Category Archives: Altered cutlery

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

#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

all you need is Love…

Patty Szymkowicz Fabric Love

assorted fabrics, lace  and velvet rickrack sewn onto watercolor paper, Paper Whimsy girl, scuffed up beads that Mr Magpie found in the road, Dutch postage stamp with silk ribbon for hanging…

“Love is a language spoken by everyone but understood only by the heart.” ~Unknown

put a bird on it …

or in this case create a Christmas ornament with a bird theme…

Wrapped Altered Spoon

our local Mixed Media Collaborative group meets twice a month and has such a wonderful creative time together with lots of sharing and laughs…

Mixed Media Collaborative Art Group VA

our recent December meeting had a one for one exchange of handmade ornaments randomly traded…

each so very unique and special…

my quickly snapped photos don’t really do them full justice…

Andrea Taylor

Andrea Taylor created a wool felt bird with sparkling eyes and real peacock feather tail…

Leiann Quesnel

Leiann Quesnel created a beaded paper cube with a curved wire hook at the top that is just out of view in the photo…

Fran Podlesney

Fran Podlesney created a bird using die cuts and lots of layers of dictionary pages colored with a special blend of inks…

Linda Scimeca Linda Scimeca altered a vintage green ceramic cup by decorating it inside (too bad you can’t really see the cup from this angle)

Linda Yeatman

Linda Yeatman has a real eye for treasure and altered a squished drink can decorating it with great details on both sides “Imagine” and “Dream”

Lisa Murphy

Lisa Murphy created a bird made with punched out and decorated metal from recycled cans with a precious round crown and more…

Susan Godby

Susan Godby wool felted her bird head and body giving it layers of glitter edged vintage map paper for wings and a frill collar “Joy to the World”

Magpies Nest Altered Spoon Ornament

I had taken a photo of the back of my spoon before our get together and it shows a bit of the pretty silver pattern on the folded over handle…

Patty Szymkowicz

the spoon was flattened and bent by Mr Magpie …

I added a favorite Graphics Fairy Bobolink bird image and several different kinds of glitter along with one of my handmade wire birds nests with some found golden trim for the hanger (the trim shown better in the first photo at the top of this post was something I found on the ground outside a craft store and knew our group of altered artists would appreciate that I rescued it and gave it a new life)…

wish you could hear the details of what all went into each creation from the artists themselves as there is so much more to tell…

we enjoyed some delicious food and friendship and have an exciting line up of things planned for the new year

*I joined in on Karen of the the Graphics Fairy Brag Monday today hereI am #38*

the life of a teabag…

if you visit my Magpie’s Nest now and then you surely know about Kimmie’s Tea on Tuesday where friends get together and post about whatever strikes their fancy…

it might be about their favorite drink, travel, nature, art or life in general…

you just never know what you’ll find when you visit everyone which is a big part of the charm each week…

since last year I had planned a tea post showing some of my tea bag collection which is always growing…

but you know how life can move at warp speed sometimes so I never got around to showing you the photos…

I have used pretty silk tea bags like the ones above as “wings” with altered cutlery…

after removing the used tea I sprinkle it in the garden to help enrich the soil…

you didn’t think I’d throw that away did you…

the paper is great to rubber stamp on…

many of the Tea on Tuesday participants are especially creative and innovative using tea bags in their artwork…

 Judy Perez’ blog post is where I recently discovered a wonderful tutorial on how to print on tea bags

I was delighted at how easy it was…

I held my breath the first couple of times and got very relaxed by the thirteenth or so go round trying some color images too…

with thanks to The Graphics Fairy for all of these lovely images…

pausing to print on a piece of paper that had separated our cheese slices…

surely you save similar things too…

the pretty purple background above was a gift from my friend Lisa as we were singing the praises of security envelopes and I had never seen a purple patterned one before…

each printing turns out a little differently because of the designs the tea makes on the tea bag and how it runs through the inkjet printer…

now that I know just how easy this is I will be doing more and I may try ironing the tea bags a little bit for my next go round…

getting out the iron never seems to be foremost on my mind…

thanks to the many inspiring people that visit and post in blogland making it such a special place to be…

