This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “Boyfriend

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


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


Letting Out Our Inner Rebels

As I said in my last post, it was myself and Ashley’s 3 year anniversary!

On the day itself we didn’t do much although I had made plans for when we had more time. Unfortunately the last couple of weeks have been a bit hectic, that and getting used to actually having a proper routine for the first time in 2 years had me very sleepy with my body being a little confused (hence the lack of updates i’m afraid). But eventually we had a day where we were free to actually celebrate!

As a surprise for him I took him to a graffiti workshop. He sometimes seems to think he’s a bit of a ‘bad boy’ with his love of drum and base and gangster movies, but he is really a big nerd so I thought it might be fun to embrace his inner rebel.

The workshop was near portobello road in the Westbank Gallery and was lots of fun. We learnt about different tags, styles and effects then created our own tag before being let lose with the paint.

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It looks so easy on paper...

We both somehow managed to create something that looked like our images, but wow is it difficult! I’ve always admired the more elaborate graffiti as I never assumed it was easy, and they really can be a work of art, but I never thought it would be quite that difficult! Our instructor made it seem so easy, moving the can in elegant arcs and making it do precisely what he wanted it to. When we tried the can seemed to have a mind of it’s own. As we practiced more we started to get the hang of it and Ash seemed to gain some fans in the two lovely middle aged ladies next to us who admired his, actually quite precise, can control.

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Eventually we both managed to create something that almost resembled what we’d had down on paper and we quite pleased with ourselves.

It was a great workshop and the instructor was very helpful, I would definitely recommend it. Ash said he really enjoyed it too so i’d say the present was a success!

We spent the rest of the day wandering around portobello road and trying to resist buying things before buying some cider and sitting in park soaking up the sun and meeting some friends for more drinks.

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My gift from Ashley was a tablet! I bought myself a case and keyboard for it as well so now it’s like a mini portable laptop. It’s going to be so useful for updating all my social media where ever I may be , and on the commute to work, which should hopefully mean a lot more updates!

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I still can’t believe we’ve been together for 3 years, it’s gone so quickly and we’re still as loved up as ever. As soppy as it sounds, I really couldn’t imagine life without him.

I’ve got lots of new posts on the way for you over the next week or so. Alphabet dating is finally coming back with date H, new youtube projects, more sewing and drawings. It’s going to be a lot of fun. 🙂

Claire x


Anniversary Giveaway!

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!

Good Luck!

Claire x


365 Project : Days 1- 5

I’ve decided that I really want to do a 365 project to document this year and hopefully improve my photography. I will try to take as many with my ‘big’ camera as possible but I’m sure there will be phone/instagram pictures included as well.  I am combining this with 100 days of happiness too and looking for the things which make me happy in day to day life so as not to take it for granted. Follow me on instagram (username : Fwaire) for all the 100 days of happiness photos!

I was going to start on Jan 1st to keep things simple, but I seem to have gotten a little too excited and started on the Eve instead, I guess that could make for a good, bold ending though. 🙂

I’ve decided I’m going to blog my photo’s every sunday rather than everyday as I think it will be easier to keep up with, so, without further ado, here’s week 1 : Days 1-6!

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Happy New Year! Myself and Ash on December 31st (somewhere around midnight), celebrating in our house with a few friends.

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Jan 1st – I wasn’t particularly hungry whilst at work but couldn’t resist a pudding on my break! Mmm Apple crumble and custard! 🙂

Jan 2nd – Making ties! I’ve had two sales already (one on christmas day and the other on the 1st of jan). Such an amazing start to the year!

Jan 3rd – A sudden thunder storm made me dash for my camera in the hopes of photographing lightening! Unfortunately the bolt that sent me running for my camera turned out to be the only one, but I do rather like this image I captured of the rain on our slanted attic windows. It can sometimes be loud, but I actually find the sound quite soothing.

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Jan 4th – Our light switch has broken in our bathroom but luckily our flat comes with awesome stained glass windows in almost every door. The unusual lighting situation has really made me appreciate some of this house’s beauty. This is our current, romantic, view from the toilet, along with Ash wondering why there’s camera sounds coming from the bathroom…

Jan 5th – This was a movie day, until i was called into work (it was meant to be my day off!). I watched a few disney classics whilst sewing and then settled down with some David Attenborough after work whilst writing this blog. Lovely! I find streaming programs on my laptop whilst sewing helps me to work better as I then can’t use it to explore the internet!

So that was the first (almost) week of my 365 project! It’s a shame I only managed to get my DSLR for two of the shots, but hopefully I can use it more next week. 🙂

Who else is doing a 365, 100 days of happiness  or similar project?


First Surf

Last weekend Ash and I went on a trip to cornwall to try a new sport. Cornwall is well known for it’s surf and this has been something we’ve both been wanting to try for a while so we figured why not.

A couple of friends joined us too, they also happen to be the guys we’re looking for a house with once our lease is up in a couple of months and so we decided it would be our first official house holiday (and also a chance to see if we could really live together).

Men doing Manly Things

Our campsite was nice, what more do you want other than a field, toilets and a shower really?

As it had been a  4 hour drive it was already afternoon and so once the tent had been set up and food cooked we just chilled out together for the rest of the evening.

The next day we went to Newquay. It was a nice relaxing day playing in the surf, building sand castles and sliding around on our skim board.

Skim boards are designed for very shallow water and literally ‘skim’ the surface. They’re pretty fun and fast but don’t expect to stay on your feet for long.

The next day was far more active as we decided to brave the surf. We had a two hour lesson with a surf school on the beach, there were cheaper ones which did whole day classes but they had all been sold out and actually in hindsight we don’t know what they could have even done with us for a whole day.

Ash was the first of us to manage to catch a wave and stand but I wasn’t far behind.

We found the hardest part was the catching of the wave, the timing and speed were difficult to get right and we were often left behind whilst the wave raced to shore.

We also found that it was extremely tiring, our arms began to ache in the first hour and the constant battling against waves to get out to sea took a lot out of you. But the moment you caught a wave it really felt like you were flying and made all the effort worth it.

The shock of being able to stand is evident on my face

We ended up renting our surfboards and wetsuits out for the rest of the day (For only £10! Bargain!) and surfed until we could surf no more! They also had a photographer who took pictures of us surfing and CDs we’re available to buy afterwards for £10, that worked out as £2.50 each as  we bought one between the four of us,  bargain!

We all slept well that night.

The next day we drove all the way to Wales as my mum was visiting her boyfriend and I hadn’t seen either of them in such a long time.

The four housemates and a castle

As soon as Ash saw the first hill he fell in love.

We met with my mum and Andy before going on a nice (steep) walk to see the Welsh countryside  and explored and old castle before sitting in a pub for a well deserved pint. Wales really is beautiful country and I’d recommend anyone to go visit, the views are just spectacular.

We finished off the holiday by visiting the Brecon Beacons. We didn’t go far, just found a nice, quiet road for Ash to finally skate on with some amazing views.

All too soon it was time to come back to London. We had a really awesome trip away and we think we want to make Cornwall and Wales a regular thing (although maybe not at the same time)

Slides with a view


A New Start to An Old Adventure

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!


Date G – Mini Golf

For date G I took Ash to mini golf, but not just any mini golf, this was dinosaur mini golf! 

What I Wore

I went summery with a pretty green, sparkly dress, sandals and a light shirt.

Dinosaur in a Jazzy Pose

The Date

We started by walking through Richmond Park, one of my favourite places in the whole of London, before catching a bus to the Golf. I’ve missed our walks and it was just really nice to just be together strolling along and talking about nonsense.

We saw a lot of bunnies which we’re out enjoying the sunshine, but we didn’t see any deer for once. They must have been at the other side of the park.

Relaxing in Richmond Park

Eventually we had to drag ourselves away and actually go golfing. The place itself took a while for us to find the way to and involved quite a bit of walking.

The actual golf was great! The decorations we’re brilliant with dinosaurs towering above you, a bright blue river running throughout the whole course and some great dinosaur facts to read whilst you played.

One of my many misses.

We we’re both terrible at playing, especially myself who seems to have a problem with aim, the problem being I don’t even try to.

Throughout the course they were playing the most terrible cheesy music, such as the YMCA. I was kind of disappointed by the music as I think it detracted from the feel of the course, although I guess kids coming to play might have enjoyed it. I would have much preferred some Jurassic park-esq music, the kind of music that would make you feel epic as you played.

 

Final Thoughts

I think it was a great date personally, we both laughed at each others terrible skills, the theme of the golf course made it all so much more exciting and, even though the music was terrible and a little annoying, we got to laugh at the tunes being played. All together i think it was a great place to take a date, wether it’s the first or you’ve been together for a long time.


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?


Old Tricks

Yesterday I did something I haven’t done in a while.

I went skating.

Not Rollerdisco skating, but on inline skates. I haven’t even been to a skate park since school when my boyfriend of the time was an avid skater and we all spent summers eating ice cream at the top of the ramps and learning how to do tricks.

Comfy and Fierce! See my outfit on Lookbook

Ok, so the boys did the tricks, I mainly sat at the top of the ramp eating ice cream, but it was fun all the same.

I was surprised how quickly it came back to me, although I guess we have been rollerdisco-ing a lot recently.

Ash, as usual, was doing all his little tricks, spinning, skating backwards and snaking.

I have almost got the hang of snaking but still need a bit more practice.

Both myself and Ash want to become a lot more active and get out of the house more now that the weather is finally becoming warmer, so I should have a lot more chance to hone my skills.

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Still a little wobbly…

But before that I have lots and lots of sewing to do!


Date E – Epping Forest

For Date E I took Ash to Epping forest as we both enjoy taking long walks together.

What I Wore

It was sunny but still a little nippy so I made sure I layered up and took some warm accessories.

I ended up wearing my trenchcoat with skinny jeans as they’re simple but always stylish.

I had brown boots but changed into my awesome wellies to keep my feet dry as it was pretty muddy.

I also took my knit gloves, cashmere scarf and an awesomely fluffy hat to add a bit of drama to the outfit as well as keeping myself nice and warm.

The Date

We generally just had a nice little wander into the forest, taking pictures of all the life around us and enjoying some time together.

