Monthly Archives: July 2013

Knight of Pentacles: The Steady Rhino


What a weekend! With an amazing day trip out of the city with friends and then attending a hilarious bridal shower with relatives. (My mom made for a fantastic toilet paper bride, I have to say!) But now I really need to do whatever I can to stay focused on the road ahead, and thankfully there’s the Knight of Pentacles to help me. This knight is my rock. He is steady and able, taking his time when necessary. Sure, watch him move when provoked, but this is not one of those times. He’s solid in build and in character. This is definitely no pushover.  Definitely more experienced than the Page of PentaclesI wanted my knight to be a little older, like he’s been around the block a little more. The powerful rhino was very fitting: his strong presence, the rough exterior, the little wrinkles. Enduring yet quite temperamental. He’s a reminder to keep going and to keep pushing.

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Celtic Cross Spread? Nggghh.

I am continuing to find my groove with the Animism Tarot deck and continuing to learn and gain more insight into the world of symbolism, intuition and tarot reading. A celtic cross spread was in order to wind down my evening last night. I always gravitate towards small three card spreads and it was time to aim a little bigger.

But oy vey. I was reminded of why I’ve been doing three card spreads in the first place and and why I like doing three card spreads over others: for one, larger spreads take so much more time. To look at the different positions, their meanings, the cards, their meanings, their meanings in connection with their position, their meanings in connection to other cards with their meanings and their positions and how it all comes together? Ohhh the pages of notes I ended up writing last night! Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Also another reason why I enjoy my little three card spreads: I don’t have room to do larger ones.  I don’t have large, spacious reading areas, and if I can just be a little honest: I have a lot of crap. Papers and fabrics and boxes and knick-knacks and small piles that end up being larger piles. I’m a collector. Of Stuff. Celtic cross spread? Ain’t nobody got room for that!

Thankfully there are evenings – ah, the evenings. When I can wind down on my bed, lay out my bright fuchsia scarf, and even have the room for something a little bigger than my usual three cards. This reading  ended up going really well, I think. I think the cards that really stood out to me were:

The Sun.. as it has always been my ideal – to stand in its warm glow and find happiness and success.

The Ten of Pentacles.. where I’d like to be, to be able to find my place in this world.

The Six of Cups.. how young at heart I really am.

The Queen of Swords.. filled with strength, to be fearless, to find purpose. She is who I want to be.  This is the future card, which – very fittingly – rises up from the Ace of Swords, which happens to be the past position.

The Queen of Wands, representing the outcome. The Queen of Wands really comes when needed. Filled with life and energy, she glows with strength and brings a positive lesson to learn.

This reading was definitely insightful, but for an every day reading I think I’ll stick with my three card spreads! Of course with time, and practice, readings will come easier and faster and spreads will be much more easier to tackle. But for now, I think I really have to be in the mood to do anything larger. I definitely lack the energy to dive into larger spreads on a regular basis.

Do you prefer to read small spreads or larger spreads? Perhaps one day I’ll tackle Radue’s Wheel, the 78 card spread. One day!.. maybe.

500 Etsy Sales. Cheers~

From a post I wrote on Etsy today:

———————–

I reached 500 sales a little while ago, and I felt like I should probably post about it, but I didn’t really know what to write about. I remember when I reached 100 sales and wrote this lengthy post with advice and such. And then at 300, I wrote a lengthy post about how I honestly had NO idea what the heck I was doing, really! So I have no idea what to write at 500, and now I’m just focusing on the next 100, or even the next 500.

I’ve learned a great deal from these forums, and everything you could possibly hope to learn, all that information is at your fingertips with a simple search here. I kind of know what to do and where to go from here – sort of, but at the same time I still have no real clue what I’m doing, haha. My real goal is to make this dream a full time job, and I hope to reach that point some day.

Should I throw in some tips for newer sellers? I guess I could add a few things that usually cross my mind when I look at sellers looking for advice.

– Add more listings. Keep adding them. You can never really have enough. I never feel like I have enough. I’ll probably have enough when (if) I sell enough to make a living off of this shop. When you’re too busy putting together orders to add a new product, then you might just have enough in your shop. Until then, keep adding.
– Your pictures are most likely too dark. Lots of natural light is your friend. Picture editing software is also your friend. Macro setting is also your friend. Nice clean backgrounds are also your friend. Also, please don’t take pictures of your items lying on the floor. I can tell when they’re lying on the floor, and I don’t really want them now.
– SEO. So important. So, so so important. Did I mention that it’s very important? The titles, the description, the tags. Seriously. Those tags. Important. Fix them.
– Here. The seller’s handbook. So awesome: www.etsy.com/blog/en/2013/the-seller-handbook-archive/
– Policies. Add them.
– Respond to inquiries as soon as possible. Be considerate. Be polite. Be nice. People appreciate it, even if they don’t end up buying. I remember when I worked in the food industry, one of the important things I took away from it was that even if the customer goes away not liking your product, they can at least say that they had excellent customer service. Make those customers happy.
– Sometimes when things are slow, the best thing to do is step away from the computer. I usually joke that I would only get a sale when I’m not at home. But in reality, I’m not really joking at all. That usually happens! Like today I stepped out for a little bit and came home to a sale. It works. Those sale fairies are cruel like that. So take a break. Step outside. Get a little bit of sun. But not too much. It’s freaking hot out there. Oh okay, don’t go out; just at least go downstairs for a snack. I wouldn’t go outside if I had the choice either.
– Blogging is a good thing. That could be just a few sentences on tumblr, or twitter, or full, fleshed out blog posts on blogspot or wordpress. Even if you don’t know what to write, and this is coming from a person that is terrible at writing, it’s worth the effort. It’s crazy the kind of connections you can create from just putting a few thoughts out there. Go out into the blogging world. Find blogs that interest you. Respond to them. Share the love.
– Pay close attention to any requests. That can bring a world of inspiration or even lead to a whole new product line that you never even thought of before. Try new things. Don’t turn requests down unless you absolutely have to. Opportunity is everywhere.
– I think everyone should draw, even if it’s a few random scribbles. A few blank pages and a pencil or pen is all you need. You don’t necessarily need any artistic talent. A few scribbles or a few random words and it can all suddenly lead to a whole new idea or a whole new product. It happens!
– Be a little weird. It keeps things interesting.

