Category Archives: Summer

Helianthus time again …

a local cut your own farm (Burnside Farms) planted over 30 varieties of “cutting” sunflowers (Helianthus) on about six acres in successive crops to ensure at least six weeks of blooming flowers…Magpie's Nest Burnside Farms Sunflowersour August tropical heat and humidity kept me indoors a good bit and I almost missed them…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz BEES

very happy that I made time to visit last Wednesday which was the last low heat and humidity day we would have for awhile…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Sunflower Paloozasuch a delight to see fields of flowers again this year

Pollinator habitat with so many cheerful blooms…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Morning Sunflowers

these two little girls were having lots of fun frolicking in the fields…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz two girls frolicking

I took a quick photo of the flowers I cut before I left the farm (the sun bleached out the deep red of the top of my parasol)…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Parasol cut blooms water

the cut blooms last a long time if you watch the water level…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Sunflowers and Figs

we are still waiting for our replacement carpet in the sun room as we had a bad experience with the first toxic foam padding that  smelled horrible even after a week of airing out…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz sunflower hair

we soon realized we could not live with it…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz sunflower lady reflection 1

so we are back to the concrete floor for now and have ordered new carpet and padding with low VOC which is what we should have gotten in the first place…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Front and Back we got excited rushing things a bit settling for what was quickly available… 

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz morning light

joining with T Stands for Tuesday and wishing you a happy day…

Magpie's Nest Sunflower Lady

I also created a digital sunflower piece for Art Journal Journey’s NATURE’S WONDERS theme which ends on Wednesday…

Turmeric tea

even though this past weekend was the unofficial end to summer here in the U.S. I am still enjoying being barefoot around the house and we are not ready to turn off the air conditioning quite yet…

Magpie's Nest Numi Tumeric Tea

it has been very nice weather for sitting out on our shady back porch….

Magpie's Nest Numi Tumeric Tea (1)

change is in the air and the other morning started out a bit cool and crisp so I decided to brew some tea in a favorite Sunnex stainless steel teapot that I picked up on a trip to Ireland many years ago…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz tea pot and cozy

it does a great job of keeping the tea hot especially tucked up in one of my tea cozies (unfortunately the lovely tea cozy lady is no longer in business)…

Magpie's Nest Pouring tea

I had a bit of fun and challenged myself to pour with my left hand while snapping some photos with my right which can be a bit tricky  because of where the button is located on my phone camera…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz garden blooms

the healing Turmeric tea tasted nice and I enjoyed a few blooms that I cut from our poor dry garden…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz lady with curly wurly hair the peace and quiet of our back porch frequently inspires me to take photos and play with flowers …

Magpie's Nest Rabbit's Foot Fern Sedum Cup Thyme it is always fun how one thing can lead to another and another…

Magpie's Nest Fairy Rose and Lord Byron's Poetical Works

here’s wishing you a Happy T Day with plenty of time to enjoy the season you are in…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz September Sun Thyme

“Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage.” ~Okakura Kakuzō

fill your cup

for T Stands for Tuesday today I am sharing a page I made for the BLACK & WHITE challenge at Moo Mania and More

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Fill Your Cup (1)

the teapot and cup are clip art from The Graphics Fairy that I enchanced a bit with my white Signo pen and black Stabilo pencil …using some paper doily pieces and adding some rubber stamping too (the white dots were made with a water based white Sharpie)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Fill Your Cup (2)

it is the left side of a two page spread done a couple of days apart (more about the right side with the lady here)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Fill Your Cup

using only black and white is a fun challenge…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz black n white sunflowers

but I am very grateful to live in a world full of color…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Living Room Sunflowers

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

~*Happy September…thank you for your visit*~

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

Mosaic District…

 this post is an accumulation of about three Sunday visits to a favorite new shopping area about 12 miles away from us…

Mosaic District Merrifield VA

it has lots of charm and interest geared toward families with things like yoga in the park … a giant movie screen for special events and indoor theaters too…Magpie's Nest Le Pain Quotidien

two places we always visit are MOM’s which is a really nice organic market and Le Pain Quotidien for scones and maybe a chia muffin as a treat for the week…

Magpie's Nest Le Pain

on Sunday’s through October they have a farmer’s market with assorted live entertainment…

Magpie's Nest Mosaic Center entertainment

and quite an array of offerings under each white canopy strung in a long row…

Magpie's Nest Yoga in Park Farm Market

this past Sunday we tried some delicious creamy fresh peach ice cream made right before our eyes using liquid nitrogen like a fun edible science experiment…

Magpie's Nest The Nice Cream Factory

there are some beautiful planters and a few long beds of Equisetum commonly known as Horsetail that I am drawn to again and again

Magpie's Nest Horsetail plantings

window shopping at Anthropologie is always fun…

Magpie's Nest Mosaic District Anthro Window

their displays are well thought out and eye catching with some great “shelfie” photo opportunities…

