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Winding Down: My Top Ten Moments of 2014 in Photos

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in General Announcements

It has become a tradition of mine and other blogger friends to wind down the year with some  Top “insert number”- Lists of work , posts and photos, before the year ends. It makes me go back and look at what I have done and accomplished and it also makes me dwell in memories. Too often we forget about the things we did and accomplished throughout the year- often just bashing ourselves for not fulfilling all the wonderful new year’s resolutions from last year.  Maybe this makes you wanna do it too – if so – share :)

 

2014 was a year I traveled a lot for workshops, I had a couple amazing dear friends over from Europe and I had some really wonderful moments. In no particular order:

1. SNOW

 

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The first 3 times we had snow in 2014 I was totally excited…like a little kid. I know everyone thinks as I am from Germany , that I am used to loads of snow, but I lived in the north of Germany in Hamburg, which rather as the climate of Seattle and not a lot of snow. I do admit though  that by the 4th time as a pedestrian in a city I got a bit fed up with snow – LOL- isn’t the grass always greener on the other side ? ;)

2. Strolls through the hood with friends

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HA – another snow pictures – lol. But actually it stands for the wonderful moments I had with my friends that came over from Europe and were excited to stroll through my new neighborhood even though the City of Cities was so close by. I loved every minute with them- living in a different country makes you miss your friends a lot – I am very thankful for being able to stay in touch with my friends and see them, because I know that this is not the norm for many people that move to a new country.

3. Hikes and Walks 

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I took this photo on a hike in Hong Kong. It was a wonderful little hike I took with my husband and we stumbled across these mating butterflies. We both worked a lot this year and had many projects that kept us more busy than usual – I am happy about the moments we had just to ourselves enjoying the beauty of nature – and I hope we will be able to create some more moments in 2015 :)

4. Temple Hong Kong, China

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In the middle of a bustling city was this old temple – and oasis of calmness and beauty. It felt like being away from everything and I loved taking it in for a moment.

5. Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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This was just an breathtaking sight – several Indian Temples in a cave which you get to by walking past this huge statue, up a lot of stairs …touched by cute looking but nasty monkeys.

6. Meeting Penny and Val and their Mom

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When I was invited by Val and Penny to teach in Malaysia, a lot of people were concerned that I would travel there, especially as just a couple days before the flight, the first Malaysian Airline airplane vanished. The news as always had a very special way in portraying country and people and had many people prejudiced. I am so glad I went. Penny, Val and their Mom hosted me and my husband in the most amazing way ever. I learned so much about this country, I ate the best food of my life at places I would have probably not have set my foot in if by myself (tehehehe) and I was reminded once again, that you need to open your heart and mind in order to get back a million more times. I hope some day I can have Penny and Val come and visit us and I hope they will enjoy the same hospitality in the country I live as I did in their country.

7. Studio and Outside Time

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2014 I spent a lot of time in my studio and also some time outside on the deck in between. I do love the ability to get out on our deck from my studio and I love to step out and just sit there for a couple minutes, to take a break from working on my desk or on a painting.

 

8. Laughing like crazy

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This photo , which is also going into  my “worst photos ever” category, stands for the awesome times I had with my friends where I almost peed my pants because I was laughing so hard. This Photos was a meager attempt of taking a selfie of Jenn, Julie, Birgit, me and the Statue of Liberty …as you can see…it was just an attempt …what a great carefree fun time we had.

9. At ease with myself

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This photo taken by the amazing Sara Stadtmiller, is one of the few photos of myself that I really like. I often doubt myself and the day when Liquitex was so awesome to send a video crew and Sara to photograph I unfortunately felt very uneasy and very aware of myself. Sara had a wonderful way to make me feel calm and enjoy this day and when I look at this photo, I am reminded that at the moments I am creating, I am happy and I just don’t care about anything else around me.

10. Relax

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Throughout this year I forgot how to relax …the more I enjoyed the past couple weeks several evenings with my loved ones in front of the fireplace -just watching the fire, reading, talking, watching schtuff, wrapping gifts and having a nice relaxed time.

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2014 was pretty amazing, but balancing every aspect of my life has been hard at times. Every time something works well in one place I feel I fail in many other places. For 2015 I wish for more relaxing time, more time with family and friends, and that I take some things lighter or more lightly.

What do you wish for for 2015 for yourself?

 

 

 

Nat

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This post currently has 3 comments.

Comments (3)

  • Seth

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    What wonderful memories Natalie of the past year. Thanks for sharing this and allowing us to join you for such special experiences.

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  • Sue Clarke

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    The photos are wonderful and what a year you’ve had. Lots of travel and creativity Nat. I wish for a paying job now that my son is 12 years old and settled in middle school. I also hope to create on a more regular basis as it centers me. The mating butterflies is such a unique photo. Happy New Year!

    Reply

  • Rebecca Buchanan

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    Nathalie, this post really touched me. I am much older than you, but you inspire me very much. Here you share your memories with us in such an open and honest way. I love your imperfect selfie–the laughter and love shine through anyway. Your story about Val, Penny, their mother and their hospitality is heartwarming. Thank you for sharing about self-doubt–that certainly resonates with so many of us. Yes, I could count on one hand the number of photos of myself that I actually like. And yet you are courageous enough to ‘keep on keeping on’ and we are all the better for it. The word courage comes from the latin word for ‘heart’. You certainly have a lot of heart. Thank you for sharing–Cheers to 2015!

