Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best of the Best 2009

2 + 0 + 0 + 9 = 11, a master number, and we sure have all been learning about mastery in some form of another, haven't we?! The numerology of last year tells the tale of a year of learning to live from a place of love.

I'm here to share some of the highlights of the year scented, unscented and within other realms of beauty and art. This entry is part of another collective Blogorama with several other blogs participating, please see the links at the end of this post.

When my husband gives lectures, presentations and/or workshops he takes a book with him called "The Art Spirit" by Robert Henri. Sometimes, within  a day, a month or like this post the cycle of one year I am reminded of a a quote from the Art Spirit book:

"There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual. Such are these moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. If one could but recall his vision by somesort of sign. It was in this hope that the arts were invented. Sign-posts on the way to what may be. Sign-posts toward greater knowledge." ~ Robert Henri

My work and passion are as a botanical perfume artist and it is within these three realms that I will focus my Best of the Best 2009 list....botanical, perfume and art.

"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." ~ Coco Chanel  

BEST vintage perfume in my collection Bal a Versailles by Jean Deprez. My dear friend Aztechan sent me a box of her grandmothers perfumes. In the box was quite an assortment of vintage perfumes including two bottles of Bal a Versailles. I fell in love with it immediately! Here is a very fine review of Bal a Versailles by Beth at Perfume Smellin Things.

BEST new aromatic ingredient to grace my studio this year is a stunning Cistus that I have just received from France. Although this new shipment of botanical gems has many savory treats I must say the Cistus really captured my heart. The aroma is much closer to Labdanum than the Cistus essential oil I normally work with. I'm not sure what I will be using it in yet, we shall see what percolates to the surface, so many scent possibilities on the horizon. It may work nicely in the liquid version of Cimbalom, Page 47 or perhaps GreenWitch.

BEST new favorite fashion designer is Anna Sui. She came into my consciousness when my daughter's grandmother, Marilyn Neuhart, told me that Anna had become a fan of her handmade dolls from the 60's. Anna's Spring 2009 line was influenced by Marilyn's dolls. To the left is a photo of Marilyn with her dolls. Below are a few photos of some of my favorite selections from the Anna Sui 2009 Spring and Autumn collection.

I'm loving the way she pairs different fabrics and textures. Her whimsical elements combined with a streampunk quality is also really appealing.

BEST documentary is The Real Dirt on Farmer John. When Greg told me he had a film for us to watch by that title I was totally uninterested, thinking it had something to do with Farmer John as in breakfast sausage. Boy, was I surprised. For me this film is a sign-post reminding me of why what I do as a botanical perfume artist and California native plant lover is so very important and intertwined with the fabric of life.

BEST Christmas gift this year was given to me by my brother in-law Andrew. I am not sure what the name of the contraption he gave me is. I am sorry I have not shot a photo of it for you all. It's a lab equipment item that comes from his work as a photographer. Since he has gone digital now and no longer has a need for it he thought of me. I'm thrilled and will be putting it to very good use. I really dig lab equipment, especially when its vintage and or antique!

BEST older film newly re-watched is Vatel, simply sublime in beauty. Like the Farmer John film it is a another Sign-post. In this case, the importance of extra ordinary beauty.

BEST new film is really tough, mostly because there is much I have not seen as of yet. Where the Wild Things Are just might be my number one pick. I also really enjoyed StarTrek and Avatar pulls my heart strings like no other film this year.

BEST new obsession and network are the bees and my local Bee Human, Backward Beekeepers group.

BEST new spice mix is Zahtar from Israel. My dear friend Peleg shared this delight with us when he came here for dinner one night. We are loving it, especially with good olive oil and bread. 

BEST discovery has been Etsy. I joined this handmade community last year as an alternate while I redid my website to add the solid perfumes. I had no idea that I would find a loyal and devoted fan base of my perfumes, meet so many new artists and friends and be exposed to some very good media sources. I am super grateful to everyone who is part of the vibrant community on Etsy.

Thank you to Elena of Perfume Shrine for inviting me to be part of this Blogging collective. Here are links to the other participants. Most of these I have never visited myself, some you will recognize from past blogging adventures here at the Illuminated Journal:

Scent Hive
Mossy Loomings
1000 Fragrances
Ayalas Smelly Blog
Bitter Grace Notes
Shoes Cake Perfume
Eider Down Press Perfume
Perfume in Progress
Notes from the Ledge
Savvy Thinker
All I am a redhead
A Rose Beyond the James
The Non-Blonde
I Smell Therefore I am
Under the Cupola
Perfume Shrine 

The Violet Posy image which opens this post is an old  postcard that belonged to my Great Grandmother. I did a little photoshop work to it by removing some of the original script and adding the title.

Monday, December 28, 2009

California Christmas

On Christmas Day we drove down to Hermosa Beach to exchange gifts and have breakfast over at my daughters grandparents home. Eve's grandparents are John and Marilyn Neuhart, parents of my first husband and dear friend Ben Neuhart. I've been celebrating Christmas morning at their home fairly regularly, over twenty something years, ever since I met Ben in art school. Now my husband is Greg, but, we are still one big jolly family with art and liberal politics as our core.

Going to the Neuhart's is an aesthetic delight. John and Marilyn are graphic designers by trade and have a very keen sense of modern style. Having been part of the mid-century design scene with Charles and Ray Eames, Alexander Girard and Herman Miller their aesthetic is extremely iconic. If you happen to watch any of the short films by the Eames, particularly House: After Five Years of Living, you will see the simularity in color palette, folk art designs and simple forms. At one point I had taken on this style and then realized it wasn't quite me.

On Christmas morning we arrived with our gifts and the poppy seed cupcakes Eve had made with the little silver pine trees I had purchased on Etsy. After exchanging gifts Marilyn and John did their final preparations for the Christmas morning feast.

Marilyn sets a gorgeous table, always with fresh flowers and a colorful, graphic display. With the warm sunlight pouring in the open door this image to me was the perfect iconic California Christmas.

Our meal consisted of a fresh fruit salad with mint, prune bread, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, zuchini bread, fresh slices of oranges and the poppy seed cupcakes. The oranges are a standard at every Neuhart Christmas, it is a tradition that Marilyn continues from her childhood in Long Beach.

The Neuhart home is a visual treat for the eyes. I remember coming here during art school and spending many hours pouring over their collection of books as well as drooling over the beautiful folk art found through out the house.


Eve received the camera she had asked Santa for. This she and I went to a few remote regions of the house looking for good photo opportunities. Ben had told me that the drawers in the upper side room would be particularly interesting to me. That is exactly where Eve wanted to go for her portrait, so off we went.

Ben was right, the first drawer I opened was filled with old perfume bottles and apothecary items.


Eve and I could have easily stayed upstairs looking through the treasure drawers and taking photos for hours, however, it was time to go. Marilyn and John were off to visit the rest of the family in Long Beach.

We gathered up our gifts, a few left over cupcakes and slices of bread, our scarves and mittens and headed back to our little house in the woods for more gift giving, feasting movie watching. Another merry, handmade California Christmas come and gone.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Circle: Cycles and Seasons

Wishing all a very Merry Christmas from the little house in the Wooded Hills. For the last month our little tree has brightened each day with words and memories from friends all over the globe. Today, Leah in New York City has added the final contribution to our circle. Off to the East coast we venture once more, with illuminated hearts and much gratitude for so much love and friendship.

Images: ADVENTure blogging banner by Roxana Villa

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Circle ~ Pine and Promise

The community of Etsy has an abundance of creative and beautiful souls, one bright star is Dennice. Her shop happens to have the same name as one of my favorite TV shows and is filled with beautiful knitwear. Although she has a degree in science and math her passion lies in fibers, colors, and textiles. Come join us around the sacred Pine tree and hear the thought full scent impressions from a twinkling spirit.

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”
~John Muir

Images: ADVENTure blogging banner by Roxana Villa

Get Ready Set Go Winner!

Thank you dear Rachel for being our featured Artist this month and contributing such fabulous prizes for the draw.  The lucky winner was chosen by my daughter using the card deck methodology. The card that was chosen was the Jack of Spades from the Red deck, which was assigned to The Lost Earring. Congrats to The Lost Earring whose favorite item is the Vintage Aqua Blue Messenger.

Make sure to keep Get Ready Set Go in mind for all your future travel needs and any upcoming gift giving.

Much gratitude to each of you who stopped on by. I wish each of you a very happy holiday. Please come back in the new year for the first Giveaway of 2010!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Circle: The Scent of Revelry

In four days from now my sweet heart and I will be celebrating our first anniversary and eleven years of happiness together. Today, in this present moment, I bring you some scented holiday cheer from his domain. Please welcome our poet for the day here at the Illuminated journal, award winning artist  Master Gregorio, aka Greg Spalenka.

The Scent of Revelry

Growing up in a large catholic family (with two brothers and three sisters) was accompanied by a healthy dose of mayhem. Being the first born I was lavished with “you are the apple of my eye” attention, but that ended about a year later with the arrival of my brother Paul. Like clockwork subsequent siblings joined the party embedding a strong singular mantra in each of us, “What about me!?”

It was soon learned by the clan that whoever yelled the loudest was a good candidate to catch Mom’s ear above the din of other pleading voices. It usually worked, but crying babies would generally swing that motherly radar knocking out the other competition. The neighborhood always knew when the Spalenka’s were home.

This was especially evident at the dinner table, which started out calm enough but soon escalated into a giant OHM vibration as everyone attempted to talk over everyone else. A downpour of conversations about wanting more mashed potatoes or chicken or whatever, lamps getting broken, who tore the Barbie arm off, who tracked mud on the kitchen floor, stop throwing food, essentially versions of “What about me!?” turning into “What did I do now?!”

Visiting friends were initiated into the family way with this dinner of decibels. Watching each of them handle this shock and awe was a testament to their fortitude or not and was revealed by whether they ate, or stared wide eyed at the phenomena. Many times the TV blaring in the next room added to the complexity of volume. The meal was consumed quickly and everyone departed. My Mom took on that glazed eyed zombie look, and slowly cleaned up the dinner carnage.

This gives you a precursor into what would happen when the holidays would roll around and all the Spalenka families got together! My Dad’s sister and three brothers with all their kids (this made 24 kids in all) turned mayhem into insanity pretty quickly. But what sweet insanity! For us kids “What did I do now?!” turned into “What can I do now?!” and just “Wow!”

The meals became gigantic feasts with roast beef, hams, turkeys, chickens, barbecuing in the afternoon air. This was California where barbecues are held all year long. Every sort of salad, from green, to macaroon filled giant bowls, and of course all the after dinner cakes, pies, cookies, and sweets.

One of these sweets always stood out because in a way it represented this revelry and spirit mayhem. I will never forget my Dad and his siblings making popcorn balls! They popped up the corn and filled several paper bags, then heated up the corn syrup in different colored batches. When the corn syrup was at just the right bubbling temperature they would dribble it over the popcorn in a large porcelain bowl and turn it with a gigantic spoon. The family would line up and stick their well buttered and or ice immersed hands into this scalding hot stickiness and form balls very quickly while shouting, swearing, and laughing at the same time. One after another they jumped into line, picked up a glob of molten sweetness and with loud expletives molded it into a family ritual. It was a circus of the soul creating multi colored treats that we kids inhaled and ate with a relish. When the Christmas presents were opened the adrenalin rush was complete, with all senses spent.

So my family upbringing especially during the holidays have included the scent of chaos, and a loud rebel yell. Ultimately this helped me keep a focus on the eye of the storm and kept me on my toes.“What about me!?” has morphed into “What is the possibility?!” as I continue to navigate the Spalenka whirlwind of love.

Here is a Popcorn Ball recipe for you to try. Make sure you bring the temperature of the mixture to a hard-crack. Have a cup of cold water near you and when the temperature is close to 300 degrees drop a little of it into the water. If it makes a cracking sound your ready! Don't overcook or you will burn it.


* 2 cups white sugar
* 1 cup light corn syrup
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/4 cup water
* salt to taste
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar (optional)
* 5 quarts popped popcorn


1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter and water. Stir and heat to hard-crack stage or 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Remove from heat, add vanilla or vinegar; mix well.
2. Pour slowly over popped popcorn while stirring. Wait 1 minute and shape into three inch round balls. Mixture will be very hot so have a bowl of ice to cool your hands.

This recipe is from 

~ Gregory Scott Spalenka
See Greg's artwork at his website
Currently Greg is empowering Artists to follow their vision with his workshop's Artist As Brand™. Check out the debut of the Artist As Brand blog on January 1st!

Images: ADVENTure blogging banner by Roxana Villa, ArtHeart painting ©Greg Spalenka and video by David Spalenka, edited by Greg.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Circle: The Advent of Sense Memories

The number 22, like 11, significant in numerology and considered a "master" number due to the repeating double digits. According to Avia Venefica this numeral is represented by the tarot card the Priestess. On this auspicious day I bring you a very sweet friend with an enormous heart who I cherish and value tremendously, Davis Alexander.
The Advent of Sense Memories



float up our nose

buzz our brain

land safely in our hearts

on wings of air. 

An Air Sign, I find myself easily caught up by a wisp of scent.  I rise on redolent updrafts, suspended in time and place by the seasons’ smells.

A child, I got feverishly drunk on spring’s lily of the valley.

I languished in summer’s saddle soap  and suntan oil. 

Reawakened by fall opening a new box of crayons—
I was ultimately seduced with cinnamon and sage. 

And in winter, I rose,
refreshed by the cleansing absence of odor.

Winter was a white blanket that muted musky leaves. 
Winter was a freshness masking the perfume of rot.
Winter was breezes of blinding snow that snuffed out my sense of smell  . . .

Until . . .  days leading up to the holidays . . .  as though sneaking down the chimney . . .  entered the sharpest, most vital bouquet of all . . .

smoldering oak . . . Ivory soap steam baths . . .  clove spiked orange . . .  damp wool socks . . . foam of hot chocolate . . .  pocketed spruce needles . . .  oil drenched latkes . . .  moth ball blankets . . .  garlic studded roasts . . . aunt Helen’s Tabu . . .

It is said the Inuit language has, what, 47 names for snow? 
English falls short in so many ways, but none more so than in
giving words to smells.  To smelling.  To experience.

As much as the recordable sight of a returning robin or sound of a perennial bell-ringing Santa, it was a season’s scents that oriented me.  Yet, while I can relate what fills rooms, streets and yards, I fail at describing what lives in mind and soul.  Neither the attars of scent, nor the extracts of experience can be satisfied by words, for those temporal yet enduring imprints live on air—intangible, meta physical. 

Sense memories of the December holidays are familial.  They are personal.  Even private.  Mine are uninterrupted ruches of ribbon candy and endless layers of petit fours.  They are as sweet as simmered apple sauce and as tart as cold sour cream.  They are awakening and soporific, comforting and melancholy.   The balm of cedar . . .  my father’s Royall Lyme . . .  smoked white fish . . . menthol . . . mulled wine . . .  cigar . . .  my mother’s Bal a Versailles all mixed up together like a heady cocktail.  They can be named, but their effect on me will always remain indescribable.

Davis Alexander
story ~ structure ~ style
davisalexander530 at

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Circle: The Winter Solstice

Round and round we go. Here we are once more at the big turn of the seasonal wheel to find ourselves at the Winter Solstice. To call in the light during the darkest part of the year we have the Mistress Bard herself. Please light your candle and gather round while Beth at Perfume Smellin' Things shares a bit of gratitude and a splendid Solstice Celebration she has been preparing with her sister.

The Winter Solstice - ADVENTure Ahead

Images: ADVENTure blogging banner by Roxana Villa.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Circle

Sunday, December 20th, the fourth week of Advent takes us to visit Kathi Roussel owner of two shops on Etsy. Kathi has a beautiful aesthetic, I am quite found of her vintage shop 5 Gardenias. This talented artist lives with her family up in Buffalo, New York. Off we go, in our one horse open sleigh to visit Kathi in upstate New York.

Below are links to both of Kathi's shops on Etsy.
Support handmade!
Kathi Roussel

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bob tails ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing song tonight

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
We got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh yeah

Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

Images: ADVENTure blogging banner by Roxana Villa.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Circle: Scents of Christmas Past and Present ?

Twinkle, twinkle, little tree
How bright and luminous you now be

Speaking of luminous, have you met Q Wendy yet? She's an artisan haute couture shoemaker and a lover of fragrance. I had the supreme delight in meeting Wendy while at a Sniffapalooza Perfume event in Los Angeles a few years back. We hit it off immediately and since then I've been craving a pair of her glorious, brocade or satin wonders. They are just the right look for an alchemist perfumer don't you think?

Join me in a stroll over the Santa Monica Mountains and into Silver Lake to visit Wendy as she adds another page to our daily dose of memoirs in fragrance.

The Circle: Scents of Christmas Past and Present ?

and take a look at her beautiful shoes here:
Wendy Holden Shoes

Images: ADVENTure blogging banner by Roxana Villa.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Les Croquers de Chocolat

The first phase of the chocolate feast for the senses has finally arrived! Sensory delights, based on the cacao fruit of South America, are now available in mini sample sizes and truffle box sets.

Revered as a love elixir, among other things, these chocolate creamy unguents feel decadent and luxurious to put on the skin. The chocolate base is completely botanical, made with Scharffen Berger 99% cacao, cocoa butter, organic cocoa powder and theobroma cacao extract from South America.
There is also beeswax, jojoba seed oil, my own infused vital plant materials and botanical fragrance. The aroma of each one varies, in some the chocolate appears as a top note while in others the fragrance of the accord is dominant with the chocolate making an appearance at the base.

Here are some interesting facts about chocolate that relate specifically to the new perfumes:
  • Studies show that the aroma of chocolate may increase theta waves in the brain and thus relax you.
  • Cocoa butter contains oleic acid, a fat also found in olive oil attributed with raising good cholesterol levels.
  • The Aromacology Patch Ltd in the UK have concluded that the smell of chocolate can reduce the craving for the the substance and other sugary treats.
  • Chocolate contains protein, riboflavin, iron and minerals.
  • The skin is the largest organ of the body is absorbs nutrients.
  • A Study as Harvard University shows that men who consume chocolate live longer.

These solid natural perfume treats will make an appearance in sets. The first collection includes:

Figure 1: Noir
Like it's edible counterpart this chocolate is deep, dark and mysterious with a strong musk note.

Figure 2: Cerise
Succulent cherry weaved with a base of rich chocolate.

Figure 3: La Forêt
A dense conifer forest meets an ocean of chocolate.

Figure 4: L'Orangerie
Mouth watering citrus in a base of rich chocolate. Please note this perfume is VERY fleeting.

Figure 5: Bois de Chocolat
Smokey woods and chocolate.

Figure 6: Épices
Spice, a hint of vanilla and chocolate.

For the aromatic component of each of these I created an accord of essential oils, Co2 extracts and absolutes. La Forêt features primarily essences from the conifer family, L'Orangerie from the citrus family, etc. Some of the perfumes are like soliflores with chocolate, one main aromatic note weaved with cacao. Stay tuned for the next series of sets as I release them over the next couple of months. I can't wait to hear which are your favorites.

Find these chocolate olfactory delights here the Illuminated Perfume shop on Etsy.

The Circle: The Sea Shore's Flower

Walking through the grove of perfume blogs a few years ago, the aroma of flowers and leaves lining my path, a fine golden ray illuminated a passage. With hurried footsteps I followed the beam to discover Perfume Shrine.

This blog is one of my very favorite perfume reads due to the writers devotion to history, beauty and what sometimes she refers to as "nerdy" details. I myself have a bit of that nerdy side and really get into all those interesting historical facts. Combine this with beauty and perfume, wah-lah I am toast, just as was Marc Antony when he walked on board Cleopatra's fragrant barge.

Thus, on this auspicious Venus day, please embark with us as we sail to Greece and visit Helg at Perfume Shrine.

Images: ADVENTure blogging banner by Roxana Villa.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Artist Feature and Giveaway: Get Ready Set Go

On this 17th day of December we are off to visit the inspired world of fellow artist Rachel born in Detroit. Rachel is the artisan behind the super successful Etsy shop Get Ready Set Go, your place to find upcycled luggage enhanced with her designs.

Rachel is a pretty brunette that lives and works on the East coast of Florida with a penchant for all things creative, including knitting and photography. You will find her on Etsy with two other shops. One which features Vintage clutches, Get Ready Set Clutch and the other Around N Brightly Wound with her handknit goodies and vintage lucite jewelry.

I first became aware of Get Ready Set Go through building treasuries on Etsy. A fun creative outlet that is tremendous for building community on the worlds largest venue for handmade. Rachels fun and well shot photos of her pieces make them perfect for us treasury builders.

I'm really attracted to how Rachel melds her creativity with ecology to create these little beauties that are ever so functional and utilitarian. There's a color and style for everyone AND she has been known to do custom work as well.

Rachel was very kind to take a moment out of her very busy schedule to answer a few questions for all of us so that we could get to know her a bit more.

1.) What is the one thing you find most inspiring to feed your creative spirit?

picking just one thing that inspires me is impossible but i will have to go with music. it's my drive, it makes me tick, it helps me to feel, it carries me through.

2.) What is your favorite scent from the natural world?

black currant, sandalwood, blackberry...the woods- pine trees in the winter to be exact. i grew up in michigan and i miss the trees there like no other! fresh fallen snow and a deep inhalation of pine makes my mouth water......

3.) If you were Queen of a village what would you wish for your kingdom?

for my kingdom i would wish for all children to have the love of a parent- blood or not- unconditional! that every child would grow up with someone who believes in their dreams and supports them in ALL that they aspire to do and be. that they would have someone to talk to, be open with and not feel judged by- even when their thoughts may not seem right. everyone needs to have that intensely passionate love standing behind them when they fall. because we all fall.

4.) How did you find yourself using vintage luggage as a canvas?

good question. hmmmm, i think it was when i found a piece of luggage that i couldn't get clean enough. it just looked so blah after i used all of my tricks of the trade to make it look better. i was bound and determined to kick it up a notch! i did, and from that point on the gates flew open:)

5) Tell us a secret?

this is hard because i am a really open person. i've been told that i don't just wear my heart on my sleeve but rather i wear my guts all over the place. sorry for that image but i think it's a pretty perfect visual for it. so a secret...... here's what i got: i dream all too often of being featured seller on etsy and when i do my biggest fear is naming my favorite musical artists- there are just too many good musicians. i seriously start to freak ot when i think about it for too long.

Thank you dear Rachel, it's a treat to have you here and share a bit about yourself with me and the readers of this journal.  Get to know Rachel a bit more and tap into her creative mind by visitng her  blog.

NOW...the Giveaway!
For this giveaway, Rachel is offering the winner a a $15 gift certificate to an item from her Get Ready Set Go shop AND two surprise gifts along with the purchase. Wow, you are all so fortunate!

To qualify to win this prize, please....

Begin by visiting the Get Ready Set Go shop on Etsy and sharing in your comment what item you most crave from her shop. You must include your first name -or- etsy username AND email address with each entry or it will not be included.

For additional entries you can do any or all of the following, please leave a separate comment for each entry.

  • 1 entry: Be or become a follower of the GetReadySetGo blog
  • 1 entry per day of the contest: Twitter this message: RT @RoxanaVilla is hosting a giveaway with GetReadySetGo! Visit for a chance to win
  • 2 entries (total) - Blog about this giveaway, leaving the URL to the post in comments (1 blog per entrant, please)
  • 1 entry: Be or become a follower of the creator GetReadySetGo on Twitter
  • 1 entry: Be or become a follower of this journal: IlluminatedPerfume   
More fine print, learned along the way
1. If we cannot contact you we will give your prize away to someone else.
2. The featured seller will do their very best to mail the winners package in a timely manner, please contact them directly if you have any questions.
3. Each entry is assigned a card from several decks here at the house, I then shuffle all the cards and have someone handy (like my daughter or husband) choose a card for the winner and a runner up.
4. If you have won the Artist Feature and Giveaway in the past you may enter again.
5. Please don't make up any new guidelines, what is outlined above is what we follow.

The giveaway ends on Tuesday, December 22nd at 10 pm PST with the winner announced shortly there after. Please help us get the word out. Anyone who posts comments after 10pm on December 22nd will not be entered in the draw.

The Circle and a Very Gypsy Yule

As the lights creep up our little tree we grow ever so much closer to Christmas day.
Thus, on this 17th day of December, the Artful Wendy joins us to add a little fusion style to our band of wonder filled traveling adventure.

Images: ADVENTure blogging banner by Roxana Villa.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Circle: ADVENTure Day

Wednesday brings us tidings from the Silver Moon Witch, Mrs. B, a mom with a hearty dose of wit. So, hop on those broom sticks and fly on over to hear the Confessions of A Pagan Soccer Mom and her musings on this adventurous day devoted to Mercury the messenger God.

Images: ADVENTure blogging banner by Roxana Villa.

Sinfully delicious

Chocolate is a divine, celestial drink, 
the sweat of the stars, the vital seed, 
divine nectar, the drink of the gods, 
panacea and universal medicine. 
~ Geronimo Piperni, quoted by Antonio Lavedán, surgeon in the Spanish army, 1796

The studio smells of chocolate and so do my clothes, I admit I'm in bliss. I spent yesterday pouring all the little pots of solid natural chocolate perfume and took some new photos as well.

Today I will continue the work and intend to FINALLY list them, assuming no major challenges present themselves. So, while we wait, I thought I'd share a clip from one of my favorite films about this delicious treat. Chocolat, based on the book of the same name by Joanne Harris, was released as in film in 2000 staring Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp and Judi Dench.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Circle: Chranukah

More and more luminous each day our little holiday tree grows. The light on this 17th day of Advent is provided by fellow artist and Etsy seller Lee of One Clay Bead. Like an aromatic synergy each of us adds our own voice to this round robin and the fabric of life. It is a great honor to host each of these luminous beings here at this journal. Please head on over, red rover, to The Beauty you Love blog. Lee shares a fun story featuring her kitty Loca in the leading role of her families blended Christmas/Chanukah tradition.

Also be sure to take a look at Lee's handmade pottery over at her shop on Etsy

Images: ADVENTure blogging banner by Roxana Villa.