June 30th, 2014

baby kitty

Mondaily with weekend report

We went to a birthday party on Wednesday, and Guppy discovered the joy of wading pools:

The weather was fine, so I didn't mind that she got a little wet. Then, a little wetter, as some of the kids were slinging buckets of water and throwing balls. Then, she decided to step INTO the pool, with her shoes still on... I caught her after just one foot, but we still cut short our festivities and she learned to say 'soaking wet!' We did stay for hot dogs, and many delicious side dishes, and ice cream punch, all of which were met with great enthusiasm. Sunday, she woke up and demanded more hot dogs, and when I told her we didn't have any, she explained that we could get in the car and go up the driveway for hot dogs.

She was particularly monstery, through the day, and practiced yelling and being upside down, as well as throwing Mom's phone and making a pile. I understand why some species eat their young (Jake argues that this would be a poor return on our investment - she's a spindly little thing, not enough meat). We went for walks both days with Norway - very long walks, considering the length of her legs. She only turned around to come home because I insisted, knowing that I would be carrying her up the last hill, at least. We played in the turtle and walked around the house several times. I sang the Sesame Street theme song seven hundred times. "Suuuuunny days. Mama! Suuuuuunny days! Sing!"

The ladybugs, despite their habit of fleeing my garden after I release them, are starting to make a dent on the horrific aphids on my delphiniums. The cilantro is doing better than it has any business doing here, and everything else is flourishing except the basil, which looks a little traumatized from its re-potting. I'm still thinning out violets and putting them on the slopes that washed out. They aren't exactly spreading yet, but they aren't dead there yet, either, which is as much as I can really hope from that terrible soil. The trench continues to do its work and after several more torrential rains, there hasn't been any more sliding.

The painting in the garage may be finished by tomorrow. I am delighted with our contractors so far - they are going to have the WHOLE thing done in a week (they estimated two), and under budget by a good amount. Then, we can start moving shelving out there, and I will have a MUCH nicer workspace in the basement. (Not that I have much time to USE it right now.)

I do have artwork to share - I will be releasing it here shortly!

And I finished my sketch AND my ink stage for the RTH multi-artist collaboration project, which is a big load off. Bills to pay, today. Laundry, as well, dessert to make, nephew to ferry, and... probably something else I'm forgetting. Inbox is at 80.
ellen with wrench

Three of Pentacles - artwork and symbolism discussion

Coming late to the 78tarot project, I had the choice of two cards. I glanced at the meanings of each of them, and the 3 of pentacles made me smile. Briefly, the card is about projects. And I? Love projects.

More specifically, the card is about bringing a complex project to completion, about leadership, teamwork, planning, and competency. It makes suggestions about the need to rely on others when appropriate, and to take pride in the hard work that will bring results. The suit of Pentacles, sometimes alternately called the Coins, is associated with the element of earth.

Traditionally imagery for this card shows an apprentice (a laborer, in some interpretations) in a cathedral with two older men holding architectural plans, listening to him intently. The three pentacles are part of the arch above them, and the cathedral is in a stage of being finished. Alternate versions of this card show a master craftsman completing his work, usually carving into stone, or something with permanence.

As I sat down to sketch, I kept several things in mind. I didn't want to stick to merely a reimagination of the Rider Waite version, but I wanted to keep some of the sense of grandeur from the original setting, so I kept the arching composition. Rather than make the pentacles part of an arch, I turned them into lights - at first I thought the chandeliers would be crystal, then I thought they might be something organic based on the earth element, but as I sketched, I wanted to capture a little hint of steampunk, so I made big gear settings with chains.

I wanted to keep a trio of people in it, as well (because I couldn't do anything the easy way), and I wanted them to show levels of mastery - an apprentice, a laborer, and a master craftsman. It was important to me to show them assisting each other, because the card is so strongly about cooperation with others, so I had one of them holding a ladder for the other, and I showed them all working on different aspects of the project. The old woman in the foreground is handling plans and drafting tools, wearing robes that indicate status. The laborer has a box of hand tools, is dressed for physical work and is wearing practical clothing. He is clearly in the prime of his life. The young apprentice reaches high above himself, holding the delicate globe and dressed in modest garb. He wears a pouch with scrolls to show that he is learning and studying.

The vinework up the arches is intended to echo the element of earth, and the deck of cards on the table by the plans is not an accident; it is meant to represent the 78tarot project itself! The 3 of pentacles is about bringing a project into its final stages through teamwork, and leadership, and ambitious plans that couldn't come to fruition without hard work and cooperation.

This card is part of the 78 Tarot project. You can get a copy of the deck - plus awesome extras! - through our Kickstarter! Some of the limited packages are sold out, and several others are disappearing fast!