Category Archives: Traveling Tea Cup

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

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…
magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-near-staunton-va

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 *~

Terminus Tea…

some of you might remember that our son set out on 11 April from Springer Mountain in Georgia walking north on the Appalachian Trailappalachian-trail

encountering all kinds of weather (even some slushy snow for Mother’s Day)…

colin-szymkowicz-snow-in-may-on-the-at

the Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only footpath in America with more than 2,000 miles of trail and 250+ shelters…

magpies-nest-colin-szymkowicz-on-the-atthe overall elevation gain makes it equivalent to climbing Mount Everest 16 times…colin-szymkowicz-enjoying-the-walk

each year a couple thousand people try to hike the AT from beginning to end in one season…magpies-nest-colin-at-new-hampshire1

only a few hundred “thru-hikers” as they are called manage to finish the entire hike…Magpie's Nest Colin Szymkowicz Maine

we are extremely happy and excited that our thru hiker reached the northern terminus on 2 September and had some fun at the top  (his trail name is Deuces so it is special that he completed his quest on 2 September)Colin Szymkowicz Deuces has Fun at the top 2 Sept 2016

he said this photo was inspired by the Queen’s Guard (you have to imagine the black bearskin hat and red uniform…our boy has a great sense of humor!)…

Colin Szymkowicz reaches Maine Terminus 2 Sept 2016

in this photo you get a better idea of what the weather conditions were like that day (a bit brisk … his trusty backpack has been with him every step of the way)…at-energy-snacks-snickers (1)

you may remember the Snickers photo we took before he packed his food boxes… there is a tradition on the trail that says your last Snickers bar is your trail fortune as there is a word on one side of each bar…Colin White Blaze Trail fun

he got “Goofball”…
magpies-nest-cjs-traveling-t-cup

since I am combining this update with my T Stands for Tuesday post I thought I would include a favorite photo of Colin with our traveling tea cup when we met him in Waynesboro, Virginia back in June…Colin Szymkowicz Woodsman

it took lots of planning and preparation not to mention stamina and determination all along the way…  we are excited and very happy for Colin… he is camping in Acadia National Park for a few days and will be making his way south to Virginia 🙂

 

 

Eze Cité Médiévale

on the same day we visited Saint-Paul du Vence on our Best of France tour we also got to spend time in the medieval hill top village of EzeMagpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Eze viewlocated between Nice and Monaco…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Eze Franceit is also called “the eagle’s nest” because of how it is perched on a narrow rocky peak overlooking the Mediterranean sea…Magpie's Nest Eze street 2we opted out of the extra excursion most of our group took to the Fragonard ParfumeurMagpie's Nest Eze street 4because strong smells do not agree with me…

Magpie's Nest Eze street 5 heartthat gave us time to walk around town instead…Magpie's Nest Eze street 3it was not very crowded on that Wednesday in April…

Magpie's Nest Eze Streetwe climbed and clicked photos…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Eze doorsuntil we rejoined our group for dinner…

Magpie's Nest Fragonard stickers on postthe lamp post above was covered in stickers that had the letter “F” on them stuck there by people who had been on the perfume tour in the past (you can click twice on the photo for a closer look)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Eze woodworking shopwe had the Traveling Tea Cup with us and snapped some photos with thoughts of  T Stands for Tuesday (you can see the box the tea cup and saucer travel in behind the rail on the left below)…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Traveling Tea Cup in Eze a brochure we brought home had a lovely map which inspired two more pages in my French Travel Journal

Magpie's Nest TeodoroI added a favorite image of young Teodoro even though he is Italian and not French…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Medieval Eze France journal pgsalong with strips of Florentine paper which added to the medieval feel with touches of gold and blue paint…  part of a label from some sparkling wine was the last thing I added to my pages for the Art Journal Journey MAPS challenge… it may take me awhile to visit everyone because Jim is working on our computer and there seems to be one problem after another 😕 I had to stand on my head to get this to post

Le Mont Saint-Michel

the traveling tea cup and I are joining T Stands for Tuesday today with a little trip to Normandy, France…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz the traveling tea cup
built in the 11th century the Mont Saint-Michel Abbey Church has been an important pilgrimage destination…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Mont St Michel it was exciting for me to return to a place that was magical so many years ago when I stayed there as a solo traveler…

Magpie's Nest Lady in the windowback then before the addition of the bridge high tides would completely cut off traffic…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz bridgethere are about 3 million visitors annually (even on a Tuesday in April it was crowded)…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz the mont  there are 900 stairs from the bottom to the landing of the nave at the top along with lots of cobblestone streets…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz spire renovationwe wished we’d had a little more time there…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Mont St Michel with sheepgood reason to return again one day…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Mont Saint Michel journal pgsI created two pages in my French Travel Journal using original text from two old books (the postcard lifts up and is from my nine week trip to Europe long ago… I sent a postcard to my parents almost every day)…Magpie's Nest Promise Everything early pagesI was also inspired to create two pages in one of my gesso journals using a vintage map of the abbey on pages I painted black…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz left and rightthe ‘tell me everything’ image is a moo card enlarged and printed in black and white…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz tell me everythingthis spread is for the Art Journal Journey MAPS challenge

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz LOVE ALWAYSI had been playing with this image days before the horrific Orlando shootings… the French calligraphy was from a friend back when I participated in swaps… a dried rose mirrored the rose on the vintage plate…  the bee is painted tin…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Love Always I wish you

I used Pixlr Express to alter my photo…

~♥ “Je te souchaite” = “I wish you” … LOVE ALWAYS ♥~

 

Hospitality In The Valley…

for Elizabeth’s T Stands for Tuesday this week I am sharing another update on our son’s thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (AT)…

Magpie's Nest Colin Szymkowicz on the ATon Friday we drove south for a little less than three hours to spend the weekend with him in Waynesboro, Virginia…Magpie's Nest Colin Szymkowicz Panoramahe decided to take a zero day/day off on Saturday to recharge his battery spending time with us and doing some laundry… loading up on carbs and enjoying some nice hot baths/showers too (his Dad even gave him one of his famous foot massages)…

Magpie's Nest Colin Szymkowicz AT viewmost days on the trail he hikes 20+ miles and even clocked in 31 miles a day or two burning lots and lots of calories in the process (we have never seen him eat so much!!!)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Harmony quotewe enjoyed hearing about his life on the trail and got to meet some of the hikers that seemed to pop up all around town…

Magpie's Nest Devil's Backbone Brewerythey know all of the best all you can eat buffets and watering holes near the trail…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Edelweiss Restaurant Staunton VAthe Edelweiss Restaurant was a favorite of ours on the way back and forth from Virginia Tech when Colin was going to school there… right after I explained how special the song EDELWEISS is because it was the wedding song I walked down the aisle to we stepped into the restaurant and guess what that gentleman in lederhosen was playing on his accordion ♥

Magpie's Nest Colin Deuces on the ATthru-hikers take on a trail name… 

DSC04723 Keats quoteColin’s is Deuces

Magpie's Nest AT Trail infoWaynesboro really lives up to their city motto of Hospitality in the Valley by offering free rides from the AT into town with everyone being very friendly and gracious (they maintain a volunteer calling list to provide rides to hikers all around town)…

Magpie's Nest CJS Traveling T Cupby Sunday morning he was itching to get back on the trail so he enjoyed a last big all you can eat breakfast at the hotel and we bid him Auf Wiedersehen after a quick Traveling Tea Cup photo (pinkies in the air)

Magpie's Nest Deuces Skyline Drive~♥ happy trails to you ♥~

Cité de Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a beautiful fortified French town and a UNESCO World Heritage site…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Carassonne samplerduring the 3rd century A.D. a curtain wall was built and parts remain today…

Magpie's Nest Carcassonne samplerbuilding began in the 12th and 13th centuries of “La Cité”  as it is also called with 53 towers strung together by two enormous concentric walls…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Carcassonne Cathedralhere is a UNESCO quote about this ancient walled “city”:   

“Since the pre-Roman period, a fortified settlement has existed on the hill where Carcassonne now stands. In its present form it is an outstanding example of a medieval fortified town, with its massive defences encircling the castle and the surrounding buildings, its streets and its fine Gothic cathedral. Carcassonne is also of exceptional importance because of the lengthy restoration campaign undertaken by Viollet-le-Duc, one of the founders of the modern science of conservation.”

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Carcassonne Hotel viewswe were excited that there was a planned overnight stay within the ancient walls…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Carcassonne Traveling Tea Cup with a viewand the traveling tea cup had a nice view from our second story window…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Carcassonne Traveling T Cupat night the fortress took on another kind of charm…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Carassonne at nightthe next day we were headed to the Midi-Pyrénées region in southwest France to visit Lourdes…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Carcassonne from Hotel joining Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover for T Stands for Tuesday and linking two more art journal pages with AJJ’s JOURNEYS theme

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz CarcassonneI used torn pieces of peeled napkin for the starry sky… a photo that I took along with computer generated words and the Carcassonne medieval coat of arms…

 

Giverny in April…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Giverny Reflectionsgetting to visit Monet’s Garden was one of the reasons we decided on Trafalgar’s BEST OF FRANCE tour (we can not speak highly enough of our brilliant tour director Krista Taylor and great coach driver Francis and thank them so very much for a memorable journey through France)…

Magpie's Nest Magpie's in Monet's Gardenwe visited on a Wednesday and there were quite a few people there…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Monet's Housesuch a beautiful place both inside and out…

Magpie's Nest Monet's Dining Roomwe can only imagine how crowded the gardens would be later in the season with the parade of flowers that never ends…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz in Monet's Gardenstanding on the Japanese bridge even without water lilies blooming was a dream come true (I wanted to bring my paper parasol but it didn’t fit in the suitcase so my fold up Monet’s Garden umbrella had to do)…Magpie's Nest Room with a viewwe lingered a little longer and then had a bite of lunch in the village under a bright red sunbrella where we also visited a cute boutique for some cards and a slice of berry tarte…

Magpie's Nest Giverny Tea Room La Capucinewe were delighted by the precious rabbit hopping freely around the garden…

Magpie's Nest Giverny Monet Quoteleaving the village of Giverny and walking back to our coach I spotted a great bird refuge sign that inspired me to create a page in my French Travel Journey linking it to Art Journal Journey for their JOURNEYS themeMagpie's Nest Giverny beginning pagesErika couldn’t have picked a more inspiring theme this month as it has really helped me keep busy working in my travel journal trying to preserve some memoriesMagpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Bird Refuge Giverny(French text, heavy gesso, pan pastels, French bird refuge sign photo, used tea bag, pressed Virginia flowers)