Helianthus time again …

a local cut your own farm (Burnside Farms) planted over 30 varieties of “cutting” sunflowers (Helianthus) on about six acres in successive crops to ensure at least six weeks of blooming flowers…Magpie's Nest Burnside Farms Sunflowersour August tropical heat and humidity kept me indoors a good bit and I almost missed them…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz BEES

very happy that I made time to visit last Wednesday which was the last low heat and humidity day we would have for awhile…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Sunflower Paloozasuch a delight to see fields of flowers again this year

Pollinator habitat with so many cheerful blooms…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Morning Sunflowers

these two little girls were having lots of fun frolicking in the fields…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz two girls frolicking

I took a quick photo of the flowers I cut before I left the farm (the sun bleached out the deep red of the top of my parasol)…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Parasol cut blooms water

the cut blooms last a long time if you watch the water level…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Sunflowers and Figs

we are still waiting for our replacement carpet in the sun room as we had a bad experience with the first toxic foam padding that  smelled horrible even after a week of airing out…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz sunflower hair

we soon realized we could not live with it…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz sunflower lady reflection 1

so we are back to the concrete floor for now and have ordered new carpet and padding with low VOC which is what we should have gotten in the first place…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Front and Back we got excited rushing things a bit settling for what was quickly available… 

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz morning light

joining with T Stands for Tuesday and wishing you a happy day…

Magpie's Nest Sunflower Lady

I also created a digital sunflower piece for Art Journal Journey’s NATURE’S WONDERS theme which ends on Wednesday…

swan song…

finally the red rosin paper art journal I started back in October of 2013 is complete (more about how my gesso and monoprint pages began when you click the link above) …Magpie's Nest Red Rosin Monoprint cover

I made a TAP transfer ironing it on cotton using a German swan image (swans are a favorite of mine for lots of reasons)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Red Rosin Journal Cover

adding bits of tea dyed lace and part of a flimmerstern along with a sweet spray of vintage flowers (some of those blooms also appear on a few pages inside the journal)…Magpie's Nest Swan book cover finishing touches

I got out one of my button jars to have a lookie look and found a button with hanging threads that seemed perfect…Magpie's Nest book binding

after deciding on the smaller poking tool I did a simple in and out tied binding… if you are interested in what’s inside the journal I have links to each of the spreads here

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Swan Song art journal

sharing this for Gill’s wonderful NATURE’S WONDERS theme at Art Journal Journey…

true wonder…

earlier this month I created a page for Gill’s Art Journal Journey’s NATURE’S WONDERS that I shared hereMagpie's Nest BEFORE true wonder pages

more often than not I work on a spread rather than just one page but this time was one of those times…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz page in processI stamped two Lynne Perrella stamps on the white thin layer peeled from a napkin adhering them to the page with matte medium adding color with a toothpick (the black highlights are Tim Holtz rubons that I also used on the Wonder page)…Magpie's Nest TRUE page

one of the things I enjoy very much about working over text in my collage backgrounds is what reveals itself without even trying… the rays and the French word for sun/soleil above are a good example

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz TRUE Wonder journal pages

nature truly is a continuous wonder

August Visit to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens…

between scorching hot summer temperatures and all of the upheaval with our home improvements it had been four weeks since we last visited the aquatic gardensMagpie's Nest Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens wildlife

instead of a packed parking lot like at the end of July we were one of just a handful of visitors bright and early on Sunday…Magpie's Nest Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens August Panorama

even though there were fewer blooms than earlier in the summer the lotuses (loti) did not disappoint standing tall in the morning light with pearls of dew sparkling like diamonds…

Magpie's Nest Morning dew on lotus leavesthere were lots of handsome lotus pods with their rattly black seeds…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Lotus seed heads

and a fair number of fresh buds too…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Loti all stages

the bees seemed extra busy…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Bees

this visit the tropical ponds really captured my attention…Magpie's Nest Tropical lily pond

the plants in these ponds have to be overwintered in greenhouses each year since they are not natives…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Victorian water lily in bloom

we were lucky to catch the big Victoria amazonica water lily in bloom as it only opens when it is cooler in the mornings and closes in the midday heat…Magpie's Nest Fred on Head water bottle

in the photo above you get an idea of how tall the loti are this time of year… surpassing Mr Magpie’s 6 foot 7 inches (measurement INCLUDES the FRED water bottle on his head)…

