Category Archives: blue sky day

daily bread …

inspired by the wonderful French gentleman from a postcard I bought for myself I created a spread in my France journal for the Journeys theme over at Art Journal Journey this month…

Magpie's Nest French Postcardspart of our journey to France was about food (of course)

Magpie's Nest food samplerthe “floating island dessert” that we had in Lyon was a ball of meringue floating on a light vanilla custard within a caramelized sugar cage … it sounded innocent enough when we ordered them…

Magpie's Nest BIG floating island dessertbut when the members of our coach tour group saw the size of them we could not believe our eyes (it was delicious and would have easily served four)…PhotosWallis C. Moirenc 2004 Ste pe 13240 Septemes les Vallonsenough about food for now… here is the page I started telling you about in the beginning… “pain quotidien” means “daily bread” I believe (credit for the postcard of the French gentleman appears when you click on the photo above in the picture description)…

Magpie's Nest La Campagne the countryside we took SO many photos of the gorgeous French countryside…

Magpie's Nest PanPastel coloringthe golden canola (rape seed) fields were dazzling with the blue skies…

Magpie's Nest the countrysidethe right hand page of my spread is about “the countryside/la campagne” with a few of our photos printed out smallish to fit the page…

Magpie's Nest daily bread the countrysidemy head is still whirling from our travels and photos and life in general…

Magpie's Nest french collage

thank you for stopping by oxo

Full Moon Blizzard 2016

anyone that knows me well knows how much I enjoy snow

Magpie's Nest Front Porch and Driveway

there is something about the purity and hush that freshly fallen snow brings turning everything sparkling white…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Snow HaikuWinter Storm Jonas got lots of press before Friday when the snow and wind finally settled in for 36 continuous hours…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz view from second story window here near Dulles Airport we got 28.3 inches of light fluffy snow (Mr Magpie took the above photo which shows the heated birdbath resting on top of the wind blown snow)…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Blizzard Tulipssome fresh tulips were a necessary part of my blizzard preparedness…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Snow on Snowit took Mr Magpie lots of time and patience to use his electric shovel to help carve a path from our back patio around the house to the front driveway…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Clearing a pathI made sure he stayed well hydrated…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Fred Waterbringing him a snack or two as well…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Blizzard Tsnow is SO photogenic and appealing to me…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz playing on the back porch I could not resist taking oodles of photos…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Blizzard 2016

it was fun playing in the snow with the traveling tea cup…

Magpie's Nest Patty Tulips in the snoweven the tulips ended up out in the snow for a bit…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Cardinals and Fairy GardenI must confess I have been in a continual state of excitement since last week especially with words like “epic” “monumental” and “historical” being used to describe this storm…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz SNOW TULIPSit was one for the history books for our area…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz filtered snowthe light and shadows are so beautiful with the snow and sunny skies…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz winter light we enjoyed the full moon from our back porch too (you can see it below at the top of the center photo)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz January Full Moonon Monday some energetic high schools boys helped dig us out further (BIG thanks to Isaiah and David who are two very cheerful and hard workers!!!)…

Isaiah and David Workers Extraordinare

it will be a couple more days until schools and businesses and mail delivery are up and running again…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Lady Planter in Snow

hoping that you are safe and well as I join everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover for T Stands for Tuesday

 

Build…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Wooden Church Sterling VAinspired by a sweet little country church that has been turned into a landscaping business…

church 2as a bigger and more modern church probably was built to take its place…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Trio of arches

the peeling white wood and arch windows are so pleasing to me reminding me of the little wooden church Mr Magpie and I were married in so many years ago…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz art journal pagesI created two more pages in one of my art journals…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz ArchitectureSheila‘s fab theme of Architecture over at Art Journal Journey this month has had my wheels turning…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Build arch windowand I have been fiddling with cutting out magazine letters to create words lately…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz BUILD art journal pagesI had to laugh at myself as I spelled and spelled again focusing while sitting in front of the tv to be sure I spelled the words correctly as I glued each letter in place and that I did not breathe too heavily  which could have sent the letters flying…

Magpie's Nest Spooky Black n Whitesince I am still staying close to home with my banged up toe Mr Magpie has been snapping lots of photos for me and I play with some of them with my iPhone apps…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz iphoneography“October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills once more in sight, and the enduring constellations above them once again.” ~Hal Borland

Shell Tea…

Magpie's Nest Salty Sailor Dogin spite of our Ocracoke Island vacation being very “damp” each day was special…

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup in surfon one of the clear days we took our traveling tea cup to the beach letting the Atlantic Ocean waves wash up around it with me squealing and dashing at one point to rescue it from being washed out to sea (Mr Magpie was laughing so hard he couldn’t snap many photos of it happening)… 

Molasses Creekwe ventured out one rainy night splish splashing through puddles to enjoy a really special concert with Ocracoke Island’s very own Molasses Creek band at their Deepwater Theater and Music Hall…

Magpie's Nest Ocracoke Island Beach Duneslast year we shared our excitement about the shell “spirit” tree we helped create on the beach here

Magpie's Nest Spirit Shell Treeand were delighted this year to find a different piece of wood lodged in the sand waiting for us…

Magpie's Nest Returning Shells to the beachso we got busy because we came prepared…

Magpie's Nest Shell treein our efforts to downsize and let go of things Mr Magpie emptied a BIG tin of seashells around the tree that we brought back to the beach from our Outer Banks shell collecting over the years…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Shell Treewe do have a weakness for shells…

Magpie's Nest Mr Magpie on the beachand could wander for hours on the beach totally entertained by Mother Nature…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Traveling T Cupthis year for the first time ever I found not one but TWO perfect Scotch Bonnet shells

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Scotch Bonnet Sea Shellsit is not uncommon to find tips and fragments from these shells but to find them in tact is a bit more rare

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Shell Tree Mile Marker 74.5 back to the shell tree…

Magpie's Nest Ocracoke Spirit Treeabove you can see some of what other people added (a lone flipflop, toothbrush, colorful sand toys along with a plastic glow stick that was finished and a small plastic oil container that probably washed ashore from a boat … that we removed and recycled)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz shells and quoteit was fun collecting mostly shells with holes in them stringing them onto natural twine that we brought from home to make shell garlands to tie onto the branches…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Ocracoke Island Shellswish I could send each of you some seashells but you probably have collections of your own…

Ocracoke Island Dogs Cats Horses thank you very much for all of your good wishes … a broken toe is such a small pain compared to what so many others are going through…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Harmony Ocracoke Seashell Mandalhere’s wishing you a very Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover

sunshine of life…

this past weekend was filled with enjoying nature and especially  flowers which is something I never get tired of…

Magpie's Nest Summer of Sunflowers Burnside Farmson Sunday we visited a pick your own flower farm

Magpie's Nest Burnside Farm Retailand were especially taken with the sunflowers (they planted 25 different varieties that will bloom on and off for about four weeks) …

Magpie's Nest Burnside Farms Welcomewe brought the traveling tea cup along and placed it in front of the beautiful Gladiolus bed…

Magpie's Nest Sunflower field Burnside Farmswhen I zoomed in on one of the rows of sunflowers I could not resist snapping a photo of a little girl enjoying the blooms…

Magpie's Nest Four Honey Bees

Burnside Farms supports pollinator habitats which includes endangered Monarch butterflies…

Burnside Farms supports pollinator habitats

there is something about sunflowers that always makes me smile…

Magpie's Nest Traveling T Cup

speaking of things that put a smile on your face… 

Karla's package

a surprise package from Karla arrived traveling all the way from Brazil…

Gifts from Karla in Brasil

Karla’s thoughtful gifts were a delight to open and I could feel her kindness and friendship from across the miles…

Magpie's Nest Friends Sunflower and Bee

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

Magpie's Nest Sunflower Field Tea pot and cup

***in keeping with the spirit of sharing I wanted to direct you to Seth Apter’s celebration of 8 years of blogging and a chance to be a very lucky winner of his generous giveaway here***

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

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

beach tea …

it feels like I have been away from blogland for a long time…

NC 32 abandoned house

(the house above was on NC 32 near Edenton…not on the island we visited)

I am joining everyone over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard’s for T today sharing some of our beach getaway with you…

Ocracoke Village

our traveling tea cup came along and got to enjoy some sun and sand…

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup Ocracoke Beach NC

we had a bit of rain too which resulted in some wonderful puddle reflections in yards and on rustic roads in the village…Magpie's Nest Rainy Day Ocracoke

along with pretty patterns on the beach…

Magpie's Nest Rainy Beach Ocracoke NC

we visited Ocracoke Island around the same time last year and enjoyed it so much we booked a two week stay this year…

Magpie's Nest Lighthouse

from our rental on Silver Lake Harbor we had views of the lighthouse and enjoyed the boats and ferries coming and going from the Pamlico Sound

Magpie's Nest Ocracoke Lighthouse

the sunset views are something we looked forward to daily…

Down Creek 101 on Silver Lake Harbor

each one special and different…

Magpie's Nest Pamlico Sound sunset

I look forward to reconnecting with everyone again and hope that you have been well…

Magpie's Nest early morning Atlantic Ocean

art journaling just because…

it had been since July that I played in either of my gesso journals…

Magpie's Nest Gesso art journals

when mystery directions written on a slip of paper popped up inspiration hit me for an art journal spread (I used the original note tearing it in half and using a piece on the corners of each page)…

Magpie's Nest Find Your Way Home journal closeup

some bits of old tissue paper with text on it… torn map paper… washi tape and a few rubber stamps flowed onto the pages along with touches of paint… gesso and Stabilo pencil for shading…

Magpie's Nest Find Your Way Home journal pages

the next day a lovely geisha image turned up on my work table and two more pages came to be…

Magpie's Nest Geisha art journal page

the golden Ginkgo leaf that got separated from other more pristine ones that I had pressed in years past seemed just right (when I decided to look up the symbolism of the Ginkgo I was pleased to find it is popular in Asian art…maybe in the recesses of mind I knew that?)… the golden fan shaped leaves always speak to me…

Magpie's Nest Ginkgo art journal pages

when some of my pressed violets presented themselves along with the thoughtful lady below two more pages materialized (these three spreads were done on and off over about a three day period of time)…

Magpie's Nest While the soul whispers art journal pages

in digging around in my goodie piles I came across lovely scraps of vintage paper that I had plastered along with what I thought was the perfect quote (I have quotes scribbled on little pieces of paper and it is fun when they pop up)…

Magpie's Nest While the soul whispers quote pages

when I get wrapped up in creating everything falls away and sometimes I even forget to stop for a drink of water…

Magpie's Nest refreshing water

this glass tasted especially good out on our back porch when I was snapping photos of my finished pages to share with you

Magpie's Nest Pause that refreshes

here’s wishing everyone a very happy T day along with Elizabeth and Bleubeard… I appreciate your visit here!

Mikrokosmos July “Clouds” Challenge

the MiFoC photo challenge theme this first week in July is “Clouds” and I really wanted to play along so here we go on a little two day trip into Washington, DC where my husband and I played tourist for the fourth of July…

storm Arthur Clouds

these storm clouds show a bit of what Hurricane Arthur had in store for us but we were lucky and only had to deal with lots of wind and rain but no damage…

sun flag old post office

and just in time for the 4th of July when all of America celebrates with fireworks and parades the skies cleared and the hot sticky weather left us with gorgeous and comfortable weather to enjoy…

Environmental Protection Agency Wash DC

we walked all over and enjoyed some of the Independence Day parade down on Constitution Avenue …

clouds near China Town

a nice meal tasted even better al fresco at a favorite restaurant

Poste Restaurant courtyard al fresco

then it was time to walk down to The National Mall to get a spot on the grass to see the fireworks

