Posted on: Monday, July 2, 2012

Yesterday I got a tattoo (my first)! My friends Nathalie and Claire (the German and Australian who came out to our wedding and are taking a Greyhound bus trip around the USA) arrived in town at 8 in the morning, so we decided it would be a good day to take a trip to Austin. We weren't really sure what we wanted to do there, but Nathalie wanted to get a tattoo here in the States to represent their trip, and so Kyle and I figured we could take them to Atomic Tattoo, where Kyle got his last year. I also had a tattoo in mind that we thought we'd ask them about, and maybe set up an appointment to actually get it around my birthday. We had breakfast at IHOP first, of course, and arrived in Austin before 11:30. The shop opened at 11 and we were the first ones there. I guess there weren't any appointments booked, because after talking to the artist Nixxin about our two ideas, he started drawing and said we could do both today! So we did!

I found this design for the Finnish soulbird "sielulintu" not too long ago, but I loved it right away. The design is from Sanna Annukka, a Finnish designer and printmaker. I had been considering a couple other tattoo ideas for a spot above my ankle, but I wasn't set on anything until I saw this bird. Kyle and I had actually discussed a possible Finnish bird tattoo before, as one of my host families gave me a cool Finnish bird necklace. With this little bird, the design was pretty much right there, so I wouldn't have to tweak anything. The actual meaning of the soulbird didn't matter to me as much as simply the design and that it was a piece of Finnish folklore. My year in Finland was one of the best experiences, so a tattoo to represent my second home was a not a hard decision to make. Nixxin drew a design out with details from pictures of a few different sielulintu I brought in, and as he worked on the actual tattoo he added in more detail. When I first showed him the pictures he thought it was possibly a  Māori or Egyptian design. He also thought I was some sort of Pacific Islander (people have a hard time figuring out what makes me look the way I look. half black, half white, if you're wondering). Getting the tattoo hurt, but it didn't take too too long. The worst parts were the long lines and the part of the bird closer to my shin; it felt like a little tiny knife cutting through. But I love my little birdie! I said to Kyle that I should probably name it, and he said "Jarkko," which I'm sure he knows is a Finnish name as he has heard it in hockey (the guy is not even on our team!), but we kept calling it that so I think it has stuck.

Swedish crepes with lingonberry (lots of lingonberries in Finland)
Nixxin's custom Triumph

Claire and Nathalie

Nixxin said Kyle could have a beer, but had to drink it from a cup. A beer pong kit had the only cups he could find at the convenience store down the street.  

Nathalie's takes some explanation, but it is to represent her trip to the States! Included are: squirrel tail, converse, knife and fork. 

After we were all done we headed to 6th Street for an early dinner. I had fish tacos for the first time! 

I wanted to post about the tattoo today, but I also want to work in the 15 Day Challenge prompt, so here is my Day 2 six word memoir. July 1st was also Canada Day; I wore my best red and white polka dotted dress for the occasion.

Canadian born, Finnish soul bird fly. 



  1. Your six word memoir goes perfectly with this post! I love the tattoo too; it looks great on you! Congrats, Sarah!

  2. Found your blog from Sarah's link-up. Your new tat is seriously cool, and your pictures make me wanna visit Austin!

  3. Ihop and tattoos- two of my favorite things :)

    What a great day!

    Oh and bonne fete du Canada, mon amie canadienne!

  4. Sarah! He is beautiful and the placement is perfect! Im so excited for you! So any plans for a second guy yet?

  5. Your bird looks awesome and I agree with Christy about the placement. Plus, your experiences in Finland seem to have shaped you so much so, it was a great idea to draw from that for your tattoo. Looks amazing girl! Pretty soon I'm gonna need to decide on my

  6. I like it alot! it looks kinda like a pa dutch hex sign.

  7. Fresh ink! I have three tattoos. Not sure that I will ever get another as I thought about the 3 I have for years before I finally got them and there aren't any others I'm just dying to have. But when they are done tastefully, I really love how tattoos are an expression of yourself. Nice!

  8. Love the tattoo! Totally cute & I love the meaning of it. Those crepes, btw, are making me totally hungry haha.


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