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The Kitchen Tarot by Susan Shie
The Kitchen Tarot

A 22 card deck by Susan Shie

7 of Pentacles tarot card
7 of Pentacles (coins) card
from the Rider-Waite tarot deck



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More quilts by Susan Shie

Susan Shie offers the story behind this quilt:

On September 1, 2012 I randomly drew the minor tarot card the 7 of Coins from the Sakki-Sakki Tarot deck (which is my favorite, besides the Kitchen Tarot.) In my deck, coins are potholders, and in any Tarot deck, this suit is the Earth suit of money, shelter, food, anything relating to how we survive physically. This 7 card is about taking stock and doing necessary chores, after a time of sustained hard work. We have reached a result, a harvest, and we are to now reflect on what happens next. Thinking about the natural order of the cycles of life and nature in particular is recommended.

What would this card become for my Kitchen Tarot deck's card? I put out my antennae and looked for signs!

Then I was asked to consider making a piece to enter into a SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) regional exhibition competition for "The View from Here: Quilts of the Ohio River Valley," and will include SAQA members from Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio. The prospectus asks that artists make work that relates to your local environment or what you see from where you live, your home, backyard or your city or town.

I thought about the card about chores and harvest, and about what's my favorite view at my house, here at Turtle Moon Studios in Wooster, Ohio. And then I looked out my kitchen window, like I do so often each day. I saw Jimmy out there in the yard with Libby next to our Rainbow Garden. And between them and me, I saw the 35 patio owl lights that we turn on every night! Far out, sez I! I can use 7 of those patio owls as the 7 potholders!

About the 7 of Coins, the site Biddy Tarot says, "The Seven of Pentacles (also called Coins or Disks) portrays a young man taking a rest from the difficult work of harvesting his abundant crop. He has been laboring long and hard in his garden. The foliage is full and the blossoms are out. It seems that his work has paid off. He gazes meditatively at the pentacles hanging from the rich greenery of the thicket in which he works and seems to be contemplating the value of his efforts. He is finally taking a break to admire his handiwork and the benefits of his lab our." Seems like our garden makes a ton of sense with this card!

The show entry has a size limit of between 14" and 35" on a side, so right away I knew this piece would be 35" x 35", the maximum size allowed, and I also knew I had to get busy, as the deadline to enter this SAQA show competition is Sept 30. Yikes!

So I airbrushed my piece, the process of which you can see on my Facebook page, whether or not you're on FB. Then I wrote on it, quilted it, and finished it up yesterday! I still have to enter that show, but it's an online entry, so I know I'll make it.

In the foreground are Eva and me at the kitchen sink. I'm washing dishes (Fiesta Ware dishes), and she's drawing the whole view out the window on a little green table. The three cats are around us, and on the counter are the coffee maker, a bag of coffee, the compost bucket, the dish drainer, the colander, and some mugs, including one of the little animal mugs, the Elephant, that Eva sometimes still uses. Oh, and there's a big bowl of big fat tomatoes from the garden, echoing the big fat wheelbarrow full of tomatoes out in the garden.

On the walls are a 2012 campaign poster for President Obama and a wedding photo of Eva's parents.

Outside are Jimmy and LIbby, both in the garden, so I'm yelling "Libby, get out of the garden!" Jimmy and I are waving at each other, but Libby is on point, staring frozen at a baby bunny, who's also frozen, in fear. It doesn't know that Libby would just love to play with it. AND behind the garden is a big ugly ground hog, sitting contentedly beside the Have-a-Heart live trap that hasn't caught it.

I wrote a little bit of political stuff and current events info on this piece, but it's mostly about us. It talks about Romeny's statement about 47% of Americans being victims who will vote for Obama, no matter what and don't pay taxes. It also talks about the video on You Tube made to upset Muslims, and how unfortunate that whole situation is all around.

It tells about books I've been reading lately: ones my mother read when I was young: Silent Spring and Captains and the Kings, and now Michener's Hawaii, which I read when I was 18, and Rushde's works, which I've never read before. I had read my friend Kathryn Arango's book Jungle, Solitude, and Dreams this year, too, finishing it up right before she had a solo show reception at our arts center on Sept 13. But that book I had to actually read in print, rather than listen to. It's so well written, but it really made me appreciate how I can listen to digital books, while I do dishes, sew, and do other easy chores.

I guess I could have drawn a digital player or my iPad on the kitchen counter! I did mention how Eva and I have around 4 drawing and painting apps on my iPad, Sweet Jane, now.

Toward Barred Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade (detail)

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Toward Barred Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade (detail)

Bottom left and right: Toward Barred Island (detail) by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade