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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A massive new project for Cassiefairy ~ my vintage caravan

First and foremost, I’d like to welcome all the lovely new visitors from Creative Crafting’s blog tour – I have been waiting for this day for a while now and I’m so pleased to be able to welcome you to my blog. While you’re here please have a good look around my categories – there are plenty of craft, sewing and DIY projects in my archives, plus articles on fashion, shoes (on Tuesday Shoesday!) and current trends. I’ve recently been blogging about fun summer ideas (such as Gardenbury festival) and party ideas, plus I share thrifty recipes weekly – every Pieday Friday! But without further ado, I’d like to tell you about my new project – I’ve bought myself a caravan!

It’s not the prettiest caravan at the moment and it’s certainly ‘vintage’ as you can probably tell from it’s shabby exterior and tatty interior, but I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. I was looking for a ‘garden building’ to use as my workshop/office ever since I moved into my 1-bed bungalow – I needed space for my tutu business and somewhere to keep all my sewing stuff, so I saw the potential in this little caravan. It’s perfectly mobile so I snapped it up for a very low price (you know I’m loathe to spend my hard-earned money, so you can imagine what a bargain it must have been!), had it delivered (included in the price) to my home and parked it up in the back garden. Here are some photos of its current condition, inside and out:

cassiefairys vintage caravan project original photos of sprite

I was in two minds about how to fix it up. When I first saw the caravan I considered carrying out a ‘renovation’, restoring it to it’s original state. I really do love this kind of retro style, especially garish patterns and orange fabrics (as you have probably seen in my living room makeover series!) so it was in my mind to restore the caravan to its former glory and keep it as it was. But when I got inside it, I realised that it had got pretty damp at some point in the past and most of  internal units and cupboards were crumbling and would have to be removed and replaced, the floor lino was torn and the seat cushions were also pretty-much shredded. So I had a rethink and realised that, seeing as I would need to replace all of the internal fittings and repaint the outside of the caravan, I might as well change the design of the caravan completely and go for something that I really liked for myself – it was going to become my studio after all!

cassiefairys vintage caravan project original photos of sprite interior

So, this is the start of my journey of converting my crusty little caravan into a beautiful sewing workshop to be proud of, and I’ll be sharing the ideas, DIY projects, sewing tutorials and progress over the coming weeks. I hope you’ll stop back to see how the caravan project develops! Please let me know if you have created your own home workshop or have converted an old caravan and I’d love to see your photos or feature you on the blog as part of this series – please email me cassie@cassiefairy.co.uk or tweet me @CassiefairyTutu. I’d love to hear from you!

And to all the lovely Creative Crafters; I hope you enjoy what you see here and add me to your favourites list or Bloglovin’ reader and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you feel inspired to join in with this month’s Inspiration Challenge (in honour of ‘wedding season’ this month’s theme is vintage wedding dresses!) and share your very own craft projects at the end of the month! Please click here to see what we made last month and how to join in!

xmas stocking sewing project


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My project over the Christmas holidays – I’m making a book!

As avid readers of my blog will know, I’m very keen on thrifty craft projects and on sharing tasty recipes on Pieday Friday. As such, I now have quite a number of articles written on these subjects and I’ve been thinking about summarising my favourite recipes and craft projects from the past couple of years.

xmas stocking sewing project

My hubby suggested writing a book, and although I scoffed at first at the idea of ME writing a book, I realised that this would be the perfect way of sharing my projects and giving something back to my readers. My hubby and I have previously used Blurb.com to publish an art book and found the free software really easy to use – it really is a case of dragging and dropping the images and text into a book layout – you really can’t go wrong! And once you’ve installed the book-making programme on your computer, you can use it again and again to make photobooks – just drop your fave photos in each time you take them for a couple of months and eventually you’ll have all your pics in one place, ready to print – this saves me a lot of time rummaging through albums to find the best ones when I want to do a print out!

steaming shepherds cottage pie recipe pieday friday cooking method

So I’ve decided that my personal ‘project’ over the Christmas holidays will be to dedicate a bit of time to creating my own Blurb cookbook or craft book – or both! At the moment there’s a special offer on making Blurb books – 20% off until end of Dec with discount code “NOEL20” so I’ll definitely be taking advantage of this! I’ll share the finished result with you when it’s done in January and it’ll be available to download as a free e-book! If you fancy having a go at making your own book or even just a photo book of your festive snaps check it out!

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Interior Design Inspiration – Going dotty for retro spots

One of artist Fabiana Di Mascio’s pieces that I saw recently at the Never Ending Mural exhibition in Ipswich has given me inspiration for an interior design project. Her artwork consisted of a dark painted canvas covered in multi-coloured acrylic dots. Honestly, it looked absolutely beautiful, and I’d love to recreate a paler version over my whole living-room wall.

Obviously,  Damien Hirst has famously made spots ‘his thing’, selling millions of pounds -worth of dotty works of art. However, I’m not after such a uniform look to the spots on my wall – the piece of art that I was inspired by was more like free-hand spots that had been dotted on using the end of a paintbrush.

Here’s another piece of art that has inspired me by Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama. This exhibition named “Look Now, See Forever” took place at the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art until March 2012 and allowed visitors to contribute to the installation to create a room filled with dots – this immersive room was created for kids, called “World of Dots”.

Pretty cool huh? Although a little over-the-top for my living room design! I will certainly be taking inspiration from these artworks to create my very own dotty wall… watch this space!


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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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Jess dress worn by Diana Vickers

 X-Factor star Diana Vickers has been papped in one of the dresses designed by Jessica Thompson for her Graduate Fashion Week collection. The first-class fashion graduate from the University of Central Lancashire premiered her cartoon & toy inspired collection at Graduate Fashion Week 2010 and was quickly picked up by London fashionistas as the highlight of the catwalk show.

The talented student was soon after contacted by the fashion stylist for Diana Vickers and she quickly delivered the abstract print dress to be worn by the singer at the Camden Club in London.