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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Back to work… ouch!

This week I’ve had a problem. It started on Sunday and has carried on all week with little or no let up. I’ve had headaches as a result and even had to have mid-day a lie down at times. I’m taking about back pain and it is naffing me off. Just like the dodgy pun in the title of this blog post, it’s annoying. I know many people ensure bad backs for weeks at a time (many of my friends and family included) and this is really only a relatively recent problem for me, but it’s really frustrating to have to stop what I’m doing in order to sort out my problem.

I don’t like taking pills too often so I’ve been powering through and I know that you should keep moving when you have a dodgy back, but this pain has kind of frozen my neck. I think I’ve traced the root of the problem to my poor choices of working environment over the past couple of weeks. Instead of working in my caravan ‘office’ or sitting at my living room desk, I’ve been lazy and have actually been perching on the sofa to do my work. It’s the result of having a laptop with wifi that doesn’t need to be plugged in all the time, so I can literally work wherever I like, whereas in the past I’ve been chained to the desk with all kinds of wires going into my laptop, therefore keeping me in one place. I guess it can’t be good for me to be snuggled up on the sofa while working and my new-found poor posture results in one heck of a crick in the neck as I look down to see my computer screen. In turn, the neck pain has resulted in headaches at the base of my head – not good and almost debilitating.

correct working posture back app

As we speak I have one of those heated wheat-bags around my neck and I can’t carry on like this. I read this article to find out more about posture and have self-diagnosed that my bad back and neck probably is down to my working environment. Apparently even when working at a desk, the kinds of chairs that are often found in offices are probably contributing to bad backs all around the country – so imagine how bad my standard dining-chair and small table must be for me? What hope is there for my dodgy back and sore neck if I’m not even sitting in a supportive chair at an ergonomically design desk?? I do tend to slump a little and have to regularly correct my posture and really I probably need to raise up my computer to a better eye-level.

But it’s not just me who is suffering – according to the article, 80% of people are experiencing back pain in their lifetime and poor posture can be attributed to the increase in tablet computers and smartphones which have created a generation who are happy to be hunched over screens while they work, rest and play - which this article had dubbed the ‘iPosture’. I am guilty of this too as I reward myself for a good day’s work with a Pinterest session. Maybe I need to be sitting at a desk while doing this too? Who knew that the ‘convenience’ tablets would be causing us all to have bad backs and poor posture? I know what I need to do and honestly, I will start working on my desk again for starters. Plus I am now wishing for a posture-pleasing chair like the ones above, but in the meantime I will take more notice of my posture and correct myself if I begin to slump. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a quick improvement in my sore neck and back so that I can finally wave goodbye to these headaches. Let me know if you’ve had any trouble like this in the past or currently and what you’re doing to make it better – maybe I can give it a go too!

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Article and images used in collaboration with Back App.


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Make a TINY chair for the Borrowers…

Here’s a photo of my latest attempt to turn a piece of rubbish into something special – a champagne cork cage twisted into a tiny chair. I particularly love this one because the cap had an orange pattern on it ~ ideal for my retro living room!

DIY craft tutorial tiny champagne cork chair placeholder

I have previously shared instructions on how to do this kind of thing – check out my blog post on making a DIY champagne chair and if you make them, these tiny chairs have many uses – such as place settings for weddings or dinner parties, a cute addition to a dolls house or memo holding. It’s a better idea than just chucking it in the bin anyway :)

More quick & easy craft tutorials from Cassiefairy:


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My retro-inspired living room – an old armchair rescued!

I am pleased to say that I’ve got another freebie for my retro living room design project - an armchair that was on its way from a vintage furniture shop to the dump. It didn’t exactly look like this when my hubby brought it home to me; it had a cream damask patterned cover over it which went all the way down to the floor and hid the chair’s legs. When I first saw it, it would be an understatement to say that I was disappointed, in fact I may have even used “urgghhh”. But my husband had already looked beneath the cover and knew that underneath was this lovely original brown and orange patterned fabric.

Okay, I say lovely, and I know that to some people it’s probably even less desirable in this state, but to me it was absolutely perfect for our 60s/70s living room, especially with the orange line running through it. And best of all, it was completely free and I’d previously been looking for a small retro armchair for the living room and all had been out of any kind of price-range that I could afford!

So that’s another item of furniture kept out of the landfill site, recycled and reused in my living room – and that make’s it even more special for me!


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A DIY project – renovating an old dining chair

I desperately wanted a princess chair for my dressing table but the chairs I’ve seen in places like Laura Ashley and Dunelm are way out of my price range – so I very politely asked my husband to help out with the renovation of an old mahogany dining chair. We chose a dusky blue Crown paint ‘etiquette’ for the frame and bought a length of silver fabric trim from Dunelm.

The first step was to remove all the tacks from around the edge of the fabric and gave the fabric a good clean with some upholstery foam. Once dried we covered the edges of the fabric with masking tape ready for painting. A quick sand and a couple of coats of the blue paint was enough to cover the dark wood and once it had dried we used a hot glue-gun to over the rough edge with the lovely silver trim.

We then rubbed over the paint with sandpaper so that some of the wood showed through and lightly flicked a little white paint onto the edges with a paint brush for a distressed look and to highlight the wood carving. Beautiful!

 


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I made this all by myself: Champagne cork cage mini-chair by my hubby!

Whenever my husband and I open a bottle of bubbly (which is unfortunately not often enough!), while I am cheerfully enjoying my drink, he is bending and folding and contorting. Not himself I hasten to add, but the wire of the cork cage – he is shaping it into a mini chair and I always marvel at the finished item – how did he did it with such little effort? It takes me longer to photograph this dainty piece of furniture than it takes him to make it!

I’ve known people to buy this kind of thing as a table decoration/placeholder for weddings and parties so here’s how to do it yourself and save a bit of cash if you want to get this effect for your event (plus you get to drink the champagne in order to use the cork cages!) Maybe start collecting the cages a few months/years before, depending on your usual bubbly consumption, and not all in one go!

  • To begin making your basic chair untwist wire which attached the cage to the bottle neck and pull it carefully out from between the main cage wires, leaving a stool.
  • Straighten this piece of wire, then bend the wire down to form the sides of the chair back.   
  • Line up one side wire from your chair back with the twists on the back leg, and twist the wire into the back leg so that the wire twists blend together.
  • Repeat this twisting process with the wire on the other side of the leg.

And there you have it – a teeny tiny wire chair! The perfect size for any Borrowers you may have living underneath your floorboards!