Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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

My outfit for the UK National Blog Awards 2014


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What to wear to the ‘Oscars of the blogging world’?!

If you’ve not heard me shouting about it already, I’m a FINALIST in the National Blog Awards 2014! I’m going to the awards ceremony on Friday night and it’s been described as the ‘Oscars of the blogging world’ so I’m expecting a fabulous night out in London and looking forward to meeting lots of glamourous bloggers. My best friend Jenna from Glitter Daze blog will be among them, as she has been shortlisted in the Wedding Blogs category, so it will be amazing to catch up with my Northern buddy after a few months apart! After my initial excitement, my thoughts obviously turned to what I should wear (I am a retail and FASHION finalist after all!) and of course I had no idea. Jenna always looks super-fabulous with just the right amount of glitz and glam in her outfit choices so I’ve been discussing my dress plans with her and have finally settled on this…

ladies joules tweet jacket with pink detailing and bird lining

My first choice was this blazer from Joules. I’d had my eye on it for while because the cut is beautiful, the tweet is such great quality with pretty rainbow colours subtly sprinkled throughout and I wanted to wear something smart as a nod to the importance of the event. Plus, when I tried on the jacket I needed a SIZE 8 (there is no way that’s right!) and that made me feel good ;) I think it’s because it’s such a fine piece of tailoring that it fits me so well in the smaller sizes and it looks great left open (although it does button up too, honest!) so my dress will still show beneath it. Which leads me on to my next choice:

ladies fashion look for spring 2014 with pink new look dress and joules tweed blazer

I am in love with this New Look dress. I have honestly looked at every single dress online and visited the store 4 times this month to try on dresses before I took the plunge and went for this ‘online exclusive’ pink lace dress. The A-line cut is really flattering and I think I’ll be able to fit in quite a few desserts before the dress starts to bulge! I also love the cute sweetheart neckline which doesn’t feel too revealing because of the layer of lace over the chest. I also like that the dress covers up my arms because I’m more likely to take off my blazer if I have a little arm protection beneath! I love the fit and style so much that I’ve since ordered it in black as well and got a bargain because it was reduced online, yikes! As you can see from the photos, the dress picks out the pink elements of the Joules blazer (the collar even has pink velvet underneath) and when I turned back the cuffs, the lining was also pink so I think I’ll wear it like this – Wham! style ;)

My outfit for the UK National Blog Awards 2014

I’ve instagrammed my accessories choices last week and here they are – a pair of black suede wedges and a gorgeous envelope clutch bag, both from New Look. I’m not sure if I’ll be in black tights or nude (I guess it depends on the weather and how brave I am feeling) but I think that the bag and shoes will go well with either, and they look great with the black & gold belt that came with the dress. Plus there’s plenty of room for business cards in my clutch for all the networking I’ll be doing ;)

So now I just have to get my face and hair sorted and I’ll be ready for the big day! What do you think of my outfit choice? Any ideas for how I should wear my hair? Are you going to the National Blog Awards too? I’d love to hear from you so please tweet me @Cassiefairy

 

tuesday shoesday mens shoes grey farli limit brogues from clarks


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Tuesday Shoesday – Dapper Mens Shoes

Today we are taking a rare look at menswear. I know I should focus on fellas footwear more often so I’m starting today with a look at smart mens shoes and hopefully inspire men all around the country to smarten up for special occasions!

I’m specifically targeting this blog post at my husband because we’ve got a couple of important events coming up this weekend; the National Blog Awards in London and our best friends’ wedding, where hubby is doing a reading during the ceremony. I’m not saying that he’s usually turn up scruffy to events like this – in fact, he scrubs up very well and looks great in a blazer – but I wanted to make sure that his shoes were equally as well buffed-up as his well-ironed shirt!

clarks smart shoes collection 2014 review

He certainly did need a new pair of smart shoes for the ‘wedding season’, but what to go for? All the smart shoes I’ve seen on the high street are basic (boring) black or brown and although I love a pair of brogues myself, hubby wasn’t too sure that something decorative was for him. That was until we headed to the menswear section at Clarks. I usually have to drag my husband into a shop and it’s tough to get him to spend more than 1 minute looking at something before making a purchase but this time he was like a kid in a sweet shop (or a man in a shoe shop) and spent ages looking at the range, actually trying on shoes, getting the right fit and choosing from all the surprisingly funky styles of smart shoes in store. I’ve included a few images of the shortlist above - what do you think of these smart shoes from Clarks? The trouble was getting him to settle on just one pair but after about an hour (that’s quite an achievement to keep any man in a shop for that long eh Clarks?!) he finally chose this lovely pair of grey brogues.

Tuesday Shoesday - Dapper mens brogues shoes from Clarks

Somewhere between a smart dress shoe and a casual bowling shoe, the funky design of the ‘Farli Limit’ shoes stood out from all the rest and the distressed grey leather had hubby hooked straight away. I know he loves to polish up his shoes (that’s the boy-scout in him!) so we picked up a pot of grey polish too and he’s all set for our weekend of events. I know he is planning to wear his grey blazer to the blog awards so the shoes will look rather funky with his smart/casual outfit for an evening of fun. For the wedding day he has picked out his trusty pinstripe suit and I’m certain the shoes will look great with such a smart get-up for this special occasion too. I think that these are a great pair of investment shoes that can be worn for pretty much any smart occasion and now that my husband is happy with his choice I know they will come out of their box at every opportunity!

tuesday shoesday mens shoes grey farli limit brogues from clarks

What do you think of these dapper mens shoes? Would you choose these yourself? Tweet me with your favourite smart shoes this Tuesday Shoesday at @Cassiefairy :)

Void landscape of waste packing by Andy Greenacre 2014 aldeburgh beach


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Thought-provoking artwork on the landscape of waste packaging

I went as far East as possible yesterday. That IS what Easter means, right? ;) I headed to the East coast in East Anglia and braved the coastal winds to enjoy a walk along the seafront with my family. I enjoyed a traditional fish and chips lunch and a cup of afternoon tea before walking the promenade and ogling all the gorgeous seafront properties with much jealousy. One of the more interesting buildings on Aldeburgh seafront is the South Lookout Tower, an art space owned by Caroline Wiseman Modern & Contemporary which plays host to artists-in-residence and presents engaging exhibitions.

Aldeburgh beach south lookout tower gallery

This weekend’s art offering included seascape photography in the very top of the tower (for those who could brave that spiral staircase in blustery winds!), an installation in the middle of the tower to represent how writer Laurens van der Post had used the lookout Tower in the past to write, and a though-provoking exhibition entitled Void – The landscape of waste packaging in the gallery space. The artist invited holiday-makers, visitors and locals to join in with the creation of a ‘landscape’ of waste by bringing their own used packaging to the exhibition in order to have it cast in concrete. The resulting sculptures formed an industrial landscape which grew over the course of the artist’s Easter residency and joined the existing waste landscapes that the artist had previously cast, painted and photographed.

Void landscape of waste packing by Andy Greenacre 2014 aldeburgh beach

Power Station 2014 by Andy Greenacre

This intervention discussed the levels of waste packaging in the UK and I was shocked to find out that we each create 38kg of plastic waste per year – the exact volume of concrete used in each landscape – in spite of our recycling efforts at home. I was certain that when I picked up every plastic bottle top, washed each piece of used foil and took my glass to the bottle bank, it would  actually be recycled and reused in the next incarnation of packaging, but it turns out that only around 25% of our waste is genuinely recycled. Whether this is our fault for not knowing exactly what can and can’t be recycled, or the council’s fault for incinerating perfectly usable materials, or the government’s fault for sending our waste plastic abroad, whatever the cause I’d rather that the items I put into the recycling bin are actually reused as intended.

void landscape of waste packaging by andy greenacre 2014 aldeburgh south lookout tower gallery caroline wiseman

Caroline Wiseman south lookout tower gallery installation by Andy Greenacre 2014 VOID - The Landscape of Waste Packaging

Despite the serious subject area, it was a playful exhibition and children were enthralled as they watched the artist popping concrete ‘sandcastles’ out of interestingly-shaped biscuit packaging and yoghurt pots. The fact that the installation grew over the course of the weekend was particularly captivating, and demonstrated how our own recycling waste would have grown over the same period of time. What do you think about waste and recycling? Did you visit this exhibition yourself? Please tweet me @Cassiefairy and we’ll carry on the discussion :)

Caroline Wiseman south lookout tower gallery installation by Andy Greenacre 2014 VOID - The Landscape of Waste Packaging sculpture

 

 

 

 

 

 

diy ideas for easter bunny ears


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Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone! I’m taking a day off and heading to the seaside so I’ll see you all after the Bank Holiday! In the meantime, here are some lovely images from my ‘Special Holidays’ board on Pinterest that I’m sure you’ll enjoy looking at over the Easter weekend – have fun and let me know what you get up to!

 

lisa mora pink vintage caravan magazine blog hop


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An inspirational interview with ‘Vintage Caravan Style’ author Lisa Mora

Do you love vintage? Are you a fan of caravans? Does retro rule? Then this is the blog post for you! I am delighted to be taking part in the Stitch, Craft, Create blog hop today and taking a look at all the gorgeous caravans that are featured in a new book: Vintage Caravan Style. As you know from reading my blog, I’m in the middle of a caravan renovation project myself so you can imagine how inspiring this book has been for me flick through and I couldn’t wait a moment longer to share this magical read with you.
This beautifully designed book was the brainchild of lifelong caravan fan Lisa Mora, editor of Vintage Caravan Magazine and writer extraordinaire, and today I’m going to be sharing an interview with the delightful Lisa herself as she braces herself for the publication to hit bookshop shelves here in the UK. I’m certain that you’ll all want to read a copy for yourselves and if you stick around, there’s a competition to win your very own copy of Lisa’s book at the end of the interview, but first read on and learn more about the lovely writer behind this enchanting book.
blue retro car and trailer from vintage caravan style book
Let’s get stuck into the caravan chat straight away! Tell us about your first vintage caravan…

I got my first vintage caravan for $200. It was a 1970 Chesney and it wasn’t very pretty, but I painted it pink on the inside and took my son on a big road trip up the coast of Queensland to attend his State athletics competition and we had so much fun together seeing so many wonderful things and staying in tropical beach front caravan parks, and I was well and truly hooked! (pun intended!)

Do you have any childhood memories of caravanning?
My parents travelled a lot when I was a kid, and we travelled all around the world. When we did Europe my Dad bought an old camper-van in Italy and we travelled all around in that and so travelling and road tripping is something I grew up with and love. But I also loved horses, so my childhood dream was always to build a horse-drawn gypsy caravan and travel around with that.  As an adult, the horse drawn part seemed a bit unrealistic and I love classic cars, so I had the idea of using an old caravan with a classic car instead – way more practical!
lisa mora pink vintage caravan magazine blog hop
Here’s a photo of the lovely Lisa Mora with her very own vintage caravan taken a couple of weeks ago at an event – it is a 1964 Sunliner made of fibreglass and her name is “Betty” which Lisa tows with her matching pink 1964 Vauxhall Cresta.
What do you get up to in your own caravan nowadays?
Big road trips! I have three vintage caravans now, one in Australia, one in New Zealand and one in the USA and I use them to travel to car shows and caravan rallies. Last year I travelled 14,000 kilometres and attended 12 different shows! I love setting up the caravans for display filled with retro trinkets and my wrought iron table and chairs and my pink flamingos outside and opening it up to the public.  The most common question I get asked at shows is: “Do you actually camp in this?” and that makes me laugh. Of course I do! I always have my accommodation right behind me wherever I travel and for the duration of the events I attend.  I always have the pantry and wardrobe fully stocked so I can hook up and take off whenever I get the urge (which is often!) – my caravan makes people smile and living inside it while I am on the road makes me so happy. If it weren’t for all the magazines I have in storage, I’d happily live in the caravan full time. Even though it is small, it has everything I need; a big comfy bed, a kitchen, a big wardrobe and best of all, an ever-changing view…
pink and red retro trailer from vintage caravan style book
How and why did you start writing Vintage Caravan Magazine?
I always knew I wanted to be a writer. i used to journal every adventure we went on as a kid and my dad is a writer, so expressing my feelings and describing my experiences in words came very naturally to me. I started off as a freelance music journalist, and that was how I discovered the rockabilly and kustom culture scene and fell in love with the hot rods and classic cars.  I was then approached by a new car magazine to write for them full time. By then I had my Chesney and had developed a passion for vintage caravans and wanted to write about them in the magazine, but my editor said “Lisa, nobody else but you is interested in old caravans”.  I was pretty sure that wasn’t true and so I persisted. Every week I would offer him another article about vintage caravans and every week, he would say “give me something else Lisa”.  One day he came in and said he had a last minute gap to fill in the next issue and needed me to write up an article by the end of that day, so I convinced him to use one of my caravan articles. When I came in the following Monday he had a big smile on his face and told me that the reactions to the article had been great and asked me give him another one.  It was then that I knew I wanted to focus solely on vintage caravans.  At first I thought I’d like someone else to create a vintage caravan magazine so that I could write for them, but after two years of waiting for someone else to start one, there was still not one magazine in the whole world about them, so I took the plunge and created Vintage Caravan Magazine myself. vintage caravan style book - renovation
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about renovating their own vintage caravan?
My advice to anyone wanting to renovate their own caravan is to not let anyone talk you out of your dreams and just do it! I know there are some amazing vans out there that have had a lot of money spent on them, but if there is anything I want to share it is this: whether you keep yours original, hot rod it to the max, want to do it yourself on a tight budget or are lucky enough to be able to pay a professional to do a ground up restoration job, doesn’t matter. I love the fact that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to vintage caravan styling.  A vintage caravan is the one place in the world where it is totally OK to make it all about you. You can express the wildest parts of your personality in a way that you might not be brave enough to do inside a house.  Adding those personal touches to your styling will help turn your vintage caravan into your very own special happy place.  Of course, if you intend to tow it anywhere you need to make sure that the safety and structural aspects of the van are functioning and maintained properly. I highly recommend getting a professional caravan repairer or experienced person to inspect any caravan prior to purchase if you can, to check the tyres, bearings and chassis strength and make sure all the legal requirements are met with regards to lighting, gas connections, registration etc. Also, be warned: vintage caravans are addictive! Almost everyone I know that steps inside my caravan walks out with a wide grin saying “I want one” and most of us who have one, find it hard to stop at just one. Once the bug bites, it is almost impossible to resist rescuing every cute little bubble you see sitting on the side of the road and it can become an expensive obsession!
Thanks for the great tips Lisa! Now who doesn’t want to renovate their own vintage caravan after reading Lisa’s inspiring words?! It certainly encouraged me to get a wriggle on with doing up my own little caravan and turning it into my sewing room and writing office, so watch this space for project updates! In the meantime, would you like to win yourself a copy of Lisa’s fabulous new book? Enter the giveaway to win a copy of Vintage Caravan Style delivered straight to your door and here’s how:
vintage caravan syle book by lisa mora

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