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.

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]

January 8, 2014

Identifying Unidentified Photographs

Whew! The holidays are over.  How did that happen so fast?!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and have gotten 2014 off to a great start.Some of you are experiencing a very cold and snowy start to the new year. Here in NC?  Just cold, but nine degrees in NC is very cold for us!

While the weather is so cold, I enjoy the opportunity to stay inside and focus on my family history projects for a while. My latest and ongoing project is attempting to identify all those "unidentified" photographs I have inherited in my role as the family's historian.

There are a lot of unidentified photos in my office, but I have hopes that one day, I will get them all identified.

These two men are in my "unidentified" group of photographs.

How about you?  Do you have a pile of photographs of "relatives" you just cannot identify? Not even sure if they are relatives?

I thought so.

May I offer some suggestions?
  • If you know which family the photographs came from, keep them in a group.  For example, I keep all the photographs that came from my paternal Great grandmother Carr together.  I may not know who everyone is, but at least I can be assured they are not my maternal Howard relative.
  • If you received the photographs in a photo album, leave them in there initially.  If the photo album is in bad shape or one of those "magnetic" albums from the 1970's, take digital photographs of each page before taking the photographs out.  Photo albums can tell a chronological story. Often family groups or groups of friends can be determined by the order the photographs were put into the album.
  • Have as many people as possible in your family to view the photos. E-mail them out to relatives. Don't forget those more distant relatives! That mystery man in a photo could be a distant who stopped by for a visit once.  While not well known in your family, he could be well known in another family branch.
  • If you know the region or area a set of photographs came from, contact the local historical society and/or genealogical society. You may be able to post the photographs in their newsletter to increase the chances someone will recognize the photo.
Good luck with identifying those unknown photographs! (And stay warm!)