AUGUST Pinterest Board of the Month

 

This month I’ve chosen a beautiful botanical themed Pinterest board called Succulents + Plants by Justine Swindell.

Having recently been drawing leafy plant illustrations to add as finishing touches to my new design collection, I’m finding tropical leaves and succulents particularly inspiring at the moment.

Plus having become a home-owner for the first time this year I’m getting rather obsessed with home decor ideas and garden plants too so all the beautiful little ceramic planters also featured on this board are calling out to my interior designer side!

 

August-Pinterest-Board-of-the-Month-Cacti-Succulents-Sky-Siouki

 

There’s all sorts of inspiration to take away from this board, in many different forms. With a great mix of botanical based art and illustration, creative photographs showing off stunning colour contrasts like the pink and green leaves above, and succulents planted in teacups and handmade pots dotted about too, this board is totally worth a shout out today!

If you’d like some planters similar to the black and white ones in the bottom left, head to 1220 Ceramics! She’s a lovely Bristol based ceramicist who makes very similar pots to these and can often be found at local markets like Tobacco Factory and The Frome Independent alongside myself!

 

TOP 5… Cactus Gifts from Bristol Designers

This TOP 5 feature was meant to be Easter themed, but as I sit here staring out the window at snow covered gardens I can’t quite manage to pretend rabbits and daffodils are just around the corner. So I’m going rogue and featuring cacti instead! Because a cactus is tough and prickly which is pretty much how this Spring feels so far, plus they’ve got more chance of survival than flowers right now. Also I realised everyone seems to bloody love a good cactus, and I know many other Bristol designers who sell cactus themed products. So what better excuse than to feature them all and make this post about Bristol makers too!

 

Jessica Baldry Handmade Papercut Cactus

1. HANDMADE PAPERCUT CACTUS by Jessica Baldry.

Jess is a fellow Bristol Girl Bosses collective member and an incredible papercut artist! Can never believe she does these by hand, just look at those delicate spikes. It may not surprise you to learn she’s a very patient person.

 

Snippet Art Cacti Pots Collection Print

2. CACTI POTS by Snippet Art.

This artist likes to remain mysterious, but I can tell you that you can buy his whimsical prints in Blaze up on Colston Street in Bristol city centre. Love the colours, and all the discreet little details of pattern on the pots in this print. My fave is the second row down, third column along, how about you?

 

Moloney Makes Cacti Crochet Magnet

3. CROCHET CACTI MAGNET by Moloney Makes.

So adorable! Sophie from Moloney Makes hand knits and crochets everything in her Etsy shop! This cactus is magnetic so you can prettify your fridge with it.

 

Melanie Wickham Tiny WIndowsill Garden Linocut

4. TINY WINDOWSILL GARDEN LINOCUT PRINT by Melanie Wickham.

I recently met Mel through the latest Tribe Aisthetica exhibition at The Malago. Her prints are all brilliant and so full of humour. I had thought this one was a little more serious than the rest, until I spotted that funny little face pot hidden on the right!

 

Hello Cleo Cactus Print Cushion Cover

5. CACTUS PRINT CUSHION by Hello Cleo.

Finally, another fellow Bristol Girl Bosses member. Sabina has such an eye for quirky prints to make her homewares and clothing out of. This cactus print is brilliant and has been such a popular one!

Have a very happy Easter, maybe try giving a cactus or a cacti themed gift this year instead of bunnies? Might make it my mission to start a trend with this! Whatever you do, remember to eat chocolate, that’s the main thing.

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TOP 5… Bird Themed Mother’s Day Gifts

What mother doesn’t want something pretty and adorned with birds on Mother’s Day?! Ok, I’ll admit this post wasn’t originally going to be bird themed but it appears I am just naturally drawn to all things birdy so it sort of just happened. Love it when I stumble across the most amazing products in my quest to put together a good gift guide for you all on here! There are some corkers in this list so keep reading!

Thornback & Peel_chicken_carnation_tote

1. CHICKEN AND CARNATION TOTE BAG from Thornback & Peel – ££

Just discovered that Thornback & Peel have introduced totes and make-up bags to their range and love them all. My favourite was actually the lobsters but something about chickens and carnations just seems to shout mum.


Sew Heart Felt Barny Owl Slippers

2. BARNY OWL SLIPPERS from Sew Heart Felt – £££

Another new discovery for today. Oh my gosh, how amazing are these slippers?! The brand also do a children’s range in a whole host of different bird and animal designs. Obviously I had to choose the barn owls. They’re organic and handmade too!

 

Anthropologie Swan Candle Stick Holder

3. SWAN TAPER CANDLE HOLDER from Anthropologie – £££

My mum loves candles. I love candles. I mean, who doesn’t love candles? And who wouldn’t want this magnificent and elegant swan candlestick holder for their dining table? So pretty, Anthropologie never disappoints.

 

Sky Siouki Mute Swan Towel

4. MUTE SWAN TEA TOWEL from Sky Siouki – ££

Kinda had to include one of my own designs if I’m going down the bird theme route. This design is always very popular with women and seems to often be the final choice when someone is buying their mum, grandma or aunt a gift. I think swan’s are very feminine birds so a good choice for Mother’s Day if she likes to be in the kitchen.

 

Kekoni Bird Cage Pendant Lampshade

5. COPPER BIRDCADE PENDANT LAMPSHADE from Kekoni – £££££

Finally, I’ve come across these lampshades here and there on Pinterest but today realised you can actually but them on Etsy in a variety of sizes and styles! I just think they’re fantastic, so cute and quirky. If your mum has an eclectic style and loves her homewares then this will really push the boat out!

That’s it! Mother’s Day here in the UK is Sunday March 11th. I will actually be selling at Tobacco Factory Sunday Market with the whole Bristol Girl Bosses collective so you can even do your gift shopping with your mum on the day if you need her to choose for you!

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TOP 5… Ethical Valentine’s Gifts

Just love doing a good TOP 5 gift guide! Valentine’s is coming soon so I thought I’d give any male followers of Sky Siouki a heads up on some interesting gifts for her that are a bit further outside of the box than chocolates and flowers. Plus while we’re at it why not keep it ethical because that’s something we should all be striving to keep at the top of our agendas when gift buying.

Also I’m introducing a new little price scale to these posts using pound signs. From £ to £££££. £ being in the £5 and under bracket and £££££ being £100 or more. Happy Valentine’s shopping!

 

Cunningham Clay Vase from Eclect Design

CUNNINGHAM CLAY VASE from Eclect Design – £££

If you do like to get her flowers or plants from time to time then why not get her a beautiful vase to display them in too! This Jade coloured clay vase has a lovely tactile quality about it.

 

Grey Swan Print Organic Camisole from Primrose and Pixie

GREY SWAN PRINT ORGANIC CAMISOLE from Primrose and Pixie – ££££

A bit more of a sophisticated take on buying lingerie. This camisole is also available with matching shorts as well as a bra and knickers if you want to go all out to impress. Made of organic cotton it’s sure to feel super soft on her skin.

 

Green Tea Avocado Radiance Face Night Cream from Shaloah Skincare

GREEN TEA AVOCADO RADIANCE NIGHT CREAM from Shaloah Skincare – ££

Green tea and avocado, could this skin cream be any more on trend? But there’s a good reason those detoxifying ingredients are so popular, because they really are super nourishing, and what women doesn’t want to feel nourished at the end of each day?!

 

A5 Sky Gold Foil Notebook by Jen Rowland

SKY BLUE A5 NOTEBOOK from Jen Rowland – £

If you just want to get something simple that won’t break the bank or go to waste, why not go for something pretty but useful. Most women I know love to keep a notebook on them for all their important list making. There’s a lot of lists to be had in a woman’s life I can tell you! Independent designer Jen Rowland offers a stunning range of stationary in subtle nature inspired designs.

 

Natural Eye Pillow Wheat Pack by Blasta Henriet

NATURAL EYE PILLOW WHEAT PACK from Blasta Henriet – ££

This one’s a good present for showing thoughtfulness. If January’s been a tough month and she’s feeling worn out, something to help her relax and de-stress like this natural warming eye pillow surely can’t fail to impress.

OR if you fancy getting a Valentine’s Day present from Sky Siouki instead, you can find me in Bristol at The Tobacco Factory Sunday Market on Feb 11th! …And if you’re not in Bristol, shop online! Shipping is free if you spend over £20!

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JANUARY Pinterest Board of the Month

First Pinterest Board of the Month feature for 2018! This January’s choice is a mix of homey vibes by Jane McCormack simply called ‘BEAUTIFUL THINGS’. Nice.

It’s full of earthy tones, mainly in beautiful home interiors but it also includes a few lovely items like handmade pottery and succulent plants. There’s even a couple of infographics on plants that purify the air in your home!

January Pinterest Board of the Month Images

 

Here’s a selection of my favourite four images from the board. Having just moved into my very own project house I am getting super obsessive about kitchen tiles and layouts and those rich aquamarine hexagonal tiles are just to die for! Mixes of retro furniture, copper lamps, shelves full of intriguing items and exposed brick are totally in line with my homestyle vibe and I am also a massive sucker for a beautiful bowl! Just can’t say no to a nice bowl, honestly my partner will tell you it’s a problem. Plus that succulent image is just so darn pretty! Not quite at the plant buying stage yet but I’m certainly thinking low maintenance (and air purifying even) is the way to go!

Stay tuned for my TOP 5 Valentine’s Gifts feature and February’s Pinterest Board choice!

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DECEMBER Pinterest Board of the Month

As it’s December I had to make this one a Christmas feature! I have chosen a wonderful festive Pinterest board for the month of December called HOLIDAYS…. by Suzi Park and it is packed full of wonderful resources for Christmas baking, cooking, gift wrapping, decorations, table settings and even how to make your dog look festive! I love the choice of nature based styling and rustic traditional ideas with a bit of a Nordic influence coming through.

With Christmas day now only 6 days away, you are probably ready to prepare the final finishing touches for the big day like wrapping presents, cooking chutneys and cake in advance and making a few final decorations for the house and dinner table. This Pinterest board is full of inspiration for all of the above so go get creative and Merry Christmas!


chocolate-pinecones-christmas-cake

How amazing is this Christmas chocolate cake decorated with flaked almond pinecones?! Can’t get over how beautiful it looks. There are lots of other gorgeous looking baking ideas on the board too.

 

Christmas dog decoration hat

I’m a big dog lover, and I know lots of Sky Siouki fans out there are too. This Pinterest board has plenty of adorable festive dog photos on it too. They’re fun to have a laugh at even if you don’t fancy trying to wrestle your dog into a tangle of tinsel yourself on Christmas day.

 

Nigel Slater Christmas Turkey Guide

There are also tips on how best to cook your turkey and make delicious condiments. Plus ideas for interesting side dishes such as braised red cabbage. Prepare to start drooling.

 

Simple effective Kraft Christmas gift wrap

One of my favourite parts of Christmas what with being a creative and all, is the gift wrapping! There’s some great inspiration here for how to make your gifts look extra pretty this year. I love the simple style of this one. Always a fan of using recycled Kraft paper and jazzing it up with rustic twine or natural accessories like leaves as shown here.

This will be my last blog post before Christmas and most likely the new year since I’m about to move house by the end of the month! I have two last Christmas markets in Bristol left to go which are Harbourside Christmas Market on Saturday Dec 23rd and Tobacco Factory Christmas Eve Market on Dec 24th! If I don’t see you there though, a very HAPPY CHRISTMAS to you all and thank you a million for supporting Sky Siouki. See you in 2018!

 

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TOP 5… Unique Christmas Decorations on Etsy

Time for a Christmassy TOP 5 feature for December as always! I’ve gone for beautiful handmade baubles and decorations this time, all available on Etsy, and all extra special and unique from UK makers.

Marbleous Roo_ Bauble Marbled

1. Hand Marbled Ceramic Bauble by Marbleous Roo

First up is this arty and deliciously colourful stunner from a Bristol maker friend called Roo. I’m absolutely in love with all her handmade marbled creations. These baubles come in a variety of colour combos and are each one of a kind! SO hard to choose a favourite.

 

Camptoun Mosiacs_Scottish Seaglass Christmas Snowflake Decoration

2. Scottish Sea Glass Snowflake by Camptoun Creations

I love the rustic uneven nature of this snowflake star made out of subtley stained glass. Once again each one is unique down to their handmade nature, made out of glass collected from beaches in East Lothian in Scotland.

 

Planet Pixie Decorations_Decoupage Vintage Birds Bauble

3. Decoupage Birdie Bauble by Planet Pixie Creations

I love the vintage style of this bauble and that it’s a good large size too. There’s something about extra big baubles like this that I find really satisfying. There are all sorts of retro style decoupaged designs available in this Etsy shop so go have a browse!


Little Cottage Art Co._Ceramic Scene Glass Bauble

4. Cottage Christmas Bauble by Little Cottage Art Co.

This tiny ceramic Winter scene placed inside a glass bauble is just amazing! So delicate and sweet! With an 8cm diameter, I can barely fathom how the designer even manages to make these.

 

Mayfly Mosiacs_Mistletoe Stained Glass Decoration

5. Stained Glass Mistletoe by Mayfly Mosiacs

The final one on my list would look good on a tree or above a doorway for those who are hoping to get lucky! Made with stained glass and ivory pearls for the berries, this decoration really is a handmade work of art and unmistakable for mistletoe. Beautiful!

 

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AUGUST Pinterest Board of the Month

This month I have picked Botanical Pick Me Up as my Pinterest board of the month.

Joint curated by Dean Hearne and Lobster & Swan.

Botanical forms are super on trend right now and I can understand why. Filling your home with plants creates a fresh, bohemian energy and succulent and tropical plants are so nice and easy to manage too.

Pinterest Board of the Month August - Botanical Pick Me Up - Plant Pots

Pinterest Board of the Month August - Botanical Pick Me Up - Art Print.jpg

This board is full of ideas of other ways to fill your home with botanical greenery besides plants in pots too! Just adore the print above, and the handmade trinket dishes below are so cute and unique.

Pinterest Board of the Month August - Botanical Pick Me Up - Trinket Dishes.jpg

Check out the full board here for lots more botanical loveliness and for more inspiration on how to make your home feel at one with nature. Love the title of the board too, as it’s so true that a few plants around the place really can be a wonderful pick me up!

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TOP 5… Summer Cocktails

Thought I’d just post a fun little TOP 5 feature for today. It’s a lovely sunny day here in Bristol so what better way to celebrate than with some smashing fresh and fruity Summer cocktails?! I love drinks that are refreshing and fragrant and that suits Summer perfectly. If you’re planning a BBQ or Summer garden party for the weekend then here is the perfect place to start planning how to refresh your guests.

grapefruit cucumber gin summer cocktail

GRAPEFRUIT, CUCUMBER, GIN COCKTAIL

In my opinion, nothing beats gin especially for Summer, and a gin cocktail plus cucumber? Heaven!

 

Passionfruit_caipirinha_summer cocktail

PASSION FRUIT, LIME CAIPIRINHA

I hadn’t tried a caipirinha featuring Brazil’s answer to rum, cachaca, until very recently but once I had there was no looking back. The lime just makes them so zesty and thirst quenching!

 

watermelon-papaya-rum-smoothie-summer cocktail-4

WATERMELON, PAPAYA, RUM SMOOTHIE

What’s better than a fruity rum cocktail? A fruity rum smoothie! Can we just take a moment to appreciate all the beautiful colours going on with all these delicious drinks too please?

 

vanilla pineapple margarita summer cocktail

VANILLA, PINEAPPLE MARGARITA

A delicious twist on this tequila and triple sec based drink. I just love fruit so much, I’m starting to think it’d be hard not to enjoy any kind of Summer cocktail at this rate. Love the unusual addition of vanilla here though.

 

grapefruit elderflower rosemary vodka summer cocktail

GRAPEFRUIT, ELDERFLOWER, ROSEMARY, VODKA COCKTAIL

Tried to include an even mix of alcoholic spirits in my TOP 5 list so although I’m not a fan myself, vodka often does make a good base for cocktails since it’s less flavoursome. Love the sound of this mix of tastes. I mean who doesn’t love elderflower?

 

That’s it for today. Perhaps a little off piste from my usual art and interiors based posts but I fancied posting something a little fun and different today in the spirit of Summer! Hopefully you’ve still enjoyed it. Besides art and wildlife, I really love cooking and creating things in the kitchen so it’s nice to share that now and then. Stay tuned for photos from Springfest – my next event this Saturday! See details here.

9 Reasons To Buy From Designer-Makers

This week I wanted to highlight the importance of buying from designer-makers and independent brands here on the blog. Every order means so much to us, and although it may cost a little more hopefully the reasons below will help you realise why shopping independent is worth every penny.

1.  ETHICAL.

Buying from a designer maker most likely means that each item is handmade meaning in turn that each item has been ethically made. You can rest assured when you buy from an independent like Sky Siouki that nothing even remotely resembling a sweatshop has been involved in the process of making your item and I hope you’ll agree that’s a piece of mind worth having.

Sky Siouki Hand sewing cushions

2. HIGH QUALITY.

Most of us designer makers really care about the products we make and so we want them to be the best quality possible. We don’t intend on making something that’s only going to fall apart by the end of the year because we’ve put our sweat and tears into those products and we want you to be able to cherish them forever. Besides that we’d be doing ourselves an injustice by spending hours and hours over designing something, only to produce it using materials that make it look cheap or sub-standard.

3. UNIQUE.

You have the opportunity to find something ever so special, and perhaps even one of a kind, if you buy from a designer-maker. I think most of us can agree how exciting it feels when you discover something so beautiful and unusual that no-one else you know has and has an ethereal quality like no other thing you’ve seen before. Take these needle-felted sculptures by The Whispering Wild for example, each one is one of a kind and has taken hours to produce.

Whispers of Wild Needlefelt Hare

4. SUPPORT INDEPENDENT.

Behind each product is a person who is trying their absolute hardest to make their passion and talents into a business. Designer-makers are not money hungry business owners trying to get rich quick. We have chosen the road less travelled against all odds and it is by no means an easy feat so each and every customer is incredibly valuable to us and your support honestly means the world.

5. SUPPORT LOCAL.

When you buy from a designer-maker in your country, or perhaps even the same county or city if you often buy at markets, you are supporting your local economy too. By supporting local economy you help to boost your community and may even get to know the real person behind the product.

6. PERSONAL.

If you’re looking for an extra special item many designer-makers can even make something personalised just for you. Love this adorable cat couple commission by ceramicist Little Birdy for someone’s wedding cake topper! Who else but an incredible designer-maker could create such a thing?!

Little Birdy Cat Wedding Cake Toppers

7. THOUGHTFUL GIFTS.

When you give someone a gift made by a designer-maker you’re going to make the recipient feel all the more loved for it. To go to the effort to find something so much more rare, unusual and beautiful than something simply found in a high-street store shows that you have carefully considered what to get that person and spent time picking it out especially.

8. BEAUTIFULLY PRESENTED.

Designer makers almost always go the extra mile when it comes to our packaging and finishing touches. We want your item to arrive with a bang, or maybe a sparkly flurry, when it reaches your doorstep! As well as the product being handmade, so is the packaging, so the box is most likely going to look almost as exciting as what’s inside which is perfect if it’s a gift.

Paly Glass Botanical Frames

9. STORY BEHIND EVERY ITEM.

Behind each item or design there is no doubt a story in some shape or form making that item all the more interesting. For me each of my designs take their own journey through their process of creation and each bird has it’s only little story to tell within that. For other products, their stories may lie in their subtle imperfections or perhaps a wild dream the designer once had. I like to think that Little Birdy must have some amazing dreams looking at her Mer-puss and Narwhal creations!

 

So there you have it. Remember next time you’re gift shopping that buying from a designer-maker supports others and spreads kindness. Love and care has been put into each and every piece you buy from a designer-maker, care to design it from the heart, craft it well out of the best materials, and present it in the prettiest package.

 

TOP 5… Father’s Day Gifts from Bristol Designers

Father’s Day is less than two weeks away already so I think now is probably a good time to give you all a firm nudge and make sure you get your dad something nice! I’m really excited about this week’s blog post because while I was sat here scratching my head thinking ‘where am I going to find some good, unique Father’s Day gifts?’ it suddenly occurred to me that I know lots of amazing Bristol makers who offer brilliant man suitable gifts to feature!

So not only does this feature solve all your father’s day gift idea woes, it also promotes lots of lovely and talented fellow Bristol based designer-makers – the majority of whom I know personally and can totally vouch for as incredible ladies who fully deserve your support! What could honestly be better than that?!

 

Fiona Clabon Motorbike Coaster Father's Day Gifts

1. Norton Motorbike Coaster by Fiona Clabon £4.50 – I’ve always admired Fiona’s retro inspired collage designs even before I knew her! …And what dad hasn’t always dreamed of having his very own motorbike – even if it does only support his morning brew! This coaster would make a great affordable gift, or you can get the whole retro themed set or perhaps a gardening design instead if that’s what your dad is into.

 

Karve Design Timepiece Cufflinks Father's Day Gifts

2. Timepiece Cufflinks by Karve Design £25 – These cufflinks are something truly unique and special made using real watch parts! I’m usually next to the lovely Chitra of Karve Design when I do The Frome Independent market and so it’s lovely to see her incredible jewellery and accessories are always popular since each piece is entirely unique.

 

Girl & Bird Personalised Map Print Tablet Case Father's Day Gifts

3. Personalised Map Print Tablet Case by Girl & Bird £24-£27 – Annah of Girl & Bird sews all of her products by hand herself so you can even opt for a personalised choice of map and backing colour for this tablet case! She has a huge library of maps available to choose from so if your dad is at all like mine and likes his gadgets, he can be sure to keep his iPad protected in style with a beautiful case like this.

