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.


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All rights reserved.
Please don't use my written word, photography or art without my permission.
Thank you.


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Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Face Emerges

My husband surprised the beejeepers out of me Friday evening when, with no forewarning or announcement of his plans,
he walked into the kitchen looking like this:

It turns out there's a nice face under all that beard, complete with dimples.

Why is it that boys, of any age, have to ham it up for the camera?

We both think the droopy hat goes better with the brush.

I know this won't last so I'm enjoying it while I can. 

Friday, August 28, 2009


My new friend Debra started her blog with one post in February.  As you read through her blog, you can see her grow more courageous with each post and watch her evolve as a blogger.  Especially with her photographs.   From the beginning, Deb has blogged "like nobody's reading" (a nod to Molly for this great phrase).   Deb and Just Jules are great friends and it was Jules who encouraged her to blog in the first place. 

Deb's blog appeals to me because it is unpretentious and uncomplicated yet creative.  I simply like the feel of Deb's energy...her beingness.

Her blog took an interesting turn in July when she decided to step out of her comfort zone of seriousness and come to better terms with her inner clown.   She followed Spud's lead and took the 30 secrets in 30 days challenge.  Deb also has her 30 days photos on flickr here.  

With nothing more than a 1.5 megapixel Olympus and a few clever props, Deb really stretched herself (quite literally, too, since she hadn't yet discovered the self-timer and held the camera out at arms length.  Amazing.  You can't even tell), allowing her playful inner child to emerge.

I love this brave shot:

I know Deb would like a new camera (Spud teases her that most cellphones have more pixels than her camera ) and I can't wait to see what she does with a new one.  

If she can create a digital collage like this with a 1.5 pixel point-and-shoot and picnik, what would she actualize with a powerful Nikon?  To learn how she created this effect, go to her tutorial here.

So pop on over to Sojourner and see what Deb is up to.  I think you'll like what you find.

My Love Ya Award(s)

 Yesterday I was awarded the "Love Ya" award by not one but two sister bloggers, Deb of Sojourner and McGillicutty of Inner Rambling of a Mid Life Mama.

I'd be telling a bald lie if I said I don't get a wee thrill from these awards.    To be acknowledge by a fellow blogger in any way positive is so validating.  My greedy ego gobbles it up, smacks her lips and licks her fat little fingers!

Thank you ladies!

The parameters and rules of the award are thus:

"This award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers.

Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Since as a rule I'm a poor rule-follower (what?), I'm going to bestow this award to just one person rather than eight:

Michelle of Michelle My Belle because she is full of life and her art inspires me.   Michelle is teaching three workshops at Artfest 2010.   

You can see a complete list of the Artfest classes here.

Samples of the workshops Michelle will be offering at Artfest 2010

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Since writing this post in which I shared about an episode of panic resulting from poor self-care and hormone imbalance, people are still writing to check in on me and ask how I'm doing and I'm continually in awe of the kindness of people I've never met.

I came across the above photograph while searching through my "random" photo file looking for an image to piggyback on today's post (I love combining visual elements with my words which is how my art journaling was born).

I took this photo last June from a bridge overlooking a stream that runs along the campus of Gianluca's college. 

The second I saw it, I knew it was a perfect metaphor for where I am now - endeavoring to remain grounded, steady and unperterbed, while the current of life rushes all around me.

My self-care program is going well and I'm feeling better than I have in about a year which I owe to being diligent with my nutrition.  I am taking a pile of vitamins everyday including the amino acid 5htp which I think has been an enormous boost to my brain chemistry.   An added bonus to this healthy living is that I've dropped 8 pounds just from cutting out sugar, wheat gluten and caffeine.  That alone is giving me renewed energy.

Another sign that I'm back to my old self - or better - is the joy I felt in my heart when we took Gianluca to college last week.  No tears.  None.  He even asked why I wasn't crying!  I just felt so happy for him and knew that he was where we was supposed to be at this time in his life.


I have a new goal.  I love to row and bought a Concept2 high-dollar rowing machine two years ago that has been terribly ignored for ages.  I dragged it out of its hiding place this week,  dusted it off and gave it a go.  It still works and so do I. 

I have decided to participate in a rowing competition that happens at Bucknell University every February called Erg Armageddon.   I'm waiting for the 2010 dates to come out, but it's usually around March 1st.   I've wanted to do this for several years but always thought of it too late to do any serious training.  I figure if I begin training now, six months should be enough time to get strong enough to tear up those young college students come spring!  
OptomisticPessimist will enjoy hearing this news.  She knows I've been wanting to train for an athletic competition and lovingly encouraged me to do the NYC Marathon with her.  I decided I'd rather live.


