This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “nature

Teenie Tiny Baby Monkeys!

In my last few weeks (maybe a month) of being at the Zoo there were many new arrivals! Of course I just couldn’t resist in taking pictures of them and I’m even planning on going to Whipsnade tomorrow as I hear there’s loads of babies there too! 

Last thursday I took a special trip to the rain forest exhibit to take pictures of some adorable baby Emperor Tamarins. These were only just over a week old and absolutely TINY! They’re a small enough species of monkey to fit in the palm of your hand anyway, but the babies really are miniscule. 

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There were two born as these tamarins usually do give birth to twins. When they are first born they do not have the distinctive white moustache that Emperor Tamarins are well known for, but that begins growing soon after. 

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After birth the mum gets a nice rest as it is usually the dad that does most of the carrying, just passing them back to mum when they start calling for food. In ZSL London Zoos Rainforest Exhibit the whole family help out with the babysitting duties, including some Golden Lion Headed Tamarins as well! 

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The two babies are already growing quickly and starting to be more aware of their surroundings, I will have to go back soon and document their progress! 

I can’t wait to see the wonders of Whipsnade, nor can I wait to take many photographs! 

Claire x


The Best Summer So Far

Yesterday was my last shift at what is definitely the best job I’ve ever had. I’ve been working as a presenter at ZSL London Zoo over the summer and it’s been the best summer ever.

Every day I was surrounded by incredible animals, I was constantly learning new, amazing things (which often meant getting close to the animals) and genuinely looked forward to work everyday. Sure parts of the job we’re hard work and stressful but it was always well worth it.

I’m going to miss seeing all the animals and people i met everyday and being able to share how awesome nature is with everyone but fingers crossed I can go back next summer!

But now it’s time to find a job over the winter, I have a few possibilities which would actually give me a lot more time to focus on The Penguin Theory, hopefully I can ace the interviews!

I’ve been playing with lots of ideas for new products and lines, but nothing has been finalised. I plan to work hard over the next few weeks to make lots of items for my Etsy shop and also for craft fairs! It’s time to get busy so expect lots more updates shortly! Keep an eye out for some brand new photography of some cute baby animals coming up shortly!

Claire x


The Importance of Understanding your Camera and Sloth Babies!

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

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

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Both unfortunately blurry and dark. 

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

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

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

So what exactly is ISO?

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

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

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

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

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

Claire x


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


Exciting Things Ahead

I’m sorry for my absence recently, it has become a little intense on my end! A few people left the pub I work at and, with it all ready being understaffed (especially in the kitchen) i’m suddenly roped into 6 day weeks with over 60 hours. As you can imagine it’s not leaving much time for Penguin Theory-ing.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel as my life is soon to take on a drastic change!

I have somehow managed to bag myself a job and London Zoo! I’m so excited as I seriously love animals (if you hadn’t noticed from reading my blog) and I will be earning more than I do now with a job I just know I’m going to love! Plus I’ll have more time for Penguin Theory as I will be working less hours also. I seriously cannot wait to start! I wish it could be now! It’s shame it’s just a summer job for now, but I plan to work hard and really try to impress.

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I couldn’t resist a penguin selfie.

I am also still owed a lot of holiday from the pub job and so I have next week off (I only found out a couple of days ago!). I will be using that time to catch up with my 365 project posts and making lots of new items for my shop as well as starting some new exciting projects.

A project I really cant wait to start is this gorgeous coat, I won the pattern from an excellent blog: Custom Style . Thank’s Brooke! I can’t wait to get stuck in! I have so many ideas for the fabric choices but just need to buy some fabric large enough. I think this will also be the first project i make a mock-up of first so I need to get some muslin too. Unfortunately I might have to wait for my new job to be able to afford it as the current one (even with all these extra hours) only just covers my rent and other expenses.

By the way brooke, your handwriting is so pretty!

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I also have some very big plans for my photography and will be going on lots of adventures with my camera during the next week, and not just taking photo’s of nature but also getting back into longboarding and other sports.

I’ve already entered the Wildlife Photographer of the Year (just before the deadline!) although i wish i’d had more time to really explore and take more photographs, I still think I might have some good contenders entered but I’m just happy that i’ve at least tried. Fingers crossed!

