Tag Archives: Christmas

‘Tis the Season…For Hummingbirds!?

The first holiday I ever spent in a warmer climate was: Thanksgiving, 1989 on Captiva Island in Florida.  I said to myself, “hmmm, this isn’t so bad!!

This year, I spent Christmas in Phoenix and we were visited by a winged angelic creature – a hummingbird.

I used to be bummed as kid in Chicago when I got a bike or skateboard and the streets were filled with snow — that, or it’d be so cold, it’d chase the likes of me back indoors in a hurry!!  In Phoenix, when you find out you’ve gotten photography lessons, you can run outside and practice for awhile with your newest lens.

Christmas flight:



more wings!


the "usual" hummingbird photo






less than satisfied

It does get chilly here…this is frost on December 24, 2009.  Tee-times delayed by hours and hours!!

Troon Golf

I know, I know…life is rough!

Happy holidays wherever you may be…

(And joking aside, “please be safe”…just finished reading msn.com about weather hazards.)



Filed under 2009, AZ, Christmas, Nature

Scottsdale Spectacular on the Lake

McCormick Ranch, off Scottsdale Rd

You can’t miss this great light show on the east side of Scottsdale Road at the entrance to McCormick ranch…the great thing too was..

so many lights

…as I stood outside and got closer to the tree…walking on the grass toward it…what was I hearing…

inside the limbs and lights

…GEESE!!  There were what appeared to be at least a hundred of them floating on the lake in the darkness.  They did make themselves heard though.

Wonder if they were honking, “Merry Christmas?”


Filed under AZ, Christmas, Christmas trees

Phoenix 100 Club Tree

I popped out of Chicago just in time, what with the chilly temps!  I took a couple classes this past week in Phoenix and saw this little gem in an office window:

Phoenix 100 Club Office


remember service professionals


Phoenix 100 Club Office

Interestingly, later that evening, I saw the front page of local paper, The Foothills Focus (Dec 9, 2009 issue), “Couple’s light show aids families of service personnel” – a story about the home of Mike & Barb Mulvenna which features over 70,000 lights and this year is accepting donations for the 100 Club.  “The 100 Club is a non-profit organization that comes to the aid of the families of police and fire personnel who are seriously injured or killed in the line-of-duty.”

The Mulvenna home is located at 505 E. Desert Ranch Rd in Phoenix and the lights run nightly from 5:30 – 10 pm until January 9, 2010.

Now, that’s bright Christmas Spirit!  I’ll post pics from our future visit to see these lights!

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Filed under AZ, Christmas, Christmas trees

Project Onward…Project Ornaments

WHO?:  PROJECT ONWARD, a group of talented artists on-site in an open studio, creating original artwork on ornaments.



WHEN?:   There until December 19, 2009 but year-round for general artwork

All-season artwork

WHERE?: The Chicago Cultural Center – 1st floor, phone (312) 742-1445

WHY?:  Beauty, special, Christmas, unique!

I picked up my ornaments and was fortunate enough to meet one of the artists: Fernando Ramirez:

Fernando and his hand-painted ornaments

Fernando told me that he can even “paint to order.”  (Time permitting, of course, as the studio closes December 19 so if you want him to do a custom piece for Christmas, I’d contact him Monday!)  I asked him if he could even do a portrait on an ornament and he said that he could! Otherwise, regular portraits are available by Fernando (as well as the other artists, based on availability):

And yes, only $5.00 on paper (on the ornament is additional.)

Back to the ornaments though…Fernando’s had caught my eye because he was painting nudes. There’s a long story behind this for me, but suffice to say that someone was encouraging me to pose nude for artists this past year!  I appreciate the human body, the study of it and artistic development, but I’m a bit shy for this kind of gig!  Anyway, I thought it would tickle this person if I got him a nude  on an ornament.  I thought Fernando’s work was impressive:

And, he has a sense of humor, for on the other side:

I purchased six ornaments in all, by a variety of artists:

Here are the close-ups:

According to Rob Lentz, Program Director, these creatures are the artist’s “protectors”…Mr. Lentz couldn’t recall the name of the lion but the hawk is Hank:

I like having protectors around 🙂

Here’s one by Winnie:

Here’s another ornament, not sure of the artist as it wasn’t indicated:

(Gee, I mean, that’s just one ornament!)

And if you’re waxing more traditional:

The candy-cane artist is “J.H.”  I’m thinking it’s James Hall (as he’s the only J.H. from the website, but I shall find out for certain!)

And we round out the group with a trip back to Fernando:

The ornaments I purchased ranged in price from $5 to $25.  Does anyone else think this is a tremendous amount of talent and value for such beautiful work!?

Remember, even if you miss out on holiday art, there’s the all-season artwork and I did see MANY works in progress!

General artwork

All-season artwork

There’s one artist, James Allen, who specializes in trains (I really like trains).  I believe the kitties above were done by George Zuniga.  Here again is the main link because you can click on artist’s names on the page.

In summary:

“The mission of Project Onward is to support the creative growth of visual artists with mental and developmental disabilities.  Project Onward provides studio space, art supplies, and professional guidance to emerging artists in a communal workshop environment…”

Excerpt from “Mission” on pamphlet

“Project Onward” Tree, studio at Chicago Cultural Center

Share the beauty!


Filed under Chicago, Christmas, Christmas trees

Christmas Flies at Midway Airport

Christmas flies at Midway Airport

En route to A-gates, I spotted this cute little tree off to my left.  Christmas and a white picket fence!


Filed under Chicago, Christmas, Christmas trees

Part Tree, Part Picasso

Part Tree, Part Picasso at Daley Plaza

Hungry for Wiener Schnitzel?  Need a cuckoo clock?  Maybe a nutcracker?   There’s all that and Christmas caroling, not to mention a big, beautiful tree at Christkindlmarket at the Daley Plaza.

The Tree

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Filed under Chicago, Christmas, Christmas trees

“Tree of Lights”

Salvation Army's "Tree of Lights," John Hancock Building

“Now that’s a lot of lights,” first words out of my husband’s mouth.

I tried to find out just how many, and this year’s brief isn’t specific about the tree but according to last year’s brief from the Salvation Army, the 2008 tree was 40 ft and 5000 lb…that IS a lot of lights even though I still couldn’t find just how many!)

It’s nice we don’t need specifics to quantify our “oooooh!!”

Here are some additional shots:

Christmas is...looking up!

Flags and Lights

Tree of Lights and The Four Seasons

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Filed under Chicago, Christmas, Christmas trees