Missy/Ink Magazine: A Celebration of Modern Women

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If you’re new to the neo pin-up and vintage scenes, you’ll notice something that was not part of the original looks the first time they came around—tattoos. Much more culturally acceptable today, tattoos for women and pin-up seem to go hand in hand. It is part of the culture of individuality and support I admire in pin-up, and because of the personal nature of tattoos, I love that no two women will look exactly the same; even if they are wearing identical outfits.

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But can I be really honest about something? I’ve been wanting to do this article for a while now, and in researching this subject more, I’ve noticed an odd pattern in modern tattoo magazines: though they feature beautiful women displaying awesome tattoo work, they are mostly geared to men.

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You can imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this little gem at my local Chapters. Missy/Ink Magazine is a quarterly Canadian tattoo magazine written for women by women. Not only does it feature awesome photos of women celebrating their individuality and incredible tattoos, but includes articles and subjects like you’d find in Elle or Cosmopolitan: dealing with motherhood and prejudices regarding tattoos; tips on taking your look from daytime to evening; even the top five sexy foods that really are aphrodisiacs! I also find it fun to see many of the dresses and outfits that either my friends or I have adorn the pages in glorious Technicolor. Just brings it all home, you know? 😉

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In their own words, here is the mission statement for Missy/Ink Magazine from the publishing team’s website:

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“In a world where women are told what’s hot and what’s not, Missy/Ink hopes to show the beauty in all women. We are dedicated to representing all shapes and sizes of women and encourage positive body image. Missy/Ink is committed to the highest quality imagery as well as rich and well thought-out editorial content that women can relate to. Missy/Ink is more than just a magazine, it’s a lifestyle.”

Sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it? No wonder I was so drawn to this magazine in the first place.

I’ve seriously considered getting a tattoo off and on, but have decided not to at this time because of my commitment to donating blood and the One Match program. (Even if you are healthy, Canadian Blood Services will not let you donate blood for six months after you’ve gotten a tattoo, or had ear or body piercing done.) And as much as I like neo pin-up, I prefer having virgin skin. That’s just my personal preference. Heck, I don’t even have my EARS pierced. But that’s just me. 🙂 Guess I’ll have to stick with temporary tattoos in the meantime.

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I’m sure you probably know this, but as with any kind of procedure, please do your research and think carefully before you go under the needle. Be sure that the person is a reputable artist, and that they run a sterile, safe operation. And remember, unlike your Facebook status, tattoos are PERMANENT. Yes, a good artist can rework a tattoo you don’t want any more into something awesome, but removing it entirely will require laser surgery. Tattoo removal procedures are much better than they were 20-30 years ago, but they are not perfect, and can take several treatments to remove everything. These works of art should be chosen with great care and thought; not plastered on in the middle of a drunken spree ala The Hangover.

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Missy/Ink Magazine is available at Chapters/Indigo stores and other small retailers across Canada. You can also purchase the magazines online in digital format. For more information, please visit their website directly at www.missyink.com.

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Always with love,

Liz

The Canuck Pin-up

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Pin-up My Life: Aprons by emilyrose

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Well, the wonderful seasons of Easter and Passover are upon us once again. If your family is anything like mine, there’s a giant roasted something being served somewhere. But how do you keep your outfit clean and still look pin-up perfect while stuffing the backside of a bird, preparing a roasted lamb, or putting together all manner of vegetables and desserts? Simple. Aprons by emilyrose!

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Based out of Winnipeg, MB, Aprons by emilyrose is the brainchild of Emily Schimnowski. Literally, these things are works of art in themselves. Whether you want something vintage like what your mother or grandmother used to wear, or a modern apron that looks like a Sailor Moon costume, you can find something to suit every cook and style from this independent artist.

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I got mine as a present from my mother last Christmas. My sister and her were shopping at the big Butterdome Christmas craft show in Edmonton, and stumbled upon Emily’s booth. As hilarious as it sounds, both of them immediately looked at each other and said that I would love these. Funny when people know you that well, isn’t it? 😉

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Anyway, as you can see, the attention to detail is amazing. The apron is made of good, sturdy cotton, and it even has its own mini-crinoline along the edge of the skirt! Sometimes I almost don’t want to wear it because I don’t want to get it dirty, but I admit that it is the perfect complement to some of my vintage ensembles. Plus, my guests always seem to get a kick out of it when I wear it while serving.

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Aprons by emilyrose are available through her Etsy website, or at her booths in various shows. For more information about where Emily will be next, and to see other examples of her work, please visit her website at byemilyrose.etsy.com, or check out her Facebook page under Aprons by emilyrose.

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Happy holidays everyone!

Always with love,

Liz

The Canuck Pin-up

Pin-up in the Real World: The “After” Shot

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Ever notice how many of the models in pin-up drawings seem to be in the most awkward positions? Like their skirts have gotten caught on something, and they look like they are going to fall over? Somehow, they still look so glamorous doing it. But what do you think would happen if the shot in the drawing continued?

