Tuesday, March 26, 2019

From January to March

Hello friends,
This is a catching up post before we get to Spring at full swing here In The Writer's Closet. I gathered a few outfit photos which were taken any time from January through February and most recently March outfits...and of course, some of the life events which went with them.


This silver pendant was my Christmas gift and something really special because it is based on my daughter's little masterpiece. She started drawing at two y.o., and I still keep many of her pictures, but those are only understandable to me since I was the one who noticed all the nuances of Anya's development each day. I remember precisely that I looked at a drawing by a child a little older than Anya thinking that she wasn't capable just yet to do something like this, and literally the very next day (Anya had barely turned three) she drew this little masterpiece. Friend of Justin's, Underhill Jewelers, did a wonderful job copying Anya's image to the silver pendant, so I can wear it close to my heart and cherish it forever. 

Her clown was based on a character from the popular educational early childhood program Baby Einstein, and it struck me just how many details Anya was able to observe at her young age, and how recognizable the character was, and also very heartfelt at the same time. She was drawing, painting, sculpting with clay, making her own books for many years, all of her childhood. We had a friend who saved her drawings thinking that some day she'd become a famous artist. Who knows. But to me, this little picture of a clown brings me back to her early years, giving me a sense of a deep connection with her and our life together.

Source - Baby Einstein 


February brought us a surprising for our location amount of snow. Right here by the Sound, we got 13 inches (33 cm), and up in the mountains 5 feet (1.5 m). I read that 70 miles of I-90 (one of our interstate highways) was closed due to accumulations of snow. Of course, to those of you who live in a colder, rougher climate, it is not as a big deal. But here in the Pacific Northwest it really is. In the US, it is always about safety, and since such huge snowfall happens once every few years (we often have winters when there is no snow at all or just a little white dust which melts faster than it falls), you can imagine that neither our roads, nor cars and drivers are prepared to deal with such extreme situations. Therefore, school districts close, and many people work from home whenever they can.

I was also directly affected by snow this year. Back in Fall, I was invited to have my very first Meet the Author school visit, and we had to reschedule it a couple of times because roads weren't safe to travel (the school is located in Issaquah, a small town towards the Cascade Mountains). It was worth the wait though - kids were so curious, open and full of questions that I spent all 40 minutes answering them! 


But even after all the big snow melted, we had a couple of tiny snowfalls and quite a long cold spell even in March. It gave me an excuse to play with new additions to my coat collection, this oversized tapestry coat in particular. I found that it doesn't need a lot of fancy partners, and often wore it with minimalistic sweater dresses (as in the opening photo), but I also created some crazy combinations with more patterns, colors and textures, such as this outfit that I wore to a writing class in our local library at the end of February.


As soon as the weather started improving (in the second third of March), we got outside to play in the sunshine, and made a ferry trip to Vashon and Maury, the islands which we enjoy looking at from our windows every day for the past 12 years. At that point, I was so sick of winter coats (even cute and stylish ones) that I was happy to wear light layers instead, such as a long denim coat/dress and a Russian platok from my collection. I had the platok as an option in case we visited the Russian Orthodox Monastery on Vashon (a very small one, but beautiful and inspiring), but the monks happened to be closed that day. (Traditionally, women are asked to cover their heads and wear modest dresses or skirts during visiting Russian Orthodox churches.) 

More photos from Point Robinson Lighthouse park in my JULY 2018 POST.

These couple of months have been really busy with work for me, especially March. It's been challenging, no pretending there, but also no complaints - it has been fun meeting great folks, new and old library colleagues, connecting with kids and their parents, finding new stories and figuring out who I am as a storyteller. I believe I shared with you before that my books are now in a couple of library systems in our state (Tacoma Public Library HERE and Puyallup Public Library HERE), and since we became finalists in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Andrei and I also received these amazing medals, beautifully made in England especially for the finalists - they did a great job with it!

and myself at the library

While all of it sounds amazing and brings joy to my heart, please don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to tell you how perfect my life is. Believe me, it's far from it! I am still very much a work in progress as a person, as a fashionista, as a writer and as a storyteller, including my storyteller's sense of style and relationship with my wardrobe. To tell the truth, there were only a handful of outfits in a heavy rotation lately, I simply didn't have energy to pull off something extraordinary. I noticed that with me it's always like this: whenever creativity blossoms in one area, it slows down in another. So I mostly wore dresses (some of them you see here), thick tights and comfortable flat shoes for my library work. Sometimes I was bored wearing the same stuff over and over again, but didn't have time or rather inner focus or inspiration, or perhaps even courage to experiment, and didn't know what to wear at all. Go figure! After five years of blogging about style, I really wasn't ready for such a blackout, haha!

With the warmer weather, we opened our family's park season surprisingly early this year (there were a few days when it felt like Summer!), enjoying both the beach and the awakening woods. And of course it wouldn't be me if I didn't buy tickets to at least one show, even when I was crazily busy. This time, we watched Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music at Tacoma Little Theater. TLT is in its 100th Anniversary season now, and the show directed by John Munn was spectacular! I highly recommend, you can still catch it this weekend!

That's all for now, friends. "Phew,  just about time too!" perhaps, you said out loud, and I don't blame you! I just had to do a little catching up before my lovely partners in crime BEATE und TINA and I move on to the April Fools...or April Fashion, I can never remember.

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  1. Love to read about your life, your work, your outfits, your fabulous attitude!.
    And love your tapestry coat, particularly in the second outfit, as I love mixed patterns, your cute sneakers and those velvet pants! (you look adorable and pretty artistic!)
    I enjoy the pictures of your excursions, the landscapes and your beautiful platok (looks fab over the denim coat and floral dress!). And love your outfits wearing dresses with a plaid cape or a waistcoat, they're brilliant combos, love the layering and you look gorgeous!
    Glad to know that you're working hard and enjoying it!, I think that creativity brings so much joy to our lives, so it's fab that you're now more focused in your books (and looking fabulous anyway!)

  2. I read your post this morning and forgot to comment, how silly!
    Lovely to see you back and to hear about your adventures. I'm so happy we avoided the snow this year although it looks lovely in your photos.
    Love the oversized tapestry coat and the cape is unexpected but brilliant over your blue dress.
    Isn't Anya's drawing as a pendant precious? xxx

  3. It's lovely to see you, Natalia! I agree life can be quite overwhelming at times, even when good (or indeed great) things are happening. The main thing is that you enjoy what you're doing and that you are happy. Even if you're feeling a lack of inspiration and energy wardrobe-wise, you are still looking as fabulous as ever, and certainly better dressed than the average woman. That tapestry coat is beyond gorgeous, and how utterly enchanting is that pendant based on Anya's drawing! Sending you a big virtual hug, my friend! xxx

  4. hello again!
    so good to see you!
    first - i´m very proud of you. you do it, you live your dream - even if you find it hard sometimes. congrats to that finalists medal - wahoooo!
    and i dont think that your dress/tights/coat combos are a blackout - or boring. your dresses are spectacular on its own and your coats too - so lots of cool fashions here!
    oh and that new tapestry coat!!!! a dream of a coat - swooooon.......
    the silver pendant with anyas drawing ist the sweetest piece of jewelry ever! so lovely - with all the special memories <3 <3 <3
    you know what i love about lots of snow - beside of the beauty? it slows down life :-D
    tons of hugs & love to you! xxxxxx

  5. I love this, Natalia. I'm always interested in your photos, both your personal ones and the landscapes and I'm always inspired by your outlook, insights and observations We in Vancouver have your same weather and many similar landscapes. I loved seeing Mount Baker from your perspective. I relate totally to what you called a wardrobe "blackout". I would offer that it's not really a blackout, but merely a good decision to take a manageable piece of your larger closet to hold close and so to minimize your need to make wardrobe choices while you maximize your creative time and energy in another mode. Winter is always a kind of cocooning anyway while life under the surface gathers energy for new things to come. The tapestry coat is a perfect cocoon!!! Love, love, love it! Congratulations on all of your accomplishments. Hooray for Spring! XO .

  6. Congratulation, what a wonderful english medal :) You are a star Natalia!
    I am in love with your chtistmas gift, this cute necklace. Great idea! And your outfits are great, I love your mixed combinations.
    Partners in crime... :))
    See you on monday, I am looking forward to our MM April :)
    With a very huge hug, Tina

  7. Firstly congratulations to both you and your brother on being finalists , quite an achievement. I am sure the children are so enjoying your story times. I think you are right sometimes all our energies are focused on something and other things take a back seat for a time. All your outfits still showed your creativity. The necklace is just so precious. Forgot to mention I love your tapestry coat. Enjoy your Spring Natalia. xx

  8. So nice to pop in for a visit and hear all your fun happenings. You look very artistic in all your outfits and just right for a visiting author! Despite the style blackout it goes so deep now you didn't need to think at all. Just trust your instincts...it is there :-)
    Sooo pleased for you in your career blossoming.
    xo Jazzy Jack

  9. This is the post that I’m going to have to read a few times to really appreciate. First of all I must say that I adore the tapestry coat and the orange velvet trousers. Dependent created from your daughters drawing is remarkable. She is a very talented young lady. I love the idea of crafting a piece of jewelry that way.
    I am so sorry about all of that snow. It does get in the way of our activities but it is quite beautiful. I’m so glad that the book reading was met so enthusiastically.
    The ferry trip to the islands looks absolutely divine, and your bold out that that day makes me smile. Ear to ear !!!

  10. Our creative energy isn't unlimited, when we spend it in our area, we tend to have less for other areas. It's like with everything in life, you have to think about where your priorities are. I often wear the same or similar outfits when I'm occupied with other things. People often think that having creative hobbies or enjoying fashion and dressing up is always fun, but like anything else it takes time and effort.

    Anya's drawing you turned into a pedant is adorable. I do agree that it is an amazing drawing for a third year old girl. The details are great! You know that Picasso said that every child is an artist, but when we grow up we need to learn in anew. I think he meant that every child has its own unique style of drawing and it takes years for an adult artist to develop one. The drawing does look beautiful turned into a silver pedant.

    Congrats to you and your brother Andrei on your medals. They look lovely. That reminds me, my former students asked whether Anyafrom the book was an angel before she was born and that is why she remembered having wings. That is a creative question, isn't it?

  11. sorry for the typos, a bit tired here. (one instead of our area/ learn it anew /Anya from and so on)