Category Archives: Life

… Love … Sweet … Love …

popping in to say I am thinking of you while we are traveling…

“Love is the medicine that accelerates healing. 

Love yourself,

love your neighbor,

love your enemies,

but begin with self-love. 

You cannot love others until you love yourself. 

You cannot share what you do not have. 

If you do not love yourself,

you cannot love anyone else either.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz

Happy “would have been” 30th birthday to our Alex

wishing each of you Love and more Love all ways

I look forward to visiting with all of you again toward the end of this week  OXO

“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



“Pfaffing” around …

well not really…

here is what the Urban Dictionary says about “phaffing”:

1. phaffing …….. Activity that looks (to the casual observer) like work (or another task) but is not really all that productive, and in fact may be time wasting. Is usually used this way: “phaffing around” Eg “I’m just phaffing around, really.” or “He looks busy but he’s just phaffing around”.

I have heard friends from other countries use the term and couldn’t help but use the word playfully here…

my phaffing has to do with my mother’s 1950’s German PFAFF sewing machine…

state of the art and a bit of a splurge for my parents back in the day…

I remember many a weekend leaning against the wall watching excitedly as my mom sewed new outfits for me…

we were quite overwhelmed last year clearing out my parents family home…

what to keep …

what to let go …

I am so happy that Mr Magpie urged me not to let my Mutti’s sewing machine go…

it came in a handsome blond wood cabinet that we did not have room for so we passed that along to someone that needed a sturdy stand…

the machine sat on our living room floor patiently waiting to be taken for a spin all this time…

back in the seventies my Mother bought me a Singer sewing machine that I have used on and off over the years…

lately I sew as much paper as I do fabric…

my Singer had been acting up even after its latest checkup…

the repairman said it sounded like a mac truck…

we plugged in my Mutti’s Pfaff and it took off like a race car…

it purrs and runs smoothly making beautiful stitches…

I will be donating my old Singer to charity and let someone else fiddle with the stitch tension…

the Pfaff is a keeper and it feels wonderful sewing with an angel on my shoulder

thank you my sweet Mutti

magpiesnestmutti-and-pattyfirstsewinglesson

this was my first sewing machine (a toy) and my Mutti and I are having a go…

she was not only a fabulous seamstress…

she cut hair too…see my bangs 😉

I forgive you Ma XOX

*footnote:  Sweet Natalea is having a heart giveaway this weekend*


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…


Wishing you a Bright and Happy New Year

at New Year and always…

may Peace and Love fill your heart…

may beauty fill your world

and contentment and Joy fill your days…

I wish you happiness and the Brightest of Blessings and good health in 2012…

enjoy your beautiful creative life and thank you for being here OXO

a winter gift…

omiswoodencabinet-1in clearing out my parents attic earlier this year we came upon this great old wooden cabinet with a glass door measuring 19″ … 48.26cm tall x 11″ … 27.94cm wide at the widest…

any story that went with it is now lost…

was it a clock cabinet perhaps from my father’s boyhood home in Nebraska…

maybe something he planned to repair…

I had to rescue it…

just because…

there has been a lot of quiet time recently to sit and ponder what I might do with it…

white trees that I dyed in some old loose black tea were a beginning element along with shredded book text…

using Martha Stewart’s Fringe Scissors was good and challenging exercise for my hands…

I tucked in a weathered clock face that my dear friend Lennie Stimpson picked up at The Cottage for me along with an old fan that wants to shatter every time you look at…

back in the day I collected unpainted German pewter ornaments

magpiesnest-christmaspast-6

I resisted the newer painted versions for the longest while…

I will show you my first painted ornament in a future post

(read in a whisper…it’s a swan)…

back to my altered cabinet…

to reflect the ‘seasons and the passage of time’ I added the moon and stars

magpiesnest-winter1

the recycled “A Winter Gift” sign made me think of the many winter birthdays in our family…

the real beauty of this cabinet is that the things I added are temporarily attached…

a reminder of the impermanence of things…

it can be changed with the seasons…

“Lately, the world felt fragile, like a blown egg, as if it might shatter beneath a careless touch.” ~Kim Edwards, “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter”


play tea…

have you noticed how it is even more fun to play when you really should be doing something else…

