Mosaic District…

 this post is an accumulation of about three Sunday visits to a favorite new shopping area about 12 miles away from us…

Mosaic District Merrifield VA

it has lots of charm and interest geared toward families with things like yoga in the park … a giant movie screen for special events and indoor theaters too…Magpie's Nest Le Pain Quotidien

two places we always visit are MOM’s which is a really nice organic market and Le Pain Quotidien for scones and maybe a chia muffin as a treat for the week…

Magpie's Nest Le Pain

on Sunday’s through October they have a farmer’s market with assorted live entertainment…

Magpie's Nest Mosaic Center entertainment

and quite an array of offerings under each white canopy strung in a long row…

Magpie's Nest Yoga in Park Farm Market

this past Sunday we tried some delicious creamy fresh peach ice cream made right before our eyes using liquid nitrogen like a fun edible science experiment…

Magpie's Nest The Nice Cream Factory

there are some beautiful planters and a few long beds of Equisetum commonly known as Horsetail that I am drawn to again and again

Magpie's Nest Horsetail plantings

window shopping at Anthropologie is always fun…

Magpie's Nest Mosaic District Anthro Window

their displays are well thought out and eye catching with some great “shelfie” photo opportunities…

Magpie's Nest Anthropologie cups

I enjoy the outdoor atmosphere with shops and eateries much more than an enclosed mall and while strolling we spotted this chalk board outside Capital Teas (we do plan to step inside and sample their wares sometime)…

Magpie's Nest Capital Tea chalk board

“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summers best of weather And autumns best of cheer.” —Helen Hunt Jackson

Magpie's Nest summer shadow cups

I look forward to visiting with you again in early October after we return from a couple of weeks at the beach ~♥~ here’s wishing you a very Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard’s

The Craft Barn Q&L Challenge – Childhood & Easier

a quote on childhood along with the little girl image came my way as inspiration for the other side of one of my loose art journal pages for The Craft Barn Quote & Lyric “Childhood and/or Easier” challengeMagpie's Nest Childhood (1)

as a mother of three sons I often feel the surprise of how quickly young children can grow up especially looking back on the more intense child rearing days…

Magpie's Nest Childhood

I like the idea of staying in touch with our inner child so this quote speaks to me too:

“It is never too late to have a happy childhood” -Tom Robbins 

Magpie's Nest Childhood (2)

“Childhood is a short season” -Helen Hayes


if trees could talk…

the September theme over at Mix it Monthly is “Trees”

Magpie's Nest Step One

I signed up for an amazing online art course called CoLab Artistry by Alena Hennessy and Susan Tuttle and could not be more excited and it has just begun…

Magpie's Nest Detail

here is my first piece under the guidance of the talented and lovely Alena (with great thanks to my special friend Lisa for introducing me to Alena and her art!)…

Magpie's Nest Trees

imagine you’re up in a fantasy forest of trees with me…

Magpie's Nest my artwork and phone apps

two examples of my artwork photographed and altered with assorted iphone apps…

Magpie's Nest Blue artwork and text

“If you climb up a tree, you must climb down the same tree.” -African proverb


a bird’s-eye view…

a page created in one of my gesso art journals for this month’s Art Journal Journey “Living Beings” challenge began with the image of the lady reading…

Magpie's Nest Fly (1)

I have had a package of metal Martha Stewart bird stickers for some time now and finally found a spot to use one (the things I buy with a coupon sometimes hah!)…

Magpie's Nest Fly

birds in the garden are wonderful living beings and are always a big source of enjoyment to me (some of the supplies I  used: gesso… walnut ink… paints… postage stamp on Buckram background… metal bird sticker… rubber stamps)…

Magpie's Nest Gesso Art Journal

“I want to sing like the birds sing not worrying about who hears or what they think.” – Rumi

“Half of my Heart”

Magpie's Nest John Mayer collage

singer and songwriter John Mayer is a favorite artist of mine and I am lucky to have seen him live in concert several times over the years…

Magpie's Nest Half of My Heart (4)

his song “Half of my Heart” from his Battle Studies album inspired some journal pages in one of my larger (7.5 x 10″) art journals…

Magpie's Nest Half of My Heart (1)

lots and lots of layers using tissue paper… the inside of a pink security envelope with the window… scrap papers… stencils… paint… gesso… Behr Venetian Plaster and more…

Magpie's Nest Half of My Heart (2)

the Tin Can Inkadinkadoo dreamy face rubber stamp from long ago and a favorite burst of mine using a bit of golden flimmerstern with some bits of German scrap…

Magpie's Nest Half of My Heart

my newest Stencil Girl burst stencil from our wonderful local Goldenshill Papercrafts helped add the finishing touches to my pages which I am entering for the first time in the Moo Mania & More challenge of “Music is in the air …


music has been an inspiration to me since as long as I can remember

“I was born in the arms of imaginary friends
Free to roam, made a home out of everywhere I’ve been

Then you come on crashing in
Like the realest thing
Trying my best to understand
All that your love can bring

Oh, half of my heart’s got a grip on the situation
Half of my heart takes time
Half of my heart’s got a right mind
To tell you that I can’t keep lovin’ you, can’t keep lovin’ you
Oh, with half of my heart

I was made to believe I’d never love somebody else
Made a plan, stay the man who can only love himself

Lonely was the song I sang
‘Til the day you came
Showing me another way
And all that my love can bring

Oh, half of my heart’s got a grip on the situation
Half of my heart takes time
Half of my heart’s got a right mind
To tell you that I can’t keep lovin’ you, can’t keep lovin’ you
Oh, with half of my heart, with half of my heart

Your faith is strong, but I can only fall short for so long
Down the road, later on
You will hate that I never gave more to you
Than half of my heart

But I can’t stop lovin’ you, I can’t stop lovin’ you
I can’t stop lovin’ you, I can’t stop lovin’ you,
I can’t stop lovin’ you with half of my
Half of my heart, oh half of my heart

Half of my heart’s got a real good imagination
Half of my heart’s got you
Half of my heart’s got a right mind to tell you
That half of my heart won’t do

Half of my heart is a shot gun wedding
To a bride with a paper ring
And half of my heart is the part of a man
Who’s never truly loved anything

Half of my heart, oh half of my heart
Half of my heart, oh half of my heart
Half of my heart, oh half of my heart”

step into the Light…

Magpie's Nest step into the Light (1)a couple more pages for Art Journal Journey’s “Living Beings September Challenge and because I used tea cups (torn from a peeled napkin) I am also including my pages for T over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard’s

Magpie's Nest step into the Light (2)

the lady I chose looks a bit tied up because she had on a wimple head covering originally so I cut her head covering away leaving her chin a bit short which is when I decided to use some silk ribbon that I hand dyed…

Magpie's Nest step into the Light (3)

some of the other ingredients I used were scraps of old book page stenciled with plaster (I so enjoy gluing bits of old paper onto old book pages as the papers seem to melt together so beautifully)…pressed flowers between tissue paper… computer generated words and a bit of rubber stamping with a speckled stamp that no longer had any identifying marks on it…

Magpie's Nest step into the Light

thank you for stopping by … I really appreciate your visit …

“At the heart of your being lies the answer.  You know who you are and what you want.” -Lao Tzu


Balance is my true nature…

my 4×6 inch flat canvas began with various scraps of paper glued down for the background and a bit of Artist’s Cement (which is like molding paste but a bit rubbery when dry) stenciled on at the top with a wash of paint…

Magpie's Nest Balance supplies

the circle was a cut out from a long ago project that I still had kicking around

Magpie's Nest Circleand I got to playing with a roll of plaster I had picked up at a thrift shop years ago for the horizontal stripe…

Magpie's Nest Balance is my true nature

I am entering this in the new online monthly mixed media challenge at The Mirror Crack’d for their “Anything (Mixed Media) goes”

Magpie's Nest Balance is my true nature (1)

focusing on balance is definitely a good affirmation for me…

Protect the soul of the universe…

each of us  in our day to day lives have the power to make a difference to help protect our fragile world even though some days it may feel very small…

Magpie's Nest Protect the soul of the universe (2)

thinking about the plight of the honeybee all around the globe inspired two more art journal pages in my gesso journal for this month’s AJJ “living beings” challenge

Magpie's Nest Protect the soul of the universe (1)

(gesso… star tissue paper… peeled map napkin… paint… computer generated words… bee and rubber stamp images)

Magpie's Nest Protect the soul of the universe

“The soul of the soul of the universe is love.” -Rumi

creatures of the sea…

the oceans are full of many living beings…

Magpie's Nest the sea 1

I was inspired to create a spread in one of my gesso journals for the AJJ September Challenge with the round image of a mystery lady…Magpie's Nest the sea 2

toward the end of this month Mr Magpie and I will be taking some time to relax by the sea and twinkle our toes in the sand for a couple of weeks…

Magpie's Nest the sea

“The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure.”  Cornelia Funke

Art Journal Journey September Challenge & The Craft Barn Q&L Challenge

the new theme over at AJJ (thanks again this month to Valerie at Bastelmania) is LIVING BEINGS/ LEBEWESEN” (when I did an online translation of the German word “Lebewesen” the English wordcritter came up too)…

Magpie's Nest GRACE (1)

one of my favorite creatures/critters/living beings for a long time now has been the swan so I created a loose art journal page using assorted scraps of paper (citra solv circles… envelope liner… pattern tissue and more) adding stenciled plaster… gesso and paint to the collaged papers with a bit of Viva Inka-Gold…

Magpie's Nest GRACE

the word “grace” came to me as a nice finishing touch which also led me to some great quotes on grace…

Magpie's Nest My Shadow w phone apps

(a photo I took on a walk of my shadow with my iphone altered with some of my favorite phone apps)

I am also joining in for the first time over at The Craft Barn for their Quote and Lyric challenge theme of “Peaceful and/or Grace …

“You say grace before meals.  All right.  But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.” -K. Chesterton

Rinda’s 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt: Part 2

last month I shared items 1-8 with you here and I have a few more for you now (some of the photos are better if you click on them to enlarge them)…

9. A bakery

sometimes we travel a bit out of our regular stomping ground to visit this nice German style bakery whose chocolate lined fruit tarts are the best…

Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe Arlington, VA

cupcakes have been the rage for sometime now  … I much prefer a fruit tart or scone … but cupcakes are pretty to look at…

Cupcaked Clifton, VA

this is a bakery called Cupcaked in the small town of Clifton, Virginia where there is also a great new papercrafts store in town!

10. A photo bomb (someone found lurking in the background of photo; the lurker may have intended to disrupt the picture or may be doing it unintentionally, but the background lurker is a surprise to the photographer)

Magpie's Nest Museum of the American Indian rooftop

in trying to snap a photo of the National Museum for the American Indian we noticed workers on the domed roof photo bombing our pictures…

Magpie's Nest Museum of the American Indian rooftop (1)

11. A horn

there were lots of great horns in the Washington D.C. Fourth of July parade…

Magpie's Nest 4th of July Wash DC Horns

all manner of horns…

Magpie's Nest Music the International Language

from all over the United States and the banner above says it all “Music The International Language” 

12. A mascot

Wash DC  McGruff crime fighting dog

McGruff the Crime Dog turned his head just as we clicked our photo but you get the idea…his motto is “Take a bite out of crime“…hmmm

13. A sunrise

Magpie's Nest VA Sunrise with Redbud treessunrises from our house are a bit obscured by trees and such but I was able to catch this view through our Redbud trees (I seem to see  lots more sunsets than sunrises!)…

Magpie's Nest Sunrise thru German Lace Curtain

and the gleaming morning sun peeking in through our window by my computer chair (we DO get to enjoy some splendid sunsets just stepping outside our front door in the evenings)

14. A parade

Magpie's Nest 4th of July Wash DC

the Fourth of July in Washington D.C. turned out to be a perfect day with low humidity and pleasant temperatures…

Magpie's Nest 4th of July Wash DC (2)

we had the feeling that people who enjoy a parade would have come out no matter the weather…

Magpie's Nest 4th of July Wash DC (3)

here is a link for the latest scavenger finds over at Rinda’s Gallo Organico…

I will share the remainder of my finds with you in a third and final installment later in September (#15 is proving to be the most illusive)

15. A juggler
16. A sign in a language other than English
17. A lamp post
18. A water fall
19. A public garden
20. A bus (not a car, truck, lorry, camper or RV) with a picture painted on its sides.
21. A photograph of you with something representing the season (recognizing that the season will be Winter for our friends in the southern hemisphere). Note: you may not use a substitute for this item.
If you find something on the list too difficult, you may substitute one of the following items for anything on the list, except for Item #21:
Alternative A: A kite, hot air balloon or blimp
Alternative B: A bird house

art journaling just because…

it had been since July that I played in either of my gesso journals…

Magpie's Nest Gesso art journals

when mystery directions written on a slip of paper popped up inspiration hit me for an art journal spread (I used the original note tearing it in half and using a piece on the corners of each page)…

Magpie's Nest Find Your Way Home journal closeup

some bits of old tissue paper with text on it… torn map paper… washi tape and a few rubber stamps flowed onto the pages along with touches of paint… gesso and Stabilo pencil for shading…

Magpie's Nest Find Your Way Home journal pages

the next day a lovely geisha image turned up on my work table and two more pages came to be…

Magpie's Nest Geisha art journal page

the golden Ginkgo leaf that got separated from other more pristine ones that I had pressed in years past seemed just right (when I decided to look up the symbolism of the Ginkgo I was pleased to find it is popular in Asian art…maybe in the recesses of mind I knew that?)… the golden fan shaped leaves always speak to me…

Magpie's Nest Ginkgo art journal pages

when some of my pressed violets presented themselves along with the thoughtful lady below two more pages materialized (these three spreads were done on and off over about a three day period of time)…

Magpie's Nest While the soul whispers art journal pages

in digging around in my goodie piles I came across lovely scraps of vintage paper that I had plastered along with what I thought was the perfect quote (I have quotes scribbled on little pieces of paper and it is fun when they pop up)…

Magpie's Nest While the soul whispers quote pages

when I get wrapped up in creating everything falls away and sometimes I even forget to stop for a drink of water…

Magpie's Nest refreshing water

this glass tasted especially good out on our back porch when I was snapping photos of my finished pages to share with you

Magpie's Nest Pause that refreshes

here’s wishing everyone a very happy T day along with Elizabeth and Bleubeard… I appreciate your visit here!

Art Joural Journey August “Frida Kahlo” Challenge

today I am sharing what was actually the ‘first’ piece I created for the AJJ Frida challenge

Magpie's Nest Wings to Fly loose leaf journal page (1)

I just wasn’t thrilled with it so I kept putting it aside and creating something else

Magpie's Nest Wings to Fly supplies

I hauled out a lot of ingredients for this a little larger than a postcard size journal page…

Magpie's Nest Wings to Fly loose leaf journal page (2)

the last thing I added was some of the blue Woody Stabilo hitting it with a wet brush and letting it drip a bit…

Magpie's Nest Wings to Fly loose leaf journal page

 the cage dress form stamp was my initial inspiration…

Patty Szymkowicz Frida Sampler for AJJ Aug 2014

here are my creations for the Art Journal Journey’s August Challenge

Magpie's Nest Frida creations(4, 44, 58, 75, 102, 112 and 125)