Friday, 7 December 2012

December time...

... is here, and I'm struggling a little bit without the sunlight :-) means I need to turn the colours on again. Lately I have been in bracelet making mood - something that can be easily interrupted, or carried on for a long time if that's what the day is going to be like.
These are also a wee sneak peek to what I'm preparing for the Edinburgh Market...
Another proof of wool's therapeutic qualities - just working with it makes me feel less cold.
Also - thanks to a comission piece - I started thinking about harmonizing colours, as opposed to my beloved colour clashing :-) It has a very different effect on me at the moment - maybe just the warmth of it, but I'm very happy with them together.
But not all is amazing  - Anyone has any good advice as to how to survive the recent facebook page crisis? :-)

Monday, 26 November 2012

Update 2. - the knitting

.. and I was going to show you how the knitting is going on -- it's such a good feeling to learn something new :-) only there's not too many new things learnt, pretty basic stuff- with minimalist results.  But it's for meeee!
The first one is a loop scarf - in the amazing Rowan Colourspun, just love the touch of mohair and the colour changes in this one! Started on 100 cm circular needles - it goes around my neck 3 times :-)

The other one is a more ambitious project - the Sho-sho Shrug - just started with the easy middle bit - it will need a bit of fancy double ended needle work for the arms (need to learn fairly quickly!), but the challenge keeps me going!

Friday, 23 November 2012

November updates

November is a strange month - the Holidays are coming but not here yet... there's a weird up-and-down nature to it... one minute you're all relaxed, there's plenty time, the next is crazy rush :-)
The month started nice and chilled, experimenting with new materials, practicing my knitting, playing with scale and proportion, and taking time to finally make something for myself - haha.
Listed a few new pieces in the Etsy Shop, participated in the Dundee Maggie's Centre's charity market (it was great to see someone win my piece on the raffle - and catch up with local talent)  - and then...
..the crazy lottery of the Etsy Front Page hit us :-)  It was an amazing feeling, along with the sales it's brough a weave of positive energies my way. Suddenly it was all rushing, packaging, emailing, and now, making new pieces - trying out new colourways.....

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Artist Interview : Sara Aires

It's time for the next  Artist Interview - please welcome Sara - owner of Saraires,  a beautiful shop on Etsy. I was instantly drawn to her intricate organic freeform designs and brave use of colour.
To me, her work stands for what fiber art is about - tactile, evocative pieces created with great attention to detail, with love for the medium.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

A Giant Step...

Ha! I've taken a giant step yesterday and visited my local knitting group with a friend - I've always admired the amazig work you can find on Ravelry and other sites, the Pinterest abundance of fantastic knit-art-magic, and felt jealous :-)
It was great - really enjoyed it, and felt good about the generous helpful response to the newbies! So now I'm practising - please welcome my first knitted piece ever :-)
I just love the sock yarn - the colour changes make it look more intricate then it actually is. I'm a fan already!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Autumn time

It's been a bit quiet here recently - only because suddenly autumn arrived, but not with its full chill and cold winds, just with lovely weak sunshine - the kind that still allows for sitting outside with a book or a bit of sketching or crochet. In short, it is ideal for getting up to speed, start thinking abou the holidays, plan, and Make :-)
First of all I went back to my gorgeous Estonian wool - and to my amazement, it works seamlessly with the beautiful Shetland wool - I'm really pleased with using the two together, just my kind of colours!

Secondly, I have been updating the Akkord Collective Shop on Etsy, adding new pieces from Andrea, tidying the place a bit, having a wee bit of SALE, and decided to place ads on blogs I personally like - the gorgeous One Sheepish Girl, and the fantastic Bugs and Fishes -- I'm really excited about these!

Thirdly - I've been thinking up a long distance project - a bit of local exploration - more about it later :-)

Monday, 17 September 2012

The Artist Interview: Domatoma

Heading out to the world of crafty business is quite a daunting adventure - plenty has been written about the difficulties one can encounter - but not enough of the talent you meet in the wilderness out there. :-)
During my journey I have met and found and wondered at the artists and their rainbow colours of  creativity... thus came the idea of interviewing them - and do this as a regular feature.

And what better way to start, then with the creative mind behind domatoma, this personal collection of "prints, plants, friends" (and the beautiful blog shapes and memories) -- Maryia, photographer / designer / maker.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Coming soon...

Yesterday's and today's beautifully overcast skies meant that it was ideal for product photography - the light was perfect and even, with a great atmosphere, not too bright, and very flattering for the colours.

These are two of the photos - just a wee preview of things to come :-)

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

D.I.Y. ombre

This weekend I decided to do something just for fun, something different and try fabric dyeing. (hmm kidding myself, actually it was a test for future wool dyeing experiments) Got a nice but maybe a bit boring cotton jumper from a charity shop - it's beautifully made, but "beige" in not my colour :-)

Anyway I set out for this adventure maybe a bit too organized - working out the logistics of obtaining the ombre effect, measuring / timing everything accurately - the only thing was that my carefully planned contraption to hang the jumper into the dye and then delicately lift it out -- didn't work. So I ended up holding the thing up over the pot for an hour - gradually lifting it -  I felt like I was in the olympics :-)

But I'm quite pleased with the outcome - my present-for-self project.
(to avoid uneven patches - use a bigger pot!)

Friday, 10 August 2012


Back after spending an amazing 10 days travelling around Scotland. That sounds like an all-round tour of the place, but it was a bit more low-key than that :-) just finally managed to visit a few places that we always wanted, but never got around to.
Having the worst summer of a 100 years, the first few photos are to set the mood - rain, mist, fog and all sorts on non-summery weather!

First of all, we went to Glasgow to see Mackintosh' House of an Art Lover , which is a fantastic design in itself, but the fact that it was built in 1990 (89 years after Macintosh produced the plans for it to enter a German architectural competiton) is what makes it a real joy for me. (spot the interior designer)

Had an amazing afternoon at the Burrell Collection - an absolute must for anyone who loves medieval tapestries - but the collection is soo huge and spans through such a long period of history and every possible artform  - it's absolutely overwhelming, in the best possible sense. (and inspiring and scary at the same time)

On the way back to the east coast, stopped by at Stirling, for a beautiful forest walk - in drizzle :-),  and after a little bit odf a drive found The Pinapple! A gorgeously bizarre oversized garden feature, just an amazingly mad sight. (there's more information about it here)

The rest of the holidays were spent with Dundee fun :-)
(thanks to D. for the Lubi photo)

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Giveaway - Winner!

The competition in now closed - congratulations to the winner, Emese !

This is exciting!
To celebrate the Akkord Collective reaching (and passing) a 100 likes on facebook, we're doing a giveaway:  you can win one of my flower pin brooches - one of the "Succulent" range.

If you visit our page, just like and share the competition post and thats's it.
The competition is open till 3 August, the winner will be announced on saturday 4th of august :-)
Enjoy and good luck!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Japanese flowers continued...

After a long pause I finally finished the piece based on Japanese flowers – my selfish project – just in time for the cold to set in!

It's made of an aran weight tweedy and a light dk weight yarn - I think they work well together, the aran for warm fuzziness, the dk for actually showing the motif :-)
Thinking about maybe applying an edging, but I quite like just the flowers doing their thing.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Scottish Summer... eventually here! Suddenly its like living in a different place, lots of people on the streets, enjoying the sun.

So Miss Smilla decided to take some wool to the beach (and friends and pear cider) – and work on a certain granny blanket, get a suntan and some sand in her shoe.

Friday, 4 May 2012

A New Friend :-)

 “Are we nearly there yet?” mr Postman heard a tiny voice behind him, as he drove along to his destination – but he thought he only imagined it....

Today a new friend arrived – the charming miss Beth, from the studio of Sonia of Dandelyne in Australia – because I was one of the lucky winners of her generous giveaway! :-)

Sonia makes delicately embroidered portraits of little people who I imagine run away from their frames to do their own things, when we're not looking.

Check out her amazing shop on Etsy – it's full of finely detailed and lovingly made beauties, embroidered hoop necklaces and art pieces – all in heart-warmingly brilliant colours and patterns – just my kind of thing!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Happy Weekend 3.

The rest of the weekend (busy busy) was spent with product photography – which I enjoy almost as much as making the pieces. I'm partial to extreme close-ups and how they make textiles and structures look like landscapes.

I've also done some prototyping – experimenting with 3d structures and patterns – we'll see what comes out of it... incidentally, the new piece lends itself to the landscape theme quite well :-)

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Happy Weekend 2.

I also got two rolls of film back, one used in the Diana, and another used in my lovely vintage Lubitel 2 – an old russian TLR camera (more info here)
It's been in the family for a couple of decades now, the box is broken – hence the beautiful light leaks :-) They – together with the double exposures - give the pics a  dreamy character...
I really enjoy the nature of film photography – the fact that the number of pictures is very limited (12 in Lubi, 16 in the Diana), so I get a very condensed reminder of the events, and the rolls cover a relatively long period of time.
It also seems to take more time to find the “perfect” composition when I'm out with a film camera.. maybe exactly because of the limited amount of film.
Slow tech.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Happy Weekend 1.

This weekend has been spent with all kinds of happy activities – finally made my way to the warm woolly nest that is Twist Fibre Craft Studio – and got some amazing skeins / balls of wool, but I have to say it took me waaaay too much time to decide – the choice was immense :-)
I ended up with 3 colourways – the highlight being “Colinette Yarns' ART … an Aran weight yarn with a dash of spice and all things nice, made from 29% bamboo and 71% wool “ Yum!
Also found a beautiful 100% wool to match my Estonian wool in weight, and the most beautiful turquoise DK – simply beautiful, and injects just the right amount of colour into a grey spring day :-)
Ended the day with tea and a gorgeous walnut cake – heaven!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Diana Love

Hello, this is my first photography post :-) ... as the sun  comes out for longer and longer these days, it's better and better every day to get out and take pics! (and picnics).

These are from my beloved Diana - I just love the quality of the images, the blurred egdes, the square format. Not to mention the wait - at the moment, when I finish a roll, it takes about 2 weeks to get the film developed here (on the lookout for a better option - good online labs anyone?).

Today so far has been about getting out and making use of the sharp light  (by accindentally missing a hillwalk, doing an urban walk instead)-  see the results in a fortnight :-) -- the photos above are from the same time last year.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Spring is coming

...let's celebrate it with Japanese flowers! They are one of my favourite motifs - along with granny hexagons :-)
The weather's been gloriously springey lately - beautiful sunshine, but icy cold winds, so as much as I felt the need to start up a really sunny project, I soon realized it's better be something warm and cozy.
So this one is going to be spring in spirit (flower motifs and -- the people who know me already know the colour - lime green) but super warm woollyness in practical reality :-)

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Clouds and moss

The colours of that beautiful wool really inspired me - while I was working with it, the grey-blue started to show a lovely cloudy pattern --  my mind wondered to mossy forests, waterfalls, and soon enough I was thinking about elves and all sorts of woodland creatures.... and so the Urban Elves collection was started  :-)

Monday, 13 February 2012

Update on wool

I’ve been a bit quiet here – all down to the yummy new wool I showed you the other day…. turns out its covered in spinning machine oil and needs serious washing – ouch. So I spent a few hours over at Ravelry to find out about the best methods, and now I’m washing the first skein, but will have to re-skein the orange that I already rolled into nice soft / squishy balls.(strangely enough that one didn’t feel so totally drenched in the stuff as the blue-grey one)  I was going to post a photo of the washing in progress – but its really not looking very attractive – but promise I’ll post the outcome :-)

Thursday, 2 February 2012


Although I’m supposed to be on holiday for a week, couldn’t really stay away from woolly goodness for too long – and got these beauties!

The pictures don’t really do justice to the colours.. they remind me of the painting Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth – the yellow of the field, the blue sky and the blue-grey of the building in the distance. (doesn’t help that it’s quite difficult to find a reproduction that shows the colours right) Maybe it reminds me more of the way  I remembered the painting… right now I’m thinking of a project to use these memories in a piece…

It’s going to be a good challenge – as lately I’ve been playing with supersoft chunky yarns, and these are really delicate, slightly heavier then lace weight, pure wool, with a really nice, uneven scratchiness to it.

In the past days I already started training for it – played with the thinnest yarns I could find to crochet with – outcome to follow….

Christina's World is on display at the MOMA, New York. Image courtesy of MOMA. :-)

Monday, 30 January 2012

Hello World

hello my friends – this is Miss Smilla venturing into the world of crafty blogs!  It’s a great leap for me – daunting task – but as I have very good feelings about this coming year, I think this is something I should try. So join me, if you are interested in crafts, yarns, wooliness, with the occasional bit of photography, and the ramblings of my mind.