This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “UK

A New Start to An Old Adventure

I have recently been thinking a lot about my old love of photography. I have a big, old DSLR and I’m always taking far too many photographs, but yet I do nothing with them.

So I’ve decided now is time to get back into photography, start seriously editing again and maybe even adding a few to my shop. Of course I will still be sewing (although i am finding it hard to stay motivated with it right now) but I also want to start selling prints.

If anyone knows of anywhere I could get prints done cheaply and easily that would be amazing (for the uk), I have a few places in mind but any help from photographers out there would be greatly appreciated.

I absolutely love messing around on photoshop with an image, it is definitely one of my favourite things to do, and so last night I decided to experiment with a few images I took of Ash longboarding. You can click on the images to see them a bit bigger.

I started off with a more simple edit, just adding texture, adjusting the colours slightly and playing with the levels.

I like how I made this feel slightly grungy but with Ash really popping out of the centre with his bright colours.  I’m glad I managed to catch him as his arms made such a nice line and his board had started to slide. I also really love the concentrated look on his face with his tongue sticking out (although he hates it), it really makes me chuckle. 🙂

The next photograph I decided to be a little more adventurous and play with the background by taking out all the colour. I wanted to really make him stand out as the background is quite busy with all the leaves. I also cropped it slightly to create a better line and draw your eye to him even more.

Again I’m really happy with how this one turned out, I think the contrast between the background and Ash works really well.  The only thing is I still find the background very busy and so I think I might need to play around with it even more, maybe by adjusting the contrast or blurring it slightly. But Ash really likes this one too and has set it too his facebook cover photo. 🙂

The last one I edited I decided to do something a little crazier and this is probably one of my most elaborate photoshops to date! I decided to add this bright orange texture to make ash look as though he was on fire in a way. I wanted to create a really dramatic image that would convey the power and energy used to do the slides Ash was trying.

Again I do really like the image even though its a lot different to my usual photography. I think the meaning I’m trying to convey really does come out and it is definitely not subtle.  I still can’t decide if maybe it’s a little too much though and I think the lighter section in the middle could be more focussed on Ash.

What do you think about my photographs and edits? I would love to hear some constructive criticism!

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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


Date G – Mini Golf

For date G I took Ash to mini golf, but not just any mini golf, this was dinosaur mini golf! 

What I Wore

I went summery with a pretty green, sparkly dress, sandals and a light shirt.

Dinosaur in a Jazzy Pose

The Date

We started by walking through Richmond Park, one of my favourite places in the whole of London, before catching a bus to the Golf. I’ve missed our walks and it was just really nice to just be together strolling along and talking about nonsense.

We saw a lot of bunnies which we’re out enjoying the sunshine, but we didn’t see any deer for once. They must have been at the other side of the park.

Relaxing in Richmond Park

Eventually we had to drag ourselves away and actually go golfing. The place itself took a while for us to find the way to and involved quite a bit of walking.

The actual golf was great! The decorations we’re brilliant with dinosaurs towering above you, a bright blue river running throughout the whole course and some great dinosaur facts to read whilst you played.

One of my many misses.

We we’re both terrible at playing, especially myself who seems to have a problem with aim, the problem being I don’t even try to.

Throughout the course they were playing the most terrible cheesy music, such as the YMCA. I was kind of disappointed by the music as I think it detracted from the feel of the course, although I guess kids coming to play might have enjoyed it. I would have much preferred some Jurassic park-esq music, the kind of music that would make you feel epic as you played.

 

Final Thoughts

I think it was a great date personally, we both laughed at each others terrible skills, the theme of the golf course made it all so much more exciting and, even though the music was terrible and a little annoying, we got to laugh at the tunes being played. All together i think it was a great place to take a date, wether it’s the first or you’ve been together for a long time.


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!


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?


Last Chance to Enter!

you only have 7 hours left to enter my giveaway for this fab tote bag!

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the competition will close at midnight tonight so hurry! There’s already been lots of great entries!

you can enter on my Facebook or on this blog post !

good luck!


Special Beads for a Special Event.

Today I will be going to the UK Etsy meet up in London and decided I needed to make some special jewellery to wear for the occasion. I haven’t kept many of my handmade items for myself as I feel guilty when looking at the mounds of jewellery i already own.

But for christmas I was given some beads from my mum’s boyfriend that I was under strict instructions to use for myself, as I really should start wearing my own things. I mean if i’m not going to wear it why would anyone else?

Plus I feel this kind event really does need me to advertise my wares so i really needed to knuckle down and make some items.

The only problem was, i’ve been lacking inspiration for a long time and had no idea what to make. So, i decided to rummage through my jewellery box and came across an old necklace that i hadn’t worn for ages. This necklace sparked some ideas in my mind and I suddenly went on a productive streak managing to make 3 necklaces and 3 pairs of earrings in the space of a few hours!

Pink and Pearl Heart Necklace

Cute pink and cheerful, bit more girly than i’m used to, but I like it any way. It has a string of pearls broken up by pink and gold coloured beads and a large gold heart pendant.

Flower Dangle Earrings

Again cute and girly. These special flower beads seemed to suit the pearls beautifully to create a cute pair of earrings perfect for spring.

Fishy Necklace

This necklace has actually been made to sell. A string of pearls separated by a cute fish bead. A fun and quirky necklace for those who like the unusual.

Blue Chain Earrings

An eye catching pair of earrings made to to make a statement.

 I also made a pair of earrings for my sister’s birthday as the present i really made her was a big fail. I made them to match a dress she already owns. Unfortunately I do not have a picture of them for you. Maybe another time.

In other news, our flat now has pets!

Shrimp!

They are completely self reliant in their own little ecosystem, they require no feeding, cleaning or any other pet related chores. The perfect animal for forgetful me!