It seems like recently I have caught the drawing bug, probably largely helped by a sudden avalanche of sales for my Penguin Valentines Cards! It really has been rather exciting over here at Penguin HQ!
I’ve found that I really do love drawing cute little animals and it seems like i’m getting better and better every time i open up photoshop! I’ve even started recording my drawing process as i think it does help to watch back when i’m not concentrating on drawing, plus i think it could be quite a nice little addition to my youtube cannel that’s been lying dormant for so long! You can watch all my time-lapses here!
I drew these seahorses as another option for valentines day, but ended up not really liking them enough to put up in my shop. I do think they’re cute but, gosh, are seahorses hard to draw! Maybe i’ll revisit them once i’ve improved a bit more.
I started to relax into my drawing a bit more and drew this adorable Hippo! This has to be one of my favourite drawings to date! He’s wearing a cute little party hat and singing ‘Hippo Birthday’, because Hippo’s are obviously amazing singers! 😉 I think my shading improved so much on this picture and I just love the hippos character!
You can buy my Hippo Birthday card here!
Ashley then gave me the idea of drawing a shiny-object-loving magpie stealing a ring for a wedding or engagement card and I thought it was a great idea! I wanted to add a little simple background to this one and love how it turned out although i think i will tweak my shading tomorrow as it isn’t as good as on my Hippo.
You can find my Magpie Thief card here!
What do you think I should draw next?
I also have some other exciting plans for my youtube so do keep an eye out for more learning, projects and other fun things!
But for now, it’s time to sew!
Recently, to my surprise, my penguin valentines cards have been flying out of the shop! So much so that I’m having to get a lot more printed up and have decided to release a new design!
Pick up this new cute courting emperor penguin couple valentines card here!
I have many different designs to choose from now so you can choose the perfect one for your partner.
Does your other half make you sing and dance with joy then my ‘Happy Feet’ card is perfect for you!
If your partner is the perfect catch, maybe consider my top seller, the ‘plenty of fish’ card.
I hope you all have a great valentines with lots of pampering!
So i’ve been wanting to expand my menswear for ages and have finally done it with the arrival of Bow ties to my shop! There is only one up so far but i am planning on adding a lot more soon! (along with some other exciting products!)
This bow tie is pretty funky with it’s numerical pattern, perfect for any maths geek or just anyone who likes something a little fun and quirky!
I even pinned a fancy ball gown on Dot (my dress form is now called Dot due to her polka dot pattern) to match the bow tie, and I really really like it! (Just don’t look at the back)
I really am in love with this and can’t wait to make more, you can find it on my Etsy HERE!
I am also working on improving my ties slightly. Not only that, but I am working on some even more exciting menswear! My waistcoat pattern has been improved and I’m even looking into full suits for both men and women.
It’s all hands on deck here at The Penguin Theory! 😀
In all honesty i wasn’t really in the Christmas spirit this year and bought my presents completely last minute, not helped by my mum also not being in the christmas spirit, not even having so much as a christmas tree up in her house!
But eventually i managed to feel festive, partially helped by matching christmas jumpers! Nothing quite says ‘Christmas’ like matching festive jumpers!
I received some lovely presents including (and i am so excited I can’t stop staring at it!) a dress makers form from my mum and her boyfriend! It’s adjustable and polkadot and just amazing!
I also got some fabrics, a gift card for a sewing shop and a rotary cutter! I’ve spent a lot of the day draping and pinning the fabrics I have to it. Now all I can think of doing is going back to London and making dresses!
By the way, the bunting on the form above was made by my 12 year old cousin! I gave her my old sewing machine (along with essential sewing supplies!) last year and she is quick becoming a sewing whiz! I’m very impressed and proud!
The day was rather lovely too. The whole family got together at my grandparents, we played card games, drank wine, opened pressies and ate lots of food!
I’m sure tomorrow will be lots of the same!
I hope you too had a very merry Christmas!
Yesterday was my last shift at what is definitely the best job I’ve ever had. I’ve been working as a presenter at ZSL London Zoo over the summer and it’s been the best summer ever.
Every day I was surrounded by incredible animals, I was constantly learning new, amazing things (which often meant getting close to the animals) and genuinely looked forward to work everyday. Sure parts of the job we’re hard work and stressful but it was always well worth it.
