Speaking of making, Ron's working hard and joyfully on a new Lenormand deck. Like our Snowland Deck, it's painted acrylic images on hand-gessoed boards. He says I can't show any images until he gets past, like, the ten-card mark. Boo! Hiss!
I CAN say it's unlike any Lennie deck out there. Natch.
Unplugging isn't new to Team Boyer. You may remember my post from 2012 called No TV for 3. We went over a decade without TV programming (we had TVs, mind you, but only used them for DVDs and the occasional PS2 gaming).
We got a shitload of creative work done during that time, let me tell ya!
We ended up getting a Smart TV last year, so we're streaming--but to be honest, we don't spend a lot of time watching. When we do, it's usually documentaries, British mysteries (me and Noah), Gaia, nature stuff, cartoons, YouTube tutorials and Great Courses lectures.
Back to unplugging: deactivating all our Facebook accounts was so freeing! I'm feeling the "freed up computing space" in a big way.
I don't think we realize how much social media accounts function as a metaphorical "programs running in the background"--which means an unconscious (and sometimes, very conscious) drain on our "computing" energy.
I've also decided not to check any of my books' rankings on Amazon, nor the reviews.
My job is to create, not cater or monitor (which may go against prevailing publishing advice, but hey--I tried it "their" way...and it didn't work for me or my creative life).
So this blog--and our Newsletter (you can subscribe here, if you're not already a recipient)--will be the primary ways we communicate to the world.
Notice I said "we". You may have noticed that my our blog got a makeover yesterday.
Making this a Boyer Creations blog has been a long time coming--and I'm excited that we've consolidated our communication streams to basically only two channels. Really, I couldn't do what I do--to the extent I do it--without Ron and Noah. And they couldn't do their creative work without my help, either.
So stay tuned to see what we're creating and what we're thinking (or reading or watching or listening to)--and if you'd like, leave us a comment. We're glad to have you, and would be happy to answer any questions you have for us--as a family/creative team...or individually. And if you love what we're about, feel free to "buy us a coffee" (aka the Tip Jar). See the symbol at the top left of the blog? Just click and caffeinate. ::wink::
On Wednesday, April 10th, 2019, the groundbreaking, first-ever photograph of a black hole was published around the world. Captivating viewers and providing the only direct visual evidence that these regions exist, this Black Hole was officially named Powehi, a Hawaiian phrase that means "embellished dark source of unending creation." (The photo was actually taken in April of 2017, but wasn't revealed until 2019).
I wanted to celebrate this monumental image by creating THREE one-of-a-kind bracelets, reflecting a central black bead (representing the Black Hole) and beads in varying shades of yellow and gold (mimicking the corona around the hole). Beads are are made from semi-precious stones, Czech glass and acrylic.
Because they're made with memory wire, these goldtone bracelets fits most any wrist--and includes a goldtone star charm on the back.
Click here to see more close up images of my Black Hole Bracelets at our Chez Boyer Etsy Shop.
Sure...it seems cool to have a self-published deck come out that features celebrities--our favorite actors, singers, artists or musicians. Or even characters from a comic book series, novel, video game or movie.
Noticed I said self-published.
That's because traditional publishers aren't stupid enough to violate a famous person's Right of Publicity.
Yeah, in case you didn't know, Tarot decks featuring famous people--name or image, without their permission--is against the law. Click here to find out what the law says. For more information, Google "right of publicity" or "personality rights".
Now, most people realize you can't use TV shows, movies, songs or novels as a basis for a deck unless the creator/publisher secures permission OR it's in the public domain.
Yeppers, those people selling "fan art" at conventions?
They're profiting from the work and art originating with another person or creative entity.
So, this begs the question: how seriously do we, as Tarot enthusiasts, take the Justice card?
Oh, I can hear the rationalizations already:
It's not hurting anyone.
It's for personal use!
It's a great idea!
It's just for fun.
I'm using the deck for major internal work.
I read with this deck to help others!
The law doesn't care about your excuses reasons.
We think because someone is famous, they're rich--so it's OK to profit from their likeness. It's not hurting them. In fact, it gives them free publicity!
But that's just it: a person owns the "right of publicity" to his/her image and name. (Even dead people may be protected by their estate.)
Not you. Or your favorite indie deck "creator".
I can just see members of the Tarot community up in arms if a deck "creator" used illegal images from a self-published deck, original art or the body of a Tarot personality's work--without permission.
Oh...but it's apparently fine and dandy to create, buy, review or own such decks. Or even have the deck thief creator interviewed by Tarot's flavor-of-the-month YouTuber or blogger.
So what are your thoughts, Tarot collector, blogger, reader, reviewer and creator? Is creating decks based on a rock band, pop culture icons, TV/movie actors, artists (like Banksy)--without express permission--OK with you? If so, how do you justify it in light of the law?
What decks have you come across that are likely violating the "Rights of Publicity" law?
Personally, I'd like to see more air-time, blog space and money aimed at people who actually draw and paint 78 (or more) images to make up a Tarot deck--rather than those who are riding on the hard-earned celebrity of others.
How would you like a personalized bracelet made according to your tastes and worldview? Or perhaps you want to give a special gift, reflecting the interests, traits and preferences of a friend or loved one?
Here are some of my recent creations, made special as Christmas gifts (and I'm so hoping that, since she lives across the globe, she doesn't read my blog!):
Bracelet One: A bracelet that would promote more Fire energy in life (passion, energy, enthusiasm). I chose bead colors ranging in tones of reds and oranges, and included a charm laser-engraved with a flame.
Bracelet Two: A bracelet in aqua or turquoise with an Aquarius theme. I chose beads to reflect the colors she wanted, as well as a two-sided Aquarius charm and the initial of her first name ("D").
Bracelet Three: Another Aquarius bracelet, but with dark blue, indigo and purple. I chose the appropriate beads, and included a laser-engraved charm showing the constellation of Aquarius. I also included a star charm because, in Tarot, Aquarius is associated with The Star card--symbolizing hope, optimism and wonder.
Bracelet Four: Orange and gold tones with a black cat. I fulfilled her wishes (she's a major cat lover), but also added an extra enamel charm: a white and gold bottle of milk for the kitty.
I really enjoyed making these for her, and I hope she loves them (I think she will).
I plan on making bracelets focusing on MBTI and Enneagram Types (personality systems is one of my specialties), Chinese Zodiac signs, Chinese New Year (2019 is the year of the Earth Pig), animal totems and more.
I had bracelets dedicated to all 7 chakras, but someone bought them all (!). I'll be making more, but there IS one up that happens to be an aromatherapy one dedicated to the Root Chakra here.
Slowly but surely, I'm also rolling out intention bracelets that come with a custom spell, written by me. Here's a Prosperity Bracelet I recently made:
I've also created (with the help of Ron--he's a godsend when it comes to making bead dangles) some Christmas and Yule bracelets and earrings:
You can see more pics of these and my other jewelry in the section of the same name on our Chez Boyer Etsy Shop here.
Any of the bracelets can be personalized with a letter or symbol, too.
Well, I need go to make another black cat bracelet. I can't keep them in stock! (A good problem to have, right?).
“Life purpose is a choice rather than an experience. It’s something we decide about life.” – Dr. Eric Maisel
Just coming off the Christmas/Yule holiday, many have watched the perennial favorite It’s a Wonderful Life. (Were you among them? I admit I’ve never watched it all the way through. I need to remedy that!).
But, what if you’re not aiming for a wonderful life but, rather, a meaningful one?
In the Myers-Briggs typology, the profiles most likely to experience this kind of angst are NFs (iNtuitive Feelers). The combination of the imaginative, idealistic and OMG-all-the-potential! of the iNtuitve persuasion coupled with Feeling’s subjectivity and relativism is a brew that flails, quests, gropes and/or gnashes the teeth in the search for meaning.
You can watch a brief interview about how to articulate life purpose below:
The interviewer asks Dr. Maisel for some examples of life purposes. He offered these:
Doing the Next “Right” Thing (Living According to One’s Principles)
Making Value-Based Meaning
It can be in “menu” form (listing what’s important to you)—or in crafting statements that encompass several things (incorporating values from your “menu” of life purposes).
And, what we find meaningful five years ago (or even last year) may not be all that meaningful this year.
As we change, so do our values, priorities and—yes—our life purposes.
Dr. Maisel goes on to stress that the most important component to meaningful living is to orient yourself, each day, towards your life purpose.
In the interview—and in Week 7 of the book—he explains how to create what he calls a Life Purpose Icon—a tangible image (or symbol) that captures your life purpose choices.
Just a universal symbols like a cross, Star of David or pentagram evoke great significance and associations for some religious folks, a personal symbol can also become a strong icon anchoring us in our deepest values—as well as a motif leading us to our best selves and a life full of meaning. (I just got an image of Batman’s Bat Signal glowing in the sky… Ha!).
So taking Dr. Maisel’s examples from the interview, how might we distill those life purposes into icons? Well, it will be personal, of course. But here are some symbols that I’ve brainstormed:
Activism – A symbol hinting at the type of activism, perhaps? Social justice may be Scales. Environmentalism might be a Tree. Animal rights could be a favorite furry, scaled or feathered creature. Non-violent resistance could be a peace sign. Some health advocates associate colors with particular diseases they’d like raise awareness for (e.g. pink for breast cancer, purple for Alzheimer’s, red for AIDS, multi-color puzzle piece of Autism, etc.).
Service – An outstretched hand? Connecting hands? A wrench?
Strong Relationships – A chain? Two tethered hearts? Stick people in a circle?
Doing the Next “Right” Thing (Living According to One’s Principles) – Exclamation mark? Check mark? Asterisk? Justice or Judgement Tarot card?
Obviously, there’s no wrong way to create a Life Purpose Icon because it’s personal—whatever is meaningful to you.
In this vein, choosing a Word of the Year (or three words) is another way to focus on what truly matters to you. Over at Inc.com, Megy Karydes shares her 5 Tips on Crafting an Inspirational Mantra (that you can use all year long). For some, this method is more goal-oriented rather than meaning-oriented—but you can still use it to distill your chosen life purposes.
At qz.com, Rose Spinks encourages us NOT to make New Year’s Resolutions (she calls them a “scam”) but, instead, create what she calls a Life Thesis. I love how she sums up her article:
As it turns out, when you take away expectations and shame and pressure, humans tend to be rather intelligent about choosing what’s good for them. Chances are, if you craft a thesis that truly honors what you want your life to look like, your daily habits and actions will align to create that life, too. It’ll feel less like a moving target, and more like finding your center of gravity.
After seeing three Tarot books published in 2018 (!)—five full-length books in the last ten years—I feel a drawing towards process. I’m moving away from words and mandates like “productivity”, “publicity”, “sales”, “accomplishment”, “professional” and “business”. In fact, as I was talking earlier this evening to my husband (about, what else…meaning!—especially in terms of art), I uttered the phrase No End In Mind.
That is, play. Creativity for creativity’s sake. Enjoying the journey without a destination.
You don’t see a 3-year-old ponder self-worth, artistic prowess or marketability, right?
My values are changing. Have changed.
And so are some of my Life Purposes.
I’ll make some icons to reflect those—as touchstones for the upcoming year. Reminders of where I’m at now (not where I was, or even where I think I want to be).
What about you, dear Reader? Have you pondered your Life Purposes lately? Made choices as to what they are? Or even created icons, symbols or talismans to reflect those Life Purposes? Do share in the comments below!