Esther's Place

Esther's Place

April 4, 2014

I've Moved

I'm very excited to announce that I have moved to my new website!  You will find my blog, my research services and my etsy shop all there in one place.  

Once you get there, be sure and subscribe by e-mail and/or follow me through one of the social media icons to continue to follow my blog posts.

March 4, 2014

5 Cousins, 3 Cemeteries and a Piggly Wiggly

What has this got to do with family history?

Let me explain...

When I am not dreaming up interesting ways to share our family history or creating photo jewelry and gifts, you will find me researching family history.  Sometimes my own family's history.  Other times history for my genealogy clients.  I really do find a trip to the NC Archives or a local (dusty) courthouse a treat.

But my favorite kind of research?

Getting away from the computer and poking around local churches and cemeteries! (Just so you know - I do not go to the little country churches alone.  I want to be smart and safe in my research.)

One  Sunday afternoon I found myself in the van in rural Lee County, NC with 5 cousins.  We stopped at 3 cemeteries - two church and one town cemetery.  I found ancestors galore, took a ton of photographs and heard more family stories than I could possibly write down.

We talked, we laughed and we topped off the trip with a quick stop at the Piggly Wiggly. (If you are not from the south, that's a grocery store!)

While I collected ancestors' names and dates, my research turned up something much more valuable to me as a family historian.

I found connections - deeper and stronger connections with my cousins simply by being with them. We created our own piece of family history together that day.

I challenge you to go and create your own family history today.

February 27, 2014

How I Work Smarter in My Etsy Store

Many Etsy shop owners are busy mompreneurs.  We are busy taking care of young children, shuttling older children to and fro or working a job outside the home. Let's face it.  We have a lot on our plates.  We are busy in our families.  We are busy in our communities. Many are busy working outside the home.

I've struggled with the balance.  (I suspect I am not alone.) I've struggled with being overwhelmed with all the different roles I need to perform as the owner of Esther's Place.


I love being creative.
I want to share my creativity with others.

I want Esther's Place to be a successful Etsy shop.

Do I have what it takes to be a successful Etsy shop owner?

Yes, I do have what it takes if I work smarter. It has taken me a while, but I'm learning to work smarter and be more productive.

Here are three things I do to work smarter in Esther's Place.
  • I stay focused on my goals.  I keep my goals for the year, the month and the week in a place I can see them daily. If I start to feel scattered and a bit unfocused, the lists help me re-focus back to my current task.
  • I do not multitask.  Despite what I think, invariably I end up spending more time on a task or needing to re-do a task.  
  • I remember: I cannot do it all.  (Thanks, @VendRaleigh for reminding me!) 
I challenge you to work smarter this week. 

What are your tips for working smarter?

February 26, 2014

February 25, 2014

The Story Behind the Picture

If you have visited my Esther's Place shop, you undoubtedly have seen samples of my custom photo jewelry and gifts using this photograph. This young woman is my grandmother Anita Carr Talbott (1917-2013).

This photograph is one of my favorites of her and one I use in many of my sample pieces.  But what you don't know is the story behind the photograph.

The photo dates to 1937 and is actually my grandmother's wedding photo. Like many young girls (women) of her time, she did not wear a fancy white wedding dress. She was from a southern Virginian farming family of modest means and that was an expense just not considered. Instead, she wore a nice dress/suit and hat.  Don't you love the hat!  (I really wish hats were back in style.)

My grandmother passed away this past October at the age of 96.  In the months prior to her death, I interviewed her many times about our family history and the stories behind many of the family photographs. She took one look at the above photo and declared, "I never liked that photo of me!".  I was shocked - everyone in the family loves this photograph. Oops.  Sorry, Grandmom!

Okay, Readers, your turn!

What great story have you learned from a family photograph?

February 11, 2014

New! Custom Wedding Charms

Valentine's Day is this week and love is in the air. Inspired by cupid, I have added custom wedding photo charms to Esther's Place this week.

Honor a loved one on your wedding day by adding a custom photo wedding charm to your bouquet. You might want to add a charm with your mother's wedding photograph or one of your parents on their wedding day.  You may want to add charms with photographs of several generations of the women in your family.  The possibilities are endless. 

Tuck several charms among the flowers in your bouquet.

You may decide to attach the charms to the base of your bouquet.  

Stop by the shop and take a look.  If you have any questions, e-mail me at EsthersPlace[at]