Category Archives: RAK (Random Act of Kindness)

Happy Mail from Greece…Just Because

several years ago I caved in and joined Facebook after resisting for quite a long time…

for me it was a chance to be in closer touch with family that lived far away but little did I know just how fun and exciting it would actually become…

I  have made some lovely friends from all around the globe and one of them is Eugenia from Athens, Greece who creates and shares a lot of wonderful digital art with stories and thought provoking text and more…

she surprised me by telling me she wanted to send me something…

Happy Mail from Eugenia in Athens Greece

in what seemed like no time at all her package loaded with beautiful Greek postage stamps arrived in our mailbox…

Just Because from Eugenia in Athens

such a treat to open this box that traveled over 5,000 miles (8,000 Kilometers) with Eugenia’s lovely note and thoughtful gifts…

Krocus Kozanis Products tea leaflet (1)delicious and delicate herbal tea made with precious Greek Red Saffron (crocus sativus) like nothing I have ever had before

Krocus Kozanis Products tea leaflet

without leaving our back porch I was transported across the miles enjoying this special cup of tea and friendship in a beautiful cup and saucer Eugenia sent me carefully wrapped in bubble wrap which worked like a charm…

Greek Honey Orange and Saffron Tea

Eugenia explained in her sweet note how the olive tree is an integral element of Greek culture and especially connected to her ancient city of Athens…

Greek Olive tree cup and saucer

a beautiful embossed olive tree is on both sides of the cup which to me always represents extra fine craftsmanship…

Greek Olive tree cup and saucer (1)

Eugenia wrote this about the significance of the olive tree:   “ it was this gift offered by Goddess Athena to the inhabitants of the city, who in honor and gratitude named their city after her.

Goethe Kindness Quote

I couldn’t resist putting the used tea bag onto some card stock to let the rest of the beautiful saffron soak into the paper and of course I will be saving the pretty tea bag papers to use in the future (I already stamped part of a Tim Holtz stamp on one in the fourth photo from the top)…

Greek Olive tree cup and saucer (2)

joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard for T today so very grateful for Eugenia’s beautiful cup of kindness overflowing with generosity and friendship from a place I have always dreamed of visiting ~♥~

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 ♥

sweet surprises tea…

my dear and talented friend Marilla (we met back in the 70’s when we were just babes working in Washington DC) surprised me with the most gorgeous pair of silky soft hand knit socks using superwash merino wool and nylon that she dyed in a colorway inspired by some bluebell photos I shared here last spring…

Judy Post Pin Cushion Marilla Knit Socks

that cute wool snowman pin cushion is a treasured piece my friend Judy Post made for me many years ago…

Moonlight and Laughter by Marilla

I have never had a “real” pair of gorgeous hand knit wool socks like these ever before…such a special special gift … Marilla not only knits beautifully she also spins and dyes yarns that she sells in her Moonlight and Laughter Etsy shop...

Fager's Is Lighthouse Harry Heron

by leaving a day early for a planned five day getaway to Ocean City, Maryland we missed the largest snowfall the Washington DC area has had in about four years…

Assateague State Park

saying goodbye to the pretty white sands of our relaxing getaway we returned home to some deep white stuff  (funny enough the last time we got home from this same spot in December there was an ice event upon our return home)

February 2014 snow

I do L♥ve snow and

backyard winter wonderland

 I also L♥ve having so many kind and thoughtful friendsValentines from Linda Kunsman and Linda Richter

these precious valentine’s arrived in our mailbox from two different really nice and talented Linda’s that I know…

♥Linda Kunsman of heARTfully inspired by Linda

and ♥Linda Richter of Linda Jo’s Obsessions

Assateague Island Foam Heart

as I make my way back into blogland to try and catch up with everyone I am joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard to wish you all a Happy T Day…

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

twas the season…

come and gone so quickly it seems to me…

handmade cards…tags…tip ins and hangings and gifts oh my…

happy-happy-mail-adjusted

with many thanks to so many sweet friends that sent me some really lovely surprises around the holidays…

collage…sorry about the technical difficulties with the lighting on Linda Kunsman’s creations above :(  my photos can hardly do all of these creations justice…I borrowed Mapy’s photos here)…

Fran Podlesney's altered bottle

two local friends created some wonderful altered pieces with such lovely details…

Linda Yeatman's altered salt shaker

you can click twice on any of the photos for a closer look and also find many of the names on my sidebar to your right under *Eye Candy and Inspiration* (although a fair number of my talented friends do not have blogs)Radicchio Bouqet Patty Szymkowicz

I am very grateful for special connections with creative and thoughtful friends all around the globe…

Radicchio Bouquet in a tea cup

sharing my radicchio in a tea cup with you while joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard for T and wishing you a happy last Tuesday of January ...

Light…

not being one to make New Year’s resolutions per se I rather like the idea which seems to be growing in popularity to pick one word for the year…

I like words…

here are a few of mine from years gone by…

2013-word-of-the-year-stretch-a1

Balance

2012 balance-rock-altered

Authentic

2011 Authentic (1)

and this year I chose LIGHT

2014 Pattys Word for  LIGHT

I added the word LIGHT to one of my painted book background’s using Pixlr Express

 Merry and Light

Light(ness) of being…

Light at the end of the tunnel…

Light load…

Light years…

Light and breezy…

let there be Light

I could go on…

“Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space.  It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe.  It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished.”   ~Michael Strassfeld

speaking of special Light

once again I must thank my brilliant and generous blog friend Estivalia of “365 Drawings Project” for solving a problem that has vexed me for some months now…

without me changing anything WordPress no longer allowed photos to be clicked for a closer view and for the life of me I could not figure out what to do to get it working again…

Estivalia offered to help me out and in her concise and amazing fashion (with visuals no less!) she made it clear and easy as to what I could try to fix the problem AND it worked like a charm…

Thank you so very much dear Estivalia for coming to my rescue again and again…

You are amazing and are such a beautiful Light ♥

~* Peace … L♥ve and Light to all *~

a special cuppa…

with chillier weather my thoughts turn again to my favorite homemade chai tea

Yogi Chai Tea

not only does it have health benefits and taste delicious…

Yogi Chai Tea (1)

it makes the house smell really lovely too (the recipe that I shared back in 2008 here has evolved a bit over the years…I now use Coconut Milk instead of dairy or soy)…

Yogi Chai Tea (2)

special thanks to my sweet friend Dot (who does not have a blog) for sending me this lovely tea cup card she made with some special organic Echinacea Plus tea…

sweet card from Dot

inside it reads:

“I wish we could sit down together and have a cup of tea.  But since we can’t, When you have this one I hope you think of me.”

sending all good wishes to each of you as I join Elizabeth and Bleubeard for T today

 

Halloween Week T…

joining Elizabeth again this week for T

DSC08021 mini mum

 Trader Joe’s tempted me with a pot of teeny tiny mums which fit perfectly in a pretty tea cup I received in a swap some years ago here

Frida Pumpkin Chinese Lantern

I haven’t done any Halloween creating this season but am using a few things I had made or collected over the years…

Frida Wooden ATC(I played with Pixlr above using a photo of my wooden Frida Kahlo that I made in a Michael deMeng class a few years ago)…

 some really special surprises arrived in the mail recently…

Magpies Nest Surprise Halloween Mail

Marion in Germany sent me this great postcard and some super rubber stamps … a cool machine stitched card and envelope arrived from Elizabeth and Bleubeard in Kansas = all such FUN!

