Nothing makes me feel more “in the pink” than to enjoy one of “my favorite things” – spending an afternoon with kindred spirits who share the same passions as I do. INSPIRATION is sure to be the fruit of such an excursion – and indeed was this past week!
My friend, Diane, introduced me to an artist friend of hers at an event recently and the three of us jumped at a chance to spend a chatty afternoon together over tea. So, on the arranged day, we set off for our much anticipated visit with Larissa Silva of Wearable Inspirations!
Larissa has lived in our hometown for only three years and has been using her multi-talents to create fine art fashions for the same. When we were greeted with a trip to the kitchen to fix the tea, I had to start clicking the camera – what a terrific kitchen sink venue!
I did not come unprepared for the visit. Tea treats with a healthy flair would come forth from my own kitchen. That morning I had gathered all the ingredients to make my newest concoction: Maple Cranberry Squares! They came out amazingly perfect and both Larissa and Diane were hopeful I’d share the recipe.
Of course – here for all to enjoy:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put all ingredients – except the cranberries – in a food processor and process until completely smooth. Put in the cranberries and quick pulse a couple times to evenly mix them in. Pour the mixture into a greased 8 x 8 glass pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely. Can be served room temperature – but store refrigerated. Tastes best from the refrigerator!
I chose a green tea that Larissa served in a mug made by her father who was a potter.
Other examples of his work were to be found in her basement studio, too . . .
Which is where we would spend the rest of the afternoon!
Speechless! I was without words to describe my amazement when I saw so many of my favorite things gathered in one creative space!
I guess I just squealed a bit with varied gasps and exclamations of “Oh, my!” Original – I know.
Apparently, Larissa is one of those blessed individuals to be descended from six generations of established artists on both sides of her family including potters, painters, weavers, knitters, and tailors. She comes by her keen artistic eye, intuitive creative ingenuity, and passion for beautiful things naturally, though only establishing herself as a textile artist in her mid-years.
Taking that creative step brought her into the world of “re-purposing” old items past their prime use, giving them new life in a new generation.
To that end, Larissa began her artistic odyssey assembling and embellishing articles of clothing such as hats, gloves, scarves, bags, and accessories. She launched Wearable Inspirations when a friend asked if she might create an “heirloom item” for her daughters using some of the clothing that had belonged to their grandfather, recently deceased. In a very short period of time, special orders began pouring in and her artistic career was in full time swing creating artsy, one-of-a-kind keepsakes and fashion accessories.
Diane had asked Larissa to create a special pillow for her mom and was delighted to see the progress!
Pink and lavender shades with lace and doilies had been incorporated in the design – “All mom’s favorite colors!” Diane exclaimed.
Not to mention, of course, the rows and rows of tweed and wool blazers to be cut up and re-used as foundation fabrics and for hats, gloves, scarves, bags, wraps, and her amazing capes!
Oh, yes – the capes are works of art, to be sure! I was fascinated with the needle felting technique she uses in all her handcrafted flowers.
She creates each petal by hand using lining fabric cut from the jackets! No waste here!
Vintage suitcases are everywhere – used for storage, of course . . .
Rescued furniture is given a fresh look and an indispensable purpose as a supplies and notion bin.
She keeps her buttons and such in this familiar bin that you might have seen at a favorite craft store – before upgrading their displays and doing away with the old. She asked if she might have it and the manager happily allowed her to take it – otherwise it was dumpster bound!
Lesson Learned: The answer is “no” if you don’t ask!
The same goes for drive by rescues on trash day. Midway through our visit, she announced that she had a surprise for us and pulled out two boxes with treasures she had saved from the garbage truck following two blocks behind her one day! Someone was actually throwing away family ephemera that belonged to their mother and grandmother!
Handmade lace patterns from Italy and America dating to 1911, 1912, and 1913 . . .
And, examples of the handiwork of this immigrant lady of the time . . .
Larissa modeled the early 20th century driving glasses that this lacemaker woman had once worn running about in those automobiles that were supplanting horse and buggies back in the day.
The three of us were stunned that such things could be unceremoniously left for the trash bin – and felt honored to redeem these relics of another person’s life by sharing their intimate memories of seventy and one hundred years ago. Kindred spirits, we three – lovers of old things, beautiful things, works of art, and the stories of people’s lives and their loves left behind.
So sad that not everyone always feels that way. So much more the reason why we need artists and writers sensitive to keeping STORY alive – be it with words . . . or well loved textiles.
We MUST do this again, soon!
Before leaving, I just had to model the hat I want to own . . . and the cape I wish I had a nice place to go to wear it.
On the way out Larissa treated us to a quickie garden tour . . .
She accomplished the design and installation of her garden in three years, too – in addition to amassing her collections and establishing Wearable Inspirations – plus wife and mom!
A Renaissance Woman – and something of a master gardener in my book!
She likes rescuing BIG things, too. She re-purposed old, discarded doors, windows, and even a panel for a log cabin into the most delightful dollhouse overlooking her vegetable garden which is currently being used to store large items for future industrial projects.
I’m thinking a Pinterest house and garden in every respect!
And, a delightful new friend and source of inspiration to me as I begin my journey back to my vintage paper, textile, and embellishment artistic roots – and my own Etsy (still under construction) later this summer!
Visit Larissa at Wearable Inspirations on ETSY HERE. She’s going on my “favorites” list, to be sure!
Sharing Inspirational Afternoon this week with: