Lina and Vi: November 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Small Business Saturday

Since becoming a small business owner myself this past year, I have learned and continue to learn hard lessons about the ups and downs of running your own small business. There have been challenges and disappointments, but there has also been happy surprises and unexpected encouragement from so many people. I certainly don't have it all figured out, but it's a fun process and one that I would encourage many people to start if they are considering it. By seeing this side of the handmade marketplace, I want to do my part to support other small business so that I can pay it forward and allow others who may have contemplated the idea of starting a small gig or business on the side are swayed by the success, confidence, and fulfillment that comes with owning a small business and connecting with the community around it.
So, shop local or small small today if you can as part of Small Business Saturday. For those in the western metro Detroit area, take a few hours to stop into Downtown Plymouth today to check out the numerous small shops and boutiques. There's everything from men's and women's clothing stores to repurposed home decor stores to tea and bread shops. 
As a small plug for Lina and Vi, remember to stop into Birch Wood to check out the Grounds totes on display for sale or stop into our Etsy shop to shop online.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Arabica Fold-over Cross-body Bag

Despite the planning, designing, and sewing these past few weeks for our Holiday 2014 Collection, I haven't lost focus on designing new items for the Grounds tote bag collection. I've been noticing a trend recently on sewing and fashion blogs with fold-over bags. There are a lot of tutorials out of there for how to sew them, typically in a clutch or wristlet design. I decided that a fold-over bag would be a great addition to the Grounds collection, however I wanted to add a few spins on it. The end result is this fun, burlap Arabica cross-body bag designed to look a bit modern but still casual.

The Arabica crossbody bag is a type of fold-over bag, where the fold-over piece is cut from a separate fabric, an extremely soft but structure gray fabric. The body of the bag, like all Grounds totes and bags, is sewn from a coffee burlap sack purchased from a local coffee roaster in Plymouth, MI and repurposed into a practical and fun everyday bag. The interior is lined with a cotton fabric printed with small leaves in light purple on white. I chose this fabric as it coordinated well with the gray fold-over and the dark black industrial type on the burlap. It is a beautiful contrast to the burlap print, which is more industrial and "rough" in feeling, as this interior print appears small and delicate.


As with many of previous cross-body bags, the bag features a long, double-ply woven belting strap in a light tan color. The fold-over secures all of the items in the bag shut with a lightly stained, wooden toggle button.

I like that the text on the burlap is off-center and hugs the side seams. I think it gives it a modern feel and look, especially with the gray fold-over piece which reminds of a lot of the color blocking trend we saw not too long ago. The Arabic cross-body is one of my favorites, and I'm thrilled with how this new design turned out. You can find this bag and others for sale in our Esty shop today. Remember to shop handmade and shop local as much as possible this season - know where your items are being manufactured and by whom!

I hope you're having a great start to your weekend!  Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Holiday Collection Now Available on Etsy!

I'm extremely excited and proud to announce that the new Holiday Collection is now available in the Lina and Vi Etsy shop as of this morning, Monday November 24th! To see the items, click on the left navigation bar "Holiday 2014 Collection.

Thank you to everyone who supported this idea along the way! I'd love to hear your feedback on the new collection so please don't hesitate to comment or send me a message via email or Facebook.

I'll be back later this week to share even more.

Have a great day!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Holiday 2014 Sneak Peek: Burlap Christmas Garland

Lina and Vi Holiday Collection - Burlap Garland

We're wrapping our our Holiday Collection sneak peek week with our final piece in the group, one that you've seen in last week's DIY post - burlap holiday garland. If you saw our most recent Make It post, you know that it's easy and fun to make your own home-made garland with a bit of burlap, scissors, and twine. But, if you don't have the time to spend cutting out burlap and threading it onto a garland strand, then this handcrafted, ready to hang burlap garland is the perfect fit.

This understated garland strand is made from repurposed coffee sack burlap, much like all of our other Holiday Collection items. It is just over four feet long in length, and is designed with gold and red fabric interspersed to give the garland some color. It is rustic and artistic - no glitter, sparkles, or fake snow here. It is made from natural fibers to compliment that shabby chic, farmhouse decor that we all love to swoon over on Pinterest!

Lina and Vi Holiday Collection - Burlap Garland

Lina and Vi Holiday Collection - Burlap Garland

Burlap garland can be used to decorate your home in so many ways - it's incredibly versatile and a quick decoration when you don't have the time for fussy decorations. Wrap the garland around your tree or hang it over a doorway with a few Command strips. Or hang it on your mantel fireplace with a few our of burlap Christmas stocking to accentuate your space. Super easy and incredibly unique.

That wraps up our Holiday sneak peeks. Ready to shop Lina and Vi's Holiday Collection? Check our Etsy shop bright and early Monday morning to purchase any of the handcrafted, burlap home decor items you've seen this past. Remember to support local and support handmade this holiday season.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Holiday 2014 Sneak Peek: NOEL Coasters

I'm happy to be starting this weekend with two more sneak peeks of our Holiday Collection.  Today's item is all about both fun and function.  Welcome the NOEL coaster set.  These beauties keep your drinks looking festive and that brand new furniture you just bought for your home protected.

