Happy Imbolc- First Blush of Spring Awakening

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Welcome to the Faerie Festival of Imbolc!

Feb 1st.

A time of awakening, yet not quite yet awake, my sleepy faerie friends.  A stirring from the deepest slumbers of winter.  Emerging from the time of the north and the element of earth.  Swap the rich balm of Oakmoss, Patchouli, and dank thawing earth, with hints of blossoms and fruit saturated in thickly winter-aged, spring-honeyed nectar.   Brash, then vanishing.  Urging us forth.  Wintry snow/rain cleansing for the early snow buds and the time of the east.  The element of air wherein sylphs grace the ethers with softly muted florescence.

Awaken!  Awaken!  Awaken!

As a child I would anticipate the spring by imagining the fair folk prepping their paints deep under the roots of sleeping oak trees.  Cruelly crushing berries, mosses, and barks. Coaxing  iridescence from clouds and shadows.  All for the Spring Faerie Queen’s vast cache of aromas and pigments created with express purpose to gloss on delicate blossoms with wee paintbrushes of spider threads.  I would anticipate with glee the those first colors and scents of thaw, green, and tender blossoms.

In fact, I still do this.

Do you have a favorite spring ritual or scent?

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verdant faerie’s botanical perfume, Duskblossom, my choice for Imbolc
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Beauty For 2017!

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Happy New Year!

New Year’s Eve finds me pausing for a moment with my bulletproof coffee loving my 2017 engagement calendar.  All those clean empty pages.  A year of possibility with opportunity for beauty.  Sprinkle that faerie dust round.  Happy New Year, one and all!

My Ill-Advised Life

In January of 2016 I foreclosed on my underwater condo in Chicago and went free range faerie.  I quit my jobs and hit the road with my 9 year old pup, Missy.   It was not clearly planned and was a most definitely ill-advised life move.  Frankly it was fucking reckless and irresponsible.  Two years prior another reckless action, leaving an underpaying exhausting job of 17 years which left me even more financially unstable.  But I was compelled to shout “NO” to my prior unsatisfying life.

My intention was to free myself from this life that was not personally satisfying. To peel away layers of internal crap; exhaustion, bitternesses, urban and job induced stresses to indulge in the beauty my soul craved.   To know myself again and/or better.  Seeking a new location in a more beautiful or rural setting.  To remake myself as a faeriepreneur  with a way to support myself as my own boss.

My life unravelled and got unmistakably got messy.  I bravely resisted the negative mantra of “What the fuck am I doing???”  Support from kindly people, without who’s help I could not have done it, surfaced.  I learned to let myself release to this support, my mess, and waited for ME to reform and emerge.  I practiced faerieshamanism and magic, wrote, made perfume, hunted down faerie people and places, and grooved in nature.

This experiment was to last 3-6 months.  Then I’d prolly just get an apartment in Chicago and stuff.  It is coming up on a year this January and I’m still essentially homeless, or as I prefer to say, “nomadic” (it’s all in the attitude ya’ll!).  Ha!

What Next, Free Range Faerie?

During this madly ill-advised adventure I explored a lot of ideas of what to do with myself, always returning to the message and mission of beauty amidst chaos.   And of personal liberation through beauty, truth, and the imaginal realm.  I’m happy to report my soul is refreshed and I’m coming “home” to me.  I feel ready to contribute and collaborate. To set up a home-base again.

My favorite passion project of 2016 was launching my wee perfume line verdant faerie fragrances.  I completed my certification course (though I still have much to learn) and set up temp studios in the various places I stayed.  Perfume supplies were shipped to a variety of locations – Maryland, Hawaii, Canada, Chicago.  I’m excited to take it to the next level in 2017 with improved packaging and perfume blends.  Expanding my knowledge and expertise.  I’m looking forward to establishing a sweet home perfumery of my own in the first quarter of 2017.

I also rediscovered my love of writing and the location freedom it can provide.  As a young girl writing was shoved into my shadow self.  But it keeps seeking the sun!  So I hope to do more of that there writing stuff, perhaps combined it with my perfume.  Ideas are germinating…

One thing I truly missed was a consistent yoga and circus practice and community.  (Well community in general, for it’s hard to keep this going on the road.  Yet one does finds new communities.)  But I really missed the sparkle and comradery of those worlds – physical exploration with expression and soul.  So I’m planning to revisit that in 2017.

Oh, and once I get settled again I also hope to establish regular contribution to a social cause…

Terrifying

As I reestablish myself in 2017 I’ll admit to a certain degree of inner terror.  I have some undeniable challenges ahead.  Can I even pull this off?  And I do so love my freedom!  But mostly I think I got this.  I’ll establish a lovely home base to travel from and I have my mission ~BEAUTY & LIBERATION~ and together we will not be denied!

All the best to you and yours in 2017!

Here’s a verdant barn in Three Oaks Michigan from my recent travels… just cause it’s pretty…

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My Anam Cara Missy

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Today I was watching Missy sniff the air again.  I get jealous of her.  Her ability to sniff so intensely…

I took to the dunes to sniff and write.  Which I did do.  With some vials of perfume materials, I did Plein Air blending (on my wrist) then wrote a little story about these scents.  (I’m working on a piece about perfume as theatre).

But a lot of the time I just admired Missy enjoying the dunes…

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Randomly, I am reminded about John O’Donohue’s book, Anam Cara, and I pulled it out to share a quote with you, dear Reader.  A quote about Fragrance and Breath.

John O’Donohue was a Irish poet, author and priest and I strongly recommend his writings if you are not familiar.  His book  Anam Cara explores friendships, love, states of being, and what it is to be human.

Synchronistically he mentions the very thing I was marveling over.

From Anam Cara

“The sense of smell or fragrance is deft and immediate…  Animals, of course, work wonderfully with the sense of smell.  To take dogs for a walk is to realize how differently they experience a landscape.  They are glued to trails of scent and enjoy a complete adventure, tracing invisible smell pathways everywhere.  Each day we breathe 23,040 times; we have 5 million olfactory cells.  A sheepdog has 220 million such cells.  The sense of smell is so powerful in the animal world because it assists survival by alerting the animal to danger.  The sense of smell is vital to the sense of life.”

O’Donohue continues,

“..breath is sister of spirit.”

And then linking fragrance and breath to spirit.

“The sense of smell includes the sensuality of fragrance, but the dynamic of breathing also takes in the deep world of prayer and meditation, where through the rhythm of the breath you come down into your own primordial level of soul.  Through breath meditation, you begin to experience a place within you that is absolutely intimate with the divine ground.”

Isn’t that brilliant?

I have no real point to make here.  Just wanted to share.

Here’s a couple more blogs about Missy, fragrance, meditation, and self love, in case you missed them…

Cute Dogs Smellin’ Icky Things and Jasmine

Kauai Flower Meditation

And here’s a blatant invitation to experience my perfume!  (Hey a faerie’s gotta breath too!)

Anam Cara, Eau De Parfum

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Anam Cara from the Phantasmagoria Series

“If you perceive the entire universe as phantasmagoria an ineffable joy will arise in you”   ~Vajnanabhairava Tantra…first century A.D.

 

And Happy Friday!

 

Blessed Samhain & Celtic New Year

May the rains sweep gentle across your fields,
May the sun warm the land,
May every good seed you have planted bear fruit,
And late summer find you standing in fields of plenty.

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Autumn and Mermaids

I love that this shadow holiday, Samhain or Halloween, is now celebrated so effusively.  The day when the veil between us and the otherworld is thin and porous with faerie contact palpable.

We are moving from the autumn, the direction of west and water elementals.  Our over arching consorts these past three months have been mermaids, water sprites, and selkies.  Helping us to connect to our deepest self through our emotions, sensuality, and inner mysteries.

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This fall found me blending up a mermaid perfume, which will appear in my etsy store when I’ve tweaked it some, aged it a bit, and then tested it under the glow of a full moon.  Finding the perfect dreamy balance of raw sensuality and fresh salty air proved to be a challenge.  Finally I found a delicious blend of oak moss, violet leaf, and sandalwood with neroli, roses, and a hint of jasmine.  I’m still playing with it, trying to incorporate my handmade seaweed tincture, but I poured some solids in these sweet little shell lockets.  I’ll list them in the shop soon.

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I hope you are also enjoying the beauty of fall.  Joyful, creepy skeletons and jack o’lanterns abound.  Death flashing in brilliant color and the seductive scent of decaying plant matter wafting curious comfort; refreshing in the cooler air.

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New Year and Earth Elementals

Happy New Year – Celtic style.  November marks the start of a new year in the tradition of the old ways.  We move into the time of the north and earth elementals; gnomes, elves, and dryads.  The quiet, solid, nature of rocks, earth, trees will soon be our companions

It is time to conceive.  To look deep inside, as with a night dream, and listen to the self in here.  From November through January we can ponder, what are our intentions, what would we like to manifest?  How can you bring balance to yourself and beauty to the world?  How can you make the most of this crazy life you have been gifted?

I’ll be contemplating which direction to take my meditation, perfume, writing, and faerie magic…

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beautiful packaging (picture not my own)
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a studio in nature (picture not my own)
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this… (picture not my own)

Perfume – scent, oils, botanicals and perfumes are powerful, sacred tools as well as scentual delights.   My perfume of choice at present is my own perfume creation  Dryad.  An all natural and botanical fougere type.  Dryad is an Eau De Parfum and can be worn easily by man or woman.

Dryad’s scent notes:
Cedar & Fir; Lavender absolute graced with the spirit of fern, Violet Leaf & Cassie Flower; Oakmoss, Tonka Bean & Patchouli

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Find Dryad Here

There are so many magickal ways to set intention and manifest, from ritual sex magick (no partner required!) to visualization.  As of late I’ve been exploring sigils, visualization, and faerieshaman stuff.  And of course oils and perfumes.  But these are topics for another time.

Ok, for now – one last share, a Celtic prayer/poem – “The Deer’s Cry.”

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven, light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightening
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of Sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

Do you have magical ways of making your dreams come true?  Missy and I would love to hear them!

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Happy Halloween

A Scented Gathering For Mermaids

…You Are Invited…

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swish…swish…swish…Chicago

Our gracious hostess is the fabulous artist and sister mermaid, Sharon Bladholm, of Opal Glass Studio.  Sharon is a magical mermaid creature and we are excited to share our love of mermaids with you.

Sharon’s website is here-

Opal Glass Studio

Scent of a Mermaid

I’m delighted to announce Undine, the perfume, will preview at the gathering.  This first limited edition of Undine will appear as a solid perfume in lovely shell-shaped, locket necklaces.  Undine features a floral heart note of Rose, fresh Violet, and Champaca flower on a salt-air, marine base.  Like all of my perfumes, Undine is an all-natural composition.

Undine is an artistic expression and part of my mystical faerie realm exploration.  You can read my glimpse into the world of mermaids that came to me while gazing into a magical pool in the land of the fae here  –

Confessions of a Mermaid

I’ll also have my other verdant faerie botanical perfumes on hand.  Here’s my Etsy store –

verdant faerie perfumes

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Treats for the Mermaid Soul

Oh, and there’ll be treats AND free (brief) Mermaid Card Readings with my fantastic new deck – Oracle Of The Mermaids.  Reading faerie cards for myself and friends has been my passion hobby for many years now.  Most recently I have felt moved to offer these up to folks as a gift.  So check it out!

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Here be Mermaids

You will find the mermaids gathering on Saturday, October 15, 2-6 pm, in the garden of the Albany Carroll Arts Building, 319 N. Albany in Chicago, weather permitting.  Balloons will mark the entrance of the Garden.  In case of rain we will be indoors in Sharon’s studio.  Feel free to email me and I will send you my phone number so that you may text me if you get confused/disoriented.  doreen@verdantfaerie.com.

Please contact me with questions or concerns.

Hope to see you there!

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The Butterfly Chronicles

“Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, 
freedom, and a little flower.”  ~  Hans Christian Anderson

~Here and There and Back Again~

In Which We Explore My Being Butterfly & You Being Butterfly, Butterfly Medicine & Faerie Magic,  A New Perfume, and Maryland

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Are You My Butterfly Buddy?

Do you suffer from “Shiny Object Syndrome?” Do all the glittering things find you landing lightly, following multiple passions, exploring and traveling?

You may be butterfly in nature, like I.  With magical super powers to perceive colors mere mortals do not and to smell with smell receptors (noses) all over your body.  How can one be expected to limit oneself in the face of all this luxury?

Yes, butterflies are a beautiful thing.  But sometimes us butterfly types get a bit of stigma as being, well, flighty.

(Like this particular blog post.  It is going to flutter.  Reader, beware!)

Of late I have been indulging in my butterfly tendencies, big time.  In January 2016, I gave up my condo and jobs and have been living the gypsy life.  An imperfect nomad’s life with the heart of a butterfly.  Fluttering along with me is my dog, Missy, and my verdant faerie perfumery in search of nature, beauty, magic, and of course, faeries.

Since January I have been to Guatemala, Michigan, Mexico (twice), Canada, Oregon, Montana, New York, and back and forth from Chicago to Maryland a bunch of times.  My theme for 2016 is action.  Could you have guessed?

It’s been wonderful, and I am at an all time happiness high.  I could not have done it without the help of very kind and generous people.  So I’m feeling extremely grateful too.

But sometimes I question my seemingly ill-advised life choices.  If you are also a butterfly you may nodding your antennae in agreement.

So I went on some faerie meditation journeys to explore all of these yearnings for freedom and lightness and shimmery beauty, and it’s accompanying self shaming.

In these journeys I organically connected to, and then made peace with, my butterflyness.  All synchronistically confirmed to me in the mortal realm with butterfly references in movies and podcasts I stumbled upon, faerie card readings, friends observations, and of course actual butterflies visitations.

You know how that happens.  You think of or experience something of deep significance, and then it’s everywhere.  Synchronistic.

And the healing I have found is that it is ok to be a butterfly.  It is ok to be me.  In fact it’s wonderful.

So, dear Reader, are you also a bit of butterfly, filled with yearnings for sunshine, freedom, and a little flower?  And do you have a bit of angst about it as I did?  It is not generally encouraged in human society.  Have you noticed?  We are expected to stay put and focus.  Of course there is nothing wrong with focus and productivity, but these expectations have sometimes made me feel bad about myself.  Just a touch.

Let’s be proud of our inner butterfly and flaunt it in the shining sun!

Recently while in Kauai, I discovered a beautiful flower meditation to manifest radical self love.  Give it a try!

Discover the meditation – Kauai Flower Meditation 

If you are not a butterfly type – why not give butterfly style a go?  Allow your senses to expand and experience more – grow some powerful yet delicate wings to flitterfly a little.  What new hobbies can you explore?  Where would you really love to visit?  DO IT!

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Some Butterfly Dope

verdant faerie loves beauty, perfume, and travel.  Hence, the superpowers of the butterfly are swoon worthy.

The lucky creatures smell more than us.  That is, they are more sensitive to scent perception.  Butterflies have scent receptors studded along the antennae, legs, feet, and other parts of the body.

Butterflies see colors we don’t.  With 5 or 6 color receptors to a humans 3, a butterfly’s eyes see more than twice the colors of humans.  Butterflies perceive more color than any other creature (except maybe faeries).  Dogs have the least.  Sorry, Missy.

Those flutterby creatures have a surprising reserve of strength and stamina.  Some butterflies even migrate.  The Monarch butterfly can migrate up to 2500 miles and the top butterfly speed is 12 miles per hour.

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Butterfly Medicine

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Still from the movie Bright Star, directed by Jane Campion

The exquisite butterfly brings transformation and magic.  A universal symbol of  joy – their dancing beauty inspires.

When the butterfly visits you, or you are feelin’ your inner butterfly flutter, you are ready for personal growth and emergence.  Ready yourself to experience any one of its life phases, caterpillar, pupae,  butterfly.  You may find yourself ravenously hungry, reading and studying voraciously like a caterpillar, or in need of a lengthy inner journey, pupae style.  Or you may soon gloriously emerge to explore the world with your ultra-keen, superpower senses.

