Stroll Through The Hood

Stroll Through the Hood – May 2019

May is almost over- wow that was a pretty wet month here in New Jersey but nonetheless I was able to do some Strolls :) Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

This is from the beginning of the month – look at the amazing sunset – I always love this view the trees and our pencil factory buildings when I come home.

I love those houses on a side street of The Beacon, an old huge Hospital complex now Apartment complex – the little balconies and the colors- swoon.

Here is a part of The Beacon which has a ton of tall buildings which are the largest concentration of Art Deco buildings in New Jersey. One day I would really like to go inside- some of the areas are suppose to look stunning. I had students in my classes in NYC who told me they learned being a nurse there and they would never move in there because they swear it is haunted. MMHH…though I do not believe in these things …I love hearing those stories …probably the reason why I am so scared when watching anything suspenseful hahahah- maybe a little bit in my does believe after all ;)

This house above is the Hilton-Holden Homestead- which is considered to be Hudson County’s only surviving safe house on the Underground Railroad. “David and Edward Holding, aspiring astronomers deeply immersed in abolition causes, are thought to have used their observatory mansion to shelter runaway slaves.” You can see a little bit of the observatory to the left of the pediment and it is believed that it was used for signaling.

Little head poking out – Love how weathered it is and still intriguing.

Cherry Trees in Liberty State Park framing the Manhattan skyline

and leading towards Lady Liberty

We always stop here so my husband can skip some stones, funny little habits :)

And this view never gets old for me – I love it – riding the bike through the park and seeing this.

BTW that is behind me when I look towards Manhattan – the only bridge – not for public – to Ellis Island. That’s how all the tourist sandwiches get transported over LOL. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could just bike over there?

A burned out house in the new neighborhood. So sad to see this. I wonder how this will look like in a couple years – if they will take it down or gut it. It belongs now to a developer and the house to the right which actually looked pretty nice from the outside was totally stripped off its remaining ornamental original window and door parts and now looks like a typical Flipper-Frankenstein house.

Speaking of houses …here is our hallway where we started exposing some of the brick. It is a brick house after all.

I hope you enjoyed the little stroll – until next month!

Comments (2)

  • Michele

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    I worked in Jersey City for many years before I retired. I miss the wonderful sights/sites you posted. Your photos were fabulous. I do get back there about once a month and have been mesmerized by some of the wonderful street art. Thanks for posting these photos. — Michele

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Stroll Through the Hood – April 2019

I am so happy it is finally April – I love seeing every day the changes in the park, the trees and also …nothing better than a month of no heating and no A/C -bliss! 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. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

Just soaking in the first sun beams through a tree that starts to bloom- AHHHH

Every time I pick up our CSA eggs I come across this awesome old street sign – I love it.

Excited like a little kid seeing the first flower in our garden at the house- woot woot!!!

Speaking of the house- here is a photo of our masterbedroom where we have taken down the chimney breast. Love the texture …on a photo – in real life this is pretty dusty-disgusting-workintensive. Hopefully the permits for our main reno are coming through soon so we can start and then hopefully can move in as planned later this summer.

We kept some of the good looking bricks and the hearth of the fireplace. The initial fireplace was relocated into my studio as we wanted to keep the beautiful mantle. We probably will use the hearth for a shelf – it is so called blue stone.

Here is the summer cover of the former bedroom – now my “fake” fireplace in my studio. I love it. I painted the hole behind it black and I am now scraping off old paint flecks from the fireplace. Thanks whoever didn’t cover up the fireplace when painting back in the days…sigh

Now that the weather is getting better we are also bicycling around more in Jersey City. This old gothic-revival church is actually an Historic Landmark – unfortunately it is falling apart and warning signs on the door even tell firefighters to abandon. So sad.

On the right another house also falling apart and boarded up. It is really mind blowing that this city so close to New York City- I mean I am faster in Manhattan than most people in Brooklyn or other parts of NYC – has these two sides.

I always wanted to take a picture of this mural – there – finally made it ;)

This one is also pretty cool! Now that is a big guard dog ;)

I love this sign – the shape, the patina, the fonts. My friend Cheiron told me she remembers eating this brand of ice cream and now I want some :) On that note- what is your favorite Ice cream?

Comments (2)

  • ARHuelsenbeck

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    I remember Sealtest Ice Cream and those signs. I’ve lived in Arizona for the last 30 years, and my favorite brand of ice cream is Blue Bunny. I don’t know if you have that in NJ. . .
    I always love strolling through the ‘hood with you. You take wonderful street photos.

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe thank you so much! I haven’t seen Blue Bunny yet- but I will keep my eye out :)

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Stroll Through the Hood – March 2019

March!!! woot woot- finally things are getting warmer- LOL. I cannot wait to get the bike out again. 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. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

Indoor light inspiration at a concert of The Chills – it was a fun evening out with a couple of our friends and bonus – just around the corner from us.

One of our fire place grates – needs some cleaning- how freaking awesome is this? I cannot believe how lucky we are to have it :)

We have four fireplaces – one is working again after we rebuild and relined the chimney and built a new fire box. One was at a bad spot so we moved it to my studio and – woohoo it didn’t crack! Score

This is how a dismantled mantel looks like. The mason created an inside brick wall for the mantel and I painted the wall black- I share some pix later once we have everything fixed up on the wall as well.

We also got some old vintage tiles at an architectural salvage place – they are for a border in our kitchen backsplash and mimic the design of our banister and some of the door frame designs. I know I am a  nut but when I spied those tiles I was instantly like “we have to have those”. That was before we even had the house and ever since I was worried they would sell the tiles before we go them…so ….last week I made it at 8am to the place to get them …yes….it is THAT bad ;)

Fun colorful mural in my soon to be hood.

And …the St. Pauli NYC sign – YESSSS -my home soccer team from Germany has a fan club in Brooklyn and we finally made it there. Loving it! Made me feel like being in Hamburg for a couple hours.

Hope you all have a great month and are up for some stroll through your hood! Cannot wait to show more pix from my new one and I will also put some house pix in once in a while.

Comments (6)

  • Laura Bohall

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    thanks so much for sharing your hood pics. we live in rural va and are surrounded by natural beauty, but not much wo-man created art!

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      So glad you enjoy the little strolls Laura! Thank you !!!

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love love love those kitchen tiles. Be sure to post a pic after they are installed please Nat.

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  • Janene

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    I love your neighborhood! So many interesting things to see, and if you ever get bored (not possible!!!), you can always cross the river and find more great stuff to see.

    Those vintage green tiles are FABULOUS! I understand why you practically camped out in front of the store to keep from missing out on them. Can’t wait to see more of your home renovation adventure.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      LOL- yeah I actually just wanna move into the store hahaha- they have so many amazing things there. Thanks for joining the stroll :)

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Stroll Through the Hood – February 2019

Wow – I cannot believe that February is almost over and it was a pretty long awaited month for me. There weren’t a ton of strolls through the hood as it was such a busy and cold month- but I have a couple photos. 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. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

The photo above is actually taken in NYC – where we had a ton of stuff to do during the last couple weekends. Such a fun Collage paste up. I also love the sign next to it that says “Street Art Addiction is real”

speaking of Street Art- this one always get’s me because of the sheer size of it  – this is in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood in Jersey City by Distort but even bigger is this one

by Distort right at the Holland Tunnel- which I will never be able to get the whole image of – it is ginormous but so detailed.

check out this video to get a feel for how huge and magnificent it is.

Distort’s Mecca Project (GVM037) from Green Villain on Vimeo.

Bobby Pretzel definitely approves – as you can see he is now in his teenage fur dying phase …I have no clue how the paint on my palette ended up on his face- but “knock yourself out Pretzel” – LOL

In other exciting news …We closed on a house. We are now the owners of a beautiful 1884 brick town house here in Jersey City. There is some major renovation to do in the second floor but the ground and top floor are pretty much done and I will have a nice big studio space on the ground floor. I cannot wait- but it will take at least half a year before it is done. (Impatient Nat)

That gives a lot of time to sort the studio meanwhile and also declutter all kinds of areas in our apartment before the move. I just reorganized my sewing stuff into one of my letterpress folders and I kind of geeked out at all the colors- LOL. What a softie I am ;)

Love spying this little -sculpture piece on the corner of a Bar – fun!

And I think I never showed this Mural downtown finished -pretty cool and a constant spot for people to take photos in front of. Yes..I guess I am addicted to street art :)

I am so ready for spring and more strolls through the hood- especially through the new hood where our house is located. It is in a neighborhood with some amazing Victorian Houses and it is interesting and a bit less “polished” than Downtown. I know, hahahah- some of you might not see my downtown pictures as polished- but trust me …it is ;) Hope you will join me soon for another stroll and wish you a wonderful day.

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Congrats on your new home Nat!
    Sounds like plenty of room for a studio and a place to hold classes (?).
    Bobby Pretzel is so darn cute, might he inspire an art foamie or stamp one of these days?
    Thanks for the tour of your hood. I always enjoy them.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you so much Sue! Yes- I do hope that I can hold small classes in my studio :) Bobby Pretzel as a stamp …ohhhh -! Thank you for strolling through the hood with me !

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Stroll Through the Hood – January 2019

January climbed up in my ranking from least favorite month to one of my favorite months – and the reason is Creative JumpStart. So much fun in the class if yet lots of work. A Stroll through the hood though helps to clear my head and get new ideas. I do have to admit though that the later it gets in January, the more frigid and hard those strolls are in the cold (writing this as it is -12C/10 F) 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. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

On our search for a house we have branched out to some other areas in the city and it is fun to discover new murals -this one is pretty cool- love the colors and design. (and yes that was a warmer day)

YESSSS- Love it :) Fence art – I assume by Norman Kirby again. Love the ribbon writing and where it is located.

Look at this wallpaper – oh my!!!!

Look at this cool old sign – painted a million times I guess. Love the yellow. The store belonging to the sign is empty but something is happening in there- so I really hope they will keep this cool sign.

some graffiti  – love the shading – what a great dimensional effect.

And awweee yummie colorful lettering!

The old Stanley Theater – love those ticket booths – and such an interesting mix of texture and materials all around.

More fence art- how cute is that?

And I am sorry but this was just too funny to pass up …this is what I have to deal with every day at home …no wonder I need to get out hahahahaha- Cuteness- Weirdo- Overload

We also went to an architectural salvage place- OMG – those stain glass skylights? I want one- hahahah- for 25,000 Dollars one can be mine …sigh …But pretty amazing!!!

As well as this iron cast fence- I could have spent hours there …but it was soooo cold.

This ceiling in a cafe my friends and I went for lunch was just so interesting – with its texture, color and pattern. It is a reverse painted glass ceiling and because of a fire on the upper floors in the beginning of the last century some of the fire fighting water ran down to the ceiling damaging some of the painted areas which make for this texture now. This gave me an idea for a project I want to do  – I hope to share soon. Actually I am going to do this as soon as I finish this blog post :)

This sign in an area near the Holland Tunnel in a kind of forgotten area of the city always cracks me up…or maybe it is also a bit sad…as if nothing ever happened here again past the 80s. Anyone still owns a boom box????

I hope you enjoyed this stroll through the hood and I hope you join me in February again :) Have a fantastic week

Comments (1)

  • JoAnn

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    Love this post – slices of life…..and Bobby Pretzel- priceless🌿

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Stroll Through the Hood – December 2018

Phew what a month ! I love December with all it’s craziness – but a Stroll through the hood always helps me a bit to cope with this busy time. 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. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

I have to sneak in a picture of Bobby Pretzel looking at our new ornament – A Pretzel LOL

A fun Saturday selling my prints, ornaments, mugs and original artwork at the Holiday Market here in the city.

We brought those handmade candles over from Japan and I love how they look on the mid-century candle holder I found at my friend’s booth at the market.

speaking of Christmas decoration – my aunt made these napkin rings in the 60s and they crack me up so much. I pinned them to the christmas tree skirt this year and I am in love. My Friend Sandra said they look evil – I think Santa looks mischievous LOL.

Funny Mural Kim and I saw when we were in the city.

A new cafe opened and I love their tin ceiling – can I just lay on the floor while I sip my coffee?

More gorgeous details to see while house hunting – that fireplace- OMG- I love everything about it! The pattern, the carving, the ironwork , the color!

this really cool old stove – a model from 1939-1945 – and yes – I looked it up hahahaha – I love it! I am swooning of a new kitchen themed stamp set- LOL

I also loved this window – look at those colors and the pattern- so cool!

Speaking of house hunting we saw soooooo many houses, didn’t get houses, almost got houses, gave up on houses …but I learned so much with every single one. Like the Victorian way of A/C and keeping the houses cool and little things about the neighborhoods – I love it and so I started a sketch book about the houses we really loved and what I learned and found out.

I also went to my friend’s baby shower – and since part of the family is Peruvian this table decoration made me so happy. I kept it and will paint it for an ornament! Llama fun!

I hope you have a gorgeous week and don’t forget to breathe and step out for a minute!!! Loves!

Comments (2)

  • Janene

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    I love your “Strolls through the ‘Hood”. You’re lucky to live in an area where older architecture still exists, and that the residents appreciate it enough to retain it. It kills me to look at the real estate section of the Washington Post on Saturdays, when they often feature an old downtown row house that’s been renovated on the inside to the point where it’s unrecognizable as an older, vintage building. The outside and the inside don’t match or even compliment each other, to my taste anyway. But I guess that’s why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream, right? Everyone likes something different. :-)

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Yeah – there are some gems but we have also seen some really sad “updating” where a house was totally turned into a horrible characterless box and exactly what you say, happened. You see the house from the outside and you are excited and then you go in and just think WHY? But yes you are right, everyone like something different. I don’t want to live in a house that is exactly decked out in the style of 200 years ago – but I do want to keep a lot of the architectural elements that make the house special and visibly old. I think that is part of the charm.

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Stroll Through the Hood – November 2018

Happy Thanksgiving my Friends in the U.S. What a better day for a Stroll Through the Hood post :) . 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. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

Dramatic fall backdrop for this cute Pretzel :)

And a dramatic sun set with our city and Manhattan as a backdrop

House Hunting is a fun way to explore a wider range of hoods in my city- and I came across this amazing church – wow. I love the wood facade and the little tower!

See we have nature in our city …and apparently Mario Bros fans :)

A beautiful bathroom window in an open house we saw – love the pattern!

Brownstone galore n the rain – I love the little bits and pieces of orange on the stoops

One of my favorite floors in an open house – gosh – looooveeee!

A Lord of the Rings deck with a mural underneath – also big love!!! It is really fun to see all those backyards- it is a hidden world in the hood.

A very cute and for this area cheap house …but then upon entering you know it is totally overpriced. Totally dangerous inside as it falls apart. But it must have been gorgeous in his hay-days .

Fun wall paper in that house in the kitchen …I bet there were more fun details but I was like “get me out of here” – I am adventurous but not THAT adventurous LOL.

Hope you have a wonderful day and for those of you who are celebrating Thanksgiving today- I wish you beautiful day- filled with family, friends and good food. Thank you for being part of my Artful Adventures – lots of love

Comments (7)

  • Donna Davis

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    I grew up in Jersey City! on Nevins street around the corner from Bergen and Montgomery! My college was St.Peters…

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  • Donna DiCorcia

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    Is that Jersey City ???? I grew up in JC. I went to college at Saint Peters!!! Small world!!!!

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Hi Donna, yes it is :) How fun!!! I live in the old Dixon Mills factory :)

      Reply

  • ARHuelsenbeck

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    I forgot that Bobby Pretzel is YOUR cat. Thanks for sharing your photos–a pleasure, as always. I love your strolls through the ‘hood.

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  • Sue Clarke

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    That sunset, that background for Pretzel, those brownstones…WOW, just gorgeous photos Nat!
    That house look like it needs a ton of work for sure and that wall paper is just scary.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and I am thankful for the inspiration which you deliver to my inbox on a daily basis.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Hi Sue, hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Oh man yeah that house was really hoarder-squatted-scary …I am not brave enough to take on that work LOL

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Stroll Through The Hood – October 2018

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. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

I love sunny fall days- and when I step out of the house I love how the old pencil factory looks in the morning sun

This scene made me laugh hard when I was walking to pick up our CSA box. Hilarious!

We went to the library for some research and I love the stair case

also the cool iron gate with its track in the marble landing – so cool

Speaking of our building, I still wonder who and why those little faces were put into the column. I have never seen this anywhere else so far -any ideas? I wonder if it was kind of like a joke by the masons or if it was supposed to keep evil spirits away or something else- LOL

We had the annual Downtown Jersey City Market and my friends offered these really cool cookie jars. I am still sad I didn’t get them , but then …there is also only so much space in our apartment.

 

Speaking of our apartment -Bobby Pretzel is doing well – look how cute his little pink chin looks.

First pumpkin sighting of the month

And…my favorite Art Supply store around the corner moved …”Eat the Rich” is the message they left behind – I am sad. The building will be torn down and another “luxury” apartment building will go up in its place. At least the art supply store is staying in business but I loved walking by and buying my stuff there – support small business guys …preach it and do it.

Brownstone galore …also …see the sidewalk ..not good for your ankles …I sprained my ankle- oh well..

I do love all the iron work on those brownstones- this was just newly painted


Look at Bobby Pretzel seeing Sun Flowers for the first time of his life …Niles looks at me as if to say “This whipper snapper is soooooo ridiculous” hahahah.

Hope you enjoyed the Stroll Through the Hood- until next time :)

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    I always enjoy your strolls through the hood Nat.
    I think that I saw little faces in a building like yours in a horror movie. It was something like the souls of the people who died when making the building “trapped” inside. Sorry but that’s how I remember it.
    Love the brownstones. They are my favorite part of visiting Boston.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      WAHHHHHH – Sue ….LOL- I really hope those are not the souls of people who died when making the building . What a Halloween story- LOL

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Stroll Through the Hood – September 2018

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. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

Enjoying the gorgeous light and skylights in the evening while sitting on the deck – we love eating outside and do so almost everyday for dinner when weather allows.

Some fun little dog hedges I saw when walking through the hood.

I love brick – there is something so cool and rough about it -but I also love how this old green sprinkler alarm looks on the brick wall. And the font mix is pretty pretty cool too.

The amazing boarded houses you discover while taking a bike tour through the city- such a pretty house – I wonder if it will ever restored or just torn down.

Also loved finding this old fashioned sign – so fun!

On the way home after a nice night out with my girlfriends.

The pedestrian area in Jersey City all painted for the Pride Week- so much fun!

Some people know Jersey City only from its most ugly side- the street to the Holland Tunnel to go into NYC …but at least there is a gigantic mural there now …a glimpse of color.

And sorry …LOL- cannot help myself – I have a hard time leaving the house lately because Bobby Pretzel (check him out on instagram) is just so adorable.


He loves to discover new places and play fetch – and makes me laugh a LOT :) Very inspiring. But I will be in trouble as soon as he can hop onto my workbench in the studio :)
That was it from the Hood – I hope you enjoyed it – see you next month

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Nat, you will need a plan for incorporating Bobby Pretzels’s paw prints onto your art. LOL

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