Sunday, June 27, 2004

This morning

We get our first press mention (on the web, it's been out in print for a week or so): Czech is in an odd frame of mind - we won against Denmark (you should have HEARD the celebrations last night) but our government has collapsed (I use "our" - which shocked my mother the other day - she can't believe that I am beginning to think of Czech as home). Iraq was "handed over" in the oddest ceremony I've ever seen. Was it just me, or did Paul Bremmer look incredibly nervous? Very weird - no doubt we will (or do I mean won't?) hear more. It is raining - again. Will it ever stop? Lotte reaches the grand old age of ONE. We plan to celebrate by buying her a steak - she is a red-meat cat. Strangely does not like fish, chicken and so on, but adores beef - and fresh grass and greenery of all sorts. I suppose it's healthy.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

The Seven of Swords - sneaky guy...

Seven of Swords Seven of Swords detail The quote that sort of goes with this - Colette is my all time heroine: I am indebted to the cat for a particular kind of honourable deceit, for a greater control over myself, for a characteristic aversion to brutal sounds, and for the need to keep silent for long periods of time. Colette

Oh - and by the way, our government just collapsed

I haven't really taken this in. It's been expected for days though. Poor Spidla, I liked him. He was that rare thing, a poor politician - lives in a small flat and pounds around the streets jogging. I think he may have been a little too idealistic for his own good - something you certainly cannot say of our President, Klaus, who will now appoint a new Prime Minister. Oh dear, oh well, it will all work out fine I suppose. Now that we are in the EU it keeps things more stable anyway - and Czechs are a pretty calm lot.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Knight of Cups rides forth...

With one blue eye, one yellow, and an awful lot of flowers on his costume. This is "Knight as Dreamer" - incredibly lovely, but impossible to bring him down to earth. Castles in the air... Knight of Cups Knight of Cups Oh - copyright, copyright. These are copyright so please ask before using them (the human domestic servants of any cats included are exempt from this of course)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Just a girl in a red dress dancing

This evening there was a tremendous, but brief, thunderstorm. The rain poured off the roofs so hard that it looked like rivers, but we didn't mind as just as it started we reached our very favourite restaurant - family-run Spanish with great fish - and were able to watch it all from inside, with the waiters laughing. When we left, the air was so clear it almost hurt - you know the way it can be just after torrential rain? The clouds had gone lemon-coloured in the very last sunlight and all you could hear was swifts screaming. Walking home we looked up at St. Nicholas Church tower as something scarlet moved suddenly. It was a girl - high up, leaning against the balustrade - and dancing. She wore a bright red dress and waved her arms in the air as though she was conducting the whole crazily beautiful city. Some final rays of sunshine hit her and lit her up, and she threw her arms up in the air in sheer joy. Yes, I know she could have been high, or a bit drunk, or a show-off or simply crazy, but it looked as if - and I believe - she was just high with the happiness of being here on such a glorious, perfect evening. I love this city.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Borders, a disclaimer :-)

By the way, recently when I reduce these cards the inside gold line on the border gets very heavy - in reality it isn't like that, it's very fine. Must work out why this suddenly keeps happening.

The World - starring a cat you may recognise...

Because to a cat, joy worth dancing about is having TWO gilded feather-sticks. World World closeup

Friday, June 18, 2004

The Hermit, for Diana and everyone

Sorry. I forgot to post this having said I would days ago - whoops, apologies. Hermit Hermit closeup

The Knight of Wands

Gorgeous, hugely admired, a real heartbreaker, but, like the blossom or the dandelion heads, he's gone with a puff of wind... Knight of wands Throwing caution to the winds (er, hmm, kind of) here is a close-up Knight of wands

Cesky Krumlov goes back to the 1600s

Interesting little article (below). If we weren't so totally up to our ears we would go - though I'd guess all the hotels will be booked anyway by now. I found the piece about the "deal with the devil" interesting. The Castle has the weirdest atmosphere. One AT (Aeclectic tarot forum - person told me that she visited, but then ran away in terror. It IS an odd place. If you remember our Five of Swords, there is a strange wall painting from the Castle that we first used in the sketches card (but we left it out of the final - sorry) - it features the Devil. Why was that put high up on the first courtyard I wonder? Here is the card - now minus the devil: Wheel Here is the devil picture - yes, it really is an original from the renaissance. Very odd isn't it? Devil Anyway, the festival looks very jolly and quite romantic and not terribly Gothic. This winter, when all the tourists have gone away again, we'll go back to Cesky Krumlov and do some more photography. As it is, half the cards feature parts of the town :-)

Saturday, June 12, 2004

The Chariot is redone! Yes!

I am happy - we said we would do it if we could, and we did (well, no, Alex did). It was the very first card we completed and it just never felt as together as the others. Now it's much nicer - and has one of those weird Renaissance chariot pictures in the background (the ones where everything but the kitchen sink was on the chariot? Oh - I'll post it tomorrow). Okay - off to watch a movie. Lots of posting to do tomorrow - including a Hermit for the_Bateleur. So pleased that we are nearly ready to go to print. Even though we still have eight cards to finalise (but that can be done while the first sheets are printing). Weird way to work, but well, why not. Now all I need is to finish the book (don't laugh, I am only half-joking - well it's 99% all there, but needs its final edit).

Friday, June 11, 2004

The Wheel of Fortune

With a corner of one of the wonderful photographs of Libor Svacek (which he sold us the rights to - beautiful stuff). This is set in the red bedroom at Cesky Krumlov Palace. Does it make sense? It's hard to see the details here (Alex thinks it's very hard to see enough at this size, but I think it's okay) We wanted a subtle Wheel of Fortune - something with some drama though. Wheel

Thursday, June 3, 2004

Queen of Wands

With the traditional black cat as bodyguard (we still need to do a little bit of work on him - just some tweaking). A lot going on - and the rain pouring down all the time. It feels like working in an aquarium. The river is rising alarmingly but everyone says it is okay as they have done something to the dams upstream and so we can't get floods again. I hope this is right and not just wishful thinking. Anyway, a lot done today including picking up our new stamp for the outside of the parcels. It is beautiful. I will try to scan it and show it. We will have an awful lot of mailing to do when the deck comes out so I want the parcels to be decorated this time. Other things. I have had another meeting with the guy writing our picture book. This time we had a dummy to talk around and I'm getting convinced he will do a great job. Okay, it's a small amount of words but they need to be funny and witty and sweet and edgy all at the same time - we don't ask much! Oh - and I want to take a trip to Transylvania. But much travelling coming up so will it be possible for us to fit that in too? Back to our beautiful queen. Oh - more news first though. We finally got permission to use the fabulous photos of Mr Svacek, the photographer who specialises in Cesky Krumlov. Nice man too - we will work more with him. It means we have these fantastic photos of the Baroque theatre - This theatre was closed (due to changes in theatrical fashion) in the late 18th century - they simply shut the door with everything still there, incredible but absolutely true - so when it was reopened in mid 20th century it was like a time-capsule. It is one of the most thrilling places I have ever been. We also have photos of the MAD Baroque Masquerade Hall and the Magical Hall of Mirrors (if a woman looks in the mirror there she will never age by a day BUT... there is a snag (of course)) Whoops - I'm rambling. Okay - first the Queen in the Baroque Theatre: Queen of Wands