20 things I have done since NaNoWriMo started

Mack the pugalier

Things I have done since NaNoWriMo started:

  1. Cleaned up what was either the world’s largest furball or the world’s hairiest cat poo
  2. Googled how to prevent furballs in cats at 12am
  3. Contemplated feeding cat Vaseline at 1am
  4. Impulse bought a hardcover by Brian Molko based only on that information
  5. Taken my bra off at the dining table
  6. Transcribed about 6000 words and wrote two feature articles
  7. Realised I was 10 years old when Bush released Glycerine
  8. Made a new batch of kefir milk
  9. Had the best intentions to actually drink kefir milk
  10. Got sunburnt on the back of my legs
  11. Lost $20 at the races
  12. Bought a hard drive to back up my novel
  13. Failed to remove hard drive from packaging
  14. Cursed full moon fever for my lack of sleep
  15. Drunk a flaming shot of black Sambuca and chartreuse
  16. Spent 20 minutes on hold to Medicare
  17. Dyed my hair twice
  18. Threw out receipts from 2001
  19. Hula hooped
  20. Ate some really good sandwiches

Things I have not done since NaNoWriMo started:

  1. Started writing my novel

On the radar: Sou’West Vintage Fest

You know how I said last week that these days I have a lot more to look forward to? One of the those things is the Sou’West Vintage Fest on next weekend – it’s been running for three years but this is my first time making the trip to Dunsborough, and I can’t wait!

This year, the festival is hosted by Sarah of Red Leopard Photography and I am absolutely blown away by everything she has pulled together for the event! The theme is a Western extravaganza – and you know that means it’s time to break out the cowboy boots and check shirts!

What: The Sou’West Vintage Fest 

When: Saturday 15th November, 12pm

Where: Clancy’s Fish Pub in Dunsborough, WA (just a couple of hours drive south of Perth)

sou'west vintage fest

I can’t decide if I’m more excited about the cupcake baking competition (judged at 12:30pm), the beard and moustache competition (judged at 4:30pm) or the Miss Sou’West Vintage Fest pinup competition at 7pm. (Ok well that’s a bit of a lie, if you know me you know I’m all about the cupcakes, but the other stuff is pretty exciting too!)

There will be market and food stalls outside in the beautiful sunshine, selling everything from vintage and vintage-inspired clothing and home wares to tattoo art prints, from fairy floss and waffles on a stick (OMG) to chocolate fudge and gelato. Let’s just say if you’re looking for me, you know where I’ll be!

The event is super child friendly, with lots of good stuff like face painting, temporary tattoos and FREE pony rides! Most importantly there will be three awesome bands cranking up the volume from 2pm. I can just tell it’s going to be an amazing vibe!

When I’m not stuffing my face with ALL of the delicious foods, you’ll be able to find me assisting Angela Mee MUA with mini makeovers – so if you can’t perfect the red lip or or manage to get your false eyelashes to stick, you’ll be able to get a taste of pinup perfection with her Lips, Lashes and Locks package.

There’s also going to be a Mugshot Spot where you can get your very own mugshot taken – so stay tuned for those on social media throughout the day. You can find all of the details at the Red Leopard Photography site or on Facebook (and ,make sure you click here to vote for your fave Miss Sou’West Vintage Fest pinup!)

I hope to see you there!

It’s the little things: Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween!

Are you dressing up this year? This year my plans involve visiting the new Topshop store that opened in Perth today, so I won’t be, but I thought I’d share some photos from previous Halloweens.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks – time sure flies when you’re having fun and I’ve definitely been having a bit more fun these past couple of weeks. And god it feels nice! I feel like life is starting to come together a bit more for me, and even though I may not be certain of my long term plans or goals, it’s so nice to have some little things to look forward to again.

Halloween skullandcrosstales.com

And with that, here are the little things I’m grateful for these days:

Family visits ~ A delivery of delicious baked goods from my mum ~ Cocktails ~ Hanging out with the gang ~ Lunch in the sun ~ Planning for NaNoWriMo (which starts tomorrow, eek!) ~ So much reading ~ My art wall ~ Time with my sister ~ Burgers with friends ~ Pineapple ~ Decorating my home ~ Sweet cider ~ The Mindy Project (so good!) ~

skullandcrosstales halloween

The links I’ve loved:

Skull of the week: 

This cute little tray would be perfect for keeping jewellery

Skull ceramic tray

 Are you dressing up today? I’d love to hear about your costume. 

Photo 3 by Shoot the Wicked Witch

Makeup for all three photos by Angela Mee MUA

Tattoo Talk v 4

Welcome to Tattoo Talk, a weekly showcase (and celebration!) of women with tattoos. Today’s very special guest is Sheri Bomb, a gorgeous Brsibane gal who blogs about all things rockabilly and Kustom Kulture over at http://www.sheribomb.com.au . Do yourself a favour and go get lost in her archives for awhile – why not read more about her tattoos, her trip to Tiki Oasis  and this awesome video on styling a beehive

Sheri Bomb rockabilly tattoos

Name: Sheri Bomb

Age: 26

Occupation: Travel writer

When did you get your first tattoo?

I got my first tattoo when I was 18 but I had already decided on the design by the time I was 13. Once I finally turned 18 and was old enough to get a tattoo, I booked in straight away and got the two-stem of cherries on my right hip.

How many tattoos do you have, and which is your favourite?

That’s a very hard question to answer. For one I have two full sleeves, which were done over a number of sittings, some of which began as standalone tattoos and were eventually incorporated into my sleeves. I also have the tops of my feet done, the whole top half of my back, a full chest piece, plenty on my legs, the back of my neck and behind my ears, so it’s hard to try and count them all individually. Safe to say I have a lot though.

Deciding on a favourite is equally difficult because I love so many of my tattoos, many of which have a special meaning to me. But if I really had to choose, it would be a tie between my ‘Daddy’s Girl’ foot tattoos, my Mix Master tattoo and my Rosie the Riveter portrait as these are all tattoos for my family.

Sheri Bomb mix master tattoo

Artist: Mimsy

Sheri Bomb daddys girl tattoo

Artist: Mark ‘Suicide’


Do you tend to get tattoos that are very meaningful, or tattoos that are purely aesthetical?  

As I mentioned above, I certainly have some meaningful tattoos but I do also get work done for purely aesthetical reasons. Although often an image or artwork is still inspired by a memory or experience in my life. I tend to think of my tattoos as souvenirs, almost an alternative to a photograph, because they often capture or represent important events or times in my life. I also like to collect tattoos that represent my travels, my two favourites are my drunk donkey that reminds me of my time in Mexico and a big burger with the word Vegas surrounded by stars which is obviously from my time in Las Vegas.

Are there any tattoo artists you particularly admire?

There are many, some of which I’ve been tattooed by and others I’m yet to collect ink from. Although she’s often considered rather ‘mainstream’ because of her reality TV show, Kat Von D is an amazing portrait artist and a pretty stylish chick. I’m not sure if I would ever actually get tattooed by her but I respect her work.

In Queensland where I live, Teneile Napoli from Garage Ink is an absolutely phenomenal portrait and realistic artist. Her work is jaw dropping!

Mimsy of Trailer Trash Tattoo here in Queensland is also one of my favourite artists. I have quite a bit of work from her and I love her traditional yet girlie kitschy-cool style, plus her indoor trailer park come tattoo studio is such a cool place and her pink 59 Sunliner mobile tattoo trailer is an icon around tattoo and kustom kulture festivals.

I also have a lot of work done by Beatnik Mark ‘Suicide’ of Voodoo Tattoo. He’s old school and he gets the job done. No fuss, no hassle and always on time. His style is really diverse and his use of colour and shading is incredible.

Sheri Bomb tattoo

Artist: Mark ‘Suicide’

What is the most interesting experience you’ve had relating to your tattoos?

It’s a bit of a funny story actually. It was the first Christmas party I went to at my job as a travel writer and we were all staying at Salt Resort in Kingscliffe. One of the girls who worked in our reservations department had brought her partner along with her to the Christmas party and it was the end of the night when he’d had quite a bit to drink. He came over to talk to me and was complimenting me A LOT on all of my tattoos but for some reason he kept touching and slapping me where my tattoos were as he spoke. On my back, on my arms, he wasn’t doing it very hard but it was actually making a bit of noise every time he would slap them, raving on about how great my ink was. This was in front of my whole department where I am the only girl and the guys were absolutely killing themselves about it. I was really embarrassed and I’ve never lived it down since, the incident is now affectionately known as ‘tat slapper’ haha!

Sheri Bomb sleeve tattoo

Artists: various

What are your thoughts on the relationship between tattoos and fashion?

