Imaginary Karin - Personal blog, art, and pixel art by Karin Persson

Getting inked

After years of hesitation and cowardice I’ve finally done it, I’ve got inked! My first tattoo! :rock:

Imaginary Karin - smaug tattoo

Imaginary Karin - smaug tattoo

The motif is of course Tolkien related.
I’ve had several debates with myself whether I wanted his name rune, the White Tree of Gondor, a horse symbol for Rohan or something else… But I went with this little illustration of Smaug, which was actually my first choice. The first time I saw it I thought “that would be a nice tattoo” and while going over all the other choices I kept coming back to it. This one spoke to me, and you should always listen to your guts and your heart, right?

The dragon is actually an illustration by Tolkien himself. Some people don’t know this, but Tolkien created quite a lot of art, illustrations and sketches for his stories. He had a pretty unique style too. What could be better to put on my body than something like that?

Imaginary Karin - smaug tattoo

I’ve wanted a tattoo since forever but for many different reasons it just never happened – until a few weeks ago when I suddenly sent an email to a local tattoo parlour and booked an appointment. Which was yesterday.

(This is typical Karin behaviour. I can talk about something for years and years and never actually do it until one day, completely out of the blue, I will just get up and be like “sod it, it’s happening, and it’s happening today!“. Like that time I took the night train to the other end of the country by myself, or when I cut my long hair into a mohawk, or when I proposed to Markus.)

Getting tattooed actually wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be, and that’s coming from someone who absolutely hate needles. I mean, it wasn’t pleasant, but it wasn’t like WAAAHH OMG I’M DYING either. The tattoo is still only a day old, so the skin is a little red around it and it’s a little bit sore. But I’m so happy I did it! I can’t stop looking at it! At last!

TL;DR From now on you may refer to me as the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. *puts on sunglasses*

Travel to Sweden – some basic tips

I’ve received a lot of comments from people telling me how they want to visit Scandinavia some day. Can’t blame you, this is such an exotic and exciting part of the world. (Kidding, kidding)

I’ve also gotten some questions, and while I started writing replies the answers became sort of long-winded, so I think a post is better. Now, you should know that I’ve never done any proper travelling to the other Scandinavian countries so I can’t really say much about them, but I figured I could always talk about Sweden.

These are just some basic points you should know while planning your trip. I’ve put some useful links at the end of the post as well, but if you have questions feel free to ask!

Welcome to Sweden
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I bought ProMarkers!

promarkers

They’re selling ProMarkers at our local hobby shop, and after oogling them for months I eventually gave in to temptation and bought some. I’ve seen some pretty cool artwork made with markers and have wanted to try them myself for ages.

After practising with random lines and blobs for a while I worked up the courage to attempt an actual drawing – so I made a quick portrait of an elf (because humans are boring and pointy ears are fun):

Imaginary Karin - promarkers elf drawing

Imaginary Karin - promarkers elf drawing

First I just bought a starter kit with like 10 pens, but quickly realised I needed more and went back for another set. It’s not like coloured pencils where you can just press harder and then add a thin layer of black on top to make darker shades.
Note to self: I need a dark neutral brown with no red hues.

I also realised you can’t just take an eraser and lighten up an area that turned too dark…
Imaginary Karin - promarkers elf drawing

Ta-daa! I’m actually quite proud of myself for making it look decent on the first try.
I just couldn’t quite figure out how to do the hair. ProMarkers have pretty big tips so I couldn’t draw it like I do with coloured pencils. With some more practise I’m sure I’ll figure something out though.
Apparently they also make these ultra-fine nibs so that might be worth looking into.

Also, I experimented with using my fingers to smudge the colour – you can even see the fingerprints if you look closer. It did work, although it worked even better when I discovered the set I bought had a blender pen in it… Yeah, turns out it’s much easier to use a blender pen.

I love how deep and dense the colours get from just the first stroke. No need to “rub it in” like you have to do with pencils. They are definitely worth it and I’m happy I bought them! I’m sure I’ll make many more drawings with them in the future.

My trip to Stockholm

Ready for yet another photo spam? I finally took the time to upload the photos from my trip to Stockholm and wanted to share. There are lots of images, so consider yourself warned. And as always the full album is on Flickr.

Skyline

Drottninggatan (Queen street)Statue

 

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Cloudberry picking

We’re visiting Markus parents right now. It’s been pretty cold and windy, but just being here makes it feel like a proper summer holiday. I love this place.

On Saturday Markus dad took us berry picking. It’s a good berry year this year and it would be a shame not to take advantage of it. I plan on going hunting for blueberries myself when I get back home.
Saturday though, the target was cloudberries:

Cloudberries

Apparently cloudberries only grow in the northernmost parts of the world, like northern Europe, Russia and Canada, so I don’t know if you’ve heard of them before? They look kinda like raspberries, but are bright orange and grow in marshes and similar wet areas. They are very rich in vitamin C and you can make a seriously delicious jam from them.

I like them very much, but they can be a pain in the ass to pick as they grow on wet ground. It can be unstable (and, you know, wet) to walk in and you will most likely be surrounded by a million mosquitoes. I could definitely feel it in my feet the day after, and the hat I wore still smell of mosquito repellent.

Cloudberry bog

Typical cloudberry bog

Cloudberries

Cloudberry

Markus mum cooked jam of the berries, so now I have a whole jar of cloudberry jam for the winter. Win! You can buy it from the store too, but it’s usually pretty pricey. In my opinion it also tastes SO much better when you’ve picked the berries yourself.

And tomorrow we’re taking the train to Stockholm! Whee!

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