Category Archives: Publishing

Introducing the “Moonshadow Lenormand”

I have finally completed my debut Lenormand card deck. And decided to self-publish it through Printer Studio. It was a choice between Printer Studio and Game Crafter, and as I couldn’t get my head around former’s templates but found the latter’s very user friendly, I went with Printer Studio. The company is based in Hong Kong, so I expect turnaround to Australia to be 14-21 days. That’s when I’ll get my hands on the “real” cards, and can assess the card stock and printing quality. I have a couple of decks by other artists, from the same printer, and their cards were nice and smooth and excellent quality.

Here are the links for both Printer Studio and Game Crafter.
Printer Studio
The Game Crafter

So here is a teaser page showing the fronts and backs of some of the cards in my deck.
Moonshadow Lenormand
If you are interested in purchasing this deck, you can find my eBay listing here:

Introducing the brand new Moonshadow Lenormand by AlyZen Moonshadow. The Lenormand divination system is named after Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand (1772-1843), the great fortuneteller who read for the likes of Napoleon and Josephine. Although Mlle Lenormand never designed or created the system that carries her namesake, the Lenormand divination system is faithful to the imagery of the Sibylla of the Salon, who read in the cosy parlours of the gentry, giving practical advice with regards love, romance, finance and even war. It is a very different system from the Tarot.

This is my very first Lenormand divination card deck, created using only my Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone and Apps, and using either my own photographic images and clipart or images from the public domain.

The accompanying images show the front and backs of all the cards in the deck. There are the usual 36 Lenormand cards, plus an extra Man and Woman card for same-sex readings. Included in the deck also are 2 cards showing some card meanings, and also a card of recommended further reading. 42 cards in total. Your order will come directly from the printers, fresh off the press, in a clear acrylic case. Please allow 14-21 days for delivery, as this is beyond my immediate control.

Postage is Free to wherever you are. Please contact me directly if the item is meant to be sent to someone else, so I can change the delivery details. Thanks for looking!

And here is the listing on Etsy:


Some of you may be aware that I’m currently creating a deck of Oracle Cards to be either self-published or submitted to various publishing houses to be licensed. Click here to find out what Oracle cards are, and here to see examples of my ongoing project so far.

What you don’t know is that behind the scenes, I’ve also been researching, learning and practising another cartomancy system known as Lenormand. This is a lesser known system than Tarot or Oracle cards, but equally important, I think.

So, you’re asking what Lenormand cards are all about? As I’m still a student of this fascinating system and still learning the intricacies of its “language”, I’ll let others with far more experience do the explaining:

From Aeclectic Tarot forum:

The Petit Lenormand deck is based on a regular playing card deck that has been reduced from 52 cards to 36 cards by removing the 2, 3, 4 and 5 pip cards in each suit. The cards are illustrated with various symbols and traditionally also include a miniature of the playing card associated with each symbol. Little seems to be known or understood about the significance of the playing cards, other than that the court cards can serve to describe people in a reading. There are also regional and personal variations throughout Europe in the card meanings.

Several decks named after the French cartomancer Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand (1772-1843), including the Petit Lenormand popular today, were published after her death. However, the Petit Lenormand appears to have been modelled on a deck of cards published much earlier as part of a game of chance, called “The Game of Hope”.

A fellow blogger has written a comprehensive description of how Lenormand cartomancy works, with examples of spreads and explanations of the meanings of the cards in readings. Definitely worth a look and bookmarking, if your interest has been piqued:

My first Lenormand deck purchase was Ciro Marchetti’s “Gilded Reverie”, check out his website for more information. Ciro’s site also sells spread cloths, if that tickles your fancy. Also, you can for the princely sum of $1.50 download a PDF full-length 144-page book on how to read the cards. I highly recommend the “Gilded Reverie” (which you can also easily find on Amazon and eBay), the artwork is detailed and sumptuous without detracting from the meaning of the cards.

image(Photo is of Ciro’s spread cloth illustrating the “houses” of the numbered cards. Just to give you an idea of how lovely the artwork is)

