TOP 5… Wildlife Inspired Gifts

Christmas is approaching and there’s nothing I love more than a beautiful wildlife based design so I’ve brought you my five favourites of the moment all available to buy online now! Happy gift hunting and remember you can buy animal themed gifts from Sky Siouki too!

Wildlife Inspired Gifts

1.Birds Night Out Lampshade by Mountain & Molehill £55-£105 – Really love the playful mix of traditional Victorian illustrations with humorous pun names telling a little tale behind each of Mountain & Molehill’s designs.

 

2.Circus Elephant Pocket Pillow by Coral & Tusk $124 – These embroidered cushions are really something special. All of the designs tell an animal based story, lots of which have a novel edge to them such as this circus elephant design with a little pocket for the baby nelly! Cute!

 

3.Wild Masquerade Canape Plate by Florence Balducci for Anthropologie £10 – This hare design is so adorable and so elegant too with it’s monotone palette and delicate fluted edge.

 

4. Colourful Butterfly Leather Keychain by Tovi Sorga £15.58 – There’s something so irresistible about printed leather. This butterfly keyring is really beautiful and would make such a unique gift. I’d definitely recommend checking out Tovi Sorga‘s other products too.

 

5. Badger Pouffe by Orwell and Goode £115 – Love this cute but clever badger design using badger faces to create a pattern. Even the pattern around the edge is inspired by badger markings!

8 Independent Stores for Online Christmas Shopping

It’s mid November and I am beginning to realise I can’t go on ignoring Christmas shopping much longer! I’ve been so focused on making Christmas gifts for other people to buy that I’ve barely thought about buying any myself. I think I’ll be relying on a lot of online shopping this Christmas, but that by no means you can’t still shop independent. I love that the ‘Shop Independent This Christmas’ slogan has become so popular and it’s certainly one I’m backing so I thought I’d compile a list of some of the best online stores I could find to buy beautiful, handcrafted and ethically made gifts. Not only because I’m an independent designer myself, but because you get something so much better quality and more unique when you shop indie.

  1. The Other Duckling – Discovered this one only today via the brilliant Homegirl London blog and love nearly everything they have to offer! They mainly stock vintage things, which is great as it makes it so much easier to find what you’re after than in an actual vintage shop. Hard to choose a favourite, but love this quirky china dog lamp! So kitsch but somehow charming too.

China Dog Lamp

 

2. The Lost Lanes – Admittedly, one of my stockists, but I loved this site before they became a stockist hence why I wanted to sell on there! They’ve recently made it a big part of their ethos to only sell ethically made products by independent UK designers and give details of how each product is made to be ethical with easy to understand symbols. This eco soy candle sounds divine!

Banana Nut Bread Soy Candle

 

3. Decorator’s Notebook – Another one with a strong focus on ethically made products with a beautiful selection of boho style products for the home. I’m so in love with the Indian Kantha quilts they stock, all made using recycled saris by a fairtrade company that helps women who were victims of sex trafficking.

Kantha Quilt

 

4. Eclect Design – Ok, I realise this feature is getting a bit homeware fanatical but I mean what more would you expect from me? There are yet more gorgeous homewares on this website. I LOVE this mug, and anyone who knows me will know it’s because I love deer. May just have to ask Santa for this one myself this year.

Menagerie Deer Mug

 

5. Wolf & Badger – Also with two real-life stores based in London but for those of us who don’t live in London or just prefer to shop from the comfort of our sofas, you can also shop online! They sell a brilliant mix of clothing, accessories and homeware all by independent designers. Just to prove I do like things beyond interiors, check out this gorgeous cork skin handbag from their site!

Pelcor Cayenne Cork Handbag

 

6. In Spaces – Another of my stockists with an extensive collection of interior products. Just came across possibly the coolest clock ever on there and had to share it. It’s a mechanimated weather clock that detects the current atmospheric pressure and responds by displaying the appropriate weather art. Amazing!