Bromhilda and Mother Nature 1998

Mr Magpie made a convincing Bromhilda some years ago and I was Mother Nature with real leaves pinned to my dress…

Home Farm Store Middleburg VA (1)

wishing you and yours a happy week full of fun…

* JoY *

thanks to my special Queen Bee friends (QB5) I made my first prayer flags back in August for a swap that not everyone has completed yet (good things are worth waiting for)

Prayer Flag making collage sitting out on our back porch stitching away on pieces of cotton that I monoprinted using a gelatin plate (must admit I didn’t want to cover up much of my printed fabric on the first ones I made)

Magpies Nest SurfaceDesign (5)

off one end of the porch are prayer flags my son gave me last year for my birthday from the Tibetan Prayer Flag company…

if you would like to purchase prayers flags I cannot recommend this company highly enough…Tibetan Prayer Flags thru the curtain

the new flags already a year old now strung with the previous flags to help keep the prayers going…LInda Richter

 here is a lovely flag from my friend Linda in Texas

Margaret Wernerand another beauty from Margaret in Switzerland

Carol Brungar

Carole in New Zealand sent me this special Indian mirror fabric banner that she made which was a little tricky to photograph as it is hanging over our kitchen window…

Linda Kunsman

and another talented and generous artist Linda Kunsman of heARTfully inspired surprised me with this beautiful and uplifting flag a while ago…

Prayer Flags Assorted

left to right: Margaret W, Linda R , mine,  Linda K and mine

there are two very special prayer flag projects going on presently by Jane DeFazio here and Leighanna Light who has a Facebook group that will be sending prayer flags to the Sandy Hook Elementary School families early in January 2013…

*footnote to clarify that Jane DeFazio’s prayer flags are not meant to be mailed…rather anyone can make a prayer flag or flags full of intention and prayers and fly them at home…you can share photos and such by going to Jane’s link above…

Also the deadline for mailing your flags to Leighanna Light is before 3 January 2013 as that is when she will be putting the flags in the mail to Newtown, CT … hope I haven’t confused anyone…

guess I got excited…

if you are not on Facebook and need her mailing address just ask me and I will send it to you*

My Sandy Hook flags

with no small children in the house and very little Christmas madness going on here I have been stitching into the wee hours to add my prayers to those of so many others…

Patty S a Work in Progress

with several more in progress…Patty S My Flag Sampler

and some already at their destinations…

I wanted to share a sweet song called “JOY”  with you that I stumbled upon never having heard of the artist Tracey Thorn before here

be sure to answer when JOY knocks at your door dear ones…

Apricot Passionfruit Tea … Oh My

thanks to a dear friend for surprising me recently with some gorgeous exotic fruit tea

the taste and smell are divine and the color was so lovely too that I didn’t want any of it to go to waste…

it seemed the perfect chance to dip into my stash of white bits of fabric and such…

so I got busy soaking some of the used tea bags squeezing out every drop of color…

you can see how differently each piece took the tea dye…

I will need to try this out on some of my bleached Christmas trees too I think…

good to the last drop…

tea grounds for the garden and tea bag papers and tags for collage…


“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” ~Marcus Aurelius

I am headed out to vote…

Biltmore Garden Tea

our recent getaway to Asheville, North Carolina

(all thanks to generous and kind friends for letting us stay in their beautiful Asheville home!!!)

would not have been complete without a visit to the National Historic Landmark Biltmore Estate  built during the years 1889-1895 by America’s leading architect of that time, Richard Morris Hunt

 still known as America’s largest home the house covers 4 acres, totaling 175,000 square feet with 250 rooms which includes 35 guest and family rooms, 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, and 3 kitchens….

    George W. Vanderbilt worked with the best architects and craftsmen to build a grand escape for family and friends…

inspired by French chateaus but all made in America with gargoyles and all…

no one has lived in the house since the 1950’s but it is still family owned…

we got a two day ticket and spent an entire day in the gardens  tootling around just a small portion of the 8,000 acres…

on the second day we took a really nice audio tour of the inside of the house which gave insight into what it was like to live and work at Biltmore…

the fact that photography was not permitted inside the house proved to be a nice break as I can get a little crazy snapping photos even though it is something I always enjoy…

we did bring the traveling tea cup along and my pretty parasol which gave welcome shade from the sparkling sun…

the Blue Ridge Mountains make a most beautiful backyard and you may find it of interest to read a little bit about the strides in forestry that Vanderbilt started with his vision here

 the Italian Garden with its enchanting lily pools kept calling us back again and again…

it is worth noting that Frederick Law Olmsted, the founder of American landscape architecture, also designed Central Park in NYC and the US Capitol in Washington DC to name just a few of his many accomplishments…

he considered Biltmore his crowning achievement…

it was such a lovely getaway in so many ways…

thank you again Lisa    OXO

next week I have an Asheville “Trash” Tea planned to share with you…

“heart” story tea…

last Tuesday was moving day for our youngest son…

he is now back in his favorite college town where the pace is a bit slower than here in the DC Metropolitan area and hopefully a job will be a little easier to find…

seeing him drive off with all of his belongings stuffed into his car was bittersweet while knowing that it was time for him to move forward…

about an hour after I was rattling around here in the empty nest (mind you we are each enjoying our new freedom) the postman knocked on the door and delivered a package…

the always thoughtful and sweet Sue of My Arts Desire (who I REALLY miss in blogland) totally surprised me with special {heart} gifts and I wanted to share the beautiful story and gifts with you today…

I sat down with my cup of tea and the camera to see what Sue was up to…

her notecard was written on “Jan. 13, 2012″

here is a recap of some of what Sue wrote:

while she was rummaging through a box of goodies she had stuffed away she came across something she’d purchased earlier in the summer to send to me…

she wrapped the framed piece (reveal to follow) in a piece of wonderful hand stitched quilt top and tied it with some pretty hand dyed ribbon and promptly got distracted by her day…

you know how it is…

you pass by the kitchen sink and decide to take care of the dishes…

then the dog needs some outdoor time and so on…

 in the middle of that Sue felt the urge out of nowhere to visit my blog …

she hasn’t posted on her blog since last summer so this was quite significant too…

it happened to be the day of my “13” post remembering our Alex

Sue has a heart of gold and said how moved she was by the Tracy Chapman song and what I had shared in my blogpost…

she figured out that the swan she picked up at a great bargain (25% off the lowest price…that’s why she left the sticker on) was about 200 days before…

so what were the chances that on this day …

well you know

we both believe there really are no coincidences in this life …

to quote Sue just a bit here: “…In my world and way of thinking it happened for a reason.  I would like to believe it was a message sent straight from heaven to you, from your precious boy, Alex, saying “I miss and love you too…”

WOW…

Yes and thank you both for touching my heart and Mr Magpie’s SO sweetly!!!

wishing one and all a really special T Tuesday…

be sure and visit Kimmie for not necessarily just tea



…a thousand different things

my little 1931 Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Encyclopedia art journal has been calling me…

inspiration began with the sweet pouty girl from Land of Nod and a sacred heart image I had on hand

her hallo is from my sweet friend Trish’s wedding

her groom’s great grandmother made THE most delicate and delicious wedding cookies that she tucked into silver paper cups at each place setting…

the two photos above were taken indoors…

 notice the difference in the color of the photos below taken out on our back porch where I go for “perfect” light…

torn Citra Solv treated paper along with some special gold patterned paper for the background…

black and white rubons and a white poster pen for some added highlights…

I have a collection of Kim Edwards’ quotes from her moving book “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter”

that piece of pretty lace has been waiting for some time now…

* * *

the sweet and talented Jean of Bluebirds Living in the Meadow recently sent me some really special treats…

including some magical gompi/gampi tissue paper

sometimes it takes me awhile to dive into goodies…

I know I will find the right time to make the best use of these gifts…

Jean  even gifted me with copies of her painted swan collage sheet images to use in my artwork…

 swans are just one of the things we each hold dear…

she tucked in one of her wonderful faux wool felted flowers too AND the amazing silver tea strainer…

I had never seen anything quite like it before…

precious gifts from a precious friend who I hope to meet in person some day!!!

I am a bit behind in thanking so many thoughtful and generous people here in blogland…you know who you are … thank you dear ones      OXO