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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Interior design inspiration ~ photowalls

When I wrote about the interior décor of Hollister stores last week it was pretty clear that I was really inspired by the design. Ever since my visit to the Cambridge shop, I’ve been trying to work out a way that I could inject a bit of Californian holiday atmosphere into my own home and I think I’ve come up with a plan…

The design element that most impressed me was the ocean view windows above. The ‘windows’ were made from screens which projected a wrap-around view of the ocean and coastline, giving the impression that you really were shopping in a tropical hut, possibly on a pier out in the sea. I loved the immersive atmosphere this created and I want to do something similar at home. Okay, I’m not considering installing a TV wall but I AM researching the possibility of including a photowall in my bathroom design.

I’ve gathered design inspiration and have researched companies that can print large-scale posters and I’ve decided to order from StressFreePrint. They are able to take a photo and divide it into posters which can over-lap and be pasted together to create an image the size of any wall up to 8m high! So my little 1.8m x 1.4m space above the bath should be no trouble at all ;) It’s basically like having wallpaper custom-made but without a hefty price tag.

There are different grades of paper quality available and the photos are printed with dry toner inks which are waterproof and UV stable so the image won’t run or fade - pretty good, huh? I’m still planning to varnish the wall after the posters have been hung, just to be certain that the moist bathroom environment won’t damage the image. Here are some interior spaces that have used a photo-wall effect to add a false window or to change the atmosphere of the room:

poster wall art ideas

So now all I need to do is choose an image. I want to use a photo of my favourite coastline, with beach huts and a gorgeous blue sky – but I’ll have to be there on the right day and at the right time to get the perfect weather conditions. I’d rather spend a bit of time creating an image that I’ll enjoy looking at, because it’ll be pretty hard to ignore once it’s pasted onto the bathroom wall! I’m hoping to create the illusion of looking into the distance so that the wall adds depth to the bathroom, rather than over-powering it. It’s a tough decision to make but I’ll share my chosen photos with you as soon as I send it to print!

 


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How to keep track of creative ideas

I forget things easily and I need to do something about it. I’m great at having lots of ideas for content for my thrifty little blog and I get all excited when I see something interesting while I’m out and about. I think to myself, ‘I’ll definitely remember that‘, but by the time I’m sat at my computer, ready to write, the idea will have gone completely out of my head, never to return. Which is why you’re getting a blog post today about me forgetting what awesome blog content was going to be here and a bit of a self-rant instead.

I sometimes make notes on my phone, especially when someone gives me some info while I’m at an event; “You really must check out this online radio station…”, “There’s this great magazine website…”, “This is a fabulous shop…”; but once I’ve written it down on the phone, I tend to never check the list of notes ever again. That is, until the next time that I need to write something down and I open the app… I also feel a little bit rude typing on my phone while I’m in the company of other people and always feel the need to explain that I’m writing down the tip or web address they’ve just given me, not texting and ignoring them! It’s just not the best method for me to record my ideas so I’ve decided to do something about it.

tips for keeping track of creative ideas for bloggers crafters artists and writers

Yes, I have got myself a teeny tiny notebook and even a pencil case from BHS. I’ve decided that the only way to keep track of my ideas, plans, things to do and websites to investigate is by actually physically writing them down. I only have a small satchel handbag but there is plenty of room in there for this notebook and it will make my life considerably easier. I liked the pretty floral Sass and Belle design so much that I even got the vintage-inspired pencil case to store my pen, pencil and lipstick!

So now that I have the means to make notes with me at all times, I can jot down my creative ideas as and when inspiration hits and refer back to it whenever I’m ready to do some research or writing. I also feel like it’s more acceptable to get a notebook out and write down some information rather than typing on a phone so I’m more likely to make a note of things at the time, rather than struggling to recall it afterwards.

Here are my tips for using your notebook:

  • Carry your notebook and pen always! Inspiration can strike anywhere and at any time.
  • Write down your idea at the time, not afterwards because you’re likely to forget by the time you get round to it ;)
  • Keep note of important details such as web addresses and phone numbers as this will help with future research
  • If you have already thought of ways to tie an idea into a blog post or article, make a note of this too – one idea often leads into another.
  • Pick up business cards or postcards of businesses that interest you and stick them in your notebook for reference
  • If you promise to send details to someone, get their details, write it down and actually do it!
  • Don’t just write things down – draw, doodle and sketch too.
  • Refer back to your notebook every time you sit down to work.

Let me know if you already use a notebook or whether you find it easier to record information on your phone – tweet me a photo of your sketchbook or note pad if you have one!

 


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My renovation sensation project

When I first heard about the Renovation Sensation project my mind went into overdrive - so many ideas went whizzing around my mind and I was super-excited to get started. The challenge was set by Direct Blinds and I knew straightaway that it was right up my street: I love the thrifty nature of a makeover project to ‘get the look for less’ and I’m always keen to recycle and renovate old or unwanted items to keep them out of landfill. I headed to the car boot sale and kept my beady eye open for a suitable project to get started on.

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The Cassiefairy Collection

I mentioned last week that I’ve been working on a project for the past few months to create my own collection of Cassiefairy t-shirt designs. I was so excited when I was approached by Got-The-T-Shirt.co.uk and they invited me to design a range of t-shirts. I had completely free rein over the design and I knew I wanted it to be something that reflected me, the blog itself and to also be inspirational – I hoped that people would actually want to wear my designs!

I did a lot of research and looked into what was already out there in the world of fashion at the moment but couldn’t find any inspiration that would be suitable for my design project. So I started from scratch by playing around with scribbles, geometric designs and spirographs, creating all kinds of designs in different colours, trialling fonts and choosing patterns. I’ve written all about the design process last week here on the blog so have a look and see which designs made the cut and which went back to the drawing board!

So after a few weeks of work and some very hard decision-making, I finally submitted my designs and Got The T-Shirt set to work on making my fashion “collection” a reality. It wasn’t long before a parcel arrived at my house and I tore it open to see how the designs had turned out… I was delighted! Not only did my images look great on fabric and not only was the print professional standard, but the quality of the t-shirts surprised me. They were soft Fruit of the Loom t-shirts with a little stretch in them and I felt very comfortable wearing them. I took some snaps before popping them on and pairing them with my favourite blazers.

I knew I wanted to include inspirational quotes on the t-shirts but I didn’t want it to be all slogan and no design, so I’m really happy with how the images have turned out. The colours make the pattern stand out and the writing looks like genuine ink pen – if I hadn’t designed it myself, I would have sworn that the text had been hand-written on the t-shirt! The quotes read: “Follow your excitement”,  “Believe in your dreams”, “Choose to use your wings” and “Just Love” and I will be happy to wear any of them for a casual day out with cropped jeans and a pretty cardi or colourful blazer.

 

The good news is that you too can own your own t-shirt from the Cassiefairy collection because I am hosting a giveaway this week – you can win your favourite design in any size (even on a men’s or child’s t-shirts if you prefer!). The competition entry form is below and there are FOUR t-shirts up for grabs so FOUR competition winners will be chosen next week on Wednesday 16th July 2014! You can earn extra entries by retweeting the competition tweets on Twitter throughout the week, so keep an eye on my Twitter account @Cassiefairy to earn more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Interior design inspiration: Hollister

I’ve never been into a Hollister shop before. I know some of you will be regular shoppers and this whole blog post will be old news to you but for me, my visit to the Cambridge store was an adventure in terms of marketing and retail display. I’d never even seen the exterior of a Hollister store so it was the Californian beach hut façade that first lured me into the cavernous store.

I was intrigued by how dark it was inside. I fought my way through the palm tree foliage and into the interior of a tropical beach hideaway. The darkly painted wooden shelves and rails displayed the clothes under spotlights, but the product seemed to take a backseat compared to the decor – richly patterned wallpaper, leather armchairs and old industrial light fittings made the interior feel warm and exotic. The darkness and the plantlife combined with the beach sounds and music made me feel relaxed and just like I was in a spa on some tropical island.

The ‘windows’ (projector screens) showed views of a warm blue sea and beach scenes along with the sounds of crashing waves and birdsong. It was possible to believe that you really were surrounded by the ocean because looking out of the ‘window’ ahead was the sea and to the left and right you saw the corresponding coastline – a very well thought-out design to trick the imagination. Perhaps it was to make customers feel like they are on holiday because we all know we’re more likely to shop and spend more on holiday than we are at home. Kind of sneaky but it worked – because I’d only gone into the shop to investigate the intriguing décor yet I soon found myself looking at the products and feeling like I wanted to stay in the shop all day.

There were so many elements of the shop design that I wanted to take with me for my own home décor, such as the old industrial lighting illuminating the denim section, the mini metal clipboards displaying product information and definitely the cosy armchairs with snuggly rugs. In terms of decorating, I am quickly becoming obsessed by dark patterned wallpaper and I’d love to have a false sea-view window in the bathroom – or even go the whole hog with coastal landscape wallpaper covering an entire wall.

If you’ve visited a Hollister store before you’ll know all about it but if you’ve never stepped inside one, please do check it out – not necessarily for the products (though I can’t stop you shopping while you’re there!) – but for the design inspiration and for the relaxing, holiday-esque feeling it evokes.