I’m going to miss seeing all the animals and people i met everyday and being able to share how awesome nature is with everyone but fingers crossed I can go back next summer!
But now it’s time to find a job over the winter, I have a few possibilities which would actually give me a lot more time to focus on The Penguin Theory, hopefully I can ace the interviews!
I’ve been playing with lots of ideas for new products and lines, but nothing has been finalised. I plan to work hard over the next few weeks to make lots of items for my Etsy shop and also for craft fairs! It’s time to get busy so expect lots more updates shortly! Keep an eye out for some brand new photography of some cute baby animals coming up shortly!
Myself and Ashley have been together 3 years today!….or tomorrow. You see we don’t really know when we got together as I agreed somewhere around midnight so we tend to celebrate over two days! However we’re not doing much today as we have very little money and so just spent a long relaxing morning and afternoon together and both have work tomorrow. I have bought him vouchers for a graffiti art lesson though, although we can’t book it for a few weeks as we’re too busy!
Still, it’s been really nice to spend some time snuggled up together thinking ‘how on earth have we put up with each other for 3 years!’. Of course we’ve had our ups and downs like every couple, but since we’ve both finally got new, well paid and enjoyable jobs things have been really good and we’re as loved up as ever!
To celebrate our anniversary i’ve decided to give away one of my Penguin cards to one lucky winner, so they can share their love with someone special.
I am actually giving away an extra large card, a size not available in my shop, featuring the adorable picasso and lots of fish (above)! This was my most popular card design over valentines and so is sure to be the perfect way to make someone feel a little special.
To enter to go over to my facebook and then like and share my competition image here.
You have the rest of today and tomorrow (the length of our anniversary) to enter!
The Penguins Are Here! For the whole month of May here at The Penguin Theory we are celebrating all things Penguin with our month long event : May there be penguins!
To kick it all off and to celebrate the first of May and the Mayday bank holiday I am giving away this gorgeous, handmade, flower crown to one lucky winner!
May day traditionally involves Morris Dancing, May poles and crowning one lady the Queen of May, so I am giving away one gorgeous ‘Queen of May’ flower crown to one lucky winner, but there’s a catch. You can’t enter for yourself. Instead I want you to nominate someone to be crowned ‘Queen of May’.
Comment in the comment section or on my facebook page with the name of your nominee and why you think they should be crowned the ‘Queen of May’!
This can be anyone, family or friends, boy or girl, for any reason. Maybe they helped you, maybe they’ve been through a lot and need some pampering, or maybe they’re just an extremely happy person who always brings a smile to your face!
You have until the end of the May Day bank holiday (Monday 5th May, 12pm gmt) to nominate your Queen and I will announce the winner on Tuesday 6th May.
I’ve finally got myself a new job (although only temporarily) and am now working at London Zoo! I’ve only had a few shifts but it’s amazing. Everyone is so friendly and happy, plus I get to be around animals all day long and really spread the word about conservation and protecting the animals we have in the world today! It really is a dream come true!
It’s been in the news recently that the Female Sumatran Tiger has had 3 cubs, I haven’t managed to catch a glimpse of them yet, but hopefully soon I can, you can follow their progress on London Zoos facebook page and their youtube.
To celebrate the new job, where I’m allowed nail polish, my nails can actually grow, and the arrival of the new cubs I decided to paint my nails!
They came out so well! I’m super proud of myself. Last time I went to London zoo as a customer (for zoo lates which is awesome by the way) I also painted my nails ‘big cat’ themed with these leopard nails.
Unfortunately I still work at the pub on thursdays and I’m only at the Zoo for the summer (fingers crossed they take me back next year!) but i’m so so happy with my new job and just know I’m going to love every minute of it!
I’m afraid there might not be many crafty updates for a little while as I have a lot of scripts to learn (I am one of the presenters for the animal talks) and all my spare time is spent reading lines. But do not fear! I have loads of projects in mind, both sewn and photographed. Until then I’ll leave you with a few of my favourite pictures from the zoo so far!
I’m sorry for my absence recently, it has become a little intense on my end! A few people left the pub I work at and, with it all ready being understaffed (especially in the kitchen) i’m suddenly roped into 6 day weeks with over 60 hours. As you can imagine it’s not leaving much time for Penguin Theory-ing.
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel as my life is soon to take on a drastic change!
I have somehow managed to bag myself a job and London Zoo! I’m so excited as I seriously love animals (if you hadn’t noticed from reading my blog) and I will be earning more than I do now with a job I just know I’m going to love! Plus I’ll have more time for Penguin Theory as I will be working less hours also. I seriously cannot wait to start! I wish it could be now! It’s shame it’s just a summer job for now, but I plan to work hard and really try to impress.
I am also still owed a lot of holiday from the pub job and so I have next week off (I only found out a couple of days ago!). I will be using that time to catch up with my 365 project posts and making lots of new items for my shop as well as starting some new exciting projects.
A project I really cant wait to start is this gorgeous coat, I won the pattern from an excellent blog: Custom Style . Thank’s Brooke! I can’t wait to get stuck in! I have so many ideas for the fabric choices but just need to buy some fabric large enough. I think this will also be the first project i make a mock-up of first so I need to get some muslin too. Unfortunately I might have to wait for my new job to be able to afford it as the current one (even with all these extra hours) only just covers my rent and other expenses.
By the way brooke, your handwriting is so pretty!
I also have some very big plans for my photography and will be going on lots of adventures with my camera during the next week, and not just taking photo’s of nature but also getting back into longboarding and other sports.
I’ve already entered the Wildlife Photographer of the Year (just before the deadline!) although i wish i’d had more time to really explore and take more photographs, I still think I might have some good contenders entered but I’m just happy that i’ve at least tried. Fingers crossed!
I really can’t wait for this next month, it’s going to be amazing. As cheesy as it sounds, i feel like it’s the start of the life I’ve always wanted and I couldn’t be happier! Bring on the rest of 2014! 😀
I have a new endeavour to go hand in hand with my wildlife photography in progress and so set out to Alexandra Palace to see the fallow deer that will be featuring in it. Unfortunately they had all disappeared! I assume they are inside and away from this bitter, cold weather, but it was quite a disappointment. I do have some ideas for what I can do with some other creatures, though, whilst I wait for their return.
So as not to waste our trip, I got Ash to take a few photographs of me in my newest creation! A sparkly, flowery, cosy infinity scarf! It really was very warm and cosy.
The outer fabric is the same as with my cape, and beautiful black, shimmering fabric I just adore. Hopefully I can buy more of it soon as I’ve more or less run out!
The inner fabric is a gorgeous, silk-like fabric which feels lovely against the skin and features a pretty flower design.
The scarf can be worn in the depths of winter with a thick coat to keep you nice and toasty warm, but it is also a good match with a simple t-shirt in slightly warmer weather.
I wore it with a plain black top, and big black waisted belt finished with this gorgeous blue skirt. I felt that the flower patterns in the skirt and scarf complimented each other well, plus I am just in love with this skirt (a bargain £3 from Primark!)
As it was a rather cold day I also wore tights with knee length socks to keep my legs warm, and these adorable fluffy boots!
Finally I finished the outfit off with some earrings I made for myself ages ago (more like I loved them so much I couldn’t bare to part with them). The blue matched perfectly and the chain drops gave a sense of elegance to the outfit.
My make-up was simple. Just a light pink on my eyes with some winged liner and a hint of pink on the cheeks and lips.
Hopefully the Fallow deer will return soon, but for now you can find this scarf listed in my shop right here
For a while now I’ve been stuck on how to package my products, usually just sending them off in some purple tissue paper and them, quite honestly, not being that exciting. I want even receiving and opening my items to be a good, memorable experience. I want not only my products to ‘Wow’ but the packaging it comes in to make the moment really special.
I think I’ve finally found a winner and have sent off my first two parcels with my new wrapping design!
When you open up your parcel now you will find a pretty little brown package wrapped with a bold, orange ribbon and finished with a Penguin Theory’ business card.
The package wont be sellotaped so that if it is a gift you can open it up to check the product is to your liking before wrapping it back up again to give away.
Alongside the package will be a special Penguin Theory Invoice. Inside will be the product you have purchased nestled amongst some bright orange tissue paper.
