Shoulder sleeve tatou in Maori Kirituhi style


It has been quite a while since my last post, but I have been really busy with all kind of projects, from logo design to t-shirts and other custom projects.

Here's my latest design in Maori style, a shoulder sleeve for my galleries, where it is available for purchase.
This series of pictures shows the process from the first pencil sketch to the traced design:

The final traced drawing, before the scanning and optimizing process:

Some nice  depth of field photos:

Upper part of the Maori tattoo, partially traced with a marker

a nice overview of the total tattoo

The completed design with flowing maori koru curves

If you're interested in ordering the high resolution design and stencil/linedrawing of this tattoo, simply hit the 'buy now' button below and you will be forwarded to the Paypal website, so you can order with creditcard or Paypal account:

Size: 30 x 26 cm (11,5 x 10 inches)
Product code: Shoulder tattoo 155
Price: 41,65 euro (57 USD)

Any questions? Just let me know.

Kind regards, Mark Storm

Förtress vs VsYou

Just in time for the upcoming release party in Munich next week we just got in this new t-shirt. Designed to celebrate the launch of the new "VsYou" vinyl toy series by TheSigner aka Florian Flatau including a Flying Fortress skin design (more informations on the vinyl toys soon). The shirt is already available at the VsYou online store and also at T-shirt comes with matching stickers. Bearknuckle!


me, right now.

My sweet friend Megan shared this fun post this morning, so I thought I'd play along while I wait for Henry to wake up from his nap!

Obsessing over: Movies. I think winter always gets me into movie-mode, and this year I've been really into re-watching old favorites via Netflix Instant Play during Henry's naptime while I get things done. Today was the black and white Miracle on 34th Street. So good.  And right now Netflix has so many great films to stream including two of my most favorites- Death Becomes Her and Edward Scissorhands. They also have some newer ones I really enjoyed, like Morning Glory.

Working on: I'm currently in the middle of a couple of new blog-related and writing projects, but what I am working on right now is making it through the day without indulging in sweets! I do great all day long, but around 4 or 5pm I find myself making the same not-so-good choices. And every day I tell myself that I'm not going to do it again, but for the past few days I've ignored my better judgment and had that cookie (or cookies), that caramel corn, or whatever other nutrient-free mindless snack is available. Ugh. I'm all for treats and enjoying delicious food...but when I'm grabbing these snacks I'm not even hungry. So today I'm just trying to get back on track from our holiday weekend, and holiday weekend leftovers!

Thinking about: going to Henry's 1-year appointment in a few hours. Honestly, it feels like yesterday when we brought him in for the first time. I was fresh from my c-section and all of those days seem like the biggest blur...except certain distinct moments with Henry. I remember that first appointment vividly, and I'll admit I'm a little teary thinking about bringing him in today for his big one-year-later check-up. I'm also thinking about how truly lucky and grateful I feel to have a healthy one-year old.

Anticipating: Christmas, of course! I can't wait for all of the fun events coming up. Outside of family stuff think I'm most looking forward to the party Natalie and I are having at my house- an old-fashioned girls' sleepover for our girlfriends. We're doing a potluck, ornament exchange, and heading downtown to enjoy the lights and winter sights. Very excited.

Listening to: the white noise via Henry's noise machine in his room. He's due to wake up from his nap any minute, so pretty soon the sounds will be interrupted by babbling and sweet little "ma ma ma ma mas." I'm also having a text conversation with Autumn so every minute or so the little notification goes off. If only all of my friend who are stay-at-home Moms lived in the same place!

Drinking: water. It's pretty much all I ever drink, with the occasional green tea or almond milk in my rare bowl of cereal.

Wishing: that I could slow down time, just a little. 2012 in just about a month? I feel like it's 1998 and I'm still 16. Where did the time go?

How about you? What are you up to today?

A Generous Lawyer

A local United Way office realized that the organization had never received a donation from the town's most successful lawyer. The person in charge of contributions called him to persuade him to contribute.

"Our research shows that out of a yearly income of at least $500,000, you give not a penny to charity. Wouldn't you like to give back to the community in some way?"

The lawyer mulled this over for a moment and replied, "First, did your research also show that my mother is dying after a long illness, and has medical bills that are several times her annual income?"

Embarrassed, the United Way rep mumbled, "Um ... no."

The lawyer interrupts, "or that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair?"

The stricken United Way rep began to stammer out an apology, but was interrupted again.

"or that my sister's husband died in a traffic accident," the lawyer's voice rising in indignation, "leaving her penniless with three children?!"

The humiliated United Way rep, completely beaten, said simply, "I had no idea..."

On a roll, the lawyer cut him off once again, "So if I don't give any money to them, why should I give any to you?"

Tattoo Tuesday V.98

Name/blog name: Julia at
Age: 31
Occupation: Full time mommy. Part time hair stylist/makeup artist
Age of first tattoo: 18
Favorite tattoo: Boombox on my left shin. It is from the album Subliminal Plastic Motives by my favorite band, self
Featured tattoo/location: Mary Poppins sleeve on my left arm
Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: Ahmed at Trader Bobs Tattoo in St. Louis, MO

1) Tell us about your featured tattoo- is there a background story about why you chose it, or maybe a special meaning?

I get asked this a lot. Understandably so. I used to watch Mary Poppins A LOT when I was a child. It quickly became my favorite movie. Then a few years after high school, I packed up and headed east to New York City where I became a nanny. I sent out to be a Mary Poppins. I try to live my life with the motto "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!"

2) Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where?

I have a bunch of random ones. Boombox on left shin, rose on right shin, stars around my right wrist, butterfly on center of back, nautical star on back of neck.

3) Do you plan on getting more?

Absolutely. I intend on doing my right arm eventually. I have many ideas as to what I'd like. I would like to do something for my daughter, Zalyn. It's just a matter of time. My brother in law is a tattoo artist and I have many plans for him to do plenty of my upcoming work.

4) How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them? Do you have a significant other? Does he/she have tattoos?

My family is amazing. At first, my parents weren't too hip to the idea of their little girl "decorating her body." But they have grown to love it. I've even been introduced to some of my mothers friends, siblings friends etc and they'll say, "OOH, you're the one with the Mary Poppins tattoo." I suppose that means they brag about me? As far as adversity is concerned, yes, I get some negative feedback. But only from strangers. My husband (who is heavily tattooed as well) and I were in the store one time and a gentleman walked passed us and shouted, "It's not Halloween, kids. Trick or treat, freaks!" We just brush it off our shoulder. Yes, we get stared at from time to time and yes people say things of the sorts, "What are you going to do when you get older?" or "Are you going to let your child get tattooed?" and the ever so popular, "Why would you do something like that?" There's some close minded people out there that just don't quite understand the nature of why people get tattoos. And that's ok. We just make the world a little more colorful!

5) What's the most interesting experience you've ever had in regards to your tattoos? This can be something someone said to you, a weird tattooing experience, whatever.

My favorite story involving my tattoo's was when I came to visit my grandparents after being gone for awhile. My sleeve was close to being done. The last time I saw my grandparents, I only had the top of my shoulder. So, needless to say, they were shocked. My grandfather looked at me and said, "My oh my, every time we see you, you are more and more decorated." Then my grandmother chimed in and said with a smile, "Yes, and we love you more and more." My grandmother passed away almost 3 years ago and I'm constantly reminded of her strength, beauty and wit. Just the way she looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and the way she said that, makes my heart melt each time I think about it. My grandfather was right, we really truly are "decorated."

6) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet?

