New Tarot Cupboards

I’m into my tenth day of trying to organize my bedroom. I have one tiny half rack I’m using for clothes in the walk-in closet, and the rest is all craft, art supplies and doll or dollhouse stuff. Yeah, I’ve got MY priorities straight.

These are flat-pack pantries or wardrobes. These are fairly light and hold a lot with the extra wire racks I put on the shelves. I had one extra shelf cut for each cupboard and still they are filled up.


Now I have to organize and put away the mess at the end of my bed. I have ordered a nice wooden blanket box in a “chocolate cherry” stain but that won’t be here for weeks. My quilts are reeking of plastic after being stored for 2 years or so in a Rubbermaid plastic bin. Never again. I’ve washed the ones I can, but the quilt tops can’t be washed so I’ll try to air them out in other ways.

I can actually get to my decks now and I found I had room to display my tarot bags facing toward the front—so pretty. I JUST had room for all the boxes too. While reorganizing the decks, I got rid of two so I’m still under 400 at 399 decks. I couldn’t fit my postcard collection in the cupboards, so they’ve gone into the closet for now. I wondered while looking at some of these decks why I bought them but I think the Internet has a lot to do with fuelling the purchase of stuff.

My next task is to enter my four new decks in my database. I received the 72 Names of God deck by Orna Ben-Shoshan yesterday and I really love it, it has such depth in information and artwork.


Seven of Beady Things

Seven Staffs


Struggling mightily to get over the hurdle of finding a parking space in such a precarious landscape, our boy here managed to finally get to the bead shop for some attractive beads for the closure on the bag for the Byzantine Tarot. See what perseverance can do?

Yes, he’s a can-do sort of guy.


Hand Sewn Bag for the Byzantine Tarot

I was quite pleased with this and it fits the box I bought for $5 in the thrift shop to house the deck. It was made from two fat quarters from the quilt shop and sewn by hand with a #10 sharp needle.


The ribbon ties are sewn into the side seams but I didn’t make a drawstring channel, just the ties, so it closes like a gift bag. I’ve left the ribbon long until I get some beads to finish off the ties and decide on a final length.

The bottom corners were boxed like a handbag so that I didn’t have too much extra fabric to cram into the box.


Here it is in its box, where the fabric at the top nestles in to keep the deck from rattling around. I didn’t have a lot of room between the deck and the box lid, which was another reason I wanted a more tailored bag for this. The lining really cushions the deck even though I didn’t use batting in the construction of the bag.



Hopefully I can get some suitable beads to put on the ribbons. I discovered there is a bead store in this town too. I went from having nothing in the small town I lived in back in Ontario, to having what seems like a richness of supplies and stores here.

Now I’m going to start a free patchwork block-of-the-month, in order use up some of the fabric I bought for this plus six new fat quarters I bought to coordinate.

It’s called inspiration: cards inspiring creativity yet again!





Crop and Let it Go

The scanning abilities of my new printer are not too good. Note to computer companies: program the software to preview and crop and adjust the colours before scanning! To be fair, my old Epson allowed this but the new Canon does not (nor did the evil Brother printer I had to return), hence the reliance on my buddy Photoshop.

A friend and I were talking about old decks and the flavour and creation of decks that existed 15 to 25 years ago. He bought the Unicorn Tarot to try and recapture that, and I decided to drag out some of the oldies but goodies and keep them down here to use. I never like to truncate time to a schedule so I might use some for days or weeks and others for a day or whatever follows.

I have been thinking much of the Hudes Tarot, and had a bit of trouble locating it among three bookshelves and a cupboard until I remembered that I’d put it in a bag, and that particular bag is in the cupboard. It’s been in a few different bags over the years but I found the greens, golds and reds in this bag suited it, with the stars and compasses reflecting the stars and maps and charts used as patterns and backgrounds in the deck, so it found its final home.





This card always means a sickening feeling of obsession to me, the winding snake of the mind, a feeling that I can’t get enough or fill myself up. A reminder to crop the obsessive thoughts from the mind and concentrate on what I have. Too much daydreaming and wishful thinking is often a loop I get stuck in.

Today I would like to sit down and create without all the wishful thinking. I want to draw and paint and colour and get something done. Something that may not be perfect but it is what has been in my mind for years. Get it out of the realm of daydreams and realize a design, that’s my activity for today.



My Tenth Anniversary of Tarot and Tarot Bags

Daily Draw January 12th, 2012

I often talk to other creative people about cycles and waves in artwork. There is nothing like the euphoria of finishing a piece of needlework, sewing, handmade book, drawing, or jewellery. Conversely, there is nothing quite like the dead feeling of a dry spell, it sucks the life from you for a time.

I put on earrings yesterday that were the first pieces of jewellery I made, and they hold up design-wise and are lovely to wear. I have three holes for earrings, and I like the asymmetry because I can take a pair of earrings and make it a trio with anything I want for that day. It’s that random mix of disparate things that I like, just like with cards and books.

In a dry spell, I tend to focus on unfinished work or the pictures locked in my mind that have never made it to concrete form. Then a few months ago when I reconnected to an online friend, I realized while sending her updates that I HAD completed many things.

This month is my ten-year anniversary of discovering tarot, and I started to sell tarot bags ten years ago, although I no longer sell them. I was thinking fondly of all the lush bags I have made over the years. I sold about 70 and made others that I either own myself or have gifted; I won’t sift through the minutiae of data to find out exactly. I’m an embellishment person so they all had things like miniature patchwork, appliqué, silk ribbon, embroidery with silk and cotton thread, hand dyed fabric and thread, hand painting, charms, gravestone rubbings, printed photographs, beads and extras on the drawstrings. Some had small coordinating bits of appliqué and embroidery on the reverse of the bag too for a surprise. The little stories, the flash of colour, the richness of texture and textile, I get such a kick from that.

I thought it would be fun to do several montages of tarot bags I have designed and made throughout the years, although this is not my total output. The hours I devoted to these bags adds up as each one took at least seven hours to create and one hand-painted one took me 20 hours. I’m not labelling these or explaining them, it’s all about the rush of colour, the pleasure of the eye. Let’s have some visual candy in celebration of accomplishment and creativity and the discovery of the cards that opened the world to me.

It’s a staggering amount of work to look back, and I am now like a steam engine, getting up a head of steam for the fresh start and the new journey.

Are you ready for a blast of colour?







Cards are such fun aren’t they?



Heimdall and Boromir Find a Tarot Bag at Ragnarok

In preparation for The Lord of the Rings Tarot that a friend is sending me, I decided to make a bag for it. My inspiration was a painting in an old manuscript that depicts the god Heimdall blowing his horn before Ragnarok. In that battle, he and Loki fight, and although Heimdall wins, he dies of his wounds. I drew a parallel between Heimdall and poor Boromir blowing his horn before his last stand against the Orcs in The Lord of the Rings. They both died of their wounds, alas.

Superimposed over the painting, I have printed one of Tolkien’s poems, the one that refers to Aragorn, that was given to the hobbits in The Fellowship of the Ring when they still knew him as Strider. I used the font Edda to tie into my theme.


The bag is lined with a Celtic-themed fabric in red, blue, green, and yellow, and I’ve picked up those colours in both the image and the beads on the drawstring. Also on the drawstring are some pewter beads: a dragon charm, to represent Smaug; a spider, to represent Shelob; a Celtic knot; and moon and stars imagery.


Thwarted in my attempts to buy a Lord of the Rings action figure for lack of money  (I often like to get relevant action figures for decks), I found a free paper doll pattern online and made a representation of Boromir’s last battle when he blew his horn so desperately to call for aid while trying to protect the hobbits.


You can’t go wrong with a pertinent visual.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.