Friday, April 11, 2014

Focus on Life Week 15: Moment of Focus

Can you guess what this is?

Of course, you guessed a plant of some type. The blooming palo verde tree is as much a harbinger of Spring in Arizona as daffodils are in the East. I love how its golden blooms light up the desert.

Here's the same palo verde a little further away.

And yet a little further away still.

And now for your National Geographic moment, palo verde is Spanish for green stick and is the official state tree of Arizona.

Now hop on over here for some more moments of focus.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Focus on Life Week 14: Morning

I have two morning stories to share with you. The picture below is a common morning site. What is this you ask? This is our freshly-made bed with a big old lump in it. No, the lump is not sheets or pajamas or an errant pillow.

It is none other than our weird kitty, Harold, who loves to crawl under the covers of a freshly made bed. He somehow maneuvers in such a way to leave the top covers undisturbed except for the lump.

We have had more than a few cats and he is the first who enjoys this odd sleeping location!

Now for a different type of morning story. I had a work trip this week to Berkeley, California. The meeting location was the Claremont Resort and Spa, a wonderful grand hotel. I arrived late Tuesday night when a rare rain storm made visibility almost impossible. Tired from a long day of travel, I went to bed and woke the next morning to prepare for my meeting. I opened the draperies to for a quick weather check and here is the sight that greeted me.

What a great morning vista looking at the city of San Francisco!

Here are some more morning moments:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Focus on Life Week 13: Eye Level

Driving to work through our town can be a hazardous expedition. It requires deft steering to avoid ambling tourists and darting wildlife. But even more challenging is the intense concentration required to overcome the distraction of the goodies shopkeepers display outside their stores. You may remember my rooster photo from a couple weeks ago.

The bright colors are so inviting - I find my head turning to take a look every morning. This week, a new display caught my eye. Don't you just love the turquoise color of these these gorgeous pots? I actually pulled over to capture this wonderful arrangement. I would like to take them all home!

One particular display has been getting more and more elaborate as time passes. I took this photo from the opposite side of the road so you may have to click on it to see the larger version.

This is a metal southwestern scene, replete with stagecoach, horses, and men with metal guns drawn and bows and arrows at the ready! It started out with just the horses, then the stagecoach appeared and finally the men on horseback. I wonder if a female character will join them soon?

Let's take a look at what's at eye level for our other contributors this week.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Focus on Life Week 12: Expression

Other than babies, some of the best expressions can be caught at sporting events. We lose ourselves in the excitement of the moment and the shared passion for our favorite team. This is is an older photo from the Steelers playoff game in 2004 (we lost) but I think captures so well the shared bond of fandom.

Let's check out some more expressions below.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Focus on Life Week 11: Beauty All Around

I am guessing many of us will go for nature shots this week. And I have one of those of sorts. This is the view from my beading room.

As I work, I look out into the desert and usually see some bunnies hopping by, quail and their babies all in a row and even an occasional bobcat!

Actually, my bead room is one of our guest rooms. And here's the one concession to its occasional use.

But mostly, it is filled to the gills with my beady paraphernalia. Like this adorable chest, which I thrifted from a local consignment store.

The narrow drawers are just perfect for tubes of beads.

And sitting on top is my photo light box which I fold up and put away when we have guests.

In the closet, we have my mail center (as well as cat hair removal tools).

On the closet floor, more room for boxes of beads.

And lastly, my display station which holds completed projects and a collection of my favorite books.

It can be a little cluttered but the minute I walk into the room, I have a smile on my face as I look at the beauty around me.

For more photos of beauty, feel free to visit these talented ladies.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Focus On Life Week 10: The Wide Angle Shot

Last Saturday was a big date night for hubby and I. We spend lots of time together but busy schedules usually have us home by 7:00 and zzzzz's by 9:30 or so. It's a big deal when we decide to venture out of the confines of Cave Creek AND stay awake past 10! But the siren call of hearing George Thorogood and the Destroyers was just the motivation we needed. They were playing at the Talking Stick Resort and Casino and we could really live it up by gambling a bit and then going to the concert.

As Saturday rolled around, Mother Nature had a mischievous smile on her face when she brought us a  relentless downpour most of the day. For those of you who have been enduring polar vortexes all winter, this doesn't sound like much. But the terrain in our quaint little town brings most things to a halt when we have rains like this.

What is the quote? "Man makes plans and God laughs." (Thank you, Michael Chabon.) That was how we felt when we ventured out dressed in our concert finery only to find the road impassable.

Well not to worry. There's another way out by driving a little distance. Yep. Impassable.

So we did what anyone would do. We went home and I beaded for another hour. In that amount of time, the water had subsided enough that we could get through and on our merry way, and we made it to the concert with 15 minutes to spare. And since we weren't early, we didn't have any time to lose our money on the casino floor.

Here's proof -- not such a great picture but this was the moment when good ole George was singing "Bad to the Bone."

George Thorogood and The Destroyers

I guess the adage is when all else fails, just bead.

Let's check out some of these other wide angles to see what the week brought to our bloggy community:

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Focus on Life Week 9: Well-Behaved Macro

I am a pushover for a good quote and our macro challenge this week helped me make good use of a component used in a tutorial I just put together:

This has always been one of my favorite quotes and when I saw the bracelet connector at Michaels, I just couldn't resist. I wanted to do something special with it and decided to use it in a cuff bracelet. It was so fun to make, I thought you might want to give it a try. If you don't have a Michaels near you or aren't crazy about the quote, you can use another cab or focal. Sally's blog has lots of good instruction for cab finishing. Here is my cuff and the link to the tutorial is below.

With the below materials, it comes together in just a few hours:

If you make it, take a pic and post or send to me and I will post!

Here are some more marvelous macros: