Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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


Anyone fancy a bit of lamb? …and other art from Nicola Ellis

I don’t own much artwork, in fact I don’t really own many pictures at all, but when I hang something on my wall it’s because I love it, and this is one of my  favourite artworks -“Anyone fancy a bit of lamb?” by Nicola Ellis.

My artist husband studied with Nicola at the University of Central Lancashire and I was lucky enough to become good friends with this amazing artist. When I graduated from my BA, my lovely hubby invested in a piece of Nicola’s art for me and chose this print of  a lamb chop for me, which has had pride of place in every living-room I’ve lived in since.

A lot of Nicola’s artwork is sculpture based, and she experiments with some pretty unusual media (including expanding foam, sieves and wool) to create happy accidents, and often prefers to simply play with her ‘ingredients’ and see what happens rather than setting out with an artwork in mind. Nicola graduated UCLan with a first class BA and has since completed a MA in Manchester and this year she exhibited her artwork in the Fafa Gallery in Helsinki. Her work is definitely something different, and well worth a look so check out her portfolio site and if you’re lucky enough to catch one of her UK exhibitions do make sure you go along, you won’t be disappointed!

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Tuesday Shoeday – Amanda Holden’s Britain’s Got Talent look

The new panel of judges have come together for the first time this week to audition contestants in Manchester. David Walliams is the new boy and Simon Cowell is back in his head-judge role. Long-standing female judge Amanda Holden arrived wrapped up against the british weather whilst newbie Alesha Dixon wore a sexy yellow dress slashed to the thigh.

As ever, my eyes were on the judge’s footwear and I spotted a trend in Amanda’s shoe wardrobe – she loves shoe boots! This is not the first time she has stepped out in a pair of shoe-boots, here she is last year promoting BGT and in purple shoe-boots at the Brit awards:


I’ve had a look around and found these lookey-likey shoe-boots on the high street & online from Miss Selfridge (Purple Suede £50), (Blue with buttons £24) and Topshop (Blue £70). Plus these pairs of black shoe-boots all from New Look (£30, £25 and £35) :


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Christmas markets sparkle after dark…

Christkindelmarkt in Leeds

I love the idea of going to a Christmas market soon, I’m already getting into Christmas in a big way despite the fact that we’re only mid-way through November. That also doesn’t seem to have stopped local councils from putting up their town-centre Christmas lights either, as London’s Regent street, Manchester and Leeds have already done their big switch-on for the festive season. Plus, shops are playing their seasonal soundtracks so that justifies me getting a little giddy about Christmas Markets.

For the past few years I have been to some amazing Christmas markets in the UK, including two of the biggest, Leeds and Manchester, where I can happily while away hours looking at stalls selling authentic wooden carvings, hand-crafted bears and tin toys. And that’s before getting onto the subject of food; that alone will keep me mooching around a festive market for ages, ensuring I can squeeze in at least two meals of pretzels and strudel, German sausage and Stollen. I once spent a snowy afternoon sat at school-refectory-style tables with a tankard of Glühwein singing along to a German brass-band, complete with Lederhosen. It was amazing. From what I can remember of it.

Manchester's Christmas Markets

So now that I’ve moved to East Anglia, I’m on the hunt for a local Christmas Market and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated – leave me a comment below!

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Fairies – on your marks… get set… fly!

This weekend my wonderful friend Claire Lacey is running the London marathon. As she knows, I think she is officially crazy for running 26 miles – I can’t run for 26 seconds! It is an amazing feat of endurance and she is doing in all in honour of the National Autistic Society.

Claire is running the London Marathon for the National Autistic Society

The London marathon this weekend has got me thinking about all of those wonderful fundraisers who walk, jog and run 1k, 5k or 10k to raise money for Cancer Research UK through Race For Life events. Getting involved in one of these races is just as much of an achievement as running in a marathon and the participants have a great time while they are huffing and puffing their way through the funrun raising money for a great cause.

Two of my fabulous fairy friends, Amber and Jenna, are planning to run the 5k Race for Life in Manchester and I will be providing lots of support and sparkly pink tutus for them to run in! If anyone else would like to order a tutu for their fun-run, I will happily donate 50% of the profits of these tutus to the charity! And I can’t wait to see all these amazing fundraisers bounding towards the finishing line and having a great time while they are at it!


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