Category Archives: Nature

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

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   

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…

♣ 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

Traveling Tea Cup Snow Days…

almost 7 inchesMarch came in like a lion yesterday here in Northern Virginia dumping a nice bit of ice and snow on us closing schools and businesses…

3 March 2014 Snowour traveling tea cup did not have to travel far to enjoy some lovely white stuff…

Traveling Tea Cup of Snow

full of anticipation I placed the tea cup and saucer on top of a barrel planter just off the back porch…

snowglobe in back garden

baking some mixed berry scones was a nice way to warm up the house and feel cozy along with sipping some delicious French press coffee (we traded in our electric drip coffee maker for the French press last year and like it a lot)…

Mixed Berry Scones and French Press Coffee

joining with Elizabeth and Bleubeard this Fat Tuesday and wishing you a happy and cozy day…

winter daze…

after having a couple of days of spring like temperatures we are back to business as usual here in Northern Virginia…

February Window

 our green bay window is always a nice respite from the gray and brown of winter with sunshine filtering in through German lace curtains…

Tillandsia Feb Bloom

and I got an extra thrill when I discovered the Tillandsia was blooming again this year…

Sedum Rose

a good number of these plants belonged to our youngest son as they did not fit in his car when he packed up and moved to Colorado a couple of summers ago…

fancy Begonia Limoges sugar bowl

in a few months when it warms up enough the plants will enjoy their place on our shady back porch where they seem to flourish in our humid and warm temperatures…

Lady with Aloe Vera Hair

joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard as snowflakes are gently falling (we are expecting a dusting today and tomorrow)…

an early Valentine…

part of a class assignment in Misty Mawn’s FULL CIRCLE Workshop was to create a “day in the life” photo collage and poem…

Pin cushion I made for my Mom

photos are something I enjoy taking each and every day but releasing words and emotions can be a bit more challenging…

Snowheart

on an icy day recently I snapped lots of photos using my favorite Pixlr along with Misty’s generous class instructions to make a collage/mosaic…

Lady Love

the heart in the center below was created out on our back porch in January when our weather went from very cold to much much warmer in an instant steaming up a mirror…

Happy Birthday in Heaven Sweet Alexander

 I lit a candle and wrote a little Love note to our son Alex

Heart for U

wishing you and yours a lovely Valentine’s Day and may each and every day be filled with L♥ve Sweet L♥ve…

“chipped and broken 
this heart anchors me in ice

warmed by L♥ve
my frozen fears turn into dust

to shine and glow 
…still…”  

~Patty Szymkowicz

*please send healing prayers and get well wishes to a most beloved artist and blog friend Dorthe Hansen*

sweet tea…

fresh flowers are most welcome any time of year in my opinion and I find that in mid winter the delicate fragrance of hyacinth blooms and the elegant beauty of tulips are especially sweet…

Hyacinth and Tulips

the little child’s tea pot lost its lid long ago and the precious espresso pin cushion was created by my friend Nathalie

mini teapot and Nathalie's pin cushion cup

I am joining in with Elizabeth and Bleubeard again this week and wishing you lots of sweet moments

Christie's Beautiful Valentine Postcard

speaking of sweet look at the wonderful mixed media gelli print postcard that just arrived in my mailbox (THANK YOU so much dear Christie♥)…

Sugar Pie Honey Bunch...

“Water is the mother of tea, a teapot its father, and fire the teacher.” ~Chinese Proverb

nature soothes…

on Monday, 13 January, our temperature soared to 60 degrees (16 C) which is not really typical weather in Northern Virginia this time of year

Great Falls Potomac River VA

we decided to take advantage of the blue skies and air ourselves out a bit...

Great Falls Hearts

we drove to nearby Great Falls Park on the Virginia side looking across the Potomac River to Maryland…

Great Falls Park Virginia

the sound and sight of the rushing water was captivating…

Great Falls Sparkle bubbles

we stood for a long while watching the bubbles in the water sparkle like diamonds in the sun (you can click or double click to see the sparkle)…

Great Falls VA Jim Szymkowicz

hard to believe that people actually kayak those waters…

Virginia Great Falls Park

the park can get quite busy on summer weekends so we enjoyed the relative solitude of visiting on an off season weekday…

Great Falls Park Blue Heron

Mother Nature always offers sweet surprises…

gift of bubbles to blow

 another special surprise that we discovered on a sign post at a less traveled part of the park way above the falls was a tube of bubble soap…

Bubble fun

Mr Magpie and I took turns blowing bubbles and then returned the tube for some other lucky someone to play with…

Roots and Fungi

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” ~John Burroughs

Potomac River edgethank you so much ♥ family ♥ friends and nature OXO

2013 Traveling Tea Cup Review…

joining in with Elizabeth and Bleubeard for the first T Stands for Tuesday of the new year sharing part 2 of my tea review to wrap up 2013…

magpies-nest-traveling-t-cup-2

our Traveling Tea Cup traveled overseas in June and had the chance to meet up with three different sweet and lovely blog friends

Traveling T Cup quote

we took it on another plane trip to visit our son in November…

Christkindl markt Denver CO

where we discovered a Christmas Market in downtown Denver, Colorado of all places…

Bluebell Traveling Tea Cup

we took it out in nature quite a bit locally to visit favorite blooming events like the Bull Run bluebells and Washington, DC Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossom Traveling Tea Cup

2013 turned out to be the year of the Wisteria for us…

dumbarton-traveling-t-cup-stone-wall

as we were lucky enough to catch it in bloom at three different gardens over the span of about a month…

longwood-gardens-wisteria-sampler

which included the out of state gardens of Longwood

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup at Longwood

 and Chanticleer in May of 2013…

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup

in late June and July we visited a local garden that had the most magnificent water lily and lotus ponds which delighted us on several visits and kept us busy snapping hundreds of photos…

square-paper-parsol-traveling-tcup

we are looking forward to visiting a lot of these local spots again this year…

2013 Traveling T Cup Nature

thank you for joining me throughout the seasons with your always supportive and thoughtful comments…

Atlantic Ocean Traveling T cup (2)

I appreciate everyone’s visits even if you do not leave a comment…cup of kindness

“We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet/ for auld lang syne…”  ~Robert Burns