Exotic Birdbrains and Drop Caps

Posted July 31, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Playing Cards

Tags: , , ,

Not much doing today, I finished this jigsaw puzzle of the Exotic Birds Playing Cards which are from the Heritage Playing Card Company. Image courtesy of the Somerville site.


I also painted three biggish drop caps for a calligraphy project. A pen pal of mine is sending me a pen in the mail which should be a suitable size for the calligraphy. The pen I have has a nib that’s a bit too wide for the scale. I used my new softcover Zeta sketchbook for the drop caps and that went well using pen and ink, gouache and watercolour pencils.

My Existential Playing Cards have shipped. Yay!

The Existential Existence

Posted July 28, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Playing Cards

Tags: , , , , , ,

Some people might wonder at my fondness for doing jigsaws of interesting card decks. What I like about it is that it can cement in my mind what I like. I do a jigsaw of the latest and greatest super new-fangled secrets of the universe deck and see how I like it.

Meandering around this month, I finally bought a playing card deck that I’ve had on my wish list forever, The Existential Playing Cards by Rita Orlov Rosenfeld. Looking at new decks, fiddling with puzzles of new decks, I realized that I nearly let this beauty get away. Sometimes the $20 deck gets shoved to the wish list as you reach for the latest and greatest shiny minty pizazzling gotta-have thing. You know, the thing you regret spending $97 on that is a good deck but not a pizazzling gotta-have deck after all.

I thought this was out-of-print and had a drop of the heart. Actually Etsy had cancelled the listing (I guess it timed out) without informing the seller and my note to her wondering where the deck had gone made her create a new listing. So I WAS able to buy it.

I am quite pleased.


Hell is other people who don’t appreciate a fine playing card deck: philosophy reference #642.7




Worrying About the Bank

Posted July 25, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

Tags: , , , ,

I have a little something to do at the bank and it’s pretty straightforward but it involves changing an account and making sure stuff goes through the proper account. I’ve had trouble before where they assured me everything was set to go through okay and it didn’t, so this is generating quite a bit of anxiety in me on top of a contractor coming this week and a visit from relatives.

When you’re in trouble, an oracle deck just won’t do, you need a tarot card. Am I right?



There she is, raising her sword and telling me not to lose my temper. If something goes wrong they can fix it, it’s not all up to me. One of the things I liked in James Ricklef’s books is the idea of not meting out punishment, not feeling like you need revenge. Losing my temper if something goes awry would wound everyone and carry on throughout my relationship with the institution. This bears remembering.

Cause and effect: take responsibility myself. I am well prepared, I just have to make sure my anger or fear does not overtake the meeting.

One of the reasons I like tarot is that you can pull a card like this and get a sensible look at life’s challenges, and thus prepare yourself to resolve them.





Laurels That Sort of Rest

Posted July 23, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Oracles - General

Tags: , , ,

I thought of the phrase about not resting on your laurels with this. Laurel leaves and victory and accomplishment ring out today because I finished painting my tree mural yesterday after ten days.


I am very sore and I have my diptych over the fireplace yet to do, but I am feeling a bit scatty. I find when I complete a huge task it is often this way. I am partly let down after the euphoria of completion, and partly tired, and partly so jazzed up with excitement that I can’t settle myself to the next task. Now what?

LAUREL – (Prunus lusitanica) – RESOURCEFULNESS


Resourcefulness, full of resources, full of ideas, but attention is fragmented. Lisa says to take time for your true intentions to become clearer. Hold your vision and create smaller steps for your goals. As I saw with painting the tree, I can’t do too much in one day lest I set off a chain of pain, so this card is supporting that.

I have a couple of drop caps to draw and want to take the day off and take it easy. Next week our front steps are hopefully being built, I also have to go to the bank, and relatives are coming for five days. It’s not really the time to start something big but I might try to seal my wood panels preparatory to putting gesso on them.

I don’t want to lose this great momentum but I’m not able to focus either.

Sunday IS a day of rest. Happy Sunday!



Are you Bletted, Blessed Folk?

Posted July 20, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Oracles - General

Tags: , , ,

I am still fiddling with selecting my cards out from the background in Affinity Photo. I still can’t believe that this is so hard not to get ragged edges and faint remnants of the background. Today I tried feathering and shrinking the selection and finally resorted to using the one row selection to delete some edges.

Anyway, I shall continue experimenting. For today’s card, you get two: the first one is a bit jagged, and the second one is not, although the background on the second one is not as pretty.

MEDLAR – Mespilus germanicus – MOTIVATION

Channeling I Claudius I say in reverent tones “Ah, the noble Germanicus…”


Motivation 2

Lisa says on the back of the card, “What creative thinking can you apply to each task so that you can see the value in them?” which is a bit like living in the moment so that each task does not seem unexciting because you’re in the Zen groove of fetching water.

Barring that you can put Langhorne Slim & the Law on and contemplate the way we move.

Interestingly, the fruit of the Medlar needs to be bletted before you eat it which means that it has to ripen into mushiness, so that it develops full sugars to be edible. The idea here of creativity and ideas ripening to just the perfect time, letting things come to fruition and knowing when it’s time to start a project is rather neat.

Let things ripen to activate those creativity sugars.



Another Card of Something or Other

Posted July 20, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Miscellaneous Cards

Tags: ,

I’m babbling, so tired after painting today. I spent an hour looking at reviews of art supplies. Strathmore have a new heavyweight toned paper for mixed media that they’ve just released in a pad. It might be just the thing for a watercolour of a sandpiper I am planning. Do you think I can find it in Canada? Nope. I can find a regular journal with toned grey or tan paper that I already have but not the heavy one they just released. I’ll probably have to wait for months for it to show up in this country.

That will give me time to start my acrylic abstract diptych for over the living room fireplace. Once I get the other half of my tree completed.



I creatively used the pen tool to make a selection of this card, thus avoiding pixelated raggedy edges. It worked okay but I miss Photoshop. Blah. Hey Photoshop user try Affinity Photo and see what happens. You’ll be sitting there for five hours fiddling with selection tolerance when you could be painting a tree in your foyer or trying to track down a particular Strathmore paper in Canada.

So there you go, today’s interesting World Of Judith. Hey Jude, why don’t you trying painting a sandpiper on toned paper? I would but there seems to be a logistical problem in my procurement department. It’s called “Let’s ignore distribution in Canada, that big blob north of us yet again.”

A bit punchy after falling asleep in the chair while watching a YouTube review.

Can ya tell?

Oh Those Raggedy Pixels and Details

Posted July 19, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Miscellaneous Cards

Tags: ,

Still can’t figure out how to select my background out from the card in Affinity Photo. Every time I try with their magic wand selection, all the pixels on the edge are all raggedy. Maybe I need a black paper on the scanner? I reset the tolerance higher and have Contiguous checked, and it selects from inside the card which it shouldn’t do. Very frustrating because Photoshop does it in an instant.

So, it looks like in one or two days, a contractor will come and build my front steps and porch. I have had no porch or steps there for three weeks short of a year. I am desperately hoping it looks good and everything goes to plan so I don’t have to niggle and try to get what I want. These guys are very experienced though, and they liked my tree in the foyer. Always a bonus.



This card is about supporting others. I am supposed to be a strong, powerful castle of support for others, as are they for me so we can all feel safe and heal.

I’m having one of those weeks where I think “Why can’t anyone support me?” I wish I was married to one of those men who took care of the details. I have become the detail person, the one who remembers to ask, to check, in our marriage. I’m so well organized I guess it simply falls that way, especially as he gets older, and he’s older than I. Blah.

The only thing I take from this is that the spouse might appreciate that I’m the one who takes care of the details.