Ms. Ruin's Playthings

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

Monday, July 1, 2013

A self-testament through sunflowers

The DFW area has been buzzing about all of the gorgeous Sunflower fields in Allen, McKinney, and Frisco and who doesn't want to photograph flowers that are larger than the size of their own head???  Unfortunately I started hearing that police were ticketing people for trespassing.  I can certainly see why they would do that --people were actually trampling the stocks and pulling them out of the ground.  What's wrong with people?  These are crops that belong to farmers!  So I decided to avoid the city sunflower craze and headed down 35 South between Waxahachie and Milford, Texas.  I heard their was sunflowers galore "in the country".  

I had a few things working against me:  The Texas heat, I'm talking 104 degrees, folks.  Then there's the fact that I was going alone --into a field of sunflowers.  It can be a little overwhelming for someone who is only 5'3" and all of the stocks are taller than I am.  Oh, and lets not forget the rattlers!  Although I didn't think I'd run into any, I was still very cautious.  Of course I wore a super cute outfit and makeup to match.  I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, "dang, I look super cute!!!" and then my next thought was "You're an idiot!!!!!"  So I packed tennis shoes and a pair of jeans...just in case!

50+ miles later I arrive at the State owned rest stop.  I'm surrounded by truck drivers, traveling families and a few strange individuals.  Yanno, what you'd usually see at a rest stop.  I grab my gear and head over to a table to change out the lens on my camera, etc.  I strap on my bag pack and with camera in hand I start walking towards the field that is located directly behind the rest stop.  I thought to myself..."this is a Lifetime Movie Original waiting to happen."

Oh, I left out one very important detail...the sunflowers were all dead.  ::sadness::  At first I was annoyed that I drove so far to a field only to find dead sunflowers.  I was really looking forward to this session seeing as how I have been so consumed with work, my fitness regimen, and editing photos for clients.  I just wanted some ME TIME.  But then I thought "Sonia, this is what you are known for.  This is why people enjoy your work, because you see beauty where most see atrophy."  And boy was I surrounded by atrophy!  Haha.  So I did just that...I found the beauty and I hope you see it too as seen through my eyes.    

Thank you for stopping by!  Peace, love, and sunflowers!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Happy June!

Hello bloggers!  I know that my posts are few and far between lately.  To say that my life has been a little bit of a whirlwind is an understatement.  I've been jet setting and just trying to keep a handle on everything that life throws my way.  Nothing too overwhelming, just crazy busy.  But honestly, I wouldn't know what to do with myself if my life didn't require a safety belt even when not driving.  

Although I have been doing a significant amount of shooting (for someone who doesn't advertise), I decided that it's time to refocus my time on my art.  At least for the summer.  I miss it.  It's just that simple.  It's tough when you have two things that you are very passionate about --for me it's my art and my photography.  I haven't mastered juggling both successfully.  One of them always ends up overwhelming me and not in a good way.  Do you juggle too?  How do you do it?

Anyway, in an effort to kick start my creativity in mixed media I decided to host a tag swap for the month of June at Artsy Fartsy.  Yeah, I said June.  I can't believe we're almost half way through the year of 2013.  But anyway --back to me kick starting my creativity.  Uhhhhhhh...::crickets::  So it didn't jump start quite as quickly as I thought it would but nevertheless I got some tags done.  Woot, woot!  And that's a lot to be happy about.  So let me show you what I made this morning...

Remember you can click on the images to view them larger.

I just love this little guy --he is so cryptic and mystical and well, there's just a whole lot going on with this little fella.  But I can't help but feel sadness when I see him.  The technical stuff:  Mustard Seed Distress Ink all over tag then I cut out a mask of the little guy and positioned it where I was going to stamp him.  Then I covered the entire tag with Peeled Paint Distress Ink.  I stamped the vines from the Dylusions line and then I removed the mask and stamped my little Creep.  Yep, this one inspired by Radiohead's "Creep".  I also shaded the edge of the tag using Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

I made three pretty identical tags for my swap --they all basically look like this one.  I first covered the entire tag with Peacock Feather Distress Ink and then shaded the edges of the tag with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  I wish I could remember who makes the stamp I used for this tag but I don't have that in front of me so I will update it when I have an opportunity.  The hardware is from the Ideaology line and the "journey in time" stamps are from Maya Road's art journaling stamp set.

