pegkerr: (candle)
I have been working on creating this card both before and after Rob's death:

The Widow - Committee/Council Suit
I am the One who has no comfort to ease the pain of his passing, who lingers on in darkness and in doubt as nightfall in winter that comes without a star. I dwell bound to my grief until all the world is changed and the long years of my life are utterly spent.

I am the One who has no comfort to ease the pain of his passing, the one who lingers on in darkness and in doubt as nightfall in winter that comes without a star. I dwell bound to my grief until all the world is changed and the long years of my life are utterly spent.

This one is composed of three overlaid images: 1) Arwen in mourning standing by Aragorn's sarcophagus (at 1:35 in the video below), 2) Arwen's head, bowed, in a mourning veil, (1:47 in the video below) and 3) my left hand wearing both my and Rob's wedding ring.

I became sort of fascinated with this scene in the movie (The Two Towers) after Rob developed cancer. I have a "Death" musical playlist, and I ripped the .mp3 from this scene and included it on the playlist (and cribbed the words for the description).

I like it that the images are "veiled" by being superimposed on each other, just like Arwen's mourning veil.

Rob's funeral is tomorrow. Details are in his obituary, which can found here.
pegkerr: (I told no lies and of the truth all I co)
Here's a new card I made tonight that I quite like.

I've taken the Strengthsfinder test, and my very top strength is "Strategic."

The Woman Who Copes Ahead - Committee Suit
I am the One who plans ahead to make the future as successful as possible. I can instantly plot the best path through the maze. I am the Ant who brings in the harvest, who keeps an eye on the clock and the calendar, who saves for emergencies and retirement and always remembers to pay the insurance bill. I am gifted, wise, confident, and clever. My family benefits from my foresight and organization.

I am the One who plans ahead to make the future as successful as possible. I can instantly plot the best path through the maze. I am the Ant who brings in the harvest, who keeps an eye on the clock and the calendar, who saves for emergencies and retirement and always remembers to pay the insurance bill. I am gifted, wise, confident, and clever. My family benefits from my foresight and organization.
pegkerr: (Default)
I have been at a bit of a loss because my photos are hosted over at LiveJournal, but I don't want to upload photos there anymore. Haven't quite learned the ropes here, but here goes. Anyway, made these a bit ago, but just posting them now.

Grandparent - Council Suit
I am the One who rejoices in the company of the child of my own child. I am a mentor and a teacher, a parental figure and a friend all in one. Spending time with my grandchild reintroduces me to joys which may have slipped from my own life. Our bond tightens the generations together.

I am the One who rejoices in the company of the child of my own child. I am a mentor and a teacher, a parental figure and a friend all in one. Spending time with my grandchild reintroduces me to joys which may have slipped from my own life. Our bond tightens the generations together.

Fear - Committee/Council Suit
I am the One who freezes in primal terror, trapped between the horror ahead and the threat behind.

I am the One who freezes in primal terror, trapped between the horror ahead and the threat behind.

This one is a lot about the truly difficult times I was having when I was unemployed and Rob was failing. I really don't want to go back to this mental state.

The Magical Child - Council Suit
I am the One whose holy, mystical innocence will save the world.

I am the One whose holy, mystical innocence will save the world.

The Mythopoeic Reader - Committee/Fairytale Suit
I am the One who delights in reading stories of adventure in fantastic imaginary worlds.

I am the One who delights in reading stories of adventure in fantastic imaginary worlds.
pegkerr: (Fiona)
This is the card I was dreaming off when I took pictures of Fiona when she was fifteen years old. I had a very vivid picture of the card in my mind, and it still isn't there quite yet, but it's a lot closer, what with all that I've been learning about software this week.

Fiona - Community Suit

Fiona - Community Card
I am the daughter always in motion, the spinner, the warrior, the dancer, the delight.

I remember when Fiona was four years old vividly. She was always spinning. I wrote, once, about a walk I took with the two girls around the block. Delia (barely two) lurched gravely along, diaper creaking, occasionally stopping to crouch to examine a bug, a stone, a leaf. And then she would be up and moving again, pacing herself as if she were taking a ten mile walk.

Fiona flittered in and around us, dancing around us, spinning joyfully, peppering us with exclamations and questions: "Isn't the sky blue! I can't wait until I can go swimming. I need a new bathing suit. Can we have spaghetti for dinner? How long until Daddy comes home?"

Later, the girls started karate, and that spinning girl always remained in the back of my head. This gets a little closer to what I had in mind.

As I said, the pictures were taken seven years ago. I imagine I will make cards of the girls through their lifetimes, as they discover new stages of themselves.

What do you think? Not quite what I'd envisioned (the spinning figures were meant to be more transparent/translucent) but I like it. At the very least, it is a relief to get out of my head and onto paper an image that has been knocking around in my head for years.
pegkerr: (Default)
I took my supplies with me on a family vacation (more on that later) and tried and tried to make cards. I cut out magazines and pored over images I had collected for hours. I made only one card, which was frustrating, but I'm very pleased, on the other hand, with how this one card turned out.

Universal Mother

The Universal Mother - Council Suit
I Am the One who bears and mothers the child. My womb and then my arms protect and cherish. I am the first to love and the first to be loved, and the One who teaches you how to trust. I am compassionate, nurturing, patient and kind. My power is deceptively simple, yet I embody all of Creation.
pegkerr: (Default)

The Holy Tree - Council Suit
I Am the One who grows beautiful and strong, deeply rooted in the human heart. My branches shine with flowers, fruit and birds. Do not look in the bitter glass which shows only a barren reflection.


The Barren Tree - Council Suit
I Am the One who is barren and twisted, my branches full of calling ravens. I can fill your gaze entirely, yet I may be only a mere reflection from the Bitter Glass of the true Holy Tree within the heart.
pegkerr: (Default)
and in fact, I can think of only one other instance, when I added the wolf to the 'Dream' card. Bbut this one I've reworked three times, because I was never satisfied with the images I could find of the falling woman. But I went out looking again today and I think I've finally found one I'm satisfied with. The prior card is the first card in my deck marked 'Retired.'

The card is The Cruel Sister and it is for a suit (the Fairytale Suit) that I've added to the traditional suits in a soulcollage deck.

Here is what the card used to look like:

The Cruel Sister - Community/Fairytale/Council Suit

Now it looks like this:

The Cruel Sister

The Cruel Sister - Fairytale Suit

I am the One who pushes away the sister who loved me, giving her neither hand nor glove. I turn away, so as not to see her destruction. I am a betrayer with a heart made of stone. My only witnesses are the ravens
pegkerr: (Default)
I had a perfectly lovely evening last night with [ profile] minnehaha K. We took a walk through her neighborhood, admiring the gardens, had a delicious dinner at an Italian trattoria (the scallops were especially exquisite) and then came back to her house and worked on collage. I had already assembled and had with me the elements I wanted to make this card, which has been much on my mind lately.

The Empty Nest - Council Suit
I am the One who is left behind, in pride and grief, when the babies are grown and launched into the world.

I wittered a bit over the card, wondering if I was missing something, and hunted through my various images, looking for something I could put on the little roof overhang on the nest. I also considered the idea of putting a mama duck looking out of the nest hole, and I did have a picture that would fit.

But I wanted the card to encapsulate the mixed feelings I have about it: both pride (the people in the crowd below are both cheering and have their hands up to provide support) and sadness. So I put in the watchful eye (with the teardrop) instead.

The ducks, by the way, are golden-eye ducks. They do that: fling themselves out of the nest, and with luck, they'll land on a bed of soft leaves or into the water.

As I've mentioned, Fiona moves out August 1 and Delia will be leaving for college the last week of August.
pegkerr: (Default)
Judgment - Council Suit
I am the One who has full authority to carefully and impartially weigh the evidence and mete out what is deserved. I am incorruptible and My word is final...unless tempered by mercy.

I'm not perfectly pleased with the design of this one. The scales held by the woman originally held (I think) brussel sprouts or some such similar vegetable, which was not exactly in synch with what I had in mind for the card. So I very carefully cut out the bottoms of the scale pans and substituted a star field (Hubble telescope picture), in the hopes of giving it a sort of cosmic scope. Not sure it entirely works (although it's probably better than brussel sprouts). The pillar behind the woman was left there to obscure another figure behind the scribe, but it partially obscures the central figure's head. I also would prefer to have the judges in the lower left looking in the other direction, over at the woman. Oh well.

I had the description of the tarot card Judgment a little bit in mind (although the card description mentions mercy, which as I understand the traditional card description isn't usually a part of Judgment). If I were following the iconology of some tarot traditions, the heart would be weighed against a feather.

(What do you think of the card?)

The other vexing problem I had with making this card was with the fixative I was trying to use. My beloved StudioTac is no longer being manufactured because the company shut down after Hurricane Sandy. I'm trying to use another dry fixative I picked up at an art store, but it's not nearly as easy to use, and I end up scraping bits of rubber cement-y type glue from the card and from my fingers. Argh.
pegkerr: (Do not speak of such things)
Yet it is important, and it arises out of a number of conversations I have been observing unfold over the past couple of years.

I would like to say this is a Council Card and not a Committee Card (i.e., an aspect of me), but I don't want to be as oblivious as the subject of my card by denying my own privilege. I could have avoided the whole issue by making the subject a white man, but I wanted to remind myself pointedly of my own personal privilege rather than to sooth myself with the idea that 'this is about someone other than me.' Therefore, I made the subject a white woman, like me. I will identify the card with both suits, a bridge card.


Privilege - Committee/Council Suit
I am the One who is unfairly advantaged over others due to race, class, gender, education, sexual orientation, country of origin, or other characteristics outside my control, yet oblivious to that advantage. Instead I assume my success is due to my own personal merit.

This seems to me to be one of the most uncomfortable cards I've made. I also hesitate to even post it, given how raw emotions are over the recent shooting in California (and yes, I have been reading the hashtag #yesallwomen over on Twitter). But I'm going ahead anyway.

Who was it who said art should afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted?
pegkerr: (Default)
Inspired by my recent visitor, I gathered specific images and sat down and made this card tonight (alas, not very well scanned, sorry).


The Bunny (Fourth Chakra) - Companion Suit
I am the One Who is creative, intuitive, and loving. I live by my wits but can sometimes freeze in fear.

As I've mentioned, 'bunny' has been the endearment that we've used in our family since the girls were born. The fourth chakra is the realm of the heart, of love, so it seems perfectly appropriate. I was so pleased when I found the heart fractal tree (and note the link to the Holy Tree that grows within the heart - see Delia's artwork to compare).

This site has some interesting and pointed things to say about rabbits and their totemic meaning. I've spoken about how I've been having increasing trouble with anxiety, and given how I've struggled to deal with Rob's cancer, this sentence really stood out: "Rabbit people may be afraid of tragedy, illness, and disaster, thereby calling those very fears to them to teach them lessons."

Interestingly enough, the same site mentions the linkage in some cultures of rabbits to the moon. There was a moon in the artwork of the background (the heart fractal tree). You can see its reflection on the ground on the lower right. However, I covered the moon with the chakra symbol.

I think the bunny/rabbit is perfect for my fourth chakra. The only wonder is why it took so long for me to figure it out; it seems obvious to me now.
pegkerr: (Default)
Today is the 14th anniversary of my online journal. Hurrah! It seems appropriate to post my newest SoulCollage card. I created this up at my sister Betsy's cabin, where I went with Betsy and Greg and my mom and Delia (Fiona was feeling under the weather) for a one day retreat in honor of my birthday (tomorrow)

This very pretty card was created by cannibalizing my old We'Moon desk calendars. I feel a bit guilty: its prettiness is due to other people's talents, not mine.

Creation's Wheel of the Year

Creation's Wheel of the Year - Council Card
I am the One who turns the Wheel of the Year, circling around from birth and to death and then birth again. I am at the heart of all living things.

This is certainly akin to my Death and Rebirth card, but it adds the aspect of time, and of the neatness of the natural cycles, both the month and the year. I like the circle of what I think of as the Holy Tree going through the cycle, I adore what I take to be the little winged eggs, I like the circles being related to the spirals of DNA. Reminds me of the Peter Mayer song 'All the World is One.' One of the verses goes:
Ask an atom in the breath you take
Ask the water by the river bank
Ask a strand of DNA--it's written in your blood
One life running in your veins
One light from one big bang
You can try and separate it
But all the world is one, all the world is one
Huh, I went looking for the post where I posted my Death and Rebirth card, but I couldn't find it. Maybe I never put it up. Here it is )

Edited to add: I mentioned the 14th anniversary of my online journal to Fiona, who replied, "Wow, it's old enough to go to high school now!"
pegkerr: (Default)
Grandparents - Council Suit
Grandparent - Council Suit
I am the One who rejoices in the company of the child of my own child. I am a mentor and a teacher, a parental figure and a friend all in one. Spending time with my grandchild reintroduces me to joys which may have slipped from my own life. Our bond tightens the generations together.

This is a more generalized, archetypal card. I think I want to create community cards for the specific grandchild/grandparent relationships I have experienced in my own life. I've been lucky. For the most part, they have been very good ones.

This is also an experiment: It's the first card I've posted using the scanner on my ipod touch.
pegkerr: (Default)
I do not like this card. I am not sure whether it's because it's powerful enough to hook into an uncomfortable subject matter, or I'm not pleased with it aesthetically. Perhaps both.

(Plus I lost one of my tools while making it in the hodgepodge of all my folders of images: my burnisher, which I use to press the collage down on the matt boards. Which is extremely annoying.)

Anxiety - Committee/Council Suit
I am the One who is always flinching back from imagined terrors both real and unreal. I live my life in a constant state of apprehension and misery.

I can clearly see the shadow side of this card: if you are familiar with the myth of the sword of Damocles, the person the sword hangs over is powerful. Yet I feel powerless in this card. I threw in a hodgepodge of my standard terrors. I notice that many of them come from above...the sensation that an anvil is about to descend out of the sky, perhaps. The similarity of the pose of the bat and the girl pleases me. It is said that bats are just as afraid of us as we are of them (personally, they just make me come unglued).

The deatheater mask (Bellatrix Lestrange's) really should have been the Dark Mark in the sky, but I didn't have a good picture of that. Still: the deatheater masks were meant to sow anxiety and terror.

It was an uncomfortable card to make. I can't decide whether I'm displeased with it because I would have preferred the Dark Mark to the deatheater mask or because, I dunno, the sort of posed sense that the whole thing has. All the characters in the card are looking out at the audience, rather than reacting to one another.

(The girl with the steel pot over her head reminds me of the Bobs' song about Helmets, which you can hear here. The whole point of wearing a helmet, the Bobs tell us, is that it keeps you calm.)

Perhaps it just a poor choice for a card to make before starting a new work week. Nevertheless, it was the card that needed to be made.

What do you think?
pegkerr: (Default)
Seena Frost, the originator of Soulcollage occasionally gets a bit too new Age-y for my taste. She has come out with a second book, which adds a little to my understanding. In this one, she recommends that each deck contain a Witness card, a Transpersonal card, like the Source, which does not belong to any suit.
Witness is best compared to a mirror. We step back and see ourselves as if in a mirror. Witness is part of Source and formless. It has no comment on what it reflects; it does not judge; it does not applaud. However, from the place of Witness we may catch a glimpse of the patterns our Neters [the consciousness she says resides in each card] are making.

You will undoubtedly discover you have an inner Committee member who is able to function as a witness. Name this card Observer and make a Committee card for him or her.
Whatever. I haven't made an Observer card (I found one image which was quite good, but frustratingly, it was a man, whereas I wanted it to be a woman). I hope to make an Observer card soon. Anyway, here's my Witness card:

Witness - Transpersonal card
I am the One who is formless Consciousness.

I also made this card, thinking, perhaps, of all the stories I have been reading about the NSA. (The men at the bottom of the card are actually Secret Service men, waiting for a presidential helicopter to come down to the tarmac.)

The Watchers
The Watchers - Council Suit
I am the One who watches all, seeing details which are not usually meant to be seen. Whether I watch for your benefit or detriment is unclear; what is clear is that I see much that might otherwise remain hidden.
pegkerr: (candle)
The Midlife Journey
The Midlife Journey - Council Card
I am the One who responds to the Call or inner restlessness or new freedom by sailing away from the familiar and secure, in hopes of new energy and purpose. I can only leave with the support of those who love me.

This is related to a whole mess of cards:

The Call

The Hidden Passage (I really like the fact that it even looks like the same woman.)

The First and Seventh Chakra cards (the Tortoise and the Swan), as well as the swan patronus cards. (Well, okay, those are turtles in this new card whereas the chakra card is a Tortoise, but, um, close enough). The idea is that first chakra, The Tortoise (security needs) up to the Seventh Chakra, the Swan (connection with between myself and the rest of the universe) bless this journey.

I see links to Trustworthiness, too, with the linkage of hands (which is meant to show that this journey is very much supported. I am not intending to cut myself off from the people I love by taking this journey. Instead, it is (perhaps wishful thinking) very much supported by them.

Even the Silence card is related (which also has the bird)

Of course, what the woman wants to escape from is this and this.

I like this card very much, aesthetically, and it is getting at the heart of what I've been struggling with the past two weeks. I want to leave my job, my career. But how? How can I reconcile that with my security needs? How can I care for my family?

Another title for it, I suppose, is Midlife Crisis.

Upon a little extra reading, in which I was trying to remember which tarot card this reminded me of, I was tempted to stick six swords through the composition. It does resemble the Six of Swords card, in that it resembles that boat, beginning a journey. The Six of Swords card is sometimes called the Slough of Despond card....except the boat pushing away from shore suggests hopefulness, a movement toward something new.

Making the card was a better way to spend the afternoon than diving into the abyss that threatened to swallow me. I got out of bed, managed to choke down a little bit of food, and made something artistic rather than brooding.
pegkerr: (Default)
Here are two, one which I finished several weekends ago, and one which I am not convinced is entirely finished.

First we have this Committee Card:

The Brat (Committee)
The Brat (Committee Card)
I am the One who wants things MY WAY. If you do not allow things to be MY WAY there is no way I will be reasonable. Expect volcanic rage instead.

Marriage (Council)
Marriage (Council Card)
I am the One made from Two who have decided to join their lives and fates together, with the blessing of family and friends.

The thing that bothers me so much about this card is that I had it just about all the way assembled when I realized I was including only heterosexual couples. This was an unconscious assumption/bias, and I was quite ashamed of myself when I finally twigged to the lack. (Also a distressing lack of diversity). Duh. This from the woman who wrote The Wild Swans and campaigned for United for All Families. I like the couples I've found, but a pair of male hands with wedding rings added at the last minute--especially when all the other couples feature full body shots--hardly satisfies.

I like the card, and yet I may do it all over again. Rats.

I almost didn't post the card because I'm so embarrassed about it, but then realize I might as well show my mistakes as well.
pegkerr: (candle)
I have not been posting much because as you know, hey, cancer. But more than that, a cascade of Bad Events over the past few months (i.e., Rob's cancer), including a few more I haven't even talked about here have made things to start to feel pretty rough after almost a year of feeling quite good.

The Wave - Committee Suit
The Wave - Committee/Council Suit (Bridge card)
I am the One who can see it, in the distance but coming toward me, like a gigantic wave rising over the landscape, a doom I cannot escape. I want to flee, but I know that it's hopeless to even try. I just stand, paralyzed, knowing exactly what will happen as I watch it tower above me, crystal drops scattering like poison, and I wait for it to smash into me, sweeping me away to drown in cold nothingness.


For me, this card is about the vulnerability of fearing a recurrence of mental illness (specifically, depression in my case). I suppose it could be about anything you see coming toward you that you fear but cannot stop. Actually, now that I think about it, it would be applicable to cancer treatment, too, after you've received a diagnosis and before you start treatment.

It's also a reference to something I found in Tolkien's letters which he eventually worked into his fiction: he had a troubling recurring nightmare for years about a wave coming toward him across a landscape:
At the climactic moment of the Lord of the Rings, Faramir says to Éowyn that he is reminded of a "great dark wave climbing over the green lands and above the hills, and coming on, darkness unescapable. I often dream of it." The couple are as yet unaware of the passing of Sauron, but the symbolism is apt. Tolkien puts into Faramir's words a recurring dream that had troubled him since childhood: a "dreadful dream of the ineluctable Wave, either coming up out of a quiet sea, or coming in towering over the green inlands".

Tolkien felt that this 'Atlantis haunting' was symptomatic of a tale of universal mythic applicability, a theme "so fundamental to 'mythical history'--whether it has any kind of basis in real history…that some version of it would have to come in [to his legendarium]". Tolkien's version of the Atlantis legend was the tale of the downfall of Númenor, explicitly identified with Atlantis in many of the versions of the story that Tolkien wrote. The first was in the sketch for the novel The Lost Road, drafted around 1936 but soon abandoned.
Original reference here.
pegkerr: (All we have to decide is what to do with)
I had no intention of pulling out my soulcollage materials tonight.

My backbrain, however, insisted.

This card is related to several other cards in my deck: the Bearer of Burdens card, the Time card, the Dementor card, and The Woman Who Listens to Ravens card. I also think it's the card about what can happen if you resist crossing the Hidden Passage.

Cog in the Machine - Committee Suit
Cog in the Machine - Committee Suit
I am the One who feels trapped by duty and necessity into doing work without desire. I have hidden my authentic self behind masks for so long that I am deadened to everything. I am effective for other people's profit, but never for myself. I am a slave to routine, helpless to change my own fate.

Obviously, this has been much on my mind lately.

Not sure how I feel about this card. It's something I've certainly been thinking about lately, which makes it powerful, but I don't think it's one of my more sophisticated cards, artistically.
pegkerr: (Star)
These are both Council Suit cards:

Temptation of Absolute Power - Council Suit
Temptation of Absolute Power - Council Suit
I am the One who lures you with the promise of mastery over whatever you desire. My appeal is intoxicating, and the reward initially appealing, but beware: you are grasping for more than your fair share, and the price can be arrogance, which leads to the seeds of your own destruction.

The hands (I'm almost embarrassed to say) are from an ad for a snack cookie. Oreos, actually, which is funny because I don't find Oreos in the least bit tempting. But I know many people do. And yes, that is the Elder Wand and the One Ring. The eye is an image I've been hanging onto for quite awhile; I knew it had to go into a card, having something to do with, say, idolatry. This card seemed to fit.

* * *

Hidden Passage - Revised
The Hidden Passage - Council Suit
I am the One who shrouds in mystery what will happen as you pass on to the next stage. You may hesitate at the threshold, but do not wait too long. You must move forward.

Birth is one of the passages, and so is Death, but they are not the only ones. I am moving into one of these stages, the Empty Nest stage. What is most noticeable to me about these passages right now are the mystery inherent in them. I peer and strain to see what lies beyond the threshold, but I can't see, which makes me hesitate. Reminds me of this passage from one of my favorite childhood books. The swan was another element that I knew had to be a part of the card; not just any bird would do, either: it had to be a swan. That is because a swan is both my patronus (see here and here), and the sign/companion animal of my seventh chakra, which is the chakra point (at the crown of the head) that serves as the transition from the self to the universe.

It's also related to the Window Into Eternity card, as it's about the boundary, the place between.

A couple of minor dissatisfactions: I would have been happier if it had been a less recognizable bridge. But the picture certainly evoked what I was trying to portray. I am also disappointed because I bought a different kind of dry fixative (Letraset's Letratec) than the one I've been using up until now (Bainbridge's Studiotac), but Letratec is definitely NOT as good. The glue doesn't afix nearly as well, yet perversely, if you get it on the wrong spot, it doesn't remove nearly as easily. There's one spot where a bit got on the front side of the paper. When I tried to rub it off, it eventually muddled the ink of the picture itself. I'm definitely going back to Studiotac.


pegkerr: (Default)

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