Who Is
The Fragrant Muse?

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Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, United States
I'm a Creative Soul and Happy Person. I have a passion for my Family, Aromatics, Fairy Gardens, Pugs, SoulCollage, Miniature Worlds, Visual Journals.


All contents Property and Copyright(c) of Liz Fulcher/The Fragrant Muse.
All rights reserved.
Please don't use my written word, photography or art without my permission.
Thank you.


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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fairies in the Garden

When I was very young, maybe 4 or 5, someone told me that fairies lived in the center of pansies. I can remember believing this. The idea that tiny magical beings lived in the flowers fascinated me and I would study (but never touch) every pansy trying to see the mysterious little creatures. This unlocked a sense of enchantment around flowers that I still feel as an adult.

The fairies I saw in my mind as a little girl always looked like children with wings. The first time I saw the drawings of Mary Cicely Barker, I knew that she saw the fairies as I did and it was a strong validation of my imagination.

I'm not really a "fairy" person per se. I don't collect them or have any desire to sit them on the piano or line them up along the window sill. I have my turtles for that. But I do love the idea of having them in my garden.

So for Mother's Day last year, my husband and son created a fairy garden for me. It is situated at the bottom of the steps that lead up to my massage studio so as my clients arrive, they can pause and enjoy the garden before coming upstairs.

May, 2008

One year later.....

I like to add little details as I find them.
I found these bunnies at a yard sale.

Sometimes I make silly vignettes with the figurines.

I still have a box full of fairies waiting to be
set free for the summer.
The fairies are made are made of waterproof resin.
I spray them with a UV protection so they don't fade.

The impatiens will be full by summers end.

Sometimes clients will give me things for the garden.
One lovely lady gave me rocks with words etched on them.
It's never too late to honor your inner child, and mine likes fairies in her garden.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Today I gave myself the day off and indulged in one of my many therapies: yardsale-ing.

There are two types of people; those who love yardsales and understand the thrill of the hunt, and those who would rather do anything else (my husband).

Here is what I found today that, apparently, I couldn't live without:

I have been on an altered purse kick and as lovely as these are, my intention is to paint them.

I paid $1.50 for the blue liz claiborne and $1.00 for the red leather one.


I broke my last piece of glass cookware yesterday. It was a pyrex bowl and when I dropped it while doing dishes, it didn't just break, it exploded all over the kitchen floor. Today I looked specifically for ovenproof dishes.

I paid $1.00 for the white dish (which has a divider in the middle), 50 cents for the round bowl and a quarter for the square dish which is chipped slightly in the corner. I'll throw it away when I find something better.


Sometimes when I find old pictures or paintings which are framed, I buy them specifically to paint over the existing picture. These two oak frames had photographs in them and they'll be easy to gesso then paint. They looked like they were from the 1960s.

I paid $1.00 for both of these pictures.


This was my best purchase. A battery-operated organ for my Bean. My husband played on it for half an hour when I brought it in. It's like new except for the missing microphone holder.

I paid $5.00 for the organ and stool.


How do you feel about yardsales?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What I've Learned About Owning a Nikon D60

I loved Julochka's post yesterday so much that I've made my own version here.

In the two weeks that I've owned my Nikon D60, here's what I've learned so far:

1. I don't know how to turn off the flash when taking self-portraits in the mirror.
2. I'm too impatient to read the manual and figure out how.
3. It's much heavier than my little compact and I may need to get weekly neck massages.
4. I always know where it is.
5. I'm more protective of my camera than my purse. In fact, my camera case has become my purse.
6. I'm willing to let my husband and grandson walk in the rain while my Nikon stays dry under the umbrella.
7. Don't post pictures without first examining what's in the background. The cat is cute, but no one wants to see your underwear on the bed next to her.
8. Pay more attention to husband's clothing choice before a big day. Wifebeater t-shirts may be sexy at home (and even that is up for debate), but they look nasty in family photos.
9. I get really really really bossy and protective when anyone touches her. Yes, her.
10. When you leave the "on" button in place for 24 hours, it tends to wear down the battery.
11. People act differently when you take their picture with a fancy camera. They may even think you're a professional photographer.
12. Strangers do a double take when you wear the camera around your neck while grocery shopping.
13. I can contort my body in many new positions to get the right angle.
14. I'm can't get used to my nose being smashed against the camera while looking through the viewfinder.
15. I always wonder if I'm doing something illegal when taking pictures of strangers and wonder if I'm even allowed to post them.
16. Pugs don't photograph well 'cause their faces are so black.
17. There is a freedom with a D-SLR that I've never felt with any other camera.
18. When a picture comes out well, I feel like I've given birth to a new baby.
19. It is becoming a new art form for me.
20. It was worth every penny.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cats and Kids Make a Man Mush

My husband is what I call a "manly man".

Not in the macho, exaggerated sense of power, I-have-the-right-to-dominate way. Heaven forbid. But in the confident, determined, strong in mind and body, his-men-all-respect-him way. Plus he isn't happy unless he's building something.

So why, when our calico cat sweetly mews to go out, does he immediately go to her and ask in a falsetto voice, "wassa matta hannah babyyyyyy?" "you wanna go plaaaayyyyy?"

And why does it make me adore him?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Being Here, Now

I've just spent 5 days with a zen master. He is 20-months old and has a complete grasp on living in the moment. No matter what he's doing, whether eating, playing with his toys or petting the dog, he gives it 100 percent attention. Though he doesn't have the mental maturity, scope of life or adult responsibilities I do, he is a constant reminder of how every experience is enriched when you give it your full attention. I've witnessed massage clients tell a story during their session then later ask, "did you work on my legs?" They weren't present for the experience.

Here are a four simple suggestions to help you begin to exercise your "awareness muscle" and bring the moment back into focus:
  • Become aware of your feet. You don't even have to stop what you're doing for this one which makes it great for mindfulness beginners. Don't do anything. No wiggling the toes or rolling the ankles. Simply shift your awareness to what your feet are feeling inside your shoes, or barefooted. Are they comfortable? Is there pressure anywhere? Are they cool or warm? In fact, stop right this minute while reading this, close your eyes and just feel your feet. I frequently do this when I am overwhelmed with demands and discover myself running around like a headless chicken.

  • Notice your breathing. When you notice your breathing pattern your mind naturally quiets and pays more attention to the present moment. Or find an auditory cue and everytime you hear it, focus on the breath and the moment. For example, when the phone rings, stop and take a deep breath. If the phone rings so often you find yourself in danger of hyperventilation, then find another auditory cue. How about a clock that chimes regularly? Does a train run near your home which sounds it's whistle? Find a "deep breath cue" and everytime you hear that sound, take a deep breath and bring your awareness to the present moment.

  • Minimize activities where you zone out. Ahhhhh zoning out, ain't it lovely? To just disappear in front of the tv or into that bag of oreos, surfing the net or shopping on QVC. Suddenly, no more bills, no more global warming. But also no more feeling the breeze coming in the window or hearing the crickets on a summer evening. We spend a lot of time giving our precious attention to mind numbing activities that draw us away from the present. Choosing to watch a favorite tv show or getting lost in a good book isn't bad. Just choose these activities mindfully, and limit the time you spend on them.
  • Of course the other side of zoning out is zoning in. Pursue activities that keep you engaged in the world around you and encourage you to be in the moment. Gardening, playing with a child, putting together a puzzle or any creative act like painting or playing an instrument all lend themselves to being in the moment.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a fairy garden waiting for new impatiens to be planted.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bean's Day Out

My Nana and Pap call me Bean.
They took me to my first 'musement park yesterday.
Nana says it's the largest free admission
'musement park in 'merica!

