This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “thepenguintheory

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


And the Winner is…

or Peng-winner as I’ve decided to call it 😉

Thank you to everyone who entered this competition! I had so much fun running it and seeing all the great names you were coming up with!

And don’t forget to stay tuned for more exciting giveaways, competitions and, of course, some awesome handmade items!

May There be Penguins!


Now on BlogLovin!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Decided to bite the bullet and sign up with Bloglovin. Finally I can follow all those blogs that aren’t on wordpress as well! 🙂

Also, don’t forget to enter my competition to win a cute, summery tote bag here or here!


Pick A Penguin – Competition!

After months of promising a competition finally I have gotten round to it.

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Up for grabs is this cute, summery tote bag, a great addition to any summer wardrobe! Perfect for adults and children alike. 🙂 Even The Penguin Theory’s Penguin wants it!

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The Competition:

Myself and The Penguin Theory Mascot realised that he doesn’t have a name, this upset us both greatly. We racked our brains for a suitable name but just couldn’t decide on one so we want YOU to help!

So how can you help? It’s SIMPLE!

Just comment on this blog and/or this image on facebook with the name you think would be perfect for him and that’s it, done!

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Of course don’t forget to follow and like so you know if you’ve won or not! 😉

Each person can enter twice (once on facebook and once on here) and I will put all the names into a hat (or most likely a bag) to be drawn in a weeks time.

Good luck!

Claire

The Penguin Theory


A Shopping Trip and Business Discussions

On Saturday I went to see my sister in London. We went to Old Spitalfields market to have a gander of all the different products. There were some really amazing products and some great, quirky inspiration! It was actually a very good eye-opener for me who is having trouble with which direction to take my business next. I know I need a more cohesive theme but i’m struggling to find my niche. I recommend anyone having the same trouble to go and have a gander around other handmade shops, businesses and market places. Look at what they do, how they present their products and gain inspiration from their products (baring in mind that copying and inspiration are two completely different things of course).

I actually ended up buying this adorable Penguin Print from Katie Viggers and can’t wait to get it framed and up on my wall (although knowing me it will probably stay in it’s protective envelope for far too long)

We then wen’t for a bit of retail therapy around the corner in a shopping centre. I ended up spending far too much money in H&M but definitely don’t regret any of my purchases. I got an adorable dress with a christmas light print and mesh layer on top, a snazzy jacket and two pretty t-shirts (one bought for me by my generous sister who saw me pining after it). I also spent my Next christmas voucher on a snazzy pair of sunglasses!

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A very successful shopping trip!

We then decided it was time for a bite to eat and had some business chat over a bowl of chips and a few drinks.

We brainstormed about my business and where i wanted it to go next. We talked about the items we had seen at the market and how I could make similar things with my own unique stamp on them. Most of all we talked about how I could make my shop cohesive and about how to market my products.

Dressed for different seasons, I promise it was sunny when I first put on my snazzy new glasses!

It was really useful to have a big chat about the shop and has really helped me to see what I want for it in the future.

I feel i have more direction with my business now. I just need to wait for a few more supplies to arrive for me to really get stuck in, but I promise there are exciting things for the future, i just need to make sure I stay motivated and don’t procrastinate too much.

‘Till next time!


Video

Quick and Easy Potato Wedges

I’ve decided to do my tutorials in video form as I feel it’s a bit easier than taking and editing a bajillion photo’s (hence why i’ve only managed one of my Friday Fabrications). Hopefully using video will mean I can update my Friday Fabrications a lot more regularly.

It’s just a shame I get so awkward when being filmed!

So here is my first video tutorial! A simple, but yummy, recipe for potato wedges!

Hope you enjoy!


Feeling Supported

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

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

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

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

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

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


Winter Cape

I’ve always wanted a Cape with a big hood to keep me cosy during the winter weather. However, I could never find one I really liked. So I decided to set myself a challenge and make myself my ideal winter cape!

It was a bit of a struggle and isn’t fully completed yet, but I’m so proud of what i’ve achieved and just couldn’t resist taking some pictures, especially when the snow started falling!

Ashley took the pictures (and complained about getting snow in his shoe!) whilst I twirled around in my cape and posed awkwardly (I always feel super self conscious when modelling things). The snow acted as a natural light box despite the sky not being particularly bright, one of the reasons why I love snow, it’s almost impossible to get a bad photo!

I’ve always wanted something with a big floppy hood so I knew I just HAD to include one. The hood turned out to be quite a challenge, easy to make but just very awkward to attach. I’m happy I decided to add it though as I got to learn a new skill! I think I will change the shape of the hood for future garments though (this one is maybe just a little too deep, although you can’t tell in this picture).

The outer fabric is thick and sparkly, keeping the warmth in and adding a little bit of glam! I fell in love with this fabric at first sight and knew I just had to make some kind of coat out of it!

I originally wanted the lining to be a dark, flowery patterned, silk-like fabric but it turned out there wasn’t enough of it. In the end the only suitable lining fabric I had enough of was this stunning blue, silk I bought from my trip to china! I think it’s just fate that I decided to buy more of this than all the others because I absolutely LOVE the result! It’s just so pretty, and so silky smooth!

I can’t wait to finish it off completely so that I can wear it out and about, but first I have an order to complete. My minecraft tie has sold again! This will be the last tie for a while as I don’t think I have enough fabric for another. I must restock! (What a good feeling it is to sell out of a product!)

Hopefully there will be many more new projects on the horizon soon! I have so many already started and so many more still to start! I better get cracking!

Claire

The Penguin Theory


Wonky Festive Tie

I’ve been making this tie for a while now, I started it before I went to the wedding in lincoln but have been so busy with work, or just been too tired, that I haven’t managed to finish it.

Finally I’ve had time to get round to finishing it and, quite honestly, i’m disappointed.

As you can tell from these photographs, the thick end is a little…wonky. I promise that it doesn’t look nearly as bad when actually worn but it’s still enough to annoy me and to make me wonder if I can really put it up for sale.

Obviously I don’t want to get bad reviews by selling a bad product so I was thinking of maybe selling it at a reduced price and mentioning it in the listing, but then would it really sell?

I  am tempted just to hide it away at the bottom of my material box, but then it seems like such a shame and a waste of time and effort making it. Plus I don’t really have money to be wasting material, as it is i wont be even buying more material when i run out (luckily I have a lot of stock for the moment).

I guess all crafters must have something they’ve made that they aren’t completely happy with, especially in the learning stages.

So what would you do/have you done in this situation? 

For now though it’s on to the next project I guess…


Adorable Accessories to Match The Penguin Theory!

When I got home from work today I decided to check on my Etsy.

I saw this brooch come up in my Activity feed and immediately squeeled! It’s just so adorable! I feel like I should buy this and wear it at a Christmas craft fair.

I also found matching stud earrings which were just as cute!

My mum said that I should try and make it myself but to be honest, as much as I do enjoy polymer clay, I think I want to concentrate on my sewing for now. However, I will keep it in mind for the future. 🙂


Date at the museum

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

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

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

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

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

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

My trousers had split.

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

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

I guess I should get round to fixing them then.

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

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

Till next time!


A Wedding in the North

As you will know, if you read my last update, i went up north as I was invited to a friends wedding in Lincoln!

I went up a day early so that I could see another of my friends who also lives up there. I hadn’t seen her in ages and so we had a nice girly night with nibbles and cocktails! Her house was full of paintings she’s made, I have my eye on a couple of them (i just need money first!)

If you’re interested in her blog and paintings then you can find her here. 🙂

Raspberry Cocktails!

The wedding the next day was nice. Thankfully the weather was beautiful! (It had rained the day before).

The ceremony was very…modern christian. Lots of christian rock and even a powerpoint presentation! Not really my cup of tea (I’m a bit old fashioned and prefer the old style hymns), but still lovely. It’s hard to make a wedding ceremony bad lets be fair. The reception afterwards was gorgeous! It was in a hotel with some beautiful grounds. Photo’s were taken outside in the sunshine and then we all went inside to eat. There was pork (as though it had been pulled off a hog roast) and lots of salads, wedges, couscous. Everything was delicious!

With the Bride

The speeches were wonderful. All quite short (at least for wedding speeches), but still packed with humour and emotion. Exactly the kind of speeches needed at a wedding. No one was bored, everyone was a laughing, many getting tearful. The best man wrote a poem, an extremely funny and tearjerking poem. Even the bride, who is definitely not a cryer, admitted she welled up. I would say his was the best speech out of all of them (although all were perfect!)

The rest of the night was spent flitting between rooms. Outside there were lots of benches and was perfect for sitting down and talking, although it did start getting very chilly. Inside there was a room set out with tables on one side and the other had room cleared for dancing. Lots of tunes were played ranging from old cheese to rock and even lots of dance tunes. Very good for getting people of all ages up and dancing! The was another room inside as well with lots of comfy sofas. I ended up on one of these sofas near the end of the night and very nearly fell asleep.

Gorgeous Table decorations

All in all a wonderful day.

The day after I thought I should go visit my mum whilst i was nearby (or at least closer than London). Unfortunately I could only stay for a day but I did manage to cram a lot into it! I walked my aunts dog, visited my grandparents, helped my mum buy an outfit for a wedding she’s going to, and met up with my other aunt and cousin.

Muddy George looking very pleased with himself.

I was actually quite sad to leave and come back down south, but I think Ash was beginning to miss me. Plus I had work the next day.

Hopefully it wont be too long until my next visit 🙂

‘Till next time!


Work Hard, Play Hard.

After my post last night I was a very busy bee indeed.

My boyfriend and I decided we hadn’t taken time for ourselves to do anything special together for way too long and so decided to have a nice romantic meal! We cooked our cheap Asda Price pies, cleared the desk, lit some candles and had a really lovely make-shift date.

It was a lot of fun, just sat having a laugh together. We’ve decided to do this more often as we don’t have a lot of money to go out to a real restaurant and this way we actually clean our desk!

After our ‘date’ I decided that I needed to sort out my whiteboard whilst Ash went back to his computer game. I used this whiteboard at University and it helped me to organise all my essays that needed doing, so i figure i should use it to help me organise The Penguin Theory. I’ve written down the tasks I need to do, the future blog posts i want to write, projects in the pipeline, things needed to buy and goals to make sure i’m progressing.

Hopefully i’ll stick to it as i feel it could be really useful for keeping on top of this business.

In other news, I probably won’t be updating this blog for a 3 or 4 days as i’m going all the way up to lincoln!

I have a friend getting married (the first of my friends to do so!) which is extremely exciting! I’ve booked it off work and they’re giving me holiday pay, getting paid to go to a wedding doesn’t sound too bad to me! I’ve already picked out my outfit and head piece! (It wasn’t that hard, i’ve only got one facinator and i’m just wearing it with the dress i got it for originally)

I’m going down a day early so i can have a big catch up with one of my best friends. We’re going to have a nice girly night with nibbles and wine and most likely hitting the town.

After I will be going further up north to visit my mum and other family members.

All in all it should be a good few days and I will make sure I take plenty of pictures!

‘Till next time!


Getting Ready for the Festive Season.

I’ve finally added a new Item to my shop!

I know I said in my last post that I was working on an apron but I found out that I don’t have the right coloured thread for the top stitching so I decided to make something else instead.

Proof i did start the apron…

I was looking through all my materials and found some with a Christmas theme left over from gifts i’d made the family last christmas. Etsy has just had a big push on ‘Christmas in July’ and there was lots of advice telling shop owners to get festive items in their shops nice and early, so I figured I may as well get some in my own shop in preparation.

As there wasn’t a lot of material left I decided to make a tie. I made ties for all the men in my family last christmas and they seemed to be a big hit! My grandpa actually got the tie made from the same material as this one and seemed so proud to have it! It made me really happy to see him so excited to wear something i’d made!

I really like this material, it’s festive but sophisticated at the same time. I think it makes a tie that’s perfect for adding a bit of fun, festive cheer and can be worn to any kind of event, whether serious or more relaxed.

I also incorporated the penguin I spoke about in my last post. I’ve sewn it onto the back of the large end and think it works really well!

I’m very proud of this Item and think it is the best tie i’ve made so far (quite likely with the help of my new snazzy machine!) . It’s now for sale in my shop right here. So if you’re wanting to do a bit of early christmas shopping please stop by!

I’m sure i’ll be making more festive Items in the future, the only problem is i’m not sure what kind of items to make, other than Ties and Aprons. I had also thought of making a stocking or two, or some kind of festive gift bag. What do you think I should make with my material? What would you want to buy this Christmas? Please leave suggestions in the comments below or fill in the poll on my facebook page  🙂 It would be very useful.


A Cheap Way to Tag my Creations

I’ve been playing with all the different fun stitches on my sewing machine.  (although not all of them yet as I never got round to changing the foot)

One of my stitches allows me to add applique work on a piece of material. This has given me an idea to be able to brand all my items.

I can’t afford to have my own labels printed to be sewn in, or at least I can’t afford the bulk prices which make them cheap (Money is a bit of a struggle at the moment) so i’ve been trying to think of a way to make them myself. Now with my ability to applique i had the bright idea of a small penguin to be sewn onto all my items. Its cute and cheap and will let everyone know where the items came from, a little bit like the sewn crocodiles/alligators on lacost clothing i guess (but obviously a lot cuter).

I’ve already had a go at one on a little piece of scrap material. At first i was a little messy, the feet look terrible, but once i’d made it round to the head i’d gotten the hang of it. Hopefully the next one will be a lot better.

Hopefully i’ll be able to show you one on an actual product tomorrow as i’m busy finishing off an apron I cut out months and months ago!

But for now it’s time to cuddle up with a film and go to bed, ready for my shift at work early tomorrow morning.

‘Till next time! 🙂


A Surprise Birthday Treat!

My sister didn’t give me a present on my birthday, instead she told me to meet her at Covent Garden on the 1st of August.

So yesterday I got ready to go meet her after work, due to my extremely bad time management and being held up in traffic i was about an hour late. Good job she told me an earlier time.

As she greeted me she revealed that she had bought some cupcakes to eat later, I was already excited.

We then walked out of the square, I could see Lion king down the road but knew that couldn’t be it. I’ve already seen it twice and one of those times my sister was with me and fell asleep half way through!

We walked down another street and as we neared the end I could see a sign for Derren Brown!

I do really like Derren Browns live ‘stand up’ shows (maybe not to much his tv ones) and so was really excited to be going to watch him.

He did not disappoint!

As usual he mixed comedy with his act, keeping the audience laughing throughout. The show seemed to be split into two, the first half having a completely different feel to the second. The audience were also highly involved as usual and we found out some very funny things about some of them, like the man who stole money from his parents to buy a barbie playhouse and the other who went to his doctor to learn how to…well…pleasure himself.

Derren Brown left his mark on me…

I would love to talk about the whole show, but it really is one of those things you have to see to really get a feel for it, plus I wouldn’t want to ruin it for anyone else. Also, Derren always asks the audience not to tell people, it seems rude to ignore him.

All I will say is that it was brilliant. We both left not knowing what had just happened, or at least how it had happened. I’m still reeling, trying to solve the mysteries at least just a little bit!

If you get a chance to go before his tour ends i would recommend you do. It was amazing. Such a good birthday treat!

After the show we went for a wonder along the Southbank to eat our cupcakes (which had edible glitter on them!!). There was some kind of strange performance going on outside of the national theatre but we didn’t stay for long as it was getting late.

I really had an awesome time. It was definitely a very successful birthday treat 🙂

Till next time!