Category Archives: Green Living

Seth Apter’s 6th Annual Buried Treasure and My Mermaid Slipper

my search for Buried Treasure had me digging back to September of 2010 for my entry in Seth’s Buried Treasure event this year I came across a favorite altered shoe I created:

“pretty much everything has a story doesn’t it …

this story goes back to around 2009 …

Mr Magpie who is SO very supportive and encouraging of my creativity was exiting a major highway …

he saw this lonely shoe and made a second loop back to the exit about 3-4 miles to rescue it from the side of the road

rescued shoe before

… imagine my surprise and delight …

kind of felt like Cinderella…except I have never worn a heel like that … ever … 😉

I have altered shoes before with a couple of examples here and here … back in the day I even did dried flower arrangements in little children’s shoes …

the minute I saw this high heeled number …

I thought “mermaid slipper” 

maybe it was the cork platform heel …

Sanibel She Shells (2)

I have been most distracted lately by our collection of seashells … it led me to making mandalas the other day and finally… after all this time …Sanibel Island Shells

I got the clear chaulk out and got busy transforming my special shoe …

almost complete …

I painted the inside of the shoe after I glued on the shells … a little silly … what can I say I got excited …

Mermaid slipper (3)

Lumiere Pearl Turquoise gave a nice shimmer …

I knew it needed words …

mermaid thoughts …

what WOULD a mermaid do with a shoe anyway …

mermaid slipper (9)

in my excitement I showed Mr M the finished slipper and boy did we have a laugh … when he read the quote out loud …

speaks to the “soul

it hit us … yes … the SOLE!

mermaid slipper (14)

the shells were all collected from Florida beaches … Sanibel Island mostly … a small black shark’s tooth from our dear friend Carol’s brother Joe along with some tiny pieces of sponge …

creating my mermaid’s slipper was like taking a mini vacation …

everything melted away …

I forgot to drink water …

I forgot to … well you know …

it was perfect escape and very satisfying …

wish you could feel the weight of the shoe layered with seashells!

My Mermaid Slipper

“Come walk with me
Along the sea
Where dusk sits on the land
And search with me
For shells are free,
And treasures hide in the sand.” ~Unknown

Caldesi FL Shellbush1

sjöjungfru… sirena … zeemeermin … havfrue … syrena … sirène … Meerjungfrau”

You can visit all of the participants here

spice of life …

Chai or Yogi Tea as it is also known is delicious and beneficial any time of year but I find it especially pleasant on a chilly winter’s day…

Steaming Hot Yogi Tea

the fragrance in the house after simmering the spices is an added bonus…

and speaking of spices…

many years before I started drinking yogi tea I created necklaces by threading whole star anise, allspice, cloves, white cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon onto strings of dental floss …

Spice Necklace T Collage

the secret of stringing most of the spices is to soak them in warm water for about 12 hours making it easier for the needle to go through them and using a small drill to make holes in the nutmeg and cinnamon sticks…

with thanks to my Mr Magpie…

keeping the necklace in a covered jar when it is not being worn has helped retain the lovely fragrance over time

Spice Necklace Jar

the pretty painted daisy lid in the photo above was bought at a craft fair years and years ago

artist of daisy painted lidif you would like to make yourself some Yogi Tea you can visit my 2008 blog post here for the recipe

Maple Syrup Bear

  Maple Syrup Bear and I wish you a Happy Day oxo

 

Asheville “Trash” Tea…

the Asheville area has so much to offer…

surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains…

a friendly walking town with a magical Friday night Drum Circle in Pritchard Park that delights and moves all ages…

lots of special places to eat and linger a while… 

my friend Lisa sent us with a list of great spots to visit…

one fun and different place was a store called TRASH which was a well organized large space loaded with a variety of great recycled items

we could not resist a photo op out front with our traveling tea cup…

“Be infinitely flexible and constantly amazed.” ~  Jason Kravitz (quote compliments of Alan Cohen)

the life of a teabag…

if you visit my Magpie’s Nest now and then you surely know about Kimmie’s Tea on Tuesday where friends get together and post about whatever strikes their fancy…

it might be about their favorite drink, travel, nature, art or life in general…

you just never know what you’ll find when you visit everyone which is a big part of the charm each week…

since last year I had planned a tea post showing some of my tea bag collection which is always growing…

but you know how life can move at warp speed sometimes so I never got around to showing you the photos…

I have used pretty silk tea bags like the ones above as “wings” with altered cutlery…

after removing the used tea I sprinkle it in the garden to help enrich the soil…

you didn’t think I’d throw that away did you…

the paper is great to rubber stamp on…

many of the Tea on Tuesday participants are especially creative and innovative using tea bags in their artwork…

 Judy Perez’ blog post is where I recently discovered a wonderful tutorial on how to print on tea bags

I was delighted at how easy it was…

I held my breath the first couple of times and got very relaxed by the thirteenth or so go round trying some color images too…

with thanks to The Graphics Fairy for all of these lovely images…

pausing to print on a piece of paper that had separated our cheese slices…

surely you save similar things too…

the pretty purple background above was a gift from my friend Lisa as we were singing the praises of security envelopes and I had never seen a purple patterned one before…

each printing turns out a little differently because of the designs the tea makes on the tea bag and how it runs through the inkjet printer…

now that I know just how easy this is I will be doing more and I may try ironing the tea bags a little bit for my next go round…

getting out the iron never seems to be foremost on my mind…

thanks to the many inspiring people that visit and post in blogland making it such a special place to be…

I am really enjoying everyone’s excitement about my recent gelatin monoprinting which reminds me why I started blogging in the first place back in 2007…

being excited and sharing what you enjoy is contagious…

I am very happy you came to visit today…

you can visit Kimmie for lots of other tea stops here

and lastly,

Eleanor Roosevelt has some of the best quotes…

this oldie but goodie was perfect to share today:

“A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt 1884-1962
                                                        OXO

more than tea…

on weekends I enjoy coffee with Mr Magpie…

we have a favorite coffee shop within about 25 minutes walking distance each way…

this past weekend was a federal holiday here in the states which meant a three day weekend…

on our Monday visit there they already knew what we wanted…oh my!

a grande half caff cappuccino for me and a vente real deal for the Mr…

we like asking for REAL mugs instead of paper cups which cannot be recycled…

that way we stick around and get to do some people watching and take a nice little coffee break…

we often split an egg salad sandwich and one of these yummy salted sweet caramel bars …

I have plans for those brown papers …

instead of a cookout or a party or going to the pool before it closed for the season we have been clearing out a bit …

stuff…stuff…stuff …

so much in fact …

I will be having some giveaways soon to see if some of the books I’ve collected over the years might be useful to someone else …

more on that in future posts…

footnote update: click here for my first magazine giveaway

wishing you a Happy Tea Tuesday even though I had coffee and it feels like Monday…

the school children in this area go back to school today…

I still remember the feeling of needing to get to bed at a decent hour because early mornings came around all too quickly…

I tip my hat to teachers and all of you who have children in school while still making time to nurture your creative side AND blog too……..

for more blog stops visit Kimmie’s Art in Red Wagons

WS: Let Them Eat Cake

CAKE is the challenge theme this week over at Wednesday Stamper (WS)…

I thought this Hero Arts cake stamp had such great possibilities…

so I got busy recycling some magnets that I have collected/accumulated…

after a light sanding and a nice layer of my favorite UHU glue stick…

I applied my painted background paper and brayered and brayered again helping keep all of the edges down nice and snug to the magnet…

I stamped onto four different kinds of paper creating the various layers of the cake…using the yellow cardstock as my base…

I added each cut out section leaving the yellow candle at the top….scissors and a craft knife came in handy for trimming…

won’t you join us for some WS cake…no calories…just fun…

all are most welcome to play along…

the only rule is that you use at least one rubber stamp in what you create…

Winterling Tea…

Winterling is the name of the German China that my parents used every day for years and years and years…


the gold rubbed off the edges of some of the plates…even with them never having been in a dishwasher…

my Mom never owned a dishwasher…which here in the states might be considered unusual…

we had some of our best mother and daughter conversations washing up the dishes each evening…

the tea cups are still in fair condition because coffee mugs were most often used…

the blue step stool was made for me by Mr Magpie many years ago…

my Mutti was going to paint it for me…

she did paint it with my favorite daisies and her special flower touches …

she took a real shine to it … finding it came in handy…we told her to hang on to it…

it was in her pantry and used pretty much every day as my Mom was a short little lady…

my favorite Harney & Sons Earl Grey Supreme tastes especially good steeped with such sweet memories…

for more tea stories and sharing visit Kimmie’s Art in Red Wagons…

“Flowers really do intoxicate me.” ~ Vita Sackville-West

Happy April…Happy Spring (or Fall)…Happy Happy Everything…

Charm City Tea …

sort of…

we thought about having tea or coffee…

I’ll explain…

on Saturday we headed to nearby Baltimore to visit a favorite museum…

more about that cool spot here

it was the perfect opportunity to also visit a favorite eatery in the Fells Point historic district which is where The Wire and the crime drama Homicide: Life on the Street (1992-1999) were filmed…

the menu is very appealing…portion sizes are generous…homemade soups daily…everything is prepared fresh and oh so tasty…

even Mr Magpie didn’t miss the meat in this raw taco…it was really delicious with some seasoned nut meat to give some crunch…

there is a nice coffee house atmosphere with changing art displays…coffee and tea are special here as well…

we opted for one of the fresh juiced blends…not easy to decide on just one…

we went with the Red Pearrot…made with organic carrots…pears…red delicious apples and pomegranate…

we learned on previous visits not to succumb to the temptation of ordering two juice drinks…they are so satisfying…you might not have room for lunch…

there is always a slab of live wheat grass on the counter…not my cup of tea 🙂 but full of healthy properties…

we were happy to see they are remodeling…surely a good sign in this economy…they were busy at 3 in the afternoon…

be sure and stop by Kimmie’s for more Tea Tuesday bloggers

paper garlands…

perfect lap work while watching Hercules Poirot on PBS

playing with some old French book pages…

that I folded and cut…

pinched and threaded onto sturdy thread…

voila…

guirlande en papier autour de l’Arbre de Noël

this is the second year we’ve had a tabletop tree…I really like it

…for some amazing paper inspiration…visit Dymphie to see her wonderful paper branches Jen has made some super colorful paper wreaths out of recycled paper too

fa la la

WS: Red and White

Red and White are the colors for this week’s Wednesday Stamper challenge…

ever since seeing Terri’s blog post about Robin-Marie Smith’s stitched paper bags I have been having fun playing with scraps and stitching…

so many possibilities with different colored bags…

and bits of this and that…I have decided I like putting a hanging string or ribbon on the decorated bags making them a little more versatile…

fa la la

Honey Tea

September is National Honey Month


news to me…


bees (here are some cut from wood)


honey and beeswax all fascinate me …

honey is an ancient and pure food … a perfect sweetener … also used as medicine

… hail honey and of course … BEES !!!

Happy T Tuesday … I will be a bit scarce in blogland the next couple of weeks … looking forward to catching up with you all after that

Romeo y Julieta

… cigar boxes …


I have always had a “thing” for boxes of all kinds … pretty wooden cigar boxes with special closures make great storage … and perfect gift boxes too … thank you sweet Jean x two …

Mr Magpie and I hit it lucky recently … we popped into a local cigar/smoke shop to check on boxes …

we arrived just as they were about to throw a nice stack of them away … WHAT … oh MY … time for a rescue mission …

the boxes  made of wood with nice closures on them are my first choice … but often the graphics on the boxes with nails in the lid are very tempting as well … ending up with a bounty of boxes … I had an idea … sometimes those come in a flash … gotta Love it when that happens…

you know how you soak envelopes in water to remove postage stamps … the first time I heard that … I could not believe it … it does work like a charm … well I decided to soak some of the boxes and wouldn’t you know it … the lovely decorative bands … most likely each glued on by hand … got slippery after about thirty minutes (hot or cool water didn’t really seem to make a huge difference) and they pulled right off into nice long strips … ooh la laa…

time to dry on a towel … curling a bit …

when I found myself ironing cigar strips … YES … even I had to shake my head for a moment … but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do…

look at how beautiful they are … instant borders/decorations for collage and more … I was raised to waste not want not … thank you my Mutti … the box parts are waiting for a second life now too!

*footnote: thought I’d share a favorite story with you … at the risk of making this a longer bbb post 🙂 … when our boys were young I did iron every now and again … but chose to do so after they were tucked in their beds … for safety reasons or more likely that I’d put it off long enough … one Saturday while getting ready for a wedding and being forced to get the iron out in daylight … our middle son, Alex … who was around five years old …  asked “what IS that” when he saw the iron … still makes us chuckle … ironing is never on the top of my to do list … hardly seems necessary … unless it’s cigar papers perhaps …


my mermaid slipper

pretty much everything has a story doesn’t it …

this story goes back to around 2009 …

Mr Magpie … who I must say is SO very supportive and encouraging of my creativity …

was exiting a major highway … he saw this lonely shoe and made a second loop back to the exit about 3-4 miles to rescue it from the side of the road

rescued shoe before

… imagine my surprise and delight …

kind of felt like Cinderella…except I have never worn a heel like that … ever … 😉

I have altered shoes before with a couple of examples here and here … back in the day I even did dried flower arrangements in little children’s shoes …

the minute I saw this high heeled number … I thought “mermaid slipper”

maybe it was the cork platform heel …

what is the one thing a mermaid might long for … legs ?

Sanibel She Shells (2)

I have been most distracted lately by our collection of seashells … it led me to making mandalas the other day and finally!!! … after all this time …Sanibel Island Shells

I got the clear chaulk out and got busy transforming my special shoe …

almost complete …

I painted the inside of the shoe after I glued on the shells … a little silly … what can I say I got excited …

Mermaid slipper (3)

Lumiere Pearl Turquoise gave a nice shimmer …

I knew it needed words …

mermaid thoughts …

what WOULD a mermaid do with a shoe anyway …

mermaid slipper (9)

in my excitement I showed Mr M the finished slipper and boy did we have a laugh … when he read the quote out loud …

speaks to the “soul

it hit us … yes … the SOLE!

mermaid slipper (14)

the shells were all collected from Florida beaches … Sanibel Island mostly … a small black shark’s tooth from our dear friend Carol’s brother Joe along with some tiny pieces of sponge …

creating my mermaid’s slipper was like a mini vacation …

everything melted away …

I forgot to drink water …

I forgot to … well you know …

it was perfect escape and very satisfying …

wish you could feel the weight of the shoe layered with seashells!

My Mermaid Slipper

“Come walk with me
Along the sea
Where dusk sits on the land
And search with me
For shells are free,
And treasures hide in the sand.” ~Unknown

Caldesi FL Shellbush1

sjöjungfru… sirena … zeemeermin … havfrue … syrena … sirène … Meerjungfrau