Category Archives: Photography

be yourself…

“Be yourself everyone else is already taken.” -Oscar Wilde

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Be Yourself

(scrap paper… plaster… paint… my photograph of a statue…glittered netting and handwritten sticker)

for Art Journal Journey’s “favorite poems/quotes” challenge thinking of Oscar Wilde I remembered our trip to the UK in 2013 and visiting a park in Dublin with a dedicated area to him…

Magpie's Nest Oscar Wilde Statue

we had the traveling tea cup along and had so many fun adventures

Magpie's Nest St Stephen's Park Dublin SWANS

and then we wandered into St Stephen’s Green and came upon a beautiful family of swans… I was beside myself with joy and we were amazed at how comfy they were on their little strip of grass with people on every sideMagpie's Nest Dublin battery recharge

fun how one thing leads to another and can trigger sweet memories…

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

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…

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...

Second on the 2nd for February…

February already and it’s time for the second “Second on the 2nd” thanks to Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover for the chance to look back and repost something you would like to share again…

here is a look back to February 2012 and an altered heart book that I created…

the post was titledpages of my heart”

“heart BOOK that is…

a couple of years ago I picked up a heart shaped book and covered it with paper, fabric and bits of this and that…

closed it measures approximately 6 x 6 inches

using paint, gesso, paper and more for the blank pages…

I left a little room above for some journaling or a quote perhaps…

I also plan to edge the pages…

these blue pages were inspired by a ferry boat ride to Sausalito and some really fun late night cable car rides in San Francisco…

I used black gesso for these pages along with Italian cookie wrappers and paper doilies with white gel pen to finish…

this spread uses a copy of a seaside siren I created … a bit of road map, rubber stamping and a special Polish postage stamp from a very talented blog friend…

I {heart} postage stamps and have collected them since I was a girl…

these pages were inspired by a castle in Berkeley Spring, West Virginia using patterned tissue as background…

my “Seasoned” pages began with vintage math book pages… the word seasoned came from a package of firewood sold at the local supermarket…

the last two pages pictured are actually the first two pages in the book that I covered with tissue paper…

they have been patiently waiting for just the right finish…

do you ever slow down on a project just before completing it?

“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.” ~Marc Chagall”

Hotel Chateau Chamonix T

Bottle tree in our garden first snowfallfeeling in a wintry mood with our first snowfall of the season here in Virginia

Georgetown CO 2

I wanted to share and record a few more photos of our overnight stay on our way to visit our son for Thanksgiving last year in quaint Georgetown, Colorado

Georgetown CO 1867

the fact that it was snowing added heaps of charm in my book

Magpie's Nest Georgetown CO

and because it was a Tuesday some of the businesses were closed so it was very peaceful… 

Georgetown CO quiet street

Mr Magpie was sure that the snow blowing sideways at times also helped the little town appear quiet…

Mapie's Nest CO Winter Wonderland

Georgetown is less than an hour west of Denver with a population of a little over one thousand which is quite spread out…

Georgetown Trading Post

I found it photogenic at every turn…

Georgetown CO 3

and then there was our cozy room in the Swiss style chalet with a toasty corner fireplace and a hot tub on the back deck (make that a hot tub with snowy steps and icicles hanging from the cover…we wore hats and swimsuits and braved the cold wild blowing wind for a nice soak)…

Chateau Hotel Chamonix Georgetown CO

included with our tour of the hotel…

Chateau Hotel Chamonix upstairs

was an explanation about a special wooden door on the inside of our room (below on the right)…

Chateau Hotel Chamonix 3

between specified hours in the morning we could expect a tap tap tap and then know to open the door and find our yummy continental breakfast tucked inside…

CHC continental breakfast

along with the cappuccinos we made using the in room coffee machine the flaky croissants (one plain and one chocolate!) and fresh fruit on those pretty dishes really hit the spot..

Alvarado Georgetown Cemetery 1865

I would like to return one day to visit the historic cemetery … ride the scenic train and check on the big horn sheep again and we would definitely stay at the lovely Chateau Hotel Chamonix

Bighorn Sheep  Georgetown, CO

wishing you a very happy T day along with everyone over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard’s 

sweet memories T …

greetings and salutations…

Pica hudsonia

how quickly time flies…

Street Art Denver, CO

hope you’ve been well…

icicles Leadville, CO

we are home again after our travels…

Dushanbe Teahouse Boulder, CO

grateful for the chance to enjoy new sights and sounds…

Georgetown, CO

all such a treat…

Hotel Chateau Chamonix Georgetown, CO

being able to hug special family members again…

Ouray, CO Thanksgiving 2014

and visit with sweet friends…

visit with Jan and Dave

so much to be grateful for…

Sunset at  9300 ft Taylor Park, Colorado

here’s wishing you a happy T day along with everyone over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard’s

MiFoC November { Woche/Week 3 – Strasse/Street }

Magpie's Nest Wash DC streets

early on a chilly Saturday morning is a good time to drive the streets of Washington, DC…

Magpie's Nest Wash DC streets (1)

it is not a long trip on Route 50 from our house in Virginia about 25 miles (40 km) to Capitol Hill…

Magpie's Nest Wash DC streets (2)

our capitol dome is under repair with special scaffolding on the rotunda…

Magpie's Nest Wash DC streets (3)

you too can join in Manuela’s “street” photo challenge this week here

MiFoC November { Woche/Week 2 – Dankbar/Thankful }

there is so much to be thankful for in this life and focusing on gratitude has helped me get through many dark days…

Magpie's Nest shadow play

I was charmed by these shadows on a door recently as the November sun dropped low in the sky (it gets dark now around 5pm)…

Jim Szymkowicz under the mushroom

for more “thankful” impressions you can visit here

“The small things of life were often so much bigger than the great things . . . the trivial pleasure like cooking, one’s home, little poems especially sad ones, solitary walks, funny things seen and overheard.” -Barbara Pym

beach tea …

it feels like I have been away from blogland for a long time…

NC 32 abandoned house

(the house above was on NC 32 near Edenton…not on the island we visited)

I am joining everyone over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard’s for T today sharing some of our beach getaway with you…

Ocracoke Village

our traveling tea cup came along and got to enjoy some sun and sand…

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup Ocracoke Beach NC

we had a bit of rain too which resulted in some wonderful puddle reflections in yards and on rustic roads in the village…Magpie's Nest Rainy Day Ocracoke

along with pretty patterns on the beach…

Magpie's Nest Rainy Beach Ocracoke NC

we visited Ocracoke Island around the same time last year and enjoyed it so much we booked a two week stay this year…

Magpie's Nest Lighthouse

from our rental on Silver Lake Harbor we had views of the lighthouse and enjoyed the boats and ferries coming and going from the Pamlico Sound

Magpie's Nest Ocracoke Lighthouse

the sunset views are something we looked forward to daily…

Down Creek 101 on Silver Lake Harbor

each one special and different…

Magpie's Nest Pamlico Sound sunset

I look forward to reconnecting with everyone again and hope that you have been well…

Magpie's Nest early morning Atlantic Ocean

Rinda’s 2014 Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt: Final Part 3

many thanks to Rinda for another great scavenger hunt this year

to see my items 1 – 14 you can visit here and here and below you will find the remainder of my photo finds:

15. A juggler … a juggler remained elusive so I have substituted with Alternative B: a bird house  (I almost shared some photos I took from the television of a medieval fire ball juggler

Magpie's Nest our garden birdhouse

16. A sign in a language other than English

Magpie's Nest Starbuck's in China Town Wash DC

Starbuck’s found in China Town, Washington, D.C.

Magpie's Nest Korea Town in Annandale VA

Karaoke in the suburbs of northern Virginia

17. A lamp post

Magpie's Nest Reston Lake Anne

Lake Anne in Reston,Virginia

Magpie's Nest National Portrait Gallery Lamppost

so many lamp posts!

18. A water fall

Magpie's Nest Great Falls MD Heron on rocks

Great Falls Park, Maryland is a beautiful spot and we found a Great Blue Heron enjoying the view while waiting for his lunch to rush by

19. A public garden

Magpie's Nest Batholdi Park Wash DC (1)

Bartholdi Park in Washington, DC is one of our favorite “secret gardens

Magpie's Nest Batholdi Park Wash DC

it is part of the US Botanic Gardens tucked away across Independence Avenue in the shadow of the US Botanic Garden Conservatory… most enjoyable in every season

20. A bus (not a car, truck, lorry, camper or RV) with a picture painted on its sides.

Magpie's Nest Wash DC buses

Washington, D.C.

Magpie's Nest Wash DC buses (1)

21. A photograph of you with something representing the season (recognizing that the season will be Winter for our friends in the southern hemisphere). Note: you may not use a substitute for this item.Magpies Nest Lotus me 2

for the last couple of years we have visited the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens outside of Washington, DC to enjoy the Loti and Water Lilies…there I am with my camera taking a photo of Mr Magpie taking my photo

If you find something on the list too difficult, you may substitute one of the following items for anything on the list, except for Item #21:

Alternative A: A kite, hot air balloon or blimpMagpie's Nest OBX kiteboarding

kiteboarding is a popular sport on The Outer Banks of North Carolina… we enjoyed watching the boarders fly across the water rising up into the air now and again

Alternative B: A bird house substituted for a juggler at the beginning of my post

DSC00136

in case you were curious about the Medieval juggler I mentioned at the beginning of my post ;-) this photo was snapped from our television screen…

this is a scheduled post… I look forward to catching up with everyone soon… 

Rinda’s 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt: Part 2

last month I shared items 1-8 with you here and I have a few more for you now (some of the photos are better if you click on them to enlarge them)…

9. A bakery

sometimes we travel a bit out of our regular stomping ground to visit this nice German style bakery whose chocolate lined fruit tarts are the best…

Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe Arlington, VA

cupcakes have been the rage for sometime now  … I much prefer a fruit tart or scone … but cupcakes are pretty to look at…

Cupcaked Clifton, VA

this is a bakery called Cupcaked in the small town of Clifton, Virginia where there is also a great new papercrafts store in town!

10. A photo bomb (someone found lurking in the background of photo; the lurker may have intended to disrupt the picture or may be doing it unintentionally, but the background lurker is a surprise to the photographer)

Magpie's Nest Museum of the American Indian rooftop

in trying to snap a photo of the National Museum for the American Indian we noticed workers on the domed roof photo bombing our pictures…

Magpie's Nest Museum of the American Indian rooftop (1)

11. A horn

there were lots of great horns in the Washington D.C. Fourth of July parade…

Magpie's Nest 4th of July Wash DC Horns

all manner of horns…

Magpie's Nest Music the International Language

from all over the United States and the banner above says it all “Music The International Language” 

12. A mascot

Wash DC  McGruff crime fighting dog

McGruff the Crime Dog turned his head just as we clicked our photo but you get the idea…his motto is “Take a bite out of crime“…hmmm

13. A sunrise

Magpie's Nest VA Sunrise with Redbud treessunrises from our house are a bit obscured by trees and such but I was able to catch this view through our Redbud trees (I seem to see  lots more sunsets than sunrises!)…

Magpie's Nest Sunrise thru German Lace Curtain

and the gleaming morning sun peeking in through our window by my computer chair (we DO get to enjoy some splendid sunsets just stepping outside our front door in the evenings)

14. A parade

Magpie's Nest 4th of July Wash DC

the Fourth of July in Washington D.C. turned out to be a perfect day with low humidity and pleasant temperatures…

Magpie's Nest 4th of July Wash DC (2)

we had the feeling that people who enjoy a parade would have come out no matter the weather…

Magpie's Nest 4th of July Wash DC (3)

here is a link for the latest scavenger finds over at Rinda’s Gallo Organico…

I will share the remainder of my finds with you in a third and final installment later in September (#15 is proving to be the most illusive)

15. A juggler
16. A sign in a language other than English
17. A lamp post
18. A water fall
19. A public garden
20. A bus (not a car, truck, lorry, camper or RV) with a picture painted on its sides.
21. A photograph of you with something representing the season (recognizing that the season will be Winter for our friends in the southern hemisphere). Note: you may not use a substitute for this item.
If you find something on the list too difficult, you may substitute one of the following items for anything on the list, except for Item #21:
Alternative A: A kite, hot air balloon or blimp
Alternative B: A bird house

MiFoC August {Week 4: Mood}

this week’s inspiration for the Mikrokosmos Photography Challenge is MoodMagpie's Nest Playful Creative Mood

I was in the mood to play…

Magpie's Nest iphone app painty hand

snapping the photo very carefully with my iphone because both hands were coated in paint and gesso and then using some phone apps (DistressFX, Diana, Gloomlogue) to alter my original photo …

Magpie's Nest Diana App

and a photo of my iphone showing the two photos in Diana app that created the photo in my collage above top right (how many times have I typed the word PHOTO *ggg*!)…

Magpie's Nest Gloomlogue app

and Gloomlogue another fun app … grateful for so many ways to play and be creative