This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “flower

Who will be Crowned the Queen of May?

The Penguins Are Here! For the whole month of May here at The Penguin Theory we are celebrating all things Penguin with our month long event : May there be penguins!

To kick it all off and to celebrate the first of May and the Mayday bank holiday I am giving away this gorgeous, handmade, flower crown to one lucky winner! 

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May day traditionally involves Morris Dancing, May poles and crowning one lady the Queen of May, so I am giving away one gorgeous ‘Queen of May’ flower crown to one lucky winner, but there’s a catch. You can’t enter for yourself. Instead I want you to nominate someone to be crowned ‘Queen of May’.

Comment in the comment section or on my facebook page with the name of your nominee and why you think they should be crowned the ‘Queen of May’! 

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This can be anyone, family or friends, boy or girl, for any reason. Maybe they helped you, maybe they’ve been through a lot and need some pampering, or maybe they’re just an extremely happy person who always brings a smile to your face!

You have until the end of the May Day bank holiday (Monday 5th May, 12pm gmt) to nominate your Queen and I will announce the winner on Tuesday 6th May.

Good Luck!

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365 Project : 10th – 16th March

On Monday 10th I took a picture of this plant to send to my sister. She bought me it to say congratulations for getting my new job. I was so surprised that it was still alive I had to share it with her! (I’m terrible with plants)

On the 11th the plant was still alive. I decided to take a few closer shots as it was so pretty.

On the 12th I finally ate this chocolate lion. I’ve had it far too long and decided it was just too pretty to eat! I’m sure it tasted better when I first bought it.

On 13th I decided it was time for a haircut, but all the hairdressers around are either out of my budget or I don’t like the look of (i’m a little picky sometimes). So i decided to try cutting myself, i cut Ash’s hair all the time and we need to save money so i thought I may as well try. It’s not perfect but not too bad for a first try! Hopefully I can afford for a professional to do it next time.

On the 14th I ate some of this rice pudding i’d made. It’s so easy and makes delicious little snacks in these pots! I think this will have to be a regular thing.

On the 15th the sky looked awesome.

On the 16th I finally uploaded some skate photographs onto my facebook page. I will be writing a blog post (if I ever get a day off work) but until then you can find them here.

Next week will be very exciting with my new job starting, but i’m also working 6 days out of 7 and several 12hr shifts. ouch!

Claire x


Catch Up on the 365 Project.

I know i know, i’m terrible and haven’t updated my 365 project for nearly a month! But it’s ok, i have been taking photos so here’s a little catch up.

Warning – Going to be very picture heavy (if you hadn’t guessed)

February the 10th saw me driving up to the north with the radio blasting and ash putting in ear plugs to avoid hearing my singing.

On the 11th i saw these amazing blue orchids! My mum didn’t think much to them but I thought they were gorgeous! It’s a shame I can’t help but kill plants. 😦 I am definitely not green thumbed.

I went to go see Frank Turner with my sister and some friends on the 12th. On the way there I was reading a book on photography when a stranger asked me if I was into that sort of thing and told me to visit this gallery. I still haven’t got round to it, but the exhibition is still on so maybe i’ll go soon.

On the 13th I finally fixed one of my favourite earrings. It’s been sat on my desk for so long and I only just got round to gluing it back together. Hopefully I wont break it again!

On valentines day I spent most of the day drawing hobbits and dragons. Not bad in my opinion. I didn’t actually do anything with ash, neither of us are particularly bothered by it in all honesty. It’s a silly holiday really (we did make an excuse for some snuggle/movie time though of course).

On the 15th I moved my penguin statue, a christmas present from my mums boyfriend and just totally awesome, to a spot where he could keep an eye on my working.

My hair went crazy big and curly on the 16th as I left it in a big plait over night. It’s a shame that it’s so long and unmanageable at the moment, it just looked like a massive frizz ball! Definitely time for a hair cut.

On the 17th I really enjoyed the contrast between the moody, british sky and these stunning blossoms.

The 18th saw lots of editing work. Nearly a whole day of editing! My eyes definitely needed a rest by the end, but at least I had been very productive. These photo’s are amongst my favourites i’ve ever taken.

On the 19th I found out that I had an interview with London Zoo! I was so excited that I really couldn’t concentrate at work, not the best when working in a kitchen. I burnt myself so many times I lost count and nearly chopped my finger off! Luckily my nail stopped the cut becoming any deeper but it was still pretty nasty.

On the 20th I was starting to feel like I lived in this uniform. Working 60+ hour weeks, 6 days out of 7 most of the time and just constantly tired. I was starting to want just a day to pamper myself, wear make-up and look pretty but I just don’t have the energy even on my days off.

The 21st I was starting to feel positive. I was super excited (and nervous) about this interview and also knew it wasn’t long until Legoland wanted me back, plus i was about to drive up north for a wedding! Life was definitely about to get fun, I just had to stick it out at the pub for a little longer. This mirror is above our bed and was there when we moved in. We’re far too lazy to take it off and I actually kind of like it. It makes me smile.

The 22nd was the wedding of two very close friends! Unfortunately I forgot my camera (silly me) and my phone was dying so I didn’t take many pictures, but I did snap this cute picture of the first dance. The groom had changed into some more comfortable shoes for the party side of the wedding, as had the bride who was now wearing bright pink converse under her dress. Such a lovely day! I’m so happy for them both!

On the 23rd I went back to the south, but before I did I managed a little switcheroo at home, giggling like a naughty school girl the whole time. Mum has never got round to putting up my graduation picture (the woes of a second child!) and so I put mine in my sisters place. I don’t think she’s noticed yet, until she reads this blog post…*evil cackle*

On the 24th i received this sewing pattern I had won! I can’t wait to get stuck in!

On the 25th was my interview with London Zoo! It ran from 9-5 with lots of group exercises, presentations and other things to really get to know if we were right for the job and was such a fun day! It honestly made me want to work there even more, which I didn’t think was possible. I somehow managed to get a selfie with a penguin as well!

After the long interview and then rushing off to work for a close, I wasn’t feeling very awake on the 26th and drank far too much coffee.

On the 27th I got the news that I got the job!! I was so excited and i’m pretty sure I asked the person on the phone ‘Really?!’ several times. I celebrated with a glass (or two) of Merlyn, it’s like Baileys but so much better! I’m still convinced they’re going to ring up and tell me they made a mistake, but It’s quite honestly a dream come true!

On the 28th I started counting down to my start. I wrote it on my calendar and was still bouncing off walls.

On the 1st of March I received a congratulations card from my mum, complete with penguins of course!. How lovely 🙂 And yes, still bouncing off the walls at this stage.

On the 2nd there was a gorgeous rainbow! I could see the whole thing (I haven’t got round to editing those pictures yet though). If only I could find the pot of gold at the end…*sigh*

So that’s me all caught up to this week! I will be posting these weekly as usual from this sunday.

February was most definitely a very exciting month and I’m sure that March will be just as exciting!

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


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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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


Blue Flower Cardigan

I love this cardigan. I find it is very versatile and perfect to team up with a casual jean or a dressy skirt.

Find me on Lookbook – Click this picture!

Yesterday I wore it with some pin striped jeans and boots for the smart-casual look.

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I tied my hair up in a french plait (although not the neatest plait i’ve ever done) and did a big smokey eye look.

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I also wore my three favourite rings. The one on my right hand I bought in China. The large heart and banded heart were from a table top sale and a vintage stall.

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I finished the look off with a cute hair bow.

I think it’s important to have a few items like this cardigan which can be worn with many different styles, hopefully i’ll have a chance to wear it more dressed up soon!


Impromptu Beach Trip

Ash found the longboard that he’s been wanting for ages for sale second hand. The best thing was that it came with good trucks and wheels as well and all together we would save over £100 than if we’d bought everything new.

So we decided to take a trip to pick it up. The person who we we’re buying it from lives just down the coast from brighton and so, very last minute, we decided to also have a trip to the beach!

We picked up the board and promptly skated down to the seaside. The weather was just stunning, it was so warm and nice it didn’t even feel like england.

I wore a pretty little summer dress with a giant hat that I had picked up from my trip to China last year! I think everyone needs a big silly hat, not only do they look awesome but they are great at keeping the sun off you. This hat has a pretty little ribbon around it which makes it so cute! It also has a piece of elastic to go round the chin in high winds (although I can’t say I’m ever going to use that…)

Click the image to see my look on Lookbook!

I also wore some parrot earrings which I had made myself from a bracelet that was too big. I took out some of the links and the charms which couldn’t fit on the new, now smaller, bracelet and made some matching accessories. I think they’re adorable 🙂

The beach itself was pebbly (I miss the norths sandy beaches!) and stretched on for miles! I couldn’t even see the end! We got changed into bathing costumes and wandered to the waters edge. The water, as usual for british waters, was freezing cold, but we soon got used to it we enjoyed it’s coolness compared to the beating heat of the sun.

I really love the bikini I wore. The top is a really pretty purple and I spent months trying to find the perfect bottoms to match (the ones that came with are too small for my rather big bum). I eventually found these gorgeous bottoms with flowers and sequins which look great! I think they’re so cute together.

Soon enough Ash couldn’t resist the pull of the new longboard and I sat near the path (i was feeling lazy in the sun) whilst he practiced some moves. He managed to do four steps of peter pan (a move where you cross your feet over on the board) which was a personal best for him. I played with my Poi for little bit but it was too windy and they kept getting tangled. The board itself is great! Turns well, feels nice and stable but the trucks are very squeaky so you can hear someone coming a mile off!

Practicing ‘Peter Pan’

We finished the day just laying next to each other in the sun and enjoying each others company, before we decided that we should head home as we could feel our skin burning.

It was a very impromptu trip, but very relaxing. Just what I needed after a hectic few months! It feels like we haven’t stopped still since we started long boarding! Although I can’t complain because we’re always having fun!

Today, though, is full of chores before we’re allowed to go have fun (and do some more skating). I really must get on with some sewing as well!

‘Till next 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?


Working Hard and Feeling Famous

I haven’t been updating things recently as i’ve been busy working far too many hours at my day job, but at least it’s (sort of) paying the bills.

Even on my (very few) days off i’ve been off doing other things and haven’t been able to sew.

On Saturday we took a trip to the Natural History Museum with one of Ash’s friends. I love that museum, maybe because i’m obsessed with animals and they have a giant dinosaur… But i soon had to go home as I had work in the evening. Still, it was a very exciting day out 🙂

Yesterday I had a day off, but again spent it having fun rather than sewing (ok so a different kind of fun…). I think Ash has been feeling a little neglected with me working so much, even when i’m home i tend to be working on Penguin Theory, so we decided to use my day off to have some couple time. We spent the morning playing video games together (i managed to squeeze in a little Penguin Theory time) and just generally having a laugh together.

Then in the evening we decided to go to the cinema. We don’t have a lot of money and so the only reason we thought of doing this was because of an offer with Galaxy chocolate bags. 4 bags gained us 1 free cinema ticket, and considering the tesco below us sells them for £1 each, this makes the tickets extremely cheap! So that was the sweets and tickets sorted, so we just took in a few bottles of mountain dew that had been left at ours. We even saved money on parking as it was free after 6! We’re planning on doing it again as we can get two more free tickets.

The only problem is we already have enough chocolate to last a week…wait did I say problem?

Today though I have been a busy bee. I’ve already listed a new item, an adorable reversible apron for children!

I’ve been playing with the background on these images and now they seem to match my banners and logo. What do you guys think to it?

Talking of banners, i’ve updated not only my blog banner, and etsy widget but also the banner on my etsy shop and some of the images on the About page! Personally I think they’re an improvement but feedback would be greatly appreciated 🙂

In even more exciting news! This morning I seem to be on the Europe wide Etsy homepage! I feel kind of like a celebrity! I got so excited i even made a screenshot before it disapeared. You can see my pink flower apron in the middle of the top row of aprons.

All in all a very exciting few days 🙂

But now it’s time for the day job again…

Till next time!