Sunday, November 30, 2014

Doggie backpack

I took a much needed walk at the Desert Botanical Garden on Friday and I spotted this cute pup in a doggie backpack.  That's very cute for a small dog.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.   Artwork in Chicago's Millennium Park is once again featured.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Feast!

My friend David and I did the cooking for Thanksgiving this year and we turned out quite a feast.  David made the Brussels sprouts with cranberries, the chipotle mashed potatoes (in the pot) and the cheesy popovers and behind the popovers is the dessert, sticky toffee pudding.

I made the pork loin roast with rosemary and pine nuts......

....and my mom's stuffing.  It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without my mom's stuffing.

I also made the appetizer, minted sugar snap peas but I forgot to take a picture of those.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Wine Tasting

While I was exploring the shops at the Phoenician Resort last Friday, I found this attractive little wine shop.  There was no one around when I stepped into the shop so I snapped a photo.  No, I didn't take a bottle with me.   

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers.
I hope you are enjoying friends, family, and pumpkin pie on this holiday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

There's art and then there's....other art

After enjoying all the art that was on display in the gallery area of the Phoenician Resort, I walked toward the shops.  That's where I found these electric cowboy boots sitting in the window of the gift shop.  They aren't really boots to wear, they are made of ceramic with little lights in them.  You just plug them in and set them in a prominent place for your guests to admire.  I don't know about you but, I know I'd rather have the painting I featured yesterday.  The boots can stay where they are.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

First Mesa

Last Friday, I arrived a bit early for the event I attended at the Phoenician Resort so I had some time to wander around and enjoy the resort amenities and the fabulous art.  This particular painting spoke to my soul.  It's called "First Mesa" by renowned Native American artist Dan Namingha.  It's a large oil painting measuring 60 X 80 and it hangs near other large paintings and sculptures all on display from the Glenn Green Galleries of Tesuque New Mexico.  I do love Namingha's work.  He is a true artistic master.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Owl & Falcon

Today I have the other two beautiful birds we saw at the Phoenician Resort on Friday.  Above is the great horned owl.  My what big eyes!

This one is a Peregrine Falcon.  Such a regal sounding name for this smallish bird of prey.  Don't you just love my title for this post?  It sounds like a great title for a children's book or movie.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Red-Tailed Hawk

I was at the Phoenician Resort Friday afternoon and when we were about to leave we saw three beautifully costumed people each with an exotic bird on their arm standing on the patio of the resort.  So, of course we investigated.  It turned out to be a bit of special entertainment for resort guests.  The bird above was a red-tailed hawk who was very vocal.  The handler said he was just anxious to be fed.  In the photo above, he had his eye on the sushi bar that was at the far end of the patio.

The second photos was such a great shot of the handsome handler so I had to post this one too.  Tomorrow I'll show you the other two bird handlers.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's a bit of a love story this time.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


 The heart of a pink rose!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Free as a bird

Late Wednesday afternoon, I decided it was time for a walk at the Desert Botanical Garden so off I went.  I wasn't there 2 minutes when I saw this cute little hummingbird taking advantage of the blooms on a penstemon plant.  There is nothing like a good walk and a little Mother Nature to get the blood flowing.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A tree-lined walk

After our encounter with the llamas (and a few other animals I didn't mention yesterday), we took a walk around this neighborhood to enjoy the beautiful setting with all the mature trees and beautiful yards.

It was so green and lush in this area that I felt like I was taking a walk in my old home town of Quincy Illinois.  What a pleasant neighborhood, so peaceful and quiet as well as green with an abundance of large, full trees.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable day!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Llamas and Alpacas

While we were in the north Phoenix area for the Chrysanthemum show, we were introduced to some unusual characters who happen to live on a very busy north Phoenix street in the middle of the city.  These llamas and alpacas were not what one would expect to find grazing in the large yard of an equally large home.

This one seems to be saying "I hear ya but, I can't see you".

 This group of beauties is not exactly what I would expect to see on the streets of Phoenix Arizona.  But, they were certainly fun to stop and look at and of course, snap a few photos.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Exotic Arrangements

Yesterday I told you about the National Chrysanthemum Society show I went to on Saturday and I had photos of some of the many blooms.  Today I have a few photos of some of the arrangements that were on display.  The one above was one of my favorites.  I like the gracefulness of it's lines.

This one incorporated some Arizona citrus in it's design.

This one also had some citrus involved along with some palm leaves and cactus.  It also won some awards as you can see from the ribbons in front of it.

This one has really got that Southwestern theme going on.  It also has included the 5 C's that make up the Arizona economy, Copper, Cattle, Citrus, Cotton and Climate.  Very clever!

Monday, November 17, 2014

A room full of flowers

On Saturday afternoon, I joined some friends to go to an event I knew nothing about before this invitation.  It was the National Chrysanthemum Society's Show.  I had never heard of such a thing before a friend asked if I wanted to go.  She had heard about it from another friend who heard about it from a neighbor who was a member of the society.  So off we all went not knowing what to expect.

There are 30 chapters of this organization and there is one national show every year.  This year it was hosted by the Phoenix Chrysanthemum Society.

The shapes and sizes and varieties of these flowers was mind boggling.

I learned that there are 13 different bloom forms that were being judged, simple things like "Pompom" and "Spider" were easy to understand but, "Irregular Incurve" and "Reflex" were less easy to spot.

The one above was one of my favorites however, choosing a favorite with all that beauty around was not an easy task.  I'm so glad I had an opportunity to see these beauties and enjoy the enthusiasm of all the people in the room who were there to view and discuss each of the varieties.

In addition to the judging of the single blooms that I've shown today, there was also judging for design where the flowers were woven into arrangements in different categories.  Tomorrow I'll show you some of the arrangements I photographed.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Feeding the Koi

I'm not as close to the Japanese Friendship Garden as I used to be but, I drove over there yesterday to take a walk on the paths.  I found the place brimming with people.   So much so, that I actually thought there must have been a special event I didn't know about.  But, no the garden has just turned into a very popular place.  Nothing was blooming yet but, I did see lots of people enjoying the garden and this group standing on the bridge and feeding the koi. It was a perfect morning to be outside.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

What I miss the most....

What I miss the most from the old house is seeing these always sunny faces at my bird feeder.  So far, I haven't seen (or heard) any of them in my new neighborhood.  I might have to get my fill of these guys from the flock that hangs out at the Desert Botanical Garden.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Empty Castle

This building located in a north Phoenix residential area has been sitting empty for at least 2 or 3 years with no sign of activity.  I tried to do a little research on the place on the web but, I couldn't find anything to help me identify it.

 The area is mostly custom single family homes so this building really stands out as quite unusual.

An empty house in any neighborhood is troublesome but, one that looks like this is particularly vexing.  I wonder what the story is behind this building.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Remember when....

....cameras looked like this?  I found these old-timers sitting on a shelf in an antique store.  I had never heard of the Filmo on the right so I looked it up.  Apparently, it was a line 16mm of cameras and projectors made by Bell & Howell.  I've heard of Bell & Howell!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


There was a lot going on in Phoenix this last weekend and unfortunately I only made it to one event, the Chilies and Chocolate event at the Desert Botanical Garden.  An unfortunate head cold kept me away from all the rest of the events this last weekend.  I'm sad that I missed the Spanish Market at the Heard museum and there was a travel expo going on at the Phoenix Convention Center that I hated to miss but, it was probably better to nurse the cold so it would to away sooner.  However, here it is 3 days later and it's still hanging on.

This lady was performing at the Chilies and Chocolate event and I'm pretty sure she's the same one I photographed two years ago at the same event.  What do you think?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Continuing with the art show, here are a few of the pieces from the "Simulacrum" theme.  The one on the left is called "Chinese Food (1,000 year old Granola Bar)" by Tim Keneipp from our group.  Next is "Arizona" by Laura Cohen-Hogan.  The triptych is my piece (close-up below) and the one on the right is "Lost Luggage" by Marilene Farmer.

My piece is composed of these three photos.  The original photo was of a cut out shaped like and elephant in a rusty sheet of iron.  There were many cut outs in the iron piece but I was drawn to the elephant.  I photographed it with blue sky showing through the opening and rusty metal forming the shape.  I then manipulated the photos using several different techniques to get these three versions.

If you would like to see all of the pieces from this show, you can click on this link and it will take you to the web site where all of our challenges are represented.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Between the folds..

Several of you asked to see some of the art close up so I am obliging.  These are all from the "Between the Folds" challenge.  The one on the right is called "Corazon in the Folds" by Barry Farmer.  I especially liked the piece above by Ted Wolter from our Art Challenge Group.  It's call "The Brain and the Hot Dog Folds".  From this side you see the hot dog and....

...from this side you see the brain.  Very clever!

Here are a few more.  On the let is "Sofie Between the Folds" by Ann Osgood, "Ventilator" by Robert Rosselli, my piece called "Lurking between the Folds" (a closer view is below) and "Anticipation between the Folds" by Laura Cohen-Hogan.

And here is a closer version of my photo.  I was deep in the process of moving when this challenge came our way and I think it was all the things I found lurking in closets and drawers and other corners of the house flavored this choice.  I saw a stack of dinner napkins sitting on the table and ready to be boxed up and I decided to place some eyes lurking between the folds of the napkins watching me.

I'll show you some of the art from the second challenge "Simulacrum" tomorrow.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

First Friday Art Show

My art group had another First Friday Art Show Friday night at The Artery Gallery in Phoenix.  Our group gave a challenge to The Artery group and they gave a challenge to us and the resulting art work was on display for the evening at their gallery.

We had a good size crowd stop by to check out the art.  Our challenge to them was "Simulacrum" (something that looks like something else) and their challenge to us was "Between the Folds".  It was fun to see how the varied artists presented each challenge.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The power of suggestion...

When I recently moved to a new home, I gave up a lot of storage space so I needed to rent a storage locker for all the extra picture frames and mattes I had accumulated.  It must be all those movies and TV shows that have bad things happening in places like this that makes me cringe every time I have to stop here.  I'm planning on using up those frames and mattes and donating some of my photos to different charities for their silent auctions and drawings.  So, hopefully I won't have to get that creepy feeling every time I step off the elevator to head to my locker for much longer.

Friday, November 7, 2014

"Tovrea Dreams"

On the first of the month I featured another photo from Tovrea Castle, a Phoenix landmark.  I found this photo of a painting I saw in the lobby of a downtown office building.  I had forgotten that I took this shot last spring.  The painting is titled "Tovrea Dreams" by artist Rafael Navarro.  Navarro was born in Mexico City and moved to Phoenix in 1989.  He is a primarily self-taught artist who draws inspiration from Rene Magritte, Picasso, and Frida Kahlo.  I can certainly see hints of Magritte in this painting.  I am a fan of Magritte and am drawn to surreal paintings in general and since this one featured Tovrea Castle, it especially appealed to me.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sunrise glow

A colorful sunrise was lighting up this office building early one morning last week and I was lucky to get an opportunity to capture it on film.  I was also glad I was able to capture the pink ribbon they had across the front of the building for breast cancer week in Phoenix.  It was a subtle but meaningful display.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Smaller home....grander view

I might have down-sized my living space but I've picked up a much grander view from my new home on the east side of Phoenix.  I can now view Camelback Mountain every day.  I took this photo at sunset a couple of evenings ago when I saw how the setting sun was bathing that Phoenix landmark in a warm glow.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Art Exhibit

While I was at the Shemer Art Center on Sunday, I stopped in the gallery to see the current exhibit.  The name of the exhibit is "Materialize" and it's all about 3-D printing.  Artists were challenged to create works of art using the unique capabilities of a 3-D printer.  My favorite pieces in this exhibit were these by artist Xinggang Wang.  The description said they were made of wood and acrylic and they were priced $5000.00 each so I'm guessing it took quite a lot of work to create them.
The one above is called "Soldier" and the one in the back is called "Scholar".

 There was a third one seen on the left but, I don't recall it's name.

I was really taken by these pieces.  They are very subtle yet speak volumes.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Art Festival

Sunday was a perfect day for an outdoor art festival so I took full advantage.  The Shemer Art Center sponsored the event and it took place on the beautiful grounds surrounding the gallery.  There were so many beautiful things to see (and buy) but I restricted myself to one hand-painted silk scarf and a unique ceramic bowl that will reside on my kitchen counter and hold fresh fruit.

Here is a peek at the bowl.  I love the urban feel to it.