Saturday, November 13, 2010

'Ever After' by Kelly Dunn of 'Style Attic'

My name is Kelly, and my blog is 'Style Attic'.

Back when my blog was known as 'Life at 5 Feet', I did a post called 'Before & After'.

It was a motivational post for a Monday morning to start the week or those to-do lists with a bit of a forward spring.  I was just 3 months new to blogging and Marija was the 1st one to comment at 8:46 am with this:

 "Excellent advice. Getting started is the hardest part! My favorite before and after is the ring and the couple. Now there is something to strive for!"

The picture she was referring to was this one..

From woman to woman who has each been blessed to marry the man of their dreams...we connected.  
My interaction with Marija was very brief and I'm sad that it wasn't able to flourish past a few comments and one email.  

She had written to me:
"Hi dear, we all start somewhere and your blog is something special and I can't wait to see more of...just wanted you to know. ~ Marija"

I remember reading that email and thinking REALLY?....clicking over to her abundant department store of a showcase blog....and then telling my husband "Honey, this designer lady who really has it going on just took the time to write me!!"

Marija proved that big thoughts and the smallest of gestures can equal something special, just like her.  The intentions she had of reaching the rocking chair age with her husband is something in her honor we should never take for granted.

image by Style Attic

May her sweet soul live happily ever after..

Thank you Charlotta for asking me to share, and your patience..  What you are doing is a wonderful effort to preserve all that is good, in a wonderful person, that we called our friend.

Kelly Dunn

Friday, November 5, 2010

Donna of 'A Perfect Gray': How would I describe Marija?

To me she was the 'real deal.' 

She was authentic. She had a grounded voice and she always expressed a well-thought out opinion. In short, I admired her. She reminded me a lot of Patricia Shackelford  over at 'Mrs Blandings', who inspired me to start my own blog. Like Patricia, Marija stood on solid ground. She was confident in herself, and knew her own personal sense of style. 

 via pinterest

I can easily imagine that when she spoke in person, others really wanted to listen to what she had to say. I know I was flattered to get comments from Marija on my posts. She was always thoughtful, mostly witty, and always kind. And although I had high admiration for her style and opinion, I never felt Marija considered herself anything but 'one of the gang' of design bloggers. That in itself is a beautiful quality.

Some folks are smart but not wise. Marija was a lovely lady with a beautiful heart, a smart mind and a wise soul. She was truly the 'real deal.'


************* * *************

Dear readers,

We would love it if you wanted to contribute to this 'memory blog', and hope that over
time it will be filled with beautiful stories, pictures and tributes from all and everyone of
Marija's friends and family, to create a rich 'guest book' for Cory and the children.

Please email Charlotta or/and Debra for further information.

Many thanks.


Monday, September 27, 2010

From the heart

The loving and very giving woman behind the watercolor of  Marija, Cory, Nigel & Olivija's family home is Patricia Van Essche of PVE  Design. She perfectly captured the home Marija was so very proud of and Patricia understood that, calling this work 'Holding Fast'. "I think we can realize how fast life can be for some and so short for others".

"I felt compelled to honor the woman that always left me moving comments and understanding how hard she worked to create this home".

Lovely dear Patricia, thank you, thank you for sharing your gifts.

xx Debra & Charlotta

************* * *************

Dear readers,

We would love it if you wanted to contribute to this 'memory blog', and hope that over
time it will be filled with beautiful stories, pictures and tributes from all and everyone of
Marija's friends and family, to create a rich 'guest book' for Cory and the children.

Please email Charlotta or/and Debra for further information.

Many thanks.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

'How Marija influenced me'.. by Kathysue

When Debra and Charlotta asked the readers of Holding Forth to write something about our time with Marija I thought to myself, I am not sure what to write since my journey with her was a brief time in blog land, but I started thinking of Marija and how she influenced me..

It was her wonderful spirit that came through the computer screen, her love of family,life and design. I could tell this woman had true style. Nothing that was copied but a style that she felt in her soul.

The most important thing I learned from Marija was all about taking "time". You see she took time to touch base with me and let me know how she appreciated my comments on her blog. She took the time to read my blog and left thoughtful comments, nothing contrived or pat, always meaningful.

I realize through my brief time knowing Marija in blog land that the relationships we make here are because we reach out from behind the words and actually touch someones life, as Marija has touched mine.

I ask you to just stop and think for a minute.. If she had not taken the time to reach out none of us would have ever known this bright, beautiful and intelligent woman. I for one am so glad that Marija and I reached out to each other.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hello and welcome to 'Holding Forth'...

The world of blogging adored the talented Marija Stephens and her blog ‘Holding Court’. 

 Marija Stephens

Marija was a devoted mother to her two beautiful children, Olivija & Nigel, a loving wife to her husband Cory, a caring daughter to her mother Mary and sister to her brother Phil. She was also a gifted designer & writer that readily shared her vision, her life and her musings via her blog. When Marija wrote a post it was as though she was speaking to each of us directly in a lively conversation between friends, and it was impossible not to fall for her charm, wit, warmth and amazing take on life.

Marija & her husband Cory, Nigel & Olivija and her beloved 'Greek Revival' in Chicago.

Marija had time for everyone, and her comments, emails and phone calls brightened up the day of those around her – near and far. It was a privilege and honour to be her friend, and there wasn’t a dull moment with her around. 

Sadly Marija’s life ended abruptly on July 10, 2010 in a car accident that left her family, friends and blogging community in numbing shock and grief.  Endless tributes flooded the blog-world (please go to the ‘Tributes Index’ to read these) and it was clear that more people than she herself perhaps was aware of loved Marija. 
To honour this remarkable woman, two of Marija's close friends, Charlotta Ward of 'Space for Inspiration' (Sydney, Australia) and Debra Philips of '5th and State' (Chicago, USA) joined together to create ‘Holding Forth’, a blog space we hope will be filled with loving memories of our dear friend. A communal place for those who loved her as much as we did, to remember and celebrate Marija in.

We hope to honour our beloved friend and to eventually hand over the content of this blog to her family as a gift that forever will tell just how amazing we all thought Marija was and how blessed we feel to have been given the opportunity to know her.

So please join us as we ‘Hold Forth’..

x Charlotta & Debra