Bringing Fine Dining Home for the Holidays

2015-11-19 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Bryan Black
Give your family the ultimate gift this year: a belly-pleasing, five-star holiday meal cooked and savored amidst the comforts of your own home. True to the spirit of the season, three executive chefs from well-known restaurants around Cave Creek and Scottsdale are sharing deliciously doable trade secrets, straight from their kitchen to yours.   Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House Fusing Southwestern ingredients with top-notch beef and game meats and the best quality seafood available, Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House takes pride in honoring the legacy of settlers of the American Southwest. This appetizer and entree selection from executive chef Brett Vibber is sure to evoke an atmosphere rich in Sonoran flavor.   Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House 6710 E. Cave Creek Rd. Cave Creek, 85331 480-488-8031   Crustless Bacon, Spinach and Smoked White Cheddar Quiche with Roasted Pepper Coulis   Quiche ½ pound spinach, blanched, dried and chopped 2 eggs 2... More

Norma's Walk to Remember

2015-10-30 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

I sat there with the brush in my hand, focusing intently on the blank coloring book that lay in front of me. I dipped the brush into the cup of paint and then carelessly ran the brush over the entire page. I picked up my head to admire my fine work of art and heard my grandma chuckle. She grabbed my hand and helped me direct my new approach.   “Here, you hold it like this,” she said, fixing my hand position on the brush, “and try to stay in the lines. That’s what they’re for.”   I tried again, this time painting circles inside each set of lines.   “Better,” she smiled. “Only this time, stroke the brush in one direction. It’s much neater that way.”   When I finally finished she said, “Now you have to sign it.”   With much concentration, I wrote my name as best as a 3-year-old could. Grandma stood back and exclaimed, “What a masterpiece.”   As a child, this is how I always thought of my grandma; very alert and happy. She was quite the artist. She had... More

From Ancient Clay To Contemporary Sculpture

2015-10-30 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Loralei Lazurek
Artist Mary Lynch lives by her credo: “No matter what age you are, you can continue to explore, grow and give your gifts to the world.”   At age 73, Lynch is happily entering a new phase of her life, one where each day is full of possibilities and the potential to explore new discoveries. Living in Anthem for the past seven years, she has had the opportunity to expand her artistic interests while experiencing the positive energy of being with other Valley artists.   Before coming to Arizona, her art was primarily painting. Here, at a pottery class run by Marjon Ceramics, she learned the joy of working with clay, that most ancient of all mediums. Entering this whole new world, a new path was created.   Ever curious, Lynch began her exploration with gusto. She knew that throughout history and around the world, people have developed the art of forming clay to make ceramic objects or pottery. Different kinds of clay contain different minerals that affect how it is to work with and... More

Romancing the Stone

2015-10-30 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Brandon Tigrett
Rocks and minerals often exert a powerful influence on humans, especially when the minerals are gemstones. Donna Armstrong fell in love with gemstones while on a trip to Brazil many years ago. While there, she visited the city of Ouro Preto, a former colonial mining town and World Heritage Site, located in a region renowned for its gold and colored gemstones, including the imperial topaz, a stone found only there. The visit was the beginning of a lifelong passion and led to her work as a jewelry artist.   “Gemstones from the highest mountains, the depths of the ocean and the center of the Earth completely mesmerize me,” says Armstrong. “They are the heart of my designs and keep me constantly striving to do them justice.”   Crafting the metal portion of the jewelry to embrace and enhance the stone, her aim is to also have the stone complement the metal. The result is a creation that captivates and intrigues.   A photo of one of Armstrong’s rings is on the cover of this... More

On Nature's Path

2015-10-30 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Gourd artist Elizabeth Cox has never kept nature at a distance. Instead, she immerses herself in it, spending vast amounts of time outdoors. She enjoys the fresh air while mountain biking, hiking and kayaking, but even more than that, she enjoys observing its inhabitants up close and personal. She relishes creatures great and small, including the creepy crawly ones often avoided by others. She brakes for Gila monsters, warm-blooded four-legged critters and winged ones, as well. Flowers, trees, tarantulas and butterflies interest her, whether dead or alive.   Cox has always lived in rural settings where, surrounded by natural beauty, she developed a passion for it from an early age. Her love of the outdoors, her powers of observation and her artistic skills inherently led to expressing nature in her art. As her work evolved over time, she ultimately combined not only imagery from her observations, but also natural materials that come directly from the earth. The end results are... More

A Slower Pace of Play

2015-10-30 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

At the beginning of 1987, the first year that Kenny Perry had full playing privileges on the PGA Tour, he told his dad that if he could just win one time, he would be happy.   Fast-forward 28 years, 14 PGA Tour victories, eight Champions Tour victories, two Ryder Cup appearances, a happy 33-year marriage, three children, five grandchildren — and it is easy to see why the guy from the golfing obscurity of Western Kentucky University is often seen with a smile on his face.   While Perry spends most of his time in his native Kentucky, he does own a home in North Scottsdale.   “Sandy and I love it out here,” he told me. “We love the Scottsdale area. We love the people, and what I really like is the openness. I’d like to live out here, that would be fun, but we have three grown kids with five grandkids, and we want to be close to them.”   When it comes to discussing his career, Perry is as honest as his tee shots are long. Thirty years after he first teed off on the PGA... More

Cave Creek Cactus Classic

2015-10-20 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Touted as the best mountain bike race in the state, the Cave Creek Cactus Classic traverses more than 23 miles of beautiful mountain and Sonoran desert trails. Proceeds benefit Cave Creek Regional Park, Maricopa Trail and Spur Cross Conservation Area. Check website for entry fees and event times. 9 a.m. Flat Tire Bike Shop, 6033 E. Cave Creek Rd., More

Ride of a Lifetime

2015-09-23 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Bryan Black
Most people set out on extreme adventures such as biking across the country for specific reasons. Some do it in support of a charity; others, in memory of a loved one.   Seventy-five-year-old Bob Mountz, a resident of Vi at Silverstone, in Scottsdale decided to test his endurance and ability for the primary reason of checking a line item off his bucket list. Yes, he may have had stents put in his leg after an aneurysm in 2003 and again in March of this year. He also may have undergone a total hip replacement a little less than 15 months ago. Despite all of that, Mountz was not about to let anything get in the way of achieving one of his lifelong dreams.    Born in Vincennes, Indiana, Mountz made waves early as a three-sport athlete. In addition to biking his whole life, he also played on the varsity football, basketball and baseball teams throughout high school. He scored a football scholarship to the University of Illinois in 1958, where he played all three years of his eligibility... More

Jewelry for The Walls

2015-09-23 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Shimmering with the luminescent quality of gemstones, the work of prominent artist Peter Skidd is said to be like jewelry for the walls. His hand-painted steel sculptures incite light to dance, colors to play and shift, and living spaces to transform. With its rich appeal, his work can be both classic and contemporary, accenting homes, businesses, healthcare facilities and restaurants in both indoor and outdoor settings.   Each custom steel sculpture is truly one-of-a-kind, as unique as fingerprints. The pieces Skidd creates in his Scottsdale metal shop are often made with a particular person or space in mind. He works with numerous art consultants, designers and private clients to seamlessly create stunning, memorable environments.    This November, during the annual Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour and Sale, Skidd will allow the public a peek into his working metal shop and paint studio for the first time. There, visitors can discover the tools and grit it takes to create in... More

Go With The Flow

2015-09-08 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Yoga. One minute, it was considered by mainstream America to be an exotic yet odd Hindu practice, and the next minute every soccer mom and hipster dad is doing down dog in lululemons.   In the 65 years since Richard Hittleman and Indra Devi independently opened studios on the East and West Coasts, each writing books and making appearances that seduced housewives from New York City to Amarillo, and from Hollywood to Detroit, to stand on their heads on their lime green, no-wax, cushioned vinyl flooring, quite a bit has changed.   By the 1970s, yoga and spiritual teachings became part of what Midwesterners thought of as “West Coast weirdness.” But, like other trends throughout the century, eventually it caught on. Today, yoga studios are not only a trend; they are part of a growing awareness of the mind/body health connection, and it looks like they are here to stay.   Even in our communities, the positive effects of yoga are quickly earning followers. With several different types... More

Celebrate the Spirit of Craftsmanship

2015-06-30 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Whether you’re a craft beer regular or have just wondered what the fuss is all about, you’re in for a treat this month. The Real, Wild & Woody Craft Beer Festival is coming to the Phoenix Convention Center July 18, bringing with it 50 of Arizona’s most outstanding home grown breweries and their caches of original brews, beer cocktails and other small batch favorites.   It’s a fantastic four-hour event featuring beer, beer and more beer, with paired food favorites from some of the Valley’s best restaurants. It lasts from 2 to 6 p.m. (just enough time for a relaxing afternoon getaway) and promises to be an event you’ll remember in the beer aisle for months to come. To get in the mood, let’s take a walk down memory lane into an abridged (and very loosely translated) history of beer.   Sometime around 5500 B.C., early man figured out that barley and yeast stuck in water under the hot sun would eventually form a broth-like substance that could form alcohol. Eventually,... More

Trail Blazers

2015-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Brenna Zumbro
They whir through the desert nearly stealth-like, their breath a hard, steady rhythm as pedals and chains whisper in sync, driving treaded tires harder, faster along winding, dusty trails. Over rocks and around cholla-rimmed curves, the mountain biker becomes part of the desert landscape, developing a rhythm and flow, leaving behind only the imprint of rubber tracks in dirt.   According to the International Mountain Biking Association, more than 40 million people spend time on mountain bikes in the United States each year. It’s an astounding number for a sport believed to have originated in northern California as recent as the late 1970s. The combination of exercise, challenge, outdoor experience and ever-evolving gear has led casual and hard-core riders alike to take the trails on two wheels.   With hundreds of miles of trails ranging from tranquil toodles to technical tests of skill and balance, it’s no wonder that the North Valley is quickly becoming a mountain bike... More


2015-04-27 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Enjoy a great round of golf at two of Scottsdale’s premier private golf courses while supporting St. Vincent de Paul and other local charities at this event sponsored by Carefree’s Knights of Columbus, Council #11116. 11:30 a.m. Troon Country Club, 25000 N. Windy Walk Dr.; Desert Highlands Golf Club, 10040 E. Happy Valley Rd., 480-616-5321, More

Anthem Gem and Mineral Show

2015-03-28 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

The Daisy Mountain Rock and Mineral Club hosts this show featuring more than 25 vendors showcasing gems, minerals, fossils, jewelry, beads and geodes, many of which are found in Arizona. $3, adults; $2, seniors and students; children 5 and under, free. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday. Diamond Canyon School, 40004 N. Liberty Bell Way, 978-460-1528, More

ProMusica Arizona Presents “The Unpredictable Adventures of Henry Hicklebee”

2015-03-18 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

This one-of-a-kind concert experience features classical music and audience participation to help Henry Hicklebee choose the next stage in his journey of personal discovery. Check website for times and ticket prices. Camelback Bible Church, 3900 E. Stanford Dr., 623-326-5172, More