Made In Bristol Gift Fair

Made In Bristol’s sparkling Gift Fair will be back again this year!

Each Winter they fill the majestic foyer of Colston Hall with thousands of hand-crafted gifts, perfect for those looking for unique and original Christmas treats. Each family-friendly Gift Fairs showcases a curated offering from the region’s most skilled designer-makers, from carpenters and weavers, leather makers and jewellers, to printmakers and ceramicists.

Find Sky Siouki there on the first floor for the entire weekend of November 23rd – 24th this year!

NOVEMBER Pinterest Board of the Month

 

This month’s Pinterest Board of the Month is in the spirit of supporting local and will hopefully inspire some Christmas gift ideas for you!

I have chosen Studio Cotton‘s Bristol Made Gifts & Products board for November which features lots of Bristol Etsy Team members’ and Bristol Girl Bosses followers’ unique and wonderful handmade creations, many of which you can also find in our Winter Pop-Up Shop!

In case you didn’t know, Studio Cotton is an amazing Bristol based marketing agency and huge advocate of Bristol’s handmade scene which we are all very thankful for. The main lady behind it all being Aime who created this entire Bristol Etsy Team website and has helped us to run the pop-up shop just out of the goodness of her lovely heart.

So head on over to her gorgeous collaborative Pinterest board of beautiful locally Bristol made gifts to help you shop this Christmas season!

 

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Featured above:

top left – Chimps Tea Party , top right – Stitching Me Softly

bottom left – Adrian’s Haunted House , bottom right – Black Cactus Co

 

Bristol Etsy Team X Bristol Girl Bosses WINTER POP-UP SHOP

 

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If you haven’t heard about the new Winter pop-up shop in town already, let me tell you all about it. I feel so proud to have been a part of setting up this incredible project. The shop is a temporary lifestyle store in The Galleries shopping mall and a collaboration of the Bristol Etsy Team, Bristol Girl Bosses collective (which I am a member of), Tribe Aisthetica and Chroma Stationary. The shop will be open everyday between 16th November – 23rd December 2018 and features the handmade goods of over 80 different small locally based businesses! With a lot of hard work and by all pulling together we launched the shop a week ago and the VIP launch party was a huge success! A special thanks goes to The Malago restaurant and Lovely Drinks for providing canapes and fizzy refreshments.

 

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We’ve been extremely lucky to have some amazing support from various local businesses in the running and set-up of the shop. KONK! Furniture have been kind enough to provide the entire shop with their beautiful handmade furniture for display which is also available to buy and be delivered once the shop shuts. The Galleries have also been very accommodating and offered us a wonderfully well located and spacious unit right next to Waterstones on the first floor of the shopping centre.

 

 

The first week has been consistently busy and we’ve had an incredible response from the public. If you’re looking for somewhere to buy unique, artisan and beautiful gifts in Bristol this Christmas look no further. Our shop team are always more than happy to help and we have a huge variety of products in the store for any friend or family member you’re shopping for!

 

 

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!


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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.

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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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Sky Siouki Christmas Markets Line-Up

I’ve got more Christmas events than ever lined up this year since I’ve had a great time doing markets throughout 2017 and so decided it’s time to go full throttle with the festivities this Christmas!

Hopefully you may already have received my latest newsletter with a list of the dates of all my upcoming markets for the festive season. A couple of dates have now changed however and I know it can be hard to keep up with everything that’s going on… So I’m posting a run down of them all here too to make it nice and easy for all of you lovely Bristol and Somerset dwellers to find me for all your Sky Siouki Christmas shopping needs this November and December!

 

25th November – MADE IN BRISTOL GIFT FAIR, Colston Hall, 10am-4pm
26th November – COURTHOUSE FARM MARKET, Portishead, 10am-3:30pm
2nd December – ETSY MADE LOCAL 2017, M Shed, 10am-4pm
3rd December – THE FROME INDEPENDENT, 10am-3pm
6th December – CAFE JACKALOPE NIGHT MARKET, 5-9pm
9th December – MADE IN BRISTOL GIFT FAIR, Colston Hall, 10am-4pm
10th December – COURTHOUSE FARM XMAS MARKET, Portishead
16th December – MADE IN BRISTOL GIFT FAIR, Colston Hall, 10am-4pm
17th December – TOBACCO FACTORY SUNDAY MARKET, 10am-3pm
23rd December – HARBOURSIDE CHRISTMAS MARKET, 11am-5pm
24th December – TOBACCO FACTORY XMAS EVE MARKET, 9am-1pm

 

Shop Local This Christmas

 

First up is tomorrow! The first Made In Bristol Gift Fair of the year at Colston Hall! Always set to be a great one with three floors of amazing Bristol handmade goodies available. Hope to see you there!

You can always check back on what events I will be involved via my events calendar too of course. You may even find the calendar a little easier to read. My Events page can be found in the top menu of this page or click here.

 

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

 

Crafty Fox Peckham, Dec 2016

Last Sunday was my final Christmas market of the year in London at the Crafty Fox Market Peckham. I have to admit it feels pretty relieving to have finished up my markets for the year as I am well and truly knackered now but it’s been a lot of fun and a lot of success which is wonderful!

Crafty Fox Stall

As it turned out Crafty Fox was actually my least successful market this year which I was quite surprised by since it was very busy all day. I perhaps a little naively expected London customers to have a little more spending money in their pockets. The event was really well run with upbeat music playing and a real buzz throughout the venue from start to finish. I was only just about set up before customers were already coming through the doors when it opened. It was lovely to meet new fans as always and learn from other traders at the event so there was certainly still a lot to take away from the day. The crowd seemed significantly younger on average than I would usually see at the Made In Bristol Gift Fair which I think was down to the area of London and I feel may have had some effect on my sales. I also couldn’t help wonder if the wildlife based theme of my work may appeal more to people who choose to live in an area with such a large amount of surrounding countryside like Bristol has.

Crafty Fox Peckham

I had always wondered if I’d been holding myself back by fearing driving in London and missing out on events like Crafty Fox so the purpose of going had always been intended as a bit of a test. It’s very interesting to now know, and a little comforting even, that I don’t need to feel I’m missing out on too much through living outside of the capital and it also reminded me of just what an amazing thriving creative community there is in Bristol. For now I’m undecided if I may revisit Crafty Fox as a trader but I’m certainly feeling more ready to conquer a London trade show now I’ve managed driving around in the city a little.

Crafty Fox

Like a lot of the traders at the market, I only had a small square table to work with so this was another challenge I conquered through doing the market. I’ve felt like my stall displays perhaps could have done with an upgrade since launching a lot more products this year so this gave me a good reason to invest in some new display props. I was pretty pleased that I managed to put everything on display using height to my advantage. This is another aspect that’s got me excited about exhibiting at a trade show as good presentation will be everything and I’m excited to start planning how I could lay out my stand.

That’s nearly it for me this Christmas but you can of course still order from Sky Siouki online! My final order date to get gifts in time for Christmas is Dec 19th. Shop here!

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

 

Made In Bristol Gift Fair 2016

Last Saturday was my second Christmas fair of the year where I’ve become a bit of a regular. The Made In Bristol Gift Fair at Colston Hall! There will in fact be three more gift fairs held by Made In Bristol at the same venue but this year I only managed to book the one. Here’s me looking awkwardly jolly behind my stand!

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Having produced so many new products this year it was a little challenging fitting it all in this year but I just about managed to make my stand presentable! My table will be even smaller at Crafty Fox Peckham in a couple of weeks time so I think I’m going to be hunting for a nifty shelving unit in the meantime.

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The fair lived up to it’s usual standard with lots of people about and a lovely variety of handmade gifts available. It’s always enjoyable being able to look across at all the different platforms throughout the venue seeing people coming up and down the stairs. I have to admit the fair wasn’t the busiest I’ve seen it and given a second chance I would have chosen to book a December date instead as I think perhaps not everyone is ready to Christmas shop just yet in November. The clash with Black Friday weekend may have also stolen away some trade, who knows?!

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It was really nice to see some repeat customers who had found me last year and wanted to come back to buy from me again! That alone makes doing the Made In Bristol fair each year seem worthwhile. One thing I regrettably have to admit is that the melancholy music just really let down the festive atmosphere. Hopefully it might be better next time!

Next up I’m selling at the Crafty Fox Market in Peckham‘s CLF Art Cafe in the Bussey Building on Sunday Dec 11th! I’m so excited to meet some new customers in London for the first time. If it goes well I may well be selling again in London next year! It will also be my last Christmas event for the year but don’t forget you can always shop online of course!

Totterdown Arts Trail 2016

57 Windsor Terrace

Last weekend was Totterdown’s Front Room Arts Trail and what a weekend! I joined forces with printmaker Abi Coombs who runs the artist collective Free Wifi Make Art and bravely opened her house up to the public for the weekend. Also showing their work with us was ceramicist Rosy Pearson, painter Jusefa Charlamow, jewellery maker Judith Pearson and fine artist Ian Barnes. We filled every space on the walls with artwork from the living room, all the way through the hallway and up the stairs onto the landing too!

Front Room Arts Trail

Abi Coombs - Free Wifi

Abi also made an amazing selection of cakes and jams and her partner Paul made some delicious bollos prenaos and sausage rolls. We had lots of mulled wine on offer and the fire lit to keep everyone toasty. The house felt really homely and inviting and we were all amazed at how busy the weekend was with barely a single moment without any visitors looking around.

Cakes & mulled wine

On the Sunday we had Bristol graffiti artist Mr. Draws come join us to paint a wall mural in the back garden. He created this cute storybook inspired design of an elephant and a dog. It was great to see how the mural progressed throughout the day.

Mr Draws Graffiti Artist

Mr Draws Mural

I’m so glad I took part in the trail as it turned out to be a major success for everyone involved. To anyone considering taking part in one of Bristol’s many art trails I would certainly recommend trying to get together a few people to make the house feel full of lots to see and so that you’re able to share the load as there is a lot of work involved in setting up and talking to people all day. Playing some music and having food and drink on offer certainly seemed to help people feel a little more welcome as it can sometimes feel intimidating wondering into a stranger’s home.

I’m absolutely knackered now but getting myself prepared for next Saturday when I’ll be selling at the Made In Bristol Gift Fair at Colston Hall this time. It’s the only other Christmas event I’ll be selling at in Bristol this year so make sure to catch me there! The fair will be on 10am – 4pm.

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!

CHRISTMAS EVENTS 2016

Christmas is fast approaching already and I’m getting myself prepped with lots of new products on the horizon for Sky Siouki. Hopefully all will be available just in time for the gift buying season as well as for my Christmas events this year. I’ll be posting lots of reminders closer to the time but here’s my first official announcement of the events I’ll be selling at this Christmas!

TOTTERDOWN FRONT ROOMS ARTS TRAIL

NOV 19th & 20th, 12-6pm  – 57 Windsor Terrace, Bristol BS3 4UGTotterdown Arts Trail

I’ll be collaborating with Abi Coombs for the 2016 arts trail with an Into The Woods inspired venue showcasing Abi’s gorgeous woodland based etchings and screenprints and a selection of my bird based prints and products from the Flight collection. Local artist, Nathanael Draws, will be live painting a mural in the back garden on the Sunday and there’ll be some delicious homemade nibbles and mulled beverages on offer too to really kick off the Christmas spirit!

MADE IN BRISTOL GIFT FAIR 

NOV 26th, 10am – 4pm – Colston Hall, Bristol BS1 5AR

Made In Bristol

I always love selling at the Made In Bristol Gift Fairs at Colston Hall and getting to meet all the lovely Bristol dwellers who admire my work. I’ll be there once again this year, sadly just for one date though so make sure you come to this one on Nov 26th so as not to miss me!

 

CRAFTY FOX CHRISTMAS MARKET PECKHAM

DEC 11th, 11am – 5pm – CLF Art Cafe, The Bussey Building, Peckham, London SE15 4ST

Crafty Fox

Very excited about this one! My first market in London in fact and it looks set to be a great one. In the fantastic Bussey Building the venue has lots of space and light and the Crafty Fox markets are always incredibly well curated so I feel very lucky to have been picked to take part! There’ll be different designers on the Saturday and the Sunday so come on Sunday if you want to see Sky Siouki!

TOP 5… Dinner Party Serveware

Only three days until Christmas and then the stuffing of bellies and getting merry can begin! I hope you’ve all got your Christmas shopping done and dusted and are just looking forward to delicious Christmas lunches and seeing family now. I thought that what with all the big dinners and parties that everyone will be having over the festive season that a TOP 5 post dedicated to dinner party serveware would be perfectly apt. I’m such a sucker for pretty dinnerware so was quite happy to have an excuse to ogle gorgeous glassware and ceramics. Plus I mean if you’re going to own lots of lovely kitchen things then what better time to show them off?!

