My shoppe will be closed while I’m in hospital. Quick sales when I get back home. Follow my instagram for sale postings.
My shoppe will be closed while I’m in hospital. Quick sales when I get back home. Follow my instagram for sale postings.
I’m always complaining about my health, typically for good reasons. The past few weeks have been more aggressive mentally and physically. I’ve been having a lot of problems simply functioning — as in walking, taking 5 minutes to stand cooking — and I’ve been in near constant pain from an expanded stomach and back that feel like I’m full of fluid and having the life squeezed from me. This is pushing into my lungs and making my breathing shallow. And if that wasn’t good enough, the tips of my fingers and toes have been numb.
I just added two regular size Tea Bat decks to my shoppe, found here. Nab while the nabbing is good. Through an ordering boo boo I have a hella lot of the minis of this deck on hand. Those can be found here.
This is me at the moment. This has been me for the past three months. I’m on uneven ground and I’m fighting back at all the attacking things coming up the hill at me. It’s frustrating and wearing me out. Plus there’s all that vertigo at the top of the hill! I’ve had small victories along the way. I replaced my useless doctor with one who is incredible. She has understood that I have a variety of different issues that conflict and agitate one another. So she’s aggressively taken each one on. This led to good and bad things. My wounded leg is blood clot free – which is awesome. One of them was in a seriously bad place. I saw a blood doctor who put me on iron infusions. Exhaustion has gone away. It helps I was taken off my blood thinner – no more alarming bruising. I see physical therapy these days for three different issues and they are mostly improving. I have torn ligaments in my knee though, which if the therapy doesn’t give me better results may lead to knee reconstruction. I’m not pumped about that. But hey, still got that semi charmed kind of life (without all the drug use found in that song, hahah.)
What keeps storming up the hill even as I fight it back is the trauma sustained to my head. There is physical trauma and ptsd to be sifted through. I didn’t get any help for it right after falling. I kind of rippled in the breeze as I tried to find a local doctor. Found one and he never listened to me or laughed off my concerns. So instead of starting the healing process right then, I was delayed more than a year and that allowed for things to get worse. The vertigo has become life disrupting. The memory loss and problems with short term memory loss has just gotten worse. I have fallen several times as a result of the dizziness. I’ve forgotten that I packaged something up but haven’t shipped it out. I’ve forgotten if I’ve asked Maggie to help me with something. It’s obnoxious. I have no confidence in my walking because my knee is unstable.
I have a very intense moment with the vertigo, which has caused it to swan dive into very bad places since. My brother and his new wife paid us a visit. We all stayed at a hotel Over the Rhine (spot across the river in Kentucky) so we didn’t have to travel back and forth during the long weekend. I love my knew sister. I can’t put in-law on it because she treats me like a sister. And the weekend started out wonderfully. We had so much fun. At one point we went to the Cincinnati museum and were having a great time and decided to go see an Omnimax movie. In hindsight the what the hell was I thinking?! idea did pop up. Have you been to one of these theaters? The average healthy person can go in there and get a little woozy over the tight and narrow seating. I never gave it a thought because I have gone there all the time throughout my life.
My husband and family went in to get good seats for us. I slowly hobbled behind. I got up the steps fine, turned to walk to my seat and was overcome with vertigo. Overcome is not a strong enough word. Completely blindsided by fear and panic. I was stranded in the middle where I couldn’t go forward, couldn’t go back. My husband came and got me and helped me to my seat. Then I could barely sit because it involved me leaning over as I sat down. Finally I’m parked in my seat and trying to control my breathing. As I finally get my shit mostly together the movie starts: An hour over flying over active volcanoes and dramatically dipping down into them. Then I had to get back out. It was awful.
So we got out of there and cooled down. I didn’t want to take the shuttle back to our hotel. I wanted to walk and get some fresh air. Again, no one is thinking and we go out to the path that connects Newport to our area. We take the option of no stairs. This leads to me walking over a bridge you can see the street below, to a very narrow sidewalk path that is elevated a story over the street below. What had I done to be here? I couldn’t breath. It was embarrassing and I hated how it upset my brother and sister because they worried they’d been thoughtless to my needs. They weren’t.
Since then it takes very little to trigger the vertigo. I’m always afraid I’m going to fall over. I can’t remember the last 15 minutes of every night before I fall asleep. I keep notes to remind myself in the morning of what I did. I keep a memory board to try and keep all my things needing doing in sight. Therapy is helping, but its still difficult. Especially when I’m keeping up with a boom in my business.
