Saturday, March 14, 2009

500 Journals from Deborah Gilchrist

More information is HERE.

Above is a photo of a journal I created for my local women's shelter. This is something I have been intending to start on for the past couple of years. The shelter, Turning Point, uses over 500 journals a year, giving them to the women and children who come through their doors seeking refuge from domestic violence. I was surprised by this number. Journals are something I wouldn't have thought to donate had I not seen them on the list, but what a great idea.

Journaling is therapeutic, as it says on their wish list (where journals are actually listed in two places). As both writer and artist, it has been my thought to create journals that are a little bit special, something that might let one know that someone else was at least thinking of them... Something bright to perhaps offer a small measure of comfort in a difficult time.

The butterfly image is Mariposa Lily, #2. She represents the Goddess of Transformation and she carries 'Quan Yin light' – the energy of compassion.

I began with a basic black-and-white wireless (stitched) composition notebook (200 pages), painted it black, then 'aged' and distressed it with sandpaper. (If you have received almost anything from me in the past, oh, six or eight months – calendar pages, cards, ATCs, etc. – you might know that sandpaper is my new best friend. ;) Sandpaper really softens the finish and gives the book the feel of worn leather.

A bit of torn paper and a few coats of clear acrylic and gel medium for protection, more roughing up, a vintage metal button with a nice patina, a ribbon closure and she's done. I chose only to embellish the outside covers as there's a lot of info printed inside that may be helpful to someone who might possibly be heading to college or job searching.

I like the contrast of the butterfly emerging from the chaos and aged backdrop. The Goddess of Transformation holds the key, after all, to the ancient (inner) wisdom needed to become that which we already are.

On the back is a simple reminder to stop and breathe.....

I am not normally prone to New Year's resolutions... but the question was posed on the 14 Secrets group about our creative resolutions and I thought it would give me a kickstart to publicly acknowledge this endeavor. A few more little nudges, those friendly postcards from the Universe that won't be ignored, and hey! the first journal's done. Only 499 to go... :)

I will be working away at this project, at my own pace. Unless I can start kicking out 2 or more a day, though, it is highly doubtful that I will complete 500 journals by myself this year, so I welcome anyone who would like to contribute to join me. The more, the merrier. I promise I have your favorite tea (as long as it's green or Earl Grey... or maybe chai).

If you are interested, please either contact me or leave a comment with an email address BEFORE you start. There are some guidelines that need to be observed. If enough folks express an interest, I'll post the guidelines for easy reference on this blog.

Or, maybe you'll want to contact the women's shelter in your area and see if they are in need of journals...

Right-click on the images to enlarge and open in a new window.