Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Featured Artist: Anissa Ljanta

One of my favorite aspects of blogging is the interesting people I get to meet, at least virtually. I am always inspired by the passion people from around the globe have for creating functional, beautiful items with their own two hands.

Today, I am so excited to introduce you to Anissa from GrowMama. I discovered her blog about a year ago via Pinterest and her famous pillow case bag tutorial.

She's a writer, blogger, homeschooler and compulsive crafter. So grab a cup of coffee (or tea), get cozy in your favorite armchair and enjoy meeting Anissa and learning a bit about her travels and crafty endeavors.
Kia Ora! My name is Anissa Ljanta. I blog over at GrowMama.blogspot.com and I live in a tiny house overlooking the wild west coast of New Zealand. Creating and making have always been part of my life.  My nana was a seamstress and my mama made our clothes when we were kids. I have been using a sewing machine since I was about 5.

I travelled and lived away from NZ for 16 years and when I didn’t have access to a sewing machine, I sewed by hand. It’s a thing for me!

I will give making anything a go but sewing is my thing. I love to be able to make garments from scratch, or upcycle a useful item out of something that would otherwise have been thrown away. I am a great believer in every day beauty. I will sometimes wear a vintage ball dress gardening or around the house of an evening, because let’s face it, when else would I wear them and the joy of each day is reason enough.

After an action packed 16 years, which involved living in a warzone, a teepee, an organic B &B in the French Pyrenees, street performing in Europe, a healthy dose of event organizing and environmental campaigning, living in communes, learning herbalism from grannies world wide and (let’s be honest), running quite feral, I resettled in NZ and started my own baby/childrenswear range. All designed by me and made from high quality vintage and retro fabrics which I sold online and in markets. My favourite thing was to see kids out and about wearing the pieces I had made.

I was a regular at the famous Kraftbomb market in Auckland in it’s hey day. When I started doing social media management and more writing work based from home I closed up shop. I thought I would miss it, but I had been running the GrowMama label for years, the market had become flooded with similar products and I felt liberated! I enjoy having the time to craft for friends and family again now.

I co-founded the Sew Fun creative retreats here with a dear friend and it is now running as a co-operative which is fabulous. We are all so different and bring a diverse set of skills to the crafting table each month…all of those women are inspiring to me.

I bring creativity to every area of my life…I am a blogger and writer and I bake, cook, sew, garden, homeschooling my son, into the events I organize and hopefully, the way I look at the world. If I don’t have a creative project on the go I start to feel a bit antsy and might become not so nice to be around. Creating is so important to me. It’s like free therapy! Plus, you get cool stuff out of the process.

My greatest crafty love is for my trusty old Bernina Nova machine and I have always had an abiding love for vintage and retro fabrics.

I think the project I am most proud of is the pillowcase bag design I came up with years ago. I use mine all the time, I see people using them out on the street and the post I wrote about them went seriously viral on Pinterest. It was very exciting but I am a huge fan of encouraging people to learn how to sew and make things, and the pillowcase bag is such a great simple project for learners and experienced folk alike.

I love the life I have crafted. I have wonderful work I do based from home, we homeschool and live in what has to be one of the most stunning places in the world. My crafting and work table has the best view of the whole house. I look out over our garden, the bush and out over the Pacific Ocean and a big chunk of sky. I feel blessed.

Stay Connected with Anissa
Blog: GrowMama
Facebook: Growmama

And of course, don’t miss the famous pillowcase bag post and tutorial!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Silhouette Download: Last Clean T-Shirt

Free Silhouette Download: Last clean t-shirt for your college bound kid | by @thechillydogToday, my friends, is college move-in day. So, I have been trying to keep myself especially busy over the last few weeks as a distraction from the fact that our nest is about to be empty.

One of my projects is a going away present, which would be appropriate for just about any college-aged kid young adult. It's the "last clean t-shirt."



I used my Silhouette Studio software to create my design. You are welcome to download my Last Clean T-Shirt file (it  is in Version 3 of Silhouette Studio) or create your own.  If you create your own, don't forget to reverse the text before you cut.

Free Silhouette Download: Last clean t-shirt for your college bound kid | by @thechillydog

Use your Silhouette Cameo to cut your design from the heat transfer material. Peel off any excess material that is not a part of your design.
Position the heat transfer material on a clean shirt.

Tip: Whenever you are putting designs on adult sized shirts, you want to position them at least 2-2.5 inches from the neckline, that's about 3-4 finger widths if you don't have a ruler handy.
Follow the package directions to iron on the design.
Finally, you might want to package up your shirt with some detergent and a roll of quarters so your college student is ready for the joys of laundry day!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Crafty Saturday Show and Sell #32

Welcome! I'm sure all of you parents out there are happy that it's back to school time. I have mixed emotions about it this year because it means my daughter is heading away for college. I'm proud of her, but a little anxious about having an empty nest.

As always, we had some great items at last week's link up. I already shared a few of my favorites on Wanelo, but here are two more I really like!

Flower Power Pendant by Blue Copper Jewelry Designs
Inspirational Painted Rock by umbrellafant
Since it's back to school time, don't forget to pack an apple for the teacher. This week please share your red items, or items that would make great teacher gifts!

After you've added your links, I hope you'll check out my Giveaways page. I'm excited to be offering a design created by another artist, Pamposh from House of Embroidery on Etsy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Project Idea: Mini Sewing Kit

How to make a mini travel sewing kit with all of the essentials - thread, needles, pins, buttons and scissorsMy pen pal from Finland, Henna, recently sent me issue #38 of Mollie Makes along with some other delightful treasures. Attached to the front cover of the magazine was a mini zipper purse kit.

I felt like a kid again as I assembled and hand stitched my little purse. I don't even remember the last time that I completed a sewing project without turning to my trusty Brother sewing machine. The finished product was absolutely charming and I wanted to keep it for myself until I realized there was someone in my house who needed it more.

My daughter is just days away from heading to college. Right now, almost all of her belongings are crammed into boxes or suitcases and stacked in a pile in her room. She has bedding, clothes, books, personal items, a tool kit and a first aid kit. The one thing she is missing is a sewing kit.

So I took my new mini purse and headed to my sewing room to gather up the essentials.

First, thread. I cut a piece of tag board 1 inch wide and 2.5 inches long. Then I cut 5 slits on the side and one on the end that will secure the thread ends. I used a hole punch to create grooves that I could wind the thread around.

I pulled my five thread colors through the bottom slit and tapped the ends to the back of the tag board.
Then I wound navy, white, black, red and gray thread around the tag board.
Next, pins and needles. I cut a piece of black felt about 1 inch wide and 6 inches long.

I slid in three needles and a handful of safety pins.

The felt piece can then be folded in half so that all the pins and needles are tucked inside.
And I didn't forget to include some buttons. I picked an assortment of basic colors.
Then I threaded a twist tie through one hole of each button so they won't get lost.
Finally a pair of mini, fold-up scissors and everything is ready to go into the bag and off to the dorms.

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