Pilates and Cards of Destiny

playing card gift detail

Elizabeth’s initials between glass beads

Moving your body is key to good health. In addition to getting plenty of shut-eye, exercise gives you energy, strength and endurance. It’s also terrific for your heart, your lungs and your soul. For as long as I can remember I’ve been a mover. I joined the gymnastics team in high school, then moved on to dance in college. Tap was my favorite. After college I took Jazzercise, then picked up running as well. I hiked and even took a few belly dancing classes.

Years of injuries started to take a toll. I spent more time with physical therapists than I did on the trail.

Then I discovered Pilates. The exercises keep my back supple and give me the strength I need to work. The classes are challenging but that’s also what keeps them interesting. Keeping strong means I can continue to organize clients.My work involves a lot of bending, lifting and twisting. I attend two, one-hour classes a week and have stuck with it for a decade.

Tru-Balance Pilates Fitness

Elizabeth Cassidy owns and operates a Pilates studio in the Willow Glen community of San Jose. I have her to thank for the improvements to my posture and strength. Many of her students come to her with injuries. She has an innate understanding of how the body works. She’ll take one look at you and say “your back is out” or “what happened to your foot?” Even in group classes, she finds ways to accommodate our individual needs.

When Elizabeth’s birthday rolls around, I like to do something special. She’s passionate about cards and has her destiny cards displayed in the studio. She studied the science of cards in a destiny workshop with Robert Lee Camp. She made a copy for home, but damaged it in a move. That’s what inspired this gift. Now she has a second set to display at home.

destiny cards

Elizabeth’s Destiny Cards

I bought a few tools and some beads with guidance from Laura at Sew Beadazzled. Getting the holes just right was the most challenging. Once all four corners of each card had holes, I joined the rows with easy-bend rings. Laura said to open the rings in a twisting motion, instead of prying them apart. I’m sure I saved myself hours with that little tip.

Elizabeth taped her set of destiny cards to the studio wall, but these cards needed to hang free. After some thought, I bought a thin dowel, had Mike cut it into two pieces, then covered each piece with playing card-inspired Washi tape. I tried a shoe string, some ribbon and even considered more rings to hang the entire thing from the top but none of those options were quite right. Then I pulled out a black and white eyeglass lanyard from my craft supplies and yelled “Eureka!”…or something like that. With that in place I called it done.

I bought a large polka-dotted gift bag and added cards and butterflies to the mix.ย  The gift card is a series of playing cards hinged together with Happy Birthday spelled out in black vinyl letters. (I forgot take a picture). I made an envelope using an over-sized vintage envelope from my friend Donna’s vintage booth.

It was lots of fun creating something new and different with only a general idea of where it would lead.

gift bag close-up

Gift bag close-up

vintage playing card envelope

Vintage, over-sized playing card, made in to an envelope

Vintage, over-sized playing card

Vintage, over-sized playing card, reverse

Have you tried something new lately, something you wouldn’t normally do? Please share in the comments below.

42 thoughts on “Pilates and Cards of Destiny

  1. โค What a clever and thoughtful gift! Isn't it wonderful how the perfect finishing piece is so often found somewhere in the stash – just waiting for this particular creation to need it! It has happened so often to me that now I look fondly at things that have been hanging around for years and wonder 'Just what is it you re waiting for?' I find I look forward to finding out ๐Ÿ™‚

    Does Elizabeth have anything to say about your foot problem?


    • Pauline, yet again I could have sworn I replied to this comment. I do so many things ‘in my head’.

      Yes, hurray for stashes. I love it when just the perfect thing presents itself. I like the image of you looking fondly on your collection. That made me smile.

      As for my foot, Elizabeth thinks it might be referred pain from my back. The PT and the Podiatrist say that I have constant muscle spasm in my calf (the peronius). Here is a diagram, but only if you are having trouble sleeping…it’s a big bore, I know) ๐Ÿ˜‰



  2. That is one gift that will be fully appreciated–so many thoughtful details! It looks like it was fun to make, too. I really want to try Pilates but my small town doesn’t offer a lot . . .


    • Kerry, thank you. It was really fun trying something new. Elizabeth was surprised and delighted and that made my day.

      Too bad your community doesn’t offer Pilates. It really is wonderful exercise. I was sore for months when I first started, but I eventually got stronger and now I can enjoy the challenge without the pain…in a good way.


  3. Well, this was a very interesting post. I have no clue what destiny cards are but would very much like to know. Fascinated by the idea. I have heard a lot about Pilates but was never sure I was up to the challenge. My son paid for a gym membership for us and I’ve been a few times and did pool exercises. I guess if you find a group and an instructor that you like, it makes it so much easier. I might look into it this fall. I loved the over-sized playing card folded. Especially the butterfly as a closure. I have some of those in my stash. ๐Ÿ™‚ Aren’t stashes wonderful. You did a wonderful job on the gift and the wrapping but then you always do. You and Ms B always go the extra mile. Everyone receives a present in a present. ๐Ÿ™‚ BTW, I heard there was rain in your area. Did you get any significant accumulation?


    • Marlene, here is a link that describes the cards. Your own card is based on your birthday. http://www.destinycardreadings.com/whats-my-card/

      I agree that finding the perfect group and teacher are key to keeping you coming back. I’ve belonged to gyms in the past, but never stuck with it. It was a never-ending change of people and instructors, and in at least three cases, the gym went out of business. We have a great time in class, working hard but socializing too. The groups are small (4-8 people) so you get one on one attention.

      Good for you for going to the gym to swim. Sharon goes to the YMCA seven days a week to swim. The water helps with her fatigue and stiffness, both symptoms of her MS.

      Stashes are wonderful! Any bit of ribbon, flower or bead that enters here is subject to scrutiny. It either goes in the fairy garden drawer or my craft supply trays.

      We got about half an hour’s worth of rain here, though it only registered as a trace when recorded. It was refreshing though and incredibly welcome. Unfortunately Southern California got seven inches!!! and the subsequent flooding washed out roads and caused at least one injury. We can’t seem to find the balance.

      Marlene, thank you for your caring words and unending support. It’s wonderful to have you here. xox

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Alys. Your kind words help make my day. I’ll check out the link. I’m a sucker for stuff like that. Always searching for a clue. I didn’t sign up for the gym. It was done for me. I vacillated as I already have more than I need to do. I work hard outside but kid says that’s not enough. After I finish outside work, I’ll get better about going.
        I’m glad you at least got a trace. You don’t need washed out roads.


      • Interesting. I’ll have to read up on this as I’ve never heard of destiny cards, either. I’m so glad you found pilates and have a place to practice. Nothing is more frustrating than wanting to move while balancing an injury. SO glad it’s raining there but like you, we can’t find balance. It rained 7 inches here, too…a month ago. And it hasn’t rained since. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ No rain in sight, either.


        • The entire planet is off kilter. Torrential rains and droughts, frigid winters and wild fires, dying bees and abundant mosquitos. I fear for all of us.

          Pilates is wonderful. One of the best things I’ve done for my body. I really miss my weekly hikes and daily walks, though and hope all this physical therapy will finally lead to a pain free return of those activities. It’s not just the walking but the nature all around me when I do.


  4. How interesting, destiny cards. I haven’t heard the theory behind it before. Do you draw cards like in Tarot? You’re so thoughtful to replace her damaged set with a project made from the heart hon. But then you *are* always doing things to make someone feel happy, loved and valued ๐Ÿ˜€

    I haven’t ever been to Pilates. I did try Yoga before and attended several classes. I’m not sure I buy into much of the chanting, etc. I always felt like snickering which would have been terribly disrespectful to the others. Did I mention to you why I quit going to that studio? (a conversation I overheard between the instructor and some of her students. She didn’t know I was still changing in the washroom). It felt like in that instance, everything she said before in the classes about peace and love was a fabrication. Just something she ‘said’ that fit the product she was selling. Really disappointing. Is the word Namaste overused? It’s on T-shirts, bumper stickers and whatnot. Feels more ‘trendy’ than ‘spiritual’ these days.

    So happy to hear that Pilates makes your back and feet feel so much better and congratulations for participating for a decade consistently. Geez, I don’t think I’ve ever stuck to anything that long. Very impressive Alys! Cheers my dear xoxo K


    • Thank you, Ms. Boomdee. You make me feel wonderful every time you stop by. ๐Ÿ™‚

      That yoga story is a doozy. You’ll have to “enlighten me” further in person. I can see why you wouldn’t go back. She’s not considerate either, if she would risk having a disparaging conversation in ear shot of others. Clearly not someone that should be teaching a spiritual class, eh?

      I don’t fully understand the cards myself, but each person’s card is based on their birthdate. I’m a 7 of Diamonds. Here’s the chart: http://www.destinycardreadings.com/whats-my-card/

      Cheers to you, too. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m a 6 of clubs. Mmmmm I wonder if that’s good or not? Seems like everyone is looking for answers to questions. My biggest question today was, “why are these lemons .50 each?” LOL Have you noticed how expensive produce is getting? I’ve been shopping at our Italian Market when I can because they’re produce is priced so much less. I bought Fresh Boccacini and Roma’s for a nice Capresse for tomorrows dinnerโ€ฆ..mmmm can’t wait. Will use Mikes recipe for the drizzle ๐Ÿ˜€ xo

        Liked by 1 person

        • We’re trying to eat healthier and buy as much organic as possible, so I’m trying to ignore the price, buy in season (which helps) and to get better with planning so we don’t have waste. Case in point: we bought two containers of fresh strawberries last week, ate one, and the second one molded. It was a total waste. The waste gets composted but small consolation. They were delicious too. Normally we would be eating yummy garden tomatoes, but no luck there this year either. The only thing we’re eating from the garden is basil. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

          I hope you enjoy Mike’s drizzle. I’ll be sure to tell him. He’ll be tickled.

