This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “beauty

Expanding my Menswear Range

I find my ties are my best sellers and so have been wanting to expand my menswear line for quite a while. However, as usual, life seems to get in the way and i’ve been so busy with the day job that i haven’t had time for The Penguin Theory. However I am now again unemployed, maybe one day i can get something that’s not just temporary, and so have lots of time to sew! I finally got round to making a pattern for a waistcoat.

I chose some lovely stripy fabric, which i’ve already made a tie out of, and made the pattern myself with a bit of help from my boyfriends wardrobe.

 

I made a few mistakes along the way, figuring out how to put it all together was quite a challenge. It was quite amusing though when i put the waist ties in the lining side instead of outside! Whoops!

Oops!

Oops!

I decided against putting buttons on this particular jacket as the pattern needs a little work to hang properly, but I actually think it looks pretty snazzy as an open waistcoat!

I’ll be dressing Ashley up in it shortly for a photoshoot (i’m sure he’ll demand payment in chocolate as it’s pretty cold outside!) and hopefully i will be editing the pattern and making more as well as having some more womens wear ready soon so keep your eyes peeled!

So much pattern cutting! My hand is hurting.

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Super excited to play with this fabric!

‘Till next time

Claire x


Finding Hidden Beauty

I don’t have many lenses for my camera but the ones I do have I really love to play around with.

Other than the lens that came with my camera I have a macro lens and a telephoto lens. I want to focus on the macro lens for this post.

It was the first lens I ever wanted, I’ve always been fascinated by the beauty macro lenses can show you that you may not other wise see. I have always loved to watch nature documentaries and marvelled at the stunning shots of the tiny creatures and patterns that aren’t quite so easy to see with the naked eye.

I love the glimpse of pollen and shape of the stamens in this shot although think I could have improved my focus just a little bit.

Unfortunately I don’t often get my macro lens out, but when I do I am always over the moon with the pictures that I can create with it.

A few days ago I went to Golders Park near Hampstead Heath, London. It’s a gorgeous park with so much to see and do including a little zoo with a wonderful collection of exotic (and not quite so exotic) animals…but more on that in another post.

On my wanders around the park I found this group of Crocus flowers in the middle of the grass. I just couldn’t help but whip out my macro lens and get down on my hands and knees! I loved how the colours really stood out, the bright white petals against the rich green of the grass and the vibrant orange inside.

The bold colours were what caught my attention first, but only when I started snapping did I really notice all their interesting patterns.

I really must have looked crazy twisting and turning to get all sorts of different angles but I didn’t care, I was lost in the moment trying to find these little plants’ hidden treasures.

I realised this is something I do a lot with photography, I get so obsessed with finding the perfect angle for a striking composition that I really don’t care how I look, but I guess it pays off as I am really proud of these shots!

I was delighted to find this bud with it’s unusual shape and pattern.

This bud (above) is probably my favourite shot of the flowers, although maybe not the best technically. I just love the unusual shape and the bold purple stripes running down the petals. These are the kinds of things I want to start showing more of in my photography, the unusual things you wouldn’t normally pay attention too.

It’s always been my thinking that a photographers job is to bring out these moments of beauty that you wouldn’t usually notice. Whether it be the way a man looks at his wife, a dramatic landscape where the weather conditions are just perfect, a deer resting in the sun, no matter the type or style of photography it’s job is the same.

Of course it can also be used to bring out shocking truths, such as an image of a young refugee in a war torn country, but I believe these can even have a certain kind of beauty to them. The beauty doesn’t have to be in the subject of our photo’s, but also in our reaction to them. They can bring forth emotions that we never knew we had or teach us something valuable.

This, I believe, is the sign of a true photographer.

I know I have a lot to learn until I can get to that point, but I hope that someday my photographs will also cause others to stop and think. Whether it’s marvelling at the beauty of the object, or thinking deeply about their own beliefs on the subject, I want my images to really create a lasting impression.

