The Divine Medicine Journal Workshop #1

Welcome to the first entry of the Divine Medicine Journal workshops, I am so grateful you are here! For this first journal page I wanted us to explore this statement:

**Paint your feelings, emotions or thoughts for the upcoming new year-are you Joy-Full, Fearless, Hopeful, Excited, Anxious, Determined, Spiritual, Awakened...**

For this worshop you will need a journal, paints, pens, pencils, rubber stamps/stencils, stamp pads, collage elements or images. These are suggested supplies and since this is your creation you can use whatever you wish! Dont think too much on anything, create from deep within your heart. So pick your color palette and lets get started...

A little Inspiration...

Some beautiful textile stamps that I LOVE....

STEP #1:
This is just me but I like to use many different kinds of papers in my handmade journals. Some pages are watercolor, some are handmade textile pages, while others are more like cardstock. I paint on all of it! Experiment with as many types as you can to find your favorites! When I have a bundle of painted journal pages I sew that signature into my handmade journal. Obviously you dont have to do your Medicine Journal this way, whatever works for you is perfect! So above is my blank page and I have applied two coats of Gesso over it and allowed it to dry for a few minutes. This gives a nice even base especially on this particular watercolor paper I am using above. It has alot of groves and texture, (but I just love the deckled edges!)

Next I sketch my drawing onto the page, some prefer to do this after the background has gone on and that is fine too. I used a simple drawing of a woman that will represent myself and my feelings for the new year. I am feeling both Hopeful and determined this year and wanted the facial expression to show that in this drawing. I can hear you now-but Joanna, I cant draw faces or I cant draw people-you can, you just need practice! If you are more comfortable-cut out pages of women or men from fashion magazines to use and altar the picture in whatever way comes to you. Also, you can use collage elements like birds, animals, trees, the ocean, mountains, the moon, the sun etc. etc.!

*TIP: Just a recommendation if you have not already done this is to start collecting images that really speak to you, place them in files for future use in your journal and collage work.

This is the start of the background-I chose a light lavender and light blue color and literally finger painted the two colors together. That is one of my secrets to most of my paintings-I almost always finger paint the backgrounds (okay, okay, please dont say "No wonder!") I like it, it makes me happy and reminds me of being a kid again! Just try it, even if it is for this one page, see how it turns out.

While the background fingerpaint art is drying I start on the face and hair. For this painting I used acrylics diluted slightly with water, I always start that way to get a base color down and then build from there using more paint and less water. I like the highlights it creates and frankly you can always go darker and build the color but you cant go backwards! She is starting to look a little hopeful-looking to the future.

Now for my favorite part! Break out your stamp pads, stamps, stencils, charcoal pencils, markers collage elements, whatever you want. I finished up the details on her face, I am never one for perfection, the entire image took me less than 15 minutes to paint and finish. If I spend too long on it, I mess with it too much and then I end up ruining it! =)
I then chose a border stamp and used the distress ink in Walnut (my favorite!) and then rubbed it around all the edges. I added a background stencil to the page and used a small amount of charcoal pencil around the edges and her hair as well. I added a butterfly fairy wing to her and stamped her shirt with rubber stamps.

Lastly I chose my emotions, thoughts, feelings for 2010 and typed them into my computer with various fonts and sizes. I then printed the page out and used scissors to cut them out and glue them to the page. Some words I used alphabet stamp pads as well. I allowed them to dry and used more ink to distress around the edges, this time with a green stamp pad.

Have fun everyone and if you feel like sharing I would love to post any images you send me on this blog. Email them to
I would also love to hear how you liked the workshop and any comments or recommendations you may have!

Lots of love to you all!

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!


Spirit Journeys Workshop #2

Being a San Diego native, I have found myself longing for the Ocean as of late so I thought I would base this months workshop off of a Mermaid treasure, Ocean theme! This project will be something light and fun, like a beautiful day at the beach! Nothing to complicated just a little creative lighthearted fun. You could of course use the box to store your special mermaid treasures, I decided to make mine into a Treasure Dream Box. I am going to fill mine with all of the goals and dreams I would like to happen for 2009. You could also fill it with prayers or even a bunch of your favorite quotes and affirmations and than choose one each morning to start your day. I am happy to showcase your beautiful creations when you are done, just send me an email with a link to your project to share with all of us. Enjoy!


Who would be
A mermaid fair,
Singing alone,
Combing her hair
Under the sea,
In a golden curl
With a comb of pearl,
On a throne?

By Afred Lord Tennyson 1830

Step 1: Gather all of your treasure together, seashells, sea glass, river rocks, gemstones, crystals, driftwood, glitter, whatever you would like to add to decorate your box with. I chose a small wooden rounded top chest that was very inexpensive from the craftstore. You may already have a perfect box at your home right now. For the top of my box I used a product that you can purchase at your local hardware store-it is called Premixed Adhesive Grout and you can get it in pretty small tubs in many colors for under $10.00. You wont need much depending upon how big your box or chest is that you are going to decorate. The color I used was white because it reminded me of the white sandy beaches.

Step 2: Place a gemerous nice thick layer of the grout onto the top of your box, I used my finger actually, you could also use a trowel but I wanted the top to not look smooth and even but rustic and time worn like it was found in a beautiful sea grotto cave. You dont have to stress too much on time, the grout takes a bit to dry. If you are creating a large box though maybe do half the top first and then the other. My box was fairly small so this entire project took me about an hour with some drying time in there as well. You could get really creative and creative beautiful patterns and spiral designs with your seashells and bits & baubles too. *Note: I only decorated the top of my box, if you are planning to decorate all the sides as well, you would do that now.

Step 3: Here is my box top pretty well finished and dusted with a turquoise colored glitter. You will want to do that when the grout is slightly wet.

Step 4: I have a bunch of bronze and rusty decorative pieces that I have picked up over time. The picture above shows some of the options I was thinking about. The little latch that was on the box was bothering me so I removed it and decided to create a more decorative closure. I chose my pieces and set them aside then decided to paint the sides of the box. I chose a sea blue color and I then distressed the edges and paint with a piece of sandpaper and added a little gilded gold rub to the edges as well. You can use crackle paint too for a weathered look or paint it a light color first, let it dry and paint a darker color over it. Once that is dry you can sand off the top layer in some areas to allow the bottom color to show through.

Step 5: Oops, I guess I got a little ahead of myself above! This picture shows you the closure piece I created by just glueing together 3 different pieces of bronze decorative elements. I used the hot glue gun-take it from me, the metal gets hot when you use a HOT glue gun! (Duh Joanna!) Be careful! =)

Step 6: I decided I wanted to extend the grout to the entire lid and place the decorative metal pushed into the grout so it looked like it was meant to be there and not just glued on. This way when the lid is lifted it all looks like it was meant to be this way! Hee Hee! (I meant to do that!)

Step 7: Tah Dah! Here is the final piece all ready to be filled with the goals and dreams for 2009! Have fun everyone!


Spirit Journeys Workshop #3

For this months workshop we will be creating what I like to call a Myth Shrine. This month I want you to think of someone that inspires you, or has the qualities you aspire to be in your own life. It could be an ancestor, a loved one, a hero, an athlete, a Deity, or as I chose, a Goddess; Anyone! This is your personal Myth Shrine that you may keep in a special place in your studio or sacred space, there to remind you of the qualities that you admire and to help remind you of your aspirations and spiritual purpose. You may decide to make a couple for a few different people, as each one will be unique and as individual as you. As I have told you since the workshops began, there is no right or wrong way to create anything I offer to show you, just let yourself have fun and dont overthink anything, after all, this is your Myth, your spiritual offering to a beautiful Spirit. Also, I try to create projects that should not cost you much money, in these times, we can use all the help we can get! I know alot of you are like me and have wonderful stashes of goodies in jars, boxes, and chests just waiting to be the perfect adornment for your project. Nature itself is one of our best resources! Dried twigs, leaves, branches, rocks, crystals, moss! Combine it all with the trinkets you already have and you should be able to spend next to nothing!
As you all probably know by now, one of my passions in life is studying the myth, history and folklore of the Ancient Celts. For me, the ancient celtic gods and goddesses are one of my biggest inspirations, they personify such beauty, will, strength, creativity, and healing, that most of my art is in some way touched by their spirit. They are what bring me back to Ireland every year, seeing the ancient sites, stone circles, artwork, the symbols, the craftsmanship and the way they honor the cycles of life, death, and rebirth, it is an ancient beauty to me that my Soul calls out for. For my Myth Shrine, I chose the Celtic Goddess Airmid, the Goddess of the Healing Arts. I chose her because of her healing abilities with our beautiful plant kingdom. I have been working with herbs and flora for over 13 years of my life and I often turn to Airmid for guidance. If you are unfamiliar with her story, I will provide a condensed version below and then proceed to the workshop! Enjoy this workshop everyone and please email me or post me a note with a link if you would like to share your creation, I would love to post it here!
The Next Workshop will be:
March 23 2009

