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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Going Bananas for Tropical Birds!

A little bit of visual research and inspiration on the blog this week! Feast your eyes on this beautiful array of tropical bird species.

If you regularly follow what I’m up to at Sky Siouki you may know I’ve been talking about ideas for a new design collection for a little while. I hate that I’ve been continually saying new designs soon but as of yet no illustrating has been happening. I’m so eager to get going on a new set of birds but it takes a lot of dedicated time to do and there are always a million and one other jobs that seem to need doing first! BUT I think I may have at least made a decision on what the theme of the new series will be… Tropical Birds!

Tropical Birds Green-Breased Mango Hummingbird

Green-Breasted Mango Hummingbird

Tropical Birds - Greater Bird of Paradise

Greater Bird of Paradise

Having had a few suggestions via Instagram, a lot of followers seem keen to see hummingbirds, kingfishers and birds of paradise which all fit into the tropical category quite nicely. I also had a lot of suggestions for garden birds and although I was heavily swaying towards that direction at one point, I then realised that there are an awful lot of garden bird designs already out there and let’s face it, tropical birds are just a hella of a lot more exciting! I mean check out the plumage on this White Faced Ibis!

Tropical Birds - White Faced Ibis

White Faced Ibis

Tropical Birds - Banded Broadbill

Banded Broadbill

Something I love so much about designing a new collection is researching all the different bird species out there and learning about them. It’s astounding just how many species there are and the incredible variations of colour and markings they each have. For example I only learnt today that the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher even exists, how gorgeous is this little guy?!

Tropical Birds - Oriental Kingfisher

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher

Putting this post together has certainly helped to get me inspired and motivated for this next collection so I really hope it won’t be much longer until I get working on it now! I will still need to make a final decision on four birds but a kingfisher and a hummingbird definitely look to be on the cards. It’s not too late for suggestions either so by all means post a comment below or hit me up on Instagram to tell me what you think. I always love to hear customer feedback.

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!

Keeping It Tidy

Hello and a very happy new year! I hope those of you who are back at work this week aren’t feeling the January blues too badly. For me the start of a new year is all about reflecting, re-organising and setting myself new goals. After Christmas it feels like I suddenly have the time I need to catch up on all the things I’d let slip at the end of last year and I imagine I’m probably not the only one!

So… since my workspace is in dire need of some tidying and reshuffling I thought I’d research some ideas on smart storage solutions and share them with you all. Goodness knows I need all the help I can get, it’s so easy to let the mess get out of control and then it’s all the more hard to keep on top of it so I’m hoping to find some better ways to store things so it won’t keep happening! All of these ideas are so clever and could all be used anywhere in the home as well as in a workspace.

Scaffold Kitchen Shelves

Nifty Shelving


So simple, yet so effective. Even the narrowest of shelves in the tiniest of nooks seem to offer so much possibility for another place to put all those little bits and bobs that otherwise just end up lying around. Especially great for lining up tins and jars so whatever you need is right there ready to be lifted at your disposal. If you’re feeling really clever, you can even add hooks or rails to the underside of your shelves for hanging things too! Just ingenious.

Pegboard Deskspace

Pegboards


After a bit of research it doesn’t seem there’s much a pegboard can’t do for you and I think it’s high-time I got one! Attach mini shelves, rails, rods to spike things on, strings to peg things on, hooks to hang things from, and even add a few personal touches too just for decoration’s sake!

Drawers on Wheels

Wheeled Cabinets


New motto in life: If in doubt, add wheels. I’ve considered extra drawer or storage units to go under my desk before but always worry they’ll be awkward to get to or my legs will feel cramped but the solution now suddenly seems so amazingly simple. Add wheels! With the ease to roll cabinets around all hassles are eliminated! Another brilliant application of this one is adding wheels to solo drawers to go under the bed or sofa.

Crate Box Shelves

Crate Box Shelves


Ok, I know shelves are a bit of a running theme here but there are just so many possibilities. I love this idea largely for the appearance I have to admit but using a box for a shelf is a wonderfully multi-faceted solution too. If you can find any with lots of little compartments like the second from the bottom here then it serves a great purpose for storing lots of small arts and crafts supplies. There is also the advantage that the top of the box can be used as an additional shelf, plus the extra sides can be used to lean things against.

Chalkboard

Chalkboards & Pin-boards


Dedicate a whole wall to being ideas ready. I love the idea of just painting an entire wall with chalkboard paint so that you can write straight onto it whenever an important thought strikes you. If you’re more of a paper person cover a wall in cork so you can pin your notes or magazine clippings to it as you go. That way whatever is currently going on is right there straight in front of you and easy to be changed from day to day.

Fold Away Desk

Fold Away Desks


I’ve always admired the ingenuity of these compact desks perfect for slotting into a living or corridor space for a bit of discreet study space. For me, this would be far too small a space to use as my office but would be great as an additional surface area when I need a clear space for admin work if my main desk has been overridden with sewing or art stuff. I’ve also seen some wonderful small versions of this that work as drink cabinet come mini-bars!

Time for me to stop researching how to be tidy and actually get tidy now! Wish me luck!