why is simplicity so complicated…

here are some pages in my gesso journal for the latest MOO “Circles” challenge (this is my first time joining in the challenge…all sorts of projects with or without Moos are accepted)…

lavender HEART

the Lavender sprig was marking some pages in my book so I decided to adhere it to the page using some gel medium and a word from my work table…

right pg

the tea cups are from a peeled napkin with some bits of gold paint added…

is simplicity

Simplify is my little word for 2015 (I have not yet figured out HOW to add it to my sidebar)… I find living a simple life to be quite challenging…

circle tools

I used the end of a pen dipped in black gesso and a Hero Arts dotted circle stamp for adding circles to my pages…

left pg

in real life my pages are white and cream colored… our cold winter light gave my photos a blueish look…

WHY

plaster stenciled onto vintage book paper… gesso… napkin… Golden Irridescent Gold paint… pressed Lavender sprig and a circle rubber stamp went into these pages…

final circle pages

cups and plates are circles too…

Meyer Lemons for T…

it is Meyer Lemon time at local markets…

Meyer Lemons

 here is a bit about them from Wikipedia if you are not familiar:   “The Meyer lemon fruit is yellow and rounder than a true lemon. The skin is fragrant and thin, coloured a deep yellow with a slight orange tint when ripe. Meyer lemon fruits have a sweeter, less acidic flavor than the more common Lisbon or Eureka supermarket lemon varieties. The pulp is a dark yellow and contains up to 10 seeds per fruit.”

lemons

I find some warm lemon water a very nice way to start the day…

lemon squeeze

seems there are a host of health benefits too if you believe what you read

lemon cup

here’s wishing you good health and happiness on this T Stands for Tuesday and everyday

Meyer Lemon Water Irish Proverb

Mix it Monthly February PLAY WITH FABRIC

bookworking in a local art friend’s fashion themed altered book was the perfect time to play with some fabric and paint for this month’s challenge over at Conny’s Mix it Monthly…

connys lady fishnet stockings

I had an image of fishnet stockings and a little black dress in mind but when I got up to my work table finding bits left from an altered candy tin I created the other day things quickly turned teal/turquoise and gold along with the image of a lovely lady that Conny had shared in January

background

wanting to strengthen the pages of the 1938 book a bit I added a thin coat of gesso and then decided to tear strips of scrap paper for interest and stability also adding acrylic inks and paint…

embroidered fabric

I had fun creating a new dress for the lady using pieces of tattered embroidery from a junk shoppe along with lace for the bodice…

trying things on for size

my bottle of Golden’s Iridescent Gold is getting used up…

pgs before stamping

the bit at the top on the right hand page is an original part of the  lady’s dress…it helped highlight a favorite fashion quote from Gilda Radner which speaks for me and most of my fashion preferences…

PaperArtsy Prizes I won

I got to use one of the PaperArtsy stamps from the prize I recently won that just arrived from England (lots more fun to be had with those!!!)… 

PaperArtsy Script Stamp

the French text helped add interest and texture to the pages along with a bit of gesso and black around the edges…

Patty Szymkowicz pages for Linda S

using gel medium to add some metal snaps helped finish the fabric skirt AND thank you Valerie I had birds on my mind and forgot humans also qualify for this months Art Journal Journey’s BIRDS BEASTS & HUMANS challenge

Second on the 2nd for February…

February already and it’s time for the second “Second on the 2nd” thanks to Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover for the chance to look back and repost something you would like to share again…

here is a look back to February 2012 and an altered heart book that I created…

the post was titledpages of my heart”

“heart BOOK that is…

a couple of years ago I picked up a heart shaped book and covered it with paper, fabric and bits of this and that…

closed it measures approximately 6 x 6 inches

using paint, gesso, paper and more for the blank pages…

I left a little room above for some journaling or a quote perhaps…

I also plan to edge the pages…

these blue pages were inspired by a ferry boat ride to Sausalito and some really fun late night cable car rides in San Francisco…

I used black gesso for these pages along with Italian cookie wrappers and paper doilies with white gel pen to finish…

this spread uses a copy of a seaside siren I created … a bit of road map, rubber stamping and a special Polish postage stamp from a very talented blog friend…

I {heart} postage stamps and have collected them since I was a girl…

these pages were inspired by a castle in Berkeley Spring, West Virginia using patterned tissue as background…

my “Seasoned” pages began with vintage math book pages… the word seasoned came from a package of firewood sold at the local supermarket…

the last two pages pictured are actually the first two pages in the book that I covered with tissue paper…

they have been patiently waiting for just the right finish…

do you ever slow down on a project just before completing it?

“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.” ~Marc Chagall”

and another shiny thing…

still inspired by PaperArtsy’s 2015 Topic 2: Shiny Things challenge (you know what they say about Magpies and shiny things!) I thought I would share a piece I created for an upcoming swap in our local Mixed Media Collaborative group…

***Spoiler Alert for art friends participating in the swap***

Magpie's Nest Shiny Tin

the initial inspiration for our exhange came from my collection of empty candy tins (ahemif you’ve tried them you of course understand how they could become a collection)…you know how it is when a container is just too good to throw away…the see thru window in these makes them handy for storing beads and baubles and more…

Magpie's Nest Shiny Tin (1)

the group of talented artists that I am lucky enough to hang out with each month immediately came up with the idea of altering the tins and swapping them randomly one for one at our February gathering… we decided on the theme of “Love”…

Magpie's Nest Shiny Tin (3)

with ideas swirling in my head I came across a scrap of my wool needle felting to tuck inside the tin… some sari ribbon for a hanger and a lady stamped on a brass charm that has been around for years just waiting for attention (she was one of four ladies representing the seasons and I cannot put my hands on them at the moment..I got so excited that I forgot to snap a photo of her before she was stitched inside the tin)…

Magpie's Nest Shiny Tin (2)

when I spied some turquoise netting I knew I wanted to incorporate it somehow so I stitched a piece and ruffled it…

Magpie's Nest Shiny Tin (4)

going with the teal and gold theme I painted a piece of lace to add as a deco…

Magpie's Nest Shiny Tin (5)instead of using the layered gesso and paint tin that I started in the second photo I shared with you I decided to sand another tin and cut out the plastic window adding pieces of my favorite gold gauzy paper with matte gel medium coloring it with a wash of Waterfall Green Pearlescent acrylic ink…

Magpie's Nest Shiny Tin (6)

I had to search for where the inspiring words I had jotted down for my altered tin originated…

Magpie's Nest Shiny Tin (7)

 turns out they are  from a beautiful Elton John song

Magpie's Nest Shiny Tin (8)

“The words I have to say
May well be simple but they’re true
Until you give your love
There’s nothing more that we can do
Love is the opening door
Love is what we came here for
No one could offer you more
Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen
You say it’s very hard
To leave behind the life we knew
But there’s no other way
And now it’s really up to you
Love is the key we must turn
Truth is the flame we must burn
Freedom the lesson we must learn
Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen
Love is the opening door
Love is what we came here for
No one could offer you more
Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen…”
-Elton John, Love Song, Tumbleweed Connection Album

no matter where you go…

 playing in my gesso journals is something I enjoy very much as everything seems to intuitively flow onto the pages…

Magpie's Nest Gesso Journal

I am joining the PaperArtsy 2015 topic 2 Shiny Stuff challenge

Magpie's Nest Shiny paper and gold leaf

the lovely gold veined sheer paper in the background above is a favorite ingredient of mine as it melts into all surfaces so beautifully and playing with gold leaf is something I have been meaning to do for some time now (this time I used glue stick to adhere it to my journal pages)…

Magpie's Nest forget-me-not lady

the blue forget-me-nots are from a trip we took to Switzerland a few years ago which all seems like a dream now…I painted on top of a magazine face adding hair and the bodice of her dress leaving the eyes and lips mostly untouched…

Magpie's Nest My Heart journal page

the words “my heart” were left showing quite by chance and led me to add the vintage heart and arrow that I have had for some time now from here

Magpie's Nest traveling girl

everyone is welcome to join in the challenges and as if all of the inspiration and sharing from talented and generous artists on the PaperArtsy blog is not wonderful enough they offer a generous prize if you are randomly chosen as the fortnightly winner…

Magpie's Nest page in progress

as it happens I was the very lucky winner of their first challenge of the year and the wonderful prizes I chose from the PaperArtsy shop are already on their way to me…

Magpie's Nest Shiny Stuff journal pages

“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world “-Gustave Flaubert

out of my comfort zone T…

Magpie's Nest tangerine peel

January has found me floundering a bit with more thinking about creating than actually doing much of it… I am feeling betwixt and between about alot of things…

Magpie's Nest Live in Love aquaboard

that said I have joined Alena Hennessey’s A YEAR OF PAINTING online course and I am working with acrylic inks… paint pens and more (this piece still needs work)…

Magpie's Nest work in progress

the first piece I attempted morphed many times and is still in limbo not telling me where to go next…truth be told I liked the first ink background but we were supposed to keep adding layers (that is when I started the “live in Love”)…

Magpie's Nest Numi Tea

here’s wishing you a happy T day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover whether you are in your comfort zone or out…

daff window closeup

“Change comes with sacrifice… When you want to make a change you must be prepared to make a sacrifice of escaping the comfort zone!” -Israelmore Ayivor, The Great Hand Book of Quotes

Magpie's Nest iphoneography sampler

Roses in December T…

the garden in June

it was my plan to share these summer roses with you all back in December but that month flew by and here we are well into January already…

stringing roses

my playing with roses was inspired by a conversation with the lovely and talented Dorthe of Den Lille Lade back in June of 2014 when she and I talked about how we liked to make rosebud garlands and strings…

June roses and forget-me-nots

the weather was beautiful for sitting out on the back porch back then...

Stringing roses collage

the blooms and strands have faded since last summer but are still a lovely reminder of the garden in bloom especially in these cold winter days (it’s so grey out today I can’t get a good photo of the rose strands as they look now)…

Roses in December Quote

wishing you a happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard…

Dream…

a new year so I thought I would join in a new to me challenge with special thanks to the lovely and oh so talented Lynne Moncrieff for always being such an inspiration and sharing her boundless creativity…

small stack of old books and garland

you can read all about PaperArtsy’s 2015 Topic 1: “Fragile Papers” Challenge here (speaking of inspiration there is LOTS on the PaperArtsy site…I plan to make time to watch the video they share for this challenge as well!)… 

Dream Paper Artsy journal pages (2)

the “fragile papers” theme really spoke to me as I have always been drawn to old books and papers of all kinds…

paper artsy stamps

I have also been a long time fan of PaperArtsy’s wonderful rubber stamp line so this was a great opportunity to dig into my stash eventho they do not require that you use their stamps to participate in the challenge…

Dream Paper Artsy journal pages (3)

I used a plastic doily as a stencil with some heavy gesso on tissue paper and did the same directly onto the pages of a new altered visual journal (an old book)…

paper artsy dream stamp on book page

I wanted to use the “dream” stamp on fabric but did not have suitable fabric so I stamped onto a torn out book page instead…

some supplies

a few of the other supplies I used…

Dream Paper Artsy journal pages (5)

along with torn bits from a 1930’s Geometry book that had a distinctive smell when I used glue stick to adhere the pieces to my art journal…

Dream Paper Artsy journal pages (4)

there is something really special about the various textures and feel of old paper and how it melts into other surfaces…

Dream Paper Artsy journal pages (6)

a computer generated Bob Dylan quote and some bits of netting and cotton trim helped complete my collaged book pages (double clicking on the photos gives a closeup view)…

Hotel Chateau Chamonix T

Bottle tree in our garden first snowfallfeeling in a wintry mood with our first snowfall of the season here in Virginia

Georgetown CO 2

I wanted to share and record a few more photos of our overnight stay on our way to visit our son for Thanksgiving last year in quaint Georgetown, Colorado

Georgetown CO 1867

the fact that it was snowing added heaps of charm in my book

Magpie's Nest Georgetown CO

and because it was a Tuesday some of the businesses were closed so it was very peaceful… 

Georgetown CO quiet street

Mr Magpie was sure that the snow blowing sideways at times also helped the little town appear quiet…

Mapie's Nest CO Winter Wonderland

Georgetown is less than an hour west of Denver with a population of a little over one thousand which is quite spread out…

Georgetown Trading Post

I found it photogenic at every turn…

Georgetown CO 3

and then there was our cozy room in the Swiss style chalet with a toasty corner fireplace and a hot tub on the back deck (make that a hot tub with snowy steps and icicles hanging from the cover…we wore hats and swimsuits and braved the cold wild blowing wind for a nice soak)…

Chateau Hotel Chamonix Georgetown CO

included with our tour of the hotel…

Chateau Hotel Chamonix upstairs

was an explanation about a special wooden door on the inside of our room (below on the right)…

Chateau Hotel Chamonix 3

between specified hours in the morning we could expect a tap tap tap and then know to open the door and find our yummy continental breakfast tucked inside…

CHC continental breakfast

along with the cappuccinos we made using the in room coffee machine the flaky croissants (one plain and one chocolate!) and fresh fruit on those pretty dishes really hit the spot..

Alvarado Georgetown Cemetery 1865

I would like to return one day to visit the historic cemetery … ride the scenic train and check on the big horn sheep again and we would definitely stay at the lovely Chateau Hotel Chamonix

Bighorn Sheep  Georgetown, CO

wishing you a very happy T day along with everyone over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard’s 

Second on the 2nd

Elizabeth started a fun new monthly challenge this January which is nice since it is only once a month…

you can read all about it on her Altered Book Lover blog

 here is a blast from my art journaling past that I posted back in January 2008

Paint Scraped Journal Pages

“I am drawn to vintage everything, so these pages were a huge departure for me along with being a whole lot of fun.

The Britannica Junior encyclopedia pages make a wonderful canvas and receive paint very well.

Magpie's Nest scraped-paint-journalltinsp

One of the things that made these pages different for me was using images found in everyday magazines/publications.

“Inspired” would be on the left hand spread and “354 check” would be the right hand side of the book. Just above the number is a red label that says “Remove Before Flight”. It could be tricky flying with a peacock on your head!

Magpie's Nest scraped-paint-journalremove

“Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.” ~Bo Bennett

2014 in review according to WordPress

“The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 62,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

many thanks to all for a fun year of sharing and inspiration and so much more…

I truly appreciate everyone’s time and support…

AND thank you WordPress for making this all possible!

Happy New Year oxo Patty

2014 T Tuesday Review…

here we are at the end of another year

Magpie's Nest iphoneography T sampler

with 2015 right around the corner…

Magpie's Nest 2014 T Sampler

a chance to look back a bit…

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remembering good times…

Eugenia's gift from Greece

and so many generous friends…

Magpie's Nest Spring Summer T Sampler

I am wishing you a new year full of fun…

Mom and Dad's Winterling German Chinaand inspiration…

Traveling T Cup 2014 sampler

with time to explore…

Mixed Berry Scones and French Press Coffeeand savor each moment…

Kate and Henry love letter tea

~ Be Well Dear Ones ~

Forget-me-Nots and Hydrangeas

 I am joining in with everyone over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard’s to wish you a happy last T Tuesday of 2014 …

Patty Szymkowicz Boulder Tea House CO with apps

 ~♥oxo♥~