Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Rustic Fence


I never know what I will find when I drive down streets that I don't normally use.  This house surrounded by a rustic looking fence caught my eye.  

I find picket fences charming whether they are painted white or in need of a little paint.  This one actually looks like it has been salvaged from somewhere else.  I like it.  

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Unexpected Discovery

 I was driving in north Phoenix on Sunday when I discovered this unusual sculpture located in a very nondescript spot.  I couldn't find any signs or information for it so I did some Google searching.

I found that this sculpture was commissioned by the city of Phoenix to be placed in a small pocket park that now covers a former well that was used many, many years ago.  The sculpture was created by Barbara Grygutis of Tucson.  Apparently there is a blue light at the base of this sculpture that lights it from within at night.  

It is supposed to represent the varied path of water in the desert but, it reminds me of the "dust devils" we get in the dry southwest.  Those happen when the wind whips up some dust in the shape of a tornado and sends it spinning across the desert floor.  

Monday, June 28, 2021

Fly Higher


I ran across this mural when I was out searching for the Prince mural. In fact, I found several murals that day.  This one sends the message that you can fly higher if you want.  It was painted by Joseph "Sentrock" Perez with assistance from Noelle "Birdy" Martinez.  Perez uses the theme of a man wearing a bird mask in many of his murals.  I learned that he moved to Chicago to pursue his art career and now he has a whole series of murals in that city.  

Taking part in Monday Murals.  

Sunday, June 27, 2021

The New Bar


My friend Glenda and I went back to the Arizona Biltmore Friday night for dinner again.  It was just the two of us so we didn't have a huge spread of food like the last time.  Once again the food was delicious.  

After dinner, I walked outside to get a better picture of that new bar they built in the huge center courtyard.  You can see the water that surrounds the bar.  It's like a moat all the way around the bar.

We decided to have an after-dinner drink but it was just too hot to sit outside at the new bar.  We opted for the indoor bar which has only seen a few minor changes.  One change was the stemware.  They are now serving champagne in tulip glasses instead of the flutes.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting desert museum in southern Arizona.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

The Thorne Rooms


The last time I visited the Phoenix Art Museum, I made another trip through the room that houses The Thorne Rooms.  I posted about these miniature works of art six years ago so I thought it was a good time to do another post.  

These tiny rooms are the work of Narcissa Niblack Thorne (1882-1966).  Her uncle started her on a collecting journey when he began sending her pieces of miniature furniture that he picked up on this travels.  Soon she was also collecting pieces.  Starting in 1930, she began creating special rooms for the pieces commissioning pieces that she needed to complete each room.  All together, she created 99 rooms.  Thorne donated 20 of the rooms to the fledgling Phoenix Art Museum on its third anniversary.  The remaining rooms can be found at The Art Institute of Chicago (68),  The Knoxville Museum of Art (9) and the Children's Museum of Indianapolis (2). 

The detail in each room is simply amazing.  Everything is there from rugs on the floors to pictures on the walls to vases and flowers on the tables.

Each of the rooms is situated behind glass making them very difficult to photograph without reflections.  I managed these by pressing the camera lens up to the glass.  If works to ward off the glares but I don't get the whole room view that way.  

I think the very first one above is my favorite room.  It is described as a New York penthouse dining room.  This last one is also a favorite because I love Art Deco.  

If you click the link above and see my 2015 post, you will see a view of the whole room with this great looking window at the end.  I took another photo of that window when I was there a week ago and did some digital manipulation to give it its own artsy look.

Friday, June 25, 2021

In Search of Shade


Looking down a street in downtown Phoenix, there is a lot of shade along the sidewalks.  The city of Phoenix is very diligent about planting trees wherever there is a lot of pedestrian traffic in order to bring down the heat index. You don't see a lot of traffic in this shot because I took it on a Sunday.

A lot of trees have been planted since the beginning of this project.  They aren't very big at the moment but they will continue to grow and provide much needed shade where it counts the most.  That's one development project that I'm very happy about.  

Thursday, June 24, 2021

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night


I woke up around 3:00 AM Wednesday morning and looked out my window.  I thought I was seeing things when I saw what looked like a bright light over the buildings next door.

I finally realized I was seeing the moon peeking through an almost completely overcast sky.  I thought it looked very spooky in that kind of "dark and stormy night" kind of way so I grabbed my camera.

After the sun came up, it was still very cloudy and looking a bit threatening in the western sky.

After a while it started to rain very lightly at first but by noon it was coming down at a steady pace.  Rain, glorious rain.  We even had a bit of lightening and thunder.  It was very refreshing.  

I love seeing those rain drops on all the trees and plants.  It's just what we needed.  Not enough to get us through the summer but, nice anyway.  

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Looking Up!


Here is another set of photos that I forgot about.  I took these back in February before restrictions started loosening up.  I was driving around downtown Phoenix looking for things to photograph and I decided to point the camera skyward and grab some architectural details.

There are all kinds of interesting contrasts between styles and shapes.   With the ASU campus downtown, there is always some construction going on as you can see a glimpse of in the far left of this photo.

There is also some contrast between the old and the new.  I think I should go downtown and look again.  I bet I can find even more interesting contrasts.  

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Dinner in the Wine Cellar


My good friends Julie and Dave invited me and other friends over to their house for dinner in their wine cellar.  Since we've been experiencing extreme temperatures here in Arizona she thought it would be nice to enjoy and evening in a cool place.  

It seemed strange leaving my house when it was 115 degrees and carrying a jacket.  The jacket was needed for dining in the cellar where it was 59 degrees.  

It was a fun spending time with good friends, eating great food and enjoying a major cool-down.  

Monday, June 21, 2021

I Recognize Those Birds


A few weeks ago when I was out driving around trying to find that mural of Prince, I found this mural nearby.  I immediately recognized those birds.  They feature in many of Lauren Lee's murals and artwork. I posted two of her murals before, the most recent one here.  I love her painting style and her birds! This mural is located at a small apartment complex called Oasis on Grand.

Taking part in Monday Murals

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Sunday Swimming!


I saw this cute little fellow swimming around in a Scottsdale fountain all by himself.  I wondered where his parents were.  It seemed a bit unsafe for him to be all alone.

My worries were quickly abated when I saw momma come swimming out from under a pedestrian bridge that crosses the fountain.  She was keeping a watchful eye on her little one.  It made me think of when my mom first let me ride my bike past our street and out of her sight.  All those little steps to building up one's self confidence are so important.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm continuing my guest photographer's trip to Iceland.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Random Observations


Here are a few random observations from around town over the last few weeks.  

First up, a very strange looking vehicle encountered at a traffic light.  I noticed it has only three wheels on the ground and that extra one on the back.

To the left, a very tall and very skinny couple standing in the lobby of an office building.  

Above we have some lavender growing nice and tall just outside the salon where I get my hair cut.

The one to the right was taken two weeks ago in my friend Glenda's back yard.  We were sitting out there sipping a glass of wine when this hummingbird came buzzing no more that three feet away from me.  I snapped this with my iPhone.  I honestly didn't think I'd get anything but it turned out better than I imagined.  

This last one was spotted in the window of a shop selling antiques and gifts.  You never know when a fake cupcake might come in handy.  At least I think they are fake.  The shop was closed so I couldn't tell for sure.

Just thought I'd add this for the fun of it.  Evidence of our over-the-top heat wave.  

Friday, June 18, 2021

Early Morning Tree Trimming


I heard some noise outside my windows early Wednesday morning and saw that the tree trimmers were hard at work at around 5:45 AM.  

They needed to get an early start because temperatures soared to 115 by the afternoon.  People who do outdoor work are having to start quite early to beat the heat.  The trimmer in the blue shirt is easy to see, but there is also a trimmer in the taller tree to the left.  You can see his hat in the top photo and his blue sleeve and his feet hugging the tree in the second photo.  Shortly after I took the second photo, the guy on the right waved at me.  I did wave back!

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Photo Editing Fun


In case you haven't heard, it's been terribly hot here this last week.  So hot that finding things to entertain myself at home has been my goal.  Photo editing fits in perfectly.  I love seeing what I can create with some of my photos.  I really like how this one of a desert rose turned out when I applied some painterly features.

Then I tried some sketching techniques to this photo of my friends David and Riley's dog.  Doesn't she look adorable?

I was looking for options for making collages when I found this "museum wall" pre-made frame.  All I had to do was add the photos.  It's kind of cute but unless I blew it up billboard size, you couldn't really see the photos very well.  And, that one photo out of alignment on the second row really bugs me.  

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Checks Please!


I was driving on McDowell Road over the weekend when I spotted this vacant building with a strange "checked" paint job.  I snapped a photo while waiting at the traffic light.  

An hour or two later, I had stopped at Biltmore Fashion Park to do a bit of shopping when I peeked in the door of a store called Cornelia Park.  More checks!  Those checks look better on these household items then they do on the front of a building.  

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Fashion Subversives


I stopped at the Phoenix Art Museum again last weekend because I had read that they opened a second show to complement the special engagement of the Rudi Gernreich's show that I featured last week.

This exhibit was titled Fashion Subversives and is meant to celebrate the designs that broke some rules and edged fashion in different directions.

My favorite piece in this exhibit was this simple dress.  It was displayed in relation to Trompe-l 'Oeill designs of the 1950's originally created by Hermes.  These were designs that looked to the eye like there were pockets, bows and buttons on the garment when actually those things were printed into the fabric.  

I'd wear this one!

This is a more recent creation by Junya Watanabe from the fall of 2000.  I just liked the look of it but I bet it would be uncomfortable to wear.

The group above was a tribute to Coco Chanel's "little black dress".  Designers everywhere have followed that lead and created their own versions of this classic.

To the left are two more fun dresses.  The lacy one is by Coco Chanel and the one in the back by Geoffrey Beene.

I'll leave this exhibit with this eye-catching dress by Alexander McQueen.  This one made me think my eyes were getting blurry.  The stripes in the fabric makes you feel like they are moving.  

Monday, June 14, 2021



Two weeks ago I was out scouting for murals when I found this place with this lovely and exotic looking mural in front.  It has an Egyptian feel to it.

It graced the front of this building.  Behind that red car, there was a sign painted on the window naming the business as "Wasted Ink Zine Distro".  I had no idea what that meant so I did some research and here is what I found:

"A zine - pronounced zeen - derived from magazine - is an independently or self-published booklet, often created by a single person.  Zines are customarily created by physically cutting and gluing text and images together onto a master flat for photocopying, but it is also common to produce the master by typing and formatting pages on a computer.  The end product is usually folded and stapled.  Zines can be printed and bound in any manner."

This place is sort of a library and publisher of these kinds of publications.  Blogging certainly allows me to learn all kinds of new things.  However, I didn't learn who painted those wonderful wings.

Taking part in Monday Murals.  

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Classy, Classic Cars


Here is a group of photos I forgot about.  They were taken in the parking lot of the Desert Botanical Garden at the end of May.  I was just leaving the garden after one of my walks and saw these fancy cars all lined up.  I parked the car again, and got out to take some photos.

There was no one around the cars so I don't think if was a special show.  It might have just been members of a classic car club who all came to the garden together.

Whatever reason they were there, they were fun to look at.  I wasn't the only one to pull out of a parking space just to park again.  These cars were stopping lots of people on their way out.  Even the bus driver from that bus in the background of the top photo, walked over for a look.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I have a guest photographer with photos from way, way up north.