out with the old and in with the new…

we have lived in the same house for over 32 years which was newly built when we moved in…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-32-yr-old-kitchen

the original cabinets and laminate counter tops were nothing fancy but they served us well over the years (I really liked my stainless steel sink a lot too)…magpies-nest-enclosed-back-porch

since the contractor that did our recent renovations did such a nice job and there happened to be a 25% off cabinet sale we decided to get new white cabinets and counters to update our kitchen…magpies-nest-open-kitchen-shelves

that means moving everything out (Mr Magpie built these shelves for us years ago)magpies-nest-dream-shelf

over the weekend we enjoyed some cherry apple canelé baked at our local Le Pain Quotidien bakery… they were almost as good as the first ones we got to try at a Sunday fresh air market in Libourne, France back in April…
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our tour director introduced us to a gentleman that still made them the old fashioned way brushing the fluted metal molds with beeswax which gave the cannelés a special crunch on the outside YUM (that is a new heart rock that Mr Magpie surprised me with above)…

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it was such a special happening right there on the street that we did not get any good photos of that encounter (the old metal pans were a thing of beauty)…
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2016 has been an exciting year of changes for us…

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not sure how plugged in I will be while the renovations are going on the next couple of weeks because the main computer has to be moved and that is the only way I can do blog posts or comment…magpies-nest-autumn-days

here’s wishing you a Happy November (ALREADY!) and a Happy T Day too as I join everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

October dresses in flame and gold…

magpies-nest-october-right-pagethe free image of the rose lady had been patiently waiting in one of my art journals which is a thin book with glued together pages that I started back in January (still plenty of room in this altered book)magpies-nest-october-poem-simple-abundance

after seeing this October poem in one of my copies of Simple Abundance I knew where my pages would be headed next (the book is inspiring on many levels with lots of quotes and uplifting reading… it is also my favorite go to book when I am doing found poetry which is different than just using verse like I have done here)…magpies-nest-october-left-page

we had some record breaking hot temperatures for a few days and now our Indian Summer has gone and left us with crazy wild winds and much cooler temps so the poem fit that nicely too…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-october

pieces of two different napkins along with some smeared gesso using a plastic pallet knife finished two more pages for Valerie’s Art Journal Journey Indian Summer – Golden October – Autumn challenge

Autumn in Everything…

happy to have some time in the middle of our beautiful Indian Summer days here in Virginia to share two spreads that I created over the last couple of weeks…magpies-nest-autumn-grows-pages

these pages were inspired by an ad for a ballet performance that I clipped from The Washington Post and I just happened to have a stencil that I wanted to play with too…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-autumn-grows

I liked these pages so much I did not want to cover them up but I eventually forged ahead and had fun adding gold paint along with the Robert Browning quote…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-autumn-gold

now for something a little different… these green and gold pages were an attempt to step outside my comfort zone using colors and collage in a different way…

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I am still not crazy about the end result but thought I’d share both spreads with you since I had Valerie’s Golden Autumn theme in mind for Art Journal Journey this month when I created them..


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“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.” -Joe L. Wheeler

Plum Torte time is here again…

 last year around this time I shared the fun of making this delicious plum cake with you heremagpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-real-plum-quote

 there is a link for the recipe there too if you are interested…

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I have been off my game lately when it comes to taking photos and being connected on line…magpies-nest-plum-torte

but I did take a photo of the Plum Torte that Mr Magpie and I whipped up over the weekend…magpies-nest-dogwood

letting it rest overnight after baking as recommended is not easy when the house is full of delicious cake smells…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-life-is-fragile

but like so many things we have to wait for in life it was worth it in the end and so delicious…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-morning-sun-on-ferns

joining everyone over at Elizabeth’s T Stands for Tuesday to wish you a happy day…

crisp in the fall…

the music lady I put together awhile ago waited patiently in one of my art journals until I figured out what was next for her (she was from a catalog and I gave her the music dress)…

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I am joining Valerie’s Art Journal Journey INDIAN SUMMER-GOLDEN OCTOBER-AUTUMN challenge…