I don’t believe there should be a relationship between tattoos and fashion, or rather what is ‘in fashion’. Just like dyeing your hair, getting a piercing or wearing a certain style of clothing, tattoos certainly are an expression of who you are and what you like. But fashion trends come and they go, so if you are getting a tattoo purely as a fashion statement then I don’t think you will always be happy with it. That would be like saying you have to wear the same outfit for the rest of your life! What happens when neon goes out of style? However if you choose to get a tattoo as a genuine expression of yourself and you choose wisely, then your tattoos simply become a part of who you are.

Sheri Bomb tattoo sleeve

Artist: Mimsy

What advice would you give to someone planning their first tattoo?

Don’t rush into it. Once you’ve made the decision to get tattooed it’s a very exciting time and it’s easy to book in and get it done straight away. But unless this is a design you’ve been planning on getting for a really long time, I suggest you sit on it for just a bit longer. Print out your design and put it in a prominent place where you will see it ALL THE TIME (eg on your mirror, on the fridge, etc). If after a month you still love the look of it then book in! You will have it for the rest of your life, so one extra month of waiting isn’t going to make much difference. Forever is a long time if you end up changing your mind and laser removal hurts much more than the original tattoo. Also, listen to what your artists says. They know what they’re doing. If they tell you something won’t work, it’s not going to work. Your tattoo is a walking billboard for them for the rest of your life, they want it to look good just as much as you do – after all it’s their reputation on the line.

Do you plan on getting more?

Absolutely! I’m travelling to Japan in the first week of December and plan on getting a souvenir tattoo while I’m over there. That’s certainly the next one on my list but there is definitely much more to come including a custom design done for me by American artist The Pizz – I need more skin!

Sheri Bomb tiki tattoos

Thanks, Sheri Bomb!

You can follow Sheri Bomb on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@sheribombblog). 

Photos 1 and 7 by Megan Rizzo Photography 

If you’re interested in being featured, please send me an email: skullandcrosstales AT Hotmail DOT com

It’s the little things: all about that pug

Mack the pugalier

You know I’m all about that pug, bout that pug…sorry, couldn’t resist! Today has been a day all about Mack – we went to the vet for his vaccinations, a nail trim and a check up this morning; I ordered him some new toys online; and we went to the pet store and tried on a bunch of harnesses and came away with a nice blue number that he seems much more comfortable in. Unfortunately everything that has happened in my life recently have impacted on him too, and he’s been a bit out of sort. Dogs are pretty sensitive to change, and boy have we had a lot of changes. The vet gave me lots of ideas to help him feel more secure thought so hopefully he settles back down soon. As the vet said, life as a pugalier can be tough sometimes! Mack, like loads of other pug breeds, seems to be super attuned to the world around him, almost hyper aware even, and I’m sure he’s picked up on the pretty crappy vibes. So tonight he’ll be sleeping with a nightlight (it changes colours and is shaped like a bear, because why not?) and some music, and hopefully won’t pee on my kitchen bin again!

There’s not a lot else to report for this week – although there is definitely too much spring in the air, as my hayfever has been absolutely horrendous. Funnily though it’s not half as bad at home as it is at work – surely that’s nature’s way of telling me I need a break, right?

The little things I’ve loved lately:

Listening to The Ocean at the End over and over and over… ~ My Mad Fat Diary season 2 ~ A big stack of books waiting to be read (including Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl) ~ Planning my next tattoo ~ Art ~ Wearing dresses without tights because its warm enough now ~ Cider ~ Pink sneakers ~ Plotting ~ Paper straw ~ Chatting to friends who always makes me feel awesome about myself ~

Mack pugalier

The links I’ve loved:

  • One for the bibliophiles 
  • I love Jodi Picoult’s latest novel, Leaving Time, and this interview with her is great (although the sketch seems to be tiny bit inaccurate)
  • Hilarious yoga mantras for jerks – including ‘worrying will help solve your problems’
  • I’ve decided to join NaNoWriMo and write 50,000 words in November! Eeek! This article helped convince me to give it a go  and this one has some helpful tips for anyone else preparing for it. The South of Perth group seems to have loads going on, you can check it all out here.
  • I’ve been feeling nostalgic about wearing a watch recently – this flamingo one is so cut and summery!
  • How to taste wine like a pro (or at least pretend to)
  • The worst cat is actually the best cat – if you like your cats football shaped, sweaty and kinda rubbery
  • Ned Flanders, Meg Griffin and other cartoon characters that have real-life twins 
  • One of my friends will be travelling to Mongolia next year to take part in a 1000km horse race that recreates Genghis Khan’s postal route –  how incredible is that?

Skull of the week: 

skull cuff

I’d love to hear about the pets in your life!

