This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “Chinese

365 Project – Days 33 – 39

On the 3rd of feb i took a few pictures of some terracotta warrior statues I bought from China. I’m hoping to make a nice item from them for my shop.

On the 4th I took some more pictures of my products wrapping, this time showing the inside too.

The 5th saw me realise I could fit into the skirt I had made, despite it being designed for children, and so I thought I’d model it to give an idea of how it looks on. Just a shame that I had bad lighting, no tripod and no one to take it for me. I’m not the best with timers.

On the 6th I saw what a week of no work would do for my hands as my nails and skin looked lovely for the first time in years! I really cannot wait to get a new job.

On the 7th I was in the north. I thought the trees in my mums’ garden looked pretty cool silhouetted against the darkening sky.

On Saturday the 8th I took Ashley to Blacktoft Sands where we saw lots of marsh harriers hunting.

Today I took pictures of the birds in my mums garden. There were a few blue tits and great tits, it’s just a shame they didn’t come closer.

My photography is definitely improving, but I still have a long way to go!

Claire x

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365 project – Days 27 to 32

On the 27th I finally finished this tie I’d had in mind for far too long and I love it! It’s already available on my etsy here

On the 28th I opened the kitchen for the second time ever and first time on my own (5am starts! Ouch!) but as I was lighting the grill I noticed it looked kinda pretty. Obviously being at work I only had my phone on me, but the picture still came out pretty cool…or should I say hot 😉

On the 29th I was playing with this adorable fabric! I think I have to buy more soon!

On the 30th I dressed up all Chinese style for a photoshoot to celebrate the new year! Ok, so I didn’t actually take these photo’s but I did think of the concept, the styling, modelled and directed the shoot so I think it still counts. You can find the post I wrote here

I did actually take a photo myself on this day (sort of, it was after midnight but I was only just leaving work and hadn’t slept yet so I guess it counts). The weather was super foggy and looked awesome so I just couldn’t resist!

The 31st I had finished the adorable-fabric skirt and it really is cute! I took some bad phone photo’s as my camera’s battery had died and I’d lost the charger! Oops! Lots of photo editing later and you can find the skirt in my shop here

On the first (wow February already!) I had my last day of work for two weeks! Yey for being owed holiday! I also went and bought a new charger as I will be needing my Camera on Sunday! This charger not only charges my old styled DSLR battery (my camera is a very old model) but also AA, AAA (etc.), newer camera batteries, phones and has a car adapter! It’s going to be perfect for holidaying!

Today is Sunday and I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for the photo as I’m probably out and about taking it! I’m  adventuring to the centre of London for the Chinese New Year celebrations and hoping to get a few really good shots! I’ll definitely update with a blog post when i’m back and the photo’s are fully edited so keep your eyes peeled!

What have you been celebrating this week?

Claire xx


Happy Horse Year!

Today begins the chinese new year and this year is the year of the horse!

To celebrate i decided to dress up a little in this gorgeous dress I bought from the pearl market (a crazy bustling market you will either love or hate) in beijing along with a few matching accessories I made.

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Unfortunately the shots are just phone quality as the battery is dead on my camera and I seem to have misplaced my charger. Oops.

I  posed with this cute horse statue I got from Xian (pronounced Shi-an) where the terracotta warriors are found. Perfect with it being the year of the horse! I also have a warrior figure, I just wish I could have bought more!

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For my make up I went bold with red lips and pale face inspire by geishas and a glittery gold eyeshadow with an asian inspired flick of eyeliner.

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I also bought that fan on my trip to China from a little store in the forbidden city.

In my hair I wore these chopsticks along with a cute flower hair bobble I made. These flowers will soon be available in my Etsy shop so keep an eye out or contact me for more details! I don’t know quite where the chop sticks are from, I’m pretty sure my mum and her boyfriend bought them for me on a holiday where they stopped off in hong kong for a flight change over.

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I also wore these chinese style earrings I made. Another pair like these should also be available in my store soon.

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However, whilst you’re waiting for me to list these items (they wont be long I promise! I just need to find my camera charger) I do have plenty of chinese prints available so you too can get into the new year spirit! Just click the image to find it in my shop!

I captured this stunning photograph at the Chinese Opera in Beijing which was certainly an experience. The costumes were completely stunning, the singing not so much.

This is one of my favourite photographs I’ve taken. It was of the old city walls in Xian. I just love the juxtaposition between old and new.

And what trip to China wouldn’t be complete without a picture of the great wall. I just had to get some photo’s of it snaking into the distance!

And here’s another with mountains fading into the background!

I have also some possible plans for celebrating the new year in crafting style, as long as I’m free to go to the events happening this week.

Are you doing anything to get into the New Year spirit?

Claire x

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365 Project – Days 14 to 20

Jan 13th saw a 12 hour shift in the kitchen. Ouch. But hot chocolate with marshmallows made up for it 🙂

Jan 14th saw another 12 hour kitchen shift (double ouch!) plus I wasn’t very well, but my sweet tooth saved the day again as I spoilt myself with yoghurt. I always view yoghurts as a special treat as I very rarely buy them to try and save a bit of money, I seriously love them though, possibly even more than chocolate!!

Jan 15th I still wasn’t very well and took the day off work (I was meant to be on another terribly long shift). By the evening I was starting to feel better and so treated myself to Chinese with the housemates whilst watching films.

I spent most of the 16th playing League of Legends with my housemates. It’s super fun, although quite complicated and stressful at times, but i think i’m starting to pick it up now and am not completely rubbish.

on the 17th I took all the ingredients for a chicken wrap to work with me. Unfortunately I completely failed in making the wrap somehow, but my kitchen friend came to the rescue. Yum!

On the 18th I decided it was a good day to show off my window. I love this window and it’s view. It makes me smile every morning!

Last night I took this picture of my Fish lights. It was after midnight and so it counts as the 19th 😛 My sister got these as a present years ago as I’ve always been obsessed with the sea, they fitted in with my ‘under the sea’ themed room and now I have them strung up on the partition in the middle of my bedroom. I think they’re awesome.

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Next week is a lot nicer shift wise and I plan to do a lot of sewing and adventuring!

Claire x


Pain-Balling

Ashley wanted to go Paintballing for his birthday, unfortunately at the time rent had just come out and so we couldn’t really afford it. However, we found a really good deal for and so decided we should do it afterwards. So we booked in for saturday 20th in Upminster with the International Paintball Group.

After we’d bought the tickets we found lots of reviews of people not seeming very impressed with the sales tactics of this group. I became a little bit dubious but even with a few points not properly explained (which is definitely the independent salesman’s fault and not IPG) it was still a good deal as far as we could tell.

They sent out an email confirming my booking and containing lots of useful hints and tips, forms, maps etc. They even texted me the day before to remind me of my booking.

Unfortunately one of our friends was going to meet us at Upminster but ended up stuck in Barking as some trains were cancelled. This meant we had to take a detour which made us pretty late.

Luckily they still let us in, we just missed the first round, but there were many more still to come.

We were given a full body suit, body armour, full helmets (which in my opinion looked like MasterChiefs helmet from Halo) and 100 balls each. We were then marked as Gold team with a band of gold tape stuck around our arms. Simple but effective.

We were taken to get our guns and went on to our first game.

The first game took place in a ‘churchyard’. There were wooden huts, ‘grave stones’ and a big church-like building in the centre. There was a suitcase in the church and the winners were the team that managed to grab the suitcase and take it to their side of the game zone.

Other game zones included an egyptian themed area with lots of pyramids and sand, 4 double decker buses, A 2 story castle, A Watchtower, a jet plane and more! It was very exciting. All game zones had a different objective (one was to protect one person on your team, there was a good old fashioned shoot out, and capture a flag etc..) which made it very varied and fun!

However, we kept noticing that we seemed to be getting shot from behind and we soon realised why.

There was an annoying bunch of lads on our team. They didn’t listen to the marshals, constantly talking over them, and were getting more and more rowdy as time went on. They then started shooting us whilst we were waiting for the next game to start. They actually shot me in the face and in the arm. The marshalls dealt with the situation really well. They had already brought in one of the more senior members of staff to marshall our games as well as the original marshall we had. When they started shooting us in between games the marshalls acted very quickly indeed. We lost out on playing that game but the group of lads were quickly expelled and all stormed off in a huff after being instructed to take off their gear and leave the premises.

All in all I was extremely impressed with how things were run, the game zones were awesome, the marshalls were fair and acted very quickly when there were problems. The gear was good, everything well maintained. There was a nice variety of scenarios which made you feel like you were in Call of Duty.

It really was an awesome day and very well run, and pretty cheap compared to other paintball days i’ve seen. We hope to go again soon. I would recommend it to anyone!

After we got home we were both very tired and decided that we really couldn’t bring our selves to cook. Instead we went and got a nice yummy chinese.

The night turned into quite a girly couple bonding night as we decided to also put on face masks and watch some Monk. It may be an old TV show but we both love it.

All in all it was a brilliant day and really nice night in, i’m just waiting for all those paint ball bruises to come up now…


Sorry for my laziness…

I know i know, I’m a terrible blogger. I am trying to change my ways, especially now that my family have put so much into my fashion business! But more on that in my next post (It will also be posted today)…first I need to catch you up.

The reason i stopped blogging is because I went to China! My mother and I decided to treat ourselves to a nice holiday abroad, and it certainly was nice. But then I got back and the the idea of writing a whole blog about what i’d done there was too overwhelming. I wish i’d taken time to write bits and pieces when I was out there so that it wouldn’t have been so much to try and remember. Here are just a few of the highlights:

We started in Beijing which meant that we had to go see the chinese opera, the one in beijing apparently being the best in China. Our guide told us that it was ‘a must see once, and only once’. It soon became apparent why.

The music reminded me of the sound of John Cage, only with a tiny bit more structure. It mostly seemed to be just random notes or beats being played with only the occasional section seeming to make up a tune. The singing was…how can I describe it? Like the sound of a cat being strangled. It was quite hard to keep yourself from laughing in the first few minutes, but not long after it did grow quite tiresome, especially after 3 hours of it. I can see why our guide said ‘one time only’.

The King and his Queen

But saying that, it did have it’s good points. For one, the costumes were fantastic. They were so intricately and beautifully designed that it was hard to take your eyes off them. My particular favourite was the ‘Drunken Concubine’ who wore a gigantic headpiece which was almost blindingly sparkly! The magpie in me wanted to go take it off her head to keep for myself.

The Concubine

The movements were also quit mesmerising. They we’re very precise and often repetitive, but even the smallest part of them seemed to be moving with purpose. They would use tiny hand movements, sweeping arm movements and impressive leaps and always seemed in complete control of their bodies. It was the kind of movement you need to train for large number years to perfect and had me enthralled.

I probably would go see it again, despite my guides words, just maybe with some earplugs.

My mum likes her silly hat, I was a little jealous of it’s practicality.

Of course you can’t go to beijing without seeing the forbidden city! I recommend taking some very comfy shoes if you want to go, I regret that I did not.  It was really busy when we went as we seemed to have chosen a national holiday where loads of chinese flock to see the city. Many of these visitors had not really seen westerners before and we were told by our guide that to have a picture taken with us is often seen as good for their reputation. I boosted a very many reputations that day.

Lots of Chinese Tourists

The city itself is huge. Just as you think that you have to be getting to the end you round a corner and see more buildings stretching out in front of you. You can’t actually go into a lot of the buildings, which is a bit of a shame, and the buildings you can look inside don’t really seem to have all that much in. There was one room, for example, which just had a giant, golden throne. Very opulent, but also very lonely.

One of many opulent Roofs.

But soon we started on what the trip was all about and over the next few days we walked The Great Wall. We started from the beginning, where the wall starts by the sea. This area is called ‘The Dragons Head’ as the wall is said to look like a great dragon snaking through the mountains. From there on we would walk sections (the longest taking around half a day) in between bus rides.

Lots and lots of steps

The sections of wall varied in difficulty dependant on whether it had been restored or not. We often found ourselves creeping along a narrow crumbling path with sheer drops on either side. I actually found the un-restored parts were a lot easier to walk than the restored parts. I had assumed the restored parts would be easier with their nice smooth paths and even steps, but actually this proved far more taxing as we were using the same muscles over and over. The un-restored areas forced us to scramble in sections, often using our arms just as much as our legs, giving our thighs a nice helping hand.

Steep Section

It was very interesting seeing these ruined and run down sections and then moving on to the tourist filled areas with kids running up and down as though this amount of steps was nothing to them. Personally I much preferred the quieter areas where I was free to look out to the scenery and relax at the serenity of it all. Very easy to do with scenery as breathtaking as it was. I would go back again just to see the rolling hills with the wall winding around them into the distance.

Another reason I would definitely go back would be for the food! As it was quite an energetic holiday I assumed I would at least lose a bit of weight…Nope. I ate so much food it definitely made up for all the exercise I was getting. Every meal seemed to come with rice and was just delicious, their crispy duck was moist and fatty, their sweet and sour crispy chicken was far better than the things we get in take aways over here (although you could taste the similarities). Everything we tasted was a treat, the only problem I had with the food was the lack of puddings.

Fish Dumplings

However the food in Xi’an (pronounced Shi-an) was different. Theirs was more noodle based than rice based, but just as mouthwatering, and they had dessert!

On the last night we went to a dumpling feast which was accompanied by a show containing music and dance with some truly stunning numbers, and again with amazing costumes. All the dumplings were handmade and shaped (see above) to let us know what was inside and extremely tasty!

Whilst in Xi’an we went to visit the famous terracotta warriors. I think these are definitely a must see, but It’s doubtful that i’d go again.

The warriors themselves are very impressive. There’s so many and they all have unique faces which makes it really is quite fun looking around and trying to give them all their own personalities. There are 3 warehouses, number 1 is the biggest and i’d recommend seeing that one last. We went to number 1 first and were astounded by the numbers of warriors in there, to then go to the smaller warehouses seemed a bit deflating. I’d much have preferred to build it up gradually. There is only so much wondering around warehouses you can do though, and this is my reason for not wanting to go again. However, if they somehow manage to preserve the colour on the warriors that haven’t been dug up yet, I think I would be very interested in seeing them for a second time.

In front of the Army

All in all the trip was amazing. We went as a part of a tour group with a company called Explore, this was actually my 5th trip with explore and so I even got a discount (it was my mums 10th and she got an even bigger discount)! I really do love explore trips and it saddens me that I might not be able to afford another trip with them for a long while. This trip was definitely one of the best i’ve been on. The guides were brilliant, the group were lovely (not even one person I could say something bad about), and the country just amazing. I would recommend it for any budding adventurer.

One of our most scenic hotels

Of course there is so much more that I just didn’t have time to mention but was just as amazing.

If anyone is interested in actually going on the trip I took then it is on the Explore Website and Called ‘Walking the Wall’, here’s a link for your convenience.

Until next time 🙂

Dancer from the Dumpling Feast


Time to Frolick

Last wednesday i went out for our ‘staff party’ and managed to lose my phone (really i think it was stolen) in central london. But luckily i was due a free upgrade and so went phone shopping with Ashley last saturday (as i didn’t have a clue what to get).  Whoever stole my iphone has now given me a nice free Galaxy SII. I was meant to have paid for the handset but the shop had made a mistake on the pricing and so gave me the upgrade for free making me a very happy penguin.

Ash and Jack at the Chinese

It was also a friends birthday and Ashley had organised a little get together for him that same day so we also went shopping for a present. We got him a big flying disk as he likes things like that and then managed to get sidetracked and spent money on ourselves. Ashley bought a remote controlled helicopter and I bought a little ‘ecosystem’ complete with shrimp! I don’t have a good picture of my shrimp yet though, they move too much.

Playing with new Toys

Then we met up with the birthday boy and took him (and another friend) to an all you can eat chinese for vegetarians, him being both a vegetarian and enjoying chinese food. He seemed very happy with our choice of restaurant 🙂

They ended up staying over in our flat, playing video games till the early hours of the morning and getting drunk whilst i slept in the bed next to them hoping to get up at 8 for work the next morning.

Playing with Sticks

At work we had a ‘kids’ day and I was in charge of painting childrens faces. It was pretty fun.

Ash and Jack met me from work and then we went to Trent country park. They played with their new toys and some sticks whilst I went in search for the elusive deer.

I didn’t find any deer.


Just about Settled.

So we still don’t have internet fter being messed around rather a lot. First they told us the wrong date, then they didn’t even show up, then they decided they didn’t need to as we already had a line installed, now they’ve realised there’s a ‘fault’ in our line. They should have fixed it before the 5th but I don’t know when tht means we’ll actually have internet. Hopefully it will be sometime soon, i’m feeling very cut off from the world.

Our window

In the meantime i’ve been sorting out the mounds of belongings we seem to have and have been working at my part time job in a weatherspoons (where i’m currently sat for the free wifi). I have a few projects in line for the sewing machine which I will hopefully get cracking on with soon. This hopefully means that there will be an explosion of new items to upload when I finally have my internet sorted.

The 'Kitchen'

I did go back to the north briefly to pick up the last of my things (such as my microwave) and met up with friends and family whilst there. I got there last saturday night and went for a meal with friends (one of whom was going back to uni in plymouth the next day) and then from there went to another friends house for a catch up over wine. They’d just moved in and done lots of decorating and really made it their own. I hadn’t seen either of them since uni and it was so nice just having a nice chat with them and finding out what they’re up to, it was like we’d never been apart.

Clothes area

The next day i went back home and had a big roast with my family. Why is it that mum’s cooking always tastes so much better? After the meal my cousin performed some magic tricks for us which were actually very impressive!

Celebratory chinese!

I promise the next update will be a little more exciting…Or at least i hope it will be.

Till then keep smiling!

Bedding!!


Cultural Wanderings in Canterbury

So right now i’m in Canterbury, mainly to help with my dissertation, but i made time for a bit of a wander around the sites.

I got up at about 7ish and went to ride on a train for about 3 hours. Then i finally got here and managed to get lost on my way to the B&B, but eventually, after a good hour or so wandering in the boiling heat, heavily laden with bags and in far too many layers, i found it. The first thing i did was use the free shampoo/conditioner and shower gel, then i stole some free tea and milk, and then some free wifi.

After a change of clothes i wandered up to the university and found the part of the library with all the Grotowski stuffs. I mainly looked at his production called The Constant Prince today, which happens to be the subject of my third chapter. I watched the video and Rhyszard Cieslak is a truly amazing actor. He was completely immersed into the role, i can definitely see why they toured it for so long. Even though it’s all in Polish, you didn’t need to understand the words to understand the anguish. I took lots of pictures and notes, then got thrown out at closing time. Will be going back for the day tomorrow 🙂

I decided at this point it was time to get food as my tummy had been rumbling for quite a while so i headed into town to get a chinese! Somehow it took me about 2 hours to actually get round to buying any food as i got a little bit distracted by culture…I found some pretty gardens and a nice river. Eventually i found the Canthedral, how i lost it in the first place i’ll never know, it’s not exactly small. I even found a nice little castle. But soon the hunger got the better of me so i went and got some chicken and sweetcorn soup (i wanted crab but they didnt have it:( ), chicken chow mein (wanted rice and something but have no monies 😦 ) and some pancakes (which were pretty much spring rolls, yum!) and then wandered back to the b&b to sneak them into my room and munch whilst resting my weary feet, watching TV and dossing on the internet.

It was at this point i realised my TV was set to B&W, i still haven’t figured out how to set it onto colour. It’s flat screen and quite new and shiny so i’m guessing it can handle colours…

Anyways, it’s back to the north tomorrow (after another day in the library), but for now have some pretty pictures! 🙂

Stay happy! 🙂