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.)
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 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.
This is one of those mornings where I pulled a card and immediately had the impulse to whistle nervously and tuck it back into the deck like I never pulled it out. At least I can say I pulled it in reverse. However, the last few days I’ve been having give me cause to read too deeply into it.
I drew the five of coins this morning. I think I whispered to my deck you better stop f’ing with me. This is a card I only briefly studied when I was doing the minors for the Isidore Tarot. I was still a novice back then. After working on the Lydia deck I think I’m finally at a point where I feel comfortable with what I’m looking at when I do a reading for myself. I also wanted to tie in the symbols of the cards with the way I created the collages. I wanted whatever dark scene you’re looking at to not only keep the theme of the deck and portray that card’s symbolism, I wanted there to be other things I could link to it for the pages in the deck’s grimoire. That means I’ve been getting really into these silly cards and I just didn’t want to pick this one upon waking.
I sent out a bundle of review decks for the lovely folks at Indie Deck Review a few weeks back and the reviews have started to roll in. 🙂 You can find a few of those reviews on their Instagram account, linked to below.
Or you can pop by their website for a lengthier review (linked below) as well as a whole assortment of wonderful indie decks that might not be on your radar as of yet. So many thanks to them for all the support!!
I’m pleased to announce I hit my first stretch goal for the Lydia tarot’s IndieGoGo campaign. This means grimoires for everyone that has purchased a deck! Here’s another peek at the grimoire. 🙂
So I will say at the beginning – it was only when creating the artwork for this deck that I fully appreciated the meaning of this card in the deck. The process of studying it to better understand it before I worked on my collage made me somewhat exhausted. It reminded me greatly of what this year has felt like: A year of battling back to full steam, only to continue staggering here and there when lingering remnants of my accident (now a year old) came back to call. I still get vertigo at the top of stairs. I still feel panicked at times when out in crowds. This past weekend I suffered dizzy spells from lingering head trauma, which led me to having a nasty fall one night. It brings things back into a clear picture. The healing is still going on and the fear of something worse being out there still bothers me. So I have to keep that in mind always.
The four of swords comes after the trauma of the three of swords. In this deck I represented that card with a still human heart being pierced by the scalpels of Dr. Frankenstein, looking for ways to get back in and kick-start it in a new body. It would be a shock to the system for whoever finds themselves at the end of this Dr’s quest. On the other side of that is someone who has been through something and maybe needs to pull back – either to catch their breath or to flat out retreat from further harm. I thought a lot about that as I was creating this card. I have been trying to rush rush rush and rush some more to get back to whole. In that rushing, I have had moments where I have over taxed myself and worn down as a result. It’s been a year right? It feels like I’ve spent too much time on my back resting, healing. Then I hit that moment where I realize we don’t always heal on the schedule we feel is appropriate.
In this deck, as the cards are all dark, I still didn’t portray a crypt scene. I have my heroine laying on a comfortable last bed. She is wrapped up and treated from the many things she’s suffered through. She looks content, relaxed, a little worse for wear and understanding where she is going, but she has found her resting place and she is content with it. I gave her a bright stained glass window off to the side to keep her in the light. Even as a lover of the darkness, a little light is terribly comforting.
Remember – you can back this deck here. 🙂
I adore this card, for both its meaning and the collage process to create it. I have a heavy dose of French-Italian painter Frédéric Soulacroix’s work in my coins suit. There is a sleek elegance to his style and his paintings almost always feature a lavish and comfortable scene. These worked very well as a foundation for many of the coin cards. The thing I wanted to make more drastic in each collage were the faces. I wanted less cheerful faces to peer from behind the many masks used in the suit. Many of the cards aren’t dark, so I wanted the masquerade aspect of Halloween to play heavily in them.
