Category Archives: Art

“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…

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

twas the season…

come and gone so quickly it seems to me…

handmade cards…tags…tip ins and hangings and gifts oh my…

happy-happy-mail-adjusted

with many thanks to so many sweet friends that sent me some really lovely surprises around the holidays…

collage…sorry about the technical difficulties with the lighting on Linda Kunsman’s creations above 😦  my photos can hardly do all of these creations justice…I borrowed Mapy’s photos here)…

Fran Podlesney's altered bottle

two local friends created some wonderful altered pieces with such lovely details…

Linda Yeatman's altered salt shaker

you can click twice on any of the photos for a closer look and also find many of the names on my sidebar to your right under *Eye Candy and Inspiration* (although a fair number of my talented friends do not have blogs)Radicchio Bouqet Patty Szymkowicz

I am very grateful for special connections with creative and thoughtful friends all around the globe…

Radicchio Bouquet in a tea cup

sharing my radicchio in a tea cup with you while joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard for T and wishing you a happy last Tuesday of January ...

Rinda’s 2013 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt: Part 2

continuing the scavenger hunt after Part 1 of my photographs here…

*pictures can be clicked for a little closer view*

9.  A photo with someone or something that is clearly out of place or doesn’t belong

#9 Blarney Castle Cafe

after visiting Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland we stopped at this cafe for some lunch and spied some bold and industrious Jackdaws helping clear some of the tables…

#9 Jackdaws eating foil wrapped butter Blarney Castle Ireland

they worked hard to get into the foil wrapped butter and had good success…

practice, practice, practice 😉

10.  A bench that is outside

#10 Edinburgh Scotland bench

 Mr Magpie taking a bit of a rest on Father’s Day in Edinburgh, Scotland

#10 Bench York, UK

and another bench in the historic town of York, England

11.  An animal in a zoo, aquarium, nature preserve, etc.

#11 Kidwell Farm Virginia

less than ten minutes drive from our home and not too far from Washington, DC there is a working 1930’s style farm with a nice variety of animals that is a kind of nature preserve…

#11 cattle and sheep

it is an opportunity for suburban and city kids to get to see what a farm is like…

#11 Pig

I enjoy visiting in all seasons…

#11 goats

something is always going on…

#11 Roosters

the other morning two roosters were having a LOUD crowing contest from the top of the pen…

12. A cloud in the shape of something (please specify what you see)

#12 Stonehenge Cloud Heart Cloudthis proved to be a bit tricky with so many wonderful clouds in the sky changing so rapidly

#12 Stonehenge Cloud Heart Cloud (1)

hearts seemed to be a recurring theme with thanks to Mr Magpie for doing his special draw a heart trick to help you see what we saw…

#12 Cashel Heart Cloud

near Rock of Cashel, Ireland

#12 Cashel Heart Cloud (1)

and some Scottish clouds…

#12 Scotland Heart Cloud

good thing we helped you out a little showing you the hearts in the after photos eh…

#12 Scotland Heart Cloud (1)

we came to the conclusion that they don’t make clouds like they used to when we were kids and saw things all the time…

13.  A fence

#13 Across from Stonehenge

our first stop after leaving London was Stonehenge and the pastoral scene above was just across the road…

#13 Ireland near Molly Gallivans

misty hills of Ireland…

#13 Kenmare Ireland stone fenceslovely green and breathtaking views of stone fences all through Ireland…

#13 Lake Districtwe took so many photos of the dry stone walls (used as fences) in England’s Lake District too…

14.  A stained glass object or a mosaic

#14 Cardiff Castle

a sample of the gorgeous stained glass in Cardiff Castle in Wales…

#14 Bath Abbey

and a peek at the amazing Bath Abbey

#14 Pitcher and Piano Nottingham, UK

we visited a deconsecrated church turned into a beautiful bar…

#14 Pitcher and Piano Nottingham, UK (2)

the Pitcher & Piano in Nottingham, England…

#14 Pitcher and Piano Nottingham, UK (1)

with stained glass so stunning our photos do not begin to do them justice…

 

15.  A fire truck or police car

#15 English Fire Engine, Irish Police, Scottish Fire Engine

a fire engine in Oxford, England…Irish Police (Garda) and a Scottish fire engine…

Part 3 coming soon which will include:

