Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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

Void landscape of waste packing by Andy Greenacre 2014 aldeburgh beach


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







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Get your art out there – affordable ways to promote artists & exhibitions

As you will probably know if you have read my blog for a while, my husband is an artist and runs a number of events as well as curating exhibitions and art projects. For him it is really important to get information about his art events out there so that interested people can attend. Spreading the word about events or projects can be tricky. Social media is a fab way of advertising event details to your followers, but what if you want a wider reach or appeal to people who may not have a Facebook or twitter account?

Leaflet printing is one option. Printed leaflets or flyers are an affordable way of advertising and for Andy they are the perfect way to spread the word about his events. A simple eye-catching leaflet is an effective way of grabbing people’s attention and showcasing some of the pieces that they will be able to see. You don’t have to spend hours designing a complex leaflet, I find that often the most effective adverts or branding are the most minimal. A busy, fussy leaflet would certainly put me off! You also risk losing the important information such as the time and date of the event if you have a cluttered leaflet.


Here are a few tips on designing the perfect leaflet for you event:

  • Sounds obvious, but make sure the copy highlights your event or services
  • Keep the layout simple, let your message stand out
  • Think about your colour scheme – do you want bright, vibrant colours or muted pastels? Classic monochrome can also look stunning
  • Think about your target audience – will it appeal to them?
  • One last thing to consider is whether you go for a one sided, double sided leaflet or folded leaflet

Once you’ve come up with your design and found a leaflet printing company how are you going to distribute them? Andy has a few places where he knows they will be happy to put a few of his leaflets advertising exhibitions or events. I would recommend asking around in shops or businesses where you think your target audience will visit.

I hope this has been useful and given you a few ideas on how you can advertise an event. If you want to check out any of Andy’s work or upcoming events then check out his website


One of my favourite artists – Mable Tan of Happee Monkee

As many of you know, my husband is an artist and I often get a little glimpse into the art world via him, but this week I’ve found an amazing artist all by myself and this time it was via Etsy! I was having a browse around for retro inspiration for my interior design project and luckily enough I stumbled into a shop called Happee Monkee; a gorgeous shop with a vast selection of very stylish art photography (some of my favourites are below!):

The creator of this stunning artwork is Mable Tan, a Malaysian artist and entrepreneur living in Melbourne, Australia. After exchanging a few emails I was fortunate enough to secure an interview with her and here are Mable’s inspirational responses: 

How did you come to be an art photographer – what’s your background? For a long time, I’d been thinking about what my true calling in life is and how I could make a living out of it. For about four years I worked in a magazine house as a writer and stylist. I’ve always loved photography and being in that industry taught me a lot about composition, styling, lighting and anything there is to know to make a photo ‘pop’.

When did you decide to make the career change? When my husband had a work assignment in Sweden, I jumped at the chance of living in Europe for six months. It wasn’t just an amazing opportunity to be snappy happy, it was also a good time to figure out a career change. I suppose the answer had always been staring me in the face, but I just never saw how it was possible. In the end I took the plunge and I’m really glad I did! 

Cherry Blossoms; “With the last snow melted away, the flowers have happily blossomed to a much welcomed spring. We were bike riding along the canals and saw this fabulous cherry blossom tree. So feminine and sweet!” – Mable Tan

What inspires you? I’m happiest when I’m cooking, I’m travelling, I’m meeting people, I’m behind a camera, and when I’m writing. My all-time favourite quote is: To attract something you want, become as joyful as you think that thing would make you. The joy, not the thing, is the point. Happee Monkee photography is about following your dreams and seeing beauty in every day life. I want my photos to say: “Go on an adventure! Explore and discover places you have always wanted to go.”

Where do you sell your artwork? Etsy is a great platform. It doesn’t need a big capital to start with and the commission is minimal. I love chatting with other sellers and photographers; they are an inspiration to me. Not only are they talented, they are also great business people and I learn so much from them every single day. From Etsy I have slowly branched out to other sites like Society6, Luulla, and recently, with two well-known online Australian retailers called HardtoFind and The Iconic.

How can readers get in touch with you? My Twitter account is: and my Facebook is:, or of course I’m happy to be contacted directly via my Etsy shop. I also blog at which is my playground for all things I love.

Italy; “Have a glass of wine, speak to the locals … it doesn’t matter if it’s in English or Italian, you’re bound to have a great time” – Mable Tan

I have my eye on one of her retro prints that I think will go brilliantly with my 60s/70s interior design project so I’ll keep you posted on my choice of photography when it arrives & I get it framed! In the meantime, I definitely recommend that you all check out Mable’s blog (she has tons of yummy foodie recipes on her blog and, of course, amazing photography!) and please take a look at her Etsy shop and stop by to say hello on Twitter, I know she’d love to hear from you!

What do you think of her artwork? Which piece do you think I’ve plumped for?! Leave me a comment below :)

36 Mini Cards. Paris & Versailles Collection. Two of Each. Box Set. Note cards. Gift Tags. Rococo. Marie Antoinette.