Tag Archives: Photography

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

change is constant…

some changes are subtle while others can be more dramatic…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-out-with-the-jotul-stove

one of the last home improvements we made recently was to have our trusty Norwegian cast iron wood stove removed along with the brick wall behind it (it has found a new home where it is being used and treasured anew)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-finished-fireplace

Mr Magpie chopped a lot of firewood in the 28 years we had the stove and now with gas logs we have simplified the getting warm and cozy process with the click of a remote control…magpies-nest-dining-room-buffet

it is nice having things back in place again with no more construction upheaval to deal with…magpies-nest-moms-birthday-anemones

my cup offering for T Stands for Tuesday this week was a birthday gift to my mother from her brother many years ago…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-celebrate

~♥ wishing you a Happy T Day ♥~

quickening of time…

the quickening of time is hard to ignore as we find ourselves at the end of February already…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-omis-clock

Mother Nature has wobbled from winter to May like temperatures and back again…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-sunroom-views

I ended up at a garden center last week on a glorious 78 degree/25.5 Celsius day which was a good 20 degrees warmer than normal for this time of year here in northern Virginia…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-spring-fever

a few plants came home with me and I will have to babysit them mostly indoors until planting time arrives in a month or more…

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-lenten-rose

I can’t seem to snap enough photos of this potted Lenten Rose…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-meyer-lemons-first-daffs-from-garden how do you spell spring fever…

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-hazelnut-birthday-cake-yumyumyum

we have eaten a good bit of cake this month celebrating Mr Magpie’s birthday…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-pear-tarte

 still celebrating with a yummy Sunday treat of pear puff pastry tarte OH MY… magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-helleborus

wishing everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover a Happy T Day… 

Love Never Dies…

this month marks the sixth year since my mother’s passing

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-wool-pin-cushionin some ways it seems like only yesterday and yet…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-love-love

I am extremely grateful to have had a wonderful relationship with her with so many fun times and no regrets other than selfishly wishing she could have lived forever…magpies-nest-kitchen-stool

still inspired by my mother’s painting on the step stool I shared earlier this week here… magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-beginning-pages

I printed out several copies of photos I had taken doing lots of cutting and layering…magpies-nest-omis-painted-stool

I painted several shades of red on top of the heart I gessoed in the center…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-love-never-dies-art-journal-pages

I am pleased with how these pages came together and am sharing them for Linda’s “Fifty Shades of Red” challenge over at Art Journal Journey…

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” -Robert A. Heinlein

♥ February ♥

here we are in February already…

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-le-pain-signheart month…  magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-heartsI have accumulated a bit of a he♥rt collection over the years and even have a “heart” category on my blog…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-omis-heart-bench

something very precious to me is a stool Mr Magpie made many years ago and my mother painted with intentions of giving it to me (the apple tart is from the shop in the photo above with the ♥I wheely like you♥ sign…they sell wonderful organic farm bread too)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-omis-daisies

my mutti found the stool so useful (she wasn’t quite five feet tall) that she had it in her kitchen for many years before it came to me…magpies-nest-omis-bench-built-by-jim-s

each speckle adds to the patina and charm of so many years in her pantry…patty-szymkowicz-love-always-collage

wishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover where all you need to join in the fun is to share anything related to a drink (guess what! I found a way to post photos again that can be clicked on for a closer look = hoorah!)…magpies-nest-paris-candle

as an aside a few of you have asked from previous blog posts what was inside the Paris box I have shared in photos…all is revealed above… (I was content with just the box but the candle is very nice too!)…magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-heart-collage

“February, a form
Pale-vestured, wildly fair,—
One of the North Wind’s daughters,
With icicles in her hair.”
~Edgar Fawcett, “The Masque of Months,” c.1878

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”

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-ranger-journal

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…

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-coexist-art-journal-pages

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…

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-ranunculus

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

magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-kitchen-sunroom-view

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…