This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “valentines day

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


An Unconventional Valentines – Etsy Treasury

I haven’t done one of these in AGES and I felt it was finally time to get back in the habit of making treasuries. It’s really enjoyable and gives a chance to look at all the weird and wonderful things Etsy sellers have to offer!

I decided to go for a valentines theme, as it is nearly that time of year again, but wanted to give it an unusual twist. Here are a collection of items that are either unusual in themselves or not very conventionally valentines. For all the items you can find them on Etsy by just clicking the image!

Hope you enjoy!

1) Heart Little Breath Pair

I don’t think I need to explain why these are included, they are very unsual. They remind me of something you might find in a Studio Ghibli film, maybe that’s why I like them. They certainly have a charm to them and would be a cute edition to a bookcase or sideboard.

2) Watercolour Love Red Umbrella

This one is included as I feel it has a very sombre feel to it, something not usually associated with valentines day. However I do think that this is a very beautiful print, I especially love the streams of red coming off the umbrella, gives a good sense of the downpour this couple could be caught in.

3) The Heart

This simple, but expressive piece would make a great statement piece in your home, or even a great card (if the seller were to sell cards).  I love the messy approach and think this is a very cool piece.

4) Circuit Board Cufflinks

These cool cufflinks would be great for any computer geek (just like my boyfriend!) or even just someone who likes gadgets (so most guys then). The whole shop is full of these awesome geeky items and is a personal favourite of mine.

5) Personalised Champers Kit

Drinking champagne might be something done quite often on Valentines day, but making your own isn’t! In all honesty i’d probably enjoy the making more than the drinking! It would definitely be a cute thing to do with your loved one, and even if it isn’t ready for the day itself it would give you a good excuse to have another romantic night in.

6) Anatomical Heart in a Jar

This hand blown glass item is the perfect gift for someone who hates the unrealistic heart usually associated with love and valentines. Not only does the bottle look gorgeous but the heart is captivatingly intricate. Definitely a cool piece to display in your home.

7) Valentines Bear

Teddy bears are a very common valentines day gift but they usually hold roses and hearts and other things that make me want to vomit (i’m not the most girly of girls when it comes to these things). This bear is a whole lot cooler, and cuter! Plus it could be the perfect gift for both men and women!

8) Love Letter Cookies

Love letters are very popular for all those lovey-dovey couples out there, but if you want something a little bit different why not make those letters edible! We all know girls love sweet things, and what better than to cover those sweet things with a poem that will probably make her cry! You’d be the best boyfriend ever, until they’re all eaten up at least.

9) ClockWork Heart Tie

This unusual tie is pretty cool and would be a great gift for the man in your life, especially if he likes unusual ties.

10) Little Sculpture holding Heart

This cute sculpture is part of a ‘star series’. These cute and quirky items are really fun to look at and would make a great, inexpensive gift for someone special.

11) Valentines Bike

I found some similar bike sculptures (although not heart themed and probably not by the same person) when I went to amsterdam and bought one each for my mum and her boyfriend. They are super cool and a great gift for any bike maniac.

12) Egg Valentines Card

Bored of the standard valentines greetings card? Well this shop makes ‘cards’ out of real chicken eggs! Your personalised message is put inside your chosen egg and you have to crack the egg open to read it which almost seems a shame as they’re so cute!

13) Longitude and Latitude bracelet

I love the rustic look of this bracelet and it can be personalised to have your own co-ordinates on! Maybe you could have it set to the place you both first met, your home, where you were proposed to, anywhere of real significance to the relationship.

14) Wooden Card

Another unusual card option. These look beautifully made and can double up as the actual gift as they can be kept on display with the mini easel the shop also sells. Just lovely!

15) Heart Shaped Chalkboard Stickers

Ok, bit of a strange choice I know, but i think these stickers could be really cute for creating your own valentines gift. Stick them on jars and fill with love heart sweets, or make a valentines day picnic labelled with them, there are so many possibilities! I think they would be great for a personal touch to your gift and look pretty cool, plus you can always wipe off your message and use them again.

16) Heart Nose Ring

Nothing says ‘Valentines Day’ quite like jewellery, but lets start steering away from the expensive diamond rings, they are far too special for a day where you’re practically forced to be romantic. Instead get something cute like this adorable little nose stud, i kinda wish I had my nose pierced just so I could buy this.

What unconventional things are you planning for this valentines? Or what sort of unusual things have you done in the past? I’d love to hear your stories!


A Late Valentines

I wish I could say that this was the outfit I wore for my Valentines date, but unfortunately not.

Any lookbookers? Click the picture to see my ‘Valentines’ look.

I didn’t get to spend valentines with my boyfriend as I was working a 10 1/2 hour shift! Luckily I’m not a big fan of Valentines day, personally I see as just a day for all the rubbish boyfriends to buy cheap tat to try and prove their failing love. If I want a guy to romance me I don’t want him to do it because he was told to!

Still, I decided to buy us the 2 for £20 meal deal from Marks and Spencers for when I got home, Ash had been wanting to eat steak for a while and it was such a good deal I couldn’t resist!

Luckily I went in early, things like this always sell out. When I passed the M&S later on there was a massive queue of cars coming out of the entrance. I definitely made the right move to go early!

Unfortunately the Wetherspoons I work in also had a Valentines deal on. I knew it would be busy but I didn’t actually realise how busy we would be.

It was absolute mayhem all night. Luckily we had one extra staff member as a girl didn’t realise her shift had been changed and turned up. She regretted it soon enough.

To put this all in perspective for you, a £300 hour is super busy for us, as in the bar will be full (sometimes 2 or 3 people deep) and we’ll be so rushed off our feet we don’t have time to wash any glasses, tidy up the bar or floor, or generally do anything other than serve.

We managed a £340 hour JUST ON FOOD. It was horrible. We ran out of the Steaks, a curry, cheesecake and all but our red wine from the deal around 7pm. This left 3 hours of serving (including a booking for 18 people) with a very limited menu. The managers did everything they could to help the irate customers, (although most were still in good spirits) and we did somehow manage to keep serving until 10.

Matters weren’t helped when customers kept moving seats and not telling us where so that we didn’t know where the meals were going. Near the end of the night a gentleman came and told us he was moving tables, we about nearly hugged the guy right then and there! He was definitely the favourite customer of the evening, I kinda wish we could have given him free dessert or coffee or something! (But that’s out of my control)

I was so knackered when I home that I actually found it hard to eat this delicious menu that Ash cooked in time for my arrival. Some how I managed it though and it really was superb!

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For starters I know Ash loves his salmon, so I managed to find these strange salmon things in the offer. Apparently they were a pea, spinach and wasabi mousse topped with Creme Fraiche and smoked salmon pieces. I was a bit dubious about them, mainly because I had no idea what they could taste like, but oh wow we’re they good. Extremely fishy and creamy. Absolutely delicious! Unfortunately I was struggling in my tired state and gave my last couple of mouthfuls to Ash.

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For the mains we had steak, I think the starter had woken me up a bit my this point (first thing I’d eaten for quite a while) and so was able to manage this course. Ash has been complaining for so long about having steak so it had to be done! I got these Rump Steaks with Peppercorn Sauce and a side of Gastropub Chunky Chips. First off, the chips were fantastically chunky. Light and fluffy on the inside, crunchy on the outside! Perfect! The steaks were also delicious! Ash cooked them to perfection! They were so tender and moist, it’s actually making my mouth water thinking about them!

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Unfortunately I did learn that I dislike Peppercorn sauce. It’s just far too peppery! I”m not a big fan of pepper anyway (I know, what did I expect?!), but this was just horrible! I ended up scraping it off my meat so that I could taste it! It is a very overpowering sauce. However I don’t believe that was anything to do with M&S, I doubt I’d like any kind of peppercorn sauce!

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For pudding I bought us these Milk Chocolate and Praline Pyramids. Chocolate mousse with a blob of praline cream in the middle, sat on a praline wafer base and topped with some Dark chocolate.

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We didn’t actually eat these until the day after, but they were so yummy (although a little sickly)! It was delicious! Wonderfully smooth and chocolately, just what I needed!

I still haven’t even drunk my wine (I chose Petit Chablis as it was the most expensive wine that wasn’t a red) or eaten the little heart shape chocolates that came with the deal as well! I look forward to those.

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Straight after our meal I fell asleep. I was so tired there was no keeping me up.

We decided that we hadn’t really seen much of each other and so yesterday decided to go on a nice little date together. We had a lovely meal at a local Harvester and spent some quality couple time together. It really was very nice.

I wore my new cape, Ash’s favourite dress to see me in and even did my nails all valentinesy!

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Today I have another 12 hours of work, tomorrow I have an even longer shift! At least I have my pretty nails to keep me happy…

This really is getting too tiring, I just want to sew!!

Hopefully I will be able to update again soon!

Until next time!

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Long Distance Love

I haven’t had any time to myself lately as my shifts at work have been rediculous again. I finally have two days off and so will be spending them having some very much needed ‘Me’ time, as well as spending some time with my neglected boyfriend. This coupled with valentines being just around the corner made me remember the times we were at opposite ends of the country and so I decided to create a treasury on Etsy with a long distance valentines theme.

You can find the treasury here

I know what you’re thinking, some of these items don’t really seem to fit the theme but I promise I have reason for choosing them all.

1) Portraiture Offer by Katy Jade Dobson Art

This is actually a close friend of mine so sure I may be a little biased, but I honestly believe she is insanely talented. She has just brought out this amazing portraiture offer as well which I believe would be a perfect gift, whether it’s for yourself so you can remember what your other half looks like, or for the other in the relationship so they can fawn over your image or be reminded of how beautiful they are. What ever you choose, it is an amazing deal and would be a really touching and unusual gift.

2) Personalised Love Birds by Diana Park House

I think these are adorably cute! I just love the idea of having one each and having each others bird at your house. Sure they’re meant to be cake toppers, but they would also look adorable on a fireplace or window sill.

3) Personalised Countries Love Card by Deep Down Happy

I don’t think I really need to explain this one as it is the perfect card for couples who don’t even live in the same country! I think it’s also a good idea for couples who may live together but originally be from separate countries. I’m actually tempted to get one for Ash as he’s originally from South Africa!

4) Heart Strings Luggage Tag or Key Chain by Mesa Dreams

Again the same idea as the card above, but in tag form! Perfect for the avid traveller or if you visit each other often, or even just as a keyring. Plus the text suggestions for it are really cute and leather smells so good! (I could clearly never be vegan)

5) You’re Worth Every Mile Between Us card by Woodland Ink

Again this needs little explaination. It’s simply cute and cutely simple.

6) Miniature Love Letter by Little Letter UK

If you were thinking of sending a love letter but wanted to do something a little different then this little love letter is just squeel inducing. You have to read it with a magnifying glass (which is even included!) meaning that the recipient will really concentrate on what has been written. You can’t just read something as unusual as this quickly. Knowing me I would re-read it several times a day.

7) Rustic Valentines Day Card by Fluffy Duck

For those who just want to send a nice pretty card to their loved ones. I think this one is really cute and I especially like the little button and the placement of ‘I love you’.

8) Be My Penguin by Teacup Piranha

Obviously I have to include a penguin, and not just because of my shop name. Not only do penguins mate for life but female emperor penguins leave for months at a time whilst the males look after the eggs. When they return from their long drawn out fishing trip the females are able to locate the sound of their partners calls in colonies of thousands! They really are the true Emperors of  long distance relationships.

I want this poster so much. I think i need it in my future Penguin Theory office.

9) Valentines Gift Wrap by Happy Wrap

If you’re thinking of sending your partner a present then you will need to wrap it up all prittily. This wrapping is just gorgeous and comes with its own cute little tag, plus it’s re-usable (as long as you get it back…)!

10) Rustic Valentines Decorations by Damson Tree Pottery

If you have already got your wrapping paper then why not use these little decorations to finish off the parcel. Your other half can then use it to decorate their house so it can be a reminder of their far away love. I think it could also look adorable wrapped around a bouquet of flowers.

11) Love Heart Crayons by Colour Me Fun

Is your other half not contacting you nearly as much as you would like? Maybe give them a little hint this valentines by sending these adorable crayons. Just imagine how fun it would be writing a letter with these! I mean we never really grow up do we?!

12) Tiny Valentines Love Mouse by Quernus Crafts

If these don’t make you Squee I don’t know what will, and they should be small enough to send long distances quite easily. Plus, if you get two you could keep one each, just like with the little love birds.

13) Long Distance Cushion by Kate Sprosten Design

With this cushion your loved one can relax in comfort whilst thinking of you. It boasts a cute embroidered map and would be a nice reminder of the other half many miles away.

14) ‘My heart Belongs To’ necklace and keychain set by Stampressions

I think this is a great gift, not too girly for the guy and not too manly for the girl (if you have a problem with that kind of thing). Plus it can be a constant reminder of the other half to give you that warm, fuzzy feeling when ever you take out your keys/touch your necklace. They also used the a good name for their sample picture 😉

15) Latitude Longitude Cuff Bracelet by River Valley Jewellery 

What better way to remind your other half of your where abouts than with the exact co-ordinates! They will never lose you again! Plus it looks pretty neat!

16) Tiny Heart Couple Rings by Anilani 

Aren’t these just the cutest little rings. I just love the idea of having couple rings, my boyfriend probably would never wear it though so there’s no point us getting them (I guess I’ll just have to wait until we get married, if that ever happens).  I would actually wear both these rings myself though as I think they’re both just lovely.

I hope you liked these items and I hope you have a lovely valentines whether you’re spending it with a loved one or free and single. I will be working but I don’t really mind myself as i’m not much of a fan of Valentines and much prefer to do things on our anniversary in all honesty but that’s another post.

‘Till next time!