Unfortunately the two packages I sent off yesterday had purple tissue paper as the orange I ordered didn’t arrive until I was leaving the house for the post office! Doh!
I also have some good ideas on how to package my items at craft fairs, although i still need to find a way to make my vision a reality.
I am super pleased with my new wrapping and it’s making me even more excited to sell lots of amazing products this year! I’ve already made two sales before January even really started and have so many ideas already in progress and a commission in the works, not a bad start to the year at all.
Now available in my Etsy store is this lovely woollen and Burberry patterned infinity scarf.
It’s a shame I wasn’t able to make this sooner as i will no longer be able to make and ship it in time for christmas, but i’m sure there will still be lots of cold necks around in January! (along with Etsy gift cards which I now accept thanks to my amazing sister)
This scarf is the perfect addition to any outfit as its colours and pattern make it very versatile.
One side is a thick woollen material for comfort and warmth. The other side is a stylish, burberry-esq material to add a pop of colour and interest (as well as being nice and smooth against your skin).
It is the perfect scarf to keep you cute and warm, but it also suits a more grown up attire. I also believe that it would look just as fantastic on men as it does on women!
So don’t let your neck get cold in this wintery weather! Wrap up warm with this cute and cosy infinity scarf!
Picasso is getting all excited for Christmas and already has his stocking out! Although he’s having a lot more fun inside it rather than hanging it up 😉
Have you got your stocking out yet?
Now available in my shop is your choice of 4 of my London 6×4 prints for only £6!
Choose from any of my london prints (priced at £3.95 separately) to create your own collection. There are lots to choose from and even more to come!
Express your love for this iconic city with your very own set to decorate your shelves. These 6×4 prints would look great in frames for any London Lover.
All are printed by a professional photo lab on archival paper. Watermarks will be removed and replaced with a small logo on or around the print.
Other sizes of all photographs as well as mounting, laminating and canvas prints are available. Please contact me for more details.
I really do love london (although living here is maybe a little too expensive). I think my favourite place to go is the natural history museum. It’s just such a beautiful building and holds so many weird and wonderful things! I also love the south bank as there’s always so much going on! And you can’t forget the many parks dotted around for nice relaxing summer days!
What’s your favourite thing to see and do in London?
Sorry I’ve been so quiet yet again, it’s just all very hectic on this end. I have just moved house (I’m sure there will be pictures soon once everything is sorted out) and I am currently working 2 jobs. It doesn’t leave a lot of time for The Penguin Theory but I promise I’ll be back with the regular updates soon. 🙂
I have managed to squeeze in a bit of time to update my shop with some new halloween products ready for the scary season! You can click on the images to find the items in my Etsy store (watermarks on prints will not be on the purchased product but replaced with a smaller logo on or around the print).
If you want some spooky halloween decor which would also be perfect all year round then look no further than this Halloween Glycee Art print . It features a stunning spiderweb glistening with early morning dew. I took this image on a misty october morning in Newquay. It is available in a range of sizes and would be perfect this halloween.
I have also listed another very eerie print which I took from a small boat on the reservoir at Panjiakou, China, where the great wall crosses water before heading into the mountains. The misty morning combined with the mountains and the lake made for a very eery atmosphere, just perfect for some dramatic photography.
I have been playing with my photography and decided I’d love to make some more interesting things out of it. I got brainstorming and have come up with some good ideas, the first of which is now up for sale!
This is the first of my clock series. I have many more ideas and will be accepting commissions if you have a particular print of mine (or even your own!) which you would like to be turned into a clock.
This modern clock features some gorgeous welsh countryside, complete with grazing sheep!
It measures 30cm in diameter. It is also available with numbering or dashes, please contact me for more details.
The back is signed with ‘The Penguin Theory’ the clock name, and the number of clock made. It runs with a standard AA battery which is easily changeable and has a hook on the clock mechanism to hang it on your wall.
There will be more clocks to come in future as well as more prints and some new sewing items! (Yes i promise I haven’t forgotten about the sewing machine)
In other news, I finally got some new glasses! They’re just for reading and computing so hopefully I will be able to see what i’m editing a bit more easily now. 🙂
‘Till next time!
I have recently been thinking a lot about my old love of photography. I have a big, old DSLR and I’m always taking far too many photographs, but yet I do nothing with them.
