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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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday: What do I want to share?
Happy Birthday Bean!

Each week when Jamie Ridler presents her Wishcasting prompt, I pause and ponder a bit before posting; sometimes I need an hour, sometimes a whole day. 

Not today.  Today the words breezed in without hesitation.

What do you wish to share?

Today is the birthday of my grandson, the Bean.  He is two-years-old.  

The Bean is unquestionably one of the greatest gifts in my life and my Master Teacher.  In the two years that my life has been graced with his presence, he has taught me to exercise patience, gentleness, unconditional love and the joy of being in the moment.   He has taught me to take better care of myself so that we will have many many years together. 

My wish today is that I may share with my grandson the gifts that I have been given, enriching his life as he has enriched mine.

I wish to share my love of essential oils and the healing therapies that come from Mother Nature.

I wish to share my sense of humor and love of laughter so that he may find his own funny bone and retain his inner monkey. 

I wish to share the natural world by taking him on trips to the woods with his Pap and I where he can learn to appreciate its peace and beauty.

 I wish to share my creativity and give him a place where he can safely explore his own inner artist.

I wish to share my cockeyed optimism and enthusiasm for life so that he may learn to see that there is something good in every situation, no matter how painful. 

 I wish to share my life's story as well as that of his Nonno (my ex), his Pap (my husband) and his father (my son) so that he may embrace a sense of history within his own identity.

Happy Birthday my precious Bean. 
I love you and wish to share with you
all that I have,
all that I know,
and all that I am.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Central PA Mini Blog Camp

This here internet weblogging phenomenon is freakin' marvelous.  I've met more kindred spirits and soul sisters here in the last five months than I thought possible.   And this weekend I found two more.  

Saturday night I met up with two bloggers who have become good friends; Cyndy of 110Penned and OP of The Audacity of an Optimistic Pessimist (you can read about our first date here, here and here).  We gathered at
Cyndy's house where I finally got to meet the  unflappable and darling Ms. VEG!  In case you didn't read this post explaining the reason for VEGs visit, she's here in central Pennsylvania from Vancouver to help Cyndy sort through years of stuff that have accumulated from her busy life with a husband, five kids and two dogs!   Cyndy and her family live in a magnificent old theatre with "room for a pony" (if anyone knows where that quote comes from I'll send you a bottle of lavender I swear I will).    They have both worked their hineys off in the past 10 days and I was quite impressed with their progress.

After getting aquainted with VEG, OPs darling son, Cyndy's hunky husband and two of their easygoing and ever-so-so polite sons, we drove to a nearby town to the home of yet another blogging friend, Lola England where we had dinner.

Lola's home was warm, cozy and beautifully decorated with books on every wall and reading nooks in every room.   It was the perfect place for our mini blog camp.

(click on any of the photos for a larger view)

Everyone had to try out Lola's old rotary dial phone
(it still works - I so want one now)

Presents were exchanged



Wine was poured

Kebobs were skewered 

and grilled

OP's "Whoopie Pies" were gobbled up
(why oh why did I only have one?)

Pictures were taken 

and the pleasant patter of easy conversation drifted into the night.

 When the evening was over, I took my beautiful new iron fairy (thank you OP) and my Vancouver Starbucks mug  (thank you VEG) and my many hugs and drove home with a deep sense of contentment that the world really does contain some wonderful people and I just spent the evening with four of them.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Six Word Saturday ~ 09.26.09

Why don't you play along next Saturday?  Click here for more info.

Getting ready for Holistic Aromatherapy class.

This week I may be more analog than I'd like because I'm preparing binders with copious notes, student blending kits, boxes of oils for sniffing and profiling, overheads and mountains of reference books for my Class at the Mt. Nittany Institute in State College this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I've been teaching this class for nine years now, but my inner perfectionist still tends to over-prepare.  

I adore teaching this particular program because we always have so much fun - the material just lends itself to highspirited enthusiasm and everyone comes away infused with love for the aromatics - even me!

If you still want to join in the fun, I can take two more students.  Email me at thefragrantmuse@gmail.com.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Joy Diet : Nothing

Nothingness or Being Still, is the first item on the Joy Diet menu. 

My Joy Diet book arrived two days ago giving me little time to read it, let alone practice the stillness techniques.  And I will confess here and now that I'm relieved.  I totally resist stillness.  

Muting my outer world and allowing my inner sphere to come into focus is something I've always found disconcerting.  I'm most comfortable when engaged in the energetics of movement, action, and git 'er doneness.   I'm strongly Pitta that way.  Being still feels like losing valuable time that I could be "getting something productive done" even though my higher self recognizes the value of a regular meditation practice.  But there's my lower self happily running along, chirping about  the need to be still and the ever elusive "someday" when I'll really really do it.

Interestingly, I have had unexpected moments of inner stillness in the quiet of my darkened massage room when my hands rhythmically work my client's tissue.  I suddenly become in a trance-like state and notice I'm deeply still inside.  I've often considered massage "meditation in motion".

I'd like to end this post with a declaration that I will practice 15 minutes of stillness daily during our Joy Diet adventure.  But that wouldn't be honest.

For today I am willing to acknowledge the awareness of my resistance to stillness. 

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Joy Diet

photo courtesy of jamie ridler

I am spending more and more time at Jamie Ridler Studios, first with Wishcasting Wednesday and now The Joy Diet,  which is based on the book by Martha Beck.  One of my favorite books is another by Beck, called "Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live".   

From the inside cover of The Joy Diet:
"Welcome to The Joy Diet, a menu of ten behaviors you can add to your way of living and thinking to enhance every day's journey through the unpredictable terrain of your existence. You can add these behaviours gradually and watch your life become steadily more vivid and satisfying. Or you can go on a "crash Joy Diet" to help you navigate life's emergencies."

Over the course of our journey, we will spend a week each with:

  • Nothing
  • Truth
  • Desire
  • Creativity
  • Risk
  • Treats
  • Play
  • Laughter
  • Connection
  • Feasting
Check back for weekly updates as I travel this journey toward increased joy.

Sand Art

Yesterday while visiting Ambience in the Attic, I saw a video by Ilana Yahav, an artist I had forgotten about.  It's been about a year since I discovered her and she's quite remarkable.   If you aren't familiar with Ilana's work, you might want to take a minute to watch.   It's quite mesmerizing.

Using only her fingers, wrist and sometimes her forearm, she draws in sand on a glass table which is lit from underneath.  Her movements are fluid and graceful and she never makes a mistake.   

This has always struck me as pure creativity, manifested for the joy of creation only to have it disappear.

When you watch, don't forget to turn the volume up on your computer.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday: What luxury do I wish for?

Oh Jamie, your provocative question this week has me dreaming!

What luxury do you wish for?

I wish for the luxury of a brand new car with the following bells and whistles:
  • 4-wheel drive because I'm deeply respectful of snow and ice on the road
  • GPS because I'm direction challenged
  • Satellite Radio because I prefer to listen to talk rather than music
  • CD Player for audiobooks
  • 4-doors so I can get the Bean's carseat in and out easily
  • Leather seats because that truly smacks of luxury
  • Remote start so I can get the car heated before leaving the house
  • Large enough cargo area to accomodate family trips
  • Sunroof or convertible so I can feel the sun on my face while driving

Monday, September 21, 2009

Got Inspiration?

Fall has always been a season of creativity for me.  Maybe it's the cooler air or getting back into a routine after the fluidity of long summer days.  Lately I've been feeling a familiar creative bubbling inside and the need to plan projects for the winter.   It's almost an urge to "gather" in preparation for the bitter cold and I wonder if maybe I was a squirrel in my previous life.  (Actually, I'm pretty sure I was a mule because I'm tend to carry huge totes full of "just in case" stuff).

But I digress.

When I get these stirrings, there are a couple of websites I go to for inspiration and materials.

Here are two that I particularly like:

Artellaland is the brainchild of Marney Makridakis, herself a creative dynamo and wildly fun redhead.   If you sign up for their affordable memberships, you'll have access to loads of creative offerings and many free things.  I have purchased three or four Artellaland ebooks and have loved every one.  Also, if you buy an ebook, they have a book share program where you can share it with a couple of friends for free.  Hey, remember me if you do this.


