ласкаво просимо to another edition of ‘Exploring Etsy’. As you can probably already tell we are venturing once again around the globe for another installment of international needlecraft inspiration, this time to Ukraine. I have the honour and privilege of taking you all for a walk in the woods to visit the wonderful world of Kate Akatombo and her shop ‘Woodland Tale’.
Kate’s journey to embroidery started when as a child, aged 6, her Grandma taught her to embroider – ever since, a needle and thread has been part of her. To begin with she didn’t take embroidery seriously, thinking it was just a small amusing escape and sometimes an essential skill every woman had to master. But about 5 years ago this started to change when she entered the hand-makers’ society and little by little beat her path to the ‘Woodland Tale’.
Her very first critters were filled with herbs and embroidered to strengthen the thin fabric she was using. She later realised that her beautiful creatures were loved by children as well as adults and putting the herbs aside started stuffing her work with polyfill, adding some wonderful chaotic stitchery. Originally a small shop for her toys and dolls, ‘Woodland Tale’ is now a collaboration between Kate and her husband Eugen, who offers beautifully carved rubber stamps that can also be found decorating the wrapping of her stunning creatures.
What is your earliest stitching memory?
I’m asking my Grandma to let me embroider a big check canvas with enormous pansies printed on it. And I started the embroidery, but never finished it. With years, the paint faded from the canvas and I could hardly see the colours, the cross stitches were awkward in some places, and way more skilled in others, some embroidery floss for background differed badly on different spots of the piece. A monument to the lack of perseverance, I guess.
What fires your imagination?
It’s trite to say so, but nature. In all it’s beauty and in all of it’s aspects. All I do is a small silly copy of the amazing Creation, and I just learn to love and cherish it in the way I can.
I myself have been a lucky recipient of one of Kate’s beautifully stitched pieces, can never thank my sister enough for my special 30th birthday commission, they’re even more stunning when you see them in person! Every single, beautiful creature is made with a lot of love and attention. Don’t hesitate to visit her wonderful shop to see more loveliness.
Jessica Taylor aka Loadofolbobbins is a Textile Artist and Illustrator based by the sea in Portsmouth. At her happiest with a needle and thread, with a passion for genealogy she often explores old photographs in her textile art. With her fingers in many creative pies she loves to experiment with new techniques, creating illustrated and stitched goodies for her Etsy shop.