Category Archives: Seashell

Shell Tea…

Magpie's Nest Salty Sailor Dogin spite of our Ocracoke Island vacation being very “damp” each day was special…

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup in surfon one of the clear days we took our traveling tea cup to the beach letting the Atlantic Ocean waves wash up around it with me squealing and dashing at one point to rescue it from being washed out to sea (Mr Magpie was laughing so hard he couldn’t snap many photos of it happening)… 

Molasses Creekwe ventured out one rainy night splish splashing through puddles to enjoy a really special concert with Ocracoke Island’s very own Molasses Creek band at their Deepwater Theater and Music Hall…

Magpie's Nest Ocracoke Island Beach Duneslast year we shared our excitement about the shell “spirit” tree we helped create on the beach here

Magpie's Nest Spirit Shell Treeand were delighted this year to find a different piece of wood lodged in the sand waiting for us…

Magpie's Nest Returning Shells to the beachso we got busy because we came prepared…

Magpie's Nest Shell treein our efforts to downsize and let go of things Mr Magpie emptied a BIG tin of seashells around the tree that we brought back to the beach from our Outer Banks shell collecting over the years…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Shell Treewe do have a weakness for shells…

Magpie's Nest Mr Magpie on the beachand could wander for hours on the beach totally entertained by Mother Nature…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Traveling T Cupthis year for the first time ever I found not one but TWO perfect Scotch Bonnet shells

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Scotch Bonnet Sea Shellsit is not uncommon to find tips and fragments from these shells but to find them in tact is a bit more rare

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Shell Tree Mile Marker 74.5 back to the shell tree…

Magpie's Nest Ocracoke Spirit Treeabove you can see some of what other people added (a lone flipflop, toothbrush, colorful sand toys along with a plastic glow stick that was finished and a small plastic oil container that probably washed ashore from a boat … that we removed and recycled)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz shells and quoteit was fun collecting mostly shells with holes in them stringing them onto natural twine that we brought from home to make shell garlands to tie onto the branches…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Ocracoke Island Shellswish I could send each of you some seashells but you probably have collections of your own…

Ocracoke Island Dogs Cats Horses thank you very much for all of your good wishes … a broken toe is such a small pain compared to what so many others are going through…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Harmony Ocracoke Seashell Mandalhere’s wishing you a very Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover

the sea was right outside her window…

September at Art Journal Journey and the theme is THROUGH MY WINDOW … using an image from a catalog I got out one of the gesso magazine journals I made and got busy…

Magpie's Nest the sea in progress

I have been wanting to play with watercolors ever since I picked up this inexpensive set with a coupon … perhaps it was the lightly gessoed background but I really liked how the paints moved around with the addition of each layer being mindful to not over work the pages

Magpie's Nest watercolors

the lighthouse, sea oats and clouds were the extent of my sketching comfort zone

Magpie's Nest the sea in progress (2)

the shells are stickers…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz pages with possibilities

I decided to add words digitally until I decide on how I will proceed on the left side of this spread…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz the sea outside her window

the sea maid’s music …

at the beginning of May I finished pages for a friend’s mermaid book for our local Mixed Media Collaborative round robin and I thought I would finally share those pages with you…

Magpie's Nest mermaid background progression

and join in Art Journal Journey’s May “The Sea” challenge

Magpie's Nest Pearlescent Acrylics

I had some paper towel fusion paper that I had made on hand which took some extra touches of acrylic paint nicely to help complete the backgrounds (I especially like how the paper melts onto surfaces letting text and such show through)…

Magpie's Nest Sea Fan Rubber Stamp

a Fred B. Mullett sea fan rubber stamp helped add some interest to my pages…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz 4 pages

bits of torn napkin and fish and shell cutouts were fiddly but fun to work with along with the addition of some pressed flowers…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Pgs 1 & 2

what does not come across here is that I worked on four pages (if you click on the image above you can see that I glued two book pages together and tore them above the middle of the page)

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Final Pages

and when you turned the second and third pages my altered magazine mermaid was revealed as a bit of a surprise…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Page 4

I was lucky that the placement of the Shakespeare quote worked out because I really had not planned ahead for these pages…

“…the rude sea grew civil at her song, And certain stars shot madly from their spheres, To hear the sea-maid’s music.” -William Shakespeare … Oberon from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act II, Scene 1)

~♥~ my heartfelt thanks to everyone on your kind words about my friend Lennie’s passing oxo

Mudjin Harbor and Dragon Cay T…

 the last couple of Tuesdays I have been sharing photos from our March Turks and Caicos trip (the beautiful book below was in our room … I played with tiny shells we found on the beach to compliment the photo collage…some of the shells were as little as the tip of your fingernail)…

TCI Album w shells

as part of our adventures on the day we took a short ferry ride from Providenciales to Middle and North Caicos Islands we made a point to visit a spot recommended by a friend

Magpie's Nest Panorama Mudjin Harbour

she said it was one of the most beautiful places she had ever visited…

Magpie's Nest Mudjin Harbour

we paused at the cliff top Mudjin Bar & Grill to take in the view and enjoy a glass of nice cold lemonade (it looked like a great place to eat too!)...

Magpie's Nest Dragon Cay Mudjin Harbour

if you use your imagination you can see the rock formation resembling a sleeping dragon (someone lost a hat so we propped it on a post in case they came looking for it)…

Magpie's Nest Mudjin Blue Horizon Walkways

we enjoyed walking on the paths made of natural materials which led us to a staircase down through the limestone cliffs to a surprise secluded beach …

Mudjin Harbour Middle Caicos Island

we had the traveling tea cup along for this little adventure too

Magpie's Nest Hidden beach Traveling T Cup

a day trip was really not long enough to take in all the sights but we felt we made the most of our first visit to this treasure of a place…

Magpie's Nest Mudjin Harbor Secret Beach

wishing everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover a very happy T day while part of me still has sand in my shoes…

Magpie's Nest Dragon Cay TCI

 (as an aside Mr Magpie and I hardly ever print out photographs anymore so having a selection of travel photos here and on my Flickr page gives us virtual albums to visit…hope you enjoy them too)

Turks and Caicos T …

Grace Bay Beach  Provo TCI Coconut drinks

back from our visit to the British West Indies Islands of Turks and Caicos

Magpie's Nest TCI evening shadows

feeling relaxed and rejuvenated with so many special memories…

Seven Stars Resort TCI collage

we stayed at a beautiful resort right on the beach…

Seven Stars Resort Provo TCI

with a heated salt water pool and beautifully manicured grounds…

Providentiales TCI

if you are curious to learn a bit more about the Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI) you can visit here for some facts

Magpie's Nest TCI flora

all of the staff were so cordial and gracious they really made everyone feel pampered and quite at home…

yellow cloud sunset

they went out of their way to learn the guests names which we found to be quite impressive…

Coconuts Conch Shells and Blue Blue water

this trip goes down as one of our all time best beach vacations…

sun begins to setwe are already dreaming of a return visit someday…

Magpie's Nest taken thru sunglass lens

the photo above was taken from our balcony looking through a sun glass lens which gave it an interesting look (good sun glasses were a must)…

Magpie's Nest peach sky sunset

even though the sky would darken sometimes off in the distance we never had any rain…

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup

 we brought the traveling tea cup along…

Seven Stars balcony view

our balcony had a very nice view and it was a good respite from the strong midday sun…

Magpie's Nest Birds and Lizards on TCI

 we never got tired of the sound of the water that was so crystalline clear and  impossibly blue

down the beach blues

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

Wonder…

working with simple collage elements for two more mono printed red rosin pages in my little handmade art journal…

Wonder art journal pages (1)

another TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) on cotton from my stash …

Wonder art journal pages (2)

and one of my origami dresses

Wonder art journal pages

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”  -Socrates

Wonder art journal and a shell
after photographing my pages I noticed that the right hand page needed one small detail added for my second entry in Art Journal Journey’s “Collage”  theme

creatures of the sea…

the oceans are full of many living beings…

Magpie's Nest the sea 1

I was inspired to create a spread in one of my gesso journals for the AJJ September Challenge with the round image of a mystery lady…Magpie's Nest the sea 2

toward the end of this month Mr Magpie and I will be taking some time to relax by the sea and twinkle our toes in the sand for a couple of weeks…