It’s the little things: music to my ears

skull and wine

What a weekend! I had a bit too much fun and haven’t had a chance to get this post together, but better late than never right?

My weekend kicked off nice and early on Thursday, when I went to see The Tea Party with my sister and a couple of friends – and it was such a good night! I love their music so, so much, and it felt amazing to have a bit of a dance and really lose myself in the music. Later that night as I was drifting off to sleep, they favourite one of my tweets (in which I confessed the song below bought me to tears!) and absolutely made my night. Friday night it was a friend from work’s birthday, so my sister did my hair in pin curls and we got stuck into some cocktails – it almost felt like summer, until we found ourselves shivering once the sun had gone down!

I also managed to drag myself out of bed for brekky and coffee with friends over the rest of the weekend, but man I’m looking forward to a good sleep tonight!

What did you get up to this weekend?

skull and crosstales pink hair

The little things I’ve loved lately:

Pimm’s jugs ~ Buying art prints & decorating my walls ~ Re-reading old favourite books ~ Sons of Anarchy (Juice you’re breaking my heart!) ~ Shimmy offs ~ Live music ~ Girl time with amazing friends ~ Planning new tattoos ~ Lunch in the park ~ Having people tell you they’re proud of you ~ Sleeping in

The Tea Part Perth

The links I’ve loved:

  • This xoJane piece on learning to live with sadness really hit home - “I can’t shake the sadness. I can’t pretend it away, so I welcome it. I let it inside and give it a nice place to sit and I let it be.”
  • 10 questions you should never ask musicians – the ‘how do you like Australia so far?’ one really made me laugh!
  • I love browsing Halloween decorations for items that could be permanent decor – such as these cute towels, this table runner and this skull candle 
  • This Vanity Fair piece on scenes from the ISIS capital is fascinating  - “In November 2013, ISIS decided to cut the heads off the statues. A symbolic and threatening message. This was ISIS’s way of hinting that such a practice would later involve humans, in this very place. And that is what has happened.”
  • MJ shared some lessons she’s learned and things she’d say to her 15 year old self – including gay is OK
  • Chuck Wendig shared a great post about the voice we put out into the world and defends himself against those who think he isn’t authentic
  • These homemade Oreos look delicious!
  • This is the song that made me cry 

Skull of the week: 

skull necklace

How is the week ahead shaping up for you? I hope it’s a good one! 


21 things to do when life sucks

Girl in sunshine by Leon Bliss

Sometimes, life just plain sucks. There’s no two ways about it, and it doesn’t matter how much you try to look on the bright side – sometimes, life is unfair, unkind and damn unpleasant. Maybe you had your heart broken. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe you were already struggling to make ends meet when your car broke down. Maybe you fought with your friends, work in a job you hate, live in a house that leaks every time it rains. Maybe you’re fighting illness or depression. Whatever the case, there is always something you can do to pull yourself out of the depths of despair. Now I’m not promising that any of these things are going to be a quick fix or miraculously turn your life around – but if they make life more bearable, even if just for a few minutes, then I think they’re worth it.

Give one or two of them a go. And be kind to yourself.

