The Heart of Yule

by Cari on 12/21/2011

in Wheel of the Year,Writing

YULE illuminated letters

An illumination of one of my favorite turns of the wheel, Yuletide, here at the darkest time of the year, when the light shines most brightly deep inside us as hope and faith. This image needed its own prose, and the best words were my own, and after infinite crafting and tweaking, I mustered this evocation of the meaning of Yule in four lines:

The Heart Of Yule greeting

This is the only one of my Yule cards that has a greeting on the inside; all the rest have the greeting either on the front or an explanation on the back, leaving the inside blank for a personal note. To letter this I used one of my favorite hands, a sort of running uncial hand with italic branching and bits of decoration to enhance the words. As is often the case in working for reproduction, I created the calligraphy in a larger size and then reduced it to fit the card. Here is the actual size it was written (click the image for actual writing size):

The Heart Of Yule detail

The illuminated letters on the front were begun with the technique I have shared in my calligraphy instruction books, painting a loose watercolor wash for the background, adding some shimmery golden highlights to the wet paint, and then later painting the letters and greenery with gouache and a tiny Winsor Newton Series 7 brush, size 000. I loved painting the seasonal evergreens and bits of landscape in the letters. The sun, the moon, the stars, the night sky. And then, the dawn!

A blessed Yule to all!

YULE detail

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn Darner December 21, 2011 at 10:50 am

Hi Cari,

This is absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing letters and even more, sharing how you got there. Good Yule to you and yours!


Meridy T. Migchelbrink December 21, 2011 at 11:24 am

Hi, Cari!

This is so beautiful. It’s always wonderful to read about the creative process. : ) Is there any way to obtain a print of your graphic and poetry? It’s perfect for display during Yuletide. xoxo

Meridy T. Migchelbrink December 21, 2011 at 11:27 am

Cari–I found where to buy your “Yule” cards and am off to do that now. Yay! xo

Sandy Wagner December 21, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Really. really lovely Cari. You have so wonderfully captured the spirit of the season. Wolcom Yole!


Cari December 21, 2011 at 12:12 pm

I’m glad you found the link, Meridy. I’ve put a live link in the post, and will repost it here. I’m also repurposing my card as a greeting to all of my readers which is why I forgot the buy link. Thank you for your kind words, everyone!

Michele December 23, 2011 at 4:34 am

Gorgeous! Love the little scenes inside the U and the L.

suzi smith December 27, 2011 at 11:53 am

Absolutely gorgeous Cari!

Scott December 21, 2014 at 11:55 am

Found a connection between my feelings and your words with this design. Awesome to say the least. Bright Blessings Cari.

Alice Young December 22, 2014 at 10:06 am

Just lovely, Cari!

Elle Dechene December 24, 2014 at 12:16 pm

So gorgeous, your artwork and your invocation!

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