Saturday, November 22, 2014

Focus on Life Week 47: Hopeful

For folks looking for the Moon Garden Challenge reveal.

My bloggy buddies are also welcome to check out my challenge project. But for this week's theme of "hopeful", I snapped the below sculpture which is outside the YMCA where I work out. What can be more hopeful than children?

And for those of us celebrating Thanksgiving this week, have a wonderful holiday!

(The cool Thanksgiving graphic courtesy of Rita from The Coffeeshop Blog. If you're not familiar with it, do check it out. She's an amazing lady!)

Let's see what's giving hope to everyone else this week:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Moon Garden Challenge Reveal

What a wonderful abundance of goodies Andrew curated in his Moon Garden Challenge package. The variety of beads and shapes just shouted bead embroidery to me and I came up with this cuff.

The flat piece provides a better view of how Andrew's goodies came together.

Here are a couple more views.

After finishing the cuff, I still had plenty of wonderful beads and the amazing mystery component pendant. The mystery component was so beautiful, I wanted a piece to really show it off and finally decided to incorporate it into a bead crochet necklace.

Andrew, thanks for coming up with such an inspirational assortment of lovely items. Be sure to visit the other challenge participants at these locations:

Paula Kramer - You are here!
Carolyn Lawson
Carole Carlson
Alice Peterson
Kari Asbury
Tammy Bowman
Shaiha Williams

On Andrew Thornton's Blog:
Andrew Thornton
Crystal Lombardo Farrell
Geri Colgrove
Laurie Carpenter
Alison Herrington
Naama Eisenstein
Laurel Ross

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Focus on Life Week 46: Faithful

What a lovely theme for this week's challenge! Many of the same thoughts probably occurred to all of us: faith in our spouses, our faith in a supreme being, faith in each other.

What came to my mind is one of the things I like most about living in the Southwest: the religious art and artifacts. A small store just up the street carries a variety of Mexican art and one of my favorite artists is Hector Rascos, who carves primitive wooden crucifixes which are delivered just once each year right before the holiday season begins.

Here's the one I bought in 2010. 

Let's take a look at some other faithful images.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Focus on Life Week 45: Grateful

This week, I am grateful for the opportunity to spend two months in Pennsylvania and for a safe return drive back to Arizona, which we just completed yesterday. We had a whirlwind 10 weeks filled with family events, get togethers with friends, and football, football, football! The drive takes us three overnights and four days because our traveling companions are our two kitties, Poochie and Harold, shown below in their travel crate.

We tried flying with them a couple years ago and it was nothing short of a disaster with Poochie howling for almost all of the four-hour flight. I was so mortified, I vowed never to subject myself or other passengers to that. So, it's a road trip for us. We have taken them cross-country twice and they are very well-behaved in the car, maybe because they are together in one crate versus all cooped up in a little airplane carrier.

Here are the camera shots from our GPS each morning.

Day 1: Pittsburgh to Highland, IL. 589 miles. The GPS estimated our trip at 9 hours and 40 minutes but it took well over 10 hours due to some hard rain for at least half of the leg.

Day 2: Highland, IL to Oklahoma City, OK. 529 miles. This was our second-shortest driving day and favorite hotel of the bunch.

We tend to stay at Holiday Inn Express hotels since they are pet-friendly and this particular hotel is really beautiful and so, so clean. Poochie and Harold especially like the window ledge.

Day 3: Oklahoma City, OK to Albuquerque, NM. 546 miles. Another reasonable driving day but the kitties were getting pretty restless by the time we arrived at the hotel.

DAY 4: Albuquerque, NM to Cave Creek, AZ. 454 miles for a short 7 hours and 18 minutes.

The 2,119 miles pass pretty quickly for me since I keep busy with beading projects and crochet. But all four of us were thrilled and grateful to walk into our Cave Creek door.

Let's see what's making everyone else grateful this week.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Focus on Life Week 44: Extraordinary Photo - Ordinary Everyday

What is more everyday than a Halloween photo posted on Halloween? Here is one of my all-time favorites.

These are two of our nieces and a nephew from many Halloweens ago. The extraordinary part is where they are now. The tallest pumpkin is working on her doctorate, the lobster just completed his MBA at night while working full-time, and the smaller pumpkin just graduated with her B.S. and started her first full-time job in her field! Like all of our 20 nieces and nephews, they are quite extraordinary individuals.

Let's take a look at more of the ordinary-extraordinary from our other contributors:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Focus on Life Week 43: My Favorite Color

Oh dear, impossible! A favorite color is like a favorite child. I love them ALL.

I guess my favorite color is whatever I happen to be working with at the moment. And my current project happens to have a whole lot of color thanks to Sue Vandever from SuzieQBeads on Etsy. Sue made a custom batch of these wonderful bracelet cuffs for me. How is this for color?

This is the beginning of my Christmas gift-making frenzy. I have already made up the Pitt and Schwick bracelets and here is a peek at the completed items.

In case you're wondering, Schwick is a card game a group of us have gathered to play for over 20 years. I thought my card-friends might appreciate a memento of our many fun evenings. The band is a flat Turkish crochet treatment I learned from Marion Jewels in Fiber, who used it on her Princess Warrior bracelet kits. Here is another one I made with a link I bought from Sue last year.

Let's see if our other contributors can pick a favorite color.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Focus on Life Week 42: The Color of Evening (Golden Hour)

The golden hours are my favorite time of day in Arizona. The contrast between shadows and light is so pronounced and seems to bring more drama to the landscape. But the golden hours are wonderful in the East too, especially in the Fall as they accent the magnificence of the changing leaves. I was visiting my sister and photographed her children playing in the leaves right before she called them in for the evening.

I just missed that period right before twilight so I used Picasa to give the photo a little golden boost.

Let's take a look at some more golden hours.