Dinner Party ServewareDinner Party Serveware

From left to right, top to bottom:

1. Granada Juice Glass from Anthropologie, £6 – They may be called juice glasses but I imagine any beverage would look great in these beautiful rose-tinted tumblers be it water, wine or whiskey!

2. ‘Galaxy’ Chawan Bowl by Émilie Pedron from Neëst, €36 – I believe a chawan bowl is technically intended for serving Japanese tea but I love using beautiful small bowls like these to serve sauces or herbs for guests to help themselves from. These have such a wonderful handmade quality about them.

3. Taika Pitcher and Serving Plate by Klaus Haapaniemi from Iittala, €49,90/€89,90 – I’ve been a big Klaus Haapaniemi fan for a while and I honestly can’t imagine ever finding a more beautiful pitcher than this one. You could perhaps use it as a non-traditional gravy boat or for the custard to go on the mince-pies after dinner!

4. ‘Lux’ Chopping Board by Haidee Drew, £50 – This handmade bamboo board is too beautiful to be hidden away in the kitchen, I’d be using it at every given opportunity on the table under hot platters. Haidee has a whole range of designs and sizes available in her Etsy shop.

5. Castile Blue Vine Pattern Spoon Rest from Cats Paw Pottery, $16 – It was difficult choosing just one from all of the lovely variations and colours of these gorgeous Victorian style plates and bowls which are all handmade to order! I love the idea of having an intricate little dish like this for placing serving spoons on.

This will most probably be my last post before Christmas so I hope you have beautifully set dinner tables full of serveware as stunning as the selection here, and a very Merry Christmas too of course! X

Made In Bristol Gift Fairs 2015

This December I held a stall at the Made In Bristol Christmas Gift Fair at Colston Hall on both December 5th and 12th. I’d been feeling a little deflated after a poor show at the Christmas Maker’s Market which I did on November 29th but the Made In Bristol fairs turned out to be a vast improvement which to be honest was a big relief. My new designs and products have proved extremely popular, particularly the stone coasters but also my giclée prints. So now I’m really keen to do some new designs next year and produce more prints in different sizes and perhaps another coaster set too.

Me and My Stall

I did the Made In Bristol Gift Fairs last year too and each time the day has been very well run without any glitches. There’s always a fantastic selection of work on offer and in fact this year the standard seemed to have gotten even better. Split across four levels there was jewellery, prints, ceramics, clothing, textiles and everything else in-between available all beautifully handmade. My only criticism was the un-festive music left on repeat all day!

My Stall

Colston Hall

Now I’m finished with Christmas markets for the year though and I have to admit I can’t wait for a little break. It’s been a tiring season but I’m looking forward to seeing where Sky Siouki will go next year. Think I may well be at the Made In Bristol Gift Fair again next year as it’s such a well put together event and all of the customers were so lovely too! Hello to any new fans reading this, it was a pleasure to meet you! I’m still taking online orders too, but order by Friday 18th Dec latest if you want something in time for Christmas.

6 of the Best DIY Christmas Garlands

We’re well into December already so it’s probably about time to get some pretty bits of festive sparkle up around the house. When it comes to Christmas decorations I personally think natural and understated is the best way to go. Obviously a bit of glitz is always necessary to still create some festive cheer but glitter can certainly still be classy! I love making my own decorations, as you can imagine what with being a creative and all, but there’s also something very fulfilling about making them yourself – I think it’s all part of getting into the Christmas spirit. So I’ve narrowed down some of my favourite nice and simple DIY ideas for Christmas garlands… with a little help from Pinterest. All of these ideas are really quick and easy and won’t cost much at all to make so why not have a go and make your own this season?!

 
Glitter Leaves Garland1. Glitter Leaves Garland – So easy to do but looks super pretty! This tutorial says to use artificial leaves but you could always just collect some fallen autumn leaves from your garden or a nearby park to make it cheaper although they probably wouldn’t last until next year that way.

 

Giant Wooden Star

2. Giant Star with Lights – I love the rustic feel of this one but it makes a great bold statement too. This tutorial explains how you can make one just using some scrap wooden laths from your local garden centre or perhaps the waste recycling centre.