Traditional Mechanimated Weather Clock

 

7. Here Today Here Tomorrow – This store is all about sustainable, ethical fashion – something I feel there needs to be a lot more of in this world. Have to admit I always say buying someone clothes is a little risky, unless of course they’ve put something specific on a certain wish-list… These stylish handmade trousers have been woven using a traditional Nepalese technique.

Fairtrade Dhaka Trousers

 

8. The Shop Floor Project – Full of quirky UK artist made products. How lovely is the idea for this cushion collection… each features a collage of the home of a famous British writer. Of course I had to choose Beatrix Potter as my favourite.

 

Beatrix Potter House Cushion

If you’ve got anymore suggestions drop me a comment below! Think I need all the help I can get this year. And of course you can buy gifts from Sky Siouki too, my online shop is right here!

The New Sky Siouki Collection – ‘Flight’

This week was very exciting for me as I finally got to launch my brand new collection of designs after a long time coming! I’ve spent many weeks articulately drawing birds of prey and botanicals and spraying lashings of oil and acrylic paint to canvas boards and so it feels amazing to have now produced some final products just in time for Christmas. The new designs are currently available as linen cushions, A3 giclée prints and stone coasters although there may be more to come in the new year.

Cushions

I can’t believe I started planning this collection all the way back in June. There have been a few obstacles along the way as there tend to be in life but I’m so pleased to have got there in the end. The process really made me realise how limiting the project deadlines at university were and although I would never take back anything I did during my degree, I never could have produced a collection like this at uni because of the high expectations for quantity of work. I feel so much better about having four strong designs that I put my all into and didn’t rush than if I’d produced 20 quick and easy designs that meant little to me. These designs seemed to come together so much more naturally than ever before and I’m not sure if this was because I wasn’t under pressure to tick all the boxes on the marking scheme or perhaps just because it’s been so long since I created something new that all of my enthusiasm just fuelled me forwards.

Jackal Buzzard Cushion

After much deliberation I’ve named the collection ‘Flight’ highlighting the central focus on birds of prey but I also really liked that this word seems to suggest ideas of feeling uplifted and weightless. The collection has quite a natural, fresh look and the paintings used are very expressive and dynamic all of which I felt the word Flight emulated well as it relates to nature and movement. It is simple but creates impact, as does the composition of the designs.

Coasters

When I set out to design this collection I made a conscious decision to move away from the look of my previous work and create something more subdued in colour, less kitsch and more elegant. I didn’t originally intend to only draw birds of prey but once I’d drawn one, the rest sort of just followed. I’ve always loved birds and birds of prey in particular make me feel incredibly awed and empowered so I decided since it was working to just go with it.

Since I started Sky Siouki my tastes have changed a fair bit which I think this collection reflects very truthfully. I hope that it still sits well alongside the Curious Kingdom collection since my style of drawing tends to be quite recognisable but I also would be encouraged to know if customers can distinguish the change in direction I have taken. Anyway, this has been quite a wordy post but hopefully an interesting insight into my design process and the journey designing ‘Flight’ has taken me on. I hope the journey isn’t over yet!

You can have a proper look at my new products available in my online shop and I post little insights into my working day everyday on Instagram too.

SaveSaveSaveSave

Festival of Female Entrepreneurs

Yesterday I attended the 2015 Festival of Female Entrepreneurs hosted by Enterprise Nation. Held in Bristol’s Colston Hall, I felt I had no excuse not to go and am so glad I did and decided to get an all access pass! The day was truly inspirational, I came away with my mind buzzing with tips, advice and ideas and with a newfound confidence in myself for managing to brave networking for the first time. My personal highlights were Julie Creffield’s motivational talk on why she started up Too Fat To Run and meeting Sophie Bush, founder of My Warehouse Home. I did get the feeling I was one of few creatives there but nevertheless I got so many useful tips out of the day that I’d certainly recommend it!

Festival of Female Entrepreneurs

TOP 5… Fruity Furnishing Fabrics

Time for another TOP 5 feature! Apologies I have to admit I’ve been a little slack with blogging this month whilst trying to get lots of drawing work done (and maybe having a sneaky bit of time off too). But doing these Top 5 lists has fast become my favourite blog topic so I couldn’t miss it before the month is out. This month it’s fruity furnishing fabrics as one last hurrah for the (pretty non-existent) British Summer! I’m a big fruit fan in every sense – I like to eat it, draw it and look at it too, so what better way to celebrate that than to decorate with it. So without further a do here are my favourite five printed fruit designs that I have found…

Fruit Fabrics

  1. Patterned Fruits designs by Hannah Rampley for Candid Fabrics – These colourful, quirky designs are quite bold and graphic featuring stylised pomegranates and pineapples. A great way to add a splash of colour to a muted living space.
  2. Fruit by William Morris – Going from the most contemporary to the most traditional of my selection, this famous William Morris wallpaper is a classic, featuring beautifully illustrated pomegranates. I believe it’s still available to buy, including as fabric curtains from Linen Fields here.
  3. Pineapples by Dark Dog Studio – I really love this modern monochrome pineapple design by Hannah Galvin-Horne of Dark Dog Studio, especially used on this vintage chair. I’ve come across the print a lot on Pinterest and it seems to be a big hit but I think the designer is currently still developing an online shop. Find out more about her here.
  4. Beatrix by Romo – One of my favourite Romo designs, inspired by vintage illustrations but using bright contemporary colour I think this floral design featuring pink berries strikes the perfect balance of traditional vs. modern.
  5.  Pears by Thornback & Peel – There’s not much Thornback and Peel do that I don’t like. Although their rabbits are probably my favourite this pear design has a lovely simplicity and would look stunning upholstered on a chair. The linen it’s printed on has a lovely texture to it as well.

See more of my favourite designs and patterns on my Pinterest and discover my own designs too by visiting the Sky Siouki shop.

TREND SPOT! Pineapple Interiors

Pineapples are right on trend at the moment and in my opinion it’s trend that can never really go out of style.. because who doesn’t love pineapples all of the time?! Their textural tessellated skin and unruly leaves have a wonderful quirky aesthetic that works so well on so many designs. Below I’ve picked out some of my favourite pineapple interior products for you all to admire…

Pineapple Interior Products

Top left to bottom: Pineapple Wall Sconce from Caravan – £99, Double Old Fashioned Pineapple Glasses from Drake General Store – $12, Golden Pineapple Bookends from Graham & Green – £48

Top centre to bottom: Pineapple Linen Napkins by Bonnie & Neil (available from Holly’s House – £14.50 each), The Ananas Cushion Cover Small from Oka – £55, Piña Sola Wallpaper by Aimée Wilder – $165 per roll

Top right to bottom: The Pale Pink Pineapple Limited Edition Print by Jessica Russell Flint – £50, Pineapple Silk Cushion by Silken Favours – £125

TOP 5… Picnic Accessories

It’s time for my Top 5 feature once again… this month picnic accessories! Perhaps a little optimistic on such miserable rainy day but no doubt the sun will be shining again soon and there’ll be plenty more picnics and outdoor pursuits to be had this summer.

Picnic Accessories

  1. Tanager Melamine Plate from The Mad Platters, £14.56 – This Etsy shop has a whole host of beautiful antique designs printed onto melamine plates available… Perfect for mad hatter style tea parties.
  2. V&A Roses Flask from Bloomsbury, £16.95 – Your tea couldn’t be much more stylish in this lovely floral printed flask taken from a 1960s furnishing fabric.
  3. Nkuku Fleur Floral Cup from Fashion Conscience, £6.50 – I love the subtle contrasts of grey in this design, also available on enamel bowls and jugs for truly sophisticated picnicking.
  4. Handpainted Tiffin Carrier from The New Domestic, £48 – I instantly fell for the pretty handprinted florals on this tiffin. Such a great way to keep your veg, grains and sauces separate for those who are serious about outdoor eating. This one also comes in blue and pink or Nkuku also sell a variety of designs if you want to order from the UK.

  5. Recycled Wool Picnic Blanket from BEG, £59.50 – It wouldn’t be a picnic without a check blanket to sit back on! Love that these use recycled wool leftover from other blankets meaning each one is unique.

So now all we have to do is keep our fingers crossed for sun this weekend so we can show off all our nice and fancy picnic wares!

In love with… Foil Polka Dots

Among the revamped chairs featured in my last blog post, the folding chair covered in gold polka dot burlap had to be my favourite and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about those shiny gold spots since. The contrast of natural versus metallic is such a winning combo it got me thinking more about foiled spots and that I’d be quite happy to have some more of them in my life… So I went on the hunt for the best foil polka dot products around.

I managed to track down the gold spot burlap via the Inspired By Charm blog and found out it’s available from American craft store Jo-Ann, but sadly they don’t ship to the UK.

Gold Dot Burlap Fabric

This Mixed Dots pattern by Romanian designer Georgiana Paraschiv is trending allover Pinterest at the moment and I can totally see why. I love how all the dots are uneven and the combination of small flecks with big metallic dots balances really nicely. The print is available on a whole range of products from both Deny and Society6.

Mixed Dots Pattern

The First Snow on Etsy sell a beautiful selection of stationary products many of which include foiled lettering and every envelope is lined with gold polka dots. They offer custom invites for weddings and the like as well as custom art prints all featuring the same stunning typography and charming illustrations as pictured below.
Wedding Invitations

I love these bright and quirky silver foil dot napkins from Anthropologie. Unfortunately I think they’re no longer available but fingers crossed they might be back by popular demand sometime soon. They also did a warm coloured set but I think these cool colours set off the foil best.
Foil Dot Napkins

You can even do it yourself with these Copper Confetti wall spots from OhhhMhhh. What’s great about these is you can go as minimal or as crazy as you like, using the spots to jazz up a boring corner of your house or perhaps just use a few here and there to compliment your colour scheme. The foil polka dot fun never ends!
Copper Wall Confetti

You can see more of my favourite patterns and products on my PATTERNED WARES. Pinterest board. I think I might have to experiment with foiling some spots myself, you can buy supplies to screen-print with foil here if you fancy a go too.

6 Ways to Give an Old Chair a New Life

I love a good DIY makeover especially when it involves interiors. Since I’m still renting at the moment I’m itching to one day be able to paint walls, strip carpets and fit shelving but for now I can at least make do with rejuvenating furniture. I recently repainted a pair of dowdy looking wooden chairs for our dining table with a fresh lick of minty pastel green and they now bring a lovely pop of colour to the room. But it got me thinking about what else can be done with a set of ordinary old chairs to breath a new life into them so below you can find my favourite six ideas.

Painted Chairs1. Paint – Perhaps the most obvious choice is to paint your chairs in beautiful bright hues like I did, however why not get a little more creative and just paint the legs or the top of the chair to create an edgy contrast. This colour combo from HeartHandmade UK works brilliantly.

Decoupage Chair2. Decoupage – I tend to find decoupage a bit unimpressive as I think it’s often overdone and looks somewhat tacky but this minimalist example featured on The Graphics Fairy works beautifully. The delicate lavender imagery is placed perfectly as if just naturally growing around the chair and the colours are really well balanced against the distressed white.

Folding Chair3. Paint and Recover Folding Chairs – This DIY tutorial using cheap folding chairs is ideal if you need some extra chairs for the garden or perhaps party guests. Read the blog post from My Fabuless Life to discover how to spray paint and recover the seats with spangly new fabric. I never thought a folding chair could look so good!

Seat Cushion

4. Seat Cushions – Perhaps you’ve already painted some chairs but you’re looking to add a little pattern to them or added comfort even. All it takes is some pretty fabric and these seat pads by Makezine are super easy to make so long as you’ve got some basic sewing skills. I love the use of contrasting ribbon to tie it to the chair.

Dip Dye Legs Chair5. Dip Dye Legs – Another take on painting your chairs, why not go ombre like these examples from Apartment Apothecary? Perhaps you really like the natural wood or the aged appearance of your chairs as they are already but just want to do something small to jazz them up. This is a perfect way to add a simple modern twist to your chairs using a subtle pinch of colour.

Reupholstered Chair

6. Reupholster – Last but definitely not least, if you’re up for a bigger challenge a reupholstered piece of vintage furniture can look really impressive when done well. This example from OhhSit! especially caught my eye as the upholsterer has used vintage photos of her mother and grandmother printed onto fabric making it really special and personal to her. The idea of using new technology to digitally print old photographs for an antique chair is something I love too and it works so well.

I hope you’re now bursting with ideas to makeover any old boring chairs in your house. If you liked that last one you might also like some of my cushion designs using old photographs, especially The May Queen. Check out more of my favourite DIY ideas on my DIY Pinterest board.

TOP 5… Floral Interior Products

In the spirit of Summer and spending more time outdoors, this week I’m featuring floral printed homewares! Flower designs mix so well with all sorts of interior styles and make a fantastic way to add a pop of colour and energy to a living space. So below are my favourite five floral items for the home that are available this season.Floral Interior Products

  1. Autumn Tea Towel by Whitney Elizabeth – Although technically Autumn themed I think the flower illustrations on this tea towel have enough colour and spirit to keep your kitchen feeling fresh all year round.
  2. Laburnum Cushion by Abigail Borg – I love Abigail Borg’s graphic design style and use of vibrant colour contrasted against muted tones. This floral cushion would sit well in a modern or a traditionally styled home.

  3. Flower Market Colander by MacKenzie Childs – Pretty and useful! This floral colander deserves to be given pride of place hung from a kitchen cabinet for everyone to see.

  4. Sissinghurst Castle Dinnerware by Anthropologie – You can always be sure to find lots of beautifully patterned pieces of crockery in Anthropologie. This collection of flowery tableware is my favourite from their current range, but it was hard to choose!

  5. Botanical Coaster Set by Rifle Paper Co. – These stylised floral illustrations by Anna Bond have a very pretty, summery appeal and would be the perfect way to add some pops of colour to your dining table layout.

That’s all for now, but keep up with my blog to see more of my Top 5 features every month. You can find more of my favourite interior products on my Pinterest board NICE THINGS. and shop for my own Summer themed products in my online shop here.

Hand Illustrated Father’s Day Cards

Father’s Day is only two weeks away now so I thought I would do a little online hunting for some unique and beautifully illustrated Father’s Day greetings cards from some UK based designers. There seem to be an awful lot of corny joke based cards out there when looking for cards for dads but I personally prefer to give a card with a little more sentiment and creativity about it… so here a few favourites that I found.

Felicity French

Traditional but very cute, this patterned socks card by Felicity French makes a playful dad joke without words. Love how all the socks are raised giving the card a 3D look. – £2.00

Alice Palace

This quirky illustration of a daddy badger with his young one by Alice Palace is incredibly sweet. I love the scribbly style it’s drawn in… Perfect for any nature loving dads! – £2.25
Katie Leamon

Something a little more sophisticated and classical, this car design is hand stamped using an original design by Katie Leamon onto textured linen card. – £3.75
Ailbhe Creative

My dad is an avid photographer and I’m sure there are plenty of other dads out there into their photography too. This lino printed camera design from Ailbhe Creative would be ideal for snap happy dads. – £2.50

Jo Clark Design

For nature loving dads, a simple blank card with his favourite animal on it could work perfectly. My dad loves spotting the birds feeding in his garden so I’ve picked out this lovely illustrated magpie card by Jo Clark Design on Etsy. – £2.50

Sky SioukiLast but not least is my own vintage inspired Happy Father’s Day card available in my online shop with free UK delivery. Particularly well suited to any garden or dog loving dads. – £2.95

10 Ways to Bring the Garden Indoors

It’s the 1st of June although unfortunately it’s not so Summery outside today. I’m sure there will be plenty of good weather for gardening coming soon enough but in the meantime here are some ways to bring some outdoor greenery inside for the rainier days and for those without gardens.

1. Plant Succulents in Teacups – A very cute and easy way to display small plants in a girly vintage style, perfect for cacti and succulents. Here’s a guide on how to do it.

Succulents in Teacups

2. Frame Dried Plants – This idea would work wonderfully using Nkuku Kiko glass frames. Love how they look like museum specimens. Get more tips for using dried plants here.

Frame Dried Plants

3. Make A Terrarium – A little more time consuming but the results can be stunning. There are some beautiful vessels about, such as these from Love Glass Lenka on Etsy, and here’s a great guide on how to make one.

Make A Terrarium

4. Display Flowers in Tins – Why not go for something alternative to a vase to put your flowers in and use a vintage tin, or perhaps a jar or jug as shown in this blog post from Vintage Whites.

Flowers in Tin

5. Hang Vintage Botanical Prints on the Walls – I love the fine detail of these old fashioned illustrations. Available to download free from Poppytalk, these prints would look great framed or even just taped to the wall.

Vintage Botanical Prints

6. Display Dried Twigs in Vases – Even just a collection of interesting branches or twigs clustered together in a beautiful glass vessel can make a great statement.

Dried Twigs in Vase

7. Cover a Wall with a Garden Scene – If you want to go all out with bringing the garden indoors this is the way to do it. If you don’t fancy painting a mural yourself Ananbo sell stunning panoramic wallpapers in classical landscape designs, or try this Olaf Hajek design for something more contemporary.

Garden Mural Wallpaper

8. Upholster Your Furniture in Florals – If covering an entire wall in garden patterns seems a bit much, how about keeping the walls white and giving your sofa a floral makeover. Try Liberty or Abigail Borg for gorgeous floral fabrics.

Floral Fabric

9. Hang Framed Taxidermy Insects on the Walls – Plants and florals aren’t the only things lurking in the garden. Framed insects can make fascinating decorative props, especially effective displayed as a collection.

Taxidermy Butterflies

10. Cluster Exotic Fruits in Bowls – Never underestimate the humble fruit bowl. Use an interesting vintage bowl as a centrepiece and put a collection of exciting fruits like pineapples or lemons in it. Looks best if you use lots of the same fruit.

Pineapples in Bowl

That’s it! Here’s to outdoor greenery indoors! Find more interior inspiration on my Pinterest and if you’re looking for more nature themed interior accessories be sure to check out my online shop too.

TOP 5… Exciting Wallpapers for the Bathroom

Something I often come across when browsing through my favourite interior magazines and blogs is the use of bold and eccentric design in bathrooms, especially well suited to a downstairs loo. Using a small space that you spend less time in than the rest of the house gives you the opportunity to go a little decor mad without having to spend loads or worry about over busying a calm spacious room. Below are my favourite five examples of beautiful and exciting wallpapers perfect for an off the wall bathroom!

Designer Wallcoverings

1. The Original Martinique Wallpaper by Beverly Hills Wallpaper. This infamous classic banana leaf print has had a big resurgence in popularity lately. Very bold and very green, I don’t think I could handle a whole living room filled with the leafy design but it works perfectly for a small bathroom. I love how it’s been paired with a jungle themed print in the example above.

Timorous Beasties

2. London Toile by Timorous Beasties. Another famed wallpaper by my all-time favourites, Timorous Beasties, who’s London Toile looks pretty from afar but up close subverts the classical design style by depicting gritty and violent city scenes. This design is a little more subtle in terms of colour use but is certainly the most cutting edge of my selection.

Scalamandré3. Zebras by Scalamandré. You may well recognise this one from Margot’s bedroom in Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums. Until now I had always thought that bedroom was a one of a kind wonder hand painted especially for the film so you can imagine my excitement when I discovered it is in fact a wallpaper available to all and in many different colourways too! It looks especially spectacular teamed with a majestic gilded mirror and gold accessories in this particular bathroom, although I personally prefer the blue version.

Voysey

4. Apothecary’s Garden by Voysey. This classical Voysey design from c.1926 has a very Liberty print feel about it. If you’d prefer to give your space a more vintage style then I’d definitely recommend looking at Voysey’s other wallpaper designs too, amazingly all still available from Trustworth Studios. Whilst they are very traditional many of his designs feature birds and animals creating a fun and quirky mood still.

De Gournay

5. Deco Monkeys by De Gournay. This art deco style design has quite a chic look about it but the monkeys maintain a vibrant, playful theme perfect for a wild and eccentric bathroom. Available in a few different colourways, I think I like the decadent gold version with it’s pink highlighted berries best.

So there you have it – my top five wallpapers for exciting bathrooms whether you’re looking for a classic, contemporary, whimsical, vintage or chic design. Believe me it was very hard whittling it down to just five. If you’re still on the hunt for a wallpaper for your own bathroom or small space I’d recommend checking out more of Timorous Beasties, House of Hackney, Julia Rothman and Louise Body too.

Follow me on Pinterest here to see more of my favourite prints and interiors.

In love with… Shilo Engelbrecht Textiles

Since I’ve been researching abstract painting and ideas for a new collection of painterly designs, the work of a favourite textile designer of mine recurrently comes to mind… Shilo Engelbrecht. Shilo’s collection is branded Älv Textiles featuring a stunning range of digitally printed table linen, cushions, bags and scarves as well as fabric by the metre for furnishings. The designs are taken from Shilo’s vibrant, expressive oil paintings and printed onto linen and silk. The fabric accentuates every bold brushstroke and colour contrast fantastically showing off the beautiful texture within her work in an explosion of colour.

Alv Textiles by Shilo EngelbrechtShilo Engelbrecht Table Linen

Expressive painterly textile prints seem to be hugely popular at the moment and looking at Shilo’s work it’s easy to see why. I find looking at her textiles so invigorating and inspirational – each piece just injects so much energy into a space, they really are a must have. To see more of my favourite textiles designs you can follow my Patterned Wares Pinterest board and if you’re also an Älv Textiles fan I’d definitely recommend following Shilo’s Instagram too.

Shilo Engelbrecht Paintings

NEW… Sky Siouki Greetings Cards

I’ve wanted to bring out some new card designs for a little while now but this May with a couple of events in sight I finally got it together and did it. There are four new designs – two in a similar style to my existing designs printed onto a white textured card and two in an exciting new style printed onto recycled card using white ink. The textured white card I use feels really sumptuous and is a lot nicer than the standard flat shiny surface most cards are printed onto, and the brown card has a lovely organic flecked texture to it because it is recycled which I think compliments the designs wonderfully. They are all digitally printed and come with brown recycled envelopes.

New Greeting Cards
The new cards include another ‘Happy Birthday’ design with an elegant deer on it, an adorable kitten suitable as a birthday card, thank you card, or anything you want it to be, ‘Jump For Joy’ featuring a little rabbit which would be ideal as a new baby card or a birthday or congratulations card too and a ‘Lovebirds’ design for engagements, weddings and Valentine’s. So now I’m proud to say I have cards suitable for nearly all occasions available from my shop!

If these go down well there may be even more to come. I’m very excited about being able to print onto 100% recycled card using white ink, enhancing the sustainable ethos of Sky Siouki so I hope to do a few more like this in the future. All of my cards are available to buy online and UK delivery is free!

Inspiration from Abstract Painting

With plans of designing a new cushion collection ahead of me I’ve been getting really into my research lately. I’m hoping to produce some designs with a slightly darker edge than the original Sky Siouki collection using abstract painted textures as a predominant design element. So recently I’ve been totally engrossed in Pinterest looking at beautiful abstract paintings full of thick expressive brushstrokes and exciting bursts of colour. Below are a few of my new favourite artists and their work…

Heather Day

Heather Day – I love the simplicity and boldness of Day’s paintings. Using just a few high contrasting colours she creates an expressive statement that really grabs you.

Sam Lock

Sam Lock – There is a wonderful level of depth within Lock’s work, creating an aged and decayed feel to his paintings. I find the rough uneven textures and subtle variety of tones in his work incredibly absorbing.

Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly – Not quite as recent but a long time favourite of mine is Cy Twombly. I prefer some of his pieces a lot more than others but the Quattro Stagioni series and this particular painting from the Hero and Leandro series have always moved me since seeing them exhibited at Tate Modern.

Lola Donoghue

Lola Donoghue – Donoghue’s paintings are somewhat prettier than the other artists I have featured here due to her use of feminine pastel shades. I love the tonal blends of colour within her work creating very soft transitions between hues.

Patricia Sadler

Patricia Sadler – Sadler’s work is derived from more literal sources than the other artists in this post but I think she abstracts her subject wonderfully creating intense dark and moody scenes that move way beyond figurative depictions of landscapes.

Can’t wait to get painting more myself! Watch this space! But in the meantime, see more of my artistic inspiration on my ART Pinterest board here.

TOP 5… Spring Inspired Prints

Springtime is now in full swing and so in light of all the lovely weather we’ve been having, this month’s Top 5 feature is on Spring inspired prints! All the prints I’ve picked are for interiors either on furnishing fabrics, wallpapers or interior accessories.

Spring Inspired Prints

  1. Lotus Pink Cushion by Bonnie & Neil £75 – Love the vibrancy of this pink botanical print by Australian brand Bonnie & Neil, contrasted nicely with a fun black trim.
  2. Bashful Bunnies Silk Cushion by Silken Favours £95 – I’m a huge Silken Favours fan and a major rabbit lover too so when this new silk bunny design came out it was bound to be an instant hit with me.

  3. PowderPuff Rose Fabric by Abigail Ryan £89 per metre – Abigail Ryan’s graphic florals and bold colours create a really strong Spring vibe full of warmth and joy.

  4. Harrys Garden Fabric by Louise Body £55 per metre – This design is a little more subdued but the sweet little garden birds inject some Springtime life into the delicately illustrated design.

  5. Harvest Hare Wallpaper in Corn by Mark Hearld £60 per roll – Mark Hearld’s linocut designs have a beautiful timeless quality. This wallpaper would make any room feel warm and happy even when it’s not Spring.

Keep up with more of my Top 5 features on the Shopping section of my blog.

TOP 5… Alternative Easter Gifts

Springtime is fast approaching and Easter is only a week away! If you don’t fancy filling up on chocolate eggs this Easter though I’ve put together a lovely little selection of alternative Easter gifts to tickle your fancy. I’ve had a rather indulgent March myself having just been away in Portugal (blog post to follow soon!) and with Summer ahead I’m trying my hardest to stave off chocolate for now. If you’re feeling the same as me or perhaps have children who have gotten a little too old for eggs why not go for a rabbit gift this year instead?!

Rabbit Gifts

1. Bunny Rabbit Necklace by Love Hearts and Crosses  £29
This rabbit necklace is absolutely adorable and his pink bow gives an extra Easter touch. Perfect for a teenage daughter.
2. Rabbit & Cabbage iPhone Case by Thornback & Peel  £19.95
I’ve been a big fan of Thornback & Peel since they first emerged and now they’ve even starting doing phone covers!
3. Rabbit & Sun Print by Jen Rowland  £20
This screen-printed vintage rabbit illustration looks stunning set off against a golden sun.

Rabbit Gifts 2

  1. Baby Bunny Night Light from DotComGiftShop  £3.95
    This cheap and cheerful bunny night light is so cute. At only £3.95 I may just have to get one of these for myself.
  2. Rabbit Shaped Plush Cushion by Sky Siouki  £33
    Couldn’t resist including my own rabbit cushion in the mix. Printed onto soft cotton and backed with black velvet this one is nice and cuddly!

Keep up with more of my Top 5 features on the Shopping section of my blog.