Here I am ready to go wearing moccasins my Pap made me.
He's real good at making stuff with leather.
Nana and Pap argued about the 'brella.
Pap said it was a good idea but Nana didn't want to drag it along.
Later, when it rained real hard,
Nana didn't tell Pap he'd had a good idea.
They both knew.

I had fun driving this boat but wanted Pap to let go.
I can steer myself 'cause geez I'm a big boy.
I loved my giraffe ride. When it was over
Nana had to pull real hard to remove me.

Here I am on another boat.
I couldn't take my eyes off the kid behind me. I think it was the hat.

I went down this ginormous slide with my Pap.
I ate a hot dog on a stick.
and fudge
Pap bought funny hats that made people smile at us.

I love balls so this was my favorite game.
When one got stuck in a blue hole, Nana screamed.
I didn't care. I just wanted to throw more balls.

When Nana saw what I won, she screamed again.
She told the ball lady she was 'cited
'cause my Daddy does school at Penn State.
Sheesh Nana, calm down.

I had a fun fun day. I hope we go back again tomorrow.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

And the Morning Coffee Award goes to.....

Earlier this month I received this award from B, of Cuttings on a Blog.

and today, it gives me great pleasure to bestow this illustrious coffee-stained accolade on Janet of Are We There Yet?

Janet wrote this great post on coffee and this wonderful post in which she shared photos and a lovely description of the patio where she takes her morning coffee. I want a patio with birdies and fishies, too, please!

To top it all off, she has an incredible photo of the Grand Canyon on her header that she took herself!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Always Learning

I am a learning junkie. It's hereditary. I come from a family where taking classes and learning new skills was not only encouraged, but insisted upon. My parents figured if they threw enough stuff at us, something would stick. Our home was full of how-to books and the garage packed with the remnants of interests and hobbies come and gone.

I have taken more lessons, classes, workshops and trainings than I can remember. Even today, I'm rarely without some type of class on my schedule. I used to worry about my need for the variety and constant mental stimulation until I read this book.

Here are some of the classes I've taken (outside of high school and college) that I remember off the top of my head:
  • dance (ballet, tap, jazz, latin)
  • art (drawing, sculpting, watercolor, oil. My favorite medium today? acrylics)
  • swimming
  • skiing
  • sewing (made one pathetic dress)
  • horseback riding
  • finishing (good lord do these still exists? table manners, walking, etc. blech)
  • acting
  • judo
  • piano (age 9-17 and I can barely play)
  • clarinet
  • guitar
  • drums (bought a drum kit at age 41)
  • voice
  • cooking
  • cake decorating
  • scuba
  • batiking
  • lapidary
  • italian language
  • greek language
  • many aromatherapy trainings
  • many bodywork programs
  • reiki
  • meditation
  • yoga
  • pilates
  • tai chi
  • creative writing
  • creating miniatures
  • dog training (technically this was Sassy's class but someone had to drive her there and explain to the teacher how her homework went)
  • art journaling
  • pottery (hubby and I did this last month - pics to follow as soon as everything is fired)
  • soul collage facilitator
  • KMCC Creativity Coach training
  • holistic health practitioner training

    (naturally I'm the one smack in the middle)

So what is currently on my calender? A four day Lomi-Lomi massage class in June and an online art journaling class beginning June 1st! ...and I still want to learn fencing, wine tasting, ballroom dancing with hubby and many more creativity classes!

What classes would you like to take?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Prom Night

Getting ready at Papa's house.
Last year Mom took a picture while he put on his shoes,
so she did it again this year.
Silly mom.

She remembers the first time he tied his shoes.
Silly sentimental mom.

Parents waiting for the kids to arrive.

Parents taking pictures of each other.
Silly parents.

The kids begin to arrive.

So many pretty dresses.

The self-proclaimed Stud Muffin.
and friends.
The look mom gets when she says, "have fun and be good".
Silly old mom.
She knows better.