Category Archives: Books

Little Free Library…

walking is something I really enjoy and always mean to do more of…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz right of way path

I do find that getting out early in the day is my best plan before I sit down at the computer and time evaporates…

 Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz take a walk

we have some nice bike paths joining several neighborhoods that cross little creeks and meander through the woods and open spaces…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz approach

have you heard about the Little Free Library literacy program with book exchanges in 50 U.S. states and 70 countries around the globe (as of Jan 2016 there were 36,000 registered)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz LittleFreeLibrary

one was installed along a favorite walk of ours a couple of years ago…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz LittleFreeLibrary Info

as I have been in clearing out mode on and off for awhile now I try to grab a handful of books to leave there when I think of it…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz departure

there is also a Little Free Library at our favorite supermarket…

Mom's Little Free Library Herndon VA

MOM’s Organic Market in Herndon…

Mom's Little Free Library Builder

after a trip to the market the other day I just had to pull over on the way home to buy a couple of packs of pretty violas…

Patty Szymkowicz Violas

I popped them into assorted chipped cups and containers so I could enjoy some inside and outside too…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Spring Whispers

then I had a little fun playing with them on my iPhone using assorted apps (Diana, DistressedFX and PixlrExpress are my favorites)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Becca Lee quote

here’s wishing you a Happy T Day

“And as she fell apart her shattered pieces began to bloom – blossoming until she became herself exactly as she was meant to be…” -Becca Lee

*a little giveaway* winners

names were randomly chosen

Magpie's Nest Nov 2014 Giveaway winners

and the winner of Quotes Illustrated is:

Magpie's Nest Nov 2014 Giveaway winners (1)

the winners of the collage paper packs are:

Magpie's Nest Nov 2014 Giveaway winners (2)

thank you for joining in my giveaway and a special thanks to everyone for visiting my Magpie’s Nest and making it such fun to share and connect ~♥~ I appreciate you and your time very much

a little giveaway …

*this giveaway is now closed*winners were announced here*

it has been way too long since I have had a giveaway…

here is your chance to receive my good as new copy of Quotes Illustrated

(I am trying to lighten my load here doing some organizing so off it will go to a new home)

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one person will receive the book and I will also draw a couple of names for some packs of assorted papers suitable for collage (sample below)…

Magpie's Nest Collage Goodies

friends from near and far are welcome to leave one comment here for a chance to win the book or a packet of paper goodies…

sign up ends Thursday * 13 November…(winners will be announced on Friday)

“…dusted with spices…”

Skylight on porch

“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.” -Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

3 Tiger Swallowtails and a Bumblebee

 a bumble bee and Tiger Swallowtail butterflies frolicking in the sunshine on Tall Garden Phlox…

Time for a good book

joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard again this week for T stands for Tuesday and wishing you a great day…

“Come with me,’ Mom says.
To the library. 
Books and summertime
go together.”  -Lisa Schroeder, I Heart You, You Haunt Me

put a bird nest on it…

and call it done…

Encyclopedia Pages

my twenty-eight spread journal using an old rescued encyclopedia volume that I have worked in so much lately

Patty Szymkowicz Art Journal (1)

now has a cover on it using a piece of one of the cutter quilts I got recently…

Patty Szymkowicz Robin in Angel Fountain

while I was out on the back porch (where the light is good for photography) a robin redbreast popped into our angel fountain not seeming to mind me being quite close…

Patty Szymkowicz Robin in Birdbath

as I had my camera handy I clicked a few photos of her splish splashing away…

Magpie's Nest Robin in the bath

something went amiss with the robin that nested in our pink climbing rose out front as the four beautiful eggs disappeared from the nest over night leaving us guessing what might have gone wrong…

 back to my art journal…

Patty Szymkowicz Quilted Journal CoverI always like an excuse to use one of my wire bird nests as they are such fun to make…

Patty Szymkowicz Art Journal

I am close to finishing a smaller Funk & Wagnalls volume but that may not happen before our trip in June…

*Wordpress tells me this is blog post #1660*

promise…

Susi’s Art Journal Journey May challenge theme is to “Challenge Yourself” (all are most welcome to join along each month)...

Painted and stenciled pgs (1)

my challenge began with two painted and stenciled pages that I made just because I wanted to play with some replacement dabbers and my favorite distress stains (I missed the opportunity to snap a photo of my beginning pages as my camera always seems to be downstairs)…

some supplies (1) I also enjoyed stenciling with some extra thick gesso to give texture and interest to my book pages…

Painted and stenciled pgs

I had no specific plans for what else I would be doing to these plain painted pages until I uncovered a wonderful Paper Whimsy image sheet on my work table…

Prayers Fell Like Rain (1)

I started with the right hand page brushing several coats of soft gel medium onto the little girl distressing with a sanding block along the way…

Paper Whimsy Girls

repetition is something I enjoy while creating so I carried the strip of three images over to the left hand page and before I knew it they ended up being speak no evil…hear no evil and see no evil…

some supplies

I altered a white paper doily rescued from a recent tea outing with a sweet friend of mine using colors that would blend in with my painted pages…

Prayers Fell Like Rain (2)

then I let words pop off the pages of some book text that was also handy and my pages began to really come together…

Butterfly Lace

adding the lace at the bottom was a nice way to connect the pages and compliment the lace in the girl’s collar …

Vintage Hat

 tiny posies snipped from a vintage hat were the finishing touch to some of my favorite green leaf ribbon that you may have seen me use before

Prayers Fell Like Rain (3)I continue to be thrilled by the challenges of beginning with plain book pages …

letting the ideas come and flow as I go creating something I could have never planned beforehand …

thank you for visiting and letting me share my excitement with you which is exactly why I started blogging back in the fall of 2007 …

* Happy May *

little dresses …

if you are a paper Lover this is something you may enjoy…

I am having way too much fun making little origami dresses...

it is impossible to make just one and I am not even sure what I will do with them exactly…

you know how it is when you just “have to” make something…

I do think they would be great on cards … as ornaments to hang or strung to make a bunting … so many possibilities…

next I am going to get busy using more old book pages…

I will be away until early next week when I look forward to catching up with you all…

see you in September oxo

back then they called this color “jade” …

several weeks ago I came upon an old can of spray paint in our shed…

I am not all that fond of smelly spray paints…

long forgotten this can was still begging to be used…

a weathered chair we have had for some time was a ready victim

then it seemed like a good idea to spray a couple of book pages using paper and crochet doilies as stencils…

still a little paint left in the can…

“Your brilliance comes from your spirit.  To deny it is arrogance.  To accept it is humility.” ~ Alan Cohen


Dawn’s Journal Journey’s Ch9

Dawn’s Journal Journey’s monthly challenge is all about art journaling which is a nice way to jump start your creativity combined with her always creative inspiration…

Dawn’s May Challenge 8 slipped away from me and I so wanted to join in the “Once upon a time” theme as fairy tales immediately came to mind…

since June’s challenge is “Torn Paper” I knew I could combine the two and did so using papers I painted and stenciled and tore to make the mattress for The Princess and the Pea

I tore the castle image sanded it abit and got busy blending various stamp pad inks to cover the rest of the page…

seeing blank pages transform is always a really fun part of the creative process for me…

I still find adding words to my pages my least favorite part…

I decided to not fuss over it and just do it adding some white highlights with my Uniball Signo pen…

also it is worth noting there are no faces on my pages which is a bit different for me…

happy to have another spread in my Inner Child Art Journal


Needle Felting Fun…

our local Mixed Media Collaborative group played with wool on Wednesday and what a fabulous time it was…

many thanks to the talented and generous Susan for sharing

her passion for creating and helping us to take wool, fibers, ribbons and more to great new heights…

..my first finished journal above thanks to Susan…

I can hardly wait to put the finishing touches on these pieces…

some will be journals and

some will turn into needle keepers

it is such a great feeling to start something new and not want to stop…

a good reminder to go for it…

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” ~Mary Lou Cook


“Fears and tears”

Pat of Artfully Ooglebloops made me do it …

I joined the Sketchbook Project 2012 World Tour back in the fall of last year…

for a while there with me out of commission for almost two months and trying to make it through the holidays I did wonder if I would be ready for the 31 January mailing deadline…

I chose the “Fears and Tears” theme from the list of available themes without too much thought…

the first thing I knew I wanted to do was glue pages together and collage the remaining pages with lots of old torn text…

thanks to Margaret

for the vintage French page with men in their hammocks which reminded me of butterfly cocoons…

when I saw the F.E.A.R. quote above on Kathy Maximo‘s Facebook page I knew it needed to go into my book…

I have always thought of fear as the opposite of Love…

it just so happens that my centerfold pages have the one real sketch I did of my Secret girl…

dare I say that she looks a bit better in person…

the page is bent open a bit giving her an odd angle…

thanks to Nathalie for that vintage rubber Secret stamp and to Michelle Lum Ho for the perfect ’13’ stamp too…

I am a total novice at drawing and sketching …

Pat assured me it was OK and that ‘anything goes‘ for this project …

sketched or not …

she participated last year and does draw beautifully…

she had her book digitalized which is a great idea since the books become part of the Brooklyn Art Library and are not returned to the artists…

I am happy with how my pages came together even with hardly any sketching…

finding the right words was a great starting point…

I did sketch in the left hand side of the red lips (big whoop *ggg*)…

it was a partial image to begin with…

I stitched a tea bag on the left filling it with tiny paper stars and a Lunaria seed pod that I wrote ‘Love’ on…

my favorite German gold flimmerstern made the perfect burst behind a postage stamp…

the LOVE stamp on the back cover was the one we used to mail our wedding invitations back in 1981…

I enjoyed this creative process and marveled at how random words and phrases and meanings appeared through the gesso and paint without me consciously focusing on that happening…

thank you Pat for encouraging me to take part …

I said my goodbyes and my book is on its way …

what an amazing project the Brooklyn Art Library is in the midst of…

massive and most impressive …

“What will survive of us is Love” ~ Philip Larkin

it’s my party and a giveaway…

***** the winners randomly chosen for my magazine giveaway are:

trudi and Tricia Leng *****

*************

birthdays in our family can last a nice long while…

to get my party started I decided to give away two copies of the current issue of SEW Somerset

for your chance to win all you need to do is leave one comment at this post BEFORE 19 December…

everyone is most welcome…

two winners will be randomly chosen and announced on Monday, 19 December OXO

little tea

what is it about little things that speak to some of us…

I could not believe my good fortune when I came across a plastic bag full of this very fine array of miniature books for a song at an antique shop…

the little Haiku with Birds below measures about 1.75 x 2.75 inches (4.445 x 6.985 cm)…

new or old…

ragged…

wrecked…

big or small…

books carry a mysterious kind of magnetism for me

I was recently charmed by Dymphie’s amazing mini book earring creations here and Cynnie’s super mini book post here

those little’s made me think of some small tea cups I have…

lined up in a row they are sized just right for Goldilocks and The Three Bears

the Red Riding Hood Bavarian china pieces were a gift I bought with birthday money when I was very young living in Germany…

it is a bit of an odd feeling to know that any questions I have about details surrounding the tea set are not likely to be answered now that my father and mother have both passed on…

there is more I would like to know about the set…

clearly I liked the little dishes very much and did actually play with them…

I wonder how many cups came in the set …

and what happened to the creamer …

my Dad was a master fix it guy and very patient when it came to puttering…

looks like the glue just didn’t want to hold on the sugar bowl handle…I still have the pieces…

“On autumn-crisp nights …

Against harvest-moon background–

Wavering geese-lines” ~Haiku with Birds by Pall W. Bohne, 1967, Book #190 out of 250 printed

today I am enjoying a cup of homemade Yogi Tea and does the house ever smell good too…

whether your tea is little or big…I hope you enjoy your day…

Kimmie’s Art in Red Wagons has more bloggers to visit here…