Magpie's Nest Anthropologie cups

I enjoy the outdoor atmosphere with shops and eateries much more than an enclosed mall and while strolling we spotted this chalk board outside Capital Teas (we do plan to step inside and sample their wares sometime)…

Magpie's Nest Capital Tea chalk board

“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summers best of weather And autumns best of cheer.” —Helen Hunt Jackson

Magpie's Nest summer shadow cups

I look forward to visiting with you again in early October after we return from a couple of weeks at the beach ~♥~ here’s wishing you a very Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard’s

fabric fusion paper…

 in addition to special and inspiring friends on line I am grateful  to be able to spend time with local artists and friends who are extremely generous and talented too…

Magpie's Nest English Mug

I am part of a Mixed Media Collaborative group that meets twice monthly…

Magpie's Nest English Cottage Mug

recently I enjoyed revisiting a paper on fabric fusion technique that I first learned from the talented Beryl Taylor here

Magpie's Nest Fusion Fabric Paper supplies

 assorted thin papers with various color ways in mind (those pretty napkins and tissues you’ve been saving work beautifully) …

Magpie's Nest Fabric Fusion PaperI arranged pieces on cotton fabric brushing with a glue and water mix and ending with a thin layer of tissue on the top adding diluted paints too to some pieces…Magpie's Nest Fabric Fusion Paper backs

on the pink piece above the foundation “fabric” is a used dryer sheet and it worked nicely (underneath it you can see some of the  fabric backs of my other pieces)…

Magpie's Nest Fabric Fusion Paper (2)

it takes about 24 hours to completely dry…

Magpie's Nest Fabric Fusion Paper (1)after peeling it off the freezer paper I iron the back  to help flatten the pieces if needed…

Magpie's Nest C.S. Lewis Courage quote

for some ideas of what to do with your fabric and lots more great info you can visit here

Magpie's Nest August blooms

here’s wishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard’s ~~

MiFoC August {Week 2: Summer}

summer makes me think of sunshine and flowers …

Anthropologie window Mosaic center

bare feet … watermelon and refreshing drinks …

shadow summer Q A Lace

chirping birds and the smell of honeysuckle …

Magpie's Nest Sparrows

come join the Mikrokosmos Foto Challenge for more summer photos…

Magpie's Nest Balloon flower

September blooms and blooms…

change is in the air…

September T Blooms (5)

 hot summer temperatures are trying to loosen their grip on us here in Northern Virginia which will be a welcome change in my book…

September T Blooms Abut summer is not quite over yet…

September T Blooms (4)

I picked a handful of what’s blooming to play with out on our back porch using some of the old found bottles we’ve collected…

September T Blooms (3)here’s wishing you a very Happy T day

John Mayer at Jiffy Lube Live 31 August 2013…

we ended our August with the treat of concert tickets which we had purchased at the end of March this year…

Jiffy Lube Live Anticipation

it was a wonderful and memorable summer night with John Mayer for his BORN & RAISED tour in nearby Bristow,Virginia…

Phillip Phillips Bristow VA

first Phillip Phillips, the 2012 American Idol winner, got everyone on their feet…

Phillip Phillips Patty Szymkowicz

he is a talented musician with quite a back story…

Jiffy Lube Live 2013

THEN who we had been waiting for since 2010…

John Mayer Born and Raised Tour Bristow VA (7) John Mayer back after making a fabulous recovery from health issues and better than ever…

John Mayer Born and Raised Tour Bristow VA (3)

this makes the fourth time we have seen him in concert

John Mayer Born and Raised Tour Bristow VA (1)

 which is quite a lot for us since we don’t go to that many concerts in general…

John Mayer Born and Raised Tour Bristow VA (11) A

you can tell he really enjoys practicing his craft with the skill and passion he brings to each performance…

John Mayer with one of his many cool guitars

we really did not want the evening to end…

John Mayer Born and Raised Tour Bristow VA (12)

Set list:

Queen of California
Something Like Olivia
Vultures
Half of My Heart
Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad
Love is a Verb
Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
On the Way Home
***Covered in Rain***
Your Body is a Wonderland–>Neon–>Your Body is a Wonderland
Wildfire
I Don’t Trust Myself
Waiting on the World to Change
Waiting on the Day
Who Says
Call Me the Breeze
Age of Worry
Gravity
If I Ever Get Around to Living

***Covered in Rain*** was the song John Mayer played for a guy in the front row who said this was the 52nd time he’d been to see JM in concert…

JM could hardly get over that and told him to pick a song any song and he would play it for him…

John Mayer Born and Raised Tour Bristow VA (6)

a special night to remember in so many ways…

create summer moments…

the August challenge over at Journal Journey’s is “What does summer mean to you?”

summer here in Virginia conjures up lots of lovely images and feelings…

candlelit back porch 26June

for me it is barefoot time sitting on our back porch listening to the water fountains watching birds and bees and butterflies and the occasional furry visitors

Stencil Spray Inks Summer Pages

the parade of blooms from trees and shrubs and flowering plants that have come to us from family and friends over the years delighting us again and again…

Raindrops on lilies

summer is full of warmth and sun along with the occasional rain shower to make the warm pavement steam and freshen everything up…

Stencil Spray Inks Summer Pages (1)

when our boys were school age summers meant I could stay up late with no worries for early morning preparations and sendoffs…

JDS and IceCreamMan (1)

when I hear the tinkling music from the ice cream truck in our neighborhood it makes me feel giddy and sad all at the same time touching the little girl in me…

magpiesnest-peaceloveunderstanding1

now with our empty nest each day is like summer in a way with few schedules to keep and flexible hours to mostly call my own (with Loving thanks to Mr Magpie for that XOXO)

Summer Quote John Lubbock

had some Pixlr Express fun above with a photo of blank lined pages from my art journal adding a quote and some of their “stickers”  (Pixlr is the free and easy software that I use to add a border and my name to photos too)…

Summer Moments Aug 2013

this journal started back in August 2012 with my SPIRIT spread here

then in October I created these pages

I really had fun on my latest pages above using stencils and spritzing assorted inks then adding scribbles and rubons and a few paper collage elements…

Summer Stroll

♥ thank you for your visit and I appreciate each and every comment very much ♥

Mandala Monday: Daisy Green

my mandala began by using a cigar box for the foundation with a layer of sheet moss on top

Daisy Green Mandala

in the center is a green Chinese Lantern on a bed of Lemon Balm leaves or Sweet Melissa as they are also called…

Daisy Green Mandala (1)

yellow button blossoms from our Raspberry Leaf Tansy and sweet little daisies (Fleabane) considered a weed by some…

Daisy Green Mandala (2)

I am joining Dawn of Girl Unwinding for her Mandala Monday again today…

Daisy Green Mandala (3)

it was fun snapping a photo of Mr and Mrs Goldfinch visiting our Hyssop

Mr & Mrs Goldfinch with Bee in the middle

only afterwards discovering a bumblebee in flight between them…

“Come forth into the light of things.   Let nature be your teacher.”  -William Wordsworth

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

Loti and The Traveling Teacup

end of June Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

after returning home from our travels in June Mr Magpie and I decided to visit the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens which is a free National Park not too far from our house…

June Traveling Tcup Waterlilies

our traveling tea cup was not quite ready to be put back in her box…

Lotus just begun

I have always wanted to see the Lotuses in bloom (or Loti as they are also called)…

Jim Szymkowicz Waterlily Dragonfly

there were lovely varieties of water lilies as well in these water gardens (“This 12-acre sanctuary features over 45 ponds filled with a variety of tropical and hardy water lilies, lotus, and other aquatic species. Established on the east bank of the Anacostia River, the park contains human-made shallow ponds and dikes surrounded by 70 acres of fresh-water tidal wetlands.”)

Wildlife Sampler Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

it was not hard to lose track of time and spend hours enjoying nature and snapping photos like crazy (turned out that was the last low humidity day we had for awhile!)

June Lotuses Before

the lotuses typically bloom from June through August here in the Washington, DC area…

July Butterfly Sampler

other flowers are in bloom from late May through September…

Jim Szymkowicz Paper Parasol Lotus

the lotuses were so beautiful we decided to return in a few weeks to check on them again…

June and July visit contrast

and what a difference a few weeks and our tropical heat made (some loti were taller than Mr Magpie!)July Lotus Buds

it has been very HOT and HUMID here in the Washington DC area …

JJJ Dragonfly like so many states in the US recently…

Lotus Perfection

we brought the traveling tea cup with us again carefully using a lily pad as a saucer at the edge of a lily pond…

Water Lily Traveling Tea Cup

here are some notes based on our experiences at the Aquatic Gardens so far…

Lotus Pods

accompanied by photos which are my favorite way of telling stories…

Lotus Closeup

 You are more likely to be bitten by a mosquito in your own backyard than at the aquatic gardens with more on that here

blurry lotus reflection

You may want to set aside several hours at least for your visit because there is lots to explore and it is so beautiful there…

DSC02639

Early morning is recommended for seeing night blooming plant species but any time of day there is something wonderful happening

Waterlily

A parasol is very nice for shade from the sun AND for shading a blossom when the sun would be too bright to snap a good photograph…

Square Paper Parsol Traveling Tcup

It might be muddy so open shoes are not a great idea…

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens reflection

There is poison ivy in some spots so be mindful where you lean or step  * leaves of three let them be *…

Fallen Lotus Petals

Best to visit with someone as they can help save you stepping off the camouflaged edges into the water while you are trying to get that perfect shot OR from falling into a muskrat hole along the paths…

Bee Happy Lotus

If you run out of water they sell bottled water at the information center near the picnic area and bathrooms …

Lotus Center

I promise that my T stands for Tuesday post next week will be much much shorter ♥

Sacred Pink Lotus

“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.”    -Masaru Emoto, The Secret Life of Water