Thursday, May 20, 2010



Celtic Woman Journal

I’m so excited! London, Ireland, Wales and Scotland! I am finally headed to the land of my roots. How I have loved traveling and studying in France and Italy. I have taken many classes in both of those countries and when I arrive, I always feel as though I belong to each one. Yet,I have never been to the country of my ancestors; Wales. My great grandmother came here after the potato famine. She was a Dillon. Her daughter, my grandmother, raised four wonderful daughters, my mother being the youngest. My childhood was steeped in Welsh lore, Welsh myths and Welsh love. I was driven to write a story about Druids and Dryads. You can find it in my book,Layers I titled the story, Caradwen, after the Goddess. It is one of my favorite stories of all time, and I am amazed that I am the author. I always said that the story wrote me, instead of vice-versa. I was particularly surprised at the ending, which my characters definitely wrote, all on their own.

Close-up of Caridwen

I knew I wanted to create a journal to take with me on my journey of my motherland. I wanted her to be mysterious, hold keys and sacred images from that glorious land. What I finally produced was a far cry from this imagery. I worked an entire day adding layer after layer of cloth to my journal. I bought a journal at Stapes store because I wanted it to have the capability to hold pictures, journaling, sketches and alls sorts of other artwork. I then added a ton of fabric, one of my paper dolls which I adorned with a wonderful batik fabric, a celtic symbol, yarn, and ribbons. I used my free motion attachment on my sewing machine and I also embroidered it with celtic looking symbols. She started looking rather upbeat and whimsical..which is definitely not the look I strived for. I think it was the bright color scheme I ended up with that did it. I finally decided that I like her anyway. I used a photo that I scanned of my laundry room labyrinth and printed it onto cloth. This labyrinth is quite large and absolutely fills my laundry room. I love it. I use the image as much as possible since I remember the pain of the 4 months of daily labor it took to complete. To think that before long, this special journal will be filled with adventurous stories, pictures and mementoes from Wales and beyond, boggles my mind.

Close-up of the unwanted black rings

One thing that bothers me about the journal. The rings and the spine are black. I would love to change the color somehow but I don’t know what kind of paint would do the trick. If anyone out there knows of something I could use to subdue the black in some way, I’d really appreciate it hearing from you. I just must do something with those rings-which are closed so I cannot add ribbon to them. I guess I could add another row of ribbon, via a pipe cleaner, to the front by gluing it on-maybe that would at least camouflage the rings.

Caridwen with ribbons over rings

I’ll be leaving June 25th and I plan to try very hard to post a picture for each day that I am gone. That will be 20 pictures! I hope to find ancient doors, ancient people and scenery. You are free to use anything that you find pleasing from my journey for your own artwork. I want to share this amazing land with everyone. I am so hoping to take pictures that invoke the character of my subjects.

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  1. Cheryl - you probably know this already but I thought how appropriate that you chose this name as Caradwen or Cerridwen is invoked in several poems as the patronness of inspiration! Her name probably means 'Blessed Poet' or 'Blessed of the Verse'. Cerridwen, as the guardian of the cauldron of inspiration may have been a Muse figure in her original mythos. A perfect name and guardian for your journal and for you as an artist and writer!x

  2. Cheryl, your trip sounds wonderful. I've always wanted to go to Scotland and Wales. Are you sure that journal is going to be large enough???

  3. Cheryl, it's a wonderful experience to visit the land of your ancestors. I am doing this right now in Estonia.

    I love the Celtic lady on the cover of your journal.

  4. How about simply painting the black spiral rings with nail polish. It comes in so many great colors now and some colors even have glitter... and/or, you could weave some yarn or ribbon and attach it to the top ring. You could use it as a bookmark and when it isn't in use, you can drop it down through the spiral loops so it is out of the way. I'm sure you will come up with something remarkable and I'm also certain that you will be picking up random bits and pieces of everywhere you visit and incorporating it into a fantastic journal that will give birth to an amazing new book. Love you! Have a safe trip and kiss the blarney stone for me. :)

  5. Your journal is wonderful!
    In case you still want to paint the plastic, perhaps Jacquard's Neopaque paints can help.
    "They are designed to cover dark backgrounds with light application. On light backgrounds they produce a subtle "designer palette" alternative to a more intense color scheme."

  6. How wonderful for you!! And you'll be able to journal so creatively of your visit--can't wait to follow you along on your adventure!

  7. What exciting news, Cheryl! A trip to your roots **sigh** - lucky YOU!!! The anticipation alone would make me giddy with happiness. Love your new journal and your traveling Muse on the front. She's wonderful. Unfortunately, there's not a paint I know of that won't start looking ugly after a bit. I've got my thinking cap on, so if something comes to mind, I'll let you know. Hugs, Terri xoxo

    PS My home is actually full of soft pastels - except for the dining room that's papered in blousy red roses. It's my favorite room in the whole house! :-)

  8. Exciting news! Enjoy your fabulous trip and I love your art! It's simply stunning!

  9. I'll be in the Shire during your trip (for Mimsey Camp) so will keep a little candle out on the table by the creek and think of all the wonderful pictures you'll be sending. My favorite adornment of yours has been the key. I'd like to wear it but it's too much a part of the book.

  10. Yay ! Atrip ! How awesome is that! THe journal is perfect for it. I can't wait to see and hear all about your journey!

  11. I am so excited for you - I just know your journal is going to be filled with treasures by the time you get back. On a more selfish note, I look forward to the pictures!

  12. Viva do some fabulous paints that will cover your rings, there are some metal ones or some that are like the look of iron, if you can't get it Stateside let me know and I will get it for you..

    have a look.
    Can't wait to see your photos etc....x

  13. How exciting for you! And won't we all feel special being able to share your trip with you through your photos. Thank you for eing so generous in the use of your photos. You bet I will use them! The journal is lovely. Your soul is a part of it so that makes it priceless.


  14. Oh and I forgot about the rings...I think all the suggestions were good but I really like the nail polish one. I bet you could get clear plish and then ever so slightly tint it with an acrylic color of your choice. If it peels off, you can easly fix it!

  15. Wow the journal is absolutely fantastic! Perhaps it was just as your book wrote itself this journal was meant to have those colors.

    I don't think it is too upbeat despite the cheerful palette. When I look at her face and the way she is looking straight ahead, it seems as though she is full of anticipation of the journey ahead and is reflecting on what that means.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing this finished! Safe travels, Cheryl. : )

  16. Great that you are going to visit U.K

  17. You are SO lucky. How fortunate for you to travel, much less travel to your roots. The journal is perfect for this trip, although it may be too small for everything unless you have an extra (or six) memory cards or sticks (grin).

    Are these the rings that pop out of the book? I forget the brand name, but if they are the ones you can twist and remove pages, you can buy replacement rings in all kinds of colors and sizes. Of course, if you have one of the punches that makes the holes (reminds me of a rolodex card punch), you can cut your pages to size, buy larger rings, and go from there.

    Have an awesome trip. I'm so glad we're invited to share it with you.

  18. I am thrilled you've decided to follow my blog! welcome!

    yours is so interesting, artsy, and totally inspirational!

    ciao bella
    creative carmelina

  19. Oh what fun! I was in Wales in the 90's, on my way from England to Ireland where I visited my pen pal and her family (penpals since we were 10 years old). I hope you have a wonderful time! As far as the journal rings...I think there is paint for plastic out there. Maybe that would work. It's lovely like it is though.

  20. Your journal is gorgeous! Hope you have a wonderful trip. I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures!

  21. Hi Cheryl. I will be keeping in touch through your blog page,what a great journal.Wish i had more time in glastonbury to talk to you, what a exciting life you live. Enjoy the rest of your trip Maz With the red mini.


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