Albino Penguin Appreciation Day

Giant Albino Penguin, Felt-BasedOf all of the horrifying creatures that inhabit Lovecraft’s stories, the most ignored must surely be the Giant Albino Penguin. It always seems to be overshadowed by all of those Elder Things and Old Ones hogging the spotlight. This hardly seems fair. How would Shoggoths survive in the Antarctic without them?

Today we will feed our inner Shoggoth with a simple felt depiction of these nearly-forgotten birds.

Penguin PiecesYou’ll need craft felt in off-white, white, and pink – and embroidery cotton in white and red, along with a very small amount of fiberfill stuffing. Borrowing heavily from this tutorial, cut out two body pieces, two wings, and a body bottom from off-white felt; two eyes, a soft edible belly,  and two under wings from white felt; and the beak and feet from pink felt.

Sew the white belly onto the front off-white body piece, then the pink beak, and white eyes. (I attached the eyes with red satin stitches to make creepy unseeing pupils.) Sew the body front to the body back, and tack the pink feet to the bottom of the body front. Gently stuff with polyfill, then sew on the body bottom. The penguin should have a flat bottom and be able to stand at this point. Stitch the wings to the underwings, and attach to the sides of the penguin.

Voila! Shoggoth dinner is served!

As today’s craft assignment deals with a lesser creature, today’s alternate reading assignment is one of Lovecraft’s lesser stories – but, much like the way our penguin friends feed greater horrors, “From Beyond” is an exploration of themes that would become more prominent in later (and better) stories. Your brief writing assignment is to relate some aspect of today’s reading to another Lovecraft story.

Remember, final projects are due tomorrow…

Task: Make your own Giant Albino Penguin
Alternate reading: From Beyond
Alternate task: 200 words or less on a theme from today’s reading that carried into Lovecraft’s later work

About Headmistress

Sarah L. Crowder, current headmistress of Vacation Necronomicon School, was once a pupil at the prestigious Miskatonic Academy for Girls -- though she did not graduate, as the school closed under mysterious circumstances shortly before her studies were completed. She spent many years contemplating both the arcane arts and hidden dimensions of commonplace life, and now lends her talents to our little online haven for workaday scholars.
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7 Responses to Albino Penguin Appreciation Day

  1. Headmistress says:

    @Nina – I love it! I think Mr. Gorey would approve, actually…


  2. Pingback: Summer School: Assignment Nine « TENTACLII :: H.P. Lovecraft blog

  3. Borrowind says:

    I’m afraid I chickened out (penguined out?) and went for “From Beyond”. Here’s my abundant droppings…

  4. Headmistress says:

    @Borrowind – Oh, my. That’s quite a theory. Very droll.


  5. Kit says:

    Though the story “From Beyond” lacks Lovecraft’s later artistry, substituting obvious horror for the subtlety of his more polished work, it shows one of his thematic elements — the scientist who overreaches the limits of what man was meant to know, and goes mad because of it.

    In this case, however, the scientist is neither the protagonist or a bystander, but the villain of the piece. Though the threats to life and sanity he discovers in the larger universe are significant, Crawford Tillinghast is the true danger to the protagonist.

    Another difference is that of motive. Many of Lovecraft’s later heroes are led to madness and death by simple curiosity. But though his discoveries lead Tillinghast to madness, it is his ill-will toward and desire for vengeance against his former friend and colleague that leads him to his doom.

  6. Headmistress says:

    @Kit – True, vengeance is rarely a factor in Lovecraft. And yet I managed to include two vengeful stories this year (including “The Cats of Ulthar,” which was only in the preview)…perhaps I was feeling subconsciously wrathful? Oh, dear…


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