Thursday, August 31, 2017

Daith (Ear Cartilage) Piercing to Relieve Migraine Headaches?

Piercing provides pain relief? Perhaps...                                                          
Daith Piercing with curved barbell by Kathleen @ Lucky 7
Tattoo & Piercing, Kings Beach - North Lake Tahoe, Ca.

A little ways back  Lucky 7 clients and customers began asking me about the daith piercing for migraine headache relief. Not having a clue what they were alluding to - I took a tap tap tap on the Google,  fishing for knowledge..

Found an article by Rachel Moss via The Huntington Post from November 2015. In it she describes her personal experience with the daith piercing. Originally she got it for the love of the look. Finding out by chance it provided migraine relief.

 Ms Moss covered the "pros and cons" nicely. The sure sign of a proper journalist

In addition to the original article - I consumed various other writings by body piercers I respect. Basically the bottom line being: "There is NO scientific studies to prove this piercing helps provide relief to migraine sufferers". "Don't believe the hype..." and the golden oldy.."No Scientific Proof....."
Moon with Star Daith Jewelry
at Lucky 7 Tattoo & Piercing
Kings Beach, Ca

Sure - that's all the appropriate things to say. Nothing like "covering your *&%...but this discounts all the migraine sufferers who have had a real reduction in pain and who have found relief with the piercing - some with a complete loss of all symptoms.

And I speak from experience here.

Science is always telling me things I believe in "aren't real".

Remember when you lived with a bunch of other woman, and ALL your menstrual cycles synced up- so you had a group of females pmsing, bloated and being miserable all at once -

 Science says that is not a real thing. Doesn't happen

Or how a full moon seems to bring all the crazy people into your workplace - acting like they are from the Moon -  science again says there isn't any evidence of such a wants tangible proof. Controlled studies. Sometimes that is hard to come by. Just because you cannot "prove" something is true doesn't make that thing "not true".

"Migraine" Piercing aka "Daith" by Kathleen @
Lucky 7 Tattoo & Piercing
Kings Beach, California
Here is some good news....almost all of my Lucky 7 clients have had very positive results from their daith piercings! Since the end of 2015, I have had casual contact with approximately 3 dozen of my many daith piercing / migraine clients. This contact was through  through social media, email or phone calls.  30 clients had moderate to complete relief from migraine pain. One person reported relief for a limited time of two weeks. One other had no benefit at all - but has enjoyed the look of the piercing and plans to keep it.   I have two other long time clients who have only had the piercing for one week - so it is too early to tell if there is any benefit for them.

Sure - this is no where close to being a proper trial to prove anything one way or another. Yet there must be something to it - even if it is all in the persons mind - that the daith piercing is doing something good for these migraine suffering clients. And let me tell you - a few of these clients have been in tears when telling me about the suffering they endure weekly when coming down with these headaches.

Some folks say peppermint oil helps migraines too - but no one is going to get rich peddling oils for headaches. Doctors and pharmaceutical companies make a great deal from medicine and treatments for all that ails us.

Could it be "they" do not want daith piercings being a viable treatment or cure because they won't make any money in the equation? No company will put up the money for a proper study unless they will make money on the outcome - right? Cannot patient a piercing like you can medicine.

14 kt Gold Jewelry for healed daith piercing. Made in USA.
Sold by Lucky 7 Tattoo & Piercing
                                               Food for thought.

If you are considering the piercing for your own well being - I say go right ahead! Make sure to find a piercer who has vast experience, good reviews online, a clean facility AND a complete aftercare program in place for you to follow during for the long healing process. 6 months is very common.

 Expect pricing to run anywhere from $40 to $80 in a quality shop (depending on where you live and the jewelry you select.)

Take a chance - be somebody baby - pierce that ear!

Daith Piercing with Crystal Ball Ends by Kathleen @ Lucky 7
King Beach - North Lake Tahoe


Daith "Baby Elephants and Hearts" all profit from this jewelry goes to
Elephant Aid International.
purchase from Lucky 7 Tattoo and Piercing
Kings Beach, Ca 96143
Daith with Fixed Bead Ring By Kathleen
at Lucky 7 Tattoo 7 Piercing
North Lake Tahoe - Kings Beach

"Poiseys n Heart" Daith Jewelry in 16 Gauge
@ Lucky 7 King Beach, California

Monday, August 28, 2017

So You Want to Become a Tattoo Artist....

