24 December, 2013

A Year in the Rear View



Well 2013 sure has been an interesting year. It’s had its ups and downs but overall generally more ups than downs. I’ve learnt a lot, achieved a lot and changed a bit too. I’ve seen the world (well, parts of it anyway), got lots more tattoos, and rediscovered meaning in the things that I do and the way that I feel about myself.

The blog has seen some changes, there were new features and sponsors as well as a little bit of a quiet period while I found my mojo. The direction of the blog has certainly changed this year. I ended last year wanting to make this blog a total success story, but in the process I had forgotten what ‘success’ actually meant to me. I was chasing someone else’s dream. My trip to the US helped to put everything in perspective for me and I’m sure long term followers of this blog noticed the change. I good one I hope. It certainly feels that way to me.

While I wasn’t blogging as often, I tried to give you a regular insight into my daily life via outfit photos and candid snaps on Instagram. I was grateful for some amazing opportunities in both my work and personal life, including the opportunity to travel. I visited the USA, Fiji and the Whitsundays in the first 4 weeks of the year! I got out of my comfort zone and for the first time in my life as a real model for real clothing brands on a real website. I took stock of everything I had achieved in the first half of the year as I approached by 25th birthday.

I became very self-aware and very conscious of what I was contributing to the world and what I was potentially taking away. I visited Sydney for the first time and had an absolute ball! I announced I’d be heading back to the USA again next year and I scored an interview with one of my most favourite pin up models of all time – Dayna Delux!

2013 was such an incredible year that I’m so excited for 2014! I can’t wait to go back to the States, I’ve got my fingers crossed that work sends me somewhere new and exciting and I’ve got grand plans for some goals in my personal life including becoming debt-free, having a place of my own and travelling some more! I can’t wait to celebrate Christmas and the New Year and spend some quality time with family and friends. I absolutely LOVE this time of year!

But most of all, I am so grateful for having a wonderful place to share my ups and downs, my crisis of confidence, my achievements, my style finds, my random ramblings, my life. I am thankful for every single one of you that reads this blog, likes the Facebook page, follows me on Instagram and always have such kind words for me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support and encouragement this year. I know it sounds a bit like a tacky awards show acceptance speech but really truly, I couldn't do this without you and I wouldn’t want to. You guys totally make this place what it is.

I also want to say a HUGE thank you to my wonderful blog sponsors for your belief in me – particularly Stars & Swallows who have been this blog’s biggest supporters this year, despite having a rapidly growing business of their own to look after and more recently, a growing family to keep them busy.

What a year of adventures for all of us! Was 2013 naughty or nice to you?
 

Merry Christmas!

17 December, 2013

Interview with Dayna Delux

Those of you who’ve been interested in pin up for some time may be familiar with Dayna Deluxe however those of you who’ve only recently discovered their pin up passion may not, although you’ve probably seen her images without realising it. Dayna is one of my all-time favourite pin ups, she’s a classic natural beauty with a gorgeous smile, striking eyes and a bone structure to die for, not to mention her body! Throughout her pin up career she’s always managed to maintain an air of class and dignity that I feel has been starting to slide with some of the more modern pin ups. She is incredibly inspiring and has been through a lot in her life and her strength only makes me love and respect her even more.
 
Photo by Varga
So as a Christmas gift to both myself and you, my readers, I recently contacted Dayna requesting an interview and because she is such a lovely person, she agreed! I hope you enjoy learning a little more about Dayna as much as I did, not to mention the eye candy included with this post! A qualified makeup artist who spent time working for NARS, Dayna Deluxe is an internationally renowned pin up model who has appeared in calendars, countless pieces of photographic art, on bottles of Muscat by Sort This Out Cellars and even released her own fragrance.
 
 

Born in Dallas, Dayna grew up working in clothing stores before becoming a bartender and moving to California in 2004. She met her husband Alex and moved to Vegas where they were married in 2007 and later had two sons, Brixton born in 2009 and Gunnar born in 2011. Since becoming a mother, Dayna has continued to model on a more part time basis while she cares for her family and also recently battled cancer. I recently spoke with her about how her modelling career began, how starting a family has changed her and how cancer has impacted her life.

Sheri Bomb: You started modelling young, at about 12 years of age – how did this come about?
Dayna Deluxe: It started with my mom putting me in pageants. From there I worked with a modelling/acting coach and after a few years I was teaching modelling (posing, runway, mannequin) to her other students. I did a tonne of mall fashion shows, judged pageants and a few commercials. By the end of high school I was honestly fed up with people telling me I was too short to model or my hair was too brown or my eyes weren't big enough etc plus several tragedies in my life, I just gave up on the dream.

