Category Archives: Birds

when snow falls…

img_0414we had a “conversational” snowfall on Saturday which was just enough to add a sheer white blanket to the garden…img_0413

the birds got extra excited at the suet feeder even over just a few flakes…

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-virginia-birds

I am joining Erika’s “Tell Me A Story” challenge at Art Journal Journeyimg_0417

the story behind my two page spread is simply my Love of snow with the special hush and purity it brings…img_0005

a couple of images torn from The Washington Post along with the words “drift” and “snow” were added to book pages that I had brayered with gesso…  I printed out the rest of the quote using our laser printer… the font that I chose happened to match perfectly… the finishing touch was some splatters of gesso…

“When snow falls, Nature listens” -Antoinette van Kleef

teach…

an all time favorite Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song TEACH YOUR CHILDREN  inspired this two page spread for Elizabeth’s BACK TO SCHOOL theme over at Art Journal Journey…magpies-nest-teach-inspiration

I challenged myself to use colors I don’t often use and found a napkin along with some of my mother’s old paints that helped move me in that direction…

magpies-nest-teach-pages-in-progress

not totally comfortable with my color matching my favorite heavy gesso came to the rescue once again…magpiess-nest-distracted-by-dried-paintthen I got distracted for a bit by my paint tray noticing a small corner of paint sticking up… sure enough the layers of paint peeled out easily and yes I did save those bits for what I am not exactly sure 🙂 …magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-rainy-day-fun

then it was back to trying to make my pages work on a lovely rainy day here in Virginia…

magpies-nest-teach-left-page

it was fiddly fun cutting and pasting thin pieces of napkin to carry the design from one page to another (that napkin was too good to cover up completely)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-teach-right-page

it took me awhile to get some matching turquoise and greenish yellow for my painted pages…

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-teach-your-children-well

some Adirondack BOTTLE stamping ink applied with a wet wipe worked for one part since a lot of my Tim Holtz DISTRESS STAINS seem to have lost their color over time…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-teach-art-journal-pages

a little more doodling with my gold paint pen and my pages are complete (tricky to photograph on a rainy day)…

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good-bye.
Teach your children well,
Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you.
And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.
Teach your parents well,
Their children’s hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.
Songwriters: Graham Nash
Teach Your Children lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Spirit Music Group

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

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

garden of dreams…

another spread for Yvonne’s IN MY GARDEN there is theme for Art Journal Journey…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz background pages

working in my DREAM journal with layers of paper napkin… paint and gesso…

Magpie's Nest Nigella

torn bits of Misty Mawn collage sheet fabric fusion paper with a Love-in-a-Mist bloom from my flower press...

Magpie's Nest black capped chickadeepressed flower fusion paper and tissue paper…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Garden of Dreams

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in – what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.” -Victor Hugo

♥ Paris je t’aime/Paris I Love You ♥

happy to be back on line after an involuntary absence because of Mr M trying to upgrade our computer…

Patty Szymkowicz Thyme Lady and Mr Cardinalthe word “nightmare” sums up that experience pretty well as the new set up was impossible to deal with and very frustrating…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Garden blueswe are now back where we started with a slow computer that can at least be used…

Magpie's Nest Stokesia Aster Bouquetjoining the group over at T Stands for Tuesday  after a pause on our back porch…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Paris cup I am also sharing two new art journal pages for the Moo Mania and More  PARIS theme…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Paris Je t'aimeI had fun filling the cup with some favorite Paris images decorating with part of a coffee stained paper doily and fabric flowers on a peeled flower napkin over old French text background (Notre Dame was from a French chocolate wrapper, the lady is from The Graphics Fairy, the image on the left is one of Da Vinci’s hand drawings)

Giverny in April…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Giverny Reflectionsgetting to visit Monet’s Garden was one of the reasons we decided on Trafalgar’s BEST OF FRANCE tour (we can not speak highly enough of our brilliant tour director Krista Taylor and great coach driver Francis and thank them so very much for a memorable journey through France)…