I really can’t wait for this next month, it’s going to be amazing. As cheesy as it sounds, i feel like it’s the start of the life I’ve always wanted and I couldn’t be happier! Bring on the rest of 2014! 😀

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


Mums Garden

Last weekend Ash and I went up north to visit my mum as I had a dentist appointment and I wanted to visit my grandma who is having a pretty rough time in hospital.

Whilst there I took advantage of my mums bird friendly garden. It’s rare that I get a chance to see so many birds (other than pigeons) so close, not having a garden at my flat, and so I grabbed at the opportunity to have so many birds so easy to see!

The first day really showed me how much I had to learn! I took so many pictures but just kept being too slow as I was chasing them around with my camera lens.

The only kind of photo’s I could successfully manage on the first day, distanced and back lit on the bush they liked at the back of the garden.

I was a little disappointed in myself and was told off by my boyfriend as usual. I always get annoyed with myself when I can’t do something perfectly straight away and he always has to remind me that everything takes practice and motivate me to not give up. This is most definitely one of my biggest flaws so thank goodness I have Ash to kick me into gear every time!

So with Ash’s stern words fresh in my mind I tried again the next day!

The best photo from the second day and the bird isn’t even in focus! The only one I did actually get in focus and not blurred was one of a bird bum.

This time I actually watched the behaviour of the birds and figured out that the blue and great tits were hanging out on a bush near the back of the garden, watching for danger. They would only fly forwards onto my mums magnolia tree once they had deemed the garden safe and then watch out for danger yet again before flying to the bird feeder and darting back to the bush.

Just watching made it so much easier to predict where they were going to land as I soon figured there was one, very well placed, branch in particular which they loved to land on before feeding.

Not on ‘the’ branch but I still managed to capture this cute little blue tit before the light faded too much!

Unfortunately by the time i’d figured this out it was already getting dark and I am without a tripod for the moment which meant all of the photo’s we’re shaky and dark.

The next day was my last day and I was determined to get some good shots. I positioned myself on the floor next to the sofa, army style, and waited.

It didn’t take long for the birds to appear.

On the bush at the back of the garden

Aren’t Blue tits just the cutest little balls of fluff!?

First the blue tits and great tits made their appearance and I managed to get a few good shots of them on that one branch. But then more and more birds started to appear, flying backwards and forwards from the feeder.

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So delicate with their eating.

A chaffinch about to take off

There were gold finches, chaffinches, a pigeon (of course, they’re everywhere), and even a few sparrows! Sparrows are unfortunately in trouble in the UK and are at Red status so I feel quite privileged to have seen some. The numbers are now rising in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but unfortunately still in trouble in the UK. They’re such pretty little birds too! They may not have bright colours but their flecked patterns more than make up for it.

One of four Sparrows I saw. Such pretty feather patterns. 

Two  gorgeous Goldfinches.

I sat there well past the time I was wanting to leave for the long drive back to the south, completely mesmerised by the gorgeous birds that visited the garden, and all for a few simple seeds.

All too soon I really did have to drag myself away, but I have learnt a lot from those short 3 days and hope to improve even more before my next visit.

The stunning chaffinch

The Iconic Robin

Have you got any birds visiting your garden?

Claire x


Blacktoft Sands – RSPB Nature Reserve.

Blacktoft Sands is a nature reserve run by the RSPB near my home town. I am up north visiting my mum and so Ash and I thought we would go for a visit.

I haven’t been there for years, not since I was a child with my sister and my grandpa, but I have some very fond memories there. One of my favourites been the time we saw a rare Bittern! Unfortunately my grandpa had just popped off to the loo and missed out, he wasn’t too happy. I hope to see one again someday so I can take some photographs but unfortunately they are extremely endangered.

Today was very cold and bitter, plus my car is in for repair so we had to get one of the very few buses there (i dont know how people get around without a car anywhere outside of london).

We got there and were greeted by a nice guy who somehow talked us into RSPB membership, not that hard as it is something i’ve been considering for a while. I even got a good book for free!

The first hide we went to had a good view of lots of ducks and a couple of coots. There seemed to be a Marsh Harrier flying about in the distance as well. We soon decided to move onto the next hide though, to find something new. As much as I like ducks, they’re not exactly uncommon.

Some ducks flying overhead.

We did manage to see some of the marsh harriers a bit closer up. They were hunting and were a delight to watch dance and weave above the reeds, hunting for small creatures to feast upon. Marsh Harriers are actually quite rare and were once endangered in the UK, there was apparently only 1 breeding female in the country in 1971! However now their numbers are on the increase, and this is more than evident at blacktoft sands where we saw at least 5 in the short time we were there!

Unfortunately we didn’t see many other animals in our short time there, although there were meant to be good sightings of the birds of prey coming in to roost later on. We most definitely want to go back again, maybe when i have my car back so that we can stay for a bit longer. I feel I need an even zoomier (technical word i know) lens to really take the photographs i want to be taking. But alas money probably wont allow so i’ll have to make do for now. I still managed to get a few nice photographs and now hope to be visiting lots of RSPB reserve during the next year so I can take lots of photographs.

Until then, here are a few photographs from my mums garden I took the other day. She has some lovely birds visiting including some stunning blue tits and several tree sparrows, who’s numbers are also currently in trouble in the UK. It’s a shame my photography skills aren’t quite up to par yet as these creatures are too quick for me to capture well and I’m having trouble with focusing, as well as still getting to grips with manual shooting, but i shall keep practicing. If only I had a garden at my house!

Probably my best photo of the blue tit and yet the camera focussed on the branch in front! Next time I think I may have to focus manually as the branches just confuse my camera.

One actually in focus and he’s showing his bum to me. 😦

A pair of blue tits in one of our bushes

Tree Sparrows – My shutter speed was set too fast and so the photo came out too dark which is why it’s looking grainy after brightening it. Definitely need to remember to keep an eye on the meter.

Probably my best picture of the day and it’s of a pigeon…

Better luck next time i guess!

Claire x


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


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


Photography Adventures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Now available on my Etsy! Click for the listing 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyone else been on an adventure lately?


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 Wild 24th

It was my birthday a few weeks ago and to celebrate I decided what better way than with Zoo Lates at London Zoo!

I am obsessed with animals (especially Lions and Penguins) and felt that I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity.

The zoo was filled with exciting things to see and do, we started with the animals, in particular the Africa area. We spent probably far too long laughing at an Okapi’s tongue, watched a graceful giraffe, braved the nocturnal section, searched for the illusive sumatran tiger, partied with the penguins, longed after lions and much more!

Penguin Pose!

My favourites, of course, were the Lions and Penguins. The Lions we’re so close to the glass I could’ve touched them! The penguins unfortunately stayed towards the back of their enclosure, but then again it was right before they closed so maybe they were all tired. I pulled a penguin pose for the camera and then tried to steal one of the cardboard cut outs…Or at least thought about stealing it…

Sleeping Lions

They also had lots of bars, all with a different theme such as the playroom where you could have a wrestling match, hula hoop, play jenga and even twister! There was a silent disco where everyone wears headphones which the music is played through, hilarious to listen too when you take them off and hear everyone singing out of tune. There was also a big international food market with lots of tasty delights to sample.

So excited, even though it was just cardboard…

I wore a bright, high waisted, tribal skirt to to give off an African feel and matched it with a bright orange crop top and sandals. I felt quite…naked. I’m not used to going out in such little clothing, but it was really warm and so i didn’t regret it.

I even painted my nails to match with the animal theme!

The whole event was very well run. There were loads of things to do, not just seeing the animals, the staff were extremely helpful and the atmosphere was electric! The animals started going to bed (or so we were told) at 8:30 and gradually the enclosures were closed off until everyone was in the ‘entertainments’ area for the last half hour.

Afterwards we carried on the party in Camden, always a fun place to go.

Sisters and their boyfriends 🙂

The day after was my actual birthday. I decided what better way to celebrate and recover from the night before than by having a bbq! We borrowed a friends garden and bbq and then had a nice, relaxed afternoon chilling in the sun (if you ignore the random downpour that stopped as suddenly as it started!)

Brii (south african bbq) master Ashley flipping some burgers!

For the bbq I decided to dress up a bit still and wore one of my favourite dresses. I bought it at a festival and have always loved the way it poofs out in the skirt. The fabric is also really pretty, I fell in love with it at first sight!

Red accents

Dress with a view!Belt and pattern

I kept myself warm with a cute, batwing cardigan from warehouse.

Super comfy!

Batwing

I made these earrings ages ago and found they matched perfectly! I really like the little red and blue beads and was experimenting with using suade, i think they turned out really nice.

Handmade Earrings

The bag is from Zatchels and was a suprise birthday gift from my sister! Zatchels are all handmade and just exquisite. I absolutely love it and it even has a little space for one of my business cards to be on display! They come in a wide range of colours and patterns too.

ZatchelBusiness card

It was a really great birthday! Hopefully next years will be just as good!

Funny face


Ladies and Gentlemen Of the Road – An Awesome Weekend

Last weekend I went to a festival called ‘Gentlemen of the Road’. This festival is a little different to normal festivals as it has many different ‘stopovers’ rather than being based in one town. This year it went to 5 different places, mainly in the US but they also had one in Lewes which is near Brighton (UK). The whole thing is the brainchild of Mumford and Sons, one of my favourite bands of the moment. Their music is just beautiful and so full of feeling. I absolutely love them.

My sister and I, she was the one who bought me the ticket 🙂

They designed these ‘stopovers’ to not only enjoy amazing music but also to involve the local people and their culture.

“the spirit of the project remains: a music festival that celebrates local people, food and culture, where everyone pitches in and everybody gets something back.”

Source : http://www.gentlemenoftheroad.com/stopovers/

This really was apparent as soon as you walked into the venue, and what a venue. It helps that the town itself is also gorgeous. We arrived a day early as we had a long(ish) car ride and wanted to make sure we weren’t rushed in putting up our tent. As we drove through the town we noted how quaint and pretty it was, for any Yorkshire people reading this, it reminded us a lot of Beverly.

The campsite

We weren’t camping at the official campsite but another one called ‘Spring Barn Farm’, a really quaint little farm with lots of animals for kiddies to see and a lovely little farm shop.

As we were a day early we were one of the first to set up and so had the pick of the field (at least of the area we were allowed in)! Obviously we went for a nice flat spot with a good view and not too close to the toilets or bins (you don’t want the smell to waft over now do you!). After we’d set up we relaxed with a few ciders and a bbq. A very nice, quiet relaxed evening.

The next day the main events didn’t start until around 5, we we’re able to spend most of the day under the baking sun, in our bikini’s, watching everyone struggle with their tents in the heat. It was lovely.

Sun worship

We had been informed that the campsites barn had been set up to have a little bar and food area (apparently the bar would be open until 2am!). We didn’t go there for breakfast as we had plenty of bacon and eggs, but we just couldn’t resist the lure of ice cream! I imagine they made a pretty penny with that bar as it always seemed busy, it was definitely a good idea for them and just what the campers wanted!

To get to the festival we had to walk for about a mile through fields, I’m pretty sure i’ve walked longer through a campsite at a festival before and so the fact we we’re walking through some pretty fields rather than in between tents was very welcomed.

A Gentlemanly Flag

Once we got there the queues weren’t that bad at all, although we had got there early (Again) and so missed most of the waiting it seems. Some people said they had to wait around 45minutes just to get their wristbands! I think that was just down to needing more staff and in all honesty I’ve waited longer at V fest. If that was the only problem they had for the whole weekend then they did a pretty damn good job in my opinion. The whole thing was definitely very well run from what I saw.

As soon as we walked in we we’re greeted with rows of waving flags, coats of arms and old style food stalls. It was almost like being whisked back to medieval time, that’s if it wasn’t for the giant glowing letters spelling out ‘Gentlemen of The Road’. It did have a modern feel to an old style and was very in-keeping with the town it was situated in and the grounds (which looked like an old castle or monastery) the event actually took place in. It really set the mood, a great start to a great event.

A Dramatic Entrace

 

Our group enjoying the sunshine

On the first day we saw bands such as  Youth Lagoon, British Sea Power and Vampire Weekend. It was a great line up and great start to the festival. Vampire Weekend are always great and we had a good dance and sing along.

Vampire Weekend being awesome

As always at festivals there was a lot of interesting outfits. The usual festival wear; bright flowers, crop tops, dungerees, plaits, hippie-esq outfits etc… There was also a lot of fancy dress including a couple of bananas, home made t-shirts as well as a lot of merch t-shirts bought and then immediately worn. I took a lot of pictures of the festival fashions (which made me feel oh so stalker-ish) and will be doing a blog post on the do’s and don’ts of festivals and festival fashions in the near future.

The best hat i’ve ever seen…most likely.

All too soon it was time to head back to the campsite. The way was nicely lit and they had lots of marshals to make sure you didn’t get lost.

Cider also took up a large part of the day…

The next day started just as relaxed as the day before. The arena didn’t open until the afternoon leaving us plenty of time to sit around and get ourselves ready.

We bought some posh bread and Brie from the farm shop, we we’re living the dream and felt very middle class. We had the brie with some bacon and rolls we had leftover for breakfast (it was mouthwateringly amazing) and then saved some of the brie and the fancy bread to take into the venue as nibbles.

Fancy Guitar Shot 

The line up on the second day was again amazing, including Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The Mystery Jets, The Vaccines (one of my mums favourite bands) and (of course!) Mumford and Sons.

There were also some lesser known bands playing. One of my favourites of these being Bears Den who had some Hauntingly beautiful music.

Bears Den’s Drummer showing he can multi-task like a pro! (It was his birthday as well!)

As the day went on the bands just kept getting better and soon we were on our feet constantly dancing away! The arena was getting packed but still we danced around as if no one was watching and loving it! (although maybe the cider had something to do with our dance moves…)

My sister and her friend getting excited for the Vaccines

By the time Mumford and sons came on we could barely see the stage, but we didn’t care. All the performances we’re amazing, everyone really put a lot into it and it was obvious by the crowds reactions that their time and effort was much appreciated.

Usually at a festival you find that there’s at least one or two acts that just aren’t all that great, they don’t seem to want to be there or just aren’t very good live. But every one of them was brilliant. Maybe it’s because it’s quite small compared to others so the acts are more carefully selected, but it definitely made the whole experience a lot more enjoyable.

Mumford making me swoon

At the end of Mumford and Sons set they invited ALL the other acts onto the stage and they all jammed together! It was incredible.

Then the after party started with ‘The Very Best Sound System’ which was very dancey with an african feel. Definitely a great end to the festival.

Everyone on stage!

The whole thing was just so well put together, Mumford and Sons (and their team) have done such a good job.

We ended up partying well into the night and had a lazy morning whilst watching everyone pack up their tents. All too soon we too had to pack up and leave, I was sad to leave after such an awesome weekend but was most definitely looking forward to a shower!

If one of the Stopovers comes near you then I highly recommend going! (as long as you like the music of course).It was such an amazing weekend and I will most certainly be going next year if they’re around again!

So thank you to all the organisers, Spring barn farm and Mumford and Sons for a really great weekend away! I hope to see you all next year!

‘Till next time


Trouble with Weather

We’ve been planning to go on  date G for a while now but unfortunately what I have in mind is outdoors and the weather hasn’t been kind. We thought we might be able to go today, as well as practicing some long boarding, but as we got to the station the heavens seemed to open and we ran for cover in a local sandwich shop.

We were tempted to go home, but after we finished our lunch the sun was shining once again. Instead of going on our date we decided to visit a nearby park and practice long boarding so that we could easily get home if it rained again.

There’s a lovely little park by a river we know of and so we decided to go there as it had some nice pavements and slopes to practice on. Ash decided to practice sliding, a move that’s commonly used to slow down as well as looking pretty cool. There were a few puddles still left over, although the sun was drying them up pretty quickly, and so he decided to use the water to help his sliding.

Unfortunately he didn’t quite get the hang of it, but he definitely made progress!

I on the other hand was practicing my stance, so as to feel more comfortable. Putting my weight more forwards on the board really did make a big difference and I’ve gained a lot more confidence and was able to go fast with no speed wobbles!

As I was skating around I noticed there was an old burnt out motorbike. I decided it would be great to take pictures of and immediately grabbed my camera.

Mirror

Exposed wires

In the middle of happily snapping away i suddenly felt a cold drop on my cheek. It was raining again. I ran to Ashley, covering my camera under my jacket, and we sat under a tree until the rain stopped.