So I’ve decided now is time to get back into photography, start seriously editing again and maybe even adding a few to my shop. Of course I will still be sewing (although i am finding it hard to stay motivated with it right now) but I also want to start selling prints.
If anyone knows of anywhere I could get prints done cheaply and easily that would be amazing (for the uk), I have a few places in mind but any help from photographers out there would be greatly appreciated.
I absolutely love messing around on photoshop with an image, it is definitely one of my favourite things to do, and so last night I decided to experiment with a few images I took of Ash longboarding. You can click on the images to see them a bit bigger.
I started off with a more simple edit, just adding texture, adjusting the colours slightly and playing with the levels.
I like how I made this feel slightly grungy but with Ash really popping out of the centre with his bright colours. I’m glad I managed to catch him as his arms made such a nice line and his board had started to slide. I also really love the concentrated look on his face with his tongue sticking out (although he hates it), it really makes me chuckle. 🙂
The next photograph I decided to be a little more adventurous and play with the background by taking out all the colour. I wanted to really make him stand out as the background is quite busy with all the leaves. I also cropped it slightly to create a better line and draw your eye to him even more.
Again I’m really happy with how this one turned out, I think the contrast between the background and Ash works really well. The only thing is I still find the background very busy and so I think I might need to play around with it even more, maybe by adjusting the contrast or blurring it slightly. But Ash really likes this one too and has set it too his facebook cover photo. 🙂
The last one I edited I decided to do something a little crazier and this is probably one of my most elaborate photoshops to date! I decided to add this bright orange texture to make ash look as though he was on fire in a way. I wanted to create a really dramatic image that would convey the power and energy used to do the slides Ash was trying.
Again I do really like the image even though its a lot different to my usual photography. I think the meaning I’m trying to convey really does come out and it is definitely not subtle. I still can’t decide if maybe it’s a little too much though and I think the lighter section in the middle could be more focussed on Ash.
What do you think about my photographs and edits? I would love to hear some constructive criticism!
I finally updated my Etsy shop with a new listing! I got the inspiration for this tie from my day out at Royal Ascot. I felt this would be the perfect tie for the more laid back man who wanted to show his patriotic side.
It boasts fun a fun print of royal crowns on a vivid, red background and is made of cotton.
You can find the item in my shop by clicking here
All my other projects, though, seem to be very against me. I’m either messing up the measurements, making silly little mistakes or just not having enough material.
I’ve decided all these projects have been weighing me down as they’ve been in progress for months and I just dont know where to go with them, and so I decided it was time to start afresh. There’s no point in forcing these other ones, my theory is that I’ll think of a way to fix my problems when i’m not forcing myself to.
So i’ve started a brand new summer project! So far so good, lets just hope it stays that way!
‘Till next time!
Congrats to Jennie Evans! I have already sent an email and hope to post the bag to you soon. 🙂
And don’t forget there’ll be more competitions to come!
For now though I have some more screen printing to do (and some new designs to try) before going and practicing some long boarding with Ash.
We both have snazzy new helmets from Octane sports to keep us safe now so there’s no excuse! 🙂
I’ve been bad and haven’t quite gotten round to much sewing, but I do have another competition for you all!
Again it’s for a Penguin Theory Tote bag with your choice of lining (to be discussed with the lucky winner)
It’s easy to enter: Just tell me what your favourite penguin is! Simples!
I have a handy little thing from rafflecopter this time as well. You can enter here on my facebook page
Remember you can also buy this bag on my Etsy and 20% of every sale goes to the RSPB to help save rockhopper penguins!
As promised May brings you lots of competitions and new products!
Here is your first chance to win, all you have to do is like and share this image on facebook to enter! But hurry, you only have until midnight on Monday the 6th (GMT)!
Up for grabs is this adorable tote bag with Picasso the penguin printed on it. It’s the perfect bag for this summer to carry all your extra bits and pieces!
This bag is also available in my Etsy shop where 20% of every sale is going to the RSPB to help the falling numbers of rockhopper penguins.
And remember to follow this blog and like my facebook page to know if you’ve won!
Decided to bite the bullet and sign up with Bloglovin. Finally I can follow all those blogs that aren’t on wordpress as well! 🙂