2019: Creative Courage

My word for 2019 was Creative Courage and I have to say I think I did pretty well. I stepped out of my comfort zone numerous times and in various areas. Some of the things I did include:

  1. Taking a photography class and sharing photos and making Photo Friday posts.
  2. Participated in Anne Butera’s Handmade Joy Exchange.
  3. Contributed regularly to Carrot Ranch’s flash fiction prompts.
  4. Entered three of Carrot Ranch’s flash fiction contests.
  5. Created a sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project which will go on tour and be available for viewing on-line.
  6. Shared art work on-line via Facebook with “Magical Mindfulness” and “Sketchbook Revival”.

And now it is time to think about new goals and challenges. I am having a tough time figuring out my word for 2020. Once I figure it out I’ll let you know!

Photo Friday: Boxing Day

Boxing Day is the 26th of December but not really a holiday here in the U.S. More of a Canada and England thing but I like to celebrate it anyway. We eat something British-y and have Christmas Crackers and pretend it really is a holiday.

This year we had a very yummy shepherd’s pie which I put together in the morning so I could take a nice hike in the late afternoon. Yes, more Sabino Canyon photos but I explored some places I hadn’t been to in awhile and looked for interesting angles.

Quite the triangle!
Water in the creek is always nice.
Why do I love stair shots?
We don’t get our fall color until December or January. It is pretty no matter what month it happens in.
A little atmospheric black and white.
And me practicing blurring the water. Sadly everything else blurred a bit too, must use tripod next time.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

WELCOME 2020!

Photo Friday: Holiday Decorating

I have been in my current home nine years now and still don’t have a set Christmas decorating plan down. Maybe I am destined to change things up every year. Overall I am pretty happy with the way things turned out this year. Except for the dining room light. I have already decided to go look at the clearance stuff after Christmas and see if I get any ideas. Here are a few of my new favorite spots this year.

I almost left these garlands in the garage because I didn’t like them on the upstairs railing last year. But I hauled them in “just in case”. Turns out I love them on the picture frames!
My Agatha Christies all gussied up for Christmas.
I had no idea what to do with this garland (and couldn’t even remember where I had it last year) until I thought to put it above the stairwell. And I like it.
My village scene keeps growing and now has been divvied up into three different locations. These are the hodge-podge pieces and work nicely in this narrow (height wise) space.
The nativity portion in now on the bookcase in the upstairs hallway. (Nice and peaceful there for the Holy Family)
And finally our Lego village in the dining room. We added the gingerbread house at the far end this year and I wish I could live there!

One last photo. I found this sweater in the grocery store of all places!

I couldn’t pass this up, it is too perfect to wear to “The Nutcracker” ballet later this month!

Here’s to a wonderful holiday season!

Photo Friday: Green Friday and Small Business Saturday

You may have heard about a movement to change Black Friday to Green Friday. To change the focus from consumerism to getting out in nature. Here in the desert southwest it was more of a Gray Friday. Rain, wind and dropping temperatures made me want to stay indoors. I boiled up the turkey frame re-filling the house with that Thanksgiving turkey smell. After I got three containers of soup base into the freezer I noticed the weather was clearing up so after lunch my son and I went to Sabino Canyon and fulfilled our Green Friday hiking goal.

Yup, snow on the mountain tops!
Water roaring over the dam.
Some macro lens action. This is a “teddy bear” cactus. From a distance it looks fuzzy, not spiky.
I don’t know what type of cactus this is, first time I noticed it. Very cool looking though.

After more rain early Saturday morning the sun was shining again by the afternoon. We went to the Reid Park Arts and Crafts festival for a little Christmas shopping. After we were done we took time to stop and smell the roses. They were a bit battered but still fragrant and beautiful.

So you can get an idea of how many blooms there were.
Another macro shot, such a beautiful color.
And we’ll end with a Christmasy looking rose.

Keep your focus!

*Top photo is an orange on my tree, close to being ripe. Maybe we’ll have fresh orange juice for Christmas morning!

Photo Friday: Outdoors

Yup, still in the 90’s here but that is not keeping me from pretending it feels like autumn. Last week I escaped up the mountain and found some cool air!

The clouds were flying across the sky.
The mix of clouds and sun lent to the autumnal feel.
My view while enjoying a picnic lunch.

This week we headed to Willcox, AZ to do the corn maze and pick pumpkins and apples. The sun was pretty warm but the air felt cool and there was a breeze making it feel quite lovely in the shade.

Apples but no leaves, how weird is that?
Now that it is October how about a “spooky” flowers photo?

Keep your focus!

Photo Friday: Rose Canyon Lake

The heat here has been sickening, we are still hitting triple digits and it’s been rather humid with rain many afternoons. I promised myself I would find a day to take a picnic up the mountain and spend some time in a cooler climate. (I am increasingly homesick for autumn, seems to get worse every year.)

So yesterday I headed up to Rose Canyon Lake. It took until 5000′ to get below 90°. The lake is around 7000′ and the temperature was a pleasant 77°. It was a little warm in the sun but the area is well treed so there was plenty of shade.

I wanted to take some different photos. I need to learn how to be more unique with my compositions. I fear I have a long way to go. I really want a macro lens and try some abstract stuff.

From the South end of the lake looking North.
The South end.
A dam on the South end, I walked across it and am happy I didn’t fall off!
Saw this interesting bit on the dry end of the North side.
Pinecones mean autumn!
I took more pictures of rocks on the drive home. This looks medieval to me!

Keep Your Focus!

Photo Friday: Navajo Bridge

In mid-July we took our vacation to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It turned out to be one of those lovely, low key, relaxing vacations. The touristy accessible area of the North Rim is compact. Quick and easy to explore. We had two absolutely wonderful picnic lunches at different spots. We went to all the scenic vistas and did one four mile hike. We spent a lot of time just enjoying being outdoors. Lots of campfires and watching for the stars to come into view, game playing at the picnic table and gentle meandering strolls.

Pedestrian Navajo Bridge. I really liked that there were two bridges, one for people and one for cars.

On the way home we stopped at Navajo Bridge which crosses the Colorado River at the East end of the Grand Canyon. Before the bridge was built in the 1930’s people were ferried across the river by a Mormon family that lived there. Today there is a visitor center, gift shop and restrooms. There is also a picnic/rest area that is much the same as it was in the 30’s. I loved knowing that I was seeing pretty much the same sight as people in the 30’s!

Picnic area. There is a fireplace in the lower left corner that I didn’t get a photo of.
Turkey Vultures under the car bridge.
Colorado River, as always a pretty shade of green.

Keep Your Focus!