Square Earth Studio: Introducing Maryna Marston

I was terrified of my grandparent’s basement. It was cold and damp, and smelled like dirt. Nestled in the corner at the bottom of the stairs was a spooky closet. I dreaded being sent down there. Perhaps the thing that unnerved me most was the black and white portraits of my steely-eyed ancestors that hung on every wall. How could I be related to these people? My mother said we were lucky to have those pictures. I never understood. Photography has come a long way from the historical record of my family tree to the limitless art form we know today.

Created Woman would like to introduce you to one of Austin’s premier fashion photographers. Maryna Marston was born in Ukraine. Her mother introduced her to photography and used their bathroom as a darkroom. She experienced broad exposure to various art forms in her early education and enjoyed drawing, painting and sculpture. In those formative years she cultivated an excellent eye for framing and composition.

Maryna never considered photography a career option. Her family guided her toward a business degree. She graduated in 2005 with her Masters in International Business Management from Kyiv National Economic University. It wasn’t until she moved with her husband Justin to the US that she was free to pursue life as an artist. She was looking at the banking industry when Justin intervened and said “Maryna, you are one of the lucky people who can pick anything they want to do in life. What would you love to do? What are you passionate about?”

Maryna reflected on their days in London. Armed with her 3 megapixel Canon digital camera, she became the photo journalist for her family and friends. She never expected people to enjoy her photos as much as they did. She also remembered her experience with a London modeling agency, being treated like a beautiful girl with no brain. She swore if she ever went back to the fashion industry she would be on the other side of the lens. A designer friend introduced her to the work of fashion photography pioneer Richard Avedon and modern legend David LaChappelle. Finally the artist of her youth found expression.

She enrolled in photography classes and met business partner Marco Gutierrez. They challenged each other to new levels of creativity and have earned a collection of prestigious awards. Together they opened Square Earth Studio in June of 2012 specializing in fashion, editorial and product photography. Unlike those first photographers who wandered onto my great-great-grandparents farm, their goal is not to simply capture an image but to create art with each image they capture. Be watching for their work right here at Created Woman and in our digital version available at

Read about Square Earth Studio's co-owner, Marco Here



Lynn Marie Cherry has a heart to encourage women towards freedom and plant seeds of hope. She enjoys sharing insight from God’s word and the world around her. She has been married for almost 20 years to the same great guy, they have two amazing boys. You can read more at


Trend or Classic: What do you Believe?

It is spring and time to look around for the latest trend in fashion for our wardrobe.  Like most women, I want to stay abreast of the latest trend in fashion.  However, there have been times over the years, that I went for the latest trend, and it proved not to be suited  for me, even though it was in style.  For example, when I was a teenager in the 60’s, the mini skirt hit the fashion market.  While Andre Courreges gets the credit for inventing the mini skirt,  it was Mary Quant who started producing short mini dresses and skirts that were set 6-7 inches above the knee.  Women could now expose as much of her legs as her body shape permitted.  I loved the mini skirt, but, unfortunately, I was endowed with wide hips and round legs.  I quickly came to the conclusion that the mini skirt definitely didn’t serve me well.  It was then that I made the decision to just stick with the classics.

I believe that is the way it is in our spiritual life.  We are faced with trends in the church world that may or may not serve us well.  I am particularly referring to the onslaught of modern technology that is booming in the church.  Do these sound familiar?

Live Stream


Websites/Blogging Facebook/Twitter/Texting

All of these have allowed the gospel to be spread in more ways than I could have ever imagined.  I must confess that being part of the ‘older generation’, I sometimes have to sit back and ask myself the question, “How is that working for me”?  Must I throw myself into this trend, or stick to my old ways of communicating to receive spiritual enlightenment?

The Bible says you can’t put new wine into old wineskins.  That scripture has always been my philosophy when making changes in my life. So, as the world and culture is constantly changing around me, I want to always be open to putting new wine in this old wineskin.  Therefore, I have concluded for my own self that I will become a part of this church trend, and go with it. 

