TOP 5… Cactus Gifts from Bristol Designers

This TOP 5 feature was meant to be Easter themed, but as I sit here staring out the window at snow covered gardens I can’t quite manage to pretend rabbits and daffodils are just around the corner. So I’m going rogue and featuring cacti instead! Because a cactus is tough and prickly which is pretty much how this Spring feels so far, plus they’ve got more chance of survival than flowers right now. Also I realised everyone seems to bloody love a good cactus, and I know many other Bristol designers who sell cactus themed products. So what better excuse than to feature them all and make this post about Bristol makers too!

 

Jessica Baldry Handmade Papercut Cactus

1. HANDMADE PAPERCUT CACTUS by Jessica Baldry.

Jess is a fellow Bristol Girl Bosses collective member and an incredible papercut artist! Can never believe she does these by hand, just look at those delicate spikes. It may not surprise you to learn she’s a very patient person.

 

Snippet Art Cacti Pots Collection Print

2. CACTI POTS by Snippet Art.

This artist likes to remain mysterious, but I can tell you that you can buy his whimsical prints in Blaze up on Colston Street in Bristol city centre. Love the colours, and all the discreet little details of pattern on the pots in this print. My fave is the second row down, third column along, how about you?

 

Moloney Makes Cacti Crochet Magnet

3. CROCHET CACTI MAGNET by Moloney Makes.

So adorable! Sophie from Moloney Makes hand knits and crochets everything in her Etsy shop! This cactus is magnetic so you can prettify your fridge with it.

 

Melanie Wickham Tiny WIndowsill Garden Linocut

4. TINY WINDOWSILL GARDEN LINOCUT PRINT by Melanie Wickham.

I recently met Mel through the latest Tribe Aisthetica exhibition at The Malago. Her prints are all brilliant and so full of humour. I had thought this one was a little more serious than the rest, until I spotted that funny little face pot hidden on the right!

 

Hello Cleo Cactus Print Cushion Cover

5. CACTUS PRINT CUSHION by Hello Cleo.

Finally, another fellow Bristol Girl Bosses member. Sabina has such an eye for quirky prints to make her homewares and clothing out of. This cactus print is brilliant and has been such a popular one!

Have a very happy Easter, maybe try giving a cactus or a cacti themed gift this year instead of bunnies? Might make it my mission to start a trend with this! Whatever you do, remember to eat chocolate, that’s the main thing.

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New Coaster Photos

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

Waterbirds - Set of Four Stone Coasters

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

Behind Scenes Coaster Photos

Northern Lapwing - Stone Tile Coaster

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

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

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!

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.

INTERIORS INSPO – Keeping it Cosy

It feels like Winter is making it’s approach in full force this week. Definitely time to get the blankets, hot water bottles, big scarves and extra large mugs out! But at least it’s an excuse to give the house a little seasonal makeover to keep you cosy throughout the next few months so I thought I’d seek out a few of the best cosy living spaces I could find on good old Pinterest and share some ideas on how to give your home some rustic, homely vibes.

Modern Meets Rustic

Cosy Fireplace

WOOD: These homes have a wonderful modern rustic feel with their use of natural wooden floorboards, painted wood wall panels, indoor plants and antique fireplaces complete with vintage armchairs alongside. The addition of a few big logs in the fireplace or a basket full of kindling ready to get that fire roaring really completes the look. Love the ceiling high bookcases here too, somehow lots of books seem to make a home feel extra cosy, perhaps because they tell more of a story about the people who live there.

Velvet Sofa

VELVET: As far as I’m concerned, nothing feels quite as amazingly soft as velvet does. I’m such a sucker for velvet sofas and cushions. You can bet you’ll be comfortable on a sofa like this one plus it look so effortlessly glamourous.

Scandinavian Living Room

RUGS & THROWS: This Scandinavian style living space is made to feel cosy with it’s big high pile rug, sheepskin throws and candle collection on the coffee table. Candlelight in the evening always adds a wonderful warm glow to a room on a cold night and it really does add heat too. Even the deer skull on the wall here adds to the rustic Winter style perfectly.Earthy ColoursEARTHY COLOURS: Colour is so important to the mood of a room. Although I love the pure style of Scandinavian homes I do find it can be a little too much white sometimes. This home shows how more dusky and earthy colours can create warmth in a space and works especially well when paired with antique furniture and textiles. A nice big Persian rug is ideal to create this look. Even if you’d rather keep the walls light it’s easy to bring in a bit more earthy depth using cushions and painted furniture instead. My fave colour choices are dark mauve, rusty orange and dusky rose pink.

Happy decorating and stay warm! I’ll be launching my new product collection this Friday, Nov 11th, so keep your eyes peeled and read all about the making of in next week’s post!

