Saturday, March 31, 2018

All Tuckered Out

The Easter Bunny appears to be all tuckered out from all that posing with children for Easter photos!  This is the bunny from the Scottsdale Fashion Square shopping mall.  He was looking a tiny bit bedraggled.

I'll return to the home tour photos later next week.

Friday, March 30, 2018

House #2 on the Private Garden Tour

The second house we visited on the garden tour was a huge home that we learned had been completely remodeled after it was purchased by the present owners in 2013.  The vision was to create a "warm and inviting environment with a soft, French feel".  The front drive is new and creates an arrival court with a French limestone fountain in the center.

In the back was a beautiful and very large pool.  There was also a tennis court and a wide expanse of desert to edge of the property.

I loved this little seating area with the candelabra hanging from the tree above.  Wouldn't that be a great place to share a bottle of wine and great conversation?

There was an extensive garden of roses all around the back patio featuring the pretty iceberg roses.  They added dots of delicate white blooms in every direction.

On the way back out the driveway, I spotted this pot overflowing with beautiful plants.  They were mostly white and green but I love those little tiny splashes of red in there too.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Mermaid Out of Water

The back garden of the home I've been showing you the past two days also contained some sculptures to enhance the area.  This little mermaid was found in one corner.  It's not exactly like the famous one in Denmark but close.

There was of course, a wonderful pool in the back yard with plenty of places to sit and relax.

I especially liked this huge tree that was giving the yard a lot of shade.  This part of Phoenix has a lot of fantastic old trees.

This sums up my post about this house.  I'll be posting some more photos from the other houses I visited.  Those homes were restricted to the gardens except for one that let us indulge in a visit to an artist's studio.  More to come.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

La Casa Amable

The house I introduced you to in yesterday's post is called La Casa Amable or "Friendly House" and it is located right in the heart of Phoenix's Arcadia district and not far from where I live.  The room above is located in the original part of the house that dates all the way back to 1890.

This room is right next to the room above and is in the "newer" section of the house.  It was added in 1915.  As you can see, this one has been a Phoenix homestead for a very long time.

The home was built by William J Murphy on land granted to him by the 23rd President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison.  Murphy himself is a figure in Arizona history and is best known for spearheading construction of the Arizona Canals in the 1880's.

The home has been featured in architectural publications around the country and in 1990 it was a Heard Museum designer showcase home.  That was when these wonderful tiles were placed on the kitchen wall and scattered around the kitchen.

Here's a closer look at the artistic tiles.  They are such a great addition to this  home that is unquestionably southwestern in style.

Tomorrow I'll take you to the back garden of this home and show you some of the beauty out back.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Private Garden Tour

Front patio of the house.  The front door is to the left.

On Sunday I got to go on the Desert Botanical Garden Tour of Private Gardens and am I ever glad I got to attend this event.  There were only four houses on the tour and they were all stunning homes but I think I enjoyed the first one the most because of it's long and colorful history.  And, because I got to see the inside as well as the garden which was a special treat.

Off to the side of the home was a wonderful garden with all kinds of herbs and vegetables growing.  I saw the most wonderful patch of lettuce, some great looking tomatoes and everything else that will make a good salad.

Scattered all around the side garden and patio were statues that made very attractive little guards keeping the garden safe.

This house dates back to the late 1800's and it was originally a stage coach stop and used to shelter cattle herders.  I'll fill in a little more history tomorrow when I take you inside this wonderful home.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The Dragon-Lion

This mural is on the side of an Asian ice shaving shop called Snoh.  They apparently make shaved ice creations similar to snow cones only with Asian flavors.  I hear it's pretty popular with the ASU students downtown.  The mural was painted by Leter91 a freelance artist who specializes in large scale murals for businesses and homes.  He did a wonderful job with this one.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Young Photographer

Mastering the art of photography starts at a young age for some people.  I saw this young man working on this shot so I stopped behind him to watch.  He made several adjustments to the camera before he actually took the picture.  He was definitely putting what he's learned to work.  It makes me wonder how far he'll take his new skills.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Sometimes it pays to get up early to take some photos.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Visiting the Butterflies

I hadn't seen the spring butterflies at the Desert Botanical Garden yet so I made a trip out there yesterday morning to see how they were doing.  It was a warm morning so they were doing splendidly.  They love it when it's warm and they were flying all over the pavilion.  Above is a White Peacock butterfly.

Here we have a Gulf Fritillary.

A Pipevine Swallowtail was perched in the sun.

And this last one I believe is a Great Southern White.  I timed my visit perfectly.  As I was leaving, about 60 to 70 young school kids were arriving.  I got out of there just in time.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Cat Tail Bird

The last time I was at the Heard Museum, I saw an exhibit of artwork by an artist named Ifonso Roybal who went by the name Awa Tsireh which means "Cat Tail Bird" in the Tewa language.

Born in 1898, Roybal became one of the finest Native American painters of the first half of the 20th Century.

He did a lot illustrations for books as well as some metal works in addition to his paintings.

The painting above is called The Bull and the Koshares from 1938.  A Koshare is a Pueblo Clown.

I loved this copper tray with the Native American design etched into it.  (Sorry for the reflection.  It was behind glass.)

This painting of a Matachine Dancer was a favorite of mine at the show.  It was so intricately painted and so beautifully framed.

The card describing the painting said to be sure to notice the little red bird next to his signature.  It became a sort of trademark that was added to many of his paintings.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Bakery from Down Under

I discovered this place when I was walking to meet friends for dinner at a Scottsdale restaurant.  It's called The Great Australian Bakery.  That cute little flag-draped kangaroo stopped me in my tracks.

I checked their menu.  It looks like they specialize in pasties, meat pies and something called a bacon-cheese Brekkie.  Do any of those sound familiar to my Australian friends?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

White Squirrels

These are the kind of squirrels that won't tear up your garden.  This pair of giant, white squirrels have adorned the front of the Jonathan Adler store for quite a long time now.  The store is one of those places where you enjoy looking around but, probably won't buy anything.  At least, that's the way I see it.  They sell home furnishings that are decidedly eclectic.

However, I do love seeing those big white squirrels.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Last of the Old West Steakhouses

The far northern reaches of Scottsdale used to be the home to two old west steakhouses, Pinnacle Peak Patio and Reata Pass.  Both closed for business a few years ago.  On Sunday when I took the drive out to north Scottsdale, I came across all that remains of the Reata Pass business.

All that is left is a tall water tower and a few ramshackle buildings that made up the the little "western village" that surrounded the steakhouse.

I did eat at Reata Pass many, many years ago when it was big attraction.  It was one of those places where Arizona residents would take their out of state guests to serve up some western atmosphere.  These days we tend to take guests to the latest hot new restaurant.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Looking for Spring Colors

I took a drive out to the far northern reaches of Scottsdale yesterday to see if the desert was showing an spring color yet.  There wasn't a lot of blooming activity yet.  Just a few hints of what will come can be seen in the yellow tint to those bushes in the foreground and that tiny spec of red to the left.  That was from an ocotillo that was just beginning to bloom.

There was also a tiny bit of red showing here from the Baja Fairy Duster plants.  They were attracting a few bees who I suppose were also on a quest to find some spring blooms.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Pretty Potted Plants

I love a big pot overflowing with plants like this one above.  It was sitting on a wall at a home with an exquisite garden.

While another home had an equally pretty pot of plants in shades of green this time.

And even a cactus can be pretty when potted artistically like this South African Snowflake cactus.  It takes a special talent to put these plants together so they look just perfect.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Winter travel can bring unexpected pleasures.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I thought you might like this St. Patrick's Day cake designed especially for the day's festivities.  It would certainly made a nice centerpiece for the table.

Have a great time celebrating!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Assortment of Observations

Another assortment of things I've observed along the way.  This chair in the window of a shop stopped me in my tracks.  I love all those patterns together however, I'm not sure I'd want it in my living room.

A wooden folding screen was placed behind a restaurant dining booth making it look like the sun was setting and the moon was rising.

I parked next to this car and when I got out I noticed the rather menacing looking wheels on the car.  I bet he paid a lot of money for those fancy wheels.

I tried to figure out what "Moo-ber" Rides and Photos was all about but with no luck at all.  I did look in the back of the truck to see several wooden cows carefully lined up in a sort of holding frame.  I wonder if "Moo-ber" is some kind of play on "Uber", the international ride sharing company.  That still doesn't explain what it's all about.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Major Renovations

Scottsdale Fashion Square, the largest shopping center in the Phoenix area is undergoing some major renovations at the moment.  Right now when you shop at the mall, the ceiling looks like this and the floors have been scraped down to the concrete in many locations.

The changes won't be complete until the fall of this year, but it supposedly will expand the retail and restaurant space by 45,000 square feet.  The mall owners said that the new mall will have more of a "resort" feel to it.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Fire Drill, part two

Yesterday I mentioned that standing on the sidewalk during a fire drill prompted me to notice a row of businesses across the street from the building where I work.  It's a group of offices that I hadn't paid much attention to.  This one is a Medical Marijuana clinic.

This one is the exception to that statement I made about not paying attention to these businesses.  This one I've actually photographed before.  I always enjoy seeing those brightly colored doors and the assortment of Mexican art pieces they have sitting out front.  When they close this shop, they take all of those things back inside including the row of lizards that are decorating the wall above the doors.

Here we have Dog Town, a dog grooming business.  It's funny that I've never noticed any dogs coming or going from here.

This last one is a Tech Repair shop.  It looks like they specialize in fixing cell phones.  I can't really imagine there would be a lot of call for service on cell phones.   Obviously there is.

That's the last of this set of businesses.  I'm guessing that Phoenix is brimming with places like this.  I need to make a point of finding another row of them to photograph.