a peek inside the fishbowl

29 Aug, 2014

Body mod, of a temporary nature

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Oh! Things!

When I was a teenager I wanted a tattoo of an ankh. It looks like a cross but it’s looped at the top, a symbol used in ancient Egypt to mean eternal life. (Here’s the Wikipedia entry about it if you’re not sure what I mean.) At one point I even tossed around the idea of having it branded into my arm, thinking a white scar would be more subtle than the typical “tat blue” colour that aged tattoos somehow all achieve over time. 

I was so sure I wanted an ankh at the time, but looking back, I’m glad I didn’t do it. I’m a different person now than I was 20+ years ago, and the things that were meaningful to me then, haven’t been for a long time. (Plus, do I want a wrinkly old tattoo on my body? It’s just not for me.)

Sidebar: when I was in journalism school I spent a day hanging out at a tattoo parlour here in town for a story I was working on. The number of awful mistakes, regrets, and saggy misshapen Tweety birds I saw that needed fixing was a real eye opener.

Awhile back I stumbled upon Tattly, an online store that designs and sells temporary tattoos. There are hundreds of different designs and many of them are excellent. The girls and I poured over the options (it was very hard to choose) placed our order, and waited. It’s worth noting that we also ordered a skateboarding sandpiper for Mark and a couple of radishes. I chose this set, among others.

Which one shall it be today? (Blog post coming up!)

They didn’t take long to arrive, and we were thrilled with our purchases, This is why I ended up choosing one of their newest designs, the science set, for my Editor’s Faves column for the September issue of Capital Parent Newspaper. (Which you can see right here.)

I’m also thinking these would make really great loot bag gifties.

The Tattly tattoos are easy to apply and last a few days, they come off with a cotton ball and a bit of baby oil, and they’re FUN. I wore a blue VW van around the house for awhile and then washed it off before going to a meeting at the office. I wore that “Oh hello” bird in the photo above on the outside of my upper arm for the better part of a week and then got rid of it. I will be applying popsicles to my ankle before the summer ends. I can change them with the seasons!

Why bother with permanent ink when you can have so much fun choosing designs that mirror your feelings that very moment? Today, I think I might feel like a watermelon…

4 Responses to "Body mod, of a temporary nature"

1 | Brenda A

August 29th, 2014 at 11:35 am


These are super cute and I am off to check out the site. I am tattoo free and happy with that, but temp cuties like these will be great!

2 | Molly

August 29th, 2014 at 3:17 pm


Well, you know how much I love Tattly!! Big believer in temporary ink…

3 | Shawna

September 1st, 2014 at 11:00 pm


If you are artistically inclined, you can upload your own drawings or photos on stickeryou.com to make custom tattoos. So fun! I had a batch made this summer (sayings, drawings, and a photo of a Barred Rock hen) and am slowly going through them…

4 | Jenny

September 6th, 2014 at 7:59 pm


I’m more of a permanent ink kind of person, but these are awesome! I’m actually starting a temporary tattoo collection for my daughter (who is now 13 months old). I figure temporary tattoos are the new stickers, right?

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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