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purple paint and yellow glaze along with spiderweb washi tape helped bring my pages to life…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-crisp-in-the-fall-left-page

the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote that I saw in a magazine appealed to me so I printed the words with our computer…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-crisp-in-the-fall-journal-pages

the border on the bottom of the left page along with the leaves were cut from assorted junk mail…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-crisp-in-the-fall-journal-pages-oct-2016

one of Seth Apter’s rubber stamps (on the right) along with some extra brushes of yellow glaze gave a nice finishing touch to my pages…

 

Second on the 2nd for October 2016

it has been awhile since I’ve played along in Elizabeth’s Second look on the 2nd challenge but I thought I would share this post from five years ago which happened to be on the 2nd of October…

button cuff completa…

she kindly sent me home with a blank black elastic cuff stitched and ready to be decorated…

I finally got busy yesterday while watching a little Doc Martin on tv…

it really IS fun to pick through buttons

I like keeping mine in jars

they look like candy…

I have two weddings to go to this month…

my new button cuff may be just the thing to go with my little black dress…

if I made another one I would sew each button on and knot it individually…

I bet that’s what Dot did…

there are about 40+ buttons on my cuff…

a very Happy Birthday to my sister and to my sweet Onkel Sepp (both do not read my blog) AND also to Marit my special bloggie art sister who has some really exciting news to share here

it is Gandhi’s birthday too…

“Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress”~Mahatma Gandhi, 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948

 

summer has flown…

the talented and prolific Valerie chose INDIAN SUMMER-GOLDEN OCTOBER-AUTUMN as October’s Art Journal Journey theme which sends my mind in lots of directions…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-golden-redbud-leaves

just when I think summer might go on forever it turned cooler which is perfect for open windows and warmer clothes...magpies-nest-glow-of-october-rainy-day

we finally got some much needed rain too…magpies-nest-flown-rubber-stamps

soon I will give up running barefoot around the house and get out my cozy slippers…
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autumn makes me think of golden leaves andmagpies-nest-sunset-plane-heading-to-dullesgolden sunsets so I added lots of gold to my scraped paint pages which was tricky to capture in my photos…

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the WONDER page on the right began with an index card that I had made awhile ago…

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~* Happy October *~

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”~ Jim Bishop

teach…

an all time favorite Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song TEACH YOUR CHILDREN  inspired this two page spread for Elizabeth’s BACK TO SCHOOL theme over at Art Journal Journey…magpies-nest-teach-inspiration

I challenged myself to use colors I don’t often use and found a napkin along with some of my mother’s old paints that helped move me in that direction…

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not totally comfortable with my color matching my favorite heavy gesso came to the rescue once again…magpiess-nest-distracted-by-dried-paintthen I got distracted for a bit by my paint tray noticing a small corner of paint sticking up… sure enough the layers of paint peeled out easily and yes I did save those bits for what I am not exactly sure🙂 …magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-rainy-day-fun

then it was back to trying to make my pages work on a lovely rainy day here in Virginia…

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it was fiddly fun cutting and pasting thin pieces of napkin to carry the design from one page to another (that napkin was too good to cover up completely)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-teach-right-page

it took me awhile to get some matching turquoise and greenish yellow for my painted pages…

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some Adirondack BOTTLE stamping ink applied with a wet wipe worked for one part since a lot of my Tim Holtz DISTRESS STAINS seem to have lost their color over time…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-teach-art-journal-pages

a little more doodling with my gold paint pen and my pages are complete (tricky to photograph on a rainy day)…

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good-bye.
Teach your children well,
Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you.
And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.
Teach your parents well,
Their children’s hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.
Songwriters: Graham Nash
Teach Your Children lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Spirit Music Group

forever…

joining in again for Elizabeth’s Art Journal Journey BACK TO SCHOOL challenge with a two page spread in an altered book of mine that surfaced in my recent clean up… magpies-nest-lucilles-memory-book

 Lucille Borschke’s school memory book was given to me by a friend that found it in a thrift shop… 

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she thought I could make use of the vintage photos and bits of this and that in it… 
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seems Lucille was a local girl that attended Notre Dame Academy in Washington, D. C. back in the late 1920’s and her favorite subjects were History, Religion, English and French…

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one of the group photos along with an old dictionary page were what got me started and a couple of rubber stamps came in handy too (FOREVER stamp not shown in photo)…magpies-nest-stamps

the ridged paper on the right is from light bulb packaging (I noticed when my pages were finished how nicely it worked with the background in the photograph) and the postage stamps were from a letter front included in Lucille’s memory book…
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with my father being in the military we moved quite a bit when I was a young girl at all times of the year which made being the “new” girl in class an added adventure… I was quite chatty and made friends easily… I am grateful for memories of a sweet and colorful childhood…

basket case…

before making another run to the local charity shop I snapped a photo for posterity…magpies-nest-appalachian-style-baskets

a couple of years after the birth of our middle son I took a basket weaving class and caught the weaving bug which lasted a fair number of years…

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I sold lots of handwoven Appalachian style baskets (along with dried flowers) at a wonderful fall festival each October taking more classes and broadening my repertoire over the years…magpies-nest-colin-patty-works-of-the-heart-1991

that was then and as we all know things change…

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joining everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover for T Stands for Tuesday…
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“And that is how change happens, one gesture, one person, one moment at a time.” -Libra Bray

 

…a couple of kids…

with September whizzing by I did not want to miss the chance to join in with Elizabeth’s fun theme of BACK TO SCHOOL over at Art Journal Journey…

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while clearing and organizing I have had lots of ideas on the theme and finally took some time to play…magpies-nest-butterfly-atc

not sure how I know this Will Cobb/Gus Edwards song exactly but I couldn’t get the chorus out of my head… that along with an ATC I created some time ago were my inspiration…

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here is some of what went into this spread:  it began with spray painted book pages… stenciling with super heavy gesso… adding bits of monoprint paper, forget-me-not origami paper and deli print paper used to clean up the plastic doily used for stenciling along with some computer generated words on the right… the white flower trim was something that surfaced in my clean up as well

~♥~

“School days, school days Dear old golden rule days Readin’ and ‘ritin’ and ‘rithmetic Taught to the tune of the hickory stick You were my queen in calico I was your bashful barefoot beau And you wrote on my slate, “I love you, Joe” When we were a couple of kids.”

Bountiful September…

before too much more time passes I wanted to join everyone over at Bleubeard and Elizabeth’s T Stands for Tuesday to say hello…

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my focus is still on purging and clearing out while we continue with some home improvements…

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consequently I have not been on the computer much at all…

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♥~ hope you are well and enjoying your September ~♥~

“Wherever you are, be all there.” -Jim Elliot

 

Terminus Tea…

some of you might remember that our son set out on 11 April from Springer Mountain in Georgia walking north on the Appalachian Trailappalachian-trail

encountering all kinds of weather (even some slushy snow for Mother’s Day)…

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the Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only footpath in America with more than 2,000 miles of trail and 250+ shelters…

magpies-nest-colin-szymkowicz-on-the-atthe overall elevation gain makes it equivalent to climbing Mount Everest 16 times…colin-szymkowicz-enjoying-the-walk

each year a couple thousand people try to hike the AT from beginning to end in one season…magpies-nest-colin-at-new-hampshire1

only a few hundred “thru-hikers” as they are called manage to finish the entire hike…Magpie's Nest Colin Szymkowicz Maine

we are extremely happy and excited that our thru hiker reached the northern terminus on 2 September and had some fun at the top  (his trail name is Deuces so it is special that he completed his quest on 2 September)Colin Szymkowicz Deuces has Fun at the top 2 Sept 2016

he said this photo was inspired by the Queen’s Guard (you have to imagine the black bearskin hat and red uniform…our boy has a great sense of humor!)…

Colin Szymkowicz reaches Maine Terminus 2 Sept 2016

in this photo you get a better idea of what the weather conditions were like that day (a bit brisk … his trusty backpack has been with him every step of the way)…at-energy-snacks-snickers (1)

you may remember the Snickers photo we took before he packed his food boxes… there is a tradition on the trail that says your last Snickers bar is your trail fortune as there is a word on one side of each bar…Colin White Blaze Trail fun

he got “Goofball”…
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since I am combining this update with my T Stands for Tuesday post I thought I would include a favorite photo of Colin with our traveling tea cup when we met him in Waynesboro, Virginia back in June…Colin Szymkowicz Woodsman

it took lots of planning and preparation not to mention stamina and determination all along the way…  we are excited and very happy for Colin… he is camping in Acadia National Park for a few days and will be making his way south to Virginia🙂