Does the world need another tattooer? 

Well - if you bring something fresh, positive or completely creative - then yes, the tattoo world may need you!
Lucky 7 Tahoe Tattoo Apprentice
Mikey Bowden

However - if you "just think it would be fun / cool", your mom thinks you "trace real well" - or you are doing it to "make mad money" this isn't the path to travel - you are frankly not needed. Sorry for the tough talk - but I believe that is what is needed in the tattoo business these days. 

Throughout the last decade or two - way too many so called "tattooers" have crowded the industry until bursting at the seems with mediocrity. Take a walk through any crowded shopping area and see for yourself. Unsuspecting folks walking around with horrible tattoos, run down strips malls with studios offering "$20 Friday the 13th Tattoos" and shady shops opening and closing in a matter of months - (after the have burned enough unsuspecting customers with their terrible creations or breaking health department laws.) 

For all of us who have made tattooing our livelihood and lifestyle - it becomes depressing to see what we love and live for become marginalized by over exposure and over service. We have taken great time and experienced much pain to forge ahead and make a place for ourselves in this trade. SO show us a bit of respect by reading this blog entry (and any other sources you can get your eyes on) to learn about what it takes to join our very special club of dedicated tattoo professionals...
Ink Aplenty at Lucky 7 Tattoo & Piercing, North Lake Tahoe, California

  1. Never stop your art studies and training. Now you would think this would be obvious - yet many wanna be tattoo artist stopped taking any art courses or searching out new mediums in high school. This will not due in major tattoo markets. Tracing a design off of flash (sheets of drawn tattoos made popular in the early days of commercial tattooing) - is no longer relevant in most shops. Every single tattoo in my shop is customized in some way. New styles of tattoos are coming and going at lightening speeds. Having a background in all kinds of art mediums helps you adapt and figure out how to create these new demanding styles. If you find it "too much trouble" or "don't have the time" to keep up your art education this isn't the career for you.
  2. You must love tattoos yourself. Seems rather silly too, doesn't it? But once again, I have seen a few of these so called tattoo artists who are just trying to make a quick buck in our world without even liking the medium enough to get a tattoo on themselves! Who the hell wants to get a tattoo from an individual who has no ink on themselves? I know I wouldn't. The old saying "Never trust a skinny chef" seems to fit here. Smacks of self righteousness -  I would never hire a shop assistant without tattoos let alone a tattoo artist!
    Drawing on a sleeve by Russell Fortier at Lucky 7 Tahoe
  3. Find a shop and artist who you admire - and get some ink done in that shop. I don't even like having a cup of coffee with a person I haven't spent at least a few minutes with let alone offer an apprenticeship to! Time and again we have youngsters walk in unannounced and ask if we would give them an apprenticeship. WHAT!?! Why will we spend years of our lives teaching you a craft and skill you will have forever and I don't even know your name!?! I can admire it taking some guts to "cold call" anyone for anything - but seriously, did you think this through at all before coming into my shop on a Saturday, looking washed out from last nights party AND with 3 of your friends tagging along behind you?!? NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.
  4.  Be prepared to work for free. YES - really. Most traditional shops are going to have you performing as a glorified custodian. Remember those is school? Well you will be the one now cleaning bathrooms, scrubbing bodily fluids from surfaces and doing everything the tattoo artist does not want to do. And the worst part? You better act like you LOVE to do these jobs. That you live to come in and clean a torn apart shop that was busy from the holiday weekend and is totaled worse than a car wreck.
  5. Russell Fortier hard at work at Lucky 7 Tahoe
  6. Think you might be able to get around all this hard work by attending a "tattoo school"? Think again...NO ONE who has any amount of respect for the tattoo industry will hire you just because you spent 2 weeks and thousands of dollars of your parents hard earned money at a so called "tattooest school". Better to offer that money to a shop you would like to learn at rather than throwing it away at these schools. You cannot learn ANY hands on trade in two weeks! All you will feel is ripped off and unprepared to all the challenges a real artist faces day to day with real clients.

