My Colourful past
It has been a beautifully crowded life so far, with beautiful people, places and projects in abundance. I am working on a series of flashback pieces for the blog that will eventually make their way into a book, until then, here is a peek from a recent bio:
About me. From the book 'Everyday Beauty'.Writer, crafty mama, herbalist, avid reader, event organiser, social justice activist, seamstress, mama, vintage enthusiast, gardener, lover of wild places, networker, cook, dancer, op-shopping queen, friend and more.
Anissa Ljanta was born in New Zealand (quite some years ago!) and has travelled, lived and/or worked in over twenty countries in the 16 years she was away from NZ. She has lived up a mountain, on communes, on the street, in a tee pee, in city high rises, a house-truck, a tent, on organic farms.
Anissa co-ran an eco-peace project in wartime Yugoslavia, co-established the Social-Cultural Centre in Prague just after the Velvet revolution, was active in political street theatre in Europe, designed/facilitated workshops worldwide and wowed many an audience with her public speaking. Giving workshops and writing on topics such as ‘Building Healthy Culture’ and ‘Living Holistically: translating grandma's skills for the modern world’. She freelances for environmental NGO’s worldwide, is proud to have organised many successful conferences and is now trying to patch together a living wage while based from home juggling family life. Anissa had a go at total self sufficiency in the French Pyrenees (acorn bread anyone?!) and came back to New Zealand to be there for her grandparents in their last years and to work for Greenpeace Aotearoa's campaigns team. Always crafty, her mama made many of her girlhood clothes and nana was a seamstress...Anissa keeps those traditions alive with most of her clothes either hand made or sourced second hand. She likes to know she can make anything. And yes, underwear included! Oh, and she nurses a bit of a vintage fabric and button obsession and is currently on an upcycling jag.
Anissa grew up in a rough neighbourhood in South Auckland and counts herself lucky to have lived through her wild teenage years. Returned to live full-time on NZ’s wild west coast five years ago she is still digesting the lessons of being a gypsy with a mission the 16 years she was away. Anissa is committed to living a full and juicy life, and lately is busy figuring out how this mama thing works.
I reckon i may as well learn what i can from whatever life throws at me...finding the magic in the mundane as i go. From the hardest work of parenting comes the most opportunity to grow. I have taken on whole governments, logging companies and the nuclear industry in my work and, some days, parenting seems the most challenging work of all somehow. And yet the most important. And the most magical. Life will never be the same again!
From this waif like sprite....
To this...masquerading as a respectable citizen...with many a tale to tell in between.
And no matter where i was in the world,
always sneaking in some stitching wherever i could.