Friday, December 1, 2017

Modish Matrons #18: The Most Wonderful Time


On the first day of every month, despite the fact that we live across the pond from each other and there are 9 hours time difference between us, despite the fact that we don't speak each other's languages, and English is not our native tongue, my lovely friends TINA und BEATE and myself invite kindred spirits to come over for a playdate which became our good tradition in the past 18 months. A year and a half of our thematic link-up parties! (If you count the first 6 months when we appeared under the name MIDLIFE FUN. You can find all of our past parties under the tag MODISH MATRONS.) If you ask me, it is another good reason to celebrate during this festive season, which is the theme of our December link-up. Please add your festive outfits and visit my gorgeous friends who always delight me with their imaginative approach!


I love to dress up, and I have to admit it was a no-brainer for me to come up with an outfit for the theme Tina offered (we rotate every month). What was really challenging, to pick only one outfit! My mind was racing with ideas like a colorful illuminated merry-go-round...But when an opportunity to dress for an English pantomime presented itself, I knew that that was destined to become my link-up outfit. It can become a star of any holiday party or other festivities during this Most Wonderful Time!



You've seen all of the "ingredients" of my festive dish before, but for the first time they came together in this combination. The happy polka dots tutu skirt (previously shown in MARCH 2017) made such a great pair with my old thrifted velvet jacket with a gorgeous collar and sleeves (shown in NOVEMBER 2016, one of my personal favorites, just so you know). The bronze Mary Janes are some of my most comfy shoes, purchased back in 2013. You've seen this vintage purse in another Modish Matrons theme ART DECO just recently. There are letters inside "HL U.S.A.", and a quick Google search shows a few similar purses and articles, apparently it's Harry Levine handbags, and from THIS ARTICLE I understand they were being made from 1940s through 1960s. You've even seen already the latest addition to my costume jewelry collection, the faux pearl necklace (my dream necklace!) in my recent Thanksgiving post HERE. I am happy with the way it made friends with my Isabel Toledo domino bracelet and vintage clip-on earrings. I am happy to report all these details, because I can finally see the fruit of my style journey for the past 4 years - my wardrobe brings me joy! I now do have a wardrobe that mixes and matches beautifully, and I can dress for any occasion and for the many different moods and artistic ideas that I have!




And back to English panto which is a tradition at Centerstage, a wonderful little theater in the city of Federal Way, for the past 10 years, thanks to its previous artistic and managing director Alan Bryce, writer, director, actor, an Englishman who just recently retired from his 15 years of serving the community (read more HERE). Rare here in America, English Christmas pantomime is something familiar to all Brits. A lady who was volunteering in the theater and kindly asked me whether I was 21 years of age before she served me a glass of red, said she was originally from Dublin, Ireland, and her Dad used to bring them as kids to a panto every year. She was amazed to find out that it became a tradition here. That's exactly how new traditions establish themselves - someone has to start them first, and if they resonate with enough people, there will be more, and more, and more precedents in some time. And before you know it, a Christmas panto becomes a beloved American tradition too!


Our own annual tradition - Thanksgiving family photos!
By the Knutzen Family Theater (home of Centerstage) in Federal Way, WA

English pantomime is not exactly the pantomime we think about (read more HERE). It is filled with songs and dances, and there is something for everyone - a familiar fairy tale for kids, told in a new way, and humor referring to the modern society, pop culture and political life. There is a lot of audience participation and even more laughter - you will leave the theater uplifted and ready to take on this busy festive season, guaranteed! This year, Centerstage Theatre presents Beauty and the Beast, from November 25 through December 21. I wrote more about our previous experience in DECEMBER 2014 when my parents visited.



I was honored to receive advice from this charming lady (played by Alan Bryce himself!) who invited me to give her a call, so she could teach me, cause my make-up was (in her own words) too understated
"What!? Oh no, it isn't!!" - "Oh yes, it is!!"




I am wishing you The Most Wonderful Time, dear friends and readers! And even if you don't go to church or don't approve of the commercial side of the holiday, do not fret at celebrations - instead, share them! If you don't participate in the common celebrations, make your own and simply share your happy spirit with others. We all are different, we come from different backgrounds and our life stories vary a lot. But our differences seem significant only on the surface. Look deeper than the eye can see, look beyond the surface where the similarities between us are magnificent and infinitely more meaningful! No matter who we are and where we come from, we all like to be treated kindly and live under peaceful skies. We all have disappointments and we all have dreams. We all love someone and we all need love - people, animals, plants, planet and the whole universe. Instead of hostility and agonizing about our differences in opinions or preferences, let us stop for a moment and feel just how precious life is, and how we all are here together, floating in the same boat. Let us bring out of ourselves the best that each of us can offer - let us bring our love and light into the world. 


I have no doubt that you find all sorts of wonderful festive activities right where you are, be it a traditional Christmas market in Europe or it's equivalent holiday bazaar here in America. Handel's Messiah, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker or English panto, a jazz or rock concert...there is something for everyone, that's what is so fascinating about life! What? Oh no, it isn't? Oh yes, it is!! Make this season what you like, be joyful and stay close with your loved ones! 
Happy Holidays!!!

Lots of love,
Natalia

All items are remixed from my wonderful writer's closet, 
some are vintage and secondhand.

Linking with Patti's Visible Monday!

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28 comments:

  1. Natalia I love your this Polka dot skirt with these accessoiries. The necklace is in a perfect match with the dots of skirt. I love your family Pictures :) I wish you all a wonderful time.
    You conjured an umbrella out of your Little bag? No not really...or ....
    Much love and a very big hug , tina

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    1. Oh I love the idea of my umbrella coming from the tiny purse - why not? In Christmas panto, everything is possible! :))) And I agree, this necklace just becomes 3D polka dots, especially paired with this fun skirt!

      Lots of love and happy holiday season!

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  2. snjegurotchka at night! <3
    do you remember my MM-post from last year - the pic i took of the house with the falling snow in the flashlight? you transformed this in an outfit - pearls and dots are big fluffy snowflakes in the dark winter night - even the bronze shoes standing for the dark bricks.......coincidence?? ;-)
    beside of all that artful thoughts - you look totally fabulous!! sweet and chic and very festive!!!
    and - thank you for your wise words!!!
    wonderful to see justin the real adventure man and fab photographer - but who is this cool young lady with the pretty long hair??? ;-D
    the english panto sounds fun - esp. with personal makeup advice! :-DDD
    happy holidays!!! xxxxxx

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    1. WOW! If I did, it certainly wasn't conscious! But it is always fascinating to see how our conversations and visual exchanges (pictures, outfits...) transform into new ideas! You inspire me all the time!!!!!

      The young lady had a winter concert last night and was dancing on the stage. She dances since she was 3, but at her new school students come up with their own ideas and choreography! I was so touched...

      Lots of love, my dear! Have the most wonderful winter of your life!

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  3. Dearest Natalia,
    your black and white "Christmas look" looks wonderfully playful! The polkadots on the skirt and your domino bracelet are certainly partly responsible for this impression, but the cheerful "Christmas tree ball"-chain, the velvet jacket with the pretty bell sleeves and the gorgeous swing in the skirt make you look like Alice dancing through the Christmas wonderland! And I love the photo where you look so amazed into your bag! :-))
    I join the linkup with my current Iceland post - because the evening of this day I wore a combination in red and green - and these are "classic Christmas colors" ;-) But other posts will follow!
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas time!
    Hugs Traude
    http://rostrose.blogspot.co.at/2017/11/island-kreuzfahrt-teil-11-im-land-der.html

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    1. Thank you, dear Traude! It is always wonderful to share with you! I am so glad you came to the party, and please stay for as long as you want with your colorful and fun outfits! Much love!

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  4. What a fabulously festive outfit, Natalia. Those pearls really were made for you! I'm swooning over that stunning bracelet! Your magic trick with the umbrella made me smile, as did your encounter with the charming lady at the Pantomime. I have never been to one - nothing like it here in Belgium - but it's a lovely tradition, don't you think? I loved reading the thoughtful, philosophical part of your post too. You are a true romantic, and I feel like you're a kindred spirit. Lots of love and a huge hug xxx

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    1. Thank you, Ann!! I too feel we are kindred spirits, who find beauty in everything, even in sadness at times! Lots of love, my dear Belgian sister! <3

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  5. Oh Natalia! You have set me scrambling for a skirt! I have the velvet jacket and the chunky pearls. Even the umbrella and the tiny purse. I love this festive girly outfit. I look forward every week to see what you've worn, where you've been, what you've done and what you're thinking about. I feel ever so close to you both in spirit and in real life where we are not many miles apart. Thank you for your thoughts about the Christmas season and your encouragement to embrace every opportunity for celebration we can and never mind the diversity, the commercialism and the potentially overwhelming triggers that we can carry with us. Your inner peacefulness and joy in living is infectious and I am blessed to be one of your biggest fans just across the 49th parallel. Happy Christmas season... you have inspired mine. XO

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    1. Dear Karen, thank you so much for your comment! You made my day...again! Feeling happy and blessed to have such an appreciative reader as YOURSELF!! You are wonderful! Happy holidays! and hope you'll find the most amazing skirt!!

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  6. Dear Natalia, Traude asked me to link one of my outfits here and it is really a honour to follow your wish! I'm very impressed about your wonderful look - everything you wear suits you very well and you look adorable!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Rena! and thanks to dearest Traude! I am happy to share our party with you - and will be visiting over on your side soon! :)

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  7. What fun! Loved the umbrella trick especially!
    The spotty skirt and giant pearls are just lovely as are the family photos.
    We used to visit the panto every year as children...oh no, you didn't....oh yes, we did! xxx

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    1. Thanks, Vix! I remember you told me about panto before! what a fun tradition!
      I love how the dots "come to live" against the pearls! :)

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  8. I read your post to my husband this morning..... he wonders if you will come up here and be our Prime Minister! Will you?

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    1. Haha! That's the most intriguing job offer I've got! Vote Polka Dots!!

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  9. You, center star, in polka dots, with a full sweep of skirt is a fantastic image of style and verve! Love to see Justin and your beautiful daughter, so grown up. Love the look of surprise, the fabulous massive pearls and the cool plaids. The mixed patterns are fabulous too, all very special. Smiled at the bracelet too! Happy holiday season!
    xoxo,
    Elle
    https://theellediaries.com

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    1. Happy holidays, my dear Elle! And thank you so much for your wonderful, sweet compliments! Lots of love!

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  10. Wyglądasz ślicznie:))czarny żakiet jest piękny a torebka i naszyjnik rewelacja:))Pozdrawiam serdecznie:)))

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    1. Thank you so much, dearest Renia!! Happy holiday season!

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  11. Love this post, and especially your wise words about us all floating along in the same boat - so true. Your skirt is delicious, and the pics of your family are happy! Thanks for sharing the beauty with Visible Monday, xo

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Thank you, my dear Patti, your words are much appreciated!! I sometimes feel quite shy about my outlook on life, 'cause I just know that so many people (even those who are waaay younger than me) would find it naive. But then I decide, so what? We all bring something unique to this world, and my outlook on life is what makes me unique.

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  12. So glad to join you, dear Natalia.
    I am a bit disconnected from the blog since I found a new and easier love on Instagram hahhahahah. But I will post once a week for sure.

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  13. You look so lovely Natalia! That polka dot skirt is so pretty. I don't see you often in bw outfits:).

    Adorable family photos. It is great to have traditions like annual photos, or photos for holidays. It is a lot of fun comparing those photographs...and treasuring them.

    Thank you for educating me about the English pantomime- I have never heard of it! I would love to see a performance some day if I get the chance.

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    1. Happy to hear from you, Ivana! English panto is for sure its own thing, related to some Medieval genres of street performances, easily recognizable (we studied them as philology students at uni, but I haven't had the chance to see them before :).

      I love black and white! If you look under the label BLACK AND WHITE, there are 63 outfits there at the moment. Though often I add another bright color, but some are purely BW. http://inthewriterscloset.blogspot.com/search/label/black%2Fwhite

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  14. Apologies I am running a little late for the party. Of course I so love your black and white spot skirt , velvet jacket, pearls and domino bracelet. The pantomine sounds such fun, so lovely to share as a family. You are a wise woman , life is indeed precious and we are all one floating along in that boat. Wishing you a happy festive season. xx

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  15. I'm late, but still enjoying this lovely post and your fabulous attitude, brighter and warmer than sunshine!
    And you look gorgeous, elegant and genuine, in your polka dot skirt and velvet jacket, with those pearls and fab accessories! So gorgeous!!!
    besos

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