Birmingham Comics Festival

Better late than never right? Yes, Birmingham Comics Festival was about a million years ago, but it was awesome, so I’m going to bombard you with photos from it. It was the first year of the event, so still some hiccups to be ironed out, but generally, we were all really impressed and will absolutely be back next year. Prepare for epic scrolling!

X-Men Cosplay

Gambit – Aces ‘N Armor Cosplay. Emma Frost and Phoenix – NuRevelations Cosplay. Cyclops – SeventySix Cosplay

Here’s our little gang. We’ve got Gambit (from my favourite, Aces ‘N Armor Cosplay), Rogue, Sabre Tooth (Ben, who does not have a cosplay page, and should), Cyclops (SeventySix Cosplay), Emma Frost and dark Phoenix (two thirds of NuRevelations Cosplay). We packed all six of us into my flat for the weekend. It was chaos, in the best possible way. Bits of costume everywhere, much hilarity trying to get Ben’s own rather large hair into a wig cap, and late night arrivals after prop delays. It was awesome.

Rogue and Gambit cosplay

Photo by I Am Birmingham

Comics Festival was my second time teaming up with David for our Rogue and Gambit duo, and it was just as awesome as last time. We’re busy plotting more conventions to take Rogue and Gambit out to play, so definitely keep your eyes peeled for more team ups from us. The guy is a freaking delight to work with.

We recruited ourselves a Magneto (Thadious) and managed to get in a quick shoot with Robert Parker.

X-Men Cosplay X-Men Cosplay X-Men Cosplay X-Men Cosplay

We’re all a touch wind-swept here (thank God for David’s patience of a saint. He spent all day unhooking the white extensions from my lipstick for me. Me doing it in the gloves just made them static and stick more!) but I love the photos Rob took of us. This is just a taster – the whole album can be seen on my Facebook page. I’ve shot with Rob before, and he does great work. We were all immensely pleased with the outcome.

As fun as shooting with the pros is, I always find that some of my favourite pictures from conventions are the impromptu ones.

X-Men and Gotham cosplay

Riddler – Gotham E Nigma Cosplay

This looks like a standard posed shot, right? I’m actually being a slowcoach here, and still moving between poses. But the removal of the glove and the face? So pleased with how it looks. I need to take my time shifting poses more often…

X-Men Cosplay

Photo by Steve Bosworth

This is one of my favourite pictures of our group. Even X-Men need to kick back and eat Skittles sometimes. Note the many cans of energy drink. Being a superhero is hard work.

I can’t wait to team up with these lovelies again. We’ll be back out en masse (minus Cyclops, but with the last third of NuRevelations out as Scarlet Witch, and hopefully a Wolverine!) for MCM in May. I might be a bit excited.

Last off, I have to share my favourite picture from the day. There was no way David and I were going home without attempting to recreate a favourite comic cover. How do you think we did?

Gambit and Rogue cosplay

 

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week. It’s the Friday Round Up!

Friday Round Up

 

  1. Arkham secured access for Ivy
  2. Classic look for work with a Breton stripe and black skinnies
  3. This beer was called Cwtch. It’s the only reason I bought it. It was actually pretty tasty though.
  4. Brunch!
  5. I love blossom season
  6. Workwear again, in a new skirt. With POCKETS!

Happy Friday! It’s the first day of May, which means it’s officially my birthday month, and I am EXCITED. May is already shaping up to be a fantastic month. Tonight, we’re off for a beverage or two and some tasty eats at Digbeth First Fridays, and then we’ve got a three day weekend. I intend to spend Saturday sleeping. The rest of the month is planned out with visits from the parentals, birthday shenanigans, a trip home (and my favourite ex-flatmate back from Canada, can’t wait for that!) and of course, MCM. I can’t cope with the excitement. It’s going to be a good month, guys.

M and I have both been having bonkers weeks at work, so we’ve largely spent our time complaining about how tired we are. We did finish watching Daredevil though, and with the last three episodes have been firmly converted from ‘hmm, it’s good, but we don’t get the rave reviews’, to ‘ohmygod, DAREDEVIL!” so, if you haven’t watched it yet, get on Netflix and do so. And stick with it! We also went to see Avengers on Sunday, and while heartbroken we didn’t get to see the Star Wars trailer in 3D after hearing how incredible the 3D trailer is, we were both suitably impressed by the film. Good fun superhero film. Oh, speaking of Star Wars…that trailer. I have no words. Expect maybe strangled noises of squealing, especially when my future husband Han Solo appeared. I love that man. He knows.

This weeks links:
London Fashion Week finds a new home.
50 must try dishes in Birmingham.
How to be awesome at Instagram.
Where’s Black Widow?

Song I’ve been listening to on repeat:

Friday Round Up: Double Edition

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last (two) weeks. It’s the Friday Round Up, and this one’s a double edition!

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  1. Gorgeous sunshine while out for a run.
  2. Polka dot rocking at work
  3. Onto stripes
  4. Workwear
  5. God damn it, Dave, where’s the joke?
  6. Throwback Thursday to Poison Ivy’s first outing
  7. Dinosaur. Only in Digbeth!
  8. It’s true, I totally am Batman.
  9. X-Girl selfie fail, but our faces make me laugh so much I had to share
  10. Two Rogues? Good day for Gambit!
  11. Gambit brought me my very own Queen of Hearts Rogue card. Happy girl.
  12. X-Men
  13. Recreating a favourite cover with my Gambit.
  14. Cathedral in the sun. Pretty!

So, I broke my blog. But we’re back, and I’m excited! The last fortnight has been, frankly, amazing. What hi-jinks have I been up to? Well, last weekend, five of my favourite X-Men gathered at KissHQ for Birmingham Comic Festival. I’ll post up some proper photos in the week, but in short, we had a fantastic time. Great convention, great cosplay and a generally great time having lovely people to stay all weekend. We’ll be teaming up again in May for MCM in London, and Aces ‘N’ Armor and I have another collaboration up our sleeve. Watch this space!

I’ve been loving the warmer weather this week, although, as usual, my office is mostly fridge like. We’ve been a little giddy this week at Custard, with Spring cleaning, new bunting and fake lilies aplenty. Hooray!

This week’s links:
26 signs you’re turning into your parents.
Why the women of Game of Thrones steal the show.
19 must-try brunches in Birmingham.
30 things we miss about University.
What it takes to dress like a superhero.
5 habits to change your life.

Song I’ve had on repeat this week:

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week.

Friday Round Up

 

  1. Fallen Angel Bakery in Harborne
  2. Creme Egg Cupcake
  3. Awesome back bar at The Plough in Harborne
  4. Outfit of the day, Wonder Woman style
  5. New dress!
  6. Bank Holiday relaxing in the park
  7. Meetings at the REP
  8. Street art awesomeness
  9. Road-testing Mac’s Ruby Woo
  10. Invite to The Botanist‘s launch
  11. Chili and Lime cheesecake
  12. Gin o’clock!
  13. Loving the lights at The Botanist
  14. The Botanist signature cocktail

What a week! As you might know if you read my last post, my bank holiday was pretty chaotic. M and I spent Saturday exploring Harborne, which neither of us had properly visited before. It’s a really nice little area of Birmingham, and we’ll definitely be making more trips over there in the future, as it’s only five minutes from us. Good pubs, good shops and good coffee shops. What more do you need? Let’s gloss over the six hours we spent in A&E afterwards…

Last night, M and I went along to the VIP launch of The Botanist, which has just opened in Birmingham. I was planning on blogging about the launch, but it was so full, I didn’t manage to take many photos! M and I are both keen to go back and try the food though, so I’ll give you a full report when we’ve done that. The launch last night was crazy busy, but I was still impressed. The decor of The Botanist is like some trippy garden shed, and I’m looking forward to seeing what quirky details I can spot with a few less bodies crammed round the bar. The cocktail menu is extensive, and reasonably priced, considering the quality. They’re not the cheapest cocktail in town, with prices ranging between £6.95 and £9.95, but you get what you pay for. The list is very much themed around the idea of botany, with a lot of fresh fruits, herbs and even veg being used, and you’re encouraged to challenge the bar staff by ordering off menu. We tried The Botanist itself, which was beautiful, and the What’s Up Doc, which came with a carrot in it. The staff were great too, friendly and attentive, despite the sheer number of people in there. We’ll be back to give it a proper road test for sure.

This week’s links:
In Birmingham and not using Uber yet? Then you’re daft. Sign up and use the code georginae36 and get your first ride free.
Google will now penalise sites that aren’t mobile friendly. Make sure yours is.
Why Birmingham?
5 tips for blogging through the Summer slump.

Song I’ve been playing on repeat:

 

Bank Holiday Chaos

Easter Bank Holiday

 

Aren’t bank holidays supposed to be relaxing? The four day weekend for Easter ended up being something of a mixed bag of awesomeness and awfulness, and was generally pretty crazy, here at KissHQ.

We started on Thursday night with some leaving drinks for my colleague. M and I were terribly domestic, and after a few drinks, headed home early to do rock and roll things like hang up washing and watch Netflix. Friday was more of the same, lazy days, catching up on blogs and some video game time. I managed to stir far enough to go for a run, which I’m now branding superhero training, after my phone selected the X-Men theme tune for me halfway through my run. Now there’s motivation!

Saturday? Well…we started well, with a trip into Harborne for a bit of a wander. We stopped first at the Fallen Angel Bakery, which I’d not visited before, but had heard great things about. Inside, it is so cute, in pastel colours and a staggering array of cake. We ordered coffees and I selected that sexy little Creme Egg cupcake, with M going for a Peanut Butter Slice. I now need to go back to try all the rest of the cake on offer.

Suitably full of sugar, on we went for a mooch in some of the shops. I soon found the polka dot number above, in a charity shop for a whole £8. Naturally, it was coming home with me. We also checked out a couple of pubs, which was rather nice for a spot of afternoon drinking. The evening was spent watching Nine Dart Finish, and being highly amused by our mate, the guitarist, having actual groupies. Funny stuff.

This was where it went wrong. 3am, M woke up in absolute agony with his back, for no apparent reason. When he started throwing up, we called the NHS helpline, who told us to head to A&E, as it sounded like a kidney stone. Four nurses, one doctor, blood tests, x-rays, and SIX hours in A&E later…it wasn’t a kidney stone. We’re still none the wiser, but were sent home with painkillers, and, touch wood, he seems to be doing much better.

Both exhausted after that trauma, we spent Monday lounging about in the sun in the park, and then a couple of beer gardens. Much more like it…

I think I need another bank holiday after that one, just to recover. Where’s my bed?

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week. It’s the Friday round up!
Friday Round Up

 

  1. X-Men goodies!
  2. Food by me, apparently.
  3. Ideal Home Show time.
  4. Beware the dragon.
  5. Cosplay improvements under way.
  6. Research. Obviously.

Lot of comics this week, as well as a lot more more cosplay planning. I won’t lie, that makes me insanely happy. It’s been a little more chilled this week, but I still managed to fit in a trip up to London and a leaving party for one of my colleagues. I’m not sure how to feel about the fact that feels like a quiet week for me at the moment.

I am immensely excited at the prospect of a four day weekend to do nothing in though, before the craziness starts again. Between cosplay and social life plans, I’m in a few busy weeks again. These two bank holidays are definitely going to be spent doing as little as possible.

This week’s links:
Tips to make blogging and working easier.
What friendship is like in your 20s.
Gamers confess the worst things they did in The Sims.
When your punctuation says it all.

Song I’ve been playing on repeat:

Ideal Home Show

Hillarys Blinds invited me to cover the Ideal Home Show in London. My entry ticket was bought by Hillarys but all opinions are entirely honest and my own.

Ideal Homes Show 2015

The show was held at the Olympia, which isn’t a venue I’ve ever been to before. It is absolutely enormous, and rather beautiful, with a stunning ceiling and galleries all the way round. Purely on an event coverage note, can I just say how lovely it is to work in a venue with natural light? No trying to take photos that look decent in that horrid orange light that convention halls always seem to have!

Hillarys Blinds

I made a quick visit to Hillarys, and recognised a lot of the new fabric range we got to test out at their Crafternoon event. I still think the patterns are gorgeous.

The show was enormous, with sections for Interiors, Home Improvements, Gardens, Technology, Fashion & Beauty, Food and Houseware, Shopping and Show Homes. The Interiors had a great mix of stuff, with everything from classic oak furniture through to retro diner furniture. Unsurprisingly, I made a beeline for the Smeg fridges to gaze at their prettiness. I am obsessed with Smeg kitchen goods. So pretty, so 50s, so perfect. The Garden section was great too, with a section of show gardens from the Young Gardener of the Year Competition. Six gardens can be seen, and you vote for your pick to win the People’s Choice Award. All the gardens were beautiful, and the smell as you walked through was gorgeous. I was particularly taken with a garden which used a fish tank as the base of a bench!

Ideal Show Homes

The Fashion & Beauty section, I was less taken with. A lot of the stalls were very similar to each other and rather suffered from a pet hate of mine: pushy sales people. A lot of the clothing and accessories looked cheap, and not all that different from what you might see in those cheapy clothes shops or own market stalls. However, I did find some very pretty (and incredibly reasonably priced) scarves to buy, and more than enough gorgeous shoes and jewellery to drool over. The Food & Housewares section was up next, which had the standard array of gadgets you’d expect, and a whole lot of delicious food. We sampled a beautiful red wine, and spent quite a while debating what to choose for lunch. Left to my own devices, I could have happily spent most of the day in the Food area, nibbling on sweets, olives and breads.

Ideal Homes Show

The queues for the the various Show Homes were ridiculous all day, so I gave those a miss, but I did have a good explore of the various show rooms set up by the Ideal Homes magazine. I particularly liked the bedroom set up, as the colours were so warm, and pretty. I wasn’t convinced by the way the walls had been half painted in an almost sunset effect, but the soft tones were perfect for a restful, cosy sleeping space.

If you were renovating your home, or conducting some major decoration, you could easily spend an absolute fortune on beautiful things at the Ideal Home Show, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much there was to buy that was affordable. There was plenty of inspiration to, from simple uses of colour through to bigger ideas on how to future proof your home.

The day was fantastic, and I came away full of ideas I can use in KissHQ. Big thanks to Hillarys for sending me!     

 

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and instagrams from the last week. It’s the Friday round up!

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  1. View from the roof, watching the eclipse.
  2. Working ain’t so bad when you get to do it somewhere where it looks like this.
  3. Mmm, Katsu!
  4. Costume test for Rogue
  5. Kicking back, X-Men style
  6. Shoe heaven at Selfridges
  7. View from the top of Birmingham Library
  8. Ooh, selfie
  9. Throwback Thursday – days of cheerleading

What. A. Week. Last minutes plans are sometimes the best. After deciding on Wednesday that I really wanted to hit MCM Birmingham, Friday night was spent devouring Wagamamma treats and panic buying yellow shoes, before a full costume test. Rogue’d up and ready, I had the best day at MCM Birmingham, which you can read about here. Post-con, along with Marty McFly, Gambit and Resident Evil’s Wesker, I joined some friends for a night of pool playing, beers and bad singing to rock music. Pretty perfect evening if you ask me.

The rest of the week has shot by in something of a blur of networking, convention planning and silliness at work. Is it time for that four day weekend yet?

This week’s links:
I’m With Geek: Daily Star – Don’t Cosplay With Me.
How to never run out of blog post ideas.
Dark Lord Funk.
Cosplay Music Video from MCM Birmingham.

MCM Birmingham March 2015: X-Men

Rogue & Gambit Cosplay

 

On Saturday, I slipped into the yellow and green Lycra for MCM Birmingham, and the debut of my new cosplay, X-Men’s Rogue. Like most 90s kids, I loved the animated series of X-Men, and Rogue has long been on the list of characters I wanted to be. She was always just damn cool. But what’s Rogue without her partner in crime and love interest, Gambit? Lucky  for me, the fantastic David, of Aces ‘N’ Armor Cosplay was on hand to bring the fun. We rounded up our good friend, Joker extraordinaire and cosplay photographer, Markosi Gonzarelli, to get some shots of our team effort cosplay. X-Men Cosplay

I’m pretty attached to Ivy, so I was worried that I wouldn’t feel that connection that I do when I go green, especially as Rogue isn’t quite finished. There’s some detail work left to be done, but I needn’t have worried. I ended up having ridiculous amounts of fun, really enjoyed getting to work with my Gambit, and I couldn’t be happier with these shots.

Rogue cosplay

 

This was my second time at MCM Birmingham, and once again, I really enjoyed it. The stalls were pretty similar to what I’d expect at the regional conventions now, and the crowd level was about right for me. Lots of people so it felt busy, but so busy you can’t walk anywhere. There didn’t seem to be quite as much cosplay around as in November, but what there was, was so awesome it didn’t matter. Chewbacca, a BatMinion, Beast…all that makes for one happy Rogue.

MCM Birmingham

 

For a first outing, Rogue was really successful, with a lot of people stopping us for shots, and more than one person convinced that Gambit and I were a genuine couple. We’ll be teaming up again in April for Birmingham Comics Festival, with a bigger team of X-Men. I can’t wait. In the mean-time, I’ll be shopping for Rogue improvements. It’s a hard life…

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and INSTAGRAMS from the last week.

Instagram

  1. G&T
  2. Birmingham Cathedral
  3. Audrey Coffee Art
  4. #selfie
  5. Kir Royale, baby
  6. M and I scrub up alright, I think.
  7. Street art at work
  8. Icecream, anyone?
  9. Digbeth graffiti

Yes, you did read that. It ruins the alliteration, but I’m finally on Instagram. No more Lomograms here! If you’d like to follow me over there, you can find me @caramellattekiss. I’m obsessed already. Obsessed!  It’s definitely great encouragement to pay more attention to what’s around me. I’m so busy looking for Instagrammable things, I find a lot more bits of pretty in my day. And reasons to take photos of my lunch.

This week’s been busy, as usual. On Saturday, M and I went to a friend’s wedding reception, and spent a happy evening tearing up the dancefloor. That theme continued, with an impromptu dance-fest in Mockingbird on Wednesday, followed by heading out to find more dancefloors in the city. The three hours sleep before work were totally worth it.

Links of the week:
ASA calls for clearer guidelines for bloggers.
Getting the most out of your DSLR.