It all began with Vivian

It all began with Vivian

 

It all began with Vivian

A long time ago, when I was a wee lass. Well maybe not this small; but still long before now . . . I had a dear, sweet grandma. My Grandma’s name was Vivian, and she had 5 kids. She cooked, she sewed and she made lots of beautiful quilts over the years. And even though I could trace creativity in my genes back way further in both directions this is the lady who I remember starting it all for me, so to speak. So. . . It all began with Vivian

I couldn’t have been more than 2  when this lesson took place, while I was left for one of those few overnight visits at Grandma’s and I remember her teaching me to sew white blocks together.

My Mom finds this hard to believe; considering the fact that I was only 18 mos. when she is sure she left me there for my brother to be born. But whatever the age somehow that first lesson got me interested and hooked for life on creating.

I went on to make many quilts of my own over the years with my Mom and on my own. I designed and sewed adorable Barbie dresses for my many Barbies, did all kinds of craft projects and sewing projects and clothes,  and got into cake decorating all as outlets for my creative hunger. I was my Mom’s sewing assistant and learned lots by her side over the years. But as I reached my early teen years I started pursuing more serious cake decorating and started baking cake orders when I was 12.

I kept on sewing, quilting, decorating cakes, and got into scrapbooking later to document my college years.

Art and creativity were in my blood.

My Mom had done marvelous oil and acrylic paintings before we kids came along and somehow the creativity and need to create passed down from both sides of our ancestors was something so strong that without it I couldn’t be truly satisfied.

A job is good, and getting to work as a seamstress was fun, but yet the need to create, dream and imagine needed release.

In 2004 a good friend introduced me to silk painting. I treasure that first silk square because it turned out so lovely, and it was the beginning of a new chapter of art for me.

This new chapter in life took another turn when I ended up moving to Latvia for a year to teach English. After my first lesson on silk, I painted once or twice to make gifts for my husband to be and Dad but didn’t really get into for real until after I got married in 2006. And so I became a permanent citizen of Latvia and started finding my path in this country of artisans and tradesmen.

In the beginning, I didn’t even have a frame to stretch my scarves in, and somehow tacked them between chairs. But we were younger and poor and we needed gifts so I thought making them myself would be a good long term investment in the paints and silk.

The years passed with me occasionally painting, doing lots of sewing, and some wedding cakes between working as an English teacher.

Then the babies started coming and so I had lots of quiet moments between walks, naps, and feedings and I began painting more. Sewing is loud, with that noisy machine. But painting on silk was silent, a quiet release to that pent up flood of color and shape that I had been longing to use.

I was taken anew with silk painting, as I could put on my headphones, and flow with the music to the tunes while letting my hands and brushes fly. I started to get a few orders for silk scarves and then I found out about Etsy.

Opening my Etsy shop in 2010 was the beginning of my own little business,  and things just really took off right away with my first scarves selling quickly and inspiring me to keep painting for others.

Since then I have painted hundreds of scarves and ties. I continue to grow as a self-taught artist. I have had some lessons with other artists and experts and have had the privilege of getting to know silk artists around the world through our Silk Team on Etsy. I have had the honor of teaching silk workshops in the USA and introducing more people to this amazing and little-known art form.

And so now I capture moments for painting between raising 4 kids 9 and under, in my charming (tiny) studio that my husband created for me. I have lots of frames to choose from now and many projects going at once to keep those ideas flowing. And when I am not painting silk, mothering and chauffeuring my brood,  you can find me sewing on occasion, and baking goodies, cakes, and an occasional wedding cake.

And so now you know; It all began with Vivian. Thanks Grandma for making the world a better place by passing on what you knew!

It all began with Vivian

Wasn’t she gorgeous?!

Painting Birch Trees

Painting Birch Trees

Here in Latvia trees are everywhere. I love getting out in nature here; gathering mushrooms, and just basking in the quiet beauty of the forests here.

I love the variety of forests and there is nothing quite so gorgeous as a fresh snow in the tall pines- to make you feel like you stepped into Narnia.

The birch trees here are in abudance, and so delicate, and feminine.

I decided to try my hand at painting birch trees and here is a short clip of my working on one of my latest scarves.

 

In a few weeks when my sister has concluded her visit here with her kids I hope to get this scarf steamed, photographed and listed. Until then take a sneak peek at it.

And keep in mind that now is the time to order your custom Fall scarves, when my kids head back to school I will have less time for painting what with running them to school, after school activities and homework.

Happy Monday!

Shop Scarves

 

 

 

 

The Zebra Print Tie Story

Zebra Print Necktie

The Zebra Print Tie Story

This scarf was inspired by a photo sent to me asking me to recreate a tie as seen in Casablanca. The man who it was painted for was a big fan of the film and I was glad to help create a special custom gift for him.

 

Hand painted on pure white silk charmeuse this stripey zebra skin necktie is unique, eye catching and hand painted! There will be never be two zebras alike.

This would be a great gift for a guy who is tired of boring old blue ties 🙂 Think Father’s Day, graduation, or a birthday coming soon!

This Zebra Print Tie is available HERE. 

Want to see more necktie options for your guy? HERE

Have your own idea of a custom tie? Write me at ritzysilk@gmail.com

 

Zebra Print Necktie

Blue Waves Scarf Story

 

Blue Waves Silk Scarf

Blue Waves Scarf Story

I had always dreamed of painting at the seaside. The idea of having the sound of water, the feel of wind and the sand between my toes seemed a distant dream for me. Yet when the opportunity arose for us to spend a few days at the seaside I decided to go prepared, just in case I got the chance to paint at the beach.

The first day or so of our vacation I merely contemplated the idea of painting at the sea and how to realize it. It would require quite a lot preparation taking clean water for my brushes, the frame, and everything else needed.

Finally I overcame my doubts and decided that while the kids played on the beach I’d give it a go. Working in the bright sunlight, and wind is more challenging than working in an indoors environment. Everything dries VERY quickly, which requires even faster painting so as to avoid unwanted lines.

With the sound of the waves crashing on the beach and the wind in my hair this scar was created. It has all the feel of wind and waves and was truly inspired by the moment.

This scarf is available for purchase HERE. Don’t miss getting the perf ect blue scarf your attire, the only one of my collection created at the beach!

Blue Waves Silk Scarf

 

Things that inspire me to paint and create

Things that inspire me to paint and create

Today I had the privilege of getting to see a silk garmet or “Wearable Art ” exhibition here in an Art Nouveau museum in Riga.

Rarely do I get to get out and see an exhibit these days, with 4 kids one of whom is my baby of only 5 weeks. This was a rare treat for me (my husband sat with the kids in the car for the 30 minutes I basked in beauty) .

I examined the artistry, the lines, the colors, the flow patterns and every little detail a silk artist would take notice of when looking at a silk painting. How I ADORE feathers and his feathers were in a variety of methods I have not used. I wish I had paid the extra money to take photos, but oh well. . . . I have heard we remember better when we do not take photos.

These dresses were elegant, flowing and in a variety of styles. Some with birds, some florals, some with feathers, and all in luxurious tones and layers of silk. They would enhance the natural beauty of any woman wearing them!

I loved the artist’s write about their art, part of which I will quote here.

The designs were made for independent, strong and sophisticated women who are not afraid to make a statement when they enter a room, says Irina with a smile. The cuts are simple but the drama lies within the stories of the design. (Source)

Wearing any kind of hand painted silk art- whether that be a scarf, tie, or dress really does draw attention to the wearer! I have seen the compliments my husband gets when he wears one of his ties!

I loved getting to be at this beautiful exhibition, not to mentino the Art Nouveau store I also enjoyed both coming and going!

I realized as I headed back to the car, and the sun suddenly broke the week long clouds that I was refreshed anew! I guess new moms or any mom needs a few moments now and then to get a way from the clutter, and messiness of mom life. We need to forget the sleepless nights and bask in the beauty of art or nature or whatever it is that makes us feel energized and inspired.

We got home after a day away with 4 youngs kids to the mess and ho hum of it all. But having had this day out and a bit of time for just me (the first in the last 5 weeks) gave me a kick back into my artistic nature and inspired me to start sketching and painting again.

I am so inspired by beautiful things. I love seeing what other humans have created and enjoying their creativity. I love seeing the colors, and forms of various times throughout history come together into a scarf, garment or tie! Somehow all this color and beauty inspires me to start creating again myself- and pushes all that tiredness and sleepless nights to the back burner of my glowing inspired self.

So what inspires you to create?

For me the answer TODAY is beauty, and beautiful things!