Thursday, 31 March 2016

Kassandra Lauren Gordon - Handmade Jewellery

I met this woman at the recent Bridal show I attended, more information can be found about this event here. Her name is Kassandra and she has her own range of handmade jewellery. Her company is called Kassandra Lauren Gordon, a beautiful name with a stunning collection of necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings.
Born in Stoke-on-Trent (for those who don't know, I am also from Stoke-on-Trent, so we definitely had a good chinwag about that coincidence!), Kassandra has travelled many places but came to settle in London five years ago. Her collection is inspired by space and many of her pieces are named after inspirational female scientists. Her love of jewellery making really shines through as she tells me more about the process of making her pieces and what inspired her to make jewellery to begin with. She started her business after spotting jewellery people were wearing, out and about. She could pinpoint exactly where they got it from and she wanted something that her customers could wear that was unique.
You can tell that a lot of love and care have gone into each and every piece of jewellery and the jewellery itself is full of character and personality. Kassandra herself, is a performance poet which is probably the reasoning for her creative flair and her passion for jewellery making. I also love how her Jamaican roots are made prominent with the 'ackee' in her logo, the Jamaican national fruit. I think this just sums up Kassandra as an individual, she holds dear where she comes from, where she's been and where she's going. As someone who doesn't often wear jewellery, it will be nice to tell people about Kassandra's jewellery and it's story, especially as she gave me a ring to keep!
Her latest collection titled 'Fly Me To Jupiter' satiates the desire of professional women for handmade precious pieces with character that can be worn seamlessly in professional and casual contexts. From looking at all her jewellery on display at the event, she certainly makes pieces that would suit any occasion. The gemstones and metal she uses are elegant, simplistic and expertly cut. All her jewellery is also hallmarked so you can be guaranteed it's excellence and high quality, whatever you choose to purchase. Her prices vary but are very reasonable, currently on her website ranging from £96-£1,279. Baring in mind that these are all handmade by Kassandra and only herself, you can appreciate the reasonable prices for such exquisite, thoughtful and loving pieces.
You can find where she stocks her jewllery here and be sure to check out her website here. Hopefully soon, she told me she'd be setting up a stand at the Roman Road Market which is titled as the heart of the East End (London).

I wish her all the best and I'll be sure to check her out at this market in the near future!

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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Lucky Sixpence Bridal Show

This week it's all about fashion on UpYourVlog. I had a very busy Easter weekend which involved me dressing up as a bunny and keeping children entertained. However less about that! On Easter Sunday, I was invited along to Lucky Sixpence Bridal's latest bridal show in The Hive. Located in Haggerston, the Hive an urban and slightly distressed building, was transformed into the event's theme of a Dark Carnival. The bridal show involved the collaboration of several different companies, all of which could be relatable to weddings (even including exotic animals).
Two of which, Kassandra Lauren Gordon and House of Spring I'll be dedicating two separate blog posts to. Make sure you look out for these over the next couple of days! I arrived at the show a little early because it was chucking it down with rain (typical of British weather). However, I was warmly welcomed and within 5 minutes I had my first taste of Gin Fizz by Wild Drinks. Now I'm a big lover of all things Gin and this was definitely a different taste. It was a combination of Elderflower, Perry and a dash of gin that created a much smoother and less harsh taste than most gin based drinks. 
We were served a light afternoon tea (which was the gin) and a selection of small bites provided by Feast Food. I didn't get to try any of the desserts as I was busy mingling and taking photos but the savoury snacks were delicious and went down a treat. I was invited upstairs to take some behind the scenes photos of the models in their weddings gowns. The styles were varied, with a mixture of classic and vintage garments.
Hats off to these girls who allowed a great big snake to crawl all over them. It was my first experience of ever seeing a snake in the flesh so it was a bit of a surreal moment. However, it didn't want to make me run away and hide like a spider would, so I guess I'm not that afraid of them! The snake was provided by Wild Fangs UK. They are an educational company, delivering educational and interactive encounters on the natural world using live animals. Pretty cool huh?!
The flowers were provided by Bloom Room and I managed to grab a bouquet which is now beautifully resting by my living room window. Bloom Room offers a lot, from corporate to celebrations and they even offer workshops on creating your own bouquet. These workshops tend to attract Hen parties which is a great alternative to going out and getting legless! The event was pretty intimate but I was joined by a few bloggers by the time I returned downstairs. We then had more of an opportunity to talk to the stands at the event, including many of the companies that were collaborating. The models then proceeded to do a mini catwalk throughout the room, taking the stage as the finale.
The whole event was well organised and it was great see such an alternative approach to bridal wear. A wedding is one of the most important events where as a bride, you can rock the best outfit you'll ever wear. Sixpence Bridal wear is all about expressing the bride's individuality, allowing them to choose their own style rather than choosing the generic modern style we see a lot in bridal stores. Make sure you check out their website here, dresses range from £250-£375 which is great for those on a tight budget.