could that be our inner teenager trying to come through…

pack or play

OK pause for tea…

I certainly did not want to miss wishing you a happy T Tuesday

Pacific Sea Star Tea

 looking back on our trip to California in October of 2010

this post has been in DRAFT for far too long now…

WHERE in the world has a year gone…

I still remember how entertained we were walking on Goat Rock Beach on the lookout for treasure…

what is it about wet shells and rocks that wink at you in the sand and whisper “take me home with you”

there was sea glass too if you were very patient…

my great discovery was a brilliant Ochre Sea Star still too freshly gone to take home…

it looked like a Fabergé jewel incrusted ornament shimmering in the sunlight…

and complimented the embroidery on my tunic nicely…

we were warned by friendly locals to never turn our backs on the ocean…

they have signs warning about deadly Sleeper Waves…

a local lady who shared some sea glass with me had some stories to tell about those…

it was a short drive back to the sanctuary of Jenner where we were staying…

a bite to eat and some tea on the Russian River here…

we are excited about our upcoming return visit to a different part of California end of this month to attend our nephew’s wedding…

it was our sweet niece’s wedding that took us to the west coast last year around this time…

here’s wishing you a very happy T Tuesday

… be sure and visit Kimmie

you never know where the T Tuesday bloggers will take you…

***if you are a Claudine Hellmuth fan her second book is my 10th giveaway over at my Magpie’s Nest Too blog***

Wordless Wednesday: Brightest of Blessings XOXO

September days…

“We are like the spider


We weave our life

and then move along in it

We are like the dreamer

who dreams 

and then lives in the dream

This is true for the entire universe.” ~The Upanishads

OXO see you in October OXO

the beating of my heart…

inspired by Dawn’s September art journal challenge…I decided to get busy…

I have been in a journaling mood lately…

jumping from one book to another and another in a bit of a creative frenzy…

my How It Works encyclopedia (1970’s) pages have been glued and paint scraped with just a few spreads completed so far…

each page measures approximately 10.5 x 8.25 inches (26.67 x 20.95 cm)

the last thing I did in this journal was a farewell spread for  Wednesday Stamper here … still missing you Mittwochstempler!!!

Dawn’s challenge this month is to “add an inclusion (something stuck to the middle of a spread that you can see both sides of when turned over) or a tag” … as it happens I have had these pages in limbo for a long time…

imagine a scary face/eye and lips in that outline of the pages sticking out…

see where the nose would have been…

covering it with circle graph paper really helped things open up for me…

I used some Graphics Fairy and Tullulah images to create transfers with Citra Solv and tissue paper …

Love how those turn out each and every time …

quick and easy and dreamy…

I was very honored recently to be linked in Citra Solv’s Artist Gallery here

on the left side of my spread I used the original that I made the veiled lady tissue transfer out of …

I am saving the actual tissue paper transfer of her for another project …she’s way off to the left in the photo above…

both pieces have a very nice look and feel to them …

the heart chart that I have running across both pages is from back in 2004 when I some heart testing done …

I guess it is my EKG (not 100% about that) …

glad I thought to ask for a copy…

here is a closer look at my inclusion

a photo of our son Alex not quite two years old hauling a big plastic watering can around the garden popped up at just the right time and that is when my pages really became extra meaningful to me …

this was not where I thought these pages might go …

what a little nature boy he was …

my Mutti knit the hooded sweater he was wearing …

the dangling tea cups are free images from Dover … they added nicely to the open tea tag I glued onto the page…

I used the tea string to tie them on …

it will be fun to see what Dawn has in mind for her October art journal challenge…

LaWendula’s Paper Swaps…Art Really Does Help Heal

*a LONGish post with lots all wrapped into one*

LaWendula recently hosted another fun paper swap

she has been connecting the mixed media blog community for quite awhile now with her imaginative and fun swap ideas…

this one was quick and easy…

just fill a standard size envelope with bits of paper and mail to your partner…

 my swap partner Frances…

who does not have a blog for me to send you to…

sent me some really lovely bits from the UK … so much goodness in one envie … thank you again dear Frances!!!

LaWendula (LW) and I swapped some vintage papers and did I ever get inspired when her big envelope arrived…

she included one of her really special handmade books (4.5 inches square) ready to alter … I could not wait to get busy…

as some of you know my sweet German Mother/Mutti died suddenly in February of this year…

she lived just an hour away so we got lots of one on one time together…

I sure do miss her and have not been able to find words to express my broken heart overflowing with feelings…

using lots of bits from LaWendula’s latest gifts (more than I can really show you in photos) and a few bits I had on hand…

here is what came of some of it…

with a couple of pages still left to decorate…

I will show you LaWendula’s BEFORE book pages and my AFTER altered pages below…

her  pages looked so nice I hardly wanted to cover them up…

I was not immediately aware that it would even be a book about my Mutti…

a bit of German curtain netting (I have some of my Mother’s tattered lace curtains) under the word Liebe = Love …

a piece of torn map …

a glowing candle surrounded by Edelweiss … a flower that has myriad meanings in our family …

LaWendula’s tag was lovely on both sides…felted wool on this side…I glued on the cardboard seashell from her goodies…

I like the way LW stamped page numbers on her gessoed magazine pages…as it happened the number 3 fit perfectly in the torn yellow paper I glued to the right edge…

my Mom’s name was Josephine…her family called her “Fini”

I amazed myself at the meaning in these pages…

it wasn’t until the second day when Mr Magpie was looking at my little book again that we realized why out of 12 little calendar pages that LW sent in a strip … I must have picked apples for this page…

my Mutti made THE best apple strudel always with me in mind…the ends were my favorite with a little more dough folded there…

such beautiful pages LaWendula made … you can see why it was hard to cover them…

I dove in anyway…a woman possessed on and off all day Friday…

these pages really did come together intuitively…

I noticed that sometimes I like creating with a little noise in the background…most often television…funny as I used to not be much of a TV person…

LW’s sturdy dressmaker form called to me but I did not spend any time thinking about why and added some stamped text to it …

my mother was an excellent seamstress and creator of stuffed animals and dolls and more…

the only thing I added to pages 4 and 5 from my stash were pieces of Tim Holtz tissue tape...

in looking for a tissue tape link to embed for you above…I came upon Tim’s blog post with some amazing ideas for this tape…

Love that …

maybe you will need some afterall

Estivalia … let me know 😉

playing with LaWendula’s pages was very healing…plenty of tears fell with some smiles from sweet memories too…

I actually surprised myself in that I was able to “go there” as the grief from my Mutti’s loss is pretty fresh…there are days I cannot believe she is really gone…

the little flowered flap on the left is a copy of my Mother’s fabric autograph book from the early 1940’s onward…

LaWendula included some super German library cards...I thought it very fitting that they focused on *Play* one of my favorite things (Spiel Spiele Spielen)…

so glad I took photos of each of LaWendula’s beautiful pages “before” I got busy…see the perfect brown “frame” on the left…

isn’t that German postage stamp on the top left precious…it says “With Good Wishes”

my Mutti passed along her wanderlust to me and my little sister …

our boys called her “Omi” a German fond term for Grandma

years before my Mother passed away we had a conversation where she told me she had lived a good life … little did I know just how comforting those words would be … I will continue to feel very close to my sweet Mutti …you can check out some of LaWendula’s precious handmade books here

for not having words … I certainly managed to tell quite a lot…

there is so much more to tell about my dear sweet Mutti …

she was definitely one of a kind…

I added a little paint to the back page but could not duplicate LW’s beautiful colors on the other side of her sewn tag…

I wrote “Love is the answer” and glued on the black and white strip of shiny fabric from my art table…

if you actually read all of this post…well you are amazing … the word count (WordPress provides that in Draft mode) was pretty high …

vielen vielen danke liebe LaWendula … you touched my heart again and again … you always ROCK!

 

9.11.11 A Day of Remembrance

hopefully this month’s quote from my “Angel Spirits” The Art of Sulamith Wülfing 2011 Calendar will bring a little comfort on a day where the right words are not easy to find…

a day even harder than every other for anyone that lost a loved one ten years ago…

“When you feel the need to unburden your spirit, know that I am always with you, dear friend.  I am the recipient of all your secrets, and I hold them fast in the chambers of my faithful heart.  Confide in me, and receive in return comfort and tender love.” ~Soul Confidant, September 2011

I have shared the quotes from this beautiful and inspiring calender here each month and thought I would show you Sulamith Wülfing‘s artwork for this month as well…

she was an amazing artist…

artwork of Sulamith Wülfing “Soul Confidant”

Sending Peace…Love…Light to each of you today and always OXO