I love, love, love, love, LOVE the gold stars!  The stars are courtesy of a new stencil by Heidi Swapp.  I positioned the stencil on the tag and then covered the stencil with gold embossing paste by the fabulous Wendy Vecchi.  I actually took one of Wendy's classes last weekend!  But more about that later.  Anyway, I think these stars are the bees knees.  ::big smile::  The final step in these tags was misting perfect pearls innnnnnnn...oh crap, I don't remember the color.  I want to say Sunflower Sparkle but I think that may be incorrect.  Again, will get back to everyone on this.  But I do want to say that the mist and stars added a whole lot of magic to these tags!

This one is oh so pretty --I used my favorite distress ink color, Mustard Seed.  I shaded the edges using Vintage Photo Distress Ink and all other steps mimic the ones already mentioned above.  Pretty neat, eh?

As I mentioned a second ago, I had an opportunity to take a class with the fabulous Wendy Vecchi.  It was a technique class and I'll admit that I knew 75% of what she taught that day but the class was still interesting and I walked away with a bunch of tips and some new techniques.

Alright, I will do my best to not be a stranger.  I will post photos soon from some of my recent shoots and adventures.  Until then...peace, love, and never truly losing your creative spirit.  :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Uhhhh yeah

I wish I could say that I've got a handle on my life right now but the truth is that I do not.  Too much going on at once --I can't keep my focus in one place for too long.  Lots of good things happening, I just can't seem to wrap my arms around one for too long.  ::exhale::

So April has been insane, May will be even crazier and June --well, I haven't even thought of June yet.

Here is some of my April in snapshots:  photo shoots with models, senior portraits, twin boys, a trip to the zoo, an afternoon at the Fort Worth Stockyards, and Make-n-Take Madness at The Crafty Scrapper.  That's just SOME of my crazy life.

But hey, I'm happy to report that I'm taking some much needed time off in THREE MORE DAYS!!!!!!!!  The countdown starts NOW!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Oh the madness!

Join me and an amazing group of talented teachers and designers at this years Make-n-Take Madness!  The entry fee is only $20 and you will visit 10 inspiration stations, create something, and take it home!  Plus we are also celebrating The Crafty Scrapper's 8th Birthday so there will be cake and refreshments, plus prize drawings and scratch off tickets which will give you 10-40% off any in-store purchase.  To see some of the projects and meet the team, go here.

What will you create when you visit Ms. Ruin's creative station? 

You will turn this:

Into this:

Pretty cool huh?  Plus, I will have a small token for you to take home, this postcard featuring my photography --seen below. I hope it ignites your creativity!  I might also have a random prize drawing for everyone that visits my creative station.  You'll have to stop by and see me to find out!

Make sure you call and reserve your spot, seating is limited.  See you on Saturday!

Peace, love, creative madness!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Oh no she didn't!

I have agonized for more than two years about getting bangs.  I have been told repeatedly that my forehead is to small for bangs but I finally found someone to take a chance on me.  I've gotta tell ya, I LOVE my new look!

Yep, I finally got bangs yesterday!  They make me want to be even more creative.  I really feel like a new woman.  ::BIG SMILE::  Alright, are you ready to see Ms. Ruin post-bangs???


This was the first photo I took just shortly after my cut.  Sorry, it's a cell phone pic so not the best lighting.  But how cute are my bangs?  Said like Monica Geller Bing, "I KNOW!"  ::nerdy smile::

And these were from later in the evening --all dolled up and ready for a night out.  

So there you have it...girls with tiny foreheads CAN have bangs.  I'm proof!

Peace, love, and awesome hair.  :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

I feel so alive!

Hello bloggers!  I am still alive.  I know it's been a while since I've made a post but life has been a ball of beautiful chaos lately.  I am so blessed to be involved in so many different projects and to have the support of my friends during this crazy period of my life.  Everyone wants to see what I create next, what I shoot next.  I am overwhelmed in the best way with the last few weeks which have ignited so many ideas that are quickly taking shape.  I am truly making strides in my artistic life and in my personal life (YAY!) and becoming a person that I am truly proud to be.  Although I don't share much of my personal life here, or with many at this point, I do thank you for letting me share my artistic journey with all of you.  

I will try to catch up with my blogging over the weekend.  I do have an event that I need to
promote.  I just need to get through a day of baking clay for said event, wrapping up edits for clients -sooooo many pictures, a mini maternity shoot, and my first MLB game of the season --GO RANGERS!  Have a magical weekend and don't forget to check out all of my latest photography here and my mixed media here.  

Peace, love, and Pony tail Friday's.  :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring Fling & Regal Tweets

Yep, it's time for my annual Spring Fling Sale!  I'm really energized about this sale because it's the one time of year that I can pump a bunch of new items into my shop.  I have a lot of new items coming so check back often, plus the sales will change weekly.  Take advantage of the current deal now by using the code SPRINGFLING15 at checkout.  That's 15% of all shop items over $5.

Here is a preview of some of the new items in my shop.  They're back....REGAL TWEETS!  

My favorite thing about all of the tweets I've made is that they are all different but they all serve the same purpose.  They bring comfort, smiles, encouragement and inspiration.  These little guys are perfect for your home or office and make beautiful gifts too.  All four of these dapper little fellas are currently available and I've got the elves in my studio working on more.  When I say elves, I mean me.  :)  I love, love, love the texture in tweet no. 2 and tweet no. 4.  Click on the images to view them larger plus the listing link can be found below each tweet (more photos available by clicking on the links).

I'm ready to fly home to here to give me a home.

Map?  I don't need a map. I know the way to your heart.  Click here to give me home.

I will be your wings of dreams.  Click here to give me a home.

And I will be your wings of faith.  Click here to give me a home.

Thanks for looking!  Peace, love, and tweet, tweet!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Linen Album

Hello bloggers!  I am a little behind with my blogging but here I am, fingers to the keys, and the Avett Brothers serenading me in the background.  I have been working with canvas quite a bit lately but I also completed a design team project and that's what I'm going to share in this post.    I am not making a product list, I will just talk about some of the things I used and the techniques where I feel a prompt is necessary.  But you can always leave comments if you are curious about something.  Also, remember that you can click on the images to see a larger view of the project.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you THE NEW MAYA ROAD LINEN ALBUM!  Hahaha.  

This is a 4x6 linen album by the folks at Maya Road --in case you didn't catch that earlier.  This is new to their inventory and I've got to say, it was so much fun to work with.  The album is fabric so it does not stand on its own, however, I used cardboard in this baby so it NOW stands on its own!

This super cute project was made possible by my super cute nephews, Jack and Jacob.  A big thank you to one of my best friends, Rae, for letting me use her adorable babies in my book.  Oh, I wanted to add that I did take these photos so I didn't feel too bad using them.  LOL.  Plus this will be a gift for Rae once it is returned to me.

About the cover:  I used hardware by Tim Holtz and then adhered a Maya Road flower to the center.  The pretty burlap piece is by Little Yellow Bicycle.  Definitely one of my newer and most favorite products!

This page has TOO MUCH CUTENESS I almost can't stand it!!!!  This is one of the pages in which I chose to use corrugated cardboard.  I poured paint right onto the cardboard and let it run.  Once it dried I distressed it with Vintage Photo Distress Ink by Ranger.  The crown is chipboard by Maya Road which I dabbed with gold acrylic paint.  The linen tag is also by Maya road.  The cork tag is by Little Yellow Bicycle.

My name is Sonia and I love cardboard.

Meet Jack!  More cuteness!  The canvas star embellishment is by Little Yellow Bicycle (LYB) and the flower and bird are by Maya Road.

I wanted to point out that I did use gold alcohol inks on the bird.  I also cut a heart out of corrugated cardboard (surprise, surprise), painted it with white crackle paint and then distressed the edges.  

Twine, arrow stamps, and house by Maya Road.  Flower by Prima.  Key by Tim Holtz.  Stamp on tag by Tim's from the Classic Favorites Collection and it has seriously become one of my very favorite stamps.

I wanted to highlight this sweet little bird.  I used the bird in the previous page as a stencil and drew this little guy on burlap.  Then I stamped the word "soar".  The stamp is from the Art Journaling stamp set by Maya Road.

Okay, I decided to cut out two little burlap birds!  This one I misted and then added ribbon and a button.  The possibilities are endless!

I wanted to point out the cutting technique I used here.  I first stamped the paper using another stamp from the Classic Favorites by Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous, then I cut along the lines using an exacto knife.  I then slid the photo under the stamped portion of the paper.  Does that make sense?  With this technique you don't have to worry about matching up paper.  

Awesome embellishment by LYB!

I decided to make a pocket at the very end because I had a bunch of photos left.  Cardboard is your friend.  Check out those grungy alphabet stamps --new from Tim Holtz.  

There is no REAL reason for this photo --other than I wanted to show you more cuteness.

Oh!  Here's another bird that I cut out using the Maya Road Vintage Trinket Bird as a stencil.  I kinda have a bird problem too.  But I make not apologies because it's "my thing".  The burlap is by LYB and that gorgeous trim is by Maya Road????  Maybe.  I'm not 100% sure but I will find out.  :)

Thanks for visiting and viewing my project.  Come back soon for previews of the March Madness Sale at Ms. Ruin's Plaything Etsy.

Peace, Love, and The Avett Brothers

Sunday, February 17, 2013

New Listings!

I've got three new listings in my Etsy Shop and they are SUPER AWESOME!  Click here to access the store and if you don't see anything you like, come back in March for the March Madness Sale.  LOADS of new stuff coming to my shop...not only jewelry but mixed media too!  Until is some eye candy.  

Click on the image to take you to the listing.  

Linen Love

Stay tuned!  I will be posting about this lovely piece tomorrow.  It's a BRAND NEW linen album by the folks at Maya Road!  Just look at all of the delicious details!!!  

Tainted Love Project - The Finale

Concept & Photography:  Ms. Ruin
Model & Makeup:  Christina Revis

"I still press your letters to my lips,
And cherish them in parts of me that savor every kiss
I couldn't face a life without your light 
But all of that was ripped apart
When you refused to fight..."

Tainted Love Project - Day VIII

Concept & Photography:  Ms. Ruin
Model & Makeup:  Christina Revis

"I won't listen to your shame.  You ran away, you're all the same..."

Tainted Love Project - Day VII

Concept & Photography:  Ms. Ruin
Model & Makeup:  Christina Revis

"You sold me out to save yourself..."

Tainted Love Project - Day VI

Concept & Photography:  Ms. Ruin
Model & Makeup:  Christina Revis

Tainted Love Project - Day V

Concept & Photography: Ms. Ruin 
Model & Makeup: Christian Revis

"The air around me still feels like a cage and 
love is just a camouflage for what resembles
 rage again."

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Say Cheese!

Hello bloggers!  As most of you know, I love-love-love to take photos!  So when I saw all of the new neat camera related papers and embellishments and chipboard out there I was beyond stoked.  Fortunately for me, the ladies at The Crafty Scrapper hooked me up with brand new Bo Bunny Mama-Razzi 2 papers  and brand new Maya Road!  This album was beyond fun to put together...I hope you love it too!

I don't often get to make mini books about my trips so I thought I'd take advantage of this opportunity.  Last year I went on several trips including a very dreary trip to New Orleans.  It rained THE ENTIRE TIME we were there.  :(  But I still managed to get out and about and snap a few photos.  Although I didn't get to some of the places I really wanted to revisit or visit for the first time, I think I still managed to capture the Spirit of the Big Easy with the time that Mother Nature allowed.  The first thing I did was pick out all of the photos that I might possibly use.  The next step was converting them to square images and adding a Polaroid border.  Since the Maya Road Say Cheese Camera Album looks like a vintage Polaroid style camera, I thought it would be fitting.  Although I scaled the images down so that they were not full size or Polaroid size photos, they were still super cute and functional for this "mini".  Once I had the photos reformatted and printed, I was ready to get started!

But wait!  Before I get into the nitty gritty, I really want to showcase the following papers from Bo Bunny's Mama-Razzi 2 line because they really made the project come together beautifully and if I had not bought these, I think my project could have had the potential to fall flat.

From left to right we have the Mama-Razzi 2 Stickers, Contrast, and Darkroom.  I used A LOT of these stickers to make my own embellishments and I used the papers to make pockets and overlays on just about every single page.  Okay, NOW we can truly get started...


 This is the cover of the mini.  As I mentioned before --the chipboard album is by Maya Road and it is the "Say Cheese Camera Album".  The entire book is covered with Bo Bunny paper from the Mama-Razzi 2 line and all of the edges were inked up with Vintage Photo Distress Ink by Ranger.  The paper speaks for itself, it's beautiful.  The only thing I added to this paper was the stamped image on the upper right side of cover (around the flash).  That stamp is by Bo Bunny, also from this line.  The tin in the center is by Maya Road and I added a sticker from the sticker sheet I shared above.  Kudos to The Crafty Scrapper Manager, Gena Glover, for giving me that idea.  The image in the tin is a piece of film that makes a heart --clever!  I did cover the flash with Mustard Seed Distress Ink and then lathered it with Distress Crackle Rock Candy.  The green film strip is also a sticker from the Mama-Razzi 2 line.  I adhered it to a piece of cardstock and then glued it right onto the cover.  As for the cover photo, I wedged it into the cover to make it look like a Polaroid camera releasing a photo.  You can see closeups in the images below.


I'm not going to show you every single page I think this book makes anywhere from 10-12 pages (I don't remember).  I do however want to highlight the stamps that I used on this particular page.  These stamps are by Maya Road from the Picture Perfect stamp set and the Perfect Shot Arrows stamp set.  Now remember I said I used a lot of elements from the Bo Bunny Darkroom and Contrast papers?  Well, I cut out these films strips from the Darkroom paper and then put my photos in the boxes.  The strip that is shown in this photo had three boxes--I put photos in the top two and then folded the bottom one to use it on the next will spot it in the following photos.  ;)

I love this page.  It has a lot of attitude and all around "fun" to it.  Again, I used an image from the Darkroom page and I was careful and cut around the miniature Polaroid which I stamped the letter "d" on.  This allowed me to stick a photo behind it.  You will see this technique throughout the entire project.  The "Oh Snap!" is from Bo Bunny's Mama-Razzi 2 stamp set.

One of my favorite elements from this page is the wooden Polaroid frame which is from the "You've Been Framed" by Maya Road.  I stamped the words "Say Cheese" from the "Picture Perfect Cameras" stamp set by Maya Road and I stamped that on the film strip frame that I folded over from the previous page.

This page has a lot of charm too.  The cork board tag is by Little Yellow Bicycle.  Okay, how cute is that chipboard camera?!?!?!?  It's so cute it's downright ridiculous!  That's also by Maya Road from the "Say Cheese" collection. 

Again, I cut out images from the Darkroom paper and cut around the cameras to make a pocket that holds about 5-6 mini Polaroids.  This will allow onlookers to pull the photos right out and look through them.  Then they can simply tuck them back into place.  Mini pockets rock!!!  Okay, that was super nerdy, wasn't it?

Yet another pocket made to share several photos per page.  This pocket was made possible by the Contrast paper.

And another pocket!  This particular pocket was made using the Contrast paper as well.  I simply cut a slit along the top portion of the banner and was careful not to put glue on it when adhering it to the paper.  Instant pocket!

Same technique with this pocket.  This particular pocket was made using an image from Darkroom paper.  The stamped filmstrips are from the Mama-Razzi 2 stamp set.


I hope you enjoyed my project as much as I enjoyed bring it all together.  Now go out and get this paper and all of the products I used because they're waiting for you at The Crafty Scrapper!  

Peace, love, and camera stuff...

Ms. Ruin