Stroll Through The Hood

Stroll Through the Hood – May 2022

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.

It is a late spring here but we are enjoying some time on our stoop with the newly restored banister. I love sitting on the stoop- you meet all kinds of wonderful neighbors including Alvin how walks up and down the block every day to collect trash because as he says “You gotta stay human and we have to be good to ourselves.” Thank you Alvin- you are a treasure!

Loving this Queen Anne house and the magnolia tree – icing on the cake. The soft colors of blue, yellow and pink …yum!

Meanwhile in the studio – someone is really helpful …

Those two Queen Anne Houses on our street are also amazing – I love the right one for all its amazing wood shingle applications – the wavy pattern in the triangle is my fave. The Blue house on the left has an open Turret – so fun!

Such a great building and brick work and my favorite thing about it of course is the old shop sign and the font.

Hello texture and hello gorgeous! The color combo is also intriguing …the different shades of grey and white and the muted red – very inspiring.

How cool is this iron work and also …it is the most beautiful and smart protection guard i have seen so far! Safety but not for the price of making it look like a prison.

I feel watched!

The Liberty Park Nature Center finally reopened after it was basically destroyed in Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Loved seeing those Kindness Stones all around it in the park.

Low tide – always gives the illusion you could just walk over to Manhattan

We took a little bike tour through the park and explored the old Bay View cemetery as well. It was established in 1848 and holds the graves of many mayors and important historic family members of the city and it also holds a Jewish Burial ground. It is in really rough shape which is pretty sad.

Some people might find it weird but I have always found cemeteries very peaceful and beautiful places …

Finishing the stroll through the hood with this magic picture …I love spring :)

Hope you enjoyed the little stroll – see you next time!!

Comments (2)

  • Barbara

    |

    Great photos and observations. The last is the best, but I loved them all. Cemeteries are my thing as well. New city? Check out the cemetery. And doors, I love doors. Thank you once more.

    Reply

  • Andrea R Huelsenbeck

    |

    I love to stroll through the hood with you, Nathalie. (Almost as good as walking it together in person.) I love the things you pick out to photograph.

    Reply

Leave a comment

Stroll Through the Hood – April 2022

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.

The front yard got spruced up… it was a bit of a mess with a ripped tarp all over, roots and garbage and some prickly sad plants. We planted our Maple tree PJ2 which hopefully will thank us for getting out of the pot after two years and we left some space for the plants to spread out …The birdbath was left from the previous renters and is plastic…I am on the hunt for a nice new one…but one step at a time.

Also happy to hang those vintage treasures for the Easter Holiday. In Germany it is tradition to Easter eggs form branches…those are fake pussy willows I have to admit though …I find it hard to find them here in the city …I guess because it is not such a big tradition to have them in your vases around spring.

I am so excited that this poor house is being restored and it is getting a new beautiful fence …I will def. walk by often to check on the progress.

Not my poop – in case you were really wondering hahaha. I am curious about the story here …so much to unpack I think LOL. I also need to walk by again to see if that is a continuing story …

I love these simple art deco apartment buildings with this really beautiful blue decoration on top.

Left over gate part from a long gone house I guess…I love that someone decided to leave it at least ..it is like a little nudge to find out what came before right there.

Another interesting renovation project- this old house facade is nice but in a really bad shape, it made me wonder that someone would tear down the hole house behind but go to lengths to keep the facade …and then I learned that you get a renovation loan if you just keep the facade in the front …it is not a new building …go figure…well…at least it will have a beautiful restored facade I assume alas the rest of the house is probably another box without any charm.

And if you do not know it by now…I am in Jersey City …aka Jersey City Tough …aka Peacock Nation. For my international readers- sorry – it was March Madness which is a time in March when Collages are playing Basketball single eliminating against each other in a short period of time . Our tiny St. Peter’s University team which was given no hope or chance beat some pretty tough teams and went further than any team ranked that badly before. The University itself is a Jesuit University with about 3000 students, here in my neighborhood and it was a huge deal for them and a huge deal for our city. I have never seen our city so united and happy about something.

The guys got a parade and all the neighboring schools participated. It was wonderful to see all the school kids being so happy …we needed this after the pandemic. It was a great afternoon.

This guy was super sweet- his siblings both went to St. Peter’s and I forgot how the Wrestling was connected to his siblings but he want all out and asked us very nicely if we could take a picture of him in his gear in front of the Sign and well known Student Pub. Not all heroes wear capes but some do.

Spring in the dining room. I really love how this room turned out- it is an eclectic mix of time periods and colors and had fun putting it together.

Love this sign and the font – I wonder how old this is. In any event …it is a sign that this has been a corner store for a long long time.

Hope you enjoyed the little stroll, see you next month for a new neighborhood walk :)

Comments (9)

  • Sue Clarke

    |

    I love the color of your dining room walls!

    Reply

  • Barbara

    |

    Loving your stroll once again. These are timeless photos to be revisited years from now to compare with the changes of time. I have snaps in my head of where I lived as a child, few actual photos. The ones that exists are viewed by my sisters and I and help us remember our neighbor. Thank you for letting us see your world.

    Reply

    • nathalie-kalbach

      |

      I know what you mean- I wish I had more photos of my old neighborhood as a child as well – I have some vivid memories but some seem weird when I look at google street view for example of my street I grew up in. LOL- I guess I will never know :)

      Reply

  • Diane T

    |

    Just love your eye for details. The block walk is always so special. And Love the way your new/old house is turning out. Thank you too for the history lessons. Enjoy the spring season.

    Reply

  • Robin

    |

    I love your strolls. The last sign is so cool! You MUST, after all, have butter with rolls!

    I have a picture of a sign that I took in CA a long time ago. It says,

    Apple butter
    Rabbits
    Wedding cake

    We thought was quite the combination!

    Reply

    • nathalie-kalbach

      |

      hahah that is indeed an amazing sign Robin …LOL- what a great sign!

      Reply

  • Bonnie Kurz

    |

    You probably think I am stalking you. Absolutely adore your around the hood pieces. Having grown up in Jersey city I see a lot of the old neighborhoods and buildings.. Many of my friends went to St. Peters Collage so I was so happy to see them get to go to the playoffs. I love your new house and of course your kitties.
    Keep up the good work!, Bonnie (also known as Evelyn)

    Reply

    • nathalie-kalbach

      |

      Awee- I am so happy that this brings back some memories and yeahhh go peacocks!!!

      Reply

Leave a comment

Stroll Through the Hood – March 2022

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 it…my studio all packed and wrapped up on the day before moving to the new house just about 3 blocks away.

I loved the “Lady Office” labeling LOL. The guys were great in packing but let’s say I would not again have someone else handle my art supplies. I would have them pack anything but the supplies. Part of it was probably because they had no idea what they were packing. Having for example oil sticks loosely thrown in with charcoal and then have the box sit next to a radiator …I think you might have an idea how unpacking went.

I mentioned in my newsletter yesterday that even though I am so happy about our new house, it was a bit emotional to say good by to our little pandemic cocoon. We left like many people before us a not in the basement.

But then there is this little breakfast nook which makes me happy every morning – the window is just so beautiful and it is a magical little place to start the day. You can see our mini fridge on the right …we left our cool SMEG fridge in the old house and ordered a new one and well..it was stuck in container hell.

This little beaner was our companion (as I am writing this we finally got the new fridge delivered) for a couple of weeks and it is actually very interesting how much food you can tetris into this fridge.

Here is my new painting studio …taking form …I love this room, the light is amazing. Don’t get fooled this was at a later time of the day. I cannot wait to start painting again.

Lot’s of papers and boxes

which smoothed out waited for several people to them up . It is so much waste during a move it felt good to know that at least 5 different people will be able to move with our stuff …also embarrassingly tells how how much stuff we have in art supplies and books.

This was the living room pretty much on the evening we moved in … all boxes gone, and bang …yes that is Citron on the wall … you either love it or hate it but I am cool if you hate it …not your living room lol- so that should make you feel better than ;)

I took some time as soon as I had my paints and journals out to do some art journaling and as you can see Mingus was very helpful. The cats are doing great btw – if you are a cat owner you know that is a bit of a traumatic thing for cats but apparently the cards were newly mixed and Bobby Pretzel is now the king of the castle and they bonded through the move even sharing the cozy spots in the house.

I am ready for spring now – well right after we have some warmer temperatures and this railing at our stoop is redone …I cannot wait to take to through some strolls through my new old hood :)

Comments (2)

  • Robin Seiz

    |

    It looks amazing! I love the citron! Enjoy your new space, can’t wait to see all the opportunities it opens for you. Enjoy your new home!

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

    |

    So much work and so beautiful. that breakfast nook is a delightful place to read and have a cup of tea.
    Here’s to many happy years in your new home and I look forward to walks in your new/old hood.

    Reply

Leave a comment

Stroll Through the Hood – February 2022

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.

When I say Stroll Through the Hood it was mostly a stroll through the hood to our new home and that is where I spent most time as we are moving in one week – wwahhhhh.

The fire place above is my favorite one – the color is just making me so happy!

The inserts of the fireplaces are also not too shabby- isn’t that a gorgeous pattern? And practical too as the plates store the heat and reflect it to the room – things you learn while renovating and talking to different contractors- I love it!

Speaking of pattern – StencilGirl Products was so sweet to make a Wall Stencil out of my Art Deco Summit Stencil and I stenciled this wall in my future office. I would do a lot of things different in the future- there are mistakes but can live with that for now and will fix the oopsies later :) Also …if you are here for perfection, you are at the wrong place LOL

The Color scheme was pretty much inspired by this fireplace and the wall we painted purple :) Left over paint is a nice thing.

We went all color this time- which is really unusual for us – we are usually very bland white wall person but this old lady as we call our new house screamed for some colorful oomph and I think she can wear it.

BTW- this is my new Fainting Sofa …I mean…you gotta have a Fainting Sofa, no? I love it so much and it is actually very comfy – I cannot wait to faint ..eh …read on it …I wonder if this will become the cat’s favorite spot.

Other than that most of my days nowadays are consumed by cleaning or running last minute errands. Even though we did big renovations in serval of our former homes, I seem to be still caught off guard by how much construction dust is clinging around forever.

I have been MIA for the past couple weeks and will probably be another 2 weeks until we moved and unpacked most stuff, but I see light at the end of the tunnel and I cannot wait to live in our new sweet home. Wish us luck for a smooth move :)

Comments (3)

  • Andrea R Huelsenbeck

    |

    I love the wall stencil! (And the fireplace and the fainting couch.) Wishing you lots of happiness and love in your new home.

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

    |

    That first fireplace is gorgeous! The “fainting couch” is also pretty special. Best wishes for your move to your dream house Nat!

    Reply

  • Robin Seiz

    |

    Oh my gosh!!! I love everything about it! The fainting sofa is to die for!!!! Congratulations! It’s amazing what happens when we put our dreams out there!!!!

    Reply

Leave a comment

Willpower – Art Journal

“It only takes a little bit of willpower to see the beauty around us.”

For this page in my vintage ledger art journal I used archival ink with my Stroll Through the Hood 1 and Hydrant rubber stamps. Then I added some color with acrylic markers and collaged in one of the Artist Almanac calendar pages that had my painting on it. As you may know, that super popular Almanac is sold out.

It is fun to use some of my old artwork as a starting point for something new. This painting is called Pencil #2 and is still available here in my online shop.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Leave a comment

Stroll Through the Hood – January 2022

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.

I love a good fire escape view :) This one is actually from our new house – nothing speaks American City more to me than a fire escape…I know I know …Europeans LOL

Ever wonder what is underneath those boxed in houses? When you are in our city you might be deceived as to how old this city really is …a lot of houses are from around 1890 but they just look as if they are from the 50s 60s 70s because they have siding on top. On this house which is from 1890 you can actually see several layers of siding going down to the old wood siding with shingles, you can also see the windows used to be bigger ..there is a super cute house underneath the siding …but fear not …the aluminum siding is back on … This house is just an example why I always stroll through the hood wondering how the houses look underneath that stuff.

Playing around with kitchen tile – we bought some antique tiles for our new kitchen and I was playing around how to best arrange the new subway tile with the old ones. I am excited …I am in love.

And speaking of green, well I didn’t really speak of green but here you go …this is the color of our new living room…I feel so bold hahaha. See the funny thing is that even though I am bold and colorful in my artwork and art journals, I am actually usually a kinda white wall person. Maybe because as a child I helped taking off landfills of wall paper and painting several times over colorful walls (that is what you get when you move several times to old apartments and houses). But …well…the color bug took over since we are convinced these rooms need a bold color statement. Let’s see how I feel living in it LOL- I will keep you posted.

How can you not love this wonderful window handle with a greek key pattern but also some pattern inside the handle.

Speaking of Tiles …I am jumping around here- I love the architectural salvage place here in Jersey City- it is mostly totally out of our budget ..but we have been here several times for antique tiles and I am always in awe by the stuff they have.

This Possum Belly Baker’s Cabinet is moving into the hood – we saw it several months ago in Pennsylvania and we decided it will will be a wonderful addition to our new kitchen. So we had a fun little road trip.

Love our current deck and the tree with snow …It wasn’t there too long …but it was pretty

When you try to convince your husband of the color choice you already made but you humor him and yourself by putting all kinds of other colors on and then the color you really want ;) – Can you guess which one “we” picked? I will reveal next time ;)

A while ago I saw a house that was restored in the neighborhood and they had wonderful wooden shutters placed inside the windows. I squealed with delight when I actually realized that this is an historic feature we used to have in our house as well …pocket shutters. To be honest I wouldn’t have put 2 and 2 together if it wasn’t for those strolls. They vanish into the pockets on the sides of the window. Ours are unfortunately gone but you can still see the holes where they were hinged on. I am inquiring about having them back as the horrible plastic blinds and the old curtain need to go (like yesterday)

And there I leave you with a picture of Pretzel who jumps onto me when I am here and work on CJS22 – he misses having me around all day but we just have so much to do with renovating etc. right now- his cuddle time is a bit more limited when he is used to the last two years.

Comments (1)

  • Eunice Wallace

    |

    wonderful photos and the commentary pulls it all together. Thank you for sharing. Love the results of your walks.

    Reply

Leave a comment

A Look Back – The Artful Tabletop – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed

A Look Back – As many of us retreat to our homes again I thought it would be good to look at some projects that can make dining at home feel a bit more festive. This is a collection of posts from the past that can help you think about using stamps and stencils to create an Artful Tabletop. Lets make eating in, even on special occasions, feel like an elevated experience!

Ok first things first, pour yourself a glass of wine :) Then let’s look at this post on making some sweet wine charms with shrink film and my Stroll Through the Hood 1 and 2 stamp sets. You don’t want to mix up that glass with anyone else that may be in your household or bubble, right? This is no time to be sharing germs. And hey, even if you aren’t interacting with anyone else right now, wine charms are just cute accessories to have regardless and shrink film is ALWAYS fun to play with.

So we have the drinks covered. Let’s move on to some napkins…

Cloth napkins are the way to go when it comes to making your table look good at home. Not only are they better for the environment, but they just feel nice when you’re dabbing that homemade lasagna off your mouth. And, when you follow the tutorial in this post you’ll see you can choose the perfect colors to go with your tableware and vibe at home. We used some of my foam stamps for the patterns and fabric paint to make sure they hold up in the laundry. Welcome to Chez Moi.

Next up: let’s give those napkins a ring! Nothing says you tried to gussy up a table like napkin rings :)

This blog post tutorial shows how to turn paper clay, some of my pattern stencils (like Hamilton seen above), and PanPastels into one-of-a-kind rings for those newly stamped napkins. Give it a try and see if dinner doesn’t feel a bit fancier!

No tablescape is complete without a little element of nature – be it real flowers, greenery from your yard, or faux flowers.

In this blog post we turned plain white ceramic vases into artistic scenes by stamping my Stroll Through the Hood 1 and 2 rubber stamp sets. You’ll want to use an ink like StazOn for this project and then you can even color in with paint markers or glass paint markers. If you use the same stamps that you used for your wine charms, you will begin to build a cohesive look for your Artful Tabletop.

Lastly let’s talk about lighting.

To set the mood on any elegant table, candlelight is a must. Everyone looks better by candlelight, candlelight feels festive even when it’s dark and dreary outside, and I don’t know if there is any scientific proof to this but food just tastes better when there are lit candles on a table. Here is an easy tutorial to create candles stamped with my Stroll Around the Block rubber stamps and some tissue paper.

There you go – 5 projects to get you excited about dining at home and making your Artful Tabletop something to admire and enjoy. You may even need to start posting pics of your dinner online if you keep this up. Have fun!!!

I hope you enjoyed this. A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)

Here are some of the supplies I used in these projects:

Leave a comment

Stroll Through the Hood – December 2021

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.

What can I say..come on in I guess :) This is the place I have spent a lot of time the last couple of weeks. It is our new home to be. An 1890s townhouse. And yes, some people might ask “Didn’t you guys do a renovation a couple years ago and move?” Yes …we did and we would have not been doing this again if it wasn’t for this particular house, which we have been dreaming of forever, in fact…I painted the house and it’s sister houses and there even is a foam stamp out there which shows it. So now if you believe in manifestation …there you go. And if you don’t , well tough … I am convinced now. We are still pinching ourselves.

The house comes with a dumb waiter …I have never seen one in real live before and this puppy works – it is pretty screechy but it gives me so much joy. None of the other 4 identical houses have the dumb waiter anymore- so we are very determined to keep it. After all we believe we are just guardians of this old house and we want to keep as many of it’s original features as possible. It is pretty rare to find a house that has not either been stripped of everything or painted excessively.

I love this tile in the vestibule – it needs some love and deep cleaning and I need to read up on how to do that best. But it makes me happy to just see it whenever we walk into the house.

This 1920s Fan Slip Shade Chandelier has been in the house probably since that time – as a former owner of the house who bought it in 1978 told us. I love this chandelier so much – I could lay under it forever, but alas …I have to swing the paint brush and pull another five million nails off old carpets from the staircase.

I don’t want to bore you with a million photos of the new home- we are still renovating and I might throw a pic into the Strolls here and there- but if you are interested in how it looks like and how it is going -you can see more and follow it’s own Instagram account . But before I move on…above is a picture of the one bathroom that is awesome in the house (the other one …oh boy …let’s not talk about it). This bathroom is also from the 20s/30s and I just love love love it – the green tile and the tub- swoon!

Our cats couldn’t be less impressed by our renovation efforts …well they don’t know yet that they will be moving in a couple months, so bless them and their ability to sleep on the smallest scrap of packaging LOL. Bobby Pretzel cracks me up.

Mingus is doing his best to blend into the background but we all know that his true focus is on this:

Pizza Rat …you probably have to be from NYC or live in the NYC Metropolitan Area to find humor in this ornament LOL- it makes me laugh.

And here it is, this year’s tree- the most pokey tree ever- we cut it with our friends and we had to wear gloves putting ornaments into it …I guess it kind of fits to the whole year …I am laughing about it.

I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season, some quality time and lots of love and rest! See you all soon as I am taking a couple days off to get ready for the big bang in the new year and start of Creative JumpStart 2022! Thank you for joining me on my Strolls through the Hood in 2021.

Comments (7)

  • Rebecca

    |

    That is so exciting! What a beautiful house😍

    Reply

  • AnnetteD

    |

    I am thrilled to bits to hear your news. What a perfect way to start 2022!! Frolicher Weinacht!!

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

    |

    I think I see a new stamp coming soon…Fan Slip Shade Chandelier!
    I love the vintage house and the idea that you are caretakers. We have a dumbwaiter at work but it works with the push of a button and is only 20 years old. I keep saying that we need a more politically correct name for it. LOL
    Hope you have a Merry & a Happy Nat.

    Reply

  • Andrea+R+Huelsenbeck

    |

    Congratulations, Nathalie! Wishing you many years of pleasure in your new (old) home. May it be your forever home. Love you.

    Reply

  • Barbara

    |

    Wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing. Loved your captions too.

    Reply

  • Seiz Robin

    |

    Congratulations Nat. I love your comment about being stewards of this old house. I so believe we need to do that. And this is manifestation at its finest!!!! I hope you have years of enjoyment in this old home. It’s lucky to have you two as the buyers! Merry Christmas!

    Reply

  • Vee/beachwalker

    |

    CONGATULATION on that ‘dreamy’ new/old house. The beautiful wood will only continue to charm you and greet you every time you walk through those doors.
    Thank you for sharing ‘your dream home’ with us. It will be an adventure following your renovations and seeing a new studio. HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and your husband.

    Reply

Leave a comment

Stroll Through the Hood – November 2022

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.

Little impressions of a house close by, I love this stained glass window – I love the intricate details with squares and triangles.

Original Hardware – I am always amazed how intricate the simplest things were in Victorian times- this little lock make me happy.

A frosted bathroom window – so beautiful!

I had some stuff to do downtown and browsed around my old stamping grounds – I still love this mural – sadly the art supply store next to it is gone …they had to move but closed in the new location during the pandemic. I loved the store- it makes me sad to think that this city with almost 300,000 inhabitants has no art stores.

New collaboration piece up by Dylon Egon , Distort , Artgraf , Ray Arcadio and more- still trying to figure it out.

This made me snort – past Halloween and I guess…well they waited a long time for those trick or treaters.

And well – closing with some cat pix- LOL- here is Bobby Pretzel being extremely helpful

As well as Mingus doing quality control for all the packages I ship to you. What could go wrong with two such cute and attentive helpers?

Comments (1)

  • leslie57

    |

    Maybe you and some of your local artist friends could go in together and create an art supply store…. Your pictures are awesome. Your quality control team…stellar!

    Reply

Leave a comment