Lina and Vi: 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tiny Expo Recap


Where should I start? Like everyone else, this month is truly packed with so many things that I have been busy sewing, selling, and shipping these past few weeks and haven't had much time to share an update here. Just over a week ago, I participated in Tiny Expo in downtown Ann Arbor's district library where I met many talented local artisans as well as new customers! The show featured just over 40 handmade vendors, each with a unique product, design, and skill. This was my fourth time participating in a local craft fair, and just like the past three, I left the show in awe and appreciation of having been a part of such a talented set of local handmade artists.

I have always been a huge fan of attending local craft fairs, but I never thought I would ever participate in one myself. It wasn't because I didn't want to, rather I always thought I would never be committed enough to put the time and effort into making enough items to sell, preparing a creative display, and having the confidence to approach new faces for a full day. I will admit that I underestimated the amount of work it takes to participate in a craft fair, however the sense of pride I received for having accomplished it while simultaneously feeling like I am part of the handmade community was beyond what I expected. This is the reason I continue to participate in handmade shows, despite knowing that indeed the level of effort and time is a huge commitment. For those who may not know, my first craft fair was about three years ago, and it was a complete flop. I am so glad that I decided to give it a second try. Isn't it surprising how things turn out if we just push to keep on trying?

So, if you stopped by the Lina and Vi table last weekend in Ann Arbor, thank you. It was great to meet with customers in person and hear feedback on my handmade items in real time. That is something that is hard to convey when working with customers online through our Etsy shop.

In other news, we are nearly out of ready to ship burlap pillows, but we still have one brown Plymouth Michigan pillow available in time for Christmas! If you are local, we can arrange a pickup in the metro Detroit or Ann Arbor areas. Send me a message on Etsy to coordinate a local meetup! All other burlap pillows are still available for order with a 1-2 week production time.

Thanks for dropping by,
Erica

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Make It: Personalized Wood Slice Ornaments


DIY English Springer Spaniel Wooden Ornament - linaandvi.blogspot.com

I'm taking a break from preparing for Tiny Expo today to share a new DIY with you for the holiday season! A couple of weeks ago, my husband decided that the birch tree near the front of our house needed some trimming. He cut a few small limbs off of the tree and offered them to me to see if I could make anything out of them. I will never let free crafting material go to waste, so with his help and some help from Pinterest, I dreamed up a fun personalized birch wood slice ornament for our tree.

Today I am giving a short tutorial on how to make a customized birch wood slice ornament. You can choose to personalize it or leave it as a rustic, wood ornament for your holiday decorations.

Materials
  • birch wood branch
  • miter saw
  • modge podge
  • sponge brush
  • drill with small bit
  • twine
  • (optional) adhesive vinyl and transfer paper
  • (optional) Silhouette Cameo
  • scissors
Note: Please find help if you are not trained on how to use a miter saw and/or drill. Please use the proper safety equipment when using these tools.

Instructions

  1. Once you have the birch branches removed from the tree, you will need to slice them vertically using the miter saw. I sliced mine about .75" to 1" inch thickness.
  2. After you have the birch wood rounds, you will then use your drill with a smaller bit to drill a hole at the top of the round in order to thread the twine through to hang the round like an ornament. Once the hole is formed, cut some twine with scissors and knot it so that you form a loop to hang the round.
  3. The next step is to personalize the birch wood slice. I made one using the silhouette of an English Spring Spaniel along with the letters of my dog's name under the silhouette in black vinyl. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the vinyl as well as the transfer paper to transfer the vinyl decal onto the round. I have found that vinyl does not adhere well to raw wood. You may opt to put a coat of modge podge on the wood first and let it dry before adhering the vinyl. If you don't have a Cameo, you could also use the freezer paper method to make a stencil by hand with a pencil and X-acto knife. You can iron the freezer paper onto the wood and use acrylic paint to paint on the custom design.
  4. After the birch wood slice has been designed, paint a thin coat of modge podge over the design using the sponge brush and let it dry for an hour or so to secure the design on the wood.
That's it! This was a quick afternoon project that made use of some natural elements as interior decor for my Christmas tree. Along with the English Spring Spaniel wood slice ornament, I made personalized ornaments for each of our nieces and nephews which will double as tags on their gifts this year.

