Category Archives: Trees

like the moon…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Gesso Journal Pages

two more pages in one of my gesso journals inspired by the Artchix girl…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Art chix image

paper punched trees with layers of gesso and pencil and the winter moon…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Winter Moon

joining with Art Journal Journey’s Winter Wonderland

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Like the Moon

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.” -Yoko Ono

blue bottle tree

for some time now Mr Magpie has been planning to weld together a metal frame resembling a small tree to hold some of the pretty blue glass bottles we have been saving (the color blue is known to be soothing…friendly and peaceful and it happens to be one of our favorite colors)…

Bottle tree beginning

 the scrap pieces of rebar that he rescued from the dump and time to get busy finally aligned…

Mr Magpie Welder Extraordinaire

he even added lights giving it an extra magical quality at night…

illuminated bottle tree

“While the  meaning of bottle trees continues to evolve as it has for centuries, one of the more common interpretations is that they protect the home and garden by catching evil spirits, which some say are attracted to the bottles by their bright colors (sometimes made by swirling paint on the inside of a clear bottle). Once inside, the sunlight destroys the spirit.   Other interpretations suggest the spirits are trapped inside the bottles in the evening. Then, the morning sunlight destroys them. If you pass by and happen to hear the wind blowing across the bottles, it is thought to be the sound of the spirits trapped inside. Bottle trees have also been thought to bring rain, luck, and to make trees bloom.” –Smithsonian Gardens, Feb 28, 2013, The American Bottle Tree

Bottle tree daylight

if you are interested in learning a bit more about the origin of bottle trees you can also visit here

full blue dusk tree

we are enjoying this unique addition to our garden and are looking forward to seeing it in the snow this winter…

Let there be Light

Happy First Day of Winter or Summer as the case may be dear ones…

every tree in the forest

joining the Art Journal Journey “collage” challenge with two pages in my gesso journal…

Every tree in the forest art journal pages (1)

I managed to snap a few photos of some of the steps along the way…

Every tree in the forest art journal pages (2)

it is fun to see the transformation…

Every tree in the forest art journal pages (3)

and next best thing to a video I guess…

Every tree in the forest art journal pages (4)

using assorted book pages and a tree punch along with lots of layers of paint and gesso…

Every tree in the forest art journal pages (5)

I like how my snowy forest materialized…

Every tree in the forest art journal pages (6)

my original inspiration was a favorite phrase that I saw on a greeting card years ago…

Every tree in the forest art journal pagesfa la laa trying to find my twinkle…

we all have secrets…

 the Art Journal Journey October “Deep in the Forest” theme inspired another two page spread in my handmade gesso journal…

Magpie's Nest Gesso Magazine page art journal

last month I was chosen the lucky random winner of The Craft Barn’s Quote & Lyric challenge and received a generous prize of £20 so I decided to use that on two of the lovely and talented Gio’s stencils/masks which I had been admiring (half of the gift went toward the postage with such speedy delivery!)…

Gio's masks

 using part of Gio’s “Eighties” stencil as a sort of yellow brick road for my painted forest scene…

Magpie's Nest Secrets in the Forest (2)

a new to me postage stamp that really caught my eye found it’s way onto the pages (thanks to a sweet note in the mail from precious friends…I enjoy postage stamps very much and notes too of course)…

Magpie's Nest Secrets in the Forest (1)

Golden Iridescent Gold Acrylic is yummy to work with…

Magpie's Nest some art supplies

playing with paint and pencil to alter an image of a fashion model was lots of fun too…

Magpie's Nest Secrets in the Forest

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.”  ~Roald Dahl

through the forest…

what with one thing and another I haven’t been able to get myself up in my art room much lately…

Magpie's Nest Enchanted Forest iphoneography

ideas for Art Journal Journey’s “Deep in the Forest” theme have been rattling around in my head all month…

Enchanted forest painting progress

I had my doubts about trying to draw even a few simple trees along with sloshing layers of paint on the page but I kept pushing forward…

Magpie's Nest Enchanted Forest

that lovely Waterhouse image was a great starting point…

if trees could talk…

the September theme over at Mix it Monthly is “Trees”

Magpie's Nest Step One

I signed up for an amazing online art course called CoLab Artistry by Alena Hennessy and Susan Tuttle and could not be more excited and it has just begun…

Magpie's Nest Detail

here is my first piece under the guidance of the talented and lovely Alena (with great thanks to my special friend Lisa for introducing me to Alena and her art!)…

Magpie's Nest Trees

imagine you’re up in a fantasy forest of trees with me…

Magpie's Nest my artwork and phone apps

two examples of my artwork photographed and altered with assorted iphone apps…

Magpie's Nest Blue artwork and text

“If you climb up a tree, you must climb down the same tree.” -African proverb

 