16. A windmill
17. Candle(s)
18. Your local pub/bar, coffee house or tea shop
19. A fisherman
20. A dinosaur
21. A photograph of you with an artistic tool or craft supply (you cannot substitute for this item)
Bonus/substitute items. If you find any of the above items too difficult, feel free to substitute either (or both) of these items. You can substitute up to two items, but you cannot substitute Item #21:
-A person wearing an outfit (or item of clothing) that symbolizes your country
-A sundial

thank you Rinda for a really fun scavenger hunt…

Christmastime …

US Capitolit’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…Merrifield Towne Center Anthropologie (10)

such a colorful time of year…

Merrifield Towne Center LouLou Star

may your days be filled with Peace…

Nativity

Love…

Twinkling Lites 2

Light…

Merrifield Towne Center Anthropologie (3)

and goodness…Patty Szymkowicz GelliMonoprint cards

with Brightest of Blessings to all…Merry Christmas

however you say it or celebrate it…

French Hound VA

Asheville Eye Candy …

Art Things in Annapolis

on a recent day trip to the historic town of Annapolis, Maryland to meet relatives visiting from California

we stumbled upon a wonderful art shop…

Art Things has been in business for at least 40 years but was new to us…

their Mona Lisa sign out front really caught my eye…

these photos show a small part of the fabulous homage to Mona inside…

they have so much good stuff on two floors with something for everyone…

we are happy to have a new “must stop” shop whenever we are in the Annapolis area (no affiliation, just a happy customer that likes to support small businesses)

today I am drinking a cup of Chocolate Pu-erh

notice the two tea tags …

each was used in a cup of tea days before and together they made one more cup of tea which is something I frequently do for myself …

then I dry out the bags and use them for art projects 🙂

more monoprinting…

did I warn you in my last gelatin monoprinting post about how addictive this can be…

if you haven’t tried it already I think you will really enjoy it…

I did manage to use some different colors even though I am especially drawn to blues and greens…

here are some photos showing the easy steps to make your print using a homemade gelatin plate

cheap paints work well and you only need a little for each print…

use a soft brayer to spread the paint onto your gelatin plate until you are happy with the color mix…

here is where the play and paint on your hands comes in …

using different bits (I used a plastic dollar store placemat, cardstock punched butterfly, pine needle snippet and brush) pressing them onto the plate to add texture and remove paint creating your one of a kind design…

lay a piece of cotton fabric or paper onto the painted plate and rub firmly with your hands…

sometimes you will find that after pulling the first print there is a little paint and pattern left on the gel plate for a second ghost print

it really is quick and easy and dries quickly giving the fabric a great look and feel…

I do have plans to further embellish this piece…

if you give monoprinting a try I would Love to see what you create…

“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Gelatin Monoprinting…

making prints without a printing press…

our local Mixed Media Collaborative group certainly knows how to have a good time…

we meet twice a month and yesterday we played with gelatin monoprinting which is something I have been dreaming of since last year…

there is inspiration everywhere on the internet with some great videos and tips

if you are wondering why make gelatin prints the inspiring and talented Linda Germain gives some great reasons here

we made our own gelatin slabs which was easy but you can buy a ready made plate that will last much longer and is ready to go…

we printed on regular printing paper, card stock, index cards, tissue paper and cotton fabric…

each person’s creations were so unique and beautiful as there are endless possibilities and we’ve just begun…

it is always a treat to spend time with these talented and generous artists…

I had such a good time that when I got home and started to unpack I thought I’d play a little more…

(I made my gelatin plate in a take out plastic container with snap on lid which now measures about 4.5 x 6 inches … 11.43 x 15.24 cm after a chunk breaking off)

the photos you see here are from my at home play time where my gelatin plate shows a little wear and tear after a day of play…

I like the extra patina it gave to my prints…

soon I will post a few step by step photos that I snapped of a monoprinted fabric piece I made that it is not blue or green 🙂

“Cloud Terrace” Tea

after receiving the nicest message from Stephen Jerrome, partner with Andy Cao & Xavier Perrot, of Cao | Perrot Studio along with some brilliant photographs (see below) I thought I would do a follow up blogpost to my last week’s “ten thousand crystals tea” post…

*photograph courtesy of Stephen Jerrome, Partner and Photographer Cao | Perrot Studio*

Stephen mentioned that the pool and gravel area under the Swaroski ELEMENT Crystal Cloud were also part of the design for the new installation at Dumbarton Oaks…

*photograph courtesy of Stephen Jerrome, Partner and Photographer Cao | Perrot Studio*

we would have never guessed that it wasn’t always a part of the terrace area…

*photograph courtesy of Stephen Jerrome, Partner and Photographer Cao | Perrot Studio*

truly a magical addition to the landscape

*photograph courtesy of Stephen Jerrome, Partner and Photographer Cao | Perrot Studio*

for a wonderful look at other designs created by Cao | Perrot Studio you can click on each thumbnail here

and for those of you dreaming of a beautiful crystal cloud in your own backyard be sure and have a look here…

for more tea stops visit Kimmie at Art in Red Wagons

ten thousand crystals tea

our traveling tea cup made a return visit to one of our favorite places…

the gardens at Dumbarton Oaks are filled with beauty and wonder…

Pan points the way to the Lovers’ Lane Pool…

we came across a duck sitting silently and still at the right edge of the water…

the roses are already fantastic and they’ve just begun to bloom…

their fragrance wafted on the breeze before you even saw them…

*the videos were filmed by Mr Magpie along with assorted photographs*

last year we visited the gardens on Mother’s Day…

this year a week earlier was nice and peaceful in comparison…

while a bit overcast…

 we were totally enchanted and wowed by a new art installation by artists Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot called “Cloud Terrace

it transformed the reflecting pool at the Arbor Terrace into a wonderland…

the ethereal “clouds” are handmade with plain old chicken wire and 10,000 Swarovski crystals

we could only imagine the rainbows of dancing Light on a sunny day…

as if we hadn’t already planned a return visit…

won’t you join us over at Kimmie’s Art in Red Wagons for more Tea on Tuesday

footnote: we managed to get our traveling tea cup/saucer in eight different photos here…you’d have to click the pics to catch them all 🙂


Dedicated To Art tea …

the very talented and lovely theresa mARTin was selected to be part of a special art exhibition called “Crossing the Line”  along with 26 other Corcoran College of Art + Design alumni…

the Corcoran Gallery of Art founded in 1869 is in a handsome marble building

across the street from the Old Executive Office Building and around the corner from the White House in Washington DC…

(photo above courtesy of the Martin’s)

we had a really fun evening at the opening reception getting to spend time with Marlynn, Theresa and her husband…

there was tasty food and drink…

the music was ‘bumpin’

artwork was also being displayed from the Bachelor of Fine Arts class of 2012 with a wide range of art mediums…

that exhibition is called NEXT

our photos do not begin to do the energy of the evening justice, it certainly was a night to remember…

we felt a bit shy taking photos not wanting to use the flash…

the artist we could not wait to see is holding our traveling tea cup in front of two of her amazing pieces (Direct Line at the top and Bloodline at the bottom)…

again I apologize for the quality of our photos…

it is an entirely different experience being at the Corcoran seeing everything in person…

the exhibition will be open until 20 May…

here’s hoping your Tea on Tuesday is a good one…

The Gallery Inn of Old San Juan…

overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and old fortress walls

we spent the first six nights of our recent getaway at The Gallery Inn

we knew after looking at the website that it would be special…

we just had no idea how completely grand and full of art…

with many thanks to Mrs. Busy B Jessica for telling us about it…

we were immediately charmed

with photo opportunities at every turn…

our rooftop room had a large veranda with a hot tub…

which was perfect for relaxing after making the climb up Calle San Justo each day back to the inn…

we decided against renting a car and enjoyed strolling the cobblestone streets and taking the occasional free trolley ride…

the inn boasts a rooftop deck that is the highest point in Old San Juan offering fabulous 360 degree vistas…

we discovered pots of night blooming fragrant blossoms on our terrace that reminded us of the moon flower vine we had growing in Virginia one summer…

day or evening the inn and gardens are captivating and magical…

there are charming nooks and lush inviting areas everywhere you look…

and a lovely spot with the morning sun streaming in on our cafe con leche with fresh fruit and toast…

we were charmed by the face key “rings” for each room and bought one as a souvenir…

our traveling tea cup felt right at home…

there is so much to tell about this one of a kind boutique hotel and

its resident artist Jan D’esopo and her beloved Campeche

 the “social director” who really took to Mr Magpie…

everyone was so gracious and welcoming…

it was not easy to leave but El Convento was waiting for us…

I missed you all for tea the last couple of weeks and even though part of me is still in Old San Juan I look forward to visiting with you over at Kimmie’s Art in Red Wagons