 

Little Paisley Designs Garden Birds Mug Father's Day Gifts

4. British Garden Birds Mug by Little Paisley Designs £12 -Eleanore much like myself is a big nature lover and sells a beautiful array of products featuring her cute and colourful wildlife illustrations. My dad has always been an avid bird watcher, these days especially, so whenever I see gifts covered in birds I always know they’ll most likely be a hit with him!

 

Alice Shields Save The Honey Bee Clay Badge Father's Day Gifts

5. Save The Honeybee Badge by Alice Shields £12.44 – The last of my five amazing Bristol designer ladies is one I haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting but am a big fan of her work. I love that she is donating 10% of sales of this handmade product to the Bee Guardian Foundation and I expect lots of dads would appreciate that too! Besides birds my dad also loves bees, as well as all other insects in fact, so the message to ‘save the honeybee’ certainly seems like a good one to wear on a badge. Plus it’s a gorgeous design and made of earthenware clay!

Thanks so much for reading. I hope I’ve helped you find your dad a gift this Father’s Day or at the very least introduced you to some brilliant designer-makers from Bristol to order from in future! Don’t forget to browse the Sky Siouki online shop for Father’s Day gifts too! My next TOP 5 feature will be something super Summery… I’m thinking cocktails?!

 

TOP 5… Big Blue Mugs

I love a good mug. Who doesn’t?! In fact I’ve always said I’m unlikely to trust any Brit who doesn’t drink tea. It’s simply a staple of our diet, right?! So I’m doing a fun little TOP 5 feature this week with five favourite mugs I’ve found online today all available to order online from the UK. …And If you don’t like tea, I guess you can use them for coffee or a fancy-pants hot chocolate but you’ll have to work hard to gain my trust. 😉 I’ve picked extra big and extra pretty ones for this post because I love to have a decent sized cuppa and I love to own beautiful homewares so hopefully you’re all with me on both fronts there!

Kebaya Mug - Anthropologie

1. Kebaya Mug from Anthropologie – £12

Anthropologie have to be the queens of mug beauty. So many beautiful shapes, so many beautiful colours, ahh bliss! Love the ethnic style patterns on this one.

Ida Mug - Oliver Bonas

2. Ida Mug from Oliver Bonas – £12

The colour and textured glaze of this mug is just heavenly and they have other colours to choose from too! Techincally more of a green than blue I know, but I’d say it’s on the cusp, and this was my fave!

Indigo Drop Mug - Decorator's Notebook

3. Indigo Drop Mug from Decorator’s Notebook – £12.95

Love the unusual short and wide shape of this mug. Simply yet edgy, and it’s made fair trade so rest assured this one is a loving cup.Antique Floral Print Mug - M&S4. Antique Floral Print Mug from Marks & Spencer – £8

I couldn’t find my all time favourite mugs that I have at home on the M&S website unfortunately so perhaps they’ve stopped doing them but this one is equally lovely. A nice traditional floral on a contemporary shape, I think this is a winner for a mum gift!

Handmade Grey & White Glaze Mug - Megan Louise Ceramics

5. Handmade Ceramic Grey & White Glaze Mug by Megan Louise Ceramics – £18

So soft and organic, these handmade mugs make me think of tranquil sandy beaches. Love that there are never two quite the same with artisan items like these. Sorry I haven’t included more independent makers in this post. Like to keep a bit of variety going and keep a range of prices in these features so it’s not always easy.

That’s it for my Top 5 mugs feature today! Hope you’ve enjoyed, comment and follow below if you liked it. Next week I’ll be dedicating a post to a fellow designer-maker, stay tuned to see who it will be!

APRIL Pinterest Board of the Month

 

Live Beautifully by Lobster & Swan.

A new monthly feature for the blog featuring snippets from a beautiful Pinterest board of my choosing each month for you all to enjoy. This is something I used to do via Twitter and Facebook quite often but I thought why not give these boards the full glory that they deserve and bring it on over to the blog!

This month I’ve picked this gorgeous selection of interiors titled Live Beautifully, exquisitely curated by photographer and stylist Lobster & Swan. All of these homes have a very floral, country living style Spring vibe going on so I thought it an apt choice for April’s pick. There are lots of flowers, antique furnishings, distressed wood and hues of pinks, greys and sage greens going on all creating a wonderfully rustic English garden style. I’ve picked three highlights below which I particularly liked for their use of vintage vs. contemporary furnishings, pastel shades and indoor plants but check out the whole board to get really inspired!

Pinterest Board of the Week - Live Beautifully. Piano

Pinterest Board of the Week - Live Beautifully. Living Room

Pinterest Board of the Week - Live Beautifully. Dining Room

If you enjoyed this post, stay tuned and subscribe via the links on the right for my Pinterest board of the month for May! Here’s my very own Pinterest profile if you fancy a gander at that too. Until next time! X

TOP 5… Bunny Gifts

With Easter coming in only a week already I couldn’t resist another Easter bunny themed TOP 5 gift guide! I just love rabbits so if you’re looking for a special Easter gift that will last longer than a chocolate egg then look no further. I’m trying my best to promote purely independent UK designers with these gift guides. Buying ethical, lovingly made products means high quality, lasting products that are unique and ultra special so why wouldn’t you choose to shop indie!?

 

Sam Pickard Rosetta Rabbit Cushion

1. Rosetta Rabbit Cushion by Sam Pickard

Absolutely love this gorgeous coy black rabbit hand screen-printed onto natural linen and made to order! Truly special and would look fantastic on any sofa. Sam Pickard is based in Devon, and you may have even seen her appear in George Clarke’s Channel 4 series Old House, New Home!

