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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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Art Journaling: A Day of Color and Mirth

Working in an art journal really brings out the inner child as I saw on April 17th.  Seven powerful, wonderful women turned into creative "little girls" as they played with paint and stamps, tore up magazines for collaging, wore animal hats, ate chocolate and made beautiful art in their journals.

Below are pictures of our day of creative play.
Click on the photo if you'd like to enlarge it.

Have I forgotten to pack anything?   The kitchen sink maybe?
Linda and Jennifer hard at play.
Even in an Art Journaling workshop I include aromatics.
  Here's Dee adding peppermint essential oil to her paint bottle.
Recommended Reading
Sassy was there, too!
  It was her ninth birthday and this is how she celebrated.
  In fact, this is how she celebrates

Linda drying her page with a hairdryer.
Pat brought this beautiful Goddess stamp from home.
I am SO ordering one!

Pat and Jennifer
Lots of goodies to play with!

Bobbie, deep in thought.
 I love the freedom this process encourages!

I gave them animal hats and asked that them to write
in their journals how they were like their animal.
 Cathy created a pretty border around her two-page spread.
Hey, Joleen is a southpaw.
It was truly a relaxing, fun and creative day.  When can we do it again?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Certified Aromatherapy Instructor...WooHoo!

After an intensive five days together, seven students successfully graduated from Andrea Butje's ACP Teacher Training at the Aromahead Institute! 

In this program we learned how to instruct an exceptional 235-hour Aromatherapy Certification Program that meets (and exceeds) the guidelines set by NAHA's Level 1 and 2 Educational Standards

Thank you Andrea for a wonderful class and congratulations to my aromatic sisters (aka the top notes)!

(couch L to R) Chris Carrothers, Terry Miller, Pam Dore, moi
(floor L to R) Amy Vona , Patti Celini and Chrissy Polnyj

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Memorizing Molecules

I recently bought a super-cool set of coasters from this artist.

The weird markings are actually chemical structures of aromatic molecules with punctilious names like d-limonene, linalyl acetate, geraniol and a-bisabolol.  These little guys are so delightful to me that I've displayed a few around my massage room.

Sometimes during a massage, I'll catch myself glancing at a molecule and trying to name it.  So if you're a massage client and hear me mutter  "Linalol C10H18O" or catch me whispering "Linalyl acetate C12H2oO2" you'll know why.

I'm officially an aroma nerd.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Upcoming Workshop: "Starting an Art Journal"

On Saturday April 17th, I'm taking a break from my aromatherapy activities to give attention to another of my passions:  Art Journaling.   I'm teaching a workshop called Starting an Art Journal.  If you're interested (and local), it will be in State College, PA and I have room for two more participants.     Below is a description of the day taken from my flyer as well as photos from my last Art Journaling workshop.   You can see my own journal pages here on my Flickr account.


"Starting an Art Journal"
with Liz Fulcher
Explore your creativity in a spontaneous, playful and
imperfect way that will have your inner muse dancing with delight!

What is Art Journaling?  Art journaling is vehicle for expressing yourself when words aren't enough.  It's also an invitation to your inner child to come out and play!  Art skills are definitely not required since I emphasize the process of being creative, rather than the product.

In this one-day "playshop", I will take you step-by-step through a few simple techniques and "recipes" that will enable you to transform a simple blank book into a unique and personalized visual journal.    This workshop is designed to be playful and fun and will include lots of paint, stamps, music, aroma (how can I not include aroma?) and maybe even cookies and milk for your inner child.    You'll return home full of inspiration and resources to help you continue creating art and words on your own.

We will: 
~Discuss various types of visual journals;
~Use acrylic paints, colored pens and rubber stamps to create several two-page backgrounds;
~Choose images from magazines to create a collage;
~Design and render compositions that reflect your personality and mood;
~Engage in writing exercises designed to spark your imagination and get you writing;

All supplies will be provided.  You are welcome to bring a favorite rubber stamp, scraps of paper or anything significant that you might like to incorporate into your journal.
Clothing:  Acrylic paint doesn't always wash out of fabric so Dress to Mess.
Date:    Saturday, April 17, 2010 
Time:   9:004:00 p.m.
Cost:     $70  +  $7 Materials Fee 
Register Call 814-238-1121

BEFORE (background only)
AFTER (with journaling added)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

One Year after the Earthquake Hit Home

Villa Sant'Angelo is a beautiful medieval village in the mountains and lies in the province of L'Aquila, the capital of the Abruzzo region of Italy.  Villa, as we affectionately call it, is about 90 minutes east of Rome and the home of my former husband, Michele.  In the twelve years I lived in Rome, Villa was our weekend respite from the chaos of the city.   It was cool in the summer and always full of children playing outside.  My former in-laws have a huge house whose front door empties right into the town square.  Until they were 17, my sons spent every summer of their lives running, playing soccer and riding their bikes on that piazza and up and down the narrow alley-like streets.