4th of July

everyone seemed to be in great spirits and it was a melting pot of nationalities with people visiting from near and far away…

smoke clouds 2

the fabulous fireworks made special smoke clouds in the night sky…

Kimpton selfie

all we had to do was walk back to our hotel not worrying about dealing with traffic and leaving the city with the throngs of other people…

Celebrating the gift of trees…

with many thanks to the people of Japan for their gift of friendship in 1912 of 3,020 cherry trees to the people of the United States

Tidal Basin Washington Monument

it is not difficult to understand why flowering cherry trees called “Sakura” in Japan are highly exalted and cherished…

Floating reflected blossoms

thanks also to all those that have worked over the years to preserve and protect the cherry blossom trees here Washington, D C…

Sunrise silhouettes tidal basin

the delicate blossoms are a good reminder for us to appreciate what is…

BLUE sky blossom closeup

the blooms are fleeting and last only about two weeks at the very most and that is if no harsh rain or wind storms hasten their demise…

Parasol Patty

for many years now people have flocked to the United States capital to enjoy the beauty of the blossoms along with the magical fairyland that they create…

12 April 2014 JJJ Cherry Blossoms

our strategy this year was arriving at 6:30 am just before sunrise when the crowds are a little lighter than in the middle of the day…

Cherry Blossom Shade Quote

before we knew it three hours had passed and we had walked all around the Tidal Basin enjoying some monuments along the way…

Tidal Basin Jim and Patty 2014

this rite of spring has coincided with the blooming bluebells usually on time for our 11 April wedding anniversary for some years now…

Sakura Traveling Tea Cup

this is the fourth year that our traveling tea cup has made the trip to visit the Tidal Basin in Washington…

Washington DC Cherry Blossoms

March 2011 was when I first had the idea for a traveling tea cup (more on that another time)…

Cherry Blossom Beauty 2014

I will be a bit scarce in blogland but did want to join in with Bleubeard and Elizabeth to wish you a Happy T Day

Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

The light filling the air

is so mild this spring day

only the cherry blossoms

keep falling in hast—

why is that so?

 Ki no Tomonori (c.850-c.904)

Ocracoke T

our traveling tea cup is on the road again (our trip to California was so unexpected we never thought to take it with us)…

Traveling T Cupwe are celebrating the end of summer and beginning of fall on Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina…Red Book Store (2)last time we got to visit was four years ago…

Ocracoke Beach

it is a beautiful and peaceful place with its own sweet country charms...

Ocracoke Lighthouse (2)

the 1823 Ocracoke Lighthouse is the second oldest working lighthouse in the United States whose light can be seen from fourteen miles away…Ocracoke Lighthouse (1)we find ourselves drawn to it again and again…Night view Ocracoke Lighthouseit is so photogenic…

Atlantic Ocean Traveling T cup (1)I am joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard for T today and look forward to catching up with everyone soon…

Atlantic Ocean Traveling T cup (2)I appreciate you visiting me here and I enjoy reading each and every comment very much…

Atlantic oCEAN bEACH LOVEthank you oxo

Mandala Monday: Ocracoke Island

after our quick trip to California last week we are happy that we could still go away for the beach getaway we scheduled awhile ago…Dunes Hwy 12

the Outer Banks of North Carolina have been a favorite spot for our family for many many years now…view from ferry

we have the nicest memories of tent camping in the park sand dunes…some years renting a house…even borrowing a co workers snazzy RV when our youngest son was just six weeks old…view from Down Creek Harbor View Rental

this time we made reservations on Ocracoke Island which is a short ferry ride from Hatteras Village…Ocracoke Ferry

we are enjoying the peace and quiet of the less than busy summer season here…Star fish mandala (3)

 a lovely heron glass topped table inspired me to create a mandala…Star fish mandala (4)

using some cutlery and pieces from a couple of games along with some artificial leaves we found…Star fish mandala (1)

along with a lovely starfish from our rental home with beautiful water views from all  of the windows…Silver Lake view from house

joining in Dawn’s Mandala Monday and sending you every good and special wish