Lina and Vi

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Etsy Shop Closed

Hello friends! I'm stopping in today to announce that I have closed up the Lina and Vi Etsy shop. After 200+ Etsy orders, plus countless more at craft fairs, wholesale, and local shops, the time has come for me to stop selling burlap bags and pillows. I will continue to make, sew, and craft, but it will be for personal reasons. Selling my own handmade items has taught me a number of skills, so I am walking away ready to start whatever is next with over four years of first hand shop-owning experience.

The first month of the new year has been a positive one for me. I hope you have thought up some goals for yourself this year. So far, I have seen progress in the areas that I am trying to focus on in 2019, and while some weeks are better than others, I am proud to see small changes in the right direction. I am in the middle of a new book that I would highly recommend if you are interested in personal development. The book is called High Performance Habits, and it focuses on how to develop six key habits for helping to become a high performing, and usually much more happy and focused, person. Check it out if you are looking for a new read!

With that, I'm going to wrap up with a mention that I do have one small Great Lakes square burlap pillow still available. If you are local in the metro Detroit area, send me a message here or on the Lina and Vi Facebook page if you are interested in purchasing this pillow at a reduced price. It is the final Lina and Vi burlap pillow available!

Have a great rest of your week!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year!

I know I am a day early, but I want to stop in to say Happy New Year! I appreciate everyone who continues to support my small handmade Etsy shop, as well as this blog. If you read my last post, I have made the decision to close my Etsy shop and am no longer offering new burlap bags or pillows. While it was a hard decision to make, I know it is the right one for now.

So where does that leave us? I'll continue to update this blog with new projects or books I have been reading from time to time. I have all remaining burlap bags and pillows at reduced prices in the Lina and Vi Etsy shop. You can shop now, and the item will ship within 1-3 days. Large cosmetic/flat bottom bags are now $10, pouch bundles are $10, and the Geometric Clutch is $14. I put a lot of time and effort to design and create these burlap bags, and now I am waiting for them to find the right home. If you are local in the metro Detroit area, you can use the code LOCAL during checkout to skip shipping and schedule a pickup. It's a great time to grab some new bags to help you organize your cosmetics, toiletries, or other small items with feeling of revival that comes with the new year! The Lina and Vi Etsy shop will remain open until all items are sold.

Things were quiet around here in December as I spent most of the month working, hosting and attending parties, and sewing gifts for family and friends. Like it is for so many of us, the month went by quickly with all of the events and errands to do. We had a great, low key Christmas here in our household, and now we are gearing up for a fresh start with 2019.

I enjoy making goals and plans, so I have been working on what I want to focus my time on in the new year. For me, my goals are all around improving my health and becoming a better person overall. I know that is pretty generic, but I have a few concrete things I am planning to help me focus on improving. To kickoff the new year, I'll be attending the Made for More encore presentation tomorrow evening to receive some words of encouragement from Rachel Hollis. I'm super excited to start the new year off in a positive mindset.

I hope you have a great new year's eve and day!

Thanks for stopping by,


Saturday, December 1, 2018

Etsy Shop Closing

Hello again! I come bearing some news today, which you can tell from the title of this post. I have decided to close the Lina and Vi Etsy shop at the end of this month. While it is a bittersweet decision in many ways, it is the right decision for me at this time in my life. The last 4.5 years of running a small online business has taught me so much, and there is still so much that I need to learn. For now, though, it is time for me to take a pause.

This has been a transformative year for me personally as you probably already know with the birth of my daughter in 2017. Having a child puts a lot into perspective, and one thing that I have realized is that my time is at a premium now. The additional workload of running Lina and Vi wasn't producing the same amount of satisfaction as it was in the past years. The 2018 year for my business has been the slowest yet, and I can tell that my own motivation to keep it going has diminished. I no longer have the commitment level and free time I once did to experiment with new products, take photos, and continue to build an online community to help drive my online sales. It was hard to recognize, but I finally realized that the joy I once had in creating for the shop was hidden far beneath the frustrations I would have with myself for not giving this handmade business the time it needed this year to continue to be successful. It was a lose-lose for me, as I was holding myself to an expectation I could never achieve right now with everything that is on my plate. Running your own business, including dreaming up your own products, requires a lot of hustling which most of us don't realize until we do it.  For now, I want to step out of online sales, and focus on other interests, like reading, exercising, etc to help me grow in new areas.

