shopping

artist spotlight: Kate Akatombo

woodland-tale-sarahshermansamuel-sI’ve been trying to carve out more time to highlight more makers and artists I love because little finds like Woodland Tale make me so happy! I remember when I had just graduated from college with my graphic design degree and I thought my only option to make money was to go corporate and be a studio designer at an ad agency (which I inevitably did until I woke up and realized there is so much more out there). One evening I fell into an online rabbit hole discovering makers, artists, and designers all making a living doing what they love, creating their own work. I grew up in a non-internet world so this was the first time I really discovered what it can do for creatives.

Now the internetz are over saturated with everyone and their mother making something, etsy has a whole lotta incredible shops and a whole lotta not so incredible but when I stumbled upon these critters, I had to make them mine, I mean Archer’s of course (but really mine).

woodland-tale-sarahshermansamuel-2sarchandwoodlandtalewoodland-tale-sarahshermansamuel-3sKate Akatombo hand stitches these little plushies under the name Woodland Tale out of her studio in Ukraine. The detail is incredible and how adorable are those little faces? I reached out to her to answer a few questions about how she came about making the adorable guys so without further ado…

SSS: Tell me about your creative journey. (background, schooling, previous work etc.)

KA: I always was somehow connected with handmade. My mother was a terrific knitter (and so was her mom and her sisters), my other GrandMa taught me crocheting, sewing and, of course, embroidery of all kinds. Later I was lucky to work in a small retail hobby shop, where I had to learn a lot of various decorative techniques – and this was the very time when I finally understood that working with threads and fabrics is my thing.

SSS: How would you describe your aesthetic? Is your work inspired by anything in particular?

KA: I’m very bound to everything natural and all things inspired by nature. I rarely use flashy, bright colors, prefer cotton and linen textiles and have a dream about naturally dyed fabrics, made by myself. In the world full of machine-made things, in the life of high pace I really strive to something real and thoughtful. This is also true for my little critters. They take time to be made, but every stitch on their small bodies is laid with pleasure of slow life.

SSS: Please share some insight into your design process. How do you come up with the animal shapes, color selections etc.

KA: I have to confess that the very first critters made were significantly inspired by illustrations for children’s books, mostly by Japanese and Spanish artists. I was really amazed how they come up to creating images – very close to the child’s doodles, but still with so much character and feel for color. So I tried to just draw simple as well – but on fabrics.

Most of my softies are 2D, they are flat – as if a drawing turned into a plushie. At the moment, I’m trying to go on with it and make more complicated patterns, vary the embroidery stitches, play with shapes too.

I also have a creative escape – my series of blooming friends, bunnies, hedgehogs and moose deers, embroidered with flowers on their bodies. They have basic shapes, but the embroidery is always different and unique. I really loved stitching them this winter, when starving for spring time, I was designing gentle blooms and leaves.

See all the goodies in her shop here: Woodland Tale

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel

Rug is from Frances Loom

shop picks: H&M

shop picks H & M // sarah sherman samuelI still remember when my Michigan raised self took my first trip to New York as a teenager and discovered H&M. The malls and shopping where I grew up didn’t have such stores, the only place to shop for anything fashion forward was TJ Maxx, and of course I am aging myself, but online shopping wasn’t a thing. So I felt like H&M was the holy grail of fashion that was also affordable to my summer job budget (I also discovered Zara on the trip and I think I spent a good 5 hours there, it was a big day for me and my closet).

Anyway, these days I sometimes check in to see what’s new and have totally forgotten that they have a home section until I was looking for a blush pink pillow and wham! I found the perfect one. Oh and thennnn I got started down a rabbit hole and filled my cart with all sorts of home accessories because, copper (!), and because my new studio isn’t going to style itself. So I had to share, so you can join me in my squeals of retail delight ;).

Here is a peek at a few of my favorite and affordable goodies at H&M right now. I also got these for archer because, suspenders (!).

Black Jumpsuit // Copper Candlesticks // Jute Rug // Copper Wire Basket // Velvet Pillow // Turtleneck Dress // Natural Sandals // Mesh Panty Set // Round Bag // Patterned Pillow // Lidded Box // Ring Set 

 

nordstrom anniversary sale

nordstrom anniversary sale my picks // sarah sherman samuelI don’t get too excited about many sales but the Nordstrom Anniversary sale is all kinds of good. Instead of an end of season sale, the prices are dropped on the new fall items! Now is the time to buy that new pair of shoes, outfit, earrings, bag, oh and home stuff too. ;) Here’s what I’ve got my eye on…

Colorblock Tank // Porcelain Jar // Fatigue Skinnies // Triangle Studs // Wool Waistcoat // Colorblock Pillow // tasa Sandals // Quilted Pillow // Bar Cart // Moscow Mule Mugs 

The Sale is on from July 17th – August 2… Happy Sale Shopping!

shop picks: steven alan

shop picks // steven alan // sarah sherman samuelI have a real soft spot for shop owners/curators that also branch out and create their own line (my heart will always be with product).  Steven Alan did just that and his namesake clothing line is a beautiful mix of simplicity and form. The SA shops are also still curated with unique designers that share a similar aesthetic and it is so easy to fall in love with each piece. Here are my top picks…

Poplin Dress  // Copper Bowl // Myra Mule // Natural Tote // Triangle Earrings // Fringe Blanket // Copper Candleholder // Panel Dress // Felt Coaster // Shinola Notebook // Clare V. Clutch // Coffee Cup 

 

shop picks: need supply co.

shop picks: need supply co. // sarah sherman samuelI am starting this new series, that I hope you’ll enjoy and find helpful, where I will highlight different shops and curate a gallery of my favorite picks from the shop.

First up is Need Supply Co. They have a brick & mortar store in Richmond Virginia, and I am a big fan of their online shop as well. They do such a great job of selecting items by unique designers and highlighting the well designed object. Above are my top picks from their current selection.

Lisbon Dress // Brass Age Bracelet // Avenue Shopper // Elizabeth Bikini Top // Tomorrow Bangle // Stone Dress // Faith Bikini Bottom // Ritual Necklace // French Press // Isla Heels // Bucket Bag // Long Bar Studs

shopbop spring sale! in my cart

shopbop sale // my spring must haves // sarah sherman samuelIt’s my favorite sale of the year… the Shopbop 25% off everything spring sale! It has been awhile since I have shopped for anything non-maternity related so I am EXTRA excited to use the sale to stock my closet for summer. Here are a few of my spring sale must haves that I snatched up in my buying frenzy. I may have gone a little crazy with so many crop tops but I have been missing out on them for the last 9 months and as I thoughtfully explained to Rupe, I am just trying to reach my crop top quota, of course.

The sale only lasts from April 7 – 9th so get a move on!

Chambray Dress by Soft Joie // Gladiator Sandals by Schutz // Crop Top & Midi Eyelet Skirt by Zinke // Lauren Bracelet by Jason Wu // One-Piece Suit by Mara Hoffman // Peach Satchel by Phillip Lim // Jumpsuit by Kamali Kulture // Fringe Clutch by Rebecca Minkoff // Crop Top by Mason by Michelle Mason // Tassel Sandals by Loeffler Randall // Champray Crop Top by Loup // Arrow Ring by Shashi