Category Archives: Metal

full of grace …

this month’s rotation of our local Mixed Media Collaborative altered book round robin brought me my friend Linda Yeatman’s “Women” themed book…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Linda Y's altered book

I glued together some of the pages and tore a hole in the center ones… 

Patty Szymkowicz Blank Pages

the book stayed like that for some time while Mao Zedong’s  “Women hold up half the sky” quote kept swirling in my head…

Patty Szymkowicz Full of Grace beginning pgs

 once I got busy everything began to flow…

Patty Szymkowicz Webster's Dictionary

I created some pressed flower fusion paper using part of a “W” page from a big old dictionary that someone had unsuccessfully tried to hold together with duct tape for the background …Patty Szymkowicz Flower Fusion paper dictionary pg

a Leonardo da Vinci drawing of the head of a woman in profile seemed just right behind the peekaboo netting window I created…

Patty Szymkowicz pgs 1&2 close ups

here is part of the view when you turn the window page to reveal pages 3 & 4 of my spread below…

Patty Szymkowicz pgs 3&4 close ups

it was such fun finding bits of this and that to build onto my collage paper backgrounds where I used napkin, stamped tissue paper, pattern tissue, pressed flower fusion paper, plastered vintage book text, paper doily, netting, assorted lace and other embellishments including computer generated text along with touches of white gesso…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Full of Grace pgs 1&2

I am joining in with Art Journal Journey’s “Masculine-Feminine” challenge this month…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Final Pages 3&4

 and Mix it Monthly’s  “The Facial Profile” challenge

Second on the 2nd for May … Birdies, birdies everywhere …

it is a new month already and our Lily of the Valley bloomed in time to help celebrate May Day…Magpie's Nest Lily of the Valley Love

it is time to join Elizabeth for her second look at a past blog post…  my birds were originally posted in May 2008… interesting to note that we are no longer meeting at that store as they didn’t have room for us anymore but our mixed media art group is still going strong all these years later…

“Posted on May 14, 2008 | 

“The second Wednesday of each month is a play day at our local stamping store, Angela’s Happy Stamper.

Our focus today was inspiration taken from the Nov/Dec 2007 Somerset Magazine issue.

Jeanette Janson created wonderful Assemblage Bird Ornaments.Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz birdvoglein

Thank you Linda Scimeca for getting us all organized and inspiring us with your birdie creations! Everyone’s turned out so differently and really amazingly cool!

These are some of what I made.

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz birdpar-avion

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz birdwhite-owl

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz birdrobins-nestFor bodies I had some neat old tap shoe plates along with a juice can top, colored with alcohol inks and a dial from a broken gauge for my owl. Wings came from a vegetable steamer basket and an old folding ruler that my husband cut for me (I LOVE those!). Wire was my first choice for attaching the various elements, I did use some Matte Gel Medium to stick on a few words along with some sticky double sided tape on the back to keep legs from wiggling around. Jeanette’s article in Somerset gives lots of great ideas for ingredients.

Carmen had the brilliant idea of using a shuttlecock cut up for wings, and shared pieces of it with us. It took alcohol inks beautifully too!

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz birdfly-away

What a lot of fun!!! Thanks again, Linda, for the idea to get together and make these!

“It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.” ~Aesop”

Wisteria Tea…

one of our Spring traditions is to try and catch the Wisteria in bloom at our favorite city garden about 20 miles away in Washington, DC…

Magpie's Nest wisteria welcome

being able to visit on a cool and breezy weekday afternoon was extra nice as it was not crowded at all…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks garden

the last time I shared Wisteria photos with you was in 2013 and the Swarovski Crystal Cloud Terrace was still at Dumbarton Oaks (we really miss that alot!!!)…

Magpie's Nest Lover's Lane and Vegie Garden

the gardens are always beautifully tended but we did notice special touches like Pan’s hooves … horns and flute spruced up with gold paint above…

Magpie's Nest Garden Gate

the decorative ironwork had a fresh coat of paint too…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks Metalwork

we stood a long time admiring the metal bleeding hearts… lilies and leaves on one of the garden gates…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton tree roots

one lovely thing after another to catch your eye…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks Pebble Garden

with different varieties of wisteria planted throughout the gardens…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks Wisteria cascades

the blooms were in all stages and each variety had its own delicate fragrance that attracted lots of bumblebees…

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup

our traveling tea cup came along and made it into a fair number of photos (I counted ten times in these photos)…

Magpie's Nest Wisteria Sunshine Shadows

you can blame the number of photos on the fact that we returned a second day to explore the gardens…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton in the garden

AND there was a perfect blue sky to make everything shine…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks spring blooms

the parade of blooms was just beginning…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks don't miss a thing

 each day in nature has special treats in store…

Magpie's Nest Mourning Dove Nest

a Mourning Dove with very good taste built a nest on top of a lamp in a lovely mosaic alcove…

Magpie's Nest Mourning Dove nest in pool alcove

there will be a bit of clean up needed to get that area back in shape after the little ones leave the nest…

Magpie's Nest No two gardens are the same...

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

“No two gardens are the same.  No two days are the same in one garden.”  ~Hugh Johnson

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

Second on the 2nd for March…

March kind of snuck up  on me but that seems to be the way time is moving these days = quickly…

I am joining Elizabeth of Altered Book Lover again this month to take a second look at a blogpost that I originally shared on 27 March 2010

… becoming …

my little wire nests are starting to pile up… so I thought I would put some to good use

magpiesnestbecoming

small matchboxes make perfect containers for so many things

magpiesnest-be-humble

precious bird images from the always generous

Karen at The Graphics Fairy

magpiesnestmatchboxes

a perfect home for my wire and bead nests … gel medium worked beautifully to glue them in place

magpiesnest-nest-matchboxes

“There is no knowledge of true being.  The world is fundamentally in a state of becoming.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

* * * * *

the glint of the rising moon…

two posts in one day and three challenges in one post…

all I can say is it is nice and warm in my art cave cause baby it’s cold outside…

swan closeup

my initial inspiration was to use a beautiful swan postage stamp that I have had for some time (wish I could remember where I got it) and then one thing led to another with bits from my paper stash ..

faux resin paper

I recently tried this technique for making resin like paper  using thin book pages…an iron and beeswax…

papersit was easy and I was delighted to find that I could adhere torn pieces of waxed text with glue stick…

found poetry

some found poetry which was revealed after coats of gesso and paint had been added to the journal page also helped to inspire me…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz glint of the rising moon

this spread is for the Moo Mania CIRCLES challenge (the Seven Wonders lady on the right started out as a moo that grew a bit with the addition of papers)

crown headand my swan and lady also qualify for the AJJ BIRDS BEASTS & HUMANS challenge

possible cover for gesso journal

since it is about time to be thinking about a cover for my bulging gesso journal I am considering adding a metal ATC that I have been working on which fits in nicely with Conny’s Mix it Monthly PLAY WITH FABRIC challenge as it has plastered lace and ribbon trim

Mix it Monthly February PLAY WITH FABRIC

bookworking in a local art friend’s fashion themed altered book was the perfect time to play with some fabric and paint for this month’s challenge over at Conny’s Mix it Monthly…

connys lady fishnet stockings

I had an image of fishnet stockings and a little black dress in mind but when I got up to my work table finding bits left from an altered candy tin I created the other day things quickly turned teal/turquoise and gold along with the image of a lovely lady that Conny had shared in January

background

wanting to strengthen the pages of the 1938 book a bit I added a thin coat of gesso and then decided to tear strips of scrap paper for interest and stability also adding acrylic inks and paint…

embroidered fabric

I had fun creating a new dress for the lady using pieces of tattered embroidery from a junk shoppe along with lace for the bodice…

trying things on for size

my bottle of Golden’s Iridescent Gold is getting used up…

pgs before stamping

the bit at the top on the right hand page is an original part of the  lady’s dress…it helped highlight a favorite fashion quote from Gilda Radner which speaks for me and most of my fashion preferences…

PaperArtsy Prizes I won

I got to use one of the PaperArtsy stamps from the prize I recently won that just arrived from England (lots more fun to be had with those!!!)… 

PaperArtsy Script Stamp

the French text helped add interest and texture to the pages along with a bit of gesso and black around the edges…

Patty Szymkowicz pages for Linda S

using gel medium to add some metal snaps helped finish the fabric skirt AND thank you Valerie I had birds on my mind and forgot humans also qualify for this months Art Journal Journey’s BIRDS BEASTS & HUMANS challenge

a bird’s-eye view…

a page created in one of my gesso art journals for this month’s Art Journal Journey “Living Beings” challenge began with the image of the lady reading…

Magpie's Nest Fly (1)

I have had a package of metal Martha Stewart bird stickers for some time now and finally found a spot to use one (the things I buy with a coupon sometimes hah!)…

Magpie's Nest Fly

birds in the garden are wonderful living beings and are always a big source of enjoyment to me (some of the supplies I  used: gesso… walnut ink… paints… postage stamp on Buckram background… metal bird sticker… rubber stamps)…

Magpie's Nest Gesso Art Journal

“I want to sing like the birds sing not worrying about who hears or what they think.” – Rumi

Frida Kahlo de Rivera

after reading a review written by Rita Kempley for The Washington Post (February 22, 1992) about a documentary called “Frida Kahlo: A Ribbon Around a Bomb” the title really stuck with me…

Rita Kempley wrote in part:  “The hour-long documentary “Frida Kahlo: A Ribbon Around a Bomb” is as flamboyantly lurid as Kahlo’s pain-filled, dripping art. The Mexican artist was horribly crippled in a traffic accident at age 16, and her surrealistic works depict the suffering that was her companion throughout life. The film interweaves 120 of her paintings, mostly exotic, often obstetrical, sometimes masochistic, with talking heads, archival film and excerpts from the play “The Diary of Frida Kahlo,” performed by Cora Cardona.” -Rita Kempley Washington Post Staff Writer

Magpie's Nest 2008 page for friend's altered book

back in 2008 I worked with metal duct tape and embossing tools here on an altered book spread that opened to two more altered Frida pages…

Frida Ribbon around a bomb supplies

 with the shrine rubber stamp by Stamper’s Anonymous in mind I knew I wanted to do some metal embossing with Frida again…

Magpie's Nest Embossing supplies and plaster roll

the lovely and talented Alison had shared recently how she created a wonderful embossed metal car here which was very inspiring…

Magpie's Nest embossed metal shrine (2)

I used an assortment of Dylusions ink sprays with plaster bandage that I finally opened after having the roll around for some years to put behind my embossed Frida shrine…

Magpie's Nest embossed metal shrine (1)

the final touch that doesn’t show up all that well in my photos was heat embossing a thin edge around my loose leaf art journal page with silver embossing powder (at one time I must have REALLY enjoyed embossing because I have quite a collection of powders!)…

Magpie's Nest embossed metal shrine

with thanks to Valerie and Art Journal Journey for the exciting Frida Kahlo challenge this month…

Magpie's Nest Frida Flower

born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón                            July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954

my other Frida creations for this month’s challenge at AJJ are numbers 4, 44 and 58 and can be found here along with lots of inspiring artwork from artists all around the globe ~♥~

shine…

one of our FULL CIRCLE  workshop assignments this week was creating a lantern…

Painted Lantern Pieces

it never ceases to give me a thrill starting with simple things like cracker box cardboard…paints…

Lantern sides

snippets of paper…string and a bit of parking lot treasure that Mr Magpie rescued for me (flat lace like charm in the center)…

Illuniated Lantern

with the guidance and generous directions from our talented teacher Misty Mawn

Twinkling Lantern

I was also delighted with this project as it fits so nicely with my little word of the year here

“Whatever you are passionate about pursue…Whatever you dream about do…Just MOVE and keep following the beat of your own HEART” ~Lisa K. Fox

round and round…

Misty Mawn’s FULL CIRCLE online workshop started on Monday and what a great week it has been already…

Mandala in stages

she is such a talented…passionate and generous artist and an excellent teacher…

Mandala-stages

it is also a chance to spend time with some really nice and talented artists from all around the globe…

About-Me-FULL-CIRCLE-Assign

I L♥ve the way the layers of paint change the feel of the paper surfaces…

layers-and-layers-of-paint

and in the midst of that excitement I really wanted to get my latest completed art journal under cover…

wool sari ribbon fibers fabric

so I spent some time machine needle felting some fabric pieces that I glued onto the cardboard covers…

art journal pages

Lesley Riley wrote a great blog post about exactly what I often do moving from one thing to another and another and back again…

mandala background with felted book cover

that is what happens I guess when you enjoy a variety of things…

completed book cover

I apologize in advance as I have been a bit slow in getting around to visit everyone…

Page details

now it’s time for Friday’s FULL CIRCLE lesson and it is not too late to join the class if you are interested as the workshop will be open for a full year…

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*

be blessed …

my little 4.5 inch book was  finished in the span of a few months with no real plan or theme…

just a place to play…

back in 2010 I created a “soul” angel from a sweet Paper Whimsy girl’s head, butterfly wings, a Tiffany lamp from a catalog and a stamped heart that I colored…

My blue fairy with PW face

a copy just happened to be handy on my work table and this time she is acting as the soul of the Bluebell Forest on my pages below (shame about the glare but I was having sunlight issues in my photo below)…

4.5 inch be Blessed pages

there was some green silk ribbon threaded on a needle all ready and waiting on my pin cushion so I decided to stitch on the torn page from an old dictionary and a closeup photo of Bluebells from our archive of hundreds taken over the years…

4.5 inch be Blessed pages (1)

when I first ordered these handmade books from LaWendula I immediately stamped the seedhead on the left with one of my hand carved stamps …

the book then got set aside for awhile … 

a bit of found text helped complete the pages along with a scrap of map that I colored and a piece of painted metal zipper…

4.5 inch be Blessed pages (2)

I shared my “Truth” pages above with you back in February adding some tabs to each spread as I went along this time…

4.5 inch be Blessed pages (3)

same with my “Kindness” pages

4.5 inch be Blessed pages (4)

I am repeating the images here for my own convenience to have the finished book all in one place…

I think of my blog as a visual journal of sorts recording some of what I get into and even find it handy to refer to when I need a date or link or something…

I usually like to add the covers to my books at the end making it easier to work in the journals along the way…

Sari fabric purse parts

one of my favorite sari patchwork purses was falling apart so I decided to carefully tease all of the patches away from their backing keeping them to use for future stitching projects…

the piece below was the perfect color and made a nice cover for my book…

be Blessed front and back coversthe title of my little book (also found text) ended up on the back as I did not want to add anything else to the front…

 I hope to share one of my larger completed art journals very soon as I have been busy on the last couple of spreads…