SB: So what got you back into modelling a little later in life?
DD: A makeup artist friend used me as a model for his portfolio and the photographer shooting his work, Danni from Catfight studios, liked me and asked me to come back and shoot again. I shot with her several times. We posted the photos on social media and I started getting inquiries from other photographers that wanted to shoot with me. I was having fun and shooting with everyone and before I knew it I had fans, was traveling to Cali for shoots, and getting paid. It all happened very fast.
 
Photo by Andy Hartmark Photography
SB: Your first magazine cover was for Barracuda in 2006 – how many covers have you had since?
DD: That's a good question... I think 12.

SB: Has becoming a mother changed you?
DD: YES! Life has meaning and focus now.

SB: How do you feel about your modelling now? Does being a mother affect what jobs you take on?
DD: I love my career and nothing has really changed with being a mom. I choose to not model much now because my kids come first and I'm still out of shape. I think most of my shoots are classy and I'm not ashamed of anything. I don't think my kids will ever be ashamed of me either. 
 
SB: How does Alex feel about your modelling?
DD: I don't think he cares one way or another. If I wanted to step back into that world, he would support me and if I choose to stay out he supports that too.

SB: You released own fragrance – when did this happen and how did this come about?
DD: Well it was their perfume line and she simply asked me if they could do a fragrance for me. I didn't really have anything to do with it other than sending them an image and telling them what I'd like it to smell like. She did a great job!

SB: You recently battled thyroid cancer – when were you diagnosed?
DD: I was diagnosed two years ago with thyroid cancer.

SB: How was a diagnosis reached? What were the symptoms/signs?
DD: About a year before, I noticed a tiny lump in my neck. At the time I was recently pregnant with my Gunnar, my second son, and didn't put much thought into the tiny mass. The next year I was feeling around on my neck to check lymph nodes because I was sick and found what used to be that tiny mass was now a good sized lump. I made an appointment at the head nose throat doctor immediately. This happened to be one month after my dad was diagnosed with cancer. There were no real symptoms and my thyroid was operating at normal levels. The doctor said nodules on the thyroid were normal, especially in women, but gave me a biopsy to be safe. A week later, my test results came back suspicious for cancer. My surgeon thought it best to remove the thyroid just in case. A week after the surgery my husband and I were sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for the pathology results. The doctor walked in and said, "it's a good thing we took it out...it was full of cancer."  Wow.

SB: How did it affect your life at time?
DD: It was very confusing. Knowing my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and mine was already removed really put things into perspective I think. Maybe if my dad's cancer never existed I would have been way more devastated, but knowing my dad had a very long, painful road ahead of him and all I had was a surgery forced me to see how lucky I was and to keep positive. I was very scared though and overwhelmed.

SB: What was your treatment like?
DD: My doctor had been working with this type of cancer for a while and with his research, decided not to give me radiation!! Almost all patients receive radiation after a thryroidectomy. I knew I would have to go through it and worried about who would watch my kids and what was going to happen to me. I prayed and prayed for a miracle to not have to go through it. So when he told me I wouldn't have to have the treatment, he was saving it in case the cancer came back, I broke down crying and relieved! All I have to do is take a pill every day, have blood tests every month, and a cancer scan every 6 months. So far, two years and cancer free.
 
Photo by RK Studio
SB: That’s fantastic! How has beating cancer changed your life now?
DD: It has made me more aware. I've become very OCD about checking my body, my kid’s bodies and my husband’s body and they all get annoyed. Haha It’s so important to catch things early and have regular check-ups. I try to live a healthier life especially knowing "those things" can happen to me!

SB: You are a strong woman, have you always been this way? Where does this strength come from?
DD: Yes I think I've always been this way and seem to be getting stronger as the years progress. That which does not kill me, makes me stronger. Life is full of things that nearly kill us, in some way or another.

SB: How do you feel about plastic surgery?
DD: I don't have a problem with it. It's not my body and if someone needs it to feel better, then do it. I'm sure I have a face lift in my future ; )

SB: You are an inspiration for a lot of women, what do you hope they take away from being inspired by you?
DD: Hopefully strength in who they are. Short, big, skinny, tall, black, Asian, bald or hairy. You can be awesome just the way you are and without acting like an idiot or emulating other people that have little self-respect or class.  I'm just a mom, wife and friend that models. I'm no different or better than anyone else.

SB: You’ve just moved to Texas, what’s next for Dayna Delux?
DD: Who knows!! That's the fun part...full of possibilities.
 
Photo by Shannon Brooke Imagery
A big thank you to Dayna for taking the time to answer my questions so open and honestly.

Now just try and tell me you don’t love her as much as I do!

10 December, 2013

Tattoo Tuesday: All Filler No Killer

Ok well that title is a straight up lie because all this filler IS killer! I mean, look at it! But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. My left sleeve is finally finished! I've been collecting bits and pieces on it from a few different artists this year and after my last tattoo from Mark, the shrunken head, all the big spaces were filled and all I really needed was some filler to finish it off. Unlike my right sleeve by Mimsy, this sleeve is more traditional and less 'themed' so I didn't want the filler to be too thick or busy. I wanted to keep with the traditional style and I wanted my arm to look finished without losing all the other great pieces I have on it. The remaining areas were mostly small with just one slightly larger area that would need something slightly bigger, and I had just the thing in mind!
 
The TCB symbol as long been misappropriated with many taking it to mean Tattoos, Cars, Bikes and some other less PG adaptations but its origin actually comes from The King, Elvis Presley! Standing for Taking Care of Business, this is what he called his backing band and later had the letters created into an emblem with lightning bolts that he had made into custom belt buckles and jewellery including his famous ring and necklace. This little old school jammer filled the space nicely and all that was left was the fill. I went and saw my apprentice friend Drea at Tattooed Warrior Tattoo Studio at Moorooka and thought I'd give her a go. With some sketchy details on what I had in mind, she came up with the most perfect design and fill and I am SO happy with the result! Behold, the finished product!
 
My original idea was to fill with the old school stars and dots but Drea had the brilliant idea of incorporating some of these awesome 50s style starburst which I LOVE and kinda remind me of Vegas. They're the perfect way to break up the stars and dots while adding some colour to the fill as well. They fit the spaces perfectly and suit the style of the rest of the pieces on my arm and, well...they just freakin rock! I'm really happy with how this arm has come out and I now think that it looks old school cool and finished without being overcrowded. I'm so happy to finally have this sleeve finished as well because now I not only have two sleeves (yay!) but the spaces and 'unfinished' look that had been bugging me for ages is now gone! Woo hoo!
 
What do you think? Is this fill perfect or what? Or am I just biased? Maybe.

03 December, 2013

We're Not Gonna Take It

Sunday just gone we headed into the city early to join one of many protest rallies being held throughout the state of Queensland and other major Australian cities to voice our concerns over the newly introduced VLAD legislation or the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Bill. The pdf I have just linked to is the official legislation of the Queensland government. I know 17 pages is a lot to read through but these new laws which Premier Campbell Newman has introduced are an atrocious violation of civil liberties and are very scary in their broad definitions. It's an issue that has the potential to negatively affect a lot of people and it is well worth becoming aware of the effects it could have on you.
 
This controversial legislation was introduced with little to no public consultation, because the majority of the public strongly disagree with it. Under the guise of targeting 'criminal bikie gangs' and the 'war on drugs', these laws are in no way specific to these sections of society and have been intentionally worded to incorporate almost all members of society and the potential for them to be used against all of us is downright frightening. Marketed as necessary legislation, the political spin fails to recognise that the laws are in no way limited to these alleged criminal elements.
 
Aside from drawing unnecessary and discriminatory attention to a broad selection of members of the community including recreational motorbike riders and enthusiasts, tattoo shop owners and tattooed members of society, the new laws impose heavy mandatory sentences on any individuals deemed to be 'vicious lawless associates'. Regardless of the offence, individuals deemed to be 'vicious lawless associates' will receive an automatic mandatory sentence of 15 years in addition to the standard sentence (yes, even if the sentence would only be a fine or community service) or an additional 25 years if you are an office bearer (president, treasurer, etc) of an association.
 
 
While the government maintains that ordinary citizens will not be affect by this legislation, the proof remains that they already are. Protest organiser and President of Queensland's Liberal Democrats, Gabriel Buckley has reported that some recreational riders are being stopped up to three times on their way to work. Personally, I know of legitimate tattoo artists and shop owners who have built a reputation for excellent work and who have honed their craft for decades and who are now losing business, being harassed by police and are now required to submit their finger prints - none of whom are members of so called bikie gangs.

However I think the worst so far was the raid on the Vietnam Veterans Club House. What disrespect to men who put their lives on the line and served our country to guarantee our freedom. A freedom that is now under threat. If ever I've heard of a group of men who need to spend time with each other to heal and who can understand what each other has been through, it's these men. Sadly both the media and government choose to ignore the thousands of dollars raised each year by the charitable activities of motorcycle clubs. Speaking of which, all protest rally attendees were encouraged to bring toys to donate to the Smith Family for disadvantaged children on Christmas. Pretty tough crims, eh?
 
There are many details and complexities to this bill which is best explained by this article on Guest Lawyers, including examples of its practical applications and implications in wider society. If you read no other literature regarding these new laws, read this! It's scary stuff people! I don't normally post about politics here or anywhere else but this is really important to me and a lot of people I know and it should be important to you too!
 

The turnout on Sunday was fantastic and the sight of thousands of bikes streaming into the city was extremely impressive, not to mention the noise! But it's time we all made some noise about this new VLAD legislation and let these dodgy politicians know that we will not have our freedoms infringed upon. So if you see a petition sign it, a cause join it and get ready to raise your voice at the next rally on Australia Day. Before it's too late. Before you or someone you know and love is serving a mandatory 15 or 25 year prison sentence.