Think it through. Don't rush into it. Do research on who you're going to have do your tattoo. If you see someone with a tattoo you like, ask them who did it for them. Then check out said artists portfolio. Once you found the right person and decided on the perfect piece, be prepared. Bring a bottle of water or gatorade. I resort to sucking on lollipops while getting tattoo'd. And I focus on my breathing. Whether you are getting a large piece that will take some time, or something small, just remind yourself that the pain only lasts a little while and when it's all said and done, you'll have a pretty awesome reminder of your strength that you sat through a pretty painful experience. That's how I look at it and it's gotten me this far.

Chilli joke laugh out loud

WARNING : ONLY Read This Once You Are About To LAUGH OUT LOUD.

Hysterics might set in. The writer of this piece paints a very vivid picture... funny stuff.

You will laugh - guaranteed! ENJOY!!

I went to Bunnings recently while not being altogether sure that course of action was a wise one. You see, the previous evening I had prepared and consumed a massive quantity of my patented 'you're definitely going to s**t yourself' road-kill chilli. Tasty stuff, albeit hot to the point of being painful, which comes with a written guarantee from me that if you eat it, the next day both of your butt cheeks WILL fall off.

Here's the thing. I had awakened that morning, and even after two cups of coffee (and all of you know what I mean) nothing happened. No 'Watson's Movement 2'. Despite habanera peppers swimming their way through my intestinal tract, I was unable to create the usual morning symphony referred to by my dear wife as 'thunder and lightning'.

Knowing that a time of reckoning had to come, yet not sure of just when, I bravely set off for Bunnings, my quest being paint and supplies to refinish the den. Upon entering the store at first all seemed normal. I selected a cart and began pushing it about dropping items in for purchase. It wasn't until I was at the opposite end of the store from the toilets that the pain hit me.

Oh, don't look at me like you don't know what I'm talking about. I'm referring to that 'Uh, Oh, ~ Bad Word ~, gotta go' pain that always seems to hit us at the wrong time.. The thing is, this pain was different. The habaneras in the chilli from the night before were staging a revolt.

In a mad rush for freedom they bullied their way through the small intestines, forcing their way into the large intestines, and before I could take one step in the direction of the toilets which would bring sweet relief, it happened. The peppers fired a warning shot.

There I stood, alone in the paint and stain section, suddenly enveloped in a noxious cloud the likes of which has never before been recorded. I was afraid to move for fear that more of this vile odor might escape me.

Slowly, oh so slowly, the pressure seemed to leave the lower part of my body, and I began to move up the aisle and out of it, just as a red aproned clerk turned the corner and asked if I needed any help.

I don't know what made me do it, but I stopped to see what his reaction would be to the malodorous effluvium that refused to dissipate.. Have you ever been torn in two different directions emotionally? Here's what I mean, and I'm sure some of you at least will be able to relate.
I could've warned that poor clerk, but didn't. I simply watched as he walked into an invisible, and apparently indestructible, wall of odour so terrible that all he could do before gathering his senses and running, was to stand there blinking and waving his arms about his head as though trying to ward off angry bees.

This, of course, made me feel terrible, but then made me laugh........BIG mistake!!!!!

Here's the thing. When you laugh, it's hard to keep things 'clamped down', if you know what I mean. With each new guffaw an explosive issue burst forth from my nether region. Some were so loud and echoing that I was later told a few folks in other aisles had ducked, fearing that someone was robbing the store and firing off a shotgun.

Suddenly things were no longer funny. 'It' was coming, and I raced off through the store towards the toilets, laying down a cloud the whole way, praying that I'd make it before the grand mal assplosion took place.

Luck was on my side. Just in the nick of time I got to the dunny, began the inevitable 'Oh my God', floating above the toilet seat because my ass is burning SO BAD, purging. One poor fellow walked in while I was in the middle of what is the true meaning of 'Shock and Awe'.

He made a gagging sound, and disgustedly said, 'Son-of-a-~ Bad Word ~!, did it smell that bad when you ate it?', then quickly left.