I am really enjoying everyone’s excitement about my recent gelatin monoprinting which reminds me why I started blogging in the first place back in 2007…

being excited and sharing what you enjoy is contagious…

I am very happy you came to visit today…

you can visit Kimmie for lots of other tea stops here

and lastly,

Eleanor Roosevelt has some of the best quotes…

this oldie but goodie was perfect to share today:

“A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt 1884-1962

ocean deity…

feeling a little betwixt and between in my creativity lately eventho I am really enjoying playing with wool again…

I put the finishing touches on a thank you gift for a friend

Mr Magpie had flattened and curled lots of pieces of cutlery for me awhile ago…

this piece was crying for attention…

I first tried my hand at altering cutlery back in 2008

some things never get old…

Ana’s “friday archive dive”

Ana of  i made it so has a fun Friday challenge open to all…she calls it friday archive dive…this week’s prompt is NEWit is a fun challenge and opportunity to look back into your blog posts…time moves so quickly…I picked Altered Cutlery as NEW…it was to me about three years ago this time…sixteen blog posts later it has not lost its alure…here is a blogpost from 2008 with some of my early pieces of  altered cutlery…

Altered Spoons

Posted on January 9, 2008 by ~*~Patty| 15 Comments |

Spoons8Jan08 Still playing with cutlery, thank you SO much Charlotte Kemsley; moving from mostly forks to spoons at the moment.

Two soup spoons were flattened by my husband. The center teaspoon was pounded just a bit to give a flatter spot for the image of the three little boys.


On the back of the spoon I added the words “the beating of his heart”. The charms were removed from a bracelet from the early 1900′s. The names of Edwin 3-30-08, Carl 10-18-12, and Meacham 9-1-15 are engraved on the bottoms of the shoes. I had the perfect image of three boys to add to the spoon along with the blue crystal heart.

The image of the Indian girl holding her papoose is just so precious, she’s a real beauty.

Deb of Lavender Rose Ramblings (don’t you love that name, two of my favorite flowers!) shared a fabulous resource with me. The New York Public Library Digital Gallery provides access to over 550,000 amazing images and more.

If you’ve not checked it out before, it is well worth the visit.

“A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them” ~Victor Hugo

grace under pressure

Mr Magpie was busy at the anvil yesterday

flattening cutlery … I Love altered cutlery in every form and fashion

hammering letters with metal punches that we have had around for some time now

my job was to think of the words and where they would go and then rub some paint on to highlight each letter

it started with “thyme”

we have had the idea for a while now and most recently saw this very thing in an Anthropologie catalog sold as plant markers

more words on the way

many thanks to Dot Ferrero for the beautiful feathers … in a future post I will have to tell you more about Dot’s  hens and chicks

“Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it.  Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.” ~unknown

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

SaWo No. 75 : Altered Cutlery

SaWo’s challenge to alter cutlery is something near and dear to my heart … I Love playing with old cutlery pieces

fork*click for a closer look*

no holes were drilled in this silver cake fork … I used wire to secure the steamer basket ‘wings’ … wrapped some purple cord around the tines behind the little Paper Whimsy face … a couple of odd jewelry bits and viola … I may add a ribbon for hanging … for now I leaned it against a favorite flower vase


p.s. I intentionally used a tiny face … just because 🙂

Carole’s Postcard

The QB5 ladies had me thinking Carole drew my name.   I was so tickled to receive her lovely fabric postcard.  It was ready to hang, so I used one of the forks that Mr Magpie had drilled a hole in and bent the tines on

she has her tongue sticking out in her photo too 🙂


just look at these goodies all the way from New Zealand


the penguin card is some of Carole’s photography, you can visit  her at her Madness and Mess blog

ABAA: Altered Cutlery

Imagine my delight in being invited to be Guest Designer for the fabulous Awfully Big Art Adventure challenge blog this week!  Thank you Linda and Rosie!

Altered cutlery has been near and dear to my heart ever since I was inspired by a Jan/Feb Somerset Studio magazine article last year. (I noticed that Charlotte Kemsley has closed her blog, she actually did not have any cutlery on the blog last year.)

My husband is very good at preparing pieces we’ve collected by flattening, bending, cutting and drilling them into shape.

*If you scroll way down on the right side of my blog, you’ll see CATEGORIES, click on ALTERED CUTLERY and you will be able to see all my posts on that topic which include some tips on altering cutlery….as you can see, I’ve started and can’t stop*

cutlery-place-setting*click for closeup view*


The “wings” are made of flattened champagne cages (the things we do for art supplies) with silver and gold wire bullion wrapped around them, I added a PW face, some bead dangles,  the word “Celebrate” is glued on with UHU glue stick



The “Wings to Fly” knife is close to an example of not needing to bend or drill holes (although there is one hole at the bottom),   plastic coated wire and beads are wrapped with a loop at the top for hanging


“Medieval Lady”

This flattened spoon pendant has a bit of velvet wrapped around the top, the hand deco in the middle is an odd earring, I beaded the other dangles to tie in with it.


Here is an example of an altered teaspoon that was not bent, cut, flattened or drilled, but used ‘as is”.  The grape motive on the handle led me to this…..


I used gel medium to adhere torn German book text to the spoon, rubbed on a little color, added a wine glass beaded charm (you know the ones everyone made so they could tell who’s glass was who’s when they set them down at a party or gathering).  I then attached some covered green wire and curled it into tendrils, adding the butterfly as the final touch.


the possibilities are endless….. can’t wait to see everyone’s creations 🙂

My One World One Heart Giveaway

***Comments are now closed

you can

visit here to see who winners are***

Welcome……It’s that magical time of year again; be sure and visit One World One Heart (OWOH) for the list of this years participants and join in the fun.

*I am #122 on the OWOH list of participants*

This year I am offering two prizes.  One is a piece of altered cutlery.  A teaspoon that could be worn as a pendant or used as a decoration to hang.


My second giveaway is  one of my 2.5  x 3.5 x .75 inch thick Artist Trading Cards (ATC).  It is a chunky wooden altered ATC that is decorated on all sides.  Both of my giveaways just happen to have Paper Whimsy images.

*front* owohgiveaway2front





Here is how the giveaway works.

Anyone, with or without a blog is welcome, near or far.  To get your name in the drawing simply leave one comment for this post. ( if you do not see the comment spot right away, you can access it by clicking on the subject line above and the comment box will appear at the bottom of your page)

*Comments will close at midnight EST on 11 February*

Two winners will be chosen randomly,  one for the altered spoon and one for the chunky ATC.   Winners will be announced on Thursday, 12 February.

Many thanks again this year to the amazing gypsy queen, Lisa Swifka (A Whimsical Bohemian), for once again giving everyone a chance to travel the globe, visit far off lands and meet new people!

Thank you for visiting my Magpie’s Nest and good luck in your travels with One World One Heart!

*there are  911 participants,  twice as many as last year*

one of my favorite things

The MMM challenge theme for the end of the year is to show what you really Loved doing in 2008. Thanks to the many wonderful challenge blogs and creative and sharing people, I have enjoyed creating something almost every day.

One of the highlights of my creative year is playing with altering cutlery. This was sparked by Charlotte Kelmsley’s Jan/Feb 08 Somerset Magazine article.

My husband is a wonderful help in preparing the various cutlery pieces for me by cutting, pounding, drilling and bending the metal.  It certainly makes the altering process move along smoothly….thank you my Liebling, I couldn’t do it without you.

Then it’s my turn to play with images, beads, ribbons and more.


This sweet girl is a Paper Whimsy image.  I had a hard time getting a true picture of this.   If you are interested in seeing more altered cutlery you can scroll down on the sidebar to “Categories” and click on “Altered cutlery”.   I  have several more pieces in the works……I’ve started and can’t stop 🙂

Wishing everyone a Very Happy New Year full of the things that delight and inspire you!   oxoooxo

“If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue.  Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge.  Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time.  It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up.” ~Deepak Chopra, Indian Ayurvedic Physician and Author