Since 2012

Pics & Papers

On Life, Photography, and Education

by Stacey Carpenter

Pics & Papers

Category: Where We Live (page 1 of 2)

Where We Live Blog Circle – October 2014

My friend and recently ran a couple errands together and planned to stop at a park afterwards to take photos (she’s a photographer too!). Well, on our way, we passed by a different park which had a field of purple and pink cosmos flowers near the entrance! She did a U-Turn and we went there immediately because, well, who can pass up the opportunity to shoot flowers like that? We discovered that this park is the Anne Springs Close Greenway. I’d heard of this park before and kept meaning to visit it. I hear that it has vast sunflower fields during the summer. We stayed near the entrance while shooting these purple cosmos, but we’ll have to go back sometime soon!

purple cosmos

9 photo Brenizer panorama:

brenizer purple cosmos flowers

8 photo Brenizer panorama:

brenizer purple cosmos flowers

girl in a field of pink flowers

pink cosmos

9 photo Brenizer panorama:

brenizer portrait

macro cosmos black and white

Where we actually live, our house, has been a wreck lately. I haven’t gotten much cleaning done and can barely do the dishes. But I have a really good reason for it:

pregnancy announcement

Next up in the blog circle is Jayne Maa! Go on to her blog to see some beautiful Australian scenery!

Where We Live Blog Circle – August 2014

I skipped a month of the Where We Live blog circle due to computer problems. My last blog circle post was in June. I wrote about how we’ve been living on an Army base all summer in a small hotel room while my husband is in training. I wrote about how it is hard to find beauty here at first glance, but that I was driven to find the beauty here anyway. Well, right after that, my laptop died. I’ve been without Photoshop and Lightroom for most of the summer and I am sorry to report that I have not done so well at finding the beauty through photography. I’ve taken some photos and edited them on my phone or on the app that comes with Windows 8 on my husband’s computer or on It’s not quite the same. I love editing photos and just haven’t been as inspired to take them without a consistent means of editing them. I have many things to be thankful for right now, however! My computer is being repaired as we speak and we only have six days left here!!!


Living in a hotel room means lots of junk food and microwaved food. It also means frequently eating out. One of the highlights of our week is when the hotel has free burgers and hot dogs every Wednesday night (with Bingo, which we have discovered to be quite fun). I try to buy fruit and supplies for sandwiches, but still, we are ready to be done with this diet! Living here also means living with a lot of clutter. There is only so much you can do to make one room feel clutter-free.

Because of this, I’ve been getting so excited to move home to our new house! Even cleaning and cooking sound so wonderfully fun right now. I’ve been reading For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School and For the Family’s Sake: The Value of Home in Everyone’s Life by Susan Schaeffer Macauley. Both books have inspired me about the value of homemaking, routines, and traditions. They have inspired me to view cooking dinner and eating together at the same time, at the table as something that is more than a task, but something important, timeless, and wholesome for our relationships as well as our stomachs.

I don’t have much to do here, so naturally that sent me off perusing blogs on real food, cleaning, meal-planning, home organization notebooks, routines, etc. You know, all that Pinterest stuff that we all love to think about and make printables for but that is a little ridiculous to actually do. I am definitely not going to keep an inventory sheet of what I have in my fridge when I can just look in it instead, nor am I going to follow a detailed zone system for cleaning my house. But I do feel inspired to cook a little healthier and add some routine and rhythm to our days.

When we get back, I would love to visit some local farms (we have a lot of them in the Charlotte area) for produce and corn mazes:


Our neighbor grows blueberries and gave us some. We found blackberries already growing in our backyard:


Next year, I’d love to try to grow (and not kill) some fruits and veggies in our own yard.

Thanks for sticking with me this far! Next month will have more photos and less rambling! :)

The next stop in the circle is Faye Sevel Photography! This month, she is showing us the beautiful Riverview Farmstead Preserve at the end of her street.


Where We Live Blog Circle – June 2014

In last month’s blog post, I talked about how we were buying a house and moving. All of our stuff is now moved from our apartment to our house. On this “Where We Live” themed post, you might expect me to post photos taken at our new house, only that wouldn’t be quite accurate because we moved there and then left it for the summer. My husband is in the National Guard and has training this summer for four months. In fact, he left just a few days after we closed on the house. I stayed home for a while to get things ready for the move, and then we moved everything on a weekend when he was able to come home. Thankfully, the military base where we live for the summer is only a couple hours away. I have been able to spend most weeks with my husband and we have been able to come home on weekends to unpack, paint, and mow the lawn. Thankfully, we’ve met our new neighbors and they are all awesome people who keep an eye on our house while we’re gone.

So, where we live this month is in a tiny room at an army hotel surrounded by sandy, prickly grass and pine needles. At first, it was hard to find much to photograph. Our surroundings were not immediately inspiring. Yet being here has given me a drive to find the beauty even here. There are beautiful things here; I just have to look a little harder.

Trees on the frequent car rides back and forth:

backlit forest


self portrait

Making our hotel room feel a little more like home:

black and white bouquet

Lots and lots of studying:




And some macro shots inspired by this article about Miki Asai:
(The following photos were taken in the hotel parking lot with an 85mm f1.8 lens and a cheap 10x macro filter.)

water droplet on leaf

fly on leaf

robber fly eating ant

water droplet on leaf

For more awesome work on the same theme, follow the circle to Rosalyn Charles Photography!



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