I plan to continue to sew. Creating and crafting bring me so much happiness. I am a person who thrives on producing something, and if it is tangible in my hands, even better. Lina and Vi fulfilled that need for so long. I believe that we choose, or we are put into situations where we are presented with, certain paths that we need at that specific time of our life. Kind of that "everything happens for a reason" viewpoint. I started Lina and Vi in 2013 when my personal life was in transition as well, and I believe I focused on growing this initiative because that is what I needed at the time and having this small business was truly a source of pride and positivity for me during those years, some of which were particularly tough.

So I am going to leave this post saying that this won't be the end. I am sure I will start something new, but I'm not sure if it will burlap, bags, or sewing. I'm not sure yet when that will be, but I am keeping the door open. In the meantime, I will share posts here of things I have been creating to share with the general crafting and DIY community.

The Lina and Vi Etsy shop will be open until the end of December. I am hoping to sell everything still remaining in the shop before then and if not, it will be available at the Birchwood Boutique in Plymouth until sold. Thank you for continuing to support this small business and me. I hope that you continue to shop on Etsy and support the handmade community!


Monday, November 26, 2018

DIY Toddler Kitchen Apron

DIY Toddler Kitchen Apron by Lina and Vi

Hello friends! I hope you had a good Thanksgiving holiday for those of you in the U.S. We spent our day with family and the rest of the weekend mostly at home playing with our little one as she continues to get more and more independent. I also did a good portion of my Christmas shopping, and I'm excited to be sewing a number of gifts this year for family and friends. Today I am sharing my recent DIY - a handmade toddler kitchen apron.

My husband is using his carpentry talent to make our daughter a small, wooden kitchenette for playtime so I decided to sew her a small toddler apron so that she can use it to pretend play (eventually when she is older) or in our actual kitchen when she is ready to start helping us cook and bake.  I found this pin on Pinterest with a link to a blog for a simple and easy toddler apron. If you are looking to make one as well, I recommend that pattern. It requires only two sheets of paper to assemble, and the blog post includes step by step instructions with photos if you need clarification on how to sew the apron.

I found some well-aged (maybe even vintage? not sure) cotton fabric with a print of hanging pots, which is perfect for a kitchen-based sewing project. I think this fabric came from my grandma's fabric stash, and I kept it waiting for a good project to come along. I backed the apron in simple white cotton. You will notice this pattern is for a reversible apron, but given the front pocket that is only on one side, I think we will just use the one side with the print. I handmade the ties following the pattern but you could easily make ties from a lightweight belting. I would have done so, but I didn't have any on hand. You need two D rings form the adjustable neck tie, but you could also substitute velcro or even just modify the pattern to have a simple back of the neck tie.

DIY Toddler Kitchen Apron by Lina and Vi

The only modification I made to the pattern was to create two pockets from the one larger pocket. The pocket felt too big and fell open, so I sewed a simple straight stitch slightly off-center to form one large pocket and one small pocket. With a toddler, I am not sure what I am going to find in those pockets as she gets older. She has mastered stuffing colorful little craft puffs down our floor vent, which is to the delight of my husband who has to fish them out of the vent if we forget to close it!

I would classify this DIY toddler apron as an easy sewing project, perfect for beginners looking for something a bit more challenging to sew than a pillowcase. I am a fan of handmade gifts, whether they are made by me or by someone else. I hope that you are considering making or buying handmade this holiday season!

P.S. The Lina and Vi sales end tonight! Stop by our Etsy shop to receive 20% off plus free shipping.


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide for Creative Makers 2018

With the holidays coming up, it's time to start thinking about what to get for those special people in your life. I'm here today to share a few ideas for those creative-types you know. Most of these are gifts that I would actually really love to receive, so I am sharing for anyone who may be looking for something unique for a person who likes to craft, sew, make, and problem-solve. None of these suggestions are sponsored - they are truly ideas that caught my own eye. Here we go!


1. The Crafter's Box

The first on the list is this fun subscription box called The Crafter's Box. Each month they feature an artisan who focuses on one type of handmade skill. The project is something that is trending in the moment, either the materials, design, or color scheme. Each box contains both the instructional training materials and the physical materials needed to make the project with options to buy up if you want a larger size. These are pretty amazing in that they have all of the tools to help you make the project so no running to the store or shopping online for an elusive tool to help finish up a project. This is fun for someone who likes to learn new crafting techniques and may get bored with one type of project or craft.

closet-case-patterns- holiday-gift-guide-for-creative-makers

2. Sewing Project Box (Sprout Patterns or Closet Case Patterns)

Similar to The Crafter's Box, a gift for those who love to sew but are looking for some inspiration is a sewing pattern project set. You can find these through a number of different sellers, but the two I want to focus on today are Sprout Patterns and Closet Case Patterns. Sprout Patterns is an extension of Spoonflower and offers makers the option to buy a pattern already printed on fabric so you just need to cut and go. But in addition to that, they offer projects where you can pick your pattern, the size, and the fabric, and they will send you everything pre-packaged including any notions you need to complete the item. Unfortunately, it appears that Sprout is going to be sunset at the end of the year, so these projects will only be available for the next few weeks. Another alternative is to look for independent designers who have an online shop where they offer their own sewing patterns packaged with the necessary fabric and notions. One of my personal favorites is Closet Case Patterns. I've been eyeing their Cone Mills Stretch Denim kit where you can make your own pair of jeans without needing to purchase the hardware and do the research on the blend of denim fabric needed for your design.

silhouette cameo gift card -  holiday-gift-guide-for-creative-makers

3. Silhouette Cameo Gift Card

If you have a Silhouette Cameo lover in your circle, you will know that there are a number of accessories available for the Cameo and an entire marketplace of designs in their Silhouette Studio store. A gift card is perfect for someone who is looking to expand their Cameo tools or even buy new designs for their library. Like the suggestions above, the store offers a number of projects, such as design sets for birthday parties, baby showers, and holidays. I really like the flexibility in a Silhouette gift card as it allows a crafter to buy more images or even try new materials or kits they haven't tried yet before.

4. Local Crafting Workshop

This last one is one of my favorites. I really enjoy gifts that are experiences, and one type of gift I know I would really like to receive is a ticket to a local workshop class where I can learn one type of skill through completion of a project from start to finish under the guidance of a local artisan who is knowledgeable in the field. There are so many options for this, but it requires more research than the traditional non-experience type of gift. For metro Detroiters, here is a list of a few event spaces and local artisans who offer classes in the area. Check their schedules to see if they events coming up that someone in your life might enjoy!

Thistle & Bess (Ann Arbor)
University Flower Shop (Ann Arbor)
Worthwhile Paper (Ypsilanti, local artisan)
Pastel (Plymouth)
Signal Return (Detroit)
The Striped Petal (local artisan)
The Barn (Northville)

I hope you found a few new ideas in this holiday gift guide that will help you think of new, unique ideas for the creative-types in your life!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Ann Arbor Burlap Lumbar Pillow

Ann Arbor burlap lumbar pillow - handmade in Michigan -]

Hello friends! This past week I whipped up a brand new Ann Arbor burlap lumbar pillow. It has been a while since I had sewn one as these tend to be more popular during the holiday gift giving season. This lovely pillow is a gift for one of my work pals who just bought a new home in Ann Arbor! I'm super excited for her, and I thought it would be fun to gift her this handmade pillow. I know she loves Ann Arbor, and with the pillow being a neutral color scheme, it should fit with any color palette she has in her new home. I offer these year-round in the Lina and Vi Etsy shop, so stop by the shop to see more details!

Ann Arbor burlap lumbar pillow - handmade in Michigan -

Ann Arbor burlap lumbar pillow - handmade in Michigan -

In other news, I'm gearing up for our next local holiday pop-up shop coming up this Sunday Nov. 18th in Northville, MI. It is at a local residence with a couple of other small businesses who will be ready to help with holiday gifting. I can't believe that Thanksgiving is already next week, and before we know it, it will be core holiday shopping season. If you are local and looking for a fun, quick outing where you can support some local ladies, check out the event posted on our Facebook page.

I am running a number of sales over Thanksgiving weekend, so be sure to check out our Etsy page to see discounted items plus other deals! Etsy is really amping up their platform with a number of platform wide sales events for their shoppers. Also, small business Saturday is coming up next weekend, so keep on supporting your local shops and boutiques that help grow your community. It is a win-win for everyone in my book!

I hope you are having a great week! I'm preparing a new blog post with holiday gift ideas for the creative-types in your life. I'm excited to share a few new ideas to consider (and that I personally really want!!).