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!

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!

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.

5 Exciting Twists on Fresh White Bedsheets

Spring is coming! I know it really doesn’t feel that way outside but I swear, it has to get here soon. I feel like giving my home a fresh update at the moment ready for the warmer months and so I’ve been drooling all over the thought of crisp new bedsheets. What with all the printed cushions and quirky home accessories I own I’ve found myself craving something unusually plain however… Which isn’t like me at all but it seems necessary to have some clean white bedsheets to balance out all the pattern and colour everywhere else. I couldn’t ever go full on plain white though because that’s clearly just way too boring so here is my little shortlist of favourite ways I’ve come across to have minimal white bedsheets with an exciting little twist.

1- Subtle Polka Dots

Probably my fave, I just can’t get enough of good ol’ polkas. Love the subtle use of them on these sheets in a pale neutral colour, organically dispersed and fairly small scale. Fun but classy polkas! These were from Urban Outfitters but I’m gutted they’re sold out. Closest I could find available to buy are these available in various colours from Australian brand Feliz. Check out Country Road too.

Gentle Polka Dots

 

2- Pleated

Things just got way classy. Who needs patterns when you can have texture? I have to admit a few years ago I think I would have hated the thought of pleated white bedsheets but styled with some complimentary prints and bird themed wall art this example makes a killer contender. Check out West Elm for some beautiful textural choices like these available in other colours too. These seersucker sheets from Debenhams are also a great option at a very reasonable price.

Pleated

 

3- Ethnic Borders

I love to mix in some cultural style influences in my home. This simplistic Indian inspired pattern works so well used minimally as a border instead of an allover print… and if you can find something embroidered even better. Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie are the masters in this department, like these printed ones for example.

Ethnic Border

 

4- Pom Poms

Much like polka dots, pom poms are a great way to add fun to anything in danger of becoming dull. This is another theme Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie excel at… can you tell I’m a fan? But I did find these very nice and simple pom pom edged covers from Marks & Spencers which come in pink, blue or lilac. Or… you could even make your own à la this amazing tutorial! (Tassels are also great.)

Pom Poms

 

5- Tonal Linen

Probably the most sophisticated of all. Linen and it’s beautiful organic feel will really make your bed look a million bucks. I think linen tends to look best in off whites and greys like this example to compliment it’s very natural aesthetic. The mix of tones here really is divine. Etsy shop, Linen Tales, from Lithuania has a stunning selection of shades on offer, or once again you could try West Elm or Anthropologie. Even H&M and Zara have some gorgeous options, clearly it’s a big trend right now.

Tonal Linen Stonewashed

 

Ok, now I’m seriously lost with which to choose. All of my money is about to be squandered on beautiful bedding. Hope you all enjoy these ideas and find the bedsheets of your dreams too. Sleep tight! x

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… Picnic Accessories

It’s time for my Top 5 feature once again… this month picnic accessories! Perhaps a little optimistic on such miserable rainy day but no doubt the sun will be shining again soon and there’ll be plenty more picnics and outdoor pursuits to be had this summer.

Picnic Accessories

  1. Tanager Melamine Plate from The Mad Platters, £14.56 – This Etsy shop has a whole host of beautiful antique designs printed onto melamine plates available… Perfect for mad hatter style tea parties.
  2. V&A Roses Flask from Bloomsbury, £16.95 – Your tea couldn’t be much more stylish in this lovely floral printed flask taken from a 1960s furnishing fabric.
  3. Nkuku Fleur Floral Cup from Fashion Conscience, £6.50 – I love the subtle contrasts of grey in this design, also available on enamel bowls and jugs for truly sophisticated picnicking.
  4. Handpainted Tiffin Carrier from The New Domestic, £48 – I instantly fell for the pretty handprinted florals on this tiffin. Such a great way to keep your veg, grains and sauces separate for those who are serious about outdoor eating. This one also comes in blue and pink or Nkuku also sell a variety of designs if you want to order from the UK.

  5. Recycled Wool Picnic Blanket from BEG, £59.50 – It wouldn’t be a picnic without a check blanket to sit back on! Love that these use recycled wool leftover from other blankets meaning each one is unique.

So now all we have to do is keep our fingers crossed for sun this weekend so we can show off all our nice and fancy picnic wares!

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.

Hand Illustrated Father’s Day Cards

Father’s Day is only two weeks away now so I thought I would do a little online hunting for some unique and beautifully illustrated Father’s Day greetings cards from some UK based designers. There seem to be an awful lot of corny joke based cards out there when looking for cards for dads but I personally prefer to give a card with a little more sentiment and creativity about it… so here a few favourites that I found.

Felicity French

Traditional but very cute, this patterned socks card by Felicity French makes a playful dad joke without words. Love how all the socks are raised giving the card a 3D look. – £2.00

Alice Palace

This quirky illustration of a daddy badger with his young one by Alice Palace is incredibly sweet. I love the scribbly style it’s drawn in… Perfect for any nature loving dads! – £2.25
Katie Leamon

Something a little more sophisticated and classical, this car design is hand stamped using an original design by Katie Leamon onto textured linen card. – £3.75
Ailbhe Creative

My dad is an avid photographer and I’m sure there are plenty of other dads out there into their photography too. This lino printed camera design from Ailbhe Creative would be ideal for snap happy dads. – £2.50

Jo Clark Design

For nature loving dads, a simple blank card with his favourite animal on it could work perfectly. My dad loves spotting the birds feeding in his garden so I’ve picked out this lovely illustrated magpie card by Jo Clark Design on Etsy. – £2.50

Sky SioukiLast but not least is my own vintage inspired Happy Father’s Day card available in my online shop with free UK delivery. Particularly well suited to any garden or dog loving dads. – £2.95

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.