Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

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


Book review: Urban Flowers + win a copy!

This week I’ve got my hands on the newly released gardening book ‘Urban Flowers’ by Carolyn Dunster. A very thrifty DIY-focussed book, it contains hundreds of ideas for making the most of your outdoor space, no matter how little garden you have. And the good news is that you can win a copy in my giveaway so read on to enter the competition below…In this book, Carolyn demonstrates how it is possible to turn even the smallest space into a blooming urban paradise with colourful flowers and a thriving habitat for wildlife too. So whether you’ve got a patch in the countryside or a balcony in the city, you’ll be sure to find a handy project in this book.
Urban Flowers helps to identify which plants will grow best in your garden and, the thing I found most interesting about the book, it provides planting ‘recipes’ to create colourful palettes of blooms all year round. I’ve always wondered how some gardens look great in every season and now I know how to do it for myself!

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New ‘Map Geek’ feature every Monday

I’m a map geek. There, I said it. I love ’em and can’t get enough of them, hence my new ‘Map Mondays’ feature. And it’s not just maps that get me going – globes, travel guides and landscape installations all have me whipping my camera out quicker than you can say ‘tourist information centre’. Yes, I have a whole list of map-related articles in store for you over the coming months and I’m kicking this new feature off with a fantastic £25 gift voucher giveaway for! how_to_find_old_new_york5I never really realised just how ‘into’ maps I have been until this year. I always thought it was my husband’s hobby and, as an ex-scout, he was really good at understanding maps, taking me off the beaten track with nothing more than an Ordinance Survey fold-out and a compass in his backpack. Over the years, I’ve bought him countless books, globes and even a shower-curtain printed with the underground map, thinking that he was a massive map geek. It turns out that I was being much more self-serving than I imagined, choosing map-related homewares that I too liked the look of and spending hours pouring over the travel guides myself. a_pub_for_all_reasons2_1024x1024 Continue reading “New ‘Map Geek’ feature every Monday” »


Photography exhibition – Man v Nature by Claire Lacey

Today is the launch of a brand new photography exhibition at the Morley College, Westminster in London and it features work by my wonderful photographer friend and blog contributor Claire Lacey of Lacey In Places. Here she shares her photographs on the subject of Man v Nature and discusses how she produced the images:

For my first assignment as part of my Level 2 Photo Imaging City and Guilds class we were tasked to produce a minimum of ten images on one of six categories; portraiture, landscape, architecture, urbanscape, still life and reportage. I chose the latter category. As I had a few trips planned to my home county of Suffolk I decided to set my assignment on my parents’ farm and a former second world war airbase, which is full of overgrown war and farm relics. One of my favourite objects is our overgrown family car from my childhood which never quite made it to the scrapyard and there are numerous other items on the farm which are being reclaimed by nature.   

claire lacey man v nature images sonia the scarecrow entrance to a forgotten past


Therefore I decided to create a series of reportage images to show the intertwining worlds of man and nature, how when the two collide it can sometimes create beauty and depth, but at other times show man has ruined natural beauty.  This project highlights how the traces that man has left behind such as agricultural equipment and building structures which maybe dilapidated or decaying, or imprints in the landscape man has left behind – can create conflicting emotions and feelings.

 claire lacey man v nature images the barn inside the past remnants of man

This project is strongly influenced by photographer Fay Godwin who was convinced the countryside was changing for the worse and her passion for conserving the countryside and documenting the changes. Godwin, created atmospheric, dramatic shots through her use of architectural lines, rule of thirds and repetition in images to show the contrast of nature and man. These images were often bleak and emotive, but at other times showed the countryside at its spectacular best – such as her book ‘Land’. 

 claire lacey man v nature images erosion family car flown the coop discarded

Each image in the collection invites the viewer to consider what the two contrasting elements are and whether the opposing forces when combined; create beauty or the man is in fact ruining the countryside. 

claire lacey man v nature images nest attack entwined 2013

The private viewing of this exhibition is at 6:30pm-8:00pm on 10th June 2013 if you’d like to go along and view Claire’s work, along with many other talented London photographers. The exhibition runs from Monday 3rd of June until Saturday 29th June at Morley College Westminster and is open to the public.


A beautiful rainbow over a rural landscape

I really don’t think there’s anything better in nature than a beautiful rainbow. It’s a mini-miracle in the sky and it happens so rarely that you really have to stop and stare when then sun breaks through the clouds on a drizzly day. I love rainbows (and not only because they definitely have a pot of gold at the end) and am always amazed by their beauty, but I find it really hard to capture the magic of a rainbow in a photograph. Skies in general are hard to photograph and I find that the resulting image is nowhere near as good as the scene you’ve seen with your own eyes.  So I’m very happy that these photos came out looking so pretty. Enjoy!

beautiful rainbow photo over field landscape

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