Vanessa’s State of Me Album: Body of Me – Adorned


I’ve been working in my State of Me album lately. If you remember, the last pages I shared were documenting feelings of vulnerability through a paper doll of myself. The photo above closes that section and the photo below opens the new one.


Yes, I am feeling inspired. I am someone who gets tired of looking like they do fairly quickly. I like to change my hair, to cut it or color it because I like that feeling of newness. Lately that feeling has morphed into a new project…possibly a new tattoo.


‘Adorned’, how I love that word! It conjures up some very rich images to me. The woman surrounded by butterflies is a photocopy of a card from the Nomad Tarot. It pivots on a piece of plain old Scoth tape to reveal the journaling below.

v4  I really like the idea that your tattoo is already in you. All my life, people in my family have given me butterflies because Vanessa is a genus of butterflies. I have rings, necklaces, broches, t-shirts, socks; all adorned with butterflies. But when I saw the Vanessa Io, also called the Peacock butterfly, I was in love.


Yes, it has skulls on its wings. SKULLS! And I work with human remains! It’s a perfect match! I printed an image of the butterfly and stapled it on one of the transparencies included with this album by Basically Bare. I stapled it so it had that ‘mounted’ look/feel.


I love that the rest of the pages show around the butterfly. So now, I have the butterfly image, but what kind of tattoo would I want? They can be a little cheesy. But did you know that butterflies are a symbol for the soul of the dead?

v7  I had printed this picture of my back on vellum for another project and it fits perfectly in my State of Me album. That butterfly tattoo I found on Pinterest and was immediately attracted to. Especially because of the sacred geometry around it and the moon. Really, all symbols that I relate to in my own life. I printed a bunch of different versions of this design on vellum. I glued this one underneath my portrait.


The backside of this page has two variations on the same theme. I really love the look of these.


Because this album is for me, I like that it houses papers, images that I love. I received this lovely butterfly transparency in an exchange a while back. It suited my album. That tarot card is from The Wild Unknown. The butterfly is often used in the tarot because it evokes transformation, rebirth, evolution.

v10All of this thinking about being adorned had me dreaming up a whole sleeve and thinking about other personal symbols. If you recall the mini I made last year called V and her Beasts, I documented all of the animals I am attracted to or that are meaningful to me. This one is another :


I was born in the year of the Hare and the Jackalope is my spirit animal for sure. These images are from an Etsy shop that has since closed its virtual doors. I just love this artist’s work and would love to have a Jackalope tattooed at some point.


To finish documenting my Adorned pages, I added a card with some swallows.

v13The swallows on my wrist are so meaningful, they represent my children. Their freedom, their energy and the fact that they can always return to me. All my tattoos have a meaning that is thought out.


The journaling is super important to me because this is me documenting in my own words why I feel that having these elements inked permanently on my body is something I love to do. Your body is only here for a short time. Your life is yours. I love the idea of highlighting elements of your story on your skin. Moments and relationships, places and connections. It thrills me.


I finish this section with a favorite scrapbooking paper (I’m sure you can guess why!) that I left as is. I will document my new tattoo when I get around to it and include it here in this very special album.


What about you? Do you like tattoos? What kind would you get, in color or black? What symbols would you like to use to adorn your body? I am so interested to read your comments!