Cryptic Cards by Immy Smith

When I received this deck and book the artist included an extra image and some business cards with cards from the deck on the reverse, so I immediately wanted to get them framed. The lighter mat on top is a bit lighter than in the picture, but you get the idea. This is going on the wall near the wardrobes I keep all my cards in, so I can be surrounded by delightful things.


The deck and book are wonderful, I am so glad that after having this on and off my wish list, I bought it.

The Queen of Hearts blurb from the book:

“Queen of Hearts – Sciartist’s bat moth & small insomniac moth
(Ascalapha scientartifex & Utetheisa insomnia)

These species illustrate the diversity of form found in the Erebidae family, which tiger moths are now part of. They represent me; a little itinerant insomniac, and sciart polymath. I’m really very proud of these cards.”

As you can see, Immy has a sense of humour. Although the moths are real ones, she has taken liberties in the nomenclature and the descriptions. This is the reason I bought the book, so that I could read all these stories and get the Latin genus and see the plays on words. The genus is true, the rest isn’t, but you can still explore the various moths and see her gorgeous artwork.

Up creative insomniacs!!

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The Spirit Within Memory Lane



Perhaps today the Queen of Wands  is simply a reminder of times past, the warmth of home and Mother and security?

I was meandering through old photographs this morning. I received some photos from my Dad’s numerous albums after he died. This one was taken with a Polaroid camera in 1969 when I was 13. I was wearing the velvet cloak that my Mom wore on her wedding day.

Get a load of the rec room. Yeah, we didn’t have no stinking designer homes back then. The walls are papered with faux woodgrain panels, the plant is plastic, the painting on the wall was a paint-by-number, beautifully executed by my oldest sister in the early 60s, the old stereo played 78 RPM records, and the floor was linoleum. As I recall I was fond of playing a bright pink 78 RPM record of Sleeping Beauty with music by Tchaikovsky.

Well, I am definitely not this Queen, even back in 1969 I preferred hiding in the basement. Never a social person, I find myself even less so as I age. While recognizing this lady’s determination, even fierceness, I lack her warmth. She’s an interfering busybody who would do better to take herself to the rec room and play some Tchaikovsky records that have great orchestration.

Yikes, we don’t need no stinking warmth.

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The Spirit Within My Kindle

The Spirit Within My Kindle

One of the chaps on a book reading group I have belonged to for almost 14 years has died. Back in the days when I was fearless about chatting with people, we used to exchange private e-mails about this and that. We often talked with others in the group about books and music and movies. While I didn’t meet him in real life, you do get a sense of people online so I felt like I knew him, and I feel such a loss at his death and feel how hard it will be for his family with Christmas coming up. A comrade has gone on The Great Journey.



The cards always know. Sigh.

Feeling restless and needing to disappear into a good book, I reserved several books from other branches in my library system, and while waiting for those I bought two Kindle books I’ve been interested in for some time, but were not available from the library. That 1-Click ordering for Kindle books on Amazon is rather dangerous I find.

The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects by Deborah Lutz
Last Days of Richard III and the Fate of His DNA bu John Ashdown-Hill

I have been interested in Richard III since reading Thomas B. Costain’s trilogy about the Plantagenets when I was a teenager. The impetus for that was a book by Josephine Tey called The Daughter of Time which I also read as a teenager. When they found Richard III’s skeleton in 2012 I clipped the article about it from a magazine and keep it with my copy of the Tey book. This revised edition of the Ashdown-Hill book includes information about that archeological dig and the resulting DNA, a path that led to Canada of all places, my country.

The Brontë Cabinet gets excellent reviews and was recommended to me by another reader. After a recent read of the book The Brontës at Haworth with its marvelous photographs, I felt like a read of this newer book.

Anything to keep Death out of the mind.


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The Spirit Within Ships a Coming

Like a lot of people, this time of year makes me feel pretty sad, add the rainy weather and problems with physical pain, and I thought I needed a happy project. I’ve been washing newish fabric and contemplating old fabrics from my stash and making two dozen circle templates for doing blobby lollypop flowers. I bought this pattern two years ago right before we moved and never really had a chance to get organized and start it. With the shoulder problem I have I’m not sure if I can appliqué, but I’m going to try.

This time I’m cutting out dairy, grains and bread and nuts or nut milk in an effort to pinpoint what inflames my body. You have to try, you know?




My ship did come in today as I got a huge order of art techniques books and three page-a-day calendars that I bought for photo references of birds, cats, and dogs.

I really don’t need to start yet another project, but the quilt pattern represents a time when I didn’t think my old house would sell and when I thought I couldn’t escape to a new life, so I bought this expensive pattern to take my mind off it. I did sell my house about a month later. Well, here I am in the new life and some of the old physical problems are rearing up.

There must be a solution. One must keep up some optimism.

Wow, look at those colours. Yummy super-delish.

“I saw three ships come sailing in…”




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The Spirit Within Manifestation



Look out, he’s getting it done! Action = Potential = Reality = Manifestation.

It’s GOOD to be a juggler. Think I’m going to pre-wash some quilting fabrics for a large appliqué I’ve been planning for two years. I like to have several ideas on-the-go. The Magus says “Nothing wrong with that, I do it all the time.”

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The Spirit Within Waiting



I like the idea with this of looking at things after waiting for a while and deciding if you should continue to wait or try something else, try an alternative. I’ve never thought of that with this card, I usually think of waiting and being patient after working hard, but not actually saying “Well, that’s enough of that, it’s not working, I’ll have to try another way.”

The Princess of Cups: the waves behind her look like unravelled knitting yarn. Hey, maybe she gave up and she’s trying again by unravelling her sweater and deciding to use the yarn to make socks? A dreamy child like this likes to put her imagination to work.

It’s a scary thought to change direction, change plans, decide to do it a different way. Or you could just wait and dream away, nurture new things that way. Both these figures seem to want to do that.

Me too.



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The Spirit Within the Sneak



I always wonder who the Sneak is in this card. Today I think it is me, or rather the auto-message in my brain. I am re-reading Danny Gregory’s book Shut Your Monkey and the relevant page, complete with one of the new corner bookmarks I made myself weeks ago refers says this: “Stop trying to change things before you can get to work.” The little voice in the brain telling you that you can’t do something because the conditions aren’t right, or your back hurts, or you’re tired, or you have a foot cramp, just goes on an on, like a thief sneaking off with your time and energy.


To go with the Seven of Swords I picked a card from Marg Thomson’s Mandala Meditations deck. I think the word Protection was wanted for general sneakiness surrounding the day, but I also liked the words Discover, Unveil, Expand, as if to say that despite feelings of fatigue or pain, I can have a play, sort things out, experiment with whatever I feel like. Owl protection and blossoms burst forth, circling, like the sun in the Seven of Swords. The real inner voice is a quiet one, not the chattering mind that robs you of days.

Sometimes you are your own enemy, your thoughts sneaking off with the day just as the sun comes up.


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