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Tuesday 29 September 2015

The Handmade Fair 2015

From the 18th- 20th September at Hampton Court Palace, there was a rather wonderful craft fair held called The Handmade Fair.

The remarkable craft fair was put together by Kirstie Allsopp and her team of experts; bringing buying, learning and making all together for craft lovers alike.

It was my first time at the fair and I was fortunate enough to blog the event and actually meet and interview Kirstie!! Excited doesn’t even cut how I felt about this but that’s for another post- watch this space. All I will say is she was even lovelier than I imagined and it was so nice to sit and talk to her.

I went along on both Friday and Saturday to experience the fair, doing workshops and watching demonstrations with my lovely mummy on the Saturday.  The fair had a festival feel to it with its large tents, live music playing and balloons and bunting strung up at every available spot. Kirstie was there to open the fair and welcome in the first crafters of the day, which was really exciting to see!

On Saturday Mum and I started off by looking around the shopping villages. They were huge! Separated into two tents, there was the East village and West village crammed full of fantastic vendors such as Deathby Tea, Reloved Magazine, Victorious Bee, Sloane,Betty & Dodge, Flossy Teacake  and many more with their products displayed beautifully. The tents were a visual feast of prettiness and there was such a variety of things to buy from craft supplies for all your making needs, to ready-made handmade gifts- making perfect presents.  We came away with bags upon bags of goodies, excited to take on new projects when we got home.

The workshops were great for learning a new skill or to perfect an existing one you know and love. From paper craft to fashion, upcycling to yarning there was something for everyone. We did two workshops on the Saturday, the first being finger knitting and the second was upcycling a photo frame using decoupage.  Both the classes were such fun, chatting to fellow crafters at our table and getting really stuck in with what we were doing, so much so that I was covered in glue when doing the decoupage! Finger knitting was surprisingly simple once you got the hang of it and also very quick, making a bracelet in a matter of minutes. We were actually meant to be sewing with wire but there was an issue with the materials which was a shame but finger knitting was a great alternative. Decoupage was run by Reloved Magazine and using old copies of the magazine, we upcycled old photo frames. The different textures from the bits of paper gave a really nice dimension to the frame and looked really effective as well as being fun to make. Everyone loves a bit of gluing and sticking!

In between shopping and making, we found some fabulous food stalls selling grub that literally made your mouth water. There were lots of picnic benches set up, with everyone budging up to let people sit down. You could happily chat to fellow crafters who were eating, going through their goodies and even crafting in their own little groups. It was such a great atmosphere to be a part of. There was also a rather wonderful collection of cocktail bars… We were rather drawn to the Deco Bar with its airstream prosecco on tap, 20s music, comfy chairs and photo booth! As you can see Mum and I got a bit carried away with the photo boot …Ahem…

In the Super Theatre, we watched Kirstie with her expert and close friend Sof McVeigh give a live demonstration on how to create home-made beauty treats. I didn’t realise how simple it could be to create products in your own kitchen, using some ingredients that you’d have in your kitchen cupboards or growing in your garden. I can’t wait to have a go myself, knowing that what I make isn’t full of unwanted chemicals and also makes for great gifts.

As I said earlier, I was fortunate enough to be blogging the event, being one of the official supporters of the fair this year which meant I had access to the press tent. Here they had the wonderful wedding and lifestyle blogger Louise from B.Lovedblog teaching fellow bloggers to take instragram-worthy shots of pretty things, using the hashtag #InstaPrettyParty . The press tent was styled with all the pretty things from upcycled sofas, a rustic table with props and a huge floral wall with 3d flowers on. It was sooooo pretty! We were given free rein of all the props and Louise showed us some great styling tips to make super pretty Instagram posts. We were also given tips on editing apps, lighting and rules of thirds to give us optimum images. It was really worth going along to her class and I picked up lots of tips and ideas for styling photographs for both Instagram and my blog too! I bumped into a couple of bloggers at the fair such as Victoria from Random Nerdery and strongly urged them to go check out the tutorial!

Here's some of the #instaprettyparty photos I took.

All in all, The Handmade Fair was truly fantastic. For me it was also a wonderful way to spend time with my mum as we’re both avid crafters and both share such an enthusiasm for it. I didn’t realise just how many people were into crafts until I visited the fair and it was so nice to see the age range of people in attendance.

I also vlogged the fair so if you want to see more, click the video below:

If you’re gutted that you missed this years fair, don’t fret as there’s a Christmas fair in November. Once again sponsored by Hobbycraft and Mollie Makes, The Handmade Christmas Fair will be held at Manchester Central as an indoor event. Kirstie commented “This unique event will see craft lovers of all age and ability, join together to share, buy and make. I’m thrilled that we have the chance to bring The Handmade Christmas Fair to Manchester, especially as it is one of my favourite times of year!” So if you’re wanting to get into the festive and crafty spirit, check out The Handmade Christmas Fair for tickets and I’ll see you there!

Sunday 27 September 2015

Date for your diary: The Dubai Future Champions event- 9th & 10th October

 On the 9th and 10th October it’s The Dubai Future Champions event at Newmarket Racecourses. With world-class racing to watch and being one of Europe’s finest autumn racing festivals, this event is set to be super exciting!

Having been to Ascot in June I thought my Ladies day dresses were done with for another year but the Friday of the event is Ladies day- yippee! I’m really excited to be attending on this day and can’t wait to get dressed up again.

As well as racing, there’ll be a competition for the best dressed on the day with up to £10,000 worth of prizes up for grabs from brands such as LK Bennett, Robinsons Mercedes Benz, Coast, The White Company and Hotel Chocolat plus many more. It’s free to enter and the judges are looking for a well-polished outfit with maximum effect that is of course appropriate for a day at the races (no pressure ladies!) I already have an outfit in mind and will be dusting off some killer heels to wear too.  TIP: Jane Taylor is on the judging panel for the competition, being a renowned milliner so an emphasis on hats is very important. It doesn’t need to be the biggest or loudest headpiece but it should complement your outfit beautifully. As well as judging the competition, Jane will be showcasing a fabulous capsule collection which I can’t wait to see. For more information on the competition, click here.

In addition to the racing and fashion, there will be entertainment and live bands and music such as an opera singer and a harpist. The entertainment doesn’t stop there either!  Apr├Ęs Racing will be throwing an official after party with Swagger performing on Friday and a special guest on Saturday to be announced. I can’t wait to watch Swagger, having heard how good they are from lots of close friends. When it comes to food and drink there are plenty of places to go. From walk-in restaurants to pre-booked dining and bars, there is something for everyone.

For any students out there you’ll be pleased to know that you can go to this event for FREE! Just ensure you have a valid NUS card and you’re good to go. The 10th October is pretty much exclusive for students with the first floor bars and Millennium grandstand being dedicated to students. You can get up to 15% off selected drinks with valid student I.D shown. Oh to be a student again, I’m so jealous! To book your free tickets click here.

The Dubai Future Champions Festival really is an event that shouldn’t be missed, making a fantastic day out for friends and family.  I’m looking forward to the last of the sunshine in my races outfit and enjoying some of the best British racing there is to offer.

Will you be going?

Friday 25 September 2015

#BloggersFestival 2015

#bloggersfestival 2015

#bloggersfestival 2015

Whenever I hear the words Scarlett London and event I instantly get excited. On the 5th September 2015 Scarlett put on yet another fantastic event called #BloggersFestival in the heart of London at the Conrad London St. James.

#bloggersfestival 2015

#bloggersfestival 2015

I went along with fellow #cambmeetup bloggers Pippa, Lauren and Emma and met the lovely Marisa on our way there. When we arrived the event was a hub of activity, with Bucks fizz being served and lots of treats to nibble on. I was blown away at the amount of brands packed into the room and their gorgeous visual displays showcasing their products.

#bloggersfestival 2015

#bloggersfestival 2015

From bloggers to brands, everyone was so friendly and excited which made for a fantastic atmosphere. I had a good long chat with the girls from Mode media (I may have chewed their ears off a bit- sorry!) and got lots of helpful tips and information on blogging.

#bloggersfestival 2015

#bloggersfestival 2015

#bloggersfestival 2015

#bloggersfestival 2015

I was particularly taken with Jewellery Box’s enchanting display of gorgeous jewellery, set off with twinkling fairy lights and rustic boxes. It was absolutely stunning and I love the rustic packaging too! The team were very friendly and happy to tell me more about their products. Their aim is to bridge the gap between fine jewellery and fashion jewellery, making it affordable and accessible to everyone. I can definitely see me picking up some gorgeous pieces for myself as well as presents for Christmas.

#bloggersfestival 2015

#bloggersfestival 2015

Another beautiful display came from Nanshy. Their cruelty free make-up brushes were insanely soft and beautifully presented. These high quality yet value for money brushes give you the precision application you need whilst being very user friendly. I've since looked at the prices for their brushes online and they really are reasonable! Everyone should treat themselves to these beauties and I’ll be sure to do a review in the future.  

I soon found myself indulging in the Bee Good beauty products where they were offering hand massages. Heaven! Bee Good have successfully  harnessed the skincare benefits of honey and brought out a premium range of beautiful products that make us look and smell great whilst looking after our British bees. What’s not to love?

#bloggersfestival 2015

Another exciting brand to attend the festival were Bare Minerals. I’ve heard lots about this brand in the past and all good things but had yet to try it out for myself. With an oily complexion I’m always rather dubious about what I use on my skin but after speaking with the advisors, I was introduced to the Matte SPF 15 Foundation. It was incredibly lightweight on the skin and helps to control excess shine and absorb the oils from your skin. I also loved their lipsticks, I mean how gorgeous are these colours!?

Other fantastic brands were present too. Bon Prix who I’d met previously at Scarlett’s SL Bloggers bash earlier in the year (read about that here) were there with lots of goodies to giveaway and a fun mannequin to dress up in your favourite outfit. There was also Lego, Toad Diaries, Small man media plus more all ready to chat to you and give you exciting info.

#bloggersfestival 2015

As well as chatting to the brands it was lovely to catch up with my blogging pals and make new ones in between the various competitions, selfies and product testing.

#bloggersfestival 2015

#bloggersfestival 2015

All in all it was a fantastic event, one which I came away buzzing from. Scarlett yet again threw a fantastic event and I cannot wait for next years! I also want to say a huge THANK YOU to Lix Hewett for allowing me to use her images in this blog post. She really captured the event beautifully so make sure you click her link to see more images from the day along with her other design and photography work.

I also did a little vlog of the day if you'd like to see more of the event. Click below:

Have you been to the Bloggers Festival?

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