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


    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


    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.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      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


    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!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


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


  • Sue Clarke


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


  • Janene


    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.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      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


    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.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      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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Stamped Tea Towels Workshop at Kanibal & Co in Jersey City, NJ

Join me in my home neighborhood of Jersey City, at one of my favorite local boutiques: Kanibal & Co., for a workshop. This is my second time teaching at this awesome little shop and last time we had such a great time, I’m very excited to be back!

The workshop will be held on Saturday March 9th, 2019 from 12noon – 2pm at 197 Montgomery Street in Downtown Jersey City. Space is VERY limited on this one so sign up early to reserve your spot!

We’ll be customizing some tea towels with foam stamps – something that is fun to do to spruce up your kitchen or to make as gifts. You can register here.

Here is the official description :)

Foam stamps are a fun and easy way to block print on fabric. Join me as I demonstrate how to work with foam stamps and fabric paints. Working with color and pattern, students will learn how to create custom textiles. Each participant will create two unique tea towels to take home. Refreshments will be served.

Join us! Create! Get crafty! Play with foam stamps! And get inspired to personalize fabric with paint and foam stamps :) Sign up here.

Comments (1)

  • Cindy Gay


    Natalie-this is such a great idea!


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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


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


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My Home is My Stamp – Art Journal

“Home is where…Safe meets Love meets Memory meets Friends + Family Meets Good Feelings meets All the good vibes. ”

I hope you are enjoying Creative JumpStart as much as I do  – you can still sign up btw!!! In my video which was up on January 2nd, I showed how to create a big stamping plate and different printing techniques. Besides the prints I created also this art journal spread. It was super fun – I used two different stamping plates as well as my favorite Moonlight Duo Ink pads to stamp the different colors and then I added some acrylic ink in some areas. 

I love the look and I actually also love the colors which are bit unusual for me :) 

Have a wonderful day!!!!

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Whimsical Collages

A month ago I taught a really fun Whimsical Collage Class together with my friend Julie Fei-Fan Balzer in the UK and I realized I haven’t really shown my samples for the workshop yet.


It was fun to work in a series, with the same colors and materials and also techniques. Here are some pictures of the workshop for Art Workshops in Coventry – I love what our students created.

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Winter Village – Painting

Close by my hood is an area  of Jersey City called “The Village”. It used to be Jersey City’s own Little Italy and it still has some old Italian Mom and Pop Stores and Restaurants.

I love the mural by Beau Stanton on one of the Buildings which depicts some of the landmarks of Jersey City.

It is one of those weird things where a mural that is created with landmarks creates a landmark.

I am really into the colors I used this time – I already started another canvas with the same yellow gold sienna color for the background …let’s see :)

You can find this painting for sale here in my shop.

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