Category Archives: T stands for Tuesday

Holland in Haymarket

on Easter Day…

we enjoyed some glorious spring blooms at a farm not too far from us  (I have taken you there before to see the sunflowers)…

it was fun pretending we were in Holland instead of Virginia for awhile…

enjoying the riot of colors with our Traveling Tea Cup in tow with more than a million tulips and daffodils…

I have always been drawn to wooden shoes and Burnside Farms had a very fine array from teeny tiny to small boat size… 

I think I am part tulip because the almost 90 degree day (32.2 Celsius) felt way too warm for me… 

turns out the heat is not ideal for spring blooms like tulips either…

we brought home some of my favorite Muscari bulbs to plant in our garden and a jar of raw local honey to help balance the effects of the heavy pollen that is everywhere…

the price for so many blooms popping just now (happily on Monday we got some much needed rain)…

I am joining everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover to wish you a Happy T Day

I’ll be taking a blog break and will see you again in May…

Spring changes…

April is turning out to be a month of big changes for me and the month is still young…

a week or so ago I had my hair cut and donated fifteen inches to a good cause (I have donated hair in the past but this time around I learned how much it costs to make a human hair wig confirming that monetary donations are very much needed as well)…

for the first time in my life I have braces and what an adventure that is going to be for the next year or so…

late last year we had some work done to reduce the size of part of our herbaceous border getting rid of wild blackberry and honeysuckle vines to name just a few marauders (I Love them in a wild setting but it wasn’t good that they were choking out so many other plants)…

now we are watching to see what survived the clean out before we do any new planting…

I had fun recently altering vintage spools of silk thread that my always generous friend Carmen shared with our mixed media group using a bit of shredded map, wire, moss, rose ribbon trim and a shiny egg or two for the little chick to sit on and the little boy is from the top of a small valentine candy box that I altered years ago (I created the frame using distressed copper mesh and brads)…

the blue Muscari/Grape Hyacinths are definitely a favorite spring flower of mine ♥ they seem to pop up everywhere…

I am tagging along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover to celebrate T Stands for Tuesday and

wish you a happy day…

the Virginia Bluebell … Mertensia virginica

it is that time of year again when the forest floor of Bull Run Regional Park transforms into a blanket of blooms…

our first visit this year was perhaps a week ahead of peak bloom and VERY muddy (we always come prepared with a change of shoes… a little slipping and sliding is so worth it)…

I get excited each year and look forward to walking in the woods with our traveling tea cup along the looped Bluebell Trail…

I will leave you with a just a few photo collages and if you’d like to see more you can click here for past and much more colorful visits

we plan to return for an early morning walk when more blooms are open and the light is softer…

joining everyone at Bleubeard and Elizabeth’s to wish you a Happy T Day…

 

Little Free Library…

in browsing the website of the Fife and Drum Inn that we selected for our 5 day stay in Colonial Williamsburg recently…

I interpreted the photo above  (courtesy of the Fife and Drum) to mean that there would be a Little Free Library so I packed up a stack of books to deposit when we got there…

turns out it had nothing to do with books at all and each of the rooms in the inn had one = a little house to hide the television from constant view…

we got some chuckles out of that and then did a search and found a “real” Little Free Library a couple of miles away in front of an interesting looking shop…

we never made it back that way during business hours to go inside but we did leave our books (Mr Magpie always laughs at me because I can’t help but tidy up the book boxes a bit)…

being within walking distance of Colonial Williamsburg gave us   several opportunities to stroll around looking for signs of spring…

we were drawn again and again to the 18th century vegetable gardens where the gardening methods, tools and gardeners were all colonial style…

it was a favorite spot back when we visited in December of 2015  (2015 photo above)…

after one of our walks we shared a rich hot chocolate and Linzer bar just a couple of doors down from where we were staying  snapping two more traveling tea cup shots…

wishing you a Happy T Day on this last Tuesday of March along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

Botticelli calling…

we were thrilled to learn of a unique opportunity to see some of Sandro Botticelli’s works being shown for the first time in the U.S. and not all that far from us at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia…

after visiting Williamsburg a couple of years ago to celebrate my birthday we had imagined making a return visit in springtime so we made a long weekend of it…

this is the largest and most important display of Botticelli’s works in the United States featuring 24 paintings from international lenders…

on 15 April the exhibition will open in Boston, Massachusetts which is the only other opportunity to see these paintings together in the US…

we were delighted that photography was allowed (excluding professional photography or use of a flash) although it was impossible for a photo to do justice to the exquisite details…

the first night in Williamsburg we ate out under the stars with the full moon shining down on us…

the temps dipped down each day after that so it’s good we chose that first night to eat al fresco…

we took the Traveling Tea Cup along so there will be more to share at another time…

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

change is constant…

some changes are subtle while others can be more dramatic…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-out-with-the-jotul-stove

one of the last home improvements we made recently was to have our trusty Norwegian cast iron wood stove removed along with the brick wall behind it (it has found a new home where it is being used and treasured anew)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-finished-fireplace

Mr Magpie chopped a lot of firewood in the 28 years we had the stove and now with gas logs we have simplified the getting warm and cozy process with the click of a remote control…magpies-nest-dining-room-buffet

it is nice having things back in place again with no more construction upheaval to deal with…magpies-nest-moms-birthday-anemones

my cup offering for T Stands for Tuesday this week was a birthday gift to my mother from her brother many years ago…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-celebrate

~♥ wishing you a Happy T Day ♥~

quickening of time…

the quickening of time is hard to ignore as we find ourselves at the end of February already…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-omis-clock

Mother Nature has wobbled from winter to May like temperatures and back again…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-sunroom-views

I ended up at a garden center last week on a glorious 78 degree/25.5 Celsius day which was a good 20 degrees warmer than normal for this time of year here in northern Virginia…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-spring-fever

a few plants came home with me and I will have to babysit them mostly indoors until planting time arrives in a month or more…

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I can’t seem to snap enough photos of this potted Lenten Rose…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-meyer-lemons-first-daffs-from-garden how do you spell spring fever…

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-hazelnut-birthday-cake-yumyumyum

we have eaten a good bit of cake this month celebrating Mr Magpie’s birthday…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-pear-tarte

 still celebrating with a yummy Sunday treat of pear puff pastry tarte OH MY… magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-helleborus

wishing everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover a Happy T Day… 

♥ February ♥

here we are in February already…

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-le-pain-signheart month…  magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-heartsI have accumulated a bit of a he♥rt collection over the years and even have a “heart” category on my blog…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-omis-heart-bench

something very precious to me is a stool Mr Magpie made many years ago and my mother painted with intentions of giving it to me (the apple tart is from the shop in the photo above with the ♥I wheely like you♥ sign…they sell wonderful organic farm bread too)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-omis-daisies

my mutti found the stool so useful (she wasn’t quite five feet tall) that she had it in her kitchen for many years before it came to me…magpies-nest-omis-bench-built-by-jim-s

each speckle adds to the patina and charm of so many years in her pantry…patty-szymkowicz-love-always-collage

wishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover where all you need to join in the fun is to share anything related to a drink (guess what! I found a way to post photos again that can be clicked on for a closer look = hoorah!)…magpies-nest-paris-candle

as an aside a few of you have asked from previous blog posts what was inside the Paris box I have shared in photos…all is revealed above… (I was content with just the box but the candle is very nice too!)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-heart-collage

“February, a form
Pale-vestured, wildly fair,—
One of the North Wind’s daughters,
With icicles in her hair.”
~Edgar Fawcett, “The Masque of Months,” c.1878

cup of courage …

with news that is cringe worthy each and every day I am trying to keep my balance and focus on the good…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-snow-showers

being grateful for little things like fresh flowers and being able to arrange them in our new farm sink which is one of my favorite things about our recent kitchen remodeling…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-farm-sink-blooms

I have noticed that WordPress no longer offers a way to click on photos to enlarge them or it could be my limited tech knowledge that hasn’t found the right button in the new format for creating blog posts…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-cup-of-courage-be-brave

so you may not be able to read my BE BRAVE canvas or see that the cup says: Cup of Courage…magpies-nest-ranunculus-hellebore-dried

I held off for months but now there is no longer a choice to revert to the old and friendlier way of drafting a post…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-eastern-bluebird

as our son would say these are “first world problems”…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-tolerance

I am joining the group over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover to wish you a Happy T Day (all are welcome to join in!)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-cup-of-courage

“Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go, it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.”  -Alice MacKenzie Swaim

 

turning over a new leaf…

typing on my new iPad that Mr Magpie surprised me with waiting to see how it works posting on my blog…img_0211so here goes…img_0238

WOW it works like a charm and it fits in nicely with my word for 2017 (SIMPLIFY is a word I have chosen as my  word of the year in the past…turns out it still needs work)…img_0236

these days I take so many photos with my iPhone it should be easier to attach those photos in my blog posts directly instead of having to send them to myself and work with them from the main computer… magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-january-sunlight

a more streamlined process that I am really excited about with some tricks still left to learn…1magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-candlelight-cuppa

I am joining everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover for T Stands for Tuesdaymagpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-time

wishing you a happy day (footnote: in the end I did have to fine tune a bit from my real computer but the iPad will definitely open new doors and I can stand instead of sitting all the time too!)

birthday getaway Anne Hathaway style…

at the end of November we took a little break from home improvements and drove about 2.5 hours southwest toward the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia…
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we booked three nights at the beautiful Inn of Old Virginia and stayed in a lovely room in the renovated barn where some of the exposed beams date back to Civil War times…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-inn-at-old-virginia

there were some beautiful sunrise views from our balcony…magpies-nest-jim-szymkowicz-sunrise-over-blue-ridge-mtns

breakfasts at the inn were delicious with such great attention to detail…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-inn-of-old-virginia-breakfast

it had a relaxing atmosphere with very gracious hosts…

magpies-nest-inn-at-old-virginia-restored-barnthe nearby town of Staunton (pronounced STAN-ten) is known for being the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson who was the 28th president of the U.S… magpies-nest-staunton-va-xoxo-doorsit is home to the American Shakespeare Center with a replica of Shakespeare’s Blackfriars Theatre… magpies-nest-staunton-shops

we enjoyed a performance of The 12 Dates of Christmas which was thoroughly entertaining and captivating in the beautiful wooden theatre…magpies-nest-giant-watering-can-and-garden-pots

one of the main reasons we chose Staunton was because of a special tea room…magpies-nest-streets-of-stauntonwe even brought our Traveling Tea Cup along…magpies-nest-anne-hathaway-cottage-tea-room-with-the-traveling-t-cup
I could hardly believe there was a REAL thatched cottage in Virginia which reminded us of the thatched cottages in the UK when we visited back in 2013 (photo below)…magpies-nest-stratford-upon-avon-uk-tour-2013

that is us standing in front of Anne Hathaway’s real cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon and we stumbled upon Hathaway TEA Rooms there and enjoyed a huge tea for two out in the garden…magpies-nest-anne-hathaway-birthday-tea-dec-2016 back to Virginia where we celebrated my 5 December birthday at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage Tea Room (tea for one and Mr Magpie had the Plowman’s Lunch…we shared a pot of Earl Grey)…magpies-nest-jim-szymkowicz-1600s-english-farm

such a fun time and I didn’t even get to tell you about our visit to the Frontier Culture Museummagpies-nest-1700s-irish-farmbut I’ve kept you so long already…magpies-nest-frontier-museum-reflections

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

coming to the end…

joining Elizabeth’s T Stands for Tuesday with a little look back over the year as I try to get back in the swing of things after such a long disconnect…patty-szymkowicz-t-stands-for-tuesday-2016

life goes on for everyone and I know you have all been busy creating and blogging and I have missed so much…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-best-of-france-tour-2016

my creativity shifted from art journaling and creating to making decisions and plans for all the changes we’ve had going on here at home for the last many months…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-new-kitchen

our kitchen remodeling is finally complete and we are enjoying it very much…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-omis-tea-set

after adding cabinets to the side of the room where the computer once was we decided to move the main computer upstairs and out of the main flow of things…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-new-kitchen-place-to-play

with only a cell phone and typing with my pointer finger I felt a bit limited and was not able to visit blogs or update my blog (one finger typing worked OK for short exchanges on Facebook)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-fa-la-laaa

blogging has been a part of my life for so many years I have missed connecting with friends all around the globe…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-tannenbaum

thank you all for a wonderful year of connection and inspiration…magpies-nest-kiwi-tree

~*Wishing you Brightest of Blessings in the New Year *~

out with the old and in with the new…

we have lived in the same house for over 32 years which was newly built when we moved in…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-32-yr-old-kitchen

the original cabinets and laminate counter tops were nothing fancy but they served us well over the years (I really liked my stainless steel sink a lot too)…magpies-nest-enclosed-back-porch

since the contractor that did our recent renovations did such a nice job and there happened to be a 25% off cabinet sale we decided to get new white cabinets and counters to update our kitchen…magpies-nest-open-kitchen-shelves

that means moving everything out (Mr Magpie built these shelves for us years ago)magpies-nest-dream-shelf

over the weekend we enjoyed some cherry apple canelé baked at our local Le Pain Quotidien bakery… they were almost as good as the first ones we got to try at a Sunday fresh air market in Libourne, France back in April…
magpies-nest-apple-cherry-cannelle

our tour director introduced us to a gentleman that still made them the old fashioned way brushing the fluted metal molds with beeswax which gave the cannelés a special crunch on the outside YUM (that is a new heart rock that Mr Magpie surprised me with above)…

magpies-nest-libourne-france

it was such a special happening right there on the street that we did not get any good photos of that encounter (the old metal pans were a thing of beauty)…
magpies-nest-sunday-morning-libourne-france

2016 has been an exciting year of changes for us…

magpies-nest-grandmas-garden-quilt-buddha-quote

not sure how plugged in I will be while the renovations are going on the next couple of weeks because the main computer has to be moved and that is the only way I can do blog posts or comment…magpies-nest-autumn-days

here’s wishing you a Happy November (ALREADY!) and a Happy T Day too as I join everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…