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!




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The Chilly Dog: Featured Artist: Anissa Ljanta
Featured Artist: Anissa Ljanta
Meet Anissa from GrowMama. 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 some crafty inspiration!
The Chilly Dog
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