DIY Custom Wood Slice Ornaments - linaandvi.blogspot.com

There are several different ways birch wood slices can be used in home decor and crafting. Instead of just drilling one hole in the round, a second hole can be drilled into the round in order to thread the slices onto a long string of twine for garland that would look great wrapped around a Christmas tree or hanging on a mantel.

I hope you are having a great start to your weekend! I am looking forward to seeing a few local folks at Tiny Expo next Saturday in Ann Arbor.

Erica

Friday, November 25, 2016

09 Technicolor Cross-body Burlap Bag


I'm on a cross-body kick this week, and I'm excited to share a colorful new burlap bag whose vibrant colors will make you smile! The name says it all - the 09 Technicolor Cross-body burlap zipper bag is a small, rectangular purse with a long, cream strap and an antique bronze colored metal zipper.  Like all of our bags in the Grounds Collection, this purse features two burlap panels with a print that is completely authentic to the original coffee burlap sack. It's quirky green frog logo and bold, black numbers are funky and whimsical. Like all of our handmade burlap bags, the 09 Technicolor cross-body burlap bag is totally unique and not something you would find shopping at a big box store. 

With technicolor in its name, this bag is all about a pop of color.  The interior lining is a multi-color triangular repeating pattern in all shades of the rainbow.  Deviating a bit from my typical color choices, I opted for this bright patterned cotton fabric to contrast from the more muted and neutral color palette on the outside. I used a cotton fat quarter I had purchased a while back and was waiting for the right bag design. I love adding a little bit of the unexpected and mystery when I can, so this design was intentionally created so that the multi-color was only visible when the bag was unzipped. It's so much fun, and I can't wait until it finds a new home with one of our Etsy customers!









As I mentioned in our post earlier this week, the cross-body purse is all about convenience on the go. The hands-free bag is super easy to carry - no straps slipping off the shoulder or tucked in the hand.

With the holiday weekend in the U.S. right now, I'm looking forward to spending some time in my sewing room working on new burlap pillows and burlap bags to add to the Lina and Vi Etsy shop as well as for the Tiny Expo craft fair on December 10th in Ann Arbor. I hope you are enjoying your day!


Erica

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Fair Trade Cross-body Burlap Bag



Fair Trade cross-body burlap zipper bag by Lina and Vi Plymouth Michigan | linaandvi.etsy.com

Happy Tuesday! It feels like we are walking up to the starting line for the Christmas season, and I'm not so sure I am quite ready yet but here we are. It's that time of year when the holidays seem to blur together and time seems to pass much faster than usual. I'm feeling all the feels; it's fast then slow and good then chaotic. On a positive note, I am feeling much more prepared as we head into December this year!

I have been working these past few weeks to finish up new bags and stock up on ready to ship burlap pillows in preparation for the holidays. Each year I find that our customers are split - those who shop our burlap pillows, often designing something custom for a gift, and those who shop our ready to ship burlap bags. I recently finished a new cross-body burlap bag design, and I'm excited to share the details about the Fair Trade bag with you today.

As I've been out and about more, I've noticed how popular cross-body bags have become, especially in urban areas where the population tends to travel more by foot. Having a bag that hangs across the body keeps our hands free and makes it much easier to manage when we are traveling with kiddos, carrying schoolbags, or navigating public transport. Like most cross-body bags, I designed the Fair Trade bag in a rectangular shape with the top zipper closure. I opted to add a medium-sized exterior slide pocket with a button for quick grab and go storage. There is one additional slide pocket on the interior lining. The entire bag, inside and out, is accented with a beige cotton canvas fabric. I intentionally designed this crossbody burlap bag using a neutral palette. With one exterior burlap panel featuring green, industrial text from the coffee sack, I wanted to keep the bag balanced and free from too much competing color.

Fair Trade cross-body burlap zipper bag by Lina and Vi Plymouth Michigan | linaandvi.etsy.com

Fair Trade cross-body burlap zipper bag by Lina and Vi Plymouth Michigan | linaandvi.etsy.com

Fair Trade cross-body burlap zipper bag by Lina and Vi Plymouth Michigan | linaandvi.etsy.com

I chose a chocolate brown strap that blends well with the tan burlap. The strap is removable using two metal claw clips. If you are packing it away or storing it in luggage, the strap can be easily tucked away for transport. 

The Fair Trade burlap bag is one of the most simple yet sophisticated burlap bags I have sewn for the Grounds Collection. I think I go through various phases likely related to my state of mind at the time that influence my design choices. There are times where I'm drawn to neutral colors and solid fabric and other times where I am looking for color, contrast, and pattern. If color and pattern is the name of your game, stay tuned for a second new burlap crossbody bag that I'll be sharing on the blog that is all about the color. Shop the Fair Trade bag and other burlap bags now in our Etsy shop.

I hope you're having a great start to your week!
Erica

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Shop for Lina and Vi at Tiny Expo - Ann Arbor, MI!


I am excited to announce that I will be participating in Tiny Expo this holiday season in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan! If you are looking for a fun event where you can shop handmade items this holiday season, Tiny Expo should be on your list!

Tiny Expo is an annual Christmas craft fair featuring indie and handmade vendors from around the southeast Michigan area. This year's craft show will be held on Saturday December 10th at the downtown location of the Ann Arbor District Library from 11:00 - 5:30. I will be there showcasing some of my recent Lina and Vi items, including my handmade burlap crossbody bags, pouches, totes, and of course, Michigan pillows! I am also planning to have some exclusive Ann Arbor items for sale. I'm super excited to have been accepted to participate in this year's fair, and I'm looking forward to meeting and talking with local shoppers as well as seeing the handmade items from all of the talented local vendors.

To find more information on Tiny Expo, including a complete vendor list for this year's show, stop by their event page as well as their Facebook page to find more information on the event details.




Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Santa Maria Burlap Yoga Mat Bag



santa maria burlap yoga mat carrier by linaandvi michigan

As we get nearer to the holidays, things can get a little bit crazy.  This time of the year takes more patience as we all manage to keep our stress levels low while still trying to enjoy everything that this season brings about. Over the past few years, I have learned that there are two things for me that are most effective in managing the additional demands: 1. tea and 2. yoga. Let's talk about yoga, while I brew a cup of tea tonight.

I first tried yoga about ten years ago, and since then, I have practiced it on and off. I have tried a variety of yoga, including most recently a pilates and yoga cardio fusion video that I have been trying to maintain at home. Yoga forces me to move slowly, which I find very calming, as I'm typically going about my day at a pace fast, rushing to the next thing, and figuring out how I can get it all done in the expected timeframe. I often have people tell me that exercise is their go-to stress reliever, and for me, high impact exercising does not help. I find that my fast pace is already fast enough and to counter that, I need something that forces me to slow it down.

One of the things I love about yoga is that it doesn't require any fancy equipment or supplies. I have a yoga mat that I purchased a very long time ago that I still use, although a bit ragged now, it still does the trick. I have a few pairs of basic yoga pants. I don't have blocks or straps or feel the need to buy weights like I would with other exercise programs. It's simple to get started and that no-fuss feeling often draws me back to it. With the only necessary item being a mat, the practical thing to do is find a way to carry the mat to practice and store it when not in use. A yoga mat bag is just the thing to keep our yoga mats clean and easy to carry, and I opted to sew up a new burlap yoga mat bag referring back to my original sketch I used for our first yoga mat bag here.

santa maria burlap yoga mat carrier by linaandvi michigan

santa maria burlap yoga mat carrier by linaandvi michigan

The Santa Maria yoga carrier is our second burlap yoga mat bag in our Grounds burlap bag collection. This latest design features a green, turquoise, and white zig-zag accent fabric with a drawstring for easy access. The handle is a light gray corduroy, while the lining is a simple ivory fabric with a silk-like hand. The burlap is funky, but the bag is no-fuss. It does what it needs to do. Simple as that.

We're in the middle of a big week here in the U.S., and I have to say this is the perfect time for some yoga! Shop our Santa Maria bag in our Etsy shop now.

Namaste.

Erica




Friday, November 4, 2016

Blue and Gold Fold-over Snap Burlap Wristlet



Royal Blue and Gold Triangle Fold-over burlap wristlet by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI - www.linaandvi.etsy.com

Hello and happy November! I can't believe it's another month down. We are well into fall now, and the holidays are gearing up. Last weekend, I spent some time sewing up a new burlap clutch with a few special touches that I decided to try for the first time. So, without further adieu, please welcome this fun blue and gold fold-over snap burlap wristlet!

