Friday, May 29, 2015

Two Closets Met!

We did it! We finally did it, after almost a year of back-and-forth-ing, beautiful Joni of Artful Closet and I met! (Joni's wonderful post about it HERE.)
Two closets met - artist's and writer's ones!
We met yesterday, on a sunny and warm Thursday afternoon, in a small local coffee shop in Burien where Joni grew up. Burien is very special to me too because it's the very first place where Justin and I decided to live on the water, we just couldn't help but fall in love with Puget Sound. Plus, our daughter takes acting classes in Burien, and she's crazy about them and never wants to quit. Now you know - Burien is a special place for us all.

Joni is gorgeous, beautiful inside and out, warm, intelligent, engaging, open, gentle, wise, insightful, full of surprises - there are just so many different sides of her! We talked for almost 2 hours (then I had to head back home to meet Anya from school), sipping coffee and listening to live music, because apparently Burien Farmer's Market is open every Thursday, May to October, and it was just across the (small) street from us. We talked about many things - blogging, connecting, being what I call a white crow (an odd bird), acceptance, children, relationships, Brodsky and those moments in life when everything becomes one and you see clearly... Was it a bit unsettling to meet face to face for the first time? Yes. But I told myself that it's supposed to be fun, and that Joni is probably a little nervous too, we both have our worries and our hopes, and we both want to have a good experience, so at the end all you can do is trust and let go. Was it wonderful? Yes, it was absolutely wonderful!

The fabric necklace (scarf necklace?) on me is one of Joni's very generous and beautiful gifts... 
thank you so much!

You know, when people say something like "this person is just like he/she appears on her blog", I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I know it's a compliment, it tells you that you meet the real deal, not a fake. But it's just so impossible to be "exactly as you appear on the blog" in real life... In real life, I sweat, I blush, and I speak with a thick Russian accent. I have a voice, I move, I sometimes can't express myself as well as I want to or as I can when I write, I get anxious and forget words. But I also laugh, I open up, I make jokes, my eyes get teary, I tell stories which I don't tell online... There are so many aspects of us that are impossible to "translate" through the screen. And I think it's true for any alive person - we are complex, dynamic creatures, and there is just so much more to a real person compared to a blogging personality. And I think that it's great, otherwise we could just stay behind screens forever and be content with it. But we want to connect with real people, don't we all want it? Don't we all want just to be liked, to be accepted for real? You can't get it, or give it to another person if you hide - you have to get out there, to be open, to trust. And yes, it is vulnerable and a bit unnerving. But it sure is worth it.

The gorgeous silk scarf is another gift from Joni. 
These are really my colors, you are so right!

Dear Joni, this outfit was inspired by our meeting. I actually wanted to wear this blouse yesterday, but did not have all the "ingredients" for creating a delicious dish. Your Indian-spiced accessories were just exactly what was missing - so here it is, now all working as a perfect Gypsy ensemble - which in its own turn inspired me to create something else, but that is another story. 

And this beautiful beaded necklace which goes so well with boho style and this particular outfit, is also Joni's thoughtful gift.

I want to tell you another little secret which I couldn't wait to share. I wanted to try a tea-dyeing technique for ages. When this ivory peasant blouse got some yellow stains on it which I couldn't remove, I at first thought to buy fabric dye, but then decided to see how tea works. I read online and found this beautifully made video with very clear instructions - and I did just as they suggested and couldn't be more pleased with the result, so if you want to try it, I highly recommend.

The ivory blouse that got irremovable yellow stains.

The same blouse about a half an hour later - dyed with black tea.

They do recommend this technique for 100% cotton, though it might work to some extent for a cotton mix. I have another cotton shirt, bought a year ago at Goodwill, beautiful, but stark white, which is not the best color on me - I'm excited to dye that one too. This soft natural color is just so much better for my skin tone! And if the blouse will lose some color over time, it's cheap enough to tea-dye it again!

Make sure to visit beautiful, gifted in so many ways Joni's blog - Artful Closet!

Joni is also one of the participants of our very first Write and Link
I do hope you' ll take time to read all the wonderful short stories, lovingly crafted by your talented blogging friends! 
There are 7 stories now, and the link-up is open till June 1st, anyone is welcome to participate - come play with us!

Well, I think it is all the excitement for now, dear friends. I'm so happy to write this post and share with you. So mane absolutely fantastic things come from blogging - and I had no idea that that would be the case when I started this journey back in 2013.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

My outfits:

Blue dress - Chico's (I showed it here
White cardi - Lane Bryant, few years old
Shoes - Crocs
Earrings from a gift shop, silver bracelet from a Turkish rug shop on Bainbridge Island 
Fabric necklace - gift from Joni

DIY tea-dye blouse - old from Chico's (I showed it here and here in its original color)
Skirt - Christopher and Banks (previously worn here and here)
Bag - bought at a small Indonesian store (so sorry it's gone now) years ago
Brass earrings - Chico's (few years old)
Hat, bracelets and belt - Lane Bryant (different years)
Silk scarf and beaded necklace - gifts from Joni

Linking up with



  1. Good morning Natalia, what a amazing post! You look great with the indian colored accessoires from Joni.
    I miss so many english words to say about your great meeting with Joni.
    And yes real life we sweat and have an my case a bad one, called " monnemerisch" ;)
    Love your " Tea-Shirt" , very good idea.
    have a nice day, i' m looking for Jonis blog,
    xoxo Tina

  2. Hi dear Natalia,

    thank you soooo much for your lovely comments, I´m very pleased about your caring and visiting <3
    Yes the celebrating and the holidays are over but when we came back my husband had an accidant and was in hospital. That was a big shock for all of us and I was very scared about it. He is at home, healthy again and is making jokes about it, but I still stuck in this shock-moment. So these are the reasons why my blog is standing still. Next week there will be a new blogpost.. promise :)
    Your post today is great! Beautiful and inspiring pictures like every time. Love your outfit with the hat! I need much more hats, it´s a really gorgeous peace to pimp up every outfit. I really have such white tunik and thought if I shoul give it away but now I will give it another chance and try your DIY tip!! Thanks a lot for sharing :)

    wish you a great weekend
    see you soon dear friend
    Dana :)

  3. Natalia!!! This is such a great post! You are right, those accessories pulled that beautiful gypsy outfit together perfectly. Even the way that beaded necklace fits right into that v in the neckline. Too funny when you say "two closets meet." I caught that similarity (yet another one) after I got home that day. I'm glad we both came out of our closets to meet!!
    It was a wonderful meet up. I just beamed when I saw you coming across the street heading toward the coffee shop. And thank you for all the sweet things you say about me. I'm anxious to post our meet up this morning...
    Hope you three have a wonderful sunny weekend!

  4. So lovely to see that you and Joni finally connected in real life...and in such a charming little town! Thanks for sharing about your visit, and helping us get to know Joni better. She did indeed choose well when she plucked that scarf out for you. And, of course, you've styled it in your inimitable style.

  5. after a lot of "almost meeting" you both finally did it!!!
    love the gypsy look with joni´ s scarf and necklace! summery and wild! very cool with the hat!
    that stains look like sunscreen, i ruined some white blouses too with that stuff. the tea dye get a lot use at costume making to let things look old.......
    wish you and you family a wonderful sunday!!! xxxxxxxxx

  6. Thanks 4 linking up to Top of the World Style. I like your writing suggestions photo/memo. I had to pin it! LOL. Great suggestions on it. The OOTDs are awesome too. Have a nice weekend. happy writing

  7. So glad you and Joni did finally get around to meeting , two wonderful, creative souls, I am not at all surprised you had lots to talk about. I really like you in your gypsy outfit , everything works just so well together, so clever of Joni to provide the finishing touches. Clever you with the tea dyeing, it worked so well.All best wishes. XX

  8. Oh yes, you expressed all the emotions of a real-life meetup so well. I'm glad you both connected and hit it off, which I can also see from your faces in your photo. Joni truly did add spice to your life in your Joni-inspired outfit. The tea-dying is a great idea!

  9. I do love these colours on you, and the hat is the finishing touch.
    How lovely to see you both together! I didn't notice you both had "closet" in your titles before :-)
    So glad your visit was a lovely one! Love the tea dyeing!! Xo Jazzy Jack

  10. How lovely that you met, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    I would love to meet you both one day.
    Sorry I do not join you in your link up. At the moment I am all visual. You know how things go, lol
    About Sharing -style is a dead end. Something I wanted to experiment with, but that goes no further. I feel it became same all, same all, don´t you.
    Mil besos, dear Natalia

  11. So lovely to see you both together and obviously enjoying one another's company.
    Your Joni tribute outfit looks fantastic and the tea dipped blouse came out beautifully. xxx

  12. Love your outfit today, and I am so glad you showed us how you made that stunning blouse tea colored ( and rescued it!) I am so glad you made a new ( New?) friend, I am sure you came across as yourself, you re so forthright, I feel your language is so much richer because you are always translating.
    For example , white crow, for odd bird, i love that!
    I will read these stories soon.
    I am glad you started this link up!
    xx, Elle

  13. Two wonderful ladies in one spot! How did the universe cope with this? I am green, I tell you, absolutely green! You and Joni both come across as beautiful people but I understand what you mean about all of the things that don't show on a blog. That's why I made a video awhile back in an attempt to be more real. I am different in a one on one situation compared with a larger group, so I am nervous about the blogger meet up later this summer. Either I will be very quiet or I will draw on faux extrovert Shawna and exhaust myself-lol.

    I love both of your outfits, so pretty and both have a boho vibe that I love. The scarf and beads from Joni are perfect! I have tea-dyed and even coffee dyed clothing with success and your blouse came out beautifully! Hugses! xoxoxo

  14. What fun you were able to meet! You both look wonderful.

    Joni seems to have your style pegged. I love the gifts she gave you and the amazing outfit you created with them.

    I think you are right about when you meet someone in real life as compared to online. There are so many other little details you learn, but at the same time, if they say you are just like the person they thought you were, I think it is a huge compliment. You come across as genuine, online or in real life. Often that is not the case with people as they have "online personas" and then their "real life" personalities. It is wonderful when the two aligne.


  15. Oh I love that you two met up! I can't wait for my first URL to IRL blogger friendship! :D

    Thanks so much for being a part of Fun Fashion Friday!

    Dawn Lucy

  16. Wonderful blog post and your outfit is lovely the colours are warm and gorgeous ! best wishes.

  17. How lovely!! you both look stunning and how brilliant you got to meet each other! blogging is a wonderful thing, for sure! I know Dave was completely enamoured with you and Justin, he regarded your lunch as his Seattle highlight - the tea dying is amazing, I didn't know you could do that! your 'Joni' inspired outfit is beautiful and romantic x x x

  18. Sounds like a good time was had by both. It's always good to meet like-minded people in person and realize that they're just as amazing as they are online.

    And who made that necklace? It's absolutely stunning.

  19. so far I have met only one blogger in person but it was a wonderful experience for me! I was a little nervous, I must admit, I think it's completely natural to feel so because when you have a blog you sort of put yourself out there, you know what I mean? we do share stuff and at least some of that content is going to be personal so it's like meeting somebody you already met (if only virtually) but still it being the first time. I can be a little shy sometimes and I think it is why I don't tell people that I do have a blog.

    For me it really took courage to publish my short story on blog because I have never shared something like that before (my writing), but I'm glad I did it and I have you to thank for it!

    I'm glad you had the opportunity to meet this wonderful lady and I'm sure it was fun chatting for two hours.... are we as we appear on the blog? I think that my blog is a pretty good reflection of my own personal style but I tend to focus more on the positive things that are happening in my life- I don't think that makes my blog less real or genuine. I do have my days when I'm nervous or blue, but I tend to share more on days when I'm happy and I think this is normal. Btw I always thought that a thick Russian accent is pretty cool!

    I really like the necklace Joni gave to you...lately I've been really into making jewelry out of fabric! I'm also fascinated by the diy dye, I'll have to check it out. I often paint on clothes using fabric paints! The blouse turned out wonderfully and you have styled it perfectly!

    you both look lovely in that photo you shared....that maxi dress you have on is amazing!

    The other outfit you shared with us is very much to my liking...I always said I love the blouse but I also really like the colourful skirt (no surprise there, I do love colours) and that belt is so chic....and that hat is a nice touch....lovely scarf as well.

  20. That is so lovely you two could finally meet up! It is true you never know what someone is like until you meet them. It sounds like you two had a wonderful time! I really must try that tea stain to dye a cotton shirt of mine!


  21. I've just read Joni's post about your meet-up; how fantastic that you got together and had such a good time! Two beautiful, creative women - you both look amazing.
    And your Joni-inspired outfit is a delight - warm and stylish and soft and artistic. Much like the pair of you! xxx

  22. A lovely post. I know what you mean about meeting for real being unnerving at first. I had those same jitters as I drove to your home a little more than a year ago. Your warm welcome and generosity broke the ice quickly!
    Such an array of great things from Joni. They will slip into your closet with ease.
    Thanks for linking!

  23. This is great that you two could meet in person and that you had fun together:)
    I really like the outfit you made with the dyed top.

  24. So nice to hear about your meet-up :-) We all get that feeling, almost like at job interviews, that we'll fail somehow. With bloggers I suspect it's fear of not living up to expectations. We've seen each other's pictures many times, read the words, but never heard the voice, seen the movements, everything like you said. But we're also all very nice people, otherwise I don't think we would be able to communicate with each other. So, nothing to fear really, only enjoy :-)

    Your outfits are both lovely, my favourite being the one with the "tea-top" :-D The colours are so right for you, and the folk-style adds that personal touch that says Natalia!

  25. wouuu, love that you met, dear ladies chatting and looking fabulous, love bloggers meetings!!!
    and that hippietastic outfit really stole my heart!, you look so fresh and cute!, and there's a 70's vibe too, wich I love!
    Really fabulous method to dye a cotton shirt, cheap and easy, and the color looks really nice!