Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??

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A sunny weekend – bargain hunting, art & digging

I had a rather outdoorsy Saturday planned for this weekend and thankfully the weather has stayed pretty good here. To kick-start the weekend hubby and I set out alarms for normal weekday times and dragged ourselves out of bed to go to the local carboot sale. I love rummaging for a bargain but my husband is much quicker at glancing over the stalls than I am. So inevitably I get left behind while he whizzes off to find lovely treasures, then we meet up for a cup of tea and he shows me all the bargains he has bought – usually nothing I’d ever choose but he only ever spends pence rather than pounds so he can’t get it too wrong! Our haul this weekend included some small half-pint pewter tankards, which we’ve taken a shine to since seeing lots appearing on the hooks of our local pub, so maybe I’ll get to have one engraved and have my very own tankard in the pub – however, I’ve heard that cider doesn’t mix well with the pewter so perhaps I’d better stick to having my half in a glass for now rather than going over the ‘the dark side’ and drinking ale from now on!

A normal feature of any sunny weekend is us going in search of an ice cream and stopping off for a country walk around the marshes. We like spotting artworks during our weekend jaunts and here are some snaps of the Henry Moore sculpture, entitled Large Interior Form which is located on the lawn outside Snape Maltings Concert Hall.

henry moore art at snape maltings

I also enjoy looking at the crumbling old malt buildings and we took been taking photos of the area for a few years, documenting their development – it’s interesting to see which buildings have been renovated and saved and which are continuing to crumble away.

The plan for the rest of the weekend was to head home to get on with our gardening work. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before but now that summer is approaching (and we can get out into the garden without getting rained on!) we have turned our attention to the garden and have drawn up some plans to make it into a little haven by the summer holidays. I’ll share more about our plans on the blog soon, but in the meantime I’ll just tell you that we’ll be spending the rest of the weekend shovelling wood-chippings and digging over the borders! I’ll share some photos of our progress with you soon and I’d love to hear what you’re getting up to this weekend so please leave me a comment below :)

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Have you wiped your feet on the Comedy Carpet?

Have you stomped your mucky boots all over the carpet? Have you laughed as you scuffed your trainers over the floor? Did you wipe your feet? I am of course referring to Blackpool’s Comedy Carpet, a seafront installation by artist Gordon Young which forms part of the seaside town’s regeneration project and is now a must-see feature of the promenade.

I visited this artwork/landmark/feature a while back (as you can probably tell from the photos it was very cold on the seafront during the winter and I was well bundled up!) but I wanted to share the photos with you and let you know what a great addition to Blackpool’s promenade it is. The artwork’s blurb reads as follows “the Comedy Carpet is a celebration of comedy on an extraordinary scale. Referring to the work of more than 1,000 comedians and comedy writers, the carpet gives visual form to jokes, songs and catchphrases dating from the early days of variety to the present. Sited in front of Blackpool Tower, the 2,200m2 work of art contains over 160,000 granite letters embedded into concrete, pushing the boundaries of public art and typography to their limits.” And I have to say it is a pretty amazing sight to behold. My friends and I spent hours walking over the comedy carpet, reading all the jokes and calling each other over “Have you seen this Tommy Cooper one?” etc.

comedy carpet blackpool peter kay eddie izzard chuckle brothers

I took the above photos because they are all my favourites: I got kinda excited when I spotted the Eddie Izzard birds quote and my pal Kerry and I had fun recreating the Chuckle Brothers’ “to me… to you…” with our invisible ladder! I photographed “Next Muffin” not knowing what comedy it referred to, but simply because my cat is called Muffin, so if you know what the joke is please let me know. We all had a really great time looking around the comedy carpet, even though it was dark and very cold by the time we started walking it. I’d like to come back in the daylight so I am planning on incorporating it in my trip up north this summer. Apparently there’s even a map and guide book to the Comedy Carpet and I’m sure I missed out on seeing 100s of quotes what with all the running from one joke to the next, so I’m really looking forward to going back and keeping myself amused for hours on end!