Russell Fortier tattoo station at Lucky 7 Tattoo & Piercing
North Lake Tahoe, Ca.


Now by no means is this a complete list - but it is a solid jumping off point to really self examine if a career in tattooing is for you. After watching many apprentices start out strong and end in a fizzle -  I can safely say a list like this would have served them well. Avoiding the mistake of wasting months and even years in training for a job they never were cut out for to begin with.

I freely welcome any comments or additions you may have. Questions are always welcome too. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Lucky 7 Tattoo Tuesday T Shirt Contest!

Wanna Win a Lucky 7 T shirt boys and girls?! 
Chris Sergi holding on to
your future wardrobe items.

OF COURSE YOU DO! So here is the story....

Kathleen managed to wrinkle 6 new Lucky 7 logo gear in her last travels abroad to aid elephants.  Being the classy joint we are - can't sell these wrinkled gems - so we are giving them away to our friends of Lucky 7.

 OKAY - here is the fun part!

Answer the following Lucky 7 trivia questions
(all you need is 4 correct to be in the drawing. Your name shall be entered into the "bucket-o- winners"! You can also earn more entries by sharing the contest post on your own social media pages! Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest, Twitter, whatever site you like. 

Time to "cut and paste" the following questions (with your answers) to the following address: 

Just type "Contest" in your entry email subject line - .

OKIE DOKIE - HERE WE GO (pssst...all answers can be found online).
Russell of Lucky 7 Tahoe circa 2012

  1.  What year did Lucky 7 open its doors? 
  2. Name the only 2 national holidays Lucky 7 closes its doors for each year?
  3. What is Russell's last name?
  4. Name Kathleen favorite animal?
  5. The last 4 digits of Lucky 7 phone number spells.....?
  6. Where was Russell born and raised?
  7. In what year did Kathleen begin her career as a body piercer

      Kathleen has been married 5 times - 3 of her marriages were to tattoo artists. Give the first name of each?

This contest ends on Friday, October 28th at 8 pm. So get to work on winning with your mad knowledge of Lucky 7 Tattoo & Piercing!!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

"Below the Belt" - A Genital Piercing Mishap to Brighten Your Day!

After 20 years as a body piercer, you can well imagine I have several  accounts of piercings gone wrong or not as hoped due to very eccentric customers. Just for the shear fun of it - as well as to make you feel better about your job choice - I have chosen this tale to share. The client featured in this blog entry I encountered working in Sacramento during the 1990's:
Mid 1990's logo and ad
I used for my piercing business

Midweek- easy going afternoon. Tattooers are busy. Sounds of the old wood staircase leading from the sidewalk to front door of the shop making loud groans. From the volume of creaking I surmise a large sized customer is making their way inside. Heavy oak door swings open to reveal a middle aged black woman dressed in a purple pants suit. She had the appearance of a gospel singer - not our typical tattoo shop customer. Automatically my face assembles my toothy, professional piercer smile. As I start to form a verbal greeting in my throat, the woman yells:

"You all pierce Pussy's in here?"

Taken a bit back by the question, and quite honestly, WHO  is asking the question - I proceed to stumble out a meek "Yes Ma'am."

"Well then, Lets get about doin it!  - my new customer somewhat shouts to the empty lobby. 

Gathering my composure I manage to go through all the necessary paperwork, decision making - like her chosen location of piercing (clitoral hood), which jewelry is appropriate (captive bead ring), etc. Paperwork completed, her questions answered - we step back behind the velvet curtain to carry out her body modification wishes.

Client disrobes from the waist down, then makes her way onto the massage table. At my request, she pushes her knees apart. I sit down on my stool , positioning my supply tray at this "business end of the table" - then I gingerly begin prepping her skin for action.

Completing all the preliminary cleaning and marking I next apply the clamp. As my client registers this bit of pinching discomfort her breathing becomes deeper - like she is bearing down the give birth. I try my very best to utter some soothing words with simple direction to keep up normal breaths. I pick up the lubricated needle from my tray. Making sure to hold it at just the right angle. I apply just enough pressure to begin the entrance hole.....................

"HOLY SHIT- GOD ALL MIGHTY!!!!" the lady screams.........

Thrusting her midsection off the table, the woman grabs her ankles - letting out a shrill shriek - then the worst happens:
Early 1990's business card of mine.


her powerful knees come crashing together with lightning speed - directly striking each side of my head - my ears, bearing the brunt of her uncontrolled reaction - ring loudly as my eardrums explode with a crackling boom!

 Stars explode before my dazed eyes. All air in my lungs suddenly blasts forth from my mouth- cannot   catch   my   breath!   My field of vision narrows to a vertical slit. For a hurried moment I worry I may topple from where I precariously sit. Finally the customers knees slowly  begin to move back outward again....freeing me from her clutches.....

"Ain't Cha Done Yet ?!? - the clients hollers out to me from where she still lies. Panting for breath - the stars dissipate from my eyes. My ears still ringing from the knee blows to the head. As I regain my composure I realize the piercing needle is incredibly still where I left it! I had managed to push 3/4's of the way through the planned route before being clobbered... 

"Mam - Please allow me one moment to continue..- comes meekly from my mouth. Slipping on a fresh set of latex gloves I gather my senses - say a spell/prayer to properly carry on and finish this gig....

Leaning back on my low rolling stool as much as I dare - I apply  firm pressure to my needle and tools... end of the needle exits....her knees lean in toward me....*feeling scarred I might get wacked again - I raise my elbows into the area bewtwwn her thighs to protect my head*.....reaching for the jewelry.....quickly following the needle with the bead ring........all I hear from the other end of the table is heavy breathing....I close the ring in record time: ZOOM goes my rolling chair across the studio, away from the danger zone! WHEW..........My autopilot finished the bits and pieces of the transaction.

She ignored the entire event. Said not a word- as if nothing out of the sort took place. So strange! No apology or tip. Just gathered the care product, instructions - paid her bill then off she went.......

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Higher Education in the Tattoo Consumer - You Smart Cookies!

M.C Escher Piece By Russell Fortier at
+Lucky 7 Tattoo and Piercing 
Each and every budding tattoo collector deserves a hardy pat on the back - with a positive and boisterous coach nudging your shoulder, shouting in your ear "WAY TO GO KIDDO! 

For a number of years, the tattoo industry, as a whole,  has not been willing or able to keep up with our moral duty as "experts" to provide the proper information and education for new tattoo consumers. On occasion, the piss poor attitude of many shops and tattooers themselves has been at fault. Simply put - if you are "too cool" or "too busy" to bother with a potential customers inquiries - then you need to take an
etiquette course!

Sadly for newer converts to the wonderful world of tattooing - information has been gathered from television shows (bad and good), friends with tattoos, the online "second hand information highway", etc...Not very effective as a whole.

Yet with these challenges in educating themselves - clients are becoming much smarter when making choices for themselves! Consumers of tattooing are coming into their own - making better decisions in who, what, where and why.  This slow moving change is arriving. Not a moment too soon either.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

"I Smell a Rat!" - 7 Lies Unethical Tattooers & Scratchers Will Tell

Way back in 1992, I officially started my career as a shop girl & body piercer in Reno, Nevada and Sacramento, California. This type of assistant position was a very new idea for the tattoo industry. Before this time, most shops were set up with the tattooers lumped together in a bull pen, behind a low partition - dealing with customers coming in while tattooing at the same time. Fast forward to the 1990's - tattooing becoming more popular. Biker Bob had to move over for the new breed of tattooer artist we have today.  

With the new generation of younger, more gifted artists - who set up nicer shops -came the need for help with their business. Rather than trying to do everything they hired "shop girls" / helpers to speak to customers, sterilize equipment and clean the space. The very first shop girls were usually the wives or girlfriends of the tattooers themselves. In my case I fell into the job for a different reason. I was already a good customer who knew her way around their shops, and I had learned how to pierce.

Fast forward to 2013. Throughout the decades I have worked with gifted artists and ass@#$%*. Men who I admired, with others who over estimated their talents & abilities. Some have lived exciting lives, telling others of their adventures and encounters.  Some just tell stories of their faked "greatness." My goal right now is to see through the tall tails of their so called white lies: