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.

Friday Round Up

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

Friday Round Up

 

  1. Ridiculously tasty pie from the wonderful Pietanic.
  2. Salmon Tagliatelle. Nom.
  3. Insane Chocolate Muffin thing.

Makes a change from all the cocktails I’ve been sharing lately, huh? Instead, here are lots of food pictures. That pie, though. Oh, so delicious. Pietanic are pie geniuses. If you’re Brum based, you need to track them down.

Amongst all the food,  this week has been insane busy. I started the week convinced it was Tuesday (good start), and I’ve been all out of sync and confused ever since. Hopefully an early night and the weekend can put me right again. Although M and I have got a friend’s wedding to go to on Saturday, so probably not.

This week’s links:
20 actions to look like a pro blogger.
Zoolander and Hansel upstage Valentino show.
Books by women to read before you’re 30.
Life lessons from Bridget Jones.
10 literary heroines who inspire us.

Girl Crush: Jack Monroe

Jack Monroe

 

Jack Monroe is a blogger, food writer and a political campaigner. Her blog, A Girl Called Jack, began when Jack started to document the extreme budget recipes she was creating to feed and her son. At the time, Jack was living in poverty, struggling to pay the bills, never mind find money for food.

The blog was an enormous success, and since then, Jack has gone on to write two best-selling recipe books and a regular Guardian column. She is an active campaigner on poverty, calling out politicians lack of response to British families living below the line. And her blog? It is still a regular place to find super cheap, tasty recipes.

I found Jack a couple of years ago, through her blog. Spending more than I could really afford on a tiny flat in Bath, budget recipes kept me alive that year. Most of them were Jack’s. Her Bacon and Brie Risotto is still one of my fall-back recipes when I don’t know what to cook. I now own both her books, and they are an immensely refreshing change, nestled beside my more extravagant River Cottage and Nigella books. Jack’s recipes do not call for fancy ingredients, challenging ingredients, or hours at the stove. I can open her book, or her blog, and find a cheap, simple, tasty recipe I can have on the table in half an hour. Perfect.

Her voice is an important, and unfortunately, rare one. Thanks to Jack, hunger in the UK has been a topic of discussion in Parliament, and she continues to call for a closer look at poverty, hunger and food bank use in Britian, and the reasons behind it.

This is not a girl crush based in admiration of pretty outfits, or a flash career. It is based in respect, and the genuine impact this woman has had on my kitchen. Go and read her blog. Buy her books. And enjoy the delicious cheaps.

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and lomograms from the past week. It’s the Friday round up!

Friday Round Up

  1. Getting my craft on with Hillarys Blinds.
  2. Singapore Sling at Chung Ying Central.
  3. Rose Garden at Brown’s.
  4. Nothing like a nice pot of tea – especially in Hendrick’s Gin crockery.

All change this week! My lovely boss moved on to a new job this week, so work has been been mad busy, a bit sad, and a bit exciting all at once. I’ll miss her heaps, but I’m excited at the change in my role that her leaving has brought about. The next few months could be interesting. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. Work has been busy with events and new ad campaigns, interspersed with the usual evenings with M at Mockingbird. Last night, we ended up finding theme tunes and odd episodes of kids telly we all remember. Turns out 80s kids telly had much better theme tunes than the TV I remember. Round The Twist may be the most memorable though. I apologise if you now have that in your head for the next week. I know I will.

More adventures are lined up for this week, with a house-warming party, an interview on blogging and ethics for someone’s dissertation (cool, huh?) and I’m sure more slightly odd evenings at the Mockingbird.

This week’s links:
Independent Birmingham takes on Mockingbird.
The Joy Project.

Hillarys Crafternoon

Hillary's Crafternoon

Hillarys Blinds are taking the new collection of fabrics out on the road, rounding up bloggers around the country to create some crafty delights with their new range. With The Crafty Hen on board to teach us, a crowd of Birmingham bloggers and I descended on the Custard Factory to get our craft on.

The event was organised by my favourites, Joe Blogs, who can always be relied upon to put together a great fun event. Greeted with a cuppa, I settled down and was soon busily gossiping with the other girls there.

Our first challenge was making a reusable fabric cover for notebooks. I selected some pretty fabric from the new range (which is all beautiful, by the way), and got to work. With craft experts on hand to guide us, and very helpful cheat sheets, this task was actually surprisingly simple. After a good raid on all the polka dot buttons I could find, my notebook actually looked pretty! The craft was simple, and probably a great one to try if you’re trying to get little ones into crafting. Confidence began to grow around the room. This was easy! We were craft experts. 

Oh, what fools we were. Next up – a bird. Sounds simple, right? Easy pattern with two pieces. Choose and cut out your fabric, sew the two pieces together, stuff with fluffy stuff – job done. No. I cannot sew by hand. At least, not neatly. The pattern part was fun. The stuffing was fine, but my God, my sewing. My bird needed a fair bit of emergency restitching to keep his insides, well, inside. I showed him to a friend, who thought he was a dolphin. Most of us failed at making actual bird-looking birds, instead creating mutants, fish-birds and sea-lions. Still, it was great fun, and we didn’t stop laughing. You don’t have to be good at craft to enjoy it, it turns out.

Here’s my notebook and bird-dolphin. Don’t laugh.

Crafting

I may not be about to join the Great British Sewing Bee, but I did have a whole heap of fun, and went home with a pretty notebook, and more inclination to actually make stuff. I clearly need the practice anyway…

But look at all these happy faces! Who cares if your bird looks like a sea-lion?

Joe's Bloggers You can read a little more about Hillarys grand tour on their blog. Thanks for a brilliant fun afternoon, Joe Blogs and Hillarys. Me and my bird-dolphin enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Shooting with Cat Marie Intimate Portraits

I have been absolutely dying to share these pictures with you, but thanks to a mix-up with Mr Postman, I’ve only just got my mitts on them myself.

Birmingham makeover photoshoot

A few weeks ago, I went for a photoshoot with Cat Marie Intimate Portraits. Cat is a Birmingham based portrait photographer with a difference. Her goal is to bring out the true beauty inside women, and make them feel amazing.

She starts with a wardrobe consultation, which usually takes place over Skype. Of course, my laptop decided to implode, but Cat was immensely flexible, and ended up getting me to send pictures of what I was thinking of wearing, and we had a phonecall to follow up. She talked through my choices, advising on shape and colour she thought we would work. We also talked a lot about jewellery – most of my jewellery belonged to my Gran, and it was important to me to wear something of hers, rather than being swapped out into anything big and blingy. Technical issues aside, we pulled together a few different outfits, and Cat gave me lots of clear instruction on what I needed to bring and do on the day. I decided that I didn’t want to make any real decisions on hair and make-up. Cat’s the expert, after all, and half the fun of a makeover is seeing what someone else comes up with.

Birmingham Portrait Photography

 

I arrived the shoot, make-up free, and dressed down in jeans. Cat’s make-up artist soon got to work and had me in heated rollers, while the three of us chatted about the shoot to come. Cat and her make-up artist, Gemma, are both super lovely people, and we were soon gossiping away like old friends. Gemma was especially helpful, talking me through what she was doing and giving me some insider tips on keeping curls on my super flat hair! If that woman can get curl into my hair, she can do anything with anybody’s, frankly. When I do my own make-up, I’m usually a cat-eye liner and a red lippy kind of girl. Gemma went for a very different look than I usually do, with a pretty, pink lip (until the red frock came out, anyway), a subtle smokey eye and quite heavy blush. I loved it. The eye make-up especially was incredible. I’ve never worn false lashes before in my life, but the volume they brought was amazing. The colours Gemma used really pulled the different shades out of my eyes, showing the green in them, rather than just brown. I’ve decided I’d like Gemma to do my make-up everyday. Gemma finished off with big, bouncy curls, which excited me greatly. I love curly hair on others, but can’t keep so much as a wave in mine. Good work, Gemma!

Birmingham Portrait Photography

Now, with the cosplay, I am getting more used to being photographed, but often still find it immensely awkward, and I never quite know what to do with myself. Not so with Cat. Every pose was carefully explained, right down to the position of my hands, and how to smile. For someone who isn’t that comfortable in front of the camera, it was incredibly helpful. The whole atmosphere was good old fashioned, girls together, fun. I didn’t stop laughing the whole time. Cat put me completely at ease, and I felt confident that she was getting the best possible pictures out of me. Being relaxed when you’re being photographed makes all the difference, and Cat clearly knows what she’s doing. Honestly, I’d have walked out of there a happy girl, end pictures or not. I felt fantastic.

And the pictures? Well, see for yourself. I love them. I am so, so delighted with them and cannot stop showing them off to people. I look like me, I think, in that I am recognisable, without the standard photoshopping out my freckles that I usually get from photographers I work with. But I look like the very best possible me. I didn’t know I could look like that. Naturally, the photos are now in pride of place in my living room (and my mum’s…).

Cat Marie reveal wall

 

Every aspect of Cat’s service is carefully thought out, from wardrobe consultation through to the final ‘reveal’ wall, where she lays out a selection of your pictures for you to choose from. I picked three, which were packed beautifully for me in tissue paper and ribbon. The digital copies were posted out to me a few days later, in a pretty presentation box, again wrapped with ribbon. Those little touches take this experience to the next level. I cannot recommend Cat enough. If you’d like to find out more about Cat, or book her yourself, you can find her website here.

This is not a sponsored post, however I did receive a voucher through my work for a makeover, photoshoot and £100 to spend on pictures. All other costs were covered by myself. All opinions are my own and honest – I really do love Cat that much. You can read more about my disclaimer policy here

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and lomograms. It’s the Friday round up!

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  1. What’s that? Oh, just me, casually being on a flyer for a photography studio. No biggie.
  2. Rose Lemonade. Yes.
  3. Also yes to this halloumi burger. All the yes.

This might have been the longest week of all time. I’ve been convinced it’s Friday since at least Wednesday. It’s been mad busy, but really productive, and I’m super excited to go into next week with all new jobby things underway. Sunday was another day of super geekery with some friends and a selection of remote control cars/boats/micro-drones. There’s plenty of good eating again, with a giant Sunday lunch, and a very tasty lunch with the office girls at a vegetarian cafe today. Om nom. I’ll be carrying the fun on tonight with dinner and drinks for my bosses leaving do. Stand by for pictures of Dim Sum.

This week’s links:
The best street style from day one of London Fashion Week.
Marc Jacobs turns the volume up.
What is blog success?

London Fashion Week Highlights – Day Three

My picks from day three’s collections at London Fashion Week.

Amanda Wakeley

Amanda Wakeley

Aspinal of London x Etre Cecile

Aspinal of London x Etre Cecile

Claire Barrow

Claire Barrow

Pringle of Scotland

Pringle of Scotland

Belstaff

Belstaff

David Koma

David Koma

Issa

Issa

Jonathan Saunders

Jonathan Saunders

Magaret Howell

Magaret Howell

Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou

Matthew Williamson

Matthew Williamson

palmer//harding

palmer//harding

Paul Smith

Paul Smith

Phoebe English

Phoebe English

Preen

Preen

Sophia Webster

Sophia Webster

Temperley London

Temperley London

Toga

Toga

Topshop Unique

Topshop Unique

Vivienne Westwood Red Label

Vivienne Westwood Red Label

Coats! So many coats! This Fashion Week coverage is making me crave some new outerwear. In entirely the wrong season to be able to buy it…so pretty though. I would also like one of everything from Sophie Webster. Obsessed.

Topshop Unique is looking good again, with some expensive looking cuts and great fabrics. I’m excited to see what trickles into the stores from this collection. Day three is my favourite day so far, I think, with some fantastic pieces being shown.

What’s stood out for you so far?

This entry was posted in Fashion.

London Fashion Week Highlights – Day Two

Here’s my picks from day two London Fashion Week.

1205

1205

Danielle Romaril

Danielle Romaril

Emilia Wickstead

Emilia Wickstead

Fasutine Steinmetz

Fasutine Steinmetz

Gareth Pugh

Gareth Pugh

Holly Fulton

Holly Fulton

Lucas Nascimento

Lucas Nascimento

Julien MacDonald

Julien MacDonald

Jasper Conran

Jasper Conran

J.W Anderson

J.W Anderson

House of Holland

House of Holland

Markus Lupfer

Markus Lupfer

Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl

Orla Kiely

Orla Kiely

Sibling

Sibling

Simone Rocha

Simone Rocha

Day two still had a lot of monochrome looks around, but we did start to see the colour and the pattern come in. As usual, I’m especially loving House of Holland. I love the retro vibe, the colours, the pattern use…yes please, one of everything. Orla Kiely is always popular with the blog crowd, and I can’t see that changing with this collection. It’s well-cut, simple shapes and very on brand. Nice work.

This entry was posted in Fashion.