Category Archives: Nature

the empty nest…

in a previous post I mentioned that wrens had moved in behind the fern in the corner of our covered porch (turns out it was a very smart choice with all of the summer showers we had on and off during their nesting time)…

Magpie's Nest Wrens nested on backporch

during our son’s visit home from Colorado the wrens activity reached a peak and just when I thought I couldn’t take the sweet chirping any longer they moved out without us ever getting a look at the young ones…

Magpie's Nest Nature in our garden

our back porch acted like an echo chamber for Mr and Mrs Wren as they played tag team diligently feeding and cleaning out the nest and chirping all the while (wrens do sing some of the sweetest songs and boy were they busy!!!)…

Magpie's Nest Blue Moon made by Jim

and just like that it all went quiet and they were gone leaving behind their tidy empty nest…

Magpie's Nest Wren's empty nest

our son made the most of his visit getting to meet up with friends and family… attending a music festival on his birthday and camping out at a favorite beach for a week…

Magpie's Nest Colin enjoying the lotus gardens

we were very happy to have a perfect summer day (not too hot with low humidity) to visit the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens with him as he’d never been before

Magpie's Nest our son the merry prankster

his good sense of humor had us laughing as he posed with my parasol…

Magpie's Nest the empty nest

and just like that his two and a half week visit was over and he flew back to his mountain home in Colorado leaving us with a quiet house again…

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz T Time

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

Return to Sender…

this is a piece I created using a photo from a farmer’s market flower bouquet along with a photo from part of my recent art journal pages…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Return to Sender Steps

I layered the photos using the Diana iphone app adding  the hand “sticker” and words along with a few other layers with the PixlrExpress iphone app and printed out a copy with our laser printer (approximately 6×6 inches)

Magpie's Nest Postage Stamp sampler a look through some of my postage stamps brought me to a British couple rowing their boat in a lily pond…

Magpie's Nest rubber stamps

and finally a bit of rubber stamping with B Line Designs, LLC Paris Cancellation  and Hero Arts Luxe Cancellation stamps…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Return to Sender mixed mediaI am joining in again with Art Journal Journey’s Post & Postage challenge (my other entries so far are #89, 103 and 114)

Celebrating Two Years of T Stands for Tuesday…

with many thanks to Elizabeth for being our fearless leader and hostess these past two years…

Grab button for T stands for Tuesday

and for helping people connect from all around the globe each week for T Stands for Tuesday (all are welcome to join in)…

Patty Szymkowicz Nature in our July gardenhere’s to lots more fun and sharing…

Magpie's Nest Potomac Vegie Farm flowers(flowers from Potomac Vegetable Farms)

Magpie's Nest T pot with phlox

Polska

taking a break from organizing gave me a chance to create these two art journal pages for Art Journal Journey’s Post & Postage challenge which began with the image of the owl and a young girl from a page of green and brown images (wish I could give credit but they were already printed out with no identification)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Polska Owl Pages (1)

after that bits of plastered vintage book pages and the green dry cleaning numbers found their way onto the left page…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Polska Owl Pages (2)

washi tape…a newspaper sketch of chives… torn scraps of various papers and a bit of sari ribbon with some fabric daisy trim where I painted the centers…

Magpie's Nest Polska Owl Girl

I had several postage stamps in mind but when I saw the colors in the lovely Polish stamp I knew it was the one…

Magpie's Nest Wren

because of a wren nesting in the corner of our back porch I was not able to photograph my pages in my favorite spot with great light…

Magpie's Nest singing wren through lace curtainthere is a lot of tweeting and activity going on with those precious birdies … I snapped the photo above from my computer chair looking through our net and lace curtain …

Loti time is here again…

 we were thrilled to visit nearby Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens recently to enjoy the parade of beautiful blooms…

Magpie's Nest Loti Perfectait is a photographer’s paradise…

Magpie's Nest Photography dreamand a magnet for those who enjoy nature and lotuses (loti) and water lilies and fresh air…

Magpie's Nest Loti leaves and bloomsthere is so much beauty sometimes you have to focus a bit on the handsome architecture of the stems and leaves and pods to give your eyes a rest…

Magpie's Nest Lotus leavesthere are reflections waiting to be discovered too…

Magpie's Nest Lotus pond reflectionsthis year the paths were the wettest we have seen since we started visiting in 2013 (last month went down in the record books here in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area as the second wettest June ever recorded)…

Magpie's Nest DragonfliesMr Magpie used our Sony Cybershot which is especially great for telephoto and I used my iphone 6 camera...

Magpie's Nest Lotusland viewwe did bring the Traveling Tea Cup along while enjoying some refreshing water to drink…

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup on a lotus leafwe were delighted at how well a couple of carefully chosen lotus leaves worked in place of a saucer

Magpie's Nest Lotusland Traveling Tea Cup 2here’s wishing you a very Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

Magpie's Nest Director Moore Waterlily Aristle quote

Second on the 2nd for July … Swans

altered books have fascinated me since early in 2000 and I have always admired swans…

Grab button for Second on the 2nd

today I am revisiting a post from July 2008 and joining with Elizabeth’s second look on the 2nd of the month … here goes:

Swan * Schwan * Cygne * Cisne * Labed

 Here is the latest spread in my Garden/Nature themed altered book.

I think I could almost do an entire book on just swans. I find them fascinating!
An arch I made for a Gothic Arch challenge back in February was my inspiration. I used a Lovely Paper Whimsy girl and gave her African butterfly wings.

Magpie's Nest swan-mate4lifeEvery culture from ancient times seems to have some Swan lore.

In Navajo tradition, the Great White Swan can call up the Four Winds. The Great Spirit will use swans to work its will.

In India, it was the swan that lay the Cosmic Egg on the waters, from which Brahma sprang. The Swan was the vehicle of Brahma’s wife, Saraswati, the Goddess of Wisdom, Education, and Music. In Hindu tradition, swans represent the perfect union, and the spirit of Brahma.

Swans appear throughout Irish folklore. An Otherworldly bird, they are often the disguise of Fairy Women. At certain times of year when the veils between the worlds are thin, such as Summer Solstice, Beltaine or Samhain, a swan maiden can transform herself back into a human.

The swan is a totem of beauty and grace. As in the story of the Ugly Duckling, it connotes inner beauty as well.Magpie's Nest swan-herd

Many healers use a swan feather in smudging and healing ceremonies. The swan is master of the elements Earth, Air and Water, and is an excellent guide to the therapeutic powers of these elements. A swan feather tied to an instrument such as a harp would be a powerful adjunct to music therapy.

To the long list of interesting facts, swans usually mate for life. Also, they are not ‘mean’ but will attack when provoked or protecting a nest.

Thank you Jean, I got to use that Lovely page you sent me again from your bird book :)

“For his heart was in his work, and the heart giveth grace unto every Art.” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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