Friday, September 30, 2011

Just when I get used to things…

There I go again, switching up the ol blog for the umpteenth time. I must say, I miss Juneau being in the header already. You’ll also find the new subject tabs to the right instead of at the top. I don’t know how I feel about it yet. The header is getting tweaked more…actually everything is still in tweak mode. Now that I’ve changed it, I can’t really go back which stinks, because I wish I could compare the two and see which one I liked better.

The very fact that I’m tweaking the blog is a good thing! I let myself have a break today for the afternoon because it’s been DVD after DVD and editing all night long for the past two weeks. I’ve gotten little to none sleep because I’m stressed out about getting photos back to people. I cannot stress how ridiculously long it takes to sort and edit these things. A finished DVD is always reason to celebrate. 


Charley even got off work early today so we were able to get in some much needed date time. We had a late lunch/early dinner at Caviar & Bananas on George St. here in Charleston. I had a grilled steak/ goat cheese Panini of epic amazingness. I nearly died it was so good. Charley got a meatloaf cupcake…no really…it was meatloaf baked in a muffin wrapper with mashed potatoes for the frosting. I took Juneau for her run, and then Charley and I escaped to the beach and watched the sun set in the 70 degree breeze. I was even able to tackle the mountains of folding that I’d put off.

I have so many things to work on, that I probably shouldn’t have abandoned work entirely, but MAN did it feel good!

Tea & Toast

Where would I be without tea?

Tea is an advocator of relaxing.

A endorser of quality time with friends.

It’s a promoter of good conversation,

and a complimenter of toast like no other.



I do this every fall. The big switch from Coffee coffee coffee, to TEA TEA TEA! While my generous scoops of sugar and cream might not make it the healthiest choice, I believe tea is good for the soul. What better thing than a good book or a sketch pad and a cup of tea?

(By the way, on my toast I have mango pineapple jam from Puerto Rico!)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Mural

My dad just recently emailed some pictures of the old mural at my high school. I painted this senior year and the area was part of the senior gift. I think they called it the SMF prayer corner. Funny enough, the senior class didn’t even help with the benches and mulch section; it was mainly a band of juniors. The wall washing and sanding was also done by students not in our class. My French teacher supplied me with some entire wall paint: half gallons of blue, red, yellow, black and white.

My dad came and helped me prepare the wall (which do not be deceived, it’s huge!) It had bumpy sprayed concrete that was sanded off, leaving a super absorbent wall. Daddy put  2 gallons of concrete block sealer / primer on that wall out of his own pocket.   He also took his personal tiller up there and prepared the ground (which before the railroad ties, was a muddy plop of weeds and rocks). When it rains, the water still runs on top of the mural sometimes because the crossway leaks, how’s that for real life simulation?

photo (11)

I got a bit burned out at the end of it and didn’t finish things as much as I should have. It’s hard work covering so much space with paint! The bricks eventually did get finished (all except three in the right hand corner to annoy OCD people). Charley even helped paint one brick: his special brick. It was pretty bad honestly so he let me paint over it.

I had no formal strategy for this thing. They pretty much told me I could paint whatever on the wall. What high school lets you do that?! So without having a picture or direction, I drew the archway first. Then I opted for something to remind students of SMF trips which stands for Student Mission Fellowship. Twice a year they would host these trips somewhere in the mountains for a weekend. They remain my most favorite memory of high school because nothing beats exploring mountain sides, spending evenings studying scripture and singing hymns with your friends.

There are two hidden animals but they are super hard to distinguish from the pictures.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011


It’s like I just realized that my work is on the internet or something  ( well, duh! I put it there).  I was on facebook the other day and a friend pointed out that my photo kept coming up in the main streaming board on Pinterest. I was a little skeptical at first, but then I started noticing it on mine. The red door picture. It popped up again today:


Then I did a search and apparently people pretty much only like the red door picture haha! I think I had a lot of help since the bride should be a model. I’ve had gadzooks of  people asking me who did her hair, where did she get her dress, where was the wedding. She has pretty much oohed and aahed the wedding crowds. This is how many people started the pin originally:  ( I then found that it had been repinned over 200 times).


And I know, it’s just pinterest, but I couldn’t help feeling a little happy that there were people out there that liked my photos. Random people at that. 


I feel like this post was so conceited, but it was really to express my amazement over the internet. Networking is almost way to easy. It almost makes me a little sad to be getting out of the wedding business. No wait, did I just say that? who am I kidding? I am so excited to be closing down the wedding photography! Sorry guys, I’m ready for phase two and I don’t even know what that is yet.

The Toms Trend: love it or hate it?

I’ve been seeing the Toms trend more and more: around town, in schools, and at weddings. I think the Toms shoe is attractive and comfortable aside from it’s heartfelt claim and I see why the trendiness of it has caught on.

I also don’t feel entirely comfortable with Toms. It almost seems like their making money off of the poor. “Buy this and help a child” makes you feel sorry, you want to help, and buying a pair makes you feel good about yourself. Helping each other and doing good becomes a fad.

I know I shouldn’t be too critical of a company that’s doing good…but I can’t help to think about it when I see them.

Any thoughts on this?


Shoe counting

Normally the space between the hamper and the closet wall is designated for stacking shoes but recently our dog has taken a fancy to this spot. She will pick up the shoes and move them out or dig until she can squeeze herself in. Then she falls asleep with her nose buried in one of Charley’s work shoes.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Job

Well today I started my new job as a nanny and I think it’s going to be quite fun. It’s such a relaxed job compared to photographing weddings and yet it still has its element of chaos. The family is kind and the kids are sweet and well behaved. I have a girl ( 6 ) and a boy ( 2 ). I’m gonna pretty much leave those details at that, since this is the internet after all.

My job is pretty much simple stuff. I take them to school, pick them up, clean, cook, and help with homework and activities. The best part is, it’s part time and not on the days I’ve  scheduled for  shoots so I can ease out the photography stuff slowly. Today I met teachers, neighbors, friends and playmates of the family and I have to say Kudos to these people for seeking community. What a well rooted neighborhood. Everyone helps each other out!

While visiting the elementary school today a group of 6 year olds cornered me.

“ are you new?”

“ Yep, sure am”

“do you go here?”

“don’t you think I’m a little old for that?”

“I guess so. Do you work here?”

“Nope, not that either. “

“how old are you?”

“How old do you think I am? I’ll give you a hint, I’m married and I’ve graduated college.”

“oh you’re fifteen!”


Also I was surprised when I left to get a “bye-bye Sarah”from the two year old…I’m pretty sure I never mentioned my name the whole day except when I was getting introduced to other adults. Awesome.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Well, minus the “we” part. This weekend was spent in Augusta GA for a wedding. The driving there looked something like a tired person singing off-key with the windows open. image

Charley’s Grandmother graciously let me stay at her house since I didn’t have a hotel for this trip. I was a little shy of going to stay with Charley’s grandmother without Charley but it turned out to be such a wonderful thing. I haven’t had to much of a chance to get to know Grandma Scruggs before, but it turns out that we’re kindred spirits after all.

After a long day of work, I came back to the house fully expecting her to be asleep in bed. Instead she was snuggled in a big chair with a  book. Her living room is a dark paneled parlor with deep sunken couches, and overflowing bookshelf with papers and oddments sitting in the shelves. There are stacks of old photographs crammed in the small spaces, and the floor is littered with her little dog’s collection of stuffed animals. She told me that she never could get to sleep early, not since her husband died, so she stays up and reads every night to keep her mind sharp.

And indeed, her mind is still sharp. She is witty and humorous, open to new times and age and aware that she’s seen much. I was quickly drawn into her storytelling as she started with her grandchildren, but then told me about herself. Soon we started comparing our Charley’s (Charley was named after his grandfather) and sometimes they seemed so much the same  person that we’d forget which one we were talking about. God is so wonderful for providing these pockets of rich conversation where we least expect them. God uses people to pass on love and encouragement to one another. Watching Grandma Scruggs talk about how much she loved her husband was one of the sweetest and most encouraging things I could witness as a relatively new married person. She remembers the day they met like it was yesterday, and she remembers all that she’s learned about him through their years together.

We had breakfast together over a pot of tea that she makes in her coffee pot with a pinch of baking soda. It was always her tradition to eat a big breakfast, it was her Charley’s favorite thing to do. I chuckled to myself as she made  Sasha (her overweight yorkie) her very own bowl of eggs and bacon (which FYI egg yolk is bad for dogs). She talks to her constantly. I realized that this would be my destiny if I live to be an old lady.

As for the rest of the trip:

The wedding and rehearsal were held at the Historic Partridge Inn. This wedding stretched me personally in a lot of ways- it was a bit of a tough cookie. One lovely surprise was that the rehearsal dinner was in room that had 0 to none light and even less space to walk around. The ceilings were black and the walls were red brick, the only light sources were the little tea candles around the room. In a photographer’s eyes, this is nearly hell.


imageAugusta Georgia. Not so much a fan. I like exploring new places on the road but the downtown just wasn’t selling itself too me. That’s possibly because the roads looked something like this  --------------------------------->

It’s a simple and small city, but it has some of the worstly laid out road ways I’ve ever seen. I ran into so many random dead ends and some of the highways don’t even have signs. It seemed like there was construction going on EVERYWHERE.

The next morning the girls got ready at a salon called Halo. I was very impressed by the job they did on hair. All of the girls working seemed very modern and most of them had funky hair colors. The lady to do the bride’s makeup never showed up and that put us way off schedule. That happens sometimes and you just have to wing it and take photos super quickly.


The wedding happened, we all survived. I had one of the most limited and dark areas to shoot in that I’ve ever had before. blech….but if my job were easy, it would be kind of boring right?

Finally after the fake exit and dancing were over I drove back to Columbia.

Mommy made me cookies ! Smile and the cat was lurking in the bathroom, so I took a photo.


Sunday Morning I felt LOUSY. Like a car ran over me. I finally mustered up the energy to drive back to Charleston to find a very excited Juneau waiting for me. I threw her in the car and drove her to the dog park because so her hyper state could be vanquished. Poor Charley had worked long hours this weekend and didn’t have a chance to walk her while I was gone. image

She said, “Mom, don’t ever leave me again”.

and I said, “I’ll try Juneau”

She’ll forget all this by next week when I have to leave again.

Who wouldn’t want a giant hedgehog poster?

Well okay, it’s most likely not every ones cup of tea. The other day I received a coupon for art. com to get a 40% off print. I thought to myself, what would charley really appreciate a picture of for our room: Brunelleschi the beloved hedgehog of course. I did some hardcore photoshopping to edit out the food that was in the picture and then loaded it onto the website. It came in 3 days!

It’s eventually going to get a birch border IKEA frame, but for now we just stuck it up to enjoy. Actually I put it on the wall so he’d see it when he came home from work and it took him a while to notice it! How can you miss a 40x30 inch hedgehog poster on your wall?! Men!


Is it just me or is our room looking a little drab? all that grey, ill be working on that eventually. For now the hedgehog poster does  a good job of hiding where the shelf fell off the wall.  See:

Shelf (before) vs. Hedgehog (after)


Bruno BEFORE Photoshop magic:


Bruno AFTER Photoshop magic


We’re pretty sure it’s going to be the next big trend in d├ęcor. In fact I might write a book, “decorating with hedgehogs”.  Or perhaps just “Incorporating Animals in Everyday Style” where I can expound on my obsession with bones, leather, fur and our dog. I’d probably spend the rest of my life getting chased by PETA.