Magpie's Nest Praying Mantis and Dragonfly

each visit to this national park is a delight with beauty and wonder at every turn (this was our fourth visit this summer)…Magpie's Nest early morning loti

with dew soaked shoes we headed back to Virginia by way of PAUL’s  and had a yummy bite to eat…Magpie's Nest PAULs Tysons 11

joining everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover for T Stands for TuesdayMagpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz golden lotus painted background

and offering another digital piece combining my photo and artwork for Art Journal Journey’s NATURE’S WONDERS theme ~♥~ thank you for your visit

nature’s wonders

NATURE’S WONDERS is Gill’s theme for Art Journal Journey this month…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Passion Flower

oh how I enjoy nature and always have growing up in a household with parents that honored and preserved nature as much as possible…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz lotus collagemy father was known to have annual feuds with sparrows that were relentless in their attempts to build nests in his Purple Martin houses… he cared alot about the Purple Martins who were great at eating mosquitoes returning faithfully to the garden each year…

Magpie's Nest Red Rosin Monoprint Journal Cover

 I created two more pages in my red rosin monoprinted journal

Magpie's Nest BLOOM supplies Lynne Perrella

PaperArtsy’s lovely Lynne Perrella stamps were fun to play with adding another favorite Tin Can Mail butterfly wing stamp for the background..

Magpie's Nest Bloom right page

it was a bit of a challenge to incorporate one of my 5 x 5 collages onto my already monoprinted pages trying to match the paints I used earlier…Magpie's Nest Bloom left

the final touch was adding some pressed flowers using matte medium under and over them on the pages with a couple of rubons too…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz BLOOM red rosin pages

I like how the words I used in all of the spreads flow like a bit of found “poetry”… they evolved after working randomly with no  theme for my journal (all it needs now is binding and a cover):

Keep moving forward… 

Happiness… 

Keep close to nature’s heart… 

Pull Love closely around you and snuggle into its bliss… 

What we think we become… 

Wonder… 

The present moment is a powerful goddess… 

Bloom

 -Patty Szymkowicz

blossom and grow…

a recent photo of mine of a passion flower and some pink fairy roses

Magpie's Nest Passion Flower Roses

layered with the pages of an old ledger using lots of filters to create a digital piece for Art Journal Journey’s NATURE’S WONDERS theme…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Passion Flower Roses so many variations

flowers are an endless source of wonder and joy for me…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Blossom and Grow collage

“Every flower blooms at a different pace.” –Suzy Kassem

room for sunshine …

lots of excitement here as we are still in the throws of construction  (one thing definitely leads to another after so many years of not doing much…the guys doing the work are so nice and doing a fabulous job)Magpie's Nest new back doorbefore the carpet installers came I wrote a message in the corner of the porch and snapped a few photos of the paint splatters (we chose some ruff and ready earth colored carpet that I hope grows on me)… 

Magpie's Nest Paint on Cement before carpet

fun to see how a coat of paint can bring new life to an old dark oak dresser that we had rescued years ago (we picked up the top at a yard sale for ten dollars way back when)Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Oak Dresser

our old wicker was in need of paint too and now it will last a long time since it won’t be exposed to the elements like it was when the porch was open on two sidesMagpie's Nest fresh white wicker

there shouldn’t be any more butterflies to rescue from the skylights (we were amazed at how many would get trapped trying to reach the sky when the porch was open)…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Tiger Swallowtail

 one of our passion vines is flourishing in the tropical summer heat… a handful of flowers open each day in the midday sun… Magpie's Nest Passion flower vine

they look and smell so pretty floating in water but only last a day…

Magpie's Nest passion flower roses

it is lovely to have the windows wide open with no worry of being bothered by bugs (we are looking into a ductless wall mounted unit that will heat and cool the porch nicely so it can be used year round)…Magpie's Nest by candlelight

joining everyone over at Elizabeth’s T Stands for TuesdayMagpie's Nest work in progress

~♥~ thank you for visiting with me ~♥~

 

discover…

nature is full of things to discover and enjoy on a daily basis…

Magpie's Nest Discover

I had more fun with bits of napkin… plastered book text…Magpie's Nest Flowers

bird and flower catalog images along with a few more Tim Holtz rubons and some doodling…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz discover art journal pages

joining Gill’s NATURE’S WONDERS theme for Art Journal Journey this month…Magpie's Nest Eastern Black Swallowtail

“There is enchantment right in front of you, waiting for you to notice.”  –Janet Luhrs

wonder…

things are still topsy turvy here in exciting ways…

Magpie's Nest back porch windows waiting

with our back porch enclosure coming along nicely…

Magpie's Nest back porch enclosure work

but of course everything takes time…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Wonder supplies