Actually, my first Lenormand deck was one by the brilliantly zany Titania Hardie, nearly 15 years ago. I had her “Titania’s Fortune Cards” for a long time, then they got lost in a series of house moves (I’ve moved 7 times since the year 2000, or 22 times in 44 years, go figure!). I recently tracked down and purchased the same deck again on eBay, and got reacquainted with it. The reason I didn’t initially make the connection between Titania’s cards and Lenormand cards was because her cards have no numbers on them or playing card pips. The images however, are the same archetypes as in any Lenormand deck. It was only while I was first learning about the Lenormand cards recently that I realised there was something strangely familiar about the images – Rider, Ship, House, Stork, Dog, Man, Woman, Child etc, and made the connection.

(Photo shows Titania’s “Fortune Cards” in a classic Grand Tableau spread)

Concurrent with my Oracle Cards project, I’ve been busy creating my own deck of Lenormand cards. I figured what better way of learning than by doing? And what better way of doing than by utilising my digital mixed media photography skills on my Samsung Galaxy S4.

The Oracle Cards project is taking longer, as I intend to do a 52-card deck, with explanations. For the Lenormand, though, there are only 36 cards, so…I’m happy to be able to say that I’ve recently completed my own very first deck of Lenormand Cards, yay!

Watch out for further posts in the coming days, as I will be posting about my Lenormand cards, as well as updates on how the next phase is coming along – where I get my cards printed.

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A short while ago I hatched a grand plan to create my own deck of Oracle Cards. I blogged about it here.

Now I’ve created about 20 such virtual cards, so I’ll share them with you. You can see how some work better than others, I’m constantly learning as I go along. Creating the imagery is only part of the whole process. I still haven’t gotten round to writing the explanation or meaning of the imagery. That will come. Also, I have to research the practical logistics of getting my cards into print.

So, here are some of my “Practice” Oracle Cards. They may or may not be the end product…I might add a black border all around each image, or more key words at the bottom.





















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ISSUU – First impressions

I’ve heard about ISSUU from reading other magazines and brochures published using their platform. My most recent encounter was in the form of UPPERCASE magazine (of which later). I got my grubby hands on a hard copy of Issue 21 of UPPERCASE just the other day, and the quality of the paper and layout are superb. Sure it’s rather pricey, but UPPERCASE is, like most ISSUU magazines, an independent production and has a small (but growing) subscription.

So impressed have I been by this that I’m now contemplating publishing my own magazine on mobile photography art. I haven’t figured out the technicalities of doing this yet, but that’s another story.

From ISSUU’s website

Rediscover reading
With over 15 million publications, Issuu is the fastest growing digital publishing platform in the world. Millions of avid readers come here every day to read the free publications created by enthusiastic publishers from all over the globe with topics in fashion, lifestyle, art, sports and global affairs to mention a few. And that’s not all. We’ve also got a prominent range of independent publishers utilizing the Issuu network to reach new fans every day.

Created by a bunch of geeks with an undying love for the publishing industry, Issuu has grown to become one of the biggest publishing networks in the industry. It’s an archive, library and newsstand all gathered in one reading experience.

The statistics:

Signing up was easy. I chose to do it via my email address, but you can also sign in using Google+, Facebook or LinkedIn.

The user interface is very similar to that of Pinterest and Flipboard. You start out by selecting a few publications to follow. Then you can save your favourites to “Stacks”. Magazines can be read online for FREE, but you can also buy hard copies from good newsagents worldwide.



As you can tell from the photo above, I could start my own magazine online straightaway. But I won’t right now…instead I’ll check out some of the publications and assess them for quality of print and clarity of images.

My first magazine is the Maxwell & Williams “Joie de Vivre” 2014 catalogue. (I ♥ Maxwell & Williams teacups. My birthday is on 1st July. Just sayin’). With all ISSUU online publications, you can enlarge the pages to zoom in on text and images. Depending on how each publication was set up, the quality of enlargement may vary. (UPPERCASE wouldn’t zoom in enough for me to read the text clearly, which is why I had to resort to buying a hard copy).

Here are some screenshots from the Maxwell & Williams catalogue. (I have the red teacup and saucer already, ahem!)






And here are some screenshots of UPPERCASE magazine issue no.21. You can see how the text is blurry and pixellated upon zooming in.






That said, so far, the quality of ISSUU’s publications has been on the whole impressive. I can see myself getting lost in a world of fresh magazines. Have I said you can read them online for Free? I haven’t started any “Stacks” yet, but when I do, and when I start investigating how to publish my own magazine, I shall write and let you know, of course.

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Information about Art Licensing

I’m subscribed to Joan Beiriger’s blog about Art Licensing. Joan has done her research and she knows her stuff, so I’m going to post it here so YOU know too! If you haven’t subscribed to Joan’s blog already, run, don’t walk! It’s a real treasure trove of information, resources, links, contacts, further reading etc.

Joan’s most recent post is about SURTEX and art licensing resources. My advice to you is to read Joan’s post slowly and click on all the links she’s mentioned. They must be important to warrant hyperlinking. Who knows, following Joan’s advice could lead to a licensing deal for you. I’m most certainly going to be spending a good hour or two on her post here:

Joan Beiriger : Art Licensing Resources

If you happen to live in the USA, congratulations, lucky you! Hurry on along to SURTEX and similar shows and make a beeline for the courses and workshops Joan has mentioned. It’s so much easier if things are right on your doorstep and you don’t have to travel far to get there. Don’t let the opportunity slip by! Meanwhile, I shall be saving up the $$$$ it will cost me to fly halfway round the world to get to such events…and keep plugging away online with the hope some big company will notice me! It’s unfortunate that such things don’t appear to exist where I live, in Western Australia.

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Artist Inspiration – SIBELLA COURT

Sibella Court claims to be part Gypsy, part Pirate. I think she’s a magpie, a magnificent, multicoloured, majestic magpie (not your usual black and white one). A collector of ephemera with a keen eye for detail and the esoteric. A dealer of trinkets, a world traveller with unlimited baggage allowance. A glittering jewel in the crown of some long-ago fairytale Princess. A writer extraordinaire whose books bend genres and deserve a shelf of their own in bookstores.

Sibella has written numerous books on styling and collecting. It was her book “NOMAD” that first brought her to my attention. Here was something that wasn’t a travelogue, or a photo book, or an interior design book, or a history/geography book … but was somehow all rolled into one at the same time.  “NOMAD” had everything I dreamed a book could have – a compelling story, advice about collecting and displaying stuff, interesting pages made from different papers, stamping and old-style typography, nostalgic photographs…I loved “NOMAD” so much that I found Sibella’s other books on Amazon and bought another 3: “GYPSY“, “BOWERBIRD” and “ETCETERA“.  All gloriously, swooningly lavish in detail.



bowerbird etc-cover-sibella-court

Here is Sibella’s Biography, taken from her Amazon shop profile:

Sibella Court has had a 20-year international career as an interior stylist. She has been based in Sydney since 2008 after over ten years living and working in New York. In Australia she creates interiors for the Merivale Group and private clients, her most recent spaces including: El Loco, MsG’s, Palmer & Co., The Fish Shop and Mr Wong. She is the award-winning author of books, ‘Etcetera etc’, ‘The Stylist’s Guide to NYC’, ‘Nomad’ and ‘Bowerbird’. Sibella’s books are personal, functional & aesthetically beautiful reflections of her style and the way she sees the world. Sibella is the owner of shop, The Society inc. and product designer with a 110-colour paint range, nail polish, soap, candles and a hardware range. She spends her time exploring for inspiration across the globe in backstreets, markets & fairs discovering new artists, designers & products for her shop & commercial designs and holding workshops. After living in New York styling and concepting for the likes of Bergdorf Goodman, Jo Malone, Donna Karan, Gourmet, Bloomingdales, West Elm, Saks Fifth Avenue and Domino to name a few, she continues to collaborate on projects in the States and looks forward to opening a studio in New York soon selling her own wholesale product ranges range. Sibella works extensively with Anthropologie, travelling on their inspiration trips and designing product ranges for them. She regularly contributes to VogueLiving, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and InsideOut and has been involved with television shows, as a judge on Channel 9’s ‘HomeMADE’ and featured on Keith Johnson’s ‘Man Shops Globe’. Sibella is currently working on further books, ranges and an array of design projects including designing an island.

