NOW IN THE SHOP – New Limited Edition Prints

 

Very excited to announce I have eight new limited edition giclée prints now available in my online shop. They are all editions of 50 and reproductions of a selection of new original paintings I have recently produced this year. They are printed in a range of sizes and include four 30cm square, two A3 and two 42cm square, all signed, named and numbered by hand of course. I have included images of three of them below but the full new range can all be viewed in my online shop here.

 

Bright Haze - Limited Edition Giclee Print
Bright Haze

 

Sundown - Limited Edition Giclee Print
Sundown

 

It’s been incredibly exciting for me to find myself on the path to establishing myself as a painter and artist as well as a designer of products. Sky Siouki is fast becoming an artist pseudonym rather than simply a brand name for me. I hope to continue producing new paintings as the year goes on and exhibiting them in more and more galleries too. This will also mean more limited edition prints to come, although I have chosen to select my favourite paintings rather than to produce prints of every single one.

 

Swoop - Limited Edition Giclee Print
Swoop

 

I would love to hear which are your favourites and if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see me do next? See the full collection of Sky Siouki limited edition prints right here.

 

NEW Limited Edition Giclee Prints

 

You may already be aware that I’ve been working hard on creating a lot more original artwork to sell this year. Since my open edition range of prints are all created by merging my wildlife illustrations over my abstract paintings digitally in Photoshop, I previously didn’t have the ability to show or sell ‘originals’ of the prints. So having been asked about original paintings a lot recently I have begun creating new artworks with my illustrations applied to the paintings directly using transfers. This has been so enjoyable and I’ve had such a wonderful response to these artworks! Lots of opportunities to sell the originals with galleries have opened up for me too and so I hope to continue producing lots more new artwork like this – taking Sky Siouki into a new and exciting direction of an artist based brand just as much as design based.

 

Painting-in-progress-art-by-sky-siouki

 

I have decided to release limited editions of 50 of each of my original paintings since I believe it’s important to make art accessible to all. You can now find in my online shop a section for Open Editions and Limited Editions. The limited editions being mainly all prints derived from my original paintings as opposed to digitally composed designs as my open editions are. Head over to the new section now to see the latest set of paintings I have released as prints named Moorland, Drift, Spring Tide and Harvest Sun.

 

Moorland-Giclee-Print-Sky-Siouki

 

There are also a couple of new open edition prints added to the collection, named Cormorant and Goshawk. The Goshawk design was a special design done for the Bristol Girl Bosses ‘Muse’ exhibition and the Cormorant was designed as a tribute to Bristol’s Harbourside.

 

Goshawk-Giclee-Print-Detail-Sky-Siouki

 

I am currently working on a new collection of water bird illustrations, with the intention of eventually launching four new designs across my full product range. These will be added to my current Waterbirds collection, splitting them into a British and an Exotic series.

Follow me on Instagram to see the drawings and artwork progress. I like to post little progress updates in my stories!

Sky x

 

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JUNE Pinterest Board of the Month

 

You know when you see something so beautiful your heart practically starts racing? That is how I felt when I discovered this month’s Pinterest board of the month. Featuring a stunning array of artwork all inspired by nature, literally every image is just utterly awe-inspiring.

The board is called Nature Inspired by Robyn Gordon.

If you love art and you love nature, I strongly suggest you have a browse.

Nature-Inspired-Pinterest-Board-Month-June-Sky-Siouki

This is just a small selection of some of my favourites from the board. As always, it was so hard to choose just a few. There is a wonderful mix of ceramic art, embroidery, illustration, painting, printmaking, sculpture and 3D and pretty much anything else in between all there to inspire. Basically a textile design student or graduate’s dream!

Stay tuned for my next board of the month! Sky x

 

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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!

Sky x

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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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Going Bananas for Tropical Birds!

A little bit of visual research and inspiration on the blog this week! Feast your eyes on this beautiful array of tropical bird species.

If you regularly follow what I’m up to at Sky Siouki you may know I’ve been talking about ideas for a new design collection for a little while. I hate that I’ve been continually saying new designs soon but as of yet no illustrating has been happening. I’m so eager to get going on a new set of birds but it takes a lot of dedicated time to do and there are always a million and one other jobs that seem to need doing first! BUT I think I may have at least made a decision on what the theme of the new series will be… Tropical Birds!

Tropical Birds Green-Breased Mango Hummingbird

Green-Breasted Mango Hummingbird

Tropical Birds - Greater Bird of Paradise

Greater Bird of Paradise

Having had a few suggestions via Instagram, a lot of followers seem keen to see hummingbirds, kingfishers and birds of paradise which all fit into the tropical category quite nicely. I also had a lot of suggestions for garden birds and although I was heavily swaying towards that direction at one point, I then realised that there are an awful lot of garden bird designs already out there and let’s face it, tropical birds are just a hella of a lot more exciting! I mean check out the plumage on this White Faced Ibis!

Tropical Birds - White Faced Ibis

White Faced Ibis

Tropical Birds - Banded Broadbill

Banded Broadbill

Something I love so much about designing a new collection is researching all the different bird species out there and learning about them. It’s astounding just how many species there are and the incredible variations of colour and markings they each have. For example I only learnt today that the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher even exists, how gorgeous is this little guy?!

Tropical Birds - Oriental Kingfisher

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher

Putting this post together has certainly helped to get me inspired and motivated for this next collection so I really hope it won’t be much longer until I get working on it now! I will still need to make a final decision on four birds but a kingfisher and a hummingbird definitely look to be on the cards. It’s not too late for suggestions either so by all means post a comment below or hit me up on Instagram to tell me what you think. I always love to hear customer feedback.

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?!

 

New Coaster Photos

I have now added some brand spanking new product photos of my stone coasters to my online shop! They were in much need of a little revamp, especially since I have recently started directly printing my designs onto the stone rather than using transfers. This new method means I can get lots more made to keep up with demand as they’ve become such a popular product, plus the colour and detail is much more vibrant and defined now so they look even better than before!

Waterbirds - Set of Four Stone Coasters

I had a great time doing this little photoshoot playing around with different coloured macarons as complimentary props! My bone china mugs also made for ideal props to create more of a lifestyle feel to the shots by showing the coasters in situ. I like to always keep my backdrops white in order to keep the photos neutral since there are quite a lot of different colours in my designs and it’s nice and easy to set up by just using big sheets of cartridge paper. A tripod is always a must for these shoots in order to keep photos sharp and take each shot from the same angle.

Behind Scenes Coaster Photos

Northern Lapwing - Stone Tile Coaster

Take a closer look at them by browsing the coaster listings in my online shop here! Hope they make the lovely stone texture shine, but you can always add one to your cart if you want to see for yourself firsthand! 😉

Do comment below to let me know if you like them!

Stone Placemats Now Available Online!

If you’ve been keeping up with Sky Siouki on Instagram you may very well have heard that I’ve been busy working on a new set of stone placemats to match my stone coasters! Well the day has come and they are now officially available to buy online in all sixteen Flight designs to match all sixteen coasters. So that’s four bird of prey illustrations and four waterbird illustrations either with coloured abstract backgrounds or larger scale with the the beautiful natural stone exposed behind them.

Barn Owl Natural Stone Placemat

Sandhill Crane Stone Placemat

The limestone tiles are absolutely beautiful with lots of incredible natural markings and imperfections making each placemat really special and unique. Due to the handmade nature of this product please be aware that each placemat does vary especially in colour. They are backed with a large square of cork to keep them from slipping or scratching surfaces as with the stone coasters. If you’re a fan of my coasters then these stone placemats are the perfect way to accompany them on your dining table. You could try mixing and matching the natural and coloured versions for an eclectic look or choose the same ones to make a complete set. They would also work really well in the kitchen as trivets for hot pans!

There is limited availability for now, but hopefully if they prove popular it will be a product line I can continue in future. Snap one up now just to be safe though! Shop here.

New Notecard Sets

New Notecard Sets

I’m very excited to announce that I have two new products now available in my online shop! Following the popularity of my first two sets of notecards I decided to make all eight of my Flight collection designs available in sets of notecards. Initially I just produced two different sets of these A6 cards, each pack containing 6 blank-inside cards with recycled envelopes, but since they’ve proven such a popular product I thought it only fair to include the full range. So you can now find a set of the Jackal Buzzard and Red-Footed Falcon designs in a pack and the Sandhill Crane and Northern Lapwing designs in a pack via my online shop!

Buzzard & Falcon Notecards

Crane & Lapwing Notecards

They’re beautifully printed onto high quality smooth white card and each card has the name of the bird that’s illustrated written on the back so everyone can gain a little further knowledge of bird species! The cards are really versatile for any occasion so if you could do with some emergency birthday cards on hand or have a few thank yous or invitations to give out then they are ideal. Find them all in my online shop here.

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!

NOVEMBER NEWS

Wow, what a busy month November has been! It’s flown by so fast that I’m only just getting the chance to post an update on the latest developments from last month here at Sky Siouki.

One of the most exciting things being that Sky Siouki has a new stockist in the Cotswolds! The Falcon’s Nest in Painswick. It’s a beautiful little gift shop supporting British designers run by Kerry Jane, an artist herself. She was so excited to receive the delivery of my work which is always such a rewarding feeling that often comes with partnering up with other small businesses.

The Falcon's Nest

I have also now listed my latest coaster designs in my online shop featuring each of the Flight collection bird illustrations on top of natural stone. The organic texture of the limestone exposed behind the designs compliments the wildlife subjects really well and these ones have already proved very popular at my Christmas markets. With 16 different coaster designs available from Sky Siouki now you can mix and match the coloured and natural background designs to create the perfect combo for your home’s decor. The customers at my fairs have been having real trouble choosing their favourites! Shop coasters here!

Natural Coasters

Lastly, a couple of Sky Siouki products have been featured in some gorgeous online gift guides recently. The lovely Lisa Dawson featured my Barn Owl Tea Towel in her 30 For £30 and Under Gift Guide a couple of weeks ago amongst some other stunning items all from independent designers and shops sourced via Instagram.

Plus my fabric printers, BeFab Be Creative, featured me and my Barn Owl Linen Cushion in their incredibly lovely 2016 Christmas Gift Guide last week. Solii’s words about my brand are just so kind – I felt all fuzzy inside reading it. Once again, working with other UK independent businesses feels so fulfilling when you know there are real people behind them that support what you do and even buy gifts from you too! BeFab are an amazing company and I wouldn’t think twice about recommending their service to anybody.

30 For £30 And Under Feature

I’ve just got one Christmas market left for the year now which is the Crafty Fox Market Peckham in the CLF Art Cafe, Bussey Building, on Sunday 11th Dec! Open 11am-5pm – The market is on Saturday and Sunday but the traders are different each day so make sure to catch me on the Sunday. So excited for it but also can’t believe almost all of my markets are done for Christmas. If you’re in London this weekend come see me at Crafty Fox! Hopefully I’ll be doing lots more markets next year!Crafty Fox Peckham

 

NEW PRODUCTS NOW ONLINE

It’s official! My new product selection has now launched and is all available to buy via my online shop! So excited to get everything launched, it’s been a lot of work getting it all together so it gives me a lovely warm glow to scroll through my online shop and see everything all together there. You can now buy mugs, notebooks, pencil pouches, notecard sets, gift wrap and gift wrap sets and waterbird design tea towels all from the Sky Siouki shop right here!New Product Collection

The mugs are delicate bone china so they feel wonderfully light and each have a little gold flick on the handle to add a bit of vintage-style elegance. They come in a recycled card box making them nice and gift-ready too!

The notebooks are digitally printed onto a textured matte cover using FSC accredited card giving them a lovely tactility.

The pencil pouches are currently handmade by myself and could be used for any number of things besides pencils. I’ve recycled spare fabric offcuts for the linings and they feel good and sturdy with their metal zips and leather pulls.

The notecard sets include 2 of each of 3 different designs digitally printed onto FSC accredited card and come with recycled envelopes.

The gift wrap is limited edition this Christmas as I’m stamping it by hand! I’ve also included some nice little stamped tags, notecards and striped purple cotton twine in the sets to fulfil all your gift wrapping needs!

Finally, the new tea towels are also digitally printed onto 100% cotton and made entirely in the UK. I always favour digital printing over screen printing because there is far less water and wastage involved so it keeps things more ethical which is a strong value for Sky Siouki.

 

Plain Limestone Coasters

There is one cheeky little bonus product I’ve yet to add as it wasn’t originally planned which is these plain stone background bird tiles. I’ll be adding them next week so keep your eyes peeled for that!

I’ll have all of my new products along with my ever popular coasters, giclee prints, cushions and greetings cards with me at my Christmas events this month and next month. First up is the Totterdown Arts Trail, where I’ll be joining forces with Abi Coombs and a selection of other artists from the Bristol based Free Wifi Make Art collective at 57 Windsor Terrace. See more details of all my Christmas events here.