Thank you again for inviting me and it was great meeting the bloggers too!

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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Living In A World Of Violence

Life is definitely a very strange concept. From the moment we're born, we're slowly aging (slowly dying) and how morbid is that? So surely we want to make every single day count right? We grow up as children seeing the world through rose tinted glasses. The bad guys only exist on your television screens, you're not old enough to know what death is and the only people that matter to you most are those who feed and wipe your bottom. And then suddenly, flash forward and you're an adult. You've now probably experienced death, you know that a lot of your childhood was a lie (Santa, The Tooth Fairy) and you have a lot more people in your life that matter to you.
I find myself on a daily basis now, scanning the news to see what's going on in our world. I hope for happy stories but most of the time? Well it's death, it's destruction and it's violence. It seems that in today's world, we live in such a hate fuelled place. The most worrying thing is that it's become normal. Whether it's Donald Trump, ISIS or the countless murders, stabbings, rape, child abuse, domestic abuse and theft that floods our television screens and what we hear and read, they're all a fault of our world that we live in. As a 23 year old woman, I walk down the street thinking about all this violence going on in our world. We now have Facebook acting as a check in point for those caught up in bombings to let us know that they're safe. Our every move is watched by CCTV, we're searched, patted down and processed. We watch each other more closely every time there's been a major terrorist attack and we're unaware of attacks that happen outside of Western countries. When I walk down the street, I feel a sense of danger. I feel a sense of danger for myself and for my friends and family. Living in London heightens this feeling and the one thought that often comes into my mind when I'm travelling on the underground or find myself in a heavily public occupied space is...where's my getaway route? The newspapers have told me that if I find myself in the middle of a terrorist attack, you don't hide, you just get out of there.
As a 23 year old, I'm scared of violence. It's everywhere you go and it only seems to be getting worse. Do I feel safe? No. Not at all. I find the blog is drifting mainly to terrorism, as it's something very much here today. I don't think violence solves a thing. If you hit someone, expect to get hit back. If you destroy someone's life, it has a ripple effect. You don't just hurt them but you hurt those around them and you don't know those people. You don't know what they're capable of. We're all the same yet most of the time, a decision is made by one or few individuals. That decision affects everyone and these terror attacks target everyday people, people with families and friends. They're attacked for going to work, for wanting to travel, for going out to watch their favourite band or football play or for simply going out for a meal.
This blog is so difficult to write because I don't know my reasons for writing this or where I'm going with it. I suppose what I'm really wanting to say is that I just want violence to stop. I want terrorism to end, I want to walk down the street and not be afraid of those around me. I want to wake up in the morning and check my social media to find that there's no more threats to our world. It's a want that's probably never going to be solved, it's probably never going to go away and one day we'll all be able to say we know someone who died at the hands of violence.
So I'll leave you with this,

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Monday, 28 March 2016

Alex Tweedie - Singer

Now I don't think I've actually written a post promoting someone's music before, so this is a new one for me.
Introducing Alex Tweedie, a lad from Alsager in Cheshire which is not too far away from my hometown of Stoke-on-Trent. I know Alex's partner from high school, so when Naomi got in touch to tell me about Alex's music, I was more than happy to give it a listen.

Alex Tweedie plays the guitar, ukulele AND mandolin (show off) and has been playing for around 12 years now. I can't even play the flute let alone master three instruments, so hats off to him. He actually began playing after watching Drake and Josh (god I love that show!), on Nickelodeon. He noticed that Drake pulled all his women on the show by playing the guitar, so Alex guessed he could do the same! Well if any guy serenades me with their voice or by playing an instrument, I'm theirs. To be honest, I think anyone who has a romantic bone in their body would love getting serenaded. 

Alex's voice is quite unique, it's a mixture of James Blunt, Jamie Cullum and I want to say Hozier? I think within the industry now and how competitive it is, you have to have a pretty unique voice to fit into a niche that's not been already taken. I think Alex's voice is definitely one that could stand on it's own!

His music video for 'Clear Intentions' was released in January 2015. He wrote the song after getting friend zoned a lot on nights out (and hey, who hasn't?!). A song that's totally relatable and indie shot, is sure to grab a lot of attention, especially now as YouTube is such a great platform for getting your name out there. It's one of the best forms of marketing yourself as an artist and it's made even more beneficial when you make your songs into music videos.

The song is available to download from ITunes or Spotify, so make sure you download it. Another song released in July 2015 called 'Social Screens', is a hypocritical view on social media. Alex told me,
'Obviously I think it's good for communicating and I use it all of the time, but I'm not sure whether it's getting all too much, especially with how much kids use it now rather than playing outside with their friends!'

Agreed! It's actually quite terrifying how much the younger generation know, when it comes to technology. Alex is hoping to gig a lot more over the coming months and I'm hoping to catch a gig if I'm around the area. He's also working on a new single called 'Pieces and Signs' and will be recording more in the studio over the next few months. I'm sure that with his perseverance and hard-work, he'll crack the tough industry. Remember the name people! Alex Tweedie.

Be sure to check out all his social media too:

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Friday, 25 March 2016

New Headshots

So it's that time of the year where I needed to get some new headshots.  The ones I got previously are still useable but I wanted some fresh ones to put up on my casting webpages and social media! Introducing the lovely Will Alder, a good friend of mine since university times. Since moving into, London, myself and Sam have managed to see him more often which has been lovely.

So after straight out asking Will if he'd do my headshots, we organised a time and date and spent a lovely morning out in Wimbledon Common! We took lots of photos along the way and even managed to make friends with a swan, who definitely had a problem with small dogs. Without further ado, I present to you some of the photos we took on that day. These are not the final pictures but it's a few to wet your appetite.

And now for some funny ones...

Happy Friyay! 

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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Tony Porter's Whatever Next?

I've never read an autobiography about someone who's had such a varied and exciting life. His name is Tony Porter and he's one of the founding members of British Fashion week, now famously known as London Fashion Week
Whatever Next? is full of memoirs from an individual who led a typical life of hardship and success, going from job to job until he had enough money to buy himself an island. (Standard life eh?!)

His work was mainly involved in Fashion and has since opened many doors to him, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Twiggy, Cilla Black and other stars of the sixties. In relation to London Fashion Week, Tony has watched the event grow and grow with the support of Zandra Rhodes, Jean Muir and others along the way.

"Mixing as I do, with so many ages and careers. I found that people could not believe how many things I had done," observes Tony Porter. "They laugh frequently at the way I told anecdotes, so I thought it was time to write them down, alongside an amazing collection of images."
And thank god he did because this is definitely a lifestory that needs to be told. Following medical problems early in his life, Tony certainly made up for it. He started his career selling paint for ICI, who then sent him to Nigeria, where he married his partner Beatrice and had three children. Eight years later, he left ICI and immersed himself into then, the swinging sixties in London. Selling high fashion in Kensington, for the renowned store Biba, this man was very lucky to have known the founder of Biba. After all, how could he not when that person is his sister-in-law?!

"Biba's fame grew and grew on an international basis, and brought famous stars of the sixties into the shop. Twiggy, a close friend of Barbara and her husband Fitz, was often around. During my time there, Marianne Faithful, Mia Farrow, Cilla Black and Yoko Ono all came in. On one occasion, word went round that Brigitte Bardot was in the shop, and I couldn't resist going in to goggle at my favourite star!"

After leaving Biba, Tony eventually started up his own fashion PR business in the West End of London and this is where Tony's career really took of. He earned himself enough money to buy a yacht, and in due course, Burgh Island which is off the south coast of Devon. Having restored it's Art Deco hotel, they sold the island and now Tony is concentrating on his new career as a writer.
If you're into fashion, then this is a must read. You'll also love this if you're stuck in a rut and need a little motivation! He's got heaps of it!

Purchase a copy of Whatever Next? on Amazon here.

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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

12 Signs That You're Turning Into An Adult

It's inevitable, I'm coming to an age now where I'm meant to be an adult and even though I refuse to grow up, unfortunately there's a few signs that are telling me otherwise.

1. You believe you've got all the parenting solutions for that annoying child kicking the back of your seat on the bus.
As a childless individual, I occasionally have to bite my tongue when I see children misbehaving or parents of young child completely unaware of what their child is doing. And I'm sure if I did say anything they'd say 'Are you a parent? No? Then you don't know anything!'. Whether it's kicking the back of your seat or running straight into you on the pavement with their death trap of a scooter, I cannot help but want to give the parent a bit of a mouthful. The other day, I kid you not, a mother was texting on her phone whilst unaware that her child, was slowly edging herself near to the train tracks! She caught her in time but some passersby were more than willing to scold the mother for not paying attention.

2.  You've called a grown adult a child.
Sorry Sam but you were the unfortunate subject in this case. I have a bit of an OCD when it comes to tidying up the wardrobe. Clothes need to be specifically placed because of the lack of space. Sam tends to grab something and then leaves it in a bit of a mess, so I'm always tidying it up after him. I definitely called him a child/teenager. Sorry Sam.

3. Travelling on your own is no longer daunting.
If anything, I actually prefer travelling alone but there was a time where travelling anywhere on my own was SCARY. I still had that nervousness when I moved to London but now I'm a pro on the underground (ish).

4. Your body starts to ache or your joints are more sore.

I never had this when I was younger but I guess it's one way of your body telling you, you're slowly getting old. For example, crossing my legs puts pressure on the top of my knees. I also click everywhere, like literally. Whenever I stand up from sitting down, every bone in my body cracks.

5. You find yourself wandering over to the homes and garden editions in the magazine aisle.
Gone were the days where you ogled over Zac Efron and his washboard abs. Now you're finding yourself perusing over the hottest dining chairs and tables, harvesting your own vegetables and thinking about retiring (even though you had another 50 years until you can do that).

6. Alcohol tends to have a love/hate relationship with you.

Remember a time when you could drink your own body in alcohol and not feel a thing in the morning? Well now all hell has broken loose on your head. Not only do you feel like crap but your head feels as though it's been battered by an elephant.

7. You hear yourself complaining and find you're turning into your parents.
I'm constantly cursing at the never-ending laundry basket, wondering how on earth we get through so much clothing. Then I realise my mum did this at a time when there wasn't just her and my dad, but me and my two younger brothers. That woman got skills.

8. You start going to bed early and you get UP early.

This is just plain wrong but I find myself going to bed earlier now every so often and then getting up early in the morning. No more university where you just lie in bed all day and then party at night! This is adult life now, time to make things happen...

9. You don't care if someone doesn't like you.
There's millions and millions of people in this world and there's going to be AT LEAST one person who hates your guts (even before you say hello). Let's just say, I don't let myself get walked over anymore!

10. You binge watch Netflix like a boss.
I've never been the type of person to constantly gorge out in front of my television screen but ever since the discovery of Netflix and working crappy jobs, I've become an avid binge watcher of many multiple seasons of many multiple shows...

11. Money definitely makes the world go round.
You never cared when you were a child. I mean, getting £10 was like winning the lottery. Think of all the sweets you could buy with £10?! Nowadays though, £10 doesn't stretch too far and money that goes into your purse/wallet, soon disappears out again.

12. And you finally understand the phrase 'don't wish away your childhood'.
Yep. It always comes to late for us! We want to be older when we're younger only to wish we are younger when we're older. Why didn't anyone tell us this before? Oh yeah, practically every adult ever gracing our presence has. 

Welcome to adulthood people. It's here to stay.

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