On my last trip to Europe I was given a very special present from a dear member of my host family. I wrote about visiting her family farm back in 2008, where I first met her, and 3.5 years later I got to go there again to see a few renovations and additions to their Hermetton farm, which was now becoming more and more Eco-friendly than ever.
This is one of the puppies that was in the litter from 2008–
he’s bigger than his mommy now:
Anyway, after sitting down to some delicious homemade quiches, tarts, and moonshine (!), mostly made of products culled from their own farm, we started dishing about fashion, and before I knew it, we moved the discussion into her closet where she showed me some of her fantastic creations. She would shop consignment stores for shirts, skirts, and coats, take them apart, and then reconstruct them into new articles of clothing or accessories. We looked at these fun concoctions she’d whipped up for her daughter. Not only are they labors of love but they also become whimsical one-of-a-kind outfits that suit the family’s somewhat bohemian personality.
Being my typical entrepreneurial self, I asked why she didn’t make a business out of this (Etsy came to mind as a springboard). She waived her hand and said she was too old to take on such an initiative since each project would take her days to complete. I thought her daughter would make great free labor, but that’s just me. I already farm Lil A out as free talent for my blog (more on this in the next entry), so I’m all about enlisting help wherever you can find it! Anyway, my eyes must have lit up when she showed me the bags she rebuilt or something, because as we were leaving that day, she gave me one of the purses I had marveled over. It was made from two skirts (you can see the original buttons and pockets in these photos) and completely reversible:
The first photo in today’s entry shows her embroidered signature (in place of a tag) refÃ©e pour toi, which is a play on words. FÃ©e means fairy and it sounds like the word fait which means made. Or in the case of refait, redone, recreated or renewed. So if you put the whole thing together, you might say that this gift was given to me by my purse fairy.
What she may suspect till this day, however, is that the one thing I would have brought back from her farm had he fit in my suitcase is their new pony:
At least my horse wouldn’t be imaginary anymore :D!