The highlight of the trip for me was spotting a glimpse of a Deer in the undergrowth. It was just a glimpse as it quickly noticed us and hurriedly trotted away before I could even get my lens cap off.

After about an hour of casual wanderings, we came across a pub and realised we were both quite peckish. We both ended up eating exactly the same, a bacon, brie and avacado baguette with an apple juice, and we’re not disappointed! It was delicious!

Then we began the walk back, which was a lot quicker as we weren’t stopping to take so many photographs. Somehow we managed to not even get lost!

Final Thoughts

It was a lovely date, we haven’t been on our walks for a while because the weather has been too cold so it was nice to be outside again. The food was delicious, the company obviously enjoyable, and it was just a nice and relaxing day. 🙂

We will have to visit Epping forest again in summer though. I bet it would look completely different!

‘Till next time!


A Spring Time Walk

As the weather was rather nice today, Ash and I decided to go for a nice little stroll in a nearby park.

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I wore my Alpaca jumper my mother brought me back from Peru as it was still a little nippy and Alpaca wool is amazing at keeping in the heat!

I also wore a pretty little headscarf I bought from either Egypt or Jordan (I can’t remember which) around my neck and some cute animal print converse, although in hindsight maybe I should have worn wellies!

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We took lots of pictures of the new buds that were struggling their way out of the earth and the blossoms on the trees.

Ash took this last one, I told him to stop being so good. You should follow him on Instagram as his photo’s are far superior to mine. Just search ‘Ashloids’.

Once we got home we decided it was the perfect day to have a summery lunch. I cooked us some asparagus with egg, toast, salad and a frankfurter. My egg was a double yolker which I probably got a little too excited over…

Hopefully the weather will keep getting warmer now so we can have even more pretty walks!

‘Till next time!


A Busy Weekend!

Sorry for the brief absence, between long hours at work and being sociable I seem to have neglected my blog. I promise I made the most of my free time whilst I wasn’t updating though.

Wrapped up warm, eating chocolate!

Last weekend I met my sister on the southbank and went to a chocolate festival! There were so many stalls selling all kinds of chocolates! Gifts, snacks, quirky little things, big delicious things, solid things, liquid things. You name it, they had it (in chocolate at least).

I bought an amazing Lion shaped chocolate I just don’t dare eat (i will have to take a photo for you all to see!) and we bought a bag of flavoured chocolate lollypops.

 

Giant Chocolate Nougats

Emma and I then decided to retreat to the warmth of a pub and chat over a bottle of very tasty wine. Ash and my sisters boyfriend then met up with us for some lunch. Ash and Sam were men and had steaks, I had some delicious scampi. It was really nice, and the first time the four of us have done something together. The boys talked gaming and we all had a nice chat about TV shows we watched, soon though we had to leave. My sister had a party to go to and we’d invited some friends to a RollerDisco, the very same place Ash and I went on our first meeting.

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The Rollerdisco was brilliant as usual although we left earlier than I wanted, probably for the best as I had work the next morning. Again we didn’t dress up and again I wished I had! There were some truly awesome outfits, lots of flares, bright colours, super heros. My favourites by far were the group dressed as retro games. My two absolute favourites being Twister and the Rubix Cube.

Twister

This girl had made a very pretty dress out of twister fabric. It was simple but it didn’t need anything else. She also wore a Twister board on her head, very creative although it looked a bit like she had just graduated!

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Rubix Cube

This outfit was just so quirky and brilliant I couldn’t resist a sneaky shot! I wussed out at actually going up to the girl and getting a picture with her though, kinda wish I had now. She wore a Rubix Cube on her head and had a matching handbag. Her dress was a retro, colour block number and was pretty stylish as well is fitting in with her theme! I think I might have to steal this in future, i just loved it! She looked fab!

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Don’t forget to enter my competition here or here!

‘Till next time!


Alphabet Dating – D is for Deserie

After a bit of a hiatus on the Alphabet Dating front we have finally gone on Date D!

Ash had been talking about it for ages but we never seemed to find the right time to go. All I knew was that it was in Cockfosters and it was a meal.

 

The Outfit

As it was a meal I wanted to dress up, even though I had no Idea how posh this place actually was. I had bought this new lace top recently and decided I wanted to wear it. I thought it went well with this pretty, but plain, purple top underneath. The skirt is one of my favourite wardrobe items and had exactly the same shade of purple as my top and so I decided to mix patterns and go for a lace and tribal look! It’s a shame my hair is so unruly at the moment (it’s in a dire need of styling) as I think the mix actually turned out better than I actually expected! I decided to team it with my usual black tights and pixie boots.

Click the picture to see it on Lookbook!

The Date

The place he took me to was a Greek restaurant called Deserie. It was extremely busy (always a good sign) and we were given a table provided we were out in an hour as they already had it booked.

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It was a lot more expensive than we were expecting, but then we’re used to Wetherspoon prices and are both quite stingy at times. I really fancied calamari but decided the price was a little too much for our budget and so settled for chicken skewers whilst Ash had the pork. The skewers came with a salad and a choice of chips or rice and were delicious! My chicken was tender and succulent, ash wasn’t so lucky as the pork was a little tough but still tasty. My rice was soft and lemony and left my mouth watering for more!

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For pudding I was extremely tempted by a chocolate fudge cake, but decided that I should go for one of the Greek choices as I can get a fudge cake at my work.

Before our dessert we were given some tasty jelly things on sticks and some pineapples with grapes. Delicious!

jelly

I eventually decided on Gelatoboureko, or at least that’s what I ordered. I think I was actually given a Baklava after looking on Google as it was a sweet pastry rather than a custard pudding. What ever it was it was delicious, Ash said they tasted a lot like the South African treat koeksisters. He ordered Shamali and Icecream which was a semolina based pudding and also delicious although we both preferred my dish.

greekdesserts

 

End Thoughts

The whole night was very enjoyable. We talked nonstop and we’re constantly laughing, one of the reasons why I love being with him, we just always seem to be having fun and very rarely argue. The staff at the restaurant were very friendly, the food did take quite a while to come out but it was extremely busy (and a huge birthday party table ordered just before us) so they can be forgiven. The food itself was delicious, pricey but delicious.

I think we would definitely go again, although maybe when money isn’t so tight.

Overall Date D = Success!

Now I need to think of a something to do for Date E! Anyone got any ideas?


Feeling Supported

Although I’m not sure how much longer I want to work in the pub, I do really love the people there. Sure there is the odd annoying, rude customer but the friendly customers (and hilarious staff) are the ones that make it all worth while!

There are a lot of the regulars that are great to have a chat with but there is one gentleman in particular who is the jolliest man you will ever meet, he loves his ale and always exclaims ‘marvellous’ in his deep voice when you hand him his pint. He actually knows about ‘The Penguin Theory’ and follows my facebook page ‘liking’ most of my statuses on there.

He always asks how the sewing is going and has recently started telling me that ‘This is the year penguins will fly’.

I absolutely love this phrase and have now changed my blogs tag line to this because this IS the year the penguin theory will get off the ground and start flapping it’s wings! It’s just so perfectly fitting that I had to steal it (although he has stated that there’s ‘no need to steal for your blog, you have a gift’).

It’s people like this that really keep me motivated. The fact that so many seem to believe I can do it (and not just people from work, friends and family too and of course my boyfriend is a HUGE help) is really a big confidence booster. Without everyone’s support I would have probably given up by now, but the hard work is paying off and sales are being made. I am really starting to believe in myself now and, as long as I keep up the hard work, I know I can make something of myself.

So heres to you Michael! When I’m rich and the penguins are soaring, I will buy you a drink!


Liebster Award

So I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award (ok so it was quite a while ago but I’ve only just decided to actually post about it) by CherryBlossomTears.

I wont lie, I usually don’t like these kinda things, they just remind me of the silly facebook things of ‘like if you agree if cancer is bad’ kinda spam posts. (I mean really, who doesn’t think cancer is bad? It’s just rediculous)

Obviously I know this isn’t exactly the same as that, definitely not as stupid, and when thinking about it I decided this is actually a good way to share facts about yourself for others and to maybe learn a little bit about the blogs your following. So here I am, answering my 5 questions and trying to think up some random questions to ask other blogs!

The Five Questions for Me

1.Where do you find inspiration?

In a variety of places. Sometimes I look at a fabric or bead and think ‘Oh, that would look amazing like this!’. I also love looking at nature and the shapes and feelings it creates (this is a theme I will be working on more in the future once my seamstress skills have improved, I already have designs drawn up!). The final inspiration, I guess, is my boyfriend. I can’t not include him as he was the inspiration behind my best selling item, the Minecraft Creeper tie!

2.How do you beat the blues?

Usually by either keeping myself busy or sitting down with some green tea and a big bar of chocolate! My boyfriend is also great at cheering me up with cuddles and spoiling me with treats.

3.If you could be a magical creature for a day, what would it be and why?

I’m tempted to say Unicorn just because they’re so pretty and prancy! But lets face it, being a dragon would be freakin’ amazing! I’d get to fly around shooting fire out of my nostrils all day!

4.What would be your ideal holiday?

Holidays where I get to explore, go on hikes, meet the people, find little unknown spots. I’ve been on several holidays with Explore and have absolutely loved them! I think the next big place I want to go is Africa, on Safari. Ash is originally from South Africa and still has family there he hasn’t seen in over 10 years and so we were thinking of starting to save up for a trip so we can visit them (although we need to be earning more money first!).

5.What does creativity mean to you?

Creativity is exploring your mind and letting it come up with something that is truly your own. I believe it can be found in all aspects of life and in everyone, it just manifests itself in different ways and isn’t always noticed.

So the five blogs I’m going to nominate are: 

CassieFairy

Pillows-a-la-Mode

Arabella

KatyJadeDobsonArt

Green Rabbit Designs

My Questions for You

1) What is the first thing you do in the Morning?

2) If there’s one craft you would like to try, what would it be?

3) What did you want to be when you were younger?

4) What do you tend to procrastinate over?

5) Where is one place you would like to visit?

For those with blogs chosen for the award– copy and paste the award in your blog. Tell who nominated you with a link to my blog. Share five random things about yourself and then answer my questions. When that is all done, nominate five bloggers that you follow and send them the rules, creating five new questions for them to answer along with their random things. 🙂


Alphabet Dating: Letter C – The Coffee Date (+Ice Skating)

Ash is an avid coffee drinker. I make him a cup every morning to get him out of bed and he always takes a giant flask with him to university to keep him going.

I honestly don’t think he could function without coffee and so I knew a coffee date would be perfect! I think this kind of date is great personally, it’s affordable, comfy and gives you a good chance to have a really nice chat. Plus you can dress up or down depending on your mood or how serious a date it may be!

We have been wanting to go Ice skating for a while as well so decided to combine the two.

We got a bus to Muswell hill and found an O’Neills there. We had got there pretty late and so the usual (and cheap) coffee shops we’re already closed. The pub was set in an old church and was an absolutely gorgeous building. It had a big hall with two large staircases up either side leading to more seating. They had twinkling christmas lights all around making the place look even more magical! I was going to take a picture and completely forgot! I will definitely have to back, it was just so pretty.

Coffee

Ash ended up getting a Latte and I got a hot chocolate. They were delightfully creamy, although I would have liked some squirty cream or something on the top of my drink, but maybe that’s just me being greedy.

We also decided we were hungry and so ordered a seafood platter and a bowl of chips to share. It was pretty pricey (already not turning out to be the cheap date we expected due to our my bad planning) but it sounded nice enough. When it arrived we were a bit disappointed that there didn’t seem all that much on the plate, definitely didn’t look like £11 worth at any rate. However as soon as we started eating we were transported to another world (corny I know but It was seriously delicious). I think I can honestly say it was the nicest fish I have ever tasted.

Platter of heavenliness

There was some battered fish which was deliciously crunchy on the outside yet wonderfully moist on the inside. Some smoked salmon on ‘colcannon cakes’ (which I now know is potato and a type of cabbage fried) which were so unbelievably scrumptious I could have eaten a whole plate of! Breaded Calamari which was delightfully crunchy! Skewered King prawns which held so much flavour that you just wanted more, and lastly some garlic chiabatta bread.

We we’re surprisingly full after eating it all (although I do still think I could have eaten the whole plate to myself quite easily) and decided it was time to move on to ‘Ally Pally’ for some nice winter fun.

The ice skating there isn’t the cheapest, but it was the closest place to us and we have really been wanting to go! They do how ever do late night sessions all the way until 11pm! The staff were very friendly and we were soon in and on the ice. It wasn’t all that busy, full but not packed, which was nice. Ash is quite skillful and started doing his little tricks with spinning and skating backwards. I tried to keep up behind, wobbling along like a child who had only just learnt how to walk.

Showing off with his tricks

I promise I did use to be quite good at ice skating (although i’ve never been good at stopping unless it’s abruptly) but I think as I’ve grown older I’ve become more bothered about the falling which is holding me back. I did get into it more towards the end of the night, though, and was able to actually gain a little speed! I tried to learn a little bit of backwards skating but it just seemed to end with me almost doing the splits every time!

We also spent a bit of time at the sides resting my poor aching ankles and people watching. There were quite a few figure skaters there learning new spins in the centre, out of the way of the general skaters. They were doing some very impressive things and making me extremely jealous.

This was just before almost falling over…

There were also some people who could barely even move on the ice, the kind who try to walk normally and wonder why they can’t stay upright. They we’re amusing to watch, as I’m sure I was as well. There seemed to be quite a few couples there with one of them having to help the other along. Ice rinks are definitely a good place for ‘breaking the ice’ (sorry about the pun) on a first date in my opinion, and perfect for breaking down that first touch barrier (just like Ash and I’s first date at the rollerdisco!).

As it got later the place emptied even more and I gained even more confidence as the obstacles were reduced. I still couldn’t get back up to my old speeds of when I was a daredevil child, but I wasn’t looking quite so pathetic.

We grabbed our things and then went home very satisfied with another successful date!

Date D is next and Ash wont tell me what it is! He’s just giving cryptic clues which are making me very impatient…

‘Till next time!


A Few Little Changes.

I have decided to make a few changes to my blog as it seems a little scatterbrained, I feel I keep forgetting it’s purpose. I’ll still have my everyday posts for items i’ve made and random things i’ve done, but I also want to add some more regular, and Penguin Theory themed posts.

I actually only realised this after one of my best friends started making her website. It’s not finished yet but she let me see a sneak preview and it looks so inspirational! Perfect for those of you who like the little things in life and want to enjoy them and yourself. You can find her Blog here. Hopefully she’ll have her website ready and raring to go soon!

Reading through the articles on her site, everything had a purpose and it all fitted together to give motivation and self belief. It inspired me and I knew I needed to up my game. So here I am with an all new battle plan and The Penguin Theory at the helm!

As you should (hopefully) know, The Penguin Theory is all about trying hard to become the kind of person you want to be and get to where you want to be in life. I think this is important and so feel this blog should also try to send this message across, which I don’t think it is doing to the best of it’s abilities for the moment.

I will be setting days for certain articles from now on. Articles to help you achieve your goals and to make your life a little easier. Articles about work, about relationships, about your home. Tutorials. Reviews. Everything you can imagine to help you make a decision on how to get where you want to be.

Of course I will still be posting updates for my Etsy shop and random little updates from my personal life, but most things will be sorted into certain categories to be released on their own day of the week.

MONDAY : BACK TO WORK

Tips for your work life including how to get a job, how to work with a team, how to progress and tips for running your own business.

WEDNESDAY : HOMELY HABITS

All you need for creating a happy home from the decor to cleaning and even some recipes!

FRIDAY : FRIDAY FABRICATIONS

Tutorials galore! From crafts to computing. Fridays will contain all you can make and do!

SATURDAY : SOCIABLE SATURDAYS

The social side of the spectrum, relationships with friends, family and boyfriends! How to make them work and fun things to do together.

I will probably do two of these a week, alternating each week, as I know my day job would get in the way other wise.

I will also be including a monthly (or sometimes a bi-monthly) “Etsy Finds” where I will make a treasury or showcase a particular Item from Etsy.

All in all I know it will be a lot of work, but i’m really looking forward to it and I hope you all are too.

If any one has any ideas for articles I could write, or have even written something you feel would fit into one of these categories,  then please don’t hesitate to let me know or send me link! I’d love to include other bloggers and crafters in this too!

I think I will start doing this next monday as for now I need to prepare for a craft fair on the 18th (more details to follow). I will be sewing and brainstorming until then. I hope you will all join me on my new(ish) venture with The Penguin Theory!

‘Till next time!


The Origins of Our Alphabet Dating

Remember I said it was my sister who told me about the Idea of Alphabet dating as one of her friends was doing it?

Well this friend has now been included in a blog! So far her dates seem far more adventurous than mine and Ashley’s, but we have plenty more to come!

If you want to read what they’ve done so far then you can find it here on Florence Finds

It’s a really good read!

‘Till next time


Alphabet Dating – B is for Bowling and Bonfire Night

Ash was in charge of date B and no matter how much I tried to guess, he wouldn’t let me know where we were going.

I was pretty shocked when we got there as it turned out to be bowling, something Ash really does not enjoy but he knows I love it.  It’s so sweet that he would even think of taking me to something he hates so much!

The reason he doesn’t like bowling is because he’s not exactly good at it, and no one likes things they’re not good at. However, after a little bit of teaching from me (despite also not being all that accomplished myself), he soon got into the swing of things and even scored a strike or two!

He also bought us some food from the diner there. He got a burger and I got a hotdog with some extra onion rings and breaded cheese. Unfortunately, although my hotdog was yummy, the rest was just so so. Ash wasn’t particularly impressed with his burger and the onion rings and cheesy bites weren’t really cooked enough. I don’t think we’ll be eating there again if we ever go bowling in future, would have been better to go to McDonalds.

A little underwhelmed…

But it was still a very fun date. Bowling is always a winner in my opinion. It gets you up, active and breaks the ice (if there’s ice to break).

After we finished bowling we had one game in the arcade (we only had a pound on us). The air hockey table was the winner and we both got rather too into it until Ash became victorious (obviously I was just too tired from the bowling…)

However the day was not over as it was also the 5th and we had already planned to go to a fireworks display in Walthamstow. Ash had actually never been to a fireworks display before and I knew this had to be fixed as this is one of my favourite nights of the year!

We got there not too long after the gates opened and decided to go have a look at the fairground. We were both looking forward to some good rides but as we got there we realised all the rides were the practically the same…Usually you find theres at least a good variety but these were all the same ride just with a part that span a slightly different way each time. There wasn’t even a ‘Hollywood’ or ‘UFO’ sort of ride.  Still, we paid £1.50 (cheap!!) to go on the one we decided looked the most fun and had a few fun minutes spinning around and waving our legs around in the air.

We then spent some time wondering around and buying candy floss, toffee apples and some cadburys hot chocolate with baileys in it! There was also a hog roast, paella and the usual burger vans. It was a very good and varied selection.

We wondered around for a bit before going to ask when the fireworks were starting. Apparently it wasn’t for another 2 hours (we’d already been there for around an hour) so we went to a nice little cafe and bought some mochas so that we could sit in the warmth for a bit.

When the fireworks did finally start we were certainly not disappointed. They were definitely the best fireworks i’ve ever been to see, although that isn’t saying much as these were on a slightly bigger scale and it was a lot busier so it’s bound to have more money put into the event. They were timed to the various music perfectly and really built up to a great finale!

It was definitely a fun day out and the fireworks were a spectacular end to a good day.

Now I just have to figure out what to do for date C….

‘Till next time!


Date at the museum

Yesterday my boyfriend and I went to the British museum as a date as we haven’t really spent much time on ourselves lately and museums are free (and make awesome dates!). It was lots of fun and I even gained inspiration for a necklace or two!

We saw lots of statues, the rosetta stone (which my silly boyfriend thought was a woman and not an actual stone…), some mummies and a giant doorway! (amongst many other cool things). Unfortunately none of them came to life, but I guess we didn’t stay late enough for that.

After we’d had enough of wondering around the many rooms there (it was getting close to closing time)  we decided to mooch over to the south bank, one of the places we went on the first day we met each other (and also one of our favourite areas). We sat down and enjoyed the view and watching people milling around. Then we wondered over the the performers area to see what was on show. Some how we ended up in the Magners garden, a must see if you’re in the area. There’s loads of outdoor seating and bars as well as shows and, at the moment, a mini theme park! We didn’t go on any of the rides (lack of money being one reason) but had fun wandering around looking at everything going on, and sitting on some swing chairs in the sun.

All in all it was a really lovely day spending time together.

Today hasn’t been nearly as good…I had work and it seemed like everything that could go wrong went wrong.

First I managed to sleep through not one, not two, but THREE alarms! Then I messed up so many orders it wasn’t funny and my boss had to keep changing them for me. I thought it couldn’t get any worse but then I crouched down to put a tray of glasses on the floor and heard a loud ‘RRIIIIPPPP’

My trousers had split.

I quickly ran to the glass wash and refused to go out and serve customers. My boss was really nice and lent me a jumper so I could finish my shift and make it home without too much embarrassment. Such a life saver!

I was going to buy a new pair of trousers from somewhere like asda until my boyfriend reminded me of my sewing machine…

I guess I should get round to fixing them then.

In other news, I set myself goals to reach for the 13th. One being reach 50 likes on my facebook page, sadly i’m just 1 like away! Another, though, was to reach 15 followers on wordpress, a goal i’m glad to say i’ve achieved. So thank you everyone who has followed me so far! I will do my best to keep my posts interesting and regular. 🙂

I will have to create some new goals for next week and also get sewing again! I’ve had too much time off…

Till next time!


Birthday and Olympic Celebrations

The 27th was my birthday and also happened to be the date of the Olympics Opening Ceremony. Obviously this meant a party was needed. I invited a few friends around, gathered some snacks and alcohol and made sure the tele was on the right channel. We played some fun olympic drinking games whilst watching the ceremony.

The ceremony itself actually surprised me, in a good way. I don’t know quite what I was expecting, but that wasn’t it. It far exceeded my expectations. At first I wasn’t so sure, the whole arena looked like a field and, although the performance was good, I couldn’t see how much they could do with the set as it was. But then the towers majestically rose out of the ground and the whole stage was transformed seamlessly.

Then later James Bond goes to see the Queen. At this point everyone in the room were arguing as to whether or not it was really the queen. Then she turned around. We were very impressed. Thinking this couldn’t get any better, we all stared in disbelief queen jumped out of the helicopter! We we’re all in fits of laughter. I’m just sad that they didn’t get a stunt double to actually parachute down.

Then it got even better with Rowan Atkinson appearing as Mr Bean. I was obsessed with Mr Bean when I was younger and I made sure no one spoke whilst he was on screen. I always find it amazing that he can create so much laughter without even speaking. He is truly a talented man.

Eventually we went out and about in Camden and had a good boogie.

Partying in Camden with the extremely attractive boyfriend.

If you read my last post you will have seen that I mentioned that my family had put a lot into the penguin theory. That is certainly very true, they’ve always been very supportive. It was my sister who first got me involved in making jewellery by taking me to a bead shop in Leeds. There were so many pretty shiny things I immediately wanted to make something pretty and bought lots.

When I first mentioned that I wanted to start sewing it was my mum who bought me my first machine last year. Just a small, cheap (for a sewing machine) john lewis model, but perfect for a beginner. I’m usually not the best at keeping up a hobby (I seem to get bored rather quickly and give up once i find something that’s hard) so I definitely didn’t expect anything more. But for my birthday this year my mum and her boyfriend completely stunned me. They bought me a brand new, full sized, 39 stitch, electrical sewing machine. For them to get together and buy me something it must have cost a lot and I can tell this is quite a good sewing machine. I’m so excited to use it!

Love at first sight!

It’s made me feel really motivated. The amount of money they must have spent on my hobby and has made me realise that I have to keep at it and do well, or more that I can. My aunt also bought me lots of books about selling online and at craft fairs which are proving to be very useful. In fact I think I will do book reviews of them all in the near future for anyone else thinking of buying them.

My family have always supported my sewing, buying things off me (my sister recently bought some bunting, my aunt bought some bibs), complimenting my products, telling all their friends to look at my facebook page. My boyfriend is even helping out, forcing me to do the admin and even helping when i’m stuck drawing a pattern, he really has been a life saver at times. I really am grateful for the support they give me and probably would have given up long ago if it wasn’t for them.

Flowers from my boyfriend 🙂

Yesterday I also got involved with the Olympics! My sister and her housemate had a spare ticket for volleyball so I of course decided to join. We saw the mens Swiss vs Russia and USA vs Poland followed by the Womens Australian vs Austria. Unfortunately we had to leave then as the others needed to get up early and so missed the last match, but it was an amazing experience! The atmosphere was electric and the players were brilliant. Lots of dancers came on during the breaks and got the whole crowd moving. Definitely was an exciting experience and I’m delighted that I had a chance to go.

Spectacular view

On the way home we actually saw the swiss team going back to their hotel. We congratulated them on their win and managed to get a photo with them! They were super nice guys (and extremely tall!), definitely backing them for a medal.

For now though, I have books to read and a sewing machine to learn how to use! (I haven’t tried it yet as I’m reading everything in the manual before I touch it)

So until next time!

Womens Volleyball


Valentines Alone

Yes, as the title suggests, I pretty much spent valentines alone, despite actually having a boyfriend. But we’ll get into that later…

I had an exciting day on Sunday as I got up early to go to london to try and become an extra in the film adaption of Les Miserables. A ridiculous number of people turned up (like 7000?) and there were only 300 roles that needed filling (ha! only!). A lot of people didn’t even get through the doors, luckily I somehow managed to.

A teeny tiny part of the queue

Once i was in we were asked to fill in a form, then got measurements taken and a photograph. Apparently I should find out before the end of the month so fingers crossed!

After coming home from the auditions the boyfriend and I decided to go on a little date. Since he saw the adverts for Star Wars in 3D he’s been wanting to go and see it so that seemed like the obvious choice.

We’d both already seen the movie so knew the story line and what to expect, but the 3D definitely enhanced the experience. The pod racing, the  flight in space, the fight scenes. Everything just seemed so much bigger and more exciting, although I guess the big screen could have contributed to that as well. In fact i don’t even think he wanted to see it for the 3D, he just wanted to see Star Wars in the cinema.

Monday passed with no big events and was rather boring, but as we all know, today (or yesterday as it is past midnight, whoops!) is valentines.

I’ve spent pretty much the whole of valentines on my own. Woke up at 8 to the boyfriends alarm, played Skyrim until 12 (It was a lazy day ok) then wandered into town on the search for fabric to make his valentines present. However,  I couldn’t really find any nice fabrics and instead bought a t-shirt with a lion on it (something i’ve always wanted, it was love at first sight).

Lion top plus some new awesome material (mentioned later)

Eventually, with the help of my amazing smart phone (seriously how did I ever cope without?), I found that there was a big fabric store about a 5 minute drive away!

I only went in for one bit of fabric but ended up coming back with 3…Something that seems to happen everytime I buy fabric. I seriously need someone to come with me to fabric stores and stop me spending too much.

I bought some polkadot to go with another polkadot for an apron I have in mind, so I guess that’s acceptable.

I also got this amazing, wipeable material, almost like linoleum. It has big crayons on it and i think will make the perfect craft apron for a child. I’m so excited to use it, i just hope that it doesn’t break my needle. So i’ve decided I can get away with that purchase too.

The last fabric was a stripey brown, grey, white and black that was actually what i’d gone there for, so obviously that was acceptable too. This was to make a nice tie for my boyfriend as he’s been asking me for one for ages and what a perfect time to give him one! (plus I have loads left to make more ties as the material turned out really nice)

I’m just waiting for him to come back from work now to give it to him, i think he thinks i haven’t got him anything so it will be a nice surprise.

I would love to hear about what kind of things anyone else made (or bought) for their valentines.

Till next time, Stay happy!


Snow, Drinks and Aprons!

First off, here’s a picture of the boyfriend cooking me food in his apron after my failure of taking a picture of him before. He likes the apron a lot.

There’s been a lot of snow this last weekend. Obviously I took a break from crafts and acting to play in it, especially as I missed all the snow last year. I was always at the wrong end of the country.

I was actually in London when the snow started to fall. I’d gone for some more extra work but that ended up being cancelled so I met up with my sister instead and went shopping. She bought loads of nice things, but I was being careful with my money as I felt a little guilty after spending £10 on material whilst waiting for her. Shepherds bush is far too good for buying Fabric, I should never be allowed there.

I did, however, treat myself to a hat. It’s a bear hat and I love it.

I then went and crashed her friends birthday meal at an indian place. It was really yummy. I don’t even remember what I had as we all kinda shared.

Next we moved on to a nice cocktail bar called Fravds. Their cocktails were amazing! It’s really hidden, just under a furniture shop with a small sign. It was also very crowded and took us a while to find a table, even when we had a few of us were sat on steps next to it. But the crampt-ness of the place just seemed to add to it’s atmosphere. I gradually got quite quite drunk and then had to find my way across london in the snow to meet Ash (and his workmates) who had just finished a meal of their own. We ended up getting back to Essex in the early hours of the morning with a thick blanket of snow on the ground, something my feet in their weather-innapropiate footwear were not too happy about.

On the Sunday Ash and I decided to make a giant snowman. It ended up being the scariest thing we’ve seen, with a pigs head on one side and a dogs on the other,we named it the snow-dog-pig. Very imaginative.

During the week I went to a house viewing. Well I say house, it was actually a Studio flat, in fact you couldn’t even call it flat as it was just one room (as studio flats are) probably about the same size as our bedroom now. There was barely any room to really live, but I guess we don’t really need much more for now. More house viewings to come i’m sure.

On thursday Ashley ended to having to take a day off work as he’d hurt his ankle. We ended up spending the whole day in pyjamas eating food that was bad for us and watching various films and TV shows. Was definitely a good, if not very unproductive, day.

Yesterday I just spent the day making probably my favourite Apron so far. I haven’t got a proper photo of it yet, but here’s a sneak preview. It should be on my Etsy later on today.

Till next time! Stay Happy!