 

Gingerbread Men Chain

3. Gingerbread Man Chain – Think this might be my favourite, nothing to do with it tasting good too of course! However you may end up having to remake them a few times if you’ve got lots of hungry mouths around, but it’s so simple to do anyway and you could try a different shape each time. Why not try angels, hearts or reindeer too!?

 

Sparkly Pine Cones

4. Sparkly Pine Cones – This one could even work just as an autumnal decoration as well as for winter. In this example you can see how to embellish your pine cones with gold leaf but you could alternatively use glitter or even just white paint to create the appearance of snow for an extra Christmassy look.

 

Paper Cut-Out Scene

5. Paper Cut-out Scenes – This one admittedly is a little more complex and requires someone who’s handy with a craft-knife but you can of course make the design as basic or as intricate as you like, and as personal as you like too. I originally saw this idea used as window decal stickers available to buy readymade from Cox & Cox in white which I actually prefer but it’s not exactly DIY. I’m sure you could easily make your own like this though by just getting a white sheet of vinyl decal to cut out from.

 

Paper Snowflakes

6. Super Snowflakes – Last but not least paper cut-out snowflakes are such a timeless classic that when done well can look really chic like these ones pictured. This tutorial shows you such an easy way to make your snowflakes look intricate and 3D. Why not go really big or thread together large and small snowflakes to make them ultra three dimensional?

Happy making and I hope these tips help to make your home look extra festive and cosy this season!

NEXT EVENT: Made In Bristol Gift Fairs

Made In Bristol Gift Fair

Sky Siouki will be selling at the Made In Bristol Gift Fair at Colston Hall (directions) on both Saturday 5th & 12th December this year. It’s a fantastic Christmas event with lots of varied stalls full of beautiful handmade goodies so come along and say hi!

Open 10am – 4pm you’ll have plenty of time to pop by and see all the glorious handmade wares us Bristol based designers have to offer and since it’s right in the city centre you can stroll down to the flea market on Corn St and into the main shopping centre too if you’re on a Christmas shopping mission for the day… (but come to Colston Hall first because all the best stuff will be there of course!)

Christmas Makers Market

Last Sunday I held a stall at the Christmas Makers Market in the Freemason’s Hall on Park St in Bristol and so I thought I’d give it a little review. Whenever I look at selling at a new market I’m always eager to hear how other designers found it first but it’s often hard to find out so I thought I’d share my experience in the hope it might benefit others.

Christmas Makers Market

The venue was in a great spot right in the centre of Bristol and on Park St which, if you’re unfamiliar with Bristol, is a great spot for gift shopping with lots of unique independent shops around. It was on a Sunday which was well planned as on-street parking in the area is free on Sundays to encourage people to shop locally. Unfortunately I had expected the market to get a lot busier but the weather had been extremely windy and rainy all day so that probably didn’t help. Although things did get off to a good start by 1pm there were a lot less people around which meant I didn’t have as successful a day as I’d hoped for. There was also a £2 entry fee which I’m always a little dubious of how many people that may or may not put off especially if they are just passers by and it’s difficult to see in.

Christmas Makers Market Stall

The event was very well planned by Annie Hawksley with plenty of time given to unload and set-up and a nice broad selection of stalls. The majority were handmade crafts but they were also a few food based stalls and handmade soaps and toiletries. Although it’s a lovely grand old building I did feel the lack of natural light and old fashioned decor not the most flattering setting for artisan wares but it did at least mean there was lots of space all across one floor. I really enjoyed seeing the work of other Bristol designers I hadn’t come across before and it’s always interesting to exchange experiences and hear how others have set up their businesses. I particularly enjoyed getting to know my neighbours Aly Dalrymple and Emma of Curious Beasties who also both create beautiful work using textiles so check them out!

This was the first event I’d done since launching my new collection so it was great to hear how much customers liked my new designs, particularly the giclée prints so I think there may be more of those to come eventually. I’m not sure if I’d do this event again, perhaps only if the entrance fee was dropped. These things always seem to be somewhat down to luck however and there was a very high quality of work.

My next two Christmas markets will both be with Made In Bristol in Colston Hall on December 5th and 12th so fingers crossed they go well and come along if you’re in Bristol!

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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!