get it in gear

wow. Well I guess with labor day this weekend, the summer is officially over. I, for one, had the best summer of my life. I learned so much about myself, conquered some really big personal mind-blocks, and did a bunch of cool shit. Plus I let go entirely of the control I felt I had on my life and in doing so was surprised to find what I’d hoped and dreamed for all along.

I’m a fan of lists so I guess I’ll just do a little list of the things I experienced this wonderful wonderful summer.

1. Rode 1000 + miles on my bike – yep from memorial day to labor day. I hit the 1k. SO RAD.

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2. Learned to brew my own Kombucha, make my own Kale chips, and can my own shelf stable foods.

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3. Celebrated 1 year sober.

4. Joined Title Boxing.

5. Ran the majority of days during lunch – with awe inspiring views.

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6. Let go of bad self-esteem and closed the door on relationships that make me feel badly.

7. Opened an Etsy Store! Weeeee!

custom cake

8. Got tattooed.

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9. Did the Whole30 Challenge with Lois.

10. Embarked on a new adventure with lots of motorcycles, antiques, and laughs.

It was a damn good summer. Now that it's over I need to focus and get it in gear for a productive and great Fall. That means, tightening up the budget, dedicating myself to 3 days of boxing a week, focusing at work and hustling for a promotion hopefully, and giving GFK + the etsy store my undivided attention.

lesssss dooooo this.

xxx
GFK

Denver April 2014

Home Sweet Home. Well sweet old home. I flew into Denver for a quick visit Friday through Monday and boy was it fun! I got to see my family, go for a wonderful hike, eat some delicious food, finish my fantasy sleeve, hung with my badass super babe crew, visited Allegro Coffee headquarters, and attended a Game of Thrones premiere party! I will do a separate post on the Allegro visit and the Game of Thrones party in the next few days. Let’s roll the footage!

first stop!  The Curve for some effing good green chili.
first stop! The Curve for some effing good green chili.
Alisha Rice finished my sleeve! Guess it's time to work on something else!
Alisha Rice finished my sleeve! Guess it’s time to work on something else!
my homie TWINKIELOVE24/7 painted this super super adorable portrait of me and my ugly tribe. xoxoxo
my homie TWINKIELOVE 24/7 painted this super super adorable portrait of me and my ugly tribe. xoxoxo

CHECK OUT HER WORK HERE ūüôā

the artist known at twinkielove24/7 and I hiked dinosaur ridge in morrison.
the artist known as twinkielove24/7 and I hiked dinosaur ridge in morrison.
it was pretty muddy on the downslope.
it was pretty muddy on the downslope.
but worth it. gorgeous view of red rocks/the hogback. le sigh i miss mountains.
but worth it. gorgeous view of red rocks/the hogback. le sigh i miss mountains.
i made this amigurume dragon for out GoT party hostess Alisha Rice.
i made this amigurume dragon for out GoT party hostess Alisha Rice.
the Allegro Cafe - super amazing there.
the Allegro Cafe – super amazing there.
BEST VISIT EVER.
BEST VISIT EVER.

The Christmas Round-UP

Surprise Surprise I blew the 12 days of Christmas blog challenge. BUT – as soon as I landed in Denver, I hit the ground running. It was the most filled, fun, and best holiday I have had in years! Roll the Photos!

Worst flight out ever.
Worst flight out ever.
Biggest Gingerbread house EVER.
Biggest Gingerbread house EVER.
Filled in that Dragon by Alisha Rice @alisharice
Filled in that Dragon by Alisha Rice @alisharice
MMMMM. Green Chili.
MMMMM. Green Chili.
Moar Gingerbreads.
Moar Gingerbreads.
Even MOAR Gingerbreads.
Even MOAR Gingerbreads.
Dim Sum with ma bhuds.
Dim Sum with ma bhuds.
Afternoon Tea with Dad and Cym
Afternoon Tea with Dad and Cym
Tea Roof.
Tea Roof.
Arizona Ricecakes in the fur and blood. @arizona_ricecakes
Arizona Ricecakes in the fur and blood. @arizona_ricecakes
Krampus Tags.
Krampus Tags.
Blitzkrieg & Me.
Blitzkrieg & Me.
Making mints with Lori.
Making mints with Lori.
Nita's Mass Book.
Nita’s Mass Book.
Look I got my Wish!!!
Look I got my Wish!!!
Fammmmily.
Fammmmily.
Palestinian Eggs.
Palestinian Eggs.
New running swag.
New running swag.
New pics + new LG photo printer.
New pics + new LG photo printer.

