Celebrating the gift of trees…

with many thanks to the people of Japan for their gift of friendship in 1912 of 3,020 cherry trees to the people of the United States

Tidal Basin Washington Monument

it is not difficult to understand why flowering cherry trees called “Sakura” in Japan are highly exalted and cherished…

Floating reflected blossoms

thanks also to all those that have worked over the years to preserve and protect the cherry blossom trees here Washington, D C…

Sunrise silhouettes tidal basin

the delicate blossoms are a good reminder for us to appreciate what is…

BLUE sky blossom closeup

the blooms are fleeting and last only about two weeks at the very most and that is if no harsh rain or wind storms hasten their demise…

Parasol Patty

for many years now people have flocked to the United States capital to enjoy the beauty of the blossoms along with the magical fairyland that they create…

12 April 2014 JJJ Cherry Blossoms

our strategy this year was arriving at 6:30 am just before sunrise when the crowds are a little lighter than in the middle of the day…

Cherry Blossom Shade Quote

before we knew it three hours had passed and we had walked all around the Tidal Basin enjoying some monuments along the way…

Tidal Basin Jim and Patty 2014

this rite of spring has coincided with the blooming bluebells usually on time for our 11 April wedding anniversary for some years now…

Sakura Traveling Tea Cup

this is the fourth year that our traveling tea cup has made the trip to visit the Tidal Basin in Washington…

Washington DC Cherry Blossoms

March 2011 was when I first had the idea for a traveling tea cup (more on that another time)…

Cherry Blossom Beauty 2014

I will be a bit scarce in blogland but did want to join in with Bleubeard and Elizabeth to wish you a Happy T Day

Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

The light filling the air

is so mild this spring day

only the cherry blossoms

keep falling in hast—

why is that so?

 Ki no Tomonori (c.850-c.904)

time flies when you are having fun

and spending time with your best friend and L♥ve…

Jim and Patty checking out the bluebells

Mr Magpie and I are celebrating 33 years of marriage today…

Bull Run Park

April is a month full of hope and promise when nature comes back to life here in Virginia

Virginia Bluebells Magpies Nest Patty Szymkowicz

the blooming Washington Cherry Blossoms are on our list to visit but yesterday we decided to head away from the city and check on the annual bluebells in Bull Run Regional Park

hillside always first to bloom

most of the bluebells are in their very early stages with a ways to go but we checked on a hidden hillside that gets afternoon sun

busy bumble bee

and there we found some of those beautiful blooms in stages of unfurling…

Bluebells beginning 2014

April is a month we look forward to for many reasons…

magpies-nest-der-kuss-bighugelab-stamp

“If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you’ve made me smile, the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand.”
– Unknown

Art Journal Journey and Mix It Monthly…

my art journal pages qualify for two great challenges this month: Art Journal Journey’s “Moments of Happiness” and Mix It Monthly’s “Maps”

Cherry Blossom Time Again (1)

nature makes me happy for so many reasons and in the Washington, DC area we always feel like Spring has finally arrived when the cherry blossoms burst into bloom…

Cherry Blossom Time Again (2)

I also have a thing for old maps and enjoy using them in collage…

Cherry Blossom Time Again

*here is some of what went into my pages: personal photographs…torn map pieces…paint…gesso…chalk…Stabilo pencil…computer printed words on painted paper along with happy moments and memories*

 

a good egg…

last year around this time I had so much fun playing with natural dyes and eggs using some leftover dye for fabrics too (there are  photos and examples here)

getting-started

it was an exciting process and the eggs turned out so beautifully we did not have the heart to eat them all…

Petrified hard boiled eggs

so we tucked a carton of eggs marked *2013* in the very back of our fridge (actually I did the egg tucking ;) Mr Magpie knows by now to proceed with caution with an eye out for unexpected things in the fridge like homemade gelli plates and such not intended for eating)…

red cabbage dye

over time these hard boiled eggs will completely dry out and become “permanent” egg decos  …

petrified eggs 2000

 I got the idea to petrify eggs back in 2000 … last year I found a couple of those cartoons of eggs that were stashed out of sight on top of a tall cupboard in my art room…

beet and onion dye

I had heard that you could leave fresh eggs out undisturbed and over time they would dry up and could then be used for crafting … 

Colored petrified eggs  from 2000

I did try the natural plant and dye technique on the thirteen year old eggs above last year and it worked nicely when I weighted them down in the dye bath …

Forsythia Japanese Cherry Blossom mug

I am joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard to wish you a Happy T Day

Daffodils under the Redbud Tree

“When arguing with a stone an egg is always wrong.” ~African Proverb

Art Journal Journey: Moments of Happiness

when I think of moments of happiness I think of making marks which is a term that is getting lots of use lately…

monoprinted bits in waiting

there are so many ways of making marks from the words we speak to what we physically create and manifest around us…

earlier art journal pages

I have enjoyed making things since I was a young girl thankful for the influence of industrious and talented parents…

front and back pages of monoprint journal

for this month’s Art Journal Journey (AJJ) challenge I picked up my handmade gelli print journal which has been a bit of a challenge for me not really wanting to cover up my monoprint pages

monoprint pages hard to cover up

using my homemade gelli plate on the smooth 140# hot press paper certainly made me happy…

art journal pages in progress

it always feels like a special gift when unplanned things reveal themselves in my work

something that makes you happy

for example … the letter “H” above that I randomly tore out of a vintage German/English dictionary and glued in place a while before I picked out the quote for my pages fit perfectly without planning…

Finished Art Journal Pages

being connected to so many talented and kind artists here in blogland brings me endless moments of happiness and joy ~♥~ thank you all …

 “Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, or even joyous.”  -Paul Hawken

Welcome April …

spending time at my needle felting machine is always freeing and fun (the piece below is on its way to becoming a prayer flag)…

tea dyed lace wool and more

no needles to thread or bobbins to change just bits of wool…fabric…lace and more magically meshed together by the barbed needles of my Baby Lock Embellisher

Needlefelt cardI used a couple of the smaller pieces I made for greeting cards 5.5 x 5.5 inch (13.9cm) using tea dyed laces and fabrics below……

tea dye needlefelted greeting card

it is not hard to while away the hours at the machine adding more finishing touches by hand…

Peter Rabbit Jack be Little Daffodils

after rain and snow showers over the weekend our miniature daffodils finally made their appearance…

kitchen shelves

joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard on this lovely spring day to wish you a very Happy T Day

Spring begins 2014

“The ‘Amen!’ of Nature is always a flower.” 
-  Oliver Wendell Holmes   

Full Circle Art Journaling * Part Four

 

Full Circle Art Journal

still playing in my little Yale Shakespeare book whose pages are a bit larger than postcard size…

Full Circle Art Journaling 4

circles from goodies sent to me by LaWendula…Martha Stewart bird stamp…Stamper’s Anonymous flower burst stamp…chalk and pencil and a scrap from fabric/paper I made in a wonderful Beryl Taylor class I took years ago…

Full Circle Art Journaling 4 (1)

button paper and stickers…piece of handmade fabric/paper…rubons…Sharpie marker…catalog images…

Full Circle Art Journaling 4 (2)

vintage torn book text layered on pages with stenciled plaster…

Full Circle Art Journaling 4 (3)

Rumi quote…the little girl is a Debrina Pratt image…paper doily…vintage map…paint and chalks…

Full Circle Art Journaling 4 (4)

Cezanne quote printed on cotton twill…stenciled plastered vintage text…pattern and star tissue papers…

Full Circle Art Journaling 4 (5)

walnut ink over gesso…torn Citra Solv paper edge…altered photo of my Mutti’s doll head…pink Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic…

Full Circle Art Journaling 4 (6)

words inspired by Jack Johnson song…photo of our metal heart candle holder…paper scraps…partial rubber stamp image…paint and Sharpie pen…

Full Circle Art Journaling 4 (7)

part of a powerful Ram Dass quote…my photo of a planter with cut out flowers…stenciled plaster vintage text…gesso and paint…

change of seasons…

Spring is trying to make an appearance here in northern Virginia…

Spring 2014 is trying to arrive

but we still have a way to go as there are some lovely snowflakes falling again today…

Beeswax Altered Beeswax Fish Tin

perfect weather for playing in my art room that is a wee bit neater after doing a little clearing recently…

Index card Postage Stamp art

fun to uncover ingredients like scrap backgrounds and postage stamps just waiting for attention (above are two quick index cards I made)…

snowfall 25 March 2014

a nice day for sipping hot tea dreaming of spring

(glad I cut some daffodils and brought them in before the snow came this morning…they are opening nicely)…

Daffs coaxed into blooming with Omis bunnies

joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard to wish you a happy T day full of fun discoveries…

blooms with tea cup planter

“Weather is a great metaphor for life — sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, and there’s nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella.” ~Terri Guillemets

playing with packaging…

do you ever look at empty food containers and think they look too nice to throw away…

the cardboard makes a nice substrate for lots of things like ATCs…postcards and more…

boxes waiting to be turned into book covers

our local group of mixed media artists looks at lots of things that way and at our recent meeting we turned assorted boxes into books by adding all kinds of different papers as signatures (some of my gelli prints came in handy)…

altered chocolate truffle box book

 this yummy truffle box had nice little holes that I liked for added interest on my book cover…

altered shortbread box book

I punched a hole in the front of my shortbread book cover and like the look of some of my Citra Solv paper peeking through…I still need to stitch in the signatures on that one…

Indian food box to be completed

the Indian food package book cover above still needs some beads to jazz up the waxed linen threads…

Spring 2014 Crocus

♥ many thanks to special and talented friends both near and far for sharing and always being such an inspiration ♥ 

Happy Fall to all of my friends in the Southern Hemisphere…

artwork from friends…

some days it is so exciting to go to the mailbox…

Christie surprised me with a wonderful textured St Patrick’s Day postcard that she created adding a real vintage Irish postage stamp…

Christie's Fab Art Postcard

and a new blog friend from Germany treated me to an assortment of her lovely creations and gifts (her generosity all started after I was admiring the tag she made here and she offered to send it to me)…

creations and gifts from Sabine Kleinmann

thank you SO much dear ♥ Christie and Sabine ♥ you made it such fun to open our mailbox filled with your good wishes and wonderful artwork!

♥ clicking on each photo will give you a closer look ♥

♣ Happy St Paddy’s Day ♣

Irish snippets June 2013my maiden name is Mahoney ♣

Traveling in Ireland

but then everyone is a little Irish on St Patrick’s Day…

Robin in rain Glendalough

thought I would share a sampling of photos from our trip to the Emerald Isle last June…

Dublin Glendalough Cty Wicklow

it was so beautiful there…

outside Kenmare Ireland

with sunshine…

Ring of Kerry Ireland

or without…

Rainy day Kenmare Ireland

we look forward to visiting again some day…Glendalough lovely day for a guinness

 “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” -Ferris Bueller

the simple things…


while at the grocery store the other day I could not resist the beautiful blue of these ornamental thistles…

Ornamental Blue Thistle

then before I knew it a magazine jumped into my cart at the check out lane…

The Simple Things and Spring

titles like “The Lost Art of Writing a Love Letter” and

UK Magazine Issue 20 2014 (1)

 “Tea for Two…Where to go for fluffy scones & sticky cakes”  caught my eye and when I got home I discovered that this is a British magazine which charmed me further…

UK Magazine Issue 20 2014

so while I am thinking back on our wonderful trip to the UK last June I am enjoying the warmer temperatures with some signs of spring showing here and there in Virginia…

Suet Feeder Visitors

we have a nice variety of feathered friends visiting our suet feeder…

signs of spring

that rascally squirrel and his pal have been hanging around a lot since they discovered the free food…

American Robin Turdus migratorius

the robins are busy hopping all around on the ground looking for worms and splashing in melted snow puddles…

Robin Redbreast

I wonder if it is true that robins hatched in our garden last year will return again this year which might account for some of the ‘robin wars‘ we had in the yard last year…

Robin Lake District UK

it was such a thrill on our trip last year to snap a few photos of the European Robins (SO cute!!!)…

The Simple Things

joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard as I sip water in my Irish mug and munch on Trader Jo’s Sesame Honey Almonds wishing you a happy T day with time to enjoy some of the simple things…

Honey Sesame Almonds

“It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.” ~Paulo Coelho

Hermine’s Card Project

the talented and lovely Hermine from The Netherlands asked me to participate in her rolodex card project and this gorgeous card arrived along with a blank card for me to work on…

Hermine's lovely card

Hermine is sending blank cards around the globe so she can fill the lovely box she altered with lots of different artists’ creations

my collaged card for Hermine

I had wanted to needle felt a card for her file box but thought in the end that it might be too bulky so I created a layered collage card using various bits of paper (including a tiny piece of map from San Francisco, California)…embossing with thick gesso…Inka Gold highlights…a bit of altered paper towel for the water and a piece of daisy trim for the sun from a friend

Hermine's photo of my card

it was great fun to make and here is how the card looks in it’s new home with Hermine