The gold and red swirl fabric serves as a frame which forms a letter out of burlap.  Each coaster is backed with thick cream fabric and reinforced with thick craft stabilizer internally to keep them stiff so your glass doesn't move.  Lastly, they are top-stitched with metallic gold thread, just like our Christmas stockings and flatware holders.  

Lina and Vi Holiday 2014 Collection - burlap NOEL coasters
Lina and Vi Holiday 2014 Collection - burlap NOEL coasters

Match them together for a cohesive holiday theme.  I love this set because it's a creative, thoughtful gift for a friend, party, or, well of course, yourself!

Our Holiday 2014 collection is available starting Monday, November 24th in our Etsy shop!  Stop by this  weekend for the final sneak peak photos.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Holiday 2014 Sneak Peek: Falala and Jingle Burlap Pillows

There's something about the holidays that makes me want to make my home warm and cozy, with blankets, candles, and a cup of tea. Today's sneak peek features two items that make feeling cozy even more fun - our Jingle and Falala burlap pillows.

Both pillows are sewn from repurposed burlap and feature soft fabric painted designs on the front and thick red canvas fabric on the back. They are 16 inches by 11 inches and fit perfect as accent pillows for any living area.

The Jingle pillow is embellished with four bronze jingle bells, secured at each corner of the pillow, to give it that rustic, cottage look. Although the Falala pillow isn't designed with bells, these can easily be applied and will be offered as an option at time of purchase.

I'm very excited for these two pillow designs. I designed them for what I would want displayed in my own home for the holiday season. Now, they need a new home!

Our Holiday 2014 collection is available starting Monday, November 24th in our Etsy shop! Stop by later this week for more sneak peak photos of our upcoming home decor collection. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holiday 2014 Sneak Peek: Silverware Holders

If you're hosting a holiday dinner party this year and preparing for your table decor, you'll love our new burlap silverware holders featured as part of the 2014 Holiday Collection launching next Monday.

We have designed two sets of four holders each. Each set is a different color scheme; one being a beautiful gold mistletoe print and one being the red and black plaid woven fabric - the same used for our Christmas stockings. Both sets are designed to have raw, frayed edges, for that country chic themed holiday decor. They are trimmed with gold ribbon on the edge of the pocket to give it a shimmery, yet crisp feel. These are a beautiful way to enhance your holiday dinner table for your family gathering this season!

Lina and Vi - Holiday Collection - Burlap Silverware Holders -

Lina and Vi - Holiday Collection - Burlap Silverware Holders -

Our Holiday 2014 collection is available starting Monday, November 24th in our Etsy shop! Stop by later this week for more sneak peak photos of our upcoming home decor collection.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Holiday 2014 Sneak Peek: Burlap Christmas Stockings

The Christmas stocking is a near staple to holiday decorations, of course with the Christmas tree being first. Today, I'm excited to share a sneak preview of our first two items in the Holiday 2014 collection, repurposed coffee sack burlap stockings.

These Christmas stockings were designed, cut, and handcrafted locally in Michigan. They are available in two variations - a red and black soft plaid fabric and a red and gold metallic fabric. These stockings measure approximately 14.5 inches tall by 6.5 inches wide. They are lined with heavy interfacing to keep their shape and hold the weight of small surprises for your loved ones. The cuff is detailed with a professional top-stitching, in black thread for the plaid variation and gold metallic thread for the other. All stockings have a black twine loop to hang on a mantle, tree, or wall hanger and a small, bronze bell to add a rustic charm.

Lina and Vi - Holiday Collection - Burlap Christmas Stockings -

Lina and Vi - Holiday Collection - Burlap Christmas Stockings -
Lina and Vi - Holiday Collection - Burlap Christmas Stockings -
The best part of our burlap stockings is that they can be personalized to include a monogram on the front, whether you choose to have them hang to the left or the right. These handcrafted stocking will be bring warmth and coziness to your home!

Our Holiday 2014 collection is available starting Monday, November 24th in our Etsy shop! Stop by later this week for more sneak peak photos of our upcoming home decor collection.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Holiday Collection Preview

We're almost a week away from the launch of our first Holiday collection. This past week was busy as we finalized all of the details for the new products. The logo was designed,  the product tags are assembled (check out our Facebook page to see the fun new design!), and the product images are in their final editing stages.

This week I will be sharing previews of collection, so be sure to stop by for detailed photos of our burlap Jingle and Fa La La burlap pillows, sweet NOEL coasters, and more. As with the Grounds collection, our new collection is also made from repurposed burlap coffee sacks purchased from a local coffee roaster. Each item is designed and handcrafted in Michigan, so remember to support small businesses this holiday season.

I'm so excited to unveil our new Holiday collection with you! Stay tuned for our first item coming up next.

Have a great week!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Make It: DIY Burlap Garland

As we get closer to the holidays and the launch of the first-ever Lina and Vi Holiday collection, I have been focused on designing home decor pieces that are chic, rustic, warm, and affordable. Being our collections focus on re-purposed coffee sack burlap, I have a lot of burlap scrap pieces which were originally cut for one of our Grounds bags to use. These past few weeks have been filled with new ideas for pieces that incorporate burlap in some unique way, to enhance a room so it feels thoughtful and personal.

Recently, I created a new, non-sewn home decor piece for the holiday collection - a burlap garland! This fun item will be available for purchase in our Etsy shop when the collection launches on November 24th, however I enjoyed making this so much, I wanted to share how I made it with you as a DIY project.

This is one of those instant gratification projects that takes only one hour, a few supplies, and no sewing machine! I apologize in advance for the poor photo quality due to the overcast outside and the lack of lighting in my sewing room.

- scissors
- 1.5 yards burlap fabric
- .5 yard print fabric of your choice (optional)
- hand needle
- 2 safety pins
- beading twine ( at least 5 feet)


1. First, you will need to use your scissors to cut out strips of both burlap and the printed fabric in the dimensions 7" by 2". For the garland you see here, we interspersed a red/gold and white/gold holiday print fabric to give it some depth and visual interest. It's okay if some of your strips aren't exactly the same - this is good. Some can be shorter and longer, and it gives the garland a softer look.

2. Second, thread your needle with the beading twine and ensure you tie a large knot at the end of the twine. If you chose not to use beading twine or can't find it (check the jewelry making or bead areas of your craft store), you can swap it with yarn or type of strong cording. Don't use standard thread - it is too weak. The burlap has weight, and this garland will be heavy so you don't want the thread to break under the weight when it's hanging in your home.

DIY Burlap Garland - Lina and Vi -

3. On the end of the twine that contains the knot, thread the twine through the eye of one of the safety pins and knot. Burlap has a large weave, and this will keep your knot from pulling through the burlap weave.

DIY Burlap Garland - Lina and Vi -

4. Then, take a strip of burlap and fold it in half. Thread the needle with twine through the center of the folded burlap. Put the needle down and open the safety pin and pin the safety pin to the side of that piece of burlap. Again, this ensure it stays secure at the end of the garland.

DIY Burlap Garland - Lina and Vi -

DIY Burlap Garland - Lina and Vi -

5. Follow step 4 as you continue to fold and thread each piece of burlap onto the twine. I added the printed fabric after a handful of burlap pieces, not counting or being very precise about it. I added four or five burlap pieces and then a piece of the holiday print fabric, again folding it in half with the printed side showing on the outside. In some cases, I would fold the burlap and fabric twice to make it more compact - again just to give it some depth. Push the pieces together on the twine to make it full.

DIY Burlap Garland - Lina and Vi -

6. Lastly, you will come to the end of the twine once you've threaded all of the strips of burlap and fabric. Tie a large knot again, thread the end piece through the second safety pin, and open the safety pin and pin it to the end piece of burlap. This garland ended up being 4.5 feet long, but your garland can be any size you'd like, just cut more strips of burlap. Trim the loose ends and you're finished!

DIY Burlap Garland - Lina and Vi -

DIY Burlap Garland - Lina and Vi -

This project is very simple but it's a lot of fun and the end result is a beautiful, unique garland that you can hang in your home over an entryway, on a fireplace mantle as shown here, or around your Christmas tree.

I love the look of this garland, and it's so simple to make, that I will likely make it again. I hope you give this DIY a try - burlap or any type of fabric/felt, and I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek of our Holiday collection. Remember to stop into our Etsy shop on November 24th to see all of our Holiday collection projects!



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Details on a 2014 Holiday Collection

If you follow Lina and Vi on Facebook, you may have taken notice to the recent stream of photos showing a new collection in progress. I'm excited to announce that this will be the first year Lina and Vi will have a holiday home decor collection!

We have been busy designing and sewing a set of new, sewn home products that we will be launching in just less than three weeks. Everything in this collection will still be designed around the theme of burlap, just like our Grounds line, but instead of totes and handbags, we're designing pillows, table linens, and more.

For those of you who love the burlap look, and especially love the combination of burlap with the golds, creams, reds, and greens of holiday color schemes, this collection is designed for you and your home! These will be items that will add a rustic and warm charm to your holiday dinners, gatherings, and traditions. Plus, they offer the added quality of being handmade, which means these will each be unique in their own way rather than the impersonal, repetitive design of many holiday decor items sold at the big box retailers.

We don't have any photos to share today, but we will be officially launching the collection in our Etsy shop on Monday November 24th. In the meantime, stop by our Facebook page here to see the work in progress (apologies for the poor photo quality from my cell phone and the early evening darkness from daylight saving time).

 I've tossed around the idea of sewing a line of home decor products for quite some time, and with the holidays fast approaching, it was a great opportunity to try this concept out as part of a temporary seasonal offering.  I can't wait to share more details with you in the coming weeks and unveil these fun new items.

Happy mid-week and happy sewing!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fresh Look

Happy November!

We're over in our Etsy shop today updating our listing with fresh, new pictures! Here's a peak at what's new. Remember to stop by our Etsy shop to see our latest medium tote bag, the Organic tote, and the fun set of 3 small zipper pouches that still is available for purchase.

small zipper pouches - burlap -

small zipper pouches - burlap -

wine pouches - burlap -

wine pouches - burlap -

Thanks for stopping by!