Sunday, 9 January 2011

Playing Cards 2011: The Arden Oak

When I signed up for the 2011 Playing Cards challenge, I was determined that I was going to use this opportunity both to try new things, and to make a pack of cards that had meaning for me.  Well, card number one is now in play and waiting for the rest of its pack.  For more details of the challenge, hosted by Rachel at katzelbows, you'll find the linky button to the left.

I decided to go with suits reflecting the elements: earth, water, air and fire.  I guess I'm an outdoor girl at heart, and this was the best way to work in some ideas and themes that appealed to me.  First up this week is the Ace from the Earth suit, also known as the Arden Oak.  The oak is the symbol of endurance, as the lovely Quercus can live for a thousand years.

The Arden Oak, which is very close to home, is said to be the tree marking the border of the ancient forest of Arden, when a third of the local area was wooded.  Today the Arden Oak sits in the middle of a narrow road, in a little island all of its own, currently growing out a rather embarrassing haircut due to an overenthusiastic pollarding last summer.  I'm sure it dreams of the time when a young Will Shakespeare was inspired to write As You Like It under its shady boughs.

I chose some caramel colours, and a combination of the distinctive silhouette and the bole of the tree to reflect both the "heart" of the oak, and its longevity.


  1. This is so clever - you've obviously done your research on the oak. What a shame that it is now situated in such awful surroundings. It clearly deserves better but some would say the road was built for progress :( The colours are great too. Elizabeth x

  2. I often wonder what our area must have looked like years and years ago before we ruined it. How strange to think a tree that marked the boundary of a huge forest is now stuck all lonely like that. How sad.

    Your card however is gorgeous :)

    Oh by the way - psssst, Gollam, something for you on my blog ;)

  3. Both Gollum and I are very excited! Woohoo - my precious, our first award, bright shiny things we are... Thank you, Carmen! Now to find 8 things to share...


    P.S. I'm sure the Arden Oak was having a little chuckle to itself yesterday, as the other trees down the road were being cut back. It no longer has the most embarrassing hair in the street.

  4. I do love a good oak tree. Actually a good any tree, but oaks do have that wonderful ability to remind us of how very old the world is and how very young we are! A beautiful and moving piece. Thank you for sharing it with us.