I sketched out my idea before I started cutting, and I based it off of several other burlap wristlet designs I created in the past. For this one, I knew that I really wanted to showcase this fun, royal blue cotton fabric that has a pattern of small golden triangles stamped on it. It's modern, and fresh, which is a great contrast with the bold black text on the burlap.

I decided to go with a combo fold-over zipper with a magnetic snap to keep the top secure. I love how it turned out, so I decided to add the wrist strap to make it more functional. As an added bonus, I added a metal clasp to allow the wrist strap to be removed if needed.

Royal Blue and Gold Triangle Fold-over burlap wristlet by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI - www.linaandvi.etsy.com

Royal Blue and Gold Triangle Fold-over burlap wristlet by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI - www.linaandvi.etsy.com

Royal Blue and Gold Triangle Fold-over burlap wristlet by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI - www.linaandvi.etsy.com

Inside this burlap clutch, I opted for a solid teal fabric. I knew that I wanted to keep the color palette cool, and tonight, I realize that I have been gravitating towards a lot of blues lately. Perhaps the reason is that it evokes a sense of calmness, amid what has been a season of constant change for me? I'm not exactly sure, but I like how these colors both contrast while being in the same tone. A lot of color, and especially a great bag to pair with jeans. Shop this burlap wristlet now in our Etsy shop here!

In other news, I shipped out a set of our burlap zipper pouches this week, and I'm in the middle of sewing up a custom city pillow for a customer.  I'm planning to stock up a bunch of new items in our Etsy shop in the next few weeks. Plus, I have some fun news to share for any local readers looking to shop handmade this holiday!

I hope you have a great weekend!
Erica

Monday, October 31, 2016

Announcing Lina and Vi + Bundled Michigan!

Bundled Michigan and Lina and Vi Burlap Goods


I'm super excited to formally announce that Lina and Vi is partnering with Bundled Michigan to provide our handmade, burlap zipper pouches as part of their Build Your Own Michigan-made gift boxes! I mentioned earlier this month that I had the opportunity to sew up several of our burlap pouches, and now we are officially live in their online shop. Hooray!

Bundled Michigan is a rising small business based out of the metro Detroit area that is owned and operated by two local best friends looking to make individual and corporate gift giving easier by offering gift packages of different items made by local Michigan artisans. In their own words, their mission is "to use hardworking makers and small business owners to create thoughtfully curated gift bundles that serve a variety of purposes." The best part is that they partner with a local organization to provide job opportunities for adults with disabilities, which is amazing. I suggest taking a quick look at their Our Story page on their site to learn more about them.

Bundled Michigan and Lina and Vi Burlap Goods

Lina and Vi burlap pouches are now available in their Build Your Own option. You can select your choice of packaging and then select a number of different items ranging from apparel to bath and body to packaged food. You can also select a prepackaged bundle if you don't have time to select individual items. There are themed gift boxes ranging from baby to his/hers to holiday. Aside from Build Your Own, Bundled works with corporations to design custom boxes for employee and vendor gifting so if you are local business order, I recommend contacting them for more information on their corporate gift giving services.

As we head into the holiday shopping season, I suggest visiting their online shop for quick and thoughtful gifting this year without the hassle of buying individual items or managing the shipping. If you decide to Build Your Own, please think of Lina and Vi's 4" x 6" burlap pouches!

I'm thrilled to have my handmade burlap zipper pouches available with Bundled Michigan.  This is the fourth new local business we are partnering with this year, and each time, I say the same thing - I can't believe where this journey has taken me in the past few years. Thank you for supporting small, local businesses, and thank you for your support with Lina and Vi.

Erica

Monday, October 24, 2016

Tips for Custom Etsy Orders

burlap zipper pouch handmade by linaandvi.etsy.com

Hello friends! I'm back with a few short updates on what has been keeping me busy as well as a few tips and tricks on ordering custom items on Etsy as we head into the holiday shopping season. As expected, this month is flying by for me. I've spent the last two weekends traveling and spending time with my husband and friends, celebrating anniversaries and upcoming nuptials. In between the busy schedules, I've been working on replenishing our burlap zipper pouches. If you have a few minutes to stop by the Lina and Vi Etsy shop, you will see a number of new burlap pouch gift sets with two and three zipper pouches, and a few single pouches for sale in a variety of new lining fabrics and burlap prints.

