This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “the penguin theory

The Drawing Bug

It seems like recently I have caught the drawing bug, probably largely helped by a sudden avalanche of sales for my Penguin Valentines Cards! It really has been rather exciting over here at Penguin HQ!

I’ve found that I really do love drawing cute little animals and it seems like i’m getting better and better every time i open up photoshop! I’ve even started recording my drawing process as i think it does help to watch back when i’m not concentrating on drawing, plus i think it could be quite a nice little addition to my youtube cannel that’s been lying dormant for so long! You can watch all my time-lapses here!

I drew these seahorses as another option for valentines day, but ended up not really liking them enough to put up in my shop. I do think they’re cute but, gosh, are seahorses hard to draw! Maybe i’ll revisit them once i’ve improved a bit more.

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I started to relax into my drawing a bit more and drew this adorable Hippo! This has to be one of my favourite drawings to date! He’s wearing a cute little party hat and singing ‘Hippo Birthday’, because Hippo’s are obviously amazing singers! 😉 I think my shading improved so much on this picture and I just love the hippos character!

You can buy my Hippo Birthday card here!

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Ashley then gave me the idea of drawing a shiny-object-loving magpie stealing a ring for a wedding or engagement card and I thought it was a great idea! I wanted to add a little simple background to this one and love how it turned out although i think i will tweak my shading tomorrow as it isn’t as good as on my Hippo.

You can find my Magpie Thief card here!

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What do you think I should draw next?

I also have some other exciting plans for my youtube so do keep an eye out for more learning, projects and other fun things!

But for now, it’s time to sew!

Claire


Computer Troubles

I’m sorry for my quietness as of late, I promise I haven’t been lazy (in fact i’ve been more productive than usual) but my laptop decided enough was enough and stopped working completely.

Unfortunately for me it was the hard drive that had gone and I also had some unsaved work on there which I stupidly forgot to back up. 2 videos nearly completed (1 with animations and everything!) and a couple of photoshoots. All gone. But it’s my fault for not making sure I had extra copies of them, I can’t really blame my laptop as it is 5 years old.

I did go to the Apple store. Their customer service was amazing and the guy who saw me was really nice and friendly. But unfortunately it would  cost about £200 for them to fix my laptop, something I just can’t afford at the moment. I probably had a very peculiar look on my face as then he suggested I refit it myself, showing me which to buy, and how to refit it. Instead of spending over £200 i spent £32!

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My new hard drive is very shiny and pretty and I even fit it in myself, which, by the way, is super easy.

So now my laptop is up and running again, soon I’ll have photoshop installed again too and then maybe I can re-make the videos. I’ve now renamed it the FrankenMac as it’s been brought back to life with odd parts!

In the mean time I have been sewing. I’m in the process of using all these old t-shirts i collected whilst working the pub job to make a picnic blanket. Not much more to do!

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In other news : I snuggled with a baby penguin. It was the cutest, softest and smelliest thing ever!

Obviously I was working hard at the same time, actually I find talking to the keepers is the best way to learn about all the animals. It really is the best job ever, I learn something new (and usually amazing) every single day! I seriously don’t want this summer to end.

Claire x

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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


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


New Year, New Start.

I know this is something which is said every year, but for the first time I feel like it is actually true for me.

This year will be so much bigger and better than last year and it really will be a new start! I’ve just moved house, far bigger and better than the last place and I actually have a place I can call an office (I will have to take photographs soon!). After 2 years I finally seem to have a way out of the day job, which was only meant to be temporary in the first place, and seem to have bagged a job which actually excites me and makes me happy to go to work. And I’m more determined than ever to make The Penguin Theory a success.

Last year i’m afraid I only managed to reach one of my goals, but luckily I think that goal will be crucial for success this year. I am finally a lot more organised than I’ve ever been in my life, keeping to deadlines, sorting out paperwork, keeping notes in my diary. There is still a lot of improvement to be done but i don’t think myself or my family have ever seen or expected me to be quite so diligent.

I thought I should have some goals for this year as well, but this time maybe actually manage more than one. I decided to narrow it down to 5 big goals of things that definitely have to happen.

1) Make The Penguin Theory more successful 

Regularly update my blog and other social media. make an item and/or go on a photography adventure every week. Make more sales on Etsy and at craft fairs. I don’t have to be living off it (although that would be nice) but i definitely want to make visible progress.

2) Get a Job I actually enjoy

I need a day job to fund my penguin theory adventures (unfortunately) but whilst I can’t survive of The Penguin Theory for the moment, I should at least be in a job I enjoy. My current job was never meant to be permanent and yet i’ve been there for almost two years.  It’s time to move on to something I can look forward to everyday and I think I may have already found it! A couple of months ago I worked at Legoland for a week and loved every second of it. It’s a longer commute but so much more enjoyable which makes it an obvious choice for me. Not only are the hours more regular but they’re actually during the day!  The only problem is that Legoland closes for a few months every year as a lot of the rides cannot be operated during the winter months. I am still trying to decide if I should keep the pub job for 1 day a week so that I can definitely have work in the winter or just to quit altogether and hope that I can find a temp job or make enough money through penguin theory for the winter months.

3) Go travelling

I want to go on holiday and explore somewhere I haven’t been before. In all honesty even somewhere in the UK would be fine, but it would be amazing to go abroad.

4) Enter Wildlife Photographer of the Year

It’s something I’ve always been fascinated with and in these last few months i’ve realised that I really do love to take photographs. I’ve always followed Wildlife Photographer of the Year and seen the exhibitions whenever possible. This year I’m determined to enter. It doesn’t matter if I don’t win, or even get a mention, I just need to try.  I will most definitely be viewing the exhibition at the Natural History museum this year as well.

5) Pay off Debts and Start Saving

I wont lie, the end of this year has been horrendous money wise. Ash, unfortunately, had to leave university as we couldn’t afford for him to continue and with this difficult time in the job market he had to rely on me for a few months, the problem being that minimum wage is barely enough to cover my costs. Luckily I had a lot of savings but they are completely wiped now and we’ve even had to borrow money from my mum and our housemates. But now that Ash has, not one but two jobs ,we are slowly paying everyone back and can hopefully build up some savings between us again.

So did you reach your goals for last year and what are your goals for this year?


Infinity Scarf

Now available in my Etsy store is this lovely woollen and Burberry patterned infinity scarf.

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It’s a shame I wasn’t able to make this sooner as i will no longer be able to make and ship it in time for christmas, but i’m sure there will still be lots of cold necks around in January! (along with Etsy gift cards which I now accept thanks to my amazing sister)

This scarf is the perfect addition to any outfit as its colours and pattern make it very versatile.

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One side is a thick woollen material for comfort and warmth. The other side is a stylish, burberry-esq material to add a pop of colour and interest (as well as being nice and smooth against your skin).

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It is the perfect scarf to keep you cute and warm, but it also suits a more grown up attire. I also believe that it would look just as fantastic on men as it does on women!

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So don’t let your neck get cold in this wintery weather! Wrap up warm with this cute and cosy infinity scarf!

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Nutty Christmas Stuffing

One of my housemates is going home to his parents house soon for the Christmas period and so we decided to have a little christmas meal of our own. I was in charge of food and decided to make it a real feast. We decided to go for turkey with all the trimmings and also bought a joint of Pork for Ash who isn’t that keen on Turkey. Our other housemate, Jack, is vegetarian and so had his own little ‘meat’ roast to put in. Jack also ended up roasting all the vegetables and making mashed potatoes and swede. Yum! I made the Yorkshire puddings, Gravy and decided to make some stuffing from scratch too!

I’ve made stuffing before, a traditional sausage, sage and onion, but needed to cater for Jack and so looked around for a vegetarian stuffing recipe. Unfortunately I couldn’t find one that I really fancied and so decided to create my own concoction to bring some festive cheer to our meal! I ended up with a delicious (and yes it really was tasty!) mushroom, walnut, cranberry and apple stuffing and thought it was so tasty that I just HAD to share my recipe.

And yes it was given the thumbs up by Jack.

So here’s how you can make your own, Vegetarian approved, stuffing this Christmas:

You will need…

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For the seasoning I just used Sage, but you can obviously season to your tastes. I also used chestnut mushrooms to add a nutty, mushroomy flavour and walnuts to add a creamy, nutty flavour. Apples are there to add a hint a sweetness and I also thought they would go quite well with Ashleys pork. I bought a loaf of Tiger Bread because it is delicious, but any bread will do. Slightly stale bread would be best as you are just using it to make breadcrumbs. Cranberries are christmassy and I felt that it wouldn’t be a christmas stuffing without!

I’ve not given you many measurements because I don’t really measure, i prefer to just do what I think looks right for me,  you can add the amounts to suit your tastes too.

First off you need to grab a blender, or a ‘whizzy stick’ as I have, to make bread crumbs. Just throw the bread in there and blend away.

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Next chop up your celery and half an apple into chunks. Do what you want with the other half apple. I ate mine, It was delicious. 😉

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Throw the breadcrumbs, celery, apple and cranberries into a bowl and put to the side for later. I only put half of my packet of cranberries and it seemed to be enough.

Top tip : If you can’t find fresh cranberries (as I couldn’t), by some dried ones and pop them in a bowl of water so that they will be nice and juicy!

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Next off its time to chop up the mushrooms (i used half my punnet) and onion. I also chopped 2 cloves of garlic. Throw all these into a frying pan.

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Grab a knob of butter and soften them all before adding 100ml of water.

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Add this mixture to the breadcrumbs etc. in the bowl and mix together. Then add the nuts and seasoning and stir again.

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Put the mixture in a baking tin and throw in the oven on 180 degrees for around 15-20 minutes until golden brown on the top.

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And there you have it! A yummy, nutty, vegetarian stuffing. The perfect festive accompaniment to your Christmas Meal!

Just for fun, here’s the spread we ended up cooking (served in pots and pans because we don’t have enough serving things)

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And yes, i did manage to finish that gigantic plate of food. I may or may not have had to lie down for about an hour afterwards 😉

Please let me know if you try this recipe and what you think of it, or even share your own take on this festive stuffing!

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas!!


Festive Penguin Stocking!

Picasso is getting all excited for Christmas and already has his stocking out! Although he’s having a lot more fun inside it rather than hanging it up 😉

Have you got your stocking out yet?

If you haven’t even got a stocking yet you can get your very own Penguin stocking just like Picasso’s in my Etsy Shop! (Click the image to follow the link!)


London Print Collection Now Available!

Now available in my shop is your choice of 4 of my London 6×4 prints for only £6!

Choose from any of my london prints (priced at £3.95 separately) to create your own collection. There are lots to choose from and even more to come!

Express your love for this iconic city with your very own set to decorate your shelves. These 6×4 prints would look great in frames for any London Lover.

All are printed by a professional photo lab on archival paper. Watermarks will be removed and replaced with a small logo on or around the print.

Other sizes of all photographs as well as mounting, laminating and canvas prints are available. Please contact me for more details.

I really do love london (although living here is maybe a little too expensive). I think my favourite place to go is the natural history museum. It’s just such a beautiful building and holds so many weird and wonderful things! I also love the south bank as there’s always so much going on! And you can’t forget the many parks dotted around for nice relaxing summer days!

What’s your favourite thing to see and do in London?


Sorry I’ve been so quiet yet again, it’s just all very hectic on this end. I have just moved house (I’m sure there will be pictures soon once everything is sorted out) and I am currently working 2 jobs. It doesn’t leave a lot of time for The Penguin Theory but I promise I’ll be back with the regular updates soon. 🙂

I have managed to squeeze in a bit of time to update my shop with some new halloween products  ready for the scary season! You can click on the images to find the items in my Etsy store (watermarks on prints will not be on the purchased product but replaced with a smaller logo on or around the print).

If you want some spooky halloween decor which would also be perfect all year round then look no further than this Halloween Glycee Art print . It features a stunning spiderweb glistening with early morning dew. I took this image on a misty october morning in Newquay. It is available in a range of sizes and would be perfect this halloween.

I have also listed another very eerie print which I took from a small boat on the reservoir at Panjiakou, China, where the great wall crosses water before heading into the mountains. The misty morning combined with the mountains and the lake made for a very eery atmosphere, just perfect for some dramatic photography.

I have also relisted a pair of spooky earrings, again more spiderwebs! The would be the perfect addition to any halloween witches and other monsters.

Have a good halloween everyone! Now to get down to some pumpkin carving!


Vandem Fashion

Although I was mainly at Vandem for the gnarly skating shots and to support Ash and our skating friends, the fashion loving side of myself also kept my eye on the clothing which was coming down the hill.  There were a lot of bright, fun shorts, vest tops, and colour matching; from the normal skater to the quirky and distinctive.

There were a lot of full leathers, obviously you want to keep yourself as safe as possible when travelling 40+mph on board, and quite often these were not only colour co-ordinated with their helmets but also their boards!

Some went for bright colours

Some a bit more toned down

There were a lot of brightly coloured shorts.

Muppet shorts and official T-shirt

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Colour co-ordinated with his board – which, by the way, is the board I really want.

Ash even sported a few Penguin Theory tops along with his own bright shorts!

And of course no event is complete without a bit of fancy dress!

There to keep order, protect the innocent and shred hard.

There was even this beauty spotted partying the night away:

The jacket to rule all jackets?

But my favourite fashion find from the weekend was around the neck of a skater named Ryan Swanton.  Not only did he look pretty cool in his sporty shorts and vest top, but he was wearing a nice black beaded necklace to which he had attached an old rusty bearing.

Ryan has been skating for around 2-3 years but this was his first time at Vandem. I asked how he found his Vandem experience and he told me that ‘it took a while to ease in, but all today i’ve been getting faster’. He agreed with me that it was extremely well run and he would definitely be coming again next year!

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I actually have some old ruined bearings in my drawer and so think I might make some jewellery out of them for myself.

Thanks for the inspiration Ryan!

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‘Till next time!


A New Product and More to Come!

I have been playing with my photography and decided I’d love to make some more interesting things out of it. I got brainstorming and have come up with some good ideas, the first of which is now up for sale!

This is the first of my clock series. I have many more ideas and will be accepting commissions if you have a particular print of mine (or even your own!) which you would like to be turned into a clock.

This modern clock features some gorgeous welsh countryside, complete with grazing sheep!

It measures 30cm in diameter. It is also available with numbering or dashes, please contact me for more details.
The back is signed with ‘The Penguin Theory’ the clock name, and the number of clock made. It runs with a standard AA battery which is easily changeable and has a hook on the clock mechanism to hang it on your wall.

You can find the clock here

There will be more clocks to come in future as well as more prints and some new sewing items! (Yes i promise I haven’t forgotten about the sewing machine)

In other news, I finally got some new glasses! They’re just for reading and computing so hopefully I will be able to see what i’m editing a bit more easily now. 🙂

‘Till next time!


Vandem Freeride 2013

A few weeks ago I went to an event in Exeter. It was a downhill longboarding event called Vandem Freeride. I didn’t actually take part in it as I don’t think I would be able to keep myself safe but was there taking pictures for a girls sports mag called Boardettes (you can find their facebook page here).  Ash, however, did take part along with some other members of our skating group.

Pre Skate warm up

The event was run over two days, thats two whole days of skating down a steep hill with no worry of cars.  Skater heaven.

There were hay bails on the sharp corners to stop people hurting themselves too badly and at the end to make sure they stopped before the road that hadn’t been closed off.  A bus would then take skaters from the bottom to the top of the hill again.

The start line

There were marshalls at all the corners making sure the skaters were aware of any unseen dangers by waving coloured flags and the skaters we’re scattered at the start line, a group going off after every horn that sounded.

The hill itself went on for longer than you would expect and catered for the experienced riders, bombing it as fast as they could, to the less experienced, who started slow whilst they gained the confidence.  It is quite possible to reach high speeds though, most skaters we’re hitting around 30-40mph but the top speed recorded was around 47mph!

Some crazy people even luged down the course!

There were several places you could sit and watch from the sides and there was a really nice atmosphere amongst the spectators. I was sat with another one of the skaters girlfriends and friend who is also called Clare. It was really nice to have some girly time for once and to have someone to sit with too!

Lots of sliding to slow down

Sitting at the bottom of the hill was great as everyone who came of the course had the biggest grin on their face and would immediately highfive each other and talk about the run before sprinting to the bus for another run.

Some added to the fun by dressing up!

Lots of skaters were colour co-ordinated

Later that night we retreated back to Skirmish Paintball Centre which was on the road that had been closed off and had been rented out so we could camp there. They serve hot food which was excellent, they had the usual greasy burgers and chips but then they also had pizza and chilli which were delicious!

That night there was a party complete with heavy metal, dubstep, table dancing, a massive bonfire and even cake! Skaters really do know how to party!

Yes, there was even a mosh pit.

We didn’t drink anything, due to lack of money and not wanting to be hung over, but we still had a great time watching everyones antics.  A lot of the skaters found it fun to jump over the big bonfire.  But don’t worry even when a few didn’t quite make it over, there was a surge forwards to drag out any failures. No injuries, maybe just a few singed eyebrows and bruised egos.

The fire jumping also made for some great shots!

Because what’s a party without cake?

The next day we noticed a huge improvement in all of our friends riding.  Milan (the other Clare’s boyfriend) and Ash were both managing to pick up more speed and getting lower to the ground.

Ash and Milan after coming down the hill. Ash said he felt like he was going to throw up when this was taken.

As you can tell, Ash was sporting some Penguin Theory clothing! I made him a t-shirt and printed on an old jumper as well as printing on one of my t-shirts. I’m hoping to make more soon for my shop. I have lots of different designs in mind!

We also had a friend who was meant to be skating Vandem but unfortunately broke his leg and ankle in several places a couple of weeks before. We decided we would write him a nice message in chalk and I managed to get a few good pictures of people sliding over it.

Get Well Stel!

The whole event was really well run. They made sure that crashes were kept to a minimum, there was great communication between marshalls, when there were bad crashes the marshalls were quick to react, the paintball centre was a great idea and everyone was having a lot of fun. Seriously great job by the team and we will definitely be going next year! Hopefully I will feel confident enough to skate it by then!

Dat Slide…

One of the tamer crashes…

All in all it was a great weekend with some great company. I will have more posts soon focussing on the fashion side of skating including an interview or two so stay tuned for that!

‘Till next time!


First of my Photography up for sale!

I have a lot to catch up on, such as a recent trip to cornwall to shoot a skating event. I’m still editing all my photographs and will be doing a big blog post on it soon! But first an update on my photography!

Today I received the first of my prints in the post! I just ordered some small ones as a test purchase but they all came out great! Very happy with the quality and speed of delivery from DS colour labs and can’t wait to get ordering more!

There are also two more items not included in these photographs as they are part of a top secret project I am working on and should be completed in the next month or so!

I have actually put one of my photographs up for sale on Etsy already! This print was taken in Grosmont which is in the county of Monmouthshire in Wales.

I loved this photograph as soon as I took it, I find the rolling hill very relaxing and love that I can see walkers trekking up the sides and standing at the top.

It is available in my etsy shop here and can come as just the print or mounted on card or foam board.

I can’t wait to get more of my photo’s printed and up for sale! I have some prints which I am really excited about showing off!


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


Royal Crown Tie and a Summer Project!

I finally updated my Etsy shop with a new listing! I got the inspiration for this tie from my day out at Royal Ascot. I felt this would be the perfect tie for the more laid back man who wanted to show his patriotic side.

It boasts fun a fun print of royal crowns on a vivid, red  background and is made of cotton.

You can find the item in my shop by clicking here

All my other projects, though, seem to be very against me. I’m either messing up the measurements, making silly little mistakes or just not having enough material.

I’ve decided all these projects have been weighing me down as they’ve been in progress for months and I just dont know where to go with them, and so I decided it was time to start afresh. There’s no point in forcing these other ones, my theory is that I’ll think of a way to fix my problems when i’m not forcing myself to.

