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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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!

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…!

 

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… 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

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!