Have I mentioned how amazing you all are my dear blogging friends?  Every one of you who make comments on my blog and send me personal email notes.  It warms my heart and makes me know that the Universe is indeed a safe and beautiful place if it brings people like each of you into my life.

Just yesterday I received these beautiful moo cards from Spudballoo along with a lovely "glad you're feeling better" note.  I mean, really, you just don't find that kind of humanity everyday.


So yes, I'm feeling better and back on my restless feet, ready to tackle new projects.  
I've even got another Fragrant Friday ready for this week!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Spyglass Winery Celtic Festival

Every August, multiple local wineries get together and hold a Celtic Festival on the grounds of the Spyglass Winery in Sunbury, PA   This was their sixth year and our first.   In the past we've attended soccer games on this day and have been unable to attend.  Now that the nest is empty (well, nearly...with the Bean around there is still one peep in the nest) we were free to participate.
There were grapevines everywhere

and a big tent that housed six wineries with wine tasting all day.
This photo was taken at 11:00 a.m.  ~ by the afternoon it was packed.

Nothing says breakfast like a nice glass of chardonnay

There were many talented artisans.
  This man was working a handsaw that was over one hundred years old.

There were kilts galore

which I found surprisingly sexy 
(guess whose husband is getting a kilt for Christmas?)

okay, maybe they're not for everyone

What's a wine festival without a toddler?

There were num nums which I was excited about until...
...I saw the cheese being sliced.  Get some gloves, woman!  
Maybe after a few more glasses of wine it wouldn't have bothered me.

There was amazing celtic music by groups like MacAlum, Donagall Express
and The Barley Boys

and, of course, bagpipes

and bottle after bottle of wine

with interesting names


Not me! 

These musician/comedians called themselves Michael O'Brien
(they are Michael and Brian)
and were hilarious

You can't have a sweltering day without ice cream

By afternoon the crowd grew thick in anticipation of "Seven Nations" the headliner band

We ran into our friends Laura and Mike who were really enjoying the wine

Mike is our local Postmaster, President of his Synagogue
and one classy guy with that twirly hat

(there's a white propeller on top of his hat - hard to see in this photo)

Finally Seven Nations came out and performed their hearts out ~ They were phenomenal

I couldn't get enough of
Dan Stacey, the fiddle player ~ he was remarkable!

The crowd loved them
(why yes, I
did stand right up in front of the stage to take this photo!)

Oh look, Bean and Pap are making friends, isn't that nice.
  Let's see who they're chatting with...

Oh.  Hello. Goodbye.  Come along dear, you've had enough wine for today.

And as we were leaving at 7:00 p.m., the festival was still going strong.  We've already marked our calendar for next August! 
Who wants to come with us?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Just One Oil: The Answer


In this post, I asked readers to guess which essential oil my son Gianluca packed for college.

His choice was Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia).

Congratulations to Fidgeting Gidget and Cyndy of 110Penned for guessing correctly!
Kudos to Cyndy who also gave the reasons it might be his essential oil of choice for the college experience. Gianluca understands from personal experience the value of this oil for his sinuses and how helpful it can be to heal respiratory issues.   Plus, he knew there wouldn't be any peace until there was at least one oil in his bag.
Kitty of Organic Orgy guessed Lavender for calming which would have been another versatile and practical oil for the stress of college and Holly thought it might be Patchouli to keep him grounded; a good choice for moments of feeling overwhelmed with academics.

I had a giggle when Debra of Sojourner said she didn't know anything about essential oils other than the Tea Tree her husband uses for insect bites!

And my friend OptomisticPessimist made me smile with her comment about a non-aphrodisiac oil.  You can tell she is raising a son!
I had such fun watching your guesses come in that I'm creating a contest ~ with a prize!


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Just One Oil: The Question

When Gianluca was packing for college last week I kept bringing him oils to add to his paraphernalia.  He refused every one.  I'm not sure if this was an expression of his new independence or his fear of being the smelly dude in the dorm.  
Finally, as we were an hour from walking out the door, he agreed to just one oil.  
Which one do you think he accepted and why?
I'll reveal his choice tonight when we get back from a Scottish Festival we are attending (or tomorrow morning if The Bean has worn me down)!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The last birdie leaves the nest

He's got the new computer

He's said goodbye to the high school job of four years 

 He's given Mom the cuddling time she needed

 He's finished packing
and today he leaves for his first day as a Freshman at Penn State University

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday