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

 

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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DECEMBER Pinterest Board of the Month

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

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


chocolate-pinecones-christmas-cake

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

 

Christmas dog decoration hat

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

 

Nigel Slater Christmas Turkey Guide

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

 

Simple effective Kraft Christmas gift wrap

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

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

 

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TOP 5… Father’s Day Gifts from Bristol Designers

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

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

 

Fiona Clabon Motorbike Coaster Father's Day Gifts

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

 

Karve Design Timepiece Cufflinks Father's Day Gifts

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

 

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

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

 

Little Paisley Designs Garden Birds Mug Father's Day Gifts

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

 

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

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

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

 

TOP 5… 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…!

 

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

 

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!

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… Alternative Valentine’s Gifts

Only 9 days until Valentine’s Day already and the countdown is on to find a gift for that beautiful lady or man in your life! I think most of the Valentine’s gifts you see out in the shops tend to be pretty soppy and unoriginal so I thought I’d compile a little TOP 5 list of alternative gift ideas for girlfriends that are a bit more interesting than a box of chocolates or a giant teddy.
Speckled Wood_Seaflower

1. Sea Flower Artwork by Speckled Wood (available from Nineteen) £50 – This framed laser etched artwork is really beautiful, and very inexpensive for a piece of original art. I love the subtle variations of tone, this would make a wonderful present if you’re looking to spend a little more this year.
Mirdinara Kitchen_Red Horse Towel

2. Red Horse Tea Towel by Mirdinara Kitchen – $24 – This marvellous horse tea towel design has a suggested love theme with it’s use of red and floral patterns without being too lovey dovey.
Vase 3_Karen Blach Nielson

3. Vase 3 by Karin Blach Nielson (available from Stilleben) DKK. 650,00 – If you’re thinking of buying her flowers why not get her a vase to put them in – something that will last much longer and look beautiful even without flowers in it! This handmade stone vase is one of a kind but there’s a stunning selection of others on the Stilleben website.

iPhone Case_Pelham Goods

4. Litoral Central iPhone Case by Pelham Goods on Etsy £16.95 – Why not go for something a bit more modern and useful! This Etsy shop has a whole array of great phone case designs. I love these cute cacti with pinches of red and pink for a Valentinesy feel.

Rifle Paper Co._Notebooks

5. Everyday Gold Foil Set of Pocket Notebooks by Rifle Paper Co. (available from MoonKo) £8.75 – Or even more useful, there’s always something I could do with an extra notebook for and I’m sure I’m not the only girl that loves to use a notebook that looks pretty on the outside. These foil embossed mini books would make a lovely cute and simple gift for girls who like to keep organised!

PAPER ARTS ‘Young Creatives’ Exhibition

My work is going to be part of a collaborative exhibition called ‘Young Creatives’ at Paper Arts in Bristol city centre this January! I’m part of a group called Mentoring Club in which myself and a few other young creatives can get advice and guidance on our practice from an organisation called Paper Arts, and next week we’re doing an exhibition together. This is the first exhibition I’ve been a part of since showing my work at New Designers after graduating so I’m excited to see how it will go and to learn from the experience. There’s going to be a real diverse mix of work including poetry, sculpture and even interactive mandalas so there should be something for everyone to enjoy.

Young Creatives Exhibition Poster

It’s on January 14th-27th at Paper Arts which is right in the centre of Broadmead, 51-53 Merchant St, Bristol and the gallery will be open 10am-6pm Mon-Sat and 11am-5pm Sun. If you’re in Bristol pop along and by all means tell me what you think!

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.

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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TOP 5… Wildlife Inspired Gifts

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

Wildlife Inspired Gifts

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

8 Independent Stores for Online Christmas Shopping

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

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

China Dog Lamp

 

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

Banana Nut Bread Soy Candle

 

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

Kantha Quilt

 

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

Menagerie Deer Mug

 

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

Pelcor Cayenne Cork Handbag

 

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

Traditional Mechanimated Weather Clock

 

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

Fairtrade Dhaka Trousers

 

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

 

Beatrix Potter House Cushion

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

TOP 5… Alternative Easter Gifts

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

Rabbit Gifts

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

Rabbit Gifts 2

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

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