Inspirational Afternoon

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:

Maple Cranberry Squares
1 can organic garbanzo beans – drained and pat dry
2 range free eggs
2-3 Tablespoons unsalted raw almond butter
4 Tablespoons organic unrefined virgin coconut oil – melted
1 Tablespoon organic chia seeds
3 Tablespoons organic almond meal
1 teaspoon organic almond extract
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup dried cranberries

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.

Learning seamstress skills from her grandmother in her youth, she decided to put it to use one day in 2010 when she inadvertently shrunk her husband’s wool sweater.  “Hmmmm,” she thought, “what can I make from this?”

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.

“I love everything old.  Re-purposing is a way of life.  
I look for ways to use ordinary and routine clothing and products
 – but to use it differently – make it a piece of art.”

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.

“Wearable Inspirations by Larissa Silva is a company that creates art memories of loved ones, keeping that family member’s legacy alive in their hearts.  The philosophy of Wearable Inspirations is not only developing a continued respect and admiration for those who are no longer with us, but incorporating their clothing for practical purposes such as keeping one warm while simultaneously bestowing artistic inspiration through the beauty of each individually crafted heirloom piece.”

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.

I was intrigued by the organization of the hundreds of wool, cashmere, and alpaca sweaters that were organized by color like paint on an artist’s palette.  

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!

Love letters written by their parents in the 1940’s . . .

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.

“When you touch something that was worn by somebody you love, 
the memory of their love stays alive in you.”
Larissa Silva

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!

Tea – my place, next time – I think!

Sharing Inspirational Afternoon this week with:

Beverly’s Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound
Katherine’s Corner Thursday Favorite Things
Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Kathryn Ross

About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at and blogs at


  1. Oh my goodness! I would have been drooling like a fool if I had been at her house!! What an amazing artist…and what an outstanding collection of vintage clothing, embellishments, etc!!! And so beautifully and creatively organized! I’m so ashamed….I can hardly walk through my craft/sewing room….it’s a total mess!!

    Thanks for the inspiration….oh….and that YARD!! And your great treat!!! Such a fun day!!

    HPS!! L, Dana

  2. Oh my goodness what a lovely post about such an inspirational woman. Loved it,right up my street.x

  3. Totally awesome studio and materials to work with!! Just awesome! Thanks for the tour!

  4. WOW! This is quite the creative woman. I think if I had gone with you, I’d still be down in her basement! She is a talented artist – but I love her sentimental heart. There is something about wearing *vintage* clothing that just does something warm and fuzzy inside of me.


  5. Wow, just amazing! I was bowled over by it all! Especially the stuff she saved from the dump.

    Great post! You need to think about becoming a marketing/PR biz for other people’s shops because GIRL you can sell it! 🙂

  6. What a fascinating place!

    I have taken a copy of that wonderful looking recipe and will give it a try. It looks so intriguing, with the garbanzos, don’t think I’ve seen a cake made with them before. I’ll try to remember to let you know how I get on! 🙂

  7. Hi Kathy:
    That place looked like it was just too much fun. Always showing us your great adventures. Blessings, Martha

  8. what fun ya’ll had together sharing in her creativity. love all the textures and would love to have the space for a studio like hers to work in so mediums.
    beautiful garden, too!

  9. squeal! I would have been floating on a cloud there too. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop! ♥

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