As the blurb above says, this marvellous maven is the proprietor of a shop that us mere mortals can only fantasise about – The Society Inc. Here Sibella’s dreams are encapsulated in reality, her many unusual finds from her travels around the globe delivered into the feverish hands of her customers. It is essentially a junk shop, filled with ephemera, all sorts of oddities and curiosities, souvenirs from travels to far flung places…oh, but what a glorious junk shop it is! It makes me want to jump on the next plane to Tibet/Spain/Morocco/Zanzibar/(insert bucket list destination here) and scour the souks and bazaars for those delicious little trinkets and keepsakes that remind us of the wonderful experience we’re having. But, being of very modest means, I have to contend myself with leafing through Sibella’s beautifully crafted books, dreaming her dreams, and living vicariously through her.

…And the Spirit was made Flesh (My 100th Post!)

If you’ve been following my blog, you will know that I’m married to an electronic musician with the artist name of ElectroCelt. If you are unfamiliar with my backstory, here is the post

Towards the end of last year, Geoff (ElectroCelt) decided he would release an EP (Extended Play) album, as his fans had been demanding a physical CD rather than just digital downloads. So, he put together 5 tracks, had them mastered by Barry Woodward of Dining Room Music & Media in the UK (@barrywoodward1 on Twitter) who then sent them back electronically.  A round of research on the internet ensued, to find a company who would press a small edition of CDs, and put original artwork on cardboard sleeves, register ElectroCelt’s music and slap on a barcode, and then post everything back to us in Australia. There are dozens of companies out there who will press editions of 500, but only a handful who are happy to do a short run of 100, and who will press more on demand. We settled for Oasis ( as we liked their setup and products.

I set about creating the artwork for the EP, which would carry the title “Out Of The Loop”.  For this, I used Ben Guerrette’s excellent Deco Sketch App (, and the Android App Impressionist Paint., and tied them together using the inimitable universal (iOS and Android) App PicsArt ( and ( The font came from the universal App InstaQuote ( and (

Where I got stuck was in following Oasis’s instructions on how to place my artwork on their Photoshop template, (yup, still haven’t got the hang of good ole Photoshop yet LOL), so in the end I simply created files in the resolution and dimensions Oasis required, and sent them to Oasis for their in-house team to put together. It was pricier doing it that way, but because the artwork had already been done and all that needed doing was to place them in the templates correctly, we actually got a discount!

After a few initial hiccups in correspondence, and the usual Christmas and New Year blur, Oasis finally delivered the goods. Literally, on 13th January 2014.

Geoff was working up in the north of Western Australia, and he asked me to open the box. And so, after months of waiting, the Spirit was finally made Flesh! Geoff is excited as he already has more than 100 people staking their claim on the CDs, with the possibility of another short run, and I’m excited because it’s my first official CD Album Cover to make it from concept to reality! I’m resolved to doing more research and finding CD packaging companies that I can perhaps sell my cover designs to.

So, without further ado, I present to you ElectroCelt’s EP “Out Of The Loop”!


(Sitting pretty in the box).


(One of the 100 CDs and Oasis’s helpful literature on marketing and promoting your music).


(Front of the cover).


(Opened up, showing printed information on left and right inside covers, with the CD peeking out from the pocket on the right).


(Close-up of the left inside cover).


(Close-up of the right inside cover. Jack “ElectroKid Oz” our 11-year-old son, took the photo of Geoff playing the guitar. Thanks, Jack!).


(Front of cover and the actual CD).


(Back of cover and the CD. Also showing the all-important barcode!).


I’ve had the App Deco Sketch by App developer Ben Guerrette sitting in my Samsung Galaxy S4 for a year now, but never got round to using it until recently. Here is an excellent review of the App The purpose of me writing this is not to review the App, it’s to show how I use it in creating my mobile photography art images. In particular, my little secret Project, “Alternity”, that I’d been working on for a few months.

The “Alternity” Project is inspired by Steampunk, ancient artifacts and cryptic manuscripts. I played “Zork – Nemesis” on my PC many, many years ago, and have been hooked on the idea of strange worlds ever since, where you have to solve riddles or find objects, in order to get from one stage to the next. “Myst” was another favourite game. I had the original “Tomb Raider” on my original Playstation in the 1990s (I’m starting to show my age!), and spent weeks playing it through to the dizzying finale. I love the whole idea of ancient manuscripts, letters from the past, Steampunk devices and machines, grungy, gritty elements, the sense of being on the verge of discovering something earth-shattering.

I have enjoyed playing with Deco Sketch, learning how to use it by creating several geometric designs using the various shapes and brushes provided. With so many different types available, it is quite possible to generate thousands of different combinations and not come up with a duplicate. The possibilities are mindboggling.

I used the following Apps on my Samsung Galaxy S4 for “Alternity”:

Deco Sketch – geometric design image as the base image

Impressionist Fingerpaint – brush marks, texture

PS Touch – blending of images, fine tuning

HDR FX Pro – add texture, change photo effect colourways

Phonto – for text and placement of text within image

iMage Effects Pro – for borders, grunge and textures and lomographic filters

Pixlr Express – for more grunge, texture, borders and fine tuning

Watermark  – for my digital signature, faded out til very light


Of course, I could have used iOS Apps such as Tangent, AddLibS and AddLibU, etc for the geometric design backgrounds, but for this Project I deliberately limited myself to Apps I had on my Samsung Galaxy S4 only.  I must confess I do enjoy having such restrictions and working with a limited palette.

I am thinking of creating a different set of “Poem pages” to go with this series of images, and putting together a little book using one of the Print On Demand Sites online.

Here are the images from my “Alternity” Series. The Series starts with dark, brooding and atmospheric images, hinting at obscure secrets, then gets lighter and brighter towards the end. Symbolising perhaps Humankind’s progress from Darkness to Light. In each of these images are hidden Clues or Words that give further meaning to the project as a whole. I hope you have fun deciphering these clues! Answers on a postcard, please! ;-)














Taking Your Art Further

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year 2014 and are now settling in to enjoy what I’m sure will be your BEST year yet.  My resolution for this year is this: “To continue to explore, expand and push the boundaries of Mobile Photography Art, especially concentrating on utilising both iOS and Android platforms, as I have literally at my fingertips the best of both worlds. This will be the year I get my work Licensed by global companies, and really make my mark on Print On Demand online stores.”

And so, to begin the New Year with a fresh start, I’ve found this site which explains various avenues the aspiring artist can explore. It’s called Fresh Rag, and the banner reads “The No BS, straight talk approach to earning more from your creative pursuits”. Dave Conrey is his name, and he has the scoop on how you can get your art selling online.

Dave also recommends these sites on his blog:


Etsy – The site to be on if you’re selling arts and crafts, vintage goods or supplies online.

Artfire – Similar to Etsy, but with a much tighter community.

Meylah – Like the two above with a bit more focus on art and design.


Zazzle – My personal favorite print-on-demand site for selling art online (shirts, iphone cases, posters, etc.) where you never have to manage the manufacturing side of the process. They print, fulfill, ship and handle the customer service for you.

Society6 – Print-on-demand with a very strong focus on top-notch artists. Does not have the reach of the other services, but has some really great products offered.

