I have put a proper page up for my latest lenormand deck project – The Ink & Blood Lenormand. There you will find the rough drafts of the cards that are almost finished. They just need a little tweaking here and there, but for the most part they’re close to the final versions. More to come. 🙂
I have Isidore decks available again but only in a limited number. When this printing sells out I’m not sure when I’ll be able to order them again, but I’m working on that. You can grab an Isidore Tarot deck with full packaging here. For those who’d like just the deck you can pick that up here, there is also the option to add a book. These are available until I’ve sold out. And as mentioned in the previous post: These decks will come with my version of the Happy Squirrel card for tarot fans who collect decks with those. I’ve also listed them (at that link) for anyone who already has the deck and would like to add it to their deck. 🙂
So as I mentioned in my previous shoppe update there is an add-on card for The Isidore Tarot. I included it in the doll-size version of the deck (pictured here) and showed it off at my last convention and everyone loved it. I hadn’t included it originally because I didn’t have the space. I mentioned to a few people that I was planning to include it with the third edition of the deck that I would eventually publish. A few of my existing Isidore deck owners cried foul so I made a promise to make it available for anyone who’d like to add it to their deck.
So here it is! Since there are two editions of the deck I’ve made sure to order cards that have both card backs. These are being printed through the same printer whose cardstock and printing are pretty uniform. I’ve never had any decks that felt different than the others and the size is also uniform so this card should fit right into an existing deck. Below are options for each deck back. Select the one that matches your deck. Cards are a whooping $2 to cover the card, envelope, and stamps. Cards are printing and will be available to ship in two weeks. As for the card going into the deck, it will be available in every deck for the third edition and I will be including one in any second edition orders. Nab one by hitting that little more button.
This was a pleasant sight at the Steampunk Symposium! I wrote this article for Valentine’s Day about the couple who were my King and Queen of Hearts for the Motor City Steam Deck. Don lost his wife shortly after that convention but he keeps a memory of her on him in the card and I was just so choked up about that. 🙂
I have three deck projects going on right now and I have to decide which one I want to settle on. I’m working on one with a game publisher where I’m adding a minor arcana on an existing major arcana – I have a defined timeline with that. There’s wiggle room. Then I have a Lenormand and Oracle projects to do on my own time. My own time translates to what I do at the end of the night when I’m just doing stuff for me.
A few nights ago I had a conversation with Myke about creative output as an artist. For me, who has no defined income, I have to apply myself at all times to create new and make sales on the old. I have no regulated income. I take in as much as I put in and sometimes I feel like I spend all my time just putting in. Not even on one thing. I juggle because I have to. Sometimes that removes a little bit of my joy when creating something 2new that I’m into. I have long since accepted this as a part of being a working artist.
The Happy Squirrelthulhu card in my Isidore Tarot’s doll size deck went over very well at the convention. I had random cards laid out for people who wanted to buy the small cards for their hats (yes, that is a thing for convention costuming) and H.S. cards were snatched right up. He is such a wonderfully dapper and quirky chap. I have been asked about regular size cards and yes, I am doing those. I’m having them printed so anyone with the rounded edges style cards from the first and second editions of the regular Isidore deck can order one to include with their own if they’d like.
I met the good gent Robert Scott from Arcana Advising at the convention this weekend. Thanks to him I was introduced to a world of tarot magazines I didn’t even know existed! He was kind enough to give one of my Isidore Tarots a new home. He also posted a review of the deck to his youtube channel. Many thanks to him for that! My only disappointment was I wasn’t able to get away from the table long enough to get my own reading. Though I have to note he is probably the very first person who pronounced my last name properly on the first go. 😉
I absolutely adore bats. From the scrunchy only a mother could love faced ones to the adorable flying foxes, I’m a fan of the bat. Given my Tea Bats Lenormand cards I’m sure my bat appreciation is apparent. So today is all about the bat. We shall get this bat love day started with a look at one of our beloved tea bats. A few years back I made Tea Bat trading cards for an Orange Moon Tea Society event. First up my most beloved Baroness Von Spiffy Lux.
I received my Isidore Tarot doll size deck sample deck today. It’s wonderful!! It’s so tiny! We have a new section we’re adding to The Attic Shoppe that is devoted to the dolls we sell at shows and craft fairs. I’ve been stitching together a quirky little fortune teller doll who needed a a deck to keep with her. My printer just started offering mirco-sized decks so I shrunk the entire Isidore deck down (I even added a Happy Squirrel card, well… Happy Squirelthulhu, you’ll see soon) and now I have a deck that is about one inch by one and a half inch in size. More to come.
