Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sense, Sensibility & Matryoshka

Weathermen predicted a rainy day which screwed up my plans for what I wanted to wear to our family day trip. I tried this and that, and the pile of rejected pieces rapidly grew on my bed. I almost gave up and was ready to turn to an easy option like a pair of jeans, which definitely would make my life simpler - and the hell with all that being true to my creative self stuff. I did not sleep enough the night before, and the gray skies did not brighten my mood either. But I knew that what I really wanted was to wear a new maxi dress which was in my closet waiting for a couple of weeks for warmer weather and just the right occasion for its first outing.

"So what if it's rainy? Sure the dress will get a little wet - but so would jeans." I would not feel good if I decided on jeans, I knew it. "If the weather gets really nasty, we will just spend the afternoon at a museum, and instead of walking outside, after dinner in a restaurant, we can drive around."  I tried to reason with myself. That battle again, almost as old as the world itself. Sense and sensibility. What will take over this time? As I was balancing on the edge of the decision, as if the future of the world depended on it, visions of Vix and Curtise brightening the streets of English towns with their vintage maxi dresses, were following me as good fairies that rainy morning. The ladies whom I admire and adore endlessly, for their pure creativity, passion for life and not letting either people or circumstances decide what they are going to wear. "Go for it, Natasha, just go for it." Someone must have said it out loud. Was it me talking to myself? Was it Justin? Or one of the fairies whispering in my ear?

And I did! I went for it. And I felt wonderful, w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l all day, till we came back home very late that evening. And then at home, till I fell asleep at night. And who knows, maybe it was my happy mood that helped to move clouds. Who says it is not possible to change the weather to suit your plans? All I know is that as we were leaving Tacoma, it was such a heavy downpour that for a moment it seemed we were destined to stay indoors. And by the time we arrived on Bainbridge, the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and we had one of the loveliest family days ever, strolling in the beautiful and incredibly quaint village.

So what my post has to do with Matryoshka? 
Here is what... 
Matryoshka, Lialina style!

Matryoshka (or Russian nesting doll) is a common souvenir, traditional wooden toy and a symbol that strongly associates with Russia for the last century, despite the fact that its creators, carver Vassily Zvyozdochkin and folk artist Sergey Malyutin, were inspired by a Japanese nesting doll depicting an old Buddhist monk - such is the irony of life. It brings joy with its bright colors, lovely rounded shape and fun of discovering what's next and how the pieces fit into each other, but it also has a deeper symbolism and meaning - the succession, or continuity, very much like generations of one family line. 

The littlest Matryoshka in the world is made by Anatoly Konenko, the Russian artist, master of micro-miniature. It's painted according to traditional canons and is only 1.5 mm (or 7/128'') tall! It now is in the Museum of Slavic Mythology in Tomsk, Russia (source)

There are a few traditions of Matryoshka painting, as well as so-called author style Matryoshka dolls, widely popular nowadays. On the upper left photo, you see "Girl with a Rooster", the very first Matryoshka, created by Zvyozdochkin and Malyutin in 1890. On the right upper photo, a traditional style common in Semyonovo Village (Nizhny Novgorod region). You can see that it differs from the Sergiyev Posad style (Moscow region) on the photo below. Photo source

What has a louder voice in your head usually - sense or sensibility?
Do your favorite blogger friends visit you disguised as fairies?

My outfit: 
Dress - Chico's
Jacket - Old Navy
Boots - Pikolinos (old)
Purse - Cole Haan (old, via TJ MAXX)
Accessories - Chaos NY, Chico's, Lane Bryant

Babushka's outfit:
Vest - Eddie Bauer
Top - thrifted (via Goodwill)

Anna's outfit:
Top - thrifted (via Goodwill)
Jacket and jeans - Old Navy
Shoes - Vans (via Nordstron Rack)


Linking up with Share-in-Style - show your yellow or come as you are!
And 52 Pick-me-up: Baroque - why not! :)


  1. Well, I am finally delurking to leave a comment because that dress is UH-MAYZING. (and I love that the shop sign sneaking into the background of the photos reads "embellish")

    I had no idea that matryoshkas were inspired by Japanese dolls, although I had noticed the similarity before so it makes sense when you think about it....

  2. So glad you let the creative fairies win on this one, your maxi is wonderful, no wonder you felt so good all day. You really look stunning and I am sure that showed to everyone around you. Such a charming shot of three generations of beautiful girls.Thank you for the information on matryoshkas.

  3. the maxi dress fairies!!!! perfect description for vix and curtise! :-)
    and why should´t we wear maxis when the weather is wet? all our female ancestors did, and they don't had a car even!
    so luckily you made the right decision and we can see gorgeous pics of a happy natasha in a great outfit!
    the lialina matrioshka is beautiful - happy little family!!!!
    P.s: i slowed down on the weekend - guests. but i´m on the way again :-)

  4. Ha! I loved this. I often have other bloggers whispering in my ears when I'm shopping. Last week Melanie and Vix insisted that I buy blue crushed velvet booties. Totally ludicrous and impractical but I succumbed to their influence.

    You look lovely. I'm glad the day turned out so nice.

    Love the matryoshka photo : )


  5. I love nesting dolls ever since I was a kid. They are so fascinating.
    We were out to a show in Redmond yesterday and the rain was absolutely soaking to the bone. It makes one appreciate coming home that's for sure.
    Your dress is amazing. I'm really enjoying Chico's web site, especially their sales.
    Thank you so much for your encouraging comment on my Mother of the Bride post. It's pushing me to go beyond my box I hide in and encourages me to think of other options. Your idea for a bit flapper, a bit European traveler is very inspiring. I picture a woman in gloves and cloche waiting with her luggage for the next train, or ship!

  6. You look amazing in that maxi dress Natalia. Love the three generations photo and you babushka dolls.xo

  7. Ahh, Natalia, so you heard me and Vix whispering to you - "wear the maxi, wear the maxi!" I'm so happy the good maxi-loving faeries encouraged you to go for it, it's a wonderful dress, the colour, shape and print are fantastic on you. I often think of my blogging friends when I am perusing the charity shops and vintage markets, and I find myself picking out pieces for them in my mind. And if I ever catch myself saying "it's lovely... but where will I wear it?" I remind myself of Vix's grandma's saying; get it, and the occasion will present itself. And the truth is, we don't need an "occasion", we can wear what we love any day of the working week!
    I love matryoshka dolls too, and appreciate their symbolism. The photo of you, your mum and Anya is fabulous; three generations, three beautiful individuals, one gorgeous family.
    This post has really made me smile! xxx

  8. Eeek! I saw the thumbnail of you totally rocking that maxi and I'm thrilled that you thought of Curtise & I when you wore it. You look absolutely gorgeous, it could be one of my most favourite outfits of yours ever. After years of being the only weirdo in town it's a revelation to shop and imagine our blogging buddies urging us on.
    Love the picture of you, Anya and your Mum. xxx

  9. Oh Yes!!! the voices of our beloved Bloggers propel me too! back to you though, you look amazing! the dress is divine, gorgeous on you! I'm so glad the maxi-dress faries spoke to you, they are very lovely faries/people! I just adore the photo of you, your Mum and Anya and I have learned something new re; the Matryoshka Dolls (and I then told Dave!) x x x

  10. Hauska tuo kuva, jossa on kolme sukupolvea samassa! Meillä on kerätty noita maatukskanukkeja, ovat kivoja.

  11. I'm so glad you chose the maxi, it is certainly brightening my day! Love the lesson about Matryoshka. Now I want to see "the world's smallest"! Thanks for linking!

  12. It's such a fun dress, and it's almost spring, so the perfect time for a maxi dress. You can call test driving it for summer...

  13. mwahaha, I've worn a maxi skirt in the rain too!. I'm usually a huge fan of comfort, but any outfit is comfy at all if it doesn't make you feel comfident and happy! Fabulousness is required!
    And you're gorgeous, love your dress, love your family pics and all those colorful matryoskhas!

  14. Yay I'm SO glad you went for it! It's such a great feeling to throw caution to the wind, I often find if I'm a bit worried about an outfit being a bit too much it goes down a treat. Anyway that dress looks fabulous, you wear it very well. XX

  15. Oh, I do think my blogger friends are to be found whispering in my inner ear:)

    That maxi dress is a great that you went for it!

    I didn't know about Matryoshka being connected with or inspired by Japanese culture. How interesting!

  16. So glad you went with your heart. Now you feel as glamorous as you look to us!
    Peeling back the layers of who we really are inside in spite of others' expectations. Bravo! Xo Jazzy Jack