In my post from earlier this month, I alluded to a number of personal changes that have happened this season. I wish I could say that I have a handle on them all and am feeling balanced, but I cannot. I'm still working on juggling my commitments each day, while at the same time, I'm trying to add smaller, positive activities throughout my week to help me feel more balanced (such as exercising). The season of change hasn't stopped, and I'm learning how to manage the effects it has on me so I can learn to roll with the punches a bit easier.

While I don't have any new projects to share today with you, I have been working on a number of custom burlap pillow orders from our Etsy shop this month. Most of the projects are personal to each customer, so I won't be sharing them here on the blog. However, I do want to point you to a list of tips and tricks I recommended around this time last year for how to effectively request a custom order on Etsy so that your experience is positive and your item is just as you'd like. You can find my 10 tips for requesting a custom Etsy order here. Even a year later, these still stand true from my perspective.

I hope you are having a great start to your week!

Erica


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Blue Sound Burlap Cross-body Bag


First of all, thank you for all of the interest in my last DIY post using my Silhouette Cameo to make a "Grow Old with Me" wooden sign. Although I didn't time this intentionally, I finished that project earlier this week and my third anniversary is actually today. Talk about timing! I hope that you were able to get some inspiration for projects around your own home out of it.

A few weeks ago, I came across this beautiful, blue fabric that I snatched up and figured I'd find some way to use it. The best part of shopping the remnant bin is that you never really know what you will find. I love coming across new, interesting fabric that I can use as lining in the Lina and Vi pouches and tote bags. I purchased this leftover fabric because of its interesting design, with varying shade of blue watercolor-like waves against a bright white backdrop. I was sold, and the outcome became our latest burlap cross-body bag to join the collection, the Blue Sound. 

The Blue Sound burlap bag is a medium-sized rectangular purse with a flap top and wooden button closure. The flap is sewn from that very blue and white wave fabric, along with the one interior flat pocket and the strap loops. The bag features a mostly plain tan burlap panel on the front and black, bold text on the back burlap panel. 



I really enjoyed working with the blue fabric. It's weight is very similar to the reinforced burlap, so it holds its shape while still providing the mostly neutral front with interest. I kept with the warm tone throughout by choosing to use a chocolate brown wooden button and cotton belting strap. Two metal claw clasps allow the strap to be detached easily. The interior is a simple solid white cotton. 

This is a great, casual bag that is typically worn across the body but can be worn over one shoulder as a long purse. You can shop this bag now in our Etsy shop, and you can always find me sharing on Pinterest and Facebook.  

Have you ever found a diamond in the rough fabric amid the discarded remnants? What did you make with it?

Erica

Sunday, October 9, 2016

"Grow Old with Me" Distressed DIY Wood Wall Decor

grow old with me the best is yet to be wall hanging - DIY - linaandvi.com

Today I'm sharing a recent DIY that is not sewing related. We all need to take a break time and again to try out new skills and materials. I recently had the desire to swap out another DIY wall canvas to brighten up my bedroom. The black and white enlarged photo of logs I had taken while up north a couple of years ago added to the darkness of the room. Keeping with the same black and white palette, I opted to create a white wooden wall hanging that would pop against the beige walls and bring more interest above the bed. And sticking with the DIY theme, I used my Silhouette Cameo and my handy husband to create this fun design.

I asked my husband for his help to create the wooden pallet shape, and he was up for the challenge. He purchased cheap grade 2"x4" wood at the local hardware store and used a hand saw to cut them into varying lengths. The hand saw tool was his idea, as he thought it would give the overall design more of a rustic, distressed look which is what I wanted for the end product. He staggered the pieces and screwed them to two vertical wooden pieces that form the back of the pallet. That was it. He handed it over to me to paint it and seal it.

Like many, I have grown to love the HGTV show "Fixer Upper" this past year, and I was inspired by a square metal wall hanging offered in the online Magnolia shop with this exact saying carved into it. I knew that I did not want metal in my bedroom. With a room already having a dark and masculine color scheme, metal felt like a material that was too harsh and cold for my bedroom. I borrowed the idea to use this saying, which originates from a Robert Browning poem, and used my Silhouette Cameo to electronically cut the words on adhesive vinyl.

I spray-painted the raw wood with spare black spray paint leftover from another project. After the paint was dry, I opted to use this crackle paint medium that I also have leftover from a previous project. There are a variety of different mediums you can use depending on the look of the final product. I found my medium at my local craft store, and it worked great to provide another element of distress. I then stuck the vinyl words to the wood and used leftover white house paint to paint over everything. Once dry, I peeled off the vinyl words to reveal the black underneath. Finally, I touched up the letters with black paint and painted a clear sealer on top.





Aside from the wood, everything else used to make this wooden pallet sign was material I already had in my crafting stash and garage. Overall, it took a few evenings to make this sign given the time needed to wait between coats of paint. This project is extra special because it was a joint effort between me and my husband.  This sign now hangs above our bed, and it really brightens up the space and makes it feel much warmer.

grow old with me the best is yet to be wall hanging - DIY - linaandvi.com


It feels like I've said this a million times here, and to any random person who will listen, that I truly love my Silhouette Cameo. It makes projects like this so much easier. I'm excited to see what I do with it during the next few months as we head into holiday decorating season. I started a Pinterest board to collect ideas for my Cameo, and I'm always looking for more tips and tricks so please share!

Thanks for stopping by,
Erica



Saturday, October 1, 2016

September Transitions: Eastern Market, Burlap Pouches, and More

Burlap Zipper Pouches by Lina and Vi, Plymouth MI - linaandvi.etsy.com

A new month has started, and we are now in the middle of the fall season! These past few weeks have been full, but more on that later. I'm excited for what the new month will bring, and for me, it is a busy one. I will be traveling a bit over a couple of weekends as well as trying my best to attend a number of happy events including a wedding shower, baby shower, first birthday party, and so on. I recently read a book that offered some advice that I am trying hard not to forget - a busy life is a full life. I am working on changing the way I think about it so that it is positive, not negative, and it acts as a reminder that I should be grateful for everything that makes my life full.

When I look back at September, all it makes me think of is, what a month of transition. I turned a year older at the start of the month, and of course, the seasons changed as we head into cooler weather here in Michigan.  My husband and I celebrated a close friend's wedding and spent an afternoon walking around Eastern Market in Detroit while stopping to try a new restaurant, Green Dot Stables. I did some horseback riding, and in the last two weeks, I experienced some unexpected career changes that are now keeping me on my toes.

I had the opportunity to spend a good portion of the month sewing to fill an order for the local Michigan business, Bundled Michigan, who will be packaging our handmade burlap zipper pouches in their gift boxes. Of all the events in the last month, this opportunity is one of my absolute favorites! I'm thrilled to see how Bundled incorporates my burlap pouches into their boxes. I'll be sharing more about it in the coming weeks.

So this wraps up another month and kicks off a brand new one. I'm working on a new set of burlap zipper pouches for the Lina and Vi Etsy shop this weekend which I am very proud to share in the next few days. Remember to follow us on Facebook where you will find more frequent and behind the scenes photos of projects in process and late night sewing adventures!

Happy October!
Erica





Monday, September 19, 2016

Comeback City: Detroit Burlap Pillow

Detroit burlap handmade pillow - made by lina and vi plymouth mi

I'm back today sharing a new variation of our Plymouth burlap pillow, the Detroit Michigan burlap pillow. Very similar to our Plymouth and Alpena burlap pillows, this rectangular shaped pillow has a burlap front and a solid cotton canvas back. The name of the city is hand-stenciled directly onto the burlap, with the silhouette of the lower peninsula as the 'O' (My Silhouette Cameo is a huge help when creating these stencils!). This one is for all those Detroiters who love their city and have pride in it, despite the popular perception that Detroit will always be a fallen city with a dismal future.

I am proud to say that I was born and raised in the metro Detroit area, and although I live further away from the city now than I ever have, I still venture into the downtown area to explore the new shops and restaurants. I spent four years driving into Detroit when I attended the University of Detroit Mercy, which is on the northwest side of the city in an area that is often regarded as a bit rough. It has been many years since I attended the University, and the amount of change in the area is visible enough that I don't recognize a lot of the familiar stops along the way that I became used to when navigating the commute for four years. I learned a lot in those four years and a good portion of it was outside of the classroom and outside of my own comfort zone in a new, big city.

Detroit burlap handmade pillow - made by lina and vi plymouth mi

Although the Detroit pillow seems like just another variation of our popular burlap pillow, it carries a lot of meaning. Detroit represents a bit of grittiness, but that is what builds resilience and resourcefulness. It is now regarded as the comeback city, gaining attention and respect from other cities for its evolution and continued revival, and that is what I love the most about it. I respect hard work and the hustle, and I hope that I continue to see that bootstrap culture change the city for the better.

There is currently only one of our Detroit burlap pillows available in our Etsy shop but more on the way as interest grows. You can shop here or shop locally at Birch Wood boutique in downtown Plymouth, Michigan.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Coffee Hunters Burlap Foldover Clutch

Coffe Hunters burlap foldover clutch by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI

Fall is here, and I'm celebrating by using some beautiful new fabric in the warm red and brown tones if the season! I'm here to share a brand new bag that is now available in our Etsy shop, the Coffee Hunters foldover burlap clutch. 

This one was handmade using a new cut of repurposed coffee bean burlap sack and accented with a burnt orange cotton printed with gold polka dots. The outside features a chocolate brown top-stitching detail. Inside the bag, I opted to use a solid white cotton to keep it minimalistic since the exterior is the main focus of this, and many, of the Lina and Vi burlap bags.  I chose a heavy-duty bronze metal YKK zipper with a vanilla zipper tape, which coordinates well with the brown tones of the burlap.

Coffe Hunters burlap foldover clutch by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI

Coffe Hunters burlap foldover clutch by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI

I decided to change up my design process and sew a foldover clutch rather than wristlet style clutch this time around. This medium sized bag is lightweight, spacious, and incredibly easy to carry. What I love the most is the flexibility of how this bag can be used. It can be a clutch, but it can be used to carry or organize a variety of things. The design of the foldover top allows the bag to easy expand to fit taller items, like a tablet or notebook. With a hot iron, the foldover crease can easily be flattened down, and the bag could be transformed into a large zipper pouch.

Coffe Hunters burlap foldover clutch by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI

I really enjoyed sewing this burlap foldover clutch. Although the design is seemingly simple, the printed burlap and small gold polka dots give this bag a lot of personality!

You can shop this bag now in our Etsy store. I hope you are wrapping up another great September weekend and preparing for a good Monday morning! I'll be back with more updates later this week.

Enjoy,
Erica

Sunday, September 4, 2016

019 Burlap Yellow and White Tote

019 Burlap Tote Bag - handmade by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI - www.linaandvi.etsy.com

With most of the month of August focused on burlap pillowing making, I'm so happy to have wrapped up a brand new burlap tote bag this past weekend, the 019 tote. A lot of good things happened this weekend including finding extra time to sew up this lovely new design, celebrating my birthday, journeying to explore new areas of Detroit with friends, and sharing a delicious, homemade Italian meal with my family.  I'll spare you the details on them all, with the exception of the bag making. Let me show you around our newest burlap design and share how I made this everyday bag from a gigantic burlap sack.

019 Burlap Tote Bag - handmade by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI - www.linaandvi.etsy.com

I had wanted to add a new medium-sized tote bag to my burlap bag collection, and I found a great cut of burlap waiting to be used for just that. I chose a mustard yellow and ivory woven print fabric to form the bag's bottom and exterior slide pocket. This fabric is great for the exterior as its interior decorating/upholstery quality fabric making it super durable. The color scheme is chosen specifically for the cooler months, with the yellow and tan balancing each other out well. 

On the inside of the 019, I chose to include another slide pocket in a smaller dimension, specifically for keeping small items separated from the main compartment. The interior lining is a cream cotton canvas accented with a solid tan beige on the bag's interior bottom. It's a bit of color blocking on the inside to give it some dimension and interest while still using a coordinating warm color palette. You can find all of the specific dimensions of this burlap bag by visiting the listing in our Etsy shop.

019 Burlap Tote Bag - handmade by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI - www.linaandvi.etsy.com

019 Burlap Tote Bag - handmade by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI - www.linaandvi.etsy.com

019 Burlap Tote Bag - handmade by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI - www.linaandvi.etsy.com

019 Burlap Tote Bag - handmade by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI - www.linaandvi.etsy.com

I am thankful to have some extra time on this long weekend to sew. I hope you are enjoying your weekend wherever you are and spending some time, no matter how little, doing something that you love.

You can shop all of burlap tote bags now here in our Etsy shop.

Enjoy,
Erica





Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Lina and Vi Burlap Pillows in Alpena

Up North Michigan burlap handmade pillow - by Lina and Vi Plymouth Michigan

Over the past two weeks, I have been working on a new custom burlap pillow order for a gift shop in Alpena, Michigan. I am thrilled to be able to partner with another Michigan small business to sell my handmade burlap goods! This is my largest pillow order to date since starting Lina and Vi, and it was an exciting challenge to be able to sew a set of new custom designs for the shop. 

For a few days, I had a room full of pillows in my house, and it was quite the sight. I'm happy to report that they are all packaged and ready to ship up north, and that one of the new custom designs is now available for purchase in our Etsy shop.

Up North Michigan burlap pillow by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI

Just in time for the warmer months, our new burlap Up North Michigan pillow is a way to personalize your decor for the coming Fall season. Of course, mostly Michiganders will understand the lingo of  'up north'. Here in the southern part of the lower peninsula, it typically means that you are heading on vacation to an area in a northern part of the lower peninsula. Heading to the upper peninsula is also included in heading up north in Michigan, but more often than not, most of us journey the shorter drive north in the lower peninsula to get away and enjoy the beautiful Michigan landscape.

Up North Michigan burlap pillow by Lina and VI plymouth Michigan

The Up North Michigan design is available in black or brown text. These rectangular burlap pillows measure 10 inches by 23.5 inches long, and they are backed with a solid cream canvas cotton fabric. They add interest and pop to a couch or loveseat with a sweet reminder of our happy places. Are you a fellow Michigander and do you vacation up north? I'd love to hear what cities you visit!

You can find more pillows similar to the Up North Michigan pillow, including custom order pillows, in our shop here. Remember to follow Lina and Vi on Facebook for daily updates on our burlap tote bags, sewing, and pillow making!

Enjoy,
Erica


Friday, August 19, 2016

Early Fall Burlap Zipper Pouches



Repurposed burlap zipper pouch handmade in Plymouth by Lina and Vi

 As summer starts to wind down, I'm bringing out more fall fabrics and choosing warmer color schemes for the cooler temps ahead.  Like everyone else, it's hard to believe that the summer season is coming to a close very soon. Although not much will change for me with the changing of the season, I will miss the great weather we've had here in Michigan, the outdoor fairs and farmer's markets, and the longer days. 

I recently made a goal to get my Etsy shop up to at least thirty items, and I achieved that goal this week. I'm hoping to keep it at or above thirty items for the remainder of the year so that I have plenty of variety for my customers using new color schemes, prints, and designs. I am a huge proponent of establishing goals, whether in business or in life in general, and I'm making more of an effort this year to establish achievable goals to keep my small handmade business growing.


Repurposed burlap zipper pouch handmade in Plymouth by Lina and Vi

Repurposed burlap zipper pouch handmade in Plymouth by Lina and Vi

Earlier this week, I wrapped up three large burlap zipper pouches. I love making these because they are a useful size and are very practical for organization. Each burlap pouch features new color combinations geared for the fall and winter months. I've always been a huge fan of mustard yellow, and I'm happy to report that at least one of the bags features a flat bottom in mustard yellow and white woven upholstery fabric, which compliment the color of the burlap beautifully.

Repurposed burlap zipper pouch handmade in Plymouth Michigan by Lina and Vi

Repurposed burlap zipper pouch handmade in Plymouth Michigan by Lina and Vi

Repurposed burlap zipper pouch handmade in Plymouth Michigan by Lina and Vi

You can find these three handmade burlap pouches in my shop now under the Burlap Zipper Pouches section. They are all cut from repurposed coffee bean burlap sacks and matched with unique combinations of accent fabrics for the bottom and interiors. Everything is handmade in Plymouth, Michigan.

I hope you are enjoying the start to your weekend! I'll be back next week with a status report on one of my largest sewing endeavors to date!

Enjoy,
Erica