I can hardly believe it, the spouse has allowed me to purchase a marked down copy of the Badgers Forest Tarot, provided I take $50 off from my birthday money in the summer. Naturally I placed the order. In celebration of this news, let’s take a happy look at cards.
It’s been so long since I was in my card database that I had fun fiddling around and merging lists and entries. I was speaking to someone recently about my favourite transformation packs and realized I had forgotten to include a sub-category for transformation packs under my playing card category in the database. We can’t be having that sort of disorganized nonsense!
I just discovered that you can display the statistics with different colours. Here is the regular colour scheme. (Click to enlarge the following three database images.)
And here it is in the glory of Victorian colours. Man, I didn’t realize this sort of excitement existed in this program.
When you do an auto search online by ISBN, it finds entries and copies the graphics and notations and creates a file. All good, but it will occasionally create duplicate entries for one publisher. For instance, US Games, or U.S. Games or U.S. Games Inc. or even U.S. Games Inc without a period after “Inc” and so on. I merged all that and got rid of the publishers with zero entries.
Similarly, online cataloguing information often comes with classifications like card games; card games, general; card games, role-playing etc., so I cleaned that up to suit myself.
Is there anything like tweaking databases? Nah. I should go back and re-do some of my card samples in the database, a few of them are rather abbreviated for the larger cards. Oops, I just remembered that I forgot to put the measurements in for the Enchanted Map Oracle. The search and create function will put in what the publisher says, which is always the measurement of the box not the actual cards, and they are different so I like to plug the right measurement in. A database should be accurate.
I’ve never met anyone else who uses this software for their cards. I have blathered on about it interminably on both my blogs, but no one seems to get the ease and clarity of it. It has the ability to put an image of the back of a book in as well as the cover, so instead of doing that I put an image in of several cards including the backs of each deck. SO nice to have that function as I am a visual person. In the Pro version you can also export the database as an Excel spreadsheet and choose the headings you want.
When you get into the actual entry you can rate it and click on the images you entered to enlarge them. Here we are in the Miscellaneous Cards category, where on the left you can see the thumbnails of the entries in this category in alphabetical order, and the enlargement of my scans of the cards on the right. This is from the U.S. Games series Strategies for Leadership. I have three decks in that series: Ulysses S. Grant (pictured here), George S. Patton, and Robert E. Lee.
Notice the Details tab directly to the right. To go to the statistical pie and play around with colours, you just click the Statistics tab on the right sidebar. Easy now, I know someone’s heart is thumping with excitement out there. Mine sure is.
I often have to re-scan the images from the Web for box covers as they are tiny, low resolution images and look crummy even as thumbnails. I want my images crisp and I generally keep the images for the covers at 350 pixels in length so they aren’t too large, but use a better resolution of 240 dpi. Monitors only display at 72 dpi but I want the images crisp when I size them down after scanning, hence the higher initial resolution.
What fun. A database is your friend boys and girls. I’ve been up since 4 a.m. toodling around tweaking in this exciting environment of play.
I could split these posts up into three topics, but I like a big, wholloping shebang of a post. Many people zone out and click away after one paragraph feeling daunted by such vociferousness, leaving the rest of us to play and get to the fun stuff. The fun stuff now being transformation packs.
I have six of them. The fellow I was talking to fits the Playing Card Oracles into transformation pack territory but I don’t. Disparate categorization, which means livelier databases in the world, and thus more fun. Credit it people, it’s a big, old goofy world.
[Note: a short intermission was needed to clean off my coffee table so I could take photographs. Also in the interim I ate some fruit, needing some buttressing fuel before attempting yet another crummy photo session with 10 year-old Mr. Point and Shoot.]
I also have two books I like to refer to with playing cards, or make that three. The first one is strictly on transformation packs, and the other two have limited mention of them, but they are great nonetheless with regard to playing cards overall.
1) Transformation Playing Cards by Albert Field. Not too many colour pictures but lots of information. This is where I learned that the Goethe Playing Cards by Lo Scarabeo are actually a facsimile pack of the Jeanne d’Arc playing cards published around 1805. I was browsing that deck in this book and he tells you who the court cards are; some of them are not well known people. The Jack of Diamonds for instance was Joan of Arc’s page, a peasant who came from her home town.
2) Collectible Playing Cards by Frédérique Crestin-Billet. One of my favourite books of all time and loaded with close-up colour pictures of playing cards with a few examples of transformation decks.
3) Playing Cards by Roger Tilley. Most of these are antique but he has a few newer ones and a small section on transformation packs.
And a visual of all the lads together, cavorting and disporting with Gumby and Pokey. Yes, G & P are card deck lovers if you didn’t know. Greatly interested in transformed pips, they grew terribly excited to see all the chaps out for a group picture. Murphy the chocolate Labrador is supervising in the background, knowing what havoc G & P can cause.
What would be complete without my favourite comparison of cards? This time I’m going for the Ace of Clubs, just because the Goethe deck turns that ace into a beetle.
Wow, can you believe the proliferation of Lenormand decks lately? When I started using Lenormand cards eight or so years ago there were no books in English so I bought two French ones. Rana George has a recent English book called The Essential Lenormand which has been getting rave reviews. Ever wary of tarot experts, I hesitate to buy this, but I get weary of having to translate the French books so it’s on my wish list. Rana comes from a different culture and circumstances and seems to have meaningful things to impart. I like meaningful people.
I am waiting for The Celtic Lenormand which I previously stated in a post. I like illustrations in Lenormand decks, I’m not keen on over-painted things or photo-collage. My own The Illustrative Lenormand Oracle was culled together from my extensive collection of WMF public domain clip art and other things, some drastically re-jigged in Photoshop and some just tweaked. I recommend that people make their own Lenormand in some way to get a feel for it.
I am going to compare the Letter card across decks including one in the Tarot Lenormand. (Click to enlarge.)
Ye old sealing wax keeps those envelopes closed while being battered about by birds and cherubs, eventually allowing Mavis to receive the proposal from her sweetheart Augustus Lawrence in her nightgown in the morning room with the fancy wallpaper. She has shrugged off her embroidered robe, becoming warm from morning tea, or is it her repressed lust for dear Auggie?
Perhaps a cooling period of entering things in the database would help Mavis?
Just don’t change the colour theme on the statistics pie or you’ll never settle down honey. [Note: She hasn’t tried the Opera colour version yet, don’t let on there is one or she’ll waltz about singing Nessun Dorma from Turandot.]
No, we don’t want that.