Tag Archives: fairies

The Fairy Meets the Inner Critic

Fairy bodies come in all shapes, sizes and colours


I planned a paper fairy PLAYshop for January. Omicron came along and knocked that out of the realm of possibility – at least as a real LIVE breathing and in person PLAYshop. The Pandemic is giving our adaptability muscles new opportunities to flex!


Fairy paper packets







Instead I offered  an at home version where participants received a packet of papers to make their fairy, as well as access to instructions and templates and a short Zoom fairy consultation (really a fairy party) with me.

The night after mailing more than a dozen fairy paper parcels, I woke up from an unsettling dream. In the way of dreams, I can’t tell you anything about it, except that once awake,  this sentence popped into my head, clear as a bell. “Fairies are so insubstantial.”

“Insubstantial?!!” retorts the fairy. “That’s our superpower! Most beings are far too substantial! Insubstantial, yes! Insignificant, NEVER!!”

 I don’t think I laughed out loud then, but I have several times since. This first voice is clearly the voice of my own personal inner critic. She is not usually so funny!

Insubstantial. Flighty. Frivolous. Fanciful!! These are the kinds of words my inner critic loves to taunt me with.

One of the wise fairy makers said, ” I would just tell that inner critic to lighten up!!”

I notice that an enlivening spirit is with me when I am selecting fairy papers for people. I am happy as a clam, I love doing it, everything is a complete mess, and any notion of 1, 2, 3 or getting this done in a certain block of time is completely out of the question. Beside the point. It’s those darn fairies – trying to keep me messed up (in a good way)!

When creating a fairy, I am quietly delighted. Some parts of fairy making are quite finnicky and absorb all of my attention.  Time slips through my fingers.

Abra-cad-a-bra! People appear on the my screen. Pouffff – they are gone!! When gathering on Zoom, we fairy makers notice a companionable gaiety and levity in the air. We laugh a lot!

Collaborating with other fairy makers has stretched my ideas about fairies and the possibilities they hold. A mom and her two young sons adapted the PLAYshop to make superheroes, which got me wondering about male fairies and why fairies are so gendered. Another fairy maker started with the thought of creating “Dreaming Fairy” – the fairy who would contribute to the world we want to live into. During one Zoom fairy party, participants had songs pop into their minds when making fairies. “Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes”…and “Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day.” The songs found their expressions on the fairies created.

“Heart of Gold” Fairy

 Sometimes I wonder, did I choose fairies as a project? Or, did the fairies choose me? I think the fairies chose me! In the midst of coldest winter, a pandemic that doesn’t seem to end, and a renovation job taking me deep into our stone basement to “mud” (reinforce the walls with a mixture of sand and lime), it seems that creating paper fairies is the perfect antidote, the best winter  and pandemic elixir, a panacea of sorts.

The fairies whisper “Tread lightly”! They loosen my laughter and delight and playfulness. They lead me down new flight paths.

Up, up and away!!

To view an ongoing gallery of fairies created, click here.

“Revolutionary Dancing Fairies are Getting Out of the Kitchen” – by Diane Mullan

“Petra (green fairy) is off her Rocker!” -by Diane Mullan

“Up, Up and Away!” by Diane Mullan




Spring Light


A little spring fairy with the winter woods behind

A little spring fairy with the winter woods behind

I just spent three nights in a small cabin in a coulee at the Qu’Appelle House of Prayer. A retreat, a time of quiet, a time to be still.

This time I brought a task or two – a writing project and some art experiments, but more often I come here just to be still, to sit and wonder, to nap. It  was a rare and wonderful treat to focus on work with few distractions, and with the time and space to take in the beauty all around.

I have been revelling in the incredible light we have been enjoying this spring. It took a few days of quiet  to realize that all of this white snow is contributing to the particular dazzling light that marks these last days of March.( I know there is a powerful wish to have this snow gone, and I kind of share it, but am savouring this light also.) I watched deer nestled right against the window of my cabin, eating the sunflower seeds on the snow that the chickadees, red polls, purple finches, nuthatches and woodpeckers had missed.Later on, a young deer settles down for an afternoon nap in the woods behind my cabin while bathed in the afternoon  sun. Such a sight! At night, the almost full apricot moon rose over the hills in a twilight sky.

As I made a big mess with rice paper, I realized that part of the joy in creating flying birds and fairies, as I am doing these days – is that the light shines through the rice paper, illuminating the colours and the subtle textures of the paper. Soon this white snow will melt, giving moisture to the vibrant green moss tucked here and there in the paths on these hills. It was in moss like this that I first knew there were “little people” or fairies. I remember making small tables with sticks and bark, trying to write letters to the fairies with berry juice. Like me, the little spring fairies above know its winter, but the green sap of spring is running in their veins. The small deer who sleeps outside my window may be dreaming of tender buds and more plentiful food.