Meeting in Paris…

our last full day in Paris had been planned and anticipated for many months as a special blog friend from Germany took the train to Paris the day before to meet us and spend the day with us…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Notre Damewe were all atwitter with excitement…

Magpie's Nest Arc de Triomphe 1836I knew from corresponding with Sabine that her English was excellent and it turns out her French is great too…

Sabine Jim and Patty on the BigBus Paris Tourwe three got along like peas in a pod playing tourist hopping on and off the BigBus pinching ourselves that there we were in Paris together meeting for the first time…

IMG_5090 Sabine and Jim map readersSabine and Jim were busy reading maps on one of the 37 bridges that cross over the Seine River…

IMG_5149 Sabine t cupMr Magpie snapped a photo of Sabine and I warming up with a nice cup of Earl Grey tea (the friendly waiter was curious about the traveling teacup so we explained how it gets around)…

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz Patty Sabinefrom beginning to end it was such a delightful day…

Magpie's Nest last night in Paris April 2016as we stepped out of the cafe where we had enjoyed a memorable dinner near our hotels La Tour Eiffel was doing her hourly five minute sparkle dance which never gets old…

Gifts from Sabinethanks so very much to dear Sabine for making the trip all by herself and she came bearing gifts too sharing some delicious treats from the town where she lives YUM YUM

~♥Vielen Dank, mein liebe Freund ♥~

Magpie's Nest golden moments in Parishere’s wishing everyone a Happy T Day over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover oxo

“…God knows, when spring comes to Paris the humblest mortal alive must feel that he dwells in paradise….it is the intimacy with which his eye rests upon the scene. … A man does not need to be rich, nor even a citizen, to feel this way about Paris…” –Henry Miller

 

April in Paris…

our tour of France was oh so delightful from beginning to end…

Magpie's Nest Paris lifeParis was every bit as magical as I remembered…

Magpie's Nest La Tour Eiffel it was exciting to have the chance to make new memories…

Magpie's Nest April in Pariswe began our trip with a special meetup with Chris and her husband across town at the Montparnasse Tower

Magpie's Nest Montparnasse street signit was so nice of them to take time out from their visit to Paris from the UK to treat us to coffee and treats at the Le Ciel de Paris restaurant (The Sky of Paris) on the 56th floor (Chris ordered in French!)…

Magpie's Nest Chris Patty The Sky of Parisooh la laa it was a perfectly wonderful spot and Chris and Tony were great at pointing out the sights and getting us oriented…

Magpie's Nest The Traveling Tea Cup and La Tour Eiffelour husband’s were very good sports letting us chatter away…

Magpie's Nest views from Montparnasse TowerI was so excited I didn’t take any photos…

Magpie's Nest Panoramathe views of Paris were spectacular…

Magpie's Nest Montparnasse Tower viewit was definitely a “pinch me” moment to be in Paris AND to meet a blog friend that felt like an old friend as we have so much in common…

Chris B Momento holder front and backChris surprised me with a lovely momento holder that she made (front and back above)…

Chris B Momento holder insideit was the perfect size for carrying along and keeping all of those tickets and special bits I wanted to save…

Chris B Momento holder at workthank you so much Chris for making our meeting happen and for your kind and generous ways along with your sweet anniversary wishes…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz flagswishing everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover a Happy T Day as I unpack and go through photos settling  back into “real” life here in Virginia…

 

anticipation…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Time Mandalathe days just before a trip are a wonderful and exciting time full of anticipation…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Easter tulipseven though Spring is a favorite time of year here in the Washington, D.C. area the thought of April in Paris delights me no end…Lilacs starting to bloom

Mr Magpie and I will be celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary in France which is a dream come true for me for several reasons…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Dish mandalaever since I took a wonderful solo nine week trip to Europe as a young woman many many years ago I thought how lovely it would be to return to Paris with someone special

Patty Szymkowicz slides from Paris long agorecently I came across a box of slides from my trip and am sharing a handful that were taken in France (the ones of me thanks to strangers)…Patty Mahoney Szymkowicz Chartres, France I believeI pretty much lived in that yellow waterproof coat (funny because yellow is not a favorite color of mine to wear now at all…oooh the memories and the things I realize I had forgotten after looking at some photos)…

Patty Szymkowicz UK to Franceconsidering my camera was surely nothing fancy (no clue what it was) and certainly not digital I did get a few nice shots (thanks to Mr Magpie for scanning the slides to view as photos… hopefully we can digitize all of my slides one day)… Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Viola Muscari2

we have a couple of extra special treats in store for us this trip as we are getting to meet up with two blog friends: Chris from the UK (Metro strike willing) who is in Paris right now and Sabine who will be traveling by train from Germany to spend our last day in Paris with us (SO exciting!!!)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Souvenir of Parisa few more sleeps and off we go with our traveling tea cup…

Patty Szymkowica Taking TIme to TravelI am joining everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover to wish you a very Happy T Day and a lovely April too…

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

 

Keep it Light…

our son is home from Colorado getting ready for his next big adventure which is hiking the Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail

yes you read that right… beginning in Georgia he’ll be WALKING north for almost 2,200 miles (3,540 kilometers) April to possibly September/October enjoying nature and sleeping under the stars…

AT energy snacks snickers

 Snickers candy bars are a bit of a tradition on the trail because they offer high energy and calories (walking so many miles each day it is not hard to burn anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 calories)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz gratitude hand silk thread

in an effort to keep down the backpack weight hikers often have additional supplies and food sent that they can collect at various points along the trail (a good bit of planning goes into that)… 

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz wheels keep turning

quite an exciting time for our nature guy and for us as Mr Magpie and I prepare for our trip to France in April…

Magpie's Nest Aristole quote with Bluets

in keeping with sharing a drink for T Stands for Tuesday here is a really nice slender water bottle that I picked up at the stationary store of all places…

Contigo water bottle

I have missed visiting with everyone lately as I have been away from the computer alot… 

Magpie's Nest Maidenhair fern planter

here’s wishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover… 

“Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light”   -Yogi tea bag inspiration

Peter Rabbit …

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Peter Rabbit teamy sweet mother made this little two and a half inch Peter Rabbit many years ago (back in March of 2002)… she was inspired after visiting a tribute to Beatrix Potter at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. and standing next to a five foot tall Peter Rabbit statue in the exhibit…

Magpie's Nest peter rabbit she could not wait to get home and make a miniature version… the green moss she had glued on the end of his handmade carrot has worn away with time…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz tea timeI am raising my tiny cabbage style tea cup to wish you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

Magpie's Nest Sun bunny

~* thank you very much for stopping by *~

“I carry you with me into the world, into the smell of rain & the words that dance between people & for me, it will always be this way, walking in the light, remembering being alive together.”   –Brian Andreas … StoryPeople

 

March Blooms…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz collage with a themepart of what has had me distracted from blogging lately is Misty Mawn’s fabulous Make/Do Art Workshop

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz 5x5 Put the kettle onsince there is a “tea” reference in one of my 5×5 collage pieces I thought I would share it here for T Stands for Tuesday

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Sixteen 5x5s“collage with a theme” was a recent assignment where we were to create multiple (think 25!) 5×5 inch collages finished with unifying color…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz 5x5 stackedI managed to create 16 and I am not quite sure what my theme was exactly…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Pixlr Kindness stickeralthough nature and nurture seem to come up a lot for me…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Robin RedbreastI selected various black and white clip art images adding them to my painted backgrounds adding yellow ochre highlights…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Blooming Marchas I have mentioned before Misty is a really wonderful teacher and an inspiring artist who shares SO much in her classes (no affiliation just a grateful repeat student)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz March Blooms

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”
-William Wordsworth

Little Free Library…

walking is something I really enjoy and always mean to do more of…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz right of way path

I do find that getting out early in the day is my best plan before I sit down at the computer and time evaporates…

 Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz take a walk

we have some nice bike paths joining several neighborhoods that cross little creeks and meander through the woods and open spaces…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz approach

have you heard about the Little Free Library literacy program with book exchanges in 50 U.S. states and 70 countries around the globe (as of Jan 2016 there were 36,000 registered)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz LittleFreeLibrary

one was installed along a favorite walk of ours a couple of years ago…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz LittleFreeLibrary Info

as I have been in clearing out mode on and off for awhile now I try to grab a handful of books to leave there when I think of it…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz departure

there is also a Little Free Library at our favorite supermarket…

Mom's Little Free Library Herndon VA

MOM’s Organic Market in Herndon…

Mom's Little Free Library Builder

after a trip to the market the other day I just had to pull over on the way home to buy a couple of packs of pretty violas…

Patty Szymkowicz Violas

I popped them into assorted chipped cups and containers so I could enjoy some inside and outside too…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Spring Whispers

then I had a little fun playing with them on my iPhone using assorted apps (Diana, DistressedFX and PixlrExpress are my favorites)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Becca Lee quote

here’s wishing you a Happy T Day

“And as she fell apart her shattered pieces began to bloom – blossoming until she became herself exactly as she was meant to be…” -Becca Lee

the beating of her he♥rt…

so much of what I create comes from scraps of this and that handy on my work table…