Violette's Folk Art is a website that is a joy just to open.  It is whimsical and alive with color.  Since I am an art journal junkie, I find loads of inspiration from her creative journaling ideas.   I haven't yet tried any of her workshops or online classes, but I plan to one day.  I've heard positive reviews.

I can lose an entire afternoon poking around in either of these websites, and I'm betting you will too!

Where do you go for inspiration?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Six Word Saturday ~ 09.19.09

Never take your children for granted.

 If you'd like to join in the fun of creating a six word statement each weekend, click here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Help! I accidentally deleted a draft....

I have spent the last two days writing a long heartfelt post.  Five minutes ago I accidentally deleted half of it and draft blogger saves everthing so quickly that the deletion was saved before I realized it.

 I am sick about it.

Is there anyway to retrieve deleted information?

Update:  thank you  Kitty, Nanodance, Julochka and especially Deb for your kind words and helpful ideas.   The information on Deb's link suggested hitting the back arrow until I returned to the text before I deleted it (three long paragraphs).  Unfortunately, I had already closed the screen thus sealing the deal.   I found it interesting that I was trying to scan photos of my childhood to go with the story and the scanner isn't cooperating either.  

It seems this post is asking to wait.

Wishcasting Wednesday: How do I wish to stretch?

This week Jamie Ridler asks:
How do you wish to stretch?

I wish to stretch myself out of the comfort of morning laziness
and row for a least 30 minutes before 7 a.m.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The one and only?

Click Here to check your own name

In honor of Jewel

If you haven't met Stacey of  The Brown's Zoo Tales yet, I highly recommend you stop in for a vist.  

Stacey began her blog about the same time I started mine and I've been following her for several months.  I noticed today that my buds Jules, Spud, and
McGillicutty are reading her blog too, and I'm delighted they've found her.  I just love Stacey's posts because they are a pleasing blend of poignant, funny, fascinating or introspective thoughts, and always written with warmth and honesty. 

For several weeks Stacey's beloved friend Jewel, a beautiful border collie, has been preparing to join the spirit world.  I've often had the sense that Jewel could have left sooner but chose to stay on a bit to give Stacey sufficient time to say goodbye.

On Sunday Jewel became an angel and Stacey's eulogy to her is simply beautiful. 

If you've ever had a beloved friend who walked on four legs, or even if you haven't, it will touch your heart.  

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Six Word Saturday ~ 09.12.09

Try to avoid skeeters like this.

To join in this weekly exercise in minimalistic verbiage,
  go to Show My Face.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday: What do I wish to learn?

Last week I participated in Jame Ridler's weekly Wishcasting Wednesday prompt and found the experience remarkably validating.  The outpouring of comments from other participants re-enforcing my wish for myself was powerful.

I strongly encourage you to try this exercise, even if only once or once in awhile.

Today Jamie asks...

What do you wish to learn?

I wish to learn to let go of the past
and appreciate the flow of my life, exactly as it is.

Ricketts Glen, PA ~ Ononga Waterfall

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Holistic Aromatherapy Class, October 2-4, 2009

Yes, I have an aromatherapy website.
  Yes, it is very much a work in progress.
Yes, I have a line of essential oils.
No, I don't sell online yet.
Yes, I'm working on that.
Yes, you can buy them at the Institute where I teach.
Yes, this post is a shameless promo for my class. 


What is the class about?
Every October,  I offer my Holistic Aromatherapy Level I class, a three-day program packed with fun and information ~ the participants go home with a really solid foundation for safely and effectively using essential oils.  Sometimes students come into this class not knowing eactly why they signed up other than an interest in learning more about essential oils ~ and they go home full of creative ideas on how to use aromatherapy as an adjunct to their current career or ready to begin a new one in which aromatherapy is featured.

What will we do?

In this class we profile about 40 essential oils and spend a good amount of time learning what is sold out in the world that is not truly aromatherapeutic, even though it is labeled as such.

We will cover the importance of understanding the scientific plant names and we'll cover the very basics of aromachemistry.   

We'll learn blending criteria and how to keep important blending records.

We laugh a lot and sometimes jump up and down and run around the building to stay awake or do a shoulder massage train or a spontaneous steam inhalation.  I don't always know what I'm going to do in a class.

I tell lots of essential oil stories and experiences; in fact, everyone shares their stories and it's one of the most rewarding part of the classes for me.  I have been blessed over the years to have the most wonderful people drawn to this class and connecting with the students is my favorite part of teaching.   They always teach ME so much. 

You'll get a binder packed with information and, of course, I bring loads of oils for a complete "nose-on" experience!

Here is the formal outline for the Level I class:
  • The Olfactory Sense and Mechanism of Smell
  • Extraction Process of Essential Oils
  • Overview of Body Systems and the Essential Oils which support them
  • Contraindications and Safety Issues
  • Medicinal Properties of Essential Oils
  • Basic Chemistry of Essential Oils
  • Hands-on Sampling of over 30 Essential Oils
  • Therapeutic Methods of Application and Dosages
  • Recipes for Hair, Skin and First Aid
  • Hands-on Blending - Students Create their own Formulas

Where will the class be  held?
The Mt. Nittany Institute of Natural Health
301 Shiloh Road, State College, PA
 website:  www.mtnittanyinstitute.com

 phone:    814-238-1121

The Institute is easily accessed by major PA highways.    Don't be put off if you aren't around the corner.  I have had students in this class from as far away as Wisconsin, Chicago, Maryland and Maine.  In fact, there is a woman from New York currently enrolled in the October class.   When you call to register, you will most likely speak with Jennifer Cifelli, Master Coordinator at the Institute (and of droopy hat fame).   Jen will send you a sheet of local hotels.  There is also a "Friends of Mt. Nittany" program where out-of-town students can stay in the homes of Mt Nittany "friends".   At the Institute, Joleen Parker handles this.

What are the dates and times?
Friday - Sunday, October 2-4, 2009

What is the cost?

 $350 for three days

Where do I register?
You can call Jennifer Cifelli at 814-238-1121 or mail in your registration by going to the bottom of this page.

Can we buy essential oils at the Institute?
There is a shop at the Institute where my line of oils, Liz's Garden, is sold and they always stock up while at the school  they will be available.  It is not necessary to purchase any oils for this class, however, as I will have everything you need.

Will I be able to take a Level II class after this?
I currently have Level I students begging for requesting an advanced Level II class which was #2 on my list in this post.  My goal is to have the class ready for late Spring 2010.

Will you come to my town and teach this class?

If you would like me to bring this class to you, I will do that but need a guaranteed minimum number of students.  The number depends on the distance I must travel, but it's usually 8-10.

If you have any questions, please fee free to email me at: thefragrantmuse@gmail.com.

Monday, September 7, 2009

What happens when your PC is in the shop for four days?

  • You read more of everything: newspaper, books, brochures
  • You get up to check your email then remember and sit down again
  • You read some more
  • You spend more time hanging out with the family
  • You go to bed a little earlier
  • You spend a little longer in bed in the morning
  • You visit your local library and are amazed at how fast a one-hour computer time limit goes
  • You feel ill with curiosity to read the 10 cose di me from the 10 people you tagged!
  • You worry how you'll ever catch up with your google reader list
  • You wonder how long it will take Julochka to tease you about not having a MAC
  • You walk the dog more often
  • You resort to visiting your ex-husband in order to send a twitter message so your bleeps know you're still alive
  • You make lists of all the things you're going to blog about when your PC comes home
  • You fear the PC tech will think you're hitting on him because you call every half hour
  • You get up to draft a blog idea then remember and sit down again
  • You question if anyone in the blogosphere will notice your absence
  • You play with your grandson with complete attention and without wondering when you'll be able to sneak on the computer for a minute
  • You rest your eyes
  • You realize how attached you are to your blogging friends and reading about their lives (especially when they are at blog camp(s) and you can't vicariously be there)
  • You listen to Wayne Dyer's Manifesting Your Destiny
  • You vow to manifest a MAC asap

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I got the PC dts

My computer has been at the PC doc since Thursday.  I am now at the local library getting a fix for my addiction catching up on blog posts and emails.

