Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

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


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Tuesday Shoesday – My week in #FloorSelfies

When I first heard about the #FloorSelfie challenge, I found myself getting a little excited. Not only do I love a good photo challenge, but I also love shoes, and taking photos of my feet for a week sounded like great fun. No need for any special equipment to get involved with this challenge; I simply charged up my phone and snapped a photo whenever the thought entered my mind. By the end of the week I’m pretty sure that I’d started to search out more interesting floors with fun colours or patterns, or maybe it was simply the fact that I was noticing the floor more often . How often do we look down, really? We’re missing interesting designs and even art by keeping our heads up. Anyway, enough rambling – here are my favourite shoe photos from the week and little bit about the location to go with them:

Excuse the pun but I ‘kick started’ my week of #FloorSelfies with a day out at the seaside. And we enjoyed ourselves so much that we actually went back to the coast the day after too. I snapped some photos on the beach and almost soaked my toes by trying to get the Tuesday Shoesday snap above when the tide came in. The traditional walk along the promenade followed, with me dribbling over beach huts that I could never afford, followed by a big hot chocolate to warm up. The second day we went to Southwold Pier and had fun playing air hockey and winning 2ps in the arcade. Something I hadn’t noticed before was that the pier has footprints painted on the deck all along the length of the pier. Don’t follow them though – some of the footprints head right off the side of the pier! I found a set of flipper footprints and snapped this fun #FloorSelfie.

One of the most exciting thing to happen to me this week was something that I couldn’t really photograph. My husband had been picked in a ballot to go to a recording of a TV special in Elstree Studios. With the performance being ‘top secret’ and absolutely no cameras allowed, it was hard for me to get a photo but I wanted to record the day out nonetheless. Here’s the fabulous wooden floor in the entrance to Elstree Studios and it’s the very same spot where I later met Tim Peake and Professor Brian Cox. Yes, I got a selfie with an astronaut! Best. Moment. Ever. And I managed to give Brian Cox a pair of ChattyFeet’s Prof. Brian Sox socks, which he found hilarious. Oh, you’ll notice a different pair of shoes in this shot – they are my favourite Hush Puppy flats the rub a little on the heel so aren’t great for wearing all day long. The following day we took a walk in the countryside and noticed just how autumnal everything is – leaves are turning brown and conkers are falling. Must remember to go blackberry picking this week before it’s too late.

Continue reading “Tuesday Shoesday – My week in #FloorSelfies” »


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A floral bedroom makeover – Flooring dilemmas

Whenever I get that spring cleaning feeling, it always turns into a bigger job than I imagined. What starts out as a wipe-down-the-skirting-boards and dust-the-curtain-rail kind spring clean, always seems to turn into a complete room makeover. And this year is no exception. That urge to decorate has arrived and I’m starting this weekend! As you read this, I’ll probably already be up a ladder, painting the ceiling. The fact that we already had the right paint in the shed meant that there were no excuses. We had all the tools at our disposal to start a makeover project and this time, it’s the bedroom that’s getting a new lease of life.bedroom makeover ideas metal bed

Perfect cream metal bed frame

Having already decided to paint the walls the same shade of cream that we’d used in the hallway, it was easy to imagine what the end result would be. But it’s not just the walls that that needed to be changed – it was the flooring, furniture and window treatments too. So, in the absence of any before-and-after photos yet, today’s blog post is about choosing new flooring for the bedroom and to give you an idea of the kind of look we’re trying to achieve. In fact, you can take a look at this Pinterest board to find out the inspiration behind this spring makeover.decorating bedroom ideasSo, as you can probably tell from the images above, we’re trying to get a ‘country’ bedroom finish. Not too ornate or French, just cosy and a bit floral. Pretty similar to my little vintage caravan, but the cosy indoors version. Layering up quilts, using lots of cushions and draping snuggly rugs over the floor – that kind of look. But just what type of flooring will we use? THAT is the question.bedroom makeover ideas shabby chic Continue reading “A floral bedroom makeover – Flooring dilemmas” »


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Interior design inspiration for cosy winter homes

Most of the year I want my rooms to look more spacious, clean and bright. But when winter looms, I suddenly get the urge to start decorating in stronger colours and wishing that rooms were smaller and more cosy. Have you ever noticed how snuggly you feel when you’re in a country pub in December? Okay, some of that might be down to the roaring fire but a lot of that feeling of warmth and cosiness comes from the deep colours on the walls and the dark wood furniture. So today, I’m taking interior inspiration from some gorgeously designed dark rooms in order to recreate a cosy feeling at home.dark living room interior design inspirationWhere in your home do you want to feel warmest this winter? It’s a safe bet that you’d love to have a cosy living room. It’s one room where you’ll be spending more time during winter evenings. In the summer the bright kitchen with patio doors flung open onto the garden seems like a lovely place to spend long summer evenings, but in the winter the tiled floor and lack of soft furnishings can feel too cold. This is precisely why I prefer to cosy up in the living room on dark winter evenings. And this is one room where you can really go for it with darker colours.Dark interior design inspiration red burgundyWalls can be painted in muted tones of dark red, purple, denim or green. These colours will make the walls feel closer and the room, although appearing smaller, will gain a warmer atmosphere. Deeper shades offer a ‘heritage’ look during the day and you can benefit from the cosy feeling in the evenings all year round. There’s no need to cover every surface with dark paint however; simply painting up to a picture rail will actually give the impression of extra height in a room when combined with a pale colour above. Quality carpets add cosiness to cold floorboards and can add a feeling of warmth underfoot without going the whole hog painting walls. Darker carpets offer a feeling of opulence and are less likely to show up stains and muddy footprints over the years!Dark interior design inspiration blue bedroomNext up is the bedroom. Of course you want to feel warm and safe in your bedroom so deep colours will help you feel cocooned at night. Deep tones can actually help you sleep better because the room will appear darker and more like night-time even when it’s light outside. If you want to take advantage of this, avoid warm colours which encourage creative activity and plump for deep blues and muted greens instead which create a calming, serene environment. Choose matt paints for the bedroom as colours appear softer and more restful when they are flatter as they absorb more light.Dark interior design inspiration blue living roomSo what do you think? Will you consider decorating your home in darker tones? Not only will rooms feel more cosy during the winter, but they will continue to be warm and snuggly in the evenings, and may help you sleep more soundly, all year round. Okay, when you’ve got small rooms to start with, bold rich colours might make spaces feel oppressive but you don’t need to decorate every wall – just one richly toned feature wall will make all the difference to your home this winter. Let me know what you think of this trend and get in touch if you too have deep colours in your home – tweet me your photos to @cassiefairy.


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Dream a little dream… floored or flawed?

Last week my attention turned to the state of the flooring in my bedroom. After inviting my friends to stay with us for the weekend and offering our bedroom up as a guest suite, I began to look at the bedroom with fresh eyes – was it even suitable to receive guests? Its funny how you don’t notice the odd mug-ring on the bedside table or the dusty skirting boards until you have someone coming to stay, isn’t it?! Well, I spotted all these flaws just in time and set to work to create a lovely, tranquil and, most importantly, clean space for my guests. The room did look lovely and I used a special set of bedding that my husband and I received as a wedding gift and it actually matches the roses on the book-wall perfectly! That was when I began looking at the carpet and I was not happy with what I saw.

How did all those stains get there? Why is there a dark, shadowy mark around the edge of the carpet? I don’t remember spilling that nail polish… Actually, that’s a lie; I know full-well that there’s a pink streak of Revlon varnish on the carpet, but the bed as been strategically place over it, phew! Anyway, the marks that had previously gone unnoticed were suddenly my top priority and I set to work scrubbing with carpet cleaner and vacuuming as best I could but even though a few of the stains were vastly improve, many were still there. Not much I could do about that on the day of my friends’ arrival, but now that I’ve spotted the problem that’s all I think about every time I go in the room and I’m feeling the need to sort out the bedroom floor as soon as possible. So here are my ideas:

  1. A new carpet: I do like having carpet on the floor in the bedroom and it certainly makes the room feel cosy, but I’m worried about the cost of the carpet, not to mention fitting fees. I’m not sure if fitting a carpet is something that hubby and I can tackle ourselves so I’ll have to find out about the expense of carpet fitting before I start looking at carpet types or colours. I’d like to replace it with a similar pale cream carpet, but surely I’ll just end up with the same stained-carpet problem again in the future? I like the funky striped carpets available at the moment but I worry that it’ll make the room look smaller, darker and worry about the pattern dating quickly an I relaly don’t want to replace the flooring for many many years to come!
  2. Laminate floor: I’ve really started to look at laminate flooring in a new light since investigating my carpet problem. It would be easy to keep clean and would minimise the chance of staining because I can just wipe up tea-spills when they happen. Plus, the style of laminate flooring is so much better than it used to be, looks much more like a genuine hardwood floor and I really like the dark wood effects – which would look great with our mahogany bed. Again, I’m not sure whether the room would feel too dark and oppressive, so perhaps a white-washed wood would look better while still being durable and easy to clean? Laminate flooring looks simple enough to install so maybe we can have a go at DIYing the floor and saving a bit of money at the same time.
  3. Get in the professionals: Okay I can probably install a carpet or laminate for the cost of some carpet cleaning services, but I figure that hiring one of those industrial carpet cleaners and giving the whole carpet a deep cleanse myself might solve many of the problems. Though I’m sure the nail polish stain will be going nowhere, no matter what I do to clean it!

So there are my options and I’m not sure where to start. Perhaps I’ll ask around and see if anyone has a carpet cleaning machine at home that I could borrow and try out my theory that many of the stains can be removed, then I’ll have saved money and kept my carpet out of landfill. If it’s still in a horrible state after my attempt at cleaning, then I’ll look into the costs of new flooring and get some samples to compare. Read more about my bedroom makeover here and I’ll share more about the stain-problem soon – I bet you can’t wait?!


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My little vintage caravan ~ Clearing up the glitter

A couple of weeks ago, one of my closest friends and blogger-extraordinaire Jenna from Glitter Daze blog came to stay with me and we has a fantastic time going on little trips, taking snaps for our blogs and getting stuck into craft projects so that we would have plenty of DIY tutorials ready for you over the festive period. I hope to share her Christmas wreath tutorial with you soon and it’s full of plenty of Glitter Daze glam! Not one to arrive empty-handed, Jenna rocked up on my doorstep with advent calendars, chocolate, bubbly and (of course) these 3 massive tubs of glitter for me below, wowzers! Expect plenty of sparkly crafts coming on up on the blog soon! But this does mean that on-top of all the tulle, thread and general sewing debris that litters the floor of my vintage caravan workshop, I now have glitter to content with – and lots of it! So when I had the chance to review a Dyson vacuum cleaner I couldn’t believe my luck – it was as if the world had conspired to give me the gift of glitter, along with the means to clear it up!

new dyson to keep my little vintage caravan workshop clean

So I’ve just received my new vacuum cleaner, and the first job was sorting out my caravan carpet. I don’t know if you can see clearly in these photos, but there is plenty of dropped glitter all over the carpet (I think it added to the glam pinkness) plus loads of thread etc. I’ve long since given up keeping my workshop floor clean because my old vacuum just wasn’t sucky enough to get the threads out of the carpet pile. I know that sounds a little lazy of me (how do you think that the thread got on the floor in the first place? yep, too lazy to put it in the bin) and  I’ve recently been thinking that perhaps a vinyl floor might have been a better choice so that I could simply sweep it up after every project. But now, I won’t have to worry about that – because the Dyson has a rotating brush head that picked up every thread – I turned it on and I could immediately see threads whipping around the head before I’d even started moving it around the carpet.

using dyson to clean up glitter and thread in my little vintage caravan

The DC39 model that I’d chosen was designed for animal hair because as you know I’ve got two very very fluffy cats who like to shed everywhere (mostly on my lap). I thought that the vacuum would therefore be suitable for removing the standard layer of fur that settles over my home, plus it would also be able to tackle the sewing debris in my caravan. Even the tiny turbine head (top pics), which is usually used for getting pet hair out of upholstery, has little rotating brushes and picks up wool, lint and fluff with ease. There was even cat fluff in the dust cylinder that I hadn’t seen at all on my caravan floor, so it really does pick up all pet hair so now I can invite my allergic little sister over to my house after a quick whip-round with the Dyson.

using dyson to vacuum my little vintage caravan

You can see that I’ve chosen one of the little cylinder vacuum’s rather than the upright one. I’ve struggled in the past with the weight of the upright ones when using one of the old original Dysons, and even though they are now much lighter and have been redesigned with the roller-ball for easy manoeuvring, I still have a lot of nooks and crannies that I want to vacuum so I wanted a smaller ‘pod’ vacuum. As you can see, it fits into my little vintage caravan just nicely and I didn’t feel like it was taking up all the space or getting in my way. The roller-ball means that I could vacuum all around the house and it followed me wherever I went (a bit like my cats) without getting stuck on anything – it just moved around obstacles in the same way that I did. I also chose the cylinder vacuum because it has lots of different brush heads, including an articulating head which can swivel to fit down the side of units – perfect for me! All in all, I’m over-the-moon with my new Dyson and am happier still that I don’t have to do my regular 6-monthly hunt for expensive replacement bags for the old vacuum any more!

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My little vintage caravan project ~ Floored or flawed?

You may have noticed in my last blog post about the caravan that there was a roll of carpet plonked in the middle of my seating area. And the even-more eagle eyed of you will have noticed that I’ve painted my inner wheel-arch cover with a dark pink shade. This was in preparation for laying the carpet! I know most caravans have a lino floor, and this was my intention when I went out looking for flooring. It would be easy to keep clean with muddy shoes coming in from the outdoors. But this carpet caught my eye and I soon realised that my caravan wasn’t travelling anywhere and would be paved outside, so I wasn’t going to worry about how to clean the floor – I was going to have a cosy carpet and get a doormat to solve any damp-shoe issues!

I bought this piece of pink carpet from a local carpet store – the kind that has off-cuts just sitting around, waiting for the right caravan owner to come along and pick it out from the bunch of brown and cream flooring. It was the perfect colour for me (I’m quite keen on pink, I don’t know if you’ve noticed…) and the price was especially good for me – reduced to £18 and the sales rep threw in a pink and blue union-jack doormat!

cassiefairys little vintage caravan retro renovation project on the blog - pink carpet

It was a carpet that was technically the right size (in square footage), but physically not quite right. I needed to use the carpet from beneath my seats to fill in the gap at the back where the length wasn’t quite there. So I laid a few blue-and-white vinyl tiles (the type you get from the discount store for £2 per pack) underneath the seats and enlisted my husband to help me lay the carpet. A lot of measuring, cutting and spray-adhesive-ing later, we had laid the carpet. There followed a beautiful moment when I could finally lay on the floor of my little caravan and relax! And then my cat joined me for a pudding-at-the-new-carpet session. I can’t wait to see what happens when I actually have cushions on my seats/bed – I might never get up!

Here is another gorgeous caravan that I’ve found via Pinterest (here’s the link) and I really love it – it’s based in Australia and as far as I can work out, it is a tattoo parlour! It almost makes me want to have a tattoo (I said almost!). Although I love the baby pink I’m still glad that I’ve chosen a sunny sky blue for my exterior colour – this might have been taking my interest in pink a little too far and would have definitely overpowered my garden!

baby pastel pink vintage retro caravan - Trailer Trash Tattoo

Please come back soon for the next update on my progress and you can check out what I’ve been doing up to this point using the links below 🙂 Let me know what you think – leave me a comment below or get in touch via http://twitter.com/cassiefairy I’d love to hear from you 🙂

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