Red Bubble – Similar to Society6 in that they offer really great designs on their limited amount of products.

Cafe Press – Probably the largest of the print-on-demand providers, but quality has a tendency to be less than the others.

Spreadshirt – Print-on-demand with a focus toward shirts and other clothing items.

Another site I found that has a good listing of potential avenues of income for the artist is this one:

Towards the bottom of the article is a run-down of sites that may assist the fledgling or veteran artist:










Inky Little Fingers:

Printclub London:

Ditto Press:

WS Bespoke:


Döts Printhaus:



Awesome Merchandise:







Ist Kunst:

Global Thread Collective:


Phone, tablet and computer accessories






Buttercup china:

Now, as I am primarily a mobile photographer and my medium is digital and as such not tangible until made into prints, posters, t-shirts, etc, I think my concentration will be more on the Print on Demand Market and less on the Art Market. I am currently researching more Licensing sites and will of course report back here in due course.

Seeing as I have a whole, brand new year ahead of me to work on achieving my New Year Resolutions, I’m going to explore these avenues, and more, and I hope you will too!

The Winds of Change

So, recently we were away for a short break, and what an eye opener that trip was! In fact, you’ll find me writing about aspects of our holiday in greater detail. Keeping my blog going those 4 days in early October was an Herculean task, as for much of the time there was no mobile phone reception or GPS, and I had to rely on my husband’s portable wifi dongle. Oh, and not to mention how scarily fast one’s mobile phone battery goes down when sitting in a car on a 15 hour drive!

Anyway, I’ve been unhappy at work for a while now. It’s not the nature of my work, which is answering enquiries from bank customers. That’s easy and pleasant enough. It’s the fact that my department is run by children, for children, literally. The managers are too young and inexperienced to be managers, and yet they call the shots. Everything is about Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and Customer Satisfaction. It’s all about statistics, and nothing about Staff contentment or retention. It’s not what you know, but who you know…and if you want to get anywhere, then there is a lot of brown-nosing and favouritism involved. Well, I’m not one to play this game. So, I’ve given my notice and although I haven’t another job to go to, I feel nothing but relief at being able to escape from that infernal place. I know I deserve better.

What will I do? Well, I decided to take the plunge and invest in Adobe’s Creative Cloud. I’ll not be buying the CS6, which at over $3100 is beyond my budget. Instead, I’ll be subscribing to the Creative Cloud (CC) for $49.99 a month first, with an annual outlay of $564. It will be hard going, but I know if I persevere with getting to grips with this powerhouse of programmes, it will be so worth the effort!

Adobe announced in March 2013 that it would no longer be producing hard copies of its software programmes. Instead, subscribers would be able to access all its products online via a range of payment options and packages.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Many diehard users of Adobe’s software were unhappy at the announcement made by Adobe, as they had grown used to idea of perpetual licenses. This new development meant that instead of owning a CD hardcopy of Adobe, one would be “renting” it monthly. For me, though, having never had any experience with Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver etc, at least there’s nothing to unlearn. I’ll be a clean slate that hopefully will fill up with knowledge and know-how. That is the plan, anyhow.

And here are my reasons for wanting to use Adobe’s CS6:

1. I want to be able to design pattern repeats for textiles. My aim is to be able to produce my own designs for bedlinen, cushions, curtains, rugs, wallpaper, maybe even clothing such as coats, scarves and t-shirts.

2. I’d like to be able to publish my photobooks to platforms such as Kindle and e-books.

3. I want to print my own CD album covers, CDs, book covers.

4. I’d like to be able to bring my Graphic Design ideas to life. There are very few Apps on iOS and Android that offer graphic design templates.

5. Maybe, if I ever get past the basics, I could even write some photo editing Apps? (Wishful thinking)

So, from time to time, when I’m not posting about mobile photography art, or music, or recipes, or travel, or anything else under the sun that catches my fancy, you may find me posting here about my experience with Adobe CS6. Or maybe ranting about it, when the learning curve turns into a slippery glass mountain.

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