I wanted to write more, but I’ve had two glasses of wine, and am now feeling the effects of those two glasses of wine. So I’ll just stop here. I could probably think of more advice. But yeah. Two glasses. It’s weird. I could have beer after beer after beer or hard liquor and feel nothing. But wine? Wine instantly gets your groove on, if ya know what I mean. Oh yeah, here’s one more advice:

– When it doubt, drink wine.*

 

* only if you’re of age, people.

The Blue Whale: My Gentle Giant, My King of Cups

The King of Cups is my gentle giant. The court cards were actually really interesting to work on because I felt like the right animals had to really own their role, and here they needed to have their own unique presence in the cups’ waters. This king was definitely no exception! To me, he had to be grand and fantastical. So why not strive for the king that easily rules the waters and paint the largest mammal in the world: the blue whale.

 

It’s hard to capture the grandness of the blue whale. If I had my way, I would probably have three tarot cards side by side to paint the king so I could really capture the size of him! But it’s okay; I think a single card suits him quite well.  This is one stable king, able to take control of the flowing waters that surround him. He takes everything in stride, knows how to get the right words across, and knows how to keep peace over his world.

1 Tarot Deck Down. A Lifetime Of Learning To Go!


The Emperor had made  a few appearances in my readings recently; I guess he took a break today. Maybe this reading was a bit too on the emotional side for him (Ace of Cups and The Moon?! No thank you!); so he wanted to step away. But even though he’s not there, I can still feel his presence; like he’s just peeking over my shoulder, pointing to each of the cards and pushing at me to take charge of things. Sigh 😛 Maybe he sent the Magician in his place in the reading instead… The Magician is kind of staring at me with this look that says, “hey, this is serious. Stay focused!”

Even though the Animism Tarot is complete, I feel like I’m still at the start of the road when it comes to actual tarot reading. And even though I can pull out cards that I’ve actually designed myself, I still continue to go, “hmm, what the heck can that mean?!” when it comes to applying the images to the questions that I have. Reading is a whole other ballpark; I’m no longer drawing and painting, but trying to see things in a different light and writing down notes and readings in my tarot journal (or rather, my stack of lined sheets of paper that’s usually a mess.) But it’s definitely been an interesting road so far, and it’s surprising the kind of insight I can find when it comes from my own pictures. I don’t think I’ll ever get over the fact that this deck is real. I better not wake up and find that this has all been a dream, or I’ll be so mad!

Toronto is Flooding. This Calls For a Meme.

stahp

Be safe, my city. I love you!

 

Beware The Scorpion: The Tower Tarot

A few months ago, I did a tarot reading regarding someone that had an impact on my life, and the Tower tarot was the first card that appeared in the reading. It was definitely an eyebrow raising, perplexing kind of reading. It was a touch hopeful but still felt gloomy and sad overall.

Yesterday, now with the Animism Tarot in hand (oh gosh, my glee. I seriously do feel like a mother hen watching over her little chicks. Did this blog post just get a little weird? Oops.) I suddenly thought of this person again, and did a somewhat similar reading. I shuffled the cards and the first card I drew? The Tower. Again. That kind of knocked me back a little! I think the second reading left me with more questions rather than answers (I still have so, so much to learn) but I think this situation in general won’t bring about much clarity. Still, it was a little unsettling to see the same tarot again, giving me the feeling that things haven’t changed much since the first reading.

Fortunately the Tower wasn’t a very difficult tarot to design. I definitely wanted an image that was dark and gloomy, keeping the same vibe as the classic card as well as the awesome lightning imagery. I used a tree as a tower – but of course, the true tower here is the scorpion itself. The choice of using a scorpion was fitting to me. Different from the usual furry or swimming creatures, I wanted this scorpion to raise all the red flags when it gets drawn. I want it to essentially shout out, be careful, and tread carefully, because this will not be a pleasant encounter!

Painting this tarot was fun – mostly. Painting a scorpion itself isn’t the most fun thing to do! But I had dark red and purple in the sky, mixed with this black, black scorpion speckled with blue.  A dark scorpion seemed much more fitting than a light coloured one. It might be a little bit harder to see, but you’ll know if you’ve pissed it off!

Swing, Swing, Swing

Today’s project, inspired by a pendant I made about 2 years ago. Though the original has long been sold, that piece still gets attention now and then, and an inquiry for another gave me the push to make more of them. I love being able to pull a little inspiration from old artwork.

I had a lovely birthday weekend with family, friends, barbecue, and the beach. It’s always nice having a birthday that’s falls right in between pride week and Canada Day because I can surround myself with rainbows, love, gallery images full of hot gay bodies, and giant fireworks. Aw yeah. Happy Pride, and Happy Birthday, Canada. Woohoo!

Oh I almost forgot: today marks the second birthday of this blog. Crazy!

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