  1. Meditate. Downloaded a guided meditation app and take a 10 minute time out. Meditation helps to promote calmness, peace of mind and fulfilment; it can also decrease stress and worrying. By focussing on the present moment, meditation can help quell anxiety and shutdown ‘what if’ worrying, and it is also really refreshing if you find you’re having trouble sleeping.
  2. Listen to meditones. Go here. Download Allied Forces. Put your headphones in and bliss out. Seriously, don’t even think twice about this one, just do it. Meditones are like the cheat’s way of meditating, and can deliver instant bliss. This track in particular filled me with joy, made me feel loved and light. And, in my deepest hours of despair and sorrow, it helped me stop crying and calm down enough to fall asleep.
  3. Reach out to someone. Your best friend, your mum, your sister, your work colleague – whoever you feel comfortable with. Even if you don’t feel like talking, having someone on the other end of a phone line can be enough to make you feel connected. Your friends and family want to be there for you, so let them be your shoulder to cry on, someone to vent to or problem solving partner.
  4. Practise gratitude. Write down all of the things you are grateful for. Start small if it’s hard – a tissue to wipe your tears with, the bed you slept in, hot showers. Build your way up to the bigger things, and even go as far as listing all the people in your life you know would be there for you if you asked. Gratitude has been known to increase levels of energy, optimism, and empathy, and create greater feelings of satisfaction with life.
  5. Seek professional help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, from a psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, counsellor, life coach, psychic, doctor or priest. It can be easy to think ‘they won’t be able to help me’ – but what if they can? – or that ‘talking to a stranger won’t help me’ – but what if it does? Give it a chance.
  6. Write it out. If you have trouble talking about your problems, write about them instead. Get those thoughts out of your head and onto paper and get some clarity.
  7. Do something for someone else. It’s a guaranteed way to give you a break from your own life and make a difference to someone else’s, allowing you to feel appreciated.
  8. Move your body. Walk, run, jump, dance, cycle, swim, stretch, do yoga, skip, hula hoop – do whatever you feel up to. Don’t beat yourself up for not going fast enough or far enough, because every little bit counts and just getting started is enough. It might even get you out of the house and interacting with other people.
  9. Dance. In your home, where no one can see. Start small, then get lost in the music. Jump around. Wave your arms. Bust out your best moves. The physical exhaustion and the endorphins will make you feel lighter.
  10. Listen to music. Listen to the saddest songs you can find, and wail along as you bawl your eyes out – the catharsis will be amazing. Then listen to something more upbeat. Something that makes you feel strong. Something that says ‘you did not break me’. Bonus tip: listen to the music you loved as a teen and relive that feeling of excitement that came from seeing their video on TV or hearing their hit single on the radio.
  11. Indulge in comfort foods. Chocolate, ice cream, macaroni and cheese…whatever your vice, use all of your senses. Smell it. Touch it. Eat slowly. Really appreciate it and allow yourself to experience the pleasure without the guilt.
  12. Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep can be one of the first things to run out the window when we’re feeling stressed. Try meditating, listening to relaxing music or taking a hot bath to help you drift off – but if you find it’s been a week and you’ve only had a couple of hours sleep each night, don’t be afraid to see your doctor or pharmacist for help. Often all it takes is a couple of nights to get back into a good sleep routine.
  13. Watch a funny movie. It’ll feel good to laugh.
  14. Change things up. When you’re going through a major life change, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed; but if you are able to look at the breakup/the illness/the job loss as just one change in a hurricane of many, it may be easier to deal with. Dye your hair. Buy a new couch. Hang some artwork. Get a new wardrobe. Take a different route to work. Eat at a new restaurant. Surround yourself with new things and experiences, and start creating some new memories that are separate to the source of your pain.
  15. De-clutter your home. Throw out useless things you’ve held onto, donate items you no longer use, and create some space for yourself. De-cluttering your space is great for your mind, and can make you feel like you have achieved something or made an improvement in your life.
  16. Remember: there is nothing that life has thrown at you that you couldn’t cope with. You have already survived some pretty difficult times. You have lived through everything life has thrown at you. You can cope with this as well.
  17. Rally the troops and do whatever you find fun. It could be a night on the town with your girlfriends, a coffee with your bestie or training for a marathon with your gym buddy – whatever works for you, get out there and do it. It may not fill you with the same level of joy as usual, but give it a chance and it will creep up on you. If all else fails, fake it until you make it.
  18. Give yourself something to look forward to. Whether it be as big as a holiday in the New Year or as small as a treat meal for getting through the week, we all need something to get excited about. Write it down in your diary, and allow yourself to plan something fun.
  19. Load up on nutrient rich foods. It can be really hard to take care of yourself when you feel down, but it is incredibly important to help you cope. Treat yourself to a delicious healthy meal at a vegetarian café, snag a bag of organic minestrone soup from the deli section of your local supermarket, whizz up a tasty smoothie with loads of added healthy goodies, or visit your mum for Sunday night dinner. Your body will thank you.
  20. Write down 10 things you like about yourself. Keep the list in your pocket. Email it to yourself at work. And then update the list every week. It will be hard at first – your likes might be as superficial as ‘I have a cute pair of slippers’ but in time you will be able to look deeper and note your incredible smile, your kind heart, the fact that you never give up, and your ability to deal with whatever life throws at you.
  21. Celebrate the small wins. You might be heartbroken, but at least you made it out of bed and into work today. You might not have a job, but you did go for a walk today. You might not know what you want to do with your life, but you did make your home feel more beautiful today. And if you did any of these 20 other things – that’s a massive win!

If you have friends or family you think could benefit from this article, please share it with them. Or better yet, help them achieve any of the things on this lift. Rock up at their house with a nutritious meal and a funny movie and give them a break from worrying about life – living room dance party optional.

Photo by Leon Bliss