I just okayed the proof deck for The Black Ibis Tarot’s third edition. It looks lovely and a preview can be seen here. This means I’ll be selling the last of the second edition I have in stock and tucking it away. Monday, in honor of opening day when I’ll be downtown in Cincinnati staring and the Reds parade, we’ll have a sale going on in the Attic Shoppe. This will include a just the deck quick buy and two of the very original Black Ibis decks. The first edition didn’t have a minor arcana and the packaging was pretty simple. I offer them now more as a collectable. There were only fifty of those decks originally printed years back. Sale info will be at The Attic Shoppe tomorrow. 🙂
The Attic Shoppe added Sepia Stains tarot art to their print shoppe. So if you’d like to have any of my lovely (though a tad scary if you’ve read their back stories) ladies on your wall, now is the time to get them. Follow this link. 🙂
This is not a new deck in the making, but promotional cards for the upcoming convention I mentioned a few days ago. These are the final color versions of some of the black and white illustrations I posted earlier. I love this character! I made cards for her because I’m the tarot lady at conventions so it seemed fitting to advertise with her. If you happen to like her as I do, you can see a little more Bly artwork on my portfolio blog. If you happen to the attend the International Steampunk Symposium in Cinci the end of April, pop by my booth and grab a complimentary card! And say hi 🙂
Are you on Facebook? Are you following Attic Cartomancy there? If you’re not you might have missed this wonderful graphic my gent made for me that takes advantage of FB’s stop and start function for animated gifs. This post features the major arcana for the Isidore Tarot. Let the graphic roll and stop it to see your tarot card. 🙂
I’ve been systematically organizing my many external hard-drives and with that task stumbling upon past work. These were the first prototypes for the Black Ibis Tarot’s minor arcana. Specifically the King and Queen of Coins. I ended up nixing the idea because they looked very close to the Sepia Stain’s minor arcana, which wasn’t a bad thing. The Sepia and Ibis are companion decks from the same story so there are some similarities between them. I want the Black Ibis minor arcana to be more unique though, as well as more colorful. As a result my dark King and Queen went into the unused folder. One day I’ll make a bat-poop crazy deck that is made up of nothing but unused or left over art. 😉
I’ve been a part of the Michigan steampunk scene since around 2009. My first event was vending at the Steampunk Expo and there I met so many wonderful people who I’ve gotten to know over the years. There was one couple I first saw there and then at many events afterwards. Though I never knew them by name for a very long time, I always knew them. They were always dressed fabulously and always looked so happy. This couple I would learn was Don and Sue Watts.
I was asked to be a guest of honor at the first year of The Motor City Steam Con and as their guest artist I wanted to contribute something noteworthy to it. I’ve made a lot of decks, but never a simple deck of playing cards, so I suggested that. Sal, the event organizer (and great chick), and I worked out who in our Michigan steampunk community should be featured on the trump cards. Sal asked if I would put the Watts on the hearts suit. By this point Sue was very ill and we wanted to celebrate this wonderful couple and all they offered our community. So Don became my King of Hearts, Sue my Queen, and their son Kyle the Jack. (Kyle’s wife Jenny is also in the deck as the Jack of Diamonds.)
Sue has since passed. I never knew her very well, but I knew better the people around her and all of them have nothing but incredibly beautiful things to say about her. I’m very glad I was able to offer this small thing to the Michigan steampunk community, who have supported me through the years. This deck is no longer available for sale online, it’s a convention only type item. But I do have the whole deck to preview here. I wanted to highlight my hearts and the story behind them for this Valentine’s Day.
On a sentimental note: I came across my great, great grandmother Meike’s sentiment book. As best I can figure it’s well wishes to her on her wedding day. It’s written in Friesland Dutch so I can’t make out too much of what’s said. It’s a beautiful book, two pages which are under my heart cards. It’s from the turn of the 20th century so it’s pretty antique.
So a five card spread for your Lenormand deck is really good for beginners or as a quickie for pros. Shuffle your deck and then think upon what you want to ask it as you cut the deck. Draw your first card and set it down. Draw your next card and lay it to the right of the first. Do this till you have five cards. The center card will be your focus card.
To begin, read the cards around your focus card. Gradually all the cards will create a picture for you. So my spread presented here is not random. It being Valentine’s Day I decided to do the make my gent peer over his book as I read this out loud spread. Ha! Or the Ohmahgawd look at that spread on V-Day! spread. So my focus is the Ring. This is an engagement, a commitment. To the immediate right is the Man card that I will say represents my gent. To the immediate left is the Heart card. Next to that is the Woman card, which we’ll say represents me. On the opposite side is the Moon. I was just saying this the other day about the tarot, but I love the moon card. In the Lenormand it represents romance, desire, intimacy, and dreams. It’s a good card.
So if I were to look at this spread and paint a picture for myself I see me and my gent and we are very much in love. Not only that, as cliche as it sounds, he’s been my best friend for a very long time. I see a commitment, which we have. We’ve been engaged for most of our relationship, though a legal marriage has not been something we’re rushing towards. That’s my focus card and I ask myself what I feel about our commitment. I’m quite happy with it and the surrounding cards (especially the Moon) remind me why I’m happy. He’s my moon in all ways, but especially in dreaming.
With the five card spread you can also go a step further and read the first and fifth card together and then the second and fourth. This is called mirroring. For this spread it just further sums up what I wrote above. So there is a little bit about reading the Lenormand and how to compare cards to one another and a stab at Valentine’s Day all in one! <3
The Black Ibis third edition is all done and formatted. I have a sample copy being printed right now to see how it looks. I’m very happy with the new look. A sample companion book should be here soon as well. 🙂 Above are some samples of the deck.
