Spring parade tea …

Magpie's Nest more Spring

Spring has sprung here in northern Virginia with a wonderful parade of blooms everywhere you turn (the nature photos here were all taken in our garden)…

Magpie's Nest Spring in Virginia 2015

some recent cooler temperatures helped keep the blossoms fresh and in place a little longer than in other years…

Magpie's Nest garden visitors

Mr Magpie is healing nicely after trigger finger surgery

Magpie's Nest Slow Down and Enjoy No heavy lifting!and is getting some rest away from work while he’s on the mend (even the stick on message from a breakfast sandwich supported that) …

Magpie's Nest Lily of the Valley closeupwe are enjoying sitting out on our back porch again…

Magpie's Nest Nature

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

Magpie's Nest greatest figt of the garden quote

Second on the 2nd for May … Birdies, birdies everywhere …

it is a new month already and our Lily of the Valley bloomed in time to help celebrate May Day…Magpie's Nest Lily of the Valley Love

it is time to join Elizabeth for her second look at a past blog post…  my birds were originally posted in May 2008… interesting to note that we are no longer meeting at that store as they didn’t have room for us anymore but our mixed media art group is still going strong all these years later…

“Posted on May 14, 2008 | 

“The second Wednesday of each month is a play day at our local stamping store, Angela’s Happy Stamper.

Our focus today was inspiration taken from the Nov/Dec 2007 Somerset Magazine issue.

Jeanette Janson created wonderful Assemblage Bird Ornaments.Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz birdvoglein

Thank you Linda Scimeca for getting us all organized and inspiring us with your birdie creations! Everyone’s turned out so differently and really amazingly cool!

These are some of what I made.

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz birdpar-avion

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz birdwhite-owl

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz birdrobins-nestFor bodies I had some neat old tap shoe plates along with a juice can top, colored with alcohol inks and a dial from a broken gauge for my owl. Wings came from a vegetable steamer basket and an old folding ruler that my husband cut for me (I LOVE those!). Wire was my first choice for attaching the various elements, I did use some Matte Gel Medium to stick on a few words along with some sticky double sided tape on the back to keep legs from wiggling around. Jeanette’s article in Somerset gives lots of great ideas for ingredients.

Carmen had the brilliant idea of using a shuttlecock cut up for wings, and shared pieces of it with us. It took alcohol inks beautifully too!

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz birdfly-away

What a lot of fun!!! Thanks again, Linda, for the idea to get together and make these!

“It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.” ~Aesop”

be yourself…

“Be yourself everyone else is already taken.” -Oscar Wilde

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Be Yourself

(scrap paper… plaster… paint… my photograph of a statue…glittered netting and handwritten sticker)

for Art Journal Journey’s “favorite poems/quotes” challenge thinking of Oscar Wilde I remembered our trip to the UK in 2013 and visiting a park in Dublin with a dedicated area to him…

Magpie's Nest Oscar Wilde Statue

we had the traveling tea cup along and had so many fun adventures

Magpie's Nest St Stephen's Park Dublin SWANS

and then we wandered into St Stephen’s Green and came upon a beautiful family of swans… I was beside myself with joy and we were amazed at how comfy they were on their little strip of grass with people on every sideMagpie's Nest Dublin battery recharge

fun how one thing leads to another and can trigger sweet memories…

Wisteria Tea…

one of our Spring traditions is to try and catch the Wisteria in bloom at our favorite city garden about 20 miles away in Washington, DC…

Magpie's Nest wisteria welcome

being able to visit on a cool and breezy weekday afternoon was extra nice as it was not crowded at all…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks garden

the last time I shared Wisteria photos with you was in 2013 and the Swarovski Crystal Cloud Terrace was still at Dumbarton Oaks (we really miss that alot!!!)…

Magpie's Nest Lover's Lane and Vegie Garden

the gardens are always beautifully tended but we did notice special touches like Pan’s hooves … horns and flute spruced up with gold paint above…

Magpie's Nest Garden Gate

the decorative ironwork had a fresh coat of paint too…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks Metalwork

we stood a long time admiring the metal bleeding hearts… lilies and leaves on one of the garden gates…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton tree roots

one lovely thing after another to catch your eye…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks Pebble Garden

with different varieties of wisteria planted throughout the gardens…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks Wisteria cascades

the blooms were in all stages and each variety had its own delicate fragrance that attracted lots of bumblebees…

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup

our traveling tea cup came along and made it into a fair number of photos (I counted ten times in these photos)…

Magpie's Nest Wisteria Sunshine Shadows

you can blame the number of photos on the fact that we returned a second day to explore the gardens…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton in the garden

AND there was a perfect blue sky to make everything shine…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks spring blooms

the parade of blooms was just beginning…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks don't miss a thing

 each day in nature has special treats in store…

Magpie's Nest Mourning Dove Nest

a Mourning Dove with very good taste built a nest on top of a lamp in a lovely mosaic alcove…

Magpie's Nest Mourning Dove nest in pool alcove

there will be a bit of clean up needed to get that area back in shape after the little ones leave the nest…

Magpie's Nest No two gardens are the same...

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

“No two gardens are the same.  No two days are the same in one garden.”  ~Hugh Johnson

Run my dear…

another loose leaf art journal page for Art Journal Journey’s “favorite poems/quotes” challenge

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz precious budding wings

(rubber stamping… tissue paper… plaster… paint… book text and mystery girl with altered ‘arms’)  

“Run my dear, From anything that may not strengthen your precious budding wings.”  -Hafiz

waves of one sea…

 journaling on different kinds of surfaces like my chipboard tea cup book is proving to be a bit of a different challenge that I am having fun with…Magpie's Nest different journals

last year I created a loose leaf art journal working on both the front and back of each piece…

Magpie's Nest loose leaf art journal

I liked that format so much I thought I would begin another this time working in landscape/horizontal layout…

Magpie's Nest saves of one sea

here is my first page (layers of paint and plaster cloth) using part of this quote from a Baha’i poem:  “We are all the waves of one sea…We are all the leaves of one tree…We are all the flowers of one garden” for Art Journal Journey’s “favorite poems/quotes” challenge 

Keep close to nature’s heart

Magpie's Nest Red Rosin Monoprint pagesthanks to my friend Jan for sharing a John Muir quote which was the inspiration for my latest red rosin monoprint page…

Magpie's Nest beginning page

the flower is from a book page showing the parts of a flower (I liked how it complimented the green of my mono printed pages)…

Magpie's Nest nature rubber stamps

I used some of my new plastered paper which was done over a page from a small phone book (paper phone books are almost a thing of the past here)…

Magpie's Nest John Muir quote

adding this to my entries #99 … #110 and #136 over at Art Journal Journey for this month’s “favorite poem/quotes” theme and the little butterfly is for the Moo Mania “Butterfly/Schmetterlinge” challenge

“Keep close to Nature’s heart …  and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.  Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir

it’s Bluebell time again …

Magpie's Nest our lilacs

this time of year has me feeling a bit like a bumblebee flitting from thing to thing to take in all the beauty and surprises nature has to offer…

Magpie's Nest Cherry Blossoms with a filter

 cherry blossom time in Washington, D.C. meant that the Virginia Bluebells could not be far behind…

Magpie's Nest Bluebell Trail

to our great delight this past weekend we got to visit Bull Run Regional Park several times…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz tea cup on a log

which is something we look forward to each Spring here in Virginia (one of the days three hours had passed before we knew it)…

Magpie's Nest shadows time for tea

we took the traveling tea cup along and found lots of welcoming spots for it to rest for a bit being careful to avoid the tender new poison ivy popping up everywhere and remembering to NOT be tempted to touch the mature fuzzy vines clinging to tree trunksMagpie's Nest Fuzzy Poison Ivy Vines

much like the cherry blossoms the exquisite bluebells are relatively short lived and perhaps all the more precious because of that (depending on weather conditions they can last about 8-10 days)…

Magpie's Nest Virginia Wildflowers

there are other blooms to enjoy as well but the bluebells are definitely the stars of the show…

Magpie's Nest Bluebells on a bank

being in the woods for sunrise one day treated us to a bit of extra magic…

Magpie's Nest Misty Morning sunrise in Virginia

there was a mist over the meadow entering the park that stopped us in our tracks…