Water Droplets

The pavement was too wet and so we decided it was home time, we had washing up and food shopping to do after all, plus it was about time i did some sewing!

On the fashion side, I had decided to wear some burgundy, high waisted trousers, a denim jacket, and my t-shirt from H&Ms conscious collection.

Burgundy

Visit me on lookbook by clicking the image!

I knew as soon as I saw this t-shirt that I had to have it! It even has my first initial on it! I really do love H&Ms conscious collection, everything is just so pretty!

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Maybe next time I will actually have some pictures of me skating, you have the rain to blame for that one.

‘Till next time!

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May There Be Penguins!

I’ve been in bed for most of the day today with a horrible migraine, but it is the first of May so I can’t stay in bed all day!

As promised, today is the kick off of my month long event : May There Be Penguins!

Expect there to be lots of fun, competitions, freebies but also money raising, and conservation awareness.

Many Penguins around the world have declining numbers, Rockhoppers are one of the species in real trouble with rapidly declining numbers leaving experts baffled, although there are many factors thought to be playing a part such as; harmful algae, fishing, human encroachment, climate change and much more.

The numbers are truly frightening – northern rockhopper penguins are disappearing from Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island at the rate of 100 a day

Source : http://www.rspb.org.uk/supporting/campaigns/ukot/index.aspx

 

Over the last 10 years this represents a loss of 77,381 pairs or a rate of decline of 2.7% p.a. The recent 2010 census indicates that the population is showing signs of a recovery from the effects of the harmful algae bloom in 2002.

Source : http://www.falklandsconservation.com/wildlife/penguins/rockhopper

 

The problem is that studying birds in such remote places is expensive. Gadgets such as data loggers and satellite tags that can be used to track the penguins could go a long way to understanding why they are in decline, and hopefully help us to provide a solution.

I have chosen to raise money for the RSPB throughout the month of May, donating 20% of sales to their rockhopper penguin appeal.

What’s that you say? Don’t they just deal with the UK’s birds?

Actually they run very successful campaigns for our overseas territories as well, helping save penguins, albatrosses and many other birds, plants and animals outside of the UK. They even do work in Rainforests which even came as a surprise to me! They also sell bird food (which my mum buys regularly) gardening tools and much more for those who like to help from the comfort of their own home.

So why the RSPB?

The RSPB has always been a very prominent thing in my life. When we were younger both myself and my sister were members of the Wildlife Explorers and often went to events, meeting other kids and even some celebrities like Howie from The Really Wild Show and Dominic Wood! I have many memories of birdwatching at our local reserve with my sister and grandpa and was always excited to see a new species i’d never seen before.

They make sure that 90p of every £1 is used for conservation, in their words; ‘more money spent on saving nature and less on admin’. I like that, unlike some of the bigger charities, they do seem to concentrate more on the conservation rather than the advertising, but obviously they have to advertise to some extent.

I really believe that they are an excellent charity and go a long way to helping keep the worlds wildlife beautiful and rich.

I’ll be bringing out some brand new products and running lots of exciting competitions over the next month. I will have my first competition running before the end of this week (once i’ve recovered) so please check back soon!

You can also follow me on facebook and twitter for more updates.

courtesy of the RSPB

courtesy of the RSPB


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.

alpacajumper

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!


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. 🙂


The Perfect Winter Coat for the Perfect Winter’s Day

I was so excited when I opened up my curtains to see snow billowing down from the sky this morning. I know the white stuff is highly annoying to some as it often coincides with bitter cold winds, icy paths and (at least in the unprepared UK) transport delays, but I still feel the childish sense of joy every time I see a flake whirling it’s way to the ground.

Unfortunately I’m extremely full of cold (thanks mother!) and so just couldn’t muster up the energy to play and make snowmen for today, but I did manage to get outside and crunch around for a little bit before running back inside to the warmth!

Of course for this I needed the perfect warm weather coat and, as luck would have it, I think I own it!

I bought this coat last winter from H&M and have never regretted it. It constantly gets complements and is so warm and snuggly! The fur around the collar makes me feel like a proper lady and is detachable so that it doesn’t get ruined in the wash! The material is super warm, which is just as well because it’s so well fitted around the waist that I can’t wear any thick jumpers under it! Plus the colour is just gorgeous!

I think everyone should own a fantastic winter coat. What is yours like and what makes it so great?

Happy Penguin :D


Autumn Woodland – Treasury

The weather is getting colder now and Autumn is upon us! It’s time to wrap up warm by the fire and be glad you’re not one of those woodland creatures out in the cold. So here’s a few items to celebrate the autumn months and the cute little animals that are frolicking in the forests of england. You can find my treasury with all the items in it here there are also links to all of the items in their titles.

Little Bird Fused Glass Suncatcher

This cute little sun catcher by Lazy Daisy Glass will be perfect for bringing the autumn colours into your room and decorating your windows! A great decoration for this, or any, time of year!

acorn nature photograph

This gorgeous photograph by Shannonpix just shouts of autumn to me. Acorns, rustic wood, greens and browns. I think this would would look amazing above a log fire on a cold night.

Autumn leaf tile picture

Damson Tree Pottery makes some truly wonderful items, some of which I have my eye on for when I actually have some money (and a bigger home). This cute little tile is perfect for welcoming the autumn months into your house with those vibrant colours.

Silver birch trees Cushion covers

Another item for your home made by VeeDubz. I love the look of trees in winter and these cushion covers catch their intricacies perfectly! I can just picture my self snuggling up on the sofa with these.

Autumn Leaves Fox Glass Sculpture

This adorable glass sculpture would look amazing on any mantle piece or window sill. The autumn leaves and the running pose really gives the idea of movement to the piece and makes me imagine all the critters in the woods hurriedly foraging for food before winter sets in.

Autumn Leaf Cuff Bracelet

More leaves! And this time they are wearable. I think this cuff would look great with just a simple black dress and some matching accessories. I love the colours, all the detailing, and the fact that it just looks so delicate! Almost like real leaves! It’s the perfect statement piece this autumn.

Fall / Autumn Leaves hanging decorations

These bright and colourful decorations are bound to catch the eye of your guests who will just marvel at the details. These come in lots of other designs too so you could even buy a whole forest of them!

Custom Wedding Cake Topper

I’m sure they’ll be plenty of autumn weddings out there, so why not match the wedding to the season? This adorable cake topper is just perfect for an autumn cake. The bride and groom can be fully customised making this truly yours and then kept as a keepsake to remind you of your special day.

autumn leaves vintage Prova scarf

This vintage scarf is just gorgeous. I think it would look great with a nice thick coat. I think it’s something I could imagine both myself AND my grandma wearing! This is definitely a fashionable scarf for all ages.

Trees in Autumn original watercolour painting

This abstract print by Caroline Grigg is just gorgeous! The ‘splodgy’ (for lack of a better word) tree effect and then the details of the branches and birds really make this an interesting piece. The colours are just beautiful and make it seem really homely and warm. Again the log fire seems to compliment this item perfectly…

fox & friend brooches

These adorably, simple brooches are perfect for autumn lapels! Personally I think they would look great pinned on a fur (or faux-fur) collar. It’s a simple way to make any outfit just a little cuter.

BEAR Art Print

Who doesn’t love Bears? They look so big and cuddly, as long as you stay away from the claws!  This is another print that’s just perfect for a room with a log fire (or maybe I just really want a log fire…) I love the innocent, happy look on the bears face and it’s relaxed way of sitting. It just makes me want to relax myself and watch the world go by.

felt fox brooch

Another fox brooch for your lapels. Again this one is adorable and again I think It would go well with fur! It’s the perfect way to style up your coat (or what ever else you want to pin it to).

Knit fox hat

Apparently I can’t get enough of foxes, here’s another foxy item! Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE my novelty hats. In fact when I was younger I had a page on a website completely devoted to my collection of hats! I think the main reason I love autumn is because I get to wear my many many headwarmers. It’s taken everything I have (and my lack of money) to stop me buying this. I honestly don’t need any more hats with ears, but yet I still want them. Someone just please buy this before I do.

Hedgehog Ring

Another Item I’ve had my eye on for a while..This absolutely adorable ring. Not only is it a cute little hedgehog, but it has an adorable little crown! It just makes me ‘Squee’ every time I look at it.

Kid’s Coin Pouch

The last item is this adorable Coin purse. It’s covered in little critters and is perfect for the young animal lover to carry around their pocket money. It even has a handy ring tab to help keep it safe!

There will be more treasuries coming soon (They’re just so much fun to make!) The next one will be Halloween Themed!

So ’till next time!

Keep working hard!


Springing into Spring

I made a cute little spring treasury on Etsy and thought i’d share it on here with my reasons for picking each object. 🙂 You can find my treasury here.

I tried to look for pastel colours, flowers, and a bright cheerful feeling, all the things that just shout spring to me! There were so many cute items it was hard to narrow it down, but in the end this is what I came up with:

Spring Paper Flowers

It’s kind of hard to believe these aren’t real. Who wouldn’t want these to brighten up their living room? They wont die like real flowers and can come in a range of colours to suit your room! Definitely a good choice if you always forget to water or buy new plants like me.

Woodland Stone and Branch Bracelet

I love how unusual this bracelet is. The branch with the first hint of flower is adorable and reminds me of the trees just starting to blossom.

Bright flower Necklace

Want a big bright statement piece that makes winter vanish to memory? Then this is surely the necklace for you. Its bright, fun and cheerful and just makes me smile.

Vanilla and Turquoise Flower Necklace

This necklace is cute and fresh, just what you need to chase away the cold british winter. The straw like string adds a touch of the unusual and the flowers add that cute feminine touch. All together a very adorable little necklace.

Robins Egg Earrings

Spring is a time for new life, eggs are being laid and flowers are blossoming, so why not feel part of it by wearing some ‘eggs’ on your ears? Not only are these adorable, but I think they would go perfectly with the necklace above!

Spring Bird Mobile

Well we’ve had the eggs so we obviously needed some birds as well! I love the twig and flowers at the top of this mobile and the birds finish it off beautifully. I can just see this in a little girls nursery, but to be honest i’d really want to steal this for myself. It is definitely one to enjoy no matter what your age is.

Flower Charm Necklace

Want to look like a flowery meadow? Well then this is the necklace for you. Crammed full of cute little flowers this statement necklace is bound to turn heads and make any outfit look fantastic.

Blush Angel Dress

This is the kind of dress I can imagine wearing on a warm spring day/evening whilst prancing around a meadow. It’s just stunning. Maybe the weather isn’t quite warm enough for it yet, but it’s getting there. Although I’m not sure if i’d dare wear it out of the house myself for fear of ruining it!

Snowdrop Chandelier Earrings

It’s impossible not to think about snowdrops when spring is mentioned and these earrings seem to mimic them beautifully. Bring a touch of classy elegance to your outfit by wearing these, i’d personally wear them with my hair up just to make sure they’re noticed!

Lavender Fairy Dress

I don’t know what to really say about this dress other than just simply ‘Wow’. The delicate lace and pastel colours seem to compliment the freshness of spring and really does make me think of flower fairies dancing in the evening light.

Little Mint Deer Necklace

From classic to just plain cute! Everyone loves deers and this necklace is just adorable!

Baby Duck Figurine

Another animal that reminds me of spring is the little baby ducklings! If I could I’d buy lots of these little figurines and make a line of them that I could imagine were waddling towards a nice little picturesque pond.

Pink Daisy Necklace

Another statement necklace with some bold pink flowers and green beads. A modern, but some how classic, look to really attract the compliments.

Hydrangea Blossom Diamond Ring

Gold, Silver, Diamond. What more does a girl want? This delicate little ring would certainly draw in my attention and leave me completely green in envy! The vein detail on the flower really finishes this piece off and I can imagine I would spend hours tracing them with my eyes.

Vintage Lace Wedding Headband

It may be listed as a wedding Item, but I would wear this despite not even being engaged yet. I love the messy vintage glamour this seems to exude. What better way to feel at one with nature than to be wearing this gorgeous piece.

Flowers and Pearls Necklace

Another statement necklace for the demure woman in you. A string of pearls with a bunch of flowers, a fresh addition to a smart outfit.

I hope you like these Items as much as I do, I had a lot of fun putting it together.

Till next time!

Claire x