This card represents fighting through to success and needing to continue to fight to maintain it. I have come a long way and aside from these trials I am a very good position. I’ve fought a long battle to find my successes in life and these details strive to pull me back down. My worst enemy has always been procrastination. It’s what caused my business to struggle in the beginning. I knew what I wanted and needed to do, but I figured I would do it tomorrow. These issues see me waking up to a day that I just want to turn off and ignore for another day. When I do this or place my responsibilities on someone else things stop working smoothly. People outside my little world are affected by it. So I struggle through it. I try to stand firm on my uneven ground and maintain my place I worked very hard to get to. That said, if you’re written me and not heard back yet I might have forgotten it without meaning to. Poke me again.
A side note about this card’s artwork. I used the work of female artist Artemisia Gentileschi for this card because she had courage, she won her battles, but she always had to be on guard to maintain her place in the world.
So (I insert here a long, somewhat sad, dramatic pause) the wonderful TheTarotParlor pointed out a typo in my Lydia deck on the Happy Squirrel card. So first! A wee background on this card – which you probably already know, but since I explained it to my friend Kate this past con (her having literally no time left in her life for things like pop culture) I realize not everyone knows the squirrel card.
Long and short – the Happy Squirrel card is a brief moment in an episode of the Simpsons when Lisa goes to a fortune teller tent and gets a tarot card reading. She gets all the bad cards and then the happy squirrel, to her delight, until the fortune teller drops back in horror. It’s one of those cards you will now find in some decks. Some people like it, some don’t. I put this card in mine where it fits. Isidore and Lydia decks both have happy squirrel cards with my own twist. The Isidore Tarot has a happy squirrelthulhu cuz… I don’t know, tentacles! Lydia has a dreary squirrel card because it is a darker deck that still keeps a pinch of humor. The problem? It was pointed out to me that I did not type dreary and no matter how I looked at that card I never saw the typo. I put deary squirrel. Ugh! Double ugh!
I have printed and adopted out so many of these decks at this point. I have an entry in both companion books where dreary is in the meaning literature while the card sits there all lacking an R. My proof reader didn’t catch it! So what to do??!! Accept it I decided. It almost seems like a small joke the woman who is Lydia Wilhelmina might play. She grew up in an era where there were many older woman who might refer to her as deary, and some of them might have voiced it with mischief quietly hidden behind it. She might have done the very same thing herself. So this deck is owning its boo boo and quietly dragging it into the mythos that is the Lydia deck.
And hey… maybe that dreary squirrel comes running out all full of mischief and dark mirth before suddenly pulling a nice tea pot from behind its back and saying “Oh hello there deary! I am a squirrel… I’m here to be naughty. Tuck in!” 😉 Yeah… I’m going with that. TOTALLY!!
I caught up on back orders directly through this site this weekend. I just have the various invoiced orders to cover and there are only a handful there. Limited editions are heading to their new homes throughout the weekend. I’ve updated my shoppe and restocked some decks–including the Lydia Tarot in various sizes/packaging.
The Lydia grimoires are finally in! It took some massive reformatting and a size change to get everything in the book right, but I finally did, it was proofed, and now the printers have let me know my first copies are on their way. I’m very excited. I made an abridged preview of it that you can flip through below. 🙂
When last I updated my blog with something other than new deck info, my dad was traveling to Ohio by way of a paid driver who drove her car here. Her belongings were tetris’d into a POD that was shipped to local storage. And finally my dad was going to be living in a hotel for at least two weeks while we tried to find her someplace to live. Cue the soap opera music.
I’ll be completely honest–I did not believe myself to be capable of doing all the things that needed to be done. I’ve barely had ten years of knowing (mostly) how to take care of myself as a responsible adult. A life as a career artist doesn’t always inspire rigid structure or discipline in anything other than being creative. How was I going to do all this stuff for my dad while he was not in a place to help? Thankfully I have a rather impressive husband who helped with some of the heavy lifting.
So now, mostly on the other side of things, my father is in a very nice senior living community. After I looked at so many apartments that just weren’t going to work, and doing this only after realizing we didn’t have the money to get her into assisted living, my husband stumbled upon an online ad for senior apartments just about to open up in our town. I called and while they didn’t have first floor apartments, they did have an elevator and emergency chords in all rooms. We went over and met Joletta, perhaps one of the sweetest people I have me to date. The rent included everything. Let me repeat that – EVERYTHING. Utilities, water and sewage, trash, even the freaking cable. No lengthy credit approval either. Just had to show we could pay that rent and she became a new tenant. When Joletta told “Just breath girl, it’s gonna be alright.” I nearly started bawling. Though not quite as badly as my dad started to bawl as she sat in her new apartment and very new life situation.
She moved in Feb 28th and is mostly settled now. I have been able to take a breath. A long, agonized, hoarse sounding one. There’s never a good time for a change of routines when you’re an anxious creature who relies on her routines to stay calm. But this was a rather bad time among bad times. Taking care of the IGG campaign, back orders, and juggling the variety of health issues that keep going away and coming back (presently very much back), it was just a suck time for this. But, here we are. It happened, it’s done, and for the first time in my life I can call my dad and then just drive over and see her. That boggles my mind still. So now, back to our previously scheduled programming. Above is two pages our of my grimoire for Strength.
Four boxes of black tins arrived a few months back to house Lydia decks. A couple of days ago I finally broke into the last box to find, much to my irritation, smaller tins were lurking within it. I contacted my wholesaler and we worked it out, but I was left with these slightly smaller black tins. So I found a way to use them as well as answer a request and the Lydia tarot birthed a bridge size version–perfectly sized between the standard and the mini. You can read the longer details to this strange birth on the deck’s listing page here. Basically, there is a new edition of the Lydia deck with a silly title that gave me a giggle. Available until decks run out, at a reduced rate until this coming Monday.
I’ve also restocked the shoppe with the other Lydia decks. (Although as I post this the few full packaging decks have already sold out.) Stop by the shoppe to order. I will be adding a few special sales throughout the day. (including art prints from my AHS fan deck!)
I also wanted to say just how humbled I’ve been with those of you who’ve reached out to me about my dad. It has meant so very much to me. She’ll be arriving here on Sunday with feline in tow. We’re still working on permanent housing with assistance. The feline Tucker will be coming to stay with us. Sometimes I feel like I sit upon the Wheel of Fortune card and wait to see what comes next when it finally settles. Now! All of you have a wonderful make a reason to get nice stuff holi- day. And eat lots of Valentine Reese for me!
I’m getting caught up on correspondence. I apologize for my being awol this past week. Friday evening my father was taken to the ER by ambulance. She was hysterical when I spoke to her and it took some time calm her down. She’s (just to say again, my dad is transgendered, still dad though) in Rhode Island living with a roommate and she wanted me out there like yesterday. She thought she was dying and didn’t want to be alone. She was moved to a nursing facility on Sunday.
She was in such bad shape when she was here. Her spondylitis (a form of arthritis along the spine) had fused her spine so she can’t turn her head any longer and has to bend at the waist. She was weak, in a great deal of pain, shaking terribly bad, and was having trouble carrying herself–her legs were really weak. It turns out she got pneumonia after coming down with the flu after she returned from her visit here. She had become bed ridden and her roommate was taking care of her. Her roommate phoned me and discussed with me how she can look after my dad for a little while longer but that she wasn’t going to be able to live in their shared apartment any longer. [EDIT: She hadn’t mentioned that she had fallen down the last few stairs as she was going to do her laundry. A bit part of her problem is she has a hairline fracture in her lower spine complicating already bad issue.]
So anyway, I’ve had to find an assisted living facility to move my dad from RI to here in Ohio, and how we’re going to do that, how we’ll afford everything. My dad will be 79 in June. The thing she values more than anything is her independence and she’s been quite frank about what will happen if she goes into nursing care. Though we’ve also discussed the fact that we can’t live together and she doesn’t want me having to care for her the way I did my mother and grandfather. It’s just, to be absolutely blunt, a frightening and fucked up turn of events my husband and I are trying to deal with. Sadly both my brothers have no contact with our dad so I don’t have them to turn to for help. Though my new sister-in-law, the angel that she is, sad she would help me where she could.
Campaign perks are still going out. I’m doubling down on getting everything out so I can put this campaign to rest. I’m also moving through cyber Monday sales. Thank you for being patient.
I’m about halfway through my IGG campaign perks list. Mingling a hundred plus backers along with my regular shoppe customers has been hectic. Throw into that my new turn as a wholesaler and I am now officially looking to hire part time help to keep up. The biggest issue for me has been physically getting all my packages to the post office. But away at it I keep chipping. Please note that I create labels as I’m packaging. I ask people to give up to two days for their tracking to update. This is because I’m not always able to drop the packages off the same day I get them labeled/packed. Thank you for understanding.
I’m taking a little break from working on Lydia stuffs to add to my AHS fan deck. Queenie, Zoe, and Myrtle all need their own cards, I’m just trying to figure out what will fit them best. Then I have Nan, the creepy butler, and the new VooDoo Queen… and let me not forget those warlocks! Gonna be a big, fan-centric, obnoxious deck. 😉 Other cards here.
I tried to keep my Lydia minors within my deck’s theme and still follow the Rider Waite Smith’s design. That was not easy for every card and I think it was the hardest with the three of coins. I went with the idea of two people working in perfect unison with one another–in this instance a dance.
The reeling figures pass on by / Like ghosts in some forgotten play / Beneath the black and empty sky / Music plays and figures dance / With partners chosen by chance / And still some times remember / The masquerade’s forever – Berlin, The Masquerade
This is from one of my favorite Berlin songs and really one of my favs in general. As a kid it painted a very strange and ethereal picture for me. I have to admit that I was thinking of this when I made my bird masked dancers, moving and working in perfect harmony with one another. More the feeling the music gives me than the lyrical content. Which, on a side note, I once read were about the approaching twilight years for aging actors who have never found their fame. That actually originally gave me the idea for the deck’s Empress card The Immortal Masquerade.
In general, this card is about working in unison with someone towards a common goal, or the success of that goal. The main idea being collaboration or teamwork. I’m still a little on the newbie side when it comes to reading this card when it comes up.
Hey! A new card of the day of post! This one is from my Lydia Tarot and one of my favorite cards from this deck.
In the major arcana I offer a few classic movie monsters in a more romantic light. I only added one not-so-classic movie monster –who I would say counts as a classic now since it’s from my young days– courtesy of one of my favorite authors Clive Barker. The four of cups card is titled Cenobite Tea Party and gives a tip of the hat to those clanking chain wielding creepy (and slightly naughty) looking chaps.
The sub header for this card states They came and went, crippled by the boy’s indifference. The horrible gift they offered, unnoticed. I thought it appropriate given the card’s suggestion of being apathetic or just plain eh shoulder shrug. When passion is lacking it can be hard to motivate yourself to something more. I know that feeling all too well. Thankfully not at the moment, but in the past it has been a bugbear for me.
In the subtext of my card’s artwork the boy stands there in his meh state ambivalent to the three cups ahead of him. What he doesn’t realize is that his curious here and gone visitors left him, among the dangling dolls and strangeness, a fourth cup with the possibility of him finding something to help draw him from his current stagnant state. It becomes the boy’s choice to decide what he sees in that cup and the potential it offers to him.
Just as a note–I seriously never thought the opportunity to pair anything Hellraiser in nature with a tea party and the tarot would present itself to me. I think those very things keep me from falling into that stagnant rut. And while I may be getting a little lighter of heart as I get older, that old horror movie/book loving goth is still in there. Complete with black pointy nails and ankle torturing witchy boots.
I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, though I might propel myself into space with my coughing. What I thought was a lingering flu turned out to be a rather aggressive lung and inner ear infection. By the time I found this out it had also spread through my lymph nodes and offered some fabulous swelling. So I’ve been on bed rest and a mountain of medication for the past few weeks. Just another lovely perk of having a weakened immune system. I still feel rather blah, but at least my bone rattling cough has gotten much better.
In happier news, my mini decks and tea tins arrived this week so I am officially fully stocked to cover my Lydia campaign perks and my cyber Monday sales. I will be able to begin shipping smaller perks hopefully as soon as next week. I hope to be back to my regular posting then too. Now I’m going to go start tucking minis into their boxes before my body tells me its time to take a break again. 🙂
I spend way too much of my time on instagram, I cannot lie. During my idle time there I have found some wonderful shops that I think would appeal to those who follow me there and my blog here. So here are a few links for this biggest shopping weekend of the year and I will be adding to it as more shops tip toe across my screen.
Tarot n Tea is just what is sounds like – lots of tarot and some lovely tea to sip as you read. Babbo offers a variety of different gift boxes that come themed for the season and full of lots of lovely things. I’m also a deck contributor so you will see some of my cards in those boxes and in readings. 🙂 Get your box here.
Spookys Geek Boutique is a fun place for a lil spooky and a lil sweet. They have their own holiday weekend sale going on at their site here.
The 8th House Tarot is in the process of making a tarot deck of the same name. The artwork is simple and straight to the point. Annabel has started a pantheon page to help aid the process of see her deck realized.
Lil Thalia says “please visit AtticCartomancy.com this weekend for the last deckapalooza this year!” 😊🖤 Starting midnight after Thanksgiving, for four days all my decks will be available, I’ll even have a few special editions. There will also be a shopping page up for other wonderful deck shops.
Now to set my shop-keep hat to the side, I found some clearance Bratz dolls years ago. The first one I attempted to work over was a miserable disaster. I made another attempt and modeled her after my Lydia mask. It went way better this time. I named her after @theacidpoptart ‘s (seen in the last photo playing the part of my witchy Lydia deck maker) daughter, who is a modeling mini-me of her mom. And crazy adorable. I’m not sure I will ever outgrow playing doll dress-up. Deck featured is the mini Madam Lydia Wilhelmina’s Tarot of Monsters, the Macabre and Autumn Scenes. 😉🖤
Hello! I hope you are all having a wonderful Saturday evening.
I spent the day labeling deck tins and mini deck boxes. I also began packaging the mini decks. It’s going pretty smoothly -knock on wood- 😉 Reference books arrive on Monday. It was supposed to be today but UPS just let me know there’s a delay due to a minor address snafu. You know, one of those hiccups.
Still working away on the grimoire and getting closer to done.
That’s about all for now. Just wanted to let everyone know where things were at. Stay warm and have a lovely night! ~ Bethalynne