Second on the 2nd for July … Swans

altered books have fascinated me since early in 2000 and I have always admired swans…

Grab button for Second on the 2nd

today I am revisiting a post from July 2008 and joining with Elizabeth’s second look on the 2nd of the month … here goes:

Swan * Schwan * Cygne * Cisne * Labed

 Here is the latest spread in my Garden/Nature themed altered book.

I think I could almost do an entire book on just swans. I find them fascinating!
An arch I made for a Gothic Arch challenge back in February was my inspiration. I used a Lovely Paper Whimsy girl and gave her African butterfly wings.

Magpie's Nest swan-mate4lifeEvery culture from ancient times seems to have some Swan lore.

In Navajo tradition, the Great White Swan can call up the Four Winds. The Great Spirit will use swans to work its will.

In India, it was the swan that lay the Cosmic Egg on the waters, from which Brahma sprang. The Swan was the vehicle of Brahma’s wife, Saraswati, the Goddess of Wisdom, Education, and Music. In Hindu tradition, swans represent the perfect union, and the spirit of Brahma.

Swans appear throughout Irish folklore. An Otherworldly bird, they are often the disguise of Fairy Women. At certain times of year when the veils between the worlds are thin, such as Summer Solstice, Beltaine or Samhain, a swan maiden can transform herself back into a human.

The swan is a totem of beauty and grace. As in the story of the Ugly Duckling, it connotes inner beauty as well.Magpie's Nest swan-herd

Many healers use a swan feather in smudging and healing ceremonies. The swan is master of the elements Earth, Air and Water, and is an excellent guide to the therapeutic powers of these elements. A swan feather tied to an instrument such as a harp would be a powerful adjunct to music therapy.

To the long list of interesting facts, swans usually mate for life. Also, they are not ‘mean’ but will attack when provoked or protecting a nest.

Thank you Jean, I got to use that Lovely page you sent me again from your bird book :)

“For his heart was in his work, and the heart giveth grace unto every Art.” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Forget-me-not…

Patty Szymkowicz Painted Lady Fern Forget me notsa pot of summer blooming Forget-me-nots that I planted last year has gently spread among our Japanese painted ferns just off the back porch…

Patty Szymkowicz Forget-me-not T Pot

it is such a sweet little flower and the delicate blues really speak to me…

Patty Szymkowicz Forget me Not boot collage

the blooms that were hanging over the stone border into the lawn were begging to be picked and I just happened to have a tiny china boot that made a nice vase …

Patty Szymkowicz Tiny boot Forget me nots

and then I remembered one of my basket girls from Japan (the beautiful English Bone China cup belonged to my sweet mother-in-law)…

Patty Szymkowicz Forget me not girl

as will happen one thing led to another and I finished another chip board piece in my tea cup journal using cut out blooms from some of my photos and a Lord Byron quote…

Patty Szymkowicz with postage stamp or without

still deciding with the postage stamp or without as my thought was to keep each cup rather simple (it is a challenge for me sometimes to leave open space)…

Patty Szymkowicz Tea Cup Journal

just a couple more cups to go and I can show them all to you…

Patty Szymkowicz tiny forget me not boot

thank you very much for stopping by to visit…

Patty Szymkowicz faded flower girl

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

tell me everything…

being in a house with all males for years (Mr Magpie and three sons) I have had to learn how to get them talking… not sure if this is a female or male thing exactly…

Patty & Jim Turks & Caicosall I know is when the boys would come home from school if I asked them “how was your day?” I would most likely get a one word answer… so I came up with questions like “what was the funniest thing that happened today?” and it was amazing sometimes what all was revealed…

Patty Szymkowicz Tell Me Everything

the found poetry on my gesso journal page along with one of my moo cards brought that all to mind…

Patty Szymkowicz Tell Me Everything journal pages

two more pages for AJJ’s “Masculine/Feminine” and Mix-it-Monthly’s “The Facial Profile”

Patty Szymkowicz Tell Me

and I am joining in with Moo Mania and More for their “Numbers” challenge...

a day…

 new pages in one of my gesso journals (I can only declutter for so long and then I have to play!)…

Patty Szymkowicz Gesso Journal pages

paint and paper and bits of old lace curtain…

Patty Szymkowicz a day left and right

I have been drawn to those words before…

Patty Szymkowicz  a day journal pages

my pages fit Mix it Monthly’s “A Facial Profile” and AJJ’s “Masculine/Feminine” challenges…

Patty Szymkowicz Sedum Blooms

we are enjoying some surprise blooms on one of our succulents … 

Love your neighbor…

Patty Szymkowicz Delphinium Vase

a bunch of beautiful blue delphiniums jumped into my shopping cart the other day…