Once finished and I left the toilet, reacquired my partially filled cart intending to carry on with my shopping when a store employee approached me and said, 'Sir, you might want to step outside for a few minutes. It appears some prankster set off a stink bomb in the store. The manager is going to run the vent fans on high for a minute or two which ought to take care of the problem.'

My smirking of course set me off again, causing residual gases to escape me. The employee took one sniff, jumped back pulling his shirt up to cover his nose and, pointing at me in an accusing manner shouted, 'IT'S YOU!', then ran off returning moments later with the manager. I was unceremoniously escorted from the premises and asked none too kindly not to return.

Home again without my supplies, I realized that there was nothing to eat but leftover chilli, so I consumed two more bowls.

The next day I went to shop at Woolies. I can't say anymore about that because we are in court over the whole matter.

Bas tar ds claim they're going to have to repaint the store.

It's Time.

I saw this beautiful video this morning, and knew I had to share it here too. xoxo

Monday links

a bit of pretty sunlight on an evening run with Henry this past week.

Hello and happy Monday! I'm excited about this post because I have SO many fun things to show you today. It's already been a great day and after a long organizing session last night I feel really good about getting a lot checked off of my list. It was a fun weekend and I finally got to see Breaking Dawn. I wouldn't say I'm a die-hard Twilight fan- I'm more of an Anne Rice vampire kinda gal- but at the base of Stephenie Meyer's just-okay writing lies such a great story that I can't help but love the series. The movie was good too, and I found myself totally riveted and only giggled out loud a few times. ;) Some other great things this weekend: a 6-mile hike Saturday morning, a visit from our friend Paco, and making homemade vegan "chicken" pot pie (I'll share that recipe later this week).

And now somehow, it's Monday! I took a little break over the long weekend so my typical Friday links post was moved to today. I hope you enjoy them! Let me know which one you loved best. xo!


First of all, did you know that you can now turn your Instagrams into canvases?! Yet another fabulous IG add-on. And right now, Canvas Pop is offering a great deal too- a 12x12 for $29.95 and a 20x20 for $59.95. Awesome, right? Thanks to my friend Alana for sharing this with me via Mashable.

Angela reminded me that I really need to take a hot air balloon ride sometime this year- it's absolutely one of my "must-do" things in life.

After following this couple's journey to adopting their daughter, this video pretty much made my day.

Does a perfect childhood make you soft? I really, really enjoyed this article.

Confessions of a Hipster Mom- too funny! Have you done this before? Love this post on one of my fave blogs.

There aren't many male bloggers around these parts, but Steven Andrew sure holds his own. Go say hi!

Rachel's tips on creating a cheap meal plan are spot on. Super inspiring.

This post was a great reminder to "date my husband."

This stop-motion wedding video is way too cute!

Here's Lesley's second part to her "Surviving the Holidays" series. It's all about managing stress, something most of us can relate to I'm sure!

Interesting post about "eating yourself fertile."

How adorable is this print? It makes me want to bundle up for a winter walk with Hank.

This family's story broke my heart. I can't even imagine how this would feel...sending as much love as I can their way.

Oh, I love the vintage library baby shower ideas in this post.

WHOA. You can receive all three of my favorite magazines for $20?!

Have I mentioned how much I love Amber? This post totally made me smile.

I didn't make these sweet potato and marshmallow biscuits this year, but I've bookmarked them for next!

And finally, a few blogs I've been loving: one and two.

Have a good week!

Favorite Calendars for 2012

If you're anything like me, you probably love how the new year offers promises of so many new opportunities, new plans...and new ways to be organized. There are few things that make me happier than a fresh, crisp-paged planner, and even better, a brand-new calendar to hang on the wall. The best kind of calendars are part functional, part beautiful, but I'd say that each of the calendars below are all beautiful! Which one is your favorite?

