COEXIST

a couple of days ago I shared the right hand side of my first RED pages for Linda’s Art Journal Journey theme of “Fifty shades of RED”

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it is unusual that I do not finish both sides of a spread at the same time but I confess my creativity has been a little off center so far this year…magpies-nest-left-side-waiting

sometimes inspiration is right over your shoulder as this photo shows a bit of a hodgepodge of things that usually only we see at the top of our stairs…magpies-nest-shepard-fairey-poster

I scanned the  bumper sticker and cut the letters to fit my page vertically (by the way I would NEVER do this if I were going to sell what I made… this is strictly for personal use in my journal)…magpies-nest-coexist-supplies

a few more rubons and a bit of stamping with thanks to Jo of Let’s Art Journal and her great eye for detail …magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-left-page-coexist

she helped me remember with her nice comment on the right side of my spread when she remarked on the fine lines in the background which reminded me I had forgotten to mention I used a favorite Tin Can Mail Inkadinkado rubber stamp to add interest and tie into the black rubons a bit too…

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life moves so fast I see I will be adding a bit of red pencil edging to the left hand page now that I see it on the big screen…

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…

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

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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…

Another Tea Time…

inspiration is everywhere and I marveled at how nicely my choice of drinks happened to match the colors I selected for my background for Erika’s “Tell me a Story” challenge over at Art Journal Journey…

img_0525blackberry and cucumber flavored sparkling water … 0-calorie  0-sweetener   0-sodium = Innocent! as written on the front of the can…img_0526

I am enjoying getting reacquainted with my water soluble crayons scrubbing after scribbling randomly with a damp brush to blend the colors (the book text also had some white gesso on it)…img_0008

Mano Svanidze’s brilliant photo “Another Tea Time” of the lady with her tea cup and tea pot inspired me along with pieces of corrugated cardboard  and heavy gesso…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-t-pot

for the left hand page I used one of my photos layered with artwork using iPhone apps along with some words I had jotted down…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-trust

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

“The Universe has your back.   Instead of trying to control the outcome, just enjoy the journey.” -Dawn Gluskin

pulled by the stars…

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-simplicity-backgroundmy pages were inspired by Tamara Laporte and her first lesson on Life Book 2017magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-simplicity-colored-pages

this is my first time joining in this popular online course and it is already wonderful (when I saw that one of my favorite artists and teachers, Misty Mawn , was teaching that sealed the deal for me)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-simplicity-gesso-layer

using colors I don’t often use was a good exercise but my background pages sat for awhile until the other bits presented themselves…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-girls-with-stars-in-her-hair

then the girl sat waiting on the left hand page without stars or words until the perfect quote found me (forgot to get a photo of her unadorned)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-simplicity-heart

I knew I wanted to use my word for the year on the right hand page along with the Paper Parachute stars that I stamped on tissue paper…

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I spent a good bit of time gluing the tiny stars down with Matte Medium which was fiddly but fun…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-left-hand-page

I am joining Erika’s “Tell me a Story” challenge again over at Art Journal Journey and the “Love” theme at Moo-Mania & More…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-pulled-by-the-stars

“I’m restless …Things are calling me away … My hair is being pulled by the stars again” -Anais Nin

take your broken he♥rt …

since 1999 … January has been a challenging month with the anniversary of our son’s death… he was killed exactly one month before his 17th birthday…magpies-nest-turn-into-art-left-background

this year I wanted to create a January Art Journal to help me through this bumpy time… turns out I am feeling like I’ve turned a bit of a corner with lightness and joy and many more bright days than dark (extremely grateful for that!!!)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-turn-into-art-right-side

losing a child is every parents worst nightmare…  even I have a hard time finding the words to comfort friends that have lost a loved one…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-heart-closeup

it is not my intention to look for sympathy by mentioning Alex but rather to share that there is hope for joy in life after great loss as I’m sure some of you have also experienced… somehow we keep on going…
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what I would say to anyone suffering from grief and loss is be gentle with yourself… there are no rules… seek healing in ways that feel right to you and know that it will get more bearable over time…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-take-your-broken-heart-turn-it-into-art

I am joining Erika’s “tell me a story” challenge over at Art Journal Journey…

and thanks to Susi’s invitation to join the L♥VE theme over at Moo-Mania & More

“It has been said, ‘that time heals all wounds.’  I do not agree.  The wounds remain.  In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens.  But it is never gone.” ~Rose Kennedy

when snow falls…

img_0414we had a “conversational” snowfall on Saturday which was just enough to add a sheer white blanket to the garden…img_0413

the birds got extra excited at the suet feeder even over just a few flakes…

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I am joining Erika’s “Tell Me A Story” challenge at Art Journal Journeyimg_0417

the story behind my two page spread is simply my Love of snow with the special hush and purity it brings…img_0005

a couple of images torn from The Washington Post along with the words “drift” and “snow” were added to book pages that I had brayered with gesso…  I printed out the rest of the quote using our laser printer… the font that I chose happened to match perfectly… the finishing touch was some splatters of gesso…

“When snow falls, Nature listens” -Antoinette van Kleef

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!)

Grateful and Hopeful…

Erika’s theme of TELL ME A STORY over at Art Journal Journey this month is wide open to interpretation…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-ranunculus

back in 2009 I created a December art journal that is still fun to look through (my angel cover below)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-december-art-journal-2009-cover

since then I have wanted to do a January art journal so here I go (this time I glued some pages together in an old book as I found working in a spiral book not that easy by the time I got to the end)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-various-papers

as it happens my first January spread has a couple of kinds of tissue included which also fits the theme over at Try it on Tuesdaymagpies-nest-right-page

I used Matte Medium to adhere the newspaper photo of trees to my painted pages and it worked nicely for the tissue papers too helping them melt into the surface…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-grateful-2016-hopeful-2017

everything has a story…

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” -Eckhart Tolle

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…

~*Happy New Year*~

sending every good and special wish your way…

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“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”  -Oprah Winfrey

darkness to Light…

I have missed art journaling and playing along with my favorite challenge blog friends over at Art Journal Journeymagpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-progress-1

Valerie’s brilliant theme this month is “Light and Darkness” which is something I think about quite a bit having experienced a fair bit of darkness in my life (mostly in the form of loss)…

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we all have to face it at some point (I used a fine tip black Sharpie marker for highlights around the gold)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-dark-to-light-closeup

I have also been blessed with so much beautiful Light (couldn’t help but notice the difference in the Light in my photos)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-progress-3

this journal page began with what was left from a sheet of Christmas stamps (those little snippets always seem too nice to throw away)…

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“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.” -Madeline L’Engle