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Appreciating the little things

The Olympics has been huge success and we’ve been gripped throughout so we wanted to write a post about all our favourite bits so that we can look back and remember the fond memories.

How to Wear the GB flag

Though we didn’t get to to have front row seats at any of the events **boohoo** we did manage to sneak last minute tickets to the Olympic Park, so at least we took in some of the atmosphere.

Despite there of course being the anticipated crowds travelling to the venue, there was definitely a feeling of calm and organisation about the Park. Smiley Brit volunteers doing their duties of welcoming and directing on a day that saw an impressive amount of sun!


With the Olympic rings in our sights and the Anish Kapoor Orbit Tower in the distance we ventured further into the Park where we saw glimpses of all the impressive stadiums that we all been watching so avidly whilst glued to the box. You could hear the cheering of the crowds from within and it was a good indicator of goals/ points scored when you could hear the clapping before the time lapsed big screens caught up with the coverage.

So what were our best bits …

God save the Queen

The Queen, our ultimate British icon appearing with Bond, James Bond in the opening ceremony … who would have thought she’d have the capability to parachute into the stadium at the age of 86 … what a legend!

Golden girls grab Olympic Medal for Rowing

Heather Stanning and Helen Glover showed true Olympic spirit to storm into the record books while snatching team GB their first gold medal of London 2012. They became the first women to ever win a rowing gold for Britain.

Smiles all around for Jessica Ennis

Olympic poster girl Jessica Ennis scored a total of 6,955 points was a huge 306 points ahead of Germany’s Lilli Schwarzkopf in silver and 327 clear of world champion Tatyana Chernova in bronze. This Northern girl deserves every success that she gets.

A win at Wimbledon for Murray

Andy Murray captured the biggest title of his career with an emphatic victory over Roger Federer in the Olympic men’s singles final at Wimbledon, beating Federer in straight sets, 6-2 6-1 6-4, to the delight of jubilant crowds on Centre Court.

Brownlee brothers glory

A spectacular performance from the Brownlee brothers made GB triumphant in the Triathlon.Alistair Brownlee became Great Britain’s first Olympic Games champion in the event with a brilliant performance in front of a huge crowd in Hyde Park while his brother Jonny won a bronze medal.

The Royal seal of approval

And finally this lovely moment captured by the press of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge cheering as they attend the track cycling event held at the Velodrome. Showing true patriotism to their Queen and country!

And a few of other images (courtesy of Trendhunter) that we think sums up the way that GB held the games …

With grace …

… dignity

and International success!

We loved every moment … we hope you did too!

Love Saloukee xxx

 

So this summer it’s so exciting to be in old blighty, we’re being overtaken by all things British! I wanted to write a blog post in celebration of this … so here it is …

What a wonderful year to come to London as a tourist … the London Marathon, the Chelsea flower show, the Queens Diamond Jubilee, Royal Ascot, Henley Royal regatta, Wimbledon and of course not forgetting the Olympic games to be held here later on in the summer.

We might not be able to guarantee the weather (always pack a brolly) and our public transports efficiency leaves something to be desired (always leave yourself an extra hour) but really we do do heritage, history and generally being able to throw one hell of party pretty well!

We like our stiff upper lip and our cup of tea from a china cup, we’re fond of our glowing red skin (from any possible flash of sun that graces us with its presence), we get off on have a grumble about very day things and from eating our fish and chips by the sea side with a wooden fork. We’re happy to remain reserved and think things that we daren’t tell to someone face, we enjoy liking the Royal family when it means we get extra bank holidays … and yes we will find any excuse to have a celebratory glass of wine!

If you have the pleasure of visiting during this splendid time then why not see some of the everyday things that Britain has to offer …

A spot of shopping at Liberty

A spot of history at the Victoria and Albert Museum

A spot of acting at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre

A spot of nature at Kew Gardens

A spot of Royalty at Buckingham Palace

So think regal, think patriotism, think bunting and Union Jack plastic hats, Britain get out your old weathered pasting tables and your paper plates …

… grab your bottle of Pimms, your strawberries and cream, your picnic blanket (and your rain mac) and head out this weekend, meet your neighbours, call your friends, gather up your families … there’s some thoroughly British fun to be had!

So best of British to you … enjoy your Jubilations!