I did get in my art room to play and created an art journal page using some of the ingredients above…Magpie's Nest collage background

bits of torn napkin and plastered book text along with scraps of paper (matte medium works beautifully under and on top of the thin napkin paper to help it melt into the page)… Magpie's Nest Wonder collage background pg right

part of a Misty Mawn collage sheet that I highlighted with pencil and added the he♥rt in the hand to pulled together with some super heavy white gesso and some rubons and doodling to finish…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz WONDER art journal page

it will be fun to visit Art Journal Journey and see all of the wonderful entries already for Gill aka Gibby Frogett’s lovely August theme of NATURE’S WONDERS

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction”.  Rachel Carson

“radiant with hope”

to celebrate Elizabeth’s 3rd T Stands for Tuesday anniversary last month some of us participated in an ATC swap and I was the lucky recipient of Linda’s  precious ATC (her gelli print envelope is beautiful too!)…

Art from from Linda Kunsmanshe and I share a fondness for all things French and napkins too for collage… look at these lovelies that she tucked in the envelope…French napkins from Linda KunsmanI thought of my tea and coffee drinking friends while doing a little window shopping over the weekend… Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz tea shoppe windowthe Madame Butterfly tea description almost makes me want to drink green tea…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Merrifield VAAnthropologie window displays turn everyday items into visual treats with a focus on ecology and nature…Magpie's Nest Anthro window Merrifield VAspeaking of nature here is an update on our Appalachian Trail hiker who is still going strong even though he shared recently that he enjoys the camping more than the walking…

Magpie's Nest Colin AT New Hampshirehe has already hiked more than 1,800 miles/2896.819 kilometers and worn out a couple pairs of shoes (there he is with all of his belongings on his back including his green tent)…

Magpie's Nest Colin Moose sightingright now he is making his way through the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire

AT White Mtns of New Hampshirewith some miles still to go…Magpie's Nest AT Hiker CJS

“The US has enough on-shore wind to power the country ten times over.” #ANTHROEARTHDAY

Anthropologie’s wind quote made me smile thinking of all the crazy political news here in the US lately…

Blessings…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz IN MY GARDEN 1another inspiring theme over at Art Journal Journey for July…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz IN MY GARDEN 2many thanks to Yvonne of Meggys Way and all of the participants…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz single pagesas a final offering I created a 9 x 12″ canvas inspired by a photo of a statue in the sumptuous gardens of Isola Madre on Lake Maggiore in Italy… Magpie's Nest Blessings Lady

lots of layers (pattern tissue… citrasolv paper… cheesecloth… netting… vintage lace and trims adhered with my favorite soft gel medium)…Magpie's Nest BLESSINGS closeupat first I had stamped IMAGINE on tissue paper with some turquoise ink that was too light so that gave me a chance to change the word to BLESSINGS (Art Impressions, Oregon USA)…Magpie's Nest Blessings supplies

I rushed a bit on this and intend to go back and add some touches of green paint…thanks so much for visiting ~♥~

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz BLESSINGS“It is only with true love and compassion that we can begin to mend what is broken in the world. It is these two blessed things that can begin to heal all broken hearts.” -Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

L♥ve Always…

we are in the process of having some home repairs and improvements done…Magpie's Nest window inwhich means lots of upheaval with workmen in and out of the house…

Magpie's Nest window outit will be nice when the dust settles in a few weeks…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Passion flower frillsescape to my art room is always a good thing and now more than ever…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Gesso JournalI created two more pages in one of my gesso journals playing with my favorite super heavy gesso…Magpie's Nest Love suppliesjoining Art Journal Journey once again for Yvonne’s IN MY GARDEN THERE IS theme…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Love Always journal pages

“In his garden every man may be his own artist without apology or explanation.”   -Louise Beebe Wilder

joy in the garden…

joining Yvonne’s lovely IN MY GARDEN there is challenge over at Art Journal Journey…Magpie's Nest TAP Transfer of Carcassonne CastleI created these pages earlier in the month before the tragedies of Nice and Rouen…

Magpie's Nest Beeswax flowersusing  bits of Misty Mawn collage strip… beeswax dipped book text flowers… stamped strips of paper… TAP transfer of Carcassonne castle on canvas paper… paint and rubber stamping with computer generated words…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Joie Dans le Jardin“We need Joy as we need air.
We need Love as we need water.
We need each other as we need the earth we share.” -Maya Angelou