Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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Wahey! My recycled fabric wreath project is featured in Oxfam newspaper!

I had a lovely surprise this week when I flicked through the winter issue of Oxfam newspaper: my festive wreath project has been featured in the publication! Of course, Oxfam had been in touch earlier this year to ask permission to use my content and, seeing as I’d created it for the Oxfam Fashion blog in the first place, I was happy to oblige.oxfam-newspaper-feature-cassiefairy-felt-wreath-project-diy-christmas-festive-1In fact, I was over the moon! It’s amazing to think that my little thrifty project is being printed in a real newspaper and distributed to Oxfam customers, volunteers and donors all around the country. Wow, I’m so chuffed!oxfam-newspaper-feature-cassiefairy-felt-wreath-project-diy-christmas-festive-3DIY fabric wreath for Christmas - step by step tutorial-10The feature contains step-by-step photos to show readers how to use scrap fabrics and ends of ribbon to make a funky Christmas wreath. I loved creating this project, enjoyed sharing it on my blog and on the Oxfam website, and now I’m absolutely thrilled that it’s been immortalised in print! Woo!oxfam-newspaper-feature-cassiefairy-felt-wreath-project-diy-christmas-festive-1-2You can find this project and all my other blog posts on my Oxfam blogger profile, and while you’re there, have a look around the Oxfam fashion blog and read all the interesting finds and projects that the other volunteer writers have been working on.


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How to decorate with festive art + 2 x £30 gift vouchers giveaway!

Today’s blog post is all about bringing a touch of festive cheer to your home this December. Hanging Christmas quotes and pretty festive scenes on your walls is an easy way to bring the spirit of Christmas into every room of the house. Yes, even the bathroom! Today I’m sharing some lovely yuletide designs to give you some inspiration for your own home. And that’s not all – TWO lucky winners will each win a £30 gift voucher to spend at Posterlounge on anything they like in my festive giveaway. Read on to enter via the Rafflecopter widget below..!posterlounge_christmas-4

One of my favourite ways to decorate my home for Christmas is by using quotes and text. I guess it’s the design student in me coming out, but I think it’s a lovely way to give a nod to Christmas without going all-out santa-and-snowmen on your walls. The colours can match your existing decor to fit in seamlessly, but it’s the text that’s all-important. For example, this ‘merry and bright’ poster has a Christmas-card-worthy quote, but the colours are in opposition to this, looking much more spring-like than festive. I’d hang this one in my office to keep the festive feeling alive all December without going OTT.posterlounge_christmas-6But, then again, OTT is what Christmas is all about! So why not go all out with snowglobe (above) and bauble (below) designs? I still love chalkboard drawings (after painting my walls with chalkboard paint, how can I not?) so these posters would look great in my home. In fact, I’m pretty sure that this style would fit in with most decors – country farmhouse, sleek modern or Victorian townhouse – and look really festive to boot. If you’re feeling arty, you could always try to draw your own design in chalk on an old blackboard, or go for the slightly easier option and hang a pre-printed chalkboard image instead.posterlounge_christmas-5Try grouping a few festive designs together to create a gallery-style display. This way you can use co-ordinating text, images, patterns and colour to bring Christmas into your home in a really subtle and stylish way. For example, using gold text in the quote image above really pulls out the gold ‘snow’ from the pine tree image – simply throw in a few geometric baubles and you’ve got a thoroughly modern festive decor. Or if you’ve got pictures already hanging on your walls, why not change them for some christmassy designs in December? After all, the hooks are already in your walls and it’s simply a case of lifting off that graduation photo or the kids’ artwork and temporarily replacing them with some festive designs instead. posterlounge_christmas-3Again, a touch of glinting gold in the posters is enough to catch the eye and tie in these images with your decorations. Red and gold always go together perfectly at Christmas, let’s face it! And just look at this adorable presents table decorated with a mummy and baby deer design (below). This has got to be my favoutire design of all; I love the ‘googie’ style print with atomic star bursts and the subtle mid-century modern colours are just right for a period home. I could imagine this as a Christmas card sent straight from the 50s! Hanging fairy lights around the poster highlights this lovely little spot as the place to put your Christmas gifts.posterlounge_christmas-1And now that I’ve shared a few different ways to include Christmassy artwork in your home, we’ll move swiftly on to the giveaway. The brand behind all these gorgeous artist-made posters is Posterlounge and they have very kindly offered to give 2 lucky readers an early Christmas present. There are two £30 gift vouchers up for grabs, and you can spend them on anything you like from the Posterlounge website – it doesn’t have to just be their extensive Christmas range – you could choose a motivational quote for your office or a stunning abstract painting for your living room. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below and very best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to UK residents only. Giveaway runs from 4th December to 14th December 2016. 2 winners will be drawn at random after the closing date via Rafflecopter and will be contacted by email. 


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Create a lookbook to get the most out of your wardrobe this winter

Winter is the time for festivities and celebrations and is a great excuse to get dressed up in your sparkliest clothes. It’s also the time of the year when you’ve just splashed your pay cheque on presents for your nearest and dearest so are unlikely to want to spend much more on a new winter wardrobe. Read on to find out how you can save money on new clothing this season, as well as creating your own lookbook to make the most of your existing wardrobe.thrifty wardrobe makeover tip money saving inspiration hack-3Create your own lookbook
It’s easy to forget what clothes you already have in your wardrobe, especially if it’s been stuffed to bursting point for the past couple of years. So to avoid leaving pieces unworn for seasons why not create your own personal lookbook? It can be quite fun to make up outfits, and it’s got a certain Cher-from-Clueless-ness about it! For this, you’ll need to take snaps of each item in your wardrobe and categorize them into different types. You can even style up your summer dresses or a short sleeved shirt with a jacket, cardigan, blazer or tights for winter and get maximum use out of your favourite pieces. Unlike in the Clueless era, nowadays it’s possible to download apps which can help you create and organize your lookbook. Keeping photos of your clothes on your phone will also help you when you’re out shopping because you can double check whether or not you’ve already got a monochrome patterned shirt in your wardrobe at home and save on duplicates.crazy for christmas jumpers

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DIY Gifts Video – Step-by-step camera case sewing project

Over the past month I’ve been busier than an elf in Santas workshop – yes, I’ve been DIYing lots of festive projects ready to share with you on the blog this December. And what better way to kick off the month than with a simple gift project – a felt camera case.felt-camera-case-sewing-project-easy-diy-tutorialThis easy-sew project lets you create a custom-made case for your specific camera, with no difficult measuring or pattern-making. In fact, it couldn’t be easier – you simply lie the camera on the piece of felt, pin the pouch in place and stitch it up!diy-video-project-easy-sew-sewing-felt-camera-case-gift-present-youtube-14I use straight stitch throughout the project so this can easily be done by hand or on a sewing machine. The fastening is sticky-backed velcro dots so no need to make a difficult button-hole, and the button I stitch onto the front flap is purely decorative, so you could even give this step a miss if you want to make the project even easier.diy-video-project-easy-sew-sewing-felt-camera-case-gift-present-youtube-1-2All you need to make this quick and easy project is a piece of felt, pins, a needle and thread (or sewing machine), a button, velcro dots, a ruler and scissors. All the instructions are on the video so have a watch and pause (or rewind) the tutorial whenever you need to. And once you’ve got the basics, you can easily adapt this case to fit other things too; ipads, make-up, mobile phones and so on.diy-video-project-easy-sew-sewing-felt-camera-case-gift-present-youtube-2

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Tuesday Shoesday – No shoes, but a new satchel

I’ve decided to write about my new handbag for this week’s Tuesday Shoesday blog post. Okay, I know it’s not strictly a shoesday post without any shoes, but the handbag did come from shoe brand Hotter, so I think it’s the ideal time to talk about handbags.handbag-wine-burgundy-satchel-bag-retro-school-crossbody-1-of-3Now, I’m not someone who will buy a new handbag just because I like the look of it, or because it matches an outfit or follows a new trend. In fact, I don’t buy bags very often at all. I don’t have a different bag for every occasion or for different seasons. Nope, I tend to choose one bag and that one bag will do me very nicely until it falls apart. And that’s when I’ll buy another one.handbag-wine-burgundy-satchel-bag-retro-school-crossbody-2-of-3You may have guessed from this that I don’t see handbags as a fashion accessory. I see them as purely practical; something to carry my important stuff from one place to another. I’m not saying that it doesn’t matter at all what the handbag looks like, because I have my preferences in the looks department too. But most important is that it can fit everything in, with lots of pockets and is easy to carry. handbag-wine-burgundy-satchel-bag-retro-school-crossbody-3-of-3My last two handbags have been Disaster Designs satchels. The first one I tried was the best. I really liked how it looked, with a map-print design and brown faux-leather flap. It was big enough to fit in everything I needed to carry, even notepads and ipads could fit in there. In fact, it was a little too big at times – if I only needed to carry a purse, it seemed to get lost in the vast space inside the bag, swishing around like a teabag in a bucket. But it lasted for years. I’m taking maybe 2-3 years before it finally started coming apart. I’d already ruined the lining with a leaky pen and plenty of spilled makeup by this point, but I was still sad to see it go.Whats in blogger Cassiefairys handbag-1