Often times the visit of a butterfly coincides with a remembrance of a deceased loved one, a particularly beautiful and light being who graced your life with sweetness.

(Psst- faeries often choose to disguise themselves as butterflies…)

In Faerie Faith, faeries of the air are creatures of the city of the east, Gorias.  One of the four cities of the Tuatha de Danaan, from the tribe of the Goddess Danu.  The east brings the sunrise and new beginnings and hope.  Look to the faeries of the air and butterfly allies to aid you in your intentions especially when embarking on a new project, or if a situation might benefit with a dazzling butterfly touch.

If you would like to experience a more through Faerie tradition for yourself, I can recommend the teachings of Celtic Shaman, Danu Forest.   At present, I am enjoying the Faerie Teachings course.  It’s a wonderful addition to my spiritual practice and interaction with the world of Faerie.  Her website is wondrous to browse.

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A Favorite Painting by Sophie Anderson

Aromatherapeutic Perfume – Because Jet-Lag Happens

After returning from my last trip back from Hawaii I had really really bad terrible rotten jet-lag.  Day one I lollygagged about on a lounge chair, limp and deflated.  But on day two when I still felt my butterfly wings wilting on the chaise, I mixed myself an aromatherapeutic blend.  And know what?   It worked!  I was back to my usual self.

I’ve found it’s also fantastic for staying alert while driving on long road trips.

And I’d like to share it with you!

Butterfly is composed of highest quality all natural essential oils.  No harsh synthetic aroma-chemicals whatsoever.  Not a one.  It is a unisex body scent.

The Scent - 
Refreshing Pink Grapefruit, Mint, and Rosemary to uplift
Lavender, Geranium, and Clary Sage to balance and calm
Patchouli for grounding.

Butterfly is in a roll-on applicator bottle, in an oil base of organic fractionated coconut oil.  It is light and sheer and easy for transport.

Hello…

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Butterfly

Butterfly is made special order for you.  If you want a particular scent tweak on it, let me know!

And, as it is primarily a therapeutic composition, it is not composed to last a long time on your skin.  It’s function is to provide a quick mood and energy shift and then free you up.  Like a butterfly landing lightly, touching with magical grace, then fluttering off.

You may order Butterfly from my verdant faerie Etsy shop.  Cost is $25 per 8 ML bottle.

Buy Butterfly Here

Maryland

In closing I would like to share some photos of beautiful verdant Maryland fairieland where I encountered exquisite faerie creatures and people, was housed like a queen butterfly by kindly friends, house sat, made perfumes, taught aerial yoga, trained a wee bit on silks, learned a wee bit about gardening, visited watery and enchanting places, and went on dreamy shamanic faerie quests.

Missy and I have driven back and forth again from Chicago to Maryland 4 times in 2016!  It is a special place in my heart for it’s verdant natural beauty and quirky magical faerie culture.  I am forever grateful for the charming healing heart of Maryland.

~Places To Visit~

A visit the annual Maryland Faerie Festival, read my blogs about some magical experiences here –

The Heart Journey Gnome – Maryland Faerie Festival

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And Maryland Faerie Festival 2015

Here’s some pics from the annual Faerie House Exhibit at the AnneMarie Sculpture Garden (a wonderful place with sculpture and interactive exhibits) where I neglected to take a picture of my kind hostess and new faerie friend, Holly and I together.  But here is the house Holly made for the exhibit.  The Emerald City made of recycled materials!

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Holly’s Emerald City
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Detail of the Door
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More of Holly’s house, the amazing thing she did with plastic bottles all  in my favorite color!
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Missy, thinking of moving in.

If you like aerial yoga or are looking for a place to train on silks – Try Ridgely Retreat for yoga in Annapolis and Urban Evolution for silks in Baltimore.  Really nice folks…

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Me flying on the deck of my friends house.

Maryland Renaissance Festival – where I worked as a Mermaid when I was 18

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Amazing Faerie Ceramics!
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Lulu, Renaissance Mouse

 

I always gotta sniff out the best coffee…  Fell’s Point Coffee in Baltimore – Daily Grind.  A good place to do some eclectic people watching.  There are some truly unique individuals in Baltimore.

