Lina and Vi

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

New! Geometric Burlap Fold-over Bag

This past few weeks have been filled with some sewing, some sun, lots of baby laughs, and some celebrations. I shared on the Lina and Vi Facebook page a few weeks ago that I have finished my first scrap quilt! More details coming on that process. I made one quilt in the past using old t-shirts, but this was my first more traditional quilt that included quilting batting as well as the actual quilting process.

Once that project was over, I decided to break into one of the latest fabrics I picked up from Pink Castle Fabrics in Ann Arbor to make a new burlap clutch bag! This handmade zipper bag features a fresh geometric design that is colorful, quirky, and lots of fun against the bold burlap. I'm loving how this bag turned out with the fold-over top, metal zipper, and detachable wrist strap.  These kinds of burlap wristlets are a lot of fun to make. I'm excited to have it available in the Lina and Vi Etsy shop ready to ship!

Speaking of Etsy, Lina and Vi is taking part of their 13th birthday sale by offering 10% all of the handmade burlap zipper pouches and zipper cases! This is a great way to get a couple of zipper pouches at a reduced price, especially one of the two or three zipper pouch bundle packs.  Stop over at the shop here to see the sale.

My family celebrated Memorial Day and Father's Day during the last few weeks. A happy first Father's Day to my husband who has taken becoming a new father in stride this past year. We love you! I think we have officially kicked off the start of summer here in Michigan. I think the warmer weather is here to stay, and I honestly cannot be happier! I've had Adeline in her little baby bathing suit outside to play with water, and she has the best time. This past winter was especially hard, and I am happy to see it go.

Speaking of celebrations, my husband and I headed to Chicago for a short weekend trip to celebrate a wedding. It was nice to get away. We only had a couple of hours to really explore, so rather than heading into downtown and spending more time and money than we wanted to finding a park, we walked around the Wicker Park / Ukrainian Village area. I loved the little shops, and we stopped over at Antique Taco for a great mid-afternoon meal. Good vibes all around.  We are so lucky that Chicago is so close.

I'm excited to start a new sewing project in the next few weeks, plus the summer craft fair season is coming up and I'll be making my rounds to some of the local fairs this year to see what everyone is making!

Have a good one and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Three Reasons to Repurpose

As a maker, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to find the right balance between design, time, and materials. Repurposing is something that Lina and Vi is rooted in, since all of the burlap is upcycled from coffee bean burlap sacks. It's no surprise that I'm always thinking about ways to use the materials and time I have to create something that is new, beautiful, and unique. So today I am sharing my top three reasons for repurposing. Even if you are not a crafter, sewer, maker, or whatever the trend is calling it right now, thinking about how we can repurpose what we have in hand can help us be more creative and find solutions in a new way.

1. Save Money

This is a big one for me as I am pretty passionate about waste... wasting time, wasting money, and wasting the things we already own. Repurposing helps me find a new use for something, even if it's not always an exact fit. Sometimes we can be flexible and apply a tool or item in a new way and have the same outcome. I have a fond memory when I first went to live out on my own of attempting to make cookies and realizing I needed a rolling pin. I pulled out a tall drinking glass, turned it sideways, and improvised. Problem solved, money saved, and one less item in the kitchen with rare use. Sometimes it is not an exact fit but we can see past the limitations and focus on our main priority for what we need.

2. Stretch Creativity

Repurposing an object or finding a way to build on top of it to create something else helps me become more creative. By having to think about something in a new way, I have to come up with multiple ideas and see that thing in a different perspective beyond just what it is today. There is a reason that giving a team a set number of objects to build something new using only those materials is a common team building problem solving activity. When we repurpose something, even if it is just switching up decor in a room and moving it around in a new way, we force ourselves to stretch our creativity muscles. We build those muscles so they become stronger over time.

3. Build the Only One

There is a desire to have something unique to only us, and repurposing allows us to make something that truly is one of a kind. When I repurpose burlap into new zipper pouches or paint on the burlap to make a decorative burlap pillow, I am creating something that not only is handmade but is also difficult, if not impossible, to reproduce entirely. The challenge here is that we have to accept the flaws that come with a one of a kind repurposed item. Upcycling something means that you aren't starting from scratch but you are building upon what is already there and making it into some new form. That form didn't exist until you repurposed it, so there is definitely gratification in knowing that we came up with a new design that really is the single only one there is.

Those are my top three reasons for repurposing burlap. I hope you find some parallels in your life with how you choose to reuse, recycle, and repurpose things to help make your day more creative while saving some money and taking pride in a totally unique design.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Three New Burlap Zipper Cases!

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

Hi friends! I hope you had a great couple of weeks! May is half-way through, and we have been busy over here. We celebrated Mother's day this past Sunday, and it was a nice day with family. I hope you were able to enjoy your day whether you are a mom or not.

This past week I finished sewing three new burlap zipper cases. They feature a pretty neutral color palette overall, with a few pops of color here and there. The burlap coffee sack designs are big and bold on these zipper bags so I wanted to balance it out with basics. One of the burlap zipper cases features a dark denim bottom. This is the first design I've made with denim, and the burlap against the denim is something that I am really loving.

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

You can find these three burlap zipper bags in the Lina and Vi Etsy shop here.

Aside from these three bags, I have been busy shipping out orders these past few weeks. The last burlap bag has sold to a local customer, and I hope they love it as much as I do! As I mentioned back in November, I won't be creating new burlap purses for the time being and just focusing on zipper pouches and burlap pillows. I'm not sure what the next few months will bring but with summer ahead, I know that I will be spending more time with our little family outside and sewing when I can.

I hope you are having a great week!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

New Burlap Zipper Pouches!

Burlap zipper pouches - handmade by linaandvi

I don't know where April has gone, but here we are on the 24th, and it is already Tuesday. This week is flying by, and I'm here to share a few updates with you on what has been going on around in my world and in the shop.

This past weekend I created five new burlap 4" x 6" zipper pouches using a mix of patterned and solid interior fabric. They are fun, colorful, and ready to ship! There are singles, sets of two, and sets of three available now. You can find these in our Burlap Zipper Pouch sections of the Lina and Vi Etsy shop. Great gift idea for a mom in your life who needs a little something for Mother's Day!

Speaking of Mother's Day, this one will be my official first. To be honest, May is a very busy month for our family. It is probably the craziest of all of the months, even December. We have multiple birthdays, Mother's Day, communion parties, holidays, doctor's appointments, conferences, and usually someone is traveling for work. It's pretty intense, so I'm not thinking that we will be doing much for Mother's Day but maybe I will get in a little sewing time!

Last week, I wrapped up a custom order for a local customer in AA looking for a small version of our flat bottom zipper cases. I shortened and slimmed the width of the large zipper cases to create something personal that this customer needed. I really liked this size, so I'm considering starting to offer a smaller, flat bottom burlap zipper case in the shop. What do you think? I think there is always a use for zipper cases, big and small. They keep things organized and neat so everything is in one place and easy to find.

I have been reading the book Daring Greatly for a little over a week now, and I'm pretty mesmerized by the research and discussion. The book examines vulnerability, and the premise is that if we learned to be more vulnerable, we would become more fulfilled, creative, authentic, and whole. I really enjoyed the discussion around gender differences with vulnerability, and right now I am in the middle of the section on the most common ways we react to avoid vulnerability. I enjoy self help type books. I always enjoyed school - I guess I learn the best in a traditional classroom setting and in independent study. So if I can read and feel like I'm learning something new that I can apply in life, it catches my attention.

That's all I have for tonight - thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Checking In: April

We are now into April, and I wanted to drop by to share a bit about what I am working on right now in my sewing room. This past week I focused on creating two new burlap pillows for our friends over at Birch Wood Boutique in downtown Plymouth, Michigan. I have known the owner, Jessica, for several years now starting when she was in her original location. By chance, she noticed my purse while I was shopping in her store, and we have been working with each other ever since. The boutique's new location on Forest is in a popular row of stores that are an easy afternoon stroll.  She has a variety of home goods and clothing, and what I love most is that she makes an effort to offer USA made clothing! You will find several of our handmade pillows in her shop ready for purchase!

I also worked on a new custom pillow order this weekend, but not for one the Lina and Vi shop. I spent some time sewing up two small burlap ring bearer pillows that I shared on our Facebook page today for a friend's upcoming wedding. I am honored that she asked me to make something for her wedding day. This is not my first go at a ring bearer's pillow, and they are so much fun to create because they are really more about the design than the practicality. I mean, who actually has the ring bearer carry their wedding rings down the aisle? Did you? Although our little nephews were cute in their mini-suits, they were not about to carry our rings. So, ring bearer pillows tend to be all about matching the theme and color palette of the wedding rather than making them totally functional for a little one to carry a very fragile, and very expensive, item.

Our Easter weekend was a good one. Our daughter loved opening up her little basket of goodies even if she didn't quite understand why she was doing so. I'm hoping for some warmer weather this upcoming week for southeast Michigan. I'm ready for the spring and summer, taking our stroller out and visiting the local outdoor craft fairs. I can't wait!

I hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Pure Simple Burlap Zipper Pouch

Pure Simple Burlap Zipper Pouch - handmade in Plymouth MI - upcycled -

I'm not sure what is about the word 'simple' this week, but it is finding its way into my vocabulary a lot lately. Maybe because it is something that I continue to focus on striving for in my life. I tend to be quick to adding just one more thing to my list each day, and then I end up overwhelmed and disappointed because I didn't get everything I wanted to get done, done. I am sure there are a lot of you out there that can relate. It is a work in progress, so I am happy that I am subconsciously focused on bringing simplicity into my own design process these days.

So I introduce to you the latest Lina and Vi burlap pouch, the Pure Simple burlap pouch. This zipper pouch is slightly larger, measuring 9.5" by 12", and is completely flat. I chose a fun white and brown woven fabric for the interior lining. Since the fabric is an upholstery type fabric, it is a little bulkier than a normal cotton lining, so to balance it out, I chose not to line the burlap with a heavy weight stabilizer this time. The Pure Simple pouch gets the name from exactly these design choices - no heavy interfacing, just a flexible pouch with a thick lining sized to fit a tablet, accessories, and more.

Pure Simple Burlap Zipper Pouch - handmade in Plymouth MI - upcycled -

Pure Simple Burlap Zipper Pouch - handmade in Plymouth MI - upcycled -

You can find this fun upcycled burlap zipper pouch in our Etsy shop now on sale!

I hope you are having a great week!