Patty Szymkowicz flower press

which led to some of them ending up in my flower press…

Patty Szymkowicz Delphinium Bluesnext thing I knew I was playing with flowers from the garden and making a mandala (I miss Dawn’s Mandala Monday’s and her beautiful organic creations!)…

Patty Szymkowicz Lily Mandala

I am in the midst of a long overdue clean out … it feels good to let go of things but it is a lot of work (we’ve filled up our car trunk several times dropping items off at charity shops and also recycling lots of bags of paper and cardboard)…Patty Szymkowicz Summer Thyme

all of that has kept me away from the computer lately and I have missed visiting everyone as I normally would …

Patty Szymkowicz Lavender Daze t cup

I did take some time to play and alter another cup in my tea cup journal using sprigs of pressed lavender with a piece of single ply tissue glued on top (the green background is one of the security envelopes I had in my vast “collection”)…

Patty Szymkowicz summertime on the back porch

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

Patty Szymkowicz Stone Face

“There’s no Black, White, Asian, or Latinos. The only “RACE” is the “HUMAN-RACE”.” -Henry Johnson Jr 

beautiful music…

two more art journal pages created in a small 1931 dictionary that I started playing with back in 2008 (I know that seems so long ago…soon it will be full)…Patty Szymkowicz Funk Wagnallsthis spread fits the AJJ “Masculine – Feminineand Mix it Monthly “the Facial Profile challenges…

Patty Szymkowicz Beautiful Music together pages

I played with a newspaper image of the couple adding gesso and paint 

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz beautiful music together

 creating a new painted shirt with forget-me-not torn tissue bits…

Patty Szymkowicz lavender on book Cohen quote

Purple Haze…

the lavender is blooming in our Virginia garden which is something I look forward to each and every June…

Patty Szymkowicz Lavender Daze

I have woven so many lavender wands over the years I have lost count (we have several established plants of the Lavandula x. intermedia cv. Grosso variety)…Patty Szymkowicz 2015 Lavender Wand Weaving

the fragrance is very soothing and with it comes lots of sweet memories of time spent with friends…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Lavender collage

some years ago after a fun afternoon on the back porch with special friends (Lennie, Judy and Jo Ann) making lavender wands… enjoying lunch and chatting…

Patty Szymkowicz Lavender Rose Pinecone Twine

our youngest son dubbed us ” The Lavender Ladies“…

Patty Szymkowicz Lavender Nest Weaving

this year I tried my hand at weaving a little lavender nest…

Patty Szymkowicz small cup with nest

it was fun to try but not nearly as relaxing as weaving with ribbon...

Patty Szymkowicz Lavender Love

I have shared lots about lavender here since I began blogging back in 2007…
Patty Szymkowicz Lavender

if you are interested in learning more about weaving and other things lavender you can click on the word Lavender just before the comments section in the line titled “This entry was posted in ….” and keep scrolling through the blog posts which all relate to lavender in some way (it’s in light grey on my screen)…

Patty Szymkowicz 2015 Lavender Wands

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

full of grace …

this month’s rotation of our local Mixed Media Collaborative altered book round robin brought me my friend Linda Yeatman’s “Women” themed book…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Linda Y's altered book

I glued together some of the pages and tore a hole in the center ones… 

Patty Szymkowicz Blank Pages

the book stayed like that for some time while Mao Zedong’s  “Women hold up half the sky” quote kept swirling in my head…

Patty Szymkowicz Full of Grace beginning pgs

 once I got busy everything began to flow…

Patty Szymkowicz Webster's Dictionary

I created some pressed flower fusion paper using part of a “W” page from a big old dictionary that someone had unsuccessfully tried to hold together with duct tape for the background …Patty Szymkowicz Flower Fusion paper dictionary pg

a Leonardo da Vinci drawing of the head of a woman in profile seemed just right behind the peekaboo netting window I created…

Patty Szymkowicz pgs 1&2 close ups

here is part of the view when you turn the window page to reveal pages 3 & 4 of my spread below…

Patty Szymkowicz pgs 3&4 close ups

it was such fun finding bits of this and that to build onto my collage paper backgrounds where I used napkin, stamped tissue paper, pattern tissue, pressed flower fusion paper, plastered vintage book text, paper doily, netting, assorted lace and other embellishments including computer generated text along with touches of white gesso…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Full of Grace pgs 1&2

I am joining in with Art Journal Journey’s “Masculine-Feminine” challenge this month…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Final Pages 3&4

 and Mix it Monthly’s  “The Facial Profile” challenge

full of promise T …

thank you for visiting today as I join everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover for T Stands for Tuesday

