tattoo therapy from a lovely friend and talented Canadian lady tattooer ❤️

Art Tattoo Quebec City 2016

imageThe Molina’s made it! From SLO in California to Quebec City with a one day travel turn around…yikes, but with all these great artists and friends here, there’s plenty of good energy to go around! Last minute, I also get to add to my tattoo collection this trip–the talented Kaija Heitland! Have a look at her work on Instagram @tattoosbymisskaija 😊More soon! BoozyLife on the road again….or still…

Roc City Tattoo Expo and Iron Smoke Whiskey: Local Finger Lakes Love 2016

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The Roc City Tattoo Expo is Upstate NY’s only high end tattoo convention, drawing an impressive roster of international artists each year to our beautiful area.

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2016 saw the 8th annual Roc City Expo in a different venue, the addition of more local artists and vendors, and a focus on artwork as opposed to entertainment and contests.image

 

 

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The Hand of Fate has attended every one of these eight years of shows, starting with the first event right after we had opened our business, and relocated to the Finger Lakes. Jet and his crew at Love Hate Tattoo have always focused on bringing the best artists in tattooing, to an area that is often overlooked for larger markets and cities.

Rochester is a fantastic town, larger scale than Ithaca, with an artsy, young, downtown crowd and a flourishing dining and entertainment scene. Due to local Finger Lakes wine trails, breweries, and distilleries being less than an hour away, the locavore movement is strong here, and local vintners and brewers are represented along side menu items, sourced from area farms.

Iron Smoke Whiskey, a small batch distillery located close to home in Fairport, NY, saw the opportunity to join in on the Roc City Expo fun! FINALLY, a local booze producer that saw the potential marketing frenzy that a tattoo convention crowd offers: exposure to an absolute rainbow selection of adults, from all walks of life, that enjoy quality luxuries. A whiskey tasting at a tattoo convention? YES. SO MUCH YES.

imageLet me say, the whiskey tasting was VERY well received, pouring staff were knowledgeable and answering questions, and I’m sure three days of sales reflected that!

Iron Smoke also seem to have a growing distribution to bars and restaurants in the Upstate area, so make sure to keep your eyes open, or request it by name at your favorite watering hole. Iron Smoke Distillery is run by a contact that goes by the name of Skully, and their labeling and merchandise feature a distinguished skeleton, in a suit, smoking a pipe. Very well suited to a tattoo crowd, to say the least. Lots of teeshirts went out the door with that whiskey….

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Back to the actual whiskey tasting and my own impressions. Iron Smoke brought two products with them- Iron Smoke small batch Apple Wood Smoked Whiskey, and their Rattlesnake Rosie’s Apple Pie Whiskey. Both were surprising, and I was shocked that as a local booze hound I had never had the pleasure! Jet and the Roc City crew must have known I was coming, and planned the whiskey accordingly. 🙂

imageIron Smoke Apple Wood Smoked Whiskey: small batch, locally sourced grain is mashed and smoked with an apple wood smoking process, before distillation and aging for years in charred, American white oak barrels. With a hint of sweetness on the nose, this smooth amber colored whiskey has a light, smoky, vanilla and apple flavor with a nicely rounded, deep oak finish. Lovely small batch spirit.

imageRattlesnake Rosie’s Apple Pie Whiskey: Forbidden Apple Pie recipe of small batch house distilled corn whiskey, blended with all natural upstate NY apple cider, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Slightly sweet, with the tang of fresh apple cider and a bite of corn whiskey, this potion is delicious on its own, or as a mixer for some beautiful cocktails. Slightly sweet, bright, and luscious long finish. According to their Iron Smoke website, Apple Pie was the winner in the San Fransisco World Spirits Competition–for those of you that follow the medals and events scene!

Once again, huge thank you’s go out to Jet and the entire Love Hate Tattoo Rochester crew for all of the hard work and hoop jumping it takes to have such a great show turnout in this area! Hand of Fate has enjoyed the journey since the beginning, and there is always something surprising to enjoy, along with world class tattooing and artwork. This year, BoozyLife felt especially loved! Want to buy your own bottles of Iron Smoke Whiskey? Check out their website here : Iron Smoke Whiskey website –there are awesome cocktail recipes for your newly aquired local whiskey!