Light Parade 2011

Everything is so much more fun with Henry around, and that goes double for the holidays.  Even though we still have a month until Christmas, we've been having a great time adopting new traditions, and making old ones our own. Every year our town has a light parade, and it's a lot of fun to get bundled up, get some hot chocolate, and watch all the floats go by. One of the things I love most about living in a small town is all of the tradition and fun the holidays bring, and our town really seems to come even more alive this time of the year. We had a great time at the parade, and I think Henry did too (minus the fire engines' sirens- he HATED those). It was a fun night though- cold but not too cold, crowded downtown but not too bad- and a good time was had by all!

Happy almost-December, everyone!

Light Parade 2011
Picnik collage11
Light Parade 2011
Light Parade 2011

Light Parade 2011
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Light Parade 2011
Light Parade 2011
Light Parade 2011
Light Parade 2011
Light Parade 2011
Light Parade 2011
Picnik collage1111

Skewed skull

No reference. That was fun to do.

Pain of Married Men

A woman awakes in the middle of the night to find her husband was not in bed.

She goes downstairs to look for him. She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee in his hand.

The husband appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall. She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of his coffee.

"What's the matter, dear?" she whispers as she steps into the room. "Why are you down here at this time of night?"

The husband looks up from his coffee, "Do you remember 20 years ago when we were dating, and you were only 18?" he asks solemnly. "Yes I do" she replies.

The husband pauses; the words were not coming easily. "Do you remember when your father caught us in the garden?"

"Yes, I remember" said the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.

The husband continued.. "Do you remember when he showed the shotgun in my face and said, 'Either you marry my daughter, or I'll send you to jail for 20 years?"

"I remember that too" she replied softly.

He wiped another tear from his cheek and said, "I would have been released today” !!!!!!!!!!!

So my question is, Are you man enough to bear the pain ? :) I hope you liked this funny jokes on marriage

today on Hello Giggles...

 Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I'm over on Hello Giggles today talking about "instant BFFs." Are you mine?

Happy Thanksgiving Quotes and Photos

It was the night of HAPPY THANKSGIVING, but I just couldn't sleep.
I tried counting backwards, i tried counting sheep.

The leftovers beckoned - the dark meat and white,
but i fought the temptation with all of my mighty.

Tossing and turning with anticipation,
thought of a snack became infatuation.
So, I went to the kitchen flung the door open,
gazed at the refrigerator, GOODIES galore complete.

Gobbled up turkey and potatoes with butter, pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling so complete and so round,
"Til suddenly got off the ground.

I stumbled through the ceiling, floating into the sky,
With mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie.
BUT, I managed to yell as I have risen to over TREES ....
Happy eating to all - pass cranberries, please.

May your stuffing be tasty.
May your potatoes and Sauce have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious.
May your Thanksgiving dinner stay off your thighs.

Wish you all have a Wonderful Happy Thanksgiving from Its All Humor

What really matters.

A lot of the time I am blown away with the number of you who make Sometimes Sweet a daily stop, and it's amazing to me that you take the time out of your day to come here and share in my world. I often think though that with all of the readers and friends I have met over the past few years, there has to be something more I can do with this gift of an audience.

Outside of this bubble we live in, there is so much more going on in the world. It's easy to get caught up in your daily life and forget this- I know I am guilty of often having a one-track "me me me" mindset, and not looking or thinking outside of where I very comfortably sit. But one of my biggest goals for this next year (and now) is to make a difference, and that's where this blog comes in.

Today I'm going to be telling you all about my sweet friend Kristin and the work she is doing over in India. And in the months to come, I'll be sharing different charities, organizations, or individuals that I am personally familiar with that are doing amazing things. Sometimes it's hard for me to just send donations off- I wonder if the money is really going where they say it is, or I'm concerned about the way it's handled. I'm not sure if everyone is like that (maybe I'm just crazy), but if I can't physically help out myself, it's comforting to me to know the person who is, and to see the good they are doing with the donations.

My friend Kristin is a nurse and is currently living in India. She blogs daily about the work she does, and shares some of the most heart-wrenching, inspiring photos and stories. Here's a little bit from her:

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others... That is a quote by M.K. Gandhi that I stumbled upon before my first trip to India back in February 2011. Fast forward to November and I can easily tell you that I have never understood what he meant more than I do right now. I am an American nurse living life in the biggest city in North East India, Guwahati. I walked away from my simple Californian life and moved to the state of Assam in May after participating in a one week mission with a NGO that repairs cleft lips and palates free of cost. I work full time (and then some) with them now as a nurse manager at a brand new cleft care center in Guwahati.

India is what we in 'developed' countries would call 'underdeveloped.' It teems with half built infrastructure,  animals, temples, greenery, trash, and people. Oh, the people. Or more specifically, the children. I feel like it took me some time to really open my eyes to what surrounded me and in true Indian fashion, what I saw was this twisted, heartbreaking beauty. There are children all over the streets of Guwahati, beautiful children. They are dirtied, half-clothed and hungry. For a longer time than I like to admit, I walked past these children and though my heart ached deep inside my chest, I did nothing. After weeks of planning, talking with friends, going back and forth and feeling discouraged, I made a decision. It was a basic one: I was going to feed the kids. I went down to the slums that first week scared, shaking and alone. I had made 20 meals and in under five minutes they were filling the bellies of 20 hungry children. It was clear, I had to keep this going. Now I am almost two months into this project that I call Asha Guwahati, and it is growing by the day. The goal of what I do is simple, I want to show the children of this slum and street community true love. I feed them without expectation of anything in return. I am still just one person orchestrating these feedings out of my kitchen. I currently make 50 meals at a time, one to two times per week. It takes me around three hours to make the food, and less than ten minutes to pass it out. Every feeding I have different friends come and help, everyone that helps gives of their time freely. Once a month we hold a street kids day where we bathe, trim hair, and cloth 20-30 kids. I am not changing the world as a whole but very certainly, very slowly, the whole world of each child we care for is changing.

Going to the slums is still scary and overwhelming. When the children see us coming with the baskets of food they run to us with this heartbreaking mix of panic and joy. They know I am there, they know that they will not go to bed hungry that night but they are scared that I will not have enough for them. I have many plans for this project but my goal will always remain simple. I know I can feed these kids, I know I can make the food and pass it out and I will do it as much as possible. I have totally lost myself in the service of the children of Assam, India. It means more to me than I could ever express that my friends like Danielle, all the way over in Arizona support me. If it means that much to me, I can not even begin to imagine how much it might mean to these children who have stolen my heart completely."


If you visit Kristin's blog I guarantee that you will be moved, maybe to tears like I am, every time I read about her days in India. I urge you to read back in her posts- it's heartbreaking, but also so amazing that she is able to do what she is doing. So that's where we come in. I went back and forth about whether or not I felt comfortable asking you all to donate, but when it comes down to it, I can't think of a better way to assist Kristin in her efforts.

Here's how you can help:

make a donation to Kristin's project- Asha Guwahati. To feed a child one meal costs about 25 cents (and Kristin is working on getting this cost even lower). So even if you gave a dollar, you would be providing FOUR meals. Awesome, right? 

If you can donate anything, a quarter, 
a dollar, ten dollars, you can do so 
via paypal to

*Kristin also wanted me to let you know that she is one person developing this feeding project out of her kitchen, and every single rupee goes to the meals and the "street girls" day. She also wanted you to know that she isn't an NGO and therefore cannot offer receipts or letters verifying donations for tax refunds, etc. 

Outside of donating, you can follow Kristin's blog and support her via correspondance, comments, or even just saying hello and letting her know you're there, supporting her. You can also share her blog with others, share this post via Facebook or twitter, or you could even blog about it in our own space, and encourage your own friends and family to help out.

The neatest part about being a part of Kristin's growing project is that you will get to see your donation (whether it be monetary or even sharing her story, reading her blog etc.), come to life as you follow along on her journey. It's truly an amazing thing.

Thank you guys so very much for taking the time to read this. xoxo