29 June 2008

Who is who?

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! :) Grover was wrestling with his giant stuffed IKEA bulldog and I didn't like any of the pics I got, except for this random outtake. :) Most of the time, I like the "happy accidents" I get rather than the things I actually set out to capture. :)

Hee hee...

25 June 2008

“Give yourself an even greater challenge than the one you are trying to master..."

"...and you will develop the powers necessary to overcome the original difficulty.” ~ William Bennett

So, I'm entering my very first contest. I tend to shy away from anything competition-ish because I figure if I don't put myself out there, I won't be hurt or offended or shot down. I'm an incredibly positive, cheery, optimistic person in general, but when it comes to myself, I go in to things assuming the worst... and therefore I have nowhere to go but up!

But I'm changing my attitude. My confidence needs serious boosting, so what the heck. I need to push myself. A lot. In trying to remember a town where a particular photo was taken for a project I'm working on, I went on to the national trust's website for Fountains Abbey, and lo and behold, they're holding a photography contest. (Neat! Wish I had been recently.) For photos from the past 5 years. (NO WAY! I was last there in 2006. Yippee!) So, I'm doing it.

I have quite a few pretty photos that I'm sure are exact dupes of a million other peoples'. It's an awesome place. So, going against the grain, I'm going to submit two totally random images that I hope stand out a little.

They're not perfect, but I'm proud of them. And I can say I did it!

So wish me luck! The grand prize is a one week stay for two people in a National Trust Holiday Cottage in England. (My favorite place in the world!) Of course, can I afford the airfare? Nope. But, that's neither here nor there! Hee hee...

23 June 2008

The books are here! The books are here! Yay!

I had to test out the quality of Salty Grapes Photography's new book "It's Not Over 'Til It's Grover" and I love them! I've got a second (non-Grover related hehehe) one in the works already I'm so excited. =)

Check 'em out!

Soft cover on top, hardcover on the bottom

Click this link for more details!

22 June 2008


For anyone who thinks a bulldog is mean, take a look at this face.

This is the face of the most terrified, wimpy, quivering mess of a bulldog, thanks to the near constant wild thunderstorms we keep getting.

Don't you just want to scoop him up and hug him?! It breaks my heart that I can't calm him down... he gets SO upset. I turn on the A/Cs, the TV, the radio, the fan - anything to try to drown out the sound. But they sense it coming, you know? And then he sits on my foot for hours, and doesn't leave my side, no matter where I go. Stuck to me like glue!!!

What IS up with all the crazy thunderstorms Connecticut keeps getting?! I used to adore them... and now I have to close up the house and try to distract my poor pup-pup. :)

17 June 2008

"Grapes are the most noble and challenging of fruits." ~Malcolm Dunn

Stopped by Chamard Vineyards for a couple pictures... I can't wait for the grapes to grow - they're just little buds now - I need a good "grape" shot! :) :) :)

I also plan on visiting some of the many wineries/vineyards scattered throughout Connecticut this summer on the "CT Wine Trail." Such gorgeous locations...

16 June 2008

Father's Day GPS Adventure

OK, so I admit that I am probably the last person on earth to not have a GPS in my car. :) My father does, and being a nerd (hey, I say that out of love because I get my nerdiness from him!) he loves to argue with it. He loves to challenge it. He loves to complain that it's not going the right or most efficient way.

My mother read an article in the New York Times a few months back about a couple brewpubs here in Connecticut, and had the brilliant idea to send us all on a GPS-only Wild Goose Chase for Father's Day.

She programmed the GPS for Willimantic, a part of Connecticut none of us has ever really been to, and the Willimantic Brewing Company as our final destination. I learned my respect for GOOD beer from my dad, who brewed his own for years. :)

So, not having a CLUE where he was going, he was only allowed to do what the GPS told him to do. It was torture! But it was a blast.

If you're familiar with Willimantic ("Willi" to the locals) you've seen these guys.

They sit upon thread spools, and are affectionately called The Frog Bridge, or Thread City Crossing, for Windham's rich thread and textile mill history.

The frogs are a sort of inside joke... they hearken back to the Battle of Frog Pond, "a harrowing night in 1754 when townspeople rushed outside with their muskets to defend themselves from an unseen screeching menace. The next morning, they discovered scores of dead frogs, who had fought for the last remaining puddles of water in a drought-stricken lake." Hee hee.

And they're everywhere... even on the brewery's signage. (Which was incidentally in the old post office, hence the postmark look.)

It was a great place!

With TONS of house brews... and more "guest" beers on tap as well!

It was a necessity to get the sampler, and try them out... but they were all delicious!

But I think this was my most favorite detail of all!!!

We all wished it was closer... there isn't anything like it down here on the shoreline, where you can get, say, a growler of a tasty house recipe for super cheap. :) So, we'll just have to make another trip out someday. I know we passed LOADS of cool old buildings I can't wait to go back and shoot... and a lot of farm equipment dealerships. ;)

15 June 2008

"It's Not Over 'Til It's Grover"

Nothing like a cold rainy day to get you to finish a project you've been meaning to finish for ages. =)

Salty Grapes Photography is so excited to announce that It's Not Over 'Til It's Grover, a silly look into the wit, wisdom and wackiness that is Grover the Bulldog, is now available in print!!!!

The book is available in Salty Grapes Photography's very own Blurb bookshop, which will no doubt, house many more books in the future, provided I'm happy with the quality! I will be ordering a handful of copies myself to have for various crafts fairs and whatnot, but click the badge below to check it out, complete with 10-page teaser, and order your copy today! You too can own 66 pages of Grover Goodness.

Wit, Wisdom, and Wa...
By Salty Grapes Phot...

Grover will happily sign pawtographs for cheese. Inquire within. ;)

14 June 2008

A Visit with the New England Alpacas!

Continuing my random tips around Connecticut (you'll start to see my plan for the summer unfold - I intend on exploring all sorts of local touristy things I never have!) I stopped by the New England Alpaca Open House today, and got to learn all about alpacas and their wool, and hang out with some cute, furry (well, less furrier than usual though having just been shorn) little buggers. :)

"Alpacas are members of the camelid family which also include camels, dromedaries, llamas, guanacos, and vicunas. Although camelids originated in North America millions of years ago, the llama-like animals migrated to South America.

Alpacas, along with llamas, became domesticated and are among the oldest domestic animals in the world. Alpacas are bred primarily for their exquisite wool and now total approximately 3.5 million in South America alone. At this time, there are fewer than 47,000 alpacas in the United States and Canada."

(Courtesy of NE Alpacas)

Every single one loved to ham for the cam. Like my teef?

The welcome wagon



Some of their 'dos reminded me of poodles...

This girl's eyes were gorgeous!

This one was so goofy...


How great is her mustache?!

Lots of visitors stopped by...

Some relaxed in the heat...

While others were full of energy!

Of course I can never resist ANY animal... this was the beautiful barn kitty.

The rest of the photos are here: Click me!

Their next open house is around Thanksgiving, just in time to buy beautiful, soft alpaca wool sweaters, mittens, scarves and hats for the holidays! I highly recommend a visit. =)

12 June 2008

Essex, CT ::: "Best Small Town in America"

OK, so I believe it was given that title by a journalist in 1998, but it's still very true!! It's a beautiful little town that I have wonderful memories of as a kid, and also have a fondness for today.

Down at the Connecticut River...

A church downtown

A couple shots from within the steam train yard

And lastly, Essex used to be home to the E.E. Dickinson Company factory which made Witch Hazel... sadly, the plant was relocated in the early 90s.

And my pathetic attempts at trying to capture some funky sun flare... I need some lessons. =)