Category Archives: Nature

Timeless

a couple of pages in one of LaWendula’s gesso and paint journals made with magazine pages (this is the cover of the journal with similar coloring on the pages I worked on)…

Magpie's Nest LaWendulas gesso magazine journal

the sunflowers popped up in my stash (wish I’d had one more flower but I made do with what I had because time is ticking)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz TIMELESS journal pages (1)the golden thyme leaves were leftover from this project which led me to add touches of gold to the lady and sunflower centers with a wooden toothpick…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz TIMELESS journal pages (2)

sharing my pages with Conny’s Mix it Monthly MIXED MEDIA FLOWERS and Art Journal Journey’s TIME challenges…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz TIMELESS journal pagesI am enjoying late summer here in northern Virginia and had fun after several different visits to a local sunflower farm playing with the flowers I cut…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Sunflower fun“Time doesn’t seem to pass here: it just is”  -J.R.R. Tolkien

Image

Wordless Wednesday: Moonflower on a moonlit night

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Moonflower on a moonlit night

Fred in Lotusland

this year we have been lucky enough to visit Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C. six different times to enjoy the beautiful blooms

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowiczas with any garden each visit is special and exciting in different ways…

Magpie's Nest Lotus and Amazonian waterlily leafwe find the loti irresistible and so very photogenic…

Magpie's Nest Loti Reflectionsearly morning is our favorite time to watch the sunlight dance across the ponds…

Magpie's Nest a better viewwe have a plan for next year to bring a short step ladder to snap a photo like the visitors above cleverly did…

Oil Painter at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardenson a few of our visits we saw this artist painting en plein air (you could smell the oil paints)…

Magpie's Nest FRED recycle bottled waterand here is a photo of our good friend FRED

Magpie's Nest Waterlilies and Turtlesit is not hard to spend two or three hours strolling in the gardens as there is so much to enjoy and discover…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Kenilworth Aquatic Gardenssoon the ponds will be filled with brown lotus pods and yellowing leaves until the magic happens all over again next summer…

Magpie's Nest Mr Magpie and lotus podswishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

I like coffee … I like tea … I Love flowers Oh Yes indeed!

 it is a pleasant 30 minute drive to the country to visit Burnside Farms heading away from suburbia…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz gladiola fieldafter not picking any flowers on our first visit to the farm (I was just too excited taking photos and enjoying everything!) I had a wonderful time cutting some gladioli this visit…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz fresh gladiolasturns out my decision to take home just six stems did not quite fill my mother’s crystal pitcher so I cut three more stems on my third visit a couple of days later

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz third variety of gladswe were blessed with a few wonderful sunny low humidity days which were perfect for sitting out on the back porch enjoying a special cup of pour over coffee OR as we used to call it years ago “Melitta drip” coffee…

Patty Szymkowicz Melitta dripI was surprised and then again not really to discover that we still had our original porcelain filter holder for making coffee along with a box of unbleached filters

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Morning Coffeeit tasted especially good in the beautiful olive tree cup that a sweet friend sent to me all the way from Greece last summer…

Magpie's Nest Breakfast on the back porch lately I have been drinking more coffee than tea partly because I am paying a bit of extra attention to reducing my sugar intake and when I drink black tea (organic Earl Grey is my favorite) I take it with a little milk and sugar…

Magpie's Nest favorite yoghurtwhen I drink homemade coffee (half high test and half decaf) I only add a bit of coconut creamer which goes nicely with my favorite coffee yoghurt and flax seed muffin…

Magpie's Nest Van Dyke Be Glad quotehere’s wishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz glorious gladiola

I stumbled across this tidbit about the gladiolus being the August birth flower representing strength, calm and integrity…

sunshine of life…

this past weekend was filled with enjoying nature and especially  flowers which is something I never get tired of…

Magpie's Nest Summer of Sunflowers Burnside Farmson Sunday we visited a pick your own flower farm

Magpie's Nest Burnside Farm Retailand were especially taken with the sunflowers (they planted 25 different varieties that will bloom on and off for about four weeks) …

Magpie's Nest Burnside Farms Welcomewe brought the traveling tea cup along and placed it in front of the beautiful Gladiolus bed…

Magpie's Nest Sunflower field Burnside Farmswhen I zoomed in on one of the rows of sunflowers I could not resist snapping a photo of a little girl enjoying the blooms…

Magpie's Nest Four Honey Bees

Burnside Farms supports pollinator habitats which includes endangered Monarch butterflies…

Burnside Farms supports pollinator habitats

there is something about sunflowers that always makes me smile…

Magpie's Nest Traveling T Cup

speaking of things that put a smile on your face… 

Karla's package

a surprise package from Karla arrived traveling all the way from Brazil…

Gifts from Karla in Brasil

Karla’s thoughtful gifts were a delight to open and I could feel her kindness and friendship from across the miles…

Magpie's Nest Friends Sunflower and Bee

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

Magpie's Nest Sunflower Field Tea pot and cup

***in keeping with the spirit of sharing I wanted to direct you to Seth Apter’s celebration of 8 years of blogging and a chance to be a very lucky winner of his generous giveaway here***

The present moment…

TIME is the August challenge theme over at Art Journal Journey…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Powerful Goddess journal pages (1)a beautiful leaf that I found on a walk and painted inspired me to create these pages in my red rosin monoprint art journal (I used soft gel medium to adhere the leaf to my page)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Powerful Goddess journal pages (2)

I have lots of favorite quotes about time and this one from Goethe seemed to fit nicely with the image of the blessed mother that I happened upon in my stash…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Powerful Goddess journal pagesI like the idea of being in the present moment and enjoying it to the fullest…may your time be filled with many happy moments ~♥~

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…