With the new year comes shoppe inventory time and looking over my yearly sales. It kind of correlates with one of the first questions I was sent when I started this site. The question was what things prompted me to feel a need to make a new edition of a deck? This is a good question, because in the beginning I was not sure myself and wasn’t sure if making different editions would be a good thing. Turns out, for the right reasons, it’s quite invaluable to the life and longevity of a deck. I’m about to publish the third edition of the Black Ibis Tarot and I’m going to share why I’m doing a new edition to help answer that question.
I encourage feedback on my decks. I must confess though, it used to be hard for me to get feedback because I didn’t quite know how to take a thoughtful critique as anything but a put down. It’s not even a matter of having thick or thin skin, it’s just realizing that a customer can offer me negative feedback that is meant to be used to make my product better and to take it for that. Not why don’t you love everything about my baby! as some sensitive creative types (like me) can get. Of course someone saying this sucks is not helpful. However, someone taking the time to share with me what they didn’t completely like about the deck and how it might be improved is something of great value and beneficial to how I look after my decks as they age.
For example: Card stock quality is usually the biggest thing I get feedback on. Individuals tend to vary on what they think is thick enough. This was an issue my old decks had. With my current printer their decks are made with standard playing card stock with a smooth finish. They’re made to be handled and the occasional drop of spilled tea. Since switching to them and reformatting my decks I’ve had next to no negative feedback about the weight of the decks. The feedback I get now tends to be how easily the decks shuffle and how they’re good for daily use. In one rare case where a woman was still not quite happy with the thickness (she admitted she was really hard on her cards on a daily basis and she’d moved to daily use with the Isidore deck) I was able to extend her the option to get the heaviest weight of cards my printer offers that has a super thick finish, which is not practical for all decks. It worked out well for this wonderful wonky tarot reader who admits sometimes more tea ends up on her table and cards than her mouth. 😉
Creating the second edition of my Isidore Tarot was very successful and it’s remained quite popular. I was hoping my revamp and second edition of my Black Ibis Tarot would be as successful, but it just hasn’t been. So I sent out a questionnaire to those who have the deck and those who had interest in it but didn’t end up investing in it. I asked what owners thought of it and for those who would have bought it what kept them from picking up the second edition after the first edition they wanted was sold out. Overwhelmingly I was told the deck size I went with was too small for the very detailed card artwork. Also, they felt the cards were too dark in coloring. And the solid colored border as oppose to the original textured border was really not liked. Lastly I was told there was a bit of a disconnect between the deck itself and my second edition packaging. One nice gent pointed out that when he first saw the ad for the deck he thought all of the artwork would be like the orange themed tin & book cover. He said he wouldn’t have known how colorful and pretty the deck itself was from that cover.
So I took this feedback and sat down with my deck and realized I agreed with much of it. The original size of the first edition cards was a custom size that was offered by my original printer. My new printer doesn’t offer it so I had to opt for a card size that best fit my deck, which meant going smaller. I typically don’t go for anything but the standard tarot deck size my printer uses, which is a nice size and easy to handle. It was going to require a far more time consuming reformatting of the cards to fit that size though and back then I just didn’t have the time. My mistake. I should have taken the time to do it right. After the feedback and the obvious decline in Black Ibis sales I knew it was time for a revamp. Click that little arrow for the rest of the article.
I enjoy talking about the creation process of my decks and I absolutely adore when someone gets excited over one. So it makes me a little sad when I find a reason to talk about a deck that I didn’t find to be quite so enjoyable or successful. There comes my Mirabai Oracle deck. I am very sentimental about this deck but I don’t include it in my portfolio or offer it for sale any longer. There are probably only forty decks out there in the world and I personally know most of the people who own those decks. So first, a little history.
In 2010 my husband was contacted for permission to include some of his artwork in an author’s new book. This person was Bethany Grenier and we became friends with her and her husband, who happened to live not five minutes from us. Through her we were introduced to fellow local artists Ted & Kate Jauw. We were invited to join their artist group to create a group entry for a local event called ArtPrize. Our theme was a circus out of time; a very steampunk inspired tinker toy type of affair. We each created characters for our vintage big top. It was fun, it was stressful, and ultimately many of the things we went through trying to get our event to the finish line was ten years worth of lessons packed into three months. It was very bittersweet.
A lot of my art was used for our circus posters and our group’s logo. My character was a cartomancer of course. I wanted to have a deck to go along with my part of our entry. So I made the Mirabai oracle deck. It was quickly done and was a combination of existing artwork and portraits I created of the other members of our art group. The only thing that was unified about it was the color scheme and our group’s logo (created by Ted) in each card. The card meanings were based on the Victorian language of flowers. That was something I especially liked about the deck. I also liked being able to create portraits of my new circle of friends. (Pictured above left to right Cassie Truskowsie, Ted Jauw and Bethany Grenier.) Click that wee arrow for the rest of the article.
The Isidore Tarot is my take on the classic Rider Waite Smith deck using J.J. Grandville illustrations to recreate the original scenes and symbolism. These are side by side samples to show details. Today’s cards are Death and the Devil