Hi Friends,   

Happy Friday!  I don’t want to be wishing the days away but I am glad it is Friday and I can get some rest. Kitties were at the vet today for vaccinations and check up and that is always a bit stressful.   I’ve been feeling quite tired this week, but at least I won’t be sleeping as long as the people in this tale I have to share today.

The Once and Future Witches: The spellbinding bestsellerAs I mentioned on Tuesday, I have been reading this book Once and Future Witches this week with our book group since it seems like the right time of year for a witchy book, and one of the fun things about the book is that it is full of tales, spells, nursery rhymes and fairy-tales that are woven in with and around the main story. You can imagine how thrilled I was to discover this given my current art journal theme and wished I had known that at the beginning of the month but we only just started it this week!  The one I am sharing today was near the beginning of Chapter 4 and it caught my attention because it is a typical fairy-tale in a lot of ways, but also different, in that the “witch” is a young maiden instead of the usual wizened old crone that often appear in fairy-tales.  I have used that as the basis for my page today and also have written out the whole tale in full below the artwork, so feel free to read it or skip to the bottom, as you like, but hopefully you will read it since I had to type the whole thing out while listening to the audiobook.  I’m sure you will have heard a version of this story before but perhaps with a different ending.

Today’s Art . . .

Today’s art is another page using my Day 28 prompt:  Witch
This is my interpretation of the witch in the story I mentioned above and written out in full below.

I have a face for Nicole’s Face-off this week.

And of course my witch is hopefully eligible and not too late for Rain’s Thursday Art and Dinner Date, but just in case, here is also some of my Halloween cards that I have made over the years and use as part of my Halloween decor.

And also, because it is October, I also made Treacle Scones last night.  This is one of the things I remember from childhood, as my mum always made Treacle Scones and Treacle Toffee for Halloween.  If I have time, I am planning to make the toffee tomorrow!

The Tale of the Sleeping Maiden . . .

Once upon a time, there was a King and Queen who longed for a child but couldn’t have one.

They tried spells and prayers and charms, but after many long years the Kingdom still had no heir.

In desperation they held a grand feast and invited six Witches to bless their Kingdom.  The six Witches granted six fair gifts.

Peace and prosperity, good health and good harvests, agreeable weather and biddable peasants.

Just as the feast was ending, a seventh Witch arrived.

She was young and graceful and had the sort of face that launches ships – and eats hearts.

She wore a coal black adder twined around her left arm and a sharp toothed smile on her lips.

She told the King and Queen that since they failed to invite her to their feast she brought a curse instead of a blessing.

One day a young Maiden would prick her finger on a spindle and the castle would fall into an endless sleep from which no one could wake it.

The King took all reasonable precautions, he ordered all the spinning wheels burned and permitted no unwed women within the castle walls.

He kept his throne for one and twenty until the day a strange Maiden arrived at the castle gates.

The guards should have turned her away but it had been too long since the 7th Witch had been seen and the Maiden knew the ways and words to make them forget their orders.

She wore her familiar like a black glass necklace around her throat

The Maiden moved unseen through the castle smiling as she went until she climbed to the top of the

tallest tower where a spinning wheel  waited for her.  She reached her pale finger to the spindle’s end.

There are many versions of this story but there is always a pricked finger, there are always three drops of the Maiden’s blood.

Her blood touched the castle floor and a spell drifted through the castle.  Every living creature fell into a sudden slumber, pies burned in the ovens, and something  clattered to the floor,  cats slept with their claws outstretched towards sleeping mice and dogs lay down besides foxes

In the whole castle only the Maiden moved.  She stole the King’s crown from his brow and settled it on her own head.  The Maiden ruled for 100 years,  she might have ruled forever who can say what ways a Witch might find to live beyond their years, except that a brave Knight heard tales of a cursed Kingdom and rode to its rescue.

The Maiden retreated to the tall tower and grew rose briars around it vicious and sharp, spines so thick that even the Knight and his shining sword couldn’t cut through them

The Knight set fire to the tower instead and  as the Witch burned ,her spell was broken, and the rest of the castle woke from its endless sleep.

The Knight plucked the Witch’s crown from the ashes and presented it to the King on bended knee

The King pulled him to his feet and announced that he and the Queen had finally  found a fitting heir

The Knight and the Kingdom lived happily ever after although no rose ever bloomed for miles around  no matter how rich the soil or how talented the gardener, and there were still stories about a young

woman who walked in the deep woods sometimes with a black snake beside her.

Hope you feel inspired to join in the challenge this month and have fun with it!

Let me know what you think in the comments.   As always, thanks for reading!

my handmade journal, watercolour paper, neocolours, pitt pens, poscas, recycled tissue paper, matte medium, black pencil, gold pen, story printout,


Art Journal JourneyFairytales, Folklore & Fables

Rain’s Thursday Art and Dinner DateTrick or Treat
Friday Face-offFriday 28th October 2022

Daily Prompts

Here are the prompts I will be using and you can probably tell that a lot of them are related to fairytales, but you don’t have to use them that way or you don’t have to use them at all.  I will be attempting all 31 days but I may not make it and that’s OK too.  The prompts are there if you feel stuck or in need of extra inspiration.   I just respond well to a daily prompt and I will also be sharing my pages on Instagram.  If you share your work on Instagram there is a hashtag.  Please note, that to enter the Art Journal Journey challenge using the Mr Linky tool, you will have to link from a blog since it is a blog challenge.

Or you can ignore the daily prompts completely and focus on the overarching theme for the month.  The daily prompts are there if you want to make more pages but need some extra prompting.

11 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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Rain Frances
November 8, 2022 9:46 am

I love your tale of the Sleeping Maiden! ?? I’m very much into fairy tales and was hoping to join this challenge, but couldn’t find the time! Your witch is beautiful! And those cards! You’re so talented!! ?

October 31, 2022 10:00 pm

Love your Journal 🙂 And the beautiful green eyes 🙂

October 29, 2022 3:09 pm

Your art work is beautiful. You managed to capture her beautiful, but evilly coy expression that I imagined as I read the fairytale. I hadn’t heard this fairytale version before, but yes the spinning wheel is very familiar.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth
October 29, 2022 11:17 am

I’ve never heard that tale before, but that witch is truly lovely. And of course, I loved the happy ending, too. A true fairy tale indeed.

Treacle scones? I love scones in any shape, size, color, or seasoning. These look good enough to eat! I just read that I can substitute molasses for treacle, which may be hard to find in the states.

Iris Flavia
October 29, 2022 6:16 am

She reminds me a bit of Rapunzel, though that was a poor beauty closed up in such a tower.
And yes, the real fairy tale… so many variations, it´s clever and beautiful, and sad.
Do I feel sleepy now? 😉 xx

Erika N
October 29, 2022 12:18 am

Your witch is seriously perfect for not only your story today but for a witch in general. Great page Elle. And I enjoyed reading about your book too. The title looked familiar so I looked in my audible account and low and behold it is in my library. I hope it is a good book to listen to, because not all books make good listens. And I hope I never pass this woman with a snake next to her when I walk in the woods-smile. I hope you make your toffee and enjoy your treacle scones. Happy weekend. hugs-Erika

October 28, 2022 8:00 pm

Lovely page and story, the scones look delicious!

Andrea Priebe
October 28, 2022 6:12 pm

Your story is enticing and I always love a happy ending. Don’t think I want to know a maiden who walks in the woods with a black snake (though the only black snake I know is the black racer and they are harmless and make wonderful pets for those who would want on). Your artwork is delightful as well … Have a fun and safe Halloween …

Andrea @ From the Sol

October 28, 2022 5:42 pm

Wow Elle! First your witch is beautiful and magical. Your cards are just exceptional. I love the all. The scones look amazing. However, your story is absolutely wonderful. I loved reading it. Thank you for joining FFO.

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