Marija Stephens

You might have seen this elsewhere, but a fellow blogger, Marija Stephens of Holding Court was killed in a car accident last week. I found Marija’s blog originally through a comment she made here. I can’t remember what it was, but it was smart, and likely funny, and it made me click through to see what she was doing on her own site; I never missed a post after that.
I had planned a trip to Chicago, where Marija lived, to see Thomas O’Brien speak and meet long-time blog friend Magnaverde, and felt incredibly fortunate that Marija could join us for the day. We had exchanged several emails and had hit it off. We both have children of similar ages and a passion for design and had discovered an affinity for talking about it on-line. She wasn’t striving for anything, she didn’t need to be a part of any perceived group, she was just creating really interesting content. She had a great point of view. Even though she was a designer I never felt like she was “building her business” through blogging. She just liked it.
You never know how things are going to go when you meet someone you’ve known only on-line. It would be easy for someone to pretend to be something she’s not. Of course she hadn’t. And even Magna, who was unfamiliar with her blog when they met, found her smart and funny and engaging. Instant connection.
Blogging is funny sport. You can use it for profit and you can use it for ill, but I started and have stayed with it for community. Marija wasn’t the only friend who I have met via this screen, but I will remember her as one of the bright spots.
Marija’s camera wasn’t working or she forgot it or the battery died or something so I snapped this picture for her. Typical. Unfocused. I am so glad I have it.
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20 thoughts on “Marija Stephens

  1. Well I have to first say, I found you through Marija's site, I found her blog just today from another blog I follow. I will tell you the samething I told her husband on Marija's blog…she must have been wonderful and she would have been a person I would love to follow and get to know.
    My heart felt prayer to all that had the pleasure of knowing such a wonderful lady.

  2. I'm still stunned by this loss. She was a lovely lady. Going back through her comments on my blog and emails we exchanged was very sad, knowing that this beautiful person was the heart and soul of a gorgeous family whose hearts are breaking.

    my thoughts and prayers go out to them.

  3. such a tragedy – I recently got to know her as well through our blogging community and what a horrible shock. My prayers are with her and her family.

    With tragedies, comes the realization that life is precious and can be taken any minute and for Marija, we all as bloggers can find inspiration from her passion and continue in the pursuit of our own, hoping that she is smiling down on us and enjoying each of our efforts.

    RIP, and thanks for this post.

  4. I never knew of her blog until yesterday…. then I went over and read her husband's post…prayers for her beaufiful soul and for healing to her family……

  5. Our world is less beautiful without Marija in it. She was a true heart, a good soul, and will be deeply missed.

  6. It is devastating and feels like some cruel joke. The shock of her passing is hard to work through.
    I think about Nigel and Olivija, and Cory. Dear Cory, who despite what he is going through, wrote that amazing tribute about his beloved wife and best friend. He also took time to write to me, something I find amazing and so heartwarming.
    The two of them were unique – the kind of people we all want to be. Genuine, warm, insightful, strong and personable.
    I loved Marija very much and am still numb after receiving the news. I will miss her so much.

    Thanks for this post.

    x Charlotta

  7. I am so sorry to hear of this tragedy. I did not have the pleasure of knowing Marija and was only recently acquainted with her blog, but am saddened by this news. My thoughts and prayers are with Marija's family.

  8. It is just so sad she is gone. Her blog was a daily source of inspiration (both for design and for life) for many.

  9. Marija's was probably the second blog I started following….I so enjoyed her blog and her honest comments on mine. I am still having trouble wrapping my mind around this loss and am in awe of the outpouring of support from the blogging community…it really is remarkable. I pray for her dear family and friends.

  10. I hadn't followed her blog but after reading your comments as well as Eddie's, I wished I had. And her husband's tribute to her made me cry.

    The blogger community is a funny, warm and welcoming one and most bloggers have welcomed their commenters to the family, too. Humans are blessed (or sometimes not) by their families and the luckiest of us have our families of choice. You are one of the lucky ones – you have both!


  11. Even though I never saw this photo till today, I remember when you took it & I've been hoping that maybe you'd put it up to share. It's perfect, because a blurred picture is a picture without artifice and there was nothing artificial about Marija, which is why everybody loved her. She was so much fun that day, and that's what I want to remember when I think about her, not the shock & sadness of the last few days.

    In recalling Marija's warm personality, though, it's easy to lose track of her own design talents, which she didn't make a big fuss about, but which I think would have made her a major name in the not-too-distant future, and looking at this photo with her artist's eye, what she would have noticed about it is not the soft focus but the balanced composition, positive/negative value distribution & interesting color scheme, all of which aesthetic factors came together–by random accident–in the space of a few seconds. If only Life itself had turned out so well.

  12. I am a new design blogger, I have only been blogging for a few months. I just read of Marija today, through another blog, visited her blog and have been reading the blog tributes to her on many other blogs. I am sorry I did not discover her blog earlier. I enjoyed looking through her blog today and can see why she is greatly missed by so many!!

  13. Reading your comments after reading her husband's tribute has made me prayerful for her family in their grief, but also has reminded me of the imprint we leave–even in blogging on others. May we strive to leave as lovely a legacy as Marija's.

  14. I've been away for a few days and have been playing catchup and found this and my heart stood still. I found her through you and thought she was filled with style, smarts and sass, always an appealing trio to me. I had thought about the Chicago event and thought that the three of you must have been magic. I am so sorry for the loss of this lovely young woman, for her husband, her children and for all of us who live in this community for the sheer pleasure of each other's company.

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