Category Archives: Nature

“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

Pull Love Closely Around You…

Cherry Blossoms 2015Spring has sprung here in northern Virginia and it has me flitting here and there feeling energetic and excited (we even got to visit the cherry blossoms in Washington DC this year at twilight time)…

Magpie's Nest Flower Press

the other day I was busy emptying my flower press from the fall and loading the first layers of Spring blooms…

Magpie's Nest playing with plaster

when I thought it was so pretty out I decided it would be fun to play with plaster on our back porch which had me plastering anything that held still (almost)…

Magpie's Nest Plastered Papers

using fabrics and doilies as stencils…

Magpie's Nest Plastered tissue and fabric

this little plastic one makes such a nice burst pattern and I especially like it on tissue paper or peeled napkin even (you know the white layer you don’t want to throw away when you’ve peeled your napkins)…

Magpie's Nest Plastered Red Rosin Paper

all of that fun then led me to create two more pages in my handmade red rosin paper art journal…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Pull Love Closely (2)

inspired by the image of a beautiful statue on our recent island adventures

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Pull Love Closely (1)

the computer generated quote (have you ever tried this amazing site to help you audition which font you would like to use…BIG thanks to Gale of Paper Whimsy for sharing the link!)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Pull Love Closely

joining with Art Journal Journey’s “Favorite quotes/Poems” theme again (my other entries are #99 + #110)

More Turks & Caicos Island T …

Magpie's Nest North and Middle Caicos Islands

Mr Magpie experienced his first ever driving on the left side of the road (TCI is a British Territory even though they use American currency…let’s just say he was glad there were very few vehicles on the road and just a couple of circles)…

Ferry from Provo to North Caicos

it was a short ferry ride from the island of Providenciales where we were staying to North Caicos Island where we rented a car (make that an old beat up Jeep with a great Caribbean music mixed CD to carry us along the rough and ready roads)…

Magpie's Nest North & Middle Caicos Islands

there is a causeway between North Caicos (population approx 1,400) and Middle Caicos (population approx 275) which led us to some beautiful secluded places…

Magpie's Nest Daniels Cafe Middle Caicos

we enjoyed a tasty lunch of fresh red snapper at Daniel’s Cafe By The Sea (the owner Daniel and his son are really nice and friendly)…

Magpie's Nest one flamingo TCI

we had hoped to see some of the many flamingos that are drawn to this area… in the end we were grateful to see this lone ONE…

Bambarra Beach treasures

impulse sent us down a road to a wonderful spot called Bambarra Beach named after the local rum

Bambarra Beach Middle Caicos Island

we spent a fair bit of time relaxing in the shade and combing the beach for treasures snapping oodles of photos with our traveling tea cup and parasol (those sea fans were really tempting me…happy to have lots of photos at least)…

Magpie's Nest Platico Point Middle Caicos

from there we took a narrow road that ran parallel to the water and came upon a rusty barge and equipment that we later found out were leftover from a failed attempt at making a cargo port (aqua and rust are such a wonderful color combo!!!)…

Turks & Caicos Islands Middle Caicos

our next stop was recommended by a friend and wowee was it ever magical there…

Middle and North Caicos map

since this is getting a bit long I will save that for another day…

Bambarra Beach cup of sea fan tea

(if you’d like a closer look at any of the photos you can click on them)

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

distracted T…

Magpie's Nest spring is coming

what with one thing and another…

Magpie's Nest swanning around

I am feeling a bit scattered and distracted…

Magpie's Nest altered pickle fork

but it is not a bad thing and I am okay with it…

Magpie's Nest Winter Mirror Mirror

 last year I treated myself to some small live orchids over the winter months (the various blooms were irresistible and they were reasonably priced costing less than a cut bouquet of flowers)…

Magpie's Nest orchid stages

the blooms lasted a nice long while and then I kept the bare plants watered being careful to not over or under water them over the winter months (closest thing we have around here to a pet *ggg*)…

Magpie's Nest cuppa orchids

I was thrilled and delighted that two of the five orchids decided to repeat bloom which is proof that good things are worth waiting for…

Magpie's Nest two blooming orchids

our snow is almost all melted and I found the first tiny sign of spring out front yesterday…

Magpie's Nest first crocus of 2015

wishing you a very happy T day full of nice surprises along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover...

Frozen T …

Magpie's Nest coated in ice 2 March 2015

a mixed weather event for the beginning of March here in the Washington, DC area made for some nice photo opportunities…

Magpie's Nest icy glow

our snow layer glazed over after some freezing rain…

Magpie's Nest iced Lavender

the Lavender turned into “crystal”…

Magpie's Nest fallen ice from trees

when ice covered branches began thawing in the sunlight I was delighted to notice some ice shards that had fallen creating interesting spikes in the snow…

Magpie's Nest Mourning Doves and Mockingbirds

Mr Magpie is getting lots of use out of his Yaktrax this winter which work like a charm to help ensure safe footing  (my photos were taken from our front and back porch and with the help of our zoom lens we have a closer look at the Mourning Doves and resident Mockingbird)…

Magpie's Nest tea pot and cup

hot drinks really hit the spot…

Magpie's Nest You might as well dance

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

playing in the snow T …

we finally got a nice amount of snowfall on top of a bit of snow we already had…

Let it snow Let it snow

perfect weather to sport my wonderful Swiss swan mittens that a sweet friend surprised me with (they are connected with a string)…swan mittens from Margaret

Mr Magpie got to take his electric power shovel out for a whirl…

Mr Magpie and the electric shovel

 I am content most days to enjoy the snow from the indoors…

snow outside our window

Mr Magpie made me a little snowman to decorate on the back porch so I got busy adding some Maple tree seeds for hair… Lunaria seeds for eyes… a sunflower seed for the nose… a bit of Thyme for her smile and Fennel sprigs for her arms…

snow sprite

she measured about ten inches tall including her hair (25,4 cm)…

Magpie's Nest I'm Melting

and began to look a bit like Edvard Munch’s THE SCREAM as it warmed up outside which is a gentle reminder that nothing lasts forever

Magpie's Nest bunny under bottle tree

last night there were two rabbits frolicking under our blue bottle tree in the back garden

House Wren overwintering in our garden

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

~♥~  hope you make some time to play ~♥~

snow day …

Mother Nature extended the Presidents Day weekend into four days with our first measurable snowfall of the season which is nothing compared to what lots of folks are experiencing in other parts of the U.S…

Frozen bird spa before snow

the hustle and bustle of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area has come to a crawl with schools and many businesses closed for the day (the bird spa with it’s heater is working extra hard this winter but water is still running in our farm fountain above…recent cold and very windy weather created a sort of ice sculpture)…

garden heart

we were expecting more snow but our area got almost half as much as predicted…

Oh deer Christmas Tree

just enough to blanket everything in pure white powdery snow or “pow” as our snowboarding son calls it…

T cup tower before heavy snow

in anticipation I put a little tea cup tower out in our back garden thinking it might look pretty in the snow (the teapot is a planter)…

T cup tower after snow

Mr Magpie arranged some Valentine rose petals for their last hurrah just off the back porch this morning…

petal heart

with very cold temperatures the snow could stay on the ground for awhile…

Snow capped Buddha

here’s wishing you and yours a happy T day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover...