Tuesday, June 30, 2009


It is definitely summertime here in the Valley of the Sun. The temperatures will be in the triple digits for the next couple months. I have found things to enjoy here despite the blast furnace temperatures that you just have to figure out how to survive. As part of an EtsyBloggers carnival for the month of July I have been asked to name 5 of the most enjoyable things about summer.
Here goes-
  1. I like it when the days are longer in the summertime. Not getting dark until 8:00 or 9:oo pm lifts my spirits and I can be busy much longer. I am the type that when the sun goes down I want my pajamas and a book. My day is done.
  2. Here in the desert we experience one of the most awesome things that makes the heat bearable if only for a short time. I am talking about the monsoons. You can see the clouds build all through the hot afternoon and wait hoping for the rain. Sometimes the storm kind of falls apart but other times you get to see the lightening, hear the thunder and be amazed by the heavy downpour that can be so heavy at times that I can't see my back fence only about 20 feet away.
  3. One of my favorite holidays is in the summer. That is the 4th of July. This day brings to mind barbecues and fireworks. I think everyday should end with fireworks but then again that would mean the display wouldn't seem so special so I take that back.
  4. Our wedding anniversay is in July on the 24th, so summer time is a time for celebrating that. This year will be our 33rd and the longest lasting marriage in our families. Dinner, romance, maybe and an overnight trip somewhere, what is not to like about that?
  5. The last great thing about summer is the clothes. You can get rid of all the layers of winter and wear simple, beautiful things like sundresses. I have found some lovely ones window shopping on Etsy for this post.
Take a look and tell me what you think. Clicking on the picture will take you to the shop I found then in.

I love the flow and shape of these dresses. They can be found in the shop Chic Complement on Etsy.

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It's All About the Fireworks!

With the 4th of July coming soon I thought I would share my favorite thing about this holiday. No matter what else happens on this day I always look forward to fireworks that night. We are rather lucky where we live. The local display is done at the high school just a few blocks away. There is no need for us to go anywhere. All we have to do is wait until dark and look over the back fence and I love it that way.

I have tried many times to get some great fireworks photos and many times have failed. Last year I finally found a fireworks or night time button on my camera. Can you say duh with me? They would have been so much better with a tripod but I like how some of them came out anyway.

So on to my personal fireworks show!

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Lots of Football Soon

NFL Sunday Ticket logo with New ShieldImage via Wikipedia

Soon Sundays will be exciting again. Football season will be starting. Preseason games will be starting in August. We have been Direct TV customers for several years. We started with them when we moved into a new house and cable was not available and not all the local channels could not be seen because of the mountains in the way of the signal. I think this may be our year to splurge on the NFL Sunday Ticket feature that is offered by Direct TV.

We have a couple favorite teams and so many others are great to watch. Seeing all your favorites no matter where you live is not a problem with the NFL Sunday Ticket schedule. Of course living in Phoenix we follow the Cardinals. For many years we lived in San Diego and came to love the Chargers in the days of Dan Fouts and Coach Coryell. Does any one else remember those fourth quarter wins? What about the Raiders keeping them out of the Superbowl two years in a row?

Maybe I will check out the NFL Sunday Ticket price and surprise Jim. He is a hardworking guy and deserves something nice like this. With up to 14 games to watch he will be busy all day and of course watching football means knitting my way through the games and getting lots of projects done.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Handmade Home

I always seem to have a hard time enforcing time lines on myself. I can meet everyone's deadlines and schedules but struggle with my own. I tend to ignore myself. Do you think that comes from the years of being a mom when making sure family members did all they needed to do on time without regard to what I might want? Enough of that silly self examination and on to what I really want to share today. I hope to do this kind of post much more regularly. I think I will try for about once a week. We will see how that goes won't we?

Over many years Jim and I have collected handmade things here and there that we like to have around us to see and enjoy. In the early years of our marriage of course much of it was small and inexpensive. We may have admired the work of an artisan and just got pieces we could afford. Some were gifts and we certainly appreciated the generosity of the gift.Frankly I don't remember where or when we got this tiny little oil painting. It has just always been around tucked here and there as I move things around in my house. I am known in my family for always rearranging things. It is only a couple inches high and wide and right now lives on a shelf in the master bathroom but I took it outside to take its picture. I do think that making things tiny takes a special skill and it makes me happy to look at this little bouquet of flowers each day.

Monday, June 15, 2009

LazyT Crochet

If you are part of the EtsyBloggers Team you know that each month a new member is chosen to be blogged about by all members. It is a member perk and a wonderful way to give a fellow Etsy seller a boost.

This month we are sharing with you the shop and blog of LazyT Crochet. I have to say that being a knitter and crocheter myself I would say that I could make many of the things in her shop myself. I want you to know however that thinking this way does not stop me from admiring the design, colors and materials chosen for the beautiful and useful creations you will find in the Etsy home of LazyT Crochet.

A splendid example of what I mean is the hat below. The color is beautiful and the pattern stitch and textures of the different fibers create something that would make anyone happy to wear through the winter and be sad to pack away at the end of the season.

Maybe warmer colors are more your style? Look at the piece below. It is a lovely coral color done long, wide and fringed. This versatile shape can be used as a scarf or worn as a shawl or wrap when you need to keep your shoulders cozy and not just your neck.

The LazyT Crochet blog is filled with articles on the work of this very talented fiber artist as well as fun posts on food, friends, Etsy and other topics that cross her mind. When I last peeked she had 100 followers of her blog. Are you one of them?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Flowers on Trees

There is something so beautiful about flowering trees. Even here in the desert some of the trees flower each year, most of them have tiny yellow flowers that fall after awhile and cover the ground in a soft layer like snow. A tree that is showy and bold like a dogwood tree can take your breath away when it is in full bloom. Fruit trees can be stunning too. Think about the cherry trees that are celebrated in Washington DC and Japan. Apples, apricots and even tiny orange blossoms each in their season add to the beauty around you if you are fortunate enough to live near them. What are your favorites?

In A Funk and Determined to Get Over It

Click on the card to see the shop on ArtFire it came from.

I had a birthday this week. It was on the 8th and I am now 54 and for the next 6 months a year older than my husband. He likes to remind me of that. It was a nice day spent at home and then out for dinner when Jim got home from work. I don't think any of this has anything to do with the state I am in right now. I am finding it hard to function, I feel irritable and angry and there is no outside source to be causing any of these feelings. I am going to have to fix this from the inside out and I will because I don't like me this way. Maybe it is just me and special days. I remember, now that I think about it, feeling a bit of why bother around Christmas and Easter and Mother's Day this year.

Thinking back on my own birthdays, the ones that I really enjoyed they really had nothing to do with gifts or food. It had to do with spending time with the family. My favorite times are when we are all gathered at the kitchen table playing cards or other games. The radio is on and we finally settle on a station for all age groups, singing along, laughing, talking and relaxing. It gets a little silly when Tammy and Cindy start singing along with Journey. Jimmy and Jason both had great nights beating me at Scrabble which does not happen often. I think I hold the family record for being on phase 1 and having the highest points in the card game Phase 10. I don't like sitting next to Jim when we play cards. He always figures out what I need and never discards anything good to me. But it is all fun and the winners are gracious and the losers had fun too.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


To me the best part of summer is the long evenings. The light fades gently and the heat of the day begins to fade. The activities that keep you busy during the day slow down. The perfect way to spend the warm end of day for me would be on a big front porch with a cool drink watching fireflies come out and children playing. Of course I don't live in a place where that happens but maybe I will some day. When I do I will need one of these beautiful fans to help cool me off. One of them is handmade and the other vintage and both are available on Artfire.

The fan above is from the shop Vintage Intent.
I remember getting fans like this when I was a kid.
The paper always seemed to tear after a few uses.
It is amazing to me that it is all in one piece.

The fan below is from Southern Charm Soap Company.
I love the colors in this piece.
The tassel with the charms is a lovely way to complete the fan.

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