Dream a little dream… books in the bedroom

Hopefully you’ll have already read all about my sleep challenge and how it got me thinking about making some changes to my bedroom decor. Last Sunday I wrote about my plans to wallpaper the bedroom wall using book pages and here’s how I got on with putting the plan into action:

 diy book pages and sheet music wallpaper to decorate bedroom

I chose to use a mixture of three books along with some sheet music, which would give me a variety of sizes, texts, images and page colours – each book was slightly more aged than the last. It started off quite formally, working around the edges of the wall to make sure I had a neat edge, and then I began overlapping the pages and positioning the colours randomly as I worked across the room. I found it easy to create “organised chaos” with the different sizes of paper, but my neat-freak husband was less keen on my ‘just slap it on’ approach! He did however agree that it was starting to look pretty good by the time we’d covered half the wall and we could really see the ‘patchwork’ of pages taking shape.

DIY wallpaper for bedroom makeover using pages from old books and sheet music

The books I used were a really old, yellowed Marilyn Monroe biography, a book on growing roses (which is where the rose images came from) and a book on feminism which had faded around the edges. I picked up these books from a charity shop, so I was happy to slice out the pages and I will probably read them more now that they are on the wall than I would ever have done before! I used postcard images from The Edwardian Lady’s Diary and choir sheet music with cute titles including “Oh hush thee, my babie” and “Oh, lovely voices of the sky”. I positioned the pages that meant the most to me on ‘my side’ of the bed, such as chapter 4 in the biography because 4 is my lucky number and the sheet music titled “I love to play among the flowers”.  I really liked how the end result turned out and am much more happy to have created my own version of the expensive book-page wallpaper without having to spend a fortune – plus I’ve got something completely unique to me!  


diy book pages and sheet music wallpaper to decorate walls

  1. Aches and pains can be balanced out by using a Memory Foam Mattress Topper or Memory Foam Pillows as these mould to your body so provide better orthopaedic support:
  2. Increase the amount of natural light that you are exposed to during the day, this will keep you awake and alert and make the night time difference more effective
  3. Getting comfortable in bed when pregnant can be difficult, using a bolster or a v-shaped pillow to support your bump can help women sleep more soundly

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Christmas gift ideas ~ unique self-published books

People love getting really creative, one-of-a-kind books for Christmas. Books that elicit a “where did you find this?” response. As the leading indie- and self-publishing platform, Blurb has an entire online bookstore full of unique books by an incredible array of undiscovered, self-published authors, artists, and photographers. I’ve purchased books in the past written by bloggers who have self-published their work, such as this “21 Crafts to Make You Happy” book below by blogger Abbey Hendrickson, and it’s a great way to buy an inspirational book packed full of the author’s best content. And it’s unlikely that these “indie” books are already in your recipient’s bookshelf, so there’s less chance of giving duplicate gifts! If you’re thinking of giving unique gifts this year, consider these titles costing around £40 or less: 

Abbey Hendrickson blog book crafts to make you happy blogger

Cookie Cravings by Maria Lichty and Heidi Larsen

We all have cookie cravings. Popular food blogger Maria Lichter decided to put them into something deliciously original: A baking book featuring 30 recipes you won’t find anywhere else. 

Dog by My Side by Adam Schnitzer

This charming collection of original, vintage photos shows us that as long as there have been cameras, we’ve wanted to photograph our canine best friends. As a special bonus, there’s a glossary of the early photographic methods used in the original images.

 Around the World with a Toy Camera by Giorgio Giussani

 Perfect for the photography or graffiti-art fan on your list. This book is an explosion of gritty color that explores the wonders of street art and analog photography.

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Workshop number 2

If you’ve been reading my blog over the past few weeks you won’t have been able to miss the fact that I’m currently renovating an old caravan. I’m painstakingly replacing window trims and waterproofing skylights, decorating inside-and-out and looking for storage solutions so that I can use my caravan as a workshop. Yes, very soon I’ll be able to sit in my caravan to do all my sewing projects and to write my blog  and I can’t wait!

The only problem is that hubby has seen the transformation of caravan-to-office and he likes it. In fact, I think he’s getting a little jealous that I have a space of my own while he has no man-cave to speak of.  Okay, he’s got the shed where he shoves all his tools and junk and quickly closes the door before it all falls out again. But he’s got no workspace, and for an artist, that’s pretty bad new. And not just for him; it’s bad news for me too, as paper and brushes and materials are strewn about the living room whenever he wants to make a piece of work. So really, he needs a workspace and that’s where our story starts…

Not content with the ample size of a caravan, hubby wants a serious workshop. It’s going to take up half the garden, or so he says, and it will be insulated, with a proper roof and heating. It will basically be another room in the garden, but with the title ‘man cave’. While he insists that my caravan looks cute and retro, apparently another caravan in the garden will look ‘messy’ and simply would not do. No, he wants double glazing, VELUX® windows and a sturdy door. Possibly even a door mat. This really is going to be a second home, isn’t it?

moodboard for art studio building including VELUX windows office

So before we’ve even finished work on my caravan, I’ve started gathering inspiration from all over the Internet – you know me, I love a mood board! So here are a few of the ideas (above) that I’ve come up with for hubby’s workshop-to-be and you can find the photo sources directly on our shared ‘man cave’ board on Pinterest. I’ve used images in cooperation with VELUX online after browsing their range of windows to get ideas for hubby’s workshop. Despite his ‘technical’ drawings of the building, and even an artist’s impression that he showed me yesterday, I still think might be a long time before he actually gets round to building it… And do we really want to be starting another project right now? at this time of year? when it’s cold outside?? I’m thinking no, but hubby is thinking go, go, GO!

So what do you think of our ideas? Do you think a bit of man space is essential? I know I’m loving having my girly world in my caravan, so perhaps he needs his own space as much as I do? Well see how this project goes and of course I will keep you updated!

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Get your art out there – affordable ways to promote artists & exhibitions

As you will probably know if you have read my blog for a while, my husband is an artist and runs a number of events as well as curating exhibitions and art projects. For him it is really important to get information about his art events out there so that interested people can attend. Spreading the word about events or projects can be tricky. Social media is a fab way of advertising event details to your followers, but what if you want a wider reach or appeal to people who may not have a Facebook or twitter account?

Leaflet printing is one option. Printed leaflets or flyers are an affordable way of advertising and for Andy they are the perfect way to spread the word about his events. A simple eye-catching leaflet is an effective way of grabbing people’s attention and showcasing some of the pieces that they will be able to see. You don’t have to spend hours designing a complex leaflet, I find that often the most effective adverts or branding are the most minimal. A busy, fussy leaflet would certainly put me off! You also risk losing the important information such as the time and date of the event if you have a cluttered leaflet.


Here are a few tips on designing the perfect leaflet for you event:

  • Sounds obvious, but make sure the copy highlights your event or services
  • Keep the layout simple, let your message stand out
  • Think about your colour scheme – do you want bright, vibrant colours or muted pastels? Classic monochrome can also look stunning
  • Think about your target audience – will it appeal to them?
  • One last thing to consider is whether you go for a one sided, double sided leaflet or folded leaflet

Once you’ve come up with your design and found a leaflet printing company how are you going to distribute them? Andy has a few places where he knows they will be happy to put a few of his leaflets advertising exhibitions or events. I would recommend asking around in shops or businesses where you think your target audience will visit.

I hope this has been useful and given you a few ideas on how you can advertise an event. If you want to check out any of Andy’s work or upcoming events then check out his website


Tuesday Shoesday ~ just gorgeous shoes

Today I’m just sharing a gorgeous black and white photo of a some amazing  vintage shoes for you all to swoon over!

beautiful vintage cinderdella shoes black and white picture

Cinderella herself is jealous of these shoes! I’d love to have this photo printed out huge and hung in my imaginary walk-in shoe wardrobe. *Sigh*

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