Saturday, July 14, 2018

First Tries at Making Tarot Boxes

When you've run out of decks to trim, and you've spiffed up a few naked edges with gold and silver Sharpies, then what? What will be your next tarot craft?
Well, the trimmed decks are now rattling around in their original tuck boxes like marbles in a shoebox. And what about that box with the ripped flaps? And...

Here's the video I used. It`s over an hour long, quite chatty but thorough. 

Here are my first three attempts. You'll see that my learning curve is running backwards as I go. 

Box #1 for the Dark Grimoire
Its tuckbox is perfectly healthy, but I had papers that went so well with the deck!
Cardboard used: book board, several mm. thick
Papers: outside - handmade from mulberries; inside - Japanese
Mistakes: you can see the little slivers of plum paper covering bare cardboard in the inside corners of the last picture. Not too bad for a first attempt.
Time to make: many hours plus glue-drying time

Box #2 for the Cat's Eye Tarot
Tuckbox flaps tearing off, and trimmed cards are now too small for the box.
Cardboard: an empty cornflakes box (this is pretty flimsy, don't recommend it, but it was SO easy to cut compared to the heavier book board which needs a heavy-duty X-acto-type knife).
Papers: outside - from the scrapbooking section of Michael's (a craft supply store chain); inside lid - plain old computer-weight red paper left over from some Christmas project.
Mistakes: more than for the first box. Mismeasured for the lid and had to make another one. See last picture, where the first lid fits like a kid wearing his dad's shoes. I was out of cat's paw paper so the second lid is striped, which luckily I prefer anyway! And I have a spare paw print lid for...?
Time to make: many more hours plus drying time.

Box #3 for the Tarot Nova
The original adorable very solid tuckbox for this one showed its face only AFTER I'd started on its replacement. It's a tricksy little deck.
Cardboard: a Walker's Oatcakes box, slightly sturdier than the cornflakes one
Paper: outside - photocopied the deck backs side by side for most of it. (DO NOT DO THIS! The ink rubs off when the paper gets damp from the glue. And then you have to cut out teeny-tiny matching bits from leftover paper, to glue over the whitey bits where the colour rubbed off.) Lid top - photocopy of tuckbox. Inside - sturdy nubby yellow from Michael's. 
Mistakes: see above
Time to make: a ridiculous amount plus drying time

In neighbourhood news ~ 

I finally have this in my backyard!

💚 💛 💚 💛 💜 💚 💛 💚 💛 💜 💚 💛 💚 💛 💜

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Summer Planning with the Impressionist Tarot

Here's the card I chose from the Impressionist Tarot to represent the kind of summer I'd like to have. The idyllic Nine of Cups: waterside, al fresco dining, placid afternoons, boats, cottages. Ah, life is good!

Inspiration for this image came from two Claude Monet paintings: The Luncheon, 1873, and 
The Basin at Argenteuil, 1874.

All the paintings for this deck were drawn by Arturo Picca, inspired by various Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists. 
The other four cards were dealt randomly, with suggestions for:
My head (Air), my passionate energetic self (Fire), my heart (Water), and the work of my hands (Earth).

Here's how the whole spread looks...

Ideas for my mind (Air)
from the fiery Queen of Wands (the gung-ho hutzpah suit)
Inspired by an 1862 portrait entitled Lola de Valence by Edouard Manet.
Lola was part of the Spanish dance troupe, Lola Melea, which came to Paris to perform.
Manet was captivated by her fiery finesse.
I love her skirt; set up my sewing machine again?
Dress funkily! Don't be a chicken!
Read some historical novels set in Spain.
What's on a queen's menu when she dines al fresco?
Write down a list of tempting summery projects. Use a flamboyant ink in the pen.
Who do I know with a cottage or a boat? Can I invite myself? Maybe if I ask in a queenly fashion? 

Ideas for my passionate energetic self (Fire)
from the Nine of Pentacles (the "doing" suit)
Based on the painting Actress before the Mirror in her Dressing Room, by Edgar Degas 1879
She's getting ready for the stage. Stratford Festival! Book tickets online! Email that cheap B&B!
(Now that I think of it, Stratford sits on the Avon River. It has swans.
I bet they're just around the corner in my 9 of Cups!)
I love ballet. Go to see one! Google possibilities now! (Swan Lake?)
She seems to be putting the finishing touches on her performance ensemble. What unfinished projects that fired me up in the past can be revisited? I bet there's a dress or wall hanging in there,
just waiting to see the light of day!
Tai Chi! It's outdoors, it's sort of a dance! Wanna try it?

Ideas for my heart (Water)
from Death, Major XIII
Inspired by Vincent van Gogh's 1890 Wheatfield with Crows
The dreaded Death card, for my heart. Hmm.
Well, I LOVE crows, so they're not scary.
They're leaving - something, somewhere. Here's what I get from this Death card, for my ideal summer:
Acknowledge the lovely lakeside memories of past summers and fly onward.
Crows are carrion-eaters; they clean up dead messes. Good reminder to sweep up my emotional debris.
The summers of memory are behind me and cannot be recaptured BUT... I have new summer memories to make, and time's flying by. So get going! Follow those clever crows!

     Ideas to occupy my hands (Earth)
from the Two of Pentacles (the "doing" suit)
Based on Dancers Practicing at the Barre, 1877, by Edgar Degas
A match! Earthy tips from Pents, the Earth suit.
They're at a barre. I could go to a bar too. Meet friends there.
Go dancing. That one's already started; I began line dancing class last week. Maybe suggest a drink at a patio bar after class?
That sewing machine I talked about in the first card? Make one of these floaty-skirted dresses.
Talk to a neighbour over the fence.

This is a sumptuous art gallery of a deck; 78 framed prints. Have a look at the card backs... 

In neighbourhood news

I arrived home on Sunday night to find a manhunt taking place on my block. Guess I can cross that particular thrill off my bucket list.


Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Six Fairy Decks for Firefly Season

One of life's small pleasures - fireflies.
Watching and waiting in the warm of a dark yard, trying to predict where one may next appear. They don't seem a part of our matter-of-fact busy world. Too magical.
Last night I wondered if fireflies are really fairies? 

I asked each of the following 6 decks a question. You know how flighty and unpredictable the Fey can be; they each stayed around just long enough to give me one sentence!

Fairy decks:
1. Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz
2. Fairy Lights Tarot by Lucia Mattioli (review of this deck, trimmed, here)
3. Fairy Tarot by Antonio Lupatelli
4. The Fey Tarot by Mara Aghem & Riccardo Minetti
5. Tarot of the Sidhe by Emily Carding (post about trimming decks, including this one)
6. The Victorian Fairy Tarot by Gary Lippincott & Lunaea Weatherstone (review of this deck here)

1. Why do we no longer believe in them, especially here in North America?
Eight of Pentacles
You're all too busy building big important lives, accumulating things, climbing job ladders, messing about in the artificial online world. 

2. Are you sad that most of us can't see you as many did in days gone by?
Four of Swords
Not sad, exactly, but we hope this is only a resting phase and you'll come back to us when your heads aren't so busy.

3. Are you watching the human world?
King of Leaves (Swords/Air)
I've got my eye on you, Earthlings!

4. Are you afraid of us?
King of Chalices
No, we're afraid for you.

5. What would you like us to know?
Maker Nine (Pentacles/Earth)
We're still here, all around you; all you have to do is look.

6. Can you help us with this mess we're in?
XVI The Burning Oak (The Tower)
Not directly, but we see that things are heating up on Earth in a terrible way, and we'll offer advice if you ask nicely.

The last words go to The Heart of Faerie Oracle by Brian & Wendy Froud

Just when are you humans going to get your act together?


Novels about/starring/mentioning fairies:
The Chronicles of Faerie by O.R. Melling
The Legend of Holly Claus by Brittney Ryan
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

In neighbourhood news ~ 

Happy Canada Day, Everyone!