Lina and Vi: 2018

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

New in the shop: Coffee Sack Burlap Zipper Case with Denim Detail

October has been busy. I know that I say that about pretty much every month, but this one is only half over and I'm wondering already where the time is going! Our little lady Adeline is turning 14 months old this month, and she is on the run, literally. She went from learning to crawl, to cautiously walking, to now running in a matter of three months. Her development day to day is incredible right now. She is keeping us busy as she prefers to walk everywhere herself now, and she loves to climb... everything she can! Just ask her what a doggie says, and she will respond in a low whisper - woof, woof. Even when she is behaving less than ideal, it makes me smile to hear this even in the most stressful moments.

Earlier in the month, my husband and I took a short trip for our anniversary. We visited Cape Cod with a short day trip to Martha's Vineyard, and it was childless and pretty relaxing. I like to vacation, but I am not a long vacationer. I like my routine so I enjoy being out of it for a few days but then I am eager to get back into "production" mode. It is the achiever in me, I can't help it. Overall, the trip was a success and we both would recommend taking a visit to the east coast if you can to eat seafood, enjoy the landscape, and just relax a bit.

Since we got back, I have been working late into the evenings to sew up three new large burlap zipper cases for the Lina and Vi Etsy shop. Today I am showcasing this beautiful denim and burlap zipper case that features a red and green graphic burlap industrial print paired with my all time favorite lining - a floral Rifle Paper Company print silky rayon in a cool color scheme. I opted for the neutral-colored gray faux suede bottom for the bag's exterior. Super functional but yet incredibly unique. These bags are very versatile, so they are great gifts alone or stuffed with a bunch of small items.

You can find this handmade bag ready to ship here.

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, October 15, 2018

October Pop Up Shop: Lina and Vi + Beautycounter

I'm back today to share a fun update with my local readers about a holiday pop-up shop coming up on Sunday October 28th in Novi. I'll be partnering with a friend and local Beautycounter representative to showcase our items for anyone interested in getting an early start on their holiday shopping lists this season. This pop-up event will be at private residence so if you are interested in going, please send us a message on our Facebook page to get the full details! The event will run from 11am - 1pm.

I'm super excited to be participating in the first pop-up of the season. I will be sharing more updates on new items in the Lina and Vi shop later this week. With the holiday shopping season coming up, I have been spending a lot of time sewing up new bundles of burlap zipper pouches so they are gift-ready for the special person in your life who loves receiving handmade items.

Can't make this holiday pop up shop? We will have one more coming for our local customers in late November so stay tuned for details on that soon. And if you are not local but want to still show your support, you can shop Beautycounter online here and in the Lina and Vi Etsy shop here anytime!

Hope you are having a great start to your week!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Two New Upcycled Coffee Burlap Zipper Pouch Bundles

Upcycled Coffee Sack Burlap Zipper Pouches - handmade by Lina and Vi

I have been full steam ahead preparing new burlap zipper pouch bundles for the upcoming holiday season. I'm super excited for the new items I'll have available in the coming weeks, but more importantly, I am incredibly thankful for being able to spend time sewing. I recently finished two new burlap flat zipper pouch sets, and I am here to share more of the details behind these new designs. Let's jump in!

The first burlap zipper pouch set features a 4" x 6" flat zipper pouch with a solid teal lining and a larger 9" x 10" zipper pouch with a black and white arrow print lining. Both zipper pouches feature bold, black industrial-like text on the burlap panels, a nod to the origins of the original jute coffee sack. A heavy duty metal zipper secures the larger flat pouch, and both pouches have a brown faux suede zipper pull for style and functionality. This set is a great way to get two matching pouches in two different sizes to help you organize items big and small.

The second burlap zipper pouch bundle also features one of our popular 4" x 6" flat zipper pouches paired with a larger 8" x 11" flat zipper pouch. These two compliment each other quite well. The small pouch is lined with a brown leopard print fabric whereas the larger is lined with a solid cream canvas. You will see a theme of calm and color among these zipper pouch bundles, with the burlap tying the two together again.

Upcycled Coffee Sack Burlap Zipper Pouches - handmade by Lina and Vi

Upcycled Coffee Sack Burlap Zipper Pouches - handmade by Lina and Vi

Upcycled Coffee Sack Burlap Zipper Pouches - handmade by Lina and Vi

Upcycled Coffee Sack Burlap Zipper Pouches - handmade by Lina and Vi

Upcycled Coffee Sack Burlap Zipper Pouches - handmade by Lina and Vi

These two burlap zipper pouch bundles are completely handmade by me in Plymouth, Michigan and are available for purchase now in the Lina and Vi Etsy shop. Stay tuned for more updates on what I am sewing in my studio these next few weeks by liking the Lina and Vi Facebook page - only two more 'Likes' until we hit two hundred!

As always, thank you for reading this and supporting my small handmade business.


Friday, October 5, 2018

DIY Wooden Dollhouse Bookshelf

DIY Wood Girls Dollhouse Bookshelf

It's been a while since I shared some of the projects from around my house, and I am finally getting around to posting about this fun DIY dollhouse bookshelf in my daughter's room. I saw a similar dollhouse shelf on another blog, but it was manufactured by a big box retailer and for a pretty high price. With my husband's woodworking skills and tools, he took my vision and made it into reality. I am thrilled with how it turned out so let me walk through some of the details of it with you.

I opted for a more traditional dollhouse frame, with three levels for books. The bottom of the dollhouse is trimmed with moulding. The sides each have two windows in fun shapes with shoe moulding trim. My husband is very detailed oriented (like me), and he loves to add embellishments with his woodworking projects, especially if it gives him the opportunity to try a new technique or skill. So, he opted to add the scalloped awning on the room that you see trim the top roofline. Once that was done, he painted it white and anchored it to the wall so it would be safe for a child who may pull on it.

                      DIY Wood Girls Dollhouse Bookshelf

                DIY Wood Girls Dollhouse Bookshelf

I really love this dollhouse bookshelf for a couple of reasons. It's pretty versatile - it is functional as a bookshelf like you see here, but when my daughter is old enough, we can take the books off and use it for play. I like that it is not just an ordinary bookshelf. It is whimsical and fits perfectly in a child's room to evoke imagination and playfulness. Lastly, it is special because my husband made it with his hands for our daughter. I hope she will appreciate that as she gets older, and it can remind her to be creative in her daily life.

If you are interested in seeing a full tour of my daughter's nursery, you can check it out here. As with all of the projects I share on the blog, sewing or not, I hope this inspires you to think outside the box and take a leap to create something with your own hands and skills.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

DIY Mama Silhouette Cameo T-Shirt: J.Crew Inspiration

DIY Silhouette Cameo Mama T-Shirt by Lina and VI

I had been eyeing this fun J.Crew "Mama" t-shirt after seeing another mom blogger wearing it a few months ago. I didn't know where to buy it until a few weeks ago when I saw it linked up to J.Crew, and when I clicked through to purchase it, they didn't have my size left. I thought it would fun to try to recreate this "Mama" J.Crew prinkshop t-shirt on my own using my Silhouette Cameo.

I used the extra glitter heat transfer vinyl I had on hand for the letters. I used a basic font in the Silhouette Studio software that I thought most closely matched the font used on the J.Crew version of the shirt. Once I had the text cut out, I purchased a plain, scoop neck t-shirt from my local Target and went to ironing the vinyl onto the front of the shirt.


I love how this "knock-off" turned out. It's a great color for the fall season, and it was a fraction of the cost. I'm continually amazed at how easy it is to create something that is personalized to my liking using the Cameo. It is a fun machine to have, and I keep finding new ways to use it.

I hope this inspires you to make something for yourself, a friend, or family member!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 14, 2018

New Burlap Zipper Pouches + September Updates

Burlap Zipper Pouch Bundle Set by Lina and Vi - upcycled - handmade - repurposed - made in michigan -

I have been busy behind the scenes working away at several new sets of burlap zipper pouches for the Lina and Vi Etsy shop! I'm very excited to offer a new bundle set featuring one larger zipper pouch measuring 8" x  9" paired with a small 4" x 6" pouch. You will start seeing more bundles in our shop as we gear up for the holiday season ahead. Our small burlap pouch sets have been very popular, so I'm getting excited to offer more variations in sizes so that you can find matching sets for you or as a gift at a discounted price than buying them as singles. It's also a lot of fun for me to mix and match the designs!