Magpie's Nest Patty szymkowicz Affection

it was a nice surprise to come across a piece of a copy of my heart rhythm from an electrocardiogram done years ago…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz changedthe lady with her parasol is a TAP transfer on tea bag paper…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz the beating of my heartjoining Art Journal Journey’s “If Music Be the Food of Love” where there is an incredible amount of creativity…

“We know so little of the why, what the universe is, what infinity is. The veil around us is very fragile.” -Conor McPherson

 

cause for celebration…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Ranunculus with phone appsa little over an hour’s drive away in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley there is a lovely French Country Inn

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz L'Auberge Provencale B&Bwith beautiful historic buildings and grounds…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Garden viewtheir logo: “Escape to Provence. No passport required.” sounded just right to us as we were celebrating Mr Magpie’s birthday…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz fresh airit was a perfect place to unplug and unwind and feast…

Mr Magpie birthday treatstheir elegant and delicious La Table Provencale Restaurant and Bar were full of taste tempting delights (the expert  friendly staff added to our visit)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz this was a bit of a practice run for the two week tour of France we have planned to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary this April…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz L'Auberge Provencale #10here’s wishing you a very Happy T Day along with everyone else over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Love…

 

Herz… serce… cœur… hjerte… hart… cuore… heart…

February is known as “heart month”…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz LOVE collageSt Valentine’s Day and heart health awareness are a couple of  reasons…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Gratitude heart's memory

as it happens two very special people close to my heart were born in February (Mr Magpie and Alex)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Guatemalan ProverbI have a HE♥RT Category  for my blog posts that have hearts in them…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz blooming indoorsback in the 1990’s I had a little business called “Works of the Heart” and I sold hand woven baskets… orphan pieces of china filled with dried flowers and herbs… wreaths and decorations made out of dried fruits… cinnamon ornaments and more (this photo shows me along with a small sampling of my wares … WOW those glasses)

Patty Szymkowicz Works of the Heartthen life took a drastic turn and everything changed…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz altered candy boxI recently had fun playing with hearts and paper and paint and enjoyed making a few cards…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz 2016 ValentinesMr Magpie picked up that sweet Angel Vine heart and tiny pot of pink roses for me beating the 14 February flower rush…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Angel vine heart with roseshere’s wishing you a very Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Felted Wool Valentinethank you very much for your visits…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Full Heart quote on tulip petalsyou help fill my he♥rt again and again…

 

 

 

bleu… blue… blau… azul… blu… blauw…

inspiration for these art journal pages began with an ArtChix Studio 2002 BLUE Image sheet… I am always drawn to cyanotype images…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Blue right pagethe small squares are from a resized photo of an inchie collage I made a few years ago…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Blue left pagemy blue Stabilo pencil came in handy for shading along with a bit of musical tape so I am joining with Art Journal Journey’s February challenge “If Music Be the Food of Love“…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz BLUE Art Journal Pages“I met a girl who sang the blues, And I asked her for some happy news, But she just smiled and turned away” -Don McLean

creating Love always…

there was a time after our son’s death in 1999 when I thought I might never make anything again…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Love in progress

all my life I have enjoyed doing things with my hands inspired by creative and busy parents…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Love in progress 2

several years after Alex’ death I took a class on embossing on velvet with rubber stamps (with thanks to everyone at ARTFULLY SCRIBED in Herndon Virginia… wish they were still in business)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Love Aleays background

 creating a few accordion books with embossed velvet covers after that class brought me back from the brink and had me headed toward the mixed media life I now enjoy so much…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Love in progress 3

this time of year with the anniversaries of loved one’s passings and birthdays that they aren’t here to celebrate I have to work extra hard to try and keep my balance and not sink or fade away…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Love Always Closeup

I am so very grateful for the community of creative souls that I get to connect with here and thank each of you for being a part of my healing journey…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz LOVE Always(9 x 12″ on watercolor paper)

I am joining Art Journal Journey’s February challenge “If Music Be the Food of Love“ along with Paint Party Friday where I am still a newbie and so happy to feel inspired to play more with paint…

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I am going is what inspires me to travel it.”
― Rosalía de Castro

(I just noticed this is blogpost #2000 since I started blogging in 2007)

the work of our hearts…

another spread in an altered book for the Art Journal Journey February challenge “If Music Be the Food of Love“

Magpie's Nest beginning pagestorn pieces of a vintage 1911 invoice (I used the original instead of a copy like I might have done in the past) … German book text… and a digital collage on the right of L♥ve stitcheries and assorted buttons…

Magpie's Nest TAP transfer onto book paperthe birds are from my photograph made into a TAP transfer and ironed onto book text

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Hands to Heart CreateHazel’s challenge for AJJ this month is an inspiring one…

Michael Bridge heart and hands quote