There’s still a lot of shopping to do here in Marmaland. I have been a busy elf myself trying to get orders packaged & out the door and haven’t had time to get out into the holiday mall madness to do my shopping. Nonetheless, here & there I’ve been taking breaks to get some online cruising for stuff done. I think some of it is totally share worthy!

For the writer/artist/creative soul in your life: I discovered Moleskine notebooks a few years back and really love putting my thoughts down on paper, ideas for the business, the occasional thought that actually pops through the photographic haze. I found this site today searching for the Volume II of my business ideas notebook. Hemingway can’t be wrong…right? Love these notebooks and the inspiration I feel just holding onto them. Nothing better than the smell of new ideas in a blank notebook page.

For the new mom: LittleJules makes the most beautiful handcrafted jewelry. I love the “for mom” bracelet for $99. Lovely, novel and sweet yet fashionable enough for the more discerning new mom!

 

Even nicer for the new mom that likes to be spoiled a bit…the Silver Rectangle Gate Locket by The Fine Art of Family is very beautiful and very unique in the old style world of lockets. Very posh! I also love that there is a 3 image variation.

For the arty mom…or the mom who loves her children’s fine art! Magic Dog Studio has the most amazing creations, well your children have the most amazing creations however Magic Dog Studio will take your kids artwork OFF THE FRIDGE and onto you! I adore this idea (and think I may be having a bracelet created especially for me in the very near future!!)

Isn’t it precious?

For the crafty kid, I found the coolest site: Madallie Much of the site is aimed at the roadtripping family, however I spotted this very cool Hip Hoop Knitting Set for the >9 yr old girl (or boy if they are into that 😉 ) set.

Crib Rock, need I say more? Brad & Angelina can’t be wrong!! LOL For the new rocking parent, something appropos to their lifestyle. I think I’ve linked to them before and I can’t help but link again. The Three Blind Mice are going on tour again! W00T! And would it be rock without the videos? I think not! You must check out Gwen Stuffuny’s Mulberry Bush (wow, that sounded dirty).

Since we’re on the topic of “rock”, how about something for the golf loving/rock loving dad? How about beating off the sweat with the Fairway to Heaven (gah, even that pun sickened me, so sorry). And since we’re at Planetmom’s site, what about the gold diggers in your life? (ok, I swear, enough with the play on words).

Well, I really do have tons of shopping (and decorating too!) to do. In the next few days I’ll explore the decorating for the holidays side of the spectrum. Until then, keep warm!

xoxo, Mare

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  • Elizabeth - December 13, 2007 - 8:33 am

    What great ideas… awesome finds there girl.

  • Marmalord - December 16, 2007 - 4:42 pm

    Take a peek into Marmaland? How dare you.

    There is only one Marmaland, and as Ruler of Marmaland (the worlds first Museum of Marmalade) I the Marmalord, write to you to politely request that you cease referring to your Marmalade Photography site as Marmaland.

    But be warned…You dont want to make an enemy of The Marmalord…. we will wage war on you, and you will be crushed like the Evil Lemon Curds!

    Your move.

hi!  we’re back home in the rainy cold weather of chicagoland…it was sad to leave the land of mickey and donald but i’m certain we’ll be back there in the next few years (we were stupid smart and got a 10 visit, no time frame pass last time we went to the magic kingdom 2 years ago).  this time, interestingly enough, things were not really about the princesses (sad actually) but more about tomorrowland and haunted mansion and the pirates of the caribbean (which was my favorite because not only was it really cool it was also really funny).  i have never ever seen cinderella’s castle so BRILLIANTLY and beautifully lit, it was truly magical.  and altho i do mock the disney lovers of this world from time to time (you know who you are you winnie the pooh sweatshirt wearing 44 year old moms!) i really did feel the magic.  dare to dream and the overall message that disney sends is warm, wonderful and truly inspiring if you take the time to listen.

so that’s my blog post for today.  here’s a couple of images taken with my point & shoot.  i like being able to just point & shoot but at the same time i missed the versatility of knowing that i control the camera (and not the other way around).  but let’s just say not lugging about 10 lbs of camera around my neck was truly a vacation indeed!

cinderella’s castle

the show

the gallows

it’s a small world afterall…

 

thanks for stopping in!  see you real soon! 😉

xoxo, Mare

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  • Elizabeth Pellette - December 12, 2007 - 10:06 am

    OMG look at that castle.. and thats with a point and shoot? my photos always suck with a point and shoot.. this is grand girl.. wow… looks like you had an awesome time.. and your daughter is a doll in the stockade. ( oh quick note.. I still cant get to you on Flickr? not sure why only when you post new photos can I comment )

  • Mare - December 12, 2007 - 8:28 pm

    aw thanks E.

    Not sure what the deal is with Flickr (I was about to call is f-er which is appropriate right now! LOL)

  • Stacey Woods - January 7, 2008 - 11:31 am

    Oh Mare!! I wish I’d have known you were coming to Florida. You were only 90 minutes from me! 🙁 I would have loved to have met up with you for some chitchat! Looks like you had a marvelous time though. Your p&s shot of the castle is AMAZING! xoxo, Stacey

This past summer I had the pleasure of meeting the delightful Francesca and her lovely family. Francesca is so adorable and now I have the answer on how she remains so cute & skinny!! Marathon running!! Congrats on an awesome 2007 to Francesca and to her family on the new news!

Pricess

Princesses Like to be Read To…

Casting a Spell of Love


My name is…… FRANCESCA M.
My home is….(location) NORTH CENTER, CHICAGO
I grew up in…. GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR

I am most thankful for…MY GROWING FAMILY… AND VIDEO CONFERENCING. OTHERWISE MY PHONE BILLS TALKING TO MY FAMILY IN ECUADOR WOULD BE INSANE.

The best thing that 2007 brought was… A CHANCE TO FINISH THE CHICAGO MARATHON

Overall this year 2007 was truly about…TRYING TO BE THE BEST MOM I CAN BE

My hopes for 2008 are…TO DELIVER A HEALTHY BABY (I’M PREGNANT AGAIN BUT DON’T TELL ANYONE YET) AND TO HELP SOFIA BECOME A LOVING BIG SISTER…SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME. (sidenote: CONGRATS to Francesca!!)

The thing *I* want most for the Holidays this year is… A PAIR OF COOL BOOTS I SAW ONLINE AND A PHOTO WORKSHOP LEAD BY LADY MARMALADE (I HAD TO SNEAK THAT IN THERE)
If my husband were to get me something on a whim (gift wise) it would likely be… SHOES (THE KIND YOU DONT WEAR WHEN YOU’RE PREGNANT AND RUNNING AFTER A TODDLER… THE BEST KIND OF SHOES!!!)
My best gift to give is….PICTURES OF MY DAUGHTER SOFIA
My favorite gift I got as a child was….and because… I HAVE SO MANY AMAZING AND HAPPY MEMORIES OF CHRISTMAS GROWING UP THAT THIS IS THE HARDEST QUESTION TO ANSWER. I REMEMBER THINKING AS A LITTLE GIRL THAT THERE WASN’T ANYTHING THAT I WANTED THAT I DIDNT GET. GROWING UP IN ECUADOR WHERE WE HAD SUMMY AND WARM CHRISTMASES, IT WAS GREAT TO SPEND THE DAY OUTSIDE ENJOYING YOUR GIFTS. BUT IF I HAD TO NAME A COUPLE OF MY FAVORITES IT WOULD HAVE TO BE THE BARBIE HEAD THAT YOU COULD STYLE AND PUT MAKE UP ON. DO YOU GIRLS REMEMBER THAT ONE? OF COURSE I ALSO ADORED THE CABBAGE PATCH PLAYHOUSE EVEN THOUGH I WAS A LITTLE OLDER FOR THAT ONE. IN RETROSPECT, ONE OF MY MORE MEANINGFUL GIFTS WAS A PAIR OF AWESOME RUNNING SHOES THAT I WORE FOR THE FIRST TIME TO GO OUT ON MY FIRST RUN WITH MY DAD. WHAT CAN BEAT THAT???

My dream for my children’s holidays are…FOR THEM TO BE AS HAPPY AND AS CARE FREE AS I WAS WHEN I WAS GROWING UP.

Lucky Sofia, she is growing up with wonderful parents and a happy home, Francesca’s wish is definitely coming true!!

Front Porch

Thank you Francesca for your wonderful responses!! I loved working with you and the rest of your family and was so thrilled you all were part of a wonderful Marmalade 2007!

xoxo, Mare

 

p.s. Goodness, I almost forgot…we leave for a warmer place starting this evening. I will be out of the office starting, oh right about now 🙂 until Tuesday afternoon. I *may* update the blog from the land of mice and talking ducks but I’m not certain about that. If I don’t get back to update the blog before Tuesday… keep warm and have a safe weekend.

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  • Elizabeth - December 7, 2007 - 4:45 pm

    Loved this post.. Congrats to Francesca and her family on thier new addition (shhh) love these images Mare and enjoy your warm weather getaway

…with a new favorite. Cassie & her family.

Cassie was a referral from another new fave of mine, Whitney. Cassie was so funny, when she came to the studio to do an in person ordering session she made me giggle, we had a great time like old friends and even though the studio isn’t quite set up for in person ordering YET we managed to get some ordering done as well.

This fall has been amazing really, some of my favorite work came out of this season of crazy. While many photographers sometimes bemoan the lack of creativity a larger volume of clients brings in (and the holiday is THAT time), I find it a fun challenge to continually outdo myself artistically each time. I find myself giving myself little challenges. “How far can I push this light?” “What happens if I act like a nut in front of these kids?” “What happens if…” goes through my mind frequently during the busier times…I constantly find myself stretching.

The funny thing about her session is that we got the most amazing images I think I have ever taken all within an hour. This was a session of 3 kids, five years old and under and two adults. The light disappeared SO quickly for us and it didn’t help that I messed up and was hanging out at the studio for them instead of where I needed to be for their session (November, the end of the season of crazy busy-ness is also a time where I get all my elements messed up. I swear, 2008 will bring some staff to Marmaland! It’s on my wish list.) Regardless of everything working against us I am thrilled to present some highlights from Cassie’s session just a wonderful family session and I absolutely cannot wait to see how the gallery wall turns out for Cassie and family.

Ordered as a large gallery wrap, HAPPINESS is when a client gets me

Sweetness

Love this mom & kid shot

An all time fave

sweet boy

Lovely

 

More session highlights to come in the coming weeks as life winds down. Also, a big Happy Birthday to my almost 6 year old (tomorrow). Couldn’t imagine my life without her although her arrival into this world was wrought with drama! Here’s a peek into what part of our 2007 Holiday Card holds…

L Girl, last images of five years old

L Girl

L with Sister M

Can’t show one child w/o showing the other

 

Thanks for stopping in. In the next day or two, wait til you see the shopping links I have come up with.

In the next week or so our latest client Q&A.

Finally, will be out of the office from 12/6 until 12/12 for a much needed short trip to see the Mouse and all his friends in FL.

xoxo, Mare

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  • Elizabeth - December 2, 2007 - 2:41 pm

    Oh My gosh… all of these are just delicious

  • Marianne - December 2, 2007 - 9:27 pm

    thanks E! I had a good but cold time with the kids the other day, I can only be thankful that we got a bunch of usable shots, I’d hate to torture them again in the cold!

  • Jennifer - December 5, 2007 - 9:46 am

    I just came across your blog and I just wanted to say that your work and style is absolutely fabulous!

First off, this is a few days coming: a big congrats to Courtney who won the 80’s TV trivia contest for a $30 iTunes virtual gift card!  She got ALL the answers right to the Marmalade Birfday Trivia Extravaganza (ok, so it was just a contest but I need to hype it a bit).

The answers were:

1. What was Reverend Jims real last name on TAXI?
Caldwell

2. What was the name of Arnold’s fish on Different Strokes?
Abrahama

3. Who shot J.R. Ewing?
Sue Ellen’s sister, Kristin

4. Who palyed Mork from Ork’s son?
Jonathan Winters

5. Can you name the 5 original MTV VJ’s?                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Martha Quinn, J.J. Jackson, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter and Nina Blackwood

 6. On Three’s Company, what city did the trio live in?
Santa Monica

Yesterday we had our first taste of real snow falling on the ground here in the Midwest.  My girls went outside to play and I had to haul all the snowstuff / snow wardrobe out from the top shelf of the coat closet in our mud room.  There has got to be a better way of organizing, I tell you, I’m about to go all Henry David Thoreau on the people in this house (well minus the tuberculosis infection).  Simplify simplify simplify.  I so want to do this–funny that it coincides with boxes upon boxes being present in my living & dining rooms for client images.  Funny how I get this urge during the busiest time of the year RIGHT before our home gets inundated with boxes from Santa and well meaning family.

Speaking of Santa—we got to see him on Saturday night!  The girls were so excited, he appeared in the Holiday parade put on by the downtown merchants’ association of Wilmington.  I love seeing all the storefronts lit up with twinkle lights, the street lights with the lit up wreaths.  The parade was a blast and we stuck around all day to see the crowds milling about the downtown area near the Marmalade Studio.  I was sorry I missed out on the afternoon tea at the local bed & breakfast.  I feel bad because I forgot my brand spanking new point & shoot camera that I bought myself for my birthday (a Canon Powershot A570 IS for anyone who is interested (the Amazon link is a full $20 less than I paid.  Darn it.)  I liked it because when it comes time to hand down to my 7 year old I won’t feel horrid that I’m handing down an uberexpensive camera but one that was reasonably priced and that comes with loads of features…I’m really impressed with this little thing and am busily annoying the heck out of my family snapping photos without worry about hauling out the “big guns”).  Of course I bought the new camera to put in my hand bag, um, yeah, didn’t work out for me on Saturday as the camera sat in my office at home gathering dust!  LOL.  Nonetheless it feels good to be back amongst the land of those who snap for the pure pleasure of taking photos.  Perhaps now I can start documenting our lives again (like I did before the business took over my mindset).

Lastly, may she rest in peace.  Our cat, Twin(kie)…one of our very first babies, passed away on Saturday.  We came home from the festivities to find that her sweet life has come to pass.  We are in a state of grieving here at the Marmalade home.  The girls and I wrote little letters and took an old snapshot of her and put her to rest in our backyard yesterday morning.  It was very sad…the girls and I are having a tough time grieving.  She was a sweet sweet soul who spent much of her life purring away, even towards the end she was just an armful of purrs and love.  We loved you sweet girl, we hope the afterlife is filled with lots of Pounce treats and feathers on sticks to bat at.

To that end…thank you for stopping in.  It’s a post with no images, I don’t want to muddy the waters here with grieving and happy shots of families frolicking in Marmaland.  Peace, love and joy to your family during the wind up of the holiday season.

‘Til next time,

xoxo, Mare

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  • Elizabeth - November 26, 2007 - 7:11 am

    I am sorry to hear of your loss.. its funny how our pets become such a huge and important part of our lives and how much thier absence is noticed.. So my thoughts go out to you and your girls today.. its sounds as though she was very loved.. and gave much love in return and thats what counts… the love..

    I know what you mean about the snow gear.. I am always never ready when we get snow and while we may only get a dusting my kdis want to go play in it in full gear.. takes me forever to find everything help them all get into it all and they go outside for 4 minutes get wet and want to come in because they are wet and cold and then I have more stuff to wash.. ( like I dont have enough as it is ) and put away.. not to mention helping to get all the stuff off them.. I stil wonder why I live in a state that has snow.. I dislike winter immensly.. except for the few times we get that heavy wet snow that sticks to all the trees leaving it a winter wonderland.. but I digress.. Hang in there.. my thoughts are with you

    e

  • Denise - November 26, 2007 - 11:41 am

    Sorry about your little furry one! I hope she is doing all the things she loved now.

  • Marmalord - December 16, 2007 - 4:45 pm

    Families frolicking in Marmaland.

    Enough of this – it is tooooooo much!