NEWS for July

I have lots of exciting announcements this month for Sky Siouki! First up is that I am once again selling my work in The Little Shop on Stokes Croft in Bristol. It’s a fantastic little gallery and gift shop in the centre of Bristol and I was sad to decide to stop selling there over a year ago. However since launching new designs and products I have high hopes for making a roaring come back to Amber Elise and Alex Lucas’ creative brainchild so pop in to see their magical selection of things, including mine! It’s the one covered in rabbits and pineapples so you really can’t miss it.

The Little Shop

They have also recently gained a partnership with the Boston Tea Party on Stokes Croft meaning some of my framed prints will now be hung up in the BTP cafe up the road as part of a continuous exhibition there curated by The Little Shop too!

Secondly, I am now selling beautiful digitally printed tea towels with full cover prints of my Flight collection designs! I couldn’t be more pleased with how these have come out, printed in rich colour onto 100% heavyweight cotton. They are the perfect accent accessory to add some style to your kitchen or would also make an ideal gift for a bird lover. See them all in my online shop here. I have a feeling they’re going to be a big hit!

Sky Siouki Tea Towels

Thirdly, I am going to be putting up a solo exhibition for the first time ever at the wonderful PAPER Arts Gallery from 28th July – 3rd August! I am very excited and have to admit a little (or a lot) nervous too, but it will be an excellent showcase for the new set of water bird designs I have just added to the Flight collection! All of my print designs will be available to buy framed and unframed as part of the show and I will hopefully also be producing a few original pieces of artwork especially for the exhibition. There will be a launch party on Thursday, 28th July from 6-8pm so if you are in Bristol please come along and say hi! Learn more and join the Facebook event here, and please please share away!

Paper Exhibition Poster

I will also be launching new greetings card designs very soon which should be available in just over a week. I’m full of ideas and raring to go at the moment so keep checking back and on my Instagram and social media channels for updates as there may be even more on the horizon for Sky Siouki yet!

New Stockists for April

Just a quick little update on the most recent happenings here at Sky Siouki HQ. Most exciting of all the new Flight collection cushions and coasters are now available through two new UK stockists as of this week! The Golden Hare Gallery (top image) in Ampthill, Bedford and Jane McIntyre Design (bottom image) in Winchester. They’re both beautifully curated spaces that I feel very proud to have my products within. Hopefully Sky Siouki will be gradually spreading it’s wings further and further throughout the country so that you all can find a stockist near to you soon enough.

Golden Hare Gallery

Jane McIntyre Design

In other news I have been keeping up with my 100 opportunities challenge for 2016 and have now reached number 30 now so I’m making good progress! Might even reach 100 before the year is out at this rate. It’s been an excellent way to encourage myself to make more contacts and do more things that scare me.

I’m itching to get some more designs out in the form of giclée prints and perhaps even some original artwork and printed fabrics by the metre eventually. I’ve been a little preoccupied with getting orders out this past month so it’s been hard to find the time to get creative what with being a one woman act and all. Keep your eyes on my Instagram for updates and rest assured soon enough the designs will come. I’ve already received some lovely comments on a couple of the designs I’ve revealed a sneak preview of though so I’m very excited to get them listed in the shop.

PRESS! Featured in Period Living

My Kitten Tales large velvet cushion has been featured in Period Living magazine this month! It’s the March 2016 issue on page 15 amongst a lovely selection of other designer cushions all featuring portraits in a feature called ‘Face to face’. Special thanks to Pippa for choosing to include my design!

Period Living Feature

Period Living Magazine

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

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… Floral Interior Products

In the spirit of Summer and spending more time outdoors, this week I’m featuring floral printed homewares! Flower designs mix so well with all sorts of interior styles and make a fantastic way to add a pop of colour and energy to a living space. So below are my favourite five floral items for the home that are available this season.Floral Interior Products

  1. Autumn Tea Towel by Whitney Elizabeth – Although technically Autumn themed I think the flower illustrations on this tea towel have enough colour and spirit to keep your kitchen feeling fresh all year round.
  2. Laburnum Cushion by Abigail Borg – I love Abigail Borg’s graphic design style and use of vibrant colour contrasted against muted tones. This floral cushion would sit well in a modern or a traditionally styled home.

  3. Flower Market Colander by MacKenzie Childs – Pretty and useful! This floral colander deserves to be given pride of place hung from a kitchen cabinet for everyone to see.

  4. Sissinghurst Castle Dinnerware by Anthropologie – You can always be sure to find lots of beautifully patterned pieces of crockery in Anthropologie. This collection of flowery tableware is my favourite from their current range, but it was hard to choose!

  5. Botanical Coaster Set by Rifle Paper Co. – These stylised floral illustrations by Anna Bond have a very pretty, summery appeal and would be the perfect way to add some pops of colour to your dining table layout.

That’s all for now, but keep up with my blog to see more of my Top 5 features every month. You can find more of my favourite interior products on my Pinterest board NICE THINGS. and shop for my own Summer themed products in my online shop here.