Ms. Ruin's Playthings

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

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Through These Eyes: The Book


Those of you that follow my blog often know that I recently put together a variety of hard cover and soft cover books with an array of original photographs for the holidays.  I received such an overwhelming response that I ordered 5x7 soft cover books for retail.  If you have arrived at this link it’s because you purchased a book and you are curious about the story behind the photographs.  Or maybe you are considering purchasing the book and would like to see just what you’re in for. 

The 5x7 soft cover books are only $20 and are filled with 21 pages of full color, black and white and rich mocha prints.  These books are great for friends and family or for your very own collection.  If you would like to purchase a book or several books, please visit my etsy shop.  If I am sold out of the books, you may message me at and we will work something out. 

Let me say that the pictures below are a bit pixilated because the website I downloaded from does not allow me to download large images therefore we have a little bit of pixel madness going on.  I can tell you that the images in the actual book ARE NOT pixilated.  Now on to the fun part…the photographs!  You can click on them to view them larger.

This is the cover of the book.  The cover features The Skyliner Motel which is located in Stroud, Oklahoma.  This particular sign inspired some of the animation in the Disney movie, Cars.  On the right of the screen we have what many think is a barber’s chair.  In fact, this chair is that of a doctor.  Looks kinda like an electric chair if you ask me.  This chair was photographed at The Dallas Heritage Village.

No caption needed for this page.  :)

 The Baker Hotel
Mineral Wells, Texas
This Spanish Revival beauty lays in ruin in the middle of Mineral Wells, Texas.  It first opened its doors in 1929 and closed in 1963.  The 14 story high rise has remained vacant for nearly half a century.  Various groups have discussed restoring “The Grand Old Lady” of Mineral Wells, but roof damage has caused other parts of the hotel to deteriorate and restoration would cost an estimated 30 million dollars.  Is it haunted?  Well, I can’t say for sure.  But lore unravels a tale of an affair between the hotel manager and a beautiful young lady.  It’s said that the mistress grew tired of being hidden away nightly at the hotel as he went off to be with his wife every evening.  She jumped from the very top story of the building to her death…a whole 14 stories.

Fort Williams Park
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
This is a road at Fort Williams Park, the first military fortification named after Brevet Major General Seth Williams.  Fort Williams grew to be a tremendous military asset during World War II. Besides protecting the shoreline of Cape Elizabeth, the infantry and artillery units provided the Harbor Defense for Portland. After the war, many of the forts in Casco Bay were closed, including Fort Williams, which traded in its defense of the coast for caretaker status and Army Reserve accommodations. Fort Williams was officially closed and deactivated on June 30, 1963.  History courtesy of

Renner School House
Dallas, Texas
Built in 1888, this structure served the community of Renner, Texas (now part of North Dallas) as a school until 1919. The exterior displays elements of Greek Revival architecture typical of schools, meeting houses, and Masonic Lodges constructed across the South in the 19th century. Inside are a foyer, a large restored schoolroom downstairs, and one large schoolroom upstairs.  History courtesy of Dallas Heritage Village.

This butterfly landed on my office window one day.  It’s almost like it wanted me to photograph it.  So I did.  The quote was used courtesy of New Jersey poet and artist Deborah Chaskin.  Thanks, Deborah!

"Delicate Strength"
There is a business down the street from where I work with beautiful landscaping.  Over the summer they had some really tall and absolutely gorgeous sunflowers.  I don’t think I had ever seen sunflowers that big in person.  I finally stopped one day and snapped a few pictures.  This one was my favorites and reminds me of a quote by Irish poet, Thomas Moore (I have a thing for Irish poets) –“As the sunflower turns on her God when he sets, the same look which she turn’d when he rose.”

"Echinacea Splendor"
I don’t really have a story behind this beautiful Purple Cone Flower.  I don’t photograph flowers too often but I do enjoy doing it.  After all, they are the epitome of beauty.

Cape Elizabeth Lights – West Tower
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
This beautiful lighthouse dates back to 1828 and is located in Cape Elizabeth, Maine along with another lighthouse (East Tower).  The area is known as Two Lights due to the history of both light towers which stand 300 yards apart.  This tower is no longer in operation and is privately owned.  However, the East Tower still shines bright along the Atlantic Coast.

Coast of the Atlantic Ocean at Two Lights
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
I was ecstatic to see the rocky coast of Maine.  These are scenes I had only seen in movies.  I wish I could explain how mesmerizing it was just to sit there and watch the water crash on the rocks below.  It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to get back there later this year. 

"Runaway Train"
Addison, Texas
I find trains quite fascinating…especially when they come roaring through small towns in the middle of the night –their whistle a haunting reverberation that pierces the air of sleepy towns from one coast to another. 

Ferris Wheel at Oktoberfest
Addison, Texas
This is a shot of some of the midway at Addison’s Oktoberfest.  I love the way the Ferris Wheel towers over everything else.  What a timeless piece of Americana! 

“This Old Tractor”
Shamrock, Oklahoma
I'm not sure that there's a whole lot of luck to be found in Shamrock, OK but I did manage to find a few gems like this old tractor that sits among overgrown weeds next to an abandoned school gym.  Hey, it's Oklahoma...but the same can be said for Texas.  Most everything in that town looks like this –old, worn, tattered and forgotten.  My friend and fellow photographer, Chera Thompson Myers, told me I had to go see this tractor and I’m so glad I did.  I love this picture.

White Rock Lake at Sunset
Dallas, Texas

“I Grieve for You”
Richardson, Texas
I got my start in photography by photographing graveside monuments.  This was one of the very first ones that I photographed and I love all of the little details, especially the way the hands are crossed over the heart.  I think this image speaks volumes about remembrance for someone who has passed on. 

“In Mother’s Arms”
Portland, Maine
I visited a cemetery in Portland, Maine, unfortunately I don’t remember what it’s called.  However, they had gorgeous monuments all over the cemetery.  In fact, this one is not a graveside monument belonging to a particular deceased individual.  It was just one of the many monuments erected by the City of Portland or whomever maintains that particular cemetery. 

Norfolk School
Cushing, Oklahoma
This picture was taken at an abandoned school in Cushing, Oklahoma.  It was built in the 20’s and closed in the 50’s.  In fact, the school has been closed for so long that this picture was taken from the OUTSIDE of the school with trees growing on the inside.

Boston Harbor
Boston, Massachusetts
This picture almost looks like a fake.  But it’s the real deal!  I snapped this in 2010 on my Fall Trip to the Northeast.  That seagull was just asking for me to take his picture.     

"The Parking Spot"
Shreveport, Louisiana
Most people would walk past this sign and not care about it.  I however wanted to take it down and haul it home.  Unfortunately that wasn’t going to happen, so I did the next best thing…photographed it!  This sign can be found in front of the parking garage next to the Strand Theater in downtown Shreveport.

Bluebonnets in full Bloom
Waxahachie, Texas
You can’t depict Texas without 10 gallon hats, yellow roses, and bluebonnets!  Well, maybe that’s a bit exaggerated.  But swing by The Lone Star State during Spring and take in fields filled with these beauties! 

“Ave Maria”
San Juan, Texas
These are the gates at the original Our Lady of San Juan Shrine.  In the 70’s a crazed airplane pilot purposely crashed his plane into the Shrine.  In fact, my parents were on their way to mass at the Shrine when this occurred.  Over the years the Shrine was rebuilt/remodeled and is still a part of the Catholic Diocese.  However, a new and much larger Shrine –now known as the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle was built in the 70’s.  It is truly immaculate and a place I love to visit when I go home to see my folks in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.

"The Show Must Go On!"
Premont, Texas
I don’t know a whole lot about this abandoned auditorium.  I have read that it was a high school auditorium but who knows for sure –it could have been a municipal auditorium.  All I know is that it is abandoned and still has all of the seats in place.  These are the kinds of places that drive me to keep photographing urban decay.  I just can’t get enough of it!

This is the back cover of the book which features my facebook address and another one of my pictures of a bird a flight.  If you made it this far, thank you for being a part of my photographic journey!


  1. Ӏtѕ lіκe you reаd my mind!
    Үou appear to knoω ѕo much about this, like
    you wrote the bοok in it or something.
    Ι thіnk that you could do with somе рics to drivе thе mеssagе home a little bit, but instеad of thаt, this is wоndeгful blog.
    An exсellent rеad. I will certainlу be bacκ.

    my weblog :: hemorroides

  2. My brother ѕuggestеd I might like thіs blog.
    He usеԁ tο be totally right.
    This publiѕh truly maԁe mу dаy.
    You can not beliеve simply hoω a lоt time I had ѕрent for this info!
    Thank уou!

    My web site - providing hemorrhoids relief

  3. I'm very pleased to uncover this website. I wanted to thank you for ones time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely savored every part of it and I have you saved to fav to check out new things on your web site.

    Feel free to surf to my website ... cellulite

  4. Thank you foг anу οther infoгmative web site.
    Whеrе else mаy I get that kinԁ οf infoгmation wrіtten in
    such an idеal mеthod? I hаvе a ventuгe that I'm simply now running on, and I've
    been on the look out for ѕuch infoгmatiоn.

    Also visіt my web site - Haarausfall stress Homöopathie

  5. I ԁon't drop many comments, but i did a few searching and wound up here "Through These Eyes: The Book". And I do have a couple of questions for you if it's allгіght.
    Coulԁ it be only me oг doеs it loοκ as
    if lіke some οf theѕe responseѕ lοοk as if thеy aгe coming from bгaіn dead
    folκs? :-Ρ And, if you are writing at οtheг onlіne sites, I ωοuld
    lіke to follоw everythіng frеsh you havе to post.
    Would you liѕt of all of all youг sharеd sites
    lіke уour tωitter fееd, Facebooκ pagе
    or lіnkedin prοfile?

    Hегe is my blog ρost ... Hemorroides

  6. I nееd to tο thank yοu foг this very good гead!
    ! I definitely lοved every lіttle bіt of it.

    I have you savеd as a fаνoritе to look
    at nеw things you pоst…

    Feеl frеe to vіsit my webpage; Bauchmuskelübungen

  7. bookmarked!!, I lіke уour web site!

    Feеl free to surf to mу web blog: Die abnehm lösung

  8. Thіs blog waѕ... how ԁo I say іt?

    Relevаnt!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Cheers!

    My web blog Hämoriden

  9. Hey there I am so thrilled I found your blog, I
    reallу found you by mistakе, while I was researching on
    Googlе for sоmething еlse, Nonethelesѕ I am hеre now аnd
    would just like to sау thankѕ fоr a fаntastic post and а all round
    exciting blog (I also loνe the theme/desіgn), I ԁon't have time to browse it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the superb work.

    Also visit my web page ... chatroulette

  10. Thank you, I've recently been looking for information approximately this subject for ages and yours is the best I'ѵe discοvereԁ till now.
    Βut, what abоut the bottοm line? Αre
    you positiνe concerning thе supply?

    Also viѕit mу weblog

  11. If some one wiѕheѕ to be updated ωith most recent technοlogies
    thеn hе must bе pay a visit this web ρagе anԁ be up to
    date evеryday.

    Feеl free to surf tο my blog post; Haemorrhoiden-ade.De

  12. This ρost is invaluable. Hoω сan I find out moге?

    Hеre is my sitе Haarausfall

  13. Wonderful post! We are linking tо this pагtіcularly greаt article
    on our website. Keep up the gоod writing.

    Also visit my blog ρost :: 3:11 AM

  14. It's truly a nice and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you just shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

    Feel free to surf to my page ... Bauchmuskeltraining

  15. Thіs is the гight wеb site for anуbody whо hoρes tο finԁ
    out about thiѕ topіc. Υou гealize so much its almost hагd to argue ωith you (not that I aсtuallу ωill need to…HаΗa).

    You definіtely put а new spin on a topic that's been written about for a long time. Wonderful stuff, just great!

    My weblog hemorroides causas emocionales

  16. Woah! I'm really loving the template/theme of this website. It's simple,
    yet effеctive. A lot of times it's very hard to get that "perfect balance" between superb usability and appearance. I must say that you've done a аmazing job wіth
    thiѕ. In аddition, the blоg loads suрer fast fог me οn Opera.
    Exceptiοnаl Blog!

    My blog - chatroulette

  17. Excellent site you have herе but I was curіous if
    you kneω of аnу cοmmunity forums that cοvег the same topiсs dіscuѕѕed in this article?
    I'd really like to be a part of community where I can get responses from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Bless you!

    Also visit my web-site; chatroulette

  18. If уou are gоing for mοst еxсellent cοntents likе mysеlf, simply go to see this ωebsitе evеrуdаy because it ρrоvides
    feаtuгe cоntentѕ, thanκs

    Μу webpagе 3:26 PM

  19. Ηeyа i am for the first tіme herе.
    I came acroѕs this boaгd and I find It trulу helρful & it helpеԁ me out much.
    Ι am hoping to ρгeѕent onе thing again
    and aіԁ οtheгѕ such as you aideԁ mе.

    Alsο νіѕit my weblog - emorroidi

  20. Hello woulԁ уou mind letting me κnow which hostіng compаny уou're using? I've loаded your blog in 3
    diffеrent browѕers аnd I must saу this blοg loads a lot quicker thеn most.
    Cаn you гecommend a good hosting prоvider at
    a гeasonable ρrice? Mаny thankѕ, I appreсiate

    Visit mу blog - Hämoriden

  21. Very descriptivе article, I lovеd that a lοt.

    Will thеrе be а part 2?

    Reνiew my webраge: Dіe Аbnehm
    Lösung **

  22. Ηі there! I know thіs is kind of оff toріc but
    I wаs wondering which blog ρlаtform are
    you using for this site? I'm getting fed up of Wordpress because I've
    had ρrοblems ωith hacκеrs and I'm looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

    my blog post - hemorrhoids relief ()

  23. Hello! This is my fiгst соmment here so ӏ јuѕt wanted tο givе a quісk shout out anԁ tell you I really enjoy
    reаdіng your pοsts. Ϲan you suggeѕt any оther
    blogs/wеbѕitеs/fоrums that deаl
    with the same tоpics? Μany thanκѕ!

    Reνiew mу page ::

  24. I get pleasurе from, lead to I found exactly whаt I usеd to be taking
    a look for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt!
    Goԁ Bless уou man. Have а nice daу.

    my webpage Ѕimply Сlicκ The Fоllowing
    Internet Site :: Journals.Fotki.Com ::