Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It's Personal, It's Not Business

THANK YOU, all you wonderful visitors of our a little crazy (in a good way) cozy cottage by the sea! If all visitors were as sweet as you, I'd have them any day. :)
I have quite a few outfits to share with you. I'll do it one by one this time. Not every post should be overloaded with pictures, right? So here is the first one for you. But before we go any further, I just want to share this Marlen's look which stole my heart (as she often does). Isn't she adorable? Just say yes! 

This year, Justin and I (and Anna when she can join us) are working on getting to know as many little local theater groups as we can. I am a huge fan of small businesses and enthusiastic groups. I am not very much for big corporations. I know that some of them also start as small cozy and soulful places where people really love and care about what they do. But more often than not, as they start growing, they loose their heart somewhere between green banknotes. And quite honestly, there is nothing sadder than that. It happens to all sorts of businesses, not just stores. It happens to cultural and educational organizations, including theaters as well. You probably all visited a big famous show at least a couple of times. You know that it can be extremely well done, with lots of impressive stage effects, amazing sound and light quality, wonderful signing voices and acting talents, and yet it can leave you with a somewhat plastic-y feeling after all. It does not have to, but it just happens way too often that it does.

And I understand of course that yes, everybody wants to succeed at what they do. But you simply cannot replace a true inspiration (comes from the word "spirit"), deep feelings you have for life that you feel urgent to share with the world, with just professionalism and just funding. Spirit should come first - always, in any situation. When you feel touched by something, when whatever you read or look at leaves your heart feeling warmer, kinder and more alive - that is always spirit, soul that touches another soul. When you find yourself oohing and awing over the special effects or "high quality", it is most certainly very well marketed professional skills and funding. I am not against them - they are all good things too. But they are secondary compared to the genius of a soul. We see reminders of the admiration of the professionalism and marketing and all this worldly success all the time, practically every minute we spend in the outer world. And very very little not only praising, but recognition of the soul, spirit, true inner genius which creates what we all crave the most - true beauty.

For that genius to come out (which is, I believe, inside of all of us, we just aren't used to thinking this way), we don't need many years of fancy education, though a dedicated time spent on education or self-education in the field we are passionate about, is always beneficial. For that genius to get out, we don't need a huge pile of money or the approval of any kind of "authority" like a big production company or publishing house. For that genius which is hidden inside of us, we only need one thing - to look inside of ourselves, without looking around or looking back or looking up to someone or something. Only one good long honest look inside of ourselves. What is it that thing I am dying to do, maybe for a few years, or maybe for my whole life? What is that thing that brings a fire out of me - a good kind of fire, not the one that burns all around, but the one that creates a true beauty, that touches, that gives me and maybe someone else a hope, a source of light, tears up eyes a little, all in a good way, gives me this longing to live, to love, to create, to just feel all the wonderfulness that is inside of me?

Maybe it is singing, or dancing, or acting, or making costumes - then maybe I get all my courage and join one of the many little local theater groups where people just like me, probably without fancy education and a great set of skills, living a life very similar to what my life is, get together and create something beautiful and share it with the world, maybe only a small part of the world, like a few dozens or a couple of hundred people in my community, but those people will be deeply touched by all the effort and all the dedication, and all the talent and all the heart I and other people just like me put into our little production, without big funding, without expecting to become rich and famous, just because of love of what we do and for the love we feel inside.

Or maybe it's writing that I am dying to do. And even though it would bring so much joy and pride to see my name printed on a hard cover book, taking its place somewhere between Jane Austin and Leo Tolstoy, I don't know just yet how to get there and maybe I never will know. But I can write a short story or a little post in my blog, and I can write about all that matters to me, and express that great feeling of beauty that I see in the world, and my heart will sing, and maybe someone else's heart will be touched too, and in the large scale of things, it really is all that matters, because it is genuine.

This was my The Sound Of Music matinee outfit which was wonderfully performed by a young local theater group Auburn Community Players (since 2010), featuring both professional and semi-professional adult actors and amazingly talented children. I think I cried on every second song, and I was not the only one in the audience who did. I encourage you to check out your local community theaters, there is a good chance that you will be amazed at how much heart they put into their productions. I am also very deeply touched by the community support, real support, gratitude and praise they give to their local talents. Flowers and standing ovations are not something you see even in big popular theaters these days.

All the clothes are remixed from my closet.
Blazer - Lane Bryant
Skirt - Christopher and Banks
Silk blouse - thrift shop
Shoes - Dansko
Purse - via TJ MAXX
Crystal earrings from Russia



  1. Lovely well written, heart touching post.

    It is true that something done with heart, honest and true, shines with the brightness of a jewelled Australian outback's night sky.

    On the fashion front...that polkadot blazer is super cute...and I love the pussy bow.


  2. Wonderful post, Natasha! The Sound of Music is one of my absolutely favorite musicals. I'd love to see it live... It reminds me -- we've not been to any concerts in Houston yet -- надо исправить это упущение :)) You look beautiful as usual! Lovely skirt!

  3. Thank you so much for your kind words Natalia, so wise and helpful
    I will visit as often as I can.
    I adore the clash of ruffles and polka dots, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh
    Tons and tons of love.
    I adore your smile

  4. I think polka dots must be neutral because, like leopard print, they seem to look great with anything! Love the ruffled skirt and the purple pumps, too.
    Yes, something done through the sheer love rather than something driven by a vast money making corporation is so much more real. Hands up though, musicals aren't for me, I've seen one performed live and that was enough.
    Different strokes for different folks and all that. xxxx

  5. i was thinking "circus princess" as i saw you today!
    love it!
    you are right that spirit has to be the first thing! but. most folks would´t recognize spirit even if spirit hit them in the face. they fall for big loud marketing - all the "big shows" are a great success in fame and money. and as someone who tried to make a living (more then 20 years) from making heartblood into wearable art i must say that the little bunch of people who understand and pay for it is not enough for rent, bred and health insurance.........
    here we have a movement for a "unconditional basic income for all" - this would help a lot in the case of "spirit"!!!!!
    YES - marlen looks fab!

  6. Lovely look, the polka dots are so much fun. Yes, it is wonderful when people do something just because it's their passion. But the sad truth is that we all need money, too... I know that I spend way more time chasing money than I would like to, but as a freelancer, that's the reality I live in. I put in a lot of effort on something I actually couldn't care less about, while I struggle to find time to do the things I love. And it drives me mad. There are so many things I would love to do, and do well, and learn more about, but as they don't pay the bills... So, if someone offered me a chance to do something I'm passionate about and get paid, I would sell my soul in an instant and be part of that commercial machinery. I mean, at the moment I'm selling my soul, working for money, for something I really don't care that much about, and would drop in an instant if I could get paid doing something I actually like... Does that make sense?

  7. You are beautiful in this outfit and yes polka dots are totally a neutral!

    I love people who are genuine in their pursuit of bliss. I think it wasn't until my 30's that I becaume my genuine self and once this happens all sorts of connections with others came. I was a drama geek all through high school and my degree is in film, I love acting, directing and writing. I'm embarrassed to share most of what I write because it's rather crass.

    Spirit is what draws people to you or pushes them away. I love sharing my with the world and in turn I loving seeing beautiful souls among me.
    Xxxxoooo wonderful post!

  8. You look fantastic in this confection of polka dots, bows and ruffles, Natalia - very chic, yet soft and feminine too.
    And your writing is so heartfelt. Finding what we love, and the best way to express our true selves, that's the key, yes? Sounds easy, but I'm not sure that it is. I'm still looking! For now, my blog will do, and the occasional bout of drunken karaoke! xxx

  9. What a co-incidence! only today Dave and I had a late breakfast in one of our City's wonderful independent theatre's and we talked about how we should support it - I think when you see true passion and love, it always translates beautifully in any medium and the brave show their Spirit comfortably - it's lovely to see you and looking as amazing as ever, it's a gorgeous outfit and the polka dot jacket is divine! and yes! Marlen is super cute! ps thank you Natalia for your beautiful comment and concern on my bog, you are very thoughtful and very lovely x x x

  10. I love your look and what you write is so true. I hate the saying that money rules the world... xxxx

  11. I love your flouncy skirt and the way you have combined the polka dotted jacket with a patterned skirt. The blue is lovely and I always find blue and white together look and feel so fresh!

    I so agree with you about creating (and about community theatre too-we have some wonderful groups here) Like you, as someone who creates I would like my work to go out into the world, to be enjoyed and acknowledged and I would like to believe that what I create is good and in general we tend to look for that sort of validation outside ourselves, waiting for someone else to tell us that it is good. I cannot say I do not do that but I can say that essentially I create for myself, for my own pleasure because I am compelled to. As you know, I am writing a novel. The process excites me and I am motivated to work on it even though I do not know if it will ever be a "real" book. I paint also because the process makes me happy. There is another sort of pleasure that comes from a finished piece that appeals to me, but the process is where the majority of the joy is. I am reminded of my childhood when one of my most favourite activities was drawing and colouring and the amount of pleasure it brought me seems like something that people cast aside as adults, and there is often a notable stage children go through when they suddenly realise their drawings are not 'good' and they stop. They give up out of frustration or shame because their drawings do not look like 'real art' or like the real world and while that is always sad, it is particularly heart breaking to me the younger the child who reaches this conclusion.

    Oh dear, I am probably rambling here. Just pop on over for a coffee or a glass of wine so we can chat about this more!

  12. I adore the tiered skirt with the polka dot- it is playful and sophisticated all at once!
    I love the Sound of Music, i never tire of it.
    I hope to see your name on a hardcover book, keep going for it, but you are being read, and appreciated here!
    Sending hugs!
    XX, Elle