Tag Archives: Winter

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…

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…
magpies-nest-turn-into-art-background

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

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…
magpies-nest-patty-szymkowicz-near-staunton-va

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…

Little Free Library…

walking is something I really enjoy and always mean to do more of…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz right of way path

I do find that getting out early in the day is my best plan before I sit down at the computer and time evaporates…

 Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz take a walk

we have some nice bike paths joining several neighborhoods that cross little creeks and meander through the woods and open spaces…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz approach

have you heard about the Little Free Library literacy program with book exchanges in 50 U.S. states and 70 countries around the globe (as of Jan 2016 there were 36,000 registered)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz LittleFreeLibrary

one was installed along a favorite walk of ours a couple of years ago…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz LittleFreeLibrary Info

as I have been in clearing out mode on and off for awhile now I try to grab a handful of books to leave there when I think of it…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz departure

there is also a Little Free Library at our favorite supermarket…

Mom's Little Free Library Herndon VA

MOM’s Organic Market in Herndon…

Mom's Little Free Library Builder

after a trip to the market the other day I just had to pull over on the way home to buy a couple of packs of pretty violas…

Patty Szymkowicz Violas

I popped them into assorted chipped cups and containers so I could enjoy some inside and outside too…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Spring Whispers

then I had a little fun playing with them on my iPhone using assorted apps (Diana, DistressedFX and PixlrExpress are my favorites)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Becca Lee quote

here’s wishing you a Happy T Day

“And as she fell apart her shattered pieces began to bloom – blossoming until she became herself exactly as she was meant to be…” -Becca Lee

cause for celebration…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Ranunculus with phone appsa little over an hour’s drive away in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley there is a lovely French Country Inn

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz L'Auberge Provencale B&Bwith beautiful historic buildings and grounds…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Garden viewtheir logo: “Escape to Provence. No passport required.” sounded just right to us as we were celebrating Mr Magpie’s birthday…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz fresh airit was a perfect place to unplug and unwind and feast…

Mr Magpie birthday treatstheir elegant and delicious La Table Provencale Restaurant and Bar were full of taste tempting delights (the expert  friendly staff added to our visit)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz this was a bit of a practice run for the two week tour of France we have planned to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary this April…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz L'Auberge Provencale #10here’s wishing you a very Happy T Day along with everyone else over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

 

February T

the snow is melting and the birds are singing with our recent days of spring like temperatures…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Robin Redbreasts in Winterthe beginning of February brings us midway through the winter season here in the Northern Hemisphere…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Rascal Squirrelsliving where we do in Virginia we get to enjoy a taste of the four seasons which is something I do enjoy…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz midnight visitor Diana app layersI had a weak moment recently at our favorite market when I saw this mug

Magpie's Nest The Republic of Teait is a nice size and the lid comes in handy for keeping your drink warm…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Tulips and Ranunculusfrequent visitors might remember the bouquet of tulips and ranunculus that I shared a couple of weeks ago…

Magpie's Nest Patty SzymkowiczTulip t potthe tulips are now gone but the ranunculus’ continued to look beautiful for some time with the colors getting lighter as time passed…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Ranunculus bloomsI trimmed the stems and played with them in different containers…Magpie's Nest Ranunculus on tulip petalsthe petals above are what was left from the second bunch of January tulips I bought just before the blizzard…

Magpie's Nest Patty SzymkowiczI had no idea the ranunculus’ would be so hardy…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Ranunculus PhotoFunia 2

it is my new favorite flower…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz tulip stemshere’s wishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

 

 

The Snow Queen …

one of the first winter scenes that came to mind when Chrissie chose Winter Wonderland as the January theme for Art Journal Journey was Varykino the ice palace in Dr Zhivago  (was it really 50 years ago that that movie came out!)…

Ice on windshield 30 Jan 2016while I never quite got those ideas worked out of my head I did make a mixed media piece with the snow queen that was also inside my head using some beautiful and special to me Edelweiss stamps (thank you again Johanna!) and I cut into a pretty handkerchief too (this year I am focusing on using up some of my treasures!)…

Snow Queen some suppliesbeing in a time crunch with January near its end I did not take any step by step photos and it’s a shame because this piece ended up morphing quite a bit…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz lace and crownthe swans were the last thing to be added and my muse Mr Magpie said why just one swan so I ended up adding three swans reminding me of our three sons…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Swansso here is my last piece for AJJ’s January challenge…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz The Snow QueenI made a mosaic of my other winter inspired creations…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz AJJ Winter Wonderland Jan 2016thank you very much for your visit(s)…

winter dreams…

playing with paint and gesso (regular, clear and heavy gesso) and bits of paper and peeled napkin for this 8 x 10 canvas…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Winter Dreams processthinking out loud to my husband that the piece needed something at the top he had the wonderful suggestion of adding a twig over the window (the lady is an image I have had in my files for about 8 years which was a freebie from Shabby Cottage Studio)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz beach woodwe just happened to have some weathered wood that we’d brought back from a favorite beach last summer and that got my wheels turning for the finishing touches for my mixed media canvas…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Winter Dreams

I am joining Paint Party Friday and Art Journal Journey “Winter Wonderland”

“Dreams are as simple or as complicated as the dreamer.” -Brian Herbert

shelter from the storm…

here in the Washington, DC area we are still digging out from the recent blizzard which left generous amounts of snow everywhere in its path…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz 24 January 2016

~ I ♥ Snow ~

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz SNOW TULIPSafter the storm the brilliant blue skies along with that blanket of white inspired a winter page using some of my favorite colors…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Shelter from the storm collage stepsI blended oil pastels with white gesso and did a bit of stenciling with some heavy white gesso too…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz close up of Micathe final step was brushing on some Mica highlights which was tricky to capture in my photographs…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Shelter From The Stormjoining in again for the theme of Winter Wonderland over at Art Journal Journey…

“Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.”
~Bill Morgan, Jr.

Full Moon Blizzard 2016

anyone that knows me well knows how much I enjoy snow

Magpie's Nest Front Porch and Driveway

there is something about the purity and hush that freshly fallen snow brings turning everything sparkling white…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Snow HaikuWinter Storm Jonas got lots of press before Friday when the snow and wind finally settled in for 36 continuous hours…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz view from second story window here near Dulles Airport we got 28.3 inches of light fluffy snow (Mr Magpie took the above photo which shows the heated birdbath resting on top of the wind blown snow)…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Blizzard Tulipssome fresh tulips were a necessary part of my blizzard preparedness…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Snow on Snowit took Mr Magpie lots of time and patience to use his electric shovel to help carve a path from our back patio around the house to the front driveway…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Clearing a pathI made sure he stayed well hydrated…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Fred Waterbringing him a snack or two as well…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Blizzard Tsnow is SO photogenic and appealing to me…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz playing on the back porch I could not resist taking oodles of photos…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Blizzard 2016

it was fun playing in the snow with the traveling tea cup…

Magpie's Nest Patty Tulips in the snoweven the tulips ended up out in the snow for a bit…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Cardinals and Fairy GardenI must confess I have been in a continual state of excitement since last week especially with words like “epic” “monumental” and “historical” being used to describe this storm…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz SNOW TULIPSit was one for the history books for our area…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz filtered snowthe light and shadows are so beautiful with the snow and sunny skies…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz winter light we enjoyed the full moon from our back porch too (you can see it below at the top of the center photo)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz January Full Moonon Monday some energetic high schools boys helped dig us out further (BIG thanks to Isaiah and David who are two very cheerful and hard workers!!!)…

Isaiah and David Workers Extraordinare

it will be a couple more days until schools and businesses and mail delivery are up and running again…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Lady Planter in Snow

hoping that you are safe and well as I join everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover for T Stands for Tuesday

 

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