Little Faerie Tales Creative Workshop #1

A Winter's Rebirth

Happy Winter Solstice and Welcome everyone to my first Spirit Journeys creative workshop! Everyone and anyone is welcome to participate! As I said before, it will not cost you one cent, just the time and effort you desire to put into it. For my first workshop we will be creating a Winter themed journal that you will be able to record your dreams and aspirations in for the coming new year. Come Spring time, I will have a Spring themed creative journal project so that if you participate all year, you will have four journals inspired by the four seasons.

I will provide you a story, some words, quotes, some images for you to use and alter in your project if you wish, as well as some bits and pieces of some of my poetry. This is just to set a tone or mood and help inspire your creativity. This is your creative journal, you will not be graded, you wont have to show and tell at the front of the class-just have fun and let your heart and mind open to WINTER. A time of deep inner reflection, for turning to thoughts of your own purpose and dreams.

Picture yourself in a dark forest. The full moon overhead, you hear the wise Raven call out to the night above. The night sky twinkles above you, a reminder of how fragile we really are. You see an amber glow up ahead through the trees and walk towards it. You start to feel the warmth and heat from its fiery presence. A voice of a woman asks you to please sit by the fire, warm your soul and have a cup of herbal tea. She is kind and holds the wisdom of the ages within her eyes. She asks why you have come to this part of the woods-the realm in between, betwixt and between this world and that. You smile while softly blowing your hot tea, and look up to find she is gone.

A soft whisper hangs on the winds embrace:

"All of the answers, all of which you seek, lies already within thy own heart."

You sit next to the fire until all that is left is the soft glow of the smoldering embers, watching the sky turn from dark blue, to purple, to shades of twilight pink and blue.
Something inside you awakens and stirs, a dream, a desire, a treasure waiting to be discovered. You hold the key, it is up to you to decide what to do next on your journey...

Just a little story I wrote to help you think of what you truly hold close deep inside of you. Do not be afraid to journey inward, we all fear what might be there. But if we never take that step, we may never know the beauty that truly lies within each of us.



A Winters Rebirth released the frost of the moonlit night-

Joanna Mullane

And in the moons pale light
A soft glow is cast on all things

Like candlelight

Everything becomes beautiful and mysterious

Joanna Mullane

Everyone has certain things that remind them of winter. For me it is dark trees in a dark forest, the moon and Ravens or crows. For you it will most likely be something completely different and special to only you. For this journal, I want you to create it around your favorite things of winter, whatever or whomever it is. Below are the steps I took to create my Winter journal so you may create one similiar or create an entirely different one. Have fun with this and take as much time as you want. Here are some pictures that you may use if you wish in your creation. Some are from our trips to Ireland and my dear sweet friend Rachel was nice enough to send me some gorgeous pictures she took of snow covered trees where she lives as I dont think I will be getting snow anytime soon here in Phoenix Arizona! Thank you Rachel!

If you would like to show me your journal, the cut off date to put a picture of it on my blog is the 11th of January 2009. That will give you about 3 weeks to play and create. On that date, if you drop me a blog note I would love to post your picture here on my blog with a link back to you.


Step One: For my book, I chose to take apart a very old book that was from the late 1800s. Feel free to use any journal though, even one that is store bought. You can certainly glue various papers and materials to the existing journal! Gather together various papers such as handmade variations, pages from old books, fabric, tissue, and lace. Be creative and find lots of texture.
Step 2: Take your front and back cover of your old book and cut away the spine area. You will need Gesso, your winter colors or just ones that are your favorite, and a few brushes.
Step 3: paint on a decent amount of gesso, I let some of the old book show through as the book was in really bad shape (which I love anyways). I also poured a small amount of my paint colors next to me as I am working on a large piece of craft paper so clean up is a cinch! (get messy, draw a smiley face on the paper with your finger!) Allow to mostly dry.
Step 4: After your gesso is mostly dry, just slap on the paint. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just mix the colors, heck, you dont even have to use a brush, finger paint if you want to. I did not want mine to look perfect-perfectly imperfect was what I was trying to achieve!
Step 5: Now for some fun-I took sand paper and scraped and buffed until the old book cover was showing through in some places and even some of the white gesso. After I had the look I wanted, I added copper tape to the edges of the covers. Once again, this is your book so create it however you wish. These are suggestions and the steps I took to finish mine.
Step 6: Now you need to create a new spine for your journal. This can be a nice thick fabric, or damask, or book binding even. I chose this great light blue leather I found on sale a while back. It is buttery soft and needed a bit of aging! Way too perfect! I burnt the edges of the leather and used the flames smoke to add a film of soot. Then I used some copper rub and added that over the soot for an even deeper dark look. You could use walnut stain as well which I use later.
Step 7: Based upon the size of your book covers, you will need to fold over your cut papers and fabrics to create a signature. I ran mine through the sewing machine using a simple zig zag stitch straight down the middle. Please Note that depending upon how strong your sewing machine and needle are, you may need to use less paper or remove some that may be too thick.
Step 8: At this time you will need to break out some glue. I used Soft Gel Matte to glue down the seams of my leather spine. Be sure you measure how thick your signature(s) are before gluing your spine down as you dont want too much spine, or worse, not enough! You can use an awl or a Japanese screw punch to make 2 to 3 holes along the spine and through your signature. I used Irish waxed linen and a large needle to just hand stitch the signature into my book spin. You could add beads or ribbons along the spine if desired as well.
Step 9: I wanted my book to have a wrap so I did a very simple solution of just cutting a small strip of leather, gathering a decent amount of fibers and measuring them around the book as I wanted them to go around 3 times. I simply laid the fibers on the back of the book and glued the leather strip over them. I then aged the leather as I did the front before. Instant book wrap!
Step 10: Now for the real fun part, the decorating of the front cover! I chose to stay with my winter theme of the branches and the Raven. The raven image is transparent on a piece of Mica and the twigs are made of silver. When the book is wrapped closed, the fibers hook onto the tree branch to hold it shut. Here are the rest of the finished pictures.