I found out all too clearly what that “After” shot may have looked like this past fall. I was feeling particularly awesome that day; from my head to my four-inch “Barbie” heels. I called them that because with the right red nail polish, they made your feet look like that of everyone’s favorite Teenage Model circa 1959. Anyway, like most pin-up drawings, I was doing something simple; getting out of a parked van. No danger there, right?

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Of course, I was trying to get out of the van as lady-like as possible. And I’m naturally stubborn and independent; I didn’t want to ask for my friend’s help. I mean, c’mon. I should be able to get out of a parked vehicle by myself, right? Stepping down, I thought I had my footing… and then I felt it. That horrible feeling anyone who has ever fallen in high heels has felt. The “buckle”. Immediately my ankle wobbled beneath me, and up came the rushing cement.

Twisting as I descended, the right side of my right knee slammed and skidded a bit onto the surface. Fortunately, for me, my friend was a gentleman and had been coming around the vehicle to help me out when I fell; something I found out later. At first I didn’t know if I could stand, because it felt like something had shifted in my knee and that my tibia was not going to be underneath me if I tried. Similar feelings had happened before over the years, but not from blunt trauma like that. Trying to salvage some sense of dignity, I managed to get myself to a standing position. My leg seemed to be in order; just stiff and sore. Assuring my concerned friend that I was okay and just needed some rest, we parted company and I headed into the house.

I honestly did think I was okay, but as the evening progressed, I noticed I couldn’t bend my leg properly. It felt like bones were “grinding” inside, and my range of motion had diminished. That’s when I knew something was wrong. I told my gallant husband what happened when he called on his break from work, and he immediately got permission to leave so he could take me to the hospital. Four to five hours later, I was lying in the back of our car pinned in the most awkward position, with a new “accessory” to take home with us. Tack onto that sitting with an ice pack against my knee in an uncomfortable emergency room chair for two hours before; sitting in a wheelchair that did not have proper footrests and having to hold my leg up on my own power for a couple more hours; and gritting through the most painful x-rays I had ever experienced. Yeah—I was one unhappy camper. At least I didn’t have to pay for it out-of-pocket right then. Go Canada. 😉

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They weren’t sure exactly what was wrong, so I had to go see my family doctor. I couldn’t get in to see him for a week. And because they didn’t know what was wrong, I was told that I had to walk on crutches. But those crutches weren’t the nasty “accessory” I was talking about. No… they had strapped me into a long, ugly, chaffing splint that went from my ankle to the top of my thigh. Taking super-strong painkillers and the rest of the week off to rest, the simplest tasks became intense struggles. Even sleeping became a chore, because I couldn’t risk taking the splint off at night and hurting myself worse if I turned funny unconsciously.

Fortunately for me, the doctor said I didn’t need to walk with the crutches anymore if I didn’t feel I needed them. Turns out I had a 2nd degree sprain of my MCL—a recoverable injury, and one I didn’t need surgery for, thank God. At first, I was like, “Great. I’m like a football player. I’ve injured something ending in a ‘CL’”. 🙂 But this was no laughing matter.

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I was told it would take 16 weeks for the main injury to heal, and even a year for me to feel fully normal again. At first, I couldn’t believe it. A year? Just for falling out of a van? Even those closest to me with medical experience thought that sounded ridiculous. But indeed, it would be about 2-4 months of restless nights, strong painkillers, awkward hobbling around the home and the office, and feelings of frustration and helplessness before I could switch to a less invasive brace. I would go to the Dr. and hope he would say I could begin the rehabilitation phase soon; at least I had some control over how fast and how well I recovered from there. But time after time, my hopes were dashed. For a while, it seemed like I would never get better. The device that was protecting me had also become my prison.

And then it happened. Thank God, the Dr. finally said I had passed the acute injury phase, and could begin physiotherapy. ‘At last!’ I thought. Now came another challenge—getting muscles and ligaments that hadn’t moved properly for four months to function again.

With my physiotherapist’s help and God’s grace, I no longer need any form of brace. And as good as it has been, it has been a painful process to rehabilitate my knee. But in a way, it’s been worth it. My physiotherapist has identified something that never was dealt with in my knees, and we’re working to make them even better than they were before the accident.

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Needless to say, it’s all still a work in progress. I am just beginning to get back out there and engage in some of my favorite activities, such as dancing and swimming. And just putting this article from thought to keyboard has been a surprisingly soothing part of the healing process. And on the bright side, I’ve even begun taking Kung Fu lessons (under my physiotherapist’s supervision of course), with the hopes of strengthening my balance, co-ordination, and many other things.

Will I stop wearing high heels or living pin-up? Absolutely not. But I must say that this whole ordeal has taught me some valuable lessons about myself, and made me appreciate my health in a way I think I took for granted before. Even just being able to stand like I am in the photo below is a gift considering where I came from six months ago. It just goes to show you that sometimes you don’t know what you really have until you lose it. And hey! The next time you take a look at one of Elvgren’s “falling femme fatales”, be grateful that you’re not facing the rude awakening that poor girl’s about to get! 😉

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Always with love,

Liz

The Canuck Pin-up

*Photo notes – Photographer: Katie Pahara Photography; Make-up: Katt Panic Makeup Artistry; Dress: Hell Bunny.