 

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The charming historic town of Easton hosts an annual Plein Air  competition…  Plein Air Easton

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This year’s winner – “Origin” by Sara Linda Poly

 

~Other Stuff Missy And I Did And Saw~

Watery things…

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View from my meditation perch.
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Mermaid at Fell’s Point in Baltimore.  Apparently the breasts are getting a lot of action!
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Missy, my shy cautious pup, who has also transformed, like a butterfly, into a flexible road dog.
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Fell’s Point, Baltimore
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Sea Shell Faerie
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If I ever settle down in a home again I want it in these colors of green and gold.

Perfuming and sniffing things…

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Coming!    Mermaid, The Perfume.  Read the sexy story here…Confessions of a Mermaid
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Also in the works – A scented Homage to Buster Keaton.
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Horsemint!
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A madcap perfuming session in the park  with a new friend.
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Plein Air perfuming!

Impressive things that grow…

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I think a squirrel ate this.
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Lady Iris
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Moss
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Gardenia
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Gnomes

 

Faerie contact…

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Remembrance of the city of Gorias
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The faeries took to “borrowing” some of my perfume supplies, bottles and such.  You know, things I have a surplus of and won’t miss.  Don’t think I’ll be seeing those bottles again any time soon!  At least they left a note.

 

What’s next?

Well, after wandering and roaming these past 9 months, I feel a bit ready to dig in deep with my perfume and writing and connect with loved ones and loved activities.  I’ll be hanging out in Chicago, and nearby Michigan.  That is unless I happen to need to off somewhere.  You never know what’ll happen with a butterfly, or a Missy, behind the wheel…

 

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“I got the first 200 miles.”

 

Thank you, dear Reader, for visiting my blog!

 

 

Mothers Day Love!

Happy Mothers Day

A word-scent linked portrait of my mother. The inspiration for my perfume, Anam Cara.

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Anam Cara Eau de Parfum

Long ago ~ Anam Cara Base Notes

Warm grounding Sandalwood and Vanilla…
Staring into the grass.
Raggedy Anne doll by my side.
My mother, the artist, is near,
Under the oaks, drawing.
She has stayed home to be with me.
I feign sick just to be with her.
Loved.
Potent scent of Fossilized Amber…
Her drawing,
A portrait of me,
I have the striped legs of Raggedy Anne.
She creates, 
I marvel in awe
"How does she do that?"
Patchouli, the earthy unconventional…
She lets me run wild through forests and climb pyramids.
Viewing the world through her eyes,
Eyes filled with curiosity and humor.
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Her mermaid mural on the washroom wall of my childhood home.

Not too too long ago ~ Anam Cara Heart Notes

Sweetness of Bulgarian Rose…
I do really, really, stupid things.
Haunt questionable neighborhoods,
Make bad choices.
They are barely mentioned.
Spicy Clove and luscious Orange Blossom…
A heady period
Of shared African dance classes,
Performance art collaborations.
She plays Shaman.
Her 'Lowly Potato' soliloquy steals the show.
Rich comforting Coffee aroma…
Now I am the mother and teacher.
Frequent, lengthy, excruciating stretches of distressing chaos.
“First there must be chaos, then art.”
We laugh over commiserative cups.
And 'chaos first' becomes my mantra.
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Delivering her Soliloquy at “The Cocktail Party”  A performance piece happening created by Somebody’s Daughters.  I am the blonde with the feather duster in my face.

Pretty much now ~ Anam Cara Top Totes

Sparkle and Shimmery scent of Petitgrain, Bergamot, and Haute Lavender…
It is summer and we sit under the Oaks.
On a swing seat drinking wine in the middle of the afternoon
“Isn’t it close enough to 3:00?”
We reminisce.
When her stories get lively
I pull my legs up under me,
And let her push.
And she pushes us with gusto.
Legs matching the exuberance of words.
Her spirit shimmery
Our friendship sparkles.
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My Anam Cara in Mexico, 2016
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Us, Winter 2015

Anam Cara is available in my Etsy Shop.

Happy Mothers Day!