          I’m sorry your prices are so high. One of the perks of giving up Diet Pepsi is saving $15 a week at the drive thru if not more. That’s $60 a month to spend on healthier choices. Every little bit helps.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Good for you hon! So proud that you are keeping the momentum going! The only food service place I visit is Starbucks and even less of that since Lori bought us a Nespresso at work and a milk frother. I’m making foamie kitties, dogs, hearts, LOL. xoxo

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Alys, I was a Pilates devotee for three-plus years and absolutely LOVED it. What I enjoyed most about it was the mind-body connection, initiating all moves from your core. And I also loved that the more you practice Pilates, the more challenging it becomes as you learn more intricacies of the movements and you dig deeper to execute them well. Unfortunately, I injured my back last fall that made quite a few of the movements that I so routinely did impossible to perform. I’m still dealing with that issue, but look forward to getting back to Pilates as I really do miss it!

    Now, as for your amazing gift – I’ve never heard of Destiny cards, but what an incredibly thoughtful project you put together! You’re creativity just blows me away. It’s from the heart, and that’s the best gift ever! I’m sure Elizabeth was thrilled ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Stacy, it is so nice to read about another Pilates devotee. I’m very sorry to hear about your back. I too have suffered chronic back and neck pain as a result of multiple rear-end car accidents. It is no fun. I hope you’re healing continues and that you can get back to a good class for all the wonderful reasons you’ve sited.

      Elizabeth was thrilled! And I am delighted.

      Thanks for your kind comments about my creativity. Do you know that since blogging and following other creative blogs, I’ve really opened up to other things. It feels great as I’m sure you can relate.


        • Stacy, the majority of us have an injury. I think doctors like to refer for back pain to increase strength to the area. Of course, you don’t want to go when the pain is acute, but you might ask your doctor how he or she feels about a resumption of the class as you heal. One of your classmates just returned after receiving a pacemaker. He’s in his seventies! That reminds me to keep at it, even when I’m sore. I always leave feeling more open, more stretched even if the underlying pain is still there. Get well soon.


  6. Okay, Alys, how on earth did you find time to do this? I mean, I know how busy you’ve been with your business and with getting Chris ready for college!
    Your heart is always thinking of others and your clever brain and hands manages to accomplish the task.
    Love the end result!


    • Thank you, Laurie. I broke the project down into lots of small steps and put it together over time. I’ve found that if I wait for a chunk of time, it rarely happens. It’s not always as satisfying working that way, but the challenge of it can be fun. I don’t know how YOU are getting it all done. Your schedule is crazy busy seven days a week. I hope you’re getting good sleep, staying hydrated and eating well, all advice I’m trying to live by as well. xox


  7. Pilates was recommended to me yesterday. Picking the black currants meant I was stooped a lot and then I couldn’t straighten up again. So, who knows ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. Oh, Alys! Your gift was so meaningful and special! Elizabeth must have been truly touched by your creativity and thoughtfulness! Although I haven’t tried Pilates, Elizabeth reminds me of my dear Yoga teacher. She is a retired nurse, so she is wonderful about meeting the needs of each person in her classes. My husband and I are very careful about healthy eating, too. Sending good wishes for happy August days! โ™ก


    • I admire your focus on healthy eating and need to take a page from your book. I eat well at meals but allow unhealthy snacking to play to large a part in my day. Chips and chocolate are the usual culprits.

      I love your description of your yoga teacher and have been meaning to find a class. I’ve taken yoga classes in the past and ironically gave it up when I developed neck problems. I need to find a gentler class. I love the centeredness and the mindful focus of yoga and always leave relaxed and refreshed. I’ve clipped info on a class at the community center and will see if I can work it into my schedule.

      Thanks for your thoughtful words. They’re a light balm on my morning. xox

      Liked by 1 person

      • Such sweet words, Alys! I’ve noticed that when I am busy in the garden or in my paper crafting studio the hours fly by and I don’t even notice that I am hungry! It’s when I am sitting at my computer that the thoughts of snacking pop into my head. Is it the same for you?

        Hope that you can find time for a bit of yoga, Alys! Have a happy weekend! โ™ก Namaste.


  9. Wow. Destiny cards. And Life Spreads and Planetary Ruling cards. And sun and moon cards. I’ve got so much more to talk about now with my dad when we’re playing gin rummy.

    Again, Alys, your thoughtfulness shines blindingly bright. I’m guessing if someone did your destiny card reading, they’d likely flip the cards over and look at you in awe, because you’re like one of those brilliant comets that is a once in a lifetime rarity. Beautiful and wholly unforgettable.

    Liked by 2 people

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