BEST HOLIDAY EVER!

XXX
GFK

Ghostface GOALS.

What are your goals and dreams for the future? You can share to us your dream house, dream workplace, or even your bucketlist before you turn 25!

Well since I am over 25, I’ll just ignore that part of today’s October Challenge prompt. I can tell you some dreams for my future though. In no particular order:

1. Be the authentic me – always. Never compromise myself again – for anyone.

2. Get a little professional with GHOSTFACEKNITTER. Meaning gain 5x more followers by next year for example – that sounds like a challenge to me – CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

3. Be tattooed by the greats – by as many well known and unknown artists around the world. Valerie Vargas, Dan Smith, Grime, Jher, Tim Lehi, Walter McDonald, DestroyTroy, Mario Desa, Alexander Grim, Liam Alvy, Jordan Teear, Danielle Rose…. Here are some photos of a few of these amazing artists.

Medusa head by Valerie Vargas
Medusa head by Valerie Vargas
Grime Hand Skull
Grime Hand Skull
By Jher (Mr. 451)
By Jher (Mr. 451) If you live in Denver please go see him
Walter's Facemelting awesomeness.
Walter‘s Facemelting awesomeness.
Alexander Grim. It's just so epic I can't look away. I also tried to source it back this was the farthest.
Alexander Grim. It’s just so epic I can’t look away. I also tried to source it back this was the farthest.

In the books for 2013: Dusty Neal at Black Anvil, Alisha Rice at Th’ink Tank Tattoo, and Ajarn Bpom Monk in Thailand. (You can check out that link to see the actual Monk tattooing with bamboo shoots.)

Dusty Neal
Dusty Neal
WIP sleeve by Ms. Alisha Rice
WIP sleeve by Ms. Alisha Rice
Ajarn Bpom Sak Yant Tattoo Master
Ajarn Bpom Sak Yant Tattoo Master

4. Meet as many crafters/knitters as I can. I seriously love meeting other craft artists. I get along with them and I just have so much fun being able to seriously ask another person if I should hoard yarn now or risk waiting for a sale?

5. Here’s the one I just can’t let go of: Get my PhD. What’s that you say? Dr. Ghostfaceknitter has a nice ring? I know. It’s something I have always thought about whether jokingly or not. It would require the most time and dedication of anything I have ever pursued – but most things that are worth having require that don’t they?

6.Travel! On deck in 2013 alone: Des Moines for knitting at MIDWEST KNITFEST with Jen at MakeXdo. Thailand to visit my MINI ME. Denver for the holidays to celebrate OG style.

7. I just really can’t stress NEVER COMPROMISING AGAIN.

I’m excited I switched gears in my life – actually I got on an entirely different road – and am able to get the most out of me and in doing so, give back to others. I’m stoked to be a part of this blogging world, knitting/crafting communities, helping with the Elders, loving life, loving my family and friends, and for the first time in YEARS loving me.

xxxxx
future Dr. GFK.
*drop mic out*

The Tattooed Life

I went to the Milwaukee Museum of Art two weekends ago and was able to see the Amund Dietzel Flash Tattoo Exhibit. ¬†It was stunning. ¬†Some of the designs he was drawing and tattooing in 1917 were something I know any tattoo inclined individual would love to have on their body today. ¬†Obviously, I love tattoos. ¬†I have a nice little collection started and many of my friends are tattoo enthusiasts if not tattooers themselves so ‘talking tattoos’ is something I’ve become familiar and comfortable with. ¬†While I was there I heard some pretty hilarious banter from ‘non-tattoo’ folks.¬†I don’t think very many of the people I shared the exhibit with were there specifically for Amund like I was. ¬†I ended up spending about a solid hour combing over all the pieces of flash and personal photos and stories from Amund’s life while listening to passerbys say gems like ‘oh tattoos, this isn’t real art’ and ‘can you believe people used to get tattoos like this that said ‘mom’?’¬†

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Above is a tattoo flash from 1916! ¬†And also Amund’s tattoo ‘kit’ where he stored his guns and ink.

 
This got me thinking about how certain people – well I would comfortably say the majority of people look at tattoos as being limiting. ¬†Limiting in the sense that they prevent opportunities from arising or exclude the tattooed individual in a way that’s economically and socially negative. ¬†I could say in certain situations that tattoos are limiting. ¬†However, as I‘ve described before I’ve learned how to lead my double life and not feel like I’m betraying my identity in the process. ¬†Thus, for me, I really believe my tattoos have given me infinite opportunities and a life I would have never led being tattoo-free. ¬†
 
Without tattoos I can easily name the following things I would not have ever done. ¬†I first would have never met the Dude because I would have never been friends with the person who introduced us. ¬†Despite the Dude’s ever-changing role in my life, I would have never visited Chicago and realized I loved it here – therefore I would have never moved here or have gotten my dream job. ¬†I would not know any of the people who I call my closest friends. ¬†I would never have experienced a Game of Thrones party, gone to Durango for a weekend I’ll never forget, have picnics at Sloans Lake eating friend chicken, or spend a weekend in Baltimore sweating to the greatest doom metal bands around. ¬†I would have never been comfortable being different. ¬†I would have not gone to Aveda and pursued an interest that was completely foreign to my previous education and lifestyle. ¬†I would have never met/dated/loved/hated a majority of the people I know and that I would never want to know a world without. ¬†
 
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The things I love most about myself have a lot to do with my lifestyle as a tattooed individual. ¬†The funny thing is that if you ask me if I feel limited the answer is a resounding ‘no’ because I get to operate in both cultures of tattooed/non-tattooed. I guess I feel I get to be part of both easily. ¬†In fact the only place I’ve ever felt ‘left out’ was the pool at the Ritz Carlton in Tokyo – their culture still isn’t on board with bathing and tattoos. I’m not trying to sound like I’m any sort of authority on being tattooed because I am definitely NOT. ¬†Believe me I could name five friends in two seconds who have more authority in their little pinky on the topic. But the point is, I think the only reason I have the life I have is because I’m tattooed.¬†
 
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I’m thankful I walked into the right shop over seven years ago and made the choice to be different in a way that allows me to experience more out of life. ¬†I couldn’t imagine my body or my life without any of these tattoos and I would not change a single dot anywhere. ¬†My life is truly blessed as a tattooed woman.¬†
 

Tattoo Time

Well it had been about 6 months since my last tattoo was finished so it was time. ¬†It’s funny that getting tattooed for me is such a ‘therapeutic’ process. ¬†Afterwards I always feel like someone has pushed the ‘reset’ button on my mood and attitude towards just about everything. ¬†Must be all the adrenaline and endorphins that are released!¬†

Anyways РMy good friend AA got some amazing peacock feathers that have been a long time in the making so it was so great to see her finally get them!  I need to grab another photo of the beads that are on the other side of her arm Рthe detail is just so great.  Not to mention she sat for this 3 hour tattoo like a champion Рit is the size of her forearm. 

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I had been thinking about a little wizard since the last time I finished up my wolf tattoo so the FANTASTIC Alisha Rice was kind enough to not only sneak me in before AA, but give me the greatest ‘skwizard.’ ¬†I love him. ¬†I also at first thought she had used white in the skull, but no-no-no that’s just how ‘blanco’ I am. ¬†

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I also swiped these photos from Alisha’s instagram (thanks!) ¬†I really need to get an instagram account. ¬†BUT If you live in Denver you HAVE to check Alisha out. ¬†If not, why not do a destination tattoo vacation ?? – all the cool kids do it.