However, I want to make sure that there are some classics in my spiritual closet that must remain as I venture into this trend.  To name a few of those classics:

  1. Forsake not the assembling of yourself together -- As long as I am able to walk into the doors of a church building, Live Stream won’t ever take the place of my assembling together with other believers, shaking their hands, looking them in the face, and giving them a hug on Sunday morning.  And may I also add:  “May I never allow Live Stream to keep me from brushing my teeth, getting out of my PJS, and getting dressed for church when I have an able body to get me there.
  2. The Family Bible -- I just have to believe that it  is valuable for my grandchildren to see Nana reading from an open Bible when they visit me, and not some mechanical devise I hold in my hands.  There is something about flipping the pages of that sacred book, and pointing out to my grandchildren pictures of David, Jonah, and yes, Our Lord, that will make a lasting impression on them.
  3. Websites/Blogging -- One of the highlights of my life has been the privilege of blogging on Created Woman.  I have always loved to write, and I never imagined that I would been given an opportunity to pour my heart out to people all over the globe. However, may I never forget the elderly who do not have internet service or those in the nursing homes who would enjoy a written card to brighten their day.
  4. Facebook, Twitter, Texting -- Oh, how I do love Facebook and texting!  They have, not only afforded me the opportunity to connect with friends and family, but has given me the opportunity to quote a scripture or type a special thought to brighten my friends’ day on the spur of the moment.  But, may I never forget that what they may need for me to do sometimes is to meet with them face to face and give them the time to pour out their heart to me.  No devise can take the place of a human voice, a listening ear, and a soft touch made by human hands.

I could go on and on with a long list of spiritual classics that I am trying to keep in my spiritual closet in the midst of the current trend of modern day technology.  It is up to each individual as to what trend or classic they believe best suited for their own spiritual closet?

Trend or Classic: What do you believe ?

Get Your Spring On - Simple ways to give your wardrobe a lift

I so heart spring fashion! All the colors, light-weight fabrics, cute sandals, accessories and so much more! I usually start getting my spring wardrobe into shape right around this time. But with all the new trends, exciting styles, and colors for spring, it can be somewhat overwhelming and a bit expensive. The good news is – it doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Here are some practical ways that will help give your wardrobe a lift without spending a fortune.

 Separate Your Seasons – This will help you get all the fall styles out of your closet so you can focus on spring styles. Just get a large storage bin to store your big chucky sweaters or if you have a big enough closet then just move it all to the very back.

Some more good news - here are a few fall styles you can still rock in the spring:

Skinny Color Cords – Spring can still be a bit cooler at times, so keep this suckers around!














The Boy Friend Blazer – This classic piece is a great option when you feel like your top needs a little boost.












Bow-tie Blouse – It looks great with skinny jeans or cords and a pair of sandals.














Do The Inventory – Now that your fall wardrobe is out of sight, do an inventory of what you have and don’t have so that when it’s time to go shopping you can avoid over-spending and buying another white shirt when you already have three. It’s like grocery shopping but for clothes. You can take a mental note, make a list, or even take pictures to carry with you when it's time to go shopping.

Look For It – Before going out to shop for new items, get your grocery list out and look online to see what’s out there. This will save you so much time because it'll help you narrow down which stores to go to for exactly what you need.


Sound like too much work? Well you're in luck! This month’s giveaway on Created Woman includes a wardrobe lift for someone in the Austin area from Wardrobe Forte. Just tweet or email Created Woman a picture of your closet and why you need help.

Email –

Twitter - @createdwoman






Coats, Boots & Sparkle! A Coat-aholics Favorite Addictions

Last year, I painfully admitted I was a coat-aholic.  This year, I must admit that therapy didn’t work and my addiction is worse than ever!  As my closet expands with coats, cardigan, long knits, crop, and you name it, outerwear seems to take up most of the real estate.   As I plan my outfit every day, I begin with which coat I'll wear and then build my outfit from there.  Often times, after the coat of choice is chosen along with the normal jean, my go-to boots always fall into place.  If you know me at all, you know that fall is my favorite time of year. So without further ado, here are my favorite fall pieces – coats, boots and sparkle!  

Being the classic girl that I am, my #1 favorite coat is the trench coat.  Although I have several novelty trenches in several different colors, my ultimate dream trench coat is the classic Burberry Trench that's been a staple for over 100 years!  So, if any of you are wondering what Christmas gift to buy me...


These coats have been paired with two of the hottest trends this season; the Mad Men's 50's cut with the tangerine color.  This hot, summer-esqu color is not going away anytime soon and itt's just been named the 2012 color of the year by Pantone, Tangerine Tango.


The poncho trend also popped up this summer and is still going strong.  Fun & elegant all in one!

The maxi coat is another one of my favorites. If I lived in a land that had a real winter, I would live in this coat!  This floor length style transitioned from summer skirts to winter coats seamlessly.

Ankle boots continue to be fashion staples, but I must admit they took a while to grow on me.  Now, however, I'm searching feverishly for the perfect ankle boot to add to my closet!  This red suede is perfect for the holidays and adds the perfect pop of color to our fall wardrobe.

Lace-ups, lace-ups, lace-ups!  This style was all over the runway and can be worn in knee high, calf, or ankle boots.  It's a touch of edgy that every girl needs.

Suede made the top fashion trend for fall 2011 in everything from boots to purses. For 2012, this fabric is still going strong!  As with any trend, everything comes back around in about 10 years so investing in some great suede boots will bring you pleasure this year and in years to come.

The riding boot has always been popular with the equestrian crowd, but the fashionistas have taken them to the main stream.  These boots were my go-to everyday while I was pregnant. I have to admit that the practical yet stylish boots have become one of my all-time favorites!

Finally, the holiday season wouldn't be complete without a little sparkle!  Adding shimmer to the eyes and playing up eyelashes with extensions make you stand out in the crowd at holiday parties.  For those that tend to shun the sparkle, be a little daring during the holidays. I promise you wont' regret it!

An easy way to add sparkle is to put on a great polish to your normally buffed nails.  I know what your thinking, 'nail polish doesn't stay on.'  True, but for a great party and all those pictures you'll be taking Christmas morning, it's worth having a little sparkle that's easy to take off when necessary.

So, to all my fellow coat-aholics, boot lovers and sparklers, enjoy the fall season wearing all your favorite addictions! And share with us your deepest, darkest fashion dependencies!

One of my favorite coats in my closet!

This spectacular coat was found in Dallas at a designer consignment shop and a good friend told my husband how much I loved it!  Christmas 2009 was a good year!  I love the bustle on the back and the mandarin collar.  When people ask me what kind of coat it is, I feel like I'm on the red carpet as I reply, "Vintage Chloe".  Yummy!

Fall Fashion Report 2011

I live in Austin, Texas and it has gone on record that this has been the hottest summer since 1925 topping over 70 days in triple digits.  So needless to say, I am ready for the cool air of the fall!  The crisp breeze is always a welcome reminder to bundle up in one of my favorite coats while sipping piping, hot Chi Tea Latte from Starbucks.....mmmmm......I can taste it now.  Is it fall yet?  Good news ladies, in the stores it is fall and oh, how wonderful the clothes are!

Want more good new?  Your closet that's full of 2010 trends can still find life in 2011.  The names of the looks have changed a bit and maybe the styles have been a little tweaked - 2010 Men's Wear vs. 2011 Androgyny - but nonetheless, something old is something new this year!  So if you went crazy for the whole Mad Men craze last year you can still pull out those pumps and leopard prints and hit the town.

So, without further ado, let's Fall into Fashion Together!

2011 Looks:


2011 Mod trend is really 2010's Mad Men look.  It's the sexiness of the 60's that can only come from classic sophistication.  The look is so hot that even the fall TV line has picked up on the trend featuring shows like Pam Am about the famous flight attendance that were popular in the 60's.  So just watch, take notes and go shopping!

 The Romantic

With flowy, soft dresses and skirts, this elegant ease is reminiscent of last year's bohemian.  Stylist Rachel Zoe is one of the many style icons that flaunts this look the best.  Comfy, beautiful and romantic all in one!

 The Romantic trend can be created by long flowy skirts as well as  midi skirts as seen in the Mod look or long maxi skirts.  Put on a t-shirt and make it a casual, romantic day.

The Androgyny

For the girl who likes to stay on trend but doesn't want all the frills!  It's last year's Men's Wear look and it's hear to stay for another season.  Grab your man's tie, put on your favorite blazer and hit the door!


2011 Trends:


Plaid has exploded onto everything from clothes to accessories and it's a flash back to the 1990's movie "Clueless."  So those of you who have had to hide your inner Cher for over a decade, pull her back out again and have a blast!

Cher in the 1990's flick, "Clueless"

Saturated Hues

These brights debut in fall 2010 and they haven't lost their luster!   The trend known as Color Blocking are full of brights and find life amidst the falls usual neutral colors.

Prints in saturated hues are also a big hit this year.

Black & White

For those of us that like our classic black,  this year's black and white is the new classic.  The trend is popping up in every look and you can never go wrong with the basics!  Yes, white in a fall color but stick to the rule of no white shoes.


2011 Textures:


We can't have a fashion list without the biggest fashion icon of 2011, Princess Kate!  She sports the lace trend in a classic silhouette that has become her staple look.  Lace is tricky and can look tattered if not worn right.  Take cues from icons like Kate and incorporate it into your Classic or Romantic looks.


Tweed is also a classic and can be worn from scarves, blazers to purses like this classic Chanel purse.


2011 Coats:

Floor Length & Ponchos

As confessed in my blog "Changing with the Seasons" I am a coat-aholic so these fresh take on coats must find their way to my closet!



Chunky Heal

Last year these chunky heals started to peak around the corner and for the fall this more practical heal has found their home in every type of shoe.  This trend will definitely keep you looking fashion forward while keeping your balance!

 Lace Ups

Fresh off the runway, this look has already popped up on the red carpet.  Boots, booties and wedges rock the style in every shade.

Katie Holmes at the VMA's wearing lace up booties


The great thing about every new season is that you don't always have to pay top dollar to look like a million bucks!  So many designers have designed amazing lines for the main-stream customer without compromising the quality.  So to stay on trend and on budget this fall, look for Designer collections in the stores you shop and strut the runway in your best fall wadrobe!

Jason Wu, Fall 2011

Affordable Designers

Banana Republic - Mad Men collection

Kohls - Vera Wang, Jennifer Lopez, Lauren Conrad

Target - Isaac Mizrahi, Missoni

QVC - Rachel Zoe

Sears - Kardashian Sisters

For more trends on fall colors, see blog "Top Color Trends from Summer to Fall"

Created Woman's Fall Fashion Issue is packed full of Fashion articles and a whole lot more!  See our Article Release Page for what's coming up!

Enjoy 2011 Fall Fashion and becoming the woman you were created to be both inside and out!

List othe blogs coming

Simplify my closet!

I used to be one who loved 101 choices when it came to fashion. You know, purses that matched every outfit, shoes in every color, jeans in all the different washes, and colored tops galore! Well, that is how it was until…… I had a family to tend to in the mornings, a serious job that I had to be on time for each day….oh and not to mention school work that I was exhausted from the night before. I just didn’t have that extra 30 minutes to sit on my closet floor and decide from all the choices I had, what I was going to wear that day. So to simplify my life, I simplified my closet. Besides, my husband stuck me with the smaller closet in our room. Not sure HOW that happened or HOW I let it happen, but I guess I was ready to downsize because I didn’t even fight him for it. Needless to say I got rid of a lot of old stuff and decided to start fresh. You know that segment in the US weekly or PEOPLE magazines, “I really love my……” and you see pictures of celebrities wearing a clothing item or accessory that they wear over and over again in like 5 different pictures but in each picture they wear it differently making it into cute outfit each time? Well, that’s what I wanted to do. I just wanted to buy just some core pieces and accessories that I could make different outfits out of, but I needed to find a core color that I would stick to and that is how I found…...the color GRAY (or is it Grey?)! This color has done wonders for me these last couple of seasons. Do you know how many different other colors go with gray? Red, maroon, white, ivory, taupe, purple, navy blue, pink, black, turquoise, and so on. And you can wear this color all year long! It’s like the new black for me. I don’t even remember the last time I wore black…wait I take that back, I actually wore a black skirt a couple of days ago, but before that it’s being a non-black season. So I created a color scheme around gray which included navy blue, pink, purple and taupe only bought a hand full of core pieces and accessories in that color family and low and behold I had a new wardrobe! Even shoes too! I bought some super cute gray, lace up booties at Nine West a couple of months ago and I have worn the crap out of them already! They go with everything and even better I have been able to wear them everywhere. Work, date night, and I even wore them to a wedding once! I was pretty much able to mix match everything I bought and made quite a few different outfits out of everything. Keeping items with patterns to a minimum also helped. Most pattern items tend to be trendy and not likely to past to season after season. Good tip if you’re trying not to spend a fortune each season. I am telling you this simplifying thing has been fabulous! No more 101 choices for me!

Changing with the Seasons

“Hello, My name is Heather and I’m a coat-aholic!”  Yes, I have finally admitted my addiction after years of buying cardigans, coats, long jackets, short jackets, waist- length jackets, capes, throws, shawls…Oh, I love them all!  If only I could layer in the summer…..if only Austin had a longer winter!  What’s a coat lover to do especially when the seasons change almost everyday in central Texas?  I can barely keep my perfect, long, winter white Banana Republic jacket on long enough for my girlfriends to see before the sun peaks out turning the perfect winter day into a California beach day! Changing of the seasons can be difficult on your closet especially when each day is, well, a new season!  So to help all of my fellow coat-aholic friends out, here are a few great layering pieces that will get you from those cold winter mornings that turn in to mild spring afternoons.

1. Capes are a great way to keep warm, look stylish but not look too bundled up.  Capes come in classic looks like black, leopard or can be the main accessory of any outfit.  Capes have been around since fashion began.

2. Long Jackets & Cardigans are my favorite!  Especially in the every changing weather of Texas.  Wear them over short sleeves and take it off as the sun peaks out.

3. Trench coats have become one of may favorites as well.  Trench coats are classy, trendy, sophisticated and will always be the perfect coat from day to night.

4. If you're blessed to live in a climate that has seasons, you get to choose from a variety of coat lengths & styles.  Long, belted, pea, double breasted.  The list goes on.  Choose a great classic color like camel or black and wear it for years.

5. For those that love to stay on trend, a great faux fur vest makes you feel like you are in a winter wonder land without being over dressed.

6. The Military look appeared in full force this year and the trend carries over into our winter coats and capes as well.

Of course, the ultimate jacket, from my point of view, is the classic Burberry Trench Coat.  It doesn't get any better than that!

So enjoy the changing of the season and the daily changing of coats & capes!

The Perfect Holiday Dress

The holiday shopping season is here and so are holiday parties!  Usually with all the hustle and bustle, the party of the season you have been looking forward to all year suddenly sneaks up on you.  And somehow, every year you find yourself staring helplessly into your closet yelling, "I have nothing to wear!"  just hours before the big event.  Well, it's no time to fret because you still have least 2 weeks ....that's plenty of time for the girl on the go.  To help save you some extra time, here are some helpful tips on how to look your seasons best for the 2010 Holiday season.

Stick with Metallics

Try a dainty dress like the Mad Men Ladies who have brought back the 1950's lady-like full skirt.

Lace is sexy and sophisticated

Red of course is great for the Christmas Season!

Any sequin jacket can dress up a casual party outfit or compliment the most elegant party dress.

Don't forget a clutch like these from Banana Republic.

Finally, for the perfect holiday outfit that will never go out of style.

Have fun at all your holiday parties while looking your best!

The Pink Ladies

No, Pink Ladies doesn't mean the cute and popular singing gang led by tough Rizzo in the 1970's movie Grease.  As I little girl, however, I did always long to be Stephanie in Grease II and sing on a tall ladder "Cool Rider" as I transformed my pink lady jacket into a tough, black shiny jacket as the man of my dreams watched with desire!  But, even though my dream never came true, I still can be Pink Lady, just of a different kind.  The difference is this type of Pink Lady is a  more powerful one than I ever could have imagined!

This year as we celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness, we all can play a part by simply wearing the color pink just to draw attention to the cause.  There's also some clever ways you can donate your resources to research while you stock your closet and accessorize you home.

So ladies, it's time to become a Pink Lady!

Created Woman, Amy Adams & Bethany Frankel

Amy Adams wearing Roland Mouret & Bethany Frankel wearing Theory

Elizabeth Hurley walking the pink carpet at the pink party

Cosmetics for a Cause Bobbie Brown Shimmer Brick Shiseido Lip Balm - $5 of proceeds go to research

David Yurman Limited Edition Bracelet

Many Designers have created an entire collection just to benefit breast cancer research.  Ralph Lauren has created the Pink Pony Line featuring clothes and accessories.

Created Woman Ralph Lauren

For a more sporty look, try Skechers Shape Shoes with $10 of every purchase benefiting the cause or Juicy Couture T-shirt donating 100% of all proceeds of their $35 top.

Kim Kardashian sports pink booties sold at - 10% of purchases benefit Susan G. Komen

Kohls Simply by Vera Wang is another designer who has created a line with all proceeds going to research.  This simple pink ribbon that can be purchased for only $5 and be worn everyday as we honor our heros.

So sing any song you want be it "Cool Rider" or "Pink Cadillac" but be a Pink Lady this month and support our Heros who are fighting and have surived Breast Cancer.

Clothes that fit the economy and the trend

“Timeless pieces are trendy this fall, and they’re the fashion equivalent of a 401 (k).  Invest now, wear forever.”  It was like music to my ears when I read those words that seemed to leap right off the pages of this month’s Glamour magazine.  As a self-proclaimed classic girl, I always found myself yelling the loudest at gals throwing their birthday money right down the toilet as they purchased trendy t-shirt after t-shirt that lasted only a half a season!  Oh, so not economical!  Buy one great piece or 2-3 items with your birthday or back-to-school money and you will find those same pieces in your closet in 5 years still looking brand spanking new.  After a while, you’re closet is packed with economical AND timeless treasures!  The best part is, when you pull them out, the statement is always heard, “Is that new?  I love it!”  Now that’s my kind of thrift shopping!  No matter Marshals or Neiman's, the label is still the same and never rips off in the washer! Don’t get me wrong, we all love the trendy, rocker and hippie chicks because they are all so much fun.  Don’t change your personality! Be you, you’re the only one!  But if you’re looking for some key items to keep for years to come that will save you money in the long run, here are some classic items to start the fall off with this year while still being right on trend.

Camel is a great foundation this fall

The Shirt Dress is a simple classic.  Wear over leggings for winter.

Basic black pumps & purse are a must in the closet

White button- up shirt – good for work and play.

Add spice with a hint of red or leopard

Happy Thrift shopping while keeping your pocket books and hubbies happy!

Vogue July 2010

“When did Chick Get so cool? When a generation turned away from slouchy teas and leather leggings, girls, looking polished and grown up is back!”

The Classic Couple

Now, it's your turn!  Let's swap ideas and tell us here at CW what your favorite piece is for the fall.  Can't wait to hear!