With best wishes from Saloukee xxx

We at Saloukee are so excited for the upcoming launch of our brand new collection which we will be revealing very soon! It is fresh, vibrant, and in a perfectly on-trend colour palette, and we can’t wait to show you, but for now, here are a few photos of some interesting, inspirational and lovely things we spotted around London on our material research day for the new collection.

If you keep your eyes peeled, you start spotting pattern everywhere! Here are a couple of interesting examples we spotted…

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And interesting angles and shapes created by the architecture of East London…

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We love organisation, and find repetition strangely satisfying, like the way these pans are stacked in an East London shop window…

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And the wall art … oh the wall art …

East London graffiti and posters

And some lovely plants and beautiful flowers we spotted on our travels to brighten up our day…

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You simply can’t beat those sights that make London … well … London!

London tube travel

Watch this space for the launch of our brand new collection very soon! … to be the first to receive news of its launch, sign up to our newsletter here or keep updated on our Facebook page here.

More updates soon…

Love Saloukee x

So we’ve been getting all inspired lately in the Saloukee studio, not only has the sun been shining to allow ideas to flow but it’s so refreshing to see Spring here and be in full swing already- we LOVE this time of year!

St. James Park flowers, April

With the recent craze for Pinterest we’ve been finding it super easy to keep all the inspirations and exciting designs currently emerging, catalogued. Our Saloukee virtual pinboard is packed full of a ideas to show a little bit of what we fancy, so for your chance to take a tour inside our heads and follow us, check out our pinboards here. We fully recommend this as a great tool to categorise your interests , evaluate trends and share the things that make you tick. We’re hooked, but be warned … you may become obsessed!

Saloukee's boards of inspiration on Pinterest

One trend we’re currently embracing is the love of all things pastel. A perfect freshness is given to products and fashion with this gorgeous selection of colours and a dreamy combination in time for Spring. So we thought we’d share some of your pretty picks to inspire you in time for Easter.

If you’re planning an Easter paper-themed wedding or wedding anniversary, how about these delicate honeycomb paper decorations, great on mass with a range of colours combinations all together:

Available from Miss Étoile

Or how about getting creative yourself and making yourself a cute Miffy inspired Easter Garland? A lovely decoration, perfect for afternoon tea with the girls, a kids birthday party/picnic or an easter gathering with the family. Download your DIY template here.

Idea courtesy of Mini Eco

For those with a sweet tooth, hows about these handmade beauties. Personalised too and Vegan in nature. Easter just isn’t Easter without a  chocolate Easter egg hunt:

Available from Andie's Speciality Sweets on Etsy

If you do Easter gifts amongst family and friends and the pennies in your piggy bank aren’t stretching far enough, why not make them a gift this year? We found these beautiful miniature egg shell gardens, which could be easily personalised with egg painting or a particular type of plant potting for your loved one:

DIY tutorial available from Roy Joy

Perhaps the most simple thing to do would be to bring in some freshly cut flowers into your home this Easter time. We’d recommend the hustle and bustle of Columbia Road Flower market on a Sunday morning. It’s a must to take your camera and some cash to grab yourself a beautiful bargain.

Pale Pink Roses from Columbia Road Flower Market

… And with all this inspiration fresh in our heads, we’re bursting at the seams to get a new collection ready for our lovely followers to get their mitts on in time for the summer, something fresh, lightweight, pastel in colour and perfectly paper-ee, in keeping with our current collections. We’re excited to reveal it but you’ll have to just sit time for the time being … to be the first to receive news of its launch, sign up to our newsletter here.

A sunny sign off from us here at Saloukee x

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind of a year and sometimes it’s nice to sit and allow yourself to realise that despite often feeling like you’re just fighting fires … that actually somewhere along the away some things were achieved. I wanted to take stock of some of the things in my business and my personal life that happened to me this year and write them down as a record to look back on and smile about:

IN BUSINESS:

* I had my first book published and in its first 6 weeks sold nearly 900 copies

Sarah Kelly's Paper Jewellery Book Cover

Signed copies now available online at saloukee.com

* I sold my work to The National Portrait Gallery as stock for their gallery shop

* I undertook 2 full day workshops teaching teachers new techniques in the manipulation of paper, not a small feat!

* I accepted a position as a visiting tutor at the School of jewellery, Birmingham

* I had record numbers of sales to customers for First year wedding anniversary gifts for their loved ones

* I did nearly 500 demonstrations of hand weaving and knitting with paper yarn to over 60 primary school children, on my own over the course of 8 days!

* I was asked to be a short course tutor of  ‘Making sculpture paper jewellery’ a course that I wrote and designed myself for West Dean College, Chichester

* I launched a new website with the skills of my web designer Matt and learnt Dreamweaver and HTML in the process

* I got my very own Mac and learnt to love it pretty quickly

* I single handedly launched two new online shops on Boticca and on Saloukee.com

* I reached over 600 followers on Twitter and over 400 on Facebook

* I designed and made private commissions to several special clients worldwide

* I sent copies of my book to my old high school teacher (as a thank you for his guidance in my career) and to my aunty whose husband proof read my first chapter but died during the writing the following of the chapters (the book is dedicated in his memory).

* I had my work published in a portfolio book and selected to be published in 3 other books due out in 2012, as well as other press worldwide

* I managed to get to number one and two in Google when typing ‘paper jewellery’ and number four when typing ‘Sarah Kelly’ – I’ve still not managed to pip a very famous American contemporary christian singer/artist with the same name :-/

Google ranking for 'Paper Jewellery' 16.12.11

Google ranking for ‘Paper Jewellery’ 16.12.11

IN LIFE:

* I saw my best friend become a mummy after being such a beautiful pregnant lady

* I was in turn then asked to be a Godmother to her very beautiful little girl who I love so much already

* I had to go in to hospital for the first time in my life, so I quickly dealt with my fear of all things medical. I had two operations with two general anaesthetics and morphine in the space of a month … I survived both but I’m three wisdom teeth down : -/

* I then decided to commit to a studio in the Big smoke, where I would base Saloukee HQ from … beginning January ’12  : )

Papered Parlour studio

Papered Parlour studio

* I surfed in Hebridean waters on the day of the Royal wedding with my two brothers and stood up several time, it wasn’t until later in the summer in Biarritz that I finally felt what it was like to catch a ‘real wave’

* I ran over three miles none stop for the first time in my life without collapsing!

* I swam 100 lengths in under 48 minutes and raised over £200 for Marie Curie nurses

* I made maiden voyages to Norway, Ireland and Greece for the first time where I caught mackerel, drank Guiness and scuba dived

Norway

Norway, summer 2011

* I learnt to snowboard and even managed to get over the fear of the button lift and of turning … my first road trip in a borrowed motorhome will see in our New Year : )

* I went to my first wedding abroad

* I watched my big brother pass his PGCE, move out for good and become a real life teacher – god bless those 7 year olds!

* I was able to see my little brother and his wife move back to England from the Outer Hebrides after many years of strength in such solitude

* I saw friends fall in and out of love, marry, fall pregnant and get very grown up

… and all in all I came to the end of it feeling happy with where I came from … and I wanted to leave on this note … this is something I wrote for a blog on starting up a business some time ago which still feels poignant and relevant to business and life every time I read it …

“Be flexible, take every opportunity that comes your way, don’t be knocked by those that don’t believe in what you do or simply don’t get ‘it’- there’s enough people out there that will, learn to take criticism and not be offended, learn to laugh when you want to cry, surround yourself with positive people, take time for yourself, be passionate and open to new inspiration, love your friends and family more than ever…they will be the ones to help you through when times are tough. Be stubborn, vigilant and confident in your product and quite simply don’t ever give up…it will happen if you’re determined enough!”

Hoping for exciting, new prospects in 2012 … just you watch this space!

Best Christmassy wishes, Sarah and Saloukee ; ) x

Following finishing my book earlier on this summer, it was really quite strange not to have such a large project to work on. Don’t get me wrong it was a great relief to know that I had finally come to the end of the writing, checking, checking again, sending and then re-reading, but after the relief, I’ve felt a little lost. After expending such a lot of energy into something that I had so much passion for and was so determined to stay enthusiastic about until the end, it was quite some feat to come out the other end with a retained amount of boundless creativity for a new project. In all honesty it’s really taken me the rest of the summer to really redefine what it is I want for my business going forward and how I will reach the true ambitions I have harboured all along.

Of course as predicted I spent much more time dedicated to the book than I thought I ever would when undertaking the commission but me being the perfectionist that I am, I just wasn’t going to let any of it fall below the standard I wished and hoped it could achieve. With that in mind, I really realise that the rest of my business has ultimately taken a patient back seat whilst I fulfilled a lifetime goal of having my own words, creative thoughts and visual ideas published in a book with my very own name on the front.

Sarah Kelly's Paper Jewellery Book Cover

My ‘paper jewellery’ book now available for pre-order on Amazon! Including work from some of my design heros: Wendy Ramshaw, Rob Ryan, Jum Nakao and Nel Linssen.

As I come out of the other side, realising that I am no longer carrying the heavy burden of any more editing, photographing, emailing, writing, styling, decision making, I can see that I can now actually give my business the attention that it deserves. The one strange thing is that somehow the burden had seemed even heavier at the finish for other reasons.

With all these thoughts in my mind and my ever over-thinking brain working in overdrive I decided it was time for a designer clear out, of my office, my paperwork and ultimately my head … all of which I find happen in sync whilst undertaking the activities as one. I wanted to revisit what it was I set out to do in 2008 when Saloukee first came into being. To reestablish my values in my own head and focus on what will really take Saloukee to where it deserves to be. So with this is mind I wanted to record my findings as reference and commitment to my both myself and my business.

so … Sarah’s values for Saloukee and herself:

  • To pursue my creativity though my business
  • To continue to innovate within my designing
  • To challenge myself and my concepts through problem solving
  • To maintain the highest quality of output in my products
  • To continue to be determined and conscientious in all I do
  • To achieve measurable success and be proud of it
  • To articulate my visions and work intelligently
  • To endeavour to always learn and expand my knowledge
So just a couple to keep me going there! I also decided to do some looking and taking note of those who inspire me, whose companies I admire and whose achievements I could aspire to. The obvious choice for me was the amazing portfolio of work created by the ingenious  Zoe Bradley. Her sculptural creations using traditional tailoring techniques in paper are to die for. With Liberty, Alexander McQueen, Vogue, Missoni and Tiffany’s all on her client list, why would I not dream of such things! Here’s some little trinkets of inspiration for us all to ogle…
So with these thoughts, I sign off feeling optimistic and happy that I actually gave myself time to have one of my ‘creative rambles’ (ie. vents) and write a blog entry.
Here’s to new, exciting things and focused vision 🙂
With best wishes,
Sarah x

It’s now officially Spring and this time of year always seems to bring a little more optimism to people when the sun is shining outside when you wake up in the morning.

Spring on 'emedemarta' blog

Spring on ’emedemarta’ blog

At the start of this year I’d found myself buried for months in my book … with some days feeling like I made giant steps … and other days feeling like I’d made no progress at all but I persevered and now I see light at the end of the tunnel. For most of the process it has been a pleasure. To work with 5 very talented designers,  from product, textile and educational backgrounds has been eye opening and I hope I’m correct when speaking on their behalf, to say that it’s been a steep and welcomed learning curve for everyone involved.

I always dreamed of writing a book. Yet I can’t say I ever thought it would grace my path, at this stage of my career and at the age of 27. Quite surreal to think that I’ll be an author by the age of 28 … not that it hasn’t aged me more quickly in the process!

book writing-editing-changing

book writing-editing-changing

But after having many ‘full-on’ day of reading, editing, checking, changing then changing back again, writing and then rewriting and then writing some more, I find it strange that I often crave a little bit of light relief by writing my a blog entry! …

But really I wanted to write this blog as a bit of visual light relief. It’s great to have a nose around some other blogs and see what inspires and takes your fancy … and these are just a few little beauties that have caught my eyes in recently …

Joji Kojima On 'A Thousand Facets' Blog

Joji Kojima On ‘A Thousand Facets’ Blog

ORISHIKI Suitcase found on Behance network

ORISHIKI Suitcase found on Behance network

 

Ropes by Christian Haas on Pleat Farm

Ropes by Christian Haas on Pleat Farm

Hina Aoyama Paper cuts on Upon a Fold

Hina Aoyama Paper cuts on Upon a Fold

and watch my new inspirations come to ‘light’ with my new collaborative work with designer Hannah Stockham, we will be showing our work in a showcase hosted and organised by Make:Space in April, join our Facebook or newsletter for more details.

With love and good fortune, Saloukee x