Friday, September 12, 2014

Focus on Life Week 37: Simplicity (Windows)

I was looking through photos to see if I had taken any interesting ones with windows lately and stumbled upon this taken in 2005 when we visited New York. We made our way to the site of the World Trade Center where this was the view for so many years before the new structure had taken shape. The scaffolding around the site created a window-like framework through which we peered.

There is a new memorial today but during our visit, these plaques with the names of the fallen and a solitary vase of flowers brought tears to our eyes.

And here's what's happening in our other window views this week:

Friday, September 5, 2014

Focus on Life Week 36: Simplicity

Well, the door I came up with certainly looks odd this time of year. This is from our place in Pennsylvania during our first winter after we bought it. No, we didn't have second thoughts!

But Sally's theme of simplicity made me think of a recent project. I think the shape of a cross is both simple and complex with the meaning we bring to it. And maybe it is a doorway of sorts. That's why I loved this pattern by Juelles Designs that I found on Etsy earlier this year. Here is my version of it, which I backed with ultrasuede and embellished with the spirit charm. Julie designed this to be a pendant but my additions of backing and ring at the top make it more of wall adornment.

Thanks to Julie, the creator who developed this design for her mother-in-law and gave me permission to share my version with you. If you like the pattern, I have provided the screen shot and link from Etsy. 

Charlcie's Cross by Juelles Designs

Let's see the other renderings of simplicity for this week.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Focus on Life Week 35: Lazy Days of Summer

These days, summers aren't too lazy for me since my routine doesn't change all that much. Not like when Mike was a youngster and every summer included a week at the Jersey Shore, outings to Pirates games and hazy evenings spent watching Little League. In fact, summers seem to be made for children with the interlude of liberation between school sessions. One of my favorite summer memories was taking our four young nephews to Sandcastle Water Park. Isn't this just the most adorable photo? If they were blog readers, they would all be cringing since this was taken eight years ago and now their summers are anything but lazy with hours filled by part-time jobs, girlfriends and college preparation.

Let's see how everyone else is spending their summer days.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Focus on Life Week 34: About the Ground (Monsoon!)

Last week I wrote about the cloudy skies and rain. Well, this week, rain returned with a vengeance and brought a huge monsoon storm that kept hubby and I housebound for several hours on Tuesday. Although the rain comes from above, it sure made it a mess "about the ground". I thought I would share a couple before and after photos with you.

Before the Monsoon: School House Road

After the Monsoon: School House Road

Before the Monsoon: Lane to Our House

After the Monsoon: Lane to Our House

After the Monsoon: Happy Flowers

In addition to rain for thirsty flowers,
 the monsoon brought some magnificent sunsets.

And for more exciting news about the ground, take a stroll to our other neighborhoods.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Focus on Life Week 33: The View of Above

I haven't shared any Arizona photos in awhile and this week brought a special treat to our skies: clouds and rain! Now this might not seem cause for celebration for everyone but when your average annual rainfall is about 8 inches you really start to look forward to those clouds. This week, some parts of Arizona received 3 of those 8 inches so it was a wet one.

Here are some wonderful clouds I captured.

Now let's paint those clouds with some groovy colors.

And just because I haven't posted anything beady for awhile, here's what I finished this week. The necklace strap is a simple bead crochet and the heart is a polymer clay piece that was part of a huge eBay lot I purchased awhile back.

Now let's see "what's up" in our other locations.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Focus on Life Week 32: Fresh Air

Sally has encouraged us to get outside for this week's theme. Well, it's not such a pleasant experience here in the summer desert as you can see from the average temperature chart below.

Phoenix Temp Graph Courtesy of

But, I did have a great time outside last week-end when I attended my high school reunion in Pennsylvania. It was the first one I attended since graduating oh so many years ago and thought I would share our group photo. No, the photographer didn't goof by not focusing. I purposely blurred everyone but me since I wasn't sure how thrilled all my classmates would be to be to find themselves on the pages of my blog. Can you find me? Our senior class was a modest-sized 200-ish students and 46 of us attended this reunion.

The best part was spending extra time with four of my lifelong friends who all traveled in from their far-flung locations. We all had a giggle at this sign for a local business. We agreed it was a great depiction of the past and present altogether in one advertisement!

I was on the fence about attending but am so, so glad I did.

Now let's see what everyone else is doing outside.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Focus on Life Week 31: Outside the Box

Someone was thinking outside the box when they brought home this pet! I can just hear the conversation now. "Yes, honey, I think a camel would make a wonderful pet. I think he would really love the dry heat."

Imagine my surprise the first time I saw him. (I am assuming it's a him but would encourage any camel experts to clarify the gender.) I was driving to our friend's house and had to stop the car and back up just to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me. I guess he enjoys shrubbery!

Here he seems to be saying, "What chu lookin' at?"

No offense, Mister Camel, but I think I will keep my kitties.

Let's see what other fun surprises await us outside the box this week.