Category Archives: Gifts

Happy Mail from Greece…Just Because

several years ago I caved in and joined Facebook after resisting for quite a long time…

for me it was a chance to be in closer touch with family that lived far away but little did I know just how fun and exciting it would actually become…

I  have made some lovely friends from all around the globe and one of them is Eugenia from Athens, Greece who creates and shares a lot of wonderful digital art with stories and thought provoking text and more…

she surprised me by telling me she wanted to send me something…

Happy Mail from Eugenia in Athens Greece

in what seemed like no time at all her package loaded with beautiful Greek postage stamps arrived in our mailbox…

Just Because from Eugenia in Athens

such a treat to open this box that traveled over 5,000 miles (8,000 Kilometers) with Eugenia’s lovely note and thoughtful gifts…

Krocus Kozanis Products tea leaflet (1)delicious and delicate herbal tea made with precious Greek Red Saffron (crocus sativus) like nothing I have ever had before

Krocus Kozanis Products tea leaflet

without leaving our back porch I was transported across the miles enjoying this special cup of tea and friendship in a beautiful cup and saucer Eugenia sent me carefully wrapped in bubble wrap which worked like a charm…

Greek Honey Orange and Saffron Tea

Eugenia explained in her sweet note how the olive tree is an integral element of Greek culture and especially connected to her ancient city of Athens…

Greek Olive tree cup and saucer

a beautiful embossed olive tree is on both sides of the cup which to me always represents extra fine craftsmanship…

Greek Olive tree cup and saucer (1)

Eugenia wrote this about the significance of the olive tree:   “ it was this gift offered by Goddess Athena to the inhabitants of the city, who in honor and gratitude named their city after her.

Goethe Kindness Quote

I couldn’t resist putting the used tea bag onto some card stock to let the rest of the beautiful saffron soak into the paper and of course I will be saving the pretty tea bag papers to use in the future (I already stamped part of a Tim Holtz stamp on one in the fourth photo from the top)…

Greek Olive tree cup and saucer (2)

joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard for T today so very grateful for Eugenia’s beautiful cup of kindness overflowing with generosity and friendship from a place I have always dreamed of visiting ~♥~

sweet surprises tea…

my dear and talented friend Marilla (we met back in the 70’s when we were just babes working in Washington DC) surprised me with the most gorgeous pair of silky soft hand knit socks using superwash merino wool and nylon that she dyed in a colorway inspired by some bluebell photos I shared here last spring…

Judy Post Pin Cushion Marilla Knit Socks

that cute wool snowman pin cushion is a treasured piece my friend Judy Post made for me many years ago…

Moonlight and Laughter by Marilla

I have never had a “real” pair of gorgeous hand knit wool socks like these ever before…such a special special gift … Marilla not only knits beautifully she also spins and dyes yarns that she sells in her Moonlight and Laughter Etsy shop...

Fager's Is Lighthouse Harry Heron

by leaving a day early for a planned five day getaway to Ocean City, Maryland we missed the largest snowfall the Washington DC area has had in about four years…

Assateague State Park

saying goodbye to the pretty white sands of our relaxing getaway we returned home to some deep white stuff  (funny enough the last time we got home from this same spot in December there was an ice event upon our return home)

February 2014 snow

I do L♥ve snow and

backyard winter wonderland

 I also L♥ve having so many kind and thoughtful friendsValentines from Linda Kunsman and Linda Richter

these precious valentine’s arrived in our mailbox from two different really nice and talented Linda’s that I know…

♥Linda Kunsman of heARTfully inspired by Linda

and ♥Linda Richter of Linda Jo’s Obsessions

Assateague Island Foam Heart

as I make my way back into blogland to try and catch up with everyone I am joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard to wish you all a Happy T Day…

pretty boxes…

friends (some I have never even met face to face) are so generous…

my friend Carmen recently gave me this lovely German box along with some vintage sheet music and images…

the button box is already holding some of my special treasures…

* * *

Nathalie my Queen Bee friend has a wonderful etsy shop chuck full of goodness…

I found this box impossible to resist with its jointed corner construction and perfect patina for a future project…

(where is my woodworking vocabulary when I need it!)

Nathalie tucked in all kinds of special surprises too…

not just anyone would rescue beautiful broken sugar bowl pieces and share them with you…

and that mystery rusty piece ooh la laa…

* * *

Jean of Bluebirds Living in the Meadow is having a fabulous giveaway times two AND is also sharing another of her great tutorials that you will not want to miss…

“Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.”  ~Richard Bach (author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull)

“heart” story tea…

last Tuesday was moving day for our youngest son…

he is now back in his favorite college town where the pace is a bit slower than here in the DC Metropolitan area and hopefully a job will be a little easier to find…

seeing him drive off with all of his belongings stuffed into his car was bittersweet while knowing that it was time for him to move forward…

about an hour after I was rattling around here in the empty nest (mind you we are each enjoying our new freedom) the postman knocked on the door and delivered a package…

the always thoughtful and sweet Sue of My Arts Desire (who I REALLY miss in blogland) totally surprised me with special {heart} gifts and I wanted to share the beautiful story and gifts with you today…

I sat down with my cup of tea and the camera to see what Sue was up to…

her notecard was written on “Jan. 13, 2012”

here is a recap of some of what Sue wrote:

while she was rummaging through a box of goodies she had stuffed away she came across something she’d purchased earlier in the summer to send to me…

she wrapped the framed piece (reveal to follow) in a piece of wonderful hand stitched quilt top and tied it with some pretty hand dyed ribbon and promptly got distracted by her day…

you know how it is…

you pass by the kitchen sink and decide to take care of the dishes…

then the dog needs some outdoor time and so on…

 in the middle of that Sue felt the urge out of nowhere to visit my blog …

she hasn’t posted on her blog since last summer so this was quite significant too…

it happened to be the day of my “13” post remembering our Alex

Sue has a heart of gold and said how moved she was by the Tracy Chapman song and what I had shared in my blogpost…

she figured out that the swan she picked up at a great bargain (25% off the lowest price…that’s why she left the sticker on) was about 200 days before…

so what were the chances that on this day …

well you know

we both believe there really are no coincidences in this life …

to quote Sue just a bit here: “…In my world and way of thinking it happened for a reason.  I would like to believe it was a message sent straight from heaven to you, from your precious boy, Alex, saying “I miss and love you too…”

WOW…

Yes and thank you both for touching my heart and Mr Magpie’s SO sweetly!!!

wishing one and all a really special T Tuesday…

be sure and visit Kimmie for not necessarily just tea



surprise tea…

very glad you could stop by for tea today…

on a recent visit to my acupuncturist she recommended that I drink some medicinal tea every day for 4-5 weeks to help balance the medication I need to be on for an extended period of time…

one patient’s reaction to the taste of the Dandelion Tea was that it was “like licking the bottom of an ashtray”

WHAT!

even after that less than tempting review I still wanted to give the tea a try before resorting to taking another pill as the dandelion root does come in capsules as well as tea…

I am VERY happy to report that it is not bad at all …

I found it to be more like the description on the box:  “A pleasant roasted taste, sweet and slightly bitter.”

just fine with or without honey…

different strokes for different folks I guess…

I’ve had some other very nice surprises recently as well…

imagine my delight when this beautiful swan book arrived all the way from Singapore…

 Steph of Purple Lotus Art creates THE most beautiful collages and sketches and more…

I have already carefully soaked the lovely postage stamps off of the envelope to use in collage…

another wonderful surprise came from Judy of Apron Strings

she was offered a free magazine subscription and signed me up  to receive a year of Vegetarian Times…

SO thoughtful and generous and much appreciated…

I have received two issues so far and each one is packed with information and inspiration which will definitely help me be a bit more creative in the kitchen …

WordPress also surprised me and all of its customers with this generous gift…here is what they said:

“To celebrate the New Year we’ve decided to offer you more space for your precious media.

Your space upgrade has been increased without any additional cost for you as follows:

5GB -> 10GB

Your total available space has been automatically updated and as you can see in your Media Library.

You now have a total of 13GB.”

isn’t that great…thank you WordPress…you Rock too!!!

wishing you a very happy T Tuesday full of sweet surprises…


traveling tea…


back in Virginia now after a wonderful getaway to the west coast…

California certainly is a most agreeable place to visit…

it is easy to entertain thoughts of moving there…

before our trip I received a lovely surprise from the sweet and thoughtful Jan in the UK

when the mailman delivered this smooshed box to our door all I could think was oh oh…

looks a bit like an elephant sat on it…

but what to my wondering eyes …

there were three perfect pieces of Jan’s Mum’s English Bone China each carefully wrapped in bubble wrap tucked in with pretty linens and fancy paper napkins…

surely Jan must have waved a magic wand over the parcel before it made it’s journey from the UK to Virginia…

sipping a cup of the delicious vanilla and honey tea with heartfelt thanks to Jan…

still pondering our recent travels and how to find balance in this life

travel is one of my all time favorite things…

it is such a free feeling with small demands like “what would we like to see today” or “where should we eat”

now I am trying to get back in the swing of things with cooking and other household tasks calling me along with trying to make some time to play and catch up in blogland too of course…

a big part of me is still on the central California coast…

quite by accident my traveling tea cup and saucer did not make it into our suitcase…

I didn’t realize it until a couple of days into our travels…

nice to be back and wishing each of you a happy T Tuesday

regali da Italia

…gifts from Italy…

still trying to catch up on thank you’s here in blogland…

the lovely and talented Gio from Roma surprised me recently with some handmade treasures…

I plan to take the gorgeous fabric covered notebook with me on our upcoming trip to California…

I had admired Gio’s delicate domino book (approx 1.5 x .75 inches…3.81 x 1.90 cm) long before I knew it was meant for me…

precious details both front and back…

even a lovely black swan…

she pinned a very fine assortment of charms onto a fancy pin for me to play with too!

***molte molte grazie caro Gio***

…a thousand different things

my little 1931 Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Encyclopedia art journal has been calling me…

inspiration began with the sweet pouty girl from Land of Nod and a sacred heart image I had on hand

her hallo is from my sweet friend Trish’s wedding

her groom’s great grandmother made THE most delicate and delicious wedding cookies that she tucked into silver paper cups at each place setting…

the two photos above were taken indoors…

 notice the difference in the color of the photos below taken out on our back porch where I go for “perfect” light…

torn Citra Solv treated paper along with some special gold patterned paper for the background…

black and white rubons and a white poster pen for some added highlights…

I have a collection of Kim Edwards’ quotes from her moving book “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter”

that piece of pretty lace has been waiting for some time now…

* * *

the sweet and talented Jean of Bluebirds Living in the Meadow recently sent me some really special treats…

including some magical gompi/gampi tissue paper

sometimes it takes me awhile to dive into goodies…

I know I will find the right time to make the best use of these gifts…

Jean  even gifted me with copies of her painted swan collage sheet images to use in my artwork…

 swans are just one of the things we each hold dear…

she tucked in one of her wonderful faux wool felted flowers too AND the amazing silver tea strainer…

I had never seen anything quite like it before…

precious gifts from a precious friend who I hope to meet in person some day!!!

I am a bit behind in thanking so many thoughtful and generous people here in blogland…you know who you are … thank you dear ones      OXO



prizes all the way from Australia…

it was my lucky day recently to be the winner of Jo Murray’s 100 blog post celebration giveaway

I am not certain how Jo and I originally ‘met’ here in blogland…

life moves so fast …

I do know what a pleasure it is to enjoy her creativity and kindness…

it is quite amazing to be able to trade emails from across the globe …

instant pen pals

blogging really is a beautiful thing…

and speaking of beautiful things…

here is Jo’s brilliant “3 Blooms” acrylic painting that I won…

a perfectly matted ready to frame 4×5″ creation…

Jo said she couldn’t find a Magpie card so she went with the Black Swan….

hello…

absolutely perfect for me…

thank you SO much Jo…

here’s to lots more blog posts and friendship…

along with a quote from Don Miguel Ruiz that I find very uplifting as well:

“The best moments of your life are when you are being your authentic self. When you are in your creation and doing what you love to do, you become what you really are again. You are not thinking in that moment; you are expressing. Your emotions are coming out, and you feel great.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz

***there are a couple of giveaways open on my Magpie’s Nest Too Blog…

with two winners being announced on 7 October

and one on 11 October

pop on by and see if there is anything you might be interested in…

I also offer free downloads of vintage postcards there now and again***

tea and buttons with the girls


last Tuesday I had the chance to spend time with art friends at Dot’s lovely home in the country …

the focus of our gathering was buttons…

something I am always drawn to…

here is a sampling of the inspiring pieces Dot had already created…

she sent me home with a blank elastic cuff to play with…

hers clingled so nicely…

I was sipping delicious Raspberry Green Tea

around her table covered in a gorgeous quilt that she had rescued…

she patiently instructed us in how to weave our buttons and generously shared some of her special button collection too…

here is just one of the gorgeous things she has made…

Dot does so many things and SO very well too…

a true creative genius…

the frosting on the cake for me was a trip to her hen houses…

the girls as she calls them (and a few guys too) got very excited as she led me down a beautiful woodland path…

when I got home we enjoyed the freshest egg omelet ever as some of the eggs she collected were still warm…

our son said he could taste flavors he had never noticed in eggs before…

Dot is not only talented but has a really generous heart too…

she made me a beautiful portfolio out of lovely chicken fabric that someone had sent her from The Netherlands …

her reputation for being the egg lady has spread far and wide…

she knows how tickled I get around hens

for me it is a chance to step into a world I normally would not get to witness…

as you can tell it was a very special visit and I have only shared some of the highlights…

time spent with art friends…

tea and treats…

so much eye candy and sharing …

I was really happy to be able to join Dot, Janet and Leslie for this gathering…

all such talented and nice people…

for more fun places to visit pop on over to Kimmie’s Art in Red Wagons

* * * 

a little update on my Magpie’s Nest TOO giveaway blog

my first winner was the lovely and talented Gio in Italy

last chance to sign up today for three giveaways …

those winners will be announced on 28 September …

items are being added all the time

box of delights tea…

Judy Domec really outdid herself in decorating the box full of goodies that I won in her round robin traveling tea cup event

she said it was her first art mail attempt…very well done Judy…I know your box delighted lots of people all along its journey…

I truly did not want to open it right away as there was lots to read and enjoy…but

finally I did open it while sipping some delicious Chocolate Pu-erh and munching on a Madeleinea container of those jumped into the grocery cart the other day which hardly ever happens…

here is the lovely line up of treats that I won from all around the country…

thank you Dawn

thank you Lori

thank you Amy

thank you Jill

thank you Halle

thank you Pat

thank you Kimmie

thank you Judy

how did I get SO lucky…

wishing you all a very happy T Tuesday from rainy Virginia…

you can visit Kimmie at her Art in Red Wagons for links to lots of these talented artists along with other fun people to visit too…

gesso play and sweet surprises

Gesso is one of my favorite art ingredients…

it is really more like a tool

such a tool

looking at a stack of book pages that I paint scraped some time ago I realized they could use a little something more…

the perfect chance to play with plastic doilies …

paintbrush …

and gesso

with endless possibilities…

as I got lost in play I was a bit shocked to see how much gesso and paint my left hand caught…

my jar of gesso above is ancient…

I have added water to it several times to extend its life…

a nice bit of color and decoration for envelopes and finally a use for my very thick dauber paints…

I also wanted to share a sweet surprise that arrived in my mailbox earlier this week….

the lovely and talented Dymphie in The Netherlands generously gifted me with some wonderful postcards that she made…

Love those great heart world postage stamps too…

I had commented on a blog post of hers saying how I am crazy about all things medieval…

so generous of her to think of me…

just because…

she also included a couple of her folded corner bookmarks

one is already in use …

blog friends sure can make opening the mailbox fun!

More Over a Teacup

last Tuesday I shared some photos from three friend’s and I having a special tea prepared by the talented Julie and Susan of Julieanna Over a Teacup  in Broadway, Virginia

as that post got a little long…I thought I’d save some to share with you again today…

this vintage cup and saucer winked at me the moment I walked into the shoppe…

after tea I tried the cup on for size…

I like to be able to put my finger through the handle…

it was a perfect fit…

I have already enjoyed several delicious cups of my favorite Harney & Sons Earl Grey Supreme in it…

there is so much to catch the eye and delight the senses at Julieanna’s including special touches like their hand painted bags and ribbon wrapping…

along with our tea and conversation there were gifts…

Judy made everyone really special fabric covered tea journals…and she knows I enjoy postage stamps from around the globe too…

a yummy and delicate treat from Lennie … along with a tea pot spout drip catcher (say that five times quickly) that she bought for me at Julieanna’s as a thank you for driving…

a pretty bag full of gifts from Pat which included one of her “fairy umbrella” photo cards … her hand crafted heart scissor keeper … and two very special India inspired gifts…she knows me well..

some time ago I had found a bag of vintage sewing-needle books

what to my surprise when I opened the bag to find that there was one to fit each of these gals perfectly…

a horse theme for Pat McNally...

“Broadway” brand needles for Judy Post who has a Broadway address…

and a gardening theme with a Maryland Bank logo for Lennie Stimpson who used to work in a bank…

certainly the best gift of all was time spent together…

we survived THE hottest July on record here in the Washington DC Metropolitan area…

wishing you and yours a very happy August…

you can visit Kimmie for more T Tuesday stops and loads of inspiration…