This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “animal

Travelling Peru #2 – Ash’s Favourite Park

After the passport mishap, an 11+ hour flight, and an expensive taxi ride (we were too tired and grumpy to find the cheaper ones a little away from the airport) we got to our Hostel in Lima.

We were recommended Pirawana Hostel in the beautiful Miraflores district. Immediately the atmosphere hit us, If you want party, activities and friends this is the hostel to go to. It has a beautiful roof area with sun loungers, table tennis and music, a lovely restaurant with delicious food and different activities every night!

Unfortunately for the first night we completely missed the activity (a ping pong tournament) as we were incredibly jet lagged and went to bed at around 8pm as we couldn’t keep our eyes open! Unfortunately this also meant that we (or at least I) woke up at around 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep. In fact now, on our 8th day of holiday, i think i’m only just getting over the jet lag!

Pariwana was also very clean, there seemed to be one woman who was constantly cleaning the rooms and bathrooms leaving everything spotless.

But by far the best thing about the hostel was the park right next door and completely full of cats! We spent a long time sitting watching the cats meander about.

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On the first day in Lima we wandered to the beach and chilled out after our long flight. We found some pretty shells and a sea urchin whilst we watched the waves and people surfing.

 

The next day we made the poor decision of walking 1hr30mins into Lima, with no suncream on. Needless to say we got burnt, we also got lost as I’m terrible with directions. Eventually we found the main Plaza with the presidential palace. As we were very grumpy we decided to stop for food and cocktails before meandering back to the hostel.

We didn’t actually get up to much in Lima, mostly because of how horribly jet lagged we were and unfortunately our schedule seems too full to have another good look around. However we have many more exciting adventures in peru on the way!

Claire


Penguin Valentine Cards

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!

Claire x


A Trip to Whipsnade!

At the beginning of the week my friends from work and I went on a trip to Whipsnade Zoo!

This was the first time i’d ever been to Whipsnade, despite living in Bedfordshire for 4 years whilst at University, and I was super excited to see all the animals!

We started by stopping by for some lemur breakfast. The Lemurs jumped about everywhere and walked along the barriers at the sides of the path, often hitting us with their tails, as they munched away at their food. I didn’t really know a lot about lemurs and so was very excited to learn new things, including the fact that the smallest lemur is the same size as your little finger! How crazy is that?!?

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Afterwards we moved on to the chimps who also happened to be having breakfast! They were so cheeky and mischievous, especially one who kept stealing everyone else’s food. The dominant male got angry at the cheeky chimp for trying to steal food off him which led to a comical display from the cheeky chimp who threw himself on his back like he was playing dead. Sometimes the food would also fall into the moat next to their island and then the chimps showed off their intelligence by picking up sticks to hit the food towards them.

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Then we wandered to see some white rhinos and I learnt why they’re actually called white rhinos! It’s all to do with a misunderstanding on the Africaans use of the word ‘wijde’ which was in reference to this species wide mouth, but it sounded rather like ‘White’ and so the White Rhino got it’s name. The Black Rhino was named to be opposite despite neither being particularly different colours.

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We wandered about looking at the various animals and we’re extremely impressed with all the different enclosures, the paddocks were huge and decorated beautifully too, the illusive wolves had a gorgeous forest, the penguins had probably the best pool view i’ve seen and all the animals had lots of things to keep them busy throughout the day.

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A Mara, one of the free roaming animals in the Zoo.

We saw a brown bear go swimming which was wonderful to see. It bumbled through the forest and I was running along side ready for the perfect shot, my friend was hoping it would go in the water and so we all waited with bated breath. The bear was snuffing the air and definitely took it’s time, but eventually went into the cool waters and I got some adorable photographs of it having a nice soak.

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We also saw the sealion show, they were great at showing just how agile and amazing they are, they told us the difference between sealions and seals, how they train them for the vets and also how we can help them in the wild. It was really interesting as well as being pretty cool to watch.

We also saw the talk at the animal farm where they brought out many different cute, fluffy creatures for us all to stroke including baby rabbits, ferrets and pygmy goats! They even flew an owl around our heads which hovered right in front of our faces! It was so cool!

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We even took a stream train ride through the park! This is feel was rather overpriced for how long the journey was, but it was really rather fun! We not only learnt about the animals we passed but also about the steam engine we were riding. It’s definitely a fun way to go around and see the animals, i’d recommend it at least once, but maybe not more than that.

We carried on walking around seeing all sorts of different animals, but our feet were getting weary and it was nearly closing time so we wandered over to the gift shop. However the gift shop was closed before we even got there! We were not very impressed by that fact, but decided it was probably for the best anyway as we all needed to save money.

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I spent the rest of the afternoon at a friends house playing with her pet snake and eating far too much rubbish.

I had such a fun day, took so many lovely pictures and can’t wait to go again!

Claire x


Slovenian Birthday and KNK long boarding 2014

On the 27th of last month it was my birthday and for the first time in roughly 3 years (since my trip to China) I wasn’t in the UK! This also happened to be my first real holiday without my mum.  For Ashley it was the first time he’d been out of the UK for nearly 10 years! We went to Slovenia which is an absolutely GORGEOUS country! The scenery was just stunning and the people really friendly.

But it wasn’t all fun and games, there was a reason we went was because of a Longboarding event Ash and some of our friends were attending. KNK Bear guts is a downhill free ride which takes place near Olsinca at the very bottom of Slovenia.

In all honesty I was quite nervous about him riding, it is a very steep and long hill with terrifying drops at the sides of the roads, but Ash is a sensible person and stayed within his comfort zone only having a few falls.

On the first few days of the free ride it poured it down with rain. The skaters from Britain seemed to relish it though, probably because of all the practice they’ve had this winter! The track was super slidey and they had a great time trying to stay on their boards in the slippery conditions.

Luckily, for me and my camera, the conditions soon brightened up and we had some days of brilliantly hot sunshine. Now the skaters practiced more at keeping up their speed and some we’re really rather fast! I found myself in some very dubious positions in pursuit of the perfect shot and more than once had a longboard flying in my direction. If you are watching a high speed event then posts are your best friend! I was saved several times by standing behind something sturdy, and the riders were saved by the hay bails throughout the course!

The girls we’re shredding just as hard as the guys!

On the last day Ashley decided he’d had enough of wearing leathers, much to my disapproval, but promised that he wouldn’t go fast, instead he wanted to have a day of fancy slides rather than speed. He did get one scrape on his hip but seemed to have so much more fun that I’m glad he did it.

Ash in Leathers tried his hand at speed!

But soon enough he discovered he preferred to practice his slides which is a lot easier without leathers!

The event as a whole was really well run and there were only a couple of serious injuries, all the skaters seemed to have a great time, and so did I!

I just wish I could have explored the country more, myself and Ashley are hoping to be able to afford to go next year as well but to go a week early so that we can do just that!

But all too soon it was time to come back to England and, quite honestly, i’m sort of wishing I could go back to Slovenia.

I had an interview at work the first day back as there were two permanent positions up for grabs, unfortunately I didn’t manage to get it but those who did definitely deserve it. Hopefully I can at least work there again next summer, now it’s just a matter of finding a job over winter. My car insurance also came out, taking with it the money I owed for the holiday but at least I could afford it (although only just) and then I had a very bad few days of lots of little things going wrong, such as dropping half a cheese cake on the floor!

New birthday toy!

But it’s ok as I got to open all of my birthday pressies and then to play with them! My mum got me a drawing tablet which I’m so excited about and have already practiced with! It’s going to improve my digital drawings so much!

A simple Lion as it was World Lion day yesterday!

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Because Racoons are cute!

 

I also have so many great ideas for new items to make, and even plan to be revisiting my passion for jewellery soon, plus there’s lots of photoshoots to go on and many more exciting things for The Penguin Theory.

Claire x

 


The Importance of Understanding your Camera and Sloth Babies!

I’ve always had real trouble with photography in low light situations and always blamed it on my old camera, plus they always say that light is a photographers best friend! But sometimes good lighting is just not possible, especially when not based in a studio.

I recently took my camera to work with me to take pictures of all the cute baby animals we have running around at the moment. I was getting quite frustrated at my camera not being able to cope with the light levels in the perfectly lit room, no matter how much I changed my shutter speed and aperture I just couldn’t get a clear, well lit photograph of the sloth and its baby (see attempts below). But there was an old gentleman, and regular at the zoo, who then told me about ISO.

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Both unfortunately blurry and dark. 

I had heard of ISO but had always thought that it would seriously reduce the quality of my photographs, something which is of course true if you’re not using it properly, as I wasn’t. After hearing his brief explanation I decided to change my settings and finally got some good photographs! I just wish i’d played with it earlier on in the day.

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I did get a couple of good shots on a low ISO

Well since that day I’ve done a bit of research into ISO so I can learn exactly what it is and how to use it.

So what exactly is ISO?

ISO is the speed of the film, not to be confused with frame rate but instead it’s how sensitive the film would be to light. So a Low ISO would correspond to an insensitive film that would require more light to create a good quality image, whereas a High ISO would be a far more sensitive film needing less light for the same image quality. But even though you may need a higher ISO in certain situations, the higher ISO does also create grainier images and so it is best to keep the ISO as low as possible for the shot.

Of course if using a Tripod for a still subject it would be fine to use the lowest ISO possible, but for handheld camera work and moving objects it’s best to experiment to find the perfect balance between brightness and noise in the photograph.

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It really is so important to understand all the workings of your camera, I’ve had mine for nearly 7 years and I’m only just learning how to really get the most out of it! I plan to carry on learning about all aspects of photography and hopefully it will improve my photographs, in fact i think it already is!

But it’s not only understanding your camera, it’s also understanding your subject so I also plan to study the animals i’m wanting to take photographs of as well. There’s not all that much known about sloth babies, as they have about an 80% mortality rate in just the first week of being born, and a lot of that percentage is from the mother dropping them! I believe this is the first sloth baby in our zoo for around 50 years. So not only is the sloth baby proving to be vital research for myself into the animal kingdom, but also for the keepers who are learning new things about how they develop, grow and learn too! It’s all very exciting.

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I plan to take my camera to work again very soon and experiment more with the ISO settings, plus i want to get even more adorable photographs of various animals!

Claire x


Photography Adventures

As the title might suggest, this post will be very picture heavy. You’ve been warned!

I always believe that you should make your life an adventure and I often take the time to notice the random things going on around me, making even a trip to the shops an exciting experience. Because of this I usually find I notice things that I would love to photograph but never seem to have my camera on me,  such as the time I saw cows crossing a motorway bridge with the words ‘Rural Revolution’ graffitied below.

I have decided that I need to take advantage of these moments and so, not only am I going to make an easy to carry camera bag, i’m setting aside time every now and again to go on a Photography Adventure. Just me, my camera and an adventure!

Ok so maybe Ash can join on a few adventures. 😉

Not only do I believe that this could result in some great fun and photographs, but I am also hoping that it will improve my photography skills as I challenge myself with shooting on Manual settings and in lots of different lighting and situations.

I went on my first official Photography Adventure on monday. I decided just explore my area, we’ve only just moved here (although it’s not that far from our old place) and I thought it would be a good way to learn about where I actually live.

The area we live in is called Muswell Hill in North London. It quite posh and full of crafty and vintage shops. I should’ve taken some photo’s of the highstreet but I forgot to get my camera out until I had passed the high street and saw this amazing view from a car park just 10 minutes from my house!

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I had to stand on top of a pretty precarious wall to get this shot and I knew that I could get better elsewhere and so I moved on.

I found some amazingly steep and quiet streets and just had to text Ash as they would be perfect for practicing slides and cornering on when long boarding (with a spotter of course). A lot of the houses I found must have had incredible views from their back windows and balconies. I saw so many houses I would love to live in! There were loads of the old Tudor styled houses, the type of house i’ve always dreamed of!

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I wandered along these back streets for a while until I happened upon Alexandra Palace (Ok so I followed the BBC tower as I knew there were good photo’s to be took here). The views from Ally Pally are amazing, it also has an ice rink, a boating pond, Fallow Deer and regular gigs. Plus it’s only a 5 minute walk from my house now!

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I sat for a while, eating a breakfast bar, admiring the view and taking a few photo’s

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Now available on my Etsy! Click for the listing 🙂

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Soon though, my bum became too cold and so I moved on. Wandering down to the paddocks to see Alexandra Palaces Fallow Deer Herd. I only learned they had a deer herd recently despite visiting often, but now I make sure to visit them each time I go.

On the way to the deer I noticed a squirrel sitting in the grass. I love squirrels (yes, even the grey ones) and so I had to take some photos!

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Another that is available on my Etsy! Click the image for the listing!

For these shots I played around with a very shallow Depth of Field and feel it really adds to the shots making the foreground out of focus and so the squirrel is the main point of interest.

Next I found the Deer. They were quite far away from the fence to begin with but soon started travelling towards the right hand side of the paddock. I ran over (yes I actually ran) so that I could get some good shots of them walking towards me. Unfortunately, in my excitement, I forgot about the manual settings and so a lot of the photos came out too dark, even for editing. I did manage a few good shots once i remembered though.

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Again this one is available on my Etsy! Click the photo for the listing!

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Whilst taking these images I got talking to a man who was walking his dogs. We both agreed that these deer were just beautiful animals!

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Click the image for the Etsy listing of this adorable buck and fawns!

Soon my hands we’re feeling frozen and so I had to tear myself away from these beautiful animals. I decided it was time to go home as I already had a pretty bad cold and didn’t want to get any sicker.

On my way back home I passed the boating lake where this coot was hunting for food. I took a few pictures of it diving under the water before finally heading home to see the spoils of my adventure!

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I really hope to do another adventure soon and already have a few places in mind!

Anyone else been on an adventure lately?


Date F – Feeding Squirrels

Ash in Action. See his pictures on his instagram (@Ashloids)

For date F Ash knows I love furry little creatures and long walks so he took me to Hyde Park to feed to abundance of squirrels.

What I Wore

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See my outfit on Lookbook!

I decided to go for the slightly hippie look with a floaty skirt and a top with a horse and flowers on it. Combined with my brown boots, this was a very comfy outfit. Perfect for a nice long walk in the park.

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The Date

Before we even got to the park I had a nice surprise. When waiting for Ash to go to the loo I heard my name being called. I spun around and saw a University friend I haven’t seen since graduation. We did the usual girly scream hug thing and then had a nice little chat. She had just auditioned for Wicked, although she didn’t quite get the part unfortunately. We soon parted ways though because she had to go home and we had out date to go on! I’m still amazed that I just managed to bump into an old friend in the middle of london!

Taken by Ash

We got to the park and wandered around for a little bit, looking at the pretty flowers and trees and hoping for squirrels to feed. We had a bag of Monkey Nuts as we thought these would be the best for the squirrels.

The first squirrel we found was very brave. He came straight up to us and immediately took a nut. Then more squirrels joined him, but these were a lot more timid.

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The Greedy Squirrel

He kept coming and taking more and more, the others eventually ventured close enough for a nibble but were still very timid.

The 3 Squirrel-teers

Soon they were joined by pigeons and even a little rat. People started crowding round us and we thought that these squirrels had had enough so we moved on.

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As we continued our walk we saw a heron, we gave some nuts to a little girl who was wanting to take a picture of a squirrel (she succeeded) and even found a friendly swan near some pretty fountains.

We eventually started getting hungry and went to find a pub to have a bite to eat. We settled for our usual choice of wetherspoons (and not just because I work there, but because it’s always so cheap compared with everywhere else!). We had some nice burgers and mochas to warm us up a little.

Then we decided we just wanted to walk in a random direction and see what we found. We walked down a long street, full of interesting shops and cafes, big houses, posh hotels, until eventually we decided we were tired and it was time to find the nearest tube.

Final Thoughts

It was a really fun date, squirrels really are funny little creatures. The way they try to get close whilst still trying to stay at a distance, the way their tails move to help their balance, their cute little faces and paws. I definitely had a lot of fun. Hyde park is always a great place to go as well and I do really enjoy going for walks with Ash. Hopefully we can go again when it’s just a little warmer, maybe take some skates with us.

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Now I have to think of Date G! Maybe some miniature golf or something? Any ideas?


Penguin Wardrobe

Even though Lions have always been my favourite animal my wardrobe seems to be being overtaken by penguins!!

Two of my favourite pyjamas decided to rip and so I knew I needed new ones. In all fairness they were both very old so they have done me well, but i’m still sad to have to chuck them out.

So off we toddled to good ol’ Primarnie in search of some cheap pyjamas. I found a cute plaid short and top set with an adorable little bow and then the most amazing penguin pyjama bottoms ever.

Ok so that may be a bit over dramatic, but they really are awesome. I was debating for a while as just the bottoms cost the same price as the whole set of shorts and top i’d already picked up, but I decided that  I still had tops from my ripped pyjamas which would match nicely.

These pyjamas are so cosy it’s ridiculous. I think I’m going to end up living in them!

I have also been wearing my Penguin hat a lot recently. It’s just too adorable and goes well with my new winter tights (also primarnie)!

This was me on the tube on the way to a juggling group in Camden. Ash said he went years ago (he’s pretty good at juggling to my untrained eye ) and he’s always wanted to go again. Now that we live so close there’s no reason not to go!

Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures whilst there (I was too busy having fun!) but here’s an old video of Ash juggling!

It was actually a really fun evening, lots of people with various manipulative arts to show off. I really want to try working with Poi as they look so pretty!

By the end of the evening even I could very nearly juggle 3 balls! Just a little more practice I might be able to do more than 4 throws. 🙂

Anyone else who is interested in manipulative arts should definitely come along!

‘Till next time!


I am Lion Hear me ROAR! – An Etsy Treasury

Well i’ve been working non stop this week. As I said before, lots of staff have left and so I’ve been given loads of hours. 42 to be exact. Not that I will get paid much for it.

I do really love my job and the people there and being able to interact with customers but i’m finding it harder and harder to want to stay. Reason’s just keep popping up telling me to leave, lack of money being one of them. I’ve decided to have a word with my boss first but I am already scouting around to see what else is out there. I heard admin jobs pay quite well.

But anyway, I finally got round to doing some more crafty related things. I’ve applied for some more craft fairs, updated all my social media (this blog included) and made a new treasury! I’m sure i might have said that the next treasury I posted about would be a Halloween one but I’ve decided to get involved with Craft Britannia’s shop of the week finally, after months of just following silently. So here’s a nice little treasury based on Colour Me Fun’s amazing Crayons! You should seriously check out the shop, it is adorable!

I found these crayons in the shop and immediately fell in love!

For one Lions are my favourite animals, two these are just plain adorable, although I doubt i’d ever dare use them! I think I actually might buy some for my cousin for christmas (along with some other items).  Because these are named ‘Jungle Animal Crayons’ I decided to do a jungle themed treasury.

However as I search deeper into the jungle that is the Etsy search, I found that more and more Lions were popping up…Lions happen to be my favourite animal and always have been (closely followed by the penguin and red panda) and I found myself just wanting to pick all the lion items. So I ended up with a Lion themed treasury!

Lion scarf

Isn’t this just the cutest neck warmer you’ve ever seen? I wish I was several years younger so that I could wear it. I might just buy it anyway! Who said i’m so old for this adorableness!

Hand drawn Lion Earrings

I love cute and quirky things, especially on my ears, and these are just amazing. These adorable studs are hand drawn and just make me want to ‘squee’.

Girls lion dress

Isn’t this just the cutest dress you’ve ever seen? This is the kind of thing I wanted when I was a child (and still do!), the kind of thing I will force any kids I have to wear whether they like it or not. Perfect for halloween, perfect for everyday, just perfect for a Lion Obsessed person like me. I wonder if it can come in a larger size…

Lion cushion

This cute cushion is made from organic cotton and can come in a range of colours! I think it would be perfect for a childs room, it would definitely suit my childhood bedroom which was jungle themed before i decided I liked fishes.

Decorative Animal Pillow- Circus Lion

I really love the print of of the lion on this cushion, it’s proud stance and fierce glare. Still not sure whether or not i’d prefer it without the hat but then I remember there’s pompoms and I chuckle.

“Sunny Leo” Phone Cover

Now this is an item I think I’m actually buying myself for definite. I’ve been looking for a phone case for ages and this one is not only available for the S3 but also the Iphone and the S2 (my phone). My boyfriend says it’s too expensive and that there’s loads of cheap cases out there but I just don’t think they could ever live up to a Lion wearing Aviators.

Roar Child’s Lampshade

Don’t you just love the colours of this one! It’s just a big tower of colourful Roars and it looks awesome. I wish I still had the wallpaper from when I was little because I would totally buy this to match! Ok now i’m starting to miss my old wallpaper…

Party Animals

What’s better than a bunch of cute animals? A bunch of cute animals wearing party hats of course! These invitations are just adorable, maybe I need to organise an animal themed party to give myself an excuse to buy these…

Lions Roar Painting

Well this painting is just badass. I love the lion and the pop art style. It would be a great focal piece for any room.

Lion (Roar) Typography Art Print

Another picture but this one is a little cuter. I love typography and this reminds me of the part in The Lion King where Simba is learning to roar. Cute!

Disney’s The Lion King Minimalist Poster

Speaking of The Lion King… It is and has always been my favourite film (although a few more have crept up to join it at the number one spot in recent years) and this poster shows the film off perfectly. I love the use of the sun as an eye, and the pose of the male lion. I just wish there was a Timone and Pumba! Still, if I was allowed things on my wall I think this would be up there.

Deluxe baby set

This little set is so cute with those cute little booties, the animal bib and matching burp cloth. Just adorable!

 

The Lion Hood

If my hair wasn’t practically a mane already then I think this would already be in my wardrobe. But how cute is this? I don’t think I should ever be allowed it as I’d probably end up never taking it off.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – Lion brooch

I love reading and the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is a classic! This shop has other similar brooches from other classic books too and is really worth checking out. I have my eye on the Metamorphosis one as I studied that play for my A Levels and absolutely loved it.

Lion Fabric Badge

Another brooch but completely different to the last. This cute little fabric lion would look adorable pinned to a childs coat. They come it lots of different colours and patterns too.

That’s all the items I have for you for now. I hope you find them all as adorable as I do!

‘Till next time!