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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Playing with sparklers on bonfire night

Although lots of fireworks displays took place over the weekend, today is finally bonfire night and hubby and I have decided to have traditional bonfire-fare of jacket potatoes and chilli for dinner, and build ourselves a little bonfire in the garden. I’ll try to take some photos to share with you all, but in the meantime, here are the photos that we took while playing around with sparklers over the weekend – the bottom one is supposed to be a beach, palm tree & the sun.

 cassiefairy bonfire night fireworks sparklers photography effect

Also, I didn’t realise how magical it would be to take my baby nephew to his first fireworks display. I was worried that he might be scared but, safely snuggled up in his daddy’s arms, he was mesmerised by the fireworks and didn’t even flinch at the bangs. I don’t think I watched much of the fireworks display myself, as I was too busy watching his little ‘face of wonder’. He always did like Christmas lights as a tiny baby, so I shouldn’t be surprised that he loves the fireworks too! 

Check out my previous bonfire night blog posts below:

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Happy Halloween – look what we carved..!

It’s Halloween today and I wanted to show off the cool pumpkin that hubby and I carved yesterday.

Upon the recommendation of my friend-with-children, I bought this 3 piece pumpkin carving kit from The Factory Shop. It was already reduced to £1 when I bought it and that was a couple of weeks ago! I’ve been assured that this is the easiest way to carve a pumpkin and the little serrated knife IS pretty good at cutting out shapes because it’s thin blade makes it easy to manoeuver.

Halloween pumpkin knife carving kit from the factory shop

So we set to work, scraping out the seeds with the little ‘trowel’ and my artistic hubby drew a ghoulish face on the pumpkin before setting to work with the knife. And here’s how it turned out:

how to carve an angry halloween pumpkin scary jack o lantern eating orange

Let me know what you think and I’d love to see your pumpkin carvings – tweet me a photo to @Cassiefairy. Here’s the finished ‘angry pumpkin’:

angry halloween pumpkin carved eating an orange

In other news, I have been stuck without power, heating, hot water, phone or internet since the storm on Monday and am now finally back online hurrah! It was a dark and chilly time here at Cassiefairy HQ – kind of like camping, but in your own home – rather depressing really. So instead of sitting at home with not-much to do, I’ve been heading out to the nearby towns and utilising their coffee-shops and WiFi – although many had their internet wiped out by the storms too, so it’s been a bit hit-and-miss as to whether I’ve been able to get online this week at all (did you notice how quiet I’d been on Twitter?!). And I’ve rediscovered the high street! Instead of browsing fashion sites when I’m having my lunch-break, I’ve actually gone shopping for clothes in the ‘real life’, and have had the pleasure of trying things on and making comparisons. I really think I’ve been away from the high street for too long haha! Although, the result of this is a yearning for a denim shirt and tweed jacket, but I won’t buy it until I’ve looked online to see if it’s cheaper elsewhere – you know me, I’m always looking for a bargain!

More Halloween articles from Cassiefairy:


DIY easy nail art designs for Halloween

Can you believe that it’s nearly Halloween? Have you got your costume sorted out and your treats ready for visitors? I recently wrote about decorating your home for autumn and how you can easily turn your decorations into a spooky Halloween decor with just a few changes – carve up those pumpkins and spread a few cobwebs around – et Voila! Now that you’ve got your home and your costume organised, maybe you’d like to try a scary Halloween manicure makeover?

This method is possibly the simplest way to create nail-art that looks professional but doesn’t require special brushes or tools. Simply grab a permanent pen and set to work. This is certainly a technique that takes some practice, and rather than struggle with drawing designs on your own nails, why not gather together your friends, sisters, mothers and daughters and give each other a special spooky manicure?

halloween nail art manicure tutorial using permanent pens white and black

Paint your nails in a base colour – such as white or orange as I’ve done here – and wait for them to dry. If you start drawing on your nails too soon, the polish will pucker and you might well damage the tips of your permanent pens. Then take it in turns to draw cute designs on each others’ nails. Maybe you’d like to draw cobwebs all over your nails with a spider dangling on the ring finger? Or create a reverse image by using the pen to colour around the nail, leaving the design in the middle, as I have done with my scary ghost design. Orange nails lend themselves to having pumpkin faces on them – so any image design that you would carve into your pumpkin would look equally great drawn on your nails!

halloween manicure diy nail art tutorial orange and black pumpkin faces

For extra variation on your manicures, you can use different base polishes – maybe blood-red or vampire grey – and can even use other colours of permanent pens, such as green or red (which work best over a white base) to really vamp up your designs for Halloween. I hope you have a fun time sharing a spooky pampering session with your pals and enjoy getting ready for your Halloween night out!

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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Scary shoes

With Halloween only a couple of days away I’ve been getting carried away while looking for costume accessories and the result is this Tuesday Shoeday blog post about spooky shoes. Now these aren’t really the kind of shoes you’d want to wear all year round (or maybe they are, who am I to tell you otherwise?) but they are good fun and look really cool so I’m coveting these items of freaky footwear as much as any pair of shoes that’ve been featured on my blog. So here are my favourite Halloween-inspired shoes that I’ve found on Pinterest and check out  my Tuesday Shoesday board for all the links to the image sources:

Tuesday Shoesday spooky heels scary shoes for halloween costume 2013

I also found this tutorial for creating your own witches-cat shoes to accompany your Halloween costume so if you’re stuck for a last-minute outfit, why not have a go at this DIY by Scathingly Brilliant blog?

cat diy shoes from scathingly brilliant blog

Image & DIY c/o Scathingly Brilliant 


DIY scary skeleton Halloween costume

It’s Halloween this week and as usual I don’t have any budget for a costume for all those parties I’ll be going to. But I’m not worried about that because I personally think that Halloween is about making-do and creating some crazy costume yourself that no one else will be wearing – the tattier the better in some instances! I have therefore made my own last-minute skeleton costume using an old (and I mean ooolllddd) stretchy top and I’ll show you how to make one for yourself below:

diy skeleton header image

You will need: old black top, white top to wear underneath, scissors, white pen or chalk

Step by step

  1. Fold your top in half along the centre point.
  2. Use the chalk or white pen to mark out where you will be cutting out the ribs
  3. Cut out the ribs, making sure you’re cutting all the way through both layers of fabric. This will give you a symmetrical set of ribs on each side when you have finished cutting.

diy skeleton step by step

4. Cut out small triangles along the centre to create the spine bones

5. I even cut some bone shapes from the arms, which aren’t clear in the photo, but when I’m wearing it, you can really see them.

6. Wear over the top of a white t-shirt to show off the shape of the bones!

diy skeleton before and after

It’s a great way to get a last-minute outfit sorted out, and I hope you’ll have a go at making this simple Halloween costume. I wrote this blog post for Oxfam Fashion so check out their blog here and have a read of all the other fabulous fashion bloggers’ articles. Enjoy your spooky celebrations, whatever you get up to!

More Halloween articles from Cassiefairy:


Harvest decorations in my home

Over the weekend I went for a lovely chilly walk with my hubby and collected a few bits and pieces for my harvest display. I’d planned to decorate my home for autumn (as we discussed in this previous blog post) and I’d finally found the time to nip out to collect together nature’s freebies to add to my sideboard. unfortunately I don’t have a mantlepiece in my home, so I couldn’t arrange my decorations around a fireplace, but my retro teak sideboard was a good substitute and provided plenty of space for a big display.

my retro living room harvest floral arrangment table display 2013

I started with a few hydrangea heads from the bush in my garden and added some rosehip buds and thistles, which created the floral centrepiece. I then added a second vase of grasses and poppy seed-heads and a bowl full of apples and oranges. After adding a few candles here and there, I decided to scatter around some conkers and acorns, elderberries and some more rosehip branches. And what autumn display would be complete without a big orange pumpkin?

harvest floral arrangment table display orange pumpkin retro living room

After a chilled-out weekend walk, arranging my harvest display was a really rather relaxing activity to undertake, with a mug of mulled apple-juice on the go, and scented candles flickering away. Hubby and mum helped me to fill the vases and scatter the acorns, and I think that we created a lovely ‘tablescape’ between us! What do you think of my little jar of conkers below? I love how shiny and richly coloured the conkers are – like polished mahogany – and they are naturally like that! Amazing.

my retro living room autumn decor harvest floral arrangment and spiced apple juice

I certainly felt all warm and snuggly afterwards, and definitely ready for Christmas! It was like decorating for the festive season but without getting out the baubles, and without anyone giving you a weird look when you tell them you’ve already got your Christmas decorations up! However, I AM going to start doing a bit of online shopping for hubby’s christmas gifts this evening, so shhh! Let me know if you’re going to decorate your home for autumn, and I’d love to see your photos! Tweet me @Cassiefairy :)

harvest floral arrangment table display silver bird horse chestnut conkers

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DIY Halloween pom-pom decorations

Halloween is nearly upon us and with it comes the chance to dress as a menacing monster and turn your house into a ghoulish lair. To help you create a devilish feel in no time, here is a step-by-step guide to creating these easy to make Halloween pom poms.

diy tutorial how to make halloween tissue paper pompoms decorations

What you will need:

  • Orange and black tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • String, ribbon or fishing wire

Step One

Decide how you want your spooky Halloween pom poms to look.  To get big fluffy pom poms we recommend using 9 sheets of tissue paper. Small delicate pom poms can be made using just 4. The longer you leave the sheets the wider the pom poms will be.

Step Two

Lay out the tissue paper sheets on top of each other and fold one end over to make an inch wide fold. Turn the tissue paper sheets over and fold another inch pleat. Continue in this accordion style folding until you have folded the whole sheet up and round of the end corners of the tissue paper with a pair of scissors.

Step Three

Find the centre and tie your ribbon around the middle. Remember to leave a length to hang your pom pom from. 

diy craft tutorial how to make black and orange halloween tissue paper pompoms decorations

Step Four

This next part takes a little time (and maybe an extra pair of hands) Starting with one half, very carefully start peeling apart the layers of the tissue paper and fluff up as you go along. Keep going until all the layers are separated and voila! You have created the perfect Halloween paper pom poms.


  • Adding wings cut from black card to the black pom poms will create spooky flying bats.
  • Tie up your orange pom poms with green ribbon to create paper pumpkins.

You can find other great Halloween decoration ideas here.


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