Magpie's Nest Magpie's in Monet's Gardenwe visited on a Wednesday and there were quite a few people there…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Monet's Housesuch a beautiful place both inside and out…

Magpie's Nest Monet's Dining Roomwe can only imagine how crowded the gardens would be later in the season with the parade of flowers that never ends…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz in Monet's Gardenstanding on the Japanese bridge even without water lilies blooming was a dream come true (I wanted to bring my paper parasol but it didn’t fit in the suitcase so my fold up Monet’s Garden umbrella had to do)…Magpie's Nest Room with a viewwe lingered a little longer and then had a bite of lunch in the village under a bright red sunbrella where we also visited a cute boutique for some cards and a slice of berry tarte…

Magpie's Nest Giverny Tea Room La Capucinewe were delighted by the precious rabbit hopping freely around the garden…

Magpie's Nest Giverny Monet Quoteleaving the village of Giverny and walking back to our coach I spotted a great bird refuge sign that inspired me to create a page in my French Travel Journey linking it to Art Journal Journey for their JOURNEYS themeMagpie's Nest Giverny beginning pagesErika couldn’t have picked a more inspiring theme this month as it has really helped me keep busy working in my travel journal trying to preserve some memoriesMagpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Bird Refuge Giverny(French text, heavy gesso, pan pastels, French bird refuge sign photo, used tea bag, pressed Virginia flowers)

the work of our hearts…

another spread in an altered book for the Art Journal Journey February challenge “If Music Be the Food of Love“

Magpie's Nest beginning pagestorn pieces of a vintage 1911 invoice (I used the original instead of a copy like I might have done in the past) … German book text… and a digital collage on the right of L♥ve stitcheries and assorted buttons…

Magpie's Nest TAP transfer onto book paperthe birds are from my photograph made into a TAP transfer and ironed onto book text

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Hands to Heart CreateHazel’s challenge for AJJ this month is an inspiring one…

Michael Bridge heart and hands quote

 

February T

the snow is melting and the birds are singing with our recent days of spring like temperatures…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Robin Redbreasts in Winterthe beginning of February brings us midway through the winter season here in the Northern Hemisphere…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Rascal Squirrelsliving where we do in Virginia we get to enjoy a taste of the four seasons which is something I do enjoy…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz midnight visitor Diana app layersI had a weak moment recently at our favorite market when I saw this mug

Magpie's Nest The Republic of Teait is a nice size and the lid comes in handy for keeping your drink warm…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Tulips and Ranunculusfrequent visitors might remember the bouquet of tulips and ranunculus that I shared a couple of weeks ago…

Magpie's Nest Patty SzymkowiczTulip t potthe tulips are now gone but the ranunculus’ continued to look beautiful for some time with the colors getting lighter as time passed…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Ranunculus bloomsI trimmed the stems and played with them in different containers…Magpie's Nest Ranunculus on tulip petalsthe petals above are what was left from the second bunch of January tulips I bought just before the blizzard…

Magpie's Nest Patty SzymkowiczI had no idea the ranunculus’ would be so hardy…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Ranunculus PhotoFunia 2

it is my new favorite flower…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz tulip stemshere’s wishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

 

 

Stormy Island Tea…

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz Ocracoke Island Beach

so much can happen in a day and before you know it three weeks have passed…

Magpie's Nest Sunny Spell

 I am eager to catch up with everyone and hope that you are well…

Magpie's Nest Ocracoke Island Tea

our beach getaway was full of the unexpected…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Ocracoke scenes

most of it wonderful and some of it a bit challenging…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz cloud dune reflection

certainly a memorable time…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz around town

midway I broke my pinkie toe by banging it on the wood frame of a bed…OUCH dastardly bed legOH! it hurt like crazy (if only I’d put those shoes there from the beginning…house slippers are my favorite shoes just now)…

Magpie's Nest pelican in RAIN

even with being on ice and my foot elevated for three days I did not miss much because it rained and rained and rained some more (dubbed “Ocrasoak” by the local newspaper)…

Magpie's Nest Down Creek 101 views

out of our thirteen day vacation we had three glorious sunny days that we were most grateful for…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Ocracoke Boats

we were cozy and comfortable in our rental home away from home with windows on three sides situated beautifully on Silver Lake Harbor with boats and nature coming and going…

Ocracoke Pelicans and Kingfisher

and the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse captivated us from every view and angle again this year…

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz Ocracoke Lighthouse

in past years we enjoyed the brilliant sunsets from our screened in porch and we did manage to see a couple this year in spite of the very wet weather…

sunset first night boat and guy

I have some traveling tea cup adventures to share with you next week…

DSC04231 RAINY DAY SCONE

Hurricane Joaquin sent us packing a day early with a state of emergency and mandatory evacuation for all visitors from the island…

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz Ocracoke Lighthouse across Silver Lake Harbor

I woke up at 4am on our last day wondering how our stormy 2.5 hour ferry crossing would go…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz last sunny dayreminding myself that it is never the things you worry about that usually happen…

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz White Ibis

we waited in line for hours to secure a place on the Swan Quarter ferry watching the water rise all around us as we were entertained by a large flock of American White Ibis

Ocracoke BREATHE

it was a memorable vacation and we really have no complaints except perhaps about the design of that ding dang protruding wooden bed frame…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Ocracoke Coffee Co.

after a really long day of travel we arrived home safe and sound finding a good five inches of much needed rain had fallen here in Virginia while we were away (Ocrocoke Island remained closed for another week but is now open to visitors again)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Longfellow Rain Quote

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

 

 

Black & White

feeling a surge of creativity around the full moon this month I am joining in with  Moo Mania and More BLACK & WHITE and Mix it Monthly MIXED MEDIA FLOWERS challenges…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Love is the soul's Light Rumi

the lovely girl with flowers in her hair is a favorite image that I’ve had for a long time from a magazine and the black bird, butterfly wings and roses at the bottom are from a collage sheet that Misty Mawn shared in one of her on line workshops…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Rumi Quote

lots of layers of gesso, black Stabilo pencil and white Signo gel pen along with a little honey comb stamping around the edges (I really wanted to give her rosy cheeks!)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Love is the soul's Light Rumi (1)

“Love is the soul’s Light” – Rumi

the empty nest…

in a previous post I mentioned that wrens had moved in behind the fern in the corner of our covered porch (turns out it was a very smart choice with all of the summer showers we had on and off during their nesting time)…

Magpie's Nest Wrens nested on backporch

during our son’s visit home from Colorado the wrens activity reached a peak and just when I thought I couldn’t take the sweet chirping any longer they moved out without us ever getting a look at the young ones…

Magpie's Nest Nature in our garden

our back porch acted like an echo chamber for Mr and Mrs Wren as they played tag team diligently feeding and cleaning out the nest and chirping all the while (wrens do sing some of the sweetest songs and boy were they busy!!!)…

Magpie's Nest Blue Moon made by Jim

and just like that it all went quiet and they were gone leaving behind their tidy empty nest…

Magpie's Nest Wren's empty nest

our son made the most of his visit getting to meet up with friends and family… attending a music festival on his birthday and camping out at a favorite beach for a week…

Magpie's Nest Colin enjoying the lotus gardens

we were very happy to have a perfect summer day (not too hot with low humidity) to visit the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens with him as he’d never been before

Magpie's Nest our son the merry prankster

his good sense of humor had us laughing as he posed with my parasol…

Magpie's Nest the empty nest

and just like that his two and a half week visit was over and he flew back to his mountain home in Colorado leaving us with a quiet house again…

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz T Time

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

Celebrating Two Years of T Stands for Tuesday…

with many thanks to Elizabeth for being our fearless leader and hostess these past two years…

Grab button for T stands for Tuesday

and for helping people connect from all around the globe each week for T Stands for Tuesday (all are welcome to join in)…

Patty Szymkowicz Nature in our July gardenhere’s to lots more fun and sharing…

Magpie's Nest Potomac Vegie Farm flowers(flowers from Potomac Vegetable Farms)

Magpie's Nest T pot with phlox