Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Honest, Kind and Brave

I noticed that at the end of Summer, I usually loose interest in fashion and style. I think it's the same at the end of the cold season, and I am probably not the only one who experiences it, and my explanation is really simple. I think I get bored with the sameness and just want something different for a change - in other words, I am ready for a new season! Here in the beautiful PNW, there are really only two seasons, and I call them simply Rain and No Rain. We've done some No Rain, and I guess I am getting ready for Rain now - don't shoot me!  

These pictures were taken a couple of weekends ago, during our staycation (which was short, only a week, but I still have stories to tell, I just need to finish some work first). This August, the city of Federal Way has finally opened the doors to the PERFORMING ARTS AND EVENT CENTER, a long awaited facility for both local talents and artistic groups, as well as the growing city's residents. The city was incorporated in 1990, and since about that time, a few artistic organizations united into the Federal Way Coalition of the Performing Arts to help raise funds and community awareness of the need for such a facility. Good ideas take time, dedication and resources - but they also take a lot of invisible inner work, trusting and courage. It took nearly 30 years for their vision to come to life. 

The modern building accommodates 716 seats in the multi-level theater, and overlooks the central part of the city, including Town Square Park with seasonal splash park, zip lines and children's playground, built just a couple of years ago. (Read about all Federal Way city parks HERE.) There will be more additions to the exterior of FWPAEC, like colorful art installations right outside of the glass walls overlooking the magnificent Mount Rainier. 

Justin and I were really excited to see this dream come true and celebrated it with all our hearts! It feels personal to us because our family has a strong connection with Federal Way - we lived, worked and volunteered in this city, for several years, so it feels like our second home. A big part of my work was with the Federal Way libraries of the King County Library System. Which brings me to some exciting news I want to share with you! If you connected with me on FB or Instagram, or if you read my creative writing blog (HERE), then you were among the first to know!

Here is what I wrote on my Instagram just a couple of days ago:
"The side of me that not many of you are familiar with... I am a storyteller! Since 2009, I design and present Russian Story Time programs, as well as bilingual (Russian/English) programs for the King County Library System (awarded Best Library System in the nation). After a much needed break which I took to nourish myself, focus on my beloved family and on writing books, I am honored to announce that I updated my contract with #kcls and am available, on a contract basis, to present my individually designed educational and entertaining programs in the Russian language, as well as other Russian cultural and language presentations for English speaking audiences (children and adults)! You are the first to know!!! I absolutely love my job! I think you can tell it by looking at these pics, hehe."

Take a peek into my work! I made this music slide show dedicated to my library work a few years ago. It's one of my favorite Russian songs for children. If you pay attention, you will find that good literature and songs for children often have a deeper meaning.

The Wizard's Song 
in my translation 
(lyrics by V. Lugovoi, music by G. Gladkov)

In order that people could go to Mars
Without any fears,
From fairy tales, we learn to dream
Since early childhood years.

None of the textbooks
Took time to explain to us 
That the one who is honest, kind and brave,
That one is the wizard!

The original Russian text 
(текст В. Луговой, музыка Г. Гладков)

Чтоб могли на Марс летать 
Люди без опаски, 
С детства учимся мечтать 
Мы у старой сказки.

Объяснить нам не успел 
Ни один учебник: 
Тот, кто честен, добр и смел, 
Тот и есть волшебник!

I am grateful to Justin for supporting my decision to take a break, for holding my hand in the darkest times, and for encouraging me all the way to keep exploring, trusting in life and believing in my vision and abilities. You, my love, kept being honest, kind and brave, and encouraged me to be it too. And the miracle happened! I came out recharged and full of new ideas and inspiration. I feel stronger than I was before, and I am eager to start a new page of my life, as a bilingual writer, author of children's books and independent expert on Russian language and culture. Because this is who I am! And I really see now that this break was very much needed not only to nourish my family and my inner self, but also my wardrobe! I really think that these years of resting and healing, on the one hand, and wild free creativity, on the other hand, allowed me to dig deeper and find what I did not know existed - my inner artist. That artist who was responsible for so many ambitious creative projects in the past, is now in full charge of my outfits too.

Whatever idea you are working on, keep trusting that it all will work out in the right time! And when you don't have a clear vision of where you want to move with your life, keep exploring! It's the hardest job of all - to see what's not there yet, to keep dreaming and believing. Don't try to figure it all out with your mighty brain, but rather follow your nose - do what brings you joy today, every day! It will all come together one day, and you will discover new paths, new windows and doors, new valleys and mountains which you did not even know existed, simply because they are invisible from where you stand now. But if you trust that your inner vision is there for a reason, you will see your dream come true.

Follow your heart!
Keep exploring and trusting!

Skirt - Teresa for Eloquii
Shirt - thrifted
Shoes - Vaneli via Nordstrom Rack (old)
Necklace - Talbots on sale
Clip-on earrings - vintage
Purse - thrifted
Sunglasses - Lane Bryant (old)
Pearl bracelets - old friend's gift
Belt - Target (old)

Linking up with Visible Monday

Find my books at
in Seattle, Tacoma, Federal Way, Washington

SUPERSEAL, my new book, is coming in 2017!

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  1. Oh Natalia these pictures, you look stunning and these wonderful words. I am happy for you and you look very happy to find this way. This world need storyteller like you. Follow your heart yes, but not always easy, you know. Do what brings you joy today is so a wonderful thing, I would like to do, more frequently:)
    Thank you so much my friend. Big hug and maaany kisses, Tina

    1. Thank you for your kind words, my dearest friend! It isn't always easy, it's very true. And we all do the best we can! Lots of love! <3

  2. natasha - your outfit is to die for!!!
    in all details - perfect, chic, personal, genius.......
    and after reading i know why it is so gorgeous!!! i saw the changes in your ensembles since a while - not sensing that there was a big change in your life! i´m totally happy that you found yourself!
    sweet pics of a younger you - and you´r holding my most beloved children book! we got it in german translation, which are sweet and fun - but this illustrations are just marvelous!!!
    love you! xxxxxx

    1. Thank you, my dear Beate! It all came together slowly and naturally, one step at a time. I felt lost at times, but simply did what made sense each day, until I felt that I was where I felt joyful and at ease with everything - the present, the past, the future... which, of course, will reveal itself also one step at a time, and all I need to do is, again, do what makes sense each day, and what brings me joy.

      I adore Suteyev! He is a major talent in Russian picture books - to tell the truth, I can't name another Soviet children's writer and illustrator quite like Suteyev, not in this particular genre. He is practically the only one for the 3-5 y.o. audiences. :)

      Love you too, my dear! <3

    2. yes - i can imagine how all the puzzle pieces fell together into the right places one day - after (long) times of being just chaos. not much people have the standing and will to go thru such times. but - as you say too - the reward is priceless.
      i hope i find my way too while i´m still in this life... ;-)

    3. I am confident that you will, dearest Beate! You are unique, so it takes longer. Hugses, my friend!

  3. I am so happy for you, Natalia. It's utterly wonderful that you were able to figure out where you wanted to go with your life, and are now able to follow your dream. Judging from the little slide show, you are a natural storyteller and you have the ability to capture your audience! Your outfit is captivating too, with the rich colour of your skirt, offset by your fabulous blouse and bag, which are a triumph of pattern mixing! Lot of love, lovely Natalia xxx

    1. What a lovely message! Thank you, my dearest Ann! Lots of love!

  4. I was so excited for you when I saw your Instagram post , you are not only a talented writer but a natural born storyteller- the joy on your face both in your photo and in the delightful video.Sometimes we need time to re-focus our energies and that in turn enables us to follow our passion. Your creativity shines through in this wonderful outfit and I know you will embrace Fall with vigour. Love, Jill xx

    1. So happy to receive your kind and generous words, my dear Jill! Thank you!!

  5. How fantastic to have the love and support of a good man behind you.
    I love your outfit, no rain or not, you always look fresh and exciting! xxx

  6. I'm so happy for your dear Natalia! It's always a pleasure to see any creative person/ artist do their thing, especially when it comes to 'blogger buddies', it is wonderful to see them realize their potential....and in your case I'm even happier to hear the good news because I feel like I know you. I'm sure that you will succeeded in many more wonderful projects in the future. Congrats!

    1. Thank you, my dear friend! I also feel like we know each other personally, like we are friends "in real life" - we do have so much in common! :) Lots of love!

  7. Congratulations Natalia!
    That is wonderful to have your contact updated! You are so gifted in language, I am glad your vacation time put you more in touch with that.
    I love this outfit, as you can well imagine! The red eyelet is gorgeous , as is the coral and pearl necklace that has me dreaming of the sea.
    And that bag!!!

    1. You are so kind, my dearest Elle! Thank you much!
      ps I love that photo of you wearing blue gloves!