Probably my best composed shot of the day. I love the petal shapes and the bright orange stamens against the simple green background.

I will keep shooting and experimenting and hopefully, one day, i’ll reach my goal.

What do you think is the sign of a true photographer?

Claire x


Sparkly Infinity Scarf

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

Have fun!

Claire x


Winter Cape

I’ve always wanted a Cape with a big hood to keep me cosy during the winter weather. However, I could never find one I really liked. So I decided to set myself a challenge and make myself my ideal winter cape!

It was a bit of a struggle and isn’t fully completed yet, but I’m so proud of what i’ve achieved and just couldn’t resist taking some pictures, especially when the snow started falling!

Ashley took the pictures (and complained about getting snow in his shoe!) whilst I twirled around in my cape and posed awkwardly (I always feel super self conscious when modelling things). The snow acted as a natural light box despite the sky not being particularly bright, one of the reasons why I love snow, it’s almost impossible to get a bad photo!

I’ve always wanted something with a big floppy hood so I knew I just HAD to include one. The hood turned out to be quite a challenge, easy to make but just very awkward to attach. I’m happy I decided to add it though as I got to learn a new skill! I think I will change the shape of the hood for future garments though (this one is maybe just a little too deep, although you can’t tell in this picture).

The outer fabric is thick and sparkly, keeping the warmth in and adding a little bit of glam! I fell in love with this fabric at first sight and knew I just had to make some kind of coat out of it!

I originally wanted the lining to be a dark, flowery patterned, silk-like fabric but it turned out there wasn’t enough of it. In the end the only suitable lining fabric I had enough of was this stunning blue, silk I bought from my trip to china! I think it’s just fate that I decided to buy more of this than all the others because I absolutely LOVE the result! It’s just so pretty, and so silky smooth!

I can’t wait to finish it off completely so that I can wear it out and about, but first I have an order to complete. My minecraft tie has sold again! This will be the last tie for a while as I don’t think I have enough fabric for another. I must restock! (What a good feeling it is to sell out of a product!)

Hopefully there will be many more new projects on the horizon soon! I have so many already started and so many more still to start! I better get cracking!

Claire

The Penguin Theory


Smokey Eye Tutorial

Welcome to my first instalment of Friday Fabrications!

This is where you will find tutorials for anything I can think of doing!

I’m going to start with a make up tutorial, the smokey eye look. I will warn you, this will be very picture (and word) heavy.

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This is a look that I have honestly never been able to create successfully until about a year ago. No matter how hard I tried and how many tutorials I looked at, I just seemed to mess it up completely when doing it myself. So this tutorial is hopefully going to help anyone else who’s had trouble with the smokey eye look and give you a few hints and tips to make it easy to do in a relatively short time!

Of course the first thing you need to do is clean your face of any old make up and give it a good wash. If you have primer (which I dont *slaps hands*) then you should also apply that as it helps to give a more even skin colour and keeps the make up on longer.

Then you should apply the bottom layer of make up, I like to call it the skin layer as it is there to make your skin look nicer. You should first use some cover up over any spots of blemishes and blend it in followed by some nice foundation. I use Match Perfection and Clear Complexion by  Rimmel as they’re fairly cheap but still work brilliantly. I also always choose the lightest colours as i’m quite pale and I find any darker really makes my face stand out. In my opinion you should always go at least one shade lighter than your skin colour to avoid orange skin, because lets face it, orange is really not a good look, even if you are from Essex.

Now that you’ve made your face look like it is free from any sort of blemish you should apply the blusher. I just have some cheap tesco blusher and personally I dont think you need to splash out on blusher at all. With things like mascara and foundation I would always recommend a good brand, but blusher is a lot more forgiving and so if, like me, you need to save money you should save your pennies on the blusher. You do, however, need to buy a good brush. Ok so this brush was also cheap (compared to leading brands at least), but it is big and fluffy and perfect for the job!

There are two ways I usually do my blusher. The first is using the whole brush and using it on the cheek in a circular motion, creating a nice rosy look I usually use day to day. The other is to squeeze the brush and sweep from the cheek towards the top of the ear. This I feel is better for a more sophisticated look and I use it for the evenings. I used this sophisticated look in this tutorial as I was actually getting ready to go out with my work friends.

Next is the eye shadow. Again I don’t think it’s massively important to have an expensive eye shadow, although I do prefer them as they’re usually easier to blend. If you can afford it easily I’d recommend the extra money, but if not then it wont make a massive difference. I’m again using the tesco barbara day make-up (the silver pot) and also a colour palette from marks and spencers. I love colour palettes, especially the ones with just 3 or 4 complimenting colours. They are just so useful and usually contain colours that will blend together really well.

First you just need to put a layer of the lightest colour you want to wear. I tend to use my fingers when applying, but that’s just my personal preference as i just never  seem to get on with the brushes. I decided to use a white colour this time. You can put as much of this on as you want, some people like it all the way up to the eye brows but I personally find this a bit…hooker-esq. I prefer to do mine about half way, so that the make up just comes up on to the bone. I also like to put a spot of the lighter colour right on the inside corner of my eye as it brightens and lifts making you look more awake.

Then you need to take the middle colour (I used the silver pot here) and start at 3/4 of the way in, sweeping to the outside of the eye. Now you just need to blend them together so that there are no definite lines where your make-up changes colour. Most of the time when blending I end up adding more eyeshadow on as well just to make sure it is thick enough (as it was not in this photo)

Before blending

Next is the darkest colour. I use the tiniest spot and dab it right on the outside of my eye before smudging it a little inwards. I find this works perfectly for me, making the black not too heavy and nicely blended. For some reason I find this one never needs as much blending as the other two personally.

eye shadow finished

Next is the eyeliner. I prefer liquid to pencil but do switch between both. I usually use collection 2000 as it’s cheap, however although their normal liquid eye liner goes on really smoothly, I find it often smudges off on the corners during the night so in this tutorial I used their waterproof version which has a bit more sticking power. However I wouldn’t really recommend this one either as it is not so easy to put on, no where near as smooth to apply as the normal, bog standard eye liner they have and made my lines a little messy in this tutorial. Next time I think I might splash out on a better brand.

To apply eye liner I steady my hand by resting it on my face and either leaning on a windowsill, or holding my elbow with my other hand. Keep your eyes open (yes both of them!) as you need to see where you’re going. I then start from the inside eye, usually just about where you started the middle eye shadow, and slowly (with little strokes) move towards the outer eye.

When I get to the corner I usually do a little flick. This flick definitely doesn’t need to be big at all and just follows the corner of your eye up. If you can’t see the direction your flick needs to go then I would aim to meet the outer tip of your eyebrow, but just don’t draw all the way there. You should know if you’ve done it right by closing your eye, if the flick is in a more or less straight line from the rest of the eyeliner then it is correct.

You can tell it is a little messy, this shouldn’t happen with a smoother eyeliner.

Next is the eye lashes! Again I’m using Rimmel, they are definitely one of my favourite brands as they’re cheap but have good quality products. I actually have three mascara’s but tend to only use these two. The one on the left is lash excellerator or something, i’ve used it so much all the writings come off the packaging! I tend to use this day to day for the long lash effect and love it! The other is Scandaleyes which I honestly only bought because it was on special offer and cheaper than all the other mascaras at the time. However I absolutely love this one too, the brush is a bit big and took a bit of getting used to (i got it all over myself the first time i used it!) but now I love how thick it makes my lashes look! I also have a waterproof mascara (Rimmel : Sexy Curves) for those times where you just know you’re going to be emotional.

I also always always always use an eyelash curler when doing mascara. Without them you can’t really tell how long my eyelashes are, but with them curled it not only creates the illusion of length, but also again helps with your eyes looking bright and open. I find that with my curler I don’t really need to use false eye lashes as I get the same (but more natural looking) effect.

When Applying mascara I tend to sweep the brush side to side rather than from root to tip. I just find it gives a far more even coating and helps against getting it all over your face.

Et Viola! Smokey eye complete! You can add some lipstick now if you like, but I find it’s best to go for the more natural colour as your eyes are already quiet heavy and it would otherwise just look too much. To me it’s the same as the legs/boobs rule. You can’t have both out, just one or the other. Although, like with the legs/boobs rule, I have broken it on occasion.

Of course you can always experiment with other colours too! When we went iceskating the other week I used a dark blue instead of a black in the corners and a black sparkly eyeliner.

I have also done it in various shades of purples and again in browns (which is my favourite as it looks the best with my eye colour)

‘Till next time!


Washing Fail into Washing Win

Do you remember that outfit I wore for the ‘ball’ the other week? And do you remember the lovely ribbon I tied around my waist? It turns out that it accidentally ended up in the wash.

In action before the incident…not that this picture does the colour justice

I was sorting out all the clothes and found this strange, long, scrunched up, pale thing. I couldn’t for the life of me think of what it could be. I tried straightening it out and it finally clicked. It was the ribbon and it had been absolutely ruined!

I was a little sad for a while but then I decided I would iron it flat.

The more I ironed the more I began to like the colour. The ribbon is still a little scrunched as the iron couldn’t get all the creases out, but I’ve actually started liking the scrunch effect as well.

A more delicate looking ribbon

I’ve now decided that I much prefer the ribbon now (even though I did really like it before as well). I didn’t wear it all that much before but now the colour matches most of my gold things. It seems more classy and delicate looking than bright and bold now as well.

I don’t think i’ll be doing this with another ribbon in a hurry but I really am glad it happened as now i have a gorgeous colour ribbon to accessorise with!

What do you think? Better or worse? 🙂


Photoshop Tutorial – How to Get Rid of Eye Bags

Hey there.

So I was busy editing photographs from my most recent product photo shoot and noticed that I had extremely bad bags under my eyes (i haven’t had a lot of sleep recently). Obviously looking tired isn’t the best when trying to sell a product and so i decided to try and use my mediocre photoshopping skills on them. I was rather impressed with the results and so I thought i’d make a short tutorial for anyone else who might have the same problem.

This tutorial uses Photoshop CS5 and is surprisingly simple to do.

There’s actually a tool especially for doing things like this, you can find it at the top of the second ‘section’ of tools on the left. Right click and you should be able to see  ‘Healing Brush Tool’ in the drop down.

As you can see, i’ve already zoomed in close on my face so that I can see what i’m doing.

Next you have to select the area of face that you want to use to fix the bags. I always choose just under the area you’ll be fixing as it helps it blend a little better together. To select the area you just have to hold down ‘Alt’ (I’m on a mac but I think it’s the same on windows too, please let me know if it isn’t). A little target should appear so , whilst still holding ‘Alt’, click on the area you’re wanting to use.

I chose to click on the very most left hand side of my face as I knew I’d be drawing over the eye bag from left to right.

You can take your finger off the ‘Alt’ button now and just draw normally, following the bag under your eye.

Ignore the fact that it looks incredibly obvious at this point, that’s normal, when you finish and let go of the mouse button it should all blend in nicely with photoshops magical powers.

Tada! You’re no longer looking in need of sleep!

Now you just have to do the same on the other side.

Of course this can sometimes take a few tries to get it right, but it seems to work perfectly almost every time for me.

I also finished off my picture by adjusting the brightness and contrast,  fiddling with my eye colour a bit (just a vanity thing there) and desaturating the background.

I hope at least someone out there will find this useful, this was rather fun to make so I might even do a few more tutorials in the future! 🙂

‘Till next time!