Wednesday, 28 September 2011

vintage+a sermon

I'm very pleased to show you the new vintage section in the etsy shop!
At last, I've made the decision to list some of my estate sale finds and treasures, though I must confess that it was a bit difficult to decide what to sell; most of my thoughts go like this,

"Okay, I've got to list at least--oh, wait, I remember buying this! It was in that old house with the--no, Elena, just list it, when are you possibly going to use this anyway? Well, maybe someday I'll need a really small decorative bowl and--oh, mercy, just list it!"

So, in the end, I convinced myself decided to pull a few things from my stash and see how they sell in the shop; this week there are a few estate sales that I'm planning on checking out, so hopefully I'll be able to add more things in the shop.

Also, along the "vintage" thread, I saw this diy project for recovering books, vintage-style, on the ever resourceful Design*Sponge (I just love that place); let me know if you try it out, I'd love to see how your covers come out! Currently on the project list are a few painting projects (I've been loving that lately), a lace baby dress, and a shawl for my Mama; so, don't really have the time to devote to this but I'm definitely putting it on my "future project" list (I'm a big fan of lists. : )
What's on your project list?

Also, I wanted to share with you the link that I posted on Deep Roots At Home for this weeks "Encourage One Another" link-up. This week shared this sermon on Humility: A Blessing from Dr. Peter Masters of the Metropolitan Tabernacle. I was first introduced to Dr. Masters when my parents visited during a trip to the UK last year; they were so blessed by his sermons and we've been listening to them online for quite a while.
Dr. Masters precision and burden for the Word of God to be preached rightly makes for a rich and encouraging sermon. (also, I'm a huge fan of accents so it's a nice feature. ; )
Check it out and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

This Week I Am...

...planning on transforming those two boring, blue pillows you see above into interesting burlap covered pillows (one down, one more to go!).

...putting on my make-up artist hat Thursday and Friday (my sister and friends are making a film and I get the privilege of making the actors faces "screen-ready").

...hoping to get a warm cup of something at "the" coffee shop on Friday (yep, we're filming at a coffee shop), it would be really nice if the coffee was complimentary, but...we're still working on that. ; )

...painting name signs for my sister and a friend. After creating this project, I've discovered my inner acrylic painter; yes, it's wonderful.

...working on a swirly, knitted dress for my niece! She's just gonna look so edible in it; quick knits are so gratifying. Especially quick knits for little ones with chubby cheeks.

...looking forward to some fun fellowship with two sweet friends. Salmon salad is on the menu and I think I'll break out the special apricot black tea (and, of course, coffee)

...writing letters to kindred spirits. I'm devoted to snail mail; the old-fashioned feel of writing your thoughts on paper is so wonderful, it gives me a chance to collect and organize my thoughts (which is always appreciated!).

...waiting for a mysterious phone call, at least, it's mysterious to you, I already know who'll be calling.

...wondering if Fall will ever come, then I walk into my closet, try on my favorite sweater and remember that yes, there was a time I layered up for the cold weather. I just. need. to. be. patient.

...curious what you're doing this week, we'll what's on your calendar?

Monday, 26 September 2011

Inspiring People {Hannah Mendenhall}

For this installment of "Inspiring People", I'm very pleased to introduce to you,
Hannah Mendenhall 
Perhaps you remember the "Inspiring People" post about her sister, Sarah Mendenall (Hannah was the one who captured the photo!). Hannah has much to keep her busy in her home; as a marvelous example of being an industrious and productive young woman in her family, Hannah keeps a yummy raw food blog {Immer Wachsen}, does freelance design work {Little Light Creative}, as well as managing a cute shop on Etsy {Little Light Creative: the shop}; all of this in addition to the ways she contributes to her family! 
Side note: This Curmudgeons Illustration, "hope" print, and this Mark 9:24 print are some of my favorite items in her Etsy shop (check them out, they're pretty adorable).

Hannah has graciously agreed to  share with us a bit about herself, her work, and inspiration.
All of the photos in this post come from Hannah herself (with links to the yummy recipes below each photo!), enjoy.

Tell us about yourself (who you are/values etc...)!

What a question. I am a follower of Christ in whom I find all hope. Christ crucified is everything. I want to give Him glory in what I do, so I hope that my work as a designer and photographer reflect that. 

I am 23 and live at home with my family where endless creative projects keep me busy. However, I would ultimately like to spend more time outdoors. I have a wild dream of living outdoors for a year! From the intricacy of pixels to the grandeur of creation, I love both! 

Can you tell us a bit about how you first got started?
A longgg time ago I took a photography class at my public high school. We used manual cameras, black and white film, and a dark room. To this day, I feel so blessed to have had the experience. From there, I was asked to work on the yearbook staff, where I first met Mac and Adobe. The rest is history :)

What is your favorite thing about what you do?
For food styling, I do love sharing my "strange" eating habits with others. I initially wanted to create a site that Christians would feel comfortable learning about a raw and whole foods lifestyle. 

For graphic design, there is a constant need. It's a great feeling to know something you designed is being used and seen by others!

What inspires you?
God's Creation and His Word. 

What bits of wisdom have you most appreciated in regards to your work?

The Proverbs 31 woman and the book Do Hard Things by Brett and Alex Harris. 

How do you promote your work?
The best success I've had with freelance work is by word of mouth. Although I tweet and facebook, face to face communication results in more jobs. 

As for food styling, it's all online. I'm a featured chef on and I post my recent recipes just about everywhere that is applicable. 

Can you share with us a bit of the goals/plans that you have for your business?
For graphic design, I want to do far more freelance work. It would be awesome to do freelance almost full time.

For food styling, I hope to increase my blog traffic and raise money through sponsorships in order to support different ministries. I cannot bear the thought of just doing work for recognition and money. I have a job to do and my King has given me the gifts and talents to accomplish it! A recipe book could possibly be on my dream to-do list as well. I wouldn't mind styling for raw chefs either. 

What advice would you give to those who are aspiring to have creative businesses of their own?
Do NOT give up. Be patient and get used to hard work. 

Thank you very much for sharing with us, Hannah! 

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Encourage One Another {Cait}

{Pookie, taken around this time last year.}

So sorry for the confusion yesterday! 
The links are redirected and working now 
(thank you Mrs. F for alerting me!)

It's that time of the week again at, Deep Roots At Home!
Last week, we looked at Betsy's post from Part of the Main (pop over to that one if you missed it!).
This week I'd like to encourage you younger ladies (mostly applies--but not limited to, in-your-twenties) 
with the blog of my sweet friend, Cait from What Kady Did.
If you'll remember, I featured her a while back in a Project Inspiration post (hehe, that really didn't make it to being a weekly feature!) called Birds and Sparkles. As a married (mummy-to-be!) young woman, she writes about life married life in Dubai. She's also a wonderfully creative person who enjoys filling her home with comforting, fun things. Hop on over and be inspired and encouraged! 

Monday, 19 September 2011



This past weekend we were traveling between Austin and Houston, 
a perfectly very normal occurrence around these parts, but what wasn't normal was pulling over at the first sight of a "The Biggest Sale Ever" sign. This happens enough at home but not between cities; typically we fly through, trying to make it to our squishy loved ones just as speedily timely as we can, but--praise the Lord!--my Dad can be kinda spontaneous sometimes and as he knew that I am in a "collecting eclectic plates/platters" mood, he pulled over. 
I'm so glad he did.
You see, I'm on a hunt; about fifty plates, teacups/saucers, and various serving platters are the object and I'm excited. Can't tell you exactly why yet (I need to make sure this is actually going to happen before I tell all), just know that I'm excitedly searching. The end.

Also, this past weekend, I was reminded why I love sewing (quick results). I made a nursing cover for a sweet friend (can't wait to meet you, Asher!) and I made pillow covers for the first time; perhaps one of the favorite parts was the fact that I was making them out of coffee burlap sacks collected from a wee coffee shop in New York (we miss you R family). Photographed finished results to come. 

In other news, I'm also looking for frames. Ugly ones, big ones, ornate ones, small ones, dainty ones (you get the idea), all to create a trail; a memory trail going upstairs (rather like the first picture in this one). 
Yesterday I found one, ???? more to go! As it is kind of a weird shade of green, I'll probably paint it black (or black or mustard or pale grey? hm...let's see); for now it's in my room (next to the finds from this weekends spontaneousness). This has opened a can of creative thoughts, mostly about creating my silhouettes of my family, to be mixed with the photo/memory trail, BUT I think I'll collect more frames before I start.

Any new projects brewing for you on this fine--wet!!--Monday morning?

Friday, 16 September 2011

friday musings

{Sleeping Eva} 

You might have noticed the absence of the {Dubai Covers} page (don't look for it, it's already gone), well, the time has come to add the inventory to our shop! Though this feature did quite meet my expectations, I've decided to employ my "reuse, reuse, reuse" mentality and am posting the unsold covers in my Etsy shop!
Mica and I still planning our trip and thanks to some other forms of fundraising, have enough collected for our trip! I'm so, so, so excited and have continued my mental packing of suitcases. : )
As the planning continues I have a mysterious question (don't you just love it??), how many of my readers are located in the London, England or Frankfurt, Germany area? Just wondering...

As an interesting bit of random information, I'm also wondering how many of my readers play musical instruments? This question has no mystery, sorry. Currently, I'm learning to play the piano again (Thanks so my fabulous teacher, Amy Sheehan) and one of the songs I'm working on is Beethoven's Sonatina in F (if that little seven-year-old can play it, by george, so can I).

And before I part with you on this fine Friday, for my estate sale/thrifting friends,
here is a great resource I use:
Ever used it? I will be this weekend, I'm on a hunt for plates. Lots of them. And teacups with saucers in addition to my usual, "Gee I Wonder If They Have This" list. Yet another mystery for you (isn't it exciting?).

There's still time to add your link to the 
Encourage-One Another link-up!
Click the button for more details.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

happy thursday

Generally, I try not to have too many loose-ended projects going. Generally. However, I've decided to add yet another art project to my list, all in the name of my sister I might add. This October we will be celebrating the completion of her high school studies and since she has graciously left the decorating/styling/detail work to me (which I just love!), I decided to take this time to create something similar to this piece of artwork. The finished product will be the centerpiece of the little stage area I've mentally set-up. It's one of the biggest projects I've ever started (note the use of the work started) so I practicing on a smaller canvas to start.
Mica plays really enjoys playing the violin and has chosen Pagnini's Caprice No. 24 (which is her favorite piece to play and I to which love listening) for my practice canvas; it's a wonderfully complicated and busy piece which will make for a fun project, I think. I'll be documenting my progress along the way so watch out. : ) Depending on how it comes out I'm considering adding them to my shop as well (hint: give me your feedback!).

What's the biggest project you've begun?

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Encourage One Another

{previous project: a cowl that is waiting to be worn! come fall, come quickly!}

Today I have the immense pleasure of participating in an 
with Jacqueline from Deep Roots At Home!

This is an exciting blogging project based on 1Thessalonians 5:11,
Therefore, encourage and build one another up, just as you are doing.
It is designed to encourage the mother, the daughter, the young woman in a plethora of ways; from cleaning/cooking tips and recipes to homemaking and alternative medicine tips (oh, yeah), this projects aims to intentionally spur one another in life and godliness. Participants are encouraged to post links every Wednesday (via Linky, see post for details), these links can be an encouraging article, inspiring photo, or fun new recipe/kitchen tip.

So what did I post? Well, I've been reading the delightful blog of Betsy from Part of the Main, for some time now. Each post is well-written with care and makes me think how wonderful it would be to be neighbors. She has been a great encouragement to me in homemaking, blooming where you're planted, and delighting in motherhood; she is currently living in the wonderful UK and often posts on life there (It transports me every time!). Her recent post, Don't Be A Stranger, renewed my excitement in living out the gospel to "strangers", and to search out opportunities when I can do just that.

Would you care to participate? 
Click on the button below for more encouraging links and information on this project!


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A Wonderful Kind of Ugly

Do you have an item/accessory/trinket that you just love...but everyone else thinks it's hideous?
Well, the pair of shoes you see is my "Wonderful Ugly" item. Those Simple shoes are probably the most comfortable pair of shoes that I own; I could wear them all day long, they're just practical and super comfy. However, around these parts, they're known as my "granny shoes" (I prefer to call them my "Whole Foods Shoes"). 
This reminds me of my journey selling on Etsy; at first, I had to remind myself "not to despise meager beginnings"; to do what I could with what I had. Rather like my "Whole Foods/Granny Shoes", my methods weren't terribly streamlined or professional (and are still being refined) but practical and they worked for the time being (I'm glad to know that I did the best with what I knew at the time!).  I'm so thankful for the helpful people and resources that I have discovered and am still discovering (You know who you are)! I'll be you have a "Wonderful Ugly" item as well, don't you?    ; )

Also, I wanted to introduce you to a great, new resource for selling your crafts online, in fact, it's called How to Sell Your Crafts Online (groundbreaking title, I know ; ). It is being released on Amazon in October and seems somewhat similar to one of my favorite how-to books, just more relevant to Etsy sellers.
What sorts of books/resources do you find helpful? Let me know, I'm always looking to expand my library!

Monday, 12 September 2011


"Sometimes I have days where I just feel overwhelmed. Not defeated, not hopeless, not even stressed....just, overwhelmed. Usually in part by the amount of things that I need to accomplish for my clients, my business and my life, and in part by the things life throws at me that are completely out of my control."

is a fabulous wedding photographer based out of Virginia, 
(here's her website and blog!)and happens to be one of my favorite photographers;
You might have already seen her on my {Inspirations} page.
I would describe her work as crisp, creative, and very cheerful.
Her bright and friendly personality is pretty adorable, as you can see in these 
snippets of her recent wedding. (as captured by the talented Rebekah Murray)
It was on Tori's blog that the quoted passages were found~
~thanks so much, Tori, for letting me share them here!

That could easily describe my own thoughts in lately.
As I've hinted in past posts, I'm working on making changes in how I run my business and where I want to go with it; much time, research, and thought has been put into these changes and while I can't unveil the changes yet (nope, they're not quite ready!), I'm excited about them. : )
This combined with other things going that have piled up were the reasons that I was so thankful to read that post ; somehow, knowing that someone else felt the same way made my own struggle easier. What's more is the way Tori continued:

"But it's when I reach the state of this kind of overwhelming thought and feeling that I'm beyond grateful to be able to look to the One who more than knows what to do with all of the things set before me. All of the things that I'm responsible for, all of the things I feel ill-equipped to handle, and all of the things I can't understand and can't control. It's the reassurance of His all-knowing, all-understanding and all-loving ways that remind me I don't have to try to figure out how to juggle things that overwhelm me. I just need to look to Him, one day at a time, and walk in the grace and peace He freely and overwhelmingly provides to cover over even the most confusing life situations."

Which is truly the most comforting and sustaining in this "overwhelming" time; I can be grateful for these times because it is now that I am driven to my knees in a deeper sense; these are the times when I am made aware of my own inability and weaknesses in different ways, thus giving me a greater appreciation for His sufficiency and strength. I don't have to do this on my own.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 
who comforts us in all our affliction, 
so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, 
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 

Monday, 5 September 2011

There's No Place Like...


It's been very nearly a week since I was last in Austin. 
Not surprisingly, I really miss rinsing diapers (crazy, I know), wiping chubby hands, and getting bitten by Wee Teeth (long story); the rhythm of my home is pretty different from the hustle and bustle of little people laughing and ricocheting around. In case you get the wrong impression, we Marques girlies can get pretty crazy in our own way.
Since being home, I've been settling into my new routine (read: trying to get used to a house without littles--we miss you, Hoods!) and since I've become a huge fan of lists, I made a list of things I'd like to do for September, wanna peak?

Organize Closet (again)
I've become inspired by Kendi's organizational post
Create business goals for 2012
Post Fall 2011 Line for Shop (knitting, knitting, knitting)
Make two more projects using UK yarn (post to come)
We have a trip to NC coming in October and I want to be ready!
Begin video series (Youtube, here I come!)
Research, research, research for my Light bulb Idea (again, post to come!)

So, there you have a few of the things I'm working on; thankfully, I don't really see anything currently on the calendar that would prevent me from checking these items checked off, aside from the fascinating book I'm reading. I'm about 3/4's of the way through The Help and so far, I've really enjoyed it (thanks so much for lending it, J!); a kindred spirit loaned it to me, we have similar taste in novels and this is no exception. I love the feel and flow of Kathryn Stockett's work. It reminds me very much of Harper Lee in the sense that I can clearly "see" everything happening and I am quickly familiar with the characters; the story is set at the tail end of one of my favorite times in history and I love the way Stockett has incorporated so much of the culture and happenings of that time. Have any of you read it/seen the film? 
{Note: the following is not at all to meant to downgrade fiction reading, it's just something I haven't done in a while.} I haven't read a fun, fiction book in quite a while, so I feel the need to ration the time that I spend reading; it's dreadful, but somehow I feel like I'm wasting time when I read fiction (that. sounds. so. prudish.). Honestly, I haven't read such an intriguing novel since, The Chosen (loved that one) or The Red House Mystery (delightful story!), but like Pinterest, I ration the amount of time I spend reading. 
Are you mostly a fiction or non-fiction reader? I'd love any of your suggestions!


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