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.