Airmid's father Dian Cecht, jealous because he could not compete with Airmid's brother Miach's surgical skills or Airmid's powers of regeneration, killed his son and confused the herbs that grew from his grave so that mortal humans would not share in the power and immortality of the Gods.

After that, Miach was buried by Dian Cecht, and three hundred and sixty-five herbs grew through the grave, corresponding to the number of his joints and sinews. Then Airmed spread her cloak and uprooted those herbs according to their properties. Dian Cecht came to her and mixed the herbs, so that no one knows their proper healing qualities unless [she] taught them afterwards.

Airmid's herbs, spread upon her cloak, were scattered by her father. Yet Airmid still remembers the powers of the herbs, and can teach us their secrets. Through her, we may learn to use and appreciate the sacred power of plants and healing waters.

Step 1: Choose your Myth Shrine, it could be an altoids tin, a candy tin, even a Tin Nicho or small box or matchbox!

Step 2: Think of who you are creating this shrine to represent, think of colors, textures, quotes, trinkets and treasures. All of this will play into the final feel of your Myth Shrine. I choose to distress and paint the larger metal tin. You will want to use some fine or rough grit sandpaper before applying the paint as it will adhere much better if sanded. After I painted it I rusted the edges and sanded it again for a more earthy and ancient feel.
Step 3: Gather all of those treasure together, even some you may not use, I thought for sure I was going to use that picture frame locket on the front but I had been really wanting to find the perfect creation for that broken vintage flower broach and this was it! I know alot of you are like me, little collectors of bits and baubles that you just hoard and hold onto until the perfect art piece presents itself! LOVE it when that happens! So I used a decorative corner stamp and some Celtic spirals around the edges. I found a lovely Pre-Raphelite picture that I felt would be a beautiful representation of Airmid.
Step 4: Here is a trick with metal that I love: if you have one of those heat guns, hold it over the metal a little closer than you normally would and watch the paint and metal bring forth a lovely burnt look. PLEASE be careful though-the tin gets very HOT! Dont touch for a few minutes after doing this.
Step 5: As Airmid is a Goddess of Healing I broke out the dried flowers, ferns and mosses and also velvet leaves and flowers. As in the story, I knew I wanted one side to represent her cloak and the 365 herbs that were spread upon it. I used raw blue silk for the cloak and used the glue gun to make ripples in it, I then glued the leaves and flowers around the edges. The opposite side holds her image and was glued down with Modge Podge glue. Be sure and have more than you need next to you, things you may not have thought you would use, suddenly become the perfect treasure for your creation.
Step 6: I finished adding the extra flowers, leaves and treasures to the inside now I start on the front. I used Modge Podge once again and added Ferns and Maidenhair Fern to the front. I then printed the name Airmid and placed it within the rusted name plate. The final touch was the broken vintage flower broach.
Step 7: I then added a touch of glitter to the edges and the name plate. (Have to have some glitter!)
The Final Front, AND....
The Final Inside. Enjoy everyone and thank you so much for allowing me to share another workshop with all of you! Have a beautiful evening!



I sincerely thank all of you who joined this blog, I am trying to consolidate to make it easier on myself and everyone else to find me so please follow me to my sister blog at

I leave you with a picture of my baby girl Pixie. Have a beautiful evening.
In gratitude, love and light,