So i’ve started a brand new summer project! So far so good, lets just hope it stays that way!

‘Till next time!


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!


Learning New Tricks in the Sun

Recently not only have Ash and I taken up Longboarding, but we’ve been trying lots of other fun things such as slack lining (walking on a special rope that has been stretched out, usually between two trees) and Poi (balls on string that are swung around in different patterns and rhythms).

I  really enjoy Poi and just have a feeling that this will be something I could actually get really good at if I keep going! (much like my sewing which has been sadly neglected recently, there will be more updates on that soon though I promise!) Ash and Jack taught me my first move, but that was all they knew, some of the longboarding crew also know Poi and a very nice girl taught me some very pretty moves which I am practicing to get them flowing nicely together.

Yesterday Ash, Jack and I decided to relax in the park and practice some of our hobbies. Ash tried the Coleman Slide again on his longboard, he’s almost got it and I think it wont be long until he’s busting them out like a pro!

Jack wiggled around on his waveboard. I really want to learn how to ride it but last time I tried I hurt myself quite badly, one day I will get the hang of it though as it does look pretty cool!

I practiced Poi, trying to link my new moves together. I didn’t quite get the hang of it, at least not smoothly, but i’m getting there.

I wore a nice summery outfit with a comfy maxi skirt, flip flops and a flowery top. Well I say top, it’s actually a little skirt but as I was looking through my wardrobe I started thinking a strapless, flowery top would look nice with my skirt and decided to see what this skirt would look like worn this way. I think it actually turned out really pretty and I’m so excited to now have a ‘new’ item to my wardrobe without spending any money!

The boys were also dressed very nicely.

Ash was very colour co-ordinated in his green and orange shorts and a green ‘sack boy’ t-shirt, even his helmet (green) and board (orange) matched!

Jack wore his usual comfy attire with his nice new shorts from a shop called ‘The New Yorker’ that he found on his recent travels around europe. The shorts were brown with a tribal pattern. I love tribal patterns!

Teaching a few of the new moves

We also took some video’s as I’d like to document my progress in both Poi and Long boarding. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to make a little montage of both mine and Ash’s progression. 🙂

You can watch the video here

‘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!

IMG_1896

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

‘Till next time!

IMG_1898


Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Sorry I haven’t been around for a while, life seems to have got in the way as well as some frustrations with my screen printer.But i’ve already had a busy day practising (although I seem to have most of the paint on myself) and now I have a few bags just about ready to be sewn together! So i think it’s finally time to announce the winner of the second competition of May!

It seems like there’s more on my hands than on the fabric…

Congrats to Jennie Evans! I have already sent an email and hope to post the bag to you soon. 🙂

And don’t forget there’ll be more competitions to come!

For now though I have some more screen printing to do (and some new designs to try) before going and practicing some long boarding with Ash.

We both have snazzy new helmets from Octane sports to keep us safe now so there’s no excuse! 🙂

Photo on 2013-05-20 at 16.45

Slightly silly, very safe.


Another Chance to Win!

I’ve been bad and haven’t quite gotten round to much sewing, but I do have another competition for you all!

Again it’s for a Penguin Theory Tote bag with your choice of lining (to be discussed with the lucky winner)

It’s easy to enter: Just tell me what your favourite penguin is! Simples!

I have a handy little thing from rafflecopter this time as well. You can enter here on my facebook page

Remember you can also buy this bag on my Etsy and 20% of every sale goes to the RSPB to help save rockhopper penguins!

Good Luck!


Win a Penguin Tote Bag!

As promised May brings you lots of competitions and new products!

Here is your first chance to win, all you have to do is like and share this image on facebook to enter! But hurry, you only have until midnight on Monday the 6th (GMT)!

Up for grabs is this adorable tote bag with Picasso the penguin printed on it. It’s the perfect bag for this summer to carry all your extra bits and pieces!

This bag is also available in my Etsy shop where 20% of every sale is going to the RSPB to help the falling numbers of rockhopper penguins.

And remember to follow this blog and like my facebook page to know if you’ve won!

Good Luck!


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