Burlap Zipper Pouch Bundle Set by Lina and Vi - upcycled - handmade - repurposed - made in michigan -

Burlap Zipper Pouch Bundle Set by Lina and Vi - upcycled - handmade - repurposed - made in michigan -

This month, like many, seems to be flying by for me. What originally started as a pretty light month in terms of commitments and plans, it has filled up with lots of fun things for us! The season is changing here in Michigan, and I'm hoping to be able to spend as much time outside as possible before the cold sets in. I am not looking forward to those days, but the silver lining is that I'm hoping that I'll be spending my time inside in front of my sewing machine more. Looking ahead, I'll be taking a small weekend trip in October to celebrate my anniversary, plus we have birthdays and our first holiday of a stream of holidays coming up. It will be busy, but I am trying to focus on the good parts of being busy which is celebrating happy moments.

I recently discovered chatter around the book Girl, Wash Your Face. While I haven't read it yet as I'm waiting for it to become available at the local library, I have listened to a number of podcasts that Rachel Hollis shares on my way into work. I really like her conversation style, and many of her topics hit home for me. I have definitely become more into self-help topics in the last few years, and her podcast, as well as her book, speak to this area, especially for women and moms too.  Since I don't have formal schooling any longer, I like to pick up a self-help book every now and then to learn how to improve. We can all be better people, and if it means leading a more positive and happy life, I am game. Have you read the book? What do you think? Leave me a comment! You can find her Let's Rise podcast here.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Favorite Five Michigan-based Etsy Shops

Favorite Five Michigan Etsy Shops by Lina and Vi -

It's been over four years since I opened the Lina and Vi shop on Etsy, but I have been shopping as a customer on the site several years before that. Etsy is a great place to find a variety of handmade items and unique gifts, and it is amazing to see how many talents people have around the world.

Keeping with the gratitude theme this month, I am sharing five Michigan-based Etsy shop that I really admire with you today. Most of these shops are run solely by women, and not only are their products beautiful, but their photos, graphics, and branding are top notch. It takes more than just great products to sell online, and these Michigan makers have definitely raised the bar.

1. Worthwhile Paper - Based out of Ypsilanti, this shop features beautiful screen printed posters, notecards, journals, cards, and more. The designs are fresh, modern, and quirky. They also sell at local craft fairs like DIYpsi.

2. Little Flower Soap Co - This bath and body shop features handmade body care items based out of Chelsea. Their gift boxes are incredible, even themed based on the event. Their shop has beautiful photos that make you want to smell and touch their items immediately. I really admire how they have branded their shop with such a gorgeous, cohesive design.

3. Thursday Afternoon Co - I came across this shop earlier this year when searching for handmade headbands for my daughter, and I was super excited when I saw the fun, eclectic designs made by this fellow Michigan mom. Based out of Clare, this shop features handmade bows, headbands, burp clothes, and other baby staples. I love the color palette she chooses for her items as well as her beautiful shop logo.

4. Burst Into Bloom Shop - This handmade waxed canvas bag shop is incredible. Although I could consider this shop a competitor in a way, I can not exclude it from my top five favorite list. Based out of Grand Ledge, I saw this shop at the DIYpsi fair a year or so ago. They hand-make backpacks, wallets, and zipper pouches with fun, printed waxed canvas fabric.

5.  Bugaboo Blocks - This sweet baby block shop is based out of Novi and is run by a friend of mine. Her handmade blocks can be personalized, which make great gifts for new babies and baby showers. My daughter has two sets of her handmade blocks that were designed to match the color scheme of her nursery.

I'm sure there are many more Michigan-based Etsy shops that I could have included on this list, many of which I haven't yet discovered. I hope this list gives you a few new ideas for any upcoming gifts you may need to purchase or even a gift for yourself! Helping to support the handmade community is something that I have grown to love over the last couple of years, and I hope you will support them too.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, September 6, 2018

September Giveaway!

Burlap Thankful Fall Door Hanger

September is my birthday month, so I'm celebrating with a giveaway on the Lina and Vi Facebook page! I hand made this fun, burlap Thankful door hanger pillow that is perfect for the upcoming Fall season.
I am thankful to everyone who has supported me this past year, and those who continue to support the handmade community as a whole. This past year has been a big one for me personally, and while it was not always easy, I am proud of how I have grown. Sewing and making things will always be my passion, and I am incredibly grateful to those who have stuck with me during this transitional year.
The Facebook giveaway closes on Saturday 11:59pm ET. It is open to continental US only. Go enter for your chance to win new Fall decor for your home!

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, August 30, 2018

DIY Burlap Wedding Center Pieces

Hello again! During the past month, I have been sewing a bunch of burlap table centerpieces for a dear friend who will be getting married this coming weekend. I wish I had some photos to share, but I don't. However, this project was pretty simple and only required a couple of steps that I can talk you through today.

My friend's wedding is in late summer / early fall time of year. So, to match the changing season, she opted to go with fall textures. Her wedding reception will be held in a room that has a lot of wood detail, so a rustic theme for her wedding decor will blend well with the ambiance that comes with the room itself. She asked me to sew a number of burlap placemats to set under her table centerpieces, which will be square wooden boxes filled with greenery and flowers.

These burlap table placemats were simple to make. Here's how you can make something similar:

1-2 yards of burlap
sewing machine with needle
thread (your color choice)
flat ribbon (optional)
measuring tape

1. The first thing I did was cut the burlap into 16" squares and circles. I did a variety of shapes for my friend upon her request. Obviously cutting burlap into circles is more challenging, and it requires that you will need to serge or zigzag the edge of the fabric to keep it from fraying. I also recommend printing out a circle on the computer first and making a pattern that you can trace onto your burlap or with your scissors to make cutting a circle easier.

2. Next, I ironed the burlap if it wasn't completely flat. I always iron my burlap using a high setting with steam, otherwise it does not stay for me. Burlap is wiry and has very large threads that need high heat to maintain shape.

3. After the burlap is cut and ironed, it is now time to sew. For the first pass, I sewed the raw edge of every square and circle using a wide zigzag stitch. All of the edges of these burlap placemats were kept raw. If you choose to hem the raw edge, you can do that as well, but I recommend ironing your hem and pinning before sewing the hem.

4. Once the raw edge is lightly finished with a zigzag stitch (or a serger if you have one), then you can cut your ribbon to a 16.5" - 17" length using your scissors. I used a lace ribbon that measured 1.5" in width. If you can find ribbon without elastic, I would recommend that over elastic ribbon. I used elastic ribbon for some burlap placemats, and it was more challenging to keep the ribbon straight on the burlap when sewing.

5.Once you have cut your ribbon, pin it onto your burlap placement. For both the squares and circle burlap placemats, I placed the ribbon in the center from one raw edge to the opposite. You can do a diagonal or off-center based on the look you are going for with your design. Tuck under .25" to .5" inches on each end to the backside of the burlap placemat. That will give you a finished look for the ribbon. Sew the perimeter of the ribbon onto the burlap, or if you are using a thin ribbon, sew one straight stitch down the center of the ribbon.

That's it! If you know your burlap placemats will be heavily used and often getting wet or dirty, such as under plates on a dinner table each day, you can always Scotch Guard the burlap first to make it more water repellent.

This was a fun project to make! With fall ahead of us, I hope this inspires you to find new DIY projects to help bring the warmth of this season into your home, burlap or not.


Sunday, August 12, 2018

DIY Glitter Onesie and Zipper Pouch

First Birthday Onesie Unicorn Silhouette Cameo by Lina and Vi

I can't believe that a month has gone by since I last gave an update here on the blog. July was... a month. I spent the second half of the month traveling, so things were a little bit quiet around here for a reason. I took a short trip to France for my job, and then our little family headed up to my in-laws cottage in northern Michigan. I'm glad to be back home, even though it was great to be able to step out of the daily routine for a couple of weeks. August is nearly half over, and with several birthdays coming up, I have a couple of short DIYs today to show you what I have been working on!

My daughter's first birthday is in a week. Time does really fly - especially with children, it seems. We are having family over to our home to celebrate, and I've been spending my nights preparing the decorations using my Silhouette Cameo as much as possible. One project that I loved making was her first birthday "One" glitter onesie with a unicorn on it. This was my first time using glitter heat transfer vinyl, and it turned out amazing. I used a cursive font to cut the 'One' text, and I purchased a unicorn image from the Silhouette Store, which I  printed onto t-shirt transfer paper. I then ironed them both on a plain white onesie. It was a fairly simple project but it looks like it took more time than it did! Her party is a mix of cupcakes and unicorns, so I will be reusing that unicorn image on her banner and other party decor items.

Keeping with the birthday theme, one of my nieces will be turning six in a few weeks. She is at an age where she is starting to be interested in "girly" things like Lip Smackers, nail polish, and accessories. I used some extra ivory cotton canvas to sew a small zipper pouch and paired it with a blue floral rayon fabric for the interior lining. I had this rayon print fabric in my stash for a few months, almost hoarding it because I don't have much and I really wanted to use it on something special. To finish the zipper pouch, I again used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out her name and three hearts in gold glitter heat transfer vinyl. I think she will love it, especially because it is stuffed with a couple of goodies!

Glitter Personalized Zipper Pouch DIY Silhouette Cameo

Glitter Personalized Zipper Pouch DIY Silhouette Cameo

DIY Glitter Zipper Pouch with Hearts by LinaandVi

A bit of sewing and a lot of my Silhouette Cameo has been the theme in August. I'm running a sale in our Etsy shop this month - all zipper pouches and burlap bags are 10% now through August 27th! I know many of you are heading back to school or have kids heading back to school soon, so this is a small way to celebrate the close of a great summer. Shop now here!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

DIY Fourth of July Rustic Mantel Sign

Fourth of July DIY Mantel Rustic Sign with Silhouette Cameo by Lina and VI

After a busy week with the Fourth of July holiday, I'm back to share what I have been up to these past few weeks along with photos of my latest DIY project! The heat is on here in Michigan, and this week we celebrated the Fourth with temps in the nineties and plenty of sun. I don't have any decorations for this holiday, and since we hosted a BBQ this year for family, I spent some time figuring out what I could make with the materials I had around the house with the help of my Silhouette Cameo.

I created this rustic style "Let Freedom Ring" sign using a piece of remnant wood my husband had in his workshop, some extra contact paper, and basic paint. The sign is about two feet long and a couple of inches tall and thick, making it a quick project for an hour one afternoon. I decided on a traditional font and cut out the phrase onto contact paper which I then stuck to the block of wood, after putting a base layer of red paint.  My husband spray-painted the enter wood block white using extra spray paint we had on hand. After it dried, I peeled off the stencil, leaving the red letters on a white background. I finished it by painting very light and imperfect strokes of blue paint, finishing off the American color scheme.

Fourth of July DIY Mantel Rustic Sign with Silhouette Cameo by Lina and VI

I like how it turned out, and it is small enough that I can find somewhere to store it for the remaining 11 months of the year. If you follow Lina and Vi on Facebook, you may know that this wasn't the only DIY I attempted this past week for the holiday.  I made my daughter a Fourth of July themed onesie using printable iron-on paper and a free Silhouette Studio image I found on a blog. It was super simple to make, and she was looking cute on Wednesday! Stop by the Facebook page to see pictures of how it turned out, and what you can make with some imagination!

I love projects that use materials that I have on hand, but I am finding now more than ever that I need projects that will be relatively quick. With a baby ready to be on the move, my time and attention is focused on her most of the day. You may see me share more DIY projects that are doable in 1-2 hours, which are perfect for a typical afternoon nap for a toddler.

I still love creating things, and while I may not be at my sewing machine as much as I used to be, I find myself still managing small projects that allow me to still be creative, just in different ways.

I hope that this DIY inspires you to create something this next week. Enjoy!

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!


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Make It: DIY Easter Wooden Sign with Silhouette Cameo

Easter DIY Wooden Sign using Silhouette Cameo -

Today I'm sharing a quick DIY I worked on last weekend using my Silhouette Cameo and some extra paints and wood. With Easter right around the corner, I knew I wanted to spend some time making a new decoration for the holiday that I could put on display this year and future years. You can easily copy this DIY or use it as an inspiration for creating home made decorations for your house.

- Wood cut to your specific dimensions
- All purpose paint
- Paint brush and paint dish or paper plate
- Silhouette Cameo vinyl stencil


1. The first thing you want to do is make sure the wood is smooth. Use sandpaper if you have it to sand down any rough spots you don't want showing on your sign. Then, paint the background of your wooden board.

Easter DIY Wooden Sign using Silhouette Cameo -

2. Use your Silhouette Cameo to create a custom stencil using vinyl. Weed your design and set it using transfer paper. If you don't have a Cameo, you can check Etsy to buy a vinyl stencil that you could use. Alternatively, you can always free hand a design or cut a stencil from paper.

Easter DIY Wooden Sign using Silhouette Cameo -

3. Place your stencil centered on the wood once the background paint has dried. Once it's secure, use your paint and brush to paint over the stencil. Use different colors as I did to give your sign some contrast or choose to stick to one overall color palette.

Easter DIY Wooden Sign using Silhouette Cameo -

Easter DIY Wooden Sign using Silhouette Cameo -

4. Once the paint is dry, remove the stencil. You can spray or paint a clear sealer over the wood but that is optional. You can also use the sandpaper to distress the paint a bit if you are into more of a rustic design.

That's it. This project took me a total of 45 minutes, including designing the stencil using the Silhouette Studio program. Since I had all of the materials on hand and the help of my husband to cut the wood, this project didn't cost me anything.

I hope that you find some inspiration with this DIY. With spring on its way in, you can use this idea to make a spring or summer themed sign to be able to keep it up on display past the holiday.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, February 22, 2018

New! Black Dot Large Burlap Zipper Case

Black Dot Burlap Zipper Bag handmade in Plymouth, MI - Lina and VI

One of the reasons I chose to work with upcycled materials is that using burlap coffee sacks gives me the option to make something completely unique. Although there are a lot of independent fabric designers, it can be difficult to find a fabric, print or woven, that is truly one of a kind. Repurposing burlap means that I get to use select cuts of burlap sacks and that burlap has flaws that are completely authentic to that burlap sack alone. Even the same burlap sack print can be used, but the sack has characteristics that are completely unique to the path it took to find its way onto my sewing machine.

With that, I'm here today to share my latest design featuring an incredible bold, graphic print. I'm calling this large burlap zipper case the Black Dot zipper pouch. It features black text and graphics on the burlap, a brown, soft faux suede bottom, and as the name indicates, a black and white polka dot interior lining.

Black Dot Burlap Zipper Bag handmade in Plymouth, MI - Lina and VI
Black Dot Burlap Zipper Bag handmade in Plymouth, MI - Lina and VI

This is my first design for 2018, and it is one that I am extremely proud of because the burlap is just so cool. I almost want to keep it for myself, but I already have a cosmetic bag that I use (and made myself). But this burlap bag can have many uses, not just cosmetic. You can check out the dimensions here and get creative in how you can use it to organize your goods.

If you missed my last post, we have a giveaway going for a small Lina and Vi handmade burlap zipper pouch! The entries are super simple - just visit the Lina and Vi Etsy shop and Facebook page and you will get an entry into the giveaway for each viewing. The burlap pouch was completely handmade by me in Plymouth, Michigan. It ends on Sunday, so make sure to enter before then. It will probably take less than a minute!

You can shop the Black Dot burlap zipper pouch in our Etsy shop here. It is available and ready to ship!

I hope you have a good weekend!