Magpie's Nest Dewdrops like Diamonds

 Mother Nature made each petal and leaf look like it had been dusted with sugar (you can click the photos for a closer look)…

Magpie's Nest Bull Run Park Nature Treats

walking the loop trail through the woods is a little different each time (can you see the goose peeking over the log)…

Magpie's Nest Bull Run Bluebell Reflections

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

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup on a stumpmay your day be full of things you enjoy…

Liberate Your Art 2015 Postcard Swap

Kat Sloma’s Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap celebrated its fifth anniversary this year (you can visit her link above to find out all about it)…

Patty Szymkowicz Tranquility Postcard

this is my first time participating thanks to the encouragement of friends in our local mixed media collaborative group who took part last year … I sent postcards made from a favorite piece of my artwork above …I included a quote from the Dalai Lama XIV “Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.”  I also included my address because I think it is fun to know where mail comes from along with Brightest of Blessings and the address to my Magpie’s Nest…I am hoping to find out where my five cards landed…

#1 Fran Podlesney

it was fun watching the mailbox for the first card to appear and what to my surprise it was from one of my mixed media friends from the group I mentioned above (what are the odds that this card would randomly come to me all the way from Oregon when Fran lives so close to me here in Virginia) … Fran wrote on the back of her card “From Virginia, USA. Gelatos, Acrylics, gesso, stencils & Napkin collage.  Always create!”

#2 Dorthy Louis

the next card arrived from Dorothy Louis in Corvallis, Oregon and her card was rubber stamped in individual letters “PEACE   BEAUTY    TRUTH    LOVE“…

#3 Dona Hyll

Dona Hyll wrote “Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” ~Christopher Reeve  When not at my day job, I find I have a need to be creative?  Here are examples of the tablet weaving I do for a Viking recreation group!  We have our own festival the last weekend in April each year in Ashville, Ohio!”

#4 Yellow Sun Lisa

Yellow Sun Lisa wrote on the back of her Flowers in Gouache card: “Dear Artist: If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” -Roald Dahl

#5 Kat van Rooyen

Kat van Rooyen’s postcard “Taken in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, USA” reads “Let your creativity shine like the sun over the Appalachian Mountains here in this photo.  No one sees the world exactly as you do so express yourself!  Enjoy! Kat ♥

#6 Kat Sloma

and last but not least is a card from the person we all have to thank for such a grand event “Imminent Downfall” by Kat Sloma and on the back it says:  “When you Liberate your Art the world is a better place.  Thank you! Kat”…

many many thanks to everyone that participated and to Kat Sloma who is amazing and generous and so well organized…

I hope there will be a swap next year but until then I am off to join in Kat’s Blog Hop

Pull Love Closely Around You…

Cherry Blossoms 2015Spring has sprung here in northern Virginia and it has me flitting here and there feeling energetic and excited (we even got to visit the cherry blossoms in Washington DC this year at twilight time)…

Magpie's Nest Flower Press

the other day I was busy emptying my flower press from the fall and loading the first layers of Spring blooms…

Magpie's Nest playing with plaster

when I thought it was so pretty out I decided it would be fun to play with plaster on our back porch which had me plastering anything that held still (almost)…

Magpie's Nest Plastered Papers

using fabrics and doilies as stencils…

Magpie's Nest Plastered tissue and fabric

this little plastic one makes such a nice burst pattern and I especially like it on tissue paper or peeled napkin even (you know the white layer you don’t want to throw away when you’ve peeled your napkins)…

Magpie's Nest Plastered Red Rosin Paper

all of that fun then led me to create two more pages in my handmade red rosin paper art journal…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Pull Love Closely (2)

inspired by the image of a beautiful statue on our recent island adventures

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Pull Love Closely (1)

the computer generated quote (have you ever tried this amazing site to help you audition which font you would like to use…BIG thanks to Gale of Paper Whimsy for sharing the link!)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Pull Love Closely

joining with Art Journal Journey’s “Favorite quotes/Poems” theme again (my other entries are #99 + #110)

