The Great Merger

The Great Merger is complete. Mostly.  I have merged my art & craft blog, Random Act of Grace, with this one. Suddenly, my post count skyrocketed which, I’ll admit, was kinda cool! 174 posts.

So, the format of this blog is not really changing. Perhaps expanding a bit, but I’d often included some of the more art and craft kinds of things here as well, so there will likely be little perceptible change.

The photoblog is still up, running and active and in fact has some lovely new photos of morning glories. There is a huge vine cluster at the end of my street next to the train tracks and I’d just driven past them every day and hadn’t had time to shoot them until today. A few here and a few at Mental Scrapbook. Not necessarily all the same images either, so check them out.


The Pictures We Take

Recently, I have been in a cleaning, organizing mood. Make that an ULTRA cleaning and organizing mood!  It might be because the Summer has been full and I know that October is a manic crazy month and I have little time between now and then to do personal stuff. I don’t know.

Anyhow, I was even doing some organizing of the digital photos on my computer and ran across some I’ve taken over the past couple of years that are all….. well….. I guess they were test shots. We all have these kinds of photos. Sometimes it’s the accidental photo that we didn’t realize we were taking and then… Bam! goes the flash. For me, they are often the ones I’ve taken while I was trying to shoot something else or preparing to go out and photograph something else entirely and took these as prepshots.  Things to check the settings, etc.

I used to have a whole set of photos of the mailbox at my mom’s house. I’m sure they are still around here somewhere. That was back in the days of print film. Over the years, that seemed to be the default photo for testing out the settings or making sure the film had caught before shooting a whole roll of absolutely wasted time.

I worked in the photo industry for about eight years which is why I know that people always do this, especially back in the days of film, but now, too. Most of the time, we just delete these pictures now that we can. Maybe we shouldn’t. Maybe they’re worth looking at later on; reflecting on them much later when we go back through the pictures and there they are. Waiting for us. Like little treasures, telling us something about ourselves that we didn’t even realize at the time.


They are interesting images. Real moments in time that were sort of intentional and sort of not. A sleeping cat, tree branch and flower. None of them great but all of them a snap of my life. I think I will keep these images and I wonder what it would be like if we all kept those little accidental photos. It would be interesting to see what our lives look like when we aren’t photographing them on purpose.

More photos–most of which are better (I hope) are here at Mental Scrapbook.

Biltmore Gardens

Spent part of the day at the Biltmore House yesterday and by that I mean I went to the gardens. It was really hot! However, I got some pretty good photos from the day.

The uploads to my photoblog, The Mental Scrapbook, are being spaced out over a few days, but I am frustrated that wordpress does not list my photo posts in their tags section. In other words, when I tag a post with ‘photo’ or ‘photography’ or whatever along those lines and then go to the ‘tags’ section from the wordpress front page, none of the posts from that blog ever show up.

However, they do from this blog! So, here are some photos from the day:

This is some of the lovely brick work in front of the conservatory.

I love these flowers! I cannot remember what they are called. They are actually tall stalks with row after row of these little trumpets. Really beautiful.

Sometimes the flowers that have gone to seed are just as pretty as the blooms, although it is in a far different way.

I am repeatedly amazed at the macro ability of this little camera. Far more than I would have guessed. It is times like these, however, that I miss my Elan and the awesome 50mm macro. 😦

This is probably my favorite shot of the day. I love how the grass is going one way and the flower stem is going another. The bloom was actually a very pale, almost white, blue and it translated well to black and white.

Hothouse lilies smell great and are always posing for just one more shot!

The smoothness of the leaves and texture of the wood.

This little purple flower just popped out of the yellow leaves. I don’t think these leaves belong to the same plant, but they look great together.

more photos at Mental Scrapbook

Carnival, Costume and Candy


Saturday was our Halloween Carnival and oh what a wonderful time we had! There were over a hundred people who came, both adults and children. We had candy, carnival games and a haunted trail.

My costume was pretty good, too. I was pleased with it in the end, though I did have a difficult time combining the pirate and Steampunk themes–more difficult than I expected, anyway. However, an Airship Pirate I became!

The goggles came out quite well! They’re made from wielder’s goggles, gold and copper paint pens, copper nail polish, brass clock parts, and some small copper spacer beads that resemble gears.  And the make up came out pretty good, too. I do not often wear a lot of make up so that’s a different thing for me. The hat was a monster (I didn’t make it but I did modify it significantly) and was quite huge even folded up in a tricorn. The pin on the dress is the airship insignia pin from Girl Genius comics (Adventure! Romance! Mad Science!) though I do not think it can be seen so well in the photos.goggles

goggles on hatDress and vest/corset is a McCall’s pattern.

I made the necklace with soft wire in copper and other light yellow colors and two pendant pieces: a key and a medallion made to look like a clock with lots of innards showing. Belt was a woven, large belt from Wal Mart with a giant clip tied to it on which I put a ring of copper colored old fashioned skeleton keys. Last but not least is the eye patch on which I put a skull and crossed keys surrounded by a giant gear. Can’t claim that as my original design because I saw it in several forms by several different people all over the internet.

There’s a photo here of me with one of my campus ministry students whose costume was a “hobo from the future” or, at least as I saw it, somewhat diesel punk. Pretty awesome goggles of his own that he made with giant stainless steel nuts, cardboard and duct tape.

steampunk n dieselpunk

I seriously considered chucking the pirate hat altogether and just wearing the top hat I made last year.

This is a fantastic knitting pattern that can be found at Dark Twist and I cannot recommend it highly enough! (aww, miss my long hair sometimes.sad) But, I do not know that I would have been readily identifyable as “pirate” without the hat.

All in all, a good costume!