My queen is a strong woman. She’s the master of her domain. The mother to those around her who keeps a good home for them. The ruler over her working domain and practical keeper of her coins. And she does all of this with a simple grace and a level head. As the keeper of my home and my own business I identify with her quite well. There is a sometimes an intense balance that must be maintained to keep home and business both equally successful. It is far too easy to let time with a business take away from time that should be spent in the home and with family. Learning that type of balance doesn’t always happen over night. It took me two decades, but my reward was having a better home, my own independence in my business, and just enough extra to be generous with others where I can.
In my card my queen relaxes with a book in the very comfortable world she has worked hard to create. She is surrounded by nature and those things she feels are her creature comforts. She is keeping an eye on her coin. In the theme of the Lydia deck she is a part of the last masquerade of summer that comes on the night of the autumn solstice. Her masked affair begins in those last green moments of summer and ends in the first changing colors of the start of autumn. She’s one of the prettiest cards in the deck.
So! As I’ve stated earlier, I gave my Lydia Tarot a soft launch a week back. I wanted to post the sale Sept 13th, a date very important to me because of my mother, and to give the campaign as much of an autumn timeline leading up to Halloween as I could. In doing this I decided to go a bit light on the whole promoting thing; mostly because at that time I was only starting to get my prototypes for the deck and packaging. To my surprise the deck funded within two days. I backed for a smaller amount to start, but to put it in perspective? I campaigned for my Isidore Tarot’s Second Edition, one of my more popular decks, and I think I asked for a grand and got that after half a month of hard promoting. Then to get my stretch goal I had to get obnoxious. So I’m happy this one picked up a bit quicker and surprised honestly.
The deck I finished just barely before I launched the campaign. Now I’m working on the full color companion book that I wanted to be akin to a grimoire. There is so much more in there than just card explanations. I’m also working on my stretch goal rewards and some of the big (who will actually grab this?!) perks. That all aside, I really just want to take a moment to talk about the grimoire.
I love this book! I’m not only creating a digital version of the book, I’m creating the actual book of shadows. My hubby, long ago, crafted this incredible wooden book form that can house an actual book. So I’m printing off my grimoire pages as I finish them, on really nice, aged paper and adding them to it. Tea staining, more pressed/dried flowers, personal items. I have my sketches and my mementos going into it. It’s just for me, this living copy, and it’s affecting how I design the tarot’s book pages too. It’s a nice way to be starting autumn out.
I carry a small grudge against being denied my autumn last year. Then I sat down with my gent and looked over all the stuff we did last year even with my mangled body, which included flying to Boston and getting a chance to visit with my dad and see Mrs. Obama speak, and realized we haven’t actually slowed down much at all for awhile now. Finishing up this deck is like a cherry on top of that Sundae.
Anyhoo! Cuz I love the bad word anyhoo. This is a sample from the grimoire that I’m working on. I will try to keep up with my normal entries for the site (now that traffic as gone wonderfully up) and not be completely and obnoxiously promoting my deck. But you will be seeing a lot more samples from this current project now that I’ve left soft launch phase. 🙂
Hello my lovely card site! I have been a distracted mother. I’m so sorry my wonderful aetherweb child! But I am here, and card of the day seems a good dip back into the tarot pool.
Madam Lydia Wilhelmina’s Tarot of Monsters, the Macabre and Autumn Scenes… I love that title! I really do. It simply invokes so many wonderful memories from a time in my past. That place where I would delight in autumn because I would watch Mary Poppins and Something Wicked This Way Comes. I’m not sure why these were my autumn movies as a kid, but they were. And honestly, not related to them, I would watch a variety of other movies I no longer remember the names for, though they inspired in me this vintage place where mysterious names (like a snake oil salesman slash people charmer) connected to equally mysterious (or even wickedly infamous) characters. I wanted that for myself. I wanted my own eerie mythos for autumn. With all that said, I have been stressing I’ve given the deck a nick name–the Lydia Tarot and for some, the Autumn Tarot. This card is from that deck.
So my card of the day posts will be from this deck mostly, though not exclusively. Although, confession? Been binging on Bel Canto these past many days. I will try and keep it open. 😉
So, hello! Mr. King of Coins. Is Mr. appropriate? Meh, we’ll move on.
Who is this card, this king? I want to be selfish and craft him around my zodiac sign. Let me say I find astrology fascinating for a few different reasons. In part because I am slightly nerd minded and how long standing mythical ideas and their influence on people do finding people shaping those things to their lives as an act of suggestion. After that? Simple belief.
My great grandmother was a Rosicrucian. I found this out as an older person when my aunt passed along to me all the books of hers that her grandmother had given her. At that time what I knew of my great grandmother was that she was an incredibly kind and loving person. She’d lived life from a kid with rheumatoid arthritis and only used copper bracelets to treat the pain and joint issue. If you visited her she always sent you away with something beautiful or thoughtful she’d clipped from a magazine or book. She was that elder I wish I had met. She also created astrology charts for people, which was something she created as a Christian, which was one of the first times I realized: You can be raised in a loving environment of something not quite what you’re thinking and still have rooms for your own thoughts.
What does that mean? It means that as I look upon my King of Coins and think about how I relate to being a Taurus, I can relate to this card because it says a lot of the same things to me, without quite as much of the stubborn bullishness I also know. Yet these are things of comfort, materialism, and just what makes me feel safe. As it relates to my family (as mentioned) is being surrounded by people who are providers, they made sure my world was surrounded by what I needed and made me feel safe. We always wanted better, but we realized what we had and appreciated it. I didn’t always get what I needed from my mother when it came to envisioning a prosperous and stable life. I had to look around me at those who were living that life and extending to me when they could.
So now I relate it to myself, as I tend to always do a one card draw as a thing of meditation or reflection. I look at this card and I am reminded that this is where I want to be in life. I want to be in a position to look after those around me and encourage them forward. I want to be a person who loves someone so much, and in loving them that way, is able to (sometimes) very harshly advise them on how they may be f*cking up and how to pull away from that. I think I might be obnoxious in saying this, but that for me this is the aunt towards niece card. Slowly I’ve turned into the aunt. Bittersweet.
If you’ll notice to the right there is a swanky icon announcing that a campaign for the Lydia Tarot is now going over at Indiegogo. Yays! Originally this was the time I was going to be launching a campaign for the Oracle and Flutter-byes oracle deck, but that project has been going rather slow and ultimately took the backseat to the Lydia deck, which was starting to create itself. The attention it has been getting has been wonderful! So it seemed fitting to turn my campaign intentions towards it during these wonderful autumn months. This is a soft launch for the moment. I was determined to get the campaign launched Sept 13th. To do that I had to juggle finishing the minors, keeping up with Isidore Tarot orders, and I’m working with someone to have my decks as apart of their tea and tarot subscription boxes. It’s been a bit busy and I did a lot of it in a cough syrup daze thanks to an early smack of the flu. This is me twirling in a circle singing the Wonder Woman theme song. Today I’m making my way through my sites and updating info on the deck.
I replaced all the cards on the Lydia Tarot’s page with the final, edited versions. All the typos are gone and a few of the cards have changed a little. I have a site dedicated to the deck here. Much like my Isidore Tarot there is a lot of extra stuff that goes along with this deck that I wanted to have a dedicated space for it. As we move closer to Halloween there will be more and more about this Madam Lydia and the deck she created. You know me, everything has a story. So now I bid you ah-do (proper spelling hahaha I don’t has it) as I get some stuff updated and make another trip to the post office. 🙂
EDIT: It is Tuesday and I’m looking at all the merch I have planned for this and all the reserve-a-deck requests, remind me list, and other things. This might be a tad bigger of a re-launch than I was planning. So I’m working on my best options here. More to come.
Tuesday will be the start of pre-ordering for my Lydia deck. I’ll also be adding some giveaways to my instagram accounts. That means I’m a little on the hectic busy side here but I think I’m keeping it all reasonably ordered. That might be a very different story in a few days. In the meantime, a few samples of the coins.