My Ink (for Mental Mama!)

Ahhh it’s time for my tattoo post for Mental Mama. If you don’t follow her already I highly recommend it…she is not only one of the strongest women I know, she’s also hilarious and so to-the-point it’s beyond impressive. She’s asked any of her followers who are interested to join in writing a post about their tattoos and I’ve decided to play along. πŸ™‚

Here’s her blog if you’ve not seen it: Mental Mama
So. I have four tattoos, two covering most of my back and two on my legs. Oh shoot…three on my legs. I always forget the one I got when I was 16 as it’s been there so long it seems like it has always been there. So, five, in total.

The first tattoo I have no clear photos of as he’s kinda faded (I’m just a little bit older than 16 lolol). It is a baby dragon hatching out of his shell and is something I chose last minute, just really wanting to get a tat done the moment it was offered. I was homeless at that point and the work was done free by a guy in Toronto called “Pluto”. He ran a biker ink shop and most of his work involved skulls, roses, sparrows and guns. This dude was a huge guy and I’ll never forget his handle bar mustache and leather vest which I stared at as he worked on my upper right thigh for an hour or so. The place was closed for the night when he had me in and many of his buddies were hanging out, some getting work done, some just having a beer and a smoke. I felt a bit on display but was glad he had let me have a shower (he lived upstairs and, knowing I was homeless, offered it to help prevent infection with a new spot of ink) and I felt clean and not so ratty at least.

My second tattoo was done by my personal guardian angel and hero, Tiffany. She saved me from a terrible life and helped me out when no one else would….and I was no one to her. We met when she was apprenticing at a shop close to Pluto’s and she would make me a coffee and share a smoke with me before her shifts started most days, especially in the winter when it was so cold out there. She sketched me a beautiful drawing of my baby dragon, all grown up. She inked it on my back for my 35th birthday (I think…maybe 33rd…time flies so damn fast).

Processed with Rookie

The third tattoo is my castle and it’s one of my favourites. When I was homeless I always felt so exposed and unprotected, unloved. I longed for a safe place to lay my head, to hide away when I wanted to feel safe and surrounded. I used to imagine living in a castle with a moat and a drawbridge that was filled with music, animals and everything I loved. It seemed to go well with the dragon so I had Tiff design it up and ink it on. The little person in the doorway indicates that I am not sealed inside…people who love me can come in as they please to enjoy the happiness around me. I told Colt that it was him when he noticed it and he’s forever grinning at my back and exclaiming how tiny he is in the doorway. It always makes me smile.

photo 1 (2)


Number four was done for D. Our Anniversary is on November 11th which is also Remembrance Day here in Canada. Both of our grandfathers were in the war and died from injuries sustained there and we’ve always both held a high level of respect for anyone who is brave enough to risk their life for the freedom of others. We both got a poppy tattoo on November 11th of 2013 celebrating our newly confirmed dedication to each other and those who risked their lives for our freedom (and those who do today as well!).

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photo 3 (2)

photo 2 (4)

My latest and 5th tattoo was for my mom. She died when I was 2 in a motorcycle accident with my father and I was put into foster care. My mom’s youngest sister found me about 6 years ago and I had the chance to meet her and her family, which was magical, let me tell you. She gave me photos of my beautiful mom, told me stories, and told me that although they were not a very religious family, my mom never took off a gold cross she wore around her neck. My aunt wanted to give it to me but it was so deep in storage she’s not yet been able to find it. I decided to get a cross tattooed instead of bugging my aunt to keep hunting….something that would always be with me and always make me think of my mom, Kathy.



Well, those are the short version of the stories behind my ink. I didn’t want to get too crazy into it or there would have been a small novel left behind me lol!! I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my body art and I’d be happy to answer any questions if I’ve glossed over a detail you found interesting.

Thanks Mama, for the great post idea! I do love showing off my ink!

xx Grainne πŸ˜€


About Grainne

My name is Grainne. This blog has been with me for years now and has served as a journal, a confessional, an outlet and a place for me to create and express my love of life. Thank you for stopping by and for becoming a part of this life long journey of mine. I appreciate every single one of you who takes the time to do so. :)

13 responses to “My Ink (for Mental Mama!)”

  1. Grainne says :

    Wow…somehow forgot to mention my nautical star! I got that done in Mexico when I visited. Mexico was a troubled time for me and was my mental undoing, thanks to my family who were also all there for a wedding. The start was to help me find my way home. It seems to have worked. πŸ™‚ That was before the dragon and castle. πŸ˜€

  2. Mental Mama says :

    Those are AMAZING! Thank you for joining us in this and telling the stories behind your art. I always love to hear the “why” and significance attached to the tattoos people have, almost more than seeing them. And all of your ink is phenomenally beautiful. πŸ˜€

  3. ~meredith says :

    What a beautiful collection of stories… in color! Awed, Grainne. Completely awed.

  4. Hope says :

    So gorgeous! I especially love the floating leaves. And I really liked hearing the stories behind them.

    My sisters and I might get matching tattoos when we’re together for the wedding. I’ve also thought about getting a tattoo of the Awen sigil, which is the Welsh goddess-like embodiment of poetic inspiration.

  5. behindthemask says :

    Incredible tattoos and meanings!

  6. Charlotte says :

    Your tattoos are beautiful! x

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