Magpie's Nest the sea

“The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure.”  Cornelia Funke

Seth Apter’s 6th Annual Buried Treasure and My Mermaid Slipper

my search for Buried Treasure had me digging back to September of 2010 for my entry in Seth’s Buried Treasure event this year I came across a favorite altered shoe I created:

“pretty much everything has a story doesn’t it …

this story goes back to around 2009 …

Mr Magpie who is SO very supportive and encouraging of my creativity was exiting a major highway …

he saw this lonely shoe and made a second loop back to the exit about 3-4 miles to rescue it from the side of the road

rescued shoe before

… imagine my surprise and delight …

kind of felt like Cinderella…except I have never worn a heel like that … ever … 😉

I have altered shoes before with a couple of examples here and here … back in the day I even did dried flower arrangements in little children’s shoes …

the minute I saw this high heeled number …

I thought “mermaid slipper” 

maybe it was the cork platform heel …

Sanibel She Shells (2)

I have been most distracted lately by our collection of seashells … it led me to making mandalas the other day and finally… after all this time …Sanibel Island Shells

I got the clear chaulk out and got busy transforming my special shoe …

almost complete …

I painted the inside of the shoe after I glued on the shells … a little silly … what can I say I got excited …

Mermaid slipper (3)

Lumiere Pearl Turquoise gave a nice shimmer …

I knew it needed words …

mermaid thoughts …

what WOULD a mermaid do with a shoe anyway …

mermaid slipper (9)

in my excitement I showed Mr M the finished slipper and boy did we have a laugh … when he read the quote out loud …

speaks to the “soul

it hit us … yes … the SOLE!

mermaid slipper (14)

the shells were all collected from Florida beaches … Sanibel Island mostly … a small black shark’s tooth from our dear friend Carol’s brother Joe along with some tiny pieces of sponge …

creating my mermaid’s slipper was like taking a mini vacation …

everything melted away …

I forgot to drink water …

I forgot to … well you know …

it was perfect escape and very satisfying …

wish you could feel the weight of the shoe layered with seashells!

My Mermaid Slipper

“Come walk with me
Along the sea
Where dusk sits on the land
And search with me
For shells are free,
And treasures hide in the sand.” ~Unknown

Caldesi FL Shellbush1

sjöjungfru… sirena … zeemeermin … havfrue … syrena … sirène … Meerjungfrau”

You can visit all of the participants here

these sunny days of summer…

Red Fox nappinga visitor under our neighbor’s tree having a bit of a snooze…

Sunlit Abalone Shell

a favorite Abalone shell caught at just the right moment in the sun…

DSC03043 Bunny ears in the sun

and our resident rabbit keeping an eye out with sun shining from behind her ears as she munches on clover…

Borage Blossoms with dewdrops

a sweet surprise in our herb box reseeded from last year…

Sparrow in Passion flower bath

♥ thank you very much for your visits and I hope you are enjoying the season you are in ♥

“Be humble for you are made of earth.  Be noble for you are made of stars.” ~Serbian Proverb

Pacific Sea Star Tea

 looking back on our trip to California in October of 2010

this post has been in DRAFT for far too long now…

WHERE in the world has a year gone…

I still remember how entertained we were walking on Goat Rock Beach on the lookout for treasure…

what is it about wet shells and rocks that wink at you in the sand and whisper “take me home with you”

there was sea glass too if you were very patient…

my great discovery was a brilliant Ochre Sea Star still too freshly gone to take home…

it looked like a Fabergé jewel incrusted ornament shimmering in the sunlight…

and complimented the embroidery on my tunic nicely…

we were warned by friendly locals to never turn our backs on the ocean…

they have signs warning about deadly Sleeper Waves…

a local lady who shared some sea glass with me had some stories to tell about those…

it was a short drive back to the sanctuary of Jenner where we were staying…

a bite to eat and some tea on the Russian River here…

we are excited about our upcoming return visit to a different part of California end of this month to attend our nephew’s wedding…

it was our sweet niece’s wedding that took us to the west coast last year around this time…

here’s wishing you a very happy T Tuesday

… be sure and visit Kimmie

you never know where the T Tuesday bloggers will take you…

***if you are a Claudine Hellmuth fan her second book is my 10th giveaway over at my Magpie’s Nest Too blog***

LaWendula’s Paper Swaps…Art Really Does Help Heal

*a LONGish post with lots all wrapped into one*

LaWendula recently hosted another fun paper swap

she has been connecting the mixed media blog community for quite awhile now with her imaginative and fun swap ideas…

this one was quick and easy…

just fill a standard size envelope with bits of paper and mail to your partner…

 my swap partner Frances…

who does not have a blog for me to send you to…

sent me some really lovely bits from the UK … so much goodness in one envie … thank you again dear Frances!!!

LaWendula (LW) and I swapped some vintage papers and did I ever get inspired when her big envelope arrived…

she included one of her really special handmade books (4.5 inches square) ready to alter … I could not wait to get busy…

as some of you know my sweet German Mother/Mutti died suddenly in February of this year…

she lived just an hour away so we got lots of one on one time together…

I sure do miss her and have not been able to find words to express my broken heart overflowing with feelings…

using lots of bits from LaWendula’s latest gifts (more than I can really show you in photos) and a few bits I had on hand…

here is what came of some of it…

with a couple of pages still left to decorate…

I will show you LaWendula’s BEFORE book pages and my AFTER altered pages below…

her  pages looked so nice I hardly wanted to cover them up…

I was not immediately aware that it would even be a book about my Mutti…

a bit of German curtain netting (I have some of my Mother’s tattered lace curtains) under the word Liebe = Love …

a piece of torn map …

a glowing candle surrounded by Edelweiss … a flower that has myriad meanings in our family …

LaWendula’s tag was lovely on both sides…felted wool on this side…I glued on the cardboard seashell from her goodies…

I like the way LW stamped page numbers on her gessoed magazine pages…as it happened the number 3 fit perfectly in the torn yellow paper I glued to the right edge…

my Mom’s name was Josephine…her family called her “Fini”

I amazed myself at the meaning in these pages…

it wasn’t until the second day when Mr Magpie was looking at my little book again that we realized why out of 12 little calendar pages that LW sent in a strip … I must have picked apples for this page…

my Mutti made THE best apple strudel always with me in mind…the ends were my favorite with a little more dough folded there…

such beautiful pages LaWendula made … you can see why it was hard to cover them…

I dove in anyway…a woman possessed on and off all day Friday…

these pages really did come together intuitively…

I noticed that sometimes I like creating with a little noise in the background…most often television…funny as I used to not be much of a TV person…

LW’s sturdy dressmaker form called to me but I did not spend any time thinking about why and added some stamped text to it …

my mother was an excellent seamstress and creator of stuffed animals and dolls and more…

the only thing I added to pages 4 and 5 from my stash were pieces of Tim Holtz tissue tape...

in looking for a tissue tape link to embed for you above…I came upon Tim’s blog post with some amazing ideas for this tape…

Love that …

maybe you will need some afterall

Estivalia … let me know 😉

playing with LaWendula’s pages was very healing…plenty of tears fell with some smiles from sweet memories too…

I actually surprised myself in that I was able to “go there” as the grief from my Mutti’s loss is pretty fresh…there are days I cannot believe she is really gone…

the little flowered flap on the left is a copy of my Mother’s fabric autograph book from the early 1940’s onward…

LaWendula included some super German library cards...I thought it very fitting that they focused on *Play* one of my favorite things (Spiel Spiele Spielen)…

so glad I took photos of each of LaWendula’s beautiful pages “before” I got busy…see the perfect brown “frame” on the left…

isn’t that German postage stamp on the top left precious…it says “With Good Wishes”

my Mutti passed along her wanderlust to me and my little sister …

our boys called her “Omi” a German fond term for Grandma

years before my Mother passed away we had a conversation where she told me she had lived a good life … little did I know just how comforting those words would be … I will continue to feel very close to my sweet Mutti …you can check out some of LaWendula’s precious handmade books here

for not having words … I certainly managed to tell quite a lot…

there is so much more to tell about my dear sweet Mutti …

she was definitely one of a kind…

I added a little paint to the back page but could not duplicate LW’s beautiful colors on the other side of her sewn tag…

I wrote “Love is the answer” and glued on the black and white strip of shiny fabric from my art table…

if you actually read all of this post…well you are amazing … the word count (WordPress provides that in Draft mode) was pretty high …

vielen vielen danke liebe LaWendula … you touched my heart again and again … you always ROCK!

 

feeling the twinkle…

…and not any too soon

next Friday is Christmas eve…oh my…

I am enjoying my new twinkly turquoise tree that I did not know I needed…it just jumped off the shelf at me…

after our doll head Christmas saga last year…

I thought it best to have my own little altered tree this year…

it is 3 feet tall (91.44 cm)…

we have another traditional tabletop tree with a twinkling star on top…

trying to keep things simple this year…

credits:

Photo #1: Doll head ordered on line…it is a petite addition to my other two special doll heads…she has the prettiest eyelashes…you can tell by the tip of her nose that she was well Loved…I’d like to think she is honored to be the angel on top of my altered tree instead of being discarded…red Christmas plates on either side of my favorite St Nicholas plate from my dear friend Lennie

Photo #2: shell ornie from a tin chock full of treasures that Pat shared with me when she moved to the country

Photo #4: precious Russian doll ornament that my boys surprised me with one Christmas

Photo #5: Queen Bee Linda’s wonderful tart pan ornie for our jingle junkle ornament swap

Photo #6: my Mom’s precious ice skater bear (4.5 in tall) that she made from scratch…the arms and legs are jointed…she sewed each tiny bead on by hand…she even made the ice skates!

Photo #7: one of my moo cards…the bling eye is a necklace from the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore…they have THE greatest gift shop…I did not make the snowman dome…but have been playing with bleached tiny trees…also thanks to inspiration by Linda

Photo #8: Linda’s puffy stars (still want to give those a whirl) in an old plastic party favor basket that I picked up at a junk/antique shop

fa la la


 

my mermaid slipper

pretty much everything has a story doesn’t it …

this story goes back to around 2009 …

Mr Magpie … who I must say is SO very supportive and encouraging of my creativity …

was exiting a major highway … he saw this lonely shoe and made a second loop back to the exit about 3-4 miles to rescue it from the side of the road

rescued shoe before

… imagine my surprise and delight …

kind of felt like Cinderella…except I have never worn a heel like that … ever … 😉

I have altered shoes before with a couple of examples here and here … back in the day I even did dried flower arrangements in little children’s shoes …

the minute I saw this high heeled number … I thought “mermaid slipper”

maybe it was the cork platform heel …

what is the one thing a mermaid might long for … legs ?

Sanibel She Shells (2)

I have been most distracted lately by our collection of seashells … it led me to making mandalas the other day and finally!!! … after all this time …Sanibel Island Shells

I got the clear chaulk out and got busy transforming my special shoe …

almost complete …

I painted the inside of the shoe after I glued on the shells … a little silly … what can I say I got excited …

Mermaid slipper (3)

Lumiere Pearl Turquoise gave a nice shimmer …

I knew it needed words …

mermaid thoughts …

what WOULD a mermaid do with a shoe anyway …

mermaid slipper (9)

in my excitement I showed Mr M the finished slipper and boy did we have a laugh … when he read the quote out loud …

speaks to the “soul

it hit us … yes … the SOLE!

mermaid slipper (14)

the shells were all collected from Florida beaches … Sanibel Island mostly … a small black shark’s tooth from our dear friend Carol’s brother Joe along with some tiny pieces of sponge …

creating my mermaid’s slipper was like a mini vacation …

everything melted away …

I forgot to drink water …

I forgot to … well you know …

it was perfect escape and very satisfying …

wish you could feel the weight of the shoe layered with seashells!

My Mermaid Slipper

“Come walk with me
Along the sea
Where dusk sits on the land
And search with me
For shells are free,
And treasures hide in the sand.” ~Unknown

Caldesi FL Shellbush1

sjöjungfru… sirena … zeemeermin … havfrue … syrena … sirène … Meerjungfrau