Category Archives: Uncategorized

the Passion of Life

John William Waterhouse’s lovely lady in red inspired these two art journal pages that I had originally painted blue with a gold burst…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-passion-progress

I stamped a  Stamp Francisco heart on tissue paper and like how the Matte Medium helps it melt onto the page…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-sharpie-white-pen

then I got busy with my white pen and almost couldn’t stop making marks…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-passion-page-left

I found the Federico Fellini quote that helped complete the left hand page….magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-passion-girl-right  

joining in once again for Linda’s “Fifty Shades of Red” Art Journal Journey challengemagpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-passion-art-journal-pages

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you.  Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision.  So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” – Neil Gaiman

my calling card…

red is a strong hot color…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-paris-snow-people-red

the color of blood and fire…

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-paris it also represents passion, heat, strength, danger, power and courage…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-love-heart-with-wings

Linda K from heARTfully Inspired is hosting the February Art Journal Journey challenge with her theme of “Fifty Shades of RED” and I am excited to join in the creative fun…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-leftover-paint

this week’s lesson in Lifebook 2017 is about using lots of layers of watercolor and other kinds of paints (hot mess at the moment LOL)… not wanting to waste any paint left on my palette for the work in progress above …magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-calling-card-before-pages

 I smeared the dribs and drabs of paint onto smooth blank journal pages and then played with a new circle stencil and assorted colored pencils…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-gesso-saves-the-day

thank goodness for Super Heavy GESSO I was finally a bit happier with the pages…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-calling-card-love

inspired by words I saw on Facebook along with a few rubons one side of my spread is complete…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-glass-heart-ranunculus

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” -Martin Luther King, Jr

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


the past is a foreign country…

inspiration for these pages came from some dotted green paper that I ended up not using and a couple of images torn from an old book…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-foreign-land-beginning-pages

J.P. Hartley’s quote: “The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there” really speaks to me…

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-foreign-country-left-pagewe’ve had so many cloudy days this month I kept waiting for a good time to take some photographs…


it was nice to see a bit of blue sky again…


I am joining Erika’s “tell me a story” theme over at Art Journal Journey…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-foreign-country-pages

thank you for visiting …magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-human-rights-first

I am sending Peace ♥ Love and Light your way…

create summer moments…

the second of August kind of snuck up on me but I wanted to participate in Elizabeth’s Second on the 2nd this month and I am trying WordPress’ “Reblog Post” feature and it will not let me embed the link so here it is:

Magpie's Nest ~*~ Patty Szymkowicz

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…

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Mikrokosmos July “Clouds” Challenge

the MiFoC photo challenge theme this first week in July is “Clouds” and I really wanted to play along so here we go on a little two day trip into Washington, DC where my husband and I played tourist for the fourth of July…

storm Arthur Clouds

these storm clouds show a bit of what Hurricane Arthur had in store for us but we were lucky and only had to deal with lots of wind and rain but no damage…

sun flag old post office

and just in time for the 4th of July when all of America celebrates with fireworks and parades the skies cleared and the hot sticky weather left us with gorgeous and comfortable weather to enjoy…

Environmental Protection Agency Wash DC

we walked all over and enjoyed some of the Independence Day parade down on Constitution Avenue …

clouds near China Town

a nice meal tasted even better al fresco at a favorite restaurant

Poste Restaurant courtyard al fresco

then it was time to walk down to The National Mall to get a spot on the grass to see the fireworks

4th of July

everyone seemed to be in great spirits and it was a melting pot of nationalities with people visiting from near and far away…

smoke clouds 2

the fabulous fireworks made special smoke clouds in the night sky…

Kimpton selfie

all we had to do was walk back to our hotel not worrying about dealing with traffic and leaving the city with the throngs of other people…

Amos Lee and where have I been?

why haven’t I been listening to music lately…

music always feeds my soul…

over the years music has lifted me and taken me lots of places…

so quite by chance…but wait…what IS chance…I came upon this and can’t stop listening…

I keep hitting REPLAY to hear Amos Lee’s Colors kidding…I have lost track of how many times…

I am not on Facebook or MySpace…but there are more cool videos here

it is so nice to be barefoot…smelling the honeysuckle blooms…feeling summertime underfoot…time to stop and think and feel as the dust of the first six months of 2011 begins to settle a bit…

happy weekend dear ones…oxo

Wordless Wednesday: Rainy Days

Starbucks WindowCling

Starbucks View

Lake Anne

Rainy Teahouse 24 Oct

Storm Leaving


Belinda’s theme for this week’s Wednesday Stamper is “Fashion”

I used two rubber stamps…the arch is by Impression Obsession and Vision is by Stampers Anonymous


Not sure where I got the lady, but I have wanted to cut her skirt  and put an image there for some time now

The curly gate is a photo I took in San Francisco last year.  It is printed onto a transparency and I adhered it to the gold dotted decorative paper with the Xyron

FashionCloseupI was hoping  that the closeup would show the shine of the transparency, which is a nice feature in person

I had more ideas for this theme, but  I have been slowed down by a cranky computer….problems going on and off for a week now

altered flower press

The blog world is a great place to meet new friends.  The lovely and talented Lynn in Ontario inspires me.   When I saw her altered flower press back in early March, I knew I would be altering mine too at some point.  Since flower pressing season is upon us, here is my first altered flower press…

…the before


various papers, images and trim


along with a little rubber stamping


As soon as I locate my stash of pressed flowers (they are layered with wax paper in a candy box somewhere) I would like to add a pressed flower or two to my collage below


when it stops raining, I will be able to begin collecting flowers and leaves for pressing again this year

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TGIF has the challenge of making “skinny’s” this week.  For my 3 x 5 inch skinny I’ve combined paper, paint, book text,  lace,  satin ribbon and a button.


My Mandala & an art giveaway

It’s been an exciting month over at Bluebird…1…2…3 monthly challenge blog.

Jean has put so much into the wonderful Mandala Challenge.

Be sure and have a look at the completed mandalas, all so different and amazing.

Here is mine. I began in the center and worked my way out. Several times in the last couple of days I thought it was complete. I would snap a few pictures and realize I wanted to outline something else in black Sharpie. I think it is finally complete and I am happier with it than I was in the middle of the process. It wasn’t flowing for me like creating a piece so often does. I had to walk away from it for awhile. Then the pressure of a deadline kicked in and there you have it.

Thanks to my new Layers of Color Art Stamps, I was able to get rolling again. It’s always so much fun playing with new stamps.

This song popped up for me today and I thought it was the perfect finish to my mandala project.

If you have a few minutes for a blast from the past, have a listen to this song from 1976. It doesn’t sound dated to me at all. There is even a cool modern video to go with it…..gotta Love technology!

Heard it from a friend, there is wonderful blog candy (an art giveaway) just waiting for you over at Retro Cafe.  Angels are at work….Kris’ artwork is beautiful, be sure and visit her at Retro Cafe Art Gallery.

no time for fear

The theme for Gothic Arches is using a “Chair” in your arch creation.

I’m not sure why my arch turned out black and white. It certainly is not something I often choose. It’s especially interesting to me, since I’ve just returned from being totally immersed in the colorful world of Art & Soul.

I certainly can use a nice comfy chair to rest and take it all in!

As my last fun table mate, Pat, said “I now know too much”. We had a good laugh about that. One is exposed to so much on these art retreats, it can be a little overwhelming in a wonderful way.

Soon the dust will settle and I’ll be off and running again.

“Comfort rules. You want to be able to sit in a good chair comfortably for a few hours and be able to talk and enjoy a glass of wine. There’s nothing worse than sitting in an uncomfortable chair.” ~ Amanda Pays