Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gypsy Roses and a Tombstone

Last month, I ran outside toward the end of the day to throw a letter in the mailbox at the corner of 31st and 7th, near Penn Station.

Always prepared, I had a flier and my camera with me, just in case, and I spotted a woman ahead of me on the sidewalk with an interesting-looking tattoo on the back of her right arm.

After dropping my letter in the box, I ran up and introduced myself. She said her name was Jeanette and she showed me this chest piece which truly took my breath away:

I was however, without a pen, so she lent me hers. Fortunately, she later e-mailed me a fuller explanation of her work, reiterating what she told me in the street:

My gypsies on my chest are a representation of my open, free spirited soul, my wandering spiritual ways and my childhood. As a child, my mom moved my 4 sisters and I from place to place; never truly getting settled but gaining amazing friendships and experiences on the way.

These gypsies were created and drawn by Mo Coppoletta a tattoo artist originally from Italy but now residing in London.

He owns and operates The Family Business...He is a feisty but charming fellow who I bonded with immediately after meeting. You can view more of his work and his shop at

I also snapped a photo of the original tattoo I had spotted on her right arm:

She explained:

This tattoo is very sentimental...[in memory of] my mother who passed away at the young age of 50 in May of 2003. The words inscribed on the tombstone..."It's Gettin Chistled on yer tombstone" are from one of my favorite films, The Devil's Rejects. These words represent the things you do in life...each moment...each day you are engraving a memory for which people will remember you by, and this is how my mother lived. Always giving a hand and offering her last dollar from her pocket to a stranger. This tattoo is not completed yet, I intend to have the front of the tombstone added soon which will have my mother's name, date of birth and death and the words "Loving Mother and Loving Soul" in bold ink. This tattoo artist is Ezra [McCabe] from Sacramento, CA owner and operator of Timeless Tattoo and his work is truly timeless and remarkable. They are located at 912 J St Sacramento, CA and can be reached at (916) 443-6441.

A little more about Jeanette:

"I am a freelance fashion designer for my own clothing line "Altered Betty's," a line of clothing that comes straight from my heart. All one of a kind pieces made from all recycled fabrics and notions. What once was very special to one could be a delightful surprise for another. I recently moved to New York from California, I am still adjusting but I am beginning to really love and appreciate this beautiful city. "
It was an unexpected treat to meet Jeanette and I thank her for sharing her amazing gypsy rose tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

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