Hopefully it will be back this afternoon.

I'm beginning to break out in a cold sweat.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

10 Cose di Me

My italian friend Chiara of the mouth-watering  Minimal Chronicles and Chronache Minime  gave me a different kind of award this week.   I think it's more of a meme, really.

The rules are simple:  I am to tell 10 things about myself that my readers may or may not know, but are true.  

Since I'm planning on doing Spudballo's  30 secrets in 30 days in the month of October (after my three-day aromatherapy training is behind me), I don't want to give away tooooo much, so here are a few tame facts and a couple of teasers previews to my 30 secrets in 30 days!

1.    I am 5'6" tall
2.    I can wiggle my ears and raise one eyebrow
3.    I type 95 wpm
4.    I have been backstage as the sanctioned massage therapist for two famous rockers
5.    I can get people to tell me their deepest secrets
6.    I love to flirt
7.    I am the child of a 1940s model who posed for a well-known advertisement
8.    I have been told I have a sexy phone voice
9.    I am fluent in the Italian language

10.  I prefer handwashing dishes to using the dishwasher

I am now to pass this along to 10 blogging friends and, as anyone who reads my blog knows, I don't usually follow the pass-it-along rule.  However, I'm making an exception with this meme because my alter ego, Captain Nosey, loves learning things about people.

Here, by blog title, are the folks I want to know more about!

    Wednesday, September 2, 2009

    Wishcasting Wednesday: What do I wish to begin?

    I'm intrigued with Wishcasting Wednesday.  Every week I see these words appear on the titles of the blogs of Holly and Janet.  And each week my interest is piqued a little more.

    Wishcasting Wednesday is the brainchild of Jamie Ridler.    In her blog, Jamie Ridler Studios, this is how she describes the Wishcasting process:

    What would happened if every week you made a wish?
    What magic might start to stir?

    Wishcasting Wednesday is a safe haven for wishes, a fertile field in which to plant wish seeds and have them witnessed and tended lovingly. It’s a place where magic begins.

    Make a Wish: Dare to dream. Every Wednesday here at Jamie Ridler Studios, there will be a wish prompt to inspire you, but you can always wish for whatever you like, whenever you like. If you’d like to share your wish on your blog or website, there will be a space here for you to share your link so that others can visit and help tend your wish.

    Sounds like simple, empowering fun doesn't it?  

    So today I'm answering the Sept 3, 2009 Wishcasting Wednesday question:

    What do you wish to begin?

    1. Until last week, I was wishing to begin a huge life-altering house-decluttering project.  This adventure began recently with the hiring of a home organizer/designer and we've already started in the kitchen.  I Wish for this to continue until my home is a lovely peaceful, orderly place of serenity.  I'm working on a blog post about this project.

    2. I Wish to Begin the creation of a new advanced aromatherapy class since so many of my students are requesting more education.  I feel a bit overwhelmed as putting together an education program is daunting.  But if I don't begin, it will never get finished!

    3. I Wish to Begin another aromatherapy goal that I've been putting of for ages - to create a practical, affordable and user-friendly online presence for selling my line of essential oils.  I have the person who will help me, I just need to, well, BEGIN.

    4.  I Wish to Begin a regular meditation practice.

    5.  I wish to Begin to write the story of my life for my sons and grandson.


    How easy it would be to simply make a long long list of all the things I wish to begin, but I will stop here since these are the areas that are foremost in my mind today.

    Who would like to join  Holly, Janet and me on Wishcasting Wednesdays?


    Fried Stones in the Massage Studio?

    Using hot stones on my client's body is an integral part of my massage practice.  The stones are a simple but powerful tool for infusing sore and taut tissue with heat, and they feel wonderful on my overworked hands.

    For years I've warmed the stones by keeping them in a crockpot filled with water.  I recently broke my second crockpot when the stones knocked against the side and cracked the ceramic liner.  I have been putting off buying another crockpot knowing it will just happen again, and my clients are beginning to whine ask when the stones are coming back.

    Yesterday I got out our rarely-used electric skillet, scrubbed it of traces of cooking, added water and...viola!   It works great, if not a tad shallow.