Blog: Inspiration

Wonder Full Stuff featuring Artful Adventures

My wonderful and talented friend Mystele Kirkeeng did an amazing 3part series of videos showing a piece of art she created inspired by my new book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media. Here is the first part:

Check out her Part II and Part III video to see how the gorgeous art journal spread comes together and subscribe to her youtube channel– she is amazing!

Thank you Mystele, for your review and super inspiring videos. I am blessed to have my artist friends <3

Comments (2)

  • Jackie P Neal

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    I am a huge fan of Mystele ,her art and her teaching! Thanks for including her in your book Nat! xo

    Reply

  • leslie

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    Dear Mystele:
    I like the way you show the process step by step in a thinking process. You have patience and your imagery shows that the artistic process is part in fact a large part of the process. Thank you for sharing, Leslie

    Reply

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Artful Adventures Stroll – Transportation

Subway – Billy Collins 1941

As you fly swiftly underground

with a song in your ears

or lost in the maze of a book,

remember the ones who descended here

into the mire of bedrock

to bore a hole through this granite,

to clear a passage for you

where there was only darkness and stone.

Remember as you come up into the light.

I created this art journal page based on two inspiration photos I took for the “Stroll Through The Hood Challenge” . You can see a free video  on how I created the page and my thought process while doing it in the classroom accompanying the challenge if you haven’t yet. You can sign up here

I love the poem and I liked incorporating it into my art journal. All in all I am so grateful we have such an amazing public transportation system here- unless it is early in the morning and the train is full to the brim. Good think I work mostly from home ;)


Hope your days is awesome filled with easy transportation – no traffic jams- no packed trains :)

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Speaking of transportation…I just received an email from amazon that your book should arrive to be on May 31st!
    Earlier than I expected it…woot woot.
    Hope you have a glorious day Nat.

    Reply

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Mario Robinson speaks the “Truth”

Some of you might remember my friend Mario A. Robinson who was part of Creative JumpStart in 2016.

This 10 min video of him by Jesse Brass is just beautiful:

Truth from Jesse Brass on Vimeo.

“The real power of art, is the ability to galvanize and organize all those pigments and materials, and pour a soul into it.” Mario A. Robinson

What a wonderful human being and super talented person he is!

If you are into Watercolor – check out his great book “Realistic Watercolor”:

Hope this inspired you – have a gorgeous day!

Comments (1)

  • JoAnn

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    Wow!!! Beautiful – I love his work.

    Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – April 2017

Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to get new ideas to create something.

Still loving this mural by Pixel Pancho.

I never realized this old sign – probably some historic building marker. Love the patina and the form of it.

On the side of our supermarket-  I rarely walk down this way- so I am not sure if I missed it so far or if it is new.

Tape art by Norman Kirby – love it!

Never showed it finished- the Shepard Fairey Mural at Grove in Jersey City. It feels as if it has a different meaning nowadays.

I love spring and the opportunity to get out of the house more and explore and stroll the hood :) Cannot wait to venture further in the coming weeks .

Comments (4)

  • Lil

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    OMG!!! That sign!! The rust, the peeling paint. Mouthwatering!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      :) I love it too – it is really cool – glad you liked it. have a wonderful week, nat

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love strolls through your neighborhood Nat!
    Happy Easter and Happy Spring…

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Happy Easter and Spring to you you too Sue!!! hugs, Nat

      Reply

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Inspired by… Valparaiso, Chile – Exploring Street Art & Colors

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Valparaiso was definitely my favorite while in Chile. Big seaport city, a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site, colorful and fun to explore. Did you hear: Colorful?!

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An amazing amount of street art and painted houses along the winded streets of the hills.

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The cables are kind of as crazy as in the U.S.  lol – – but I was smitten by the colorful stairs.

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There was just so much to see and take in

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Valparaiso was once called “Little San Francisco” and streets like these made me understand why :) As you stop every 2 seconds too look at something colorful and amazing you make your way way up there – good workout to walk off some of the delicious empanadas we had for lunch.

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How fun is this lady?

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and I so so so loved the colors and imagery and patterns here

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And some fun mark making patterns

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swoon

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More beautiful flowers set next to a beautiful blue house – BAM like color explosion

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I loved that the hydrants were yellow and not red.

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Look at this row of houses all in different colors

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and a door bell plate

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and the mixture of corrogated metal, wooden door and graphity – I love the texture, the colors and the feel

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Some interesting houses – loads of balconies

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Amazing!

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Inspiration EVERYWHERE

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and it was so green too

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but I did feel for the gas cartridge delivery guy – ouch!

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And so slowly we made our way down – had some seafood close to the harbor and went back to Santiago.

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This day in Valparaiso made me super happy – I am smiling writing the post and looking at those photos again. Hope you enjoyed the photos as much :)

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Inspired by… Santiago de Chile

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My husband was invited to give a talk and a workshop at a conference in Chile. So I went and met him in Santiago de Chile for a little vacation. A day later than planned, as my trip wasn’t starting off very pleasantly. I missed my connecting flight in Houston after sitting three hours due to insane thunderstorms on the runway here in Newark, had to go back home after watching an entire movie on the plane and arrived 24 hours later than planned at my destination.

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But …I was determined to not let this start ruin the trip and as soon as I woke up after a 16 hour flight at 8am in the morning and crossed along the Andes to land in Chile I was super excited and ready for new adventures for the next five days.

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It is spring in Santiago right now and the temperature reached already about 91 F (33C). The flowers and colors everywhere were just so beautiful!

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This is a gorgeous door of the main cathedral in Chile – I just love how modern and happy this looks.

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We climbed up the Santa Lucia Hill from which you can see the snow covered Andes far away and have a beautiful view over the city

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Found a beautiful little church on top of the hill too – which made us feel as if we were in a small village and not in a big and buzzing city.

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I loved this broken tile pavement near an artisan market.

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And there was a lot of street art too.

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And more views from another hill in the city

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with this statue on top.

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And a lot of yummie good food – Ceviche – a fish salad with corn , cilantro, lime, red onions, and sweet potato – delicious and definitely something I will make next summer and Pisco Sour …a very delightful cocktail – and some Empanadas …nom nom nom.

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There were demonstrations on the street every day by government workers because of the privatization of pension funds and due to those strikes the museums and other public places were closed the whole week. I was able to go to some museums before our flight home on the last day- and will of course share an Art Stroll with you soon :) We also had a little earth quake which could be felt by the conference attendees and my husband in the university (it was a 6.4 magnitude earth quake about 50 miles away and shook the building quite a lot – luckily nothing bad happened) while I two blocks away stepped accidentally into the middle of the demonstration and if it shook- I must have thought it was the police tanks- LOL – I did not realize anything. And yes- I was safe – these were very peaceful demonstrations!

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This was my favorite graffiti not knowing that it had a deeper meaning too. I just loved this guy and the dimension and the shadow and then later in the museum I found photographs from the turn of the century of the last living members of a tribe called Selk’nam and in those photos one of the body paintings for ceremonies and head gear was like the one in the graffiti. One wasn’t allowed to take photos of the photos- but I found a pinterest board with some of the images if you are interested. It filled me with a lot of sadness that the Selk’nam tribe in these photos taken just a bit over a hundred years ago is now extinct.

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Here is more street art from Santiago

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These two were close to the Museum of Fine Art. I found them so unique and different in their colors, of course the symbols etc. and I wish I had the key to read the deeper meaning to those.

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Hope you liked the little trip to Santiago- there is more to come from my trip there – stay tuned .

have a gorgeous weekend!

Comments (9)

  • Judi

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    We went to Chile in 2007. Truthfully, I felt safer there than in my own country the USA! Several people reached out to help us without us asking for assistance. We had a wonderful time there visiting several cities including Santiago. It was memorable!!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      judi that sounds wonderful, which other cities were you at? Nat

      Reply

        • Nathalie Kalbach

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          Thank you so much for sharing Judi! Valparaiso was my favorite. But that was all I saw- Santiago and Valparaiso – I guess I have to come back :)

          Reply

          • Judi

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            We hate flying long flights so I doubt we will go back but we have great memories of that trip. Chile was one of my all time favorite countries we have visited. We felt very safe and cared for by the very kind people living there. I hope you get a chance to return to see more. Take care.

            Reply

  • JoAnn

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    Thank you for sharing and I love your new website.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you so much JoAnn- so glad you like it :) Have a wonderful weekend!

      Reply

  • Carolina Nicewarner

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    Natalie,

    Thank you so much for the window into Chile. That trip is on our bucket list, something we both want to do before we don’t have time left. Do you feel safe during your trip? We lived in Venezuela for 3 years, about 12 years ago, and the people were so so kind, and the country was gorgeous. Unfortunately, since we left, there have been many changes and travel there is not suggested, which is so sad.

    Cannot wait to see the rest of your pictures…

    Carolina

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Hi Carolina, glad you enjoyed the post. Yes- I felt safe- I mean of course as in every city you have to be aware to not flash your belongings around or keep your bag close to you etc. Pickpocketing is an issue. But other than that I did not feel more unsafe when being in NYC. Everyone was super helpful and nice and I had a very positive experience. Hope you will have a good time as well.

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – September 2016

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Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to get new ideas to create something.

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The area around the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City is not really the most beautiful area- in fact …it is really really ugly and unfortunately often all that people see when they drive to or from New Jersey. So I love that there is some street art popping up here and there on the walls of ugly concrete. The above has some cool drippings and I love the monochromatic color scheme.

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Love the stencil work in this one with all the different layering.

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And this one just makes me happy because of the colors.

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this one made me laugh – I think there was a time where we had cards that you could exchange with those- kind of like trading cards? Anyone remember – maybe only in Germany – I guess I am getting old I only have a vague idea of this.

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Oh my- nature is the best painter …or maybe air pollution but let’s not think about this right now *Wink .

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This time is truly amazing regarding sunsets viewed from our deck.

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This one are the remains of a boardwalk at Liberty State Park – I assume it got destroyed in Hurricane Sandy. I love the texture and the pattern with the different materials- wouldn’t that be cool as a textured stamp?

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Here is a view of Manhattan from Liberty State Park – the historic landing pier here in the front of the picture was also heavily damaged in Sandy and has not been restored yet.

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The beautiful historic Liberty State Park train station, where the immigrants that came through Ellis Island headed out to all over America to start a new live. I love the building. It is talking to me *Wink. I need to make a painting of it some time.

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Last week some of our friends hung out at my wonderful friend’s from Beekman Lane – who had a booth with their awesome vintage and antique stuff at the Historic All About Downtown Market. As you can see we are amazing helpers and made sure people came in and bought things ;)

I had to get this hilarious Valentines Card- probably from the 40s – it made me laugh.

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and you see …we helped placing things at the right places too …the policemen on this Valentine’s Card actually has no pants on ….so …we needed to make sure he was covered – LOL . but joking aside the graphics of the box and the cards, and the red lunch box you see peeking underneath are just beautiful.

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And last but not least …another sunset picture. I wish I could make such a nice color swirl into one of my paintings. Maybe by using Pouring Medium.

I hope you had fun with this stroll through my hood – take a walk next time you feel stuck when you are creating something or need a spark – it always helps me to get new ideas!

Comments (4)

  • ARHuelsenbeck

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    Beautiful sights. I didn’t realize you live in Jersey City. My husband and I both grew up in NJ, but moved to Arizona 28 years ago. Greg used to work for a bank (forget which one) in Jersey City, and would take the tubes over to the World Trade Center during his lunch break.

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love the swirl of the clouds in that last sunset photo.
    I always enjoy strolls through your various hoods Nat!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you Sue – yeah that swirl was pretty cool ! Nature is really amazing!

      Reply

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Inspired by my Summer Vacation

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After sending in my final manuscript for my book and being done with loads of “secret” stuff I will share in the next months with you, I needed a little break and I took a week off to recharge.

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My husband and I went for a couple of days down the Jersey Shore and spent some time with our family close to Sea Isle City. You see my awesome niece and nephew in the photo above. We had a really relaxing time, celebrated big birthdays and anniversaries and the beach was just so beautiful! Love my family!

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On our anniversary we stopped on the way back to Jersey City at Ashbury Park. I love the old convention building and there is a lot of awesome street art around there.

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Including the above by Dylan Egon a Jersey City artist.

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What an inspiring walk down the boardwalk.

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And a Shepard Fairey also not too shabby -love it!

I spend one day at home and then headed out to Boston to visit my friend Julie Fei-Fan Balzer . We had a crazy fun time. We went to the Museum of Fine Art – and finished the Art Stroll with some sketching (the art stroll is coming later)

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Here is our model and our friend Jen on the left and Julie’s sketching on the right bottom.

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I bought a Picasso – Top and was totally stoked about it – this is my fancy modeling pose – always great when you crack yourself up

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We spent some time in the beautiful Boston Common Garden

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We had an insane amount of food ….yes that is my kind of vacation and so yummie-. High Tea – chatting, laughing and having a good girlfriend time- now if that is not vacation *wink

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Can you tell how much in love I was with the food? I was like “common Julie, hurry up with the photo, I cannot wait any longer”

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We took a stroll through the Greenway – and admired Ai Weiwei‘s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads

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and other art installations and parts

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And ended the day with some bowling – oh man…I really stink at bowling- so here is Julie- she did really well and looked good doing it

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We ate even more – here I am in a fancy bib and two new shells -and hey – I don’t care- eating lobster is super duper expensive in Europe – so this is special and funny in a plastic bib – LOL

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And this was pretty funny in a cafe in the morning.

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Essentially I could have summed up the days with Julie in the collage below – hehehe.

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Now I am back in the n*Studio and recharged for new fun things to come! There was so much inspiration in the museum, the chats, the sightseeing, the beach, the food. It feels good to have a brush in the hand again and let see where the inspiration from my summer vacation leads me.

What did you do for your summer vacation this year and what did inspire you on your vacation?

Comments (10)

  • Jackie P Neal

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    So great to see you out and about having fun Nat!! I would love to hang with you and Julie- what great companions you would be!
    Thanks so much for sharing hugs,Jackie

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      We are a bit crazy- LOL- but overall tame ;) Have a wonderful weekend and huge hugs back!

      Reply

  • SAM

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    N., loved the art walks, and I have another small world — I was raised on a chicken farm in Vineland, New Jersey — In the back of everybodys’ farms, for miles and miles around; Campbell Soup Company rented our land to raise tomatoes for their famous tomatoe soup — I absolutely started salivating as soon as you mentioned eating South Jersey tomatoes– I still have mouth sores for eating millions of tomatoes every summer — Nat, thanks for the memories !!! love this vacation of yours —SAM

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      How fun – I loooooveee Jersey tomatoes- they are the best :) Have a wonderful weekend!

      Reply

  • Joi@RR

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    As always – I just loved seeing you having some free time Nat. And seeing you and Julie always makes me smile big. You are both so darned cute!!! LOVE YOUR PICASSO – for sure! Someday – I believe we will see YOUR art up on one of those walls. It just seems like it should be there. Glad your book is done and can’t wait to hear the secrets soon!!! Xj.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- thank you Joi! I will spill some beans …well the first set of beans very soon …I think …in about two weeks :) Cannot wait. Have a wonderful day!!!

      Reply

  • Sandra L.

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    I couldn’t help but laugh when I read about your vacation. What a small world we live in. When I first moved to NJ I lived in Sea Isle with my sister and her family and then moved to Cape May where I live now. Sea Isle was nice but barren and CM is just gorgeous. Sounds like you had a fantastic vacation and then you headed to one of my favorite places..Boston. My daughter went to Boston University of the Arts and I loved going to visit. Sadly not much of a vacation for me this year as health is a issue.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Hi Sandra, fun – hope you were safe and sound this weekend with the storm at Cape May! I wish you all the best with your health !!!! have a wonderful week!,nat

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love your new top Nat!
    High Tea is always fun with cucumber sandwiches and desserts.
    I had a wonderful summer with 2 camping trips and one week in a cabin on a lake. Inspired by nature I made a painting of birch trees when a painter at the campground gave me a one on one class.
    Now back to school for my son and I (lunch lady with a hair net) and the fall with pumpkin muffins and cooler days ahead with (hopefully) some pretty leaves to draw inspiration from.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      thank you , Sue! That sounds like a wonderful summer camping time and I love that you had a one on one with a painter and made a birch tree painting. So cool!!! Have a wonderful start at school again – I am not ready yet for pumpkin and fall – LOL :)

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – August 2016

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Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to get new ideas to create something.

 

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I cannot get enough of all the beautiful and different views Jersey City offers from the water front!

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Our neighbor hood bakery not only makes really yummy bread, they also love to use stencils on the bread- and this one: LOVE!!!!

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Look at this stink eye …he is not interested in any strolls through the hood …he rather spends his whole day exactly on that chair sleeping!

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I love the iron work we have downtown in some areas around trees.

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I have walked past this alley way a million times and never noticed it- and when I went through I found this mural.

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The biggest Sunflowers I have ever bought at a farmers market – I had to carry them over my shoulder like a log and my arms were aching- but for 8Bucks they are like having the sun four times in your living room – plus, sunflowers are my favorite flowers .

Hope you liked the little stroll through the hood- until the next time . Have a gorgeous day

Comments (4)

  • Rae

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    I love “visiting” your neighborhood through your strolls. So fun and happy! I would have loved to see you hauling those flowers around! hahahahah! xx Rae

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      LOL- thanks for your visit- and yes the hauling was quite a sight ;)

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    LOVE the stenciled bread! Almost too pretty to eat. I would manage though.
    Sunflowers are one of my favs as well. Those are huge!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      LOL- I inhaled the bread…the last one had Olympic rings :)

      Reply

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