Patty Szymkowicz blooms to come

the garden is so full of promise and has grown alot after a recent heat wave which was followed by five days of lovely gentle rain…

Patty Szymkowicz Raindrops

after that we had some nice sunny and breezy days perfect for opening the windows and airing out…

Patty Szymkowicz Lavender Pink Fairy Rose

another big warm up is bearing down on us and soon it will be time to start cutting the Lavender

Patty Szymkowicz T Cup art journal bister

I put some finishing touches on another page for my tea cup journal using a piece of scrap paper for the background

Patty Szymkowicz Fronts & Backs tea cup journal

“Remember to breathe. It is after all, the secret of life.”  -Gregory Maguire

Second on the 2nd for June…Irish Tea

it is time again for Elizabeth’s second look at a favorite blog post from our archives and since it is also T Stands for Tuesday I thought I would select a favorite post that had to do with tea and combine the two …

Patty Szymkowicz daisy t pot

here goes (I disabled any links that are no longer working):

Craft Imaginarium: Irish Tea

there is a new monthly challenge blog I found out about on Eliza’s blog … this month’s theme is all about “tea”

it has been a while since I altered a piece of cutlery … my tea spoon was hammered flat and the  holes were drilled by Mr Magpie

Magpie's Nest Irish-tea-spoon-closeup

some old earrings and glass beads …the little girl is from Paper Whimsy


the ‘netting’ bags are from Mighty Leaf tea bags that I slit open after several cups of tea … I save tea bags … what fun to finally find a use for some

Magpie's Nest Irish-tea-spoon

*you can double click for the closeup*

be sure and visit the Craft Imaginarium for challenge details and have a look at some wonderfully creative art!

#80 “Bread and water can so easily be toast and tea” ~Unknown 

from the “365 Things Every Tea Lover Should Know” … thank you Judy P

Venida rules the waves …

Magpie's Nest gesso and paper collage startin going thru some of my paper stash(es) lately I have come across some perfect bits for a couple more pages in one of my gesso journals (I am recycling lots of paper in the process too!)…Magpie's Nest Tide Charts

torn bits of tide chart and map from one of our favorite stateside beach getaways…

Magpie's Nest Venida finished

the lovely Venida is from the cover of a vintage hair net package that I picked up one year on a trip to Florida…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Venida rules the waves

joining in with Art Journal Journey’s “The Sea” challenge again before it is time for a new theme for June…

Magpie's Nest Parasol Patty Ocracoke Island

I do enjoy the sea especially when I can find a bit of shade…

the sea lives…

more sea pages for my art journal using bits I had leftover from creating my friend’s mermaid pages with inspiration from a stamped mermaid tail  (some Glossy Accents gave it a wet look)…

Patty Szymkowicz the sea tail

I layered torn strips of turquoise tissue paper with shimmery dots embedded in it on top of my painted book pages (the camera doesn’t want to show those)…

Patty Szymkowicz Seahourse Rhapsody

tearing bits of peeled decorative napkin which included a couple of happy seahorses…

Patty Szymkowicz mermaid rhapsody

and a mermaid that did not want to be left out…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz the sea lives

joining Mix it Monthly’s “A Happy Couple” challenge along with Art Journal Journey’s “The Sea” (my other contributions for AJJ are #125 & 133)..

“The sea lives in every one of us.” -Wyland

fairy garden tea…

Patty Szymkowicz Mrs Cardinal Pause

feeling grateful for some lovely weather lately with time to sit out and enjoy nature on our back porch…

Patty Szymkowicz dessert on the porch

we like eating out back and had some yummy avocado tofu pie from our favorite local vegetarian restaurant  recently (I know!!! believe me all you can taste is delicious creamy goodness with nuts on top and a bit of sweetness along with some refreshing water = just perfect!!!)…

Patty Szymkowicz dish garden in bloom

our fairy garden is in full bloom with tiny Blue Star Creeper in the front…Patty Szymkowicz fairy garden closeup

and pink blooms of a miniature Dianthus behind the little bench and garden gate (the pinks smell beautiful)…

Patty Szymkowicz Fairy Garden Seasons

we decided to turn the blue birdbath that a friend gave us some years ago into a dish garden just off our back porch…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz May 2010

and we get to enjoy it through the changing seasons…

Patty Szymkowicz moisture meter

not sure how this handy gadget works (no batteries…you just stick the wand into the soil and  the dial moves) but I find it very helpful in keeping track of the moisture levels of plants especially those in containers with no drainage (over watering can be as bad for plants as letting them dry out)…

Patty Szymkowicz Mr Magpie holds a cuppa

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

Patty Szymkowicz Red

“All that we behold is full of blessings.” ~William Wordsworth