 

Red Bird Makes Porcelain Jack Rabbit Necklace

2. Porcelain Jack Rabbit Necklace by Red Bird Makes

Think I may have ended up featuring Red Bird Makes in my gift guides quite a few times now, but having seen these gorgeous necklaces in real life in Objets De Desir in Bristol where I also sell my work, I know just how delicate and special they are! This rabbit is just adorable with it’s little white socks and big eyes and ears.

 

Dora Designs Bob Rabbit Sitting Doorstop

3. Bob Rabbit Sitting Doorstop by Dora Designs

This doorstop is the perfect combination of cute with luxury style. Love the silky sheen of the brocade fabric he’s made out of it and the silk tassels around his neck. What a wonderfully stylish way to keep the doors open!

 

Rabbit A4 Giclee Print Sky Siouki

4. Rabbit A4 Giclée Print by Sky Siouki

A cheeky little inclusion of one of my own prints. This print of one of my original hand drawn illustrations of a wild rabbit would look lovely hung in a nursery or little girl’s bedroom. Illustrated using a combination of pencil, fine-liner pen, and watercolour.

 

Alice Mary Lynch Spring Harlequin Rabbit Doll

5. Spring Harlequin Doll by Alice Mary Lynch

I discovered Alice Mary Lynch’s amazing dolls a while back in a copy of Elle Decoration and haven’t forgotten them since. There is something truly magical about each and every one. All handmade and entirely unique, these dolls would make incredible keepsake gifts for special occasions. She offers to do bespoke commissions too. This Spring Harlequin rabbit seems the perfect choice for Easter with his wonderful spotty ruffles and jewelled check jacket!

There you have it, my TOP 5 Easter bunny gifts! Would love to hear more ideas for TOP 5 gift guides if anybody has any suggestions, please do comment below or on social media if there’s anything you’d like to see next. Next week I’ll be posting a little news update with what’s been happening at Sky Siouki HQ so stay tuned…!

 

MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS… TOP 5 Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is only a few weeks away now! (Which also means The Bristol Artisan which I will be selling at is very soon too. Eeee!) Anyway if you’re after a unique and special Mother’s Day gift for your mum this March then you are in the right place. I just love finding feminine handmade presents so putting together this little TOP 5 list was a delight. I’ve only featured artisan UK companies since I am all about supporting locals and independents and because I know mum’s appreciate things that are extra special and thoughtful. So without further ado here are my TOP 5 Mother’s Day Gifts.

Mother's Day Gifts - Handmade Pink and Gold Bowl

1. Handmade Pink Bowl with 24 Carat Gold from Att Pynta

I have to admit I have such an obsession with little bowls but I swear there are few woman in this world who don’t have a million uses for little pots and bowls like these including all the mums out there! Use them for dips, nuts, fruit, jewellery, pins, keys, anything! What’s even better is when you find a beautifully handmade bowl in a stunning dusky pink or midnight blue glazed with real gold around the rim like these ones made by Marie L Sundegren in colloboration with Att Pynta. I love that each one is slightly different with it’s minor imperfections showing that they are lovingly hand crafted.

Mother's Day Gifts - Siberian Husky Hair Wool Socks

2. Siberian Husky Hair and Wool Hand Knitted Socks from The Gorgeous Company

Maybe socks may seem like a clichéd gift but when socks are this good, who wouldn’t want a pair! These just look so incredibly soft and snuggly, made from husky hair would you believe! The huskies are just brushed during moulting season so no need to fear, these are totally ethically made.

 

Mother's Day Gifts - Needle Felted Snowdrop Sculpture

3. Snowdrop Pair Needle Felted Sculpture from The Whispering Wild

I recently discovered the amazing creations of The Whispering Wild and am in awe of each and every one I see. Her handmade needle-felted plants and animals make truly unique and beautiful gifts for mothers to treasure for years. She creates a lot of bespoke work so get in touch if your mum has a favourite animal you’d like made in felt for her. Here are some snowdrops in honour of Spring blossoming in March.

 

Mother's Day Gifts - Ladies Floral Purse

4. Waterproof Floral Ladies Coin Purse by Jiggle Ma Wiggle

Jiggle Ma Wiggle have a lovely selection of vintage designs available on a variety of zip pouches and bags. All waterproofed and with sweet little tassel zip pulls attached. This floral pattern and delicate mix of pink and ochre struck me as an ideal choice as a gift for a feminine mum. Just like bowls, there are always a million handy uses for little purses like these!

 

Mother's Day Gifts - Minimal Copper and Faux Leather Necklace

5. Minimal Copper and Faux Leather Necklace by Katie Betty

If you have a stylish mum who likes to stay on trend then these handmade necklaces from Katie Betty fit the bill perfectly! With a lovely subtle variety of colour combos available and simplistic geometric shapes these necklaces would look great with everyday wear and evening outfits too. She’ll feel really special knowing her necklace is unique and handmade.

I hope this gift guide leaves you feeling a little better equipped for Mother’s Day this year! If you’re still in need of ideas why not check out Peach Hamper’s gift guide here, full of thoughtful ideas with a personal touch. And if you’re still stuck, why not bring your mum to The Bristol Artisan on Mother’s Day instead and buy something of her choice from one of the fantastic 50 designers who’ll be selling there all weekend at The Arnolfini! See you there!

