Ms. Ruin's Playthings

"The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates." -Oscar Wilde

Saturday, December 31, 2011

From the Desk of Ms. Ruin

Wow, I can’t believe that 2012 is over!  Did you make resolutions?  I did not.  I decided that I did not want to set myself up for failure so early in the year by making new year’s resolutions.  I reserve the right to wake up any day of the year and make an effort to find resolve for that which ails me or to change that which is in my power to amend.  Yes, there are some feats I would like to accomplish this year, but I refuse to obsess about them and beat myself up over timelines, deadlines, etc.

With that said, I would like to quickly reflect on 2011.  Not so much on the personal level because well, that’s a whole other blog.  But more so regarding my artistic journey.  I have had an influx of clients this year when it comes to my photography.  That excites me.  I did some work I am proud of on the design team for The Crafty Scrapper and I look forward to working with those gals again.  I laid the groundwork for my art program and although it hasn’t taken off like I intended it too, I have all of the supplies necessary to start full throttle.  Hopefully we will make our official launch in the first quarter of 2012.

There’s so much more I can say but to sum it all up…THANK YOU.  Thank you for all of the kind words and encouragement throughout the year.  I am happy to share so much of myself with all of you here on my blog and on Through These Eyes.  I’m a little beat down on this New Year’s Eve –I busted my tail at a wedding today, but it was worth it to shoot on a holiday for my dear friend Melissa who tied the knot today!  Congrats, Melly Bean.  ;)  Here’s to 2012 –may God keep my head spinning, my legs running, and my heart beating because sitting on my behind twiddling my thumbs is not really my style. 

Peace, love, and the Mayan Calendar…

Ms. Ruin     

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Show Must Go On!

Why am I so captivated by buildings that lay in ruin?  I don’t have a concrete answer, I can’t make statements to appease anyone…I can only tell you what I feel about these abandoned places that I have visited and captured through my lens.

I got my start in photography while grieving.  I felt like I was carrying a graveside monument on my heart, I felt dead inside and I had shed so many tears and had so many moments of complete and sheer anguish that I couldn’t relate to anything but the dead, the forgotten, the abused and the abandoned. 

I turned to my art at that time and decided that I was going to make a canvas –I just needed a picture of an actual graveside monument to help me depict my sadness.  With camera in hand, I made my way into a beautiful cemetery on a bitter and cold January day.  If I close my eyes I can hear the crunching of the grass below me as my tennis shoes crushed the ice that blanketed the Earth.  I was alone in that large cemetery, one that went on and on –as far as the eye could see.  I was drawn to one monument and then another and another.  Many of them sat there for nearly a hundred years and longer.  I imagined how beautiful they must have been 70-80-90-100 plus years ago.  But now they were broken, faded, worn, and tattered…and to me they were still beautiful.  I put the viewfinder to my right eye and began snapping away.  I would pause and put the camera down from time to time to catch my breath and cry, but it was a different kind of crying –it was a healing sob. 

I soon started sharing my images with loved ones and they were quite amazed.  I had dabbled in photography in the past, but not to this extent.  In fact, I don’t think I have a knack for photography but through my despair I harnessed something that not only moved me, but it moved others.  And when I step foot in a cemetery or a rundown building, I’m able to “go there” –to that place where I’m still searching for tranquility, not always for myself but sometimes for others.  Some have described a lot of my images as “haunting”.  I can see why they would portray my art in that manner.  But to me they are solace, they are quietude, and they are a glimpse of hope in a place where unyielding objects have sanctioned the darkness against their own will. 

Who knew that I could inspire others when all I was trying to accomplish was peace within me?  I have not and probably will not share all of the intimate details of why I photograph the things I photograph…the headstones, the monuments, the dilapidated buildings and homes.  Rest assured that my photos speak for themselves.

With all that said, here are some images I captured over Christmas of an abandoned high school auditorium in Premont, Texas.  Row after row of unoccupied seats and boisterous objects…forgotten by so many, but center stage through these eyes.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

I grew up in what is considered an underprivileged neighborhood. Although my parents were always able to provide for us, many times in excess of what our true needs were, there were and are many families in this neighborhood that do not have that concession. I can remember being a kid and thinking that every little boy and girl woke up to presents under the tree.  What a rude awakening it was for me to find out that some of the kids I rode the school bus with were not as fortunate.  I was shocked when a best friend confided in me that she entered a drawing to win the classroom Christmas tree because her parents could not afford one.  I told my mom that story and her heart broke just as mine had as I sat beside my friend just hours ago.  As luck would have it, she won the drawing and her family had the tree delivered to their home just in time for Christmas.    

But what’s a tree without presents?  Every Christmas Eve, Santa Claus comes to visit my childhood neighborhood.  I mean, an actual man dressed in a red suit hauling presents --comes to visit us for as long as I can remember.  One year he even arrived in a Cadillac!  But most years he arrives in a big loud fire truck.

This year was no different.  I heard the fire truck shortly after 1pm on Christmas Eve.  Unfortunately we didn’t have any kids to share the experience with as neither of my nephews were around.  In fact, the only other person at home was my dad.  I quickly ran to put my tennis shoes on and shouted down the hall “SANTA’S COMING!!!  DAD, HERE COMES SANTA!!!!!”  I had so much anticipation and excitement inside of me that I couldn’t even tie my shoe laces.  LOL.  I was reminded of being a little girl and dashing down the street to meet the fire truck.  I could hear my mom’s voice in my head, hollering at my brothers and telling them to hold my hand as we crossed the street.  ::big smile::

My dad and I made our way out the front door and waved at the roaring fire truck as it went by.  We caught up with them as they came to a stop down the street.  We watched the neighborhood kids meet Santa and receive their gifts.  I was filled with so many good memories of Christmas past and I was reminded of just how blessed I truly am.  ::choked up with tears::  A big THANK YOU to the City of Weslaco and the Weslaco Fire Department for their annual efforts in spreading Christmas cheer in places where it is truly needed. 

Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 12: In Real Life

Talking to someone you love on the phone and pretending that everything is okay, but the copper lines allow you to mask the sadness and tears that roll down your face IN REAL LIFE.

Day 11: Online

I was invited by a fellow photographer friend to participate in a daily photography challenge.  I got started a bit late --in fact, I started yesterday which was day 11!  But I took my picture and posted it and got a lot of feedback for my creative take on the subject.  Day 11's theme was "Online".  So I posted this picture --these feathered friends are literally online.  Well, on a line - but they are "online" if you ask me.  :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fly Me to the Moon!


This weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Lilly who is getting ready to turn the big ONE.  Yep, she has the entire world ahead of her.  If I could give her one piece of advice, it would probably be ---::quickly thumbs through life's rolodex:: --Ack!  Too many index cards to choose from.  Besides, she's only one, she won't remember...but she has awesome parents who will guide her along the way.  Thanks for letting me capture a few moments of your young life, Lilly.

And here is the precious doll again, nestled between daddy and mommy.

Class of 2012

Oooooooh, Ahhhhhh...beautiful, aren't they?

::phone rings::
Me:  Hello?
My Brother:  What are you doing?
Me:  I'm editing pictures?
My Brother:  Offffffffff?
Me:  Senior pictures.
My Brother:  Of old people?
Me:  No, as in High School Seniors.

The Crafty Scrapper Christmas Party

I had a great time at the Design Team and Instructor Party at the The Crafty Scrapper this past Friday night.  I am blessed to be on a design team alongside so many talented women.  Like this one right here...Dee Dee is our Design Team Lead and she does a great job of coordinating all of our projects and manages the blog and facebook page.  Plus she is super sarcastic and witty --bonuses as far as I'm concerned.  Thanks, Dee Dee --for believing in me and always encouraging me from the beginning...heres to 2012 and another fun year as a Designer for the most awesome independently owned scrapbook store in ALL OF TEXAS!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fly me to the Moon

I love children’s books so I’m especially excited to be a part of the book release party for “This is the Story of Little John –Fly me to the Moon!”  As stated in the promo card below –the book provides immediate resources for developing the minds and goals of children.  Who couldn’t use a lovely book such as this one in their home?  Plus it’s filled with beautiful illustrations!

My role will be to photograph the event –from the author’s book signing and meet and greet to story time with kids and much more.  I’m so excited about this opportunity to really put “Through These Eyes Visual Art” out there –yanno, as noted in the “Special Thanks” portion of the promo card.  ;)

So come one and come all –join us…
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Vineyard Vines at The Shops at Willow Bend
2:30 – 5pm

xoxo,  Ms. Ruin

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Winter's Call

I bought myself a new lens for Christmas and I took it out for a spin this evening.  Here is some music to go with the pics. 

Peace, love, and running through the wicked garden...

Fall leaves have changed their color, winter’s on its way.  I'm looking for the sunny part of town.  And leaving on, I hear the wicked cold winds call me.  They say “don't fly away”.

Houses of the Holy

Images from Saint Monica Catholic Church --the patron saint of, well, never mind.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Reorganize and Purge

Mood:  Happy
Music:  Kings of Leon

This past weekend was my only weekend without photo shoots so I had to take advantage of the downtime by, well, reorganizing and purging some of the “stuff” in my studio.  Plus, my husband’s patience was really being affected by all of the clutter and when I say it was being affected, I mean he didn’t have any left.  So it all started with ridding ourselves of the loveseat that was in that room because as he pointed out “I can’t even friggin’ sit without crap falling all around me…”  It was true.  :|  But with that said and done I was able to move the vintage trunk to a more accessible spot –one which also helped the room flow much better.

All the kids ended up together on the trunk –from left to right:  Judith, Professor Mason M. Monkey, Emma, and Winston.  I also have a small collection of Kelly Rae in my room, but nothing extensive like all the stuff in my office.  LOL --I'm addicted!  What can I say, she speaks to my heart.  ::soft smile::

This tall piece of furniture (not as tall as the book shelf) was purchased over the weekend.  I went to the store with the intention of buying the piece of furniture that was on my Christmas List however that one had sold already and this piece provides more overall efficiency in terms of space occupied and storage too.  It’s great for paper however I am using it to house my very favorite wood mounted stamps.  Try getting to my stamps now, Yeller!  Hee hee hee.

Aren’t they lovely?!  My heart skips a

Unfortunately I still have to share my space with the cat's litter box.  :|  But it's okay, because I am surrounded with so much loveliness that I don't even notice it.

More, there is a closet behind this wall that is also all mine.  Ummm, yeah. 

And this is where Ms. Ruin works --THE DESK.  Yes boys and girls, this is where all the magic happens.  ;)

Hope you enjoyed an updated tour of my space!  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I’m so excited about this book.  You know its one thing to see your pictures on a screen, but to see them in print, that’s a whole other story.  It’s been such an exciting experience and the most rewarding part is when your loved ones open the book and take it in and are just blown away.  The typical response is “Oooooooh, Sonia….” Followed by a smirk.  LOL.  I’ll take that!  I still get giddy every single time.  So many good things are happening for me on the creative side…it’s almost like someone is dy….well, never mind that.  Not gonna go there!

So what’s inside the book?  A lot of awesomeness, that’s what!  First and foremost is this little forward by yours truly.  I think that picture is just as big a hit as the other ones inside.  LOL – who knew!  Thank you, friends, for making me feel amazing.  ::HUGE SMILE::

There is also big punches of color like this floral print.

And some classic black and white and mocha prints like this shot of the Pacific Coast.

::BIG SMILE::  I doubt you are smiling as big as I am, but if it brought a slight smile to your face, it’s enough for me. 

Peace, love, and a life full of blessings!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

I have so very much to be thankful for this year…my family, an abundance of friends; my health, my freedom, and my creativity just to name a few.  I don’t think I’ve ever been this thankful and this happy at this time of year --well at least not in a long time.  I think I have complicated so much for so long that I am ready to quit working myself so hard to the point of utter exhaustion that I can’t enjoy myself and the people around me.  I think there is a saying about life being too short.  I think.  We can discuss that at another time.  For now I want to say that I am thankful for you too, my blog readers from all over the world!  Thank you for inspiring me to keep creating art!  I love to hear that my work has inspired you in some way, it means so very much to this simple girl in Texas.  Well, okay, maybe not so simple!  Ha!  Thank you, thank you, my friends.  Let me share a few snapshots from my Thanksgiving Weekend with all of you...   

East Texas is beautiful this time of year, the drive is so peaceful –I love to get lost in the scenery, the vehicle moves too fast for me to snap decent pictures but trust me, I am snapping from every angle that these brown eyes will absorb and saving them in my memory.  I wish I could share all the beautiful images in my head with all of you.  How I wish. 

The Doneghue's own a significant amount of land in East Texas...I went exploring on Thanksgiving Day and snapped this photo to share with all of the followers of my photography...hope you like it too!

Huge pine trees tower over me in every direction. 

A wonderland awaits this party of one...lets lay on the ground and roll around in the beautifully colored leaves!  I admit, I did it.  :D

Peek a boo!  I spent the day after Thanksgiving in "the shop".  That's really where the boys hang out and drink beer, shoot guns, and things like that.  Yes, I had a beer or two and I even shot a gun!  But aside from that I didn't do much else on this day.  I was feeling a little sick so I just sat around and listened to music, played with the dog, and I even napped!  The air was nice and crisp and the shop doors were open so that we could enjoy the elements in the comfort of the indoors.  I don't think I've had such a lazy day in a very long time, but I sure as heck took advantage of it.  Plus it was nice not having the pressure of getting all dolled up and wearing extensive make-up.  I was content and tolerated (lol) in my yoga pants, sweatshirt and well, I did try to dress up the outfit with a scarf but I enjoyed being casual!  ::love::

I hope that your Thanksgiving was just as delightful!  Today has been busy with editing clients photos and finishing up craft projects.  I think I will close the chapter on Thanksgiving Weekend 2011 with a nice soak and then off to bed...hopefully to find sweet dreams.

Until next time...peace, love, and being thankful.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Through These Eyes - The Book

I just ordered 25 copies of my book --soooo excited to give it to my loved ones for Christmas.  If you would like a copy, let me know.  I have different sizes/prices available.

This is the cover:

This is the cover page: