In keeping with a comment made in my previous post, this is one of those started decks that’s sitting in my What were you thinking? folder. This one comes from about three years ago. I was just visiting Ohio after my gent moved down here ahead of me. I was hanging out in a basically empty house with no internet access, only a bag packed for a long weekend, and my laptop. Before leaving MI I had just come upon a treasure trove of black and white drawings, as well as a folder full of vintage celestial maps and diagrams. I wondered what kind of hot mess I could turn those two things into.
So as I sat looking over a giant bundle of my most favorite things (that would be public domain works that can be put into a collage) I thought about how nice it would be to create a very dark, stark, and without thrills sort of deck of cards. Something basically simple, but not without an attractive aesthetic. So I started toying with my two folders and these are the cards that started coming of it. Ultimately I went a little more colorful with a card and it turned into the Fool for my Halloween tarot. This idea was set to the side and instead my very colorful, vintage painting collage Halloween deck was born. Every now and then, as with the Bete Noire cards, I consider revisiting it. It just comes down to time management and which of my projects is most important to me. Right now my Blood and Ink Lenormand has my heart so it gets what little free time I have. I still like its understated charm. I might end up using it as a prop of sorts in my next work of fiction. I nicknamed it Celestial Royalty.
As a pretty busy-busy artist I have a rather massive inventory of art at my disposal. Much of it is grouped into collections by style and tone. Perhaps one of my most favorite collections is my Bete Noire series of nightmare collages. They were, for me, the perfect combination of Victorian dread, childhood fears that slowly grew into irrational adult fears, and the taking of the human form and twisting it from something recognizable to something horrific. Though of course they’re meant to be beautiful in a dark way as well.
When I have any collected art I think about what I could do with it beyond just displaying it. So of course my first thought with this collection was to turn it into a very dark tarot deck. I think it would be the closest thing to a goth tarot I do. I got a little ways into the process and realized I would need to start making fresh collages to have all that I needed. Given how much was going on at the time the work needed was not something I had time to devote to. So I retired it to my unfinished folder. That folder sits right next to my what the hell were you thinking? folder. Both taunt me now and then to open them up and revisit a project or bad idea. Above are samples from this unfinished deck.
So I have a new project for my shoppe and that’s basically using a standard size card for all my decks. It makes the bulk ordering process just that much easier. I can buy packaging supplies for everything and not have to keep up on a variety of different sizes. With that said, I’ve been reworking the Tea Bats Lenormand card artwork to fit a larger card size. In the long run they’ll look a lot better. The current cards are super neat, but there is so much detailing to the collages on them that some of those details get lost.
So I’m about to retire the first edition of the deck and look towards offering the second edition in the new year. The packaging will be slightly different, but I’ve kept all the very best pieces of what made the first edition lovely. The companion book will remain the same. Technically what I use now is the second edition of the book anyway and I love it. I have our last sale for the first edition at this link if you’d like to pick up an original deck.
This is just a quick (call it a drive-by posting) to let you know I have decks on sale now that have been sold out for awhile. The Isidore Tarot second edition and the Tea Bats Lenormand first edition are about to be retired. They’re not on sale until mid-October for anyone interesting. Stop into my shoppe page for more details and links to order. Thanks!! I’ll be making dedicated posts about those decks and when to expect their next editions after these sales close.
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.