TOP 5… Birdy Valentine’s Gifts

Valentine’s Day is coming… it’s inescapable! Love it or hate it it’s somewhat hard to avoid it and although I don’t think it really signifies what love is truly all about, I suppose it’s nice to have an excuse to give and receive presents. You have to admit it makes February a little more exciting than what might otherwise be just another cold and mundane month. So since I’m a big nature fan and as you’ve probably noticed I just love a good bird design, I’ve collated a TOP 5 list of ideas for Valentine’s gifts to give to bird loving girlfriends like myself.

TinTrunk Gold Flying Bird Earrings

1. Gold Flying Bird Studs by Tin Trunk on Etsy

These vintage love bird earrings are 9ct gold but won’t break the bank! What a treasure, catch them while they’re still available.

2. Swan Lake Wool Scarf by Karen Mabon

Just discovered Karen Mabon’s amazing designs today and it’s safe to say I’m in love with her quirky and delightful style. This one is inspired by the romantic tale of Swan Lake but there are loads of other fantastic designs.

Nathalie Lete Placemat

3. Birds in the Dunes Table Mat by Nathalie Lete from Amara

Nathalie Lete’s illustrations are so wonderfully whimsical and often have a slight narrative which I love. I reckon this placemat would go down well with any homeware loving lady.

Skinny Dip Flamingo iPad case

4. Flamingo Ipad Case by Skinny Dip

Skinny Dip is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. Everything is so shiny and sometimes downright gaudy even yet I can’t help but be drawn to it all like a magpie. These flamingos may be a bit on the kitsch side but they’re just so much fun, what better way to jazz up your iPad I say?!

Sky Siouki Swan Mug

5. Mute Swan Bone China Mug by Sky Siouki

Last but not least I thought I’d give my own brand a sneaky feature in this one too. Seeing as swans are known as monogamous birds I thought my mute swan mug would make a rather fitting Valentine’s gift. Romantic, but pretty practical too!

Keeping It Tidy

Hello and a very happy new year! I hope those of you who are back at work this week aren’t feeling the January blues too badly. For me the start of a new year is all about reflecting, re-organising and setting myself new goals. After Christmas it feels like I suddenly have the time I need to catch up on all the things I’d let slip at the end of last year and I imagine I’m probably not the only one!

So… since my workspace is in dire need of some tidying and reshuffling I thought I’d research some ideas on smart storage solutions and share them with you all. Goodness knows I need all the help I can get, it’s so easy to let the mess get out of control and then it’s all the more hard to keep on top of it so I’m hoping to find some better ways to store things so it won’t keep happening! All of these ideas are so clever and could all be used anywhere in the home as well as in a workspace.

Scaffold Kitchen Shelves

Nifty Shelving


So simple, yet so effective. Even the narrowest of shelves in the tiniest of nooks seem to offer so much possibility for another place to put all those little bits and bobs that otherwise just end up lying around. Especially great for lining up tins and jars so whatever you need is right there ready to be lifted at your disposal. If you’re feeling really clever, you can even add hooks or rails to the underside of your shelves for hanging things too! Just ingenious.

Pegboard Deskspace

Pegboards


After a bit of research it doesn’t seem there’s much a pegboard can’t do for you and I think it’s high-time I got one! Attach mini shelves, rails, rods to spike things on, strings to peg things on, hooks to hang things from, and even add a few personal touches too just for decoration’s sake!

Drawers on Wheels

Wheeled Cabinets


New motto in life: If in doubt, add wheels. I’ve considered extra drawer or storage units to go under my desk before but always worry they’ll be awkward to get to or my legs will feel cramped but the solution now suddenly seems so amazingly simple. Add wheels! With the ease to roll cabinets around all hassles are eliminated! Another brilliant application of this one is adding wheels to solo drawers to go under the bed or sofa.

Crate Box Shelves

Crate Box Shelves


Ok, I know shelves are a bit of a running theme here but there are just so many possibilities. I love this idea largely for the appearance I have to admit but using a box for a shelf is a wonderfully multi-faceted solution too. If you can find any with lots of little compartments like the second from the bottom here then it serves a great purpose for storing lots of small arts and crafts supplies. There is also the advantage that the top of the box can be used as an additional shelf, plus the extra sides can be used to lean things against.

Chalkboard

Chalkboards & Pin-boards


Dedicate a whole wall to being ideas ready. I love the idea of just painting an entire wall with chalkboard paint so that you can write straight onto it whenever an important thought strikes you. If you’re more of a paper person cover a wall in cork so you can pin your notes or magazine clippings to it as you go. That way whatever is currently going on is right there straight in front of you and easy to be changed from day to day.

Fold Away Desk

Fold Away Desks


I’ve always admired the ingenuity of these compact desks perfect for slotting into a living or corridor space for a bit of discreet study space. For me, this would be far too small a space to use as my office but would be great as an additional surface area when I need a clear space for admin work if my main desk has been overridden with sewing or art stuff. I’ve also seen some wonderful small versions of this that work as drink cabinet come mini-bars!

Time for me to stop researching how to be tidy and actually get tidy now! Wish me luck!

TOP 5… Christmas Decor DIYs

The countdown is ON… 5 days to go until Christmas day! I’ve finally had a bit of time to sit back a bit more and focus on my own Christmas gift shopping and festive plans. Like every year does, it has crept up so fast hasn’t it?! Somehow I’m always caught out by it though, time’s running a little short for decorating the house now but if you perhaps have lots of guests coming on the big day it seems worth putting in the extra effort to add some handmade finishing touches to the house this week. I think half of the joy is in the making anyway, always gets me in the Christmas spirit of things! So here are my TOP 5 Christmas decor ideas all of which you can make yourself just in time for Christmas!

Gingerbread Decorations

1. Hanging Gingerbread Biscuits – Love this example in a Scandinavian kitchen where the biscuits have been strung onto a tree branch giving them an extra rustic twist. If you’re after a good gingerbread recipe, this one sounds like a winner to me.

Candle Holders

2. Candle Votives – Love the warm glow of a collection of tea-lights all clustered together like this. This display is extra festive with pinecones and reindeer scattered amongst them. There are some lovely glass votives available on Not On The High Street.

Handmade Paper Garlands

3. Paper Garlands – So simples and easy to do, I think decorations like these add a lovely extra cheer to the house hung across mantelpieces or doorways. The gold paper is ideal for Christmas and I love the idea of using mistletoe or moon shapes like these. You can actually buy the moon phases garland but I reckon it’d be super easy to make your own!

Handmade Christmas Crackers

4. Handmade Christmas Crackers – This one is a bit more hard work but if you’ve got some extra time off and want to include your own prizes inside than it’s a great little project. In this example they’ve used this gorgeous vintage pattern design and drawn on gold edges. Just beautiful!

Rosemary Wreath Place Cards

5. Wreath Place Cards – I love the natural, rustic style of these. If you’ve got lots of people coming over place names are probably needed so why not make a feature of them?! Really easy to do with this tutorial.

So that’s all 5 of my top Christmas DIY decor ideas for you! All things which can hopefully be done without too much fuss at the last minute. Thank you so much to each and every Sky Siouki customer that has bought a Christmas gift from me this year and I hope all of the recipients love what you’ve got them! A very Merry Christmas!! Love Sky x

 

INTERIORS INSPO – Keeping it Cosy

It feels like Winter is making it’s approach in full force this week. Definitely time to get the blankets, hot water bottles, big scarves and extra large mugs out! But at least it’s an excuse to give the house a little seasonal makeover to keep you cosy throughout the next few months so I thought I’d seek out a few of the best cosy living spaces I could find on good old Pinterest and share some ideas on how to give your home some rustic, homely vibes.

Modern Meets Rustic

Cosy Fireplace

WOOD: These homes have a wonderful modern rustic feel with their use of natural wooden floorboards, painted wood wall panels, indoor plants and antique fireplaces complete with vintage armchairs alongside. The addition of a few big logs in the fireplace or a basket full of kindling ready to get that fire roaring really completes the look. Love the ceiling high bookcases here too, somehow lots of books seem to make a home feel extra cosy, perhaps because they tell more of a story about the people who live there.

Velvet Sofa

VELVET: As far as I’m concerned, nothing feels quite as amazingly soft as velvet does. I’m such a sucker for velvet sofas and cushions. You can bet you’ll be comfortable on a sofa like this one plus it look so effortlessly glamourous.

Scandinavian Living Room

RUGS & THROWS: This Scandinavian style living space is made to feel cosy with it’s big high pile rug, sheepskin throws and candle collection on the coffee table. Candlelight in the evening always adds a wonderful warm glow to a room on a cold night and it really does add heat too. Even the deer skull on the wall here adds to the rustic Winter style perfectly.Earthy ColoursEARTHY COLOURS: Colour is so important to the mood of a room. Although I love the pure style of Scandinavian homes I do find it can be a little too much white sometimes. This home shows how more dusky and earthy colours can create warmth in a space and works especially well when paired with antique furniture and textiles. A nice big Persian rug is ideal to create this look. Even if you’d rather keep the walls light it’s easy to bring in a bit more earthy depth using cushions and painted furniture instead. My fave colour choices are dark mauve, rusty orange and dusky rose pink.

Happy decorating and stay warm! I’ll be launching my new product collection this Friday, Nov 11th, so keep your eyes peeled and read all about the making of in next week’s post!

TOP 5… Autumnal items your house needs!

I have to admit I don’t much enjoy the cold weather approaching when Autumn comes along but something I do love about the season is chunky knits and beautiful earthy colours. Nothing beats feeling cosy inside wrapping up with a hot cuppa when it’s all chilly and windy outside. So I’ve created a top five list of homewares in celebration of beautiful Autumnal colour and staying warm!

Jade Green Short Coffee Cup

1.  Jade Green Short Coffee Cup – Clearly you’re going to need a gorgeous mug like this hand-thrown terracotta one from Decorator’s Notebook for all those cups of hot cocoa. Absolutely love the aqua colour!

Globe Table Light

2. Globe Table Light – This stunning lamp from Holly’s House would fill any room with a lovely warm glow with it’s impressive orb like glass globe surrounding the lightbulb. Love the carved wooden base as well making the product feel natural and solid.

Mustard Yellow Digby Throw

3. Mustard Yellow Digby Throw – Nothing quite screams comfort like Lauren Aston‘s incredible super-sized knits. Knitted by hand using giant knitting needles this blanket is truly special and the merino wool in this stunning mustard yellow colour will surely keep you cosy on cold nights.

Grey Linen Bedding

4. Grey Linen Bedding – I’ve been allover linen bedding all year really if I’m honest but the soft natural feel brings extra comfort in the colder months and the faded natural colours available from Zara Home are absolutely perfect for that Autumn style.

Hand Tufted Trellis Rug

5. Hand-Tufted Trellis Rug – Alright, I know I probably feature Anthropologie in practically every TOP 5 feature but it’s just really really hard not to! This soft tufty rug with it’s gorgeous contrasts of ochre against navy and dusky pink is such a treat for the eyes and looks super comfy to roll about on to.