One year ago today, at 3:32 a.m., an earthquake 6.3 on the Richter scale hit central Italy.
 Early that morning I walked into the kitchen where my son Gianluca was having breakfast.  He said "Mom, there was an earthquake in L'Aquila and it hit Nonna's village."  Nonna is his grandmother, my former mother-in-law.   I've lived in California so I know about earthquakes.  Even in Rome we had to run out of our apartment once or twice after a tremor and we'd talk about it for a day or two then life would continue as before.  I imagined this to be the case in Villa.

Not so.   L'Aquila was at the epicenter and affected 26 towns in the area surrounding L'Aquila.  One of the hardest hit was our dear Villa Sant'Angelo.  The town was devastated with over 90% of the buildings destroyed.  Seventeen people were killed, among them several dear friends and relatives.

This post would be more effective with photos of my kids playing on the square before the quake, but I still need to dig them out for scanning - which I will do one day.  In the meantime, all I can find are "after" photos which still shock me.

In the photograph below you can see two homes that had been attached.  The one on the right, with the metal shutters, is the home of Michele and his family who were, gratefully, not home that night.   To the far right is an oval window and the window directly above that was the bedroom we slept in during years there.   The house to the left belong to a cousin named Concetina who didn't survive.  You can even see the bedroom of Michele's mother which was left exposed when the wall came down.  (click on the pics for a full view)

This is the church across the piazza from Michele's home. We attended many a mass and wedding here. I can still smell the sweet aroma of frankincense that would hit your nostril upon entering.
An alley my sons used to run up and down on their way to the soccer field.
This is what the streets looked like before the quake

How many hours did I spend on this piazza pushing a stroller, riding my bike,
walking with my sons, chatting with friends and relatives?

The iron gate on the right led to the home of Pasqualina, one of my favorite people and Michele's cousin.  She was hilarious and lived in NYC for many years so her english was excellent.  She had a fabulous sense of humor.  I spent many afternoons in her kitchen drinking coffee talking about life with her.  Sadly, she didn't survive.
 A campsite for those who lost their homes.  People are still living here.

What still haunts me is the realization that with all the holidays, weekends, summers we spent in this town, with all the time I spent visiting people whose homes are no longer there, with my wedding in nearby L'Aquila, this earthquake could have happened while I was there.  But it didn't.

I could have just as easily been sleeping inside one of those buildings whose walls came down. My boys could have been playing in the home of a friend whose house collapsed. My sense of gratitude for our having escaped this tragedy is profound.  I wonder if that's how the people who didn't go to work that fateful day on 9/11 feel?  

So today I am, in my own way, honoring the residents of Villa Sant'Angelo and those who are no longer with us. 

And giving deep thanks that my family was spared.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Some things I learned this Easter

Here are a few surprising lessons I learned over the Easter weekend:

Having a spontaneous picnic on the trampoline is awesome

 This boy is going to know more outdoor survival skills by the time he's eight than most men learn in a lifetime.

My husband can sit on his haunches for a really long time.
Throwing rocks in water never gets old.  Ever.
(The proof is here and here).

And my husband can even perch from a rock on his haunches.
2 1/2 year olds have a lot to say that's worth listening to.

Singing puppet sheep are fun to watch...
no matter how old you are.
If a group of parents are standing in a parking lot waiting while two slow teenagers hide the eggs,
only one adult (guess who?) thinks to run up and offer help.
Egg hunting encourages competition at an early age.
I'm not sure I like it.

Don't wear sandals in a dry thorny pasture
unless you want stickers in your feet.

Live in the moment.
Eat the chocolate you've got before hunting for more.
Walking on a railroad bridge is loads of fun.

There's a thrill of finding a treasure
when you come upon a couple of old railroad spikes.