Category Archives: Nature

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...

 

why is simplicity so complicated…

here are some pages in my gesso journal for the latest MOO “Circles” challenge (this is my first time joining in the challenge…all sorts of projects with or without Moos are accepted)…

lavender HEART

the Lavender sprig was marking some pages in my book so I decided to adhere it to the page using some gel medium and a word from my work table…

right pg

the tea cups are from a peeled napkin with some bits of gold paint added…

is simplicity

Simplify is my little word for 2015 (I have not yet figured out HOW to add it to my sidebar)… I find living a simple life to be quite challenging…

circle tools

I used the end of a pen dipped in black gesso and a Hero Arts dotted circle stamp for adding circles to my pages…

left pg

in real life my pages are white and cream colored… our cold winter light gave my photos a blueish look…

WHY

plaster stenciled onto vintage book paper… gesso… napkin… Golden Irridescent Gold paint… pressed Lavender sprig and a circle rubber stamp went into these pages…

final circle pages

cups and plates are circles too…

Meyer Lemons for T…

it is Meyer Lemon time at local markets…

Meyer Lemons

 here is a bit about them from Wikipedia if you are not familiar:   “The Meyer lemon fruit is yellow and rounder than a true lemon. The skin is fragrant and thin, coloured a deep yellow with a slight orange tint when ripe. Meyer lemon fruits have a sweeter, less acidic flavor than the more common Lisbon or Eureka supermarket lemon varieties. The pulp is a dark yellow and contains up to 10 seeds per fruit.”

lemons

I find some warm lemon water a very nice way to start the day…

lemon squeeze

seems there are a host of health benefits too if you believe what you read

lemon cup

here’s wishing you good health and happiness on this T Stands for Tuesday and everyday

Meyer Lemon Water Irish Proverb

out of my comfort zone T…

Magpie's Nest tangerine peel

January has found me floundering a bit with more thinking about creating than actually doing much of it… I am feeling betwixt and between about alot of things…

Magpie's Nest Live in Love aquaboard

that said I have joined Alena Hennessey’s A YEAR OF PAINTING online course and I am working with acrylic inks… paint pens and more (this piece still needs work)…

Magpie's Nest work in progress

the first piece I attempted morphed many times and is still in limbo not telling me where to go next…truth be told I liked the first ink background but we were supposed to keep adding layers (that is when I started the “live in Love”)…

Magpie's Nest Numi Tea

here’s wishing you a happy T day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover whether you are in your comfort zone or out…

daff window closeup

“Change comes with sacrifice… When you want to make a change you must be prepared to make a sacrifice of escaping the comfort zone!” -Israelmore Ayivor, The Great Hand Book of Quotes

Magpie's Nest iphoneography sampler

Roses in December T…

the garden in June

it was my plan to share these summer roses with you all back in December but that month flew by and here we are well into January already…

stringing roses

my playing with roses was inspired by a conversation with the lovely and talented Dorthe of Den Lille Lade back in June of 2014 when she and I talked about how we liked to make rosebud garlands and strings…

June roses and forget-me-nots

the weather was beautiful for sitting out on the back porch back then...

Stringing roses collage

the blooms and strands have faded since last summer but are still a lovely reminder of the garden in bloom especially in these cold winter days (it’s so grey out today I can’t get a good photo of the rose strands as they look now)…

Roses in December Quote

wishing you a happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard…