Category Archives: Nature

Forget-me-not…

Patty Szymkowicz Painted Lady Fern Forget me notsa pot of summer blooming Forget-me-nots that I planted last year has gently spread among our Japanese painted ferns just off the back porch…

Patty Szymkowicz Forget-me-not T Pot

it is such a sweet little flower and the delicate blues really speak to me…

Patty Szymkowicz Forget me Not boot collage

the blooms that were hanging over the stone border into the lawn were begging to be picked and I just happened to have a tiny china boot that made a nice vase …

Patty Szymkowicz Tiny boot Forget me nots

and then I remembered one of my basket girls from Japan (the beautiful English Bone China cup belonged to my sweet mother-in-law)…

Patty Szymkowicz Forget me not girl

as will happen one thing led to another and I finished another chip board piece in my tea cup journal using cut out blooms from some of my photos and a Lord Byron quote…

Patty Szymkowicz with postage stamp or without

still deciding with the postage stamp or without as my thought was to keep each cup rather simple (it is a challenge for me sometimes to leave open space)…

Patty Szymkowicz Tea Cup Journal

just a couple more cups to go and I can show them all to you…

Patty Szymkowicz tiny forget me not boot

thank you very much for stopping by to visit…

Patty Szymkowicz faded flower girl

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

a day…

 new pages in one of my gesso journals (I can only declutter for so long and then I have to play!)…

Patty Szymkowicz Gesso Journal pages

paint and paper and bits of old lace curtain…

Patty Szymkowicz a day left and right

I have been drawn to those words before…

Patty Szymkowicz  a day journal pages

my pages fit Mix it Monthly’s “A Facial Profile” and AJJ’s “Masculine/Feminine” challenges…

Patty Szymkowicz Sedum Blooms

we are enjoying some surprise blooms on one of our succulents … 

Love your neighbor…

Patty Szymkowicz Delphinium Vase

a bunch of beautiful blue delphiniums jumped into my shopping cart the other day…

Patty Szymkowicz flower press

which led to some of them ending up in my flower press…

Patty Szymkowicz Delphinium Bluesnext thing I knew I was playing with flowers from the garden and making a mandala (I miss Dawn’s Mandala Monday’s and her beautiful organic creations!)…

Patty Szymkowicz Lily Mandala

I am in the midst of a long overdue clean out … it feels good to let go of things but it is a lot of work (we’ve filled up our car trunk several times dropping items off at charity shops and also recycling lots of bags of paper and cardboard)…Patty Szymkowicz Summer Thyme

all of that has kept me away from the computer lately and I have missed visiting everyone as I normally would …

Patty Szymkowicz Lavender Daze t cup

I did take some time to play and alter another cup in my tea cup journal using sprigs of pressed lavender with a piece of single ply tissue glued on top (the green background is one of the security envelopes I had in my vast “collection”)…

Patty Szymkowicz summertime on the back porch

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

Patty Szymkowicz Stone Face

“There’s no Black, White, Asian, or Latinos. The only “RACE” is the “HUMAN-RACE”.” -Henry Johnson Jr 

Purple Haze…

the lavender is blooming in our Virginia garden which is something I look forward to each and every June…

Patty Szymkowicz Lavender Daze

I have woven so many lavender wands over the years I have lost count (we have several established plants of the Lavandula x. intermedia cv. Grosso variety)…Patty Szymkowicz 2015 Lavender Wand Weaving

the fragrance is very soothing and with it comes lots of sweet memories of time spent with friends…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Lavender collage

some years ago after a fun afternoon on the back porch with special friends (Lennie, Judy and Jo Ann) making lavender wands… enjoying lunch and chatting…

Patty Szymkowicz Lavender Rose Pinecone Twine

our youngest son dubbed us ” The Lavender Ladies“…

Patty Szymkowicz Lavender Nest Weaving

this year I tried my hand at weaving a little lavender nest…

Patty Szymkowicz small cup with nest

it was fun to try but not nearly as relaxing as weaving with ribbon...

Patty Szymkowicz Lavender Love

I have shared lots about lavender here since I began blogging back in 2007…
Patty Szymkowicz Lavender

if you are interested in learning more about weaving and other things lavender you can click on the word Lavender just before the comments section in the line titled “This entry was posted in ….” and keep scrolling through the blog posts which all relate to lavender in some way (it’s in light grey on my screen)…

Patty Szymkowicz 2015 Lavender Wands

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

full of promise T …

thank you for visiting today as I join everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover for T Stands for Tuesday

Patty Szymkowicz blooms to come

the garden is so full of promise and has grown alot after a recent heat wave which was followed by five days of lovely gentle rain…

Patty Szymkowicz Raindrops

after that we had some nice sunny and breezy days perfect for opening the windows and airing out…

Patty Szymkowicz Lavender Pink Fairy Rose

another big warm up is bearing down on us and soon it will be time to start cutting the Lavender

Patty Szymkowicz T Cup art journal bister

I put some finishing touches on another page for my tea cup journal using a piece of scrap paper for the background

Patty Szymkowicz Fronts & Backs tea cup journal

“Remember to breathe. It is after all, the secret of life.”  -Gregory Maguire

fairy garden tea…

Patty Szymkowicz Mrs Cardinal Pause

feeling grateful for some lovely weather lately with time to sit out and enjoy nature on our back porch…

Patty Szymkowicz dessert on the porch

we like eating out back and had some yummy avocado tofu pie from our favorite local vegetarian restaurant  recently (I know!!! believe me all you can taste is delicious creamy goodness with nuts on top and a bit of sweetness along with some refreshing water = just perfect!!!)…

Patty Szymkowicz dish garden in bloom

our fairy garden is in full bloom with tiny Blue Star Creeper in the front…Patty Szymkowicz fairy garden closeup

and pink blooms of a miniature Dianthus behind the little bench and garden gate (the pinks smell beautiful)…

Patty Szymkowicz Fairy Garden Seasons

we decided to turn the blue birdbath that a friend gave us some years ago into a dish garden just off our back porch…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz May 2010

and we get to enjoy it through the changing seasons…

Patty Szymkowicz moisture meter

not sure how this handy gadget works (no batteries…you just stick the wand into the soil and  the dial moves) but I find it very helpful in keeping track of the moisture levels of plants especially those in containers with no drainage (over watering can be as bad for plants as letting them dry out)…

Patty Szymkowicz Mr Magpie holds a cuppa

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

Patty Szymkowicz Red

“All that we behold is full of blessings.” ~William Wordsworth

“in the meantime”

on Mother’s Day a very special and dear friend left this world…

Magpie's Nest Remembering Lennie

no one would have guessed that Lennie would be leaving us so soon as she was so full of life…

Magpie's Nest Mother's Day Crow Visit

she meant so much to so many people with her sunny outlook full of Love and kindness…

You will not be forgotten

Lennie’s passing has left me at a loss for words as I am still trying to imagine life without her here…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz dear Lennie

her grandchildren shared one of her favorite sayings which is a wonderful reminder to live life to the fullest no matter what comes your way…

Magpie's Nest Lennie always said

I am joining everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover to wish you a Happy T Day 

Magpie's Nest greatness quote

and wishing a special Happy Birthday to my sweet friend Linda in Texas

Spring parade tea …

Magpie's Nest more Spring

Spring has sprung here in northern Virginia with a wonderful parade of blooms everywhere you turn (the nature photos here were all taken in our garden)…

Magpie's Nest Spring in Virginia 2015

some recent cooler temperatures helped keep the blossoms fresh and in place a little longer than in other years…

Magpie's Nest garden visitors

Mr Magpie is healing nicely after trigger finger surgery

Magpie's Nest Slow Down and Enjoy No heavy lifting!and is getting some rest away from work while he’s on the mend (even the stick on message from a breakfast sandwich supported that) …

Magpie's Nest Lily of the Valley closeupwe are enjoying sitting out on our back porch again…

Magpie's Nest Nature

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

Magpie's Nest greatest figt of the garden quote

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

Keep close to nature’s heart

Magpie's Nest Red Rosin Monoprint pagesthanks to my friend Jan for sharing a John Muir quote which was the inspiration for my latest red rosin monoprint page…

Magpie's Nest beginning page

the flower is from a book page showing the parts of a flower (I liked how it complimented the green of my mono printed pages)…

Magpie's Nest nature rubber stamps

I used some of my new plastered paper which was done over a page from a small phone book (paper phone books are almost a thing of the past here)…

Magpie's Nest John Muir quote

adding this to my entries #99 … #110 and #136 over at Art Journal Journey for this month’s “favorite poem/quotes” theme and the little butterfly is for the Moo Mania “Butterfly/Schmetterlinge” challenge

“Keep close to Nature’s heart …  and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.  Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir

it’s Bluebell time again …

Magpie's Nest our lilacs

this time of year has me feeling a bit like a bumblebee flitting from thing to thing to take in all the beauty and surprises nature has to offer…

Magpie's Nest Cherry Blossoms with a filter

 cherry blossom time in Washington, D.C. meant that the Virginia Bluebells could not be far behind…

Magpie's Nest Bluebell Trail

to our great delight this past weekend we got to visit Bull Run Regional Park several times…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz tea cup on a log

which is something we look forward to each Spring here in Virginia (one of the days three hours had passed before we knew it)…

Magpie's Nest shadows time for tea

we took the traveling tea cup along and found lots of welcoming spots for it to rest for a bit being careful to avoid the tender new poison ivy popping up everywhere and remembering to NOT be tempted to touch the mature fuzzy vines clinging to tree trunksMagpie's Nest Fuzzy Poison Ivy Vines

much like the cherry blossoms the exquisite bluebells are relatively short lived and perhaps all the more precious because of that (depending on weather conditions they can last about 8-10 days)…

Magpie's Nest Virginia Wildflowers

there are other blooms to enjoy as well but the bluebells are definitely the stars of the show…

Magpie's Nest Bluebells on a bank

being in the woods for sunrise one day treated us to a bit of extra magic…

Magpie's Nest Misty Morning sunrise in Virginia

there was a mist over the meadow entering the park that stopped us in our tracks…

Magpie's Nest Dewdrops like Diamonds

 Mother Nature made each petal and leaf look like it had been dusted with sugar (you can click the photos for a closer look)…

Magpie's Nest Bull Run Park Nature Treats

walking the loop trail through the woods is a little different each time (can you see the goose peeking over the log)…

Magpie's Nest Bull Run Bluebell Reflections

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

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup on a stumpmay your day be full of things you enjoy…

Liberate Your Art 2015 Postcard Swap

Kat Sloma’s Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap celebrated its fifth anniversary this year (you can visit her link above to find out all about it)…

Patty Szymkowicz Tranquility Postcard

this is my first time participating thanks to the encouragement of friends in our local mixed media collaborative group who took part last year … I sent postcards made from a favorite piece of my artwork above …I included a quote from the Dalai Lama XIV “Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.”  I also included my address because I think it is fun to know where mail comes from along with Brightest of Blessings and the address to my Magpie’s Nest…I am hoping to find out where my five cards landed…

#1 Fran Podlesney

it was fun watching the mailbox for the first card to appear and what to my surprise it was from one of my mixed media friends from the group I mentioned above (what are the odds that this card would randomly come to me all the way from Oregon when Fran lives so close to me here in Virginia) … Fran wrote on the back of her card “From Virginia, USA. Gelatos, Acrylics, gesso, stencils & Napkin collage.  Always create!”

#2 Dorthy Louis

the next card arrived from Dorothy Louis in Corvallis, Oregon and her card was rubber stamped in individual letters “PEACE   BEAUTY    TRUTH    LOVE“…

#3 Dona Hyll

Dona Hyll wrote “Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” ~Christopher Reeve  When not at my day job, I find I have a need to be creative?  Here are examples of the tablet weaving I do for a Viking recreation group!  We have our own festival the last weekend in April each year in Ashville, Ohio!”

#4 Yellow Sun Lisa

Yellow Sun Lisa wrote on the back of her Flowers in Gouache card: “Dear Artist: If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” -Roald Dahl

#5 Kat van Rooyen

Kat van Rooyen’s postcard “Taken in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, USA” reads “Let your creativity shine like the sun over the Appalachian Mountains here in this photo.  No one sees the world exactly as you do so express yourself!  Enjoy! Kat ♥

#6 Kat Sloma

and last but not least is a card from the person we all have to thank for such a grand event “Imminent Downfall” by Kat Sloma and on the back it says:  “When you Liberate your Art the world is a better place.  Thank you! Kat”…

many many thanks to everyone that participated and to Kat Sloma who is amazing and generous and so well organized…

I hope there will be a swap next year but until then I am off to join in Kat’s Blog Hop