New Products Coming Soon

So I honestly have no idea where October has gone! Christmas is approaching super fast and I’m working hard trying to get an exciting range of new Sky Siouki products produced and ready to sell just in time so you can give them to your loved ones this festive season.

I’ve been giving away lots of little snippets and teasers on my Instagram and across social media as you may have seen but I think it’s about time I make an official post saying exactly what and when all these exciting new things from Sky Siouki are coming. So here goes… big breath…

On November 11th Sky Siouki will be launching a new selection of A5 notebooks, A6 notecard sets, hand-stamped gift wrap sets, zip pouches, bone china mugs and new tea towel designs!

New NotebooksEach range is shaping up to look really stunning and I have to admit I feel very proud of the efforts I’ve put in to make all of these ranges happen. I don’t believe in doing things by halves and so I’ve been doing all I can to ensure everything is made to the highest quality with beautiful materials, and of course made ethically in the UK as well.

If you’ve missed my progress updates on social media, give me a follow on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to keep up with them. Here a few snippets from the past couple of weeks giving you a bit of a behind the scenes insight into the decision making and process that goes on when launching new products.

Metal Zip

With each product there are always so many little decisions to carefully consider such as all the extra components that make it a whole. I’ve decided on gold metal zips with leather pulls for my zip pouches to make them feel sturdy and add a bit of textural contrast to the printed cotton. Even just choosing which shade of leather for the ties was tough though!

Barn Owl Stamp

I’ve just had my own Sky Siouki barn owl stamp made especially to make hand-printed gift wrap and tags for my Christmas markets this year. The barn owl is so well loved by my fans so it’s great to have a stamp of it now. It’s quite likely the gift wrap sets will be limited edition for the season due to the handmade nature so I’d advise you to snap a couple of packs up quick once they’re out!

Notecard Set Packaging

Notecard sets were something a lot of people seemed to have interest in in my feedback survey last month so it’s one of the first new ranges I set to work on. Even just devising the best packaging options takes a lot of experimentation and time, especially since I’m always keen to keep things minimal and ethical whilst remaining well presented and protected.

I hope this post has wetted your appetite to see the full collection of new products in it’s entirety and ready for gifting action! I myself am extremely excited by it all. It’s incredibly fulfilling to see my designs come to life in a whole host of new ways. Come along to one of my Christmas events to see the products in the flesh or watch this space to buy online from Nov 11th onwards!

NEW… Recycled Greetings Cards

Now available in the Sky Siouki online shop, my new recycled cards each printed with the Flight collection bird illustrations using white ink! Available to view and buy here, these cards use 100% heavyweight recycled card which has a lovely natural texture and feel to it. The white ink means that the drawings stand out really well against the brown background and I hope makes the collection a little more unique than your everyday greetings card too.

Barn Owl Greetings Card

Flamingo Greetings CardThere are eight designs in total so be sure to visit the online shop to see them all! Apologies I’ve been a little absent from the blog recently whilst stuck in a Summer haze of holidays and new products but I’ll be posting more about new stuff and such very shortly! x

Slimbridge Wetland Centre

A couple of weeks ago I went for a little day out with my dad to Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire, not too far North of Bristol. My dad has become an avid wildlife photographer of late and I am always inspired and excited to see wildlife so it made the perfect activity for us to do together, and my dad has kindly let me use his photographs for this post.

We were amazed to see the masses of flamingos they had there which included flocks of all six existing species. My favourites had to be the Caribbean flamingos as pictured below just because of their incredible neon colour and flamboyant plumage! It was interesting to learn that their colour is due to the carotenoid in the crustaceans that form their diet.

Flamingos

River Otter

I expected there to only be birds there but they also had an enclosure with a family of three playful American River Otters there. They were so delightful to watch and have already inspired me to draw an otter which you may have seen on my Instagram feed here.

I was also surprised by how beautiful the wide variety of duck species they had were. My favourites were the Ruddy Shelducks as pictured below. Their markings are very subtle but they’re just such a lovely soft caramel colour and were very cute to watch too. The gentle white patches around their eyes made me think of deer markings which perhaps explains why I liked them so much.

Ruddy Shelduck

A big thanks to my dad, Robin, for sharing his photographs which you can see lots more of on his Wildlife Photography Facebook page here. I think I’ll be doing lots more drawing in the coming weeks and Slimbridge has left me full of inspiration so I can’t wait to see what I manage to come up with. Keep up with what I’m doing on my Instagram and Twitter.

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!

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.

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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!

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.

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