Archive for October, 2013

PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE MONTH: NICOLA THOMPSON

Friday, October 25th, 2013

THIS CHARMING PHOTOGRAPHER:

Thompson 1

Directors, musicians and artists that can change or enhance your mood have a special talent and a certain magic. There are endless films to view at the cinema and on TV, but probably not many that you could say really stirred your emotions. Although still images only have an instant to make an impression, there are some fantastic paintings and photographs that communicate with your imagination straight away. There are artists and photographers that obviously have more skill than others and I think originality automatically falls into the laps of the more highly gifted people. My feeling is that Nicola is one of these lucky people with a natural gift.

Thompson 2

I recently stumbled across a fantastic photo on the internet that seemed to not only have a vintage feel to it but also to capture the spirit of Manchester. I instantly thought that this was an original artist using the medium of photography to express their vision.

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Being a DJ I am constantly listening to new songs and every now and again there will be a certain musical style or sound that reminds me of me of another band or artist. It was quite funny that when I started to look through Nicola’s images, I began to think of The Smiths. I realised that it was the originality and flamboyancy of some of the photos that reminded me so much of the Manchester band and especially Morrisey.

If you take a quick look at the photos on Nicola’s home page you will hopefully see what I mean.

Any one of these photos could quite easily have been used as a 7” single cover for The Smiths.

http://nicolathompsonphotography.co.uk/

I can hear the guitar intro to “This Charming Man” playing now as I look at her original artwork and there is also a certain nostalgic feel with the butcher shop ribbons  and Victorian tiled walls.

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“The last of the English Roses“ is an obvious thought created by this beautiful photo.

I feel Nicola really is an artist and I would be quite interested to know if she has ever tried her hand at painting as her use of colour and light is exceptional.

I will be choosing a new photographer each month to review on my blog, but for now Nicola definitely wins my Photographer of the Month award.

Thompson 5

Please note I do not write articles about other suppliers as a form of business. I only write about people if I genuinely like their work.

 

Organising the perfect Christmas party in Cheshire

Friday, October 18th, 2013

When organising the perfect Christmas party it is important to plan ahead for the big event. Many venues get booked up early so if you have one in mind make sure you get in there and book in plenty of time to avoid disappointment. If you are also looking to book a live band or DJ make sure you book them early as all the good shows & DJs  start getting booked from September and sometimes a lot earlier.

So if you have been put in charge of organising the Christmas party here are some things you may want to consider:

  • Have a budget in mind – First on the list when organising your Christmas event is to keep your budget in mind so you can make more informed decisions.
  • Create a guest list ASAP – Keep in mind how many guests will be attending. This will help with making important decisions such as the venue – no point in looking at venues that won’t be able to cater to enough people.
  • Consider the type of event you are planning – Is it a sit down meal you’re after? Or just somewhere casual to have a few drinks with your friends, family or colleagues? Or may a disco or some entertainment? Ask around the guests you plan to invite first, it’s important to try and cater for as many people as you can e.g. if there are lots of guests that will be driving maybe it’s best to go for a sit down meal.

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  •  Choose your venue – Many venues are booked up early on in the Christmas party season so the key is to choose your venue early and book as soon as you have a rough idea of how many guests will be attending.
  • Set a date – Once you’ve decided on your venue set a date based on the availability of the venue. Again, the sooner you set the date the better.
  • Theme? – After working hard all year round the Christmas party is the one day in the working calendar you can let your hair down! So why not have add a theme to your event? Ideas can include decorating your venue to fit in e.g. winter wonderland, Hawaiian Luau etc. It might also be fun to include a dress code to your theme. If considering a dress code make sure you inform your guests in plenty of time to give everyone enough time to organise their costume or outfit

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  • Food & Drink – Again budget is key here as well a rough idea of how many guests will be attending. It’s worth deciding early on whether you want a sit down meal or something less formal. Maybe an open bar with a few nibbles on the tables?
  • Invites – A good time to start thinking of invites is around October/November time. This way you will have a good idea of how many guests to expect. Be sure to include all details e.g. time, date and venue address, menu, dress code etc.
  • Music One of the most important things to consider when planning the party of the year is your choice of music. Getting a great DJ can make your event really hop, and provide a great amount of Christmas Cheer. Get it right with Floorfillas who can provide you with all the music and atmosphere you need.

If it’s a big event you’re planning,  you may want to consider a few special extras. Floorfillas provide these special extras such as VIP Red carpet entrance to the venue, Projected videos with Christmas messages, ambient lighting, and your own special messages to your guests projected onto the walls of the venue.

There are some great venues in the Cheshire area for you to choose from, here are just a few:

Here’s a little something to help get you into the festive mood:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYPjI9PPv7Y

 

The brown, sweet sugary substance that tickles our taste buds

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Melted-Chocolate

 

The History of Chocolate

Xocolatl, Chocolat or as we call it in the UK, chocolate, was first brought to the European regions by Cortex where is was made more palatable for the European’s to enjoy.  It was mixed with ground roasted cocoa beans along with sugar and vanilla, a mixture that is still commonly practiced today.  The sweetening of the chocolate removed the bitterness that was much enjoyed by the Aztec’s.

But it wasn’t until 1520 that it arrived in England with the first Chocolate House of England being opened in London in the year 1657.  Due to its instant popularity lots of others followed suit shortly after.  This is when the trend for coffee houses started which were originally used as clubs where the wealthy would meet to enjoy a pipe, socialise and discuss business over a cup of hot chocolate.

240fd8aaa550abca03876d1110cb8fffSo when did we get to recognise the brands of today such as Cadbury’s and Fry?  It is certain that the families of Fry, Rowntree and Cadbury’s began establishing a chocolate brand that was unique to them quite early on.  In fact Joseph Fry of Fry and Sons was founded in 1728 in the city of Bristol were the first company to sell the world’s first chocolate bar.  They may have almost disappeared as Fry’s have been taken over by Cadbury’s and Rowntree merged with Swiss company, Nestle to form the largest chocolate maker in the world.  And the rest as we say is chocolate history……

Chocolate TV Adverts

Just like many other countries, chocolate is a symbol of romance.  But this sweet, sugary brown substance can also be pretty funny as we see in some of the best chocolate ads to hit our TV’s.

We take a trip down memory lane as these adverts will either melt your heart or tickle you on the funny bone.  You decide!

  1. 1.    Cadbury’s Milk Chocolate – Gorilla drumming Phil Collins

Firstly, not quite sure what this advert has to do with chocolate but it certainly random yet unforgettable.  The advert zooms in on a gorilla playing Phil Collins “In the Air Tonight”.  However it is only at the end of the advert that we get to realise it is the gorilla playing the drums.  Such a fantastic advert.

  1. 2.    Cadbury’s Milk Tray

“All because the lady loves Milk Tray”!  Do we need to say more?  Inspired on a James Bond look-alike as he throws himself into the sea on an apparent suicide mission.

Chocolate Wedding Favors

chocolate-making-workshop-with-25101244If you are organizing a wedding in Cheshire or a wedding in Manchester over the next 12 months why don’t you consider adding a small and tasty touch of class with a selection of made chocolates for your guests.

If we were to have a debate on what makes the best wedding favors there would be lots of suggestions including candles, personalised glassware, and candle holders to name a few.  These may all be popular choices but unfortunately these so called “knick knacks” will end up on the shelf of guest’s homes gathering dust in the hope they will be picked up and cleaned.

A wedding favour should be memorable and is sinfully delicious.  Yes, you’ve got it right, chocolate.  These are most definitely a crowd-pleaser for all guests.  It is a proven fact that the UK has a love affair with this delicious sweet with the average person enjoying high quality chocolates at any time.  The chocolate wedding favor certainly has no rival close to beating it.  Think handmade chocolates.

images1There are some high quality chocolatiers that can provide you and your guest’s wonderful handmade chocolate favors in a variety of styles.  There is something for the coffee enthusiast, a heart chocolate for the romantic; in fact there is a chocolate that meets everyone’s tastes.

Because handmade chocolates are unique to you, you can theme your chocolate favors.  So that cherry chocolate truffles will make your mouth water while you are looking at the bride holding blood red flowers.

So where can you get your hands on these beautifully crafted handmade chocolate?  We have compiled a short list below of our favourites:

An excellent alternative to chocolate is beautifully hand piped biscuits that come in a range of traditional flavours but more importantly because they are made fresh for your wedding you can personalise these to make incredible gifts for your guests.  With cookies starting from only £3.95 these wedding favors would make your guests go wow as they open the little box.  Contact Peggy Porshen Cakes for more information.

butterflies

If you would like high class entertainment to match your high class chocolates make sure you check out the Floorfillas website first.