Mudjin Harbor and Dragon Cay T…

 the last couple of Tuesdays I have been sharing photos from our March Turks and Caicos trip (the beautiful book below was in our room … I played with tiny shells we found on the beach to compliment the photo collage…some of the shells were as little as the tip of your fingernail)…

TCI Album w shells

as part of our adventures on the day we took a short ferry ride from Providenciales to Middle and North Caicos Islands we made a point to visit a spot recommended by a friend

Magpie's Nest Panorama Mudjin Harbour

she said it was one of the most beautiful places she had ever visited…

Magpie's Nest Mudjin Harbour

we paused at the cliff top Mudjin Bar & Grill to take in the view and enjoy a glass of nice cold lemonade (it looked like a great place to eat too!)...

Magpie's Nest Dragon Cay Mudjin Harbour

if you use your imagination you can see the rock formation resembling a sleeping dragon (someone lost a hat so we propped it on a post in case they came looking for it)…

Magpie's Nest Mudjin Blue Horizon Walkways

we enjoyed walking on the paths made of natural materials which led us to a staircase down through the limestone cliffs to a surprise secluded beach …

Mudjin Harbour Middle Caicos Island

we had the traveling tea cup along for this little adventure too

Magpie's Nest Hidden beach Traveling T Cup

a day trip was really not long enough to take in all the sights but we felt we made the most of our first visit to this treasure of a place…

Magpie's Nest Mudjin Harbor Secret Beach

wishing everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover a very happy T day while part of me still has sand in my shoes…

Magpie's Nest Dragon Cay TCI

 (as an aside Mr Magpie and I hardly ever print out photographs anymore so having a selection of travel photos here and on my Flickr page gives us virtual albums to visit…hope you enjoy them too)

Believe nothing you hear…

our local mixed media art group is having a round robin and this month I got a book with the theme of “The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe” …

Magpie's Nest beginning pages

I knew right away that I wanted to use some of the black patterned envelopes that I have been saving (I have made a vow to stop saving them so using some felt extra good!)…

Magpie's Nest beginning pages (1)

outlining the edges with a black Stabilo pencil and brushing with a stiff brush dipped in white gesso gave some color and texture to the background along with some bits of vintage paper and book text…

Magpie's Nest ready for quote

the image on the left is of a book cover printed onto a torn out page from this book…the red beer bottle cap on the right has been smashed flat and waiting to be used for some time now…

Magpie's Nest trying text

I had no idea this quote was by Edgar Allan Poe but it had always been a favorite of mine (seems Poe is misquoted quite a bit and the way I originally knew the quote was:  “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.”)…

Magpie's Nest trying text (1)

trying out various fonts and positioning…

Magpie's Nest trying text (2)

until I was happy while having some fun channeling my dark side…

Magpie's Nest Poe left page

paint and pencil scribbling along with stamping on tissue paper and a piece of poison washi tape that I secured with gel medium…

Magpie's Nest Poe right page

some spider web washi tape at the top that I extended with black pen down the page (I intentionally left the spider out as a bit of a creep factor…if there is a web there must be a spider  but where!)… a piece of my faux resin paper and a golden flimmerstern that I trimmed randomly with scissors behind the bottle cap…

Magpie's Nest Poe Final Pages

I am also sharing these pages with Art Journal Journey’s “Favorite Poems and Quotes” challenge

Spring made me do it…

with the earth turning green again and things bursting into bloom adding bright green to these pages of my monoprinted red rosin book seemed to happen before I knew it…

Magpie's Nest Red Rosin art journal pages What we think... (2)

two fabric pieces that I had handy worked nicely for these pages…

Magpie's Nest Red Rosin art journal pages What we think... (1)

the piece on the left was some fabric fusion paper that I had made on a base of cotton muslin… the piece on the right was done with TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) using one of my collage postcards on very sheer fabric…

Magpie's Nest Red Rosin art journal pages What we think... (3)

if you are interested in knowing more about red rosin paper you can see the beginning of my gelli print book here...

Magpie's Nest Red Rosin art journal pages What we think...

joining with Art Journal Journey’s “Favorite quotes/Poems” theme this month (I have so many favorite quotes!)