Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Creative Estonia: Portel iPad sleeves

Portel is a fresh Estonian company, making sleeves for Apple products. They sell the designs on Etsy and have been featured in various blogs and magazines, including Estonian trading magazine “Life in Estonia”.

People may wonder what is the secret of their success, but I believe it’s not so hard to figure it out.
Their shop announcement formulates it clearly: “We want to keep it simple. We try to design our products so that they would have high functionality, not forgetting elegance and beauty.”

I found Portel several weeks ago when I searched for laptop sleeve for my new HP Mini Vivienne Tam notebook.
I truly believe that “less is more” and simplicity has its charm.

Estonian trading magazine writes:
“At the same time that Jobs was planning to present the first iPad in the USA; the folks at Seene Koda (Mushroom Chamber, a farm located close to Estonian capital of Tallinn) were looking for a way to link the useful and the pleasant. As soon as the measurements of the iPad were made public, the first Portel product was created.
So the first iPad sleeves made by Portel were sold online, even before the iPad itself made onto the market.”

I’m sure that this kind of mentality is a key element of their growing popularity - Portel was there right in the beginning and predicted what market needs.

Website www.greekosystem.com has claimed their sleeve to be the best of its kind.  And I believe they deserve it.

Portel uses 100% natural materials and as most people in handmade business, they work without looking at the watch or what day of the week it is.

Portel shop
Facebook fan page

Monday, August 30, 2010

5 years together

Five years ago little cute boy was born. He's name is Oliver:
We've had some fun events over the years. For example, Christmas with Santa Claus and a lot of presents:

He has surprised his mom for countless times. Like when he stood up first time himself:

Or learned how to eat apple:

We've enjoyed winter activities so much that mom had to carry him to fifth floor on a sledge, because little  guy got tired:

We've discovered nature together:

And had fun photoshoots every summer:

Sometimes it's not so joyful. Like when little Oliver is sick:

But hard times pass quickly and in five years he has made a lot of friends:

Of course, it's not only about playing with mates. There has been hard work also, when he had to model for his mom's handmade hats (because salary was good):

Suddenly I discovered how time flies and the baby is not so small any more:

We've been together for 5 years.
I wasn't ready to became a mother, but I've enjoyed every second of it. I love him. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weekly reading list

I'm going to publish every Thursday a weekly reading list, for sharing the best blogposts, articles and other material found online.
Those are things that inspire me and may help you too.
I try to keep it balanced and feature content from different aspects, like business, marketing, personal growth, time planning, freelance life and so on.

If you have anything to share, you're welcome to post it to the comments, and I will add it to original post!

So here are first features I read this week:

How big brands employ social media marketing
Interview with Andy Sernovitz, founder of the Social Media Business Council. He’s talking about word-of-mouth marketing and big companies’ social media marketing experiences.

When You Need To Reinvent The Wheel, Build A Hover Car
Advice how to become a better blogger.

How to create a mind map to get more done and take action faster

And last but not least, something with a bit funnier title
How not to get old, jealous bitter once you are famous

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Second pair of socks

To be honest, it’s not ready yet, but last night I finished first sock with Norwegian pattern.
This time I used pattern from DROPS and didn’t think it out myself. I haven’t knitted multicolored patterns before, but I’m quite satisfied with the result. I could wear a pair like this. 

Seems like there’s something wrong with my camera’s auto focus. Photos are not clear, but I’m working on fixing it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Some of my favourites

 I made a fresh treasury with some of my favourite European artists. 
I'm not gooing to add all links here, but you can see it on Etsy.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ann's cow mug

My Sunday mornings look like this.
Well, not always is there baked rolls, but I won't start a morning without my cow mug and fresh coffee :)
I love my cow mug. It's a gift from my mother, made by Tupperware. She originally ordered the mugs for her grand-kids, but as I have only one child and my brothers-sisters have a way more, she thought it would be fair  if our tiny family will get two mugs.

Yesterday I knitted until midnight and I'm not sure if I want to see my needles today :)
Socks are finished, fingerless gloves with same pattern started.
But I'm not passionate about knitting them, because making same pattern all over again gets boring rather soon.

Sock collection preview

As I mentioned before, I started knitting my knee high sock collection.
First pair is almost ready and here's a sneak peak photo for you.
Keywords are neutral colours, natural materials and wide range of patterns. I plan to do at least 8 different pairs and present them all together in late September.
If I can complete it, it will be my biggest project in last few years!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Small wakeboarding accident

I had a small wakeboarding accident two days ago.
Everything went well until I didn't see another speedboat and its wave coming. I was stuck between two waves and just fall down to water straight to my neck. Luckily I had the crash helmet on, otherwise I wouldn't be here at the moment.
I hurt my head and chest, had hard to breathe and headache kept me in bed. I still can't move my neck and I must stay home for few more days, but in general I'm getting better.
Plus I twisted my left ankle, which means I may have to skip this autumn's running season... First competition is in 3 weeks and if it won't get better by then, I'm not able to participate.

Everybody ask if I quit wakeboarding now. Even the doctor tried to convince me it's dangerous. Yes, I know it is, but I'm careful, accidents can happen everywhere and this time was just bad coincidence.
No, I'm not going to quit. As soon as I feel fine again, I will be back on wakeboard. Hopefully it happens before the summer season ends. We have only 3 months of good water sports weather here and in September it's usually too cold for going on the water.
Until then I spend time in gym, because my hands need more strength for trying different tricks on board. Wakeboarding is physically very exhausting, only 10 minutes can make you feel like dead next day.

But until I must stay home, I plan to start knitting again. Hopefully I can make a short trip to yarn shop and post office today, tomorrow morning I have another appointment with my doctor.

UPDATE on August 19th: 
I visited doctor today and I'm fine! Will rest until the end of the week, but on Monday I'm allowed to go back to work.
Neck is still painful to move and headache comes and goes, but it's not a big problem.
Thank you for being with me!

I want to show you one more photo. The quality is not very good, but it's the beginning of last night's thunderstorm in Pärnu.
We've had more thunderstorms than usually this season, it's normal to see rain and lightning almost every day. It's because of unwontedly hot summer.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hansamarket in Pärnu

We had a big 2-day hansamarket in Pärnu. The official name of the event is Pärnu Quild Days and the tradition is more than 10 years old.
Every August people all over Estonia come to Pärnu and sell their handmade items and homemade food. There are a lot of concerts too.
This year I didn't participate, because it was on my birthday and I had some guests to host. But I had time to walk around and see all beautiful things made by fellow artisans. Only few are on the photo, because camera battery was low, as usually :)

And here's one extra photo of myself. Made today while we celebrated my birthday in our office. I'm usually very critical about my photos, but I like the emotion on this one.
The author of the photo is my dear colleague, photographer Urmas Luik.