Monday, December 30, 2013

The fiesta bowl parade and Christmas is over.

Christmas Eve 2013

On Christmas morning I took the dog for his walk as I always do.  We found ourselves in an alley. Dogs barked at us in a panic behind wooden fences and neglected citrus trees stretched their branches over head.  Once perfect oranges and lemons litter the ground, drying in the desert sun and huge trash cans line the side of the alley, some spilling trash onto the ground. Near the wooden fence I find an old looking box.  Printed on the outside it said "If all else fails, open this box"....

                                            I didn't open it.  I like to keep my options open.

Last Friday, Chloe left for winter camp in the mountains of California.  She's been traipsing through the snow, and warming herself by the fire for the last few days.  In the meantime we spent Saturday with some friends. They live on Central Ave. and every year at this time The Fiesta Bowl parade goes marching past their door.

It's a huge parade, so they set up many chairs along their curb and they throw a big party at the same time.

The Tostitos people were handing out chips and dips.

 The clown car was quite a sight!

Followed by the huge VW Van (also full clowns).

The Fort McDowell float was amazing!

Little critters were even sculpted into the side.

These ladies grew tired of seeing all the empty chairs from the party (lots of people were inside eating, drinking, and believe it or not watching the parade on TV), so they sat in them.  This marching band was from Pittsburgh and these guys looked like they were ready to pass out from the heat (it was about 75ºF).  

The Native American baby balloon.

One of the local tribes.

Another Indian balloon.

An airplane with silly face... This one's from US Airways (there were at least 2 others from various airlines).

I had no idea this city was protected by so very many "Ghost Busters"!

Of course they're nothing without their truck.

Speaking of feeling protected, the Justice League was out in full force.

Mr Freeze was probably ready to melt. (I, of course, got a sunburn even with a liberal coating of sunscreen on).

 Spiderman and his nemesisesssss....  (ok, I know that's not a word, but fun to say!)

More supers. I think I see Thor.

A cactus floating past (This happens a lot at parades in Phoenix).

A group from the Caribbean.

I think this was Miss Arizona or something.

 Wild West Cowboys?  Something like that.  

And finally, this is the USS Arizona.  They drag this out for every parade.  I even have a photo of it on this blog from the Veteran's Day Parade last year.  It does photograph well though.

There was a lot more to this parade (it's like 3 hours to watch it!), but we decided to go in and eat and socialize at the party after a while.  Definitely the way to watch this parade!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Gingerbread trains and a light show

With the girls on winter break we headed out to do some holiday activities...

We went downtown to the Sheraton to see La Cordon Bleu's annual gingerbread house contest.

This year's theme was "The Polar Express".

Here's Naomi looking impressed.  She just spent the day before make gingerbread Christmas trees from scratch.

The bell in this one was hand blown sugar (I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds good!).

This is my favorite one because it looks like the train crashed.

Actually, we were all pretty amazed.

We also headed out to a resort in Scottsdale for something called "3-D Paintscaping"

The resort was beautiful with waterfalls and fountains everywhere.

We stopped in the lobby to check out the regional wildlife display.  This rattlesnake was particularly active.

Phoebe thought the snake was cool.

And Chloe thought the snake was hilarious (or maybe not, but this photo is pretty funny).

Then down in the canyon on the patio we watched the light show.  It didn't photograph well, though.

 During the light show we enjoyed some hot chocolate by the fire pit.  Which was great because I was so cold! (It was probably only 48ºF or so, but since moving here it's so miserable to be in the cold now) .
 After we came home that night we watched "The Polar Express", which was more surreal than I remember.  It was like having a strange dream and everyone in it was Tom Hanks.

In other news I finished my sculpture "Bookworm on a paper tree".  I'm also slowly progressing through the Santa Claus children's book and have been hired to finish "To Catch a Dragon", a children's book that I started work on 2 years ago but fizzled after the sketch phase

Tonight is Christmas Eve and tomorrow we head out of town to the mountains..... 

Have a great holiday!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Artwork and seeing clearly

Recently on Facebook I asked about finding hardcover books I could upcycle into sculptures for a series I'm creating.  I thought I'd share  the first one, still in progress, it's called "The Book Worm".

I've also been busy with some other projects....

This one's also got a worm.

The  Santa Claus children's book is slowly moving forward and my tooth is finally feeling better.  I only take ibuprofen once a day now, which is a lot better than all that vicodin I was stoned on for days.  

In other news Naomi got glasses....

She ran through the house looking all around, amazed that she once could see so clearly and now could again!  I think they look fabulous. :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shakespeare and a parade of lights

The Tempest by Kelly Murphy

Last week Chloe performed in The Tempest with many other talented kids from the Metropolitan Arts Institute.

I was really quite impressed with their set design, lighting and sound effects throughout the show as well!

Unfortunately this is my best shot of the cast (they're bowing).  We were up in the balcony and didn't have the best angle for photos.  It was a great show, however!

On Saturday night we were invited over to a  friend's house to watch the big night time Christmas parade that just happens to go past their doorstep.  They were throwing quite the party that included many neighbors.

This float has Santa on a hammock between 2 palm trees.  One of the people from the party had just moved here this year from New Jersey and repeatedly marveled about watching a Christmas parade at night surrounded by palm trees on a brisk, but not really cold, evening.... It is kind of fun. :)

Here's a lower budget sort of float.

Here comes the sun!

The Christmas train.

Another train.   

Oscar being good at his first parade.

And a cactus balloon with Christmas ornaments on it... What do you want, we live in the desert!

“As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance”-Calvin (Calvin and Hobbs)


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