Made In Bristol Gift Fair

Made in Bristol events celebrate, showcase & promote the quality artists & makers that make up Bristol’s creative heartbeat. The Made In Bristol Gift Fair will return to Colston Hall once again this Christmas featuring a unique selection of the region’s most skilled designer-makers, from print makers to ceramicists; carpenters to weavers. Sky Siouki will be selling at just one of the events at Colston Hall this year so make sure to catch her on this day, Dec 8th!

Made In Somerset Artisan Fair

Made In Somerset celebrates Somerset Day and brings together some of the best local designer makers and artisan producers. The event supports Etatu and its eductaional initiatives in Msambweni, Kenya.

JANUARY Pinterest Board of the Month

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

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

January Pinterest Board of the Month Images

 

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

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

Sky x

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Made In Bristol Gift Fair

Made in Bristol events celebrate, showcase & promote the quality artists & makers that make up Bristol’s creative heartbeat. The Made In Bristol Gift Fair will return to Colston Hall once again this Christmas featuring a unique selection of the region’s most skilled designer-makers, from print makers to ceramicists; carpenters to weavers on four different dates.

 

Made In Bristol Gift Fair

Made in Bristol events celebrate, showcase & promote the quality artists & makers that make up Bristol’s creative heartbeat. The Made In Bristol Gift Fair will return to Colston Hall once again this Christmas featuring a unique selection of the region’s most skilled designer-makers, from print makers to ceramicists; carpenters to weavers on four different dates.

 

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TOP 5… Unique Christmas Decorations on Etsy

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

Marbleous Roo_ Bauble Marbled

1. Hand Marbled Ceramic Bauble by Marbleous Roo

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

 

Camptoun Mosiacs_Scottish Seaglass Christmas Snowflake Decoration

2. Scottish Sea Glass Snowflake by Camptoun Creations

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

 

Planet Pixie Decorations_Decoupage Vintage Birds Bauble

3. Decoupage Birdie Bauble by Planet Pixie Creations

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


Little Cottage Art Co._Ceramic Scene Glass Bauble

4. Cottage Christmas Bauble by Little Cottage Art Co.

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

 

Mayfly Mosiacs_Mistletoe Stained Glass Decoration

5. Stained Glass Mistletoe by Mayfly Mosiacs

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

 

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Cafe Jackalope Christmas Night Market

For one night only Cafe Jackalope on Gloucester Rd will be having a mini night time Christmas market featuring stalls from independent designers who sell their wares in the cafe.

Come along for a fun night of Christmas shopping accompanied by mulled beverages, festive nibbles and some classic Mariah Carey Christmas tunes belting!

Made In Bristol Gift Fair

Made in Bristol events celebrate, showcase & promote the quality artists & makers that make up Bristol’s creative heartbeat. The Made In Bristol Gift Fair will return to Colston Hall once again this Christmas featuring a unique selection of the region’s most skilled designer-makers, from print makers to ceramicists; carpenters to weavers on four different dates.

 

Court House Farm Market

Monthly Vintage and Artisan Sunday Market.

The delightful enclave of the historic buildings of Court House Farm have an atmosphere all of their own, making it a truly unique location for a bustling market! Local, regional, creative, bohemian, warm and welcoming, with a mission to uncover and present the ‘best’ talent we can find, in both food, design, vintage and craft skills.

Court House Farm October 29th Pumpkin Sunday Market

9 Reasons To Buy From Designer-Makers

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

1.  ETHICAL.

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

Sky Siouki Hand sewing cushions

2. HIGH QUALITY.

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

3. UNIQUE.

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

Whispers of Wild Needlefelt Hare

4. SUPPORT INDEPENDENT.

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

5. SUPPORT LOCAL.

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

6. PERSONAL.

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

Little Birdy Cat Wedding Cake Toppers

7. THOUGHTFUL GIFTS.

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

8. BEAUTIFULLY PRESENTED.

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

Paly Glass Botanical Frames

9. STORY BEHIND EVERY ITEM.

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

 

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

 

TOP 5… Father’s Day Gifts from Bristol Designers

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

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

 

Fiona Clabon Motorbike Coaster Father's Day Gifts

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

 

Karve Design Timepiece Cufflinks Father's Day Gifts

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

 

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

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

 

Little Paisley Designs Garden Birds Mug Father's Day Gifts

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

 

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

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

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

 

TOP 5… Big Blue Mugs

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

Kebaya Mug - Anthropologie

1. Kebaya Mug from Anthropologie – £12

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

Ida Mug - Oliver Bonas

2. Ida Mug from Oliver Bonas – £12

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

Indigo Drop Mug - Decorator's Notebook

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

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

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

Handmade Grey & White Glaze Mug - Megan Louise Ceramics

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

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

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

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…!

 

Stone Placemats Now Available Online!

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

Barn Owl Natural Stone Placemat

Sandhill Crane Stone Placemat

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

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

MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS… TOP 5 Gift Guide

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

Mother's Day Gifts - Handmade Pink and Gold Bowl

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

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

Mother's Day Gifts - Siberian Husky Hair Wool Socks

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

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

 

Mother's Day Gifts - Needle Felted Snowdrop Sculpture

3. Snowdrop Pair Needle Felted Sculpture from The Whispering Wild

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

 

Mother's Day Gifts - Ladies Floral Purse

4. Waterproof Floral Ladies Coin Purse by Jiggle Ma Wiggle

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

 

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

5. Minimal Copper and Faux Leather Necklace by Katie Betty

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

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

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!

TOP 5… Autumnal items your house needs!

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

Jade Green Short Coffee Cup

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

Globe Table Light

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

Mustard Yellow Digby Throw

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

Grey Linen Bedding

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

Hand Tufted Trellis Rug

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

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!

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.