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My advent calendar – 12 days to a beautiful Christmas

Yes, I still have an advent calendar every year, even at my age. I’ve had chocolate calendars to countdown the days until Christmas for as long as I can remember. And I probably had a printed cardboard calendar even before then. I love opening a door every day, bring me one step closer to the big day with every chocolate treats I eat. Even my cats have advent calendars so that every member of the household can join in with the festive fun.12-days-of-christmas-beauty-advent-calendar-vintage-cosmetics-1-of-7And no, it’s not just for kids – you see, advent calendars have grown up. I can’t walk into a store or browse online without seeing calendars for adults too; mini bottles of booze, candles, jams, beer and (my favourite calendar idea of all) beauty. So this year I chose to plump for a slightly more grown-up countdown to Christmas with a calendar from The Vintage Cosmetic Co. Of course, I still have my Father Christmas chocolate calendar to enjoy too (!) but this beauty countdown is an extra special treat just for me.12-days-of-christmas-beauty-advent-calendar-vintage-cosmetics-2-of-7Once I started looking for a beauty calendar I found many different options. Some focus on nail polishes, some offer ‘seasonal specials’ from a cosmetics range, others have bath bombs, lip balms or skincare. Considering that I’ve got sensitive skin, a difficult-to-shop-for pale skin tone and will only buy 100% cruelty-free cosmetics, many of the beauty advent calendars weren’t right for me. Luckily I did find one that was perfect for my needs – and just in time for the start of December too!12-days-of-christmas-beauty-advent-calendar-vintage-cosmetics-6-of-7I picked the 12 Days to a Beautiful Christmas advent calendar for a number of reasons. Firstly, The Vintage Cosmetic Company is a cruelty-free producer – brushes are made from super-soft synthetic hair and their products are accessories rather than make-up. Secondly, there were items in the calendar that I actually needed, such as tweezers, make-up brushes, hair styling equipment and a foundation sponge. I didn’t have to worry about make-up shades not matching my skin tone or skincare products causing a reaction on my skin because each item in the box was a practical accessory, not a cosmetic product. Thumbs up so far…12-days-of-christmas-beauty-advent-calendar-vintage-cosmetics-4-of-7

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Guest post – The easy way to move house

Moving house is a rather exhausting activity. Not only can it take days (or even weeks or months!) to sort through your possessions and pack up your boxes, but even when that’s taken care of you still have to deal with not knowing exactly where the things you need are and it feels like you’re camping in your own home. Even “moving day” itself can be a source of stress, involving constant worrying about the safety of your possessions while they’re on the road.

moving-house-luggage-suitcase-home-2You have all your life packed away in those boxes so you’ll need to know that the moving company you’re using is trustworthy and will take care of your things. Moving long distances can be particularly worrying, because you may be separated from your belongings for more than just one day. Of course, it depends where you’re relocating to, but a big move like this always going to be a worrying time. If you’re hiring professionals there are a number of moving services they offer to help ease the stress of moving and below are just a few: cat-moving-house-boxWhat services do movers provide?

Apart from the obvious transportation on moving day, professional relocation services can boost the overall speed of preparation. The services that will save you time as well as offer you peace of mind are:

  • Packing and unpacking. These procedures are time-consuming as it requires handling every item in your house. Moreover, some fragile, breakable or bulky items demand special handling along with specific packing materials. If you buy packing materials such as boxes, bubble wrap and tissue paper yourself, the cost of moving can soon add up! Leave this task to the professionals and you will be sure your possessions will be intact upon delivery; they’ll pack your items carefully, every fragile piece will be wrapped and padded to avoid damaging during the moving and they’ll even unwrap it all at the other end.moving-house-luggage-suitcase-home-1

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