Friday, May 31, 2013

Focus On Life Week 22: Foodie

Wow! What perfect timing for this theme. This past week, my two nieces visited Arizona for the very first time. I had a blast putting together our itinerary which not only featured some of our state's most scenic locations but also showcased some great food. Since we were on the road most of the week, we ate out almost every day and below is a sampling of our travel and dining itinerary.

We did have breakfast at home the first few days and I found this scrumptious recipe courtesy of Cathy Zastoupil on Facebook. How can you resist cinnamon, sugar and butter?

And here's what my version looked like (with some missing pieces):

Cinnamon Roll Cake
Just the nutrition we needed before heading out for our horseback ride at Spur Cross Stables in Cave Creek.


We headed to beautiful Sedona and here you see the girls in front of praying hands at the Chapel of the Holy Cross.

Praying Hands in Background

We had lunch at the Cowboy Club and I had some fun with Photoshop combining a photo of Devon's burger with one of the menu.


Oak Creek is a wondrous place and our timing couldn't have been better. The weather was cool in the morning, warming to the mid 70's in the afternoon.

Oak Creek in Sedona
And what is a road trip without a little beadie sight-seeing? We stopped in the Bead Garden in Sedona and I found some Tulip needles, a Tulip awl, and some fantastic 8/0 and 11/0 seeds.



One of my all-time favorite places is Indian Gardens on Highway 89A on the way from Sedona to Flagstaff.



We had breakfast outside accompanied by the sweet sounds of the burbling stream. Isn't this latte almost too beautiful to drink?

Latte (non-fat of course) at Indian Gardens
On our second day in Sedona, we had breakfast at the Coffee Pot Restaurant, named for the famous Coffee Pot rock formation.


Its kitshy-cool decor featured these colorful images along the upper wall.


And the menu really does have 101 varieties of omelettes as well as countless other goodies. Mariah is a little overwhelmed at all the menu options.


When the girls checked in on Foursquare, they saw a message to "try the biscuits" so of course we did - as you can see in the middle of the photo below. And they were right - the biscuits are light, fluffy and delish!

Breakfast at the Coffee Pot Restaurant, Sedona
And what is a trip to Arizona without a stop at the Grand Canyon to gaze in amazement?


We took many many photos like the one above but my favorite is this weathered tree.



We headed south through Flagstaff and stopped for dinner at Charley's which is part of the historic Weatherford Hotel.


Although our locale was historic, our dinner selections were more on the modern side. For Devon a taco salad, for me a reuben and for Mariah some kind of southwest fry bread tacos.


We headed back to Cave Creek to complete the rest of our itinerary capped off by dinner at El Encanto.



The girls are packing to head back home. We have some great photos and probably a pound or two to show from our travels. But we sure had fun!

For more news from foodie fanatics, please stop on over to Sally's blog.

Black and White Challenge: I Am In

This will be my first beading challenge of the year and it is a perfect one for me. Here's why:


Harold and Poochie are the co-morale officers of Cave Creek Beads and insisted that this challenge was established in their honor!

As of today, the deadline of July 10 is 39 days away! Anyone else in? Find out more details on Sally's blog. ”BW

Friday, May 24, 2013

Focus On Life Week 21: Reminisce

I think memories are one of the things that draws me to beading. I can open my jewelry drawer and take a walk down memory lane.

I bet quite a few of you have these in your past. Girl Scout medals were perhaps my very first trinkets. I have no idea why I saved these but somehow I just can't part with them.

A dear friend of mine has created a bracelet-making business based on memories. Here's a bracelet she made for me which contains photos of my siblings.

 
And I helped her come up with a name and postcard for her new business: Armful of Memories.
 
 
 
But one of my best jewelry-inspired memories was prompted by this necklace I made for my step-son's wedding last month. The pattern is Golden-edged Ruffles by Shelley Nybakke from the December 2007 Beadwork issue. I love any pattern by Shelley and every time I look at it, I remember a wonderful event!
 
Pattern by Shelley Nybakke

There are some other great memories captured on Sally's Studio Sublime - take a look!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Focus on Life Week 20: Looking Up

I’ll never tire of the view from our kitchen window. In fact the entire back of our house faces Black Mountain, a geological centerpiece that lies between Cave Creek and Carefree, AZ and by its presence seems to underscore the differences of these two towns best described by someone more clever than I as true west (Cave Creek) versus tres west (Carefree). This position is best seen from the air but we have a painting that also captures this locale.
 

 
Most of the time, I look out (not up) at Black Mountain and have witnessed its muscular curves at all times of day. I even won a place in the Black Mountain photo contest with this one.


 
But I think this photo is my very favorite where wintery fog obscures most of the mountain.
 
 
I have looked up at Black Mountain, all 3,398 feet of it, when my husband and I ventured for a hike several years after moving into our home. It took us the better part of 90 minutes to get to the top, punctuated by frequent stops to catch our breath and gaze at amazement at the desert below. Most recently, I looked up at Black Mountain during a walk around our neighborhood.
 
And now, click your mousie on over for more stories on The Studio Sublime.


 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Focus on Life Week 19: Hope

Hope is such an inspiring, tug-at-your-heartstrings subject, it's almost impossible to select the best angle. Perhaps the wonderful faces of family members - there are many who give me hope. Or some of our furry friends whose wide eyes and unbridled love make it easy to have hope. I even thought about using a photo of a hot air balloon which, for some odd reason, fills me with hope. Instead, I decided on a humorous route and leave you with:


And for more stories of Hope, please step on over to Sally's place.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Focus On Life Week 18: Abstract

Well, my emotions aren't too abstract because I am seeing red.


The same night that I took this picture for our Week 16 challenge to Take a Walk a young woman got lost (after imbibing excessively), somehow ended up on our lane and ran into this majestic amazing saguaro. Below you see the before and after. I'm glad I got to share it with you in all its glory before it toppled.

According to our neighbor, the police and a tow truck were required to extract her truck and somehow my hubby and I slept through the whole thing. When I left for work the next morning, there was a big empty space with nothing but the debris you see below.


And for some more abstract musings, step on over to Sally's blog.
 
© Cave Creek Beads