Happy Mail from Greece…Just Because

several years ago I caved in and joined Facebook after resisting for quite a long time…

for me it was a chance to be in closer touch with family that lived far away but little did I know just how fun and exciting it would actually become…

I  have made some lovely friends from all around the globe and one of them is Eugenia from Athens, Greece who creates and shares a lot of wonderful digital art with stories and thought provoking text and more…

she surprised me by telling me she wanted to send me something…

Happy Mail from Eugenia in Athens Greece

in what seemed like no time at all her package loaded with beautiful Greek postage stamps arrived in our mailbox…

Just Because from Eugenia in Athens

such a treat to open this box that traveled over 5,000 miles (8,000 Kilometers) with Eugenia’s lovely note and thoughtful gifts…

Krocus Kozanis Products tea leaflet (1)delicious and delicate herbal tea made with precious Greek Red Saffron (crocus sativus) like nothing I have ever had before

Krocus Kozanis Products tea leaflet

without leaving our back porch I was transported across the miles enjoying this special cup of tea and friendship in a beautiful cup and saucer Eugenia sent me carefully wrapped in bubble wrap which worked like a charm…

Greek Honey Orange and Saffron Tea

Eugenia explained in her sweet note how the olive tree is an integral element of Greek culture and especially connected to her ancient city of Athens…

Greek Olive tree cup and saucer

a beautiful embossed olive tree is on both sides of the cup which to me always represents extra fine craftsmanship…

Greek Olive tree cup and saucer (1)

Eugenia wrote this about the significance of the olive tree:   “ it was this gift offered by Goddess Athena to the inhabitants of the city, who in honor and gratitude named their city after her.

Goethe Kindness Quote

I couldn’t resist putting the used tea bag onto some card stock to let the rest of the beautiful saffron soak into the paper and of course I will be saving the pretty tea bag papers to use in the future (I already stamped part of a Tim Holtz stamp on one in the fourth photo from the top)…

Greek Olive tree cup and saucer (2)

joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard for T today so very grateful for Eugenia’s beautiful cup of kindness overflowing with generosity and friendship from a place I have always dreamed of visiting ~♥~

Celebrating the gift of trees…

with many thanks to the people of Japan for their gift of friendship in 1912 of 3,020 cherry trees to the people of the United States

Tidal Basin Washington Monument

it is not difficult to understand why flowering cherry trees called “Sakura” in Japan are highly exalted and cherished…

Floating reflected blossoms

thanks also to all those that have worked over the years to preserve and protect the cherry blossom trees here Washington, D C…

Sunrise silhouettes tidal basin

the delicate blossoms are a good reminder for us to appreciate what is…

BLUE sky blossom closeup

the blooms are fleeting and last only about two weeks at the very most and that is if no harsh rain or wind storms hasten their demise…

Parasol Patty

for many years now people have flocked to the United States capital to enjoy the beauty of the blossoms along with the magical fairyland that they create…

12 April 2014 JJJ Cherry Blossoms

our strategy this year was arriving at 6:30 am just before sunrise when the crowds are a little lighter than in the middle of the day…

Cherry Blossom Shade Quote

before we knew it three hours had passed and we had walked all around the Tidal Basin enjoying some monuments along the way…

Tidal Basin Jim and Patty 2014

this rite of spring has coincided with the blooming bluebells usually on time for our 11 April wedding anniversary for some years now…

Sakura Traveling Tea Cup

this is the fourth year that our traveling tea cup has made the trip to visit the Tidal Basin in Washington…

Washington DC Cherry Blossoms

March 2011 was when I first had the idea for a traveling tea cup (more on that another time)…

Cherry Blossom Beauty 2014

I will be a bit scarce in blogland but did want to join in with Bleubeard and Elizabeth to wish you a Happy T Day

Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

The light filling the air

is so mild this spring day

only the cherry blossoms

keep falling in hast—

why is that so?

 Ki no Tomonori (c.850-c.904)

time flies when you are having fun

and spending time with your best friend and L♥ve…

Jim and Patty checking out the bluebells

Mr Magpie and I are celebrating 33 years of marriage today…

Bull Run Park

April is a month full of hope and promise when nature comes back to life here in Virginia

Virginia Bluebells Magpies Nest Patty Szymkowicz

the blooming Washington Cherry Blossoms are on our list to visit but yesterday we decided to head away from the city and check on the annual bluebells in Bull Run Regional Park

hillside always first to bloom

most of the bluebells are in their very early stages with a ways to go but we checked on a hidden hillside that gets afternoon sun

busy bumble bee

and there we found some of those beautiful blooms in stages of unfurling…

Bluebells beginning 2014

April is a month we look forward to for many reasons…

magpies-nest-der-kuss-bighugelab-stamp

“If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you’ve made me smile, the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand.”
– Unknown

Soartful Challenge “Trees”

this is my first time playing along with the Soartful Challenges Blog for their November challenge of

“TREES: … since it IS fall, let’s go with the colour orange, plus one other colour.

Oatlands Plantation Tree Sampler

with Autumn winding down here in Northern Virginia I have been enjoying the fall foliage and snapping photos of trees left and right…

Tree Photography pages (2)

last week I was playing with a tree photo I took at Oatlands Plantation using a free photo editing service called Tuxpi

Tree Photography pages

I really liked the “negative” effect I got on the last photo which lead to me using my tree photos for the challenge…

tree pages supplies

I must confess orange is not often my ‘go to’ color but it just so happened that I had some paint scraped pages sitting and waiting in my journal (I did wonder more than a few times WHAT in the world I would ever do with them!)…

Tree Photography pages (1)

my favorite altered photo above was the inspiration for my pages…

Tree Photography pages (4)

as I was dashing out of my art cave into another room to find some different silk leaves I spied a sprig of three bittersweet blooms which were the perfect finish to my pages…

tall trees

I get a bittersweet feeling as we leave colorful fall going into the darker bare winter months which do of course hold charms of their own…

*if you are interested there are photos of other spreads in this art journal here with one of my favorite spreads here*

♥ thank you very much for your visit … I always appreciate your comments and time ♥ 

Configurations Box Round Robin…

our local Mixed Media Collaborative group is in the midst of a fun round robin…

Patty S Gypsy Boxes Before

each of us purchased a 6.75 x 8.75 inch Tim Holtz Configurations box chosing individual themes for our boxes adding bits of this and that to be used in the box or not … making a commitment to deliver at least one finished box per month beginning in June (our free spirited altered arts group does best with as few rules as possible)…

Patty S boxes ready

since I missed last month’s get together I have two finished boxes ready to deliver this month…

Patty S for Andrea

Andrea (or Drea) as some of her friends call her has a “Nature” theme and the bag of goodies she sent my way was marked “Wings”

Patty S for Andrea (1)

her only special request was to not use anything plastic so I added a little twig nest, some moss, a wooden egg and glass flower from my stash along with a pair of Cicada wings she included in a jar lining the box with some of the napkin she included (a bit tricky photographing her box to show those gossamer wings toward the back of the nest)

Patty S for Susan G

next was Susan‘s Vintage White (Pastel) Christmas theme and  I added one of my little bleached trees along with a bauble from a vintage bead strand I treated myself to last Christmas, some aqua colored netting from a vintage petticoat and a frill that I made thanks to Fran in our group for sharing her die cut machine and dies…

Patty S for Susan G (1)

I wanted to add so many things but seeing that these boxes only measured 2 x 3 inches each there was only so much I could tuck in there trying to remind myself that less would be more…

Patty S Gypsy Boxes Before (2)

I chose a “Gypsies” theme for my boxes which goes so well with my Love of travel and exploring…

Patty S Gypsy Boxes Before (1)

I included some sari pieces from a purse of mine that fell apart along with some scraps of map for players to use or not when they worked on my boxes…

Swap boxes still left

above are the remaining boxes for me to play with in the coming months…

 

tis the season tea…

below is a post I began drafting earlier last week with thoughts of sharing it for this Tea on Tuesday before Christmas…

even in light of Friday’s tragedy I thought I would go ahead and post it adding photos to it today

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

this time of year brings all kinds of emotions with it…

Rita Holzners painted glass baker

I have always Loved Christmas

Pie Safe Decos

but in more recent years after so much loss in our family I go up and down in this season of memories and merriment…

Mercury Glass Candle

I am sure there are many people who struggle during the holidays as it is not always a jolly and fun time for everyone (little did I know when I wrote that sentence)

Something Creative Every DayI hope that your holidays are meaningful leading up to a great new year…

Twinkle collage

and that you *feel the twinkle* in this season of Love…

the quote I had selected earlier does not feel quite like it felt a week ago considering all those in horrific shock and pain … after 13 years of intense grief work the quote is meaningful to me … this is the second Christmas without my Mother and we have not quite settled into being orphans for the holidays

1 twinkling trees

“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes,  of which all men have some.” ~Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

***Tree Love Giveaway Winners***

Thank you to everyone that stopped by my giveaway and a special thank you to my thoughtful and generous friends that had nothing to gain by mentioning my giveaway and posting it on their blogs…

I wrote everyone’s name on a slip of paper and popped them into a special twig basket that my friend Carol Luszcz gave me many years ago…

here are the randomly selected winners (there were two Dianne’s so I had added dates to their names to differentiate between the two)

normally I would have responded individually to each comment but we were visiting our son in Colorado for Thanksgiving and I was unplugged for most of that special time…