Order a Reading

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Colouring the Edges of my Celtic Tarot

I don't feel I need to go any further with the Gaian, as I've decided against trimming the borders. To me, it's a tarot. I'm also learning not to be too quick to take a whack at a deck. I have at least one trimmed deck that I truly regret trimming, Roots of Asia. Bless its little heart.

Now, about that Celtic Tarot, the one with the very grubby edges. I finally decided to have a go at colouring the edges to cover up the disgusting grunge (previous owner must have handled that deck a LOT).

I tried sanding them with an emory board, which did knock some off, but it still looks really bad. I chose a royal blue pigment ink pad at the hobby shop yesterday and immediately did 16 cards. Probably too many. I laid them out to dry, no idea how long it might take as there is no information on the ink pad I bought. This morning I got up and decided to have a look at them. Bad plan. They started smearing. I started wiping. A discarded rag and frantically rubbed out smear on the edge of the bathtub (don't ask), I found myself impulsively trying to trim the edge of a border of the 9 of Wands, a card that is seriously damaged from having been folded in half at some point. Crooked of course, so I then took all four borders off. An instant pang of mournful regret as I contemplated that denuded 9 of Wands. It looked wrong, wrong, wrong. I stared at it for a  bit, then took out the corner rounder and doggedly nipped the corners off. Laid it down and stared, imagining myself trying to handle and read with this set of cards like this. Noooo. I took up the Empress in resignation, but then Eureka! Opened the drawer and grabbed the spare title card from the Arthurian Tarot that I had used the night before as my first trial drag through the blue ink. It's exactly the same size as the Celtic. I superglued the 9 of Wands onto that card, and even though the backs are different and the new border is glaringly white (as opposed to the grey mottled of the Celtic), I felt relief flood through me.

SO. I will never trim the Celtic. I will continue with the inking, only a few cards at a time, and I am not TOUCHING them for days in between. Even if they do smear and smudge a bit...maybe that will lend them an antique, distressed look. Well, certainly distressed at least. Both the Celtic and I are going to come out the other side of this misadventure bearing the scars. But I think we'll have bonded, as I keep accidentally wounding and offending it, and then trying to make it better. We'll get through this!

Lessons are being learned here, about patience, steadiness of progress, and also acceptance of flaws. Character building! ;)


  1. Oh poor you Rowan! What a horror of a Tarot story!!Is trimming them and gluing them onto new card perhaps the way you need to go?? Best of luck to you!! And post some photos hon, avoid the rest of us making that mistake! :love:

  2. Oh, my, you need a strong stomach when dealing with a dirty deck! Glad you seem to have come to a detente, and good luck with the inking. And like Louise says, can't wait to see the pics.

    I'm also really glad that you came to terms with the Gaian. Though I don't use it all the time, I do think it's a lovely deck.

    Wishing you a smudge-free Sunday,

  3. too funny. have you tried wiping them with a well wrung soapy rag? The gum eraser idea?

  4. I'd love to see photos of this whole story. I have an icky deck. It's pretty but one I would never use for reading. It's an Egyptian deck of some sort and was a gift.

  5. I'm doggedly trying to finish inking them. It's not a project I'm ever going to repeat. I will post photos eventually. :)

  6. You know, today I figured WTH, and picked up the remainder of the deck, squeezed it together and buffed the deck with the ink pad like applying shoe polish. Plopped the whole thing down. Now I'll let that alone for a few days and see what happens. Enough with this one card at a time rigamarole.