Before September 2011

Where to begin. Summer here in Portland crept in late and seems to be creeping out just as it came in. Without a bang. In the beginning of August, I joined Lisa Schmoldt  in Seattle for the 10th anniversary show there at the expo. I was pleasantly surprised. I really like that show. I had not been there since the National show where they roasted Ed Hardy a few years back. And before that, was when Dennis Dwyer had his show there. That was one of the last times I saw Eric Hogan alive. He was toting his son Dixon around on his shoulder looking as happy as ever. I had also tattooed Danny Dringenberg's hand in our hotel room that weekend. It was a cover up on top of a cover up on top of a cover up. O joy. The funny part, was when we started, he wipes his brow and tells me he just ate an eighth of mushshrooms. I remember laughing and telling him, "ok, here we go, I'm right in there with you buddy". Oh yeah, I'm supposed to be writing about the recent past. Ok, well the Seattle show was terrific. I will definitely be back next year. Between all the work, the parties, art shows and the yummy dinners, my favorite memory was at the end of the show. Under the Needle fed us an amazing meal and then had the party buses scoop us up and take us to The Stables. I love that place. The cross made of flies, really ate at my brain for a week or so, and  creeped me out thinking about it on my drive home that night.  My friend Matt Howse was here holding down the fort with the rest of the Fortune crew. I was excited to get back  to Portland to have some quality time with Matt before he bounced back to SF. I was able to persuade him in taking a ride out to our replica of stonehenge out off the 84hwy nears Biggs Oregon on one of our days off. We rode about 230 miles that day. Just a juant. Along the way, we took him past Crown Point and down the historic hwy to see all the falls. It was a beautiful day and I am so happy to have shared that experience with him. The next day, we took him down the Clackamas river on tubes. Its about a three to five hour trip. Depending on how often you stop to hang and watch people float by. Weve been able to go about five times this year on our days off. I love it. It reminds me to take a minute and enjoy the simple beauties in life. Cheap fun worth the effort. Matt made some pretty at the shop. I am really stoked to have had him here for the week, he is one of my favorite people on the planet. Crammed to the gillet with talent and integrity. I look forward to having him here next year. I love having our guest artist friends come hang and add to the creative buzz we have going on. The shop has been running smoothly. I am so grateful to all our clients for letting us make such awesome tattoos on them. Many of the most recent tattoos have challenged me to push forward and to take a step out of my comfort zones. I love feeling like even after all these years, there is still so much to learn. Anyhow, thought I'd update you with our shenanigans. Take it easy. M