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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Vintage and handmade hats for the races

It’s that time of year again. Just as you’re plucking up the courage to bare your faux-bronzed legs to the world, someone has invited you to the races. Those who’ve been to the races before will know that it can be a full on fashion parade, and finding something glam to wear can cost a fair amount. But fear not! There are some ways you can cut costs, starting with the most crucial part of any race-day outfit – the hat. Here are some ways to get yourself a fabulous hat for a fraction of the price.day at the races hat fascinator DIY

image by  Jennifer Su 

Create your own fascinator

If you love to get creative, you can also make your own fascinator (or head piece) from scratch. To start with, you’ll either need a ready-made base disc (ask your local craft shop or buy one online) or a piece of material called sinamay, which is very durable. The base disc can make a little round base for you to sew decorations onto, or you can use the sinamay to fold and iron into a decorative bow. Both of these, once embellished with your desired decorations or feathers, can be fixed onto a plain silver or fabric head band and there you have it – the finished fascinator! Continue reading “Vintage and handmade hats for the races” »


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Quick & easy living room makeover ideas for summer

Now that summer has finally arrived, you’ll be wanting to make sure that your interiors capitalise on the light and airy weather by giving your home a quick facelift. And as the living room is often the centre point of the house, it’s the perfect place to begin. So here are a few quick and easy tips for giving your lounge a makeover:bright colourful living room ideas for summer

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Arranging your furniture in the room to make the most of whatever natural light is available is a priority. Getting rid of any unwanted ornaments, tidying away unsightly cables, and giving the room a good clean is a cheap way to maximise space and give you an unexpected light and airy feel. And whilst getting a whole new three-piece suite might be out of most people’s budgets, there are still a few things that can be done to give your tired old sofa a better look.decorating with neutrals bright and airy

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For those long lazy summer afternoons, a day bed can be the perfect way to sprawl and relax. Such items are also handy in that they can feature foldaway guest beds or even provide extra storage spaces which is a great way to declutter your lounge.

Furthermore, giving your walls a fresh coat of paint can work wonders too. Many favour the clean white walls that can make any room instantly feel fresher as well as providing a touch of Scandinavian chic. Or if that’s slightly too sterile for you, then merely painting one wall a bright accent colour is a great way to add an element of fun to your lounge.decorate living room for summer

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A touch of colour

Reupholstery is always an option when aiming to give your furniture a summer makeover, but a far cheaper method is to utilise a few throws and blankets to add a touch of rustic chic. Desert themed prints are particularly big in 2015, so why not go for some rich ochre colours to bring a touch of warmth to your interior. Such desert themes can easily be supplemented by fun motifs like cute cacti dotted around, or even a wildly popular animal skull craftily placed above the mantelpiece!tropical beach summer living room interior design style

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Or if you want to embrace the summer season, then floral prints are always a popular choice to celebrate the great British garden. These can easily be accessorised with cushions and curtains to provide a soft and alluring touch to your interior space.

And never underestimated the powerful effect that a well-placed vase of flowers can have in giving a room an elegant touch of colour. If you really want to add to the botanical theme, then a cloche or even a terrarium containing small plants can add a great deal of summer charm!

 


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A creative entertainment idea for your next party

It is becoming increasingly popular at parties and events to have a photo booth, where guests can have their picture taken. These photo booths are an excellent way to let people take pictures of themselves as the evening progresses, and you can even incorporate a theme into your photo booth as well.wedding-anniversary-party-ideas-fancy-dress-photo-booth-wallThere are many different events which would be suitable to have a photo booth to take pictures of the guests, such as;

  • Weddings
  • Anniversaries (A created a DIY photo wall for my 10th wedding anniversary party)
  • Birthdays
  • Graduations
  • Engagement Parties
  • Retirement Parties

Even corporate events are using photo booths to help delegates break the ice and I’ve enjoyed taking some snaps with my blogging pals in the Blogstock and Company Blog Awards booths (below). Whatever type of event it is that you are planning you may find that a photo booth could be just the right thing to let everyone have some creative fun.diy photo booth party ideas photograph

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Tuesday Shoesday – Summer Platform Flip Flops

What do you buy when you’re 5ft 2 and want to wear flip flops during the summer? Why, wedge heel flip flops, of course!tuesday shoesdat summer flip flop fashion wedge shoes-5With a sandy beach holiday coming up this summer, I’m determined to get my pale feet out in the sun so I wanted to get a pair of sandals that would take me from beach to promenade and back again. And that’s where this pair of wedges come in.tuesday shoesdat summer flip flop fashion wedge shoes tuesday shoesdat summer flip flop fashion wedge shoes-7tuesday shoesdat summer flip flop fashion wedge shoes-3 Continue reading “Tuesday Shoesday – Summer Platform Flip Flops” »


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Map Geek – Constellation charts

The night sky has always fascinated me. From staying up late to watch Patrick Moore on The Sky At Night as a child to getting far too excited about Stargazing Live as an adult, I’ve always had a ‘thing’ for stars. Couple that with my love of maps and you’ve got one excited geek on your hands!ancient constellation map

Image source – Etsy UK

I’ve been doing my research on constellation maps and star charts, and have found that the earliest charting of the stars was by ancient Chinese, Greek and Babylonian astronomers in the early ‘BC’ era. They simply drew what they saw in the sky, including the movement of the moon, sun and stars. Although not always accurate, from these early records a number of constellations were identified in the dot-to-dot shapes that the stars made. These were used for astrological predictions – an early take on cosmology – and for understanding the workings of the universe.

vintage star mapImage source – Etsy UK

Even though constellations are a rather basic way of looking at the universe, they are still widely accepted by astronomers today to identify parts of the night sky, although Latin names are widely used to describe constellations within modern academia. Thanks to developments in technology today – and the scientific discoveries since the ‘space race’ in the 60s – our star charts are considerably more accurate and maps of the solar system have been created through digital imaging.nortons star atlas

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How does your garden grow? Veggie patch & outdoor fun

Oh what a lovely weekend this is proving to be. The weather has been glorious and yesterday I spent the whole day in the garden with my husband. We listened to the radio as we tended to our plants and had a thorough weeding session to bring the veggie patch back up to scratch, followed by a well deserved drink and lunch in the garden.summer party - garden table and chairs in wild flower meadow-10 allotment summer garden veggie patch runner beans-2I gave you an update on how our strawberries were getting on in their DIY makeshift planter earlier this week and today I’m happy to report a little bit of growth in the raised beds too. All of a sudden the carrot seeds that we planted along the front of the bed are finally sprouting up and the runner beans are running up the canes. Even the gooseberry bush that we planted last year is getting bigger and bushier!

You may have spotted two excellent runner bean plants in the photos and two that are still really small. That’s because we originally planted some peas on the left which, although they produced a few decent pods, didn’t climb very high and eventually withered and died. Our first semi-fail of the year.summer garden veggie patch runner beans-2 allotment summer garden veggie patch runner beans-3 Continue reading “How does your garden grow? Veggie patch & outdoor fun” »


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Tips for the perfect fit with Bravissimo

I think Isla Fisher put it best in Confessions of a Shopaholic when her character Rebecca Bloomwood was confronted with a huge credit card bill for lingerie; “Oh, underwear is a basic human right”. Okay, shopaholic Rebecca was sozzled and crazed by her out-of-control debts at the time, but she had a point. "CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC" Isla Fisher Ph: Robert Zuckerman © Touchstone Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

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Isn’t there a famous quote about buying good beds and shoes because “if you aren’t in one you are in the other”? I think this could possibly apply to underwear too, can’t it? Anyway, the point is that I’m completely justified in buying a gorgeous new set of Freya underwear… and  it means I get to share my tips with you for getting a great fitting bra, so that can only be a good thing, can’t it?bra fitting tips bra fitting tips-3

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My little vintage caravan – DIY display cabinet makeover

You can never have too much storage, right? Especially if you’re like me and you’re forever picking up cute little thingmebobs at car boot sales and love to receive little trinkety gifts from friends. But that does mean that I have a lot of ‘things’ yet don’t really have anywhere to keep them.diy display cabinet makeover for vintage caravan_-16diy display cabinet makeover for vintage caravan_-14 No, I can’t just have a clear-out and get rid of them; everything I’ve kept has a memory attached to it and I want to cherish my belongings and the happy times that came with them. The only thing I don’t want to do is pack my precious items away in boxes. Even though this might be a neater solution than having bits and pieces on every surface, I want to actually see them and enjoy them daily. So what’s the solution? More storage of course!diy display cabinet makeover for vintage caravan_-17 diy display cabinet makeover for vintage caravan_-19Okay, there’s only so much space in my little vintage caravan and, to be honest, it’s all rather awkward. Conventional cabinets just don’t seem to fit, and there always seems to be a wheel-arch or a window that needs to be worked around. So this week I’ve finally found something that fits in the space and gives me the display solution I need.diy display cabinet makeover for vintage caravan_-8 diy display cabinet makeover for vintage caravan_-18 Continue reading “My little vintage caravan – DIY display cabinet makeover” »


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1950s Picquot Ware & my tips for polishing metal

I thought that today’s blog post was just going to be able polishing up silverware and that I would be able to share a straightforward set of tips on how to bring your old teapot back to life. However, while I was polishing my pots, I turned them over and found a name stamped into the base – Picquot Ware. I was intrigued and after buffing up my DIY polishing project I headed indoors to investigate. DIY polishing midcentury modern silvertea set picquot ware teapotMy husband found these kitchenalia items at a recent carboot sale and I loved the shape as soon as I saw them. I adored the curvy design and I imagined it to be the kind of tea set that might have been used to serve passengers on the Titanic or on a Mallard steam train journey in the 1940s. Continue reading “1950s Picquot Ware & my tips for polishing metal” »


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How does your garden grow? Strawberries

On the last day of April I wrote about my mini greenhouse makeover and today I wanted to share with you the progress of our plants. You may remember that we used an old piece of industrial venting that we found in a skip to make a DIY strawberry planter. We lined it with cardboard, filled it with compost and popped some tiny strawberry plants in the holes. Well, nearly two months on I’m happy to report that the strawberry plants have taken root and are becoming bushier by the day.

We’ve even already been able to harvest a batch of strawberries to eat, and there are even more on the way! Having never successfully grown more than one strawberry on a plant before I am really chuffed with the progress of my plants.

Continue reading “How does your garden grow? Strawberries” »