I hope you enjoyed my first workshop! Wishing you a wonderful creative time with this project and wishing you and yours a beautiful holiday season!


Melissa said...

What a fabulous start! The journal you made is absolutely lushious. Looking forward to making mine. I make journals, as a matter of fact, so this is right up my alley. ;)

I got chills when I read the story - being in the woods, following the light, sitting by the fire. In the past, when I couldn't sleep, I used to make up stories like that. Had several encounters with The Lady that way.

Fantastic Job! Thank you for the inspiration and again, for sharing this with us all!

~Journal Magick~

Heartaday said...

What an amazing amount of work you've put into this! I love the winter solstice. I'll try to fit this into my schedule somewhere.

PLO said...

Holy cow girl. I am really psyched to get going. this will prompt me to get started after the holiday rush is over, and I have time to create in my new studio space. You really put some effort into this, and I appreciate it...and can't wait to get started. Happy Winter Solstice!

The Traveling Whimsical Gypsy said...

I love the look of this journal! The colors you chose are beautiul. I hope to have some time to devote to creating a winter journal for myself over the next few weeks, and look forward to trying out some of the techniques you shared here with us. The pictures are great too. I really appreciate the step-by-step instruction!

Strange but I still can't post here via my other blog (

Lola Enchanted said...

Very nice workshop! I'm going to get started after the holidays!!!

I wanted to also send Christmas wishes your way!!!!!

You always send your magic out! I'd like to send you some!!!~ So, here's magic blowing your way!
Take care doll!!!!!!!!

AwtemNymf said...

Wow- what a gorgeous altered journal! I will forward your link to a couple of people who would LOVE to do this! I just might try this out too! Just gotta find the time :O)

I enjoyed my visit!

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Absolutely amazing journey you take us on...Love the journal you've created, so very inspirational!
Thanks to Serena Pia for sending me this way.
Brightest of Blessings to you and yours from my Magpie's Nest!

* mY fRiEnDs cALL mE Rella * said...

Hello my dear, sweet faerie friend. xo I am late to the journal party, but will make one up this next week for sure. I would like to join you on any and all adventures you have in mind as we head forward.

wishing you abundant blessings ~ Rella

magicalmuse said...

This is a wonderful offering and idea. I hope I am not taking on too much b/c I am doing another online group too but I think they will overlap nicely. Great to have found your blog. :)

Dottie said...

Greetings Joanna, I just love your Spirit Journey's Creative Workshop. Your Winter's Rebirth Journal is just so beautiful!!! I have always loved your journals and to have you show us how to make one, step by step, is just fantastic! I can't wait to try to make mine. Thank you so much for sharing with us how to make these journals.
Brightest Blessings,

arlene said...

Beautiful book! Thank you so much for unselfishly sharing it with the world. I've had a similar idea in mind but didn't know how to execute it. You've given me much practical advice, AND a lot of beauty to contemplate.
Peaceful New Year to you!

Dream With the Fishes said...

I've finished my journal and posted it to my blog. I had alot of fun making it! It's my first journal ever and it feels good to have actually done it. Here it is

Dream With the Fishes said...

I must have already told you this, but just in case I haven't, I LOVE your journal! It is really, really gorgeous. I tried to follow your instructions and make mine similar, but it came out completely different.

woodlandwanderings said...

Your journal inspired me to try my hand at some of the techniques you described. I tried copper tape around the edges and loved the look, but it wouldn't adhere properly and drove me crazy trying! Ended up peeling it off and staying with the cool, calm and collected tones of silvery sage.. LOL. I've posted my Winter journal on my blog. Happy rest of the weekend all.

Queen of Dreamsz said...

Oh, how wonderful! I must come back though after I get this move over with. Love your blog...found it by way of "Dream with the Fishes" blog.

Queen of Dreamsz