creative priorities can shapeshift if you let them LOC4
finding & receiving

mercifully mellow


Today has been warm enough to open windows on both sides of the studio.  The pleasure of naturally fresh air - and the fact that it's still possible to say we live with such a blessing - left me hungry for spring.   Am in the throes of pretty much going through everything I own here in the studio and elsewhere.  It's been an ongoing process for about a year now.  The more I lean into it the more it picks up speed and volume. 

Think it's my sane response to the increasingly insane world.  I want and need this space to have energetic flow and practical workability.  In addition to very lo-fi yet optimum storage reconfiguration it's become really important to me that all dust and bits of debris be corralled and removed.  (note as is obvious in above image I do not consider flaking bark fragments to be "debris")

There is much going on in my family - thankfully nearly all of it of a purposeful and positive nature - that's pulled my energy back to the basics of the Householder path.  Last night I had a chance to sit quietly with the new moon in pisces vibration.  That's when the phrase mercifully mellow popped into my head.


Here in the studio we have two very unglamorous pots of bulbs I planted on the winter solstice.  Sunny yellow and orange sweet scented daffodilly energy is on the rise!  It's a ritual I've enjoyed since a friend and I declared ourselves the Inventresses of the practice roundabout '81.  Then we had an old fashion metal milk delivery cooler to store our pots and now I have a left-behind refrigerator that just sort of hulks at the edges of our garage.  For the two months of winter the bulbs give it purpose.  At this point (other slower to rise bulbs are still sequestered) the narcissus have been slowly acclimating to light for 5 days.  Tomorrow or the next day I'll put them in their permanent spot for budding-up.


Have also been breathing life in a long-neglected and pretty much ossified tube of discontinued (malachite) Daniel Smith watercolor from their primatek line.  The color doesn't handle reliably and it's streaky.  But the specific green itself is rather marvelous and I've been thinking of ways I could use the smaller chunks as mark making tools.


Today I also sewed a silk-lined storage pouch for a tarot deck I acquired very late last year - The Herbcrafter's Tarot.  Although I'm quite aware dandelions aren't pink it's the scrap that kept calling to me.  I lined the quilter's cotton with a green dupioni silk that stops just short of chartreuse.

[note:  per a request I'll soon be posting about Herbcrafters in relation to the way I approach a new deck upon unboxing.  Will do that on my main blog as I know some who read there but not here will be interested and inspired by the card imagery.]

I just cut long rectangles of the outer fabric and silk, eyeballed to leave sufficient room for a front, back, and tuckable flap.

Pouch unsewn

The two fabric's raw edges are folded inward (sometime with unravelling silk involved it winds up being as much as a half an inch for the silk and then easing-along the cotton to keep the edges even.  Below you can see how the folded seams look when the finished rectangle is positioned in the proper place for its intended contents. 


You can also see how the two fabrics are folded inward to self-seam with a continuous well spaced running stitch and (sometimes gently botched) mitered corners. 

Today I had to work with set dimensions based on what I had of the dandelion print.  And within that constraint long experience has taught me that if I set further folding and sewing lines based on the booklet and cards placed horizontally as it is above...


When all is said and done the cards and accompanying booklet will be housed in verticially snug comfort with just enough space to slip in a polished stone or crystal if you do that sort of thing.  

Pro-Tip:  Join the finishing side seams of the pouch with a continuous backstitch. 

Begin at the BASE of the sides rather than the top. When you get to the top take one or two small but sturdy stitches that are perpendicular to the rest of the stitches.  The top edge of the pouch will receive the most stress and wear.  Mindful stitch planning significantly increases the timeline before you have to repair or outright re-stitch the joining seams.


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grace Maestas

remember????????????????? i

i said...i need, like, i NEED a
Help me.....i Need a Big Mind*

so MUCH so far, and now this.
I LOVE YOU Acey, big Time.
*like....somewhere to GO....somewhere that a BIG MIND was alive, and happening that i could go
there and find what is needed


don't really think it's about the size of the mind so much as its intention?


yes! I had the windows open too! and the breeze came by and blew my small mind away

Liz A

my Cosmic deck is wrapped in a bit of Deb Lacativa sky blue damask tied with magic red and white twine, a little white sage tucked in for good measure ... raw edges and all ... methinks 'tis time to give the deck a more proper place to live ... especially if I can work out a way to keep the already-drawn cards separate from the yet-to-be-drawn cards as I work my way through the deck

and I confess to Googling "Texas pink dandelions" ... no luck, but sure enough, skeleton plant showed up, along with white rock lettuce ... and boy oh boy, I wish you could see our Texas dandelions, which live up to the "everything's bigger in Texas" trope

Liz A

P.S. I spent yesterday tidy-ing my studio (which is to say, pretty much the whole house) whilst pondering my first court card: the Knight of Swords ... gathering my thoughts


jude - hold on to your seat once they're open all the time. until this kind of landscape shift settles into the bones it's a lot like being on another planet. Not just ambient noise and the underground water music - just the air itself and the different ways the wind blows etc.


Liz - I love SO MUCH that your tarot journey is imbued with the collective energies of this disembodied community that means all it does to you. Maybe ... you should put everything you've built around the deck ... into a box? I don't know. Maybe an unpainted wooden box somebody sent you in the mail?????


Ah, this is the deck I would have if I decide to delve into Tarot and seeing it here, in the lovely pouch that you created for it, well may I say that it is just a beautiful fit for you Acey. While the dandelion cloth is fine for this deck, it is the inside green silk cloth that sings to me; speaking of renewal, of emergence, of growth, of love of our planet...gosh I'm getting a bit misty eyed here but that's ok because whatever we hold in connection, whatever we hold with intention, whatever daily simple quiet joys come our way, well it is all a path to holding center, holding steady and it is so needed these days.

If I do purchase the Herbcrafter's Tarot, I have a wonderful pouch to keep it in. During the holidays, my daughter gave me a lovely scented rosemary mint handcrafted soap. It came wrapped in a simple muslin bag, elastic at the top, no ties or other ornamentation and that is what made it so lovely. The soap scented the pouch and even now, there is a faint whiff of rosemary and mint. As much as I love the pure simplicity of this pouch, if I do get the Herbcrafter's Deck, well of course, I will forage among my herbs, gather leaves from our Chinese Pistache trees, get out one of my trusty copper pots, and submerge the pouch in all of this natural alchemy. It will be a joy if I can obtain a greenish color for it will be so befitting an herbal Tarot deck.

Liz A

a box ... well of course, why didn't I think of that? ... within which, a bag ... thank you for planting the seed of an idea

grace Maestas

ok, so i was quite content to watch with happiness as Liz worked. And enjoy the comments
here and there that would be directly about Tarot. I Was interested in that Marti had
made first mention, she is not one to be easily lured, but she liked this deck so i looked quickly
on Amazon...nice but still no pull toward.
and then...this post.
so going further i readily came across a GLOWING review with great commentary and description of both the book and the cards themselves....
and right away she said, referring to illustrator Joanna Powell Colbert....."she's like a modern day
Pliny the Elder" and that DID it. ok. I have been in love with Pliny since Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,
Annie Dillard
and so. I spent many years loving Tarot....and as i refer to you Acey, as a Big Mind, Tarot,
the study, is Big Mind.
i look forward to all this circling back


grace - am coming to much greater clarity in terms of the Big Mind moniker. a couple of ways it fits. I thought: focus. willingness to show up for myself for very long term life-trajectory commitment. But also study, too. It combined parts of the others but it's its own thing.

Thought there must be a triune of qualities that pertain to me. You need a triune to give birth to the four square stability foundation. (that's something jude told me in the teacup dream if you saw that comment over there) She was talking about something else but this morning, before getting out of bed, I was reading a new tarot book. Was reading how the first 3 numbered Major Arcana give birth to All Things, not just the rest of the tarot deck.

In any event there's a whole universe of possible sidebars, eh? On topic: This particular deck feels super-special to me. I have resonated with either the art work or the esoteric configuration upgrades on a number of decks but not so much all things together. There is only one so far - a lovely oracle style deck that's flower based. And now this one.

Marti brought it up in strong focus and then somebody in my chosen family specifically asked for what I'm currently building for the other blog. My heart is very full right now because of tarot. And oracles more generally. All the people who used to give me little bags of washi tape stopped because I begged them to. this year ALL of them gave me decks of some kind. A few people gave two because they couldn't make up their minds.

It's ... too much. I have always wondered where my intake limit is. When I would say this is Beyond and mean EVERYTHING MUST STOP. And yet it isn't spilling over the filled cup - there's still water tension holding steady. I say okay. This is what it feels like. And not about 'enough' issues - this is about allowing myself to be loved in this sort of way.

it really wouldn't need to mean any more than that, I guess, to be a massive perceptual upgrade, but of course being me I feel it's meant to mean a lot more.

and I already know one thing for sure .............. once retro merc and its shadow are in the rearview i have an IDEA that I'll bring to life for all of this community. To partake in their way. ALL OF US.

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