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Stroll Through The Hood

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Stroll Through The Hood

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A lot of times I get asked what inspires me. And one of my key answers is always “a stroll through the hood”. It might be street art, it might be thoughts or feelings connected with certain sights, it might be stuff I find to buy…in one way or the other you might find the photos, the thoughts, the feelings, the colors or anything from those strolls in my art journal, a mixed media project or a scrapbooking layout.

I would love to show you once a month what inspired me while strolling through my neighborhood. I hope you like the little insights into my daily life where I live . This is also a wonderful way for me to remind myself on the inspiring things in the hood. Maybe you get inspired by those posts and even invite ME to a stroll in YOUR hood – feel free to grab the logo and leave a comment for me on the post and share!

It has been a while since I did this….why? Because of this:

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and this

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perfect days to stay inside and work in the studio…or travel (NOT!) but sometimes it looked like this:

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and then I bit the bullet and bundled up to go outside ;)

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It was COLD- but I was rewarded with fun stuff like this

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Who could have PERDICTED? And then with a friend visiting you – it is even more fun to stroll through the hood :)

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Especially when said friends likes the same grungy stuff as I do …btw- I do love the background to this- it already inspired me to something :)

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And since they are big here on Security cameras…this is a good advice me thinks :) :) :)

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I do love this building- It will be in one of my canvases some time- I am sure.

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And a little view over to Manhattan…YES…we are the Sixth Borough…so there Hoboken…don’t even try to claim this…LOL (I figured a bit of local patriotism doesn’t hurt ;) )

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And an insane walk through snow and ice and wind chills in Liberty State Park rewards you with this view…

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I mean…all in all it is all about

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And as for Spring…well…gotta make your own spring at home I guess ;)

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Hope you had fun strolling through my hood – until next time…in J.C. :)

Nat

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Nat

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This post currently has 11 comments.

Comments (11)

  • Sue Clarke

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    It never ceases to amaze me that cool street art that you find on your strolls. Love the Native American and the Open Your Mind ones.

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  • Leigh Pogue

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    Nat, I really love to see what other artists see around them through their eyes! I think it’s ‘Über’ cool to do this sometimes. TFS this little stroll. What a view of NYC ! Wow. Very niceand btw, I so enjoyed Creative Jumostart 2014 with you ! I will def do it again. I promise I will get around to uploading my pics, even tho they aren’t great, they were very fun and inspiring. Thanks. Leigh

    Reply

  • jackie

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    a great stroll! even if it was cold and windy! look forward to see that building in one of your pieces!

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  • LindaBrun

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    Thank you for sharing Nat and I can just imagine all the inspiration you would get from a big and interesting city like NY. Can’t wait to take a stroll.
    Hugs

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  • Kathy P

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    So awesome….so inspiring….you have such a great camera eye! I love when you do this walk-about!

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  • Leadonna Kimmel

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    Nat, thanks for the stroll! It makes me want to take a stroll in my neighborhood and look for some inspiration. It also makes me want to go to our downtown area and walk around with my camera and capture some inspiration there, too. We have a small downtown as Winston-Salem is not a big city but we do have some lovely architecture. Inspiration can be found all around us, we just have to open our eyes and look with our hearts and our creative minds. I’ve been meaning to tell you how much I enjoyed Creative JumpStart. I’m already looking forward to next year! Thanks again for the walk-about and some giggles along the way!

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  • Profile photo of Laurajo

    Laurajo

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    That was loads of fun. I just can’t imagine the cold. i am a weeny!! It looks like the antarctic! I still want to visit but I will definitely wait until Summer. Thanks for you inspiring stroll, braving the elements, even when you weren’t feeling great. You’re such a trooper.

    Reply

  • Mary K. Parker

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    Thank you do much for the pictures and narrative of your stroll thru the hood. I don’t do much mixed media anymore but loved it at Art Venture. When taking your canvas class, I futzed around with materials a bit until I came up with a friend. She loves roses and calligraphy which were on one sheet of paper. I immediately selected it, and knew it was going to be for her.

    Your question made me realize that I am most of the time inspired by the people for whom I make things. Even cards. When it is scrapbook pages, generally it is materials and ideas for titles that come together. I don’t even worry about matching my photos to papers. I like all the colors together.

    Good question! But again, living on west coast, I enjoyed your stroll… you can keep the white stuff, though!

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  • Jan B

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    Hey! You can come stroll through my neighbor in PA anytime! I’m so excited to see you tomorrow, by the way! As I lay here in bed in the Jane Hotel (talk about eye candy – oh my gosh!), I can see your ‘hood right across the Hudson! Love seeing your strolls…

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    • Profile photo of Nathalie Kalbach

      Nathalie Kalbach

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      it was so good to see you again Jan! Thank you for coming <3

      Reply

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Winding Down: My Top Ten Photos of 2013

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Photos

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It has become a tradition for me to wind down the year on my blog by posting some Top Ten Lists before the year ends. It makes me go back and look at what I have done and accomplished and it also makes me dwell in memories. Too often we forget about the things we did and accomplished throughout the year- often just bashing ourselves for not fulfilling all the wonderful new year’s resolutions from last year.  Maybe this makes you wanna do it too – if so – share :)

2013 was for sure a CRAZY year for me. With a move from Germany to the USA and all the preparation for it – there sure was a lot of emotional moments. When I looked back at the photos of 2013 I was astonished how much else happened. But here are my faves not because they are super good photos (hahaha)- no but because they have meaning for me :)

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My hubs laughing hysterically (and me shaking with laughter as you can see – because no way was I able to take a non blurry photo) because I said something funny …We had a wonderful romantic day celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary in Paris and this photo for me says it all :)

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My 40th (waahhh) birthday party with some of my best friends – terrible photo but I love it and who knows when we will ever be together like this again.

My friend Julie Fei-Fan Balzer‘s visit in Hamburg- gosh we had so much fun! So happy that we live so much closer now and I can see her way more often!

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Our Shipping container pulling away in Hamburg, Germany after preparing this move for 9 months. We were exhausted and also just relieved that this was done.

First strolls through the neighborhood and falling in love with it…

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After 10 years of being a lazy girl…I started going to the gym again- I go now five days a week as the gym is part of our apartment complex – including some kick box workouts. I love it and I have lot’s of fun. Besides I am probably the slowest, most uncoordinated and oldest (they are all like mid-20…geeee) person there ;)

I just love this photo I shot in Washington Square Park – old lady with an old lady puppet feeding a squirrel

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After a month without our stuff, living with 2 plates, a folding table and two folding chairs in our apartment we couldn’t have been happier seeing our container pulling up in the United States :) Even the cat was happy getting his fave chair back

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My sweet grand-aunt Margot two weeks ago at her birthday. I miss her so much and it is very sad to see how she is loosing her memory – but I cherish every time I talk with her daily on the phone and when I see her.

Our new home – I love it – and sitting in front of the fire….falling asleep ;) : priceless – LOL

That was it- my fave pictures of 2013- worst photos ever- but good memories. Every year I am amazed how photos can trigger so many memories. It is not just what you see on the photo , it is all around it. Love it.

Have a gorgeous day

huge hugs

nat

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Nat

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This post currently has 13 comments.

Comments (13)

  • Sylvia

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    I hardly comment anymore, sorry about that! :(
    Loved looking at your photos again! Wonderful tradition…i should do the same. Have some wonderful last days of the year and all the possible best for 2014!! Huge hugs sylvia

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Oh Nat, I just love the memories that you shared.
    We were looking through some pics this past week and laughing at all the good times we’ve had. Some were sad as well. My MIL is having issues with her short term memory and it is not fun, but we are getting used to enjoying the moments we have with her.
    The photo of the old woman with the old woman puppet feeding the squirrel is my fave of yours.

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  • Tsila

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    Great post. Thanks.

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  • Jackie

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    How fun to see your year in review, glad to see Julie Fei-Fan Balzer is closer to visit and your aunt Margot is still around to talk to!

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    Nurse-Ratchet

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    Happiest of New Year’s to my favourite LGL … Loved the peek into your 2013 & look forward to seeing you in 2014!

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  • Laura S.

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    Oh Nathalie, I love your pics. Thanks for the happy glimpse into your world. I too had a big milestone this year; turned 50! So, for my B-Day, my hubbie is taking me to Art Venture. Yoohoo. I can’t wait to meet you and all the Prima Chicas. I just know it will be a blast. Looking forward to CJS 2014. January is looking pretty darn good :)
    Hugs, Laura

    Reply

    • Profile photo of Nathalie Kalbach

      Nathalie Kalbach

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      Happy Birthday!!! Looking forward meeting you at ArtVenture- so much fun! Happy New Year!

      Reply

  • Trena in Naperville

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    Nat!! Welcome to USA. (I know I’m late ;o)). Wishing you and your husband much happiness and success! God Bless you!

    Take care and STAY POSITIVE!

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  • Karen

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    I love all the pictures in the post, but that lady with the puppet is priceless. Promise me you will take there to find her. I must speak with her!!!

    Reply

    • Profile photo of Nathalie Kalbach

      Nathalie Kalbach

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      Karen – she is as I was told very regularly in the warmer weather in Washington Square Park. Apparently she was even featured in something called People of New York City. If I recall right she used to come and watch the puppeteer who comes regularly and they bonded and then he made her this puppet and now she is there once in a while and plays along. I just heart this so much! We should go in spring :)

      Reply

  • Profile photo of Debby

    Debby

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    Wonderful review. I went back and read about your experience with Fallen Leaves. This is one of the most powerful experiences I have read about. The use of art to get across the horror of the past while facing and addressing the current issues of a group of people is mind blowing.

    Reply

  • Eniko

